At my job! Apparently MIL problems can extend to the nanny as well. The dad’s mom is here visiting this week, and I already knew from her past visits that she is alllll about judging every single little aspect of their housekeeping, and blaming it all on the mom/her daughter-in-law, even though both parents work full time. In fact, I often come in in the mornings to find the dad folding laundry, and I know he cooks sometimes on weekends (I cook a lot during the week), so from what I see it looks like the housework is fairly well divided. So why should the mom be blamed for the dad’s shirts never being ironed? If he wanted them ironed he could do it himself! I get the idea that the grandma drives both of them a bit crazy tbh.

I am typically not criticized for any of the house’s supposed failings, at least not to my face, but I do start to feel uncomfortable and defensive when she lobs barbs like “I don’t know why they keep all the dishes in this cabinet,” or “you know, I organized this closet the last time I was here,” and “for all that she says she cares about dust, just look under this bed!” I clean every bit as much as I am expected to, and a different woman is hired to come and do serious housecleaning every so often, but I still feel guilty and uncomfortable when she acts like the house is a disaster and we do everything wrong. I put a pair of shorts on the toddler this morning, and she later told me that last night she had tried to pack them away in a closet for next year, since they are a little big, and the mom had taken them back out. This kind of thing happens every time she vists, so clearly the passive-aggresiveness between the mom I work for and her MIL is pretty engrained. The last time she visited, she tried to throw away some of his clothes that had stains in them from dirt, and the mom salvaged them and said they were fine for him to wear. I would never let my MIL visit if she reorganized everything and threw away a bunch of stuff every time!

On top of this, she understandably wants to interact with her grandbabies as much as possible but I feel like she messes up my flow and my schedule. She doesn’t insist on having them say please, which undermines my so far quite successful efforts in that department. She doesn’t get the toddler to sleep very well for his nap—he chatters and plays in bed and she doesn’t get him to lie down and be quiet. Plus she keeps trying to throw out their toys! I get that she wants to purge out old stuff, but she keeps trying to get rid of clothes and toys they still like and use. If you ask the toddler a yes or no question that he doesn’t understand, he will typically say yes anyway—you have to communicate with him carefully because he is two and doesn’t always get stuff. But she claims he told her to throw away a toy I know he loves and plays with all the time, just because she asked in a way he didn’t get and he just said “yeah” because he thought he was supposed to!

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Seriously, you can get a young child to say yes to ANYTHING—it does not mean they actually want it!! Ask him if I am Elvis Presley and he very well might say yes! I would say she is tricking and taking advantage of him, except that she doesn’t seem to realize what she is doing. She asks him questions all the time that he clearly does not understand, and she will take his mumbled response as the answer to her question. It is odd to watch her communicate with the kids because they often seem to be talking at cross purposes, partly because she is very Southern and they aren’t.

I guess I am a bit set in my ways. I have a consistent schedule and a consistent way of doing things with the kids, and we have good rapport. I resent any implication that I don’t know what I am doing or am doing it wrong, and I feel very inconvenienced by alterations to my schedule and systems. I do get that she is their loving grandma who will be with them the rest of her life, and I am no relation at all and will leave this job one day, but in the meantime I know what I am doing! I know she is trying to be useful when she comes in and does a bunch of laundry, but it comes off as officious because the laundry is my job and I do it just fine when she’s not here. She acted like I did too much yesterday just because I did the basic stuff I do (and get paid for) every single day. She was all, “you worked all day long! Just take it easy tomorrow.” But I essentially find it impossible to sit still and watch a frail old woman do laundry. It’s physically painful to me. And of course doing it is no trouble to me, because it is my JOB that I am PAID to do! She seems to feel the same way about having to be useful as I do, so we have a power struggle going on over who can clean the most and be the most disinterested. I wish she would leave so I could wash things in peace!

I seriously think I would rather she bossed me around than having her step in and do things herself. At least that would show some level of belief that I can do things correctly if instructed how!

Tell me all about the interfering people in your lives!