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Mother-In-Law Stories
March 25, 2002
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I just had my first baby in November.  He's now 4 months old.  He was 8 lbs., 13 oz.  He was a big boy, but not huge.  Everyone said he was adorable.  BUT, my MIL decided to inform me that he was "TOO FAT", and should go on a diet (she didn't care that the doctor said his weight was perfect).  Then, an hour later, my baby started crying because it was time for him to eat.  As I fixed his bottle, my MIL started lecturing me about "starving my baby".  Go figure.  The funny thing is that I just saw a picture of my husband as a baby.  He looked just like my son, only FATTER!!!  Signature:

        Signed - A Big Boy, But Not Huge

RESPONSE:  A Big Boy, But Not Huge
Your MIL is unbelievably jealous.  She is trying to manipulate you in any way she can.  She wants to have control of SOMETHING during this very happy time in your life.  It is sick.  I have seen it first hand.  Your story sounds EXACTLY like my story.  I lived through the "baby is too fat" thing.  My little girl is a toddler now, and MIL still, occasionally, comments about my daughter's weight.  IGNORE HER.  Ignoring her and not reacting to her comments will KILL HER.  Don't let her know that you want to smash her face in.  My daughter's weight is just fine based on the The American Academy of Pediatrics Charts!  Besides, I am an aerobics instructor and KNOW about healthy weight.  A MIL who comments on an INFANT'S WEIGHT is INSANE and JEALOUS!!!  Would MIL like it better if your baby was in the NICU when he was born, and if he was SMALL???  Feed that baby each and every time it is hungry.  Don't listen to what MIL says.  Feeding your baby should be a beautiful bonding experience, and don't let that witch's voice enter your head while you are bonding and feeding your baby.  She doesn't want you to enjoy the feeding process!!!  And, hey, do you really care what she thinks?  You really shouldn't.  Congratulations on your new beautiful, healthy baby boy, and enjoy him as much as you can without the voice of MIL in your head.  He will be a toddler before you know it.

We are planning on doing some work on our house soon.  My MIL is very excited about this, as she is very ashamed of our home.  It is a normal house in a nice neighborhood.  It is about 65 years old, but it is in good shape, and we have been steadily making improvements (at our pace) since we first moved in.  MIL never ceases to make negative comments about our home.  Well, the other day she was here and we showed her our plans.  She wanted to know if we were going to also get new furniture, redo the patio, and fix up the basement.  I said, "No, we are just fixing the master bedroom and the kitchen now.  That is our choice, and that is what we want to do now."  I think that she knows that we are not doing that other work now.  She just wants to point out what else needs to be done.  This is not the first time she has made comments like this.  When I told her off once, she said, innocently, "I was just asking."  I think that is BS.  She knows that if we were going to do anything else, we would have told her right then.  All she is doing, IMHO, is taking cheap shots at us, and craftily criticizing our home one more time.  I want to tell her that she doesn't exactly live in a palace.  And, that even if she did, she should try to be nice and just leave us alone.  One time, when she was telling us what we "need" to do in our home, I told her that if it doesn't bother us, it shouldn't bother her.  We know what needs to be done in our home, and in a perfect world, we would do it all immediately.  But, it actually is quite a nice place, and MIL would be surprised to learn that people actually compliment us on our home quite often.  Why can't she just keep her nasty comments to herself?

        Signed - Why Can't She Just Keep Her Nasty Comments To Herself?

RESPONSE:  Why Can't She Just Keep Her Nasty Comments To Herself?
It's actually MY mother who can be just like the way you describe your MIL.  My advice is:  Don't talk to her about the house.  Just stay silent.  Don't show her plans, don't chat about the house, don't show her new things - nothing.  Then, when she asks why, tell her it is because she always has something negative to say.  With me, it reached the point where I never invited my mother over, and even made excuses as to why she couldn't come over when she asked to (before she asked why I was shutting her out).  When I told her it was because of the constant criticism, she said she was trying to help.  I said, "I am proud of what we have done to the house, and would like to bask in that awhile before thinking about the next project that needs doing."  It did a lot to stop the criticism.  If she gets going again while she is here, I walk into the kitchen, while asking if she needs coffee, or I tell one of the kids to show grandma their latest drawing - and grandma stops criticizing.  It might work with your MIL.  But stop chatting with her - she's one of those MIL's who you can't chit chat with, from the sounds of it.

Does anyone else have a MIL who never invites anyone to her home?  I am so tired of having to make most of the holiday dinners, birthdays, etc.  I live between the ILs and the other siblings, so I have been making the lion's share of the dinners.  I have refused to do it any longer.  I told DH that we can meet them in restaurants from now on.  I feel so used by her.  She uses the excuse that her home is small, but the reality is that we have a small family.  No one ever minded going to her "small" home for a get together.  But, a few years ago, she just stopped inviting the family over.  She says that since we have larger homes than she does, we (the siblings and their spouses) should be the hosts.  We are all busy, and I think that everyone should take a turn, at least once in a while.  Does any one have any thoughts on this?

        Signed - MIL Never Invites Anyone To Her Home

RESPONSE:  MIL Never Invites Anyone To Her Home
Making holiday dinners and birthday dinners are supposed to be fun things.  STOP DOING IT IF IT IS A CHORE FOR YOU.  You don't need to feel burdened.  If no one pitches in, then maybe it is assumed that you will always do it.  Do the restaurant thing.  And, if they get sick of it, maybe someone else will offer to make dinner.  Don't feel guilty about not having dinner.  If you feel used, you probably are.  Lots of luck to you.  Hope you had a nice holiday!

RESPONSE:  MIL Never Invites Anyone To Her Home
I see nothing wrong with stopping all the free dinners!  Yeah, it's nice to get together, but if you're feeling used, then it's not worth it.  I would only do it if you enjoyed doing it.  If MIL can stop, there should be no reason on this earth why you can't.  MIL will just have to travel farther now to see everyone at her other kids' homes!  I can't stand the one sidedness from these b!tchy MIL's.  It's always the world according to them.  And, if you decide that you want something your way, well, you're the one with the problem!  Stand firm, and who cares what anyone thinks!

RESPONSE:  MIL Never Invites Anyone To Her Home
Wow.  I have sympathy for both of you.  Here's what I think, and I hope I take my own advice.  I think that if you, your MIL, or any of the others do not want to have the holiday dinner at your house, you shouldn't do it.  How can anyone have a good time if the host doesn't have a good feeling about it?  I think your suggestion about meeting everyone in a restaurant is a great one.  I guess what I hope is that this would all get worked out before anyone feels so put upon that you can't have a nice time together when you do see each other.  Do whatever it takes for everyone to feel happy getting together.  Otherwise, politely make other plans, and don't even get together with the extended family on holidays - but do it gracefully and politely!  Sometimes, it's so tempting to let my displeasure with something be known, but that gets NOTHING BUT BAD results, and I am never comfortable with other relatives who act snippy and angry because they aren't getting what they want.  Whenever I haven't been kind and polite, I always wish I'd had a little more patience and self-control.

RESPONSE:  MIL Never Invites Anyone To Her Home
Yes - I think my MIL would need a map to find her way to her kitchen!  I have known my husband for over nine years, and have eaten at her house twice, although I have cooked many meals for her over the years at my house.


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