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<p>MIL and I have had issues since DH and I started dating, 8.5 years ago. She is single, and the man in her life is DH. She cant jump her own car, change lightbulbs, ect. Over the past couple of years DH has gotten way better about understanding that he lives here at our house, and we need things done here too. His mother is no longer top priority. He held on to a lot of guilt for going a few years without talking to her (17yo-20 yo) and I think he felt like he needed to make up for that time. A little more backstory: I am a cook. A super family oriented person. She is kind of lazy and never wants to do anything if it might make a mess. So, every year I want to cook food and clean it up together and do things as a family and Im shut down. She always calls my DH in advance is is like "Tell Holly we are having a SIMPLE christmas this year, no spending hours in the kitchen!" Its annoying. Last year, she and SIL watched episodes of CSI on Thanksgiving morning (DVRed missed episodes) and I got laughed at for being irritated that the parade wasnt on. SO, Fast Forward to to last Thursday night.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Well, to start with, Thanksgiving dinner was at her brothers house. We stayed until about 10 pm. DH, me , DD, and SIL (19) went back to MIL's house to spend the night. I mentioned that I had a coupon for 1/2 off making your own Christmas cards on Shutterfly that was only good for Thanksgiving Day. All day she had been saying that she wanted to watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving with DD. Well, DD was asleep at 10 pm when we got home. So, DH went upstairs to get the laptop so I could make the Xmas card and watch the Charlie Brown at the same time. When he went upstairs she said "Oh, he is NOT on the computer. He better be back down here'. When we started watching the show, every single time it came to a commercial break (which she ff through) she said something like "I cant belive you arent watching" or if Dh pointed to a pic I should add to the card, she would say "You arent watching! Watch the TV". Finally, about 30 minutes in she got up and turned the tv off and said "Ill bet if I gave you a quiz on what Charlie Brown Thanksgivng was about you would fail." (Ummm..right...b/c it hasnt been on the tv for the past 26 years Ive been alive.....).</p>
<p> </p>
<p>SIL had been on her laptop the WHOLE time.</p>
<p>SO, this is when I said to her "So, why is it ok for SIL to be on the computer, but we are getting yelled at for it?". To which she replied, "SIL is in college".</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Well, excuse me. I have three jobs, am a mother, and have to do things like spend the night at my MILs house to appease her because she is lonely because all of her kids have moved away.....You are right. I dont deserve to be able to use the computer to make a christmas card with YOUR grandaughters picture on it. My bad, only people in college with no bills, no responsibilities, and who has been off of school of 4 days (any of which she could have done homework instead of going out with her highschool friends) have the right to use the computer. PS. I checked her FB and SIL had made 4 status updates during the 30 minutes we were "watching CB".</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p>But I didnt say anything. I just left and went and filled the gas tank up and came back and she was asleep. The next morning as we were leaving, DH apologized to her for "things getting out of hand." She snapped," Well, I just dont understand why entertainment is put before family around here." (Well, because YOU set that precedent, and now that you live all along youve relaized that family is indeed more important that entertainment) I tried to say bye to her through her bedroom door and she replied "bye", not even coming out to kiss the baby.  She finally called DH <strong>today</strong> and told him she wants to get together (with him) and "talk" about "what happened".</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Im sure the villian in this one...</p>
 

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<p>Oy!  I want to say something here but just not sure what... maybe DH should just go deal with this and leave it at that?  I think what the important issue is here is that she is NOT going to change (unless you get her a boyfriend??!!!) - I mean, she has been like this forever, right?  I guess I would suggest not spending the night at her house anymore unless you absolutely have to.  And maybe suggest playing a board game or cards next time she wants to spend 'quality family time' together.  I don't see how watching TV has anything to do with family time.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>It sounds like she is very used to getting her way and the only way that can stop is if her children stop giving in constantly.   </p>
 
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Please don't take this the wrong way.<br><br>
I think you're <span style="text-decoration:underline;">all</span> overreacting.<br><br>
And you have a different idea of what constitutes family bonding time. For you, it's (among other things) being in the kitchen, cooking beautiful delicious food together and then cleaning up.<br><br>
For her, it's watching TV together.<br><br>
Soooo, by being inattentive to the TV show, you were hurting her feelings, just as when she makes a big deal out of <span style="text-decoration:underline;">not</span> cooking (keeping it simple), she's hurting your feelings.<br><br>
And of course, there's all that baggage from the other stuff.
 

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<p>I would not spend time with her.Let dh go if he wants.I also would not allow the kids alone with her.She seems the type that would talk poorly about you to the kids.She wanted to watch charie brown with dd,so why did you and dh have to watch it? Why didn't she just watch it the next day on dvd? I never liked charlie brown cartoons.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>She also seems like the type that can twist things in a way to make herself look innocent in doing anything wrong. It is all silly bickering that will sour family get togethers. I would seriously curb contact if family can not manage to act appropriately.</p>
 

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<p>Yikes. Sorry you have to deal with that! I don't know what to tell you besides good luck!</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>claras_mom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283105/vent-mil-treating-us-like-children-after-thanksgiving-dinner#post_16088375"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
APlease don't take this the wrong way.<br><br>
I think you're <span style="text-decoration:underline;">all</span> overreacting.<br><br>
And you have a different idea of what constitutes family bonding time. For you, it's (among other things) being in the kitchen, cooking beautiful delicious food together and then cleaning up.<br><br>
For her, it's watching TV together.<br><br>
Soooo, by being inattentive to the TV show, you were hurting her feelings, just as when she makes a big deal out of <span style="text-decoration:underline;">not</span> cooking (keeping it simple), she's hurting your feelings.<br><br>
And of course, there's all that baggage from the other stuff.</div>
</div>
<br><br><br><br><br>
I think this is very insightful. OP, I can totally see how that's annoying, but your MIL probably feels similarly about the whole cooking thing, like it's not a big deal if she's disinterested and she can't understand why you want her to want to spend all day in the kitchen. FWIW, I love cooking too and that's how my family bonds on holidays, but other families do things differently.
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>claras_mom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283105/vent-mil-treating-us-like-children-after-thanksgiving-dinner#post_16088375"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
Please don't take this the wrong way.<br><br>
I think you're <span style="text-decoration:underline;">all</span> overreacting.<br><br>
And you have a different idea of what constitutes family bonding time. For you, it's (among other things) being in the kitchen, cooking beautiful delicious food together and then cleaning up.<br><br>
For her, it's watching TV together.<br><br>
Soooo, by being inattentive to the TV show, you were hurting her feelings, just as when she makes a big deal out of <span style="text-decoration:underline;">not</span> cooking (keeping it simple), she's hurting your feelings.<br><br>
And of course, there's all that baggage from the other stuff.</div>
</div>
<br><br><p>I totally agree.  Sorry!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>To me it is just as ridiculous to want to spend holiday time cooking (which i am good at and quite enjoy but is definitely under my "housework" umbrella and thus not something i want to do for recreation) OR sitting watching a TV "together" as if unifying where eyeballs are pointed will bring anyone closer to anyone else.  But clearly for you and your MIL both are really very important.  Maybe you and she should get together and talk about THAT (what you each feel is valid "family" time).  It might clear things like this off the agenda for the future.</p>
 

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<p><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>GoBecGo</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283105/vent-mil-treating-us-like-children-after-thanksgiving-dinner#post_16088539"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>claras_mom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283105/vent-mil-treating-us-like-children-after-thanksgiving-dinner#post_16088375"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
Please don't take this the wrong way.<br><br>
I think you're <span style="text-decoration:underline;">all</span> overreacting.<br><br>
And you have a different idea of what constitutes family bonding time. For you, it's (among other things) being in the kitchen, cooking beautiful delicious food together and then cleaning up.<br><br>
For her, it's watching TV together.<br><br>
Soooo, by being inattentive to the TV show, you were hurting her feelings, just as when she makes a big deal out of <span style="text-decoration:underline;">not</span> cooking (keeping it simple), she's hurting your feelings.<br><br>
And of course, there's all that baggage from the other stuff.</div>
</div>
<br><br><p>I totally agree.  Sorry!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>To me it is just as ridiculous to want to spend holiday time cooking (which i am good at and quite enjoy but is definitely under my "housework" umbrella and thus not something i want to do for recreation) OR sitting watching a TV "together" as if unifying where eyeballs are pointed will bring anyone closer to anyone else.  But clearly for you and your MIL both are really very important.  Maybe you and she should get together and talk about THAT (what you each feel is valid "family" time).  It might clear things like this off the agenda for the future.</p>
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<div class="quote-container">
<div class="quote-block">
<div class="quote-container">
<div class="quote-block">
<p> as if unifying where eyeballs are pointed will bring anyone closer to anyone else.  </p>
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</div>
<br><br><p><span><img alt="spitdrink.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/spitdrink.gif"></span></p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>claras_mom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283105/vent-mil-treating-us-like-children-after-thanksgiving-dinner#post_16088375"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
Please don't take this the wrong way.<br><br>
I think you're <span style="text-decoration:underline;">all</span> overreacting.<br><br>
And you have a different idea of what constitutes family bonding time. For you, it's (among other things) being in the kitchen, cooking beautiful delicious food together and then cleaning up.<br><br>
For her, it's watching TV together.<br><br>
Soooo, by being inattentive to the TV show, you were hurting her feelings, just as when she makes a big deal out of <span style="text-decoration:underline;">not</span> cooking (keeping it simple), she's hurting your feelings.<br><br>
And of course, there's all that baggage from the other stuff.</div>
</div>
<p><br><br>
I see your point, and just wanted to clairfy that its not the fact that she wanted to watch TV that bothered me, at least (for once) she is <em>interested</em> in being a "family". Normally, she just wants to treat holidays like its her off day. My issue is that she pushed it to happen at a specific time, even though she knew I had something to do by a deadline. Regardless of weather or not her feelings were hurt b/c we werent doing what she considers "family stuff", there is no reason for her to talk to us that way. We are grown adults, nearly thirty years old. I wouldnt treat a 2 year old like that.</p>
<p> </p>
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>SeekingJoy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283105/vent-mil-treating-us-like-children-after-thanksgiving-dinner#post_16088670"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">
<p>I totally agree.  Sorry!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>To me it is just as ridiculous to want to spend holiday time cooking (which i am good at and quite enjoy but is definitely under my "housework" umbrella and thus not something i want to do for recreation) OR sitting watching a TV "together" as if unifying where eyeballs are pointed will bring anyone closer to anyone else.  But clearly for you and your MIL both are really very important.  Maybe you and she should get together and talk about THAT (what you each feel is valid "family" time).  It might clear things like this off the agenda for the future.</p>
</div>
</div>
<p><span><img alt="yeahthat.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/yeahthat.gif"></span><br>
 </p>
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<p><br><br>
I ♥ cooking for fun! However, I have NEVER, ever, asked for her help. She has made it quite clear that she thinks that me not wanting to eat off of styrofoam plates on Christmas Day is because Im "a snob". She not only wants to not cook AT ALL, she uses all disposable stuff. So, while I dont think it is a must to cook and clean <em>together</em> <strong>I, personally,</strong>  dont feel like we've celebrated anything with all store bought foood and eating on disposable dishware so that it is "easy" for everyone. I spend the entire meal wishing I was important enough to run a load of dishes in the dishwasher. (which I offer to do every year) and I wasnt contributing to landfill waste. Holidays are a stressful time for us, but if we didnt go to her house she would be all alone. DH cant stand the thought of her spending holidays alone, even though she doesnt seem to care about holidays at all.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>DH will be going alone to talk to her, she has never brought up any problems with me, she always goes to DH and makes it his issue instead of acting like she is part of the family and talking to me herself. Shed rather talk smack about me to DH so that he has to defend me to her and then come home and only tell me half of what she said because he doesnt want to hurt my feelings. I wish she would communicate with me, but everytime Ive tried she says "Well, we'll just let it go." The real issue I have with the whole situation is the fact that she cannot respect the fact that we are independent, desicion making, adults.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Adaline'sMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283105/vent-mil-treating-us-like-children-after-thanksgiving-dinner#post_16090358"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>claras_mom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283105/vent-mil-treating-us-like-children-after-thanksgiving-dinner#post_16088375"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
Please don't take this the wrong way.<br><br>
I think you're <span style="text-decoration:underline;">all</span> overreacting.<br><br>
And you have a different idea of what constitutes family bonding time. For you, it's (among other things) being in the kitchen, cooking beautiful delicious food together and then cleaning up.<br><br>
For her, it's watching TV together.<br><br>
Soooo, by being inattentive to the TV show, you were hurting her feelings, just as when she makes a big deal out of <span style="text-decoration:underline;">not</span> cooking (keeping it simple), she's hurting your feelings.<br><br>
And of course, there's all that baggage from the other stuff.</div>
</div>
<p><br><br>
I see your point, and just wanted to clairfy that its not the fact that she wanted to watch TV that bothered me, at least (for once) she is <em>interested</em> in being a "family". Normally, she just wants to treat holidays like its her off day. My issue is that she pushed it to happen at a specific time, even though she knew I had something to do by a deadline. Regardless of weather or not her feelings were hurt b/c we werent doing what she considers "family stuff", there is no reason for her to talk to us that way. We are grown adults, nearly thirty years old. I wouldnt treat a 2 year old like that.</p>
<p> </p>
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>SeekingJoy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283105/vent-mil-treating-us-like-children-after-thanksgiving-dinner#post_16088670"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">
<p>I totally agree.  Sorry!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>To me it is just as ridiculous to want to spend holiday time cooking (which i am good at and quite enjoy but is definitely under my "housework" umbrella and thus not something i want to do for recreation) OR sitting watching a TV "together" as if unifying where eyeballs are pointed will bring anyone closer to anyone else.  But clearly for you and your MIL both are really very important.  Maybe you and she should get together and talk about THAT (what you each feel is valid "family" time).  It might clear things like this off the agenda for the future.</p>
</div>
</div>
<p><span><img alt="yeahthat.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/yeahthat.gif"></span><br>
 </p>
</div>
</div>
<p><br><br>
I ♥ cooking for fun! However, I have NEVER, ever, asked for her help. She has made it quite clear that she thinks that me not wanting to eat off of styrofoam plates on Christmas Day is because Im "a snob". She not only wants to not cook AT ALL, she uses all disposable stuff. So, while I dont think it is a must to cook and clean <em>together</em> <strong>I, personally,</strong>  dont feel like we've celebrated anything with all store bought foood and eating on disposable dishware so that it is "easy" for everyone. I spend the entire meal wishing I was important enough to run a load of dishes in the dishwasher. (which I offer to do every year) and I wasnt contributing to landfill waste. Holidays are a stressful time for us, but if we didnt go to her house she would be all alone. DH cant stand the thought of her spending holidays alone, even though she doesnt seem to care about holidays at all.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>DH will be going alone to talk to her, she has never brought up any problems with me, she always goes to DH and makes it his issue instead of acting like she is part of the family and talking to me herself. Shed rather talk smack about me to DH so that he has to defend me to her and then come home and only tell me half of what she said because he doesnt want to hurt my feelings. I wish she would communicate with me, but everytime Ive tried she says "Well, we'll just let it go." The real issue I have with the whole situation is the fact that she cannot respect the fact that we are independent, desicion making, adults.</p>
</div>
</div>
<p><br>
Can she come to your house?  Your home your rules?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>You're not not important enough to run the dishwasher for, you're SO important she doesn't want to waste a single second away from "family time" (okay, okay, everyone-looking-at-the-tv-together time :)) to do (or have you do) something so boring as load a dishwasher.  And maybe she feels really hurt that you'd rather she/you went off and cooked/cleaned up after rather than spending "quality" (high definition?  lol, sorry, couldn't help it!) time with everyone else.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I have to admit, if i had to pick, i'd much rather cook than watch tv to "celebrate" and i DO like to help out/cook the normal Christmas dinner turkey + trimmings, but i'm equally happy when someone else is doing it.  For me it's chat.  I want to chat, i will do practically ANYTHING whilst we chat, but it's how i primarily connect.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Write her a letter, she won't have to respond but she won't be able to not listen by cutting you off with a "let it go" either.  Be honest, be kind, explain yourself and see if she's able to see your POV and explain her own?</p>
 

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<p>I would have a heart to heart with my dh.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>One holiday your way, one her way.  IMO on both making cards and the video he needs to stand up to his mom.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I do understand this is very hard for him to do. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I agree with what someone else said about what she and you view as family time.  You two have different definitions.  Maybe a compromise...after the parade then her show.  Or you can watch parade, cook, her show, then clean.  The dishes will be there later....trust me.  They don't ever disappear.  </p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Adaline'sMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283105/vent-mil-treating-us-like-children-after-thanksgiving-dinner#post_16088047"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br>
 My bad, only people in college with no bills, no responsibilities, and who has been off of school of 4 days (any of which she could have done homework instead of going out with her highschool friends) have the right to use the computer. PS. I checked her FB and SIL had made 4 status updates during the 30 minutes we were "watching CB".<br><p> </p>
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<p><br>
First I need to say this because it really bugs me when someone assumes otherwise. Going to college brings a huge amount of responsibility. Saying that a college student has no responsibilities is insulting to every single college student who takes their responsibilities seriously.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p>[edited to remove a quoted post that was in violation of our UA]</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>MusicianDad</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283105/vent-mil-treating-us-like-children-after-thanksgiving-dinner#post_16091855"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Adaline'sMama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283105/vent-mil-treating-us-like-children-after-thanksgiving-dinner#post_16088047"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br>
 My bad, only people in college with no bills, no responsibilities, and who has been off of school of 4 days (any of which she could have done homework instead of going out with her highschool friends) have the right to use the computer. PS. I checked her FB and SIL had made 4 status updates during the 30 minutes we were "watching CB".<br><p> </p>
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<p><br>
First I need to say this because it really bugs me when someone assumes otherwise. Going to college brings a huge amount of responsibility. Saying that a college student has no responsibilities is insulting to every single college student who takes their responsibilities seriously.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p>[edited to remove a quoted post that was in violation of our UA]</p>
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<p><br><br>
I am pretty sure she meant no responsibilities outside of college --- no kids etc</p>
 

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<p>i suggest that you figure out how you want to celebrate your holiday as a family (you, dh, and dd), and then strive to integrate your MIL as best you can. </p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p>as an example. for my mother, it was important thta we were home as a family on christmas day, nto driving all over creation. she remembers waking up christmas morning, doing presents with her family, and then being trundled into the car (sans gifts) to go to her grandmother's, then her aunt's, then her uncle's then her other grandmother's, then her other aunt's, and so on. christmas day was spent in household after household without her presents, and, as a kid, it was exhausting and frustrating. also, her mother was a nervous sort, and judged pretty harshly, so it was imperative that my mother kept her white dress (always a white dress at christmas) absolutely spotless. this meant she  would nto allow my mother to eat anything with sauce, anything that might stain in any way, including chocolates and candies. so while her brother ate everything in site, while he and her cousins could run around outside and play, and be loud and rowdy as ever. She had to be quiet, keep her dress clean, hardly eat, and so on. it was miserable.</p>
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<p>so, when she had us, she simply told her parents 'no.' she told them that she would not be bringing my sister and i over to everyone else's house where they could enjoy the holidays but we could not. she said if they want to see us at christmas, then they could come and see us. no one ever did.</p>
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<p>so what happend then was really cool. it really became about our holiday traditions outside of everyone else in the family. we had comfortable, long days singing, making food, watching christmas movies, playing with our gifts, and making phone calls to family members. it was always a great holiday for us, and for my parents too--including being able to rest. :)</p>
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<p>your stance may not need to be as strong as my mother's, and perhaps you can find a balance. but in the end, you need to do what is right for your family, and include your MIL in that. she is not the matriarch who gets to choose for all what the holidays will be like "this year." kwim?</p>
 

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<p>Adeline'sMama, I gotta say my heart goes out to you on this one. Even if her issues of how she wants to spend time on holidays are valid (though definitely not my choice), her behaviour is unworkable and I don't think I'd have the patience to deal with it. Also, your description of disposable plates and store-bought food and all would make my holiday miserable. I'm a foodie, too and everyone helps in the kitchen. MIL doesn't have the same extreme standards I do around food (free range, local, from-strach, etc); but she is open and helpful and we have come to the decision that we will alternate years with who cooks Christmas dinner. But we were able to do this in a really understanding way. For a few years, I even took over their old, abandoned tradition of doing Christmas dinner all over again on New Years. Now that dd is older, I think we'll go back to that.</p>
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<p>But I could not abide styrofoam plates and store-bought food and the general un-festiveness of her style of celebrating; not often at least and not even close to most holidays. It would simply ruin them for me. We watch the occasional Christmas special, but it would never take prececence over something like the scrapbooking that had a deadline. I just couldn't deal with someone trying to control me like that. I just couldn't.</p>
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<p>I think it's good that your DH is going to talk to her. If you're going to try to compromise around this stuff at all, basic reasonable communication groundrules need to be established somehow.</p>
 

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<p>And I don't buy it that MIL thought the TV watching was "family time". If she did, she would've been getting on SIL about having had 4 days to do that homework and why can't she just take a measly hour break?</p>
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<p>Also, if it were truly important to her? She would've made sure to get the show on while her grandchild was awake.</p>
 

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<p>sounds like mil uses guilt and "helplessness" to control and manipulate others.  she "can't" change a light bulb?  yes, she can.  and she can also control others' behavior through her nasty guilt trips and neediness and poor me bs, especially your dh, from the sound of it.  i'm sorry you are dealing with that.  the less power you give her, the better off you will be.</p>
 
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