The in-laws are coming! The in-laws are coming!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    My anxiety is already starting to build over this. I've been fairly snippy this weekend with husband over innocent commentary he's shared about conversations he had with his parents over dinner last week. Ugh. They will probably only be with us two nights, but still... I just am not looking forward to this.

    I don't know why I let these people have this kind of power over my emotions -- it's nuts. I'm still angry with mother in law for slapping difficult child 2 two years ago when they were supposed to be in charge for a few nights while I was with husband in the hospital. That was the final straw moment for me -- I've been tolerant of them for 20 years, but now I'm at the point where these are people I just am not interested in being around. I'm tired of the games, I'm tired of the pettiness, and the superficiality. I'm tired of their ignorance, I'm tired of their excuses, I'm tired of their whining. I'm tired of hearing mother in law bad-mouth the men her daughters married (I can only imagine what she says about me). I'm tired of father in law pretending to be a know-it-all and listening to him drone on about his experiences and all the one-sided "conversations" (I think he's an aspie). No amount of good intention makes up for all their crap. Maybe it's because I'm on the back side of my don't-give-a-flying-fart-forties...

    Anyone else reached a point in their life when you just can't be bothered with people who are ingenuous and a general PITA?


    When mother in law found out husband and I are going away for the weekend at the end of the month, she offered to take difficult child 1 off my mom's hands so she won't have all three kids to deal with. I have to laugh at this because it feels like she's trying to look like she's doing us this big favor. And this is the woman who has made it very clear to me over the years when her daughters asked her to watch their kids that she does NOT babysit, that she has already RAISED her kids and has no desire to take care of grandkids. It's fine to visit, but she made it clear to me (and this was before I even had kids) that she was not keen on being asked to "babysit."

    And frankly, after the last episode, I don't want her watching my kids ever again.

    difficult child 1 said he wants to spend the weekend with mother in law and father in law, so we told her he could hang out with them at sister in law's house while we're away, with the caveat that he call my mom to come get him if there's any problem.

    So I had a conversation with mother in law about two weeks ago and we discussed all the arrangements. Then yesterday, husband says his mom wants to know "XXX" (repeat conversation I've already had with mother in law). This is where I'm getting irked. I told husband she and I covered this already. Then husband says mother in law asks if we want them to stay at our house one of the nights to "relieve" my mom. I'm laughing now. No, my mom doesn't need them to give her a "break." (Side note, my mom enjoys coming over to our house because it gives her a break from my difficult child-dad! And as for handling my kids, she's the only one who we've ever been able to TRUST and rely on for help, and frankly, she's the only one who completely understands what we're dealing with here on a daily basis.)

    So, already I'm sensing some manipulation. Oh, and husband hands me this bag... a "gift" from mother in law for... ready for this one? Me! It's a Caphalon skillet she got as a prize from one of their many trips to Vegas-that-they-have-no-money-to-afford-to-go-to-so-they-drop-hints-until-one-of-their-kids-(like-husband-this-year)-gives-them-money-so-they-can-afford-to-go-and-not-have-to-sit-home-like-two-pathetic-souls-whose-only-entertainment-in-the-world-is-to-watch-TV-and-work- jigsaw-puzzles-and-crosswords-because-they-don't-like-anyone-in-their-neighborhood-or-at-church-and-they-only-feel-alive-when-they-go-to-casinos.

    Okay, enough venting. I can do this! I can get through a couple of days with them! I can be polite and pleasant. I can grin and bear it. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Gosh gvcmom, and here I was feeling high anxiety when my in laws came to visit, and that only because they have The Clean Genes and I am a messy.:sick:
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Head east for a visit!!!
  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    GVC - you CAN do this. You will create a well planned two day visit. You will create a menu and stick to it. You will pre-make/bake anything and everything you can and freeze it so YOUR life is easier while they are there. You will plant a smile on your face and just mottle through.

    I have in-laws who announce when they are visiting. For a few years there, we had them stay at a local B&B (they can afford it) because when they stayed at our home, they would take over two bedrooms....both pcs and difficult child's. Why? Because I had the forethought to send my girls away while the in laws visited (they are not bio-grandparents and treat my kids like poor orphans - why should they have to put up with that?). Other times when sending them away was impossible, I made sure they kept busy with playdates, etc. My father in law isn't too bad, mostly because he's so self absorbed that he just goes about his business and we all ignore him. mother in law can be a real pita and she often has attention lapses, as in she just lapses in and out of our reality, so it's very difficult to have a conversation with her. Also, she takes it upon herself to go around my house and start folding laundry if there's any in the dryer and then commenting on how I should buy H new underwear!!! Or that cutting string beans is not as good as snapping them. She even sent us a huge xeroxed copy of dietary guidelines after a 4 day visit with a letter she typed about how we should prepare food better. That one even po'd H, as we are very healthy eaters and I had completely overhauled our normal holiday menu to make it diabetic friendly just for HER! Argh. Now I'm mad too. LOL.

    We were going to spend a week at the ocean with H's mom, dad, sister, her H and daughter, and his brother in August. I cannot tell you how happy I was when H told me that we're only going Wed-Sat. Thrilled!

    Best of luck - you can do this. Go for walks when you need a time out, take difficult child with you. Run an errand, go water your garden, walk the dog - anything to give yourself little 10 minute breaks. That is what I do and it saves my sanity!
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I understand and sympathize. I loved my Mother but when she came to visit it made me nervous because she always was SO immaculate that suddenly I began to see the dust on the baseboards, the improperly folded towels etc. etc.

    on the other hand, I am perceived as an evil mother in law by one daughter in law and our relationship is extremely polite. When they visit I make sure to prepare things she will eat and am extra careful not to mention anything that could cause hard feelings. Why? son married her and has chosen to stay married to her. She's not going to change and neither am I. Somehow she doesn't "get" that I raised her husband to be the man he is....and I don't want him to feel
    uncomfortable in his family home.

    So my advice is preplan as much as possible. Try to come up with activities that might be of interest (local bingo
    games, perhaps). Thank her for folding clothes and laughingly say "boy, you're right about that" when she comments on you needing new underwear or towels or whatever. Treat her like you would an important stranger
    for the visit. Once they are gone you can exhale (or have a Cutty) and be proud that you did your best for husband.
    It ain't easy but it will be worth it. DDD
  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I was telling husband about your mother in law's visit and the bathroom repairs, etc. He mentioned that a lady he works with has had her in-laws staying with them for the last 6 weeks. Apparently they're from Europe, so they don't come for short visits. They left this weekend. The poor girl at work was just about to break!
  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    So I can thank God for small favors? My in-laws live in the same town, so I don't ever have to tolerate them staying in my home.

    You can borrow my armor. You can do it!
  8. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Let's just say I have enjoyed being up here in Idaho for 2 months and not living in the same town as the in-laws!!! We go back in 2 weeks and I can feel your pain.
    Knowing it is temporary makes it tolerable! ;) A tiny bit...
    Deep deep deeper breathing!
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911

    When she starts......when HE starts......hum this tune I give to your head. It's my small gift to wonderful you. (Thanks so much for the uplifting card. I loved it. SO sorry I forgot my mind and didn't say thank you earlier. I'm just ....forgetful laterly more than soonerly) Oh my first choice was Run to the Hills - but I think Witz just did that one...and you need something peaceful....
  10. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Be strong...I have Useless Boy's mother about 10 minutes away, Hubby's mother down the street and around the corner, and my mom on the other side of town. Things were much more peaceful in-law wise when we lived in the Bay Area...but then I had Useless Boy to contend with.

    Just keep singing "Viva, Las Vegas!"
  11. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Thank you, everyone :) I'm trying to remain calm and focused. I've seen how all my brother in law's keep things light, superficial, and distanced with the in-laws over the years, and now I know why. So I'm just gonna be one of the boys! They can bad-mouth me behind my back like the do everyone else, and I don't have to work so hard anymore to keep up appearances.

    H&R, my mother in law does the laundry thing, too. Used to drive me nuts! I really was not comfortable with her folding my underwear either. Last time she was here, I just looked the other way when she got busy and reminded myself that it's her nervous energy at work and tried to be gracious.

    I'm not going to prepare any meals in advance. In fact, I think we'll be dining out! I don't need the added stress of trying to prepare foods that will satisfy both MY family and them (father in law is diabetic and mother in law is a picky eater).

    I don't think any planned activities will be necessary, either. Saturday we are taking them to brother in law#1's restaurant for a family party to celebrate their anniversary. I think it's #55 or somewhere near that. I have no doubt mother in law not-so-subtly suggested to sister in law#1 that this needed to happen, just like she announced last Xmas that since it was father in law's 75th birthday the family needed to throw him a party.

    Yes, my extended family of in-laws are a perfect example of why women should think about interviewing their intended's family before rushing into a marriage! :rofl:

    Star, dear, the link did not work. But I have no doubt you picked winner for me! :bigsmile:
  12. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    If I could have been able to understand the dynamics of husband's family, there is a good possibility there wouldn't have been a wedding...
  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    LOTS of hugs... I understand so well... Fortunately both in-laws (they're divorced) live in the same town I do. I've gotten to hear (from licensed-therapist-mother in law) that I'm manipulative and a terrible parent, and husband is lazy; and father in law knows everything about everything, constantly tells husband he doesn't know what he is doing and to pay attention... And husband is now fixing the 2 MAJOR electrical wires that father in law ripped while "helping". Best thing? father in law thinks I can do no wrong - and as such, jabbers. Constantly. Loudly. About everything.

    You can come visit me while they are there!!!
  14. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

  15. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Do what I do.

    Quietly catalog the outrageous behaviors and stories, and bring them here for all of us to share in and poke fun at and laugh at!
  16. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Shari, it's too hard to juggle a wine glass and type, don't you know that? :wine:
  17. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    One :wine:if by land,
    Two :wine::wine:if by sea?
    Three or four more:wine::wine::wine::wine:

    If they have to stay with me???
  18. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Ahhh... that was truly inspirational! :bigsmile: I better get to the store to stock up!
  19. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    You have my sympathies!!!!
  20. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    My sympathies also. I don't really have advice because I've been pretty lucky as far as in-laws go. My father in law lives in Texas and has for the majority of my marriage. He's also married to what seems to be a very nice woman. I just haven't gotten to know her well since I've only met her once and at the time her English was almost non-existant. (She's an internet based mail order bride from China........and she's about the same age as my sis-in-law and I. :slap: )

    My mother in law passed recently but she never really left her apartment so I didn't have much contact with her. She DID stay with us for a few months years ago and although I could tell stories, most of them are because she wasn't well medicated and it's all under the bridge now anyway. the immortal words of whatshisname on all of those Adam Sandler movies:

    You can dooooo eeeet!!!!!