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The Daycare Is A Lie

, , , , | Related | June 12, 2022

I’ve submitted a few stories about my pain-in-the-rear mother-in-law, including this one.

At the time of this story, I was a stay-at-home homeschooling mother to two elementary-age children. My mother-in-law was always complaining about this because I wasn’t “working” and making money, and she was constantly trying to get me into obscure multi-level marketing schemes.

I was finishing up lessons for the day when I got a phone call. 

Mother-In-Law: “Oh, [My Name], I am so glad you are home. I have some great news! I found an easy way for you to make money! Several of my coworkers are having so much trouble with finding a daycare they can afford, and I told them you would watch their kids starting tomorrow!”

I was in too much shock to say anything as she was rambling on, sounding more and more excited.

Mother-In-Law: “It’s perfect because you are home all day doing nothing. There are three families and there are five kids, but I have more that are interested. They will be there at 7:00 in the morning. The parents are working ten-hour shifts so they will be picked up at 7:00 pm. Now, you will have to make lunch and dinner, but I told them it would be $50 for each family, so that’s a full $150 a week! And—”

At this point, I snapped back to reality.


I used other words I won’t repeat here.

Mother-In-Law: *Sounding insulted* “What do you mean? You should be thankful I found a way to make money. After all, you used to work in a daycare center, so you know what to do!”

Me: “First of all, working in a daycare was one of several jobs I had in college. Second, $50 is way too little to charge since even the ‘okay’ daycare centers in this area charge $200 per child. And putting aside the fact my house is far from childproof, I am not in any way, shape, or form a licensed or certified daycare center. On top of all that, I don’t know how you could possibly think I have the time to watch some strangers’ kids instead of educating my own. But none of that really matters since… YOU PLANNED THIS WITHOUT EVER ASKING ME! ARE YOU INSANE?! HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO YOUR COWORKERS?! NOW THEY WILL SHOW UP AND I WILL HAVE TO TELL THEM THEY HAVE NO CHILDCARE BECAUSE I WILL NOT BE WATCHING THEIR KIDS!”

Mother-In-Law: *Sounding all insulted* “Well, I was just trying to help you get some money since you are too lazy to get a job. And these women have to work. The kids are coming tomorrow and you’d better watch them. I told them they could even just drop them off at the driveway and not even come in, so you’d better get ready for them.”

Me: “First of all, I do work; I just don’t get paid. Not that it’s any of your business. Now, I suggest you call each and every one of those families and tell them that you are a total idiot and made these plans, and that they’d better find someone else to watch their kids. I promise you, if any kids show up at my door, their parents will need to contact the police after work to pick them up because I will be calling child protective services for abandoned children at my house!”

Mother-In-Law: *Gasping* “You wouldn’t dare call the police on these people.”

Me: *Very calmly* “You know me very well. You know I will. Try me.”

I hung up. I fumed all day. Then, my husband came home from work

Husband: “Hey, honey, I’m h—”

He saw my face.

Husband: “Oh, crap. What did my insane mother do now?”

After I told him, he just sat down and was unable to speak for several minutes.

Husband: “I’ll call work and tell them I won’t be in tomorrow.”

Me: “Why?”

Husband: “So I can help you take care of the kids until child protective services and the police show up.”

Me: “Thanks, but I don’t need help dealing with this. You go to work.”

Thankfully, no one left their kids at my house. I did get a frantic message on my voicemail from some woman begging me to watch her kids. I never called back. 

My husband let his mother have it. She never did really apologize, and she acted all upset that I didn’t appreciate her efforts to help me find a job, but she never pulled that again.

A friend that worked at the same factory as my mother-in-law said several families were very mad at her, and when the story got around… let’s just say her reputation was in the toilet. I felt so bad for the families, but I was not set up to be a daycare. I just don’t know what she was thinking.

The Organization Is A Lie
The Brat Spoiling Is A Lie
The Preemie Clothes Are A Lie
The Room For Rent Is A Lie
The Cake Price Is A Lie

Why Would Anyone Want To Divorce Such A Sweetheart?

, , , | Related | June 8, 2022

My husband and I are driving to the grocery store when his narcissistic mother calls. My husband answers the phone on Bluetooth.

Husband: “Hello?”

Mother-In-Law: “Hi. What are you doing?”

Husband: “We’re going grocery shopping.”

Mother-In-Law: “Oh.”

There’s a pause, followed by a long, dramatic sigh.

Mother-In-Law: “Well, I was going to tell you next time you came home, but I guess I’ll tell you now. Daddy and I are getting a divorce.”

My husband and I exchange a glance. [Mother-In-Law] married [Father-In-Law] nearly thirty years ago when they found out she was pregnant, and she has blamed him for ruining her life ever since. Their divorce is a genuine relief.

Husband: *Unbothered* “Oh, okay.”

Mother-In-Law: “You don’t care? We’re getting a divorce!”

Husband: “Mom, you hate him. He’s miserable. It’s probably really good.”

Mother-In-Law: *Angry* “Well, I’m glad you’re so well versed in healthy relationships! I stayed with him for you and your siblings, not for me.”

Husband: “Okay, Mom.”

Mother-In-Law: “Do you know how hard it is to be with someone who always asks where you were, who you were with, and when you’re coming home? How hard it has been for me to wait for you and your siblings to grow up so I could finally have my own life?”

Husband: *Disbelieving tone* “Mom, that’s exactly how you ran our lives. “

Mother-In-Law: *Screaming* “Well, excuse me for caring about you!”

Husband: “Mom, I’m not going to do this.”

Mother-In-Law: “Okay! I see who you’re siding with. Fine! Don’t come home for the holidays. You won’t be welcome!”

Husband: “I’m sorry you feel that way. I guess [My Name] and I will make other plans.”

Mother-In-Law: “This is family; she is not! Do not tell her anything! Do you understand me?”

Husband: “You’re on speaker, Mom.”

She hung up. It’s been about a year since that call. We haven’t seen [Mother-In-Law] once, but we have spent a lot of time with [Father-In-Law]. He is much happier without her.

In-Laws Can Be Exhausting

, , , , , , , | Related | April 24, 2022

My mother-in-law can be a sweet person but honestly seems to believe the world revolves around her and what she wants. One Friday night, ten days or so before Christmas — the busiest time of the year at my job — she calls me. She wants me to take her to the grocery store tomorrow.

I’m not sure why; she can still drive, and she went to the grocery store this morning with her best friend. I tell her I am in a time crunch and that my daughter and I have plans to finish our Christmas shopping and get some other things done before the holiday.

She starts whining about how it won’t take long; she will be ready right at 10:00 tomorrow morning and get it all done right away.

I should know better by this time in my marriage, but I agree. I forgot that no good deed goes unpunished.

The next morning, my daughter and I show up at 10:00 am, hoping to get done and still salvage part of the day. We go in and [Mother-In-Law] is sitting in her living room in her bathrobe with her hair up in curlers, watching TV.

Me: “Did I get the time wrong? I thought you said you’d be ready by ten.”

Mother-In-Law: “Guess I lost track of time.”

She continues to sit there.

Me: “Well, why don’t we come back later when you’re ready? We have a lot we’d like to get done today.”

She sighs.

Mother-In-Law: “Well, I guess I can hurry up and get ready.”

She proceeds to spend the next hour getting ready, complaining the whole time that now she’ll have to redo her hair for church the next day.

Finally, she’s ready.

Mother-In-Law: “Oh, now we have to go eat. I haven’t had breakfast yet. Can’t shop on an empty stomach, can we?”

So, now we have to go to her favorite diner. It’s a nice enough place but slower than pulling taffy. An hour and a half later, we’re finally ready to leave the restaurant. For all it’s her favorite place, she sent everything back often enough.

We get in my car and she tells me she has to go to the ATM. There is an ATM for her bank right there in the parking lot of the shopping center we’re in. I start to pull up to it when she says she can’t use that machine. I ask why.

Mother-In-Law: “Oh, it’s too dangerous to use that one. Someone might try to get in the car. I have to use the one in [City].”

This one is a pull-through. And [City] is halfway across the county.

The bank with the ATM [Mother-In-Law] wants to use is closed on Saturday, and the ATM is in the now back empty parking lot that backs up to a wooded area. To use the ATM, I would have to park, and she would have to walk across the deserted lot and stand at the machine to use it.

Aside from the fact that I don’t want to add another forty-five minutes or so to an already too-long errand, I decline.

I pull into the little glass shelter of the ATM and open the window to use the machine. She is nearly hysterical, going on and on about how someone could easily get into the car and how I am putting my daughter in danger.

Me: “[Mother-In-Law], the doors are locked and the windows are up. There’s barely room for my arm to reach the ATM, let alone for a person to squeeze between the car and the machine. It’s a busy place and there’s a long line of cars behind us. Do you still want to use the ATM, or do you just want to go on to the grocery?”

Mother-In-Law: *Sulkily* “Oh, just the machine.”

She gives me her card and I ask her how much she wants. She wants $100. I put in her password.

Mother-In-Law: “How do you know my password?!”

Me: “Simple. You use your birthday for all your passwords.”

I give her back her card and her money.

Mother-In-Law: “Oh, it gave me two fifties! I wanted five twenties.”

Me: “Don’t worry; the grocery store can take care of that.”

We pull away from the shelter, safe and sound — imagine that! — and drive to the grocery store. We walk in. The first thing [Mother-In-Law] does is walk up to the nearest cashier, who is checking out a long line of customers. Remember that this is mid-December, on a busy Saturday just before Christmas. In a very loud voice — she is partially deaf in one ear — this person who’s so concerned with safety practically yells at this poor cashier.

Mother-In-Law: “I just came from the ATM and all I have are $50s! Can you break a $50?”

The cashier looks at her like she has two heads, looks at the long line of customers at every register, and replies, somehow without any sarcasm.

Cashier: “Yes, ma’am, I’m sure we can.”

As we walk away, I say to [Mother-In-Law], with more than a little snark:

Me: “You should have yelled a little louder; there are probably folks back by the deli who didn’t hear you announce that you had fifties.”

Mother-In-Law: “Oh, do you think that was a bad idea? I never thought about that.”

We got what she insisted she had to have right then, waited in a long line to pay, and left. I made her and my daughter wait in the store so I could get them in the car as fast as possible, since I had no idea who might have overheard her.

It was now after 3:00 pm, more than five hours after her promised “just a quick errand” to the store. And what was so important that she had to get it then and there? One frozen turkey breast, which she didn’t cook until her friend’s birthday… in February.

But I learned to grow a spine and say no once in a while. Lesson learned.

Pyramid Scheming

, , , | Related Right | April 22, 2022

My mother-in-law is her own “boss” at one of those triangular-shaped companies. She has tried for years to get my husband and me to enroll. Every time we say no, she comes back with a new reason why we should change our minds.

I go out to get the mail one day and see a package on our porch. It is from [Company] in my name. I think about calling my mother-in-law to find out what is happening, but my husband suggests we call [Company] directly.

Customer Service: “Hi, thanks for calling [Company]. Can I get your name for today’s conversation?”

Me: “Hi, this is [My Name].”

Customer Service: “Hello, [My Name]! I see you are a new member. Welcome! How can I help you?”

Me: “Um, yeah, actually… I never enrolled.”

Customer Service: “Oh, well, that’s odd. Let’s take a look here. Can you provide your address on file?”

Me: “[Address].”

Customer Service: “Okay, it looks like you enrolled on [date] under [Mother-In-Law].”

Me: “Yeah, sorry, we didn’t. I have actually said no several times.”

Customer Service: “Oh. Well… I’m not sure how this happened, then.”

Me: “I’m guessing [Mother-In-Law] enrolled me. I’d like to cancel.”

Customer Service: “Oh, are you sure? We have lots of great offers coming up for the holidays.”

Me: “I’m sure. Thank you.”

Customer Service: “Okay, well, we’re sorry to see you go. Let me get you connected with the cancellation team.”

While I’m on hold, my husband’s phone rings. It’s his mother.

Husband: “Hello?”

Mother-In-Law: “Why did I just get an email saying you’re cancelling your account?”

Husband: “Why did you sign us up without our consent?”

Mother-In-Law: “You need it!”

Me: “No.”

My phone picks up.

Cancellation: “Hi there, you’ve reached the cancellation department. If you’re sure you want to cancel, I can help you with that.”

Mother-In-Law: “No! Do not cancel! It’s a mistake!”

Cancellation: “Uh… I’m sorry, I don’t understand. You do want to cancel, or you don’t?”

Me: “Yes.”

Mother-In-Law: “No!”

Me: *To my husband* “Hang up.”

He hangs up without saying goodbye.

Cancellation: “Are we… okay?”

Me: “Yes, it’s fine. My mother-in-law signed us up without our consent.”

Cancellation: “Oh! So… Let me see how to do this. I’m guessing all the security questions are about her, not you.”

Husband: “I can guess at them.”

Cancellation: “Oh, okay, sure. Let’s try that.”

The entire time we are talking to cancellations, his mother is texting that we cannot cancel, it’s a mistake, etc. My husband gets all the security questions right without hesitation.

Cancellation: “Okay, I can finalize your cancellation here. I’m so sorry this happened.”

Husband: “Thank you for working with us.”

Cancellation: “You’re all set. Have a great day, guys.”

For the next week, we are hounded with calls and messages from [Mother-In-Law], alternating between begging us to change our minds and berating us for stealing food from her mouth and being selfish. Then, one quiet afternoon, [Mother-In-Law] barges into our house.

Mother-In-Law: “I hope you’re happy, [My Name]!”

Me: “I was.”

Mother-In-Law: “[Company] cancelled my business because of you!”

Husband: *Gently* “You need to go.”

Mother-In-Law: “No, no, this is her fault. I am going to sue you for emotional damage and financial impact!”

Me: *Shrugs* “Okay.”

She clearly expected a different reaction.

Mother-In-Law: “And…and you will pay!”

Me: “Since you’ve threatened legal action, any further contact can go through our lawyers.”

Mother-In-Law: “But—”

Husband: “Mom, just go.”

He reached out to usher her out the door, not touching her. She backed out the door, stumbled at the step, but recovered without falling. I closed and locked the door before she could do anything else. She did try to sue us, but when we countered with her identity theft, she backed down. We are currently in no contact and quite happy about it.

Time To Share!

, , , , , | Related | March 30, 2022

When my husband and I got married, we asked a few close friends and immediate family members to stand with us at the courthouse. The week after our wedding, my brother-in-law came over with his wife. 

Brother-In-Law: “We didn’t have time to give you your gift last week.”

Husband: “Oh, it’s okay. We don’t need anything.”

Brother-In-Law: “No, you do! You didn’t have a real wedding. You should have a real honeymoon.”

He handed over a brochure with two tickets for a week-long cruise. We were floored. These two are super cheap despite being successful and wealthy.

Me: “This is so nice!”

Sister-In-Law: “You’re going to the Bahamas! It’s in three weeks. I hope you can take off?”

Husband: “I think that’s enough time.”

Me: “Thank you!”

We took off work and went to port, excited to go on our vacation. Imagine our surprise when my brother- and sister-in-law were also there.

Brother-In-Law: “Hi! Ready to go?”

Husband: “Yeah.” *Pauses* “Are you here to see us off, or—”

Sister-In-Law: “No, no. We’re going, too!”

We boarded and learned we were in an interior room with no view. No big deal; it was a free cruise. My in-laws were in the next room. Once we were all situated, we headed out to the buffet. While we were walking around, I saw several signs about a seminar the next day while we were on the water. 

Husband: “So… how did you get this cruise?”

Brother-In-Law: “We won four tickets in a raffle.”

Husband: “Oh. Okay. So… okay.”

Me: “A raffle?”

Brother-In-Law: “Yeah, this company, [Time Share Group], was holding a raffle, and we won four tickets!”

Me: *Putting it together* “So, this is a timeshare thing?”

Brother-In-Law: “Yeah, but it’s easy. You just need to listen to some speech—” *the seminar I’d seen signs for* “—and you get the whole trip for free!

Me: “And if we don’t want to sit through it?”

Brother-In-Law: “It’s [amount] for the room.”

Husband: “You gave us tickets to a timeshare scheme as a wedding gift.”

Sister-In-Law: “No, we gave you a free cruise!”

Me: “Uh-huh…”

Sister-In-Law: “You don’t understand. It’s not a scheme.”

Me: “Okay, then.”

Brother-In-Law: “Wow. You are ungrateful.”

My husband and I attended the presentation and took full advantage of the open bar and buffet afterward, despite not being interested in any timeshare properties.

My in-laws told us they were sick at the time of the presentation, so they didn’t even go. They tried to argue with the presenting team that they could not attend, but they were billed for their room anyway. Then, they tried to convince us to cover half of their cost since we wouldn’t have been there at all if not for their generous gift. We declined.

A few years later, my husband and I finally had enough time and money to go on a proper honeymoon by ourselves.