Why does my mother-in-law want to always know what I am doing when I am at home?

@cream97 (29166)
United States
May 27, 2010 10:56am CST
My mother-in-law called yesterday. She wanted to know if I had any books that were related to the Bible. So, my husband just handed the telephone to me so that I could talk to her. Once I got on the phone with her, her conversation with me turned into many other questions. She wanted to know what am I doing when I am at home. And she said that I would probably be on the computer a lot for the summer, being that my son will get out of school. I just told her that I may be on it, but I will be doing other things too. She called to tell me how lonely that she was. It is the same thing that is going on with her. I told her that she should try to catch the city bus so that she could go to the library and check out books. But when I told her this she just simply ignored me. In response, she started to talk about something else. If my mother-in-law does not get out to try to help herself then she will never learn anything. If she notices that no one will take her around, then she should try to find a way. She does not have her driver's license. Her husband works all of the time. He never seems to take time out with her to show her things around town. She does not know how to catch the city bus on her own. My mother-in-law is 58 years old. It really annoys me because my mother-in-law depends soley on me to help her out. None of her other children try to do anything for her. When she gets lonely and bored she comes to me to help her out. She has five other kids, and I don't see where none of them does anything for her. Why does she come to me all of the time. And no, I don't always answer my phone when she calls either. But when she finally gets a hold of me, she is hoping that I can help her by giving her things. I really wished that her kids and husband would do more for her. She is just at home most of the time. And her son is at home with her, he is about 35, he does not work. He spends most of his time on the computer and on his cellphone chatting with many females. Why does everyone ignore my mother-in-law so much? This is her family that she raised. She has three boys and two girls. I don't mind helping her out even though she has done me wrong in the past. I just don't understand why no one does anything for her. People will tell her "don't do such and such," because.... But you never see them really help her out.. Like take her around so that she can get out of the house more... I really feel like I have to be the one to do it all. Why me?? And not some of her family and friends???
5 people like this
20 responses
@cher913 (25890)
• Canada
27 May 10
i dont like people that complain about their situation but do absolutely nothing to try to change it. your mother in law is fairly young and its time she learned how to do things on her own. get her a bus schedule, go with her once, then she is on her own.
2 people like this
@celticeagle (121067)
• Boise, Idaho
28 May 10
Because I think they never think we do enough and so they are curious as to what we are doing. I can relate to her being 58 because I am. I don't even know why I admitted that. Oooh. Maybe she is jealous of your independence and life. Maybe you not answering the phone sometimes make her curious as to what you are up to. Hmmm.
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
28 May 10
Hi, celticeagle. See that is the problem with many mother-in-law's... Well with mines I can at least say. I truly believe that my mother-in-law just thinks that I sit home all day long doing nothing. I think that her oldest daughter thinks so too. I don't work outside of the home. I am very much busy just like a woman that works outside of the home too. I may not make as much money as other women, but I am working, in a sense. I think that is why she feels that I have so much of free time because I am home. But little does she know, that I have three bedrooms to clean. One kitchen and two bathrooms. I also have to mop seven floors in my apartment too. I don't have any carpet on any of my floors. Plus, I take care of myself and children. I have three. So, this is a whole lot for me to have to do. My mil knows how busy that I am, she just acts so selfish wanting more of my time, than I am able to give out.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (121067)
• Boise, Idaho
29 May 10
People are just the way they are. She will probably not change her ways no matter what you do. Hang in there!
1 person likes this
@indhunair (259)
• India
28 May 10
what can we say about it,
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
28 May 10
Hi, indhnair. I don't know. What can you say about it yourself??
• United States
5 Jul 10
sounds like it's because she's lonely,and you do respond. chances are the rest of her family ignores her..and it could be because of the same things that annoy you.they've probably resented her being so clingy. people like that you can only suggest they try new things or trips,but they're not always willing.
1 person likes this
@alaskanray (4642)
• United States
14 Jun 10
Your mother-in-law sounds a lot like my sister. She has Aspberger's and was only recently diagnosed (she's 51) which came only after a lot of tears and frustration on my part. I come from a large family...9 kids...and I'm the only one in the family who would even worry about her. The rest of them all just decided she was lazy and weird and didn't deserve their help. Maybe your Mother-in-law's other children have learned to tune her out and so they aren't able to care enough to reach out to her. It is so sad and I feel so sorry for her but at the same time I know the frustration as I've dealt with similar frustrations in my own family. The old adage that the "squeaky wheel gets the grease" doesn't always ring true, especially with the "Me" generation.
1 person likes this
• India
28 May 10
There are lot of things in life which happens to us and if we were in situation we try to implement the same as we faced it. today your mother in law is in a stage where she is not getting sufficient support from the family as required, since she believes you will support her she solely depends on you, other chance is when we appear in front of them they ask you to do everything as you are more reliable compared to others
1 person likes this
@la_chique (1499)
28 May 10
Its nice that you are such a caring person to do those things for her. This is probably why she relys on you because she knows you will be there and will help her out. Maybe its time you spoke about this to everyone else in your family though, because it sounds like there is only you that can be bothered to help her and if that's the case then it's just not fair. After all she's not even YOUR mother! I have a similar relationship with my MIL but I just tell her from time to time that she can do these things herself and that she does have 2 sons to help her out. On the other hand though, she is lovely to me and treats me like a daughter, and she contacts me personally because she feels like I am her family which is kind of sweet.
1 person likes this
• India
28 May 10
Hi cream all mom in law are more or less like that, here in india, sort of possessiveness, may be she gets more love from you than others, so you should cooperate.. Welcome always. Cheers. Prof
1 person likes this
@kalav56 (11502)
• India
28 May 10
Why?---THe answer is obvious.You are the most softhearted of the lot and are hesitant to say "No" and you started a pattern initially by being soft and are now unable to change it. She knows that she can get some way with you .
1 person likes this
@dloveli (4369)
• United States
28 May 10
Dont fret friend you're not the only one who has mother in law issues. I am plagued by the Monster Mother in law from Hell! HELP ME!!!
1 person likes this
@yumanal (143)
• China
28 May 10
Everyone,especially a old woman,is afraid of loneliness,she didn't know what should to do,as her daughter-in-law,it was normal that she called you.be pacient,take time as much as possible to be with her,you should think that because you were so good,so she liked talking with you .Her other kids weren't good and she didn't like to talk with them.
1 person likes this
• United States
27 May 10
I think you need to sit with your family talk with them about teaching her how do things to where it's not solely all on you. My grandmother is 76 maybe a little older and she wants every one to do everything for her. She's had strokes and a heart attack and blood clots and repairs but that doesn't mean she isn't helpless. My dad asked me if I would stay with her during the day 3-4 hours a day but i told him no. He asked me because I don't have an actual job where I go there to work 9-5 or whatever. I do take care of my little girl and do stuff for my mom cause she works so much. Kathryn starts school in August in kindergarten so it's going to be even harder for me to find something. Someone will have to pick her up. I know that they have day cares to do that. But If I can't find work I can't afford for child care. Every one else in my family and outside the family like to way in on why they think i should be working. I understand your frustration it's hard to get other members to see that you are not the only member of your family and it may be time to have a sit down with her husband first.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
27 May 10
Maybe she's done them all wrong too? And they're not as soft hearted as you are?
1 person likes this
• United States
27 May 10
I can surely give you some good advice on this one (i've been down this road). Knowone wants to be bothered with her because she's miserable and refuses to be any other way. Misery likes company and you're the only one that she can find RIGHT NOW, to join her. Stop making yourself available to her and ALWAYS BE BUISNESS and what you're doing and with whom and where and what time, etc,,,, if you have to just flat out tell her it's non of her buisness, period. Don't feel guilty and don't back down. She's 58 years young and it sounds to me like not only is she extremly lonely, but slightly depressed too. Only the people who grew up in her household know the real truth about her, so they just avoid her, period.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
27 May 10
Well, this is some of the things you need to live with since you're already part of their family. There are instances that in-laws prefer to rant and share their feelings to other people instead of their own family since she knows that no one will listen to her and give her the time and attention she needs so the tendency is she would prefer other people. Sometimes they drive you crazy and they wanted you to give them the attention they are getting from their own family. I guess your mother-in-law needs a companion and someone to talk to. You said she can't even help herself catch a city bus but I think this is not the point, she wanted to have someone with her. People who are growing old turn out to be like a baby. They always want their mommy with them where as for growing old people, they always want to have someone who will listen to their redundant stories and complaints as well. That's the reason why she always ask what you are doing, she wanted to know if you have spare time for her. I know how hard for you to give most of your time for her since you have your own family, but why not try to tell your husband about it. Tell him honestly that it somewhat bothers you. Tell him to talk to her brothers and sisters for them to have a regular schedule on who will take turn to see their mom and take her out. And of course, as a member of the family, be part of the discussion as well. Make everyone in the family move so that everything will be fair. It will not be a big loss giving an hour or two for someone who dedicated her life raising a family and it is not easy to fight boredom when you're growing old.
1 person likes this
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
27 May 10
Forgive me for asking this question but are you still with your husband (your MIL's son of course)? Does he help at all?
1 person likes this
@carmelanirel (20979)
• United States
27 May 10
Have you spoken to the other family members cream? find out if they are willing to share the burden? Sounds like you have a big heart like another friend of mine here, and like I told her, take care of yourself first, because if you get too much on your plate, you won't be able to last long..Explain this to the other family members, even if they tell you that they have other things going on, that you still need some of the stress off you..
@lilybug (21148)
• United States
27 May 10
It sounds to me like she is a really lonely woman and she is reaching out to the only person that seems to care about her at all. YOU. I know it is probably annoying at times, but she needs someone. It is not right that the children that she raised don't take the time out to spend with her or help her with what she needs. Maybe you could have your husband talk to his siblings about helping her out more?
1 person likes this
@saphrina (31739)
• South Africa
27 May 10
I think it is time you take on that family, sweetie. You need to tell them to get their fingers out of their butts and start contributing to their mother's needs. It is not your responsibility. Don't let them walk over you, you have your own life. TATA.
1 person likes this
@kun2349 (23475)
• Singapore
28 May 10
MAybe hse's taking advantage of u?? After all, u are not her immediate family, and thus it's much easier to be bullying u.. haha =D And since she's not staying with u, so all the more, u cant be chasing her out of the house, when one day, u cant stand her anymore.. For her own children, she cant do that, because she does not to be ignore by them.. As a mother, it always hurts to appear non-existence, when they are just right in right.. So, i guess she just does not want to inflict mroe pain on herself, by having rejection by own children..