I have a problem with guilt

@soccermom (3200)
United States
April 25, 2007 1:56pm CST
I was so proud of myself last week because I put my foot down and said "no" to something someone wanted me to do. I felt so good looking out for myself. My problem is though that when it involves family I feel guilty for things I can't control, like somehow their misery is my fault. Here's the deal...I dropped my kids off at my MIL today so I could go to work, she has always wanted to watch the kids even when we have offered to find a sitter. A few months ago I was working two jobs, and my hubby works close to 70 hours a week. I quit my night job and cut my other job down to between 25-30 hours a week, so I could spend time with the kids and also to give my MIL a break. She has them 4 hours a day Mon-Thurs, and 7 hours on Friday. I worked my schedule around her obligations to my 11 year old sister in law, and change my hours quite frequently to accomodate their household, I feel as though I should, after all it's free child care. Anyway, I dropped the kids off today and my MIL says "I can't get anything done, I never have a free minute to myself!" Like this is MY FAULT! I just ignored her, but what I was thinking is I didn't sign my 11 year old up for softball that has practices on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday for two hours, and games on Mondays and Fridays! Then on Wednesday she teaches a cooking class to 5th graders at her daughters school. This is not my fault SHE can't say no, I feel like I have accomodated her enough and I'm not the one who volunteered for all this extra stuff. Then I get to thinking that sounds awful selfish and I feel bad. We don't ask them to watch the kids on weekends, my hubby even leaves work early on Friday to pick them up. Should I feel bad that she's overextended? I get that way too, but I try not to blame anybody else for it, or make anyone else feel like it's their fault. AAHHHHGGGG!
1 person likes this
5 responses
@SpitFire179 (2536)
• Canada
25 Apr 07
She offered you am i wrong? I know guilt is a hard thing to deal with, but the thing is, you didn't ask her to go out of her way to take care of your kids, she offered it. If she has a problem with it she needs to work it out, talk to you about changing or cutting down time she babysits, or something, because this is not your fault. She's probably just having a bad day, but maybe talk to her, find out if she thinks things need to change. you never know... You might just find a happy medium.
1 person likes this
@soccermom (3200)
• United States
25 Apr 07
Here's the part that really gets me too. When I was working two jobs we could have easily afforded daycare, but now I cut down to working the bare minimum of what we need to survive there is no way I could afford childcare! She was fortunate enough to be a stay at home mom, and I have nothing against that, but now she feels I should be a SAHM and it's just not gonna happen. She pushes and pushes. Gee, sorry for the rant, I'm just so like "What does she want from me?" today.
• Canada
25 Apr 07
don't be sorry hun, don't worry about that... I know what you mean, it seems like people are okay with the arangement until you can't afford to do otherwise, and then they start saying - oh no poor me, i can't do this i can't do that' when they offered it in the first place... She can't expect everyone to bow to her will and be just like her, she's gotta understand that your doing what you have to do to survive at least comfortably, that your not as lucky as she is in that home aspect, and your not going to change to fit her will now. Hun, maybe it's time you stand up for yourself with her too, i mean, look at what she does to you, seems she does that a lot...
1 person likes this
@soccermom (3200)
• United States
25 Apr 07
A little off subject, but she gave me a copy of the book "the Devil Wears Prada". I thanked her and asked if it was any good, she said she doesn't know because there were swear words on the 2nd page so she refuses to read it. I can appreciate her religious values, but really, does the stick need to be in her butt sideways all the time?
@stephcjh (32328)
• United States
25 Apr 07
I have a problem with guilt also. I have also learned how to put my foot down when I do not want to do something ro something in my life is wrong. My family is good at making me feel like things are all my fault. I know it isn't though.Your mother-in-law should not take her frustrations out on you. My family also makes all of these plans and if everyone isn't there to help her to see them all through, she makes you feel guilty. She makes the plans and she should not bite off more than she can chew, is the way I see it. It is her fault and if she doesn't have time to watch your kids, then all she has to do is be nice to you and say it instead of making you feel bad for it. You should not feel guilty at all.
@soccermom (3200)
• United States
25 Apr 07
Thank you steph, I needed to hear that. And you're right, my MIL is capable of telling me she needs a break.
@fpd1955 (2075)
• United States
26 Apr 07
She is equating her ability with being able to stay at home to yours. You still need to work, that has not changed. Her daughter is getting older and is getting more involved with things outside the home. She is getting stressed out trying to do things for her daughter while honoring her committment to you. She is making you feel guilty for something she did to herself. If she has overextended herself, she needs to just come out and say that to you. It is not your fault and you should not feel guilty about this. PEACE
• United States
26 Apr 07
Sounds like your MIL was having a bad day and decided to vent in front of you. Don't feel guilty- I say things like that all the time and I'm a SAHM! Being tied down with kids every day is hard for ANYONE, even if they're your own kids! I wouldn't take it personally. What I would do is this: Mother's Day is coming up and it sounds like she does do a lot for you. Maybe you should offer to take her 11 year old (I'm assuming she has an 11 year old daughter???) for a weekend so she can be completely kid-free. Maybe get her a certificate to a salon or day spa for a massage, pedicure, whatever. She may just need a recharge.
@Lakota12 (42684)
• United States
26 Apr 07
Naw I wouldnt feel bad ya didnt do it to her she did , You hvae done enough Dont feel bad just tell her to cut back on things like you did