Kind of wanting to say something, but still wondering what the point would be...

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
Kind of wanting to say something, but still wondering what the point would be...
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Fri, 08-24-2012 - 7:25pm

So, those of you who read my story below know the drama with my MIL and I.  She came last weekend and I bit my tongue and let DD go to her house (mostly to play with her cousins who were in town), and we showed up for the golden grandson's first birthday party on Sunday (I was late because of a family emergency on my side, but still showed, and DH and DD went the entire time).  Well, SIL had to go back to where she lives on Monday, but MIL stayed the entire week.  On Sunday night at the party she told DD that she would call during the week and that DD could come over and that she really wanted to come watch DD's swim lessons.  I work full time, and DH had to go out of town on business, so I told MIL a couple of times that DD would be at my mom's house and she could call over there any time and my mom would be happy to arrange for her to have DD for a while (god forbid MIL ever offer to have her for a full day) and I gave her the times for DD's swim lessons.  Mind you, we live in a small community and MIL, my parents and my house are all within a half mile of each other. (I should say FIL's house now, as MIL has been there a total of 10 days in the last 12 months.) Anyhow the week has come and gone (MIL flew back to SIL's house this afternoon) and we haven't heard a word from MIL.  

I know I shouldn't be surprised by this, after years of essentially the same stuff, but this time for me, the fact is, she lied to my DD's face.  I don't believe that MIL had any intentions of ever bothering to spend any time with DD while she was in town, and even at 4, my DD is old enough to remember when her grandmother says she's going to be somewhere and then doesn't show up.  DH is irritated, but would rather just ignore his mother and hope she doesn't come back to visit any time soon.  I talked to my other SIL today, and MIL didn't bother with her kids on this visit either, but SIL is also the type who would rather just ignore the situation.  

I'm at the point though where I kind of want to say something to MIL.  I know it wouldn't do any good, but I hate the thought that she runs around thinking (and telling people) that she's some awesome grandmother, when really she's a horrible person who sees no problem with lying to and thusly dissapointing a bunch of little kids!  I don't know what I would say, probably something along the lines of "You crossed the line this time when you made promises to my DD and then never followed through, and therefor the next time you are in town, I will not put my family in the place where the same situation will happen again." In other words, let her know that unless DD/DH get an apology and an explanation she will not be seeing DD on her next visit.

What are your thoughts?  Is it pointless?  Would you say something but say it differently?  Like I said, I don't think it would do any good with her, but I think it might make me feel better to say my piece.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-18-2004
I don't see the point.

My grandmother constantly called my siblings and I, promising us the moon each time. Then I wouldn't hear from her for maybe a year, or sooner if she got drunk enough. (I was too young at the time to realize she was drunk when she called the house.)

It didn't take too long for me to fully understand she never meant a word of what she said. I didn't feel hurt. And didn't cry when she died while in my 20's.

It sucks what MIL did to your dd, but I wouldn't sweat it right now.

I would wait until her next visit, and be too busy to accommodate a single visit with your girl. I wouldn't waste one darn minute on that woman. Heck, I might even go so far as to plan a vacation next time she's in town! (seriously.)

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004

Your MIL is who she is.  You've tried everything you could to try to make things work, but she hasn't chosen to change.  While it might give you momentary relief to say something, it isn't going to change anything.  I understand your frustration, but she's gone now and won't be back any time soon.  At her age, your daughter will quickly forget her grandmother's rudeness if you don't remind her. 

I think having a conversation with her just puts her in a power position; lets her know how much her behavior affects you.   She seems like the kind of person who would enjoy knowing that, so don't give her the satisfaction.  You said you don't want her telling other people negative things about you...well, even if you tell her how you feel, that isn't going to change what she says to other people, so there's no "win" there either.  I'd just let it go at this point and not give her the opportunity to screw things up for you and your family in the future.

Community Leader
Registered: 05-19-2008

I know that some say - why bother?  And I totally get that.  But, she did hurt your 4 year old child's feeling (hard to know to what degree) but as she gets older it will probably become more apparent.  Luckily you have your mom to show your daughter how a real grandmother behaves.  I don't know if your fil has made any effort to spend time with your daughter - it doesn't sound like it.

 

My thought would be to get it on the table to avoid the same thing from happening the next go around.  Maybe send your mil a note that says something like this:

 

It saddens me to think that my daughter (your granddaughter) was all excited thinking that her grandmother was going to spend some time with her and also come see her swimming class and then didn't make it.  In the future, please keep in mind that little kids hold those promises close to their hearts and to please not make any other promises with regards to these kind of things.  

 

Leave it simple but to the point.  Then, like some of the others said - don't waste your time and energy making an effort to spend time with them when they show up for a week.

 

Also, for me, the reason it was necessary in my eyes to have it out with mil once and for all was because she was only present and acting up around the special times in my families lives.  I got so tired of her ruining those moments for me and I had had enough.  I don't advocate getting to that point but now, after having sent the letter a month ago and no apologies (none expected) I know that I made the right decision.

 

If I say this a million times - I'll keep saying it.  Family members do not have the right to ruin our lives simply because they are family members.  Quite honestly, the only thing that I've lost and that my son has lost to date is the drama and the holding back saying what I really, really needed to be said.

My DH was like your DH - passive and just said let it go she'll never change.  But, that's crap.  I don't care if she never changes as long as I'm not expected to put up with her at times that are important to me.