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Discussion:
MY MS and mother-in-law... Need opinions
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I have had MS for a little over five and half years now. On top of that, I have 3 kids and a great husband.
Ok, so here's my story, please let me know of your opinions. My mother-in-law has never really acknowledged that I have MS until a month ago. For some reason, she decided that she was goin to help me with my household duties. I found this very odd, but took her up in helping me out. So after about a month of her coming over unexpectedly, sending texts saying what we were going to do that day and when, telling me how to parent my children and doing things that were of no help. These things of no help made it where I would have to clean up te mess when she left. For ex. She decided to go through all my kids winter clothes, remind you this is August. Therefore, I have many trash bags full of my children's winter clothes that she says need to be donated, now I have to go through all of these bags to make sure I'm not giving any clothes away that still fit or that are brand new. (she says I have way too many clothes in my house, there are 5 of us, so yeah that seems about right). Anyway, Sunday, she came over while I was gone to get my oldest from a friends house. When I got home, she had folded clothes. Yes nice gesture... But I have already told her multiple times that I make stacks for each person in the house so that they can put their own clothes up. Well, the clothes were all messed up in multiple stacks. She had not put them in a stack for each. This aggravated me to no return. So I started fixing the stacks and started to cry. My husband then got aggravated at me, so you can imagine this caused an arguement. I told him that she only does things her way, disrespects the way I do things in my house and tells me how to treat my kids. (she says that I should always be up their butts and yelling at them constantly). So my husband and I agreed that he would say something to her about it. Well, he did on Sunday. Yesterday, because I can't stand to hurt anyone's feelings or have anyone mad at me, I sent her a text saying that I do appreciate her help, but I have my certain ways of doing things like she has her ways at her house. I also said that I don't want our relationship to go down hill because of this. And that she is like a mom to me. Well 30 mins later, she responded and said I overstepped my boundaries and it won't happe
Posted on 08/06/13, 03:10 pm
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Reply #1 - 08/06/13  3:25pm
" I really hope this does not affect your relationship with her. It sounds like to me that she does understand. Maybe next time when you do need her help, you will be able to tell her and she will accept the way you do it. It is good that your husband was willing to step in and talk to her. I wish you the best. "
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Reply #2 - 08/06/13  9:04pm
" This sounds like a carbon copy of my MIL. I know I'm odd in that I don't want her touching/my undergarments & bras. My daughter is now saying the same thing. She use to come over. & watch my daughter until the bus came. My husband & I have both told her nicely not to to touch or do anything, but she still does. It took until we verbally had it out one day before I left for work. We came to the agreement that we r 2 completely different people that want their house the way they want it.

So ... we hired a Cleaning Co. & bite the bill. Dealing with family is hard. "
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Reply #3 - 08/06/13  9:08pm
" Forgive and move forward. She sounds great to me. She accepted responsibility and apologized. "
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Reply #4 - 08/06/13  10:29pm
" Well, I can definitely empathize. . . luckily that sort of thing (her popping in and rearranging couldn't have happened because we were living in different countries) didn't happen, but when we did coincide in the same place, we had little conflicts, over dish-washing etc etc. . . She passed away in January, so problem is no more, but it was hard.
I do think you were totally in your right to say something. "
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Reply #5 - 08/08/13  6:13pm
" My former Father-In-Law will never acknowledge the severity of my MS because as a young man he was a paramedic, then he became a fireman, then an instructor at the fire academy. He knows everything about trauma but he doesn't know squat about diseases or the disease process.

So he and his wife, my Mother-In-Law, played a big role in my divorce.

But it is so messy dealing with in-laws because it is too easy to make a mis-step. So, the way I see it there is almost nothing that can be done for a perfect solution. "
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Reply #6 - 08/11/13  12:19pm
" It's kind of like when you're teaching your kids how to do household chores, isn't it? They have to learn -- but you spend a lot of time following behind them, "fixing" what they've done!
So, first your mother-in-law didn't do anything because she felt helpless. Now she wants to help -- but she's getting it wrong. What skill does she have that would really help you? Can she fill your freezer or do your grocery shopping? Be the person in charge of making sure the kids have what they need for school projects or birthday parties (I remember all too well those last-minute scrambles for poster board or birthday presents!)(Actually, now that I think about it, it would have been a huge help to have someone else remembering when it was one of my kids' turn to bring snack for soccer or Girl Scouts...field trip permission slips...Valentines....I sure could have used a social secretary for my kids! It was that kind of stuff -- not the routine stuff -- that was always getting tripped up by MS.) Maybe at this point your could just put her in charge of thinking good thoughts and sending them your way (sending your kids her way so you and your husband could have low-stress at home date nights wouldn't be bad either!) "
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Reply #7 - 08/12/13  12:25am
" Thanks everybody! Well it took her 5 days to talk to me again... She has started to visit us once again, but this time she doesn't touch anything. :). I really wish that she would help me out with watching the kids for me every once in a while, but school starts on the 19th so that should help. Especially with the messes. Luckily for some reason my dad has turn a corner and is spending more time with them. Yay! Finally! So this has helped also. Oh, and she cleans houses part time as her job so I'm sure that's one of the reasons she assumed she could help me with. Thanks! And keep letting me know your thoughts. "
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Reply #8 - 08/14/13  1:26am
" I wish I had some help from my MIL. She's a hermit and is oblivious to my troubles. Somewhat. She's only around when it suits her and that's rare.

You need to work on open communications. The fact that you texted back and forth means now a coffee date to chat about what you're going through and how much you truly appreciate her help. But maybe she could wait til you ask and you'll promise to tell her when you could use some help. And mean it. :-).

Good luck. Take time to be grateful. :-) it'll work out "
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Reply #9 - 08/16/13  9:49am
" Knowing that she cleans houses for a living helps me understand what she did a little bit better. It was hard for her to understand how she was over-stepping boundaries -- after all, other people PAY her to do exactly what she did at your house! Essentially she was doing what she does professionally, only doing it for you for free. It a situation where she feels a little helpless (and believe me, even though I love my daughter-in-law, there's always a little uncertainty as how to relate -- It's not quite as easy as with my daughter.) (On the other hand, my DIL has never snapped at me the way my daughter has!) your mother-in-law contributed something she knew was valued by other people, a skill people paid for. No wonder there were hurt feelings and misunderstandings all the way around! I hope the two of you can work together to figure out out a few truly helpful things for her to do. Maybe the kids can contribute some ideas, too -- what would they like Grandma to help them with (I wish I'd had a mother-in-law who would have supervised Saturday morning kids room clean-up. I would have left the house and had the morning to myself while she rode herd on them! Maybe she'll turn your kids into neatniks. Of course, you'd have to tell the kids that as far as Saturday morning chores are concerned, Grandma's the boss -- no coming complaining to you about Grandma! (and you can't second guess Grandma). Kids are great at that kind of divide and conquer.) (Writing this makes me feel a bit wistful. My husband traveled for work, and my life would have been so much easier -- and more restful -- if there was someone else in charge of clean your rooms -- strip and make your beds -- pull out all of that stuff you shoved under your beds and don't shove it in to your closet -- what is half a peanut butter sandwich doing under your pillow?!) Let go and let Grandma -- and go out and have a venti iced latte on me! "

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