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Piggyback on in-law
Old 05-07-2018, 10:23 AM
  #1

Iím a mil and always read the posts about in-laws as a way to learn. I love my dil and sil and donít want them to dread my visit. If you could say anything to your in-laws, what would it be? What do you want them to do when they visit and what do you want them to quit doing when they visit? Please help me learn how to be a better mil


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Old 05-07-2018, 10:34 AM
  #2

That's a hard one to answer because people are different and want and need different things. I love my mother in law. She is the best. When she visits she always offers to help me out in the kitchen. She always washes my dishes when I have them over for dinner. I feel bad about that but she insists and I really don't mind. She doesn't criticize my cooking and is always very complimentary. The best thing she did was after I had my son. She came to my house each night with her pots, pans, and groceries and cooked dh and I dinner for a week straight. Then she sat with the baby while dh and I ate the meal she cooked. When we were done, we got DS back and she cleaned up and left. That was the BEST! We live in the same town as her and she invites us to dinner once or twice a week. Sometimes we go and sometimes we don't. She never makes us feel bad if we turn down the invite. We also reciprocate and invite them to our house. I would say I see them at least once a week. I think if you both respect each other you won't have to worry about doing/saying or not doing/not saying the right thing.
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Old 05-07-2018, 11:23 AM
  #3

I have a rough relationship with my MIL (FIL is great by the way, I love him!) My biggest issues with MIL stem from the fact that she is constantly undermining my authority as the parent. She is of the mindset to do something and then ask "forgiveness" later instead of asking permission first (things like taking my kids certain places, exposing them to TV/movies we wouldn't approve of, letting them ride without seatbelts/carseats, letting them swim without proper supervision, etc.) She was a very lax parent and thinks I'm too overprotective. She tends to be as sneaky as possible when it comes to getting away with things she knows I wouldn't approve of. I'd like her to respect our authority as parents.

When she visits, I'd like her to engage with my kids, not be on her cellphone/TV the whole time. When she does play with the kids, don't play Snapchat our video games the whole time--play a board game or go outside with them! I'd like her to not use extravagent gifts as a way to the kids' heart but spend quality time with them. Get to know their likes/dislikes.

You sound like a great MIL to be wanting to do better/improve your relationship with the DIL! It sounds like you are already on the right track.
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My MIL
Old 05-07-2018, 01:51 PM
  #4

is wonderful. She loved being with our family and loved her granddaughters. She was invited to every major life event and would spend summers with us, so as to spend more time with the girls.

The only thing that was tricky is that DD1 was hard headed. DD1 also had, and still has, a very close relationship with my MIL. When DD1 misbehaved, we would come down hard on her- we knew that she would only respond to the hammer. DD2 would dissolve into tears at a look. We parented the kids very differently, and consequences were often different. MIL thought this was very unfair.

There were several rather heated discussions about this. I know now that she probably was biting her tongue often, and only said something when she couldn't bear to let it go. At the time, though, it was uncomfortable.
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Old 05-07-2018, 02:19 PM
  #5

My first set of in-laws treated me really well overall, but they never did learn that I do not like drop-in visitors. I even told them, but no luck.

I've only been around my current in-laws twice, and they have never been to our house. No complaints there.

My mom always hated how my grandmother would compare her to her favorite ex of dad's. She did it forever.


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Old 05-07-2018, 02:47 PM
  #6

These are great pointers! Please keep them coming.
Ima, my kids both live far enough away that we have to fly so we canít drop in! We wait to be invited but I really want those invitations to continue.
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Old 05-07-2018, 02:57 PM
  #7

I love my MIL, she is a wonderful person. We live a distance away and visits were for at least a weekend. She doesn't visit much now as it's far to travel. When she and FIL visited they always asked if they could help with something. I ended up saying , "oh no, that's ok" and then doing things myself. What I really wanted was for them to just start helping. For example after supper just grab a dish towel. or if I was chopping carrots, start the potatoes. They truly did want to help and would have done anything. I guess I wasn't great at delegating.
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Mil
Old 05-07-2018, 03:13 PM
  #8

is the worst. Narcissistic. All about me. Phone on a Saturday at 6:30 am because she did not know how to fill out a form. Come now. Funny she did it last year herself. She has estranged 2 of our 3 children with her nasty mouth. Who tells grandchildren they are the worst people ever because they don't go and visit. In birthday cards she writes, would be nice to see you before I die. She told our lovely daughter she was a disgusting person. Our daughter who is not disgusting told her grandmother that you don't love me, never did, and I am done with you for all the hurtful things you have said. Daughter was savvy enough to put the phone on speaker so her dad could hear it. It was awful. MIL screaming. This was 4 years ago. I avoid her toxic presence at all costs. Goes to church every week and volunteers so I guess that makes her good. My husband sees to her needs but that is basically all. She has hurt our kids beyond belief. I actually was relieved the day my FIL passed away. So abusive. And so you know there is no dementia involved, just stupidity and nastiness. Who treats people, let alone family like that.
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Old 05-07-2018, 03:21 PM
  #9

All I can say to my in-laws is thank you. They are awesome!

They are super easy to have as guests. Very mellow, we don't need to entertain them, they help with the kids.

MIL is happy to cook when she comes (and I hate cooking) - yay!

They take my boys for a month - a month!! - over the summer. It's amazing!

They never criticize me or my parenting.

They are supportive and loving and positive.

When they were a bit younger fil would build things and fix things around the house. Pretty much anything I asked he would do.

I am very very lucky!
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Old 05-07-2018, 04:19 PM
  #10

I think if the son and DIL set boundaries, you should keep them. It is only respectful. If they tell you not to post certain pictures on social media, don't. If they tell you to call before you stop by, call. It makes everyone happier.

I also think that if you live in the same community, you also shouldn't gossip about a DIL or tell lies about her. If you have something to say, just kindly bring it up.


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Old 05-07-2018, 04:46 PM
  #11

Well, my mil has a couple of weird habits that drive me crazy. When she comes over she rings the doorbell over and over and over which causes the dogs to bark and bark and bark. Weíve asked her to stop because it causes such a ruckus. She thinks it is funny though. Also, every time she calls she makes a comment about whether we were sleeping or not. Weíve told her over and over we arenít sleeping and she always says yes you are. The woman must think we sleep 24/7.

When the kids were young my mil felt I was too strict with my son. Evidently boys will be boys and I wasnít allowing for that. It was fine to hold my daughter to a high standard, but not my son.

This is weird, but she keeps telling people I spanked my son at her house multiple times. I gave my sonís bottom one smack one time in the grocery store parking lot because he pulled away from me and ran. Other than that neither of my children were ever physically disciplined by me or my husband. Weíve told her repeatedly that is not true, but she keeps insisting it is true.

My next issue is she is always trying to tell us the steps we need to take to solve a problem or whatever. We arenít asking so why are you telling us??? We are not five years old!

The thing that bothers us most is she enables my bilís drinking. She treats those grandchildren differently than ours because she feels sorry for them because their father drinks. Then she complains about having a grown man living with her and how obnoxious his two children are when they are at her house.
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Old 05-07-2018, 05:30 PM
  #12

My MIL is a her way or the highway and I will make you feel guilty until itís my way type person. I donít do that.

My twins are dairy free due to an intolerance/allergy. But mil (who also has another grandson who is really allergic to dairy) gives my kids whatever. Last time- powdered donettes, candy, McDonaldís, sweet stuff. It really bothers me. My kids always end up constipated and donít feel well. It makes me so mad.

She also doesnít live near us. So she tries to play the guilt trip how my kids always see my parents. Well my parents live further away, but try to come up every month to 6 weeks. She doesnít want to travel. BUT visits other grandkids an hour south of us frequently. I think she blames me. But I let it roll over me.

I just wish she was genuine with what she said and was respectful of my wishes with my kids.
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Old 05-07-2018, 08:22 PM
  #13

I agree that it completely depends. It took my mil and I a LONG time to feel good around each other. It was "ok" before we had kids, but when we first had kids I could not STAND her. She was so used to having her other kid-in-laws or kids just do whatever she said. She often bemoaned to me how she listened to her mother and her kids listened to her and why wasn't I listening to her. Well, let's see. You had your child at 16. You were still a child. And surprise, several of your kids procreated in their teens. I, on the other hand, had a career as a teacher, was in my late 20s, had taken care of younger siblings and babysat for years, and researched quite a bit. She often made comments about how the old ways were best. Uh, no. Not to me, they weren't. And she really railed on me for nursing, because obviously bottles were best. You raised your kids, now it's my turn!

Looking back, I know I was really prickly and resistant in response to her, and she pushed too hard. We had a really rough number of years there and my blood would boil just hearing her voice. After quite a few years, she started realizing that my kids were turning out pretty good and my ideas weren't so bad. And when she let up on me, I was friendlier towards her and more accepting of the ideas she did share. She's still not my favorite person, but now it's back to just being her personality I don't like all that much, and not our relationship. She's not someone I would ever be friends with IRL, but I think we have a good relationship now.

So I guess being open to my ideas, being non-judgmental (or just judge me in your head- not to my face and not to other family members), and letting me be me would have gone a long way towards a much better start to my motherhood experience.
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Old 05-08-2018, 04:35 AM
  #14

My mil cried buckets the day before my wedding. Made me feel horrible and things haven't changed. There are many things wrong with our relationship, but there are two that I think will help you most.
I raised two sons while teaching full time, taking classes to get a masters and taking care of everything around the house because dh had a really bad back problem. Her daughter raised six kids, no job, little housework because she required husband, then children to do it. According to mil, her daughter is busier and works harder because she has more kids. Do Not compare.

Mil is very into her religion. She has ruined her relationship with ds2 because he has chosen a different path. He told me recently he doesn't want a lecture every time he sees her. He just wants to know what she's been doing.

Hope these help.
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Thank you
Old 05-08-2018, 04:40 AM
  #15

You all have helpful advice. I think the biggest thing is to keep my mouth shut unless my opinion is asked and to respect and follow the rules and routines established with their children. Most of all I just want my family to know that I love them.
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I am visiting CA for the first time since I
Old 05-08-2018, 07:08 PM
  #16

moved back to NY. Stayed at my FORMER in-laws' home for five days, b/c they live closer to the town where I lived and I wanted to see friends. Son came up and hung out with me there. Now I am at his house.

My ex-in-laws are both amazing people in their own way. When I was younger and married to their son, I did not always appreciate them. But now I know that they are loyal, honest, pragmatic, helpful, very orderly, and always the same. I trust them. My ex says I got custody of his parents in the divorce.

They have more money than God and have always been exceedingly generous. Example, when I moved, I took no furniture. They shipped a 300-pound oak rolltop desk to me because they knew how much it meant to me.

I have no idea how I ever ended up related to these people. They were not traditional grandparents because both were high-powered professionals with very important jobs, but we always went to dinner at their house on Sundays (even after divorce) and vacationed with them. I know for a fact that they did not alway approve of all of my decisions, but they voice their disagreements in a nice way and then do everything they can to help, even if they think it is the wrong thing.

I only hope that I might someday be the kind of in-laws they were to me. That's if either of my millenials ever decides to get married and/or have kids. .
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Old 05-09-2018, 11:52 AM
  #17

This is interesting. I always said I wasn't going to be a typical boy's mom like I always experienced when I dated. I want to be close to my kids families after they are married. I'm going to be friends with my daughter in law whatever it takes. I LOVE my son's gf right now but considering they haven't graduated from high school yet I can't count on that lasting.

It always seems like the kids tend to spend more time with the wife's family for some reason.
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Old 05-09-2018, 03:19 PM
  #18

I did not get along with my MIL. What started it was the comparison to her daughter and how she did things, raised kids, etc. Another thing was she did not include me in conversation. We lived near enough so the visits were often. She talked to husband and didn't include me esp about people I didn't know. My kids should have received hand me downs from daughter--she had 4 kids.

I try to not be her. On their wedding day, I wrote my SIL and DIL letters welcoming to the family. I told them I would care about them always. My SIL is not always my favorite, I give him my piece of mind if he needs it- never raising my voice; but I will never stay mad at him or exclude him. I tell him this is how I feel. I will not tell either of my children or their spouses the other sibling does things better, is better, has better.
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Old 05-09-2018, 06:15 PM
  #19

Quote:
It always seems like the kids tend to spend more time with the wife's family for some reason.
I think it has to do with the closeness of a mother/daughter combo (assuming it's a close relationship). I know it's that way in my siblings-- except my brother who is close to my mom. She gets equal time with the inlaws.
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