I’d really like to have a talk with tactless MIL and the (latest) comment she made to my husband.
Background: He is working exceptionally hard right now, and I am so proud of his stamina and work ethic as he has been putting in 10+ hours 7 days a week for over a month now, including getting home in the wee hours of the morning a few times. He has not had dinner at home with us since July and we have barely seen him. It’s been a bit of a challenge to manage with our one car, and DS, 7, misses his dad quite a bit; some days he has not seen him at all. Of course, DH misses us, too.
So, yesterday MIL tells DH (in the maybe 3 hours that he was awake and home with us before he had to go in to work) that she “doesn’t know what ‘Laura’ (MIL’s daughter, DH’s sister—we all live in the same town) is going to do” because L’s husband is going to be working some late nights in the near future. It’s going to be reallllllly tough for Laura. She says this to her son, a man who is barely sleeping, who has done virtually nothing but work for the past 7 weeks and has about 5 more to go! No one has checked in on me and how we are coping, walking DS miles home from school, towing our groceries in a wagon because DH has the car, and trying to finish a project for work before my school year starts this week. She doesn’t know what Laura is going to do?! What’s the big deal? Laura has two kids, 9 and 7, totally normal situation—i.e., not newborn triplets or special needs or something else that would pose a particular challenge. Laura and her husband also have MORE than enough money to hire babysitters as needed. What about all you single parents, or military spouses, or spouses of night-shift doctors or firefighters, or frequent travelers? What about those of you who have to spend more time than you would prefer away from your own kids? Now THAT’S tough—not this situation, but this is MIL’s little princess whom she has always favored and coddled. (SIL can be kind of manipulative and may stir up this sort of attention and pandering, but I am leaving her out of this equation. She wasn’t there at the time and isn’t really a part of why I am so irritated.)
I guess what is making me so furious is too long to get into here in much more detail, but this is yet another example of MIL (a) not thinking about what she is saying and how it will be received by her audience, in this case, her sensitive but somewhat resigned son and (b) showing OVERT favoritism toward her daughter. I wasn’t present for this exchange or I would have said something at the time. I find that I really want to confront her, which is not typical. Should I? This did bother my DH, but he knows what to expect from her and at the moment does not have the time or energy for anything more than a dismissive remark.
Okay—WWYD? Thanks for reading.
be passive agressive. Call MIL early in the am and wake her up to "See how sil is doing."
Or confront her. I doubt it would matter to her at all. Just make sure that even though his mother is unaware that you reall appreciate what he is doing fo ryour family.
I'd practice active listening with my spouse so that they can more fully process how they feel.
And I would let it go. You aren't going to change your MIL. She is who she is, so your choices are to create more drama or to find a way to be peaceful and happy without her support or empathy.
but everything has pros and cons