Help with my Mother-in-law

Let me preface this by saying I have a 2 year old son. Since before he was born, my MIL has always said, “You look tired,” “You must be tired,” or “Are you tired.” Whenever she sees me she makes this type of comment. My husband has talked to her about it, and she has still continued to make those statements. Over the weekend, we drove two hours into the mountains to see my in-laws. My son didn’t nap all day or in the car. When we arrived, she said, “Oh yeah, you look....” I’m not sure if she stopped herself because of the look of horror on my face, and that I knew where she was going with that comment. I’m struggling if I should say something to her or if she’s actually starting to learn not to say it. Because, we all know, when someone tells you that you look tired, you basically look like crap. Aren’t people supposed to tell you that you look great? Especially to your daughter-in-law? Even to a new Mom? Even to a Mom of a busy 2 year old boy? It’s like a strike to my ego that I possibly look awful all of the time when I truly make an effort to look, well, “not tired.” Thoughts?

  • Kait
    Jan 15

    You have to tell her it’s rude or hurtful! Be calm but direct. She clearly needs to hear it from you.

  • Triny
    Jan 15

    There are some people that will always have some sort of negative comments, doesnt mean they dont like you, it just that they cant change their nature. For example, my dad has the “prudency” of always saying everyone is fat or overweight 🙄. He just doesnt get it that he is hurting people or being innapropiate. But that is how he is. I’m thinking has to do with getting old. 🤷🏻‍♀️

  • Roz
    Jan 18

    Learn from the great Marie, from Everybody loves Raymond, the BEST mother in law to learn from, with a smile on your face, compliment her, if she says "you look tired" tell her, "when I get to be your age I want to look as beautiful as you" . She knows it bothers you, she still does it. Give it back with wrapping paper and pretty bows. This worked with my mother in law.

  • Megan
    Jan 18

    OMG hun your def not alone. My mil is so negative about everything including how I raise my kids. She gets them on weekends but yet the complains how my house isn't perfectly clean n always a mess. I have a 8 yr old with adhd a 6 yr old and a 3 month old. Sometimes she tries to help usually tho it's negative Nancy about everything.

  • Jersey Girl
    Jan 18

    I am a M-I-L and try hard not to ever say anything to hurt anybody's feelings - perhaps you could just sit down with her and tell her "you may mean that as an observation" but I take it as I look awful - let's drop that tired from our vocabulary :)

  • Jersey Girl
    Jan 18

    PS I agree with Roz - we all know you get more with honey

  • Beverly
    Jan 18

    I like vickie's advice the best. Just say "i know, raising a two year old is challenging. But you look tired too, are you doing ok?" Every. Time. She'll eventually shut her pie hole

  • Gina
    Jan 18

    Respond with, "You have been told that telling me I look tired is hurtful, so why do you keep doing it?" The moments of discomfort in being so direct will be far better to endure than the repeated hurt feelings if she keeps saying it. Obviously your husband speaking to her wasn't impactful enough: time to stand up for yourself and demand that she be respectful of you. You deserve it. You've got this!

  • Janet
    Jan 18

    When she says that to you, maybe you can respond that it is tiring to raise a toddler, and would she like to watch him so you could recharge, and maybe you and your husband could get a night out together? Let’s be honest, it’s no piece of cake raising kids!

  • Kira
    Jan 18

    I’d say “Yeah, being a mom is tiring. You don’t have to comment on it every single time though. Thanks”. I’m pretty snarky though and if it’s getting to you, you need to say something or it’s just going to keep happening.

  • Mikaela
    Jan 18

    My MIL is like this but worse. My advice to you is to not take it personally and try to ignore it. You have a two year old, you are going to be tired. And I’m sure you look great, so try not to allow her to affect you. People who make you feel bad should be avoided, so the good thing is it sounds like she doesn’t live close by. Some MIL are wonderful, sadly not all are. Sending love.

  • Chekri
    Jan 18

    Since your husband has already told your mom about it, Just let it go. The more you give power to her words, the stronger you will feel pain. Accept that it is her unique ness and move on. Power to you

  • Papi Dad
    Jan 18

    Speak up. Seriously. Otherwise you're a part of the problem not just her. It's your job to take care of you and if you're not taking care of yourself...you are neglecting your self. I am guilty of this myself. I stayed quiet for 10 years before I decided enough was enough and I had to lay down the law with her. It did cause a bit of conflict with my husband but he came around and now supports me. He even supported when I placed a year long ban on allowing her into my house to visit. I placed no prohibitions on my family (with the exception of myself) to visit her but I did not allow her into my house for a full year and even then I allowed it only once I had my say. She got it. We don't love each other and never will but now she knows my boundaries.

  • Mike
    Jan 18

    My thought would be this- why do you care what is she saying, I’d worry more where that leaves your relationship with your partner- If he listens/lives by what your MIL says then you’re in trouble whether for the short or longer term. If he doesn’t, then this could be something you guys can connect over on. Always better knowing what people think than them learning to hide it from you ;-) Perhaps time for you to accept the fact that you are tired a little bit (what parent isn’t?)- don’t get your pride get in the way to admit it. Best, Mike

  • chandra
    Jan 18

    Every time she tells you that you look tired tell her to keep her grandkids you can get some rest or unwind with some me time. Maybe she will then stop saying that.

  • Kelly
    Jan 21

    It's difficult to tell if she's trying to be sympathetic or passive aggressive. I am not sure of the nature of your relationship with your MIL, whether or not you two are close or not. If my MIL made that comment to me multiple times, I would take it that she thinks that I am overwhelmed by parenthood or something. My interpretation would be negative because my MIL has made comments before that were inappropriate towards me, so if she kept saying that i look tired, I would take offense to it. I think it's perfectly appropriate for you to speak up and say that you do not appreciate her comment, regardless of the kind of relationship you both share. She may not understand boundaries and social graces, but regardless, she's not improving her bond with you by such comments. Comments like hers build up over time within a person, and ultimately harm the relationship. She will slowly create a divide if she continues to say things that bother you, especially if it feels like judgment towards you. She should be complimenting you and making you feel like a special part of the family. After all, you are the mother of her darling grandbaby, and you absolutely matter!

  • XinHua
    Jan 23

    simply respond her "I'm phenomenal & fabulous. Thanks for your concern, but no thanks, please mind your own affair!" Then do not acknowledge her remarks afterwards.