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Rant - about In laws


S: 15st12.5lb C: 15st9lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 35.3 Loss: 0st3.5lb(1.57%)
Well in law really. I'm stuck, I have no doubt that posting on here won't solve anything but might just make me feel better.

Background: I'm married to a lovely man (been with him fo 10 years), who is an only child. His mother is divorced/single and has been for years. Now we're having our first baby. His mothers always been a bit 'high maintenance' demanding but lately its really ramped up. She's asking us to visit every weekend, note I don't see my own mother every week and is going in a hff when we don't go to see her as we've "abandoned her and left her to die" and "who knows how many weekends she has left" she "doesn't think she'll make it even til the baby arrives"

We're buying a new house. She wants to see it so I sent her the schedule, complete with floor plans. That's not enough, she wants to SEE IT. I explained that this wasn't possible for several reasons.

1. It's a new build so is still a building site, its surrounded by a 9 foot security fence and when Hubs and I went to see it, we had to wear a high vis vest and hard hat whilst being accompanied by the Site manager.

This explanation wasn't acceptable, apparently it's 'more exciting for her if she gets to see it in stages', now I appreciate this may seem unkind but why does it get to be 'more' exciting for her? She went in an epic huff because I wouldn't do a 60 mile plus round trip to get her, drive her out and back to see the OUTSIDE of a similar model of house (which btw people are living in). Note I'm 36 weeks pregnant.

2. House is now almost finished, we get the keys on Thursday. 'When can I see it' we explained when it's ready. The woman can't walk the length of herself due to illness, so we explained that we'd like things like carpets and chairs etc in for when anyone does see it. Aside from a comfort measure its a pride thing. I would like to present my house nicely, I'm not talking show home standard, but I would like to have somewhere to sit other than stairs and have a cup of tea. Am I being unreasonable?

She countered with "I'll bring a deck chair". We said no, and again she's went in a huff. Apparently she 'Could be DEAD the time carpets are down'. I could understand that if it was YEARS down the line, but we're talking a fortnight here.

3. The only other place we've bought is this flat. When we got the keys hubs phoned his mum, excited as he was to say we've got the keys. She told him to phone back in 10 minutes. He did, she had in the intervening time booked an emergency half day off work to come see the flat meaning that I had to run about like a lunatic to the solicitors and get the keys and then run to the second hand shop for a chair for her so she had somewhere to sit when she came up, as she demanded hubs went and got her so she could see the flat. We'd not even been in ourselves yet, and it meant that I entered OUR first home alone, whilst his mum came with him. I found this very hurtful and it's NOT happening again.

4. She then starts arguing has MY mum seen the house? No, we said she hadn't, she's not even seen the schedule 'Hmpf'.

I phoned to tell my mum about the house and she was totally underwhelmed and started telling me about the cats vet trip.

That aside, it's now turning into this huge stress fest where in order to let the mothers see the house when it IS ready, me and hubs have to co-ordinate their arrivals so that my mum doesn't arrive before his mum or it'll cause a sh*t storm. My mums not bothered but, and this is possibly preggy hormones, I don't see why MY mum should be pushed to the side everytime to make way and pander to his mum?

5. 'I want to see it NOW' again explaining no was countered with 'But X from my works seen it because she drives past it every day on way to work'. Good for X, not our house she hasn't because IT'S FENCED OFF and she drives past the estate development which is HUGE and isn't the same thing 'Fine be like that then'.

It's driving us both mental and no amount of gentle dissuasion is working. She's on a bit of a low mood phase just now, but any time we say no, and explain why sends her into a massive huff and moody spell and it's getting to the stage my patience is wearing rapidly thin.

It's not causing arguments (yet) between me and hubs because it's driving him mental too, but it's starting to stress us both out and when she's phoning asking to come see it/go see here EVERY weekend I'm starting to get pissed off and he's trying to keep it balanced. I feel for him, and I'm really trying not to argue with his mum because he'll just cop it in the neck if I do, but it's proving more and more difficult to try and keep it civil.

Last night REALLY tipped me over the edge as she said she wanted to see the house as "she's nothing else to look forward to", I was very hurt by this as her only grandchild is due in under 4 weeks. Husband told her "F**k off, there's a baby coming in 4 weeks FFS" (granted not the best phrasing but he was completely taken aback) and she was just like "whatever". He's trying really hard to balance his mum and his highly hormonal wife so I've not laid it at his door telling him to 'deal with her', I'm trying to be constructive and work with him on it, but it's getting to the point where I am going to lose it. Big time. And I'm trying so so hard not to to not make him upset :'(

Am I being totally unreasonable or missed an angle in how to deal with her?
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No your not being unreasonable( I have a mil like that too). She seems to have nothing to do and has too much time to think and blow things out of proportion.She also knows she is being mean and was probably embarassed when the baby was mentioned. She seems to need to know she is still in charge of her little boy but can't see she is acting like the child.Nothing will work or be good enough because she is winding herself up over it. All you can do is ignore the tantrums and carry on like you both have by trying to be reasonable or hubby will have to put her straight but in a nice way and wait for the tantrum to blow over.It doesn't help that your mother is the opposite as it is emphasing the different reactions.You may be hormonal but I still think she is unfair. Good luck,I hope it works out and that the baby is healthy and happy.


Gold Member
S: 17st2lb C: 16st2.5lb G: 12st0lb BMI: 36.6 Loss: 0st13.5lb(5.63%)
Good grief, a baby due in 4 weeks and moving into a house that isn't finished. Behaviour like that from my MIL would send me over the top in the same circumstances.

Is she really ill? From your post I though she might be at work still.

If not ill her talking about expecting to die sounds like either a mental health issue or a ploy to emotionally manipulate you. Your only hope is for you and your dh to stay as calm as possible, and explain to her (several times if necessary :) ) how you have to deal with all the physical and mental strain of the last few weeks of pregnancy and sort out the house as well as keep the rest of normal life going ... doing a 60 mile round trip is not possible but if someone she knows drives past the new estate perhaps they could give her a lift?

And, if it is a mental health issue maybe getting her to see her GP? Easier said than don I know.

Wishing you all the best for the move and the birth .. and all the rest of it
Frankly, i don't know how you & hubby have coped wih her as long as this. You are not being unreasonable. In fact i think u are bending over backwards (no mean feat at 36 weeks preggers) to not have a row with her about her behaviour.

You & hubby need to concentrate on yourselves & new baby - you need to not visit this woman every week - or in fact at all seeing as you should have your feet up doing nowt at the moment. You need to not worry which parent will see the house firsr. Tell her no one is seeing it till its ready. Full stop. NO arguments. Then, invite them both round together - they are grown ups & should be able to cope with that. Put her in a taxi rather than drive round to get her.

If she huffs about it so what? She is acting like a child, so treat her like one


S: 15st12.5lb C: 15st9lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 35.3 Loss: 0st3.5lb(1.57%)
She's ill in the sense she's unwell but she's not dying. She was a smoker for 40+ years so has lung damage/COPD from that, she's recently started retaining large volumes of fluid which has impacted her ability to walk distances etc, which would normally imply a kidney/heart problem, but kidney functions tests are clear, cardiac markers were clear so she's to go in July for a cardiac review at hospital. And I'm not being horrid here, (usually I drive here there and bck) butif it was that urgent they would have done the cardiac review sooner. She's also over weight at 19 stone, and says she's 'trying' to shift the weight but is eating Tesco finest yoghurts at 300cals each.

She is still working, she's only 60.

Mental health wise, I've been saying for a few months her reactions to things have been unusually emotional so I wondered if she was depressed (my own mum has mental health issues so I can recognise the signs), 2 weekend ago husband and I didn't go to see her, which despite telling her on the Friday we weren't going as we were far far too busy that weekend, which led to her phoning and screaming crying down the phone about how we've 'left her to die', and 'abandoned her' and how 'we're all she has left'. Which meant on the Monday I was up, out to hers for 9 am to take her to docs having told her she needs some meds to even her out. She then said to me that hubs had 'promised her' he would come out. He didn't I was there when he told her on the phone. She then mumbled about 'well it felt like it, you have time for everyone else'.

I think having thought about it overnight the thing that's annoyed me the most is the "nothing to look forward to part" unless she can see the house. It was more "How DARE she say that about our baby?"

She IS acting like a child and usually I can just let it wash over me, but it's getting to the stage we've tried reason, we've tried being firm and I wondered if there was a 'Mother-In-Law Whisperer' technique I'd missed.


One day at a time, one step at a time
S: 18st8lb C: 18st8lb G: 12st0lb BMI: 44.6 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
Firstly have a (((hug)))

My MIL can be like this and shes been my MIL for 23 years. I find the best way is to be firm and fair and then not enter into a discussion. You've said it, end of. She accepts it. Otherwise when this lovely little baby of yours arrives it will be the same thing... has your Mum seen baby yet? hope I'm first! kind of thing.

Its all about show and attention seeking. Don't give into her. And please don't let it stress you out you have enough on your plate sweetie without all this.

Let OH deal with her, but just being firm. ie we will invite you over as soon as its safe and ready. We need to get organised as baby could be here soon. End of convo. She's probably always had her own way and old habits are hard to break



Gold Member
S: 22st10lb C: 17st4lb G: 12st0lb Loss: 5st6lb(23.9%)
I didnt even read it all because i didn't have to to tell you what to do. Your hubby should sort his mother out you need to sort yours if shes giving you hassle.

If shes like this before the baby arrives, what is she going to be like after?.. God help you Hun. I'd go potty.
S: 14st13lb C: 14st13lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 38.2 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
oh gosh, she sounds a nightmare! :eek: i cant believe her cheek. Fair play to hubby for finally telling her straight but it sounds like no amount of reasoning will solve. She will just HAVE to wait, shes being completley rediculous and you REALLY dont need this right now! i know you cant ignore her, as much as youd love to im sure. *enter mute button lol*

i dont even know what to suggest, it sounds like youv gone at it from every angle and she's just having none of it.

when the baby comes and she starts complaining you can tell her that she saw the house first so its only fair your mum see's baby first and see how she likes that :D.. or you could say 'oops, we figured after all the fuss you kicked up you really wouldnt be alive when baby was here so we just didnt bother to phone and tell you!' ha x


Gold Member
S: 17st2lb C: 16st2.5lb G: 12st0lb BMI: 36.6 Loss: 0st13.5lb(5.63%)
A nightmare scenario. I can give a few tips on assertiveness skills but first you and hubby need to be very clear in your own minds where you need to draw the line.

As JackieN said you need not to be drawn into debate and conversation about what you have said. Make your point and if she argues back make the same point again, acknowledging what she has said but not giving way. It is called the broken record technique and there is a famous example in the Monty Python Dead Parrot sketch.

It is (IMHO) your husband's role to sort this out, of course you might get involved but the last thing you need right now is more stress. Would it be possible when she phones and you pick up to hand the phone over to him after politely saying to her that you feel too (something to do with your pregnancy) to talk at the moment?

As other posters have said, this is what she's like over the new house, what potential there is for stress and interference with the first grandchild.

Just a thought. I know Social Services are overstretched and not always well thought of but in my experience there are some good and helpful people out there. Maybe some advice from the local service about how to deal with an unwell relative who seems to be getting more and more unstable? Particularly as you don't live that close. If that's not appropriate sorry.


Gold Member
S: 21st12.5lb C: 21st4lb G: 12st0lb BMI: 45.3 Loss: 0st8.5lb(2.77%)
You poor thing, she is so jealous of you and your new life (in the house AND the new baby) she cannot bear it, it is eating her up inside, that's her illness.

Don't pander to it, when she asks to come tell her no it's not convenient (the more you try to explain the more she feels she has leeway). When she uses shocking words like she may die, call her on it, say "Well that could be said by any of us, and it's rude to try to manipulate us like that".

The other thing that could be done is that you put the phone down every time she uses the "I could be dead" speech. Tell her the first time that is what you are doing, then just do it!

It sounds harsh but this is what I had to do to my Mum years ago when she'd phone me drunk.
The first time I told her "I don't speak to drunks" and put the phone down. She learned not to phone me unless sober.
S: 12st7lb C: 11st1lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 24.3 Loss: 1st6lb(11.43%)
Just wanted to send big hugs. You don't need that kind of pressure full stop, never mind when you are pregnant. My MIL is also demanding and does the guilt trip thing and there are times when we do things for an 'easy life' but suppose it doesn't help if we do that! Glad your hubby told her what he thought, sometimes that is the only way to get your point across.

Love the idea of a MIL whisperer that could be a real money spinner!

Hope you have a stress free time leading up to baby's arrival, you should be enjoying this time not getting pressure put on you. Good luck with the move



S: 15st12.5lb C: 15st9lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 35.3 Loss: 0st3.5lb(1.57%)
Well it gets better. Husband phoned to see how she was and say we wouldn't be out today and she was annoyed at this. She then asked to see the house, he explained moving schedule and she could probably see it, when carpets etc are down on the Tuesday 5th July. She was not happy about this. He explained we'll probably move on the Monday, so she needs to appreciate we want a bit of time to get settled (note I'm not bothered about this being the next day - I unpack quick!) again a bit of a huff.

He explained its a joint decision, to which she replied (he forgets the exact words) that "it feels like she (me) has made the decision" which hubs felt was her trying to manipulate him into a corner of "your wife wears the trousers"

After a few more minutes of him saying No. Explaining calmly why. No. No. No. She ended the phone call with "F**king ridiculous". Husband then challenged this saying "What was that?" "Nothing doesn't matter", and hung up.
S: 17st4lb C: 16st12lb G: 10st0lb Loss: 0st6lb(2.48%)
what a nightmare for you both,apart from the dreaded MIL there is enough stress moving house and having a baby without her acting like a spoilt child.good luck with everything.x


Silver Member
S: 15st10lb C: 12st9lb G: 11st7lb BMI: 26.9 Loss: 3st1lb(19.55%)
If she hung up on him, I would be inclined to not ring her til she rings you. You have enough to focus on with the move and baby coming.

She'll be waiting for that call, concentrate on your own lives instead x


The Big One
S: 19st3lb C: 11st10lb G: 11st0lb BMI: 28.1 Loss: 7st7lb(39.03%)
Things have obviously got pretty fraught and this might be a great opportunity for you to get some peace and quiet while she decides whether to ring you back and eat a bit of humble pie or chuck some more abuse at you - in which case you can just hang up again. Don't call her and enjoy the silence!! It sounds as though you need some space from her and you'll have to be very black and white about what you are and aren't going to do. Don't engage in any negotiation at this stage, she can like it or lump it - you just don't need the stress at the moment. She must surely know she's a big pain in the ar*e?! Good luck, it's a horrible situation to be in. I hope things improve soon xx

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