Dear Snarky – My MIL Has Gone Quarantine Crazy and is Planning a Party That I Don’t Want

Dear Snarky,

 My mother-in-law is driving me crazy. I had a baby in February and since the lock down went into place she has been blasting me with texts, phone calls and emails about how when the shelter in place is lifted we’re going to have the “most amazing baby christening party of all times.”

 It’s gotten pretty bad. She even has a Pinterest board of party ideas and from everything I’ve seen and what she’s told me this woman thinks my husband and I are going to be hosting a party for like a hundred people.

 I have so many problems with this. The first one being I don’t want a huge christening party and second we can’t afford to basically throw what from the Pinterest board I’m seeing looks like a wedding for our baby. I’m on maternity leave and my husband was furloughed from his job so we’re cash strapped and the last thing we want to do with any money we have is blow it on a party as soon as the quarantine is lifted. #mortgage

 How can I get my mother-in-law to understand this is not what my husband and I want and that it’s not going to happen?

 Signed, Trapped

Dear Trapped,

 Let’s start with the positives. It’s wonderful that your mother-in-law is so invested and excited about her new granddaughter. I’m sure it’s hard on her that she hasn’t been able to see the baby as much as she would like. I also think all the party planning is a way for her to channel that frustration and a quarantine distraction.

 That said, it’s never too early to start setting boundaries with your MIL. You need to explicitly, and girlfriend I mean in writing, share that you and your husband will not be hosting a large christening party for your baby girl.

You also need to give a quantitative figure of how many people you will be up for inviting to the party. This is because words like “small” or open to interpretation. One person’s small party may mean 5. Another person’s may mean 500. I suggest sending a very kind email where you share that, you will be drawing the line at (insert number here) people.

 Again, be gentle with your mother-in-law. She probably means well. But to protect her feelings and your wallet now is the time to send that email about what your plans are so when all this is over no one can utter those two phrases that have doomed many, many, family relationships, “I never knew” and “You didn’t tell me.”

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com. 😉

 

A Dear Snarky Holiday Buffet

So many Christmas conundrums. So little time. In an attempt to help spread some holiday happiness I bring you a trio of letters. Let’s hope my answers deliver a soupçon of seasonal sanity to your family gatherings.

Screen Shot 2018-12-17 at 10.12.49 AMDear Snarky,

My mother-in-law spoils my children and goes overboard with presents. I’ve told her to stop but she won’t listen to me. I don’t think I can handle another Christmas where she’s trying to one up my husband and I in the gift department.

 Signed, Present Overkill

Dear Overkill,

Calm yourself and count your blessings. It’s a grandmother’s prerogative and great joy to spoil her grandchildren. If your kids are drowning in presents, I suggest discreetly donating some of the goodies to charity after the first of the year. P.S. Quit looking so hard for something to get your nose out of joint about. There are parents out there that would be THRILLED for their kids’ grandparents to so much as send a card.

Dear Snarky,

My weirdo and single sister actually expects us to buy a gift for her dog. She says her dog is like her child and since she buys presents for my four kids all the time, we can get her dog something.

Signed, No Way

Dear No Way,

Umm, no way, I say, yes way. Drag yourself off of your high horse and go get your sister’s dog a $10 chew toy and get over yourself. Also, being a pet lover and a single doesn’t make you a weirdo. It probably makes you very happy.

Dear Snarky,

My in-laws make the whole family go to Midnight Mass and I think it ruins Christmas morning for my kids (ages 8 and 10) because they’re so tired the next day. How do I get this tradition to stop?

 Signed, Not a Fan 

Dear Not a Fan,

Grab some caffeine and accept this hard truth. Midnight Mass isn’t going anywhere, and you know where you’re going – uh huh, that’s right to Midnight Mass. So, suck it up, have your kids take a nap and deal with traditions that are older than you are.

*I hope your holidays are drama free BUT if they’re not you know where to send your letter. snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com 😉

Dear Snarky – My Mother-In-Law Thought Helping Out After I Just Had a Baby Was Supposed to Be a Vacation

Dear Snarky,xmjr57fd2hwy

 I can’t believe the latest stunt my mother-in-law pulled. I just had my second baby (my first is only 18 months old) and my mother-in- law literally begged to come stay with us and help. I was hesitant because she’s not exactly grandmother of the year, but my husband said we should give his mom a chance to redeem herself. The entire two weeks she was here she did nothing except complain that she was bored and ask when were we going to “finally” do something fun. 

 Then after she left she posted on Facebook that it was the “worst vacation ever.” WTH? Who thinks offering to help your daughter-in-law after she just had a baby is going to be a vacation?

 I told my husband we are done with his mom and he thinks I’m being “postpartum overly emotional” Who’s right here?

 Signed, Not Happy

Dear Not Happy,

You know who needs to take a vacation? You, from your mother-in-law. Perhaps, she doesn’t need to be shunned for life, but you deserve the mental break from having to deal with that hot mess because anyone with a functioning brain stem knows that a “visit” to a house with a new baby and an 18-month-old is not going to be cocktails on the beach. 

Also, it sounds like your husband has some mommy issues and feels like he needs to defend her behavior – so, my condolences to you. Hopefully, as he matures into, what’s that word, oh yeah, a man he’ll wise up to his mother’s head games.

As for now, let your angry go. Your mother-in-law isn’t worth the emotional investment. You need to focus on the positives – your babies.

Dear Snarky – The Mother of the Bride Keeps Wearing Her Old Wedding Dress

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 10.33.36 AMDear Snarky,

My beautiful daughter is engaged and recently I went with her to her soon to be sister-in-laws bridesmaids luncheon and I’m still having problems picking my jaw up from the floor! At the luncheon the bride’s mother, my daughter’s future mother-in-law, was wearing her wedding dress!!! Yes her wedding dress from the 1980’s. She was also taking selfies and putting pictures of herself on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag “still fits.”

How do I make sure this woman doesn’t pull this stunt at my daughter’s upcoming wedding festivities?

Signed #unbelievable

Dear Unbelievable,

Here’s the bad news your daughter’s future mother-in-law is a train wreck (choo, choo!) with a “look at me,” “look at me” personality disorder. Everything always has to be about her even at her own daughter’s wedding.

No one is going to change this woman. Did you hear me I said NO ONE. That said, I would advise embracing the nut job. I suggest your daughter or you start by sharing with the almost mother-in-law that you will be letting all the guests know who are invited to any bridal parties that it’s just super if they want to wear their old wedding dresses. 

This will tank the “look at me, look at me”, thrill and your daughter can serve notice that she’s equipped with the skills to derail the crazy train.

*If you have a question for Dear Snarky, 21st Century Advice with Attitude, please email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com or private message me on the Snarky Facebook page.

Dear Snarky – My Mother-In-Law Is a Party Pooper

dear_snarky_logoDear Snarky,

I need help! This year my mother in law gave no gift or card to my daughter for her birthday or me for my birthday. My husband’s birthday was just two weeks later and he got a visit at work with a card and a check. I’m so hurt that she would snub my daughter and I and only acknowledge her son. Am I wrong In thinking it should

I’ve asked him to say something, but he won’t. I feel like he’s chosen to protect his mom’s feelings over mine.

Signed, Frustrated

Dear Frustrated,

In a perfect world your husband would be a knight in shining armor and set off to vanquish the rude manners of his mother BUT in the real world he’s going to next to nothing. So, it’s up to you to make the best of a bad situation. This is why I suggest going out and buying yourself your own present from your MIL. Take whatever amount she gave your husband and treat yourself to something fun. 

Now your daughter is a different story and as her mom you need to protect her innocence. So, I would buy your child a present and say it’s from her grandma and then have your daughter write a lovely thank you note to your mother in-law. When your MIL asks you why she got a thank you for a gift she didn’t buy you can explain that you wanted to shield your daughter from knowing her grandma is a jerk.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky 21st Century Advice With An Attitude please email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com or send me a private message on my Snarky Facebook page.