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In-laws that don't get it!

Posted by ilovepink (My Page) on
Sun, May 11, 08 at 13:42

We had to see MIL yesterday for Mother's day.

Once again the entire visited consisted of MIL holding DD and making much to do over my husband and his parenting skills. How great he is. I get zilch said in kind thrown in my direction.

I doubt this will ever change. It's hurtful and plain hateful.

She wanted to show off DD to a neighbor lady. It was past DD's nap and I kept saying this. I need to put her down. She was starting to fuss.

The neighbor lady was holding her and DD started looking around for me. So I stood by so she could see me but I didn't want to hover.

MIL comes and stand right between us. Me and DD. Blocking all view of me. I didn't say anything and of course my child melted down. When the neighbor went to hand her off MIL swoops in taking her from me.

We get back to the house and I am trying to get DH to 'get' that we need to go b/c DD is overly tired. An hour later we finally leave.

Also, everytime someone asks me how old DD is or asks a question, MIL over talks me and answers. It's really getting old.

We leave their house she is screaming bloody murder b/c now she is past a nap and is hungry and I can't even get her to eat b/c she can't figure out which she wants and doesn't want.

Last night I pay for it all over again with her waking up at 2 a.m. and is off schedule. So I will now have to deal with her getting back on for another few days.

When we were leaving MIL wanted to know if we would come for a weekend to their cabin. I've hit my limit. I am not going for a weekend with anyone. I am furious. I am sick of being treated like I am the nanny. I am sick of being the one that has to deal with the baby that is off scheduel and I don't get any help. Going to a cabin means I get to sit in a back room by myself every three hours to feed DD or to pump. I am not comfortable breastfeeding around anyone.

I am so upset. I cried most of last night. It hurts my feelings. DH knows it does. But, what can he do? I don't want to be around these people any longer. But, I know I have to b/c they are the 'grandparents' and they need to see DD.

I am OVER it and all of this. It's horrible.

Luckily I don't have to see them today for Mother's day. But, it would have been nice if just once they recognized that I too am a mother this year.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

If it's as bad as you say you need to have a talk with your husband, he is the only one that can put a stop to it. I wouldn't visit under those circumstances.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

I know it's annoying, but it could be worse. You could have in-laws who never want to hold the baby and take no real interest in talking, asking about or wanting to ever visit them. There are In-laws like that. You may not realize it, but you're lucky for what you have.

The situation with your MIL sounds like how my mom was/is to an extend. We've probably all been there... with the relatives who seem to "help" throw off the kids schedules (letting them stay up late, waking them to play, etc) .. not really understanding/remembering what missing nap time can do. Holidays and visiting relatives almost always threw off our kids' sleep schedules. It was just a given. But, when we are close or like the relatives, it doesn't really seem as annoying or bothersome.

"and I don't get any help." I'm not sure what you meant by this... is it directed to your husband or MIL, or just a general statement? Your husband should be able to help you when these schedules get so messed up. Are you maybe a little mad at him that he's not?


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

May I make a suggestion? It' won't solve the whole problem, but in future, why not trying going to visit AFTER her nap. Instead of at a time when you KNOW you'll have to book home to get her to bed. I found it was always a better idea to take the kids out when they were well-rested, than to visit when they were running too close to nap or bedtime.

And yes, your husband needs to sit up and take notice of what's happening. Maybe one suggestion is for you to leave the baby in his care for a few days, while you take a weekend trip with a friend or sister. I always found that was a great way to make Dad see just what we go through on a daily basis (in my case, my sister and I used to take off for 2 weeks every fall--great for us all. And Dad and DD had some wonderful bonding time).

Have you tried planning the visit with your husband ahead of time? Gently reminding him that, "You know, we'll have to be on the road by 12:30, so I can have her in for her nap by 1, right?" And then, don't wait for everyone to 'let' you leave. Just start packing everything up, thank all for the visit, wish them well, and pull your husband out the door if necessary. You can do it--you just have to make up your mind that YOU have more power than his mother does (you do--it's YOUR baby. Only way she can have more power is if you hand it to her).

Good luck.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

Ilovepink...I feel for you. Its hard to go out when they need a sleep. When mine where little, I used to plan my outings around their naps. I was pretty fussy about routine.

I think older people forget what its like to have a baby around. I find I am doing this myself, a little bit. I think all the hard work involved with little ones, is fading away in my memory, and my kids are 15 and 21 !

I think in this situation, when you have calmed down, you work out what a good outcome would be for YOU. And say your bit...you can put it that "this is best for the baby".

With breastfeeding, feed away...who cares what others think, you can feed discreetly. But I can understand that feeding time is so special, just between you and your child, and its sometimes important to go and find a quiet spot, with no distractions, to feed.

Have a calm chat with your hubbie...I am sure he is unaware of what is going on.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

You need to FIRMLY establish some boundaries, and FAST.
Your MIL is way too territorial with your baby.
The taking her out of your arms; blocking her view of you; etc., THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE.
You do not need permission from your mother-in-law, to "be" a mother. You are the one that gave birth, and YOU are the one who is responsible for her health and welfare.

Do not allow this woman to take control.

Decide NOW that you are going to be the mother of your daughter. If MIL doesn't like it, well, tough.

"I am so upset. I cried most of last night. It hurts my feelings. DH knows it does. But, what can he do? I don't want to be around these people any longer. But, I know I have to b/c they are the 'grandparents' and they need to see DD."

If you don't want to be around them, then DON'T.
If they truly "need" to see your daughter, then they should be able to abide by whatever boundaries you decide on!!!

Do not allow this woman to bully you! Do not let her just take your baby out of your arms! Do not allow her to block her view of you. Why did you let her do that? You don't have to.....sit down and think about some boundaries...make a list.

For example:

1. I will only go to MILs with the baby if MIL respects our boundaries
2. I will only stay "X" time, with the baby (say, an hour and a half)
3. If you are holding your baby and MIL tries to take her without asking; STEP BACK, and tell her very firmly,
"No. I'm holding DD right now."
4. If someone is holding DD and MIL gets between you and blocks her view, STEP BETWEEN THEM, so DD can once again see you - then turn to MIL and say very firmly,
"Do NOT block her view of me again."
You don't have to be nasty; just be firm about it.

Etc.

Make your boundaries and then keep them. If MIL throws a fit, STOP GOING TO SEE HER. You are going to have to lay down the law with this woman. Good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: Site that can help you


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

Join the crowd, ilovepink. You're not the only one who had to "suffer" through grandparents yesterday. For heaven's sake, let your MIL be a grandmother!!!! How often do you go visit her anyway? Learn to put up with it for a few hours.

So you got wakened up in the middle of the night with an off-schedule baby. Big deal - you've got a lot more things to face in the coming years, this is the least of your worries.

Sounds to me like you have other issues going on here. PPD? Feeling tied down because you're breastfeeding? Not getting enough help from your husband?


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

Sorry I agree with dirboysdad. "It's horrible" -- give me a break! MIL is proud of her son and grandchild and wants to show off the baby to her friends, and naptime got messed up -- OMG!

Seriously, I was much like this with my first child. I'd tell my MIl put the baby to bed at 8:00pm when she would babysit. We'd return and she'd always say "I kept her up for you so she'd sleep in tomorrow!" It doesn't work that way!

With child #2 -- I was like -- whatever -- enjoy your grandchild. My children's grandparents are not young (70's and 80's) won't be around forever and I am grateful for whatever time they have together.

I think you will feel differently when your child is older and you get better sleep!

So many DIL's seem to problems with their MILs and so hypersensitive -- why is that? Makes me glad I have girls.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

I agree with dirboysdad too. Sounds like you have other issues with your MIL that are close to your heart and, now everything about her ticks you off! You have to expect your baby to get off schedule when visiting. It happens! If it bothered you so much, just say "Excuse me, I have to change her diaper." and just take her from your MIL's arms. Simple as that! I breastfed my daughter too and, when visiting, I would go into a bedroom to do so cuz I didn't feel comfortable doing it in front of others. Also, if it was her naptime, I would put her to sleep in a bedroom wherever I was at. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

When I say I don't get help, I mean during the week I am at home alone with DD. If she is off schedule it's all on me.

My husband knows the situation with his family. He can't do very much about it though. They listen to a point. I feel bad after a while because it's not like he can control them. But, at the same time I don't want to raise children to see that their mother gets walked all over and that their father allowed it. So I do not know what to do.

I have a baby that eats every three hours. Her schedule is eat. Play for an hour. Nap. Do it again. I can't take her to viist between naps because she is eating at that time. I am sure eventually this will get better but she is still breastfed so this is how it is right now.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

"When I say I don't get help, I mean during the week I am at home alone with DD. If she is off schedule it's all on me."

That's life raising a baby. I never slept more than 3 hours a night for the first 9 mos. after my first child's birth 'cause he didn't sleep and my husband was gone 16 hours a day; my second one could have been hung by her toes and she'd still sleep.

The only person you have any control over is yourself. Your MIL isn't walking all over you - she's thrilled to see her granddaughter. The example you need to set for your children is to not allow MIL to get to you; accept her for who she is and be thankful that she cares because so many grandparents don't.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

My late grandparents (greatgrandparents to my DD) used to drive me nuts coming over during wrong times and messing up DD's schedule when she was a baby. All they wanted is to see her. I miss my grandparents, i would not mind them to come over and mess our schedules now. :(

What you described is annoying but not the end of the world.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

Treat your MIL as you hope your SIL treats "your" mom. In my experience, it seems that women are far more accepting of their own mothers irritating behaviors, but are very quick to judge their mother in law. What you are experiencing is fairly common in new mothers. My friends and I refer to it as "new mother syndrome" and it continues for several years.

You do not want to destroy this relationship with your MIL. It will affect your marriage, and become a source of resentment between you. If you need bounderies, establish them, but think them through very, very carefully, and be wise.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

I try to remember that I want my mom treated well and that I need to act towards my MIL how I do towards my mother.

Only differences are that my mother doesn't take photos of me and only me with DD, or herself or my dad with DD and never include my husband. MIL does that to me all the time.

My mom doesn't treat my husband close to how my MIL treats me. My family thinks of my husband as their family. I get treated like the nanny.

I try to let it go and pretend it's okay. But, it's not okay when your MIL will not hand you your own child.

It hurts.

The big picture to this story is that I do not like that my children will see their mother being treated so poorly. It bothers me.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

"The big picture to this story is that I do not like that my children will see their mother being treated so poorly. It bothers me."

And you know what? They *shouldn't* see you being mistreated.
That will hurt them more than anything.

Please don't allow this to continue.

There is no excuse for rudeness and hatefulness. Please model healthy self-esteem, and protect your home, by placing reasonable boundaries ~ and enforcing them.

good luck


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

Sometimes people complain about being mistreated, when what is actually going on is that they are in fact simply not speaking up for what they want.

I don't see rudeness or hatefulness in that opening post which describes MIL. I do detect an inability for MIL to read the op's mind - . I do see the writer standing back at these family events and seething quietly.

How can they change if you don't just speak up? It takes two to make it work - You're probably mad at yourself, actually, for not being your own advocate.

You're young. Learn this lesson early, and life will run much more smoothly for you.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

I read the forum sirens posted. Pray that you NEVER end up allowing your relationship with your in laws to reach such levels. This is your dear husbands family.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

It is rude and hateful to:

* Praise and compliment one person, while there is another standing there, just as involved as the first;
and nothing is said about that person
* Block the baby's view of her Mother, causing her to fuss and cry even harder than she already was;
thereby sending BOTH mother and baby's stress levels through the roof
* Swoop in, taking the baby, when the neighbor aimed to hand her to her Mother
* Answer questions directed at the baby's Mother, as though MIL is the Mother, herself

This sort of behavior *is* rude, and it is hateful. There is no need to do this, just to see one's grandchild. Is the "joy" this particular MIL gets from seeing her grandchild ~ or from directing passive/aggressive spite towards her daughter-in-law?

The only thing I agree with, that amyfiddler said, is that yes ~ speak your mind, woman.
Find your voice, speak your mind, before MIL gets any more aggressive.

Do *not* allow this to continue.

Good luck


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

I think the mother especially a stay at home mother gets to decide what is best for the child and the MIL needs to respect that boundary.. If you do not speak up for youself now it will only get worse. I have a fantastic MIL who respect my role as mother and always supports my decision (she may discuss it with me later) but she always backs me up with the kids consequently we spend a lot of time with her and my mother is the oopposite she feels it is her God given right to to whatever she wants with her grandchilden despite my decisions--guess what her biggest complaint is....she doesn't get to see the grandkids as much as MIL.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

Here's a little fact that it took me a lot longer to realize than it should have. And you may think you understand it, but it really goes a lot deeper than most people think.

NO TWO FAMILIES ARE ALIKE. Some people send b-day cards to family members, some don't, some eat dinner together, some don't, same say I love every time they talk on the phone, some don't, some think of their DIL as family right away, and some don't, and some may prefer to have a picture with just their son and grandson, some don't.

I understand how you feel -- just wait for their vacation time when they bring back something for everyone but you. It's hard because you are probably very considerate and thoughtful and they aren't, so you take it personally. But, you really shouldn't because they probably don't mean it personally, they just aren't really "thought-full" people. But, I would bet there are things about your mother that your husband may not really like even if she is more "thoughtful" than his mother.

It takes a while for people to get each other family dynamics and understand that differences can be good in a way sometimes. I think some others have given you good advice. The first child is often a rough time with the in-laws. Sleep deprivation can make things seem a lot worse than they are. Don't let this sour your relationship; within a couple years you'll probably see things differently and realize they really do love you; they just have a different way of showing it than you are used to.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

You have my complete sympathy about the nap thing, the overtired baby and dealing with a messed up routine all alone. When my children were small my husband worked long hours and traveled, and I handled all the errands, yard work, housework, financial matters, cooking, hiring repairmen, painting, etc. We had moved into a house that needed a lot of interior work, with a yard that needed a lot of work. I was sick a lot, which made things much worse.

When my oldest was born I was much more laissez-faire about the schedule when we were visiting, but with the second child I was exhausted and insisted on keeping to the schedule just for my own sanity. I don't regret it a bit, although some of my inlaws and friends (the ones whose husbands helped a lot around the house) seemed taken aback that I wouldn't drastically change the schedule.

Whenever we visited my husband's family, he wanted me to just let the schedule go and deal with whatever, and just like you, I had to deal with it alone.

What worked for me is what an earlier poster suggested - just start packing up and getting ready to go. Before we went on our visit, I explained to my husband what time I wanted to leave and why. Then, about 30 minutes or an hour before time I let my inlaws know we'd be leaving soon. At the appointed time, I started packing up, saying goodbye, and moving to the door.

I think I remember from an earlier post that your MIL does indeed have difficult personality traits that must make things much harder to deal with than most MIL/DIL conflicts people have. So maybe part of what you're feeling is general frustration.

However, if you are half as exhausted as I was when my kids were little, then you may need to stick to the schedule. It doesn't last forever, it is only for a short couple of years. When my kids were a little older, I let the grandparents fill them full of sugar, overstimulate them, keep them up late, etc. The grandparents hopefully will have lots and lots of years to spoil the grandkids rotten.

If you can, though, it would be better for you to just overlook the whole picture thing, compliment thing, etc. It won't hurt your kids to see that kind of behavior if your own parents model kindness to your husband. Instead, your kids will see the difference and hopefully choose the better path. The very best thing you can do for yourself, your husband and your kids is just to ignore that behavior, rise above it, be as civil and pleasant as you reasonably can. You don't have to be close or particularly friendly to your MIL, just be polite and pleasant.

Remember that the light shows more clearly when it shines in the darkness. It may take awhile, but your kids will see the proper way to behave very clearly without you saying a single word. Your MIL is hurting herself far, far more than she is hurting you. Be as compassionate as you can without hurting yourself in the process. Which means shrug off the picture thing, leave at naptime.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

Well, I finally pulled myself together to calmly talk to my husband about the visit more so.

I told him that it seems to go from bad to horrible with his parents. I am trying but it's hard when you are the only one that the child sees most of the time and it all falls on me. I am not complaining about it falling on me. And no I am not depressed as a person posted. I am a new mom that is trying to take care of a baby, a house that also is in need of major repair, a yard at times due to husband not being able to do it with his long hours, I cook, clean and run all the errands. I do everything. It's not easy when you think you can get out the door at say 10 a.m. for an appointment but baby is off schedule and 10:00 a.m. turns into when she wants to eat.

I told him that I was sorry but I can't commit to seeing his parents at their cabin this coming weekend. Also, can I share that this cabin is more of a glorified camping experience? They have an outhouse. They don't even have running water. I don't think I can do a baby off schedule, being treated rudely and then not even having running water for 48 hours.

He understood and he supported me. Even better he said he would tell them he couldn't make it so that it didn't seem like it was me.

I want to have a good relationship with my in-laws. But, it's difficult when you have in-laws that do not respect boundaries. Yes, there is history. Giving house tours. Opening closets. Reading mail. Reading journals. Being intrusive on many things through the years. Standing between me and my daughter and taking her away in a way that she will not even hand her to me when my daughter is upset is beyond crossing the line of normalcy for me.

I'm trying. I really am. DH was going to go over by himself that day and I insisted we go.

But, it never makes for a good visit when your MIL takes photos of everyone with your child except for me. I get treated like I am an after thought and it's cruel. Nobody should have to feel that way as an in-law. I'd never do that to her.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

Have you tried asking them to take a picture of you with the baby? It was a while before I realized that I didn't have many pictures of me with my baby -- I was the one taking all the pictures - LOL, so I came right out and asked people to take pictures of me with the baby. Again, it could be worse, some in-laws don't even care to take any pictures of the baby -- with or without you.

I too would probably never go to a camp/cabin with a baby like you mentioned. I know some people are at ease with small babies and drag them everywhere. I never was and you couldn't get me to spend the night anywhere but home when I had a baby especially without running water and or an indoor bathroom. Yikes, I wouldn't even do that without a baby!

And, again, it's not that you're wrong and shouldn't be a little hurt... but you are not your MIL - The fact that you, or even your mother, would never do the same thing to her doesn't really matter. She's a different person with different values and different opinions on who she wants in her pictures. Just accept it and don't take it so personally.

I remember the first time I went over to the in-laws house when I was engaged for a holiday gathering... My husband's whole family was already eating without us (we were not late). To make it worse, there was no room left at the dining room table so we had to eat in a different room by ourselves. I felt so slighted ..like they didn't like me, I almost cried right there and then. My family would never start eating without everyone present and we would never send just two people off to eat in another room by themselves -- especially someone that was supposed to become a new addition to the family. Over the years, I came to realize that they are just different than my family... to them I was being treated as part of the fmaily-- it was just so casual for them to eat without waiting and send off the last two people into another room. What I took so personally meant nothing to anyone but me. I had to get used to a different family with different ideas on things.

Their son has been their son for years. It's natural that they may want some pictures of him with the baby. I know a lot of moms get pictures taken just with them and the kids. I agree it's not really right to exclude you, but it's really not the end of the world. You're probably just taking it too personally. Speak up and ask them to take some pictures of you and the baby -- with and without your husband. Some of my favorite pictures of my babies are just with them and my husband. I'm guessing they probably just don't realize they are excluding you or they assume that your family is taking the "You and Baby" pictures. I find some families just are that big into good manners (being respectful of others). It sounds like maybe your in-laws fit that bill... Something you'll just have to learn to live with.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

ilovepink, sounds like to me MIL is trying to control and take over. You dont have to put up with it. And yeah there is a lot your hubby can do. He can tell them how it is and how it is going to be one last time and tell them if they dont abide they dont need to see the child at all. I'm a mom and a step mom. My MIL treats our kids differently okay what ever I dont care. But what does get me is how she treats her very own son. She treats my hubby like crap and stays over his X wifes house to keep the kids on her days of having them. And she wonders why I dont talk to her. She walked in on us in the bed room 3 times. The last time we had the door locked and she used a butter knife to open the door. My hubby flat told her how it was and she watches her step now. She can have the X she has made a mess of our lives to the point we dont talk to her anyway if it can be helped. If you dont put your foot down now you are in for a long hard road. And your hubby needs to stand by you as it seems he is doing. I wish you the best.
You are the mom the one and only!!


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

loridarlin, you've go big trouble on your hands and it's NOT your MIL.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

"loridarlin, you've go big trouble on your hands and it's NOT your MIL."

I beg to differ.
Her MIL breaks into her bedroom 3 times and it's "not the MIL?"

Yes, it is MIL. Please don't bash her husband, because:

"My hubby flat told her how it was and she watches her step now."

He saw the light and apparently, they are now living happily and stress- and MIL-free.
Yay! Glad to hear it.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

Instead of recreating the wheel, I stumbled upon this book at Amazon:

Toxic In-laws

Looks like it should give ilovepink and anyone else in this situation ways to deal with this situation.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

ilovepink: 1. Be as patient and forgiving as you hope a SIL will be with "your" mom.

2. Be careful you do not become "an injustice collector". No one wants to be that type of a person. Someone posted the list of what and injustice collector does, on one of the estrangement posts, and perhaps someone can post it here for you.

3. If you have "real" in-law problems (instead of simply irritating behavior from and in-law), read a book like the one posted above about Toxic In-Laws. But do not fall into the trap of making problems bigger than they are, because of over sensitivity or being irritated by them. Because no one wants to be the cause of huge problems that create estrangement issues. It can be very hard for a marriage to thrive in such toxic soil. Or for a spouse to not resent you if something like this occurs, anymore than you would resent him if he decided your mom and/or dad annoyed him and he did not want them coming around, or calling. So tread very, very carefully here.

4. Err on the side of finding humor to deflect the irritation as best as you can. Your husband will love you for it.

5. However, if they are truly destructive, read everything you can and find a really excellent therapist to guide you and your darling husband through this.

Best wishes, and learn to not take it personally, even when it feels personal.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

ilovepink, I was just browsing here to see what your complaint was with you mil, and I have to say you sound a bit dramatic to me.

I have a question for you, does your mom tell your husband what a great father he is? Does your mom want to hold the baby as soon as you see her? Is she proud to show her off? Do you set limits on time with your own mom? When your own mom causes your baby to get off schedule, are you as furious? Do you leave your parent's early to keep your baby on schedule?

If you answers these questions honestly to yourself, I think you will see that your expecting his mom to react differently because it isn't your own parents. It's wrong to have double standards. What I don't get is why your not elated that your in laws love your baby, regardless of whether your missing some of the attention. Your statement sounds just a bit narcisstic to me. One of the most important things after having my children was having both families dote on them, and love them! I'm assuming that this is your first baby?

If this is your first baby, quit being so uptight and realize that your husbands parents love that baby just as much as your own. Quit fretting over a schedule, so what that you have to get up at 2am? I did that until my kids were nearly one year old, so what is the issue? That's just part of having kids, and mine didn't sleep well. Yes, I was sleep deprived, but who isn't? Very few people have babies that are angels and sleep just as you here baby magazines claim.

My husband has traveled every week since before we had kids. Most weeks he is gone a minimum of 3 days, and some times 4/5 days! I didn't have anyone else to help me out, and still I managed. Yes it is tiring, and frustrating, but it's just part of having kids. I knew what I was doing before we had children, so it's not like it was a surprise. It is hard adjusting with the first baby, especially when they don't sleep, but after some time one gets used to it. I had no problem with my 2nd baby, and my first one wasn't taking naps by then!

Seems like you could use a small dose of reality. Quit being so hard on your mil unless she is actually acting hateful to you, and not just doting on the baby. It sounds to me like you just don't like the competition?

anniebal


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

this makes me glad I have daughters. Daughter-in-laws are terribly hard on MIL's.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

to ilovepink:

I have been coming back to check this post and ponder while I come up with the right words. You have quite a range of responses here, it's almost funny!

I don't think either of you, you or your MIL, is totally right or totally wrong. I have been there/done that, I feel your pain. But I wasn't always right either.

When DS#1 was born MIL was over the moon. She really wanted him to herself as much as humanly possible. I remember one incident when he was crying/reaching for me and she turned him away saying "You don't need your momma." She wanted to have him overnight, set up a crib and everything. But I breastfed until he was 1 y/o, so that was never a realistic option. She thought I was ignorant of the right time to ween, dropped I don't know how many hints. There were times she'd introduce DH and the baby to people she knew, ran into at a store, and left me standing there to do my own introduction ("Hi, I'm just the one who gave birth to the baby.") We would drive 2 hours one way to see them, usually staying overnight. Of course the schedule was messed up. (But that really is a fact of parenting. Schedules get messed up, besides that, they change so fast.)

Yeah, my feelings got hurt, I got annoyed, all the feelings you have. I had to learn a couple things, because I can't teach MIL to see things my way. LOL. DS is almost 15 y/o now and there were 3 more kids after him, so the relationship w/MIL had to evolve. Here is what I learned:

1. To have compassion for MIL. Babies grow up fast and that very special time is over in a blink. Seeing my DS brought back all the memories of her new-mother/new-baby days. She knows she can't get it back through her grandchild, but a person gets emotional and acts a little silly. After I tried to imagine her feelings, to understand how her emotions affect her behavior, I actually started to feel sorry for her. Then if it helped her to have an extra snuggle w/DS and to parade him around a bit, whatever. As long as his needs are met, it doesn't hurt him.

2. Ultimately, I will have so much more influence over the people my children become than MIL (or anyone else). Dont' worry about the influence your MIL's coolness toward you will have on your child(ren). It just won't be an issue. Your child(ren) will look to YOU for their emotional needs, a role model, support, etc. Let the grandparents relationship build itself, don't try to control it. You just take care of your mother/child relationship, nuture it, treat it separate from the one w/grandma b/c it IS separate. You really have nothing to worry about, put it out of your mind. When you start to worry about it, remind yourself that YOU will always have the most powerful influence of anyone else in your child's life. It's OK that it's not the only influence, that would exhaust you anyway. If she is loved by grandma, she will pick up the best parts of that relationship and nothing that interferes w/your role in her life.

3. To define my relationship w/MIL. I do not expect love from her; I'd get my feelings hurt if I did. But I respect her, honor her role as DHs mother and my children's grandmother. I forgive her little ... things. Like was said, don't count injustices. I only care that she treats my kids w/love and kindness, and that she does. I do not take her comments or oversights personally. I make myself assume she means nothing by it, don't let myself read into it. I really don't think she tries to insult me, so I don't take it that way. I'm also just not easily offended now that I'm older and more sure of myself.

4. Be flexible. Enjoy the moment when it's good, get over it when it's not. Forgive others for not being perfect, forgive yourself for not being perfect. You cannot be everything to your child. You're still the center of her universe, but that can be exhausting so savor the break when you get it regardless of how it comes. As long as she's safe, go sit down and relax, let it go. I don't really blame you not wanting to take an infant somewhere quite so... rustic, especially if you aren't used to roughing it. But as for hiding in a back room to nurse every few hours, I would think you'd welcome that. What a perfect excuse to get away and re-center yourself and the baby. I used to do that at family visits. No one questioned the need to go nurse, and it was the perfect way to settle down. Yeah, nothing like a good private nursing session to remind you that you are still irreplacable. LOL.

Honestly, I think you have more emotions going on here than irritations w/your MIL. Becoming a mother is a very hard adjustment, the emotions and exhaustion of it all is so much more than you can be prepared for. If you are feeling unsupported and unappreciated as a mother, that is between you and your DH. You do not need your MIL's approval. I suspect you're in complete agreement w/that obvious statement. LOL. So, why does it really bother you that you don't get her recognition? Think about that. Maybe you want to know you're doing things right, to be assured your choices are the right ones. Don't look to your MIL for that. Get that from yourself and a little from your DH.

I am a veteran of your MIL situation. But I always made the effort to visit, to give them the chance to build their own grandparent/child relationship. That is just as valid as the mother/child one and I had to back off and let it happen. It has not always been an easy road to negotiate. I believe there are a few things about people skills your MIL does not get. I also think there are a few things here that you do not get yet. Remember, your daughter has an extended family and it is in her best interest for that family to respect each other. You all need each other. There was another time I was sick as a dog w/flu when DS was a couple months old. DH called his mother (I cringed LOL), and she was the one to care for him, bringing him to me to nurse then leaving me to rest. I think she got her fix! Letting her know she is needed, not ignored, makes her respect my boundaries more.

Make the effort, even if you have to take the lead here. I guess I'm saying you need to be the bigger person, that is something your child will learn from observing.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

stephanie_in_ga, WOW, what a great post! Your advice is so right on, and I hope ilovepink really hears what your saying. ALl your points, suggestions, and general take on the situation are really loving, to both parties involved.

I think as dil's our mil may bug us because they aren't our mom. I know that sounds crazy, but it just has to be it. They want to play a motherly role, afterall, they are a mother to our husband. It is so easy being the daughters mom, since the daughter really dictates how the house is run (at least in many areas.) When it's our own mom, we are more relaxed, and can be ourselves. However, with husbands mom, we are almost living up to an expectation. I'm not sure that expectation is real or just in our minds. I do feel some MILs make their sons wife live up to certain demands, or at least attempt to. Many times I think it just takes the MIL time to feel comfortable with their dil. It's hard being the mom of boys, since we love them just as much, but we don't get that continuation of a relationship as daughters and mothers do. I don't think that is fair, and I've never understood it. Why should a man being any less close to his parents, then a woman is to hers? It isn't a sign of weakness to continue to have a loving, close relationship with ones parents, or it certainly shouldn't be.

I was so close to my own parents, that I could never expect my husband not to be the same. Still, I do remember when I was first married having this idea that he belongs to me now, why are they still involved? I don't think that idea came from nowhere, I think society tells us in subtle ways from previous generations, that this is what happens. I guess there was a time when men were the breadwinners, and their main role was to work, eat and sleep. I say that in all seriousness. It was the wife's job to have babies, take care of them, raise them, cook, clean and keep her husband happy.

Why don't these rules change now that the times have so obviously changed? Women no longer parent alone (or certainly most do not.) The father is now very involved with raising the kids, and most moms work at least part time. It is too expensive now for a parent to be home full time with the kids (or at least for most.)

With the changing times, men should be allowed to continue their relationship with their parents, just as daughters do and are accepted for. People would think it was weird if a girl doesn't keep fairly close ties with her parents after she has married, so why isn't the same true for men?

I raised my boys to believe they should remain close with their family, and that no one should say whether you can or can't see someone close to you, not even your wife. Still, my son has gotten himself into a situation where he is with a very demanding girl. Demanding isn't even the right word for it, she is narcisstic, manipulative, and controlling. She puts forth a superior attitude, and treats us as her peers. We bent over backwards to please her out of our love for our son, but there just was no pleasing her, she could always find fault.

I have reconnected just a bit with my son recently after 9 months of estrangement. I gave up trying 3 months ago, and now he contacted us. I don't expect much difference, except that we won't be groveling anymore to the demands and wishes of his girl. They can either accept us for our imperfect selves, or go their merry way.

anniebal


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

Stephanie in Ga,

Well said. I am going to download it and read it from time to time. I wish I would have known about this forum years ago. It would have been such a gift during some very difficult times.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

I agree with Sirens. This is not 'new mother syndrome', nor is this a grandparent just proud of her grandchild. This is a bully who wants to show the poster that SHE is boss and the poster was just rent-a-womb.

You have to set boundaries now. Believe me, I know about this situation and I will never ever let my MIL run roughshod over me ever again.

Your DH should be sticking up for you too.

If she has the baby, take her away. If she comes in and tries to grab her, turn your back and say "No. I'm holding my daughter". Then walk away.

If you disrespect the mother then prepare yourself for the fall-out. If you disrespect the mother that makes you a bad grandparent.

I don't understand the posts that just basically say 'live with it' and it's ok because she's just excited. Rude behaviour is not somethng I would tolerate from anybody and to have my child taken off me or hogged is unacceptable.

I've been there with my DH and my MIL looking like THEY were the couple with the baby and I was just someone on the sidelines - my child was on her lap screaming, crying and reaching for me and I was stupid enough to let it happen because I was afraid of an argument. Please don't let this happen to you.

It took me days to speak to DH about it and to tell him how furious I was and that it would never happen again.

Set the boundaries now - be a b1tch if you have to but YOU are the mother. Not her.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

When you grow up, Melinda, you'll understand and hopefully have some more compassion.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

<>

So you think this is ok then? I found it heartbreaking - especially as my MIL has treated me like dirt from day one.

How dare you tell me to grow up and have more compassion for someone who is nothing more than a bully.

This poor woman knows that this treatment of her is not right otherwise she wouldn't be here or feeling the way she does.

Are you a MIL - it would explain a hell of a lot if you were. Either that or a troll. Best thing to do to both - ignore.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

You bet I'm a MIL, Melinda. A MIL to one b*****d of a SIL who is abusing and controlling my daughter, isolating her from her entire family and, in fact, brainwashing her.

I am also the MIL to a wonderful DIL whom I love dearly.

Since you just registered yesterday, it would seem that you are the one who came here to troll. You need to do something about your anger.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

Melinda2008,

I feel sorry for you. Someday you will understand and regret your decision to treat your husband's mother with such disrespect. If it weren't for her, you husband wouldn't exist and your daughter wouldn't exist. You are just too young to understand and care more about petty selfish things. You need grow up and look at the whole picture. You may think differently when the child you are talking about marries and wants nothing to do with you because they marry someone just like you. If you can't let it go and be kind I would almost guarantee when you are older and a grandmother you will have a lot of alone time to rethink about your pettiness.

I know you are too young to think about how your actions now will affect your future and the future of your child and that is so sad because your kindness and respect to both your husband and his mother could prevent so much hurt now and in your future. Life is just too short. Who cares about schedules and the petty things that you are talking about. I feel so sorry for you and those you are hurting and hope you never feel the pain you are causing your husband and his mother---but I bet as inconsiderate as you are you will understand someday as you child will learn what they see---and what they see is a mother who is trying to force her husband to make a choice between two people he loves and a mother who is limiting and wanting to deny this child a grandmother's love ---You are not thinking about your husband or your child ---you are selfish and thinking about only your own needs.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

My goodness people, whatever happened to that line about "not judging..."? Let's cut the condescending cr@p about "growing up".

Unless some of you are back to posting as multiple personalities again, we don't "know" anything at all about melinda; not how old she is, and certainly not what she has to put up with concerning her MIL. All we DO know is that she sees the actions of the OP's MIL as bullying, because she says she has been through a similar experience herself.

Where I come from, deliberately holding an infant or small child while it is "screaming, crying and reaching" for it's Mother IS not being a loving grandparent. IMHO, these women sound arrogant and selfish: when the child cries for it's Mama, you don't ass-ume that what it really wants is to continue to sit on Grandma's lap and that it will stop crying once it "gets used" to you. If you LOVE the child (rather than just want to make a show about how "good" you are with fussy babies), you don't want to see it distressed, so you give it back to it's MOTHER when it starts to fuss.

After it's calmed down, then you try again. You make eye contact and engage him/her while they're still feeling safe and secure on Mom's lap. If you're genuinely friendly and maintain a distance, eventually the child will want to come to you. But stubbornly contuining to hold a baby that is screaming and reaching for it's parent? That's just wrong.

But then, where I come from, if someone did try to keep a screaming baby from it's Mother, at least half the people in the room would tell them "For pete's sake, give that baby back to it's Mother so it will be quiet!"

As you can probably guess, we don't have many "boundry issues" in my family...


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

I know you are too young to think about how your actions now will affect your future and the future of your child and that is so sad because your kindness and respect to both your husband and his mother could prevent so much hurt now and in your future. Life is just too short.

I agree that kindness and respect could prevent so much hurt. That knife cuts both ways - some kindness and respect from the MIL could prevent so much hurt, too. You're right, life is just too short.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

Thank you Bloobird. We have many, many boundary issues here.

It has taken years of hinting and asking nicely, and finally DH having an all out argument with MIL about just calling before visiting.
All days, any hour, she thought she was entitled to just turn up and then got the hump when we were on our way out or weren't in anyway - then she'd come searching for us around the local area. Creepy.

*you are selfish and thinking about only your own needs.* Rubbish, absolute rot. I am thinking about my son and the fact I couldn't bear to see him so distressed again. That poor kid got put through the mill so often that in the end I eventually acted like the mother and took charge.

If he cries I take him, if he gripes and whinges I take him, if he reaches for me I take him.

What this MIL is doing to her DIL is cruel. To ignore her, go on and on about how fantastic her DH is with her child and not her, to step in and take the child without asking - all wrong.

*when you are older and a grandmother you will have a lot of alone time to rethink about your pettiness.

When I am older and a GM I aim to have a better life than my MIL who now is a very lonely woman due to her nastiness. Even my DH said he cannot see me acting like her in a million years - and he's thankful. He knows our son will be loved and nurtured while he's here then left to fly the nest and get his own life - one we/I don't invade.

DH is seeing the outright nastiness from his mother now. before he missed the PA, snidey remarks - now she's even bullying him because we have boundaries. And may I just add that these are boundaries everyone around us adheres to - we don't just make up cruel ones for her.

It's a sad story to read when grandparents think they own their children's or grandchildren's lives and that they are just entitled.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

My mother used to take my son and when he didn't want to be with her and start to cry, she'd try anything to get him to calm down, she'd jangle her car keys in front of him, she'd walk him, she'd bounce him - anything so she could keep on holding him. I'd just let her go on until she gave up and gave him back to me.

Babies grow up in the wink of an eye. This period will pass and the baby will be walking and can then make its own choice of who it wants to be with. (My son would run right under his grandmother's outstretched arms to my father, who was serious disabled by a stroke. I must admit that always made me smile.) In later years, however, after my father died, my son (and daughter) LOVED to go visit their grandmother who spoiled them rotten.

My MIL would tell me how I must arrange the furniture in my house, she'd but things away in my cabinets - not in the place where I had them, but where she thought they should be; she tried to be a bully. Yes, I'd get angry but then I realized that when I got angry, she "won." So I learned to not let her get to me. I was much more relaxed around her, even though she continually tried to run my life. I even had one of her contemporaries tell me once that she didn't understand how I did it as my MIL tried to run the lives of all those with whom she came in contact.

She had not much interest in her grandchildren except a trophies. I will say that my daughter was hurt by this and I think still, to this day, is, but my son even as a youth knew how to deal with her and they got along well.

With my MIL it was "all about her", but you need to let that just wash right off your back.

And you want to know something else, although I would have denied this when I was young, both of her sons turned out to be exactly like her. And both of her sons are now divorced, one divorced twice.

Some of you say you have set up boundaries with your families, yet you still sound angry (else you would not be posting here.) That says those boundaries are not healthy either to you or your family members.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

"My mother used to take my son and when he didn't want to be with her and start to cry, she'd try anything to get him to calm down, she'd jangle her car keys in front of him, she'd walk him, she'd bounce him - anything so she could keep on holding him. I'd just let her go on until she gave up and gave him back to me.

Babies grow up in the wink of an eye. This period will pass and the baby will be walking and can then make its own choice of who it wants to be with. (My son would run right under his grandmother's outstretched arms to my father, who was serious disabled by a stroke. I must admit that always made me smile.)"

Yes, babies do grow up in the wink of an eye, so why would anyone want to force themself on them? Like I said, sit back, make eye contact, and let the child come to you. Considering how much you say your Mother tried to get the baby to like her, I wonder if he preferred your Father because he couldn't/didn't try to grab and hold him against his will? (BTW, what a special memory that must be, your son and your Father enjoying each other's company. My own Father passed away when he was younger than I am now, but he did live to enjoy his first grandchild.)

It's good to hear that both children have grown to love and enjoy their Grandmother's company, but kind of sad it sounds like she felt she had to bribe them for their affection.

I am curious; how did your son successfully deal with the Grandmother who just considered him a trophy?


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

With my MIL it was "all about her", but you need to let that just wash right off your back.

That's sounds like my MIL. She'll cut you off if the subject of conversation doesn't interest her. But.. if you talk about her, you have her undivided attention! When my daughter was little, my MIL would ask her how she was doing. Before my daughter could say one word, my MIL would turn away and start talking to someone else. My daughter would stand there with a puzzled hurt look on her face.

All days, any hour, she thought she was entitled to just turn up

My MIL used to drop in (only visits when she wants something) at 11 pm, sometimes 11:30pm. DH finally told her not to bother dropping in at that time again because DD has to get up early for school and it's not a time to visit people. He even told her about calling so late. Now she'll call at 10:30pm LOL.

My DH often says that if he was married to his mother, she'd drive him to drink like she did with her 2 husbands!

He once told her that he thought she was bipolar and all she's really looking for is a slave, not a partner/companion.

My DD (16) told me just the other day that she thought her grandmother wasn't too bright about things. That her grandmother could only talk about certain topics because she can't hold a conversation about too many things unless it's about her, her belongings, her house, her garden, her thoughts. It's always all about her! This somewhat concerned me a little cuz I didn't want my DD to think that of her grandmother, but a person would have to be deaf not to notice.

When one of her granddaughters, who lives about 5 hours away, came to see her one day. All my MIL could do is complain about her. My DH started telling me about it and was somewhat in agreement with his mother. I told DH that I thought it was cruel of her to complain about that since the granddaughter came all this way just to see her when she had a break from school (GD is 21). MIL complains that she's lonely, and complains when she has someone stay over. You can't win with her. She's never happy/satisfied.

When DH's baby sister and her husband moved back home from out West, they stayed at the MIL's house for a couple months. SIL told us that "I love her, but she drives me nuts! I can't understand why she never wants to go visit family." At one point, when SIL and her hubby finally found a place to live in a city an hour away but had to wait a month, they told us that they couldn't wait cuz MIL was always putting SIL's hubby down with rude comments. Since they've moved out, MIL drives down to see them once a week! LOL

So in a nutshell, I just listen to what she has to say. Sometimes I even ask her a question about something to show interest in her and she gets all excited and acts like I'm her new best friend! LOL It makes her happy (she's 72) and it makes my DH happy. My MIL, however, has never told us how we should raise our daughter and I respect her for that. The one thing that I feel for my DH is the fact that his mother was there more for her "friends/employees" than she was for her own kids (8 of them) and her grandchildren. Now that she's retired, she's a very lonely woman. Her children are scattered everywhere throughout Ontario and she doesn't really know all of her grandchildren (except for the first 4).

MIL often comments on how she doesn't really know our daughter, making it sound like it's our fault. DH tells her that it's because SHE's the one who never took the time to get to know her. This hurts DH and our DD because she sees for herself how her grandmother was with her other grandchildren.

MIL once commented to me that my DD was very close to my mother. I said it was because my mother gives her undivided attention when she sees her and shows a genuine interest in her. My MIL then said something like.. well it's different when you have grandchildren when you're young cuz you can do more stuff with them. When you get a little older, you don't do as much. I told her that my mother was older than she was and still did a lot of things with her grandchildren. My MIL didn't say too much after that. She was just trying to justify her not taking time with our DD.

Geez... for the first 8 months of our DD's life, my MIL lived a 2-minute drive away and never came to see her once! My parents live 15-20 minutes away and came once a week, every week!


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

Why not look for the good in people? You are so quick to condemn the MIL. Different generations have different perceptions about different situations. Agree to disagree and have a rational conversation and do your best to keep extended family in your childs life. No matter how much damage you think your MIL is causing, I guarantee someday when you are a MIL you will feel and be perceived differently by your child. YOu truly can't judge something that you have not experienced. If you want to cheat your child out of a grandmother----just remember children learn what they see and someday you will be the MIL. You will be older and have a comletely different perception. YOu will do as you please, but people and realtionships are what really matter in life and I guarantee on your death bed your petty priorities and criticisms of your MIL will be long forgotten. Be reasonable, sit down and talk about it and come to a reasonable solution ---a compromise. Stop trying to be a right fighter!


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

Bloobird, I can't say for certain that my children realized, when they were young, that their paternal grandmother considered them trophies.

My son has learned to let things roll off his back, therefore, he was not particularly affected by any of his grandmother's behaviors. Being male, he could even tease her about her behavior without retribution.

My daughter was hurt by the fact that her pat.grandmother could not adjust to her disabilities (which are exactly the same as her father's: ADD and several learning disabilities.) To my MIL, those disabilities were signs of imperfection and everything in her life had to be perfect. In spite of that, my daughter remained respectful of her grandmother because she was her grandmother, her father's mother, warts and all.

(When my ex, was diagnosed with LD's, my MIL would not take him for help. Her reason: "What would my friend's think?")

My own mother was so insecure that she "bribed" everybody for attention and affection, not just her grandchildren. Both my children picked up on that and in fact, one day my daughter asked me why her grandmother brought things every time she came to vist (which was often) - didn't she know that she loved her and that the gifts didn't make a difference? My daughter was about 8 or 9 when she said this to me.

We ALL have impediments and imperfections - not one of us is perfect by any stretch of the imagination. To allow oneself to get so angry with the actions of another that one cuts people out of one's life is not a wise choice.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

ilovepink - just wondering how you're getting on hun and whether things have got any better.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

bloobird, still looking for the negatives? Don't worry, they're not hard to find if that's all you care about.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

Oh come on, pack it in with the insults and arguing and snidey comments. This isn't so much a MIL/DIL situation as a bullying issue.

If my child had someone doing something - relative to them of course - similar to this *type* of behaviour I'd do something about it.

To make someone feel excluded or not good enough is just rotten and uncalled for, it doesn't matter *who* that person is.

ilovepink - are you about? I'd love to hear how you're getting on.


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RE: In-laws that don't get it!

What "negatives"?

Did you even bother to read the posts to see what we were discussing, or is this just your usual reaction to seeing my user ID?


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