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Old 12-06-2007, 03:19 PM   #1
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I need some advice

I'll cut to the chase. My/our DIL and I aren't very close. There have been issues almost from the start. Iíve tried all ways to fix but have continued to fall short. I love her. That much is true.
My son and his wife are having a baby.
It'll be their first boy, due in March.
They have two little darling girls.
In an effort for me to appear the MIL she'd like to have, I sent a package with Halloween things for our DGD's [and stuff for her as she enjoys scrap booking]. In that same package I enclosed 3 little darling blue boy things, seeing as they're having a baby boy. This was all before Halloween. I even enclosed the receipt in case she didn't like what I'd gotten for the little guy, but how could she not, all 3 things were soft/cozy/baby blue, and right up her alley > pricey. They were no real big deal, but something to start a little collection for their soon to be son. They have all pink stuff obviously.
I never heard a thing from her.
I just wrote her an email about this. But, after reading it and it was not a big deal and kind of short, I didn't do it and thought I'd come in here and ask for much good advice on how to approach this subject.
They need me to baby-sit for a week in January, which I also brought up [but also isn't sent yet awaiting your words of wisdom].
I've sent her emails about the January thing, the dates she'd hope to have me there that would suit her needs most, and I've not heard. Our son is out of state until February in school which is why she needs me to help her with the little dolls.
Please advice me what to say to her in an email. Please help me with my words because this is a tender piece of very thin ice that I'm treading on. I don't want to seem like I'm demanding a thank you, but I would like an acknowledgement of receiving my gift, otherwise, I don't know it's not lost in the mail.
I'll thank you here for any and all advice.



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Old 12-06-2007, 03:30 PM   #2
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Ooooh, you are on thin ice here. You might want to send an "oh, by the way" email that says you just wanted to make sure they had received the package because sometimes the postal service has issues around the holidays. Then mention that you are looking forward to keeping the girls and ask her to remind you what days so you can plan some fun activities. If you still receive no reply, then she is purposely not responding.

If I were you, I'd choose not to take offense because if your son has to take sides, he'll have to side with the mother of his 2 1/2 kids. Total crap but that's how it is. I really feel for you because I have a similar situation with one son's girlfriend and because I chose a more direct route, things are very strained. Good luck to you because I know this is tough for you.

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Old 12-06-2007, 03:34 PM   #3
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Using the KISS principle let me suggest.

No E-Mail..Make a phone Call...it's more personal..more informal.
Call and just Chit chat..about anything and everything..you know the usual stuff.
Then..."Well I just wanted to call and say Hi blah, blah, blah",..Oh by the way, What did you think of the three little blue "footy suits" ??? pause and let her respond. Accept whatever she says. Cased closed. Don't force the issue.
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Old 12-06-2007, 03:51 PM   #4
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I vote for a phone call as well. Email can often be misread as far as the sender's tone and that would be unfortunate.
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Old 12-06-2007, 04:02 PM   #5
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Yes, but only if they normally chat on the phone. Lots of MIL/DILs only talk on the phone briefly in passing when calling to talk to the son. In that situation, a phone call would only place emphasis on the issue.
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Old 12-06-2007, 04:03 PM   #6
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Coming from someone who has been in this situation somewhat recently I have to agree with the phone call, BUT that can backfire too (not to scare you). Sometimes some people are just never going to be happy with what you do.

If you truly do not think it is a big deal then my advice, no matter how hard this may be, is to not even mention it. Just let it roll off your back. She knows she didn't send a note and she knows you know it. By you mentioning it, it will just make her feel (insert emotions here). She might apologize and feel bad about it or she might think something else. If it is not a big deal though then just let it go if you can.
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Old 12-06-2007, 04:06 PM   #7
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Just like UB said a phone call,not email. My MIL goes through my DH for everything, Makes me feel like I'm a little kid or not worth talking to. I would say something like, I know things are hectic with (son) gone so I figured I would call so we could get our schedules matched up. If you don't want to look like you asking for a Thank You you could ask if she needed anything else for the new little boy. If she still doesn't let on that she got the package in the mail. Just ask her if she received it and say no more about it.
Fishers mom-- I don't think its total crap that the son sides with his wife, he should support his wife. My DH always sides with his Mom and I have to prove myself to him. Makes life pretty rough for everyone in house.
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Old 12-06-2007, 04:06 PM   #8
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LEFSELover; I'm sorry for the hurt and yes even anguish of heart you must be feeling.
Uncle Bob is right I believe. Don't send the email. Once it's gone you cannot change it. In a phone call you can kind of 'feel your way'
I'd even be tempted not to mention the gifts you have sent but just ask them to confirm the dates they want you to be there and say you're looking forward to it.
It probably sounds as though this is easy to say when you are the one feeling hurt.
We had a situation some years ago where our daughter didn't speak to me for 5 years. It hurt terribly but I refused to be drawn into the confrontation she wanted and waited and prayed and now everything is healed again. So have courage good friend. Hang in there and try to be sparse rather than plentiful with the words and come here when you are feeling especially hurt and need to 'sound off'
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Old 12-06-2007, 04:08 PM   #9
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I think I'd go with GB's suggestion and not mention the package. If you're truly worried it might not have gotten there, ask your son. He will know, or he can find out.

I'd call and say you're looking forward to looking after the girls in January and wondered what dates she is expecting you to be there (or available, whichever is applicable).

My sister had this kind of problem for the past 18 years with her oldest's wife. They are divorced now, so she doesn't have to deal with the "darling" much any more. Thankfully.
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Old 12-06-2007, 04:11 PM   #10
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Join the club! Seems saying 'thank you' today is not in many people's vocabulary. I don't like to say this, but when I send something that I feel is worth an acknowledgement I have stopped expecting it. I just know I tried and keep on trying for your son's sake. I only hope she appreciates your son. and that your son appreciates you. You are in sensitive place and wanting her to do what you think she may not always happen. I don't get it either why people are getting this way. Really hurts. Makes me think people just have too much. I have gotten very cynical about people not being more grateful. We could all have less and that is the time we would remember to say thanks.

Just look forward to helping your son's family in January. May be the time when she will realize all you do and have done. Takes time. Not easy.

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