Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Here and Upside Down

I am here this week. I am, strangely, doing well in terms of emotions. I have built a wall inside my mind and reinforced it with happy thoughts and an offer to submit some of my writing about my father to an advice book.

While I am here, I am upside down as my mother-in-law is visiting. I don't get along well with her, but I also don't despise her. She is who she is. I am me. I am not always easy going when someone perturbs me. She perturbs me nearly every waking hour.

I sew and get her involved when she is here, because it is something that we can do together. I only sew when she is here. We're making dresses for the girls.

With dear MIL here, many activities are not accomplished:
  1. grocery store (I'm scraping the bottom of the cupboards, instead.)
  2. exercising at the gym
  3. writing
  4. rational thought


jmb said...

Remember it's not easy for her either. She's probably way out of her comfort zone too.

When I go stay with my daughter I always feel like a fifth wheel. I'm sure it would be worse with a DIL, like treading on eggshells.

My daughter always wants me to make a quilt with her, not to keep me occupied, because I'm quite happy with my head stuck in a book, but to help her because she's so busy and I taught her to quilt anyway. Or make draperies for her windows. I wonder if there's a message in there somewhere.

Hang tough, you can catch up later, and your daughters will love the dresses that you and Grandma made.

ami said...

You know a bit about my MIL. I really get how life can become all bogged down.

It often makes me wonder what kind of 'retired' parent I'll be. I should do more than wonder, and decide on a few things right now so I can have some experience.

One thing I must keep in mind: There will come a time when the wife knows my son better than me. They will cultivate their own relationship and I should not interfere or be jealous.

Sarabeth said...

jmb-I'm hanging as tough as I can. Thanks for reminding me that she is out of her comfort zone as well. That helps.

Ami--Yes, I do remind myself that I don't have your MIL from a completely different culture.

We do have one dress made. The other will be done tomorrow. I don't know how we got it done because I am precise about my language when at a task. She, however, uses too many pronouns and imprecise words. Learning from her gives me a headache. I made it through the day. Yes, I did.

Kell said...

You're a good woman!

Genevieve said...

I will most likely have a daughter-in-law within the next ten years or so. I'll try to apply what I've learned from my own D.I.L. experiences and I hope it goes well, but it's certainly possible it may not. I may drive her crazy. even though I'll try not to.

wolfbaby said...

somehow i must have missed this one. So reminds me of my MIL. I don't hate her but she drives me bonkers.. she once said to me that she wanted to be my MOTHER...since i didn't have one. she wanted to fill that roll for me. agwwwwwww

You cant say that to someone. it's just wrong.

Sarabeth said...

Yikes, Wolfbaby! That is especially rough for you.

Both of my in-laws had that attitude as well--the feeling of gaining a daughter. Perhaps it is just the difference in generations. I gained a husband. They didn't gain a daughter. I had this mental conversation in my head: I have parents, you nincompoops! I don't need more.

For you, the idea of replacing a mother--that's a decision that you have to make. A choice for you.

Now, you've got me thinking about another post to write.

Genevieve said...

I think sometimes a wife feels she's in competition with the mother-in-law in some way. With some mothers-in-law, that may be true, but sometimes it's just the wife feeling insecure or jealous of the affection between son and mother.

I know one thing. I will do my best to have good enough relations with my daughter-in-law that I will be able to enjoy my grandchildren.

Sarabeth said...

That's true for many, Genevieve. I have a friend who gets jealous of the closeness of the son and mother.

I can say with great authority that my husband and his mother are lacking a connection. In her case, she really is an outsider when she visits. Even my husband admits that she doesn't know him well.