DIL Dilemma

I am going to write a lot of my stories in the third person, because they are not always based on me. Hope you all don't mind.

Jennifer is a busy mother of four boys. She works full-time and does a lot to raise her children well and keep her home running in good order. Her husband works long hours and isn't able to contribute much time to housework. Both of them often feel a bit overwhelmed and stressed.

Jennifer's inlaws live out of town, several hours away. At some point early on in the marriage, her inlaws and several other relatives drove to town and stopped by their home unannounced on a Saturday morning. Jennifer was appalled. She was in the middle of doing a week's worth of laundry, picking up toys strewn all over house, and cleaning the breakfast dishes. She was still in her pajamas and looked horrible.

So Jennifer invited them in, apologized for the mess, and did the best she could to make them comfortable. Her mil made comments that the house was a wreck. After they left, she angrily told her husband he better make sure they called ahead next time. He informed his mother to please call in advance next time.

About six months later, mil and a great aunt show up at the house unannounced again when Jennifer's dh was still at work. Jennifer once again invites them in, but this time she is angry. She explains to them that she is a busy person who is tired after work. She tells them it is stressful to have unexpected guests. MIL replies that it is her son's home and she feels fine stopping by anytime she wants. Great Aunt agrees. When DH gets home, mil tells him that Jennifer has been rude to them. DH later gets mad at Jennifer.

Jennifer cannot live with the stress of worrying that her mil will show up anytime uninvited. Her dh agrees with his mother that it is fine. How should Jennifer handle this?          

Cassie12 Cassie12 36-40, F 11 Responses May 16, 2008

Your Response


You may not welcome me here but I am here and I'm not going anywhere. You must be a Daughter in Law. God help you when you have a son. And by the way, you spell conducive, CONDUCIVE. There is nothing about conducting.

if you need assistance finding another group I will be more than happy to help.

Uh-huh yeah real cute are you just trying to start trouble. That was a mean and unproductive statement. I believe that your negative response is not conductive to the matter at hand. Possibly you may want to join another group where your negativity will be welcomed. But it is not welcome here. Thank you


Oh for God's sake! Just tell the MIL to go to hell. That's what you want to do, isn't it? Isn't that your main goal? Sooner or later you'll convince your husband that his Mother is coo-koo anyway, just like you planned and she won't come around again. Go ahead, get it over with. Stupid Mutated Sub-Human Beasts.

Oh for God's sake! Just tell the MIL to go to hell. That's what you want to do, isn't it? Isn't that your main goal? Sooner or later you'll convince your husband that his Mother is coo-koo anyway, just like you planned and she won't come around again. Go ahead, get it over with. Stupid Mutated Sub-Human Beasts.

I don't think it's that big of a deal either. But you're right it obviously bothers Jennifer enough to say something about it. Truthfully the MIL is not Jennifer's mother so she might view her as more of a visitor than a family member. Thats why I especially think the MIL should leave the surprise visits for when she knows her son is home too. That way J doesn't feel like a target. I think J is really just embarrassed because her home was a mess and the MIL just had to point it out. It's really not that big of a deal to just call. I don't see why they can't just agree to disagree on the topic. Truthfully it's not the MIL's home so why can't she just call? Yes her son lives there but he's a grown man and it's again his home not hers. Save all the drama for matters that are far more important. I mean a call would take what 30 seconds to a minute. That gives J enough time to get comfortable with the idea of entertaining her MIL. Which she might feel over whelmed by. Maybe she just wants to make a good impression. She might feel like she can't if her MIL stops by unannounced and sees the house in disarray. I think this is a dumb thing to fight about though. J might want to try lightening up and making a joke about the house. If MIL is still rude then try to enforce the call first rule.

I think the rules of honor were made by God.

I based my opinion on the original story which specifically stated that MIL dropped in unannounced and after did so again after 6 months. That is two times a year.

I personnally don't think it is a big deal and I would not have a problem with it. I would not argue with my husband or MIL over what I feel is petty. It is DIL home and she should feel comfortable in her home and I don't think an unannounced family member (not visitor) should make Jennifer feel uncomfortable in her own home.

Jennifer was embarrassed because she views her MIL as a visitor rather than family.

Yeah I hate that hypocritical non sense. If you ask me she has that I'm older than you so I make the rules syndrome. It's a tiny control issue. She doesn't think the rules apply to her. She knows what she is doing and she doesn't care. To combat this I would just politely tell her," oh I'm sorry we were just about to leave did you need something?" Then proceed to leave. Even if it's just to drive around the block. That way next time she'll hopefully *REMEMBER* to call. I know she probably won't do that but it would teach her a lesson.

Thats just RUDE if you ask me. J specifically told her to call next time and she gets called rude when MIL shows up uninvited. Good grief. I hope this doesn't happen too often and next time she says something about the house she can tell her she's more than welcome to clean it up if it bothers her that much. Something my Grandmother on my fathers side used to say to people. LMAO!!!

Story continued...

So Jennifer continues to battle this issue with her husband over the next couple of years, and the mil continues this behavior. Each time, Jennifer politely points out to mil to please call next time. Her mil ignores these requests and continues to pop in unannounced. Every time, Jennifer gets mad, her dh supports his mother and gets mad at J, and the mil makes comments about the condition of "her son's house."

When Jennifer and her dh argue this issue, her dh states that "My mother forgets little things like calling before a visit. She doesn't ever mean to offend anyone. She just thinks it's nice to surprise people with a visit."

On one occasion, Jennifer and her husband and kids decide to go visit mil's elderly mother for the afternoon. They inform mil that they've talked to her mother and will be visiting on a certain date. Mil makes it very clear that they are to call her mother when they are about an hour from her home. She says, "Even though grandmother knows you are visiting, she likes to know exactly when you will be arriving. She likes to have her house 'just so' for guests." On the day they are leaving for the visit, mil calls to remind Jennifer to call when they are an hour away. Jennifer can't help herself and says, "Of course I will call. You know how I don't like unexpected guests either." Her mil does not respond.

Jennifer wonders why mil can show politeness towards her mother, but not her son and his wife.

*This story really is fictional, but based on something a friend of mine is dealing with.

My opinion, tell mil she is just in time to help clean, or take the grand kids out for awhile. Plan a simple meal, hug mil and say it is nice to see you.

The real problem that I detect is that Jennifer wants a formal relationship with her inlaws, and her inlaws want a relaxed family relationship.

Therefore both parties are offended needlessly.

The mother in law was wrong in saying that the house was a wreck, but people say the wrong things from time to time. The story dosen't say if the MIL is constantly critical, so I am going to assume it might have been an oversight or error in judgement on the MIL's part.

I don't think the MIL visits often enough to create friction in the family.

If this happened to me I would have said "Oh, you arrived just in time to help me clean" Laughter goes a long way. I would order Pizza for dinner and explain that I would have loved to cook a nice dinner if I had known in advance and let her mother in law known that if she calls in advance she would be better prepared in making plans for everyone.