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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I talked to a friend about this, and she told me basically (in so many words) that I was being too touchy, and the only way I feel the way I do about this is because I only have ONE child and if I had more, it would be different.

But My husband, my 2 year old and I live with my sister in law in her apartment very temporarily until she moves out.

So far, this has happenned 3 times, in which she invited me to go somewhere with her and did not invite my 2 year old. I understand that depending on the situation there are some places where my 2 year old cannot go.

What bother's me is that she asks me if I can go somewhere with her, and I tell her "well, you know I can't go unless my monkey can come to." Then she immediately turns to my husband and asks him, "are you off? Can you take off?"

Mind you, my child is doing well on solids, but he still nurses quite a bit, and I'm not comfortable taking a long day away from him, especially not on a regular basis.

The more I think about it, the more I'm beginning to realize that even if I wasn't nursing, it's something about inviting me somewhere and not inviting my child that just rubs me the wrong way. I don't know what, I don't know why, but it just does.

So the first time she invites me out, she has 2 tickets for a lunch cruise. I tell her, no really, I can't go unless ds comes too, are children allowed? And she's like, well, yeah, I dunno, but you can let dh keep him, get him to take the day off. So that's what I do, dh makes sure he has that day off to keep him, and to be quite honest, we had a lovely time. (Even though I was pretty engorged by the time we were on the way home...) But what kind of struck me as puzzling was that I saw lots of families on the cruise. People with newborns and toddlers. It would have been cool if my munchkin had tagged along, he would have fit right in.


So then later, she does it again. There is a friend giving a depression party (she was celebrating because she was coming out of depression, found a treatment that works, was starting to feel good about herself and opening up, and wanted to have some friends over) So my SIL asked me to come again, adn so I ask her if my munchkin can come. She turns to dh and asks, are you off that day? He's like, I gotta work, she's like, Can you call and get the day off? Mind you, my husband is a manager, he doesn't have the option of taking days off all willy nilly. So she ends up going without me, and then later tells me that her friend would have been cool about me brining my 2 year old with me. It was a family thing.
:

She does it again recently, she asks me if I can come to her painting party for her condo, and help her paint, and she's going to cook, and stuff. I tell her, well, I KNOW my monkey can't come with me to that, he's into "helping" now, and he'd probably have paint all over himself and places and walls she'd never want painted.
: Once again, she turns and asks my dh if he can take that day off.

What makes her think I would WANT to spend a day without my monkey on a regular basis? These days, I'm not into activities where he can't enjoy himself as well. My best friend says she's just trying to help, and deep down I know it's true. I dunno, I just can't pinpoint why it's starting to annoy me. Maybe because it's MY decision and responsibilty to ask my husband to have a day out and not hers? If I get a rare day out without my munchkin, I'd rather spend it doing something I want to do. I dunno, that sounds incredibly selfish, I know.

But am I too touchy about this?
 

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Does your SIL have kids? It sounds as though she just doesn't get why a mama would want to spend most of her time with her kiddo. I get that a lot too but most of my non-parent friends realize now to only call to hang out when my DD is welcome and wanted. And yeah I don't hang with them as much anymore but it's ok.

Personally I get a bit annoyed in that situation too. Honestly your SIL probably is just trying to help and get you some you-time though. Let her know that you want to hang out with your kiddo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I think you're right. No, she doesn't have any children. She has this annoying little habit of thinking she knows everything she needs to know about being a mother because she kept children before, but she doesn't know NOTHING. I will be really glad when she is gone, I think we would get a long better after she is under a different roof.
 

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Sorry, but she needs to butt out of your relationship. Its your husband, you can ask if he will watch the baby while you go out. If you want to go out!
 

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Ofcourse that's annoying. First, she is excluding your DS from things he might enjoy. Second, she is seperating you from your DS. three she is wasting your DH's valuable days off that you might have wanted for something.
 

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It sounds like she just doesn't understand how when you are a mama you want and *need* to be with your baby. She says she is trying to "help." Maybe she thinks she is doing you a favor by inviting you out because she thinks you need a break. She can't imagine how being with your baby could be better than going out and doing fun things with friends because she hasn't experienced having her *own* child. She just doesn't know about that bond. Before I had my daughter, I used to worry about being tied down, that I would resent not being able to go out (I used to party a lot!) but a magical thing happened when she was born - I actually *wanted* to be with her. If I wasn't with her, I just couldn't relax, couldn't have fun.

Maybe if instead of saying you *can't* go without him, say you are not comfortable being away from him for x amount of time. That way she will not turn around and ask your husband to take off work. If she doesn't get it, I wouldn't worry about it.
Also you could talk to your husband in private and let him know that it's perfectly okay for him to say, no, I cannot take off from work. He may feel obligated to say yes because he doesn't want to look the Guy Who Doesn't Do Any Parenting And Who Never Lets His Wife Go Out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by eepster View Post
Ofcourse that's annoying. First, she is excluding your DS from things he might enjoy. Second, she is seperating you from your DS. three she is wasting your DH's valuable days off that you might have wanted for something.
Yeah, that's so true! I'm into family outings, the zoo, the park, etc. I"m not all into "ooo, girls day out!" That's just not me. I'm not knocking mothers who need this time, but it just so happens I'm not one of those mothers. My "breaks" and me moments are fulfilled during my child's naps and when I can get my husband to step up to the plate and take over for a little while when he gets off from work. (Which is why I"m on the net now, getting some late night "me time" while everyone's asleep!
) I'm pretty much refreshed and ready for more toddler/family time after that, you know? I want me and my munchkin to do more stuff together, and daddy to come along when he's off.

If daddy WANTS to have some one on one time with monkey boy, then that's different. But my husband's days off or precious and few right now (he's getting ready to switch to another job so he can have more time off) and when he's off, we want family time. It's kind of defeating to be sent away from my family on precious days off. That once on the cruise was great, but I think she's looking at childcare as a "job" that "you need a day off from". To me, it's my life, and I enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by monkeysmommy View Post
It sounds like she just doesn't understand how when you are a mama you want and *need* to be with your baby. She says she is trying to "help." Maybe she thinks she is doing you a favor by inviting you out because she thinks you need a break. She can't imagine how being with your baby could be better than going out and doing fun things with friends because she hasn't experienced having her *own* child. She just doesn't know about that bond. Before I had my daughter, I used to worry about being tied down, that I would resent not being able to go out (I used to party a lot!) but a magical thing happened when she was born - I actually *wanted* to be with her. If I wasn't with her, I just couldn't relax, couldn't have fun.

Maybe if instead of saying you *can't* go without him, say you are not comfortable being away from him for x amount of time. That way she will not turn around and ask your husband to take off work. If she doesn't get it, I wouldn't worry about it.
Also you could talk to your husband in private and let him know that it's perfectly okay for him to say, no, I cannot take off from work. He may feel obligated to say yes because he doesn't want to look the Guy Who Doesn't Do Any Parenting And Who Never Lets His Wife Go Out.

Yes, this is so true to, (we posted at the same time) That's exactly what my husband is doing, I think.

Unfortunately, my sister in law comes from The Family That's Never Wrong. She is one of the milder ones in the bunch, but she can't be told that I know more about being a mother than she does.

Once she told my husband that "taking care of a 3 month old is not that hard"".
:

Not sure if she would "get it", but I think next time she asks I'll tell her that my time with my munchkin is very valuable tome.
 

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I can see how this is annoying to you. However, I can also sort of see her potential perspective . . . being with a toddler and in "mommy mode" is very different than being without your child. For example, I have one mommy friend whose son is my daughter's age, and we have a lot of things in common. We met when our babies were ten months old and have been friends for about 9 months now. We watched each other's kids, do playdates, have dinner out or dinner parties with each other's DH's and the kids, etc. But one night the dads watched their kids and we went out together without them just the two of us, and OMG!! It was so different and so awesome! We had long and leisurely and uninterrupted conversations and focused on each other and really got to know each other on a whole other level, and there was no chasing, nursing, soothing, playing, or cheerios involved!!! It was almost like a date, getting to know an interesting and exciting person better, and it was intellectually stimulating and fun and interesting and reminded me of my "old" self. I was still happy to go back to my DD after a couple of hours, but it was also nice to be able to spend some time with myself and the other person I was with in the foreground, and not have it be dominated by dealing/interacting with/managing a toddler and their behavior. Maybe your SIL just misses *you*, the person you were and the things you did together before you were mother. Also, as intense as the mother-child bond is and as much as we do love and enjoy these little critters, I think that it's important to remember that they are going to grow up and leave us, but we are going to always have to live with ourselves and who we are outside of our roles as mothers--to do otherwise is actually not really fair to them as it puts a big burden on them to be the sole source of identity. (Said as the daughter of a mom who sort of gave up everything to be a mom and treated her kids as friends and became sort of emotionally fused with them and still hasn't quite gotten with the program of having an independent and full life outside of motherhood 36 years later . . . . ) I think it's important to nurture and grow not only our children, but ourselves, both as mothers and as people. Otherwise, even our kids will eventually find us boring!!!
 

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I know how you feel. I'm not nursing my daughter anymore (she almost 2) but I don't like to go out much without her. I do leave her with my mom for 3 hours one morning a week while I work, and another couple hours one afternoon to go to the laundromat. I know she's happier with my mom then, so I don't mind. I usually do a little shopping after laundry.

But as far as going out & having fun, I prefer to bring her along.

My brother has tried to get me to go to evening & weekend business seminars with him, and doesn't understand why I won't just up & leave my daughter with whoever they find to babysit, (someone I've never met) or leave her with my parents & go away for a weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I get what you're saying Kavita, totally. But my sister in law couldn't possibly miss me as a person because before we moved in here, I never had a relationship with her in the first place. (Chalk it up to a family of narcissism, and although she isn't narcissistic herself, she is definitely a tennacle to the whole thing, she's not much of a threat for right now to our emotional well being because she lives several hours away from my toxic family of inlaws.)
 

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I think in this case, just being honest could go long way. Next time she suggests an activity that would exclude your DS, you could just say, "Oh, thanks SIL - that is really sweet of you to think of me! I'm going to have to pass on it though, because I'd rather spend time on activities where DS can be included. Maybe we could all go to the zoo together next weekend?"

I agree with the PP; sounds like even though she might think she "gets it," she's not a mother, so she's not really seeing the big picture. And if your DH is her brother, which I'm guessing is the case since she's your SIL, she probably has no inhibition about asking him point-blank for whatever she needs. I would do the same to my brother, I'm sure!


Just be clear about your boundaries, and I'm sure she will get with the program eventually.
Good luck!
 

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memorize this phrase and use it as a default, "Thank you for the offer/invitation! Let me think about it and get back to you tomorrow."

it sounds like your sil is not giving you the space to think through your feelings about her invitations, nor to think about what saying yes would mean. she also clearly has a different idea of your relationship with dh - one in which she can make requests of him on your behalf! so, use the phrase, then, when you have time, ask yourself:

do I want to go?
can ds come along? (would he enjoy it? is it even possible?)
if ds can't come along, do I still want to go?
if I still want to go, can dh take time off? or can we find a sitter?

you'll only say "yes" to the things you truly want to do - and you'll have created space in which to make the decision, and talk to your dh without sil involved.

good luck!
 

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You are getting some great advice (Hi Kavita! Hi *Amy*!) and I agree, this would bother me. Would it help to talk to your DH and have him understand your feelings and preferences, so that next time she says "Can you take that day off?" he would know to say something like, no, my vacation days are for family time. (I agree with Amy, as his sister she might feel free to pull him into this.)
And although it is hard to remember a time without my precious girls, I do remember when my best friend had her DD, and I was single, and we went out to lunch and I had such a hard time with never being able to finish a sentence, and I totally did not get that she liked to have DD along! So I am sure that she just may not see that life is better for a mom when the little one can come and enjoy the lunch cruise, even if you can't finish a sentence!
You might try to find a way to help her understand that, for you, it is more fun to have your monkey with you, even if she can't see it.
And I can relate, because my sister is married, no kids, and while she likes my kids and is a good auntie, there is so much that she doesn't get, cannot get, about kids in general and about parenting. Even my mom seems to have forgotten so much. And at least they aren't know-it-all about it....
 

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I would just assume that she's trying to do something nice for you, by offering you a chance to do something on your own, and even goading her brother into watching the baby while you do it. Whether you want to or not is a different issue, but honestly, why not assume her intentions are good and just say "no thanks" or "sorry, monkey and I have a date monkey bars" or something?
 

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I understand your frustration but i think her intentions are good. You need to talk to her about it. You need to tell her you like doing things with your monkey and that you need to be the one who asks your husband for days off. You can't expect her to just know that it bugs you without communicating about it with her. It sounds like she is probably clueless about being a mom. Also if your husband is her brother she might feel like she's asking her brother for a favor not asking your husband to do you a favor.
 

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I can relate to your frustration with your SIL implying you should go with her all the time without your child. I take my DD everywhere (she's now almost 2) and feel offended if anyone ever implies I need to leave her somewhere and come alone. My DD and I have been practically inseparable her entire life, and that's in a positive way. Naturally, she just accompanies me everywhere and I wouldn't have it any other way.
 

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Your DH might actually enjoy having alone time with your monkey. I know mine does. I love spending time with DS (who by the way is also my monkey!) both alone and with DH, but I also cherish the time to myself when DH takes him out. That said, I agree with PP's who encourage you to be direct and honest with SIL (who probably means well). If you don't want to go, be firm with your boundaries and don't allow yourself to be railroaded. It sounds like SIL is a strong personality...
 

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Oh that's sad..

I've found w/ myself, that anyone who questions my parenting or tells me that my ds is "too attached". Or tells me to leave him with so and so for the weekend.. That they are projecting what they have/will/want to do as parents. I've found, and maybe everyone I know is too mainstream, but basically everyone I know, leaves their children behind, for everything... And then ironically they scratch their heads years later, wondering "why Johnny has behavioral problems"

And no, I'd feel bothered.. I am bothered for you.. I've had family do stuff like that to me, and with me, (I have a smart mouth). I've said stuff like, "no, I"m sorry, I care about his well being, and I can't leave him or whatnot")

I just hope maybe your friend, will feel the nurturing mama bug when she has kids..

I'm sorry...
 
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