I will not scream... I will not scream... I will not scream...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    mother in law and father in law popped in this afternoon (they're in town for the holidays) to drop off some special cookies she baked at sister in law's for husband. I thought they were just going to make the delivery and be on their way -- it's smack in the middle of homework time for us. Well, no. They annouced they are joining us for easy child's soccer team party this evening... mother in law says, "Ha, ha, didn't husband tell you we were going with you?" Uh, no, he didn't. Grrrrr...

    Of course, just their being here is disruptive to our rather structured routine for the afternoon. And they want to chat and visit, but I'm trying to get stuff together for the party because I'm the team mom and the kids need it quiet (ESPECIALLY difficult child 2) so they can get their work done. I made them some tea and they finally sat down to quiety sip it. But then father in law starts wandering around and whistling softly to himself, but you can still hear it!

    I will not scream... I will not scream.... I will not scream....
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    If it helps, I have a sign in my kitchen that reads "Friends always welcome, relatives by appointment". I think, sometimes, older relatives forget how important maintaining a routine is for children.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    My thoughts exactly!!
  4. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Personally, I vote for screaming.

    Wynter is like difficult child 2. She *has* to have absolute quiet or she can't work. If someone walks in when she's trying to work, I let them know that, too.

    Sorry your evening is being disrupted. It might not be so bad if it was actually something fun, eh?
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sorry for the unexpected and unwelcomed intrusion! It's interesting because we have no relatives in town so we never experience anything like this.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Arrrgh! Go ahead and scream. (After the homework is finished.)

    TM, I love your sign!
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I have sometimes had to say, "difficult child 3 is working right now. I'm not free to talk, I need to help him." I then suggest an alternate activity for them to try in the meantime. "Why don't you go for a walk along the beach for a while? We'll join you when we're done here."

    But I will make it clear, difficult child 3's work comes first.

    Mind you, when people turn up that alone can disrupt him to the point where he will have difficulty getting back to work. Often a relative has said, "Why worry? Look - he's not working now!"

    That's when I want to scream!

    difficult child 3 had to do a Maths exam a month ago, right before difficult child 1's wedding. I had to hang a sign on the door saying, "Exam in Progress. Do not disturb. Even if you live here."

    I really do understand the problem of the slightest disruption in routine blowing everything out of the water. What frustrates me on top of this is the attitude I get from some family members' It's technically, "Oh, I'm sorry," but they proceed in anyway and if I show the slightest annoyance the attitude is a a joking exaggerated "I'm a naughty person, aren't I? Mummy smack," to which ANY further expression of annoyance makes me seem to be the bad guy with no sense of humour (because 'how can you be angry with someone who is so cute?' I think is how we're supposed to think. Trust me, I can!)

    It's passive aggressive. AND that REALLY steams me up. I won't stand for it.

    Example of passive aggressive - family wanting to come visit us for Christmas. it involves a long plane flight. Tickets are booked and paid for. They didn't come for the wedding because they didn't want to make two trips. They complained about the wedding date being so awkward for them, but there was no way we could change it. They still complained. I don't know what they wanted us to do about it.
    Now we hear that the man of the house wants to stay home and not come. This makes his wife say, "Maybe I won't come either," because she knows he will telephone her constantly from home asking her to cut her holiday short because he's lonely, and prevent HER enjoying her holiday.

    mother in law was talking to them on the phone. The wife turned to the husband. "Have you decided to stay or come with us?" she asked him. he shrugged. No other answer.

    THAT is passive-aggressive. And that bloke had better be darn glad he's not married to me. I wouldn't stand for it. He needs his wife to stand up to him and make HIM make a decision and stick to it. it requires firmness and follow-through. Without it, he continues this bad behaviour. With it, he will eventually learn to play ball (or the door's thataway, bub).

    passive-aggressive can be handled in two ways -

    1) Play along, sympathise, bend over backwards to placate. DO NOT DO THIS, it only encourages them to do this again.

    2) Ignore them, do not buy into their drama. Tell them if they are being a nuisance. Do not let them guilt you in any way, in order to make you back down. Stand your ground, force a decision, make it clear it is THEIR choice and make them stick to it or shut up.

    Homework is important. Anyone else trying to impose their point of view in your home - sorry, in your own home your word should be law.

    "I don't know why you're fussing, there's nothing wrong with your kid," is NOT something I will accept. I won't be rude about it (not immediately, anyway) but I will say, "I live with this. You don't. We have developed our own methods which work for us. This MUST rely on a strict routine in order to work effectively. I will be the one to pay for any disruption to this. Trust me on this."

    Failure to "trust me on this" I will take as a clear, obvious loss of confidence in trusting me. Therefore I feel free to call them and say so. Again, I stay polite.

    It takes effort and courage. I usually try to control my anger and channel it into courage.

    Not easy. But worth the effort if you can pull it off.

  8. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I told husband when he got home that although I cannot fault the kids and mother in law/father in law for wanting to visit with eachother (they haven't seen them since our trip with them in June), it's just not good to have company on a school night. The kids are off for two weeks starting Monday, so they can visit as much as they like then.

    He at least acknowledged that it probably wasn't a good idea for him to have invited them to this event tonight because he realizes how difficult things are for difficult child 2 and sometimes difficult child 1. Homework is an issue for them both this year, and husband is finally seeing why I have to be so strict with their routines. Plus, I have difficult child 2 do his work in the dining room, which is where the computer is, it's visible from the kitchen and I can keep tabs on him and still get some things done. And since it's open to the livingroom where the TV is, we cannot have it on. So the house really has to be quiet when he's working. Fortunately, difficult child 1 works best in his room, and is fairly independent that way, but he will not start his work without being prompted. If they were both like easy child, it would not be a big deal (she gets everything done in a snap and can work just about anywhere). But they're not. And it is.

    I just get so uptight when the in-laws are here (one) and on a school night (two) -- I am torn between trying to be polite and not ignore them, and trying to help my kids stay focused and on task. I tried my best to remain calm and told myself that I don't have to explain or apologize or adjust a thing. They are on my turf and as such, my priorities come first. I don't have to sit and chat with them. I don't have to entertain them. And it's not my problem if they are bored. This is my life. It's not a party. (And these are the folks whose only joy in life now is going to casinos -- no doubt they'll drag husband down to the one south of here before they head back to Texas).

    And TM, you're right, they are older and they have completely lost touch with the realities of running a household (actually, I don't think they did so great a job running their own household... but that's a whole other story!) And to tell you the truth, I don't think they really care much about it, either, because otherwise they'd try to be a bit more sensitive. I mean my own mother realizes how challenging things are here -- and she KNOWS better than to even try to call me between the hours of 3:00 and 6:00pm!

    Anyway, they went to the team pizza party with us -- I was very busy doing all my team mom stuff and husband took them and difficult child 2 home early because they had to get over to sister in law#2's tonight. Just as well.

    So everyone's finally in bed. Most of the homework got finished. And I'm going to go take something for my neck that got really stiff from all this stress tonight, and go to bed!
  9. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Sounds like my IL's. I would like to say it's all old people, but I don't think so. My mom isn't like that most of the time and she understands we have our own routines. Well, she did before she lost her memory.

    Scream, slam cabinets. And then let it go. H now knows how you feel/felt and how to plan things according to the family schedule in the future.

    All in all, it sounds like it's more you than anything. I don't mean that in a bad way - I am the same way with my in-laws. I get all uptight and torn between being the dutiful dauighter in law and still maintaining our schedules and simple way of doing things - being comfortable in my own skin when my IL's are around is very VERY difficult for me.

    When the girls were little and I knew the IL's were coming for a visit, I would deliberately plan for them to be in NY with their dad. Taking the kids out of the visit with the IL's helped me a great deal. With difficult child and her gfgness, I felt like all eyes were on me and scrutinizing everything. I could not relax and enjoy the time spent together (not that it's ever enjoyable really).

    Glad it's over and your H understands better.
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    I DETEST WHISTLING - it's like the 11th commandment in our home :sick:-
  11. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Hey mine are showing up tomorrow afternoon! YEEHAAW!
    I am hoping the storm keeps on keeping on in Chicago. Sorry to all of you out there.

    We have been getting stricter with the School night visits, but they still do not get it either.
    Star*, K has the most beautiful whistle... my little song bird...