You are here

Needing advice

msg1986's picture

Wow, it's been a very long time since I visited this site but that's mostly due to my work blocking social media/blogging sites and Dh and I have a rule where we try to power down when we're both home together. Right now though, I'm happy to report that I'm home on maternity leave as I just had DD number 2 on 8/2 Smile

Anyway, the advice I'm asking for is somewhat step related and involves MIL. So if anyone reading remembers me, I have a VERY overbearing MIL who is super needy. She's calmed down over the years but it seems that since I've had DD number 2, she's been obsessed with us and picking up Ddalmost 3 and Ss8. Up until this past Sunday she's called me literally every single day for about 2 weeks (I believe she's upset with me right now because she asked to take the kids out but i declined because we had plans). She doesn't really call for any reason other than to complain about work or to ask when we're going to visit her and other no reason things. I dont know if it's my hormones (i'm 2 months pp so i dont even know if that's still an excuse) but am I wrong to be irritated? Right after I had DD she was calling Dh everyday asking when we were going to visit her and spend time with her (I had just had csection).

Anyway, that aside, My biggest irritation right now, and please tel me if i'm wrong, is that she's been calling every Friday to ask to take our children out for ice cream. I dont mind much but this MIL is always trying to create "tradition" type stuff with us. Like before she was calling every thursday asking us to come to dinner and if we said no she'd have a tantrum about how we never come to see her. I love that she wants to be apart of our lives but every weekend seems excessive and if we tell her no she throws a fit. For example, my grandmother from another state came to visit for the first time in 2 years, this is my Dd's great grandmother, and MIL called to ask to take them for ice cream and Dh told her no, so then she was like "well can i pick them up saturday for a carnival?" and Dh said no once again and gently reminded her that my family was in town and she says "I know that! I want to see my grandkids too!" with an attitude. Dh brushed her off and hung up. I was furious though because like i said above, she had called me every day that week questioning about who was coming and where they were staying etc. so she knew they were here yet she still called trying to pick them up. Am i wrong for being upset? Another thing that bothers me, is that she'll ask to pick them but she'll also ask if Ss is here for the weekend and if he's not she'll say "ok, well next time" and doesn't offer to take Dd who is almost 3. This is her bio granddaughter. One thing to add, this MIL literally lives 10 min from us but she is constantly asking us to go over. She has this attitude of "i'm the mom so you need to come see me" about stuff so she rarely comes over. What are your thoughts. Am I wrong for being bugged? I've thought maybe just because I'm alone all day with my thoughts that I'm overthinking things but I don't know...


msg1986's picture

Ladyface! Smile I always loved your responses Biggrin I'm glad to hear from someone else that this would annoy them. My husband says he feels sorry for her and in turn makes me feel like I'm overreacting. Omg, I have started to ignore her calls but she'll keep calling ad calling and leaving voicemails asking for a call back and when I finally do call her back because I feel bad, she'll make comments like "wow you must have had a long nap" or she'll straight up say "Why did it take you so long to call me back?" It's gotten to the point where I don't even want to deal with her. She usually talks like this to Dh and if he says anything she'll start talking over him about how he needs to respect her because "she's the mom" it's so annoying.

msg1986's picture

Nope, she doesn't do well with hints. I feel like she gets it but she then gets passive aggressive and when you engage she then starts to cry about how she is "always" helping us and isn' appreciated. It's funny though because she doesn't help us with anything. She will ask to pick the kids up to spend the night sometimes and then will demand that we drop them off or pick them up at a certain time and when Dh says that she's the one who invited and should get them she'll get huffy and says she's just trying to help us out... and I'm over here like :? I don't understand her.

I think you're right, I'm going to have to start being rude. It's hard for me though because I'm very passive and don't like conflict. This weekend she called me 2x and then left along vm saying "hi msg, I dont know if Dh told you but i asked him yesterday when i stopped by that i wanted take the kids for ice cream. im on my way to church now and i want to take them after church so again i talked to dh about it but he said he needed to talk to you but he never gave me an answer so if you can call me and let me know. im getting out of church at 1230 so i'm just going to head over and pick them up after so i'll see you then" dh hadn't said anything to me and we had plans to take Dd for some bloodwork, take the kids to the museam and then to eat all before Ss got picked up at 4. So then she texts me at like 12 saying church was letting out soon and if i had got her voicemail about picking the kids up and that she'd be at the house as 1245ish. she does this all the time about asking for us to do something and ends with basically answering for us about what time we need to do xyz. so i text her saying that i was sorry but Dh hadn't talked to me and that she could not pick them up as we had plans. I got a text that read, OK. annnd I havent' heard from her since. Thank God! Smile I have to admit though, I do have a bit of anxiety because I know she'll be passive aggressive with me when we see her but oh well.

uofarkchick's picture

I can understand your irritation. It is infuriating when extended family demands to be treated like immediate family. As for the opting out of just taking the little one, I can understand this. It's hard to handle a three year old and maybe she just likes having an older kid to lend a hand.
I, personally, can't stand people like your MIL and my first reaction would be to show her what NEVER coming over looks like. I don't think there's anything wrong with putting her in her place and letting her know that the drama is not needed and that you will call her when/if she can take the kids out. I'm sure this won't be a popular belief but I think that extended family is not a necessity to a happy and fulfilling life and that people that behave badly, family or not, should not be tolerated.

Congrats on the baby!! Is she a good sleeper?

msg1986's picture

Thank you! Yes, she does try to act like she's immediate family. I don't think she understands that she's not. I think my biggest frustration is that I feel like this is my time to create traditions with my children. I feel like she had her 3 kids and had those traditions and she needs to let go of the idea of having mom/child traditions with her grandkids. I dont have an issue with her taking them occasionally to do things but this past weekend is like the 4th weekend in a row that she's asked so I know where she's going with this. Am I wrong to have that outlook?

I see what you're saying about taking a toddler that makes sense. I'm waiting to see what happens in the future because she's already shown a tons of favoritism toward Ss and I keep telling myself that it's the age difference but I guess time will only tell.

I think you're right, to show her what never come over looks like. We haven't visited in a while but I don't know if she'll even understand what's happening. She's just so negative it's hard to be around. I kid you not, everytime she calls I'll ask "hi how are you" and it's always, "terrible!" "sigh, i'm ok" "oh, i'm alright i guess" it's exhausting.

Thank you!!! Smile Surprisingly she's a great sleeper! I'm thankful. We had some issues at first but I've mastered nursing while laying down and since then, things have been smooth sailing. I'm exclusively breastfeeding and although it was pretty rough at first, i've got the hang of it and things have been great! Smile

ESMOD's picture

The good thing I noticed was that your DH does some of the heavy lifting with his mother. He has no problem telling her "no" when it is appropriate. I would continue to try to let him deal with her as much as possible. Caller ID is your friend there:)

TBH, she may not want to do "fun" things when SS is not there too because she is hyper sensitive about not everything being equal with her grand kids. I know my MIL basically has to spend the exact dollar on each child/grandchild. Ridiculous but she does it.

I would try to not get too upset. You know what she is and how she is and all you can control is your reaction.

msg1986's picture

Thank you!

You are right, Dh does do a lot. He's learned a lot over the years and has recognized how outrageous she can be. It just sucks because she likes to ask him and when he says no, she then starts calling me and pretends she never spoke to him about it. Thankfully though, he's started saying "i'll talk to msg and call you back" and then will tell her no.

MIL is like that but only with Ss8. She will take him out and do things with them and no include all the kids but if he cannot go she will decline. Dh had to get on her case because for xmas she wanted to buy the kids a trampoline. Dd2 birthday is in early December and so she told Dh she was not going to buy Dd a birthday gift because she said that the trampoline was expensive and that Dd's birthday present would be bundled into xmas present. Dh said that was fine but that he didn't want her to get a birthday gift for Ss either (his bday is in July) and she hit the roof. She said that it wasn't fair because Dd's birthday was in december and since it's so close DD wouldn't even know but that since Ss's bday is in JUly it wasn't fair to him? it was all strange. Dh told her what she was trying to do wasn't fair. So she basically does way more for Ss, I see it all he time.

ESMOD's picture

Sucks when the inlaws play favorites. Even though my MIL tries to make ever dollar spent be equal, she always will cater to my BIL's side of the family. If one of them can't make a date for a family function it is changed. If one of us can't it's "oh well, sorry we will miss you".

notasm3's picture

Treat her like you would any toddler having a tantrum. Calmly explain that pitching fits will assure her NOT to get her way.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Congrats on the baby, and thanks for updating us!

You might want to read up on how to talk to a narcissist and try that approach with your MIL. She definitely sounds like a member of the DSM Axis II club.

And I agree with the other posters that is wonderful for your DH to be so willing to handle his mother. In that respect you are so very lucky.

Acratopotes's picture

congrats on the new baby.....

The only option I see in this is telling MIL straight out - enough, this stops now, these are my children and I will do with them as I see fit, you are not their mother but their gran, you do not have the right to dictate how we should live, We will visit you when we see fit and you can have the children when we see fit, stop bugging us all the time or we will get a restraining order against you.

Monchichi's picture


You are sharing my MIL! I have developed a formula of only answering every 3rd call (same day calls don't count). I only respond to Whats Apps if they are about the children and then with a limit.

Sometimes a boundary needs to be enacted instead of voiced. If your in law is anything like mine, she has selective hearing so don't just say you don't want her calling. Don't answer the calls!