just a little venting

What, after all, is the point of an anonymous blog, if not to complain about one’s in-laws?

My MIL is driving me crazy.  Apparently my current husband-less, house-bound state (while carrying her first and likely only grandson) gives her license to get involved in every nook and cranny of my life, and I’m beginning to chafe a bit.  She lives exactly four minutes away and watches V. for typically about 10 hours a week, for free.  We have each other on speed dial.  And normally we get along really well.  Normally, my husband is here to act as a buffer whenever she begins to get on my nerves.  But he’s presently on another continent and she has taken it as her personal mission to make sure that I am OK.

Particulars: she drove my to my NST yesterday, which was fine, and I thought she’d get a kick out of hearing the heartbeat so it seemed like a nice gesture to include her in everything.  But I sensed that baby boy was falling asleep, so I pulled a chocolate bar out of my purse and ate a square hoping this would wake him up a little.

“Ohhhh, are you supposed to be eating chocolate?” she asked, in that “tsk-tsk” sort of voice.  Somehow she has it in her mind that my SELF-IMPOSED chocolate ban (lately it seems to give me headaches) was a medical directive.  I replied, “nobody has said anything to me about chocolate.  I’m supposed to avoid caffeine but a little bit should help get the baby moving which is what they want to see.”  I felt myself getting twitchy.

And then there’s her witch doctor.  I say this tongue in cheek only because I don’t really know what it is that this woman does… even though I went to see her a dozen times or so 2 summers ago.  My MIL swears by this woman and the cure-all and heal-all for any kind of ailment you might have, and has been BUGGING ME incessantly to go to her again.  When I went in ’08, I thought I felt marginally better after seeing her 2 or 3 times, but after that… no difference at all.  She has you lie down on a massage table, and touches you gently, taps on the side of your head, has you stick out your tongue and do random strange things.  It’s supposed to align your electrical field or something like that.  It’s supposed to regulate all your body’s functions – lower blood pressure (ah- HA!), clear your allergies, help you sleep soundly at night.  My husband has been a few times and finds it relaxing.  By the time I concluded my sessions with her, I just found it… irritating.

I find HER irritating.  She’s very very nice, but just kind of… strange.  She has bad teeth and dresses sloppily.  I shouldn’t judge someone by these measures, but I have to say – it doesn’t inspire confidence.  When I told her my field of study, she had not the foggiest clue what I was talking about.  Maybe I over-value intellectuality… but again, it just didn’t inspire confidence.

By the end of the summer, I couldn’t WAIT to go back to school, just so I wouldn’t have to see her again.  I kept going simply because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings… I was too chicken to just tell her I didn’t think it was helping or making any difference.  I kept going in order to be polite.  And I started to feel really resentful of both the time and the money – $60/hour is too much to spend just to avoid hurting someone’s feelings…

I haven’t told my MIL all this, mostly because, well, I guess because I didn’t want to be impolite to her, either – she swears by this woman, and to say I think this woman is a crackpot kind of casts aspersions on MIL’s judgment. But every time she brings it up now I feel the skin on my scalp prickle and tingle and I know that I’m angry.  I just need to tell her that this “treatment” didn’t work for me and I’m not going to go back.

I also asked MIL if she could do a little personal shopping for me – pick up a new shower curtain, a new diaper bag, things like that – I know it makes her happy to be able to do things for us, and she’s a much better shopper than I am – but at the same time, I’ve definitely reached my limit for the amount of time I can graciously spend on the phone with her going over the pros and cons of every little thing and trying to weigh the options to find the best possible item – it’s a personality difference.  I’m a “meh, good enough, we’ll make it work” person when it comes to buying stuff, and she’s a “MUST FIND THE ABSOLUTE BEST POSSIBLE OPTION AVAILABLE” person which exhausts me.

The shopping thing I should just get over, because after all I did ask her to do it for me.  But I do wish she’d stop bugging me to go see her witch doctor, and I do wish I didn’ t have to discuss every little thing on the phone with her (V’s sleep habits, our household arrangements with my parents here – did I mention my parents arrived Weds? – what to have for dinner on Saturday at her place, and on and on).  I need a little break.

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5 Responses to “just a little venting”

  1. Caro Says:

    You’re a better woman than I. I’d have definitely snapped by now and said something i shouldn’t.

  2. tara Says:

    o dude, i’m sorry that would drive me nutso- i’m actually surprised you can handle it with as much grace as you do- because I certainly would not

  3. eep6 Says:

    This is kind of funny – here’s a post on the same topic from 2 years ago, with links to both bloggers who commented above:
    https://projectprogeny.wordpress.com/2008/06/28/in-laws/
    Go read the comments on the old post, if you have time – they made me smile 😉

  4. LuckyOnce Says:

    Yeah, it sounds like you definitely need a break from her. Hopefully while your parents are here, she won’t need to be around quite so much? Hopefully?

    I think you’re right that you need to be very straightforward about the witch doctor. If nothing else, you can blame it on the money – “with a new baby on the way, I just think it’s an expense that we really can’t add back into our budget.”

    Good luck!

  5. Rachel Says:

    I’d have snapped by now. It is great that she is doing the shopping for you, but it would have driven me crazy too.

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