Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mother-in-Law Update

Well, things have improved. Greatly.

Why? Because FireMan stood up to her.

He had been helping them get their new house ready to move into, putting off things he had promised me he'd do, not seeing me or FireGirl for about two weeks, and taking unpaid time off work.

Then it was actual move day. They weren't on any timeline to move, and didn't decide the date (a Friday) of the actual move until the the day before.

FireMan told his mom he wouldn't be coming. He explained that he hadn't seen his daughter in nearly two weeks, and it was the last night of the local fair, and we were taking her, but he would be willing to help out the next day (Saturday) if she wanted.

That was not good enough.

She called him 14 times while we were at the fair. Left six voice mails.

Mama not happy, apparently.

Also, maybe a little crazy.

He only listened to one voicemail. Despite having her husband, other son, and several friends to help that night, she totally guilted him in her message, insisting that she needed him.

He called her while we were on the way home, and asked if she still wanted him to come the next day. She said she'd call him back.

His dad called back a few minutes later, and said they'd love his help.

Things have been different better ever since.

On Saturday he got up earlier & went to help, and I just planned on having a day with FireGirl, puttering around the house.

His mom asked us to come over. She gave me the grand tour of the new house, asked for my advice on decorating, and was very pleasant. Not insulting, condescending, didn't guilt anyone about anything.

And then... she asked if she could watch FireGirl the next week. Maybe FireMan & I could have a date night?

Wowsa. I don't remember the last time she offered to watch FireGirl.

It's like (and this is just my interpretation) him standing up to her and not only putting his family above her, but voicing it to her as well, made it click with her that he is a grown man, with a family of his own.

I think she never really grasped that. She couldn't see him as anything but her little boy, and so would get very upset if he didn't make her queen of his world. She didn't see him as a man, with a wife, and a child, and a family & responsibilities of his own.

I'm still not sure she totally gets it. But I'm sure it's a process. And probably not an easy one.

Although I will say I think that considering he's lived on his own for 11 years, and been married for a total of 7 of those (1st wife + me combined), and been a dad for 3 years... I guess you'd think it'd happen sooner?

*note* I want to make it clear that I'm not against my husband doing things for his parents, and I actually kinda like that he's a momma's boy. The problem came in him repeatedly putting his mother before his wife & child, and her insistence on coming before us.

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