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Family: Can't live with 'em, can't live with 'em

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Imagine you had a mother-in- law. Imagine you had a mother-in-law and she was a bit of a giant biyatch. Not in an all-around, “I’m just a crazy bitch” way but in more of a “I’m going to specifically target you because you stole my son and I have a weird obsession with him and also I am a narcissist” way. Imagine she was a loving and devoted grandmother, who really only had the best intentions but was sometimes a bit misguided in her grandmotherlyness.

That pretty much sums up MILFH. Also, there may be a touch of “I’m manipulative and domineering” thrown in there somewhere as well. So, she’s basically a total nightmare but she loves her grandkids and we keep seeing her to a minimum and it all goes okay along as we don’t hit any bumps in the road.

We hit a bump.

She called to talk to Beefcake about something or other a few days ago. They discussed his birthday, a family dinner scheduled for tonight and Christmas presents among other things. Yes, she had already organised Pudding’s Christmas gift, could she have some ideas for Rhubarb, Poss and Grub. Beefcake gave her some ideas for the other children and then inquired what exactly had been organised for Pudding.

A real drive-in electric car.

An extravagant toy for which we have no room. A toy, which he will love, but never be able to use because there is nowhere for him to drive it. Something completely impractical and just inappropriate for our 3yo. I know it was probably well-intentioned and it is probably a nice gift and grandparents are supposed to spoil their grandkids but it’s just not okay for us right now.

Beefcake kept silent and discussed it with me after he got off the phone. We decided that he would speak to her on his birthday so that it would be taken care of for the family dinner tonight and there would be no chance of any tension. Beefcake was predicting that she would be fine with it. I predicted a complete meltdown.

Guess who was being more realistic?

She went nutso. How dare he suggest that it was innappropriate. She would never dream of commenting on a gift someone had bought for her. She could have just given it to Pudding and then we would have had to have it. Beefcake tried pointing out that it would be rather annoying to receive a gift like that without being told and that she really should have asked us before she bought it. It didn’t go down well. Apparently we are unreasonable. I firmly believe we are not and, since this is not the first time she has bought a Christmas gift for one of our children that we couldn’t fit into our house, we felt it was time we said something.

She’s just so upset, she may have to arrange to have a special talk with him about how she’s been feeling lately. He’s just not attentive to her. He never spends time with his brother and sister. On and on and on. She started going wildly off-topic at this point, about his lack of involvement with family, his unfathomable intention NOT to spend his birthday with her etc, etc.

She’s lost the plot. How many men in their thirties, with four kids, does she think spend their birthday with their MUM. I mean, I’m sure lots of people get together with family on or around their birthday but I don’t think it’s reasonable to be outraged that he would spend his time with just us. WE ARE HIS FAMILY!!!

Wow, this is turning into quite the rant. Poor old Beefcake. He’s holding up well. This may be due to the fact that he couldn’t give a fuck but I feel for him. So, we have this dinner tonight. Last we heard, no venue had been finalised. She hasn’t called us. We’re assuming she’ll be “too upset” to have us come. Should we call and find out where it is and try to attend or just keep to ourselves?

My personal feeling is that we’re damned either way.

***END RANT***


5 responses

  1. Holy Sh*t! Talk about from one extreme to another (your mum to beefcake's mum).Wow.She's absolutely out of order (imho) and I would sit quietly and hope & pray that you don't have to to to dinner tonight.She's also the complete opposite of my mum. She gives me $20 for each boy and tells me to buy them a christmas pressie from her. I don't mind that, actually (avoids situations like yours) but sometimes I wish she'd think of something by herself.I'm also looking at this from the perspective of being a mother of future adult sons. Sheesh I hope I deal with the "letting go" issues better than she has!So… if you DO have to go to dinner tonight… good luck and I hope she doesn't feel the need to "talk about it" again at the table.You're in the right, Ali. I don't know what else you can do about it. Really she's Beefcake's responsibility… I feel sorry for him too.((((((( big hugs ))))))))xoxo

  2. Thanks Fe. It’s reassuring to hear from someone else that I am not being insane. I try to imagine how I’ll be when my boys go off and marry as well. I’ll have to try and remember stuff like this when the time comes and try to be NOT CRAZY!It looks as though we won’t be going anywhere tonight. Let’s hope she just gets over it, hey?

  3. That’s actually a really great idea Home Office Mum. I may just do that!

  4. I love the ornament idea, and, oh ya…you’re screwed.This dinner is a damned if you do, damned if don’t.Good luck.

  5. Oh I’m so sorry! I start to get a nervous stomach just thinking about spending time with my MILFH, (who may have been separated at birth from yours, from the sound of it) so I totally feel for you. You’re in the right, totally – they are your kids, and it’s your house, and that’s the kind of gift that you should have a say in. My MIL buys a lot of inappropriate gifts for my kids (tho more of the garage sale crap variety) and I make it live at her house – “that way it’s a special, special, treat for them to play with when we’re here!”. Good luck! Maybe you’ll get lucky and she’ll be so mad at you that she’ll decide to move back to Hungary….oops, that’s my MIL, and my dream. Sorry!

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