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Help settle an argument between DH & I


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#1 Gumbette

Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:18 PM

Background:  Whole family has been sick except DS (8 months), including my mum who usually looks after DS when I'm at work.  I've been off for 2 days and need to go back to work.  DH rings his mum to tell her the whole family is sick and to ask her to come down and help look after DS for a day, but after telling her the story she doesn't automatically ask if we need help, instead, launchiing into minute detail about a party she went to on the weekend.  DH hangs up in a huff and doesn't bother asking her as "she should have offered if she really cared".  I think he should have just come out and asked as she is very much a "it's all about me" person and probably didn't think of it.  (Recent example is leaving FIL at the hospital to wait for biopsy results on his own - she went home to watch Deal or No Deal because she didn't think he needed her there once the testing was completed  blink.gif  (actually turned out to be cancer).  Mind you I'm not her greatest fan,  but I don't think she should be expected to be a mind reader.

As a result, DH has been a grump all day about his "useless mother".  So, who's right?  Should MIL have volunteered or should DH have just come straight out and asked her?  She lives 1 hr away and had no plans for the day if that makes a difference.

#2 cinnabubble

Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:21 PM

Only an hour, usual available and happy to help out and people need to go to work? Yep. I think her should have asked, although I know how sh*tty it is to have to ask for help from people we don't feel respect for.

#3 lynneyours

Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:23 PM

Maybe she didn't volunteer because she didn't want to get sick too.  unsure.gif

FWIW - I think if she is self-absorbed, then yes, he should have asked, not hinted round it.  Maybe she changed the subject so he couldn't.

#4 Bluenomi

Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:24 PM

I think he should have asked. A lot of people don't pick up on the gentle suggestion (and your MIL sounds like that type) so need to actually be asked since they won't think to ask themselves.

#5 Bluie

Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:27 PM

I think he should have asked if that's what he wanted to happen. However not be offended if she said no, I have never expected my parents to put themselves in the firing line when we are sick and if her husband has cancer the last thing they need is to get sick.

#6 boatiebabe

Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:27 PM

I'm another one who thinks the MIL did not want to get sick and as a result did not offer.

I agree that your DH should have come straight out and asked her?

Maybe she isn't confident in looking after an 8 month old? Who knows why she didn't offer?

#7 Gumbette

Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:28 PM

QUOTE (Bluie @ 14/02/2013, 02:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think he should have asked if that's what he wanted to happen. However not be offended if she said no, I have never expected my parents to put themselves in the firing line when we are sick and if her husband has cancer the last thing they need is to get sick.

Oh, no, I never would have asked if she was still nursing FIL - he's passed away  cry1.gif

#8 9ferals

Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:28 PM

You can't expect people to be mindreaders- it would be nice if they immediately worked out how they can help, but if they aren't the kind of person who will do that,  then being direct and asking is the best way to get what  you want.

If she can't do it, she always has the option to say no.

I think it's a bit childish of your DH to complain that she doesn't help you out if he didn't ask her.

#9 Bluie

Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:29 PM

I am sorry, I didn't realise  sad.gif



#10 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:33 PM

I think he should have asked her out right. If she is so self absorbed she's not likely to pick up that you needed help. Your DH should have been direct.

#11 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:50 PM

QUOTE (TiredbutHappy @ 14/02/2013, 01:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As a result, DH has been a grump all day about his "useless mother".  So, who's right?  Should MIL have volunteered or should DH have just come straight out and asked her?  She lives 1 hr away and had no plans for the day if that makes a difference.

If you know that
(a) she's not the kind of person to automatically think of others in need & offer help spontaneously
BUT
(b) when she is asked for help, she is usually happy to pitch in,
then your DH should have just asked.  As you say, mind reading isn't for everyone and some people just don't think 2+2= I should offer to help

If she normally would have offered at the drop of a hat but didn't, then I would probably let it go, as that is possibly her way of indicating that it's not suitable for her at the moment, for whatever reason.

But in general, if you want help, it's better to ask and be refused than to simply hope someone will read your mind and offer.  If you don't ask, you'll never know.


#12 *LucyE*

Posted 14 February 2013 - 01:57 PM

He should have asked but not been offended with a negative reply.

My parents are 1.5hrs away.  They are the least self absorbed people I know and always are willing to babysit to the point where they will cancel other appointments (including surgery - crazy father).

However, I need to actually ask for help.  They won't just offer because they don't want to come across as interfering.  I injured my foot one day, to the point where the doctor in the hospital wouldn't discharge me unless I had someone to help at home.  DH was away.  I called my parents to tell them the situation but they didn't offer to help.  As soon as I asked, the answer was "of course" and they jumped in the car right away.


#13 countrylivingmum

Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:05 PM

He should have asked out right. She more then likely didn't think.

#14 Gudrun

Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:27 PM

She doesn't owe you anything. I'm a grandmother and I would not have offered.  Sounds like sure thing you would get the bug.  If I'd been asked I probably would have said yes, to help out.


However, if I had a daughter-in-law who thought like you do and thought about me like you do about your MIL, I think I would be unavailable and much prefer to do my own thing.


If grandparents mind your kids you should be undyingly grateful. You should not expect it.  They've done their time already.

Put yourself in her place.

#15 againagain

Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:47 PM

QUOTE
If grandparents mind your kids you should be undyingly grateful. You should not expect it. They've done their time already.


Jeepers if my ILs thought that minding their grandkids every now and then was a prison sentence I would never ask them, and would probably turn it down if they offered!!  ohmy.gif

OP I think he should have asked. She might have thought you were all staying home as you were sick. At least if you ask it gives her the chance to say if she is able to or not, rather than your DH jumping to conclusions that she's not interesting in helping.

#16 EsmeLennox

Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:52 PM

If you don't ask, you don't get IME.

He should have asked.

#17 Gumbette

Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:54 PM

QUOTE (Gudrun @ 14/02/2013, 03:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
She doesn't owe you anything. I'm a grandmother and I would not have offered.  Sounds like sure thing you would get the bug.  If I'd been asked I probably would have said yes, to help out.


However, if I had a daughter-in-law who thought like you do and thought about me like you do about your MIL, I think I would be unavailable and much prefer to do my own thing.


If grandparents mind your kids you should be undyingly grateful. You should not expect it.  They've done their time already.

Put yourself in her place.

Ummm, the question isn't whether she owes us anything - if she had said no, I would have been fine with it - she has many times in the past.  My argument was that he should have asked her outright instead of just expecting her to know we needed help.  As for being undyingly grateful, MIL used to insist on coming down once a week to babysit, often pulling out at the last minute (happened probably 60% of the time actually) until I pulled the pin and put DD in daycare 5 days as it was too hard to find a carer at the last minute.    

And, yes, I do have a very harsh view of my MIL, but that goes back to how she treated my FIL when he was dying- it's hard to feel warm and fuzzy about someone who won't pay $300 for a laptop for a man dying of throat cancer and simply wants to check his emails and keep in touch with friends because he can no longer talk, that and a hundred other horrible little things she did, but I digress....if you read my post, I was actually sticking up for her, it's not me complaining about her not being able to read his mind and come to the rescue.  I'm annoyed at DH grumbling about her when he never gave her the chance to say no.

#18 Leggy

Posted 14 February 2013 - 02:59 PM

My general rule of thumb is that I'm not allowed to be annoyed at someone for not helping me if I haven't actually spelled out that I want from them. I'm definitely not allowed to be cranky because someone hasn't read my mind and offered to help!

People can be very different. As PPs have said, someone can be happy to help out but too self-absorbed to join the dots and realise what's needed without being told.

#19 Ally'smum

Posted 14 February 2013 - 03:00 PM

She sounds like my MIL and my DH gets annoyed in the same way but they should know how their mothers are and be used to it by now.

With my MIL you have to be really explicit, give her times and tell her exactly what you want and then she is fine, but she has not ever in the time that I have known her done anything for anyone off her own initiative.


QUOTE (Gudrun @ 14/02/2013, 02:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If grandparents mind your kids you should be undyingly grateful. You should not expect it.  They've done their time already.
Put yourself in her place.


Grandparents like this always seem to forget about the help that they had...

Edited by loggedin, 14 February 2013 - 03:01 PM.


#20 Tall Poppy

Posted 14 February 2013 - 03:03 PM

QUOTE (Gudrun @ 14/02/2013, 03:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If grandparents mind your kids you should be undyingly grateful. You should not expect it.  They've done their time already.

Put yourself in her place.

Wow, undyingly grateful? It's nice to help others out & it may mean others are more likely to help you in the future if you help them. It also takes a village to raise a child.

I think MIL should have offered to help; however, when she didn't your DH should have offered. I think some people don't understand subtle at all & need some help and asking still gives the opportunity for them to decline if they preferred.

#21 Tall Poppy

Posted 14 February 2013 - 03:07 PM

QUOTE (loggedin @ 14/02/2013, 04:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Grandparents like this always seem to forget about the help that they had...

How very true.

Edited by BadKitteh, 14 February 2013 - 03:08 PM.


#22 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 14 February 2013 - 03:11 PM

QUOTE (Gudrun @ 14/02/2013, 02:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If grandparents mind your kids you should be undyingly grateful. You should not expect it.  They've done their time already.


My parents look after DS twice a week while I work. They live an hour away from my house but meet me in the city (which takes them about 40 minutes) to pick DS up.

Soon they will be looking after him 4 days a week while I increase my days for about 10 weeks before going on maternity leave.

Whilst I am grateful to them for their help and their interest in DS's life, I am not undyingly grateful to them.

They adore DS and genuinely enjoy looking after him. DS was meant to start daycare in January and Mum and Dad refused to give him up. Mum said if I drop him off at daycare then she would simply go and pick him up from daycare.

Their caring for him benefits them and enriches their life as much as it benefits me. They have said that we are family and they are in a position to help out and they are more than happy to do so and they are grateful that I "let" them look after him.

Not all grandparents see it as a burden to look after their grandchildren.

Edited by Sunnycat, 14 February 2013 - 09:11 PM.


#23 ~Supernova~

Posted 14 February 2013 - 03:20 PM

QUOTE (loggedin @ 14/02/2013, 03:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Grandparents like this always seem to forget about the help that they had...


So, so true. We used to be palmed off to every man and his dog, but it took me having a fully fledged breakdown and begging my mum in tears for help, to get her to every now and then watch the kids for a few hours. Even my EX MIL tried to help me, with one of my kids not even being her grandchild...

My husbands family would love to take the kids, ALL THE TIME. Alas, they live on the other side of the planet sad.gif

Anyhoo vent over, yes, he should have asked. It would have been nice if she had offered, but coming from someone else with a self absorbed parent, it just doesn't work that way. You need to spell out clearly want you want.

Edited by Mareek, 14 February 2013 - 03:22 PM.


#24 SuburbnJournalista

Posted 14 February 2013 - 03:26 PM

He should have asked. You can't get annoyed with someone for not being able to read your mind.



#25 opethmum

Posted 14 February 2013 - 03:40 PM

My policy on dealing with ILs is to be fast, direct and honest of your expectations. Don't beat around the bush and just spell out what you want then having a whinge and expect them to drop everything and mind read what you want them to do about it.
I would actually in your position find a regular baby sitter and have them on speed dial and ask for periodic baby sitting and not have to rely on your MIL when these things occur.
It sounds like you have a whole host of issues and I think the less you hide behind them and be open direct and honest the less she has time to spin her bull dust and create drama for you guys.
Good luck!




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