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parsleythelion

Photos

23 posts in this topic

Hello - I've been away for a while, I know, but it was in an attempt to stop obsessing about problems with the PIL and, along with putting my foot down on the amount of interaction I'm okay with, it has worked. I've been having a niggle and wanted an outside opinion without having to ask people in real life:

MIL keeps bringing me photos of our children that we've taken and shared with her electronically. She usually prints them at home and displays them in brag books (or small photo albums) that she brings with her and wants to show me during visits - as though I were someone unrelated to whom she was wanting to show off her GC - getting visibly irritated when I start to tell her where the photos were taken because, you know, it seems like the only reason for doing that would be to share? This has graduated to bringing me framed photos. The last time saying: "It was such a lovely photo that I thought you would like a copy." It was a lovely photo: that I'd taken of the kids dressed up nicely for a big event on my side of the family. I have my own theories but why do you think someone would do this? And no, she is not losing her faculties that I'm aware of.

Just to add for those familiar with the Parsley saga that things are so much better since I set firmer boundaries. Visits are much less often and shorter time. MILs attitude has not changed (if anything, it may have got worse) but it is now counterbalanced by the fact that I can comfortably ignore it and not get sucked into the silly games. Not having to see her often has allowed me to switch off. Since I do not react, she can no longer play the victim. Mr.P is, perhaps as a result, seeing where the sillyness is originating from and is being much more understanding of my position. He is the one that advocated for the last few visits being only a week long (this is huge for them) and, where usually he'd have ignored MILs behaviour, or got angry with me for standing my ground, he pulled her up on it. It's not perfect but I feel like a certain balance has been put in place.

Edited by parsleythelion

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You've always had the full box set of inordinately strange PILs, in my opinion.

I suppose MIL is just finding it difficult that her silly games don't work on you, that you're conflict avoident (well done you) and that her son is fully backing you. Perhaps if you visibly object to this nonsense she'll quit, but no doubt in my mind she'll move on to some other stupidity that may bother you more. Maybe just continue to ignore and be happy with the new shorter visitation schedule?

Better the devil you know....

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I find this so interesting!! My ILs do something similar and it has always seemed very strange to me.  They print out our pictures we share on social media and frame them about their home.  It's not quite as odd as you're describing, sharing them with you like you've never seen them (ha) but I find it strange nonetheless.  Seems like you're able to take the high road with your MIL and it is working out well, except a few annoyances from time to time, well done! 

Is this a common practice for others? Printing pictures you see others post and displaying them throughout your home?  FWIW I would have no problem printing ILs a copy, and in one case, I had printed and framed some as a gift, only to find she has already done so herself, with the same pictures.  That was awkward!

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I sometimes hijack pictures from FB or other social media...partly because I wasn't at the event and partly because its something I wanted in the moment and copied it. I took one of the photos DIL took of #3Ggirlie just before she went onstage at Nutcracker and had it printed on canvas for their VD giftie. She has the photo, but not as a presentation piece...this is a showstopper, not a desktop photo. It represents the girlie's first dance company performance, she's 4...

Nice to see you back Parsley! Happy to hear you've been able to dial down all the IL drama to manageable. And that Mr. P finally has a clue. I hope your girls are doing well.

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14 minutes ago, Mame925 said:

I sometimes hijack pictures from FB or other social media...partly because I wasn't at the event and partly because its something I wanted in the moment and copied it. I took one of the photos DIL took of #3Ggirlie just before she went onstage at Nutcracker and had it printed on canvas for their VD giftie. She has the photo, but not as a presentation piece...this is a showstopper, not a desktop photo. It represents the girlie's first dance company performance, she's 4...

Nice to see you back Parsley! Happy to hear you've been able to dial down all the IL drama to manageable. And that Mr. P finally has a clue. I hope your girls are doing well.

Yes, if that's the one you shared here- And having it print on canvas would make it look even more like a painting than it already does-

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I don't find the practice of sharing photographs strange at all with the exception of someone doing it in abundance when room for framed images is an issue- Otherwise, I see it as no different than an appreciation of the art of photography itself as well as the individuals in it -- or landscape- It's also possible that sometimes people don't recognize their own talent when another does, or appreciates something that got captured in that moment in time- The older one gets, I think, the more they appreciate the passage of time and how it ties in to photography-

I have re-gifted images my daughter sent to me via text that she herself took, never once questioning my actions because they were always received with joy and a shared appreciation- I have also copied and kept images from social media because they were "shared"- I couldn't do that if they were kept private! My son in-law has a history of taking hysterical images as well as very tender images- My daughter's are equally as unique in their own way, capturing precious moments and certain expressions as well as events-

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Good to see you, Parsley! It has been a long time!

Glad that things are better w/ your ILs!  And that DH has begun to see and handle more of the problems that still exist b/c you've stepped back!

As for the pix, I would say perhaps she thinks it's a compliment to you that she placed ones you took in an album. Or that maybe she thinks a framed picture is a good gift, even if it's one you took. After all, as far as she knows, you don't have it in a frame. My generation, of course, was used to photos being put in albums or displayed around the home. So to her, having them on FB might not seem like "enough." @AEJ0818 - Your ILs might have this attitude. Some ILs might also think they're saving you (general) some trouble by printing the pix themselves.

However, Parsley, the fact that she acts as if you never saw the pic before and gets upset if you start giving her more info about it seems very odd. I feel as if this is another one of her games. Like Janelle, though, I think you should let this one go b/c if you don't, she'll just start another. Perhaps, look at/accept the pic, say, "How lovely!" (or whatever) and bean dip. Maybe laugh to yourself about it or have a laugh about it w/ DH later.

I'm glad you brought this to us. But if this is the worst she's doing at the moment, IMO, you're ok. :)

ETA: I can see printing someone else' photo off of FB but only if I asked them first. But that's just me.

Edited by RoseRed135

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In the movie The Family Stone Sarah Jessica Parker presents each of her boyfriend's family members with the same gift, a framed enlargement of the mother when pregnant that she had made from a photograph her boyfriend kept on his desk- Another example of appreciation of an event, the individual in the image, the passage of time- Had that photo been given as a gift say 10 years prior it might have raised eyebrows- But the mom in the movie had lost her battle with cancer and would soon die, which raised the value of what that photograph meant to them- I don't believe she asked permission to reprint it, I don't believe anyone minded that she hadn't-

Edited by Komorebi

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5 hours ago, AEJ0818 said:

I find this so interesting!! My ILs do something similar and it has always seemed very strange to me.  They print out our pictures we share on social media and frame them about their home.  It's not quite as odd as you're describing, sharing them with you like you've never seen them (ha) but I find it strange nonetheless.  Seems like you're able to take the high road with your MIL and it is working out well, except a few annoyances from time to time, well done! 

Is this a common practice for others? Printing pictures you see others post and displaying them throughout your home?  FWIW I would have no problem printing ILs a copy, and in one case, I had printed and framed some as a gift, only to find she has already done so herself, with the same pictures.  That was awkward!

Not a common practice in my family, certainly nothing my husband or I would ever do. But, likely nothing I'd complain about.

I really tighten privacy controls down to where pictures I might post (we don't) couldn't get in the wrong hands. Then I'd chalk it up to everyone is surely different regarding things that are not actually any of their own business. 

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The photos we send are by email, we don't send many and usually send the same photo updates to my parents as well. I have no issues with them printing copies for themselves. It's just the odd behaviour that I find baffling, perhaps disturbing. Rose is absolutely right, when MIL shows the photos it is as though I were a stranger that she was showing her GC off to. And when she gave me the framed photos (three now in total) it was as if I were a more distant family member who she thought might appreciate a photo of her grandkids...

You know when you just have this idea that someone is trying to send you a message but you have no idea what they're trying to say? It felt a bit like that. Though to be honest, it could also be another attempt to try to decorate our home from a distance... She handed it to me saying something along the lines of "I thought you might like this photo". I smiled brightly, said something like: "yes, I love that photo too, thank you" and took it. She appeared to look annoyed. I acted like I didn't notice. I'm pretty sure there's more going on - but it's interesting to watch the change in dynamics when I don't react to anything. There have been a fair number of discreet PA snubs and remarks during the past few visits - but the fact that I am able to ignore it rather than pulling her up or standing my ground means that she has no power and, additionally, others are able to see what is really going on as she has no opportunity to claim I've upset her and play martyr.

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20 hours ago, AEJ0818 said:

I find this so interesting!! My ILs do something similar and it has always seemed very strange to me.  They print out our pictures we share on social media and frame them about their home.  It's not quite as odd as you're describing, sharing them with you like you've never seen them (ha) but I find it strange nonetheless.  Seems like you're able to take the high road with your MIL and it is working out well, except a few annoyances from time to time, well done! 

Is this a common practice for others? Printing pictures you see others post and displaying them throughout your home?  FWIW I would have no problem printing ILs a copy, and in one case, I had printed and framed some as a gift, only to find she has already done so herself, with the same pictures.  That was awkward!

I think it might be more common in the older generation - at least those not as comfortable with modern technology and digital images. My parents do it as well (albeit not as much). Whereas I only display photos we've taken ourselves as I feel uncomfortable with photos that are essentially not ours, even if they've been directly shared with us. I think it might be a generational thing. Thinking about it, if I ever have GC - especially if they're living far away - I'd like photos of them around the house. Though I think I might do what my own (very non-intrusive) Grandparents do and ask for framed photos instead of Christmas gifts. That way you're sure that the other party is okay with it. So maybe it's not a generational thing after all but more a question of respect and entitlement? Thoughts?

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Taking and having photos are much easier now then ever before.  My DIL often gives me professional pics of the kids.  In her FOO that is a big thing.  My DD might give me a school pic if she thinks about it.  I finally asked after going 4 or 5 years without a recent photo.  She said she had laid them out when they came, but they got put away after awhile and she just forgot.  Pics to her are no big deal.  We never had a lot of photos of our kids because frankly a professional and nice frames cost more than we had extra to spend.  

Maybe there are others in the older generation that feels photos in nice frames are special enough to be good gifts.

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My DDs often give us framed photos as Christmas gifts. Love it! ODD & SIL have even given us a couple of framed collages of various members of our close family, including, of course, our granddolls! :)

ETA: I'm talking about pix they take and print out themselves or, from YDD, photos taken of the kids on "Picture Day" at school.

Edited by RoseRed135

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Totally understand the differences in generational approaches to pictures. I also agree pictures can make a lovely gift, we give framed pictures often.  And my IL do have mamy pictures displayed on shelves througout their home.  It just felt very odd to walk in and see my pictures I had taken and yes posted to social media, printed and framed on her shelves.  It felt like an odd violation maybe? If she had asked, or even mentioned her intention it wouldn't have bothered me as much. I don't think it's malicious, just not something I was expecting.  Especially when she had asked for one of the pictures and I told her I would get her a copy.  Apparently I wasn't fast enough delivering! 

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GD#2 went straight to NICU from delivery.  DS never sent any pictures.  I asked DIL months later if I could have one and she used my computer and printer one on my printer.  I put it is a frame.  You can't tell at a glance that it wasn't printed at one of those box stores.

I hadn't ever given a thought to printing off the internet until DIL told me to with her wedding photos, that is the only one I ever got.

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My MIL puts together photo books of pictures she's copied from my social media. She"ll then show these books to people and tell long stories about the events surrounding the pics. The issue? She was almost never at any of these events, often by her own choice (when something is not precisely as she wants it to be she will often refuse the invite). So the stories are completely delusional. She no longer has access to any social media and is sporadically emailed pictures that I'm ok being put in these "story" books. 

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13 hours ago, parsleythelion said:

You know when you just have this idea that someone is trying to send you a message but you have no idea what they're trying to say? It felt a bit like that. Though to be honest, it could also be another attempt to try to decorate our home from a distance... She handed it to me saying something along the lines of "I thought you might like this photo". I smiled brightly, said something like: "yes, I love that photo too, thank you" and took it. She appeared to look annoyed. I acted like I didn't notice.

I'm thinking she is trying to get under your skin and nothing is working and that's why she is getting annoyed.  When my MIL got a reaction from me she would smile from ear to ear.  When you take that reaction away and let the other person know they have no influence over you then it seems to really irk those PA types.

If she knew that decorating your home was an issue then this could be another attempt and like you said, if you don't react, she can't complain about you and paint you as the bad guy and then play the victim.

Keep being non responsive. If she acts like you are a distant relative just keep smiling and saying oh I love that photo.  What difference does it make if she says it, it's not true and no one else feels that way.  I found with my MIL it took a nano second from me reacting to her turning to DH and starting in on the poor me, why is she so difficult, I did a nice thing why is she so ungrateful.  Like you said, once you stop reacting your DH can quite clearly see where the trouble is coming from.  Let your MIL play her games, come to recognise them for what they are and each time you don't react, smile to yourself because there is no better freedom than finally getting to that place of peace. 

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9 hours ago, Layla said:

I'm thinking she is trying to get under your skin and nothing is working and that's why she is getting annoyed.  When my MIL got a reaction from me she would smile from ear to ear.  When you take that reaction away and let the other person know they have no influence over you then it seems to really irk those PA types.

If she knew that decorating your home was an issue then this could be another attempt and like you said, if you don't react, she can't complain about you and paint you as the bad guy and then play the victim.

Keep being non responsive. If she acts like you are a distant relative just keep smiling and saying oh I love that photo.  What difference does it make if she says it, it's not true and no one else feels that way.  I found with my MIL it took a nano second from me reacting to her turning to DH and starting in on the poor me, why is she so difficult, I did a nice thing why is she so ungrateful.  Like you said, once you stop reacting your DH can quite clearly see where the trouble is coming from.  Let your MIL play her games, come to recognise them for what they are and each time you don't react, smile to yourself because there is no better freedom than finally getting to that place of peace. 

 

The funny thing is that in the past when I registered what was going on but did not really react (i.e. showing emotion as opposed to a reaction that the men in the room might have noticed) she seemed to get very nervous and fidgety. Yet she carried on. If I reacted in even a little way, or did anything to contradict, she either flew into a rage or started crying and ran off - or both. Then - of course - she'd be looking for sympathy from MrP. (who would oblige) and FIL. She'd proceed to blank me for the rest of the visit, call MrP over to her (or talk over me) every time she noticed we were talking - and talk over my head on a language I don't understand. FIL has latterly started standing up for me. When I asked why his dad would stand up for me, MrP used to say it was because FIL did not want me to make problems for them (like not wanting to see them...) but with the recent changes, he has modified his view that his dad realises his mum was out of line - and so does he.

I'm not sure whether she wants to send me unconscious messages without me reacting. Or whether she enjoys getting upset and having someone to blame her displeasure on. Maybe a bit of both.

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I agree that giving a gift of a photo, even if you didn't take it, CAN be a nice gesture (like the movie example).  But as with any gift, the intention is what matters. 

I totally agree that she is messing with you.  To me it smacks of a weird version of marking territory - acting like something (the moment captured) is "hers".  I have no idea what reaction she is fishing for.

Have you ever tried declining her "gift"?  I wonder what she would do if, when she handed you a framed version of a picture you had taken, you said - "No thanks, I already have the original from when I took the picture."

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4 hours ago, Eve-SoCal said:

Have you ever tried declining her "gift"?  I wonder what she would do if, when she handed you a framed version of a picture you had taken, you said - "No thanks, I already have the original from when I took the picture."

I'm not sure about declining the gift.  My MIL went on about how ungrateful I was for declining gifts and as it generally isn't accepted to decline gifts DH then agreed with her.  I ended up finding it easier to accept and simply toss them.

I'm not sure what she is trying to get out of all this.  It's strange that she got nervous if you showed emotion but then she would go into victim mode if you reacted.  It makes me wonder if she was totally unaware of how she was coming across and was nervous as she could see you were upset and really didn't understand what she had done or was she nervous that you would quietly confront her without any one else noticing. That's the thing with these types when they are put on the spot, they don't like to be confronted.  Your MIL most likely wants the reaction as that works for her, she paints you as the bad guy and everyone is on her side.  This isn't working for her.  I'm thinking her nerves were that she may have felt you were going to confront her or she was nervous that she was going to have to keep going with her jabs at you and she was worried that others would start to pick up on it.  As it stands others have now noticed her routine.  The jabs need a quick reaction so the rest of the group are baffled at why this one person has flown off the handle so quickly.  If they see someone needling someone else all day and then they react, there won't be as much sympathy. It's hard to know what your MIL is thinking.

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8 hours ago, Layla said:

I'm not sure about declining the gift.  My MIL went on about how ungrateful I was for declining gifts and as it generally isn't accepted to decline gifts DH then agreed with her.  I ended up finding it easier to accept and simply toss them.

Actually, Pars, I'm wondering... do you put the photos MIL gives you on display? Perhaps if you don't, she'll "get the message," after a while, and stop giving them to you?

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7 hours ago, RoseRed135 said:

I'm wondering... do you put the photos MIL gives you on display? 

One would hope not ^ Parsley has ALL the photos to select from, if she wants to display a photo. 

Otherwise, imo, displaying what MIL selects is allowing her an hand in decorating Parsley's home. YUK. 

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Just a theory, but she could be reviewing these pics with you to go over all the events involving her GK she missed due to the distance in which she lives from you and the reduced visiting time you and DH put in place.  The motive for doing such could be a more positive one, i.e. she just wants to share these pics with you and talk about them since she wasn't there when they were taken or a more negative one, i.e. she wants to make you feel bad about all the events she missed out on because you/DH have limited her visiting time.   

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