My MIL has been a source of a lot of help over the years, but also a lot of strife.
She has been waiting a long time (2 1/2 months) to babysit my baby boy, “Mark,” her newest grandchild. I know that the wait has been killing her.
She does spend a fair amount of time with my older child, “Adam,” and one of her traditions is to take him to Saturday evening church and then have him spend the night at her house. She has a car seat in her car for Adam but not for Mark.
Well, tonight is her first real babysitting job for baby Mark. She will have Adam with her also. Yesterday it came up in conversation, purely by chance, that she is planning to take the boys to church with her. I am quite annoyed about this.
1) She said nothing at all about this prior to the chance conversation. Like, how to prepare bottles for church, how much fomula/breastmilk to have prepared, etc. As it turns out, our bottles don’t lend themselves well to preparing formula in the bottle itself because the bottle parts can get clogged, so you have to have things prepared ahead of time.
2) This requires that we swap cars. Again, nothing was said until it came up by chance. This means that we will be driving her car to a town 30 minutes away for our dinner tonight. Not a huge deal, and not the first time we have swapped cars, but it just seems weird to me that nothing was said about this.
3) Isn’t this the sort of thing one would ask about ahead of time? As in, “I would like to take both boys to church, is that okay?”
Baby Mark isn’t even 3 months old yet, so I feel a little protective of him still. This is not the first time that MIL has way overstepped her boundaries. The problem is, if I try to bring it up, it turns into a HUGE deal. So huge, she may actually write DH out of her will one of these days. See, in my experience, she never, ever sees that she may be in the wrong. It’s always everyone else who is in the wrong. Last summer she essentially threw a birthday party for my older son, Adam, without really asking me ahead of time. When I tried to convey to her my feelings about this, it turned into one of the nastiest interpersonal conflicts I have ever been through– and when it was all said and done, she did not apologize or admit she was wrong in any way.
I have to ask, what grandparent thinks it’s normal to throw a birthday party for her grandson? Isn’t that the parents’ job, and the parents’ right to (nicely) request that their child have ONE birthday party, the one thrown by the parents? What grandparent thinks it’s normal to take a child to the bank and open a savings account for the child, without consulting the parents first? (she hasn’t done this yet, but seems to be considering it).
I have decided to let this church thing go (to not bring it up with her), but I will remember this the next time she drops hints about not getting to babysit Mark enough.
Feel free to leave your comments about this topic!