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M.I.L. advice

Ok, my MIL is driving me crazy. She's very self centered and puts my kids last. She watches them occasionally, but would rather be doing anything else. She uses them as a last resort if she's bored, she'll call and say to bring them over. But if they're there, and her phone rings with a better offer, she'll call me to come get them because she has plans. I think that's bull! I'd say we ask for her help in watching them 1x a month, if at all. She cuts all of our family off when they're talking so that she can talk about herself. She has also said some very insulting things to me, and has told me flat out that she accepts me now, but when she first met me, she disapproved of me being with her son. I have a college degree, hold down a job, am a doting mom and great wife, but she makes me feel like nothing. I would never, no matter how miserable she is, cut her off from her grandkids, but I can't stand seeing her. Is there hope?

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:55 PM on Aug. 15, 2009 in Relationships

Answers (11)
  • when she offers just say you will bring them over but they cant stay

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:56 PM on Aug. 15, 2009

  • She sounds like a not very nice person. At least she says she accepts you now, which is something that should go unsaid, but at least it is better than the other way around. Since she has the habit of calling you to pick up the children when something "better" comes along, it may save you some stress if you don't accept the offers. Tell her you already have plans, which wouldn't be a lie, or have something vague that you can have plans for. In the middle of cooking with them, or something, or on your way to the library. All you can do is to continue to be polite and let her rude and inconsiderate behavior roll off your back. It's unlikely, in my opinion, that she would change, but you never know. Maybe your example would make a difference.

    Answer by Bmat at 3:00 PM on Aug. 15, 2009

  • I have no advice....just want you to know others have horrible MIL's too.

    Mine NEVER calls or seems to care about her grandkids. My SIL calls and checks on them all the time. She never even called to see how my son was doing his first week of school...riding the bus and all. What type of grandmother isnt interested in her grandkids?

    I will NEVER NEVER NEVER understand mine!

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:01 PM on Aug. 15, 2009

  • I have a very similar situation with my MIL. My only advice is to take the good and leave the bad. Don't expect anything from her, because it will only lead to disappointment. But, she is your husband's mother and your kids' grandmother so certainly this is a relationship that must continue. Don't try to be close to her.. just leave it cordial.

    Answer by CVRsmommy at 3:03 PM on Aug. 15, 2009

  • Someday she'll get old and die--that's about all the hope I can give you!

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:16 PM on Aug. 15, 2009

  • If you have a college degree then you should be educated enough to know there are narcissists like her all over the world. You have to accept them as they are. Don't take her issues personally, it's just her. I don't watch my grandkids unless I have to but it doesn't mean I don't love them. Yes we have a life at our age and it's important to us just as your life is important to you. Remember that many of us think we don't have much time left on earth to enjoy it so we are in a hurry to do things for us since our kids are grown and it's "our" turn now to live life to the fullest. It's nothing against you or the kids, it's just the way it is. Take what she gives and appreciate it and stop dwelling on what she doesn't give you. It's important that we all have "me" time. Just bc she's a grandmother and isn't very sensitive doesn't make her a bad person. Find the good and focus on that.

    Answer by admckenzie at 3:28 PM on Aug. 15, 2009

  • What she thinks about you matters no more than what a stranger on the street would think of you. What matters is what you think of yourself. There is no hope in that you can love her to pieces for the next 50 years, and you will not be able to change her. The only way she will ever change is if she chooses to do so. What you can do is accept her for just who she is and also accept the fact that you and she will probably never be best friends. She is the mother of the man you loved, and you can honor her for that one good thing that she has produced during her lifetime. You can be polite, respectful, and gracious at the same time you are being aware that she is probably not ever going to be someone upon whom you can depend when you are in a pinch. You can teach your children to love her because she is their grandma and their daddy's mom. It may be hard for you to accept, but believe me, you have no power to change her.

    Answer by NannyB. at 3:47 PM on Aug. 15, 2009

  • Respect her as your husband's mother. There is no law that says Grandma has to babysit a certain number of days. Be non confrontational. If you need a babysitter, let your husband be the one that asks and arranges things. Who knows what her beef might be, It may be that you took her baby. Be as loving and kind as you can be for the sake of your husband and children. Watch your own words and attitude. There isn't much else you can do. grannywilson

    Answer by grannywilson at 4:44 PM on Aug. 15, 2009

  • If my DH weren't an only child I'd swear you were talking about my MIL! My MIL used to keep my oldest all the time. She was always asking for him to spend the night with her. She gradually broke ties. Then I became pregnant with my second son and she kept making comments that I needed to let the baby stay with her while my DS and I spend time together. It broke my eldest's heart! She has now broken ties with us almost completely, we don't fit in with her lifestyle. When we do see her we try to tell her what's going on (therapies for my DS, birthdays, general info) she talks over us and then swears we never told her! So I feel your pain! I've never met anyone so selfish!!


    Answer by Anonymous at 7:22 PM on Aug. 15, 2009

  • Not everybody wants to be a full-time grandparent.

    Find another babysitter you can rely on.

    Let your MIL interact with the kids as much or little as she wants.

    Answer by Mousuke at 11:51 PM on Aug. 15, 2009

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