Daughter in Law - Sacramento,CA

Updated on October 22, 2013
D.W. asks from Sacramento, CA
41 answers

I need advice regarding my sons wife. 8 years ago we had a falling out, and in the heat of the argument I told her things that bothered me in the past all at once.i think I really angered her because I drudged up other things while talking to her about this one issue. Well, she had a child shortly after, and now has 3 kids, and won't let me see them very often. Like, maybe once a month. But we have to call them to let any kind of get together happen. My son is so into her, he used to be a complete mamas boy, doing everything I asked with no complaint, but now, it's less. It seems as if his domineering or controlling (I think she is this way) wife calls all the shots, so now he is devoted to her. It makes me so mad/sad. We have called them a few times as a surprise to tell them we will be there in a few minutes because we are in the neighborhood. She was uncomfortable, obviously, and hardly spoke to us. She wouldn't even offer us any dinner because we surprised them at dinnertime, although we were not expecting dinner. We just thought she should offer it. Well, the second time we surprised them, my son came out and would not let us insside, but we wanted to see our grandbabies so bad. Plus, she just had a son with 2 other daughters so I was excited that I get to "relive" having a son. The past few X-mas they did not come to the second one, and my other son ripped into her, but she just told him, who is single, that he doesn't have to share himself with 2 families like she does. I also think how rediculous she is for not letting her children watch certain movies or eat candy while here with us alone. Is PG/PG13(a good clean PG13) really that badfor a 6 year old?!!!! Sheesh. Plus, there were a few times when she told us to bring back the kids at 7, but I brought them at 7:40 and she was mad. She is always mad, so controlling, always giving us a time limit with them. How can I tell her that the time we brought her is not so late? I always tell her that her kids looks just like my son and even bring pictures to prove it, and it pisses her off so bad, but I don't see the issue. I see what I see, and I love it. Does anyone relate to what I have to go through, she is so obnoxious!

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So What Happened?

Okay people, goodness. I will talk to my daughter in law, nicely. The thing I forgot to mention is that 8 years ago was the only time I brought up old things, never again after that. I guess I am the controlling one here and need to work on it. Having a different look on things is indeed good. I just remember my inlaws would drop in on us back then and I never had a prblem with it. We never did say we wanted dinner though, just to visit is ALL. What are the norms considering drop ins by the way? My son is also the baby and I have had a tough time letting go. I have always been very protective of him, considering he had to go through speech therapy and was terribly made fun of, so I never did believe she was good enough I giess. But, we hardly ever see the kids ever since the oldest started school. My sons wife just always tells ke they are so busy, blah blah blah. Even when I offer dinner to make for them to come over, they are always too busy, all the time.

Featured Answers

A.H.

answers from Louisville on

Wow! I thought my mil was bad, I actually have it really good. Thank you for giving me a better perspective.

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M.K.

answers from Stationed Overseas on

I think most of the ladies have it covered. I do not allow anyone to "drop in" including my own mother. Everyone must call before coming. Why? Because I have things to do and entertaining at the last second is not on my to do list. Maybe this is something you were ok with but it's not ok with everyone. My kids are on a schedule and my mother calling two blocks away to say she's coming over in the middle of nap time makes the dog bark and the kids to wake up meaning I have to deal with crazy kids later because she wanted to drop in. That's not ok and I totally laid down the law. I don't care that she doesn't like it my house, my kids, my rules. GL with trying to repair that relationship you sound like a nightmare and I'm so thankful my MIL lives several states away.

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N.P.

answers from San Francisco on

You all got trolled so bad. This can't be real. This post is every cliché mother in law horror story all rolled into one written in a way as to evoke ire. GG OP.

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B..

answers from Dallas on

If you wanted to make up the perfect bad mother in law, this is a pretty good job.

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C.O.

answers from Washington DC on

D.:

Welcome to mamapedia!

You screwed the pooch. You opened your mouth, opened a can of worms and it sounds like NEVER apologized for it.

Your son is an adult. He's NOT supposed to be a mama's boy anymore. He's a husband and a father. He's protecting his family.

THEY ARE HER KIDS...NOT YOURS.

When someone asks or tells you to bring THEIR CHILDREN back by a certain time - YOU DO IT. Put yourself in HER shoes. How frantic would YOU be? Especially if you didn't call to let her know you were running behind...it's CALLED RESPECT. Something it sounds like you don't have. Sorry - but really.

You think a six year old and younger is READY for a PG-13 movie? Have you no consideration towards your son and his wife? Do you know what it means to respect their boundaries? My parents had my kids for 3 weeks this summer - they are 11 and 13 - and they respected MY rules - even from across the United States...

I think the obnoxious one is YOU. How DARE you expect her to open her home and arms to you after you treated her poorly. You have no respect for her. Her rules. You have no boundaries and believe that this is your way to "RELIVE" your life with your son's kids??? uuummmm...NO.

You need to start treating your daughter in law with respect. YOU MUST APOLOGIZE and eat crow. If you can't do that. YOU will be living a lonely life without your grandchildren.

You need to respect her rules for HER children.
You need to respect HER TIMETABLE.

Get over yourself. You need to apologize. You need to grow up.

Good luck!

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M.T.

answers from New York on

Ruth? Is that you? Seriously, if it's not, you sound an awful lot like MY mother in law.
Years back, she ripped me but good, bringing up every single thing that I ever did that she did not like, did not agree with, etc. She even went on to tell these things to MY mother, as if my mother would commiserate with her about what an awful person I am. You only have to do it once, and it will never be forgotten or forgiven.
When your children grow up, they are no longer under your control, married or not. When your son or daughter marries, their allegiance is now to their spouse, not to their parents or equal. Otherwise, he'd be a bad husband.
You do not get to relive having a son when your daughter in law has a baby boy. That baby has a mother. He is your daughter in law's son. His childhood allegiance will be to HER, not to you.
My children are 14 and 18 now. If someone let my 6 year old watch a PG 13, I would have been angry. You brought the kids home 40 minutes late, they may have been thrown off their bedtime routine, and when you are not the one raising them, you don't know what that does to their sleep, to their mood the next day or their performance in school the next day. You are not the one fighting to get them up, dressed and on the bus before you have to take off for work yourself. I am not a grandma myself yet, but my sister is, she has two grandkids ages 4 and 1. She gets the kids a lot more than her DIL's mother does, because she follows the parents' directions and does what her son and DIL want with the kids and their care even when she doesn't agree with it - and the DIL's mother does not. You raised your kids. Your son and DIL are the parents this time around, they get to make the rules about what the children are allowed.
You surprised them by showing up at dinnertime and expected to be invited to stay? I would never appreciate drop in company and since I have always menu planned and grocery shopped every week, I would very rarely have had enough to offer to two additional adults.
My inlaws never lived extremely closeby, 40 minutes or so in the early years, but there were no drop in visits allows. They saw us and the kids maybe once or twice a month. That was sufficient. I was a busy working mom, and we were not looking to book up every weekend with family, not to mention that we had other relatives as well. It's not uncommon for a couple to see the wife's family more often.
Your son needing speech therapy when he was a child isn't a justification for thinking he should still do everything you want, he is years past that, he has been married at least 8 years, he must be over 30 now, right? You are past "having a tough time letting him go." If you haven't been able to do it by now, some professional assistance might be in order. He is "so into her" because she is his wife, they have been married for years, that's what marriage is. You talk about "we" so it sounds like you have a husband. Your son isn't your 2nd husband, he is somebody else's husband, mom.
It is ALWAYS a mistake to set up a competition with your daughter in law to see who really has "ownership" of your son. He is an adult and has chosen her. You will lose every time.
You sound like a nightmare of a MIL.

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S.B.

answers from Kansas City on

I hope this isn't for real, because you are the worst sort of MIL. Going off on your DIL and telling her every little thing about her that you don't like and then wondering why she doesn't want to see you? Dropping in unannounced and asking to be entertained/fed? Disobeying her rules for the kids with regards to movies and candy and what time you bring them back? You are selfish and obnoxious and I wouldn't want my kids around you, either. There's a reason my mother is not ever alone with my kid, and it's because I know she'd act like you and not follow my rules.

Of course your son is taking his wife's side over yours. You don't get to "relive" having a son with your grandson. He is not your child, he is her child. You need to learn boundaries, stat.

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E.T.

answers from Rochester on

In response to your So What Happened, I don't think you get it yet. Our oldest started school and we got even busier. Homework, fund raisers to attend, gymnastics, school events, Girl Scouts, parent meetings and conferences. There are literally nights when we don't even get home until 7:00. And there are weeks when we might have only one night when everyone is home and the only obligation we have is my daughter's homework which takes at least 30-45 minutes. Carting three kids across town for dinner is not always an easy thing to do and in some respects is even harder. Especially when one is a baby and you have to work around nap time/bedtime and pack a diaper bag. Work out a compromise. Once or twice a month you could meet for dinner. With my MIL it is Sunday brunch.

I really don't like "drop bys" at all. They are disruptive to routines and plans. At a meal time even more so. I don't care who it is. I appreciate at least 24 hours notice that someone would like to drop by. It gives me a chance to clean up a little, make sure I have coffee in the house, let the kids know that there is going to be a change, etc. And I expect the person inviting herself over to understand that it might not work out at all for her to stop by. A week in advance gives me time to clear our schedule for a visit from someone.

Even if your son is "your baby" and had a "rough time" as a kid, he is grown up now and although you will always be his mom, he doesn't need you to protect him anymore. He is a grown man who can take care of himself.

And if you still have the attitude that his wife isn't good enough for him things will never get better between you. My MIL is just as bad. I hate spending time with her and will come up with every excuse I can to avoid spending time with someone who obviously doesn't like me. It is going to take a lot more than just talking nice to your DIL. Believe me, we DILs can see through the fake attitude and if your truly think it is all "blah, blah, blah" then your relationship with her is doomed.
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I'm sorry, but I'm probably just like your DIL. My MIL said and did some VERY hurtful things when my husband and I were dating and first married. It has been very hard to forget, especially since it continued for a long time. I flat out don't trust her because of some of the things that happened. My MIL is widowed and has no friends. She expected us to be her social life. We couldn't go to a movie or even shopping without her tagging along. And there were a couple of times when intimate moments were interrupted when she just showed up at the door and let herself in when we didn't answer the doorbell.

The thing is, when a couple gets married they start their own lives. When kids come along it changes it even more. New families want to start their own traditions. New families have to balance their new family with both the husband's family and the wife's family. It is nearly impossible to always be where everyone else wants you to be. It is impossible to always please everyone.

As far as showing up to surprise them? I would react the same way. Our family has lots going on and nights or weekends when we don't have things going on are few and far between sometimes. It is important for us to have those times as just our little family. I don't want to feel like I have to entertain someone. And showing up during dinner time unannounced? Most nights I fix just enough to feed the four of us. I wouldn't have extra to feed unexpected guests.

As for her "ridiculous rules," we moms have rules for a reason. Yes, PG/PG-13 movies can be inappropriate for kids younger than 13. That is why they have the ratings. Time limits probably have more to do with keeping to routine than trying to limit time with you. Most kids go to bed around 8:00 and need a very structured bedtime. Being thrown off even 40 minutes can make bedtime a nightmare and morning wake up even more so. It irritates me when my MIL feeds my kids lots of snacks because then they aren't hungry at meal time and it's a fight to get them to eat.

I'm sorry, but I'm on your DIL's side with this one. There is a reason why in the Bible it says, "A man will live his mother and a woman leave her home." You are no longer the only woman in his life. He now has responsibilities to his wife and kids and can't drop everything to be at your beck-and-call. If you don't back off a little it will only make her more distant and less willing to be forgiving. And it will distance your son from you even more. I am speaking from firsthand experience.

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M.B.

answers from Austin on

Wow... I feel sorry for your daughter-in-law.... and your son....

Of course, her husband should choose HER over you..... THEY are the family now.....

No matter what she does allow you to do, you resent it and have to have your way, whether it be about candy, or movies, or bringing them back a little late....

Get over yourself! If you want to have ANY kind of a future with your grandkids, you need to RESPECT their wishes regarding the care of their children.

I speak this from a MIL perspective.....

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S.F.

answers from Fargo on

Wow. Just wow.

First of all, it's GOOD that your son is devoted to his wife. He's not a mama's boy any more! Second, you don't get to "relive" having a son. You are the boy's grandmother, NOT his mother.

It sounds as though you have some issues with boundaries, control and respect.

Your daughter in law has every right to set rules on food, movies and time, and since you seem very disrespectful of her, I don't blame her for setting strict limits.

If you want relationship with your son and his family, you will want to rethink how you treat your daughter in law. Also, give your son some credit. He's probably not being controlled. Did you ever think that HE is trying to set some boundaries with you?

Edit* answering your So What Happened regarding "drop ins". DON'T drop in. You have a long, long, long way to go in repairing your relationship with your DIL, so you need to be very respectful. You are lucky......I wouldn't even let you in the door! For the past 8 years you have done a lot of damage, don't expect her to warm up to you right away when you try to make nice. You may not realize this, but your DIL, your son and your grandkids can pick up on your attitude that she is not good enough. My heart goes out to them.

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C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

I'm so sorry to tell you this, but you sound like a very difficult mother in law. Reading what you post I am on your DIL's side! PLEASE...be more kind in how you think of her. Do not drop in unannounced to surprise them. Stop doing that...they do not like it. Do not show the young kids movies for teens. She is their mother and what she says goes. Please be more respectful of that and stop being so resentful that you don't get your way all the time. It is OK if she does things differently than you did. She is their mom. She gets to decide. You need to be respectful of that. You had your chance raising kids and now is your time to enjoy being a grandma. It is a VERY good thing your son is so into his wife. That is how it should be. Be proud of that. He's a good husband. You sound like you are quite controlling. Try to work on that. Try to work on doing what your DIL wants...try being kind and try pleasing her. Good luck.

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S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

i'm sorry, hon. it must be so hard to have 'lost' your son so, but geez, you have GOT to take a look at what caused it.
and it was you. yes, you are THAT mother-in-law.
you call her controlling and domineering, but what it really sounds like is that you're just mad that you're not the one controlling and dominating your mama's boy.
you 'surprise' them constantly, and are angry that she doesn't give you dinner? when you arrive with no warning, at dinner, when she's trying to feed 3 kids? and this AFTER a nasty incident when you 'drudged' up everything you don't like about her?
i think she's incredibly gracious.
you want to let her children watch movies she hasn't approved, and feed them candy, and you bring them back late, and SHE's the bad guy?
i need to go hug my sweet MIL again.
khairete
S.

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V.B.

answers from Jacksonville on

Hmm... troll much?
---
On the off chance (I can't believe I am even saying it) that this MIGHT be even half real...

Ma'am, I respectfully would say to you that you are WAAAY over stepping. I don't give a rip if it was 20 years ago. You should have kept your trap zipped. What you have now is a direct result of what you did then. She is a wise woman to distance herself and her children from you.

I also couldn't care less that your son had speech issues when he was a child. He's a grown man with 3 children of his own now, and a wife. Do you think he should put you ahead of her??? He is doing what is right, by standing by his wife. Period.
Dropping in? Umm.. maybe if that is what is normal in your relationship with your DIL. Obviously, that isn't the case since you went out of your way to alienate her 8 years ago, and the status quo is that you need to call first. If they are busy, tough.

If you stick around this board long enough, you will read plenty of posts from wives complaining about their meddling MIL's and the advice you will hear most often here is that their issue needs to be discussed with their husband, not the MIL. Because HE should be protecting HER from the nonsense which is YOU. And somehow, your son figured that out and is doing right by his wife. Be thankful that he is, and respect their time, their space, and their family.
It isn't your place to be protective of him. Not anymore. Can you really not see that you created conflict in their marriage and he values his marriage with his wife and is trying to protect THAT from you?
Wise up.

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D..

answers from Miami on

Boy, are you for real? You are an absolute piece of work, lady. You call HER obnoxious? The one who is obnoxious is YOU. No wonder she's so uncomfortable around you. You hold judgment over her head like a sledgehammer. You have NO respect for the fact that your work as a mother is DONE and he has his own family now. His wife is FIRST in his life, not you. You are jealous of her. You would come inbetween your son and his wife if you had the chance. What you don't seem to understand is that a man is SUPPOSED to put his wife first. His wife bears children for him. Not you. She is those children's mother. NOT you.

Your attitude is terrible. If I had a mother-in-law like you, I'd tell you I'm busy, blah blah blah every chance I got, too. You're lucky you get to see these grandkids once a month the way you treat her. She KNOWS you think she's not good enough for her son. You tell her this with the way you look at her, act toward her, talk to her. WHY would she put up with this? You stick your finger in her eye with pictures of your son just to slam her with your opinion that they don't look like HER. She knows that too. No wonder it pisses her off.

None of this is about dropping in. None of this is about dinner. This is about your abysmal treatment of the woman who has made a life with your son, and her unwillingness to let you treat her this way. Why you think she should let you just walk in any time you like to make her feel like the dirt under your nails, I have no idea. Good for her that she doesn't.

I don't know if you will EVER learn your lesson. I doubt it. I don't know if you will ever be able to make up for what you've put your daughter-in-law and your son through. God knows, she probably thinks you'll turn her kids against her. It's no wonder that she puts time limits on your time with them, not to mention that you disregard their rules with their kids just to rub it into her face. Good Heavens.

I hope you wise up.

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J.S.

answers from Hartford on

Once is all it takes to break trust and for your husband AND his wife to draw a line and create boundaries. You pretty much admit that you crossed a serious line or three. :-) And then your other son "ripped into her" as well and honestly, that was inappropriate too. It would have widened the rift.

First, be proud that your son loves his wife enough to respect her and create boundaries with you. Because of his respect for you, and by extension women, he is able to respect and love his wife and children and dedicate himself to them.

Secondly, his honoring his wife and setting boundaries for you that he didn't set before doesn't mean that his wife is domineering or controlling.

Thirdly, it's doubtful that your son is being forced into anything. He's a grown man. He is doing as he should... cleaving to his wife. The fact that he has to continue establishing and enforcing boundaries tells me that you're still having problems with boundaries and recognizing when your presence is welcome versus intrusive. It wasn't your daughter-in-law that kept you from going into their home when you "surprised" them, it was your son. If he welcomed the visit, he would have let you in no matter how his wife felt.

Fourth, you make it a point NOT to honor your son and daughter-in-law's requests and boundaries regarding their home and their children. YOU ADMIT IT.

They're the parents, they have final say in what their children are exposed to. That's not obnoxious. What's obnoxious is ignoring their parenting requests completely and then feeling hurt when they call you out on it. What's obnoxious is not recognizing your daughter-in-law as a good wife or mother... to the point of not even "seeing" her in her own children.

You owe your son AND daughter-in-law huge, sincere apologies and you need to respect the boundaries they've established. In other words, back off. I would suggest therapy for you if I thought you would see any benefit it.

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K.G.

answers from San Diego on

First, you were NOT "Surprising" them you were intruding upon them! Just from your post, I can totally see why your daughter in law is the way she is. Sorry for the honesty but you are the one that is wrong on so many levels.

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P.G.

answers from Dallas on

ADD2: And re. your SWH - the kids are in SCHOOL, they ARE busy. I find it sad that you still sound so "well, if I have to!" re fixing this, and you AGAIN act like it was no big deal that you lit into her "it was just that one time" should NOT HAVE HAPPENED. Stop blaming her for YOUR issues.

ADD: Get some therapy to let go, really. I know you love him and things were hard, but he's an ADULT, he's MARRIED, and she loves him. You need to let go for ALL of your sakes. You are no longer being protective of him (SHE didn't make fun of him, she loves him), you are being possessive and disrespectful, which isn't healthy or loving.

It DOES NOT MATTER that things were 8 years ago. If my MIL had dropped a "YOU SUCK" bomb on me, we would NOT have a good relationship. I doubt you've apologized because you STILL think you're right. You're not. You need to accept that (or get help if you can't), apologize when you mean it and prove it with actions.

If they have 3 kids, they ARE too busy most of the time. But because the relationship has gone so sour, he does not want his family to have to deal with the drama of your visiting (because per the "i don't want dinner, but she didn't offer so I'm mad" scenario - you DO create negative drama).

My mother has proved, time and time again, with her actions (which do not match her words) that she cares more for herself than for her family. She has lost contact with both kids due to this. We call and are polite but do not have a "relationship" with her. Kids don't do this unless their parents cause them a LOT of pain. We can only take so much.

And if our spouse is attacked, darn right we choose them - that's how it's supposed to be.

ORIGINAL: OK - If you're not a troll making up a story, you need to step back and look at this post as if it wasn't you. I'm going to be blunt here, because this is just an amazing amount of ridiculous.
1. You dumped all the stuff that "bugged" you about her and she reacted accordingly - she avoided you.
2. You think it's weird that you "have to call" before visiting (that's called polite and respectful of someone else's time/home).
3. You think it's weird that your son is "SO INTO" his OWN WIFE???? REALLY?
4. You have a problem with your son being devoted to HIS WIFE and not his mommy?
5. You "surprised" them visit-wise, and are annoyed that she was uncomfortable with you just dropping by.
6. You drop by AT DINNER, don't "expect dinner", but are then annoyed because she didn't OFFER IT?
7. You think you get to "relive having a son" with your grandchild (that's creepy).
8. You insult their parenting, when it sounds like they are doing a fine job - NO PG-13 is not FINE for a 6 year old, that's why it's called PG-13 - it's recommending PARENTS for 13 year olds.
9. You bring the kids almost an HOUR LATE and think that's no big deal?

Honestly, you are so disrespectful of your son's wife, I'm amazed they still live near you. If I had an MIL like you, I'd move cross-country.

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K.M.

answers from San Francisco on

You've gotten a lot of responses here & have already responded yourself. But I just want to add this form the DIL's point. I was the DIL who, 2 yrs ago got ripped a new one by her MIL for how e parent our youngest son. He has ADD, learning difference, high energy so sensor button, very impulsive...you get the picture!. We choose our battles w/him. We parent him different than his older brother. She doesn't agree w/either of these. She's British & my husband & his sister were raised to be seen, not heard & were perfectly dressed & behaved children who never disobeyed her. Insert sarcastic tone. She told us everything we were doing wrong plus all that is wrong w/ our son. Obviously I was offended. Since she hates confrontation it took her 2 months to apologize to me. To accept responsibility for what she said. I accepted it but have not forgiven. She still said those things about her grandson & she still thinks them. Apologizing does not change her opinion. And that's what I find so hurtful.

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J.F.

answers from Las Vegas on

This can't be for real, but on the off chance it might be, I'll take a few seconds to respond.

I don't have a daughter-in-law yet, but I've got a mother and a mother-in-law, and your post just made me appreciate them even more than I already do.

You argue and bring up every little grievance you have about your DIL; you expect your son to answer to you and still be "mama's boy" and do what YOU want him to do; you resent that he loves his wife and has made a life with her; you show up at their home unannounced and then get upset because they don't meet your expectations; you bring your grandchildren home late; you disregard parental requests, and you continue to do things intentionally that you know will annoy your DIL. And to top it off, you call HER controlling and obnoxious.

Hmmmm. And you wonder why they don't want much contact with you? You're lucky they talk to you at all.

If you really want to improve things, drop your expectations. Realize your son has his own life, and respect their boundaries. Be kind to your DIL, even if you disagree with her, and follow their instructions regarding their children.

That's what you need to do if you want to be part of their lives.

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T.L.

answers from New York on

It sounds to me like some personal accountability is in order here. The majority of your statement was a harsh and typical of mother in law assessment of a sons wife...But you have to ask yourself why is it you wouldn't be so overjoyed that your son is in love with his wife? Would you rather he hate her they fight all the time and they split up? You raised him and cared for him and loved him and must have had a hand in teaching him to view his wife the way he does why would you not be proud of that?

Next thing is why be surprised they don't want to be around you when it's obvious to me from the short statement you made that YOU are trying to compete with your sons wife. Of course they decline and don't make an effort you are clearly expecting your son give you preference when he's now married and has children with this woman.
In regards to the time limit issue SHE is their mother i have my own children and i can tell you NO ONE not even my mother has a say over mine on how my child is raised so if i gave a time limit i'd expect it to be abided as well.

If you honestly HONESTLY want the situation remedied then you owe your son and his wife a sincere apology for trying to compete and essentially divide their union. Then if i were you before this separation becomes wider and wider and wider to a point where things are irreparable i'd go out of my way to get along and try and bond with your daughter in law spend time with just her get to really know love and respect her.

Because by doing the opposite your telling your son subconsciously that you don't trust him to make the right choice in a spouse that he is wrong for putting her and their children first and that is it not his choice but yours on who he should be with.
If you really want to be closer face the facts that she is not going anywhere he loves her they have children show them both the respect they deserve and mend the rift before it's too late for you [which imho it's very close to being too late already based on what you said]

If your heart is genuine this will work out if it isn't things will most likely get worse and as a DIL who lost the most amazing MIL i hate to see when this happens i know many people who end up shutting out parents who meddle and cause problems for this very reason and every time i feel terrible for both sides b/c the kids don't want ot shut the parents out but they also cannot abide parents who disrespect their spouses.

Good luck i hope that you can find it in your heart to turn things around

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

This can't be real - but what the heck - here goes:

Look.
Your son married a girl just like the girl that married dear old Dad.
The reason you butt heads with her so much is - you are EXACTLY THE SAME.
Your son LOVES HER FOR THAT.
She is his partner in life and she's going to outlive you.

She has boundaries and you just want to walk all over them.
You don't get to call the shots.
Especially after the first time went over like a lead balloon - WHY EVER did you think a 2nd surprise visit would be a good idea?
Um - no - it wasn't.

If I had to pick one word that best describes your complaint against her it would have to be 'overbearing'.
Your grand kids are HER BABIES and she has every right to determine what they can watch and how they eat and what time they need to be home so they can get their bath time/bedtime routine in.
Frankly - you should apologize for a whole host of transgressions and it wouldn't hurt you to get off your high horse once in awhile.
The Queen of England you are not.

You don't get to 'relive' having a son.
You get to get a life that does not revolve around your son and his family.
Play some bingo.
Get busy in your local senior center.
Travel a bit and send them some postcards.
Take a class, get a degree, volunteer, learn to knit, take up yoga, grow a garden - involve yourself in something so you have a full social life and stop being a pain in the backside.
If you can't do this on your own then get some counseling so you can someday achieve it.

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M.K.

answers from Columbus on

Hate to break it to you, but your daughter-in-law isn't the controlling one!! Try looking in a mirror and you'll find out who is!!

You sound exactly like my MIL - when I was first married, she wanted to control EVERY holiday; every this, every that, etc., etc.!!! Then when we had children, she refused to follow OUR rules. (I would be furious if my MIL let my 6 year old watch a PG-13 movie!!) The visits got less and less and now are almost non-existent!! As the years went on, my children saw for themselves what their grandparents were really like and now as teenagers want almost nothing to do with them.

Additionally, my MIL had a screaming match once with my husband - bringing up all kinds of old stuff along with the new - turns out she was holding grudges against me and accusing me of stuff I had absolutely nothing to do with. She manufactured so much in her own little brain, my husband and I were looking at each other totally dumbfounded!!

Consider yourself lucky if you get to see those kids at all. You are being totally disrespectful on so many levels!!! I would have cut you off a long time ago!!!

Good luck!!!

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E.D.

answers from Boston on

Sorry MIL but dropping in, returning kids late and judging her decisions would not be cool w me either. Apologize to her and tell her u want to start over. also, express interest in just her, not just obsessing abt when u can see the kids. Take her for a Mani/ pedi.

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A.C.

answers from Huntington on

I think you need to apologize for your past actions. But not a fake. "sort of" apology. It needs to be real in order to have any weight. Perhaps seeing these responses can help you think about your part in this and get to the point where you can apologize for treating her poorly. In the meantime,
-adhere to their rules
-call ahead of time. Always! Drop-ins can be very stressful for many people. With cell phones, there is absolutely no reason you cannot call ahead of time.
-Be polite and kind. Ask her about herself or how her day has gone. Act interested in her, not just the grandchildren and your husband.
-I think most of us know that us wives generally are the ones running the household, the schedules, etc. As long as she feels uncomfortable, judged, and nervous about whether you will follow the family child care rules, you are not going to be seeing this family as often as you would like.
-When you feel like you can truly apologize, do so. And promise to do better.
-Lastly, families ARE busy. While you can work on being a better MIL so they are more willing to clear their schedule for you, please understand that most families need a few a week or more to clear a schedule. So if you want them over for dinner, call ahead as early as possible to get it on the calendar. Our calendar fills up very fast and last minute invites are really hard to accommodate.

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M.R.

answers from Seattle on

D., are you for real?????

Honestly, you show up at your son's home before dinner and expect them to offer you dinner without any prior warning???? Who do you think you are? And they have 3 kids if I follow you right?

You hold A LOT of grudges, from dinners/food, to types of movies, to your son not being focused on you any more (Yikes -that is the way it should be??).

I honestly don't believe your lack of insight. I would think you are a troll, except you have filled in the SWH.

Your son has switched from 'being a mamas boy' to being into his wife. Sounds pretty normal. My gut instinct tells me that your son has 2 women telling him how to manage his family time, and at this point in his life, his wife will win every time.

You other son was completely wrong who 'ripped into her' about how they manage their Christmas gatherings. Who the hell wants to lug 3 kids from home to home?

What most families do is alternate years. Perhaps you can learn some new boundaries about managing time with other adults?????

5 moms found this helpful

R.X.

answers from Houston on

I don't believe this is a real post.

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I.X.

answers from Los Angeles on

Okay. I can so see what is going on its not funny, but I hope you are up for advice. Real advice. Even it you are 100% correct in your observations and criticisms, here is the deal with your adult children and their spouses if you want an open invitation to their lives and your grandchildren. Its hard advice to take, but please consider it very thoughtfully- lesson number one: DO NOT INTERFERE .
You think she is a [email protected]%^&.?? act like she is the nicest DIL in the world. They don't allow PG-13?? (Totally awesome parenting in my opinion by the way), then don't even consider letting the 6 year old watch a PG-13. You want to come drop the kids off late? Call first. You want pop in?? Hello its the age of cell phones, give some notice first. You want an in with the family? Compliment the DIL and be (or act as though you are) on her side.
You want to be tight with your grandchild?? Suck up to DIL. That may or may not include apologizing for your previous vommiting of your real feelings towards her in the past. Which by the way was a bad idea. I'm all for letting your feelings hang out with one exception- future children-in-law.
From my vantage point, its not clear if you expected your son to do your bid and calling or if what you expected was reasonable honor and respect from your son. But just the fact that you are put out that you cannot let a 6 year old watch rated PG-13 movie speaks a lot about you. I don't even let my 5.5 year old watch PG.
As I see it you have choices; make nice to DIL and have access to your grandchildren, or put your true feeling on the table and have the woman with all the power here limit your access to your grandchildren. Thats the bottom line.

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J.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

Do you really not see how poorly you treat your DIL?

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R.M.

answers from Washington DC on

My family drops in all the time, I don't mind. If I am busy or don't feel well I just tell them and they leave. That's just me, I really don't care when friends just pop up either, they understand if I'm busy.

I think the bigger issue here is that you are somewhat controlling. You are used to having control over your son and him doing what you say without issue. That was bound to change when he got married. I think the best way to fix this is to talk to your daughter in law. You have to remember that she is their mother and even if some of her rules seem silly to you, you have to respect them.

It seems as though you don't respect her parenting and coupled with with w/e you said to her years ago, makes her keep you at a distance. If you want to see the grandchildren and she gives a time they need to be back; bring them back at that time. Show her that you will respect her and I am sure things will get better.

Good Luck

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T.V.

answers from San Francisco on

Your daughter in law has not cornered the market on being "obnoxious".

I too would be angry if anyone brought my small children back almost an hour late without at least a phone call. Given the tension between you and your son's wife, I would NOT think of pushing the envelope by bringing the children back late.

I would also not ask to "drop in" because you happen to be in the neighborhood. Many families feel free to do this because they a close and have good relationships.

You seem very pushy and controlling and your son's wife is the same. Both of you are putting your son in the middle.

Rather then having a conversation with your daughter in law, I would first write a letter of apology and ask if the families could start sharing holidays and time with the kids. Hopefully you can start mending the fences from there, but you really must STOP doing the things that you KNOW push this woman's buttons.

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R.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Seriously???

Ditto everyone else.

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C.B.

answers from San Francisco on

D.,

You set the stage eight years ago. You didn't say that you've ever apologized. Perhaps a heartfelt apology would gain you some ground.

I don't see anything wrong with your DIL or how she reacts to you. I certainly get miffed when someone, or TWO someones, drop in at dinner time. How rude! I wouldn't have offered you anything either.

PG-13 is PG-13 and not just PG for a reason. So yes, in some people's eyes, PG-13 is not appropriate for a 6 year old.

Seems to me that if spending time with your grandchildren REALLY matters to you, you would bring them home on time, and not feed them candy. You are still trying to be in control. Until you stop that, nothing is going to change.

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M.D.

answers from Washington DC on

Not knowing all of the details here, good for your son for putting the family he created first...if more men did this, there would be a lot less drama in families. His wife and his children are his priority, and that means you raised him right. It's not that she is controlling him, it's that they are a family unit now and you don't seem to respect that in a way they like, so they pull away...that's exactly the advice you would get on here if you wrote in from the DIL's perspective.

You also have to respect her wishes as a mother. If she doesn't want her 6 year old watching a PG13 movie, so be it.

I would be PISSED if my parents or in-laws returned my kids later than the agreed upon time and didn't call. That is flat out rude and disrespectful on your part.

It honestly sounds like your mission is to piss her off as much as possible, and then you get confused when she doesn't want to be around you. Open your eyes - change YOUR ways/behaviors, and then maybe, just maybe, you can build a better relationship.

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L.M.

answers from Orlando on

You need to respect her wishes as their mother. If she says bring them back at a certain time, why in the world would you come back almost an hour later (I mean, did you even call first to tell her you were going to be late?) ... and , no matter who it is, i do NOT like people just showing up at my house w/out calling first. Especially during dinner time. Sounds like you burned that bridge when you went off on her years ago. Sounds to me like like a HUGE apology is needed, from you to her. Also you should be happy your son is "so into" his wife. I mean, come on.

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X.Y.

answers from Chicago on

Your DIL is screwed up. You sound like such a prize of a MIL. You tell her you will give HER kids as much candy and soda as they want. Why not show the kids a rated R movie, seriously whats a little skin or bad language, the kids are going to learn about sex and bad words eventually. Tell your DIL that since the kids look like your son she couldn't have been screwing the mailman or UPS man unless they also look like your son.

And I love when people I don't like drop in unexpectedly, tel her to get a grip and always plan on making extra food for unexpected company.

Sorry but your DIL sounds like a control freak. I bet she has a short leash on your son and you need to do anything you can to break up this marriage, woops, you already are. Well good luck, night Troll.

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C.B.

answers from Sacramento on

I haven't had time to read all the responses but had to add another perspective.

First, if you expect to have any type of relationship with your grandchildren, you need to change your ways. If they tell you to have the kids home by 7:00 pm, you better be knocking on their door at 6:55 pm. If they say no candy or PG13 movies, then follow their rules. You had your chance to raise your children. Give your son and daughter-in-law the respect they deserve by following their rules. It doesn't matter if you think a certain movie is okay or one of their rules is ridiculous, do it anyway. These are their children. Stop trying to over-rule the parents. Once they see that you are truly making an effort to improve your own behavior, I believe they will be more receptive to including you in their activities.

Second, no more "dropping in". Ever. It's rude and they've clearly shown you they don't like it. Some people (like you) don't mind but I side with your son and daughter-in-law because I hate it too. "Dropping in" always seems to happen on the days I haven't showered, the house is a mess, the kids are having a tantrum and I'm feeding them macaroni & cheese because I haven't been to the store in a week. Call ahead and ASK if you could stop by at a certain time. Be respectful if they say its a bad time and ask when would be convenient for them.

You said your son used to be a Mama's Boy but now he caters to his wife instead. Think about it. Isn't that what you would want him to do? He chose her as his life partner so his first priority should be her. Stop looking at it as a competition between you and her and instead realize this shows what a good job you did raising him that he honors his wife above everyone else.

Once you change your way of looking at the relationship, things will get better.

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J.N.

answers from Philadelphia on

Well I believe in forgiveness. It goes both ways. My mil never liked me. I was constantly trying to have a good relationship with her. She always taught her boys that she came first... above everyone else. I was raised when you marry someone you have to love them all. She was mean and spiteful and simply unkind. I prayed on it. She defintely had her good points. She loved her grandchildren....my children.
I was taught when you marry your spouse has to come first. My husband always put his mother first. I never wanted him so anything unkind to her just have a little backbone. She said many nasty comments to me. It was my husbands mom and I didn't want to talk back to her.
She could say whatever she wanted there was never any consquences. I tried so fiercly to have a loving relationship. If it was up to me my kids would of visited my mil amd fil.once a week or twice a month. She really did love my kids sooo much. However she prefered my husband to take the kids for a visit without me. I was a sahm and had all day. She was constantly canceling our visits. It crushed me. Now she is dead ...they were much older then my parents. My kids barely have any memories with the other set of grandparents. I am at peace with there no malice in my heart. Try to mend the relationship with your daughter in law. Be respectful. Family are supposed to be about love. Above all be kind. I will say a pray that it goes good. J.

Updated

Well I believe in forgiveness. It goes both ways. My mil never liked me. I was constantly trying to have a good relationship with her. She always taught her boys that she came first... above everyone else. I was raised when you marry someone you have to love them all. She was mean and spiteful and simply unkind. I prayed on it. She defintely had her good points. She loved her grandchildren....my children.
I was taught when you marry your spouse has to come first. My husband always put his mother first. I never wanted him so anything unkind to her just have a little backbone. She said many nasty comments to me. It was my husbands mom and I didn't want to talk back to her.
She could say whatever she wanted there was never any consquences. I tried so fiercly to have a loving relationship. If it was up to me my kids would of visited my mil amd fil.once a week or twice a month. She really did love my kids sooo much. However she prefered my husband to take the kids for a visit without me. I was a sahm and had all day. She was constantly canceling our visits. It crushed me. Now she is dead ...they were much older then my parents. My kids barely have any memories with the other set of grandparents. I am at peace with there no malice in my heart. Try to mend the relationship with your daughter in law. Be respectful. Family are supposed to be about love. Above all be kind. I will say a pray that it goes good. J.

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S.W.

answers from Amarillo on

Dear D.,

You have just made it harder for other MILs to try to have a decent relationship with our DILs. As women, we are reared differently and bring our teachings, trainings, and beliefs to our marriage. This is what we know and how we will parent our children.

Yes, there are times when we are upset with our DILs, but we do not say what we are thinking verbally. We have learned how to keep peace and stay quiet. We remember that this IS the woman that our son has married and is happy with. You know we all want our children to be happy.

When the marriage happens, we are not in the inner circle of the family unit, we are now a step on the outside ring of the marriage. It may hurt a bit but we have to get over it and live our lives separately and happily. Go to work, get a hobby, take up a class or volunteer. In other words, move on to the next phase of our life where we can do things we had to put on hold because of children.

I would "love" to pop in but it won't be by surprise as I have to let her know I am on my way. It takes 6 hours drive to get to her home. There was a rift one year at Christmas which took six months to resolve between DIL and son. I advised my son that his wife was correct in the fact that he should have run our coming up by her first before telling us it was fine. He tried to reason with her that it was not a big deal but in her book things we done a certain way. We declined to come and have not gone to Christmas visit yet. This year will be our first after four years of marriage.

We MILs love our grandchildren close up and from a distance. However, we do have to take a step back and let our children do the work. Do follow instructions from son and DIL as to how they want their children cared for. Otherwise you will see them less and less over the years.

You can try with genuine apologies for all of the things you have done wrong. It may take up to three years before you see the fruits of the apologies. You have broken a trust and it takes time to mend the fence. But be prepared that you may never have a deep loving relationship just one this is courteous and cordial in civility.

As others have stated you did screw the pooch and you are reaping what you sowed.

Good luck in you mending your large fence.

the other S.

PS Mommas boys do grow up and become amazing men who can stand on their own feet without mom. We DILs just have to make it so and stand our ground. I, too, have one and having huge distance between us kept our marriage solid. She now lives by herself in a town with no blood relatives that is still a good 10 hours away by car. We are celebrating our 42nd anniversary next month.

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A.O.

answers from Sacramento on

Oh thank god there were many responses that covered what I wanted to say. I saw this the other day but was too busy until now to respond. If my MIL did the things you have been doing I would be really bummed. I never even have enough food to serve my friends when they come by unexpectedly before dinner. And if you said my kids would be home by 7 but not until 7:45 I would be upset. I think you forget what it is like to be a busy mother with a routine. My kids go to bed at 7:30 or 8 and if they don't get to bed in time they are monsters in the morning. Also, my husband and I don't give our kids very much sugar and feed them organic foods. Sugar for special occasions is fine but if you go overboard that is just downright disrespectful. And I don't show my kids movies that are not age appropriate. They have plenty of time to grow up. It seems like you are competing with your son's daughter rather than focusing on being a grandma.

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M.D.

answers from St. Louis on

Alright I have a mother inlaw just like you and we have major problems. Your son is married and his wife is more important than you. Not saying that you shouldn't be around, because you should be. You also are important. Now just stopping in with hardly any notice is freaking rude, then expecting that she just magically made enough to invite you is so rude on your part. My MIL would do this a lot and it just mad both of us so angry we need our family time too. Although we see my MIL atleast 2 to 3 times a month if not more. So all the drop ins ticked us off since because of our jobs we didn't get much family time together.

Now at Christmas she deserves to be able to see her family too. Again your not the only important person in their lives. She has a family too that I am sure she wants to see. Why do they have to come to multiple Christmas? My husband's family has 3 Christmas's and we were expected at all of them. And finally we said enough is enough, just because I married him, doesn't mean I have to tell my family to take a hike. She gave you a Christmas, yet you still want more.

If she asked you to bring the kids at a certain time then you should have done it, no questions asked. SHE IS THIER MOTHER, NOT YOU! It seems to me that she might be a little uptight, but your making is worse by not following what she says. Your son and his wife make the rules in there house and what they want for their children, your opinion is not wanted or need.

Just an added thought I have had problems with MIL but the minute she backed off, was when I came around.

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P.K.

answers from New York on

My husband and I did everything for my DIL leading up to the wedding at her request. She had two children and worked full time 50 miles away. We always had a great relationship in the six years prior to the wedding. Babysat the kids, used to go out etc. they would ask if I could,check out photographers, search out a venue that would do a BBQ menu etc. so I did all the footwork and then they went to look at things and choose. I know the way MILs are always bashed, and had enough sense to just do what I was asked. Day after wedding, things did a 360. Called three weeks later to say pregnant. Saw that baby three times in two and a half years. Then they had another. Now they needed us to babysit so all of a sudden we were good enough again. I bit my lip be ause I wanted a relationship with my grandsons. Fast forward my other son and fiancé are having a baby.
DIL would not come to shower. In my sons words, he did it right by getting married first. That was Aril 29, 2012. Last time we saw boys was April 27. My son stopped bringing them and hired a babysitter. My son will text e ery now and then. He came to his Dads 70th birthday but without kids. They were busy. 2 and 4 yeah right. My husband was heartbroken. When I look back at some of the things that she said or did, I should have realized they were red flags, but I could always explain why she did what she did. So there's my story. I have no idea what we did wrong.

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