I am afraid that my feelings toward her are becoming borderline psychotic! The woman drives me insane and I never seem to find the space to let my shoulders drop down.
The last 4 days have been lovely because she has been away, but I swear the woman was home 3 minutes before she was on the phone… “well if you have nothing to do, come over here (now why would I want to spend the afternoon entertaining you!)… ” So I say that we have just come home and have a few things planned… how would it be if we catch up tomorrow? “hmmm well I suppose – then we are going to church at 6pm tonight – we will come past earlier and pick up Miss Eight to take her with us (earlier meaning she is planning to arrive at 4 and expects the table set and a fresh cake baked)”
I say that MIss Eight has just started a project and we will give church a miss today…. I notice how badly I want to tell a lie – like we are going out or that I have already taken her this morning (bit hard considering I was still in bed at 10:30am)… She is not happy…
Then I get the “what have you been doing all weekend?” question. It is inconceivable to that woman, the idea that we could have a lazy Sunday doing pretty much nothing. I have come to dread Sunday evenings because she so often ‘pops in, just passing…’ No more feet up on the sofa watching a DVD with the family in our tracky daks – sipping a slow glass of chardonnay… feeling a little tipsy… sleepy. Without fail, every time I have been in that state she has caught me out.
After 20 years of a 3 minute phone call to where ever we were living around the world – I am now feeling smothered! Lately, she has taken to asking my husband to ‘drop in’ on his way from the station on Friday evenings. He did, thinking this would keep her happy and give us some space on the weekends. Then she started preparing his meals (never mind that I had already cooked) and last week he finally made it home at 11pm, because she dragged him into being their 4th at cards… all the while plying him with liquor so that he was quite a mess. And she still arrived on Sunday afternoon…. even though we had told her we were having some old friends for lunch.
For the past 2 weeks – she has invited Miss Eight to lunch everyday – she no longer invites me because I have been on a diet since May (lost 12kilo) and won’t eat her cooking… Actually had the nerve to say to me that I shouldn’t get too thin because then my face will get really wrinkled and ‘you will never get rid of those!’. She is wearing me down… I feel like I am constantly in a state where I am holding her at bay with a whip and a chair. Lately I have started looking at positions for DH that are located in faraway countries… just because I want my sanity back.
Of course – after saying all that, I have to admit they are the most fantastic grandparents… couldn’t ask for more – but I can’t cope with the smothering thing. If longer than 24 hours goes by without a phone call or a visit she says things like ‘just called because I thought your phone might not be working. Or I will drop by and she will hug MIss Eight and say ‘Ooooh I haven’t seen you for SOOOO long…” (who be it for me to point out that we were at her house for lunch the day before???) But more than anything, I am struggling with the concept that for the first time since I was about 15, I feel like I need to ‘check in’. Constantly have to tell her what our plans are, where we are going, when we will be back… who we will be with… how long, how much we spent… aaaggghhh… I hate it! And it is pushing me into becoming a passive aggressive personality (just like my DH) If I let any of our plans slip – she has an opinion about everything – The woman has lived in the same house since the day she was born… she has not worked a day out side the home since the day she got married.
When she gives me parenting advice I hear a voice in my head screaming “Shut the f**k up… everything you know happened 45 years ago!!!!” If I get one more lecture on how my child plays ‘too many computer games, watches too much television, doesn’t eat enough vegetables, needs a hair cut, is wearing trashy clothes…” I am likely to go Stephen King style ‘Carrie’ on her arse!
I know, I know… I hear you… I will never be able to change her… I can only change my own reaction to her. I have a friend that gave me this advice. When I get stressed, I am to chant in my head “there goes my MIL being the best MIL she can be…there goes my MIL being the best MIL she can be…” So far it has just made me want to hit someone over the head with a piece of 4×2.
So there you have it… my mother in law. Can’t live with her, can’t bury her in the cellar.