My story did not start off with me having the Monster In Law that some people are cursed with. I met my husband’s mother when he and I were dating and while I knew right away that she could be pushy at times, I felt that I had been one of the lucky ones blessed with sane, loving, welcoming in laws who treated me as they did their own child.
Though I cannot pinpoint the moment when this all changed, I can say that the several people who told me that grandchildren change people, were oh so right in saying that, but oh so wrong for not warning me of the crazy that would be unleashed.
Earlier this year my husband and I had a son, effectively giving both his parents and mine, their first grandchild. Then, much to my chagrin, MIL decided that it would be best for everyone involved, namely her, that my husband and I should move in with them so that she could watch our 4 month old when I went back to work.
Hubby and I decided to pass up this opportunity and I breathed a sigh of relief thinking I’d dodged that bullet. (I know, I know, underestimating the MIL is a rookie mistake.) Little did I know, that MIL had tricks up her sleeves.
She had her people (my father in law), call my people (my husband), and the next thing I know, I am packing up our apartment, dog, baby, and freedom. We moved most of our life into storage, waved goodbye to a nice city, and moved a small allotment of personal items into a room in my MIL’s house in Podunk, CA.
Cue the crazy.
In the half a year since my son made his grand entrance, and even less time since we have been staying with my in laws, I have been called, among other things:
LAZY (for falling asleep on my day off while breastfeeding my son and not offering to help cook dinner, while battling a cold mind you)
RUDE / RASH / IMMATURE (for making a last minute decision to take my son on a 7 hour train ride to visit my family as opposed to driving for almost as long in traffic)
NOT NORMAL (for not being able to work 40+hours a week, commute 10+ hours a week, wake up for nighttime feedings with my son, accept being talked down to, and still be able to have ‘handle the responsibilities’ of being part of the family)
DISRESPECTFUL (for being of any opinion that is not in complete agreement with my M.I.L.)
MEAN (for calling my MIL’s dog “dog”, while pushing her away from my son because said dog is a puppy who has previously jumped on, scratched, and stepped on my son)
Now, had I been a mind reader and known beforehand that I would cause such offense with my seemingly normal actions, I might have changed the way I acted or said things. Or, I might have had the sense to use all of my power to talk my husband out of moving in with them.
For now however, I am stuck. It would seem that I am at the mercy of a spoiled 50-something woman who has apparently never been told that in life she does not get to make every single rule and that her behavior is nothing short of intolerable. I am constantly reminded that I am a foreigner in this house as “This is my house” has been shouted at me on more than one occasion.
Yet and still, I will prevail. If only to write this blog and provide hope for all of the other evil daughter in laws out there.
Moral of this story:
DO NOT MOVE IN WITH YOUR IN LAWS – no matter how great you believe your relationship with them to be. Or, at the very least, expect there to be many trials and tribulations when you do move in, and prepare for the worst type of battles to fight. The ones where you ALWAYS have to be the more mature person, ALWAYS have to turn the other cheek, and ALWAYS have to use a mixture of prayer and patience to get through.