Dinner with In-laws tonight

pinkpeoniesSeptember 1, 2008

I am dreading it only because I know that MIL is going to press us about her babysitting DS. We have not had them babysitte at all b/c of course we can't have them in the house without having to deal with MIL going through our things.

We could take DS up to their house but I finally had to be honest and realize why I don't feel comfortable with that either. I worry that MIL and FIl will take DS out in the car and drive around (he hates his carseat and driving is un-nerving) MIL is a bad driver and I don't think she can deal with a screaming baby and drive. She can't drive when it's just her. It's a problem.

Also, I asked hubby if he thinks that MIL will take and put DS in the Christmas card photo without telling, asking us. And he said he had thought about that already. I thought that was interesting. A few years ago she sent out a photo of us without telling us and she didn't send one to us either. She didn't want us to know. We found out thru a family member.

Then a few years ago I missed a wedding in the family b/c my uncle was dying. I had to go home for it. My MIL printed up cards with a picture of my husband, MIL, FIL, BIL & SIL and was going to send it out. I had my hubby call to make sure she wasn't doing something like that and big surprise she was. He was furious. I was hurt. But, she was doing it to be a witch. I found it very hateful.

So now I have this child and I am having anxiety over her taking him behind our back for photos, or that she is going to do something like that again.

Also, she sent an email that said she wanted to babysitte b/c she wanted him to herself for a while. It made me so uneasy. I know I am being protective. But, still there is just something about my MIL that I never trust.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What's the big deal if she wants to take pics of your son??

My MIL printed up cards with a picture of my husband, MIL, FIL, BIL & SIL

Is the BIL & SIL husband and wife or brother and sister? If it's the latter, then it's a family picture and there's no big deal. If's it husband and wife, then I would feel left out for sure!

My husband doesn't trust his mom's driving either and he always asks her to not drive with our daughter in the car because he's not comfortable with her driving. I think she's a little hurt by this but she doesn't do it.

Why don't you just relax and see what happens, instead of thinking up things that could happen. Deal with it IF and WHEN it happens...it will be less stressful for you!

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 1:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

From past history, I felt violated that my MIL would send out a photo of all of us without even saying she was doing so. Then to go to the lengths of not sending us the same Christmas card as she sent out to 125 other households was odd. She gave us and my parents a totally different card. This was a year after we got married. The year before when we got married she had started calling our wedding photographer (before we had even seen our wedding photos b/c he was editing them for a month) to get pixs without us knowing so she could again send out the wedding photos as the Christmas card.

Then the year she went to print again I guess maybe I didn't know that it would be normal to have your in-laws send out a photo of themselves with their two sons and a DIL minus the other DIL (me.)

So maybe it's not a big deal that your in-laws send out Christmas cards with your children on it without telling you? I didn't know that was common. I guess I should just let that go.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 2:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It sounds like she might do the Christmas cards because she is proud and happy to be a grandma. On the other hand, I agree it would be pretty strange for her to secretively get his photo taken and then send out Christmas cards with the photo on it without telling you or your husband. If she actually does it, she will make herself look silly to any reasonable person.

As for the other card (without you in it), I agree it appears like a slight to you, but I guess I kind of feel the same way about this. If you let her send out the card, she makes herself look silly by purposely choosing a photo with one DIL, but not the other DIL in it. It looks kind of petty. So, while it might be upsetting to you, fighting with her about it probably won't change the behavior in the future. She doesn't seem to be able to tell the difference between what is and is not appropriate. But other people who get the card will see that.

I guess I kind of think if she wants to make her bed, let her lie in it. It's a waste of your time and energy to get upset or try to change her behavior and I believe your lack of reaction will make you look like a bigger person to all involved.

About the babysitting -- you need to have a certain comfort level with anyone who cares for your kids without you around (whether it's a daycare provider, MIL, or whoever). If you don't feel comfortable with MIL watching him alone, I think you need to trust your motherly instincts. However, you don't need to say that to her. You could say something like, why don't we all take DS to the park together as a family or invite her to family dinners because you would really value your time together as a family, with her included.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 3:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Simple....don't let her babysit.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 3:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have often received Christmas cards from friends with Wedding pictures of a Son or Daughter with new spouse. I have also received many cards with a picture of a new grand baby. So I do think it is fairly common.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 7:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't see the harm in the pictures unless she is doing it because she knows it upsets you.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 9:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Maybe they sent you and your parents a different Christmas card thinking you might appreciate a card that didn't have your faces on it. Seems kind of redundant to me to send my son and daughter in law a card of themselves. Having said that I would have asked their permission to put their faces on my Christmas cards. I would send pictures of their wedding to my friends without asking them, though.

I guess I also don't see why it matters if your in-laws photograph your DS. That would not have bothered me with my own kids and I don't see why they should have to ask you if they can put a picture of their grandchild on their Christmas cards. Or have I misunderstood your concern about the photos?

As far as safety goes, don't let them drive with him if you have any doubts about their ability.

Good luck in resolving this. Maybe it will get easier over time.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 1:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well I think the MIL should certainly ask the parents of the child if it is ok for her to take the child to have his picture taken.

She really has no right to just go and do that without his parent's permission. I think she is overstepping the boundary.

I do see harm in taking the picture, it would annoy me !

Pinkpeonies - be assertive and say what you want for your child. I know this is difficult for you, so you must use your words carefully. If you don't like something you have every right to be protective over your child. Your child does not belong to his grand-parents.

Let us know how you get on.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 2:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The day I don't have the right to take a picture of my grand child and send it to whom I please is the day my children become "estranged" from me....or me from them.
What's the big deal? I am sure your MIL heartily dislikes you and thinks you are very strange for not wanting them to have any time alone with their grandchild....and so do I.
This is your childs' grand mother fer cryin' out loud! The mother of your husband!
Did you have a grandmother? Did you know her? Did you love her? Does your DH's brother's wife feel like you do?
How about your parents? Are they "allowed" to baby sit? Would you allow them to take a picture of your child? How about your poor child? Does he know and love his grandma?
I think your feelings are irrational!
Linda C

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 10:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with Lindac. I took pictures of all of my grandchildren and the parents were happy to see them. They would not have cared if I put them on a Christmas card. The people I send them to would be "our" families. Toward the end of my husband's life I disliked his kids so much and they disliked me (money), but still they wouldn't have cared.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 11:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

So maybe it's not a big deal that your in-laws send out Christmas cards with your children on it without telling you? I didn't know that was common. I guess I should just let that go.

Yep, you should! Life's too short to worry about trivial things like this. She is, after all, your child's grandmother. I've NEVER heard of a grandparent or aunt/uncle asking permission to take a picture of their grandchild/niece/nephew. Let it go!

Seems to me that you are just trying to find an excuse to berate her.

Re family picture that excludes you but not the other DIL.. I would have asked her point blank why you weren't included. Why didn't your husband say something when the picture was being taken???

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 1:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have to agree, I think you are demonizing her unnecessarily. I learned that it's very easy to find the "bad" things and be critical and always on guard, but eventually, it will consume you and build a terrible wall between your family and your husband's family.

As far as the photo without you, you weren't at the wedding. That's a natural time for family pictures, it may be one of the few times the whole family is together and dressed up (certainly true for my family), and you weren't there, so you weren't in the picture. She clearly loves to have family pictures and to share them with family and friends - that's wonderful, and you should be glad.

As far as spending time with your son, why not have them over, a lot, to spend supervised time with him, and go with them for those photos. You've made it such an issue, I can see why she feels she must sneak around.

When he's older you can consider letting him visit them, first with you and eventually, when he's old enough, without you. You might want to take them, with you and your son, to a park or zoo or other attraction that all of you will enjoy.

I take more pictures of my grandchildren than my daughter does and I post them on my web site and send them to her and send the really cute ones to other family members. My daughter will post some of them on her site, and I will do the same with pictures she sends me.

Grandchildren are such a joy, I could never have imagined how much fun they would be, and since mine are 2000 miles away, I live for the pictures and phone calls. Even hearing the 5 month old cooing in the background warms my heart. The three year old gets on the phone and tells me what he had for lunch, and I'm happy for days.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 4:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Dearest Pink,
I'm saddened for you.
Please try not to find things to alienate you from your husbands mother. Life is long, life is short, please try to set yourself up for success with her.
Sometimes we create a legacy about another that grows out of proportion and no matter what that person does, or changes they make, are not appreciated for the only reason that one has "dug their heels in". Or feel entitled to gritch because family members are gritching too.
There will be a time when you will be in your mother in laws position, and how will you want to be perceived and treated? What if you "rub your daughter/son in law the wrong way and every action or remark is scrutinized, making you out to be a person you know yourself not to be?
Years ago I felt wronged by a person I cared about, stressing about the whys and hows of this to a dear friend who kindly reminded me that most people are not "smart nor care" enough to figure out ways to be devious. I believe this to be true.
The choice of finding a way to have generosity of spirit and grace towards your mother in law will be rewarded in ways you might not see right now, yet you will be rewarded. Even if it's only in having your child see how his mother can overlook the imperfections in someone he loves.
In friendship,

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 2:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi - I'm only commenting on one thing that I think I read differently from others. That has to do with the Christmas card and the picture. I interpreted it that it was a "photo card", and the photo was of the grandparents and grandchild. I didn't think it was a picture that was included with a Christmas card. Perhaps I misinterpreted.

If it's the former (an actual formal photo card, I do think that I would find that irritating and odd if it were my baby. If it was just a photo sent along with the card, no problem.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 12:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Perhaps some clarification is in order, because I interpreted the Christmas card as a formal photo card, too -- and that it might be done in a secretive way, which I interpreted to be odd. I would love it if any of my child's grandparents offered to take my kids to get Christmas card pics taken, and I love to get photos emailed to me that they happened to have taken while with my kids -- but it would strike me as particularly weird if a grandparent took a grandchild to get a photocard done secretively -- purposely not telling the parents (unless it was some kind of surprise gift, or something). Just seems very strange. Put that together with the same grandparent snooping through personal items belonging to the grandchild's parents while the parents aren't at home, and it just sounds bizarre. But maybe I misinterpreted the OP, as well.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 3:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"MIL going through our things"
"without telling, asking us... She didn't want us to know. We found out thru a family member."
"your in-laws send out a photo of themselves with their two sons and a DIL minus the other DIL (me.)"

I can see nothing but deceit, underhandedness, and lack of respect towards you Pink. If one DIL is on the card, the other one better be. Otherwise, it's just playing favorites, saying you're not a part of the family in a not subtle way at all. That's not ok. And she knows she's doing something you don't like, making every effort to conceal it. Why is she concealing it? Why didn't you get the same card? This is really suspicious. It would be really different if she asked you or let you knew, but she's done everything in her power to keep you out of it. Why? Nothing good, I can assure you! Ok so it happened. But if you don't want her to do it again, say so. Then MIL should respect it, just because she loves you. Out of love, out of respect. I don't understand how you're wrong in all of this. That said, there are creeps all over the world. Overlook her stupidity to send out pictures in a deceitful way. She is being mean to you and she knows it. Don't let it get to you, or you're just giving her the satisfaction of having won. Tell her no. Genetics don't give her right to do whatever she wants.

"still there is just something about my MIL that I never trust." Follow your gut. Instincts are good. Don't cut her out, but don't trust her either.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 4:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, how did the evening go?

Pink, I would take Deborah's advice, she is wise... -BUT- I would also set boundaries. Snooping-no way! You don't want her driving your child? - don't let her! You are the Mom control the situation.

I would have been thrilled if my MIL had sent pictures of my child to friends and family. She was good to my child while she was growing up but there was always tension between me and her- I was always the outsider or outlaw(and the closest neighbor). I sucked it up and carried on, never called her on anything. She was never overtly mean to me but made little comments and made many demands around the holidays. My DH was always aware of it but never took a stand even when I ranted and raved over her. Ten years ago my husbands father died and there was a huge rift in the family, we didn't see or speak to MIL for over 8 years even though she was 1/2 miles down the road.

I was shocked last Christmas when I saw her comming thru the yard on her walker! DH's brother had brought her to have Christmas dinner with us. She had had a stroke, and was much older looking than when I last saw her, but I greeted her with a kiss. Then I went out on the deck for a smoke and a drink! I stayed on the side lines and kept my mouth shut, just let DH and DD visit with her, it was strained, but at least they got to "visit" for a while, and all went well.

It felt so good! I think she must have seen what shes been missing - family! She came back for Easter too. I am the one that cooks for the holidays now and the house is always full of her kids, gkids and ggkids and I like having her here too. I try to dwell on the good times, DH and DD are still wary (they were very hurt)but they are comming around.

She taught me alot, about being the wife of a farmer, raising kids and how not to be a mother in law. I hope I can be a good future mother in law.

Things change, be open to it.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 9:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think it would be wonderful idea if the widowed grandmothers or even grandmother and grandfather would have all of their grandchildren over for a Christmas photo. Then send it to everyone on their card list. It would show how proud of them she was. I would do that but mine are grown and far away.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 1:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Could you drop the baby off to the in laws but not leave the car seat? Then they can't take him out and about anywhere... Don't leave a stroller either.

And I'd sit and chat with them maybe about how YOU and hubby intend to send out photo Christmas cards with the baby on them and do NOT want them to do this too, unless it is a photo of them both with your baby... I think that would be OK... If they want to go to a photographer for this, offer to go with them, and if they want a more candid photo, offer to take it for them...

If you are uncomfortable leaving them in your home because you feel they will go through your things, don't leave them there... but don't make it so they can leave their house with your baby in a car if you feel there is a safety issue.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 7:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I cannot stand when people send pictures without permission. I recently visited home town and my childhood friend took pics of us. One of the pic is in a summer cottage, i am wearing ugly shorts, no make up, shiny face (hot summer day!), my hair all over. she took that pic and sent it to people all over the place like 20 different people, some of whom i went to high school like 25 years ago. She didn't ask a permission. i don't think anyone should be allowed to send pics of anyone to anyone wihtout permission. I think it is fine IF people ask permission first.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 10:17PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
mothers estranged from adult children
Hi Ladies. I'm new here and there was a post at the...
18 year old daughter disrespectful
I am hoping to get some advice. My daughter who is...
Abusive Adult Children
I dont know how much more I can take. I have a 30 yo...
Coping with the Estrangement of Adult Children
Sadly, my adult children and I are estranged from each...
Adult daughter says actions speak louder than words
My Daughter and I have not had the best relationship...
Sponsored Products
Metal Edge Laptop Desk
Cost Plus World Market
Bonita Light Pendant in Brown Tint
$199.99 | Dot & Bo
Chintaly Tasha 5 Piece Extendable Dining Table Set - CTY1296
Certified International 'Bistro' 10.5-inch Dinner Plates (Set of 4)
Oakland Living Rochester Wrought Iron Dining Set With Umbrella
Whitlock Dining Chairs (Set of 2) - Key Largo Graphite Brown
Joybird Furniture
Mustachio Mini Dish
$9.99 | Dot & Bo
Sango Nova Avocado 16-piece Dinnerware Set
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™