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!

MarinaIvy Tue 15-Jan-13 21:16:40

Yeah, what pretty much everybody else is saying. She's being unreasonable, not you. Stop smiling and nodding, put your foot down and make sure DP stays on side.

No long trip, no other people calling your baby "my baby", no more criticism. You need every ounce of strength to treat your baby to the best start in life, and treat yourself to the wonderful new experience.

I'm a big fan of co-sleeping when it's baby with breastfeeding mum (&dad is welcome, as apropos), but I Do Not Get why the grandparents would want to.

More to the point, YA,L,SVMFingDNBU* for not wanting your baby to sleep with somebody who both smokes and takes heavy painkillers! Sheesh, would your MiL prefer to crush him or choke him to death?

... Like, *So MuthaF&^%ing Definitely ...

OK, yes, you're hormonal right now, but you're definitely dealing with this better than most people I know. Keep strong!

redexpat Tue 15-Jan-13 21:17:55

I remember you! I recommended shouting well in case you hadn't noticed I'm not fucking swedish!

On this occassion I would say that you need to tel her directly that you appreciate her concern, but if you need advice, you will ask for it.

I also think you should find some sort of job she can do to be involved in DS's life. eg DS's bedstemor knits. A lot. And we send pictures of him wearing them to her.

Don't go to see them. You dont sound like you're up for it.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Tue 15-Jan-13 21:18:54

Your MIL needs to look at her entry in "Whos Crazy!!" encyclopedia.

You need to set some boundaries or tell her to fuck off, who is she to critizcise you so much, is the the perfect parent of all perfect parents. I dont think so!!!

TinyDancingHoofer Tue 15-Jan-13 21:19:02

YANBU! And definitely don't let her co-sleep with him whilst she is on painkillers!

ceebie Tue 15-Jan-13 21:19:56

YAsooooNBU! You have been an angel to not rise to her comments and critisisms! I do wonder, though, as your passive response does not seem to be having an effect, whether it might be time for you to be a bit firmer in rejecting her suggestions (as you would with your own mother). I'm not convinced that anything will make the woman back down, but perhaps if you openly stand up to her a bit more, it might start dawning on her that she simply isn't going to get her own way?

loubielou31 Tue 15-Jan-13 21:22:35

Say something NOW, politely but firmly, get your DH to back you up, (less politely if need be). The longer you leave it the harder it will be.
I have always been pretty blunt with my ILs and my DPs, I think if you would say it to your mum you could say it to your MIL, even be a bit jokey about and say that you told your mum... and you would like to think your relationship is a close that you can be just as honest/ demanding with your MIL.
And Definitely NO to baby sleeping in PILs bed, even if they weren't smokers on meds. YANBU

HumphreyCobbler Tue 15-Jan-13 21:22:54

I think not going is the best short term plan

you can work on the long term plan and get your DH to deal with it

zumbaholic Tue 15-Jan-13 21:23:36

DONT GO!!!!

you are an adult, you can make your own choices! do not for the love of god go, you will end up feeling shit, in a strange environment/country and what good will that do you or your baby?

again, DONT GO!!smile

OMG she sounds horrendous. Poor you, I hope your Dh realizes he has to stick up for you and his Ds, you are his family, she is a nutter.
She has had her turn at raising children, now it is yours and Dh turn, she needs to butt out and as for co-sleeping with him, Oh hell no. Even if there was no smoking and painkillers involved, that is just plain weird and creepy to want to do that with someone elses new baby.

galwaygirl Tue 15-Jan-13 21:33:17

Honeytea, you poor thing!! This is definitely not a Swedish thing - my Swedish MIL wouldn't dream of saying those things to me. It's just her being an utter bitch!
Don't go on the journey, look after yourself - your DS needs you to be feeling good and not upset by this old cow. Tell them it won't work for ye and ye might come up in the summer - and don't apologise!!

elizaregina Tue 15-Jan-13 21:37:36

"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. "

This is the problem with - " being one of those dils" .....^

Usually its one of those dils who do have feelings and care about others and dont just rail road thier way through other peoples lives....they have empathy and sympathy for people just as you have expressed ^. Unlike thier MILs who are usually all like you have described - sense of ownership, bullying, no boundaries - critical , never ever ask if anything is ok to do - just wade right in!

I also felt sorry for my MIL - tried to please her etc etc etc and it didnt do me any good she still did most of the things you described except smoke. We dont speak at all now and I did hide my second DD;s conception and birth from her/them.

Its been BLISS, peaceful, calm, happy!

Your problem is she has three DD's ALL or most I assume get on with her - and probably raised thier children more in line with her ways - as she is their mum....in a perverse way - its probably quite nice she feels she can talk to you - like she spoke to them - and being her daughters they may not have taken offense in the way same - ie just easier when you know how to handle your own mum, take what she says with a pinch of salt etc...

Def get your DP to step up and even say - look ds's are your DD DM, honey isnt your DD she has a differnet way of doing things as well as her own DM, and a diff culture...and of course dont go.

PandaOnAPushBike Tue 15-Jan-13 21:45:07

OP, I'm in Sweden too and don't believe this is a cultural clash. This is down to her being out of her tree. Do not go and stay with them until she reins it in. Otherwise you'll be on her turf and it'll be even worse.

CecilyP Tue 15-Jan-13 21:55:41

She sounds absolutely barking. YANBU - if you weren't feeling the post-birth sensitivity, you would probably realise just how daft her comments and demands actually are. Your burping behaviour seems completely normal andI would love to know where all these children are who are too fat too walk just because they didn't have a dummy. And the thing about wanting your baby to share a bed with her is just weird.

I would definitely try to put off the visit. At least until the late spring when you can get out and about with with your LO in the pram. You will also be feeling much more like your old self again and be able to be more confident and assertive.

Graceparkhill Tue 15-Jan-13 22:14:17

I never say this but in your case I am adamant :

Your baby, your rules ( you and DH that is, in partnership )

You don't need to explain/apologise/ appease your MIL and you certainly don't need a ten hour car journey followed by perpetual darkness ( literal and metaphorical)

When a become an MIL I am only going to give advice when asked.

Good luck and enjoy the baby!!

maddening Tue 15-Jan-13 22:25:25

Yanbu - cancel the trip - they can come to you and dp needs to be there to stop every comment. Being firm now will pay dividends in the future - she sounds very determined and somewhat toxic.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Tue 15-Jan-13 22:43:40

When she calls your son 'my baby' just smile sweetly, point at your DH and say 'but that's your baby - this one's mine'.

When she tells you what to do or criticises you, say 'thanks for your kind advice but I'm going to do xyz'

Failing that, tell her she has had the pleasure of raising her children according to her own instinct and now it's your turn to raise your son according to yours.

Failing that, tell her to feck the feck off to feckland and then when she gets there, she can feck off some more.

You are DNBU. It's not the hormones - it's her.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Tue 15-Jan-13 22:45:12

And maybe your DH needs to read this thread?

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Tue 15-Jan-13 22:53:02

Yanbu. Op, you are a saint. I would truly have told your mil to fuck off by now. Seriously, you have been incredibly restrained to date. It is time to let her know that her opinions mean very little to you and that you will not be dictated to. Man up to this witch. She is going to treat you like shit on a shoe unless you put her very firmly in her place. Don't suffer her any longer.

Schnarkle Tue 15-Jan-13 23:32:26

Taking the grand parents co - sleeping with an 8 week old one awful step further. Is the MIL planning on trying to breast feed the child too?

How else is that plan going to work out? She has the child in her bed, child wakes to be fed and she brings the child to you in your cabin and waits until finished before taking the baby back to her bed hmm

BruisedFanjo Tue 15-Jan-13 23:45:15

Yanbu at all. Take it from someone who knows, start being assertive now whilst your Ds is little. Don't let her talking to you like that become habit.

Phrase things in such a way she can't argue without showing herself up, avoids arguments n she will know you've sussedher. I.e instead of "were not coming because youre a dick we don't think its best for D's" (true but she will see it as an insult) try "oh I know how much you love ds and you're so good at putting his needs first. That's why we know you won't be too disappointed we can't visit you for a year or three because of all the car seat rules. We knew you'd agree once we saw the guidelines." Or something?

If that fails, next time you have a "Honey tea, you're doing xyz wrong" situation, try "oh DO fuck off. It would be most kind of you" smile

When my mil thought she was going to do her own thing regardless of me already saying no, I gave her a big smirk smile, and said nice n slowly - "try it."

She didn't.

honeytea Thu 17-Jan-13 07:26:05

Thank you for the replies and the pms, I will reply to them when if ds will go down in his cot for a nap, I'm typing one handed on my phone not the easiest task!

Little update, we have decided not to go to visit them, we are going to spend the money going to the UK at easter. We havnt told mil/film yet, I worry what we will say if they offer to pay for us but we will cross that bridge when if it comes to that.

My dp has asked me to not wind ds sitting up and mot drink alcohol (even 1 glass of 2% beer) when mil is there. I have told him it makes me feel like he doesn't trust me to keep ds safe.

CaptainVonTrapp Thu 17-Jan-13 10:21:08

Glad to hear you're not going.

Please continue to wind your baby in the way you feel is the most effective and that you are happiest with. Your DP should support you in caring for your baby in the best way for ds (and you). Not in the interests of keeping his Mum happy.

Drink what you like.

Compromise is one thing. This is quite different. Making odd adaptions to your life because no one wants to be the one to tell MIL 'no' is ridiculous and a dangerous precendent. Whatever are you going to have to do next to keep her happy? Its like dealing with a bully, you have to stand up to them to move on. If you keep backing down, she'll keep pushing.

Good Luck.

elizaregina Thu 17-Jan-13 10:26:49

ooh no honey, that is not good - he is trying to change your behaviour to please her???

no no no!!!stand your ground - how ridiculous.

elizaregina Thu 17-Jan-13 10:28:41

agree captain, whatever you do do not go down this road - of adapting behaviour to please this bully.

diddl Thu 17-Jan-13 10:40:06

She has been an absolute bitch imo.

No way would I visit.

Ever.

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