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Am I Over-reacting??

Discussion in 'Relationship With In-Laws' started by geeta79, Mar 24, 2022.

  1. geeta79

    geeta79 Bronze IL'ite

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    I dont have any serious problems in my life. Have been married for 15 yrs, have 2 beautiful kids, loving husband. Life is good. We stay in 2bhk with my Mil. My husband me n my kids sleep in master bedroom n my Mil occupies the other bedroom with double bed. Since our daughter is growing up, i thought we should make her sleep with my Mil (husband n me do need some privacy)

    But the problem is she watches tv till the wee hours 2-3 am in the night. I told my husband that we should make DD sleep in Mil room but he also supported his mother saying she cant sleep so she watches tv till late n our daughter will be disturbed so she cant sleep with Mil. N my Mil also wont utter a word from her mouth saying that daughter can sleep in my room. Instead she talks negatively that ur daughter wont be able to sleep here, she wont be able to adjust.

    My question is shouldnt in-laws also make some adjustments when living in a family?? When Dil comes, she is expected to make all the adjustments, she is expected to mould herself according to in-laws lifestyle, but in-laws rarely want to make any adjustment?? Why??

    My husband has sacrificed so much for my Mil. He left a lucrative job abroad n took up half salary job in india. He bought 2bhk house keeping in mind in-laws reqirements like flat on a lower floor, on the road side so they dont get bored n can watch from the balcony. (i always wanted higher floor n garden view) But my Mil doesnt show a single ounce of gratitude for having a shravan like son.

    I have also never asked my Mil to do any household chore. I have handled everything on my own n she hasnt done a single chore since last 12 yrs. I dont even expect her to do anything as she is old and i can handle everything. Only thing i expected was a little adjustment from her side. I have never refrained from my duties as a Dil, giving her medicines twiice a day, tea-snacks twice a day, lunch, dinner everything in her room. She doesnt have to lift her finger. She hasnt cooked a single chapati or anything for me since i got married. When she used to make sheera for my FIL, she wouldnt keep even one spoon of sheera for me. (this was when i was newly married n didnt kno to make sheera) She hasnt taken care of my kids either. Playing with them, telling them stories or inculcating good habits, teaching them about our culture. Nothing. Just watching tv the whole day. When my son plays in her room she doesnt like the toys kept there so she"ll ask the maid to keep the toys in the hall. She wants the whole big bedroom for herself. I dont even mind if she watches tv the whole day but at least she can switch it off by 11 so my daughter can sleep in her bedroom.

    I wonder how can people be so selfish?? So self centered?? They dont even care for their own grandkids?? All they want is their needs should be fulfilled, they should be taken care of. Dont they have any duty towards us??

    Sometimes i think im over-reacting n should just leave it n forgive her. But seeing her everyday being so selfish n not caring about anyone around her makes me frustrated n hate her. I ask for God"s forgiveness for thinking like that but sometimes i just cant help it.

    Well i just wanted to vent my heart out here. So thank u all the ladies for patiently reading my ramblings.
     
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  2. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    Your MIL is self-centered. It may be her nature but a lot of people also become like that as they age. On top of that you and your husband have created a very cushy lifestyle for her where she doesn’t even have to lift a finger.
    Honestly I don’t understand this mentality in India that one has to cater to parents and in-laws hand and foot even when they are hale and hearty. It would be better for everyone if people maintained their basic independence until they were genuinely unable to function otherwise. A family member can be expected to participate in basic chores and family activities. Anyway that’s water under the bridge here.
    I know it’s not easy to shift to a bigger house which is the most obvious solution. Can you set up a cot in the living room for your kids? It’s also important that you both have your privacy as a couple and if your husband won’t say anything then your MIL will not change.
     
  3. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Two bedrooms and five people in the household, with two of them growing children. Need to get creative.

    Get the MIL noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones. https://www.amazon.in/s?k=noise+canceling+headphones+for+tv

    If the light from the tv will bother the kid, look for curtains that hang from L shaped ceiling-mounted curtain tracks. If the MIL can watch TV on a laptop, look for a portable monitor to connect to the laptop.

    Expecting an older person to share a double bed with a younger kid everyday is a bit much. Maybe two single beds if the room has space.

    If the master bedroom is much larger than the second bedroom, maybe the MIL and kid(s) can move to the master bedroom.

    You are not over-reacting but don't link the current issue to sacrifices your husband has made or the seva you provide to your MIL. You and your husband had the option to not do all that. A shravan like son would have anticipated that a 2 BHK will not be enough for five people. This lack of planning is the main reason for the problem.
     
  4. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    This is easier said than done depending on where they live in India. Space is still at a premium in many cities and the 2-bedroom might have been what they could afford at the time, particularly since OP says they took a huge pay cut. It is not uncommon to see setups like this still, especially in cities like Mumbai. We also had a similar setup for several years in my childhood: 2 grandparents, 2 parents and 2 kids in a 2BHK. When we had exams my grandparents would move to the hall so we could study in quiet inside the room. At all other times we kids slept in the living room floor on roll-out mattresses that would be put away every morning. The key is that all parties need to be willing to adjust and compromise in the space available.
     
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  5. hrastro

    hrastro Platinum IL'ite

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    I have seen peace returning to families with the bluetooth headsets, @Rihana !
    It works!
    But she should not be forced to use them day in day out - ask her to use it only after 10 pm

    @geeta79 - you should have done this long ago - let me throw a few ideas - see what works for you!

    I would suggest even now, dont fight for temporary problems - look for the root cause and offer permanent solutions

    You could plan a bit in advance - assuming you cannot shift your home, you could convert the Master bedroom into kids + elderly room and you and DH could move to the other bedroom!

    Right now, summer has started! Use a foldable mattress/ sofa and let kids sleep in the hall !
    Unless your younger son is < 5, move both out in one shot. One world war is better than 2 world wars.

    Complete the planning, purchase and movements before the offline school starts, so that they are all settled well before another change.

    Convert your MILs bed to a 4 by 6 or a single cot depending on the space. Move her TV in a different direction, facing only her side or put the TV on a movable platform.
    Every night at 10 pm, she could move it to her side and switch on the bluetooth headset.

    Plan for a bunk bed in your MILs room so that your son would enjoy the move.

    Look for convertible sofa-cum-bed type bunk bed options for the kids

    Keep your kids books/toys in the hall and clothes in other room's closets - look at Ikea for ideas - they should only go to sleep there so that your MIL has her space at least during the day time...

    Do you have a balcony that you could convert to kids study area ? Just seal off the railings and grills and voila - shelves and cupboards for toys and books!

    I know you have pampered your MIL a lot - but see if you could offer her some incentive for the shift - what is she getting out of it? Make it attractive for her too !

    Elderly people might be territorial about their bathrooms - consider giving her own bathroom while taking away her private bedroom space...

    Train your kids to be aware of MILs personal items and spaces.

    Involve the kids in the planning and exploring and shopping - give them their spaces and let them maintain it.
     
  6. SGBV

    SGBV IL Hall of Fame

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    We have always lived in a big villa type house back in Sri Lanka. Ours was a 2 story house with 8 bedrooms.
    After moving to abroad, we had to think twice before shifting to a BHK house. For a while, we even stayed in a 2 BHK apartment considering affordability.

    I understand, it is not easy to plan based on just needs. Your affordability matters, and there can be many factors in deciding a house for the family.

    But what is important here is, treating everyone living in that house as equal.

    Looking at your post, I would have called this marriage life bad for the compromises and sacrifices you have been forced to do so far. But, you call it as a lovely life.

    For me, any adult be it mom or MIL, male or female, should be able to take care of themselves on their own as long as they are hale & hearty.
    Your MIL doesn't require 24/7 service and you should not be the one doing this kind of service for years.

    Secondly, as a wife, you should have certain rights in decisions when it comes to major aspects of lives, such as living in India or abroad, buying a house or apartment, first floor or top floor, garden view or street view etc....
    Because, you can't wait till your son grow old to buy an apartment with a garden view to enjoy life. That's risky. And compromising everything like this is not a great example for your young DD either :)

    Having said that, let me share what I've done when I shared a 2 BHK home with 5 members including 2 young kids a few months before :)

    I gave up the master bedroom, where a king size bed available to my mom & kids.
    I & H moved into the second bedroom with a double bed, which was on size for us to enjoy our private life.

    Mom used to watch TV till late night, because she has sleep issues. But I have asked her to watch the TV in the hall till kids fall asleep and then go back to her bedroom with the headset on.
    This way, her ears won't get damaged much!

    Kids rarely wake up at night with TV light. There are settings to change it to night mode.
    Even if they wake up, they have no problem in falling back to sleep.

    Mom did not have any issues in sharing her king size bed with my kids. Had she complained, I would have changed to one double bed (for kids) and one single bed (for mom) in that master bedroom to suit their needs.

    Your H needs to propose these solutions with his mom immediately.
    Your need for privacy shouldn't be brushed off just like all your other needs & wants.
    Put your foot down, and ask your H to speak up.
     
  7. senorita2019

    senorita2019 Gold IL'ite

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    As long as she is not creating drama just ignore her selfish attitude

    remove tv from her room or tell her to watch tv in the hall after 10 pm.

    she can watch tv in hall so ur kid can sleep. You and your DH have to put your foot down and restrict tv to hall after 10 pm.
     
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  8. Dishaa

    Dishaa Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Op,
    2BHK is a pretty big space for a family of 5, atleast here in Mumbai .

    A few suggestions from me.
    1. As suggested by others you can shift the TV to drawing room.
    2. You can opt for sofa cum bed in your living room at night your kids can sleep there and during day time it will be converted into a sofa. Your home look out also wont effected. Let kids belongings be shifted in MIL room.
    3. I won't advice to shift your MIL at drawing room, reason being aged people tend to forget and get confused even with very nominal changes.

    I have experienced and seen many cases where elderly even forget things like how to chew or walk or dress. Think from long term prospective, it's better not to hamper with her set up.
    4. You can put up room partitions (made of ply wood) and convert your MIL room into two, but it will be bit costly and your room looks will be effected.

    I understand you had faced lots of difficulties during your initial days with no support, have faith those days have passed and now this phase will also pass.

    In my opinion you are not over reacting, all you need is a closure of all the sufferings and emotional hardships. If possible you can have a word on this with your family.
     
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  9. Ruby2019

    Ruby2019 Gold IL'ite

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    It must be tough. But I have a different opinion. To be honest, I don’t think it’s an expectation from her to ‘help’ you with your kids. Kids are yours and hubbys to begin with. Ideally when she was younger, she should have stayed on her own and now older she can stay with her son but living life in her own terms. But you both have allowed her to be fully dependant on you. At this age tv is soemtimes their only entertainment. I know it’s annoying to see that (my mum is addicted to tv too) but after a lot of reading recently, I’ve come to understand that that generation have a lot of trauma too that they don’t know how to talk about, and tv is their only distraction and not entertainment.

    get a nice day bed, recliner sofa for the hall and ask her to watch the tv there. She can watch till late and with the new sofa she might enjoy it. Then go to the room just to sleep. Else bunker bed for your kids and another bed for her. Tv direction towards her only. Maybe after seeing your kids sleep early, she might also unexpectedly change her lifestyle and sleep early.
     
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  10. Ruby2019

    Ruby2019 Gold IL'ite

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    Also as someone who has to sleep with her grandma, you need to see if even your kids can adapt to it! It’s not easy with their snoring and all that comes with their age.
     
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