Originally Posted by Cutie Patootie
My perfect relationship with my MIL promptly ended after my 1st baby was born. We used to be very good friends, but when I wouldn't do things her way. She was/is greatly offended.
My MIL and I got along GREAT until my first child was born - we played bunco at a women's club, we did holiday crafting together, and she hosted parties and I baked the cake and did the decorating. Then my BIL/SIL who had their baby 18 months before me really went a little nuts postpartum (threatening to withhold visitation over ideas of my MIL spending too much time with the baby; it was weird...), so I was treated with an enormous amount of skepticism when I had my DD1 because of their experience with my SIL. At the time I had DD1, I was working and she was eager to watch my DD while I was at work, so I reassured my MIL that I completely understood that we will each have our own ways of treating DD1, but just at the end of the day, if we disagreed, it was my kid to raise. We seemed cool. I thought we were cool! The relationships degraded a bit more with DD2 (lots of gossip that while my MIL was glad to be watching my DDs, I was a "bad mom" for working and leaving my kids in care. It was a real catch-22).
So here we are. Things recently came to a pinnacle with my MIL about a month ago (my FIL is largely a nonissue. He watches crime TV all day and is neither here nor there in the opinions). We were at a birthday dinner for DH with the extended family and we were all going to the in-laws after dinner. My MIL wanted to take some of the kids in her van but she didn't have enough carseats. She wanted to place my 5 year old niece and my 4 year old DD1 in nothing but a seatbelt (no booster/carseat). I politely said that she couldn't ride in the van without a carseat and my MIL saw this as me trying to state that she was a "bad grandma" and that I was "bullying her, like I always do". This is the 4th time I have been accused of things like this over the 4 years since I've had kids, but when I ask her to tell me when or why she is hurt so we can clarify the issue and work it out, she acts exceedingly passive and says "nothing's wrong, you're just bullying me". This is a direct quote. The other three times I let it just blow over eventually and I just apologized profusely as she tells me she doesn't know why I am "so mean" but that she'll be more mindful of XYZ issue in the future.
Now, my family is very open. If we have issues with one another, we talk about it right away, work it out, and move on with our lives. The ILs are very passive aggressive. Nothing is spoken of, and if you hurt someone's feelings, you may not find out about it for weeks or months later, meaning that you never know what you did to set them off in the first place (because no one remembers, they just remember that you hurt them and they carry that grudge). I know I may come off as a little "too honest" (but polite, and there is the distinction for me!) and I always try to remind the ILs that I come from a totally different family and if I hurt MIL's feelings, I'd like the opportunity to apologize for my wording and try to clarify it in a way that may not seem as brusque.
So, it's been a month since the carseat debacle and I am done. I make the minimum effort required to make sure my kids have a good relationship with my ILs, but as for me personally, I am done. I don't have the desire or the energy to try and kowtow to being called a bully with no reasoning behind it, and if I am being lumped in with my SIL's crazy control issues without being considered on my own merits, it's a race I will never win. So I've checked out. And I dislike it, because we used to be close and I want to be more giving/involved, but the emotional investment just has so little payout for me any more.