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MIL making DD call her "Mom"**UGLY UPDATE POST 65** - Page 5

post #81 of 124
She sounds like she's on a power trip. Maybe your kids can call her Jane Doe.
post #82 of 124
Just a title? To me being called mama or mommy means the world. I couldn't even imagine encouraging someone else's child to call me mom. What the OP's MIL is doing is positively heinous! I actually talked about this with my MIL the other day and she was completely disgusted. As parents we help our children... that help should NEVER come with strings. In this case allowing her child to rent her basement has a huge string... that her grandchild call her mom. That's disgusting!

OP, I don't care how in debt we were... (and we're in plenty personally) DH and I would be out of there, and frankly MIL wouldn't get much contact after we left!
post #83 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post
Why can;t you all come up with an acceptable alternative?
because she shouldn't have to. The MIL is WAY out of line. It's not that she just doesn't like the name "grandma." She seems to be power-tripping.
post #84 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by astra View Post
This is the craziest thread ever.
Yep, it's destined to be a classic!
post #85 of 124
I would be SO angry. I would just have my DC call her by her first name if she refuses to be called grandma. That or Mrs. -last name-
post #86 of 124
Thread Starter 
And one more thing- I might feel a bit stronger about this because my mom passed away while I was pregnant with DD1... the day after I told her that she'd be a grandma. My mom was very sick with cancer- she had always wanted a grandchild and that was her dying wish- it was my gift to her. She was expected to live much longer but took a turn for the worse in a matter of days. I suppose I kind of feel like MIL should be greatful about being a grandmother because there was someone out there (my mother) who wanted it so badly but didn't even get to meet her grandchild.
post #87 of 124
As you plan your way out, I wouldn't leave dd alone with MIL at all. That way she doesn't have time to plant the "I'm Mom" card in dd's head. If she does it in front of you, just say to dd, "No, she's grandma. I'm your mom."
post #88 of 124
AND I would say to MIL, "She won't be calling you anything other than grandma." And just keep repeating it.
post #89 of 124
If you guys don't make enough to cover $500 rent and utilities, my guess is you guys might qualify for some assistance. If you could at least get some food assistance until you are on your feet it could help and get you out of the toxic environment.

Its just my opinion so take it with a grain of salt, but my children's well being and my own mental health are more important than paying off debt faster. While paying down debt is important, some things I will not sacrifice.
post #90 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by yokosmile View Post
Imagine the peace you'd feel in your heart if you'd just let this go. You can't change MIL - only how you react to her. You have to live with her until you're in a better financial state; that's your reality. When she behaves in a way you feel is inappropriate, you can choose to be stoic and kind and turn the other cheek or get outraged - the choice is yours. We're all fighting a hard battle, even your MIL.
I know I've been strongly advocating working out a compromise, but I think just letting this kind of thing go is a bad idea.

One thing I learned from dealling with my MIL was that if you let stuff go she feels she won and tries to get more. With my MIL it was a competition of power over DH. If the OP tries to get a her MIL to agree to a reasonable compromise, she will see if her MIL is capable of compromising.

MIL not wanting to be called "grandma" maybe very sill to some of us, but it is her title/name so I see it as her choice (think of the name shortening thread.) She really does have the right to be called what she wants, until it infringes on her DIL's right to hold the "mom" title for herself since she actually is the mom.

Working out a compromise and showing sympathy for MIL's feelings, can be a litmus test to see if MIL really can be reasonable. Just giving in, though, could be the first step to escalating attempts to undermine the OP.
post #91 of 124
what on earth does college have to do with anything? It doesn't make her any more of a grandma if her son graduates college. I mean clearly the whole college education is important to her but being a pain iin your butt and IGNORING her grand daughter in an effort to manipulate you (nuts!!!!!) is just plainj crazy. Honestly I don't think she will be happy with an alternative. She is trying to manipulate your husband into going to college which unless she is willing to pay for does not sem to be on the menu right now. You guys are a young family with two small children, already in debt and not living in your own place. You have other things to worry about than living grandmas dreams.
post #92 of 124
Contact your local Housing Authority and see if you can get Emergency Housing. It's not right that you have to put up with your MIL like that.
post #93 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
AND I would say to MIL, "She won't be calling you anything other than grandma." And just keep repeating it.
I agree with this. I think that you have the right to set this boundary but that the best thing is find some way to remain calm and do like the other woman in this thread did:

"You are her grandmother. I'm her mom. She will call you by your name or your title, not mine." Smile. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Even in public.

I really think her insistence on something like this is very strange and a big deal. "Mom" is one of the most important words we learn, one of the first words. It's a huge thing. I'm sorry you have to live there but I agree that getting out of debt is important and you're probably doing the right thing staying there... unless it gets much creepier.
post #94 of 124
In Illinois, due to the high unemployment, especially around Northern Illinois, housing waiting lists are something like 8 months long... so I do not see that as being very helpful right away... but getting ON the waiting list can help!

If you only have $50 food budget, I suggest going on SNAP though. I was barely making enough to make ends meet before I went on SNAP (formerly LINK... also called food stamps) and it helped so much that I was able to pay all of my bills and have a little left over each month to put into an emergency fund (okay by a little I am only talking 5 or 10 dollars... but that was WAY more than I had left over before then!)

At the end of the time I was on it I had only built up a $200 or so emergency fund... but it came in handy after my work closed down!
post #95 of 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post
And one more thing- I might feel a bit stronger about this because my mom passed away while I was pregnant with DD1... the day after I told her that she'd be a grandma. My mom was very sick with cancer- she had always wanted a grandchild and that was her dying wish- it was my gift to her. She was expected to live much longer but took a turn for the worse in a matter of days. I suppose I kind of feel like MIL should be greatful about being a grandmother because there was someone out there (my mother) who wanted it so badly but didn't even get to meet her grandchild.


I can totally see being in your position with my (future) MIL. She's a piece of work and I do everything I can to avoid being around her without dp there too.

Anyway, I'm so sorry you all are going through this. The only thing I can suggest is to keep your dd away from her as much as possible (especially unsupervised). If MIL questions why dd can't be around her without you there then straight up tell her "because you won't respect our wishes about dd not calling you mom". Since you are a SAHM it shouldn't be too hard to keep your dd with you. I would also cut out any and all outings with MIL. If she can't respect you, don't spend time with her. Do what you have to to get out of there. Good luck mama!
post #96 of 124
I think that keeping some debt is a small price to pay for getting away from this toxic situation.
post #97 of 124
If debt and the high cost of living in your area is keeping you living with your MIL and it's not a healthy place for you or your children then you need to find another solution. It may just have to be more drastic a solution than you would like.

You may need to declare bankruptcy, you may need to move to a lower cost of living area (hopefully far far away from your MIL), you may have to get a job, or you husband may need to take on a second job.

Are you working with a credit counselor or financial manager. Be wary of the numerous scams out there, but there are people who can help you figure out exactly what you need to be doing to get out of debt and let you know what your realistic options are.

Honestly a high enough debt load on a low enough income to have you trapped in this situation makes it sound like bankruptcy might be a good option. But if your debt load is low enough that you can get it paid off in the next year then maybe it's not. Can you work out a payment plan to pay it a bit slower and get a place of your own.

It doesn't sound like the current situational is something that can be allowed to continue.
post #98 of 124
I think that you already know that this issue isn't at all about the title of your MIL, but about a power struggle.

There is a dysfunctional dynamic going on, not uncommon w/young parents living w/their own parents. You have adult responsibilites but you are still the "child" in the relationship. If you add to that equation the real or perceived irresponsibility (for example, you MIL may think that you and her son are irresponsible which may be fueled by the fact that you guys can't afford your own place, haven't met her expectations for schooling, etc).

This is a power struggle which you can't fully put to rest until you seperate yourselves from her and get a little more distance. So getting your own place is the best bet, not ever borrowing money (don't know if you do now or not), etc is what it is going to take so that you can set up boundaries permanently.

Giving in on this won't work bc it only serves to give MIL more fuel for the fire. Your dd isn't served at all by being taught how to be a door mat.

Things happen no matter how old you are, it sounds like you and your dp are dedicated to being good parents. I'm sorry that you have to deal with unrest at home, hopefully things line up so you can get your own place soon.
post #99 of 124
I agree with the numerous posters who said to find a way out. If it means living in a shelter (we have some great catholic charity shelters here in MA and I toured one when I was about to be homeless). It honestly might be better than staying around someone like your MIL. It seems to me, she is just a control freak. Your and DH going to college has nothing to do with calling her grandma. She IS a grandma. You can call her anything you want and she is STILL a grandma. My kids call MIL Grammy K, her other grandkids call her "honey". But one of her other grandchildren coined the term and I am not comfy with them calling her Honey, so we use Grammy K.

Her ego, self centeredness, and narcissism are not your responsibility. I would apply for housing ASAP, Food Stamps, get jobs, do whatever you have to and make a move. I would worry less about the debt and more about the mental health of your family. Sorry your going through this mama.
post #100 of 124
She doesn't get public assistance because she lives in an illegal apartment.

Yet another reason to move out.

$500 a month for a studio apartment on one full time minimum wage job should be achievable even if (of course) tight. (ETA: I haven't done this math. So I could be off base. But $500 a month for an apartment around here, where real estate is dirt cheap, is a pretty good deal. Granted, it would be a proper one bedroom apartment, not a studio, but my point is that I live in a very blue-collar town and $500 is considered a good rent).

You guys really need to make your move. And staying in Chicago shouldn't be your only consideration.

ETA#2: OK, I didn't consider debt problems. Still, a full time job plus a part time job (weekends, nights - either you or DH) plus potentially public assistance should put moving out into the "doable" column.
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