Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A rant

My mother-in-law dropped in for another one of her weekly visits this evening, prompting me to me totally annoyed and therefore write the following post. **warning, this post is for me to spill my feelings, so I am sorry if I get too personal or bore you!

I've talked on here about my MIL a smattering of times, but have not really told the whole story of why she gets under my skin like she does.  
So let me start from the beginning.

When I first started to date KK, he and his mother had a good relationship.  He is her only child, and she is single- so that being said- he pretty much is her sounding board and her sole caregiver, if need arise.  
KK's mom was a flaming alcoholic when we first started to date- we recently learned she was drinking a gallon of whiskey over the course of 2 days for the past 40 years- so she was hitting it pretty hard.  
So anyway,  she liked me and I kind of liked her- I always thought she was a little strange and found it so weird that she was always loaded and smelled like booze- even when she was working (for the school district) or when she would come watch Kris coach basketball.  But she always kept her distance- left us alone-hardly came over- but would call and bug Kris almost every other day.  Which was fine with me- because she stayed out of our business.
 KK's mother was a drunk and a workaholic- and she was forced out of her job (because of her drinking) about 2 years ago. So she became a lonely, depressed alcoholic.  But she still left us alone.  Then this summer she really hit rock bottom.  Her friends stepped in and brought the elephant that was always in the room to a front-she needed to stop drinking or she would kill herself and soon.  So KK and I helped her sober up- me being 8 months pregnant at the time. The summer was horrible.  She was in total denial and went through a phase where she acted 80 years old (she's 62) and would call Kris all the time and be super needy.  She made a huge scene at my baby shower and acted like it was a huge inconvenience to walk down my parents' deck to get to the shower- it was ridiculous.  You see.. she has a princess problem: if the focus is not completely on her, she throws a fit.  (She did the same thing at our wedding-you should see the pictures, no smiles from her in any of them- ri-friggin-dicoulous!)  
So anyway, she finally sobered up about September- and has now become obsessed with being a part of our lives. She wants to see Ali every friggin day- when she was first born she was coming over every day, and after I finally bitched enough KK made her just come over once a week.  Which is still too often.  KK and I are super busy people- we both teach and he coaches in the winter, and I coach in the spring.  I don't get home right now until around 3:45 or 4:00, and even though that is semi-early in the evening, I feel like I blink and it is already 6:30 (Ali's bath time). So needless to say, we don't do a lot of sitting around.  
I have tried and tried to get Kris to understand where I am coming from on this- I don't' want his mother coming over during the week because the afternoons are our precious time to spend with Ali.  We hardly have time as it is to play with her, go through her whole bedtime routine, and eat dinner, let alone entertain his mother so she can get her baby fix or whatever it is she is doing. So normally she comes over on Sundays, which is still hugely annoying but easier to deal with.  But not tonight, she called Kris and complained because he wasn't making enough time for her- even though he is coaching and not getting home until 5:30 on weeknights, AND playing 3 games a week... and so we had to have her over tonight- at 6:00.  Dinner time.  

And even though the good news is that she has finally whipped her drinking problem and is acting like a normal human being for the first time since I met her- she still bugs the crap outta me!  She drives me nuts that she cannot understand that WE have a life- a very busy life- and that this is OUR family.  I understand she is the grandma and does have rights, but it gets so old to have to accommodate her.  I know Kris feels sorry for her and that they have their own bag of issues- but I just wish he could tell her NO and that we are not trying to avoid her or leave her out of anything, but that she has to give us our space.  She totally does not understand at all- she even followed me up to Ali's bath tonight to say goodbye to her in the tub!  
It takes everything inside of me to not just scream at my husband.  I also feel horrible for feeling the way I do.  I just don't understand it- why does she have to be so needy to the point where she disregards our family completely, and only focuses on her needs?    Kris acts like it is a chore to have her over, and he treats her like an obligation more than a mother. On the other hand, he defends her to the core and becomes so upset if I even mention my feelings.  I try to remember that his upbringing was horrible and nothing compared to my own, but I just get so sick sometimes. The woman puts a pit in my stomach- and I can't help but feel she is intruding on my life.  I am not sure if she is trying to make up for lost time with my husband or if she really doesn't have anything else to do and forgets that the rest of the world has a life- it just does not make sense. There are so many other issues that I am leaving out... the way she totally ignored Kris through his childhood- how she ruined my wedding and baby shower by making it about her ... how she totally embarrassed me in my school district by being my "drunk mother-in-law"... how people ask me if she is doing OK because of the way she looks and how she acts like she is 100 years old.. how she competes with my parents to be the best grandparent and bad mouths my mother... that the excuse my husband gives is that "she is what she is" and we have to accept it... the list could go on and on...

The bottom line for me is that I do not in anyway want to seclude her from our lives, but I just wish she would leave us alone and let us decide when we can schedule time for her.  Ali does not need to see her every week in order to have a relationship with her.  I have an awesome relationship with my grandparents and I don't even know if I saw them once a month growing up! 
It just makes me depressed sometimes- because she will never go away.  When I married Kris, I married her too.  And I do think I work myself up and make it worse then it has to be... but ONCE A WEEK- really!!!?? Is this going to continue for THE REST OF HER LIFE? And how bad will it be in 1 month when I am the one coaching until 5:30, so I only get 1 hour a night with my baby- and I have to share it with that woman!  
I just don't know what to do to handle it.  I need to resolve issues within myself I know, but I'm just hoping eventually I will get used to it.  I want to come to terms with it and accept the situation.  I do not want to get a pit in my stomach every time KK tells me she is coming over.  
It just sucks because no one understands the way I feel. And I don't know what to do to fix it.


Jonathan and Tara said...

I would kill myself if I had to see my MIL once a week. I feel for you :( It sounds like a tough situation without an easy solution but I hope that KK can talk some sense into her.

Alexa said...

Girlfriend! I TOTALLY know how you feel. I was just telling my own mother last week that I don't know how to resolve my ill will toward my in-laws. It is like I am harboring some horrible feelings towards them because of how they treated my husband when he was younger. It is a long story, just as yours is, but I struggle with the same sort of feelings you do. I wish I could get over it and accept it and just live normally. It is so hard to get over that feeling that my husband was wronged and I feel upset with them for it to this day and it is not my place to feel that way, but I DO! You are not alone....if you figure out how to deal with it, let me know. :)

KDLOST said...

i am so sorry you are going through this! i hope it all gets better... i know it must be so hard! :( you have to have your space... you just do.

kimca01 said...

Oh I hear ya. DH's parents are over here every Sunday and it makes for a loooong visit. The kids love them but hello, when they go down for a nap, that's MY time, people - out you go!

Andréa said...

Honey, can I have your email, because you ain't got nothing on my MIL!!! I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND YOU. Case in point: Hubs and I went on our honeymoon. I told him to make sure the forwarding address for the wedding presents went to MY parents. He, of course, thought his parents were a better option. When I got back from my HONEYMOON. ALL my presents had been opened and a list had been made of how much HER family spent and how much MY family spent. HELLO? Are these two related?

Amanda said...

Families are so hard. I know the push and pull of being annoyed and then having my husband (or me) defend our respective parents. I will say this, with 3 kids 4 and under, I wish my MIL was more available to help. WE struggle with her disappearing, so I do appreciate seeing the other side.

Good luck. If you handle your firmness with kindness they can't ask anything more of oyu.

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