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Mil Visiting During Third Trimester

Discussion in 'Relationship With In-Laws' started by maya9876, Feb 1, 2023.

  1. maya9876

    maya9876 Silver IL'ite

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    Hi all
    This is more of a venting post so thanks for reading this and if you have any suggestions or positive comments I would love to hear.

    I am using this platform to vent as I have always felt it’s disrespectful for my loving DH if I talk negative about his family to my friends ( as most of them are friends with him too). I don’t share these thoughts with my parents as I don’t want to worry them. So I haven’t confided this to any one in my life and it’s something I worry about a lot and I think I’ll feel lighter if I share here. So that’s why this post.

    I have been married for over a decade and have a small kid. My MIL visit us for 6 months at a time and over the years whenever she has visited she has always treated this as a vacation home by which I mean she won’t lift her finger to help in the kitchen and sits all day watching tv or YouTube. In all these years she has never cooked even one dish for me and yet constantly brags about her cooking. She always compares me with her other daughter in law and her daughter on how good they keep their house and how they handle their life etc (they all have live in help or everyday help and I don’t ) so I always feel this comparison is unfair and affects me negatively.

    Whenever she is here she hogs up all of hubbys time and never lets us go out alone even for one hour once in a while, joins us eveywhere n in every conversation (except night time ofcourse) so I find me n my DH lose our connection whenever she is around and end up fighting more or arguing more over small things.

    Now I am expecting another child and I’m very nervous she’s visiting soon n will be here for my third trimester. I am already dreading the fatigue I will be going through and plus now I’ll have to be in my top behavior otherwise she will gossip with her daughter and relatives about how I don’t take care of the house etc. my husband is very understanding and flexible so when I’m exhausted etc we always order out and if the house is messy he doesn’t blame me because he understands it’s both our responsibility and not mine alone so he chips in where he can and rest he is flexible if I can’t do something. But with my MiL around I am worried I can’t just relax and subconsciously I will feel like I need to push myself to do more while putting up with her negative behavior day in and day out. She is on a special diet due to health issues and I’ll be expected to serve food to her accordingly. When I speak to my DH about this he says don’t cook for her she will cook for herself but in the past when I have not cooked for her, she just doesn’t cook or eat anything. I think it’s because she’s lazy or doesn’t want to be cooking in her DILs house ( she’s very traditional ) - I can’t be sure why she does this but even though we have a well equipped kitchen with eveything needed she won’t cook and rather go hungry. And as a host ofcourse I don’t like this so I end up cooking something for her along with the seperate dishes I make for DH and I. Now when I will be heavily pregnant I am dreading that I wil have an added responsibility of making special food for her while worrying about cookin for me and hubby plus other chores while handling a full time job and a kid.

    Along with all this no matter how nice I am she always treats me like someone to be jealous of, a stranger she has to put up with but she is very shrewd in the sense that in front of my hubby she treats me well and the minute he is out of sight she treats me differently so he doesn’t see her real treatment of me. This passive aggressiveness really affects me mentally esp when I have to put up with it for few months at a time. She acts extra sweet extra loving in front of hubby and passes all the negative comments when he isn’t around. Thinking about all of this and her pending arrival is making me very nervous.

    I don’t want to let these thoughts take over me because I should be relaxed and calm during this phase but having experienced this in the past I am unable to stop thinking about what’s coming my way and how I will be able to handle it.

    My husband is understanding enough to know I have my troubles with her so he tried suggesting she visit a different time but she was adamant she wanted to visit now so changing her dates is not an option.

    I don’t know if any of you have any wise wisdom to share on this or anything to make me feel better. Thanks for reading

  2. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    1) If your husband says it’s okay for you MIL to cook her own food then take him at his word. You can cook for a few days till she settles down and then follow the “mi casa es su casa” philosophy. She will not starve.

    2) Unless she is physically holding you back by your hands let her know that you both have to go out and will be back in a couple of hours. Your DH can take her out separately every once in a while.

    3) Try to minimize the time you spend with her when your DH is not around. Keep yourself busy in your room. You have a great excuse now, with being pregnant. If that is not possible, try to steel yourself to not engage with any mean comments. Just say something non-committal and don’t get dragged into a back and forth. If she praises your SIL then just say you’re so happy for them and drop the subject, for example.
    You have an understanding husband, which is a huge plus. You will be able to come up with some workarounds for this visit.
    Enjoy your pregnancy!
  3. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    I am sorely tempted to say why the heck your husband cannot firmly manage his adamant mother's visit dates but you have shown so much grace even in your vent that I will try to match that. : )

    First, a short story I got as a forward:

    "A monk decides to meditate alone, away from his monastery. He takes his boat out to the middle of the lake, moors it there, closes his eyes and begins his meditation. After a few hours of undisturbed silence, he suddenly feels the bump of another boat colliding with his own.

    With his eyes still closed, he senses his anger rising, and by the time he opens his eyes,
    he is ready to scream at the boatman who dared disturb his meditation.
    But when he opens his eyes, he sees it is an empty boat that had probably got untethered and floated to the middle of the lake.

    At that moment, the monk achieves self-realization, and understands that the anger is within him;
    it merely needs the bump of an external object to provoke it out of him.

    From then on, whenever he came across someone who irritated him or provoked him to anger, he reminded himself :
    ‘’The other person is merely an empty boat. The anger is within me……”

    In reality, we all have the anger within us, all the time, a
    ll it needs is someone, like the empty boat, to provoke it."

    I am not saying you have anger inside you, no no! Not at all. Your MIL is an empty boat that tends to bring out guilt and stress in you. You feel bad if as a host you don't cook special food for her. You feel stressed that she will talk negatively about you to others. You are about to enter life's busiest phase. Till the younger one is potty-trained (both daytime and nighttime) and a bit independent, life is going to be hectic. So, you have to slowly train yourself to shake off these kind of things. Whenever you feel the stress due to MIL rising, imagine an empty boat. Or her in a boat. : ) A gentle reminder to the mind to snap out of the stress-inducing thought will help a bit.

    If that boat thingie doesn't help, remember this:
    "Guilt and stress do more damage to your body than chocolate cake ever will."

    If the chocolate cake thingie also doesn't help, try good old mommy-guilt:
    You owe it to your older one and the new born to be the best mother you can be. That means you need to be less stressed.

    Make your kids and your well-being your number one priority. And a close second would be your relationship with your husband. Everyday remind yourself that you have resolved to give your MIL the least importance. If you keep worrying about her, for sure you will end up snapping at your husband for no reason.

    Best wishes. You are one class act to be so patient about the whole thing.
    Lalithambigai and radv like this.

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