Post # 1
First of all, I really DO like my FMIL, she likes me, and we get along great. However sometimes I feel like she oversteps her boundaries in terms of “helping us out”. It’s almost like she’s having trouble letting go.
We live 5 hours away from my in-laws, but everytime we visit, she always has all this stuff to give my fiance. Not presents or anything like that, but soap, shampoo, socks, underwear, undershirts, etc. Last time when they visited she brought me eggs. Ok? We already had eggs in the refrigerator so they ended up going bad. I know I’m taking it too personally, but I don’t understand why she insists on buying my fiance shampoo! We don’t have a lot of money right now (I’m a grad student) so I know she’s just trying to help out, but for some reason it just irks me.
They were visiting yesterday and today to help with wedding preparations (in the middle of the week when we both work full time…) and she gave my fiance a card to sign and give to his grandmother for Mother’s Day. She’s constantly doing this. They have a tradition of giving Christmas cards (like Hallmark cards, not regular Christmas cards that you send out each year). So everytime we go up for Christmas, his mom has bought cards that she has him sign and then gives them to his dad, Grandmother, and brother. When she gives presents, she writes on the label, “From Mom, Dad, FI, and FI’s little brother”.
I guess I’m just wondering if/when this will ever stop. Has anyone else experienced anything like this? Did it bother you?
Post # 3
My FMIL does a little of this, we thank her. However, if you’re aren’t doing well financially, I would accept it for now. When you’re doing better, maybe have your significant other sit down with her and say “we really appreciate your generosity, but we can handle our day-to-day purchases and you could put this money towards XYZ.” XYZ=travel, retirement, grandkids, other children, etc. Or you could emphasize your need to be independent and that you’re adults, but I don’t think that would go very well.
Post # 4
If you know that there is a holiday/birthday coming up that requires a card from the family, I would buy the card ahead of going to visit (or when she is coming) and sign the card (and have your FI sign the card). When she says something about your FI needing to sign a card from the family, just say “oh, well we bought the person a card already (here it is!), so we can just give her this one.”
Post # 5
@ EvaBostonTerrier – I always already have the cards, that’s what’s frustrating! I already had Mother’s Day cards to give to everyone. She always busts hers out like they’re better or something, and she always does it with FI secretly. It’s like I have to go into the house, cards in hand, and immediately distribute.
Post # 6
it sounds like a habit for her…. it might take a while to break her of it. while yall are strapped for cash though, i would accept the help for some of the toiletries (i mean why not? why pay for things liek shampoo and TP if you dont have to?) and say thank you, but after you get on your feet, yeahhhhh just let her know the money could be spent elsewhere like a college fund or retirement.
seems like she means well…..??? or is she snotty about it? like she thinks you dont take care of your FH well enough?
Post # 7
i agree with @spaganya’s point. it really depends on her attitude. if she’s just trying to be helpful (even though it’s annoying) i’d deal with it until you’re not strapped for cash. then politely mention something to her. the card thing i would talk to the FI about and have him talk to her about it, but maybe not until after you’re married. use evabostonterrier’s idea and also decline to sign her card. and then let her know that since you and him are married and are now a family it’s better etiquette to have him sign a card from the 2 of you. that may get tricky if she then decides to have you sign the “family” cards as well. best of luck in that situation.
now if she’s NOT trying to be helpful then there may need to be a discussion. i would again say that FI needs to bring this up to her since she’s his mother (it would go over more smoothly i feel like).
what’s your FI’s opinion on all of this?
Post # 8
My fmil does the same thing. She loves when he brings his laundry home because she wants to see what he’s wearing now-a-days. They still talk about him like he’s at summer camp when he moved away 3 years ago. It bothers me like no other. My FI and I have had conversations about it and he thinks she’s getting better but she just sent him a card thanking him for calling her and keeping her updated on his life…I think that’s weird.
I think it’s slowly fading but very slowly. I don’t think if your fiance says or does anything to stop it, it’s only going to stay the same. He doesn’t have to say anything but like in the card situation, he can say that you already took care of it.
Post # 9
my mom does this! right down to giving us eggs! (she has chickens and the eggs are AMAZING!) personally fi and i love it! my mom gives us toothpaste and tooth brushes, food, spices, anything she has gotten that she thinks we might like, sometimes i don’t want it, but it makes her happy to be helping, and i appreciate not having to buy those small items. sometimes she does it because she got a coupon and got 3 things of shampoo for free and doesn’t need them, so she gives them to us, or she buys a costco thing of paprika and figures we could use a half of a cup…either way, i think of it as stuff i don’t have to do and her way of helping…
so i would have to say, i agree with many of the above posters if she is trying to be helpful, i would graciously accept the gifts and when aren’t strapped for cash, tell her how much you appreciated it but now you would really like her to put the money towards something else, esp something for her!
but if it bothers you or you feel like she is invading too much, perhaps you could talk to your fi? and the next time this comes up he could say something like “thanks but we are all stocked up on shampoo! why don’t you keep it incase blah blah blah”
Post # 10
@spaganya is making some really good points! It sounds to me like it is a habit…but I SO hear ya on how annoying that can be! My FMIL and I get along very well but she always makes comments to me/about me/etc that make me sound like SUCH a little princess and I know she just means it to be super nice (things like “Is this okay for you?” let me know if you want me to do this instead?” “I don’t want to ruin your pictures so you pick my hair cut..”) and make sure I’m happy but I always want to be like “I’m NOT that high maintenance…everything is fine, chill out!”
I guess you could just keep taking the stuff and thanking her…or maybe say “Oh wow thank you so much but we have so much right now I’m not sure we need it/have space/etc”
Post # 11
@sulli301 – seriously does your FH and my FH have the same Mom? she sounds JUST like my FMIL. i am chalking it up to her just wanting to make me happy not assuming im a super high maintanence person (or that shes scared of me or something LOL???) because i have had that same conversation a million times. “i dont really care what you wear as long as its not white long and bridal looking LOL, chill out LOL” hahahaha
Post # 12
My mom does something similar. If she is at Costco she will pick up something for us, or get a book for my FI. It is just one of those sweet things that my mother has always done. Now that my brother and I have both moved out, she still wants to look out for us and feel like she is taking care of us. It must be hard, as a mother, to admit that your children are on their own and don’t necessarily need you to take care of them.
I would just let her continue her gestures. It doesn’t hurt you or your FI, and it probably means a lot to her to help you out or do little things for you.
Post # 13
EmeraldR has nailed it. From a FMIL’s perspective, it is hard to have your children move into a totally independent life. Not that that hasn’t been my ultimate goal, but it is hard to be “out-of-the-loop” so to speak. Mothers want to make sure their children are taken care of. That need is there forever.
So, ladies plesae cut your fmil a little slack. I won’t speak for every fmil, but my hope for the relationship with my future daughter-in-law is that it is open and honest, and that she knows I want the best for her and my son.
“I would just let her continue her gestures. It doesn’t hurt you or your FI, and it probably means a lot to her to help you out or do little things for you.” from EmeraldR is an excellent suggestion.
My own in-laws were very hard to work with and negative towards me. I would never knowingly do anything to undermine my son’s relationship with his fiance or cause my children any discomfort.
I truly wish you all the best.
Post # 14
My FMIL is like this as well – she is always dropping by with groceries or cleaning supplies and is also notorious for handing an envelope of cash to my guy “on the sly” (I see her do it every time but she tries to be subtle). For a long time it irked the heck out of me but now I realize that she is just an incredibly giving person. Because FI is her “baby” and she loves us she wants to make our lives easier and it makes her happy.
You may have to get your guy to stand up to her a bit eventually but first step back and really look at it from an objective standpoint – is she coming from a loving place? If so you may want to let it ride.
Still annoyed? Try this – imagine your life fast-forwarded 25 years. You have a baby who isn’t a baby anymore who is in love with a girl you really like and they are working hard and going to school but struggling a bit financially. When you pick something up at the store that is BOGO are you going to pack the spare up for them? Oh, and that gift card for $25 that’s by the register… Would that help them?
Sometimes looking at things from the “Mama Angle” clears up a lot!
Post # 15
I do the exact same thing for my kids,and let them routinely raid my pantry if they need to….they are always welcome to anything we have,even if they’re just being lazy and not wanting to stop at the store to pick up a few things for dinner. If I’m out shopping and see something they might like or mentioned wanting,I’ll buy it and give it to them without waiting for an ‘occasion’ to hand it over. My kids are grateful for anything I do for them or give them that makes their lives a bit easier. Why does that part of me have to stop because they are engaged or married? My own Mom was the same way,so I guess its all in how you’re raised. If they found me annoying by my generosity,I’d stop,but so far they love it and appreciate it. It really has nothing to do with not wanting to let go,but more with wanting to help them whenever we can.
Post # 16
I agree with the last few posts.
I think this is a nice gesture that she is doing.
I’m a mom, my son is almost 2, but I can see doing the same thing to him. My mom does it for me. She brings by dog food, shampoo, tooth brushes..etc. And I’m 29 with a kid, and we are doing Financially ok.
She probably just wants to help you guys out. There is alot of people out there that their parents don’t even care, so to have a FML do that I would be grateful. 🙂