AIBU or is MIl. I never wanted to turn into one of those awful DILs and I think I might be.

(134 Posts)
honeytea Tue 15-Jan-13 20:18:33

I have posted about my mil before but things have come to a head in the last few days.

The background info is that I have always got on well with MIL (or so I thought) I have encouraged my useless dp to spend time with his parents and I have been the one to buy MIL gifts/cards on birthdays and mothersdays, she probably doesn't realise this.

I'm not sure if it is relavant but I am British and DP and MIl are Swedish, we live in Sweden. There are quite a few cultural differences between the 2 countries.

When I became pregnant last year and I started talking about having a child our differences became more apparent. Things like me drinking one small glass of wine whilst pregnant/breastfeeding shocked her to the point she called "mother's who do that kind of thing" disgusting. I understand that people have personal opinions on alcohol and BF/pregnancy but I think it would have been nice for her to be a little more diplomatic keep her opinions to herself She also said she would be deeply ashamed if we used reins. She said if we didn't use a dummy and I breastfed DS he would become so fat he wouldn't be able to learn to walk as he would use my boob as a dummy. She also said cloth nappies would rot away DS's bum as he would have red hair.

I took the attitude that smiling and nodding and ignoring would be the best thing to do.

DS was born just before christmas We had lots and lots of visitors, MIL and FIL live a 10 hour drive away and they came down to visit (staying with SIL thank god) my mum stepdad sister and brother came to stay too. I really stuggled emotionally the 1st 2 weeks of DS's life, I felt very overwhelmed by the love I felt for him and I was sure he was going to die/get seriously hurt.

My MIL came to visit one day when DS was about 4 days old, I had been up all night feeding and sobbing into his little soft head when they arived I was sleeping, it wasn't the 1st time they came to visit us and we had had visitors all morning- DP came and woke me up when DS needed feeding, I came and sat in the living room and didn't say much I am not great when I have just woken up and they were speaking Swedish which I can speak but it is hard work and I have to concentrate so I sat quietly feeding the baby.

MIL thought that I had an attitude and FIL phoned my DP later to tell him MIL was angry with me. It upset me but I just tried to ignore it and move on.

MIL also was very upset by the way I wind the baby -(sitting on my knee supporting his chest and rubbing his back) I thought this is just how you wind babies, it is how the babies in my family are winded anyway.

I was very very worried about the risk of sids, a friend of mine lost her son to sids last year sad I wanted to do everything I could to keep DS safe. My dp asked his DM and sisters to wash their hands after smoking and wait 30 mins before holding DS, I can see that this is very PFB but it made me feel better. MIL was furious she still is. I also asked my DM to do the same and I accused DM of bring fleas into my home (it was actually post birth hives blush )

MIL is still furious and hurt about the smoking request she is angry that i ignored her advice on burping (the reason i don't like to burp him on my shoulder is because he is a big puker and it is best to try and catch the puke when burping him)

she has 3 daughters and 10 grandchildren from them, she was like a 2nd mum to those kids. She talked about wanting my DS to sleep in her bed with her and FIL when we go and visit (which was supposed to be next month when he is 8 weeks) I hadn't actually said no your not having my baby sleep in bed with you I just hadn't mentioned it. They are looking at houses near us so they can see DS all the time which would be lovely. I think she sees DS as one of her babies, she said to me how nice it was for her to have another baby, I said that she became a great aunt 3 times last year and she said yes but DS is her baby because he is her grandson. I don't mind her saying he is hers, ds is very lucky to have so many people who adore him but what bothers me is when she disaproves of me and my parenting style. Everything I do she comments negatively on, if DS is in a babygrow she comes in and says he is cold if he has a hat on she says he is hot, if I put him down so he wakes up to feed him (in the very early days of bf when he was super sleepy due to jandice) I am cruel. I feel like I have hidden my irritation well I have not challenged her I have just ignored the advice. My ignoring has made her very angry. I don't think she has ever had a women with different parenting ideas to her in her life.

we are supposed to go and stay with them next month, it will cost lots of money and it will be a very long drive. I don't want to go, they live just below the arctic circle so it will be very very cold and dark most of the time, I will be sat in their house with MIL criticising my parenting choices for days on end.

I understand I probably still have some crazy post birth hormones and I would like to be told IABU if I am. Also how can I move forward? for the sake of DS and DP I want to have as nice a relationship with MIL as possible.

Sorry about the essay!

WhatchuTalkinBoutPhyllis Tue 15-Jan-13 20:41:36

Just read your third paragraph, she sounds like a fucking loon

honeytea Tue 15-Jan-13 20:42:39

Few! I am so glad IANBU, I was worried my perception of the world was a litlle hormonaly skewed.

It was hard to get so much criticism, it was outweighed by my mother's comments every other sentance about what a wonderful mother I was and how perfect everything we were doing was (her constant positive words also anoyed me although I can see that IABU about that!)

I don't know why she would want to sleep in bed with a pukey baby who will wake up every 2-4 hours. If she wants some alone time with DS she could offer to look after him one afternoon whilst me and DP had nap.

If we ever have DC2 I will not tell anyone for at least a month.

EverybodysSnowyEyed Tue 15-Jan-13 20:42:47

You need to nip it in the bud

I smiled and sucked it up with my PFB because I didn't want to be rude etc etc. Luckily DH was pretty good at supporting my choices.

With my second I felt far more comfortable and the first time she said something critical I said something along the lines of
'I am her mother and whilst I may not do things the same way you do, that doesn't mean what I am doing is wrong. You have raised your children and were able to do so in your own way, please give me the same courtesy'

You also need to speak to DH and explain that whilst you are grateful that so many people care for your son, you are his parents and it is up to you how you raise him and you expect him to support you in that. Also remind him (as I did with DH!) that if you choose to have kids with someone from a different culture, you have to accept that they are unlikely to do things like their mother!

She smokes, is on painkillers and wants your child on her bed? But a glass of wine is totally outrageous for you.
You can't go it will be hell, she's not going to get any better! Let your DH talk to her you've got enough to do.

BuiltForComfort Tue 15-Jan-13 20:44:08

YADNBU and you - or rather your DH - needs to tell MIL to do one.

Re baby sleeping in their bed - are they crazy? A massive SIDS risk factor is co-sleeping with smokers. On no account let that happen! And FWIW I wouldn't take a new baby on a 10hr drive to spend days in the near-dark even if it was my best friend I was visiting!

bootsycollins Tue 15-Jan-13 20:47:05

Honeytea YANBU your mil is an absolute loon. Don't be making that journey to stay with her, she's a control freak with no respect for you, your feelings or your boundaries. You wouldn't be the reason for a rift, her behaviour is the problem. Whatever you decide to do to make it happen don't let her manipulate you and your family.

I hope that this gets dealt with soon and your enjoying your lovely new baby x

You sound very sensible on most things: Not allowed near baby after smoking, yep. Winding sitting up: yep (putting ours on our shoulder post feed often caused a puke, think it was the pressure on the stomach). Fleas: you're allowed some post birth moments!

Seriously, just give yourself some space from her. Your baby is tiny. You are naturally hormonal. She is plain wrong about loads of stuff (co sleeping with a non parent who smokes and is on strong pain meds? No no no!). There will be years when she can get invOlved and your Ds is a bit more robust or you can speak your mind, but right now just avoid.

CaptainVonTrapp Tue 15-Jan-13 20:52:06

YANBU.

She's awful.

Wind him whatever way works.

You probably are hormonal at this time and that is why your DP needs to shoulder some of the burden of his Mother. Someone will eventually have to say 'no' to her. Preferably him. The sooner the better IMHO. Then you can start building a relationship with her where she doesn't imagine she can say/behave/get exactly what she likes.

I wouldn't go.

You talk about cultural differences (and I'm sure there are) but don't let that become an excuse for her bad behaviour. From my limited experience of Swedes she is not representative of them. There are however many MIL in this country who behave like her and worse.

MamaBear17 Tue 15-Jan-13 20:52:21

I would advise against the trip to see them. I went away for a weekend with my inlaws when my dd was 6 weeks old and it was horrendous. Not because of my inlaws, but because I wasnt ready to be out of my pyjamas let alone out of the house. Put it off for a while, there is plenty of time for visit.

If I were you, I would arm yourself with the following comment, ready to use if your MIL criticises you:

"I appreciate what you are saying, you are an experienced mum and grandma and I know that you are saying it out of love, but I am ds's mum, and I want to be able to do things my own way without you judging me. I really want and need your support, but I also need to be able to do things my own way."

You will find as you settle into your new role and your hormones settle down you become much more confident and do not second guess yourself as much. The bottom line is: Do not allow anyone to do anything that you are uncomfortable with (like your inlaws co-sleeping with your newborn.) Try and agree on how to handle your inlaws with your hubby before you visit, and let him tell them no when you do not feel strong enough too. It all gets easier, honestly x

ShipwreckedAndComatose Tue 15-Jan-13 20:53:56

This ain't baby hormones honey, this is a controlling MIL who is used to being in charge and having it all her way!!

What does DH say? You do need to set some boundaries down as soon as you can!

MadonnaKebab Tue 15-Jan-13 20:56:04

Far too long for a baby to be in a car seat, that would be my excuse
If she's this bad in your house, she'll be far worse once you're stuck in her home

MamaBear17 Tue 15-Jan-13 20:59:17

In my post I meant that your hormones make dealing with unreasonable people harder because you worry that you are being over protective or unreasonable because you feel anxious all of the time. When all of that settles down you feel much more confident because you know you are right!

1) Don't go. Tell her you are just too tired, or something. Or 10 hours in a carseat is bad for a baby's breathing, that's true.

2) Tell her you will be doing things differently to the way she does them, and she must get used to this. Tell her that her criticism is getting you down and making you not want to see her.

3) Get dh to phone and repeat (1) and (2) at her - united front is best.

4) Stop smiling and nodding. She thinks you agree and she can say what she likes. You'll need a one-liner to repeat endlessly in a bored monotone - "you're criticising my parenting again, please stop" or "we do things differently and this is ok".

skratta Tue 15-Jan-13 20:59:39

YANBU. Btw I'm Swedish, I think it's pretty much your MIL with that attitude. You're being very patient! I lived in Kiruna, so in the Arctic Circle, and apart from the very depressing darkness, being stuck with someone like your MIL! Sounds like a nightmare. It must be very hard to ignore with your very new baby!

hoodoo12345 Tue 15-Jan-13 20:59:41

YANBU.
I would of told my mil acting the same way to "back the fuck off!"i would of also expected DH to back me up, you need to sort this quickly or it will only get worse as your ds gets older.

Yfronts Tue 15-Jan-13 20:59:44

Dont go unless she agrees to let you parent in your own style and is less critical. Also say your baby is not sleeping in her bed.

BeaLola Tue 15-Jan-13 21:00:07

Sending huge hug to you & raising a glass to you. She sounds horrendous. DO NOT VISIT - you will be stressed & will hate it + I assume they will smoke in their own home ? - not good for your PFB. Is it common in sweden to sleep with your grandchildren ??? I would be polite but firm & soften it with praise for anything nice about her that you can think of eg how lovely for your DS that his Grandma is so thrilled that he is here that she drove for 10 hours to come & stay - so lovely. How you've always been so pleased that she has been excited about you DP having baby, how kind she has been to you in the past etc when you are so far from home & your friends etc etc.

I would have a frank but kind conversation with her & see if she takes the hint ..... plus I would be moaning at my DH to support me in this. I think if you continue to ignore it she will continiue as she is but living nearer to you & you will have to bear her visits more -

1stMrsFrugal Tue 15-Jan-13 21:01:51

I could not read and not comment. YANBU.

It must be so hard to become a mother for the first time in another culture. I felt me and DH were very similar in our family values etc. until we had the DTs and then I had many moments with MIL and realised that having DCs is a whole new ball game than just marrying into a family!! Even without any cultural difference she made many comments about not picking up the DTs when they cried, giving them water from bottle, shouldn't feed on demand but wait 4 hrs etc. i just kept calmly saying that I felt this was the right way and research had changed opinions. I also made a big effort to thank her when she made useful suggestions or was supportive and a bit like training a toddler, the balance has shifted over time to more supportive.

You have been so tolerant, and it's so so thoughtful of you to try and be so polite but you are DS's mother and you must make the decisions and anyway your decisions are right and hers -- are-- wrong and be confident.

I would not go to visit (yet). Wait til you feel stronger and more confident. Enjoy learning to be his mum for a bit longer in your own home. Keep coming here for support.

NonnoMum Tue 15-Jan-13 21:01:59

Please don't go on a ten hour trip to see her.

Get used to your beautiful new baby, and establish breastfeeding, and get into a (bit of a ) routine and establish your parenting style.

She's had her chance to be a parent, now it's yours.

Stixswhichtwizzle Tue 15-Jan-13 21:02:51

YADDDDNBU!

I know you are probably aware of this but she absolutely must not co-sleep with your 8 wk old! She smokes, is on meds and isn't his breastfeeding (therefore hyper aware of him) mother. It goes against all co-sleeping rules! She may smother him your DH needs to be much firmer. I'd be tempted to refuse to go tbh.

honeytea Tue 15-Jan-13 21:04:57

We were planning to do the car journy over 2 days in 2 2.5 hour journys on each day. The cost of a hotel and the petrol will all add up. DS is a dream so I was thinking the journy would be easy but I have been thinking maybe he is only a dream because I bf him on demand and cuddle him most of the time, he might not be so calm in a car seat.

I think maybe I will get my DP to tell them he can't get the time off work so we can't go.

I feel really sad fir mil, her other grandchildren are grown up or teenagers, she only has 1 ds (my dp) and this is his first baby, I think she just wants to have a baby in her life. It is sad that the way she is acting is pushing me and therefore my DS away from her.

honeytea Tue 15-Jan-13 21:12:16

There is no way I will let DS sleep in there bed, the midwife did advise me to co sleep with DS and we have a sidecar cot but even i don't want him in bed with me whilst he is so little, I think once he can roll over I might have him in bed with me but not even next to my DP.

They don't smoke in the house, we have our own little cabin in the garden to stay in but even so it is likely to be too cold for wimpy Englis me to go out.

Skratta I hope you didn't think I was rude! I think the far north is very lovely in the summer and fun in the winter if you can go out smile

DoodlesNoodles Tue 15-Jan-13 21:12:52

She sounds awful.sad Can you get any support from your SIL's. She may well have behaved equally badly with them but they would have been able to tell her to bog off more easily. My DM was a bit mad at times but I could easily tell her stop poking her nose in without causing any upset at all.
Maybe, one of them could have a word with her?

I also wouldn't visit. Could your DH invent an excuse to do with work. That way you would be totally blameless.

Regardless of whether you go or not your DH needs to make sure she doesn't criticise you.

Good luck ( it sounds like you will need it)

BTW YANBU grin

HoneyDragon Tue 15-Jan-13 21:15:10

Don't visit - think of it as the start of laying down boundaries.

Please don't think you are a horrible person or a bad DiL, this is your baby not hers. If she's so separate to have a child in her bed your dh can offer to get in with her wink

And the my baby thing does not sound nice. My friends Mum is like this, and its like she's asserting ownership and control.

My MiL oth has always referred to my children as her babies, and I like it. I love that she loves them as much as I do, and it doesn't feel threatening like when friends mum says it about her grandchildren.

HoneyDragon Tue 15-Jan-13 21:15:37

* separate - desperate

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