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I would have taken your poll, but I don't have a mother-in-law. I would hire some of my friends MILs, but not my siblings...

It would be very difficult for me to turn down the idea of having someone actually help me with all the crap I need to get done, but I can't imagine anyone less suited to the job than my MIL. On the other hand, I'd totally let her watch my kids while I did everything else...

I have a golden rule: NO BUSINESS with FAMILY OR FRIENDS. The only exception is when you are setting up a family business, and even in that case things go to shit more often than not unless very clear rules are defined from the start. Babysitting is not the same thing, because she is not a sitter, she is family, i.e., she would be enjoying the children's company and enriching their lives. If she volunteered to help you for a short while, and you bought her a gift maybe....but maybe even not.

I would but she has health problems and a blood sugar problem that make it hard for her to concentrate. But I have a wonderful MIL, so if she were up to it and I needed someone, I would definitely do it.

Oh, the horror. No, seriously, I'm going to up all night worrying that somehow this could happen.

*shudder*


Actually, she'd probably be quite competent -- she's done administrative work for many years and as far as I can tell, has been quite successful at it. But you see, that would require me to INTERACT with her. Quite unacceptable, that.

My sister-in-law, though, in a heartbeat.

In a heartbeat. I'd trust her so much more with things like our passports, personal documents, etc. Hiring a stranger and then giving them all of that information is a thought that I find much more frightening.

I'd have no problem hiring my MIL as my PA - save for the fact that she is not up to it and I happen to be a PA.
You could hire me, but I'd have to warn you: I'm expensive. Very very efficient, but expensive.

I have a close relationship with my MIL, but I won't hire her to take care my personal issues, I won't even hire my own mother. Only because I'm a control freak. It actually acts stress just thinking of someone else doing my taxes, getting passports, etc.

My MIL is the most organized, efficient person I know. If she would be my PA, even for just a few days, my life would run smoother for the next decade.

As my m-i-l is clinically insane, there is NO WAY that I would hire her, ever. Also, she lives about 2000 kms away (and I like it very much this way!).

I'm getting married next summer and I adore my future mother in law! The thing about her is that she really enjoys doing nice things for other people, so if I even mentioned I needed help with something, she would just do it and then get angry if I tried to pay her. When she comes to stay at our house she does all the dishes because she says she really enjoys it. And I believe her!

My MIL stole my husband's inheritance (long story), calls me foul names, tries to set my husband up with other women and generally hates my guts. No thanks.

...

But, congratulations to you for having a decent relationship with your MIL!

There is no way my MIL or I could cope with her being my PA. We have completely different values and priorities, not to mention we do things differently. We deal with each other through limited polite contact and I make sure her son keeps in touch with her and his grandparents. Direct contact is a no no.

My MIL passed away last year, but I would have hired her in an instant as my PA.

Things wouldn't have been done any better than I do them, though! lol She was terribly disorganized, and relied on my SIL and me to take care of her business stuff. I was forever making phone calls halfway round the country to get her water or telephone back on for her. I miss making those calls. I miss my Momma In Love.

I think it's great that you hired your MIL, and that your relationship is so wonderful!

NEVER NEVER NEVER

I can't stand my MIL, she just confirmed that she feels the same the other day by writing me an email telling me how selfish I am (what me?) - so having her work for me, would be like converting the pope to be a muslim.

But if your MIL is so chilled go for it!

I miss the "other" option in your poll! We just spent a month living in "Hotel Mama-in-law" and it was so hard to move out again! She cooked, cleaned, did our laundry (after some reluctance from *my* side - even my knickers) and never asked any questions. I love my own mum to bits, but I couldn't spend more than a day in her house. We are SO much alike that we would start arguing in no time.

But... if it comes to the PA business there's no way I'd let my mother in law even touch my paperwork. She doesn't drive a car, doesn't know how to use her bank card and leaves all business to her three children.

Other than that: why not? In NL there are lots of parents paying their parents to take care of their children when they are working. You even get tax returns for that! So if you trust them with your children, why not as a part-time PA?

Hell no! I have to try and sit through coffee - could never sit through actually having to face her more than I needed to...

No thanks - my mom would be fab - love her to bits - she is a keeper...

My MIL is a sweet, wonderful woman...as long as we stay away from discussions about money. Because of that, I would never hire her as an assistant.

I love my MIL. I really do.
But I would rather have my nipples torn off by a pack of wild dogs than hire her as my PA.

I would not because I value our relationship too much. Plus while she will do things for my children and HER children with a smile on her face, I very much sense a reluctance to do something for ME that she thinks I am capable of doing myself. We get along very well, but after 20 years of me being a part of her family, I'm still a tad on the outside.

I would not hire my mother either because while she is wildly organized her brand of organization DRIVES ME INSANE and I would have to kill her. Or maybe I'm just a little bit of a control freak.

i said i'd rather kill her but i don't actually need to do that. she did that herself (alcoholism).

No, I wouldn't - she's 8 hours away and has health issues.

My MIL has been trying to break us up for as long as we've been together, I can tolerate her on an occasional-phonecall level, but I hate hate hate going to see her in person. While my partner tries to be a dutiful son, I don't think he'd really enjoy seeing her more frequently, either. Also as my job is not "real" anyway, and I'm a unmaternal freak who won't even give her grandchildren, so she probably wouldn't believe that there are errands I don't have time for. Gah!!!

(My stepma-in-law is a dream though, so all is not lost with my in-laws!)

I want Lisa's future MIL!

Mine is a very sweet woman but we do not speak the same language (literally - she speaks Farsi and I speak English) and she would probably drive me batshit crazy with her hovering over my shoulder 24-7 trying to "help" me.

She visits us every year for six weeks and that is ALL I can handle. (And even that takes a lot of red wine to get through without losing my mind)

I'd first jump into the fiery realms of hell before hiring my MIL! Seriously.

Glad it works for you, though. In all honesty I'd love to have a MIL that does not rival Satan's own mother, but alas, I do.

My MIL is the most organized, efficient, competent woman I know. She would make the best PA I can imagine. Unfortunately she lives 2000 miles away and is too busy with all the things she does herself or I'd hire her in a second. She'd probably get me organized, my house painted and decorated in month -- something I've been trying to do for 8 years! In fact, I've tried to lure her out here before with all kinds of promises and luxuries but she has never accepted. Damn it!

When we were in the UK, my MIL was basically like my PA, without me asking, and it used to piss the crap outta me at times! Like - I know how to raise my kids, stop doing it for me!
But we moved to SA about 3 months ago, and obviously she still lives in the UK! Now that I don't have her, I miss her like crazy!
Women, hey - never happy!

Actually, my MIL basically is my PA. I don't even have to ask. I'll just mention in passing that our kid has outgrown his winter coat. And the next day, she shows up with a winter coat that she found at some insansely low price somewhere and then used a coupon and it came out to $3.99. She loves this shit.

She also is a great cook and often brings over leftovers, has us over for dinner, and brings a bagful of snacks every time she comes over. And, she babysits our kid when we need it.

My FIL is our PA also. My FIL came over a couple days ago with a machete and hacked down all the high weeds in our yard. He has also organized our garage and helped renovate our house, among other things.

My in-laws kick ass.

If you met my MIL, you'd know why I wouldn't hire her as my PA. EVER.

As long as she remains keen, keep with it. Just agree on some exit strategy if things begin to scratch either of you.

I've worked for my Dad, work with my husband and my sister-in-law's brother is our right hand.

Give it a test run and see how it goes. It does sometimes work out beautifully, despite the bad press of the "work-family-mix".

The advantage of someone younger is obviously their familiarity with technology...

I think it sounds like a great idea! I would if my MIL didn't have health issues.

I love my MIL, but she falls into the category of "simple people." As well as being frail and elderly (they were past their prime when they married/had kids). She wouldn't be able to do it.

I love my soon to be MIL. I think she would be the best assistant anyone could ever ask for!

We couls use a PA, but I don't know if she'd take the job! I would love to hire her to be our son's personal shopper, beacuse she buys him the best gifts.

Can I be blunt? FUCK NO!!!

Mine is recently my ex-MIL... but that doesn't mean I am rid of her... :/

Funny thing I've noticed - the people that have "future MIL's" - they think all is well and dandy.... let's ask again in like 5 years and see what they say then. That might be interesting. I thought about having my MIL help with some of my housework, then I decided I didn't want the whole effing family knowing that I don't dust my house every day.

Um, no. It's not just that she would looooove to have an opportunity to know more about our financial situation. It's also that, bless her heart, she can't keep herself organized or on time, so I can't even imagine her trying to do the same for me.

Actually I wouldn't have to hire my MIL. She does the sifting, sorting and general meddling without me paying her. She's a dear old thing, deep down, I guess. But I'm sooo independant. I really don't like her sorting and answering my mail for me!

Luckily we live on different continents now!

My MIL is crazy! I'd die before I let her anywhere near my personal stuff.

I would NEVER hire my mother-in-law to be my assistant. And not just because she's way nicer than me, hence I just don't understand her. She's also not punctual or organized and is very forgetful. It would make me more crazy to rely on her help than to just do the tasks myself!

Dear gawd, you MUST have a good relationship with her to enter that kind of deal. My MIL and I? Uh, we'd kill each other if we spent that much time together. Hell, we might kill each other if we spent ANY time together!

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