My MIL is driving me crazy
- 01-14-2010, 10:48 AM #1Registered User
- Join Date
- May 2009
- Hong Kong
My MIL is driving me crazy
1. sleep in my bed with jeans. she keeps saying that it is a pair of new jeans, but she comes to my place by bus, so how clean can that be??
2. she makes me toilet seat wet whenever she has finished using it.
3. she keeps tidying up my stuff whenever she comes.
4. she keeps posting my family photos on facebook even though I have expressed to her that I do not appreciate the idea.
5. she keeps calling us at least 2 times a day wanting to talk to my son.
6. she keeps telling me what I should do in taking care of my son, and yet I do not agree with her way or in fact I have already been doing so.
7. she keeps asking us about where we are going during weekends, and most of the time she wants to come along.
- 01-14-2010, 12:46 PM #2Registered User
- Join Date
- Jul 2009
- Hong Kong
What I will do (not that it's right!!) :)
1. leave it. change sheets after.
2. leave it. wipe it clean.
3. let her.
4. tell her firmly that you don't want pictures to be posted on facebook and explain confidentiality issue etc.
5. why not?
6. hear her out, say yes, but do as you deem right.
8. i don't mind this, quite welcome it actually :)
Do not mistake me as a submissive girl, cos I'm not haha!! Some battles are just not worth fighting. Always remember the big picture. Don't win the battles and lose the war. Sometimes it is easier to say yes, but that doesn't mean you have to do what she wants you to!
- 01-14-2010, 03:08 PM #3Registered User
- Join Date
- Apr 2008
- Hong Kong
1. Keep a bed sheet for MIL, and put it on the bed when you know she is coming.
2. Yuck!!!!!!! why would you be cleaning your MIL's pee or anyone else's for that matter. Tell her to clean after she is done peeing.
3. Tell her not to touch your personal things.
4. A strict NO.
5. Don't answer the phone or tell her you are busy.
6. Ignore her completely.
7. Tell her you dont have any plans yet, even though you might. She doesn't need to tag along on every outing.
- 01-14-2010, 04:06 PM #4Registered User
- Join Date
- Feb 2009
- Tuen Mun, Hong Kong
Read/heard so many stories about MIL. Whilst I agree that some MILs are a real pain and very annoying, very often however I find the reason for the 'clash' is just because she is your MOTHER-IN-LAW instead of your own mother! Isn't it true?? Just take a look at your point 5 "she keeps calling us at least 2 times a day wanting to talk to my son". What's wrong with that? Can't she talk to her grandson? If it were your own mother calling, I bet you would find it OK. Your MIL just adores your son and your son is LOVED by a granny. Isn't it a nice thing? You don't like it just because she is your MIL or because you've disliked her already - it's not because her being unreasonable... Unless your son finds it annoying to be called twice a day, I don't think you have any reason to dislike it - she is not calling to talk to you but your son.
Some of her behaviour (e.g. 1, 2 & 3) I would dislike if I were you because they are not really nice. What I will do instead of building up some hatred inside me, is, I will, very firstly, express my view to my husband and tell him what I don't like about her behaviour and request my husband to talk to her. If my husband agrees with her behaviour, then I tell him I will say it myself. (Normally, it'll scare my husband and make him willing to say something to his mum as he fears the 'direct talk' between these two women will end up in a horrible mess!) The point is: I don't really make unreasonable complaint about my MIL so 9 out of 10 times my husband agrees with my view and is able to somehow talk to his mum and alter the situation a little bit. Have you tried to talk to your husband first? It would be a lot easier for him, being her son, to talk directly to her.
My MIL and in-laws are very nice people, they all love & adore my son; I don't dislike them but I can't say I ENJOY being with them. Some are their problems but some are down to my own 'perception/principles/personality'. The main thing bothers me a lot is: They are very LOUD people. When they talk, they don't talk but shout. If you don't know them, you will probably think they are having an argument! Being at my MIL's home is a torture (I'm not exaggerating, as you can imagine the environment where 5-10 people shouting down to each other, then with a telly turned up to a very high volume. What makes it worse is there is a "mahjong game" in the background!!! You can imagine the 'noise' now, can't you?) They like going to Yum Cha in a very noisy & crowded Chinese restaurant which I hate very much. And, I don' t like the fact that they put children in front of TV all day or give them portable electronic games whenver they're awake... These things really upset my mood, to be frank. But do they do it deliberately to upset me? Nope... It's only their 'living style', which I cannot agree with. That's why I don't like going to my MIL's home or hanging out with them and luckily my husband fully appreciates it. BUT, I will still go and visit them with a happy face and chat with them nicely (pretend nothing is bothering me) simply because they are my husband's family. I don't want to make him unhappy or embarrass him because of my feelings towards them. I believe, nobody likes to see our own parents be criticised or disliked, particuarly by our spouse. How would you feel if your husband doesn't like your mum? Sure you will be very hurt.
My MIL is a person loves being 'priased' and put in the first priority. And she loves giving opinions. If opportunities arise, she loves to get involved. HOWEVER, she does not have a chance to get too much involved in our household, largely because, since the first day she met me, my husband has told her that I'm a very strong-minded person and have lots of 'principles', which are better not being challenged. Because of that, she is well aware that she cannot change much of my mind and thus she never really tries to cross the line. Does she grumble behind me? Of course she does...but so?!
My piece of advice to you is:
(1) Whatever you don't like about your in-laws, talk to your husband first (of course in a soft way, not a hostile way) stating the reason why you don't like their behaviour. Be reasonable! You can't just tell your husband that you don't like his mum without a good reason, right?! Do not try to deal with the situation by yourself.
(2) Try (I say try because I know it's not easy but at least you keep trying at your best) not to dislike them too much as the dislike feeling will only drag you down and affect your reasoning power so soon you will only see the bad sides of her and become very 'subjective'.
(3) Whenever she gives advice/order, etc, just say YES then carry on with your way of doings. No need to argue or reason with her - waste of time.
(4) Or, the last resort, just ignore her, politely (which means not pulling a horrible face in front of her).
My MIL sometimes gives some advice which I do not agree, I will, either stay silent in which my husband understands the signal and will say something on my behalf to his mum, or say YES then carry on with my own way. What can she do at the end of the day? Very limited, as long as you & your husband stand on the same line and be firm. But, whatever you feel about your MIL, don't forget, ALWAYS BE POLITE AND RESPECTFUL.
Last edited by OX Jess; 01-14-2010 at 04:10 PM.
- 01-14-2010, 04:55 PM #5Registered User
- Join Date
- Apr 2003
- Hong Kong
Just curious, is your son your MIL's first grandchild? If so, she may be trying to figure out herself how to be a grandmother, and to be honest, I'm not sure as the mother you'd be the right person to do that for her. I know my MIL was very "imposing" when our first was born, because he was the first grandchild on both sides, but once more grandchildren came along (thankfully, my brother-in-law and his wife quickly had 3 girls), she got the hang of things better as mellowed out a bit. Hope your husband has siblings and if not, you might want to encourage her to adopt some "god-children" to take the heat of you. :)
I agree with Obiwan to pick your battles, because it's more effective to tackle one thing at a time. For example, the children's safety ranks at the top of my list. In fact, my in-laws refuse to go on Facebook, because they do not want to put up personal information or compromise anyone else's personal information.
I also agree with OX Jess to speak to your husband first before your MIL. He may be able to offer a perspective that you had not considered before. In addition, think of all the positive things about her to help balance out the picture. Also, you can be sure that she's talking to her husband about any frustrations she may be having with you. The good news is that if you've always been polite and respectful or gone beyond to be kind and gracious, it would encourage one to have positive examples to come to your defense when the other is unreasonably irate.
OX Jess, your MIL sounds like mind. The other thing I would add is that she likes to eat out all the time, generally in fancy places that are not terribly child-friendly. I just try to accommodate a couple of times by recommending places that I think are on the more child-friendly side whenever she visits.
My parents actually live with me, so there are plenty of opportunities for them to drive me crazy, too. I do think, however, that the grace that we extend to our parents helps us to understand better when we seem unreasonable to our children. Hopefully, our children will learn to extend that grace to us in our old age, too!
- 01-14-2010, 04:58 PM #6Registered User
- Join Date
- Jul 2009
- Hong Kong
My comments were based on the assumption that you have already tried all means to get her to change her ways, with no success .... not as a long suffering DIL who can't speak up :) It's a no win situation 'fighting' with MIL, it makes things very awkward and tense, and your dear husband is stuck in the middle. She is a family member, which means that we'll have to learn to embrace them :)
- 01-14-2010, 06:06 PM #7Registered User
- Join Date
- May 2009
1. Why is she sleeping in your bed? Is she staying the night or she just comes over to your house and crawls right into your bed? This seems a bit weird. Do you have a guest room or a guest sleeping mat for her? If my mother-in-law just came over and crawled into my bed, I would begin locking my bedroom door and she would get the hint. If she wants to take a nap there is a guest bed or the couch and I've got blankets.
2. Maybe she has problems--like medical problems or something. I would put a sign up in the bathroom like one of the funny ones you see in restaurants. "It is our aim to keep this bathroom clean. Your aim will help. Gentlemen, stand closer. It's shorter than you think. Ladies, please remain seated for the entire performance." Since I'm guessing your mother-in-law is Chinese (correct me if I'm wrong) I'd have the sign translated into Chinese. If she still doesn't get it, have your husband talk to her about it or have HIM go in and clean it up--it is HIS mother, afterall.
3. Don't worry about it--if she is truly TIDYING (making things cleaner) welcome the help! Change your attitude about this--look at it as she wants to help a busy mother out, rather than "she's marking the place like a dog." If she is disorganizing your house, move things so that the things that you care about (papers, files etc.) are out of sight and she can't disorganize them.
4. If you've already clearly explained to her you don't want her to, there is a little button on Facebook called the "report this photo" button. This is an anonymous report. Although there is no option for "photo was posted without my permission" you could click on one like "attacks individual or group"--if you keep reporting photos from someone eventually some of those photos will get taken down hopefully. You could tell her, "Look, if you don't stop posting photos of us on Facebook, we will 'defriend' you" If she tags you in photos, you can always untag yourself.
5. Two times isn't all that much. Of course she wants to talk to her grandson. This isn't weird behavior--it's a bit of a hyper version of regular grandma behavior. If you see her incoming call and it's not a convenient time, don't answer--if you have an answering service she can leave a message. You could tell her, "Sometimes I can't make it to the phone because I'm cooking or in the toilette or we're getting on or off a bus...but don't worry, if you leave a sweet message for your grandson, I'll play it back to him when I can get to the phone."
6. Also "normal" grandma behavior--I get this ALL the time from my Chinese mother-in-law. I don't argue. Her word isn't law in my house. Just because she says it doesn't mean I'm going to do it. I just nod and pretend that I totally agree with her and then do things the way I want--I also do this with other people that I don't necessarily agree with. When she's around you may have to let her "intervene" and do things her way once in awhile--as long as it doesn't totally contradict what you believe in as a parent (i.e. if you don't believe in spanking and she starts spanking your kid, you'll have to step in).
7. Just avoid the question by saying "We haven't decided yet.." Even if she calls you on a Saturday and you're in teh middle of shopping downtown you can just say, "We're not sure yet, just playing it by ear..." You aren't obligated to give her details--just be like a politician and avoid any direct questions by talking about anything else. Eventually she should get the hint. Or say, aw, we're going to stay home this weekend and rest. No visitors, no family. We're all starting to feel a bit tired so we're just going to take one big family nap in front of the TV. Doctor's orders.
Parents-in-law come in all types, right? Some are a bit crazier than others but they are pretty much all a little crazy at least. Just have a game-plan between your husband and you of how you will deal with each of these issues--and then just stick to it. Set your boundaries and don't let others step over them. And YES, your husband has a BIG ROLE to play in this because it is HIS FAMILY. Technically, she is also your family but he is related by blood so when it comes down to laying down the line, he first needs to be on board with you and then he needs to be the one to communicate these things to his mom. This is hard for most guys to do with their mothers--and especially if they're a "mamma's boy" or as we say, "haven't cut the apron strings yet." This might be the time to talk to your husband about how he personally relates and deals with his mom. There is a Bible verse that says, explaining marriage and why men and women get together and it says, "For this reason a man will LEAVE his mother and father and BE JOINED to his wife and the two will become ONE FLESH." This means, in order for a guy to really be a husband and father, in his mind, he has to break away from his parents in a way and establish his own way of doing things. The JOINED and ONE FLESH part talk about being in unity. Decide what you believe and what you want and then stand up to any force that contradicts that--even the MIL. You can do it!
- 01-14-2010, 07:15 PM #8Registered User
- Join Date
- Sep 2006
you've been given some really great advice already... on the Facebook thing, I just wanted to ask, "do you not post photos of your child on your own page?". I post photos of my children, but I make sure my privacy settings are "Only Friends" can view them.
I would suggest that if MiL can't be dissuaded from posting photos at all, that you (via your husband) ask to vet them beforehand to ensure no nudity (no bathtime pictures etc), and that you set your MiL's privacy settings to "Only Friends".
Alternatively, have you stressed to her why you don't want the photos posted? Tell her about internet paedophiles! Lay it on thick. Tell her you've read that someone on Facebook had photos copied and the children's faces were photoshopped onto obscene photos and distributed. (I haven't heard this, btw, I'm just suggesting a scare tactic).
Anyway, good luck with it all. I have just had my MiL staying with me for 6wks, so I can sympathise - but at the end of the day, it doesn't sound like you've got an evil MiL, just one that annoys you. So to make the relationship better, you could look into digging deeper into your reserves of patience and remember, that if you hurt your MiL, you hurt your husband.
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