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Mother-In-Law Stories
March 11, 2002
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There is so much to say about my MIL.  She is a lot like a TV sit com MIL.  If you tell her that you are getting a new carpet for the den, she will want to know if you are also getting new carpet in the living room - HINT, HINT.  She once wouldn't introduce my son to her friend because he had a food stain on his shirt.  She has suggested to my husband that I should go back to work full time, because that way, the financial burden would be lifted from his shoulders (I guess she felt that it was all my idea, little did she know that he wanted me to be a stay at home mom as much as I did).  When I was finishing up college at night, she asked me why I was doing that.  "After all," she said, "you are just going to be home with the kids."  When I was looking at clothing in a catalogue, she told me that I shouldn't buy anything, because I will be having some (necessary) construction work done on my house soon (and I guess stay at home moms don't need any new clothing till they return to the work force).  When she is around my children (the occasions are few and far between - she does not invite any family over), she will call me later to tell me what she thinks of their personalities.  And, then she will make suggestions as to what we can do to make improvements.  She tells people off wherever she goes, and then she calls to tell us what she has done (and I think to get kudos for her people skills).  She thinks she is always right, and that she knows everything (no matter what it is about - medicine, exercise, home improvement, travel, politics, etc.).  Whenever she has a conversation with us, she will dismiss our opinions (even if it is regarding our own careers and areas of expertise), and then she will tell us what SHE thinks, and what we need to do in order to be successful.  Is it any wonder that neither of us want to talk to her?

        Signed - Neither Of Us Want To Talk To Her

Any advice would be gratefully appreciated.  My MIL tells my children that she will take them places for the weekend or during their vacations, and then she never does.  The kids ask me when they will be going out with grandma, and I tell them that they should ask HER.  When they ask her, she then tells them that THEY are so busy that she doesn't know when they will have time to do anything with her, and that THEY should call her when they have a free afternoon.  I have told her that my children do not invite themselves over to anyone's home, and that if she wants to do something specific with them, then she should just arrange it with us.  She has even talked about setting something up during a phone call, and yet every time, she gets off the phone without getting out her date book or calendar to set something up.  Sure, everyone is busy, but she never makes an effort to even try.  What really kills me is that she loves to talk to them about taking them out or having them stay over IN FRONT of other relatives, or in front of her friends.  My older child has her game figured out, but it hurts me to see my little one actually believing that she will follow up on her offers, time after time.

        Signed - She Gets Off Phone Without Getting Out Date Book

RESPONSE:  She Gets Off Phone Without Getting Out Date Book
That's awful!  I think the next time she is telling your youngest that she will do such and such, in front of her friends, I would start laughing.  Maybe catch your oldest child's attention and wink and say something like, "Grandma's playing pranks again!!"  When MIL asks what you mean, I would act innocent.  Like, "Oh, you mean it ISN'T a joke?  You never do take the kids anywhere like you talk about, so we had decided that this is your way of pulling a prank!"  Let her flounder and try to get out of it.

RESPONSE:  She Gets Off Phone Without Getting Out Date Book
If there is one thing that gets my goat, its people who make promises to children and then don't follow through.  They don't seem to understand how badly this hurts and disappoints a child.  I think you and your husband should sit your MIL down for a face to face chat, and tell her simply and plainly that her behavior is hurtful to your children.  Don't accuse her or say things that will put her on the defensive unnecessarily.  But don't sugar coat it either.  The other thing you can do is to step in yourself.  Instead of directing your children to take it up with your MIL, where they will only be disappointed, YOU call MIL and say, "DD is so excited about staying over, how about this weekend?  No?  How about next weekend?"  And keep it up until MIL COMMITS to a date.  Another effective tactic would be to pin her down to a date the next time she makes an offer in front of friends or relatives.  If she backs out, insist that she reschedule.  If she backs out again, then its time to tell her point blank that it's time to stop making offers she has no intention of following through with.  Good luck, and please let us know what happens.

RESPONSE:  She Gets Off Phone Without Getting Out Date Book
I would lay it on the line.  The sh!t stops NOW!!!  It is one thing to play stupid head games with other adults, but to kids it is mean and cruel.  And, you should not stand for it another day!  Tell her that if she cannot stop it, then you will make sure she doesn't see the kids AGAIN!

RESPONSE:  She Gets Off Phone Without Getting Out Date Book
I, too, was exposed to this very same behavior from my MIL.  She would make grand statements such as, "I am going to take my grandson to the shore next summer."  Or, "I am always available to baby-sit my grandchild (she has only one)."  And, "My grandchild is going to stay over this weekend."  These statements were always made in front of groups of relatives and/or friends.  I figured out, in short order, that these were only statements, and she never meant to follow through on any of them.  I might state here that she would also tell people that she had, indeed, taken my son to the beach, ballgame, store, etc.  But, none of these things had actually happened.  These events really started bothering my son (and me too) as people would ask him how he liked the ballgame/shore, etc.  And, he didn't know how to answer.  So, I got up some courage and invited her to dinner one night.  I told her how I felt about her lies.  I told her that she didn't need to feel obligated to offer to "do" anything with my son, and certainly didn't need to make up false events in order to satisfy what she felt her friends or relatives expected of her.  She was very angry and defensive that I would have the nerve to call her bluff.  Eventually, she stopped lying about her relationship with my son.

frequent fry her - Colorado Husker Frequent Fry Her TM. - ColoradoHusker /Posted: 11-MAR-02
I recently had my first child in late January.  You may recall that DH and I had a lot of problems getting pregnant and staying pregnant, not to mention the he!! his mother put us through.  Short recap:  MIL and I had words in July, while I was on bed rest for a threatened miscarriage.  Among other things, she told me to tell DH that he was no longer her son.  DH confronted her, and she denied everything.  In August, she announced that she is now house bound.  DH tried to patch things up, and she said that she did nothing wrong and had nothing to apologize for.  But, when I refused to come to her house for Christmas, she cried and cried.  So, I had the baby.  DH called her from the hospital to tell her that the baby was here, and asked her to come see us.  MIL said that she can't walk too far.  DH told her there are wheelchairs at every door of the hospital.  Then, she said that she can't be alone while BIL (who is 37 and lives with her) parks the car.  DH told her that there is FREE valet parking until 6pm.  Then, MIL said that BIL isn't home - maybe they'd come later.  DH was disappointed.  DH then called a childhood friend who lives in the neighborhood of his mom.  DH asked his friend if he could bring MIL to the hospital and take her home again.  He said, "Sure, not a problem.  Have her give me a call.  DH called MIL back and told her that his friend will bring her, etc.  MIL said that she is "sore", and, "we'll see" after she takes a shower.  DH hung up and waited 1.5 hours to call her back.  MIL said that she is now too tired, and "we'll see" after BIL comes home.  DH asked when BIL will be home.  MIL says BIL is out of town fishing.  Great!  DH is now pissed.  DH called back that evening.  Is BIL home?  MIL said, "Yes, but BIL is tired from the weekend and is dozing in his chair - too tired to come to hospital."  DH finally broke down and cried.  The next day we're being released.  MIL called and asked, "Can we come to her house so she can see the baby??"  What a witch!!!!  I had a baby 2 days ago.  I still was hurting.  I was tired, I just wanted to go home.  But, no, I did the "good" thing, and agreed to see MIL.  MIL can't do a damn thing to get herself to the hospital, but we can come see her!  The visit went okay.  We're only there for a few minutes.  DH tried to tell her that coming to the hospital would have been easier, but she said she just can't make it to the front door.  DH asked her why, and MIL claimed that she "can't talk about it" - whatever!  She won't see a doctor.  She won't seek help, so I see no reason why I have to play her sick game.  My baby is now 6 weeks old.  BIL still hasn't spoken to us - no call to say congratulations, no card, no NOTHING!  JERK!  MIL called here the other night.  BIL is "in love", and she wanted to tell DH all about it.  DH told her that he didn't want to hear about it.  He didn't care.  She got all huffy, said she had to go, and hung up!  MIL can't stand any negative info about BIL.  MIL also hasn't requested us to come see her with baby, and sure as heck hasn't been here to see us.  I'm about ready to call social services on her as an endangered person.  What would you do?  DH says that he's not doing anything since she doesn't want help, and won't ask for help.  His attitude is that it's her life and her problem.  All I know is that I'm doing everything to keep MIL out of my DD's life until MIL gets some help.

        Signed - Wit's End!

( I want my own Frequent Fry Her TM Page )

RESPONSE:  Wit's End!
If she doesn't want to see the baby, fine.  It's better for your daughter to be around friends and family that love her, than ones who do not.  It is not about what is best for MIL, it is what is best for your family and daughter.  Enjoy your time with your new daughter, and forget about MIL.  Remember, the first year will be over with before you can blink an eye.  If MIL or other family misses it, that is too bad.  You tried.

RESPONSE:  Wit's End!
It sounds like you already have the power to keep MIL out of your baby's life.  She won't come over.  DH won't cater to her.  Your battle is fought and won without you having to take a shot.  I suspect that you are hurt that MIL doesn't want a relationship with baby - not one that would involve her going out of her house, anyway.  I've been there.  I begged my MIL to show an interest in my children.  She can't/won't because SHE needs to be the center of attention.  So, my kids don't even know that grandmother.  And, my DH doesn't care.  He is sick of her games.  It sounds to me like MIL just couldn't handle you getting attention for being on bed-rest during your pregnancy, so she became housebound - forever.  I learned to be grateful that my sick-minded MIL didn't want to put herself out for my kids.  Now I never have to deal with her.

RESPONSE:  Wit's End!
I wouldn't do anything.  If that woman wants to sit on her @ss all day and rot, then let her.  It's no loss to your DD.  Her grandmother and uncle are two of the most useless human beings I have ever read about here.  Just thank your lucky stars that your DH doesn't want anything to do with them, and enjoy your precious baby girl.

You think your BF's mother is bad, listen to this.  My BF is 24.  His mother buys him clothes and buys his groceries for him.  Since the day I met her, she has hated me.  She is nasty, and calls me to leave racist, nasty messages on my machine.  She makes me call her Mrs. X.  Well, when she found out that BF wanted to come up to visit me at college, she threw a fit.  She threatened him that she would never give him any more money if he visited me.  My BF has had enough, and he is flying up to see me next month.  I just hope he leaves mommy dearest.

        Signed - Mommy Dearest Hater

RESPONSE:  Mommy Dearest Hater
Get out while the getting is good.  Could you imagine if you married this guy?  If you are a mommy dearest hater now, whoa, just wait until marriage.  Do you want this woman as the GRANDMOTHER of your children???  Run!  RUN!!!  Run, and don't look back.  You are young, and you have LOTS of time to find a good man who isn't going to cling to his mother - and, this BF of yours is going to CLING to his mommy like GLUE.  That is the truth.  Lots of luck.

RESPONSE:  Mommy Dearest Hater
You hope he leaves mommy dearest?  Well, he won't.  Any 24 year old man who lives with his mommy and has her buy him his clothes is a loser.  Dump him, and find a real man.  This one will never change.


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