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Day 228 -- Got those Mother-in-law blues

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

My #1 eating trigger? Stress.

My husband just called and informed me that his mother will be arriving this evening, and staying through the month of August.

She was supposed to stay in Albuquerque until the 14th, and then with us for a couple of weeks. But her plans in NM fell through, and she left there this morning.


I love my husband, and he loves his mother. My kids love Grandma.

But she and I have.... differences ... let's call them.

I am the breadwinner in my household. My husband works, but mine is the primary income. She doesn't get that. She thinks my role is to support my husband's ambitions, while I take care of things on the home front. I mean, if I have to take some small, unimportant job to make ends meet, that's OK, but she cannot get the concept of my career having a higher priority than Jon's job or the housework. I'm sorry, but I just don't care too much if that last load of laundry gets folded when I've got billing to do. I LIKE my job. I HATE cleaning. That's why I have a cleaning service twice a month.

Which is another bone of contention with her. Not the cleaning service per se, but the things I spend money on. Cleaning service, manicures, pedicures, my hairstylist. I get it. I really do. She was widowed at a young age. Just keeping a roof over her son's head and feeding him was hard. She didn't have luxuries. But I'm not taking food out of my children's mouths by getting my hair done. The boys have everything they need, and most of the things they want. They have their own allowance money to spend on things. They have more toys than they can play with, music lessons, martial arts, good schools -- I don't need someone to give me the skunk eye because I dared to go to the nail salon.

Top top it all off, she's crazy. She makes these crazy choices - like living in her car for a year because her roommate got a girlfriend. See, she was renting a room from a friend of the family, but when his girlfriend moved in, she "couldn't live in a house where people were living in sin" so she left. In the middle of the night. Without leaving a note or a forwarding address. Left most of her stuff behind. We invited her to stay with us. Her nephew offered his spare room. My parents offered to let her move into their basement. Instead, she slept in her car and showered at 24-Hour Fitness.

She also pretended to have cancer for almost three years. That's a sore spot with just about everyone in the family. She spent three years going on about how she was dying, and showing everyone how brave she was. And then it was over. She never mentioned it again, and everyone pretends it never happened. We all know she was faking - especially now that my mom and best friend have both now gone through chemo treatments and KNOW she was lying - but she will never admit it, and no one will confront her with their knowledge. It just sits there under the surface - the elephant in the room in any family gathering.

I respect that she raised a good son. I realize that her life has been hard, and I understand that she's from a completely different background from me. I realize our difference are more than just generational. She was raised on the Reservation. I was raised in a middle class, white-bread small town. Her way of life is based on growing up poor, surrounded by poor people. I felt poor growing up, but compared to her life, mine has been a cake-walk. I can understand her lonliness, but I hate being around her.

So, here goes an entire month of stress. Living with my mostly crazy mother-in-law. Fake smile, plastered across my face, spending lots of time at the gym and locked in my room, catching up on my reading.

It's only a month, right?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hugs..I know this won't be easy.
    2816 days ago
  • JODIEC79
    I feel your pain! My MIL is a nightmare. During their most recent visit to the US they were scheduled to stay with us 3 months, through out wedding. Needless to say, she hates me, I don't like the way they treated me and they left very early. You deserve a medal for putting up with the MIL for a month but chin'll do great and after the month is over maybe treat yourself to one of those pedicures she doesn't think you need. :-)
    2817 days ago
    I hope that your stress is not as bad as you are anticipating. I'm cheering for you my friend. Remember that you can always come here and vent away. We're here for you. Love, Dawn
    2818 days ago
    I completely sympathize. My MIL was a wonderful lady, but she has been gone for over 20 years. I am coming off 4 days of her children and some of them make me CRAZY. We have a couple that re-write history to suit their own purposes and heaven help you if your memory disagrees with their fiction. Some of them can't be in the same room for an hour without arguing. And all of this going on while my DD recovers from surgery! I can't wait for some quiet time today and that is only after 4 days.

    Try to come here and vent as often as you can!!
    2818 days ago
    Wow, I know how I'd feel if it were my MIL.....I'm so sorry you won't be able to enjoy having a houseguest.
    Sending hugs and soothing, tension-relieving thoughts your way.
    2820 days ago
  • LLEWIS6879
    Holy smokes! You have a long row to hoe!

    Now is the time to use ALL the self control you've learned in classes...

    NOW is the time to be at the do-jo beating the stuffing out of all the bad-guy-bobs and when you're done with that, start on the people. Just make sure they're geared up!

    Best of luck to you!
    2820 days ago
    I dont just like this blog. I love this blog. What a wonderful way to vent about the evil mother in law. I have one too and she is always all up in our buisiness. I honestly dont know how you are going to make it through the month. I guess the fake smiles will help out alot. I guess, that would be only way to make it throught that. Im glad u and her can still fake smile. It has been so much going on I refuse to fake smile ne more if she will continue to be the way that she is.Well good luck. I mean this with all of my spark heart..
    2821 days ago

    Comment edited on: 8/5/2010 12:42:14 PM
  • JULIEH1999
    Wow! Why do all MIL's have to be so crazy? Remember, it's only a month and it's YOUR house too! Stay positive! It may not be as bad as you think.
    2822 days ago
    I feel for you. My Mother in Law informed me that she was terrified, and had been for a long time, or well, since we married, that my husband was going to kill himself. Everyday, all day, she really thought this. (My husband is actually quite happy.) I could go on, but this blog is about you. I think you're great for having putting up with this. Try to escape by going for a run/walk/whatever once in a while. At the very least it will give your jaw and cheeks a break from the fake smile. emoticon
    2822 days ago
    Man, I am so sorry to hear about this. It sounds like you have it under control though at this point. Do what you have to for you and your family - don't let someone else try to make like you are making bad decisions. Its only a month, and it'll go by quick! emoticon
    2822 days ago
    Wow, kind of puts my differences with my MIL in perspective. Good luck! (Hmm, maybe I should try the nail salon for stress relief....)
    2822 days ago
  • ANNE7X7
    You are a strong woman for putting up with this crazy MIL! Mine isn't always the nicest person, but I think I have it pretty good compared to you! Keep your head up and do not let her get to you! You are a strong, beautiful and smart woman, and you are an adult free to make decisions!
    2822 days ago
    Oh My!
    Bless you for making the best of the situation. You can do this.
    And with all the extra time you put in at the gym you'll be in great shape!
    Chin up - check.
    Smile - check.
    Game on - check.
    2822 days ago
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