real life

The mother-in-law files. This woman needs help.

Some mother-in-laws are fabulous (mine) and we really must do a post about fabulous mothers-in-law one day soon. Today is not that day.  Mamamia reader Georgie has a problem in that her mother in law has moved in. Indefinitely. And she’s asking for your advice.  Begging for it, in fact. Georgie writes:

Not all mothers-in-law are like this (some are).

“My issue is the mother in law. I know the subject is one that has been previously thoroughly discussed in the past, perhaps some people are even sick of hearing it.

My fiance’s mother is currently living with us – my fiance, my 9 month old daughter and my 6 month pregnant self in a 2 bedroom unit. She has been living with us now for almost a year and it has been a year too long, in my opinion. She is still young – she is less than 50 years old, she gave up a career overseas and left her partner (that she has all sorts of issues with) and friends to have a better life in Australia, closer to her son.

She moved to Australia with no job, no family (other than her son) and no friends. I understood that it would take some time for her to settle in and I welcomed the idea of her living with us until she found her feet.

On arrival, she went to English school for 4 months and since then she has been “looking for work”.  At least this is what she tells my fiance but I have witnessed firsthand that all she does at home all day is surf the net, talk on skype with her friends overseas or go out shopping. She barely helps around the house – I am back to work full time (after 3 months of mat leave), I cook, I do most of the laundry, my fiance and I do most of the cleaning and we have a nanny who looks after our 9 month old daughter when we are at work. So she basically does NOTHING.

She sometimes cares for our daughter for a couple of hours between the time that our Nanny goes home and I arrive home from work. After work, I need to cook dinner and unstack the dishwasher from the night before (you’d think she would do it during the day!) whilst she plays with my daughter. She doesn’t contribute to any bills and she is always out with us wherever we go (even when we are out with friends).

I feel resentful at the situation and I feel suffocated that she is always around. We never have “family time” as she is always there. I have told my partner how I feel and he said that there is a light at the end of the tunnel as she should be gone by early next year. That is another year of this arrangement and frankly, I don’t know if I could handle it!

The original agreement was that she would stay with us for about a year but my fiance didn’t anticipate that it would take her so long to find a job. Obviously, he feels bad to just kick her out when she has not yet established herself here.

I am 6 months pregnant and this situation is affecting my otherwise very happy relationship with my fiance and  daughter. I am constantly angry and withdrawn at home – I am concerned that if the situation stays the same, it may cause post natal depression when our 2nd baby arrives. I absolutely dread the idea of commencing maternity leave knowing that I will have to be with the mother in law 24/7. I feel somehow indebted to her as she helped with some of our deposit of our apartment which is why I feel gagged at saying more. Please help, any advice would be so appreciated!”