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Old 04-25-2011, 08:31 AM
 
1,073 posts, read 2,493,349 times
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When we are together with my in-laws 3-4 times per year, there are these frequent awkward miscommunications, mainly between me and my MIL. I find these situations frustrating and exhausting by the end of the visit. It's not a big deal in the grand scheme of life, but I would like people's opinions. How can I handle these situations better? Below are a couple of examples.

This morning my MIL said she was going to have some toast for breakfast. I decided to make french toast for the kids, and asked my MIL if she wanted any. She said "no hon." So I made the french toast. Just enough for the kids. I cleaned the pan, put everything away, etc. Then MIL tells me she wants some. I told her I would make her some after I finished feeding the kids, so that theirs would not get cold. Then she says, "oh no, you don't have to make me any." Then she proceeds to say over and over how good it smells. Should I have made her some? Should I have just made extra from the start? I didn't because she said she wanted regular toast, and has been making a big deal about wanting to take in fewer calories.

In the past there have been similar situations. When I try to go ahead and remedy the situation, she sort of shuts down. Like one time she made a big deal about wanting more coffee, so I said I would make more, and she said "oh no, don't worry about it." I said "I'll have more too," and went ahead and made another pot. She refused to drink any.

This kind of thing really mystifies me. I am so not good at "reading between the lines." Yet I always feel like I am disappointing her because she will get sort of pouty after these situations. Any and all suggestions on how I can handle this better are appreciated.
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:47 AM
 
3,573 posts, read 6,101,895 times
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My mother is like that too but she is mentally ill. Is your MIL mentally unstable? I don't know what to tell you. It's frustrating though, I know. I'm sure someone will come on here and give you good advice on how to deal with her.
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Old 04-25-2011, 09:18 AM
 
1,073 posts, read 2,493,349 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donie1 View Post
My mother is like that too but she is mentally ill. Is your MIL mentally unstable? I don't know what to tell you. It's frustrating though, I know. I'm sure someone will come on here and give you good advice on how to deal with her.
I don't think my MIL is mentally ill . If you don't mind, what is your mother's diagnosis? Maybe I can look it up and see if it fits .
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Old 04-25-2011, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Oxnard, CA
1,551 posts, read 4,007,685 times
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Just make extra french toast and coffee all the time. If she doesn't eat or drink it, just put it away. She is not good at expressing her true feelings that she really wants it but and she also doesn't want you to go through the trouble of making more french toast and having to wash the dishes all over again. If you can just oblige her just these 3 to 4 times a year, it will become a no-brainer for you. She only mentions the calorie thing so you really won't make it.
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Wherever women are
19,011 posts, read 27,679,789 times
Reputation: 11309
Quote:
Originally Posted by marmom View Post
When we are together with my in-laws 3-4 times per year, there are these frequent awkward miscommunications, mainly between me and my MIL. I find these situations frustrating and exhausting by the end of the visit. It's not a big deal in the grand scheme of life, but I would like people's opinions. How can I handle these situations better? Below are a couple of examples.

This morning my MIL said she was going to have some toast for breakfast. I decided to make french toast for the kids, and asked my MIL if she wanted any. She said "no hon." So I made the french toast. Just enough for the kids. I cleaned the pan, put everything away, etc. Then MIL tells me she wants some. I told her I would make her some after I finished feeding the kids, so that theirs would not get cold. Then she says, "oh no, you don't have to make me any." Then she proceeds to say over and over how good it smells. Should I have made her some? Should I have just made extra from the start? I didn't because she said she wanted regular toast, and has been making a big deal about wanting to take in fewer calories.

In the past there have been similar situations. When I try to go ahead and remedy the situation, she sort of shuts down. Like one time she made a big deal about wanting more coffee, so I said I would make more, and she said "oh no, don't worry about it." I said "I'll have more too," and went ahead and made another pot. She refused to drink any.

This kind of thing really mystifies me. I am so not good at "reading between the lines." Yet I always feel like I am disappointing her because she will get sort of pouty after these situations. Any and all suggestions on how I can handle this better are appreciated.
When you have a guest, would you actually ask them if they want french toast

I thought people made stuff and treated them without asking. Just pass a plate full of French toast and have her eat it. If she moans, pass her Cary's sugar free maple syrup. Case closed
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Oxnard, CA
1,551 posts, read 4,007,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antlered Chamataka View Post
When you have a guest, would you actually ask them if they want french toast

I thought people made stuff and treated them without asking. Just pass a plate full of French toast and have her eat it. If she moans, pass her Cary's sugar free maple syrup. Case closed
LOL, that sugar free syrup is pretty good! You're right...she is a guest..just make more food.
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:50 AM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,861 posts, read 32,887,116 times
Reputation: 22595
Quote:
Originally Posted by marmom View Post
When we are together with my in-laws 3-4 times per year, there are these frequent awkward miscommunications, mainly between me and my MIL. I find these situations frustrating and exhausting by the end of the visit. It's not a big deal in the grand scheme of life, but I would like people's opinions. How can I handle these situations better? Below are a couple of examples.

This morning my MIL said she was going to have some toast for breakfast. I decided to make french toast for the kids, and asked my MIL if she wanted any. She said "no hon." So I made the french toast. Just enough for the kids. I cleaned the pan, put everything away, etc. Then MIL tells me she wants some. I told her I would make her some after I finished feeding the kids, so that theirs would not get cold. Then she says, "oh no, you don't have to make me any." Then she proceeds to say over and over how good it smells. Should I have made her some? Should I have just made extra from the start? I didn't because she said she wanted regular toast, and has been making a big deal about wanting to take in fewer calories.

In the past there have been similar situations. When I try to go ahead and remedy the situation, she sort of shuts down. Like one time she made a big deal about wanting more coffee, so I said I would make more, and she said "oh no, don't worry about it." I said "I'll have more too," and went ahead and made another pot. She refused to drink any.

This kind of thing really mystifies me. I am so not good at "reading between the lines." Yet I always feel like I am disappointing her because she will get sort of pouty after these situations. Any and all suggestions on how I can handle this better are appreciated.
Everybody communicates differently. My husband will ask me if we have any pancake mix. I say "yes, we do". This is his way of asking me to make pancakes instead of just saying.... "If we have any pancake mix, will you make me pancakes?"

I will be leaving to go to the store and he will say... "Do you think the car needs to be washed?" Instead of saying. "When you are out, will you please wash the car?"

At first, it caused a lot of arguments because I would come home and the car wouldn't be washed and he would ask me why not!!!!! I had NO IDEA that he wanted me to do this, I thought he was just asking my opinion.

In the future, if you are making French toast, just make enough for everybody and don't try to read your MIL's mind. That way, you might have to throw uneaten toast away, but at least you won't hurt anyone's feelings.

It's a crazy world.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 04-25-2011, 11:51 AM
 
2,726 posts, read 4,884,130 times
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All of my friends always tell me to stop making them food and I never listen. Guess what? The food is always gone before the last one is out the door.

From my experience, people tell you to not do something out of politeness. They don't want you to do extra work for them like my friends who serve me ready made frozen food. Others do it because they don't know how to repay you (I know you don't expect anything in return), in other words, they were not taught how to be a good hostess.

Here is the thing, if you make extra toast and she doesn't eat it, her growling stomach is now her problem Don't make it yours by being upset that she didn't eat it. I will add one more thing, since she asked just for toast, go ahead and drop some bread in the toaster. There is nothing wrong with "requests."
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:43 PM
 
1,073 posts, read 2,493,349 times
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Hey thanks for the feedback everyone! I really do appreciate everyone's insights. Sounds like I need to be a more gracious and attentive hostess . I knew I could count on the good c-d forum folks to tell it to me straight!
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:17 AM
 
13,513 posts, read 17,611,203 times
Reputation: 16414
Like the others said....just make extra...that way she won't need to ask, and leftovers (if you have kids) always get eaton!
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