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Old September 9th, 2008, 02:12 PM
Black Box Black Box is offline
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Re: All hell broke loose today!

Don't give her the letter: you are JADEing something you should not have to JADE.

JADE means justify, argue, defend, and explain.

YOU are their mother, and you make the decisions. You do not need to justify ANY decision you make about your own children to your MIL. NEVER. Nor do you have to defend your decision. EVER.


Do not set a precedent on this.

Why are you explaining? She already got an explanation. The kids wanted to do something else and you agreed to let them. She already got her explanation. She doesn't like it, that's HER problem not yours. No further explanation is needed. If she isn't satisfied with the explanation you already gave she will never be satisfied with any explanation. So why bother? You've got nothing else to do but plead for understanding from a woman who refuses to understand.

Argue? Why on earth would you argue with her? Complete waste of time.

Your husband is out of line telling you to go to counselling with her. He just wants to stay out of it. He can't; it's his mother. But he gets a choice: he either makes it clear to his mother that she is out of line and gets her to both apologize and change her behavior. Or he lets you handle it your way without criticism or undermining you. If he won't choose, HE gets to come to counselling with you!

How would I handle it? I would drop her a note saying, "This is not working out; I will no longer need you to babysit. Thank you very much for all you've done.

"I have also decided that it is in the best interest of my family that the children and I take a break from this conflict. It's not good for any of us. Until further notice, please do not call or come by. We all need time to cool down and reassess our behavior.

"Yours respectfully, Black Box".

And then I'd cut her out for at least 3 months, and a requirement for getting together again would be that she would be required to acknowledge, the words out of her mouth, 'those are your children and you do not need to justify any of your parenting decisions with me.'

She will of course then bombard my DH with complaining and demands and whining and anger; but, DH's problem, not mine. <shrug> If she's too annoying, maybe HE can go to counselling with her. If he tried to advocate or excuse his mother, I'd remind him that he had three choices and he already chose.

It does not punish the kids not to see grandma for a few months. Kids with wonderful, loving grandmas who never cause trouble go months and sometimes years without seeing their grannies and it doesn't scar their psyches.

If anyone questions or bullies you about your decision to have a 'cooling off period' with MIL (including your husband), say in a calm, almost disinterested voice: "Things were getting out of hand, and I think a coolling off period is in EVERYBODY's best interest."

Repeat as needed. If someone tries to guilt you about how devastated MIL is, just say, "that's too bad", and if they persist, suggest they recommend a therapist to her; sounds like maybe she was developing an unhealthy reliance on my children for her emotional well being.

But don't get into it with ANYONE, just let it roll off your back, and say that you don't want to talk about it.

Sounds like your husband has some problems to clear up with his mother. If she thinks you only contact her when you need something, maybe you should stop using her services, things, money or whatever it is she things you are using her for. You don't want the poor thing to feel taken advantage of.

When you did re integrate her into your family, I'd set up some boundaries, such as the kids not being alone with her for a while, she can only visit when you are around and only at your convenience, and I'd insist that she have an invitation before coming over. And her contact would not be more than twice amonth, for no more than four hours at a time.

MIL needs to develope a life of her own.

If she doesn't not respect your coolling off period, and insists on contacting you or confronting you, I'd add a week to each encounter--too bad if it interferes with Christmas.

That's how I'd handle it with my MIL and my DH and my set of circumstances. She was WAY out of line.
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Old September 9th, 2008, 02:29 PM
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KayKay KayKay is offline
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Re: All hell broke loose today!

Well put.

Totally OT... glad to see you back Black Box!
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Old September 9th, 2008, 08:08 PM
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snafu snafu is offline
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Re: All hell broke loose today!

I agree with KayKay -BB rocks -
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