Sunday, 14 June 2009

It's not a competition!

I just need to vent about my MIL. Yesterday, Saturday, she turned up unanounced just before lunch, as is her wont. She seems to think that it's okay to pop in on a Saturday because I'm not at work. However, Saturday is when I have to do all the jobs I couldn't do in the week because I am at work.

Anyway, she turned up as I was trying to unpack eight Tesco bags, peg out a load of washing and put another load in while trying to make milkshake for daughter. She sat at the kitchen table awaiting her cup of coffee (don't tell me to ask her to make a drink, it wouldn't happen).

Trying to make conversation, I told her how well daughter is doing at school with her reading, and that her teacher has bought some new reading books for her because she's well ahead. I wasn't boasting, I was just telling her because I thought she would be interested in her grandchild's achievements.

Her response?

"Well, Ellie's the same" (her other granddaughter)
"She's always top of the class. It runs in the family; Lisa was the same" (her daughter)

Why can't she just say:

"Well done, Izzy. I'm very proud of you"?

It's not a competition!


Kelloggsville said...

For some people everything is a competition. I'm convinced they don't know how to respond in an accepting manner. My MIL is affectionaty (not) known as MIH (Motherinhell) and refers to my daughter as "That Child" - you gotta to laugh or you'd bury them under the patio (is my anger coming through!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)


Maggie May said...

She sounds like MY MIL used to be. Exactly the same!

Kat said...

Is it so hard to rejoice in a child? No, I think not! Have a similar MIL / SIL situation although not as unfortunate as you to have them drop by unannounced - cruel and unusual indeed.

rosiero said...

My MIL was just the same. Whenever I told her about my daughter she would always say the same about her other two grandchildren. It got so annoying. We would only be able to visit her about once a year too, so she could have made an effort to be enthusiastic!

Iota said...


scaryazeri said...

does she never read your blog then? :)))
Mine used to, but I guess nowdays it is safe to assume they don't.

It is the MIL thing. whatever she says will probably sound suspicious to you. :)))

(Very) Lost in France said...

WM, I can sympathise. I sometimes feel like my Mum thinks she has only one grandchild - and it's not one of mine! I phone her up to tell her of my children's successes (and failures) and within a nanosecond, we are talking about the favoured grandchild and what she has done. If I pull her up on it, she denies she's doing it. In fairness said grandchild had a rotten few years after her mother walked out and took her but left her brother, nasty custody battle in which my brother got custody, etc but it was 6 years ago now and my sympathy is wearing a bit thin as she's a very happy, contented teenager now. But the only time I really tried to discuss it with her it turned into the mother of all arguments so if you can, just grin and bear it. VLiF

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

head. bang. brick. wall.

mr-stu said...

I have a great mother in law, she is in Australia and i am here!

Claire Sutton said...

There's one in every family I think. In mine it's my Aunt and you always know what type of response is coming so we just smile and wait for it.

Good on Izzy though. Eldest son's current teacher always says if you develop and encourage a love of reading in your child then everything else will come along too.

Fi from Four Paws and Whiskers said...

One up manship! It is a form of put down..
Due to

And why doesn't she help you with the shopping/ laundry / make the damneed coffee??

sallymandy said...

Aargh. Dropping in unannounced is rude. Isn't it? Or was it acceptable in another generation?

I'm so thankful I have a mother in law who doesn't bother me at all, but is one of the most generous people I know. Plus, she lives many many miles away.

Have a good week. xo

Catharine Withenay said...


But well done Izzy! She's doing marvellously!

Sass E-mum said...

I like to imagine my MIL's defensive, prickly manner comes from seeing me going out to work while still ENJOYING being a mum.

I wonder if she's thinking that it's a long time since anyone had reason to tell her that she was a good mum too.

She's doing a bad job of trying to claim credit for all her grandchildren.

Have you ever asked her what she thinks some of her best moments as a mother were? Chuckle to yourself when she's flummoxed. I bet noone's ever asked her before.

Anonymous said...

I think this goes on in many families. My own mum can be like that, where she is constantly boasting about my nephews and doesn't seem to hear a word about Amy.

CJ xx

becomingkate said...

I'm so sorry. I probably would have said, "I'm sure! But I am so proud of Izzy and she deserves her own moment." It must be so frstrating for you!

It was hard for me not to resent my late husband's mum, and it was stressful. I am so glad my new MIL lives on the other side of the country.

Suburbia said...

That sounds SOOOO familiar! My, soon to be ex(Yay!, MIL does exactly the same and never acknowledges my children's achievements. Comiserations ......(goes off hurumphing!)

Motheratlarge said...

Mine does the same. Exactly the same. It is hurtful, but I try to keep my expectations low. Not easy, though.

Nunhead Mum of One said...

Sounds so familiar! Amelia refuses to praise Mac because "he should be achieving anyway".


Anonymous said...

Remember, i won the house guest from hell post? Well one day I shall tell you about my MIL, now gone to the 'everything I or mine do is better than you, my dear' cachement in the ever after.

You should call her on her remarks, tell her they might work, or maybe she wont be around quite so much.[worked for me]

Expat mum said...

A friend of mne, whose an only child with an only child, can't even tell her mother about her daughter's accomplishments. Why? Who else is there to compare the daughter to? My friend. Yes, her mother then turns round and counters all the news about her own grand-daughter with what my friend accomplished as a child. Very odd!

scrappysue said...

ugh - never knew you had the MIL from h*ll!!!

Polly said...

I can relate, my mother is much the same, its incredibly frustrating but I find swearing like a trouper under my breath can help.