I was so glad to find this thread – it’s so reassuring to know that I’m not the only one who has these feelings toward my MIL. I’ve been trying to find ways to cope with my anger and frustration, but it seems that even time isn’t healing these wounds.
I gave birth to our first child last summer. Of course, all the family came to visit when she was born – everyone wanted to see the new baby! My daughter was the first grandchild on my husband’s side, too, so it was a really big deal to my in-laws. MIL and FIL drove to our house to visit from out-of-state, saying that they would be staying with us for 2 weeks. We found out when they arrived that MIL had no plans to drive back with FIL after 2 weeks and just planned to stay until we kicked her out (who does that?!). Well, the first 2 weeks were almost up, and she decided to leave because she didn’t feel welcome. I only found out that she planned to leave the next day (earlier than anyone had expected) because I overheard her talking to someone else on the phone. No, she didn’t bother to tell me or my husband that she and FIL were leaving the next day. Now you might be wondering why she didn’t feel welcome at our house. Well, she was nothing but intrusive and disruptive the entire time she stayed with us. She was nosing around the house, spilling food and drink all over the carpet and furniture DAILY, almost let our dog loose on more than one occasion, was loud to the point that she continually woke the baby, and was just generally overbearing. She actually came in to our bedroom while I was in bed breastfeeding my daughter – COMPLETELY unwelcome interaction for me… What’s more, she came right up to the side of the bed and started touching my daughter’s head while I was feeding her and trying to cover myself up a bit. It was so uncomfortable for me! My husband and I both really tried to keep the peace and politely turn her away when she was overstepping, but you can only deal with so much…
So, she left and made it home safely, but I was very hurt after the experience and harbored some pretty negative feelings toward her. Unfortunately, we had to ask her for help just a couple of months later, which is when things really went downhill for my mental health. My husband had actually injured himself at work just before our daughter was born, and he ended up on disability leave from work with limited pay and a heaping pile of medications that made it nearly impossible for him to function on his own. We couldn’t afford daycare after about a month of me being back at work, and my husband needed help during the day as it was. We asked MIL to stay with us to help care for our daughter during the day and help my husband with doctor visits while I was at work until after he had a surgery he needed to treat his injury. Honestly, I would have loved to ask LITERALLY anyone else after the terrible experience we had just a couple of months earlier, but she was the only family we had who wasn’t employed and had the ability to help us out.
Once again, she nosed through all of our belongings, spilled food and drink all over the house, broke our coffee pot TWICE, woke the baby constantly, and generally made me uncomfortable in my own home. She was rude and abrasive in most things that she said (whether she meant to be or not). I felt like I couldn’t so anything without her watching, judging, and just being nosy. She is also a VERY messy person and leaves garbage and dirty laundry all over the place, which is enormously annoying to me! I am a clean freak and like to keep my home tidy, and she had no respect for that whatsoever. I couldn’t get a moment of peace and quiet no matter where I was in the house – I felt like a prisoner in my own home.
Like I said before, one big reason why we asked MIL to stay with us was to help my husband with his doctor visits and care while I was at work. In the end, there were only a few doctor visits for my husband that I missed because I quickly learned that I couldn’t trust MIL to actually report the information from the appointment accurately. She was very forgetful and didn’t seem to understand much of what was going on by the time she was filling me in on the day’s events. My husband was so heavily medicated that he couldn’t remember the details very clearly either. I ended up having to leave work to attend appointments over and over, forcing me to work later into the evening to make up for the lost hours, but it was the only way that I could get the information I needed for my husband’s care (things like pre- and post-operative care, what appointments/specialists needed to be squared away, changes in medications, etc.).
Additionally, she was supposed to be caring for our daughter during the day. Well, let’s just say those 2 months that MIL lived with us were the longest-lasting diaper rash my poor baby has ever had… MIL is CONSTANTLY on the phone and loses track of time easily, so I’m sure he wasn’t changing my daughter’s diaper as often as she should have. I thought for a while that maybe my daughter was just presenting with some skin sensitivities that she didn’t have at birth (kids do develop allergies, afterall), but that idea was shot when the diaper rash immediately went away after MIL left. I felt so bad for my poor baby, and I feel like a bad mom for trusting MIL to care for her during that time, but I didn’t have any other options.
MIL really did try to be helpful in some ways – she insisted on going grocery shopping for us, and she often bought the groceries herself with was a big financial help. Of course, she would go with a list of items that we all needed and somehow always managed to come back without any of the things that I needed… It felt personal and was just another source of frustration for me, especially since she would be gone for at least 4 hours every time she went to the store (I typically get all of our shopping done in about an hour). MIL also tried to cook dinner most nights so that I could just have a break when I got home from work, but she ended up burning things, ruining pots and pans, running all of the propane out of our grill after we had only used it one time, the list goes on.
I was so depressed while she was with us and for a good while after she left. I had never experienced depression in my life, but here I was, feeling so alone and helpless because this woman was tormenting me and making my life miserable every step of the way. It’s been about a year since she left, and I still feel so much anger and resentment toward MIL. I’m thankful every day that I don’t have to see her or even interact with her over the phone, and I dread the day that we go to visit her at her home (probably next Christmas). I don’t think I’d be upset at all if I never had to see her again. I wish I could find a healthier way to cope with these negative feelings, but I don’t feel like I can talk with my husband about these really strong feelings. Like I said before, he was pretty medicated when she was visiting, so I don’t think he really grasps (or remembers) the full extent of what happened or how difficult it was for me. So, I feel all of this anger toward MIL, I feel angry at myself for having such mean thoughts, and I feel like I don’t have a safe outlet to share my feelings or learn how to cope with them. It’s just so stifling and so exhausting…