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How Do I Navigate Through This?

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by Sweety2016, Oct 25, 2023.

  1. Sweety2016

    Sweety2016 Gold IL'ite

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    Dear all,

    I sometimes wonder how it would be if I got separated from my H and lived with my daughters in a different home. The only reason for separating from my otherwise loving spouse and father is HIS MOTHER. We have had a bitter-sweet relationship from the beginning. Thanks to my parents for helping me ignore all the red flags that came my way by talking about empathy, love, etc. Thanks to myself for being such a brainless goose when it comes to marriage.

    Some issues I face with her:

    1. She is of no value to my elder kid, who comes back from school at 1.00 p.m. She can talk kindly to the kid and make her do homework or something useful. All she does is feed her food and milk. The rest of the time, the grandmom will be glued to the mobile, and the kid will be glued to the TV or will be doing something useless by making my room a mess that has to be cleaned up when I come back from work along with my infant. If she is visiting, I can understand. When she wants to stay with us, can't she put some more effort into bonding with the child?

    2. She hates my cook and maid. End result: she makes her own food..which is only porridge and moong dal for most of her meals. She won't eat in the hall. She makes her food when we are all sleeping, goes to her room, and eats in solitude. Earlier, she used to cut some veggies for the cook, but now she says her hands ache, so she can't cut veggies. Cook is overburdened and shows faces to me.

    3. She will not take responsibility for any chore in the house. A woman who has done only household work all her life says she doesn't know how to cook a simple dal when the cook did not come one day. She says since I am not cooking, I forgot the recipe to boil the dal. This was while I was dealing with my sick infant.

    4. I get irritated. Complain to the husband. We argue. Repeat. The main reason why me and my spouse fight is MIL. He says whatever chore you want to do, let me know I will do it. Yes, he does keep up his word, but I have to assign, which I hate. There are some chores that women naturally can identify without being told, like getting my elder one ready for school, helping her pack her bags or lighting the diya daily etc. She will be either watching mobile early in the morning or simply lying down in bed. For god's sake, she can atleast go out to walk but won't do it. If she takes up such tasks, life would be much better for her son as well. Now, in my household, the most overworked person is my spouse.

    5. It was my second one's first birthday a few days back. While my parents were dying to meet her, which did not happen due to my mom's ill health, this woman wore a worn-out dirtysaree when the cake-cutting happened. Can't she atleast change to something good?

    6. Always keeps saying I am not well and I don't like this place. She doesn't step out of the house except to bring my elder one from the bus stop in the afternoon every day. She won't come to the temple with us. She will be continuously on the phone talking with someone, watching YouTube, and sleeping. During fights, says that she should die or send me to an old age home to melt her Shravan Kumar son.

    7. We can't go on any vacations because of her. Now, with children, the probability has become nil.

    8. The only positive is she loves my younger one and can happily hold her when we both are busy in the morning and evenings.

    I can't blame my spouse. He is supporting me in all possible ways. Earlier, she used to make a scene when he did something. Now, he can do anything he has to. She just silently leaves the place. But what I hate about him is why he is completely okay with her ways. If she is not eating anything, can't he ask her to cook something and eat? Can't she cook something nice for her grandkid? If he is busy with some chores, can't he call her and assign her some of his chores so that we can save time? He blames me when she says I will leave for SIL's place. The same woman works as a maid in SIL's house happily. I do not want to burden her. That is why I have outsourced atleast 80 % of my work at home.

    How should I ignore her? My mental health is deteriorating slowly and steadily because of this woman. Recently, I have been diagnosed with some illness that is taking a toll on my physical health as well. I wake up with a heavy mind and feel not having her in my life is the only way to attain peace. I just can't tell my H to keep her in a different home, as he considers it his responsibility to take care of her since he does not have a father. I salute him for being a good son and appreciate him for trying to be a decent spouse, but it's just not working enough for me.

    The only way to stay away from her is when I separate from my H. Kids will lose a doting father as well. My FOO says ignore, but unless someone is in my shoes, they won't understand what I am going through. My mom's MIL was a gem, and my sister's MIL is a great human being as well. How will they empathize with me? I am seriously thinking of relocating to some other country with my kids, not caring about anybody, including my parents. But when I think about the uncertainties associated, I feel I am trapped for life.
    How do I navigate through this situation?
     
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  2. mangaii

    mangaii Finest Post Winner

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    Sorry to say this but you and your H are responsible for your kids and chores at home . Your MIL cooks her own food that means cook is cooking for 2 adults and kid. How it is too much work to cut vegetables? You are able to show empathy to your cook maybe show the same to your mil

    your H is correct here .

    Looks like your Mil is depressed . If possible send her to old age home
    But in that case who will bring daughter from bus stop at 1pm and who will play with little one . Maybe you can hire more help . How your mil spends time shouldn’t be dictated by you .

    Hope you make necessary arrangements before sending her to old age home .

    btw what she wears to party is also her wish . So many have two adults working with two young kids and no cook or no support from any family . So learn fo do it instead of complaining about your mil
     
  3. TheCupid

    TheCupid Silver IL'ite

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    I can totally understand what you're going through. We cannot completely blame your husband or MIL. As per your husband's situation he is helpless, he needs to take care of his mom. At the same time whatever your MIL is doing is taking a toll on your mental health. Maybe she is having some mental health issues like depression or anxiety that's why she behaves so. Its better you, your MIL and your husband sit together and try to speak out your hearts and clarify your needs and difficulties to arrive at a solution. Or you can opt to visit a psychologist if needed.
    Coz separating from your husband will only worsen the situation. At the same time you just cant tolerate this **** for too long.
    All the best...
     
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  4. lavani

    lavani Platinum IL'ite

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    oh my god . what is wrong here. Why such Rude responses from seniors. ILS.

    why do not you send your parents to old age home . and blaming a person who is nothing bothering anyone.

    I do not see any mention, where she is critical on you, abusive and emotionally blackmailing. Read other POSTs here .

    Why jumping to leave your SPOUSE. This is ridiculous. So this is IT. kick your spouse for no reason.


    She did her time, raised your spouse. who is kind and helpful. Your kids are your responsilibity. Raise them to be respectfull and kind to all. My mom watches Tv all the time, it annoys my dh, but we got a IPAD with headset. so all are happy.


    Old people have issues. Is she asking you to cook . No. Ask your Spouse to cut, you can cut. if not busy with kids. My spouse and i alone. Cut , clean dishes, takes kids to classes, doctor appt, work.


    As long as she is keeping herself clean and her room and her stuff is not scattered. I do not see.

    what happpens if your kids scatter things all over the home. My 17 year old is same. Should i kick her out.

    I can agree a bit here. YOu have to have to talk to her to tell her to stop talking negative all the time.

    what are you doing.

    I am sorry , you sound really selfish. hate me all you can. i have ILs and mom visiting me here for a year , where my work tripled , still now i feel it was worth it. Now they are not with me.

    On your benefit, you need to get out for yoga , exercise for a Happy ME time. it changes perspective.

    All of it you are saying other to do something. like your spouse, your cook, your mil, your parents. What are you doing?.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2023
  5. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    These are all very solvable issues, but you have to change your mindset.

    1. Do not expect child care from her. Your kids are your responsibility. She has done her job and raised hers. She may help your SIL’s kids more because she feels more confident with her own daughter’s kids. Don’t hold this against her. My mom also does like this. If your daughter comes home early from school
    then keep a nanny for her. My brother’s family has a lady who comes in the morning and stays all day. For few hours in the morning when kids go to preschool she will help with light tasks like folding clothes and cutting vegetables. Then when the kids return she will supervise them. The grandparents stay with them but they don’t have to do this as a routine everyday.

    2. If she is particular about her food then let her do what she wants. Why do you care if she eats in her room? If she makes faces then just let her be. Figure out some time to cut veg and keep for a couple of days or buy them cut if you can.

    3. If your husband is ready to help you with chores then accept his help! Why are you getting hung up in men’s and women’s tasks? Also let go of the idea that everything has to be done perfectly. As long as the job is done don’t quibble over who is doing what.

    4. Health complaints and health dramas are very common. I have seen this with my own grandmother. It can be a form of attention seeking behavior. Usually they will complain the most about the child who is doing the most for them and praise the child who is doing the least. Ask your husband to sit with his mother for a few minutes every day and talk calmly. It may not be easy to plan vacations but you should ask your SIL to help.

    Just be smart and change your way of thinking. Your situation is not ideal but it’s also not the worst. Just think of your MIL also as a person with her own fears and emotions, and don’t expect anything from her.
     
  6. Divyasaravanan

    Divyasaravanan Silver IL'ite

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    I am sorry if it sounds rude, your kids, your responsibility! I remember holding my second one and cooking to get one older one ready for school. You atleast have a person to hold your baby when you are doing your chores.
    And what is with your MIL cutting veges for the cook?? Why cant the cook do that? You pay your cook for that right?
    And why do you even care what she wears, what or where she eats, whether she goes on a walk or not? Let her do whatever pleases her.
    And about your older one glued to TV after school, better to put her in an aftercare till you come back from work. Atleast give it a try for a couple of months and see how it goes.
    And you say your husband is doing lots of chores, you have a cook and a maid. I am sorry, but I really can't understand why you want a helping hand from your MIL as well.
    You said your husband is Shravan Kumar, and if your MIL was evil, she would ve manipulated him into not doing any chores in the household, we have heard a lot of stories like that in IL here. I don't think that happens in your house.
    Like other ILs suggested, change your perspective and don't bother about what your MIL eats/wears/does in her free time.
     
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  7. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    I’m not defending or criticizing anyone but I just want to point out that in many metro areas the cook will expect to arrive to already cut vegetables and even soaked tamarind and other prep work done. Many of these ladies cook in 2-4 homes in the morning so they will come in, do everything as quickly as possible and run to their next job. So the family needs to make sure it’s done beforehand.
     
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  8. lavani

    lavani Platinum IL'ite

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    OP . I am sorry if you felt i am very rude. But please do not throw the D word so casually. You do not know what you have .

    lot of folks here in IL would love switch.

    also you will know the value of your partner after kids grow around 15 onwards. they are in their world. nothing wrong, it is part of life. we did the same.
     
  9. Laks09

    Laks09 Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Sweety,
    A lot of the maid/cook issues can be resolved by paying them more. Just tell the cook you will pay her additional money to do extras around the kitchen, identify those extras and increase her pay. Also ensure neighbors don’t find out because then they will blame you for inflating costs of having a cook. For a cook, an increase in pay without too much of an increase in workload will be desirable.

    Similarly hire someone to pick DD up from bus stop, feed her and take care of her until you get home. MIL is around to supervise so you don’t have to worry about it too much. Your MIL is aged and possibly depressed. She isn’t in the right frame of mind for taking up additional responsibilities of a child. It’s not good for the child too. She needs interactions at her age. Someone who is young enough yo take her to the play area after feeding her food, taking her for art classes or whatever else is in walking distance is all good for her.

    When you work full time outside the house in India, your work days are like 12/13/14 hrs with commute. It is definitely more difficult to pull this off in India with a family. You cannot manage without additional childcare help. Your baby will grow up soon and there will be two kids to take care of in the morning and evening. Maybe a good full time helper during the day is a solution.

    Hopefully you are earning enough to make some financial decisions and make your life easier.

    Regarding MIL’s withdrawal, saree etc, she is depressed. Have empathy like your parents are suggesting and let it go. She maybe better at your SIL’s place because she connects with her DD more and feels less depressed. It’s normal.
    If you cannot spend time with her due to her nature, let her be. Don’t have constant conflicts and ruin your peace of mind.
     
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  10. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Your MIL picks up your older one at 1pm from the bus stop everyday, brings her home and feeds her milk and food. And, till you or your husband come home, she keeps an eye on her. In the mornings and evenings when you and your husband are both busy, she happily holds your younger one. Without this help, you would have come close to quitting work many times. Further, she cooks her own food when others are asleep and eats in her own room. She has stopped making a scene when her son does household chores and just goes away. You really have to make a list of the positives and negatives, assign importance to each, you'll see the positives outweigh the negatives by a huge margin.

    She is not a woman who has done only household work all her life. Please don't reduce her life's achievements to that. She is a woman who has brought up two children mostly by herself without the internet and resources, facilities we have seen in the last 20 years. And most likely not being highly educated herself. After that kind of a life and what must have been incessant struggle, no wonder she wants to do less of child care and cooking.

    This having to assign is a problem not unique to you. It is the famous mental load carried by women in all cultures. It is permanent, invisible and exhausting. It is a discussion by itself but worth mentioning here that your MIL is not responsible for this load that you carry.

    Ironical that you are furthering this "women can identify" stereotype while also complaining that your husband needs to be told what chore to do. Your husband is an educated and willing to help person. Sit down and make a written list of his tasks for morning and evening. He is perfectly capable of getting the child ready for school, helping her pack her bag and lighting the diya. And if he is overworked, that is what most parents are when the kids are so young. Sleep, exercise, me-time, socializing, career development, all take a hit.

    You can't really dictate what an adult person does and when. Would you like it if she goes for a walk in the afternoon when your child is at home? Or takes your child on the walk and to the park? I guess no.

    Then you live and think like she doesn't live with you. Don't have any expectations from her. Arrange for someone to pick up your child at 1pm and be with her till evening. Don't give the younger one to her when you and your husband are busy. Just let her be. She cooks for herself and mostly stays in her room.

    Comparison is truly the thief of joy. Any MIL-DIL relationship has its challenges and is not all rosy.

    Such thoughts and feelings of helplessness come. And then they go. Don't think in forever terms. Things get easier as your younger one grows older. Life will be so hectic for another 2-2.5 years. After that both kids will be more independent and need less physical care.

    What you are feeling about your life right now and your MIL's contributions is understandable. Your younger one goes to work with you and comes home with you. Your job is not the kind where you can work for 3-4 hours and pretend it takes 8 hours. : ) If only your MIL did a little bit more, life would be so much easier for all. But, in life, that is not how it works. We cannot make people do more than what they willingly want to do. Be it MIL, be it our children, be it husband. Make peace with that, change the mindset to accept what is.
     
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