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My Mother in Law is driving my crazy!

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Hi to all!


I am writing to you from an empty house... FINALLY. Two weeks ago my husbands family started arriving at our house. Initially it was only supposed to be my husband's brother coming to visit because it was his holiday to visit with his daughter who lives here in town with his ex wife. My BIL stayed a week and helped out with everything. He was a HUGE help, even taking a morning feeding with our newborn daughter so that my husband and I could sleep in. He brought his girlfriend (who I really don't care for but am nice to despite my feelings about her) She was pleasant, so there wasn't any big issue with them. My mother in law also insisted on coming to visit with my FIL so that they could see our daughter and so they could also see thier other granddaughter. We knew for a few weeks that they everyone was coming but the visit was only supposed to be for one week. It wasn't exactly a great time for my husband and I to have visitors because we have been bickering, mostly because we are currently fixing up our house and remodeling every room in it but we have a newborn little girl and we didn't want to deny anyone from visiting with our daughter. Let me stress that we really didn't mind the visit... it just wasn't the best of time for us to have visitors which put my husband and I under some pressure to get most of the work done in a VERY short time frame.


Main problem with the visit: My MIL is absolutely obsessed with her first grandchild (we'll call her "L" for privacy reasons). She spoils her endlessly to the point that "L"'s own father says... ENOUGH. They bicker constantly about how she can't keep spoiling her and letting her whine to get her way. My MIL is an absolute crazy woman when she is with "L". It's like no one else matters in the room but her granddaughter. For instance.... My brother in law was here for ONE week to visit his daughter who he hardly gets to see because he lives in another state and she insisted that "L" sleep with her instead. Of coarse my BIL wouldn't have it... but it was upsetting to see the child in constant turmoil over their disputes.

Second issue: She extended her stay when my husband confronted her about not spending any time with our daughter and only spending time with "L". Both my husband and I couldn't believe her behavior. I thought that my MIL was here to visit with my daughter also but she ignored her the entire time. She made excuses why she didn't want me and my daughter to join them when they went to the museum, she left and went to stay with her sisters (taking her other granddaughter with her). It was like my daughter didn't even exist. It was absolutely ridiculous. In no way am I jealous of this precious child. I just couldn't believe the amount of times that everyone in the room had to bow down to a 5 year olds wishes. I obviously have different parenting techniques. I also couldn't believe how my MIL had so many perfect opportunities to spend time with BOTH of her grandchildren and she ONLY spent time with "L". I can understand that she loves her 1st granddaughter but when she is making everyone else miserable and crazy and ignoring her other grandchild.... when is enough ENOUGH? I didn't say a word to her about my feelings because I didn't want to cause a dispute but I did share my feelings with my husband. At first he defended his mother MUCH more than he should have and we even got in a HUGE fight over it... but he ended up eating his words when he witnessed her extended her stay so that she could really spend more time with "L" after her other son went home (my brother in law only stayed the one week). She basically refused to spend any time with our daughter by making up excuses why she didn't want us to be included in any way in her daily activities.


Let me be clear... I really don't care if she wants to behave this way. But I do want my daughter to have a healthy relationship with her grandmother. And I ESPECIALLY do not want to EVER have to explain to my child why Grandma doesn't pay attention to her. I would be SO hurt if I were her. Luckily she is only a few months old and doesn't notice yet.


I also do understand the dynamic of the 1st grandchild born in the family... I also understand that my MIL is also closer to her because she helped raise her and also because she was taken away from her son to live up here. I completely understand her behaving "somewhat" like this. But what I don't understand is her ignoring my daughter entirely.


Also: My MIL has a very strained attitude towards me. I feel like I never do anything right. We have an OK relationship but I feel like sometimes she is jealous over the way she THINKS my husband treats me. We do not tell our parents about our troubles. According to her my husband (her son) can do NO wrong. He is perfect and treats me perfectly. Despite her knowing about his one time infidelity. My husband and I are rocky sometimes great sometimes. We are getting by ok. I think she thinks we have no troubles at all and that my husband is perfect. She insists that I do all of the housework despite me running our own business. She always makes comments about me not doing anything despite me fixing hp and selling 3 homes WITH my husband this year alone. I moved 3 times while pregnant (5 if you count moving our things into storage and out of storage), I mudded walls, put up drywall, painted ceilings, walls, decorated, packed and unpacked and even raked leaves 8 months pregnant. I am hardly a freeloader. I am a workaholic according to my friends but my MIL is always telling me that I shouldn't be sitting on my butt all day and that I need to manage my time better. Like I said... what I do is invisible to her. If I cook a meal and she is around, she won't eat it and will go in the kitchen and make another meal and expect everyone to eat her meal. Even though she behaves like this... I keep my mouth shut. And let her act this way, I don't make waves and just tell my husband about how I feel. Sometimes he defends her, sometimes he doesn't. He listens well enough and steps in and says something to her when he thinks she is going overboard with me... which is pretty much almost ALWAYS.


I'm thinking maybe she just doesn't like me???... but why take it out on my child??? Afterall... this is her son's daughter too. After finally noticing her behavior my husband is pretty hurt over it too. And you know guys, they don't usually notice that kind of thing.


Don't know what to make of this really... just thought I would post to get some feedback. I'm not crushed... maybe a little hurt for my daughter and my husband. I mainly want to see if there is any way I can fix this so that it doesn't ever have to happen again. Yeah, I know... you can't control anyone's actions but... maybe I can try to do something about the outcome so that I don't ever have to see my little girl hurt by this. Seeing my husband hurt over it is already more than I can bear.

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It's hard to know what to say not having to entertain in-laws.


Does she have to stay with you when she comes to visit? Can you refuse to have her without your husband being upset.


Because I think you should avoid her, avoid speaking to her and certainly don't try to get her to spend time with your daughter. do you really want her doting on your kid? - you've already seen the effect she had on neice - if she takes more interest she'll only be interfering.


The fact that she has favorites is something your daughter will have to live with - parents and grandparents have favorites - it's a fact of life - something most of us learn to accept.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Toby17. I can avoid her for now... but I feel eventually she will blame me for her not seeing her son more. She played favorites with her own children too and my husband was her favorite of the three children she had. He sometimes doesn't understand because he never felt the damage that her other two feel. My brother in law makes comments about my husband being the "golden child". I see the remark as sarcastic... but deep down it had to have had some kind of scarring effect.


I don't ever want to play favorites with my children and hope that my husband wouldn't act that way either. I guess because I felt that way with my mom as well. My older brother was always the one who got away with everything and got the best of everything. I don't have hard feelings, it is what it is... but I know well enough about the way it makes you feel as a kid not to ever inflict that on any of my children. I will do the best I can to make any child in my home feel as though they are loved the same as all.

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I can understand some of what you're feeling. My in laws are very nice to me, but they're incredibly dramatic and crass with each other and their sons. Every time we all get together, be it for a low-key dinner or a big celebration, there always ends up being some kind of explosive argument or fight over what I would deem to be absolutely nothing. After a lot of thought and consideration, I am now polite, courteous and friendly, but I refuse to compromise my comfort, happiness, safety or sanctity of my home for these wing nuts (lol). It took a lot of open and honest communication with my husband, but I put my foot down that the minute I started to witness any of their nonsense I would either announce my exit, or if it they are at our home, politely ask them to leave. Its NOT EASY trying to find a firm but respectful voice for fear of rocking the boat, but I realized that these folks had no right to put me in these situations and that I had no obligation to stand for it. My husband now agrees and when things get out of hand we simply say "this has escalated to an inappropriate place so it's time to call it a night" etc. I realize that this is easier said than done, but perhaps take baby steps to stand up to her. It doesn't have to be mean and confrontational, just honest and open: "I'm uncomfortable with the way I'm being made to feel in my own home so I think it would be in everyone's best interest if we all had a little bit of a space for a few hours, days, what have you." Good luck!

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I think what you lack is boundaries. It seemed that the MIL invited herself over - announced she was visiting, and the BIL came in town not to visit with you really, but to see his child. You really didn't invite anyone. next time, head this all off by telling people about the nice hotels in the area. Invite people over for a visit at certain times and don't let people run you. It will make your life much easier. If you really want the BIL to visit, then you invite him and arrange a SPECIFIED number of days. If the MIL says she is coming, tell her "you already have guests during that time". You either have to do this, or you have to learn to cheerfully accept all this. There are also nice hotels for them to go to as well.


Maybe MIL, BIL and "L" can all stay somewhere together.


But if "L" is BIL's daughter, maybe MIL overdoes it with "L" since BIL doesn't have custody and she doesn't get to see her as often or feels "L" has the unfair situation of not being with her dad? But if you don't live near MIL either, it wouldn't make sense for her to overdo it with one and not the other.


Also, what about taking your daughter to visit them in their town at times?

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