Archive for November, 2009

My Father In Law


My dear, lovely Father in Law, who i do actually quite like, but like most people with their Mother In Law – i have issues, so thought i would share this one – mostly to see if anyone suffers the same!
Its mostly to do with the relationship he has with my son & his two cousins (my husbands brothers children).
An example –
My father in law is fortunate to go on a fair few holidays (which i am v. jealous of, but that’s not my point!) and always seems to make an effort to go and see my sons cousins the day before he goes & as soon as he gets back. He rarely, if not never, asks to come ’round to see my son – unless he is calling ’round for another reason anyway, and then, i shall give him his dues – he will come ’round earlier than planned/leave later than needed to spend time with my son. He also treats all the cousins in the same in regard to birthday presents etc.
Now, my son is the youngest of the 3 cousins, and so i can see that he hasnt been in his ‘world ‘ for as long – but surely, that makes him even more special? Ok – maybe that’s just a mothers way of thinking 😉
There are other examples – but it would take me too long to list them all & it would bore you all rigid.
I just really dislike that i always have to make the effort for my son to see his grandad & that i dont think he holds him in the same regard as his other cousins.
Now, i have mentioned this numerous times to my hubby, but i think that he is just thinks i’m being silly.


Handwritten Confession #3

Dear Mother-in-Law

Dear Mother-in-Law:
The next time I feel brave enough to leave my precious child with you, could you please make sure to check her nappy at least once when she is in your care.  Last week she had a 5 hour-filled wet nappy hanging somewhere around her knees when I arrived.  Yesterday, I took one sniff of her bum within 1 minute of arriving back after 4 hours away and realised she had a poo-ey bum!  You know how sensitive her bum is!  How long was she in that poo-ey nappy?  I had to scrub a fair bit you know??  I know you have lost your sense of smell, as is evident by the amount of perfume you are wearing these days, but that is no excuse for leaving your granddaughter in a poo-ey nappy! 

Also, please know that store-bought, rubbish, pureed mince Cottage Pie is not an acceptable meal for us much less for your adorable, somewhat fussy granddaughter.  Her dinner last night consisted of 4-5 peas, one teaspoon of Crap Cottage Pie and a pot of yoghurt which, thankfully, I had brought.  When she was awake from 11:30-1:30 last night and eating the peanut butter sandwich and grapes that I had to make for her because she was so hungry, I should have rung you.  I appreciate that you were trying to do an easy dinner that would enable you to play with your granddaughter for a change but please don’t feed us that rubbish and please remember what your granddaughter does and does not like.  It’s not hard.  Of course, after 4 years, you still manage to forget that I take my tea STRONG and with 2 sugars, but there you go.

I do love you and you are a wonderful mother-in-law (really) but please step up to the plate with regards to your granddaughter or next time I will be forced to STAY WITH YOU THE ENTIRE TIME!!! 

Love, Your Daughter in Law

My Husband Had An Affair

Three years ago my husband had an affair. I’ve never written about it before, I don’t talk about it and only a few people know it happened.
Things hadn’t been perfect in our marriage. We were new parents and finding it hard. I was suffering from PND but refusing to acknowledge it. I obsessed about my new son, I was convinced I was a bad mum, I wouldn’t leave him with anyone else, I pushed my husband out. This doesn’t justify what my husband did.
I knew things weren’t going well, but I hoped we could talk things through. I left it too late, my husband’s behaviour changed. He worked late and went out a lot with a new group of ‘friends’ I never met. I tried to talk to him but he wouldn’t open up he just said he was unhappy. I asked him if there was someone else and he denied it.
Things got so bad he moved out. After a month he came back but we didn’t get on. Something about him had changed and I knew he was lying to me about where he went and what he did. So he moved out again. This time for six months. It was just me and our young son, luckily he was too little to understand what was going on.
My husband and I met at weekends to talk about what we were going to do. We had fallouts and reconciliations. It was confused. Friends kept giving me advice which I didn’t want or need. The most helpful people were those who listened and gave me a hug. They didn’t judge or tell me what to do. During a brief reconciliation with my husband I fell pregnant. I used to scorn people who fell pregnant accidentally, how stupid were they? I’ll never scorn anyone like that again.
Now things were in a real mess. The pregnancy was progressing well, but I had terrible morning sickness and lost half a stone during the first three months. My husband tried to move back in but it didn’t last long. We couldn’t get on and then there was talk of not continuing with the pregnancy. It breaks my heart to write it here. However I decided that my marriage and my children were separate. I wasn’t going to stay in an unhappy marriage for the sake of my children and I wasn’t going to end a pregnancy for the sake of my marriage. I told husband I was carrying on with or without him. By this stage, I was certain I’d be a single mum.
So we tried again to work things out. And I could tell this time he was really making an effort. We got through a Christmas together but by New Year I knew things weren’t right. The misery had been going on for over a year and I told him the marriage was probably over. That’s when he gave in and told me about the affair. He told me about everything that had been going on, everything he’d been doing and how he’d been feeling. He broke down. I’ve never seen him like that before.
I felt like all the breath had been knocked out of me. I left the house and walked up the hill. I took off my wedding ring and prepared to throw it into a building site I passed on the way. But I changed my mind and left it in my coat pocket. There was a bench in the churchyard which I sat on and watched a cat stalking a pigeon among the headstones. I was worn out, I’d just marched up a hill while five months pregnant. My mind felt blank and I wanted to be sick.
When I returned home I asked my husband to leave. I could tell he was upset but I didn’t want him there any more. For the next couple of weeks I tried to ignore his text messages and phonecalls. I avoided text messages and phonecalls from most people. I hid away and focussed on getting me, my son and the growing baby through each day.
Eventually I agreed to meet my husband. I asked him about the other woman. It was someone he’d worked with, things had started on a drunken night on a business trip away. She knew he was married with a young son. It lasted four months. She hadn’t meant anything to him, she’d just given him a lot of attention while he was low and fed up. I wanted to know if she was attractive.. (Why?) And he reluctantly said she was. Tall, slim and pretty. He ended it with her because he wanted to work on our marriage. He’d been determined I would never find out because he didn’t want to lose me. All the guilt and angst about what he’d done had caused the huge problems in our marriage. She left the company when he ended the affair and hassled him with calls and texts until he agreed to meet up with her eight months later. When he did, she begged him to leave me. He told her he wasn’t interested any more.
I gave this a huge amount of thought and finally agreed to give the marriage one last go. Everything was now out in the open, there were no lies any more. I wanted to try now we had this new foundation to build on. Yes I was hurt and upset. I’d been betrayed and I still blamed myself for some of it. Despite everything, I still loved him and I knew he loved me. A few friends thought I was wrong to get back with him.
This post has gone on long enough and I could document how we pieced things together but I won’t. Our second child arrived a few months later. It took a long, long time to repair the damage in our marriage.
But we got there, and not only did we manage that but our marriage is now stronger than it’s ever been. We have two beautiful children, soon to be three (not an accident this time). The experience changed us both, but we want the same things in life and we want to do those things together. I still get upset about what happened.. I don’t like looking at our wedding photos because he broke his vows. Marriage doesn’t mean anything really. What does matter is knowing what you want, communicating that to each other and sticking together through the crap life throws at you. Never take what you have for granted.
Do I trust him? Not completely. Have I forgiven him? I don’t think so, I can’t really work out what forgiveness is. Do we talk about it any more? Never.
I sometimes think about the other woman. I know her name and the town she lives in. I often think about tracking her down and confronting her, that would give me a lot of satisfaction. But it’s drifting into history now so what’s the point? She must be a sad, lonely person to chase after other people’s husbands. Apparently it wasn’t the first time she’d got involved with a married man. Maybe she did us a favour by turning those fissures in our marriage into huge cracks, leaving us with something we had to sort out.
It’s taken me a long time to write this and I’ve found it upsetting. But I think many other people have been through a similar experience and don’t talk or write about it for obvious reasons. It’s intensely personal and people are very quick to judge the decisions you make. Writing this down has helped, I would like to talk about it on my blog but probably never will. If you’re still with me at the end of this post, thanks for listening!


Handwritten Confession #2


Dear So and So…

My take on the Dear So and So meme:
Dear MIL

I am very grateful for everything you do to help us out. However, when my parents who are visiting from 300 miles away and seeing their grandson for the first time ever remark that it must be nice having us just round the corner, do not remark that you do not see him ‘that often’. You see him at least twice every week, if not more, and my parents don’t see him at all. Please have a little tact.

Thank you,

Slightly scared of you daughter in law.


Dear MIL

When you are holding the baby and he is wriggling about heading for your chest don’t announce at he will “Not get anything from you”. I am in the room and you know that I am upset that I was unable to breastfeed so the fact is that the baby is not getting any for me either. Please have a little tact.

Your fed up daughter in law.


Dear Husband

Please do not repeat every conversation that I have with you about your mother to your mother. She is bossy and when she says some things to me I feel like I am being told off. You telling her that I said she told me off makes her have a ‘word’ with me about that fact she was not telling me off that is the way that she is. If you just keep your mouth shut we will not have this problem.

Your loving wife.


Dear Step Mother,

Please stop calling my gorgeous son “Number 3”. He has a name. You know that name. USE IT. He is an individual, not a bloody number.

First time mum


Thank you all for the comments on the post ‘My Mother in Law…

This is what has happened since.

My partner said to his mother that we didn’t want the 14 month old to have coffee, so we’d stopped giving the 2-year-old coffee.  Of course we don’t give either of them coffee, but he was trying to be nice about it.

Today she came round. As usual I said ‘I’ll put the kettle on’

‘NO’ she barked, ‘not for me’.

I asked ‘Are you sure?’

‘Yes, I don’t want to upset them. They’ll only want some’. This coming from the headmistress of the school of tough love.

I said ‘that doesn’t matter, they don’t get any of ours either’.

‘No, I don’t want one, they’ll get upset’.

‘I’m having one’  I said.

‘No’ she said.

‘I’ll make you a coffee and leave it in the kitchen’. Game, set and match to me. She couldn’t argue with that.

No more was said on the subject. She drank her coffee in the kitchen, out of sight of the children.

She stayed for a couple of hours, but we didn’t talk as much as usual. Nowhere near as much.

Tonight my partner’s sister rang. She told him we’d upset their mother because she wasn’t allowed to give the boys coffee any more. My sister-in-law agrees with us, incidentally.

I’m not happy that my mother in law is upset, but we needed to say something. I should have been brave enough to speak up the first time she gave our 2-year-old coffee, but I didn’t.

This whole situation is not about the coffee, it’s about respect for our parenting decisions.

Hopefully Coffeegate will soon be behind us. We can then move on to Pottytraininggate and Chocolatebiscuitgate. I can see them on the horizon, waving furiously!


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