So yesterday we took Australian visitors, staying with us for a few days, to visit MIL's house in Esher. We went out for lunch and then back for tea with her.
During the conversation that afternoon, she went on and on about how huge her garden was, about the alterations they made to their 3-storey house, etc. I'm used to her bragging, but it's not that tactful in front of the Australian 'rellies' (her niece and family who haven't got much money). However, THEN she launched into going on about now my DD2 hasn't yet got her baby to sleep in her own room yet, whereas her other GD in Canada had successfully got her baby, who is 4 months old, to sleep in his cot in his own room. The way she was talking felt like implicit criticism of our DD and I was furious, but I felt I had to stay quiet though my heart was palpitating with rage. I managed to hiss out 'It's not a race!' but I don't think she heard me. I wanted to slap her (but I couldn't and wouldn't). I felt very angry, upset and hurt for my DD and very protective of her but didn't know how to respond.
All I could do was fume silently, but from then on I just wanted to leave. I had a rant later, on the way home, but I am dreading visiting again in a few weeks when her other GD, baby and MIL's daughter visit her from Canada. We are expected to visit for a big family lunch and our DD and baby are invited too, so both her great-grandchildren will be together. I don't want to go but there is no option not to and I'd miss seeing my DD and DGD anyway. I am really dreading the inevitable comparisons, along the lines of : ' Baby X is going xyz now - could Baby Y do that at that age?' etc etc.
I know that my reactions are very passive-aggressive and I am not good at standing up to her and being assertive - I never have been. Everyone wants to tiptoe round her for fear of upsetting her, but I am thinking that she ought to know when what she says is upsetting and hurtful.
I know she isn't going to change, and so I have to, somehow, but I don't know how to cope. Does anyone have any similar experiences, or any advice or suggestions on either what to say to her if (when!) she starts comparing them, or how to keep calm if I can't say anything?
I also don't get on with my sister-in-law and am not keen on her DD who is rather opinionated and arrogant - but I've tried very hard NOT to let that show, ever. It does make things more difficult to cope with though.
Rowantree Tue 02-Sep-14 17:06:54
HildaW Tue 02-Sep-14 17:23:11
Rowantree Tue 02-Sep-14 17:33:37
sunseeker Tue 02-Sep-14 17:34:16
Elegran Tue 02-Sep-14 17:37:49
suebailey1 Tue 02-Sep-14 17:38:29
Mamie Tue 02-Sep-14 17:45:27
Elegran Tue 02-Sep-14 17:56:19
HildaW Tue 02-Sep-14 18:15:05
Soutra Tue 02-Sep-14 18:23:14
Mishap Tue 02-Sep-14 18:23:56
littleflo Tue 02-Sep-14 18:35:22
Nelliemoser Tue 02-Sep-14 19:28:59
annodomini Tue 02-Sep-14 19:43:08
penguinpaperback Tue 02-Sep-14 19:50:13
rosequartz Tue 02-Sep-14 19:58:40
Elegran Tue 02-Sep-14 20:13:49
Elegran Tue 02-Sep-14 20:16:33
Rowantree Tue 02-Sep-14 20:36:57
etheltbags1 Tue 02-Sep-14 22:24:05
Faye Wed 03-Sep-14 03:07:06
suzied Wed 03-Sep-14 07:05:51
Aka Wed 03-Sep-14 07:21:42
J52 Wed 03-Sep-14 07:39:02
Stansgran Wed 03-Sep-14 10:34:59