General chatter - Peace-offering gesture for MIL?




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Kim_Star060404
06-30-2008, 04:43 PM
Okay, like a lot of women, I don't get along with my MIL. I know that it really hurts my DH and I want to make a gesture of peace, but can't figure out what would be good enough. To be honest, I know that I will never like her or respect her, but there HAS to be something I can do to alleviate some of the tension. I'm sure that there are people that will scold me for that statement, and I understand that line of thought, but I'll stay away from reasons for now - nobody wants to read that book! :D

I've been planning on going to visit my grandparents this weekend since April and because my BFF just had a kidney transplant and lives two miles away, my going out of town this weekend is the perfect opportunity to "kill two birds with one stone". Well, MIL called in June and announced to DH that she was coming to visit, but DH had forgotten that I would be out of town. So, DH has to call her a week or so later (she called the day before we left on vacation) to inform her that I would be gone and she flipped out, saying that I was doing this on purpose to avoid her. I've played around with not going home to visit because of this, but DH forbids me from doing so.

Any suggestions on anything I can do to smooth things over? A gift to give her? I've thought of sending her a letter, but I don't know what to write. I refuse to lie to her. The next time we expect to see her is Christmas, so there's got to be something I can do in the meantime to keep this from being an issue when we get there. (Yes, this is a grudge that would normally be held and argued about 6 months later.)

Any ideas? I'm desperate to bring the peace for DH's sake.

~Kim


fiberlover
06-30-2008, 05:36 PM
If you are going out of town, is there some sort of local item at your grandparent's you could get her as a gift ? Something like a jar of local honey, or a local artist's thing.
That's always thoughtful.

mescelestus
06-30-2008, 05:58 PM
i think your mother in law is being unreasonable, but if you really want to make peace, you should try to organize a visit to her...(if at all possible).


yoyoma
06-30-2008, 06:14 PM
Wow... I am impressed that you would be so thoughtful! Sounds like you're a great DIL, even if your MIL doesn't appreciate you. I hope DH already explained that he is the knucklehead who forgot about your plans.

I'm guessing you don't have kids. They can strain the in-law relationship, but they also provide a conduit for peace overtures.

My thought would be to try to make sure the gift is right up her alley -- caters to her taste or some interest of hers. It would be very specific to her, so I don't have any suggestions. It would be great if you could find something on your trip, like fiberlover suggested. You could say you "thought of her when you saw it" with no other explanation for the gift.

Kim_Star060404
06-30-2008, 06:16 PM
Fiberlover: Thanks for the tip. I'm going to San Antonio, which she hates, so a "themed" gift might not be great, but picking something up "just because I thought of her" would probably be good.

Mescelestus: I agree that she's unreasonable, but she lives 9 hours away and won't answer the phone if I call her to work things out. She also hangs up on me "accidentally" when I call from DH's cell, so a visit is probably out.

DH and I talked a minute ago and he said I should just forget about it. It's really hard to when I know that it affects him so much. I think that he takes it harder than he admits.

I had a thought that I should crochet her an afghan and send it to her in October or something so that she has it by the time it turns cold there. What do you think?

Kim_Star060404
06-30-2008, 06:20 PM
Wow... I am impressed that you would be so thoughtful! Sounds like you're a great DIL, even if your MIL doesn't appreciate you. I hope DH already explained that he is the knucklehead who forgot about your plans.

I'm guessing you don't have kids. They can strain the in-law relationship, but they also provide a conduit for peace overtures.

My thought would be to try to make sure the gift is right up her alley -- caters to her taste or some interest of hers. It would be very specific to her, so I don't have any suggestions. It would be great if you could find something on your trip, like fiberlover suggested. You could say you "thought of her when you saw it" with no other explanation for the gift.

Thanks! And it looks like we were on the same page with the "thought of her" gift.

Nope, no kids, although DH and I are sure that kids will cause more strain. She scoffs at our parenting philosophy so we know there will be some battles to fight when the time comes. (One of my smallest peeves is that she gave my 1-yr old nephew soda, 4-8 oz at a time, and cookies on a daily basis against her other son and DIL's wishes.)

Ruthxxx
06-30-2008, 06:20 PM
Good idea, Kim - maybe with barbed wire along the edge? Just kidding.

I know she has bailed on you a couple of times so would not fret too much about her when she finally decides to visit. Your DH sounds like a really OK guy. Maybe you should try to forget about it for now and enjoy your visit with your family.

the slim me
06-30-2008, 06:22 PM
Hey, i'm a MIL. I have a wonderful DIL and she gave me the most precious gift on earth, my adorable grandchildren. I'm not sure what caused the fall out, but kids will make a difference. I do admire you for trying to settle some things now. By all means, be honest. one lie leads to another. Just write her a short note. It's easier to put on paper with no chance for misundestanding. Tell her you had already made plans, what they were and why. Let her know that you will miss seeing her and would love to get to know her better. A small gift would be thoughtful. Hang in there, she is the mother of the man you love and will be the grandmother of the children you will both love.

PhotoChick
06-30-2008, 06:23 PM
Wow. Your MIL sounds like a piece of work. Usually when someone posts that they have MIL issues, you can read between the lines that it goes both ways. But it truly sounds like you're trying your best ... if only for your DH's sake ... and she just won't even try to meet you 1/2 way.

Bleah.

I think the crocheted throw sounds like a nice gift and it's personal and showed you put time into it (rather than just picking out something at the store which is always an accusation she could give you about a bought present). And really if she fusses about getting a special hand made gift from you, it just makes her look bad. :)

.

shelby897
06-30-2008, 06:39 PM
I find your husband impressive -- he obviously knows her very well and has probably learned how difficult it is to make her happy. He may be upset that you two don't get along, but I would have to doubt he holds much responsibility on your end. :hug:

Is she aware that you are visiting your best friend as well -- if she is and is still trying to make you feel guilty, I have to say she is not a very considerate person.

I say enjoy your trip (and the visit you miss!!) and relax. Enjoy "your family" (you and your husband) and let her work on finding her place.

(P.S. -- my mother-in-law used to give all the nieces and nephews junk and break their parent's rules constantly -- but, she passed away when my oldest was 1 1/2 years old and I've come to realize that even though they can be horrible to deal with, my kids have really missed out on her love and attention)

Kim_Star060404
06-30-2008, 06:49 PM
(P.S. -- my mother-in-law used to give all the nieces and nephews junk and break their parent's rules constantly -- but, she passed away when my oldest was 1 1/2 years old and I've come to realize that even though they can be horrible to deal with, my kids have really missed out on her love and attention)

I hope that her love and attention is what we can expect from her. I'll gladly take that in exchange for bending food rules.

Kim_Star060404
06-30-2008, 06:50 PM
Good idea, Kim - maybe with barbed wire along the edge? Just kidding.

I know she has bailed on you a couple of times so would not fret too much about her when she finally decides to visit. Your DH sounds like a really OK guy. Maybe you should try to forget about it for now and enjoy your visit with your family.

Ha! Ruth, you always get it right!

pipernoswiper
06-30-2008, 06:52 PM
my mil hates me, always has and always will. i just don't care anymore. but i did make a scrapbook for her without her knowing it, and it almost brought her to tears. and when she is on a good polar swing, she will still thank me for it and it's been 2 years.
it does get a little tricky collecting pictures without her knowing, but its do-able. whatever gift you get her, make it all about her........cuz i'm sure it is always all about her one way or the other :tantrum:

bargoo
06-30-2008, 08:18 PM
I don't think your MIL deserves a gift.

Cheree
06-30-2008, 08:43 PM
I may be confused, but I was thinking that maybe you wanted to have a gift there for her at your home (not one you get on your trip for her)...since she'll be visiting your home while you're gone? If that's correct, then how about that you some how get some flowers for her (either her husband can pick them up or you can even have them delivered to her when she's there)...and say on the card (and/or get a nice card for her that will be there for her when she arrives) saying how much you are sorry that you weren't able to be there since you had planned your trip prior to knowing that they intended to visit during the time...how sorry you are, that you hope she enjoys her visit, to make herself at home, etc. If she's pissed, then you've done all you can and she has issues...do your best to not let HER issues be YOUR issues.

I have a MIL who I don't particularly like, and there were some issues with her during the early part of our marriage (we've been married 33 years). So I decided I would make myself as invisible to them as possible and stay out of my husband's relationship with them, and guess what, it has worked well. We did have children, but since they live so far away and really aren't able to travel, and we didn't travel there very often, they're just not close to our children, though I'm sure they love them...but it seems to have worked for everyone. We were very close to my mother while she was alive, so our children did have a wonderful relationship with their grandmother (on my side). My husband has been fine with it all...but he's the type of person who goes with the flow.

Kelleigh
06-30-2008, 09:20 PM
I made my MIL in a scrapbook a few years ago. She was very young when she had my DH and she made the comment to me that she didn't even have a baby book. So I modeled her scrap book after a baby book. I put a lot of time and love into it. I went to the library and got copies of the local paper the day DH was born and even drove down to the county DH was born in to get a copy of his birth certificate. I used these and of course pictures in her book. She cried when I gave it to her.

Today, the scrapbook sits on the bottom of a shelf in her kitchen with a plant on top of it.:(

Kim_Star060404
06-30-2008, 10:58 PM
Kelleigh: That's SO sad. I had a photo book of our Thanksgiving there last year made. She hasn't seen it yet, so I'll find out from DH what her reaction is.

Cheree: It's kind of both - I'd like to have something waiting for her when she gets here, but I'd also like to send her something in a few months. I like the idea about the flowers and card - I'll talk it over with DH. Thanks for the advice - maybe invisibility can be my best defense.

Bargoo: :lol: You and my DH are on the same page.

pipernoswiper: I'm SO sorry to hear that. At least she loves the scrapbook you made for her.

PhotoChick: Well, I can't act like I've been the best DIL in the world, but I do try. I'm hoping that after this misunderstanding that we can get past this and at least attempt to make amends.



I forgot to mention that I will have a photo book of our Thanksgiving memories with her from last year waiting, plus a 5x7" of a pic of DH and I (last time we were there she pointed out to me that there were no pics of us at her house). I also placed an Avon order of her "regular" products and had enough of a profit this time that I won't be charging her for them. All of that stuff will be waiting when she gets here. I guess it's telling that those things don't seem like enough to me.

Again, DH and I talked (and thank you for the compliments toward him - he is a wonderful guy) and I brought up the crochet project. DH said that it would be nice and maybe something handmade would tug a little at her heart strings. He reiterated that he thought it wasn't fair to me, but agreed that if I felt like I should do it, then I should. I'll pick up yarn for it this weekend and we'll just have to see if it works.

Kim_Star060404
07-07-2008, 01:13 PM
So, MIL's visit was this weekend and it went really well. She LOVED the photo book from Thanksgiving and the framed picture of us. She also really appreciated the free Avon. I think that this really smoothed the situation over - although I do feel like I bribed her out of it. Although I am happy that it kept the peace and that DH didn't have to deal with her complaining about my not being there.

I will be making her an afghan, but she won't get it until Christmas. I decided that things were going well enough that I wouldn't need to make a special effort before we got there for holiday visiting.

Thanks for the advice and the laughs, too!