Monday, August 25, 2008

A Bit Deeper...

I've kept this blogging thing somewhat 'light' because I'm never sure who is going to read it. My husband reads it, and I'm usually okay with it, though sometimes I wish he didn't. Sometimes I wish it could be 'our little secret--just between us girls'. A girl needs to vent. And that is what I'm about to do:

Here's the story. I don't even know how or where to start. I am having MIL drama. We live about 6 1/2 hours from the in-laws and see them every so often. We had a plan to go and see them this past July when I find out from my MIL that she feels like we use them. Yes, you read it right. She mentions this in passing to my hubby over the phone and when he tells me all that she said I'm like 'hey, back the truck up..she said WHAT?" So, I decide to calmly call her. I tell her that Husband told me that they feel used when we come and visit them. She said that it's not only her but my FIL too. I talk to FIL and he says that he feels used 'sometimes.'

Now let me explain something to you. We live 6 1/2 hours from them. We visit them, ohhh let's say maybe 3 times a year. Husband's brother and sister and their families live there, too. We usually go there, stay about 3 or 4 days. We visit everyone. I'm somewhat close to my SIL so we do some things just us. We usually all have dinner together, and do some stuff together--shopping, check out downtown, that sort of stuff. Many times we've gone there because it was someone's graduation, a bike race, some event going on.

We were going there this time because it was hubby's 20 year high school reunion. So, when I call and ask her this she says yes. Apparently they don't like it that we go and do other things while we are there. Now let me inform you that we do things with them. Sometimes I'll do some things with the MIL, sometimes I'll do things with the SIL. Husband goes and runs errands with his dad or does yard work, etc. I guess what this is coming down to is that they feel like when we go there that we just use them to sleep in their house and then go run around and do stuff.

Well, yes we do go and do stuff...with them. We have never asked them to watch our kids or anything. But we found out that apparently they want us to do more stuff with them.

Don't you think ya could've found a different way to say that?

I know you guys don't know me too well, but let me tell you one thing. I'm a giver. I try to be a really good person. I take the time to send cards 'just because'. I make homemade things for presents when I can. I email updates. I take pictures and send them. I make courtesy phone calls. I have my son call them. I encourage him to make cards, form relationships with them. I even went to Hilton Head one time BY MYSELF to see them and stayed in a room with my 2 children and nephew and breastfed my daughter in the middle of the night with the son and nephew sleeping in the bed next to me and my husband wasn't there.....I went for be be a good DIL. Did they help me at all with my kids? Not so much. Will I be doing this again--going over and beyond the DIL call of duty? Not so much.

I told her that in no way would we ever want them to feel like we are using them and that we would not be staying with them for the HS Reunion. Can you believe a parent would say this to a child? I came from a home where it was considered our home........mi casa, su casa.

I'm so hurt. I haven't really said much since then to them. I just can't get over this though. I am struggling with the fact that they think we use them.

And then this past weekend a cousin wanted to go stay with them while he looked into some recruiting of that area's college football team. Is THAT not using someone? I like to call it visiting with perks.

For example: When we lived in Colorado, people would come and visit us and go skiing --without us. Did we feel used? OF course not!

Living here, friends/people have come and stayed with us while they had conventions here. Did we feel used? No, we enjoyed the time they were not at the convention.

We've gone to friend's homes in Orlando and stayed with them and then went to Sea World. Did they feel used? No, they were just bummed that they couldn't go to Sea World with us because of that dang thing called a job!

I'm going to eventually call the MIL. I am going to write down all the things I feel, organize them and make a script type of thing for me to keep my head in order and feelings out there on the table. I feel like she just dropped a bomb on us and then went on about her day, relieved that she'd emptied out her negative feelings on us. I have all these feelings stuffed inside and nowhere to put them.

Here's the problem: will it even make any difference if I talk to her? Probably can't talk rationally to an irrational person. I have to keep telling myself that. She is irrational, selfish and immature....and twice my age.

I'm just so hurt. This is not what a family is like to me. I didn't grow up around this. My parents practically push us out the door to go and do and get away and enjoy what the area has to offer or visit with friends. We go and do as we please and they tell us that their house is as much ours as it is theirs. They tell us to leave the kids and go--enjoy some free time.

Hubby, I'm sorry if you are upset that I'm blogging about this, but it is better than calling up the MIL, wouldn't you say?

I have prayed about this quite a bit too. I am just hurt. I'm sure I've not told you everything about it because I can't remember it all, but I hope this all sounds clear.

After a day or two, my husband called them and told them that we wouldn't be going on our yearly family vacation with them because we don't want them to feel used. He also made the following arrangements (which are ridiculous by the way, but apparently necessary):
#1. We will only visit them when invited.
#2. We will stay in a hotel (I'm so looking forward to spending my money on a mother-freaking hotel stay)
#3. We will have an agreed-upon agenda and if there is a spot in there that there aren't plans with them then we can do whatever the hell we want.

Doesn't that sound inviting? Don't you want to go visit with us?

Pray for me girlfriends. I need it.


Jillian, Inc. said...

Gosh. Feel for you. These things are so hard. I speak only from experience - let a little time pass before you talk to your MIL. I'd venture to say just let it go, mostly for your sake and your hubby's. I've spoken up way too many times in situations like this and didn't get the desired outcome and wished I'd just kept my mouth shut. (And by the way I rarely give advice, so take it with a grain of salt...ha!). I'm on facebook, too...Jill Grice Norwood if you want to be "friends!"

Magster said...

I can so relate to what you are going through. And, just this week I heard the same thing with a twist. My inlaws only visit us once a year, usually around our twins' birthday in October. They live 6 hours away and usually come for 3 days. We always have a party, inviting my own "large" family and a few friends. My SIL told us that MIL refuses to come down to visit us if we are going to have other people there for the party. She wants it to be just about their family. NFW!!!

So, we are going to have our party as planned. We're just going to wish them on their merry way the morning of the party. :)

Hang in there!!!

KK said...

Oh, I've been there too. My MIL once blasted us because she felt like we just breezed in and breezed out whenever we wanted. My extended family lives in the vicinity of her, so we always always split up the visit. When she went on her rampage, I politely told her that she sees her son way more now that I'm in the picture than before, so that should make her happy.

Whatever. After six years I just don't care. She should just be happy that we stay with her. My grandmother or sister would much rather me stay with them, but we choose to stay with her. Shouldn't that make her happy????!!! :)

Mona said...

I'm right there with you. I don't understand why the "out-laws" who are suppose to be "family" can't just be polite and get along! If for no other reason than to respect their son's choices. That doesn't mean they have to agree with his choices. I'm just saying. I'll pray for you.

clemsongirlandthecoach said...

we shall discuss this in person in a couple of weeks...i just can't type what i want to say...

just imagine...then add about 84,000 fbombs...

i hear you sister, i hear you

Hair Girl said...

My MIl feels we use her for baby sitting. But has a fit that we "always" leave the boys with Nana Judy. I have to "use" her again in October and I am dreading having to ask.

We aren't allowed to leave the IL's during a visit unless its to an "approved" family member's home. We are taking her time away from her. Like I want to sit around and watch sports or John Wayne all day.

Boo and Hooties Mom said...

I feel for you....

Check my blog...there is something for you!!!

Cas said...

Wow...I feel for you! My family is very much like yours...their home is my home is theirs. Come and stay, save money on a hotel and visit when we can.
I'm with Clemsongirl and would have lots to say with lots of fbombs...not very lady like I know...but that is too much! Glad the hubby put some stipulations out there though and didn't just agree with the folks.

suburban prep said...

I grew up in a large family (I am the oldest of 7 siblings). I am used to people just stopping by. My parent's love it even now when people just stop by or stay with them. In fact yesterday a friend and I brought two 2 yr old over to my parent's and my parent's wanted us to stay for quite a while. We had parked our cars at their place to be closer to the train station (Ok we were using them). I understand MIL issues. I have them in a sense as well. There isn't enough room to voice it all. I have just usually held my tongue while she has made statements to me about things. I just try to remember that this is hubby's mother and I love him so I will respect her to a degree but I am also my own person and have my own opinion.

Julie said...

Bless your heart! That is ridiculous! That was a very hurtful thing for your MIL to say. It is amazing what people will say when they don't get their way! I hope things improve and I hate that you now have "conditions" for visiting!

Just Ask Beth said...

Do they ever take the time to visit you all ALONE! If they want one on one then they need to come visit you. I am always amazed at how some MIL and FIL can be. As a person whose both parents are deceased and never met my children, my parents would want my CHILDREN there any time, they probably wouldn't care if I showed up. It is NOT about them, they sSHOULD WANT to spend time with their grandchildren.. You can't make people change, she will think you are being overly sensitive and blowing the whole thing out of proportion, which we know you are NOT!! Just be cool as a cucumber with her and stay with SIL and when she asks why you are not staying with them say because we don't want you to feel USED!! BEATCH!!!!!!!!!!!!

Llama Momma said...

Ugh -- this is so hard!

I agree that your MIL could have found a better way to say "I wish we could spend more time with you."

It doesn't sound like you're "using" anyone -- and I'm sorry she laid this on you!!

No advice...just keep doing the right thing and know that it's not you...

Surf Girl said...

I'm so sorry, I feel your pain...I'm also having in-law problems. The sad thing is we moved to where we are to be near them. BIG mistake. I am counting the days until we can get out of here. I agree with you - it probably wouldn't make any difference if you talked to her.
I'll keep you in my prayers and just know you're not the only one out there!