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mother in law

Posted by on Jun. 29, 2014 at 9:21 PM
  • 6 Replies

I am having difficulty with my mother in law basically for almost 3 years (since our 1st child was born).

My husband does not get along with most of my family- to the point that we recently went to a party for my grandmother and he didn't speak to my brother or his wife.  My husband sees my parents once every few months- and doesn't stay long. 
My husband's mother has some medical issues and is caregiver to her husband with memory problems. My mother in laws husband can take care of himself as far as bathing/eating/ etc. he gets lost, so can't drive and asks repetitive questions. He also gets more agitated.  My mother in law acts like he is just a burden- I could share examples of this, but it's not really the point.

Since the kids were born my mother in law seemed to expect me to bring them to her, or have her come over when I'm there on at least a weekly basis. My husband wasn't involved much. I feel like my mother in law isn't a bad person, but she expects a lot from me without offering much in return. We've had multiple arguements in the past- and she denies ever "meaning anything" by her  behavior. My husband and I have had many fights over his mom in the past- over boundaries and expectations.

In the last few months I stopped bringing the kids over and I gave the task to my husband because I have a lot of bittereness against her and I don't want to feel "obligated'. Also I think it's his responsibility.

So I go to mother in laws about every 2 weeks or so. But she sees the kids at least 1x a week. And we have a sitter who is there when i am at work who will take the kids to my mother in law- whenever she wants.

I stopped confronting my mother in law because she usually denies everything and it seems to make things worse not better. I think she is offended by me not coming over more often.

I care for her but I don't think she is considerate of boundaries. And in the past if I tried to "make her happy" she appeared to be more demanding- in a passive aggressive way.

So now I think she just thinks I hate her or something- when really I just don't want to "have to visit" her more often than I want and I don't want to be responsible for making sure she sees the kids. My mother in law doesn't watch the kids- she could watch our older one, because he is well behaved and potty trained. But she would rather someone bring them to her and stay there.

I feel bad, but am not sure what to do. I feel like I am trying to set new boundaries with my mother in law and she is just offended. Should I talk to her about it, or just let time work things out? 

by on Jun. 29, 2014 at 9:21 PM
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Replies (1-6):
Bmat
by Barb on Jun. 29, 2014 at 9:40 PM

Being a caregiver to a spouse with dementia is exhausting.  I'm not sure you should add to her burden with a confrontation. It sounds good to me that the children go there once a week and you go every other week. This sounds very generous of you and your time.  (Does she realize she can ask the sitter - or you to ask the sitter- to bring the children any time she wants?)  It might be good for your FIL to get out and to visit your family at your place. If she doesn't feel comfortable driving, maybe your husband could offer to bring them. Tread gently, try not to spend so much time with her that you feel unhappy and drained.

If she complains that she doesn't see the children enough, explain gently that they are there as much as you and your husband can arrange.

fryda
by on Jun. 29, 2014 at 9:48 PM

Thanks Bmat for the response. I know that my mother in law's life is stressful and that's why I feel bad for her being let down by me.

My husband and I have told her that the sitter can bring them over whenever she wants. So she does know that.  She can drive but doesn't like to. My husband brings the kids over weekly now. I brought them over on Friday. My husband came over with one of the kids Saturday. And she invited use to have a meal together today. We went to lunch with her and it was just akward. That's why I am here- I feel upset about it, and my husband doesn't want to talk about his mom because it's been such an issue between us in the past.

She called me about a month ago to ask it everything was okay- because I didn't come over to her house. I said basically I am just busy which is true. My husband is almost never alone with the kids- so I rarely get a break to do stuff I need/want to do. She does get on my nerves and going over to her house is sort of boring and depressing. My husband has even said this. My husband makes almost no effort so see my family and avoids my brother and his family so I don't feel like I need to "go out of my way" anymore. But I wish my mother in law could understand I need space.

a_and_j_momma
by Platinum Member on Jun. 30, 2014 at 12:12 AM
I agree with this 100%

Quoting Bmat:

Being a caregiver to a spouse with dementia is exhausting.  I'm not sure you should add to her burden with a confrontation. It sounds good to me that the children go there once a week and you go every other week. This sounds very generous of you and your time.  (Does she realize she can ask the sitter - or you to ask the sitter- to bring the children any time she wants?)  It might be good for your FIL to get out and to visit your family at your place. If she doesn't feel comfortable driving, maybe your husband could offer to bring them. Tread gently, try not to spend so much time with her that you feel unhappy and drained.

If she complains that she doesn't see the children enough, explain gently that they are there as much as you and your husband can arrange.

Bmat
by Barb on Jun. 30, 2014 at 8:15 AM

((hugs)) I understand, and I don't see that you have anything to feel guilty about, it seems to me that you are doing well by them.  Take her asking as just asking and not complaining, she may worry that she has offended you.

Quoting fryda:

Thanks Bmat for the response. I know that my mother in law's life is stressful and that's why I feel bad for her being let down by me.

My husband and I have told her that the sitter can bring them over whenever she wants. So she does know that.  She can drive but doesn't like to. My husband brings the kids over weekly now. I brought them over on Friday. My husband came over with one of the kids Saturday. And she invited use to have a meal together today. We went to lunch with her and it was just akward. That's why I am here- I feel upset about it, and my husband doesn't want to talk about his mom because it's been such an issue between us in the past.

She called me about a month ago to ask it everything was okay- because I didn't come over to her house. I said basically I am just busy which is true. My husband is almost never alone with the kids- so I rarely get a break to do stuff I need/want to do. She does get on my nerves and going over to her house is sort of boring and depressing. My husband has even said this. My husband makes almost no effort so see my family and avoids my brother and his family so I don't feel like I need to "go out of my way" anymore. But I wish my mother in law could understand I need space.


Bluecalm
by Member on Jun. 30, 2014 at 8:51 AM
Maybe your MIL is starved for adult companionship and that's why she wants you to come over too. I don't blame her for not babysitting because she's got her hands full already taking care of her dh. Could somebody sit with your FIL so your MIL could get a break? She probably doesn't really feel like he's a burden, she's probably overwhelmed and maybe depressed
freyda
by on Jun. 30, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Hi this is the OP. I am under another login. 

Bluecalm- yes, she might want companionship. She has friends and daugthers that live out of town. We don't have much in common and she is irritating, so I don't enjoy visits often.  in the past I went anyway for her benefit. 

My MIL and FIL can afford help. My MIL says that FIL only wants her. She has not pursued any resources that my husband or I have given?

She gets a break from FIL- she told me a few months back that she just leaves and goes out.

I believe that she does think he is a burden. Here's a few examples why I think that. 

She left to go out of the country a few months back for 3 weeks and left FIL alone. WHen she returned she didn't want FIL to meet her at the airport because she didn't want to see him. 

She called me when I was driving home from visiting a friend ( few hours away) and she was upset. I offered for her to come over once we got home. She said she couldn't because she had to go out to dinner with FIL cause it was his birthday. In the past we have celebrated birthday's together. So I offered to go out with them. After dinner I suggested we buy a cake for him she said okay. He has a favorite kind of dessert, which I didn't know and she did. I asked what to get him and she said whatever, just make sure it's small. She didn't even call us to let us know it was his birthday- it only came up  because she was upset.

I have talked to her about FIl's dementia. he's kind of an isolated person prior to his dementia. and I was saying that he's probably depressed cause he's lonely. She said she didn't see why he would be depressed.

She never acts warmly towards him- they had a strange relationship prior to this. She bought his car from him when he bought a new one... I am sure things are difficult for her- but she seems to act like he is a burden. I am sure she is depressed and overwhelmed.

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