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I love my MIL, but...

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Ok, at the moment I really need to vent.  And, it would be helpful to get some feedback on whether or not I am overreacting.

So, I have three boys.  My oldest is 9 and my younger boys are twins who just turned 4.  My best friend has a little boy who is almost 7, so he is right it the middle of my boys, age wise. 

For years, I have handed down clothes and toys from my oldest to her son, and then she passes them right back - plus more that she has added - for my younger boys.  And, at the moment, her son has outgrown his bike, but we have one that is much too big for the twins and much too small for my oldest - so I told her she could have it.

Trouble is, last year we took it to my mother in laws house and forgot it.  Since my oldest sone was already too big for it, we just bought him a new one and never bothered to take the old one home.

I didn't think it was a big deal and I have mentioned my plans to give it to my friend to my MIL and she never said anything about it.  That is, until today when I texted her and asked if she could bring it over when she came to our house this weekend.  She replied and told me that she and my FIL had talked about it and they decided that they were going to keep that bike at their house, for their grandkids, sorry. 

Now, I am glad this was all through text, because I am not sure how I would have reacted, and I have a really good relationship with my MIL for the most part - of course, this doesn't really surprise me now that I think about it.  She is rather overbearing.  But, I was blown away in the moment and really mad.  It's not like she came to me and asked if they could keep it or even discussed it with me at all - No, they just decided on their own.

I tried to stay calm and replied that I didn't want to be rude, but that was our bike and I was giving it to my friend.  To which she replied that they had helped pay for the boke (which, I don't remember, but it is possible) and they were keeping it for their grandkids.  (second time she said she was doing it for her grandkids, which for some reason got on my nerves too.)

I just dropped it and apologized to my friend and explained that we wouldn't be able to give her the bike - and of course, she was totally ok with. 

I have not spoken to my MIL since, and am not sure what to say, or how to even articulate why I am so mad.  But, it has been a few hours now, and I am still pretty upset about it.

My husband said he would talk to her about it, but I would like to know if I am overreacting and get some of your opinions as well.

**Edit** My MIL doesn't have any other grandkids besides my boys, so there isn't anyone else who can use the bike for a few years.

by on Oct. 21, 2013 at 11:48 PM
Replies (21-24):
by Gold Member on Oct. 23, 2013 at 8:01 AM
I agree. She's being a pain intentionally.

Quoting cali_gurl:

Then she is just being a pain and silly. I can see why you are upset. A lesson for the future. :)

Quoting sweetgrl1022:

I think I would understand more if there were other grandkids, but there aren't.  My boys are her only grandkids.

Quoting goddess99:

I'm assuming then she has more grandkids than just your boys? Sounds like she's just being hateful and holding the bike hostage. Since your friend does not care, I would let my dh handle her and Never leave another thing at her house.

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by Gold Member on Oct. 23, 2013 at 8:02 AM
Yeah, I agree. Pick your battles. It's not worth the trouble, is it?

Quoting famiglia_bella:

Choose your battles.  Though I don't understand why your MIL is being difficult, and she is being difficult because it would be so easy for her to hand it over being that your kids are her only grands, the bike is hardly worth the ill feelings.  Luckily, your friend is understanding and hopefully you can take some deep breaths, have a glass of vino, and forget about it.   :)

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by on Oct. 23, 2013 at 8:22 AM

It's utterly ridiculous that she keep it because none of yours can use it right now and if you give it to your friend you know it will come back to you at just the right time because you have an agreement. IT will probably come back in a better condition than if it is left in a shed to rust for a couple of years.

Secondly, it doesn't matter if she paid part of it because it belongs to your sons. You don't retain ownership over something that you partly pay for because it's a GIFT.

As it's your MIL, how about asking your DH to step in? Maybe she didn't quite grasp that the bike will be coming back to you? Maybe she didn't understand that she was depriving a little boy of a bike? Maybe she thought that you were giving him it when it's more like a loan? Honestly, I'd let your DH handle this but I'd make darn sure he knows what the outcome HAS to be (lol).

by on Oct. 23, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Under the circumstances, I don't think your MIL was being unreasonable. I kinda see both sides, but you did buy another bike to replace the one you left there, and never made arrangements to bring it home. Your relationship with your MIL is an important one. If your friend isn't upset about it, i'd let it go. Hard to do I know - been there - but honestly, i'd let it go.

I suspect deep down what you are made about is that your MIL is judging your decision to give the bike to your friend. You know that, and it upsets you to be judged by her. But really, i'd let it go.

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