AIBU or is she being as manipulative and scheming as I think she is.(124 Posts)
And if so what do I do?
DP and I have a 3, nearly four week old son. His mum lives in the same road and I did make a point of saying to her when we got home to pop in whenever, which so far has been about twice a week for 5 or 10 minutes and doesn't really pay so much attention to the baby. She doesn't always hold him or seem that fussed by him (when I found out I was pregnant she said she was shocked because I'm not maternal, but she doesn't seem that bothered with him really).
Getting to the point, she spends the time when she is here telling me, not suggesting.. Actually insisting on everything I'm doing wrong in her eyes. She came up twice this week and on both occasions told me the room was far too hot because the gro egg room thermometer was orange and about 21 or 22 degrees. Using my common sense straight away I checked the back of his neck when she mentioned it and he felt neither hot or cold to me so I thought nothing of it. Would have opened a window or taken his blanket off if he was warm, but when he was born he was in Scbu because he was so cold so regardless of room temp I'm more bothered about his temp.
He's also significantly tounge tied and until he has it snipped we have been using bottles, she made a point of telling me that if he's struggling to feed I'm probably holding the bottles wrong. And that she has never heard of a baby being unsettled and crying for hours (this has only happened once so far and I know it was down to the tounge tie and wind, there was a midwife here at the time who wasn't concerned) but she is really really concerned because babies just don't do that and she's never heard of it.
I was having a nap yesterday and I woke up to her screaming at DP in the hall (well I've raised kids, I know!!!) and then slammed my front door almost off its hinges. Is it me or is this just not normal behaviour?
She also takes issue with the fact that I have spent the last three weeks sleeping on the couch with him in the Moses basket next to me.. It works for me for now as one of the windows in our room is jammed and it gets very hot in there sometimes, I've had a c section and its just easier for me staying downstairs close to the kitchen and with all if his stuff in one room than being upstairs and cgoing up and down all night. I'd rather save my energy for getting out for nice walks with him in the day. But I'm wrong and I can't give him a proper bedtime routine if I'm not carrying him up the stairs at three weeks old.
The shit hit the fan yesterday when after a series of texts saying how concerned and worried about him she was.. She sent this beauty.. Nt to me though but to DP behind my back
"Hi, how is baby this morning. I am working close by today if giraffe needs me so tell her to ring me if she needs someone. I am really worried about how she sits in the front room when it's hot and doesn't seem to look at the temp egg, you need to keep the door open to keep some air flowing. I wonder sometimes if she does it deliberately. Please make sure she opens windows. I know I go on but I think it's because she either doesn't want advice or doesn't listen to it and baby is very precious and needs proper care xxx"
I confronted her about the txt last night, her only defence was that it is a private txt and none of my business. My issue is that she never bothered touching baby to see if he was hot or cold, yet is so so worried by the temp on a gro egg that she can insinuate I would neglect my child. When I confronted her about this she said that she has raised babies and she knows and then started literally screaming "cot death, giraffe, cot death!!!" I my face like I was stupid. I spent four years training as a nurse, I can gage a temp for gods sake.
I wonder how you can be not worried enough to reach in and check baby, yet worried enough to tell my DP things like that behind my back.. It doesn't feel genuine to me, it feels really manipulitive, like she is interfering and trying to break us up or see me fail or something. She's very bitter in general and always slating some one but to cause all of this over something so trivial.
Understandably I was very angry but couldn't even justify myself as a parent as she was standing there smirking and rolling her eyes saying to DP "see, look what she's like, see you weren't raised to be a drama queen like that" all very patronising and school playground behaviour. I ended up walking out and telling her if she didn't change then she wouldn't see me or baby again. It's out DP in a horrible position but I feel like I have to make a stand. I know this was really long winded but what would you lot be doing? She doesn't have a lot of friends and doesn't speak to a lot of family other than her daughters and just poisons people against each other, I don't want it to spoil these early days for us and really don't want ds hearing it all. Wwyd???
Just on the face of it, she sounds threatened by you being a mum for some reason.
You do not have to justify yourself as a parent to anyone (bar your DP/police/SS etc).
She has no claim whatsoever on how you decide to bring up your baby.
Don't have her round, simple as that.
If you DP wants to see her/take your baby to see her, it's his own business.
You're doing fine <hug> distance yourself from her/what she's saying (because you know she's wrong talk to you like that, if she had any real concerns, she needn't go about bringing them up in such a nasty way) and enjoy what you have.
Blimey. YANBU. She sounds awful.
She sounds awful. I hope your dp can support you through this although it will be difficult for him, you and baby are his priorities. My mil was so bad that we ended up totally sidelining her and she missed most of my DS growing up.
What would I be doing?
I would open the window.
Seriously, all the rest of this sounded like drunken nonsense.
Open the bloody window.
I'm melting over the thought of a 3/4 week old baby
Please don't let her make this time about her (but in the same vein, don't be worrying she's spoiling it all and you'll never get it back, plenty of time for other things to go swimmingly/disastrously)
I normally think on mil threads the dil is being too precious and tbh for such a short time each visit you could just nod smile and ignore.
The text though is fucking rude and you did need to bring her up sharp before resuming nodding and smiling.
Chuck the gro egg at her.what a pain in the arse she is. Also I slept on the sofa for about two months. She raised her kids 30 years ago... tell her theres been 'improvements' since then. Also I wanted a gro egg because my house is freezing but I never got one and my baby is still alive and well so chuck the egg at her
If it were me, I'd do nothing and leave it to my DP to sort out his mother.
YANBU treat her like the arsehole she is, and stop her from visiting until she can keep her opinion to herself
Ok you've just had a baby and obviously there's a whole enormous amount of stuff going on for you right now. However, I don't think threatening her with never seeing the baby again is reasonable. Congratulations on your baby DS. Try to step away from this, get a helicopter view on it, this could be getting in the way of your first few weeks with your son, and I don't think it all should, really I don't.
These are her issues, in her mind. It's very sad for her and for you - but I don't think it has to get under your skin if you and DH have a friendly but firm stance together. Harder for him. Easier for him if you don't give ultimatums but say what you need in terms of defining boundaries.
You ask if she's being as manipulative as it seems. I agree she's being toxic but it could be the way she does everything, rather than her being consciously out to destroy something or turn your DH against you. I do think you've drawn the short straw having her for a MIL and I admire the way you've borne with her so far.
IMO your MIL needs to know
1. Boundaries around your role as parents. You're capable of looking after your own child and she has to let you get on with it. You don't need her to be the grown-up, informing your DH that babies are precious. That seems a rather manipulative way of getting heard. If she doesn't stop doing it herself, firmly and kindly stop her. I was in a similar situation and found it helpful to practice being assertive in a manner that doesn't cause her to lose too much face (did this in front of DH nightly until he couldn't stand it anymore).
2. Boundaries around your role as parents together. She needs to know that if she does find herself unable to eat/sleep with anxiety about some aspect of your DD's care (and who knows, maybe she lost a child once, unlikely as it is), she has to speak to both of you together. She has to arrange a time and come around and have her airtime for half an hour. Then you can reassure or tell her kindly that you're on it. Either way, it means you can, as individuals, ruthlessly silence her at all other times. And I wouldn't be surprised if she can't usually be bothered to do it.
3. Boundaries around your position as her son's DW. She needs to know she cannot ever, under any circumstances, make an insinuation about you to DH that he will tolerate or keep to himself. She needs to know she'll incur her son's wrath and possibly distance herself from him. She needs to know that, otherwise she could be poisonous.
Thanks softly, I was nodding and smiling for a while but the last visit lasting about 5 minutes, she barged past me at the door without even a hello, shouting at me that the dog shouldn't be out like that, (our little pfb doggy wasn't in the same room as baby, but because she was in the hall and not locked in the kitchen she had a go, and literally I smiled and said "do you want to come in the front room and see baby then, and hence came the "it's far too hot in here" "you're feeding him wrong" comments ect. I've been very tolerant up to now.
She also screamed at my mum in the street that she wished he had never met me when confronted about said txt.
Through out the pregnancy she offered me wine and when I refused would act like I was being silly, she called me a drama queen for not wanting to be around her daughter when they all knew they had a v&d bug, told me that ds shouldn't b strapped into pram because it was cruel and I needed to just lie him on a pram sheet. I know people do things differently and I respect that but to be so so worried that she insinuates neglect oh god I'm just so angry. I don't want ds around her at all but don't want to cause problems for DP. When I told her the baby felt fine to me and that's what mattered she just said "well why have you got the grow egg if you won't listen to it"
Why won't she listen to me when my baby is healthy and happy.
Sorry for venting !
I'm in the smiling and nodding camp.
This was most effective when I had twins and lived with my ex mil. If I'd done half the stupid things she said I should I don't think my kids would have survived to 18.
Kleptronic I don't mean never ever again.. I just mean until she can start acting a bit more grown up and less homewrecker playground bitchy esquen iyswim
And she tried to rehome my cats as she said they'd smother the babies.
I used to ask my mum for advice on how to look after DD1, but in the end she used to take it as a given that she'd fucking outrank me in deciding what was good/bad with her.
Even to the point of arguing the toss about something insignificant, just so she'd be proved right (and the better mother I would guess at).
Choose not to play the game.
Every suggestion should be met with an answer that makes no bones about you (and your DP) being in charge of you're lovely baby.
Print off the tog advice relating to room temperature and SIDS (21° and 1 layer of blanket is fine) and give her it. Then tell her you are following the official guidelines from the researchers who write them, rather than her guesses at what is too hot, then tell her to back off.
Could you tell her she might be having a hot flush?
That would really piss her off.
I wouldn't have her in my home. the text was totally out of order
That's a good idea, YouTheCat. Tit your head sympathetically and tell her you're worried about her mood swings and think she might be going through 'The Change'.
The trouble with this situation is it's only three weeks in so you're still finding your way and working out how you're going to do things. I would ask for a bit of space for a few weeks and then when she comes back again you'll be that much more confident about what you're doing and everything will have calmed down a bit.
I had my mother behaving in a similar way when my DS was about 5 weeks old and she came to stay from overseas. I am just glad I had those first five weeks to find my way without her as I was better able to stand my ground.
She needs to back off for a while. You're the boss now.
I can see what you're saying Coola, but the OP doesn't need to justify herself or prove she's right, it's getting drawn into the game she's playing.
The fact that the OP's said 'I know what I'm about' should be enough for the MIL, and if it's not, then there's something else afoot (ie MIL being a controlling, manipulative PITA because she's been proved to be a fantastic mum (as in she's brought up the OPs lovely DP) and should be deferred to, plus she'd like the reflected glory of the OP hanging on her every word as a self esteem boost).
And yes, definitely suggest that she may be having a hot flush. Very sympathetically.
You are in charge. It's hard I know when people are acting out and undermining and being spectacularly unhelpful, but you are in charge. You're doing what you think is right and that is good enough. Step away from the MIL, you give away your power if you engage with her woeful tripe. She's a big goady troll, don't feed her!
All power to your elbow
I think you should say she cant see the baby until she learns to button it. I would be telling her she is only welcome to your house if she keeps her mouth shut.
Stressing you out is not the way to go, you need to enjoy these early weeks, you wont get them back
I wonder sometimes if she does it deliberately. Please make sure she opens windows
You do what deliberately?is she saying trying to hurt your child?
I know I go on but I think it's because she either doesn't want advice or doesn't listen to it and baby is very precious and needs proper care xxx
No you don't want her advice it was not requested. And to say you aren't providing proper care? Your dh needs to let her know you and baby are his family now and she cannot speak to you that way
I think she's projecting, insecure and a bit sad really. But I also think she needs to feel important about her role in her GCs life and that is actually quite nice.
You should work on DP - make sure he can feed her a line and doesn't get dragged into it. He needs to be able to be firm with her without feeling he's pushing her away and that's a hard thing for a son to be able to do to his mother so he will need help. He needs you to help him stand up to her in a way that won't break up the family.
The best way with people like this is to humour them or to go fully along with their concerns or suggestions. Don't get upset if she thinks it's too hot - just go and open the window. Say, of course, I meant to do that after you mentioned it, blabla.
So you need to manage her a little, like you would an employee - be nice but be firm. Set boundaries, make sure you never leave her hanging and unsure or she will get insecure and go nuts again.
A good one also is to set a regular visiting time - say once a week on a Friday etc so she knows that's when she will see you again.
Millions of people have babies in hot countries with no air con and the temp never drops below 35C. Somehow they manage.
Anyway, your MIL is a horror. She no longer gets to enter your home until she learns some manners and some respect. DP needs to back you up. He can take DC to visit her in her own home. But she does not cross your threshold again until the bitchiness stops. I would never let my mother in our house if she spoke to DH like that.
The 'I wish he'd never met her' comment is way, way beyond acceptability. Way beyond interfering. For whatever reason, she's after you. Have no part of it.
I would throw her out.
Then I would throw the fucking gro-egg after her.
I think shes jealous, she is aging & not dealing with it too well.
Her ego & self-image is probably tied up with being a mother & you are threatening it.
IMO of course, it's all speculation
Would you really be happy with someone coming into your home and, unasked, ordering to do as they say regarding how you take care of the most precious person you've ever known Wondering?
Blatantly saying they don't trust you not to kill that person?
Because the cot death threats were as fucking low as they go IMO, 'Do as I say or your baby will die'.
That's fucking horrible.
That's not someone who cares about the mum or the baby, only that she's obeyed to the letter.
I'm usually a smiler and nodder, but I think it's way past smile and nod o'clock, you had a baby 4 weeks ago ffs. She's launched into craziness pretty quickly and has overstepped many marks.
You need to tell her to fit in or fuck (or more politely, to respect your wishes and good sense as a mother AND a trained nurse) and to acknowledge that you and her son are a team.
I feel for you, and I feel for your DP... whatever her reasons, her behaviour is worrying (she SHOUTED at your mum in the street??) and I would support your DP and acknowledge this must be hard for him as well, you need to be a united front.
From a personal PoV, 22 degrees is WARM, 18 is recommended, but 22 degrees isn't over hot, babies are born in far hotter temps and are fine. Use your common sense, don't use stubborn indignation.
YANBU to be utterly flabbergasted at this woman's behaviour. Your relationship with her will be salvageable if you make a firm line in the sand now.
I am so careful with his temp. Like I say he was in Scbu when he was born because he was cold and window is almost always open but I trust feeling how he is over a battery operated device any day of the week. There has to be common sense and discretion, and I feel like if she had had the sense to reach in and check how he felt (if she really was ^so so worried^) then I'd be a lot more inclined to listen.
I make such an effort with his family, large family, always make a big effort for birthdays and Xmas and generally making conversation with everyone and being nice.. I just don't get why she's behaving like this. Does she not see or care that its hurting him more than anyone? I'm scared she will make him choose
He can still see her all he likes, but not at the house you live in. Not until she learns some respect. Why don't you get your Mum round to shout at him and tell him he's putting his baby in mortal danger through neglect? How long do you think your Mum would be welcome?
I am sure his temperature is fine, by the way. That's a red herring in the MIL issue. If you have any concerns about his temp, discuss it with your HV or GP, not your crazy MIL.
Why would you be scared if she made him choose?
That would completely come back on her, surely?
I'm not sure zig zag, I feel like she's manipulating him and its working. I don't want to back down until she grows up, but I think he expects me to just be like, oh well lets just move on for the sake of keeping the peace and I'm just too angry.
He's been very supportive and it's very hard for him but he makes excuses for her and it just carries on. They txt us the morning after he was born to tell us they had an issue with his name, it's just nasty stuff that on no planet is socially acceptable. But it's always me giving in. I don't know I guess I just never realised how vindictive she was before.
You have to remember he's brainwashed (or brought up to think, if you prefer ) into thinking how she behaves is normal.
Because to him, it is.
As a child he's been taught to appease her and gain her approval, and knowing there'd be consequences when he was in a position to have to defer (and rightly too, she was his mum) makes it hard to shake off that feeling even though he's an adult.
It is hard for him, but he should recognise and acknowledge it's harder for you.
Don't blame him for trying to keep the peace, he's developed the coping mechanisms to deal with her behaviour, but his loyalty should lay completely with his family (you/your baby).
She hasn't got centre stage any more in his life, and she shouldn't be allowed to think she can tantrum her way into it.
You do realise that its highly likely she thinks she is laying foundations for a call to SS don't you?
Unfortunatly some people in this world are bonkers and see a new baby as a opertunity to show a bit of power and control,making serious allegations to other family members or people about the baby's care goes one of two ways
1. Everybody laughs at the person lying and several weeks down the line they feel like crap and are very sorry.
2. Nobody listens to the lies or they don't get the desired result so they notch it up as much as their twattish ness allows ( usually anon calls to SS or not anon if very bonkers) these abuse or pisspoor care claims can be maintained for decades even if nobody professional agrees with the person,and is a ace stick to beat a unliked person with especially if its about a GC and when they are adults you can manipulate them into believing bad of one or both parents ( that bit takes serious nastiness as it harms the GC as well but they never think about that bit).
Drama llamas who tell lies or falsely imply abuse of any description tend to do so to show how fab and lovely and supportive they are,how much better than the object of the allegation they are and they rarely admit it was untrue as that makes them look like giant bastards.
I think she sounds scary. And a bully. My mil was the same, suggesting I wasn't taking care of ds1 properly.
Her text is horrible. Really nasty and insidious.
I'm afraid you are just going to have to stand up to her. Tell her if you need advice you will ask for it. I had to do this with my mil so she realised I meant business and backed off.
Bullies usually only need standing up to once or twice.
I haven't used MN in maybe 6 months and just happened to feel bored today so logged in and saw this.
Wanted to post to OP to say that my MIL was EXACTLY the same.
Do not get drawn into it and try to justify yourself. It is great that your DH seems to be dealing with this by supporting you. Nip it in the bud now.
After going through this with my MIL and not dealing with it effectively from the start, we ended up having to effectively cut her out of our lives. It can become a very destructive family issue and will spoil your precious time with your baby. She is being controlling so she needs to back off.
Ah I just read the other stuff about your DH.
My DH was the same and always making excuses for his mother. Long story short, he regretted it in the end.
Christ everyone has already said it all. Only thing to add is that you need to lock your front door. She can make appointments to visit at the weekend when your dp is around and he is to have STRICT instructions that he either backs you up or she isn't coming again till baby is 18.
When my baby was 3 weeks I wouldn't have had MIL over twice a week and she was merely passive aggressive not full on openly aggressive!
Poppingin1 what do you mean by he regretted it?
Bloody hell heidi, only 18 eh?
By the way this is the official advice so tell your MIL to suck it...
16°C - 1 sheet plus 3 layers of blanket (a doubled over blanket counts as two layers)
18°C - 1 sheet plus 2 layers of blanket
21°C - 1 sheet plus 1 layer of blanket
24°C - 1 sheet only
I am so sorry she is being this horrid, and especially at a time when its all new and you should just be enjoying your ds!
A NCT friend said to me that advice from mil was usually received as criticism yet from mother received as a suggestion. I think if my mil had said same to me as yours i would feel exactly as you do, yet if my mother had said it i would probably have opened the window, but to clarify my mum is a nurse and would never have said it in same circumstances!
My ds was in scbu for 5 days and it was so hot in there that deciding what was the right temperature for him once back home felt like a continual challenge!
I agree with other posters that your mil needs to see you and dp as a united front and respect that you are babys parents. I had some mil problems when ds was small and best quote from my Dh was 'he's our baby'
as mother in law tried to explain that a baby spending time in smokers house was less of a risk than cats (odd as we don't have cats, nor wanted ds to be in their smoky house)
I would take back the 'pop over whenever' and arrange to see her much less regularly as its not enjoyable nor helpful for you. I also don't see my pils without dh now As just Not an enjoyable experience.
Maybe 17.5 If she changed her ways :D
Your dh really needs to support you on this. It's really stressful as it is with a new born, and it should be an enjoyable time.
You really don't need some witch coming over twice a week, wafting in like a fart, and being a complete bitch. She needs to be told, that she cannot come to the house til she behaves in a normal manner.
You're the child's mother, you know what's best. Not some old bag, who visits for 5 minutes
Oi Long, mind your language.
I'm an Old Bag now (and have the outspoken opinions to prove it) and I'm a bit touchy about it <twitch>
Are you the ops mil then???
Well as the situation between us (me and MIL) became increasingly tense, it became impossible for him to keep making excuses for her.
As I wasn't willing to back down over how my child should be raised (my MIL also spouted the line about having had her own children so obviously knowing better and was eventually doing it anytime I would say anything) she became so frustrated by my inability to bend to her whim that one day she just lost it and started screaming at me and DH. She really couldn't stand being challenged! And I didn't even do anything except stand my ground in a polite manner whenever she would act like your own MIL is in your description.
MIL: Are you giving grandchild a bath?
MIL: Is that flannel what you are using to bathe her with?
MIL: And do you really think THAT is going to be able to clean grandchild properly?
MIL: Harrumph (combined with a shake of the head and frown while pointedly looking at me).
Many other times the controlling behaviour would be much more obvious than this example and more like you have described.
Anyway, after she eventually erupted, DH could no longer excuse her and had to acknowledge that she was trying to bully me into submission and was trying to control everything. By then there was already damage to our own relationship because I felt he had not done his job of supporting me properly (we are getting past it now but it affected my trust in him). Plus because of it not being dealt with in the early stages and consequently ending up in a full on screaming match, we ended up having to cut her almost completely out of our lives. He also has a lot of angry feeling towards her now because he feels let down and humiliated by her after seeing how she behaved.
So now I spend my days warning other couples of the perils of controlling MIL's because it can really get out of hand.
Sort it in the early stages.
Everything you wrote is so familiar and it can really affect a relationship. So sorry to hear you are having these problems, it is a bitch.
I'm sat here feeding my DD and the gro egg in her room says 21.1. Do I open her window onto the main road for her to be woken up by the birds in the tree outside her window
which I can already hear the feckers chirping and the traffic? Nope, I go on the gro bag website and dress her in the appropriate clothing for the room temp and the correct gro bag . If you're dressing your LO correctly for the temperature in the room and checking where you are doing on their body then there's nothing to worry about. I keep DDs window open as much as possible during the day except naps because if I've managed to get her down dammit I don't want any yappy dogs or honking horns waking her and I'm sure you do the same, it just hasn't happened to coincide with MIL being around for 5/10 minutes. You know you're doing the right thing by your LO. Good luck with the c-section recovery (wish I'd thought of doing what you're doing!) and in no uncertain terms ITB (ignore the bastard)
Film her on your mobile the next time she is ranting like a psycho & play it back to her when she is calmer. She might be shocked at how she comes across to others,.she is so self absorbed in her madness that she hasnt considered how she appears to other
I'd wind her up by saying you've shown the clip to the hv & she's advised you to keep.her away as her madness is harmful to the baby. Seriously all that ranting is not a healthy environment for a child.
I am not being serious about the filming but its tempting to show it to lots of people who think she normal!
Congratulations on your lovely baby.
Does your dh support you in this?
I agree with smiling and nodding
Failing that. Move away.
What are you meant to do in the height of summer?
Have air conditioning fitted?
I've never owned a room thermometer.
Miraculously, all three of mine seem to have survived.
Are we all doomed to make the same mistakes with our future DILs?
Please say not. Please.
I would tell her every time 'oh the midwife/health visitor says its fine/ normal' and then change the subject. She obviously has no idea. You could always ask midwife if you need to put less layers on? I'm know they do need to have less layers slowly.
Yeah tbh next time she knocked at the door she would be told to fuck off and come back when she can keep her outdated opinions to herself.
I'm not sure that your mum calling her on the text in the street was ever going to end well though.
Christ on a bike- she is completely barmy!
I think you and DH need to strategise and I think you need to come up with a one liner that allows you to reply (and quite likely repeat until insane) to each of her "observations" without being drawn into her personal drama.
As for screaming at you - that is harassment and Id recommend you logging it for possible future reference.
I hope after realising she us nite getting the desired effect of everyone jumping to attention and aquiescing to the queen bee that she will give up and find a new target to use in her games of finding self-validation.
Next warm humid day of around 22 degrees drop her a text, reassure her you took her advice on board and you've popped baby in the fridge.
Seriously, it sounds like you are doing a grand job. Congratulate her on bringing up Dh so well when she mentions it, then ask, or should I be thanking Dh's grandmother?
I think new mums are all to be a little bit precious, but you really aren't. You've had made surgery, you sound like your going great guns recovering.
As long as you dh and you are in this together let her visit when you are both in and deal with her together.
I can't believe some people on here are so accepting if this behaviour. It simply isn't on!
I'm a gma and would never speak to dil like that, I bite my tongue and if its something I must say I say it tactfully.
My ds would never allow me to slag off his dp because I brought him up to be loyal.
Your do needs to lay it right on the line and tell her to keep her beak out it it gives her the message she can still bully you.
How you raise your child is only the business of you and your dh. Tell her she is welcome to visit but if she's bossy or rude then it will stop.
I'd have booted her out a long time ago.
Am I the only person who had a mental image of Patsy from ab fab crazily shouting "cot death, giraffe, cot death"? Your MIL sounds just as out of touch with reality.
I don't think smiling, nodding and humouring her is the way to go. She needs to be politely but firmly told that she is a)wrong and b) out of order, and it needs to be your DP who tells her so.
I think that until she sees that you are a united front on this she will keep chipping away. It may be that in her subconscious she sees the birth of your son as something possible of taking her own child away from her, as now he has a full on family of his own, which may become his number one priority
when before she could always claim that spot
I really hate this saying, but it seems appropriate for this situation. your DH needs to "man up" and lay some rules down for her.
Oh! Glad to see page two brought some normal reactions
Sensible mnetters sleep later
Have to add that's its taken dh to see his dm in her true light.
Understandable as she's his mum and he loves us both.
It was me pointing out how scared he was acting when we were late for an enforced meal we had tried several times to refuse as bad timing, for him to finally decide to stand up to her and her controlling behaviour.
What us it about a new baby that makes some sane intelligent women lose their minds?
Your MIL sounds utterly deranged! I absolutely would not tolerate that sort of behaviour from anyone in my family, blood relative or in-law.
Your DP needs to step up here and tell her in no uncertain terms to back the hell off. You are 3 weeks into recovery from major surgery at the same time as getting the hang of caring for a new baby. You sound like you've done a lot of research and have a good grasp of common sense. That is a fuck of a lot more than could be said for me with ds1 at 3 weeks post-partum! As long as YOU know her "concerns" are bullshit and you know your partner knows it too, try not to let her get to you. Keep her at arms length until she can behave properly - and I'm sorry, but no grandmother has the "right" to see her grandchild if she's going to treat the mother so appallingly.
The more MIL threads I read here, the less intolerant I feel of my own MIL, who is a saint in comparison
and that's saying something.
I'd get rid of the gro-egg & tell her to butt out. She sounds awful
You know you said she sent a text saying she had an issue with your baby's name - you didn't change it did you?
I wondered that too ChocolateBridesmaid. I do hope not.
First of all, sympathies. You do not need this sort of shit 3 weeks post cs.
To cut a long a long story short my MiL is similar to this. Wanted everything to revolve round her, her terms, never mind anyone else. It has always been this way in their family with everyone complying. It started during our wedding plans. DH just didn't/couldn't see it and constantly tried to keep the peace. This resulted in me feeling very unsupported as popping said.
There were lots of other incidents and each time resulted in me and DH having huge rows. Then she did something that DH could not fail to see it for what it was. He realised I had been being reasonable all along and that she was being manipulative and controlling. She forced him to make a choice and he did.
I got no pleasure from this at all. DH suffered as Zigzag said it's hard to see faults in a loved one.
You and your DP need to be united. He needs to support you and tell her what she is doing is not acceptable (especially at this time). He needs to say that he has complete faith in your abilities and will not have you questioned whilst pretending it is "concern". Faber sets out some good ideas. It shouldn't be you doing this as it creates a you and her role.
However you need to acknowledge to your DP that this will be difficult for him.
My relationship with MiL is much better now. I feel more comfortable that if she gets out of hand DH will sort it. I think she knows this too and is less critical/ rude(to my face anyway!)
I hope it goes well and you nip it in the bud.
Oh god yes next time she goes on about it being boiling when it's 21 tell her she must be having a hot flush because it's really not THAT hot. Then step back as the fireworks erupt.
Seriously she sounds dreadful & you do have to stand your ground unfortunately or she will be interfering forever more & it will cause huge problems between you and your partner.
Looking on this as an outsider....always remember that advice etc tells you more about the GIVER than the RECEIVER..
Yes, she seems irrationally obsessed with temperature etc...where has this come from..?
Is there family secrets you don' know - or just family details..?
Has she lost a baby to SIDS (and maybe never talked about it)
Has someone close to her lost a baby
Is it even someone at work/social group etc..?
Has she maybe just recently read a book about losing a baby...?
In the 30 years since she had babies, so so much has changed and the rate of cot death has been slashed hugely - tragically there were many more cot deaths 30 years ago.
I know at the moment you don't want to be sympathetic to her and clearly this is HER issue and not YOUR issue - but she does seem un-naturally obsesed with this aspect..
(And, in almost july, is there a problem with opening a window...._
Can your DP tell her that she's welcome to come visit etc but it is not appropriate to imply you are neglecting your baby just because you are doing things differently from her?
She seems to be making an odd and mean bid for supremacy which needs to stop!
Yes because this almost July is blisteringly hot
It's a great shame that the op will probably look back at her first baby's first weeks and remember them as soured by her mil's lack of support and negativity.
I know I will not forget my mil and how she behaved at the same time.
Some people just have to make events all about themselves. I find it unbelievable. And detestable.
A lot of recent threads have made me question how intolerant I may be as a person I'm a bit worried!
I wouldn't be able to smile and nod at someone who screams in my house and slams doors.
It's so unreasonable and selfish on its own never mind with you having a new baby!
I just couldn't tolerate it and I'd be telling her she's no longer welcome unless she can sort her behaviour out. Far too stressful.
I think there's more to this MIL issue than unwanted advice about how warm the room should be. Texting the day after your grandchild is born with concerns about the name is NOT normal, nor is screeching at DIL's own mother in the street. The room temp and feeding issues just sound like the tip of the iceberg, this is not how normal people behave. I'd make a list of all of the weird stuff, discuss with DP (hoping that he doesn't turn suddenly blind to it all) and work out a strategy for keeping her away unless/until she can learn to behave like a normal human being. Good luck OP!
She is a bully and she is every bit as scheming as you imagine. Agree with everyone else you have to be extremely blunt and firm with her.
She sounds like a loon. Poor you. The threat to stop her seeing baby was a bit ott but you had been goaded beyond belief.
Wait a bit. Try to enjoy your lovely new baby (congratulations by the way.) She will probably calm down.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Lose the gro egg -sorted!
Chocolate bridesmaid.. did i hell change his name. Itd his name and its lovely, normal yet unusual. I dont know why you woukd send a horrible text if she wasnt trying to spoil it for us and get us to change it.
Be calm and don't rise to it. The temperature thing can be resolved by you explaining that you checked the babies temperature and it is fine, keeping windows open in this muggy weather is a good thing. You can also say that the room temperature is a guide and the most important thing is the baby temperature, (that how my mid wife explained it).
Don't react to her, your husband will just be caught in the middle otherwise, just think of the fantastic baby sitting opportunities in the future!
My MIL criticised me for bringing baby downstairs to feed in the night, also the baby kit clutter in the lounge I calmly told her that it was because she was staying and if it was a problem she could vacate the spare room so I could stay upstairs and let me get on with it.
She sounds awful!
Re the gro egg, ours is always orange, it's just how warm our house is! It's more about dressing the baby for the temp than trying to keep the baby in a 16-20c room.
Sleeping on the sofa is fine if baby is in the Moses basket... And don't worry about a routine at this stage! We didn't get DS into a routine until he was around 6 months, it didnt cause any issues.
You sound like you are doing a great job.
I love the idea of filming MIL mid rant, I might do that to my crazy sister. do it!
As for the issue of traffic noise etc what I do is is open the window in the room opposite for a while (or all eveong) and then open the baby room door, if it's night time the room cools very quickly and babies window isn't opened. I might get a fan to help at some point.
Why is everyone telling OP how to ventilate her house?
My advice is not to answer the door to her when you're alone. If she comes when DH is there and starts to channel 'the loon', turn to him and say 'What do you think?'
My suggestion about the window opening was in response to Calamity's comments about traffic noise.
Your MIL is behaving badly, but she does have a point. Babies should be kept cool rather than hot if possible. And overheating is linked to cot death.
Maybe she actually is concerned. You sound as if you don't like her much anyway.
I'd use this to my advantage. Get DH to see that she disagrees with modern safety guidelines for babies, and as such can't be trusted to babysit. Ever. Each time she splutters her insane garbage at you, share a knowing look with your dp about how she still isn't ready to be trusted.
Whocansay...ive always liked her before and defended her and made an effort.. unfortunately.
I do know how to ventilate my house. The widndows are open most days but it had been cooler earlier so had closed it.
Im annoyed that shes caused all this and called me neglectful when i was relying on checking his body temp by feeling the back of his neck.. and clothes and layers ect.. he was fine!
Shes slandered me on the basis of a room temp.. but at the time she wasnt worried ebough to check baby.
My MIL was similar, it ended badly, with us not seeing her unless she is picking up the Gchildren.
If I could go back in time I would have nipped it in the bud from day one but we didn't and it got out of hand, the resentment just bubbled away and now my husband sees his parents just to say hello when they pick up the kids. It sucks.
My husband took ages to realise how out of line she was, simply because he grew up with it and it was just normal for him, as a result he didn't set proper boundaries and when I was alone with her I was too scared of her to do it myself as well. Obviously your husband should be the one to tell her to back off but and it sounds so simple doesn't it? well it wasn't for mine.
I really feel for you both
I wish I dealt with it the way poppin said above, I just ended up giving into her and let her make me feel inferior.
Whocansay, she doesn't have a point. OP is sensible enough to make her own decisions on the temp of the room.
Even if she was concerned how she went about it is not on. Sounds like she doesn't like her anyway? who could possibly like someone who has it in them to be so mean?
She sounds like hard work - And I am another saying "get rid of the egg", you really don't need it.
Goodness. I have to agree (reading more) that her behaviour has gone beyond that which can be ignored.
Can you have a word with her? and be polite but very very straight with her?
Technically she is right about the temperature and a baby that is cold will cry to let you know so don't worry about that... but that does not justify the behaviour.
Is this her first grandchild? It sounds like an extreme case of PFG and she needs to get a grip. Do not engage, and make your DP stand up for you. Forget about worrying that "she will make him choose" - he should choose you and if he doesn't then you have bigger issues than a row about the temperature of your nursery.
This is granchild no 7 for her so nothing new at all.. andtbh the grow egg was handed down to us by her daughter. Its probably not something id have gone out and bought myself.
I was one of those babies that grew up in a house with no air con and 35 degree summers. I turned out OK. Think she sounds a bit mad.
No she's not. That temp and 1 blanket is fine if the baby does not feel hot.
I'm a midwife and whilst its ok to open a window it not the right way to control room temp with a baby... A breeze can affect a baby's core temp differently to an adults - they can become colder quicker than us from even a light breeze...
That's why maternity units are like ovens!! We don't dare open windows unless there is absolutely no breeze at all and even then it provokes a ward shift round so cots are not by windows
I usually say open the window in the next room and have the door open.
So your MIL is wrong
And for what it's worth what you are doing re: temp is PERFECT - checking the back of baby's neck and responding accordingly :-)
Tog ratings / thermometers are great tools but don't lose that instinctive judge you appear to have as it is that which will highlight any potential problems with baby.
And I worked on maternity units for 15yrs and I probably looked at the ward thermometer a handful of times... Each time in extreme weathers (very hot / cold) and because I felt it was hot / cold.
I remember it hitting 40c one day and we went round the ward to advise mums to strip their babies to vests and light blankets and regularly check them... Everyone single mum already had apart from one who was asleep and dad had
They appreciated the advice though I am sure
the insinuating you are disregarding her advice deliberating (deliberating what, to annoy her - and risk your baby) and the baby is precious thing (no, you don't agree, you are too risky) is absolutely toxic.
She wouldn't be coming into my house again until she had apologised and I would expect mY DH to support me in this. I would let DH take the baby there for 5-10 minutes as long as you trusted him to bring the baby back quickly, or wait until your baby is a bit older for DH to take for longer visits.
She's jealous that her son loves you.
It's as simple as that.You're a rival...she can't compete on other
ahem levels,so she acts like she is the wiser mother.
Pity her...resolve never to become like her....and ignore her.As much as humanly possible.In fact,next time she rants,smile sweetly and say 'thank you dearie (or something equally patronising),I'll have a think about that.You're so wise'.
Then do your own thing anyway.
*ps...congrats on the new baby,ever so slightly jealous of you getting to sniff a newborn
...also meant to say,she wouldn't be visiting my house,I'd make sure all visits were to her house.That way you can leave exactly when you want
and tut-tut about her dusty shelves,unsafe steps,whatever
Tequilatequila Are you the OP with a name change? Your posts read as if you are.
This is her problem and is becoming yours because of her behaviour. It is plain and simple jealousy.
My own MIL was extremely difficult after the birth of both of our DCs. When I was expecting DC2 when DC1 was aged 2, she told SIL that it was 'far too soon' to be having another baby and that she knew we were going to 'neglect' DC1. I was very upset, probably exacerbated by pregnancy hormones. In a weird kind of way I can probably credit her with the fact that I bf both the DCs for so long. I was so determined to prove her wrong when she tried to tell me that I didn't have enough milk, that they were hungry because I wasn't doing to right, etc. I know of many grandmothers who seem to also have had some kind of hormonal surge after the birth of their grandchildren and it all gets so horribly territorial.
At least her visits are short. If I were you I would arrange all visits in the presence of your DP and just avoid her as much as possible.
I would have said: F off long time ago. YANBU.
Yes fryone. I tryed to name change to be fair and anonymous but failed massively by commenting and not realising what i was logged in as on my phone.
Im just so gutted to be in this situation. Gutted for my dp. Really dont know what to do.
OP, I'm with the others, check the baby not the room temp. I had the opposite temp issue, a cold house. Both DCs have turned out absolutely fine as I dressed them/covered them as appropriate for the temp (and not overloaded them with multiple layers to the point of them sweating as if in a sauna, like one relative would have had me do). The temp on any gadget, not just a gro egg (whatever that is) is a guide only, nothing more.
But realistically, you do need to get your DP onside. He needs to understand that things are different now. Advice is different because of better research, etc, and what was the done thing when he was a baby will not necessarily be the done thing now.
(I like how you're dealing with the effects of a CS, I would bring DD down in the morning and she'd sleep in the carry cot during the day. No way was I going to keep going up and down stairs.)
He also needs to understand his mother is effectively accusing you of not caring about the baby. Does he really agree with that? If getting an HV in to explain things to him will help, then do that.
She just sounds (wrongly) worried to me. Are you sure either her, or someone close to her has never been affected by a cot death? Bear in Mind years ago it may have been brush under the carpet, So perhaps even your dh is unaware? The advise she's giving you may be the advise she was given when having kids. It sounds to me that she needs some reassurance, so I Would direct her to information from the lullaby trust. When we have grankids the recommendation will probably be something like don't start babies on solids until 1 year and we'll probably all be trying to shove bits of banana in them at 6 months when our ds / dd's aren't looking!
Fairyegg, im definitely sure a cot death isnt the reason. That would have come up in conversation as her daughter had a stillborn a few years ago, but has had another dd since and has never been accused of neglect because shes so so worried.
I really dont know how this will end now. My dp is in bits and feels like his family is falling apart but i cant let behaviour like this go on. We havent spoken to his mum since it all kicked off and are planning to talk it out tomorrow. I think he maybe has unrealistic expectations of how it might go though. Who knows. I just know that for some reason i feel guilty for wanting answers as to why im being treated this way.
Griffin, whatever you do, always be polite to her. You can be firm and very assertive without resorting to rudeness or yelling. You sound like you can hold it together anyway.
Remember that your mil's behaviour says a lot more about her. It's not necessarily about you at all.
I'm not saying you have to be sympathetic - you don't - but you don't have to take the defensive which can lead to anger and then irreversible problems.
I would just make it clear that it is your turn to find your way as a parent and that you will ask if you feel you need help. If you don't need help, then she has to butt out.
She might be an expert on her children but she's not an expert on yours.
Wrt your dh, his family will probably go a lot longer without aggro if he tackles this head on now. If his mother chooses to flounce off then that is emotional blackmail. She will be telling him that unless he does exactly as she wishes, she will get a strop on. How loving is that?
I think the temperature is a complete red herring (because as OP says, if she were that worried why not check the baby himself?). This is about getting you to accept her control.
That doesn't make her evil. It might come from anxiety about the baby, about having a role, whatever. It's not acceptable though, and you and your DH need to work as a team to get her to row back. Don't have her round for a while (lock her out if necessary). Throw the bloody egg thing away. Then DH can have a word with her about boundaries and you can all try to have a proper relationship.
Room temp hit above 23 tonight.. i definitely need to pop this baby in the frdge! Haha
Hi OP, how did your talk go? Have you binned the egg yet?
What is it with these narcissistic MIL's? They have their own sons wound up so tight that they can never wriggle free enough to look back at them, to see them in perspective. This is what your DP needs at the moment, to step back somehow and see the behaviour for what it really is.
Once he can do that he may be able to reconcile it somehow and to see it (as others have also suggested) as being all about her and no reflection on you or him. I hope you can get him to take a step back.
I doubt whether she will change but it may help to maintain in close contact with other members of dps family so that he doesn't feel as though he's losing everyone.
Ask DH to keep her away for a while, you don't need this stress while DS is so young. He is your baby not his mum's.
geeze. I wonder how babies in the tropics survive. Or even babies here in LA...where it's regularly 30 in the summer.
Being totally objective. I can see both sides.she is rightly concerned about the temperature. Why don't you open a window when it's hot?
She did send a private text to her son which wasn't intended for you to see
She has tried talking to you first abc you don't take any notice
Ok.... From your pov she is interfering But she is concerned.
Keep the room cool !!!
Sleeping on the sofa - non of her business. However it's not a living environment for your oh. Be careful dont get wrapped up in your baby and forget you are a couple too.
Perhaps your oh has mentioned this to his mum?
Abc actually it is important you can get your baby into a routine in his room so he feels safe and secure there.
If she was not around would you DP and DS be getting on with things just fine?
If so, she needs to back off for a bit. I or your DP if he feels the same should tell her in no uncertain terms. She Will hit the roof, but give it a week for her to calm down then see if she wants to come round and if she accepts she must act differently.
IMO there is a definite PFG syndrome out there. My mum has it too on a lesser scale but it drives me Barry. Her favourite expression ' I never did that with you' i.e. You shouldn't either. Makes me all the more likely to do whatever I 'shouldn't' just to wind her up
Barmy not barry . Cunting predictive text
are you both planning to talk it out with MIL tomorrow?
Was that MIL's idea?
It sounds like more attention seeking, manipulative behaviour.
She sounds like she is trying to sabotage your precious time with your newborn as she can't bear the thought of you being happy.
I agree with EdithCleavage. I think she hates not being able to control the situation. She is probably genuinely worried about the baby being too hot (unneccessarily) and therefore is not coping very well about not being able to do anything. Control freaks don't do well when they have no influence and IME get all stressy and shouty and demanding as they don't trust anyone elses judgement except their own.
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