To want to punch my MIL in her interfering face?

(140 Posts)
crimsonwitch Thu 10-Oct-13 01:22:59

I have never quite seen eye to eye with the MIL, but tolerate her passive aggressive superiority because my DC love her and her them. My DP asked her to babysit Ds2 (5 months) for a few hours today while DD (10) and Ds1 (5) were at school, so we could go out for lunch together. It was the first time we have been out alone since he was born, and I was very grateful to MIL for agreeing to have him. Ds2 is ebf and has never had formula, so I expressed enough milk for her to feed him while we were gone. After a lovely lunch with Dp we went to MIL to pick up Ds and he was fast asleep (he should have been hungry by this point). MIL looking very pleased with herself said "The milk you brought looked funny so I threw it out, but Its ok, I brought some formula from asda the other day just incase, and look at the good its done him!" hmm MIL has been anti breastfeeding from the start always dropping totally unreasonable helpful hints on how ff would help Ds sleep better and would give me a break, ff is more socially acceptable, Dp won't bond properly, he is too big to still be breastfeeding hmm etc etc etc.... DP is very supportive of breastfeeding, but he and his whole family won't stand up to his mother no matter how wrong she is. Poor Ds has been sick a few times and is very uncomfortable now. I am in no way against ff by the way, just the way my MIL likes to control things all the fucking time with my dc. I could write a whole novel on her behaviour over the years. angry

quoteunquote Thu 10-Oct-13 01:28:02

What a nasty thing to do, don't leave your children with her again if she can't respect your wishes, sounds like a set up,

Who suggested lunch?

I brought some formula from asda the other day just incase

In case she got a chance to feed it to the baby?

Funny that the chance then came up.

SugarHut Thu 10-Oct-13 01:32:10

If MIL loves your DC then she genuinely wouldn't do something she thought was in their worst interest just to spite you. So she didn't do it with pissing you off as her motivation. She obviously thinks her way is better, and the fact she had already bought the stuff ready in her cupboards shows she never intended to use your bottle. That's the issue. It needs addressing, because she can't just override the way you choose to raise your DC for her own methods. I would just let her know(kill her with kindness through gritted teeth) that she was right to question your bottle looking funny of course you are very happy that she pays so much attention, but next time, if she thinks there's a problem, please just give you a call, as due to her actions, DS has been vomiting quite a bit, and of course neither of you want that. Once she knows she's been a bit underhand and as a result made the child sick, she'll think twice before she steams ahead "her way" again.

Spelt Thu 10-Oct-13 01:36:11

Has the formula made him sick?

foxbasealpha Thu 10-Oct-13 01:37:20

YANBU (to want to do might be if you actually did it...) I would be beyond furious.

nona2706 Thu 10-Oct-13 01:42:47

YANBU to think about doing it though dont actualy do it. Iv the same type of relationship with my mother in law but the past month my partner has come to realise that she is nothing but a poisonous twisted self-centered bitch (that's being polite lol) As a previous poster said just let her know that what she done has made your ds sick. And say it will a smile on your face as it will make her feel 100x worse than what it would if you shouted at her. flowers for you as i know exactly how you feel. I hope you little one recovers soon.

Bogeyface Thu 10-Oct-13 01:48:04

"Hi, its me! What did you give DC today?.....Yes I know it was from Asda but i need the barcode and batch number of the formula as DC has been sick several times and I am really worried. We need that information for the hsopital...."

You dont need to tell her that you are not actually going to hospital. As awful as it sounds, your DS will be ok, but the fact that he has thrown up will (if used correctly) prove that she was completely out of order.

Bogeyface Thu 10-Oct-13 01:48:28

That is, prove to HER that SWBU, you already know that

crimsonwitch Thu 10-Oct-13 01:51:54

Spelt The formula has made him sick, when he woke up he was crying and threw the lot back up, and he is never sick usually.
Sugar It is not the first time this kind of thing has happened. She gave dd baby rice in a bottle at 6 wk because she needed topping up!! angry She just thinks she knows best in everything and quietly criticises, and belittles everything I do. It would be difficult to not allow them to be at her house as I have no family nearby so she is the only available childcare but I've had 12 years of her shit interfering now.

JustinBsMum Thu 10-Oct-13 01:52:55

Awful behavior. I would give her a final warning and tell her you won't accept her underhand ways. If she wants to do things her way then it you wont' be involving her with your DCs.

I think you DCs follow your lead, if everyone is nice to Grandma then she must be nice, it wouldn't occur to them to think that it might be otherwise. But doesn't really mean they love her imo.

But her behaviour is way overstepping the mark, you don't just give babies stuff out of the blue.

5madthings Thu 10-Oct-13 01:53:42

what bogey said. i would have had a shit fit if anyone had done this with any of mine.

5madthings Thu 10-Oct-13 01:55:07

baby rice in a bottle...fucking hell. nive choking hazard there for one.

crimsonwitch Thu 10-Oct-13 01:59:05

Thanks for your replies. I did ring her at about 22:00 and told her that the milk made him sick. Her reply? "Oh the milk was fine, he loved it, guzzled it down and went straight to sleep. It was prob something you ate getting into your milk, disagreeing with him. That happens with breastfeeding." Seriously there is no talking to this woman.
nona Do we have the same MIL? sick, twisted, poisonous bitch describes her perfectly.

Gruntfuttock Thu 10-Oct-13 02:02:37

What absolutely disgusting and completely unacceptable behaviour on the part of your MIL. I can understand why you're so furious - I would be too. How dare she? angry

Bogeyface Thu 10-Oct-13 02:02:51

Then cut her off.

The kids will get over it.
Seriously, do not allow her to do this.

It is nothing to do with feeding methods but everything to do with the fact that she doesnt care who she hurts in her efforts to win. She will sleep tonight despite the fact that she made your baby ill, that is not a good person to be in their lives.

crimsonwitch Thu 10-Oct-13 02:07:07

Luckily DD (10) is very clued up on her now. She has refused to go to her house after she defended me when MIL was bad mouthing me in front of her, and was told off for it. I have had confrontations with her in the past, but dp doesn't back me up and buries his head in the sand for a quiet life. I feel very isolated because everyone else lets her be this self appointed matriarch including her other daughter in-laws. They let her get away with it so that she will babysit, buy lots of presents at xmas/birthdays (for them and dc) she signs cards to her other daughter in-laws love from mum and they call her mum, its sickening.

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Thu 10-Oct-13 02:07:15

YANBU what a stupid fucking idiot. Wondering if she cleaned and sterilised the bottle correctly as maybe that's why he's been sick? Of course it's more likely its the bottle of formula milk he isn't used to has done it but even so.

Doesn't really make a difference if "she wouldn't do anything to deliberately hurt your DC" she has due to her own selfish need to prove a point/be "right". She's done it for her not for the baby.

Morloth Thu 10-Oct-13 02:13:55

Most MIL posts on MN make me roll my eyes.

But I would go fucking ballistic over that.

I might not cut her out, but she would be left with a very clear idea how I felt and no fucking way would be be allowed unsupervised near my kids again.

Bloody hell.

Gruntfuttock Thu 10-Oct-13 02:14:23

Will your DP still not back you up, even after she's done this? Surely there's a limit to the behaviour he'll tolerate from her and surely this has gone beyond that limit? confused

crimsonwitch Thu 10-Oct-13 02:16:27

Thank you for validating my murderous feelings. Dp thinks its because things were done differently in "her day" and she just wants to help hmm. BULL SHIT!!! she wants to undermine me. Think I will cut her off, or minimal (supervised) contact. on the upside DS1 (5) said to her on sunday that he wasn't staying for tea thank you, coz mummy cooks nicer dinners. She wasnt very pleased with that grin

FatOwl Thu 10-Oct-13 02:18:42

Awful thing to do, she did it to undermine you totally.

I'd do what Bogey said, ask for the barcode as the hospital are asking for it. It will (should- if she genuinely does love the DC) make her never, ever do something like that again.

Morloth Thu 10-Oct-13 02:23:55

It isn't her fucking day and it isn't her baby.

She made him sick to prove her point.

What a goddam bitch.

Shellywelly1973 Thu 10-Oct-13 02:25:18

Hi op.

Your right its all about control. Take back that control. My mother sounds like your mil. No point in confronting my mum as she ALWAYS right so I hardly see her now. I seen her last Christmas & in June.

My youngest dc5 went with my younger sister to see her in August. My mum slapped him- oh but its for his own good because ' He's a f**king little bully'

Lovely women-not! Just don't put up with it. Sod ur dp he needs to grow a spine...


DesperatelySeekingSedatives Thu 10-Oct-13 02:28:16

Oh and meant to say your DP is also very unreasonable indeed for not fighting your corner. His mother will keep doing this again and again because he lets her.

My DP used to have a similar outlook with his parents and it took us splitting up over it for him to realise things had to change. Not saying you should leave him btw! Just saying that things changed for us when I made it clear I wasn't putting up with it anymore.

crimsonwitch Thu 10-Oct-13 02:29:36

The more I think about this the more I hate her. I think I have just been that used to being undermined and criticised that it became normal. Seriously the woman is obsessed. Bathing the dcs when they have already been bathed because she didn't think I'd done it, taking their clothes to wash at home, criticising my cooking and cleaning, keeping any clothes she buys for the dc at her house because I don't wash them properly. I could go on and on. WTF have I been putting up with??

crimsonwitch Thu 10-Oct-13 02:37:33

shelly she did that once, smacked my Ds hard across the back of his legs when he was 2. one of the few times I confronted her. Full on screaming match. She never did it again. My Dp is unreasonable to not stand up to her but no one does. She has 3 other sons and a husband and 3 daughter in-laws and 7 other grandchildren whom she controls. She is very much the head of the family. I feel I get singled out because Im the only one who doesn't conform to her ways.

Morloth Thu 10-Oct-13 02:41:48

Time to stop rolling over.

She has actually hurt your children you know. Rice in a bottle for a newborn? Formula for a fully breastfed baby? Smacking a 2 year old.

Nobody hurts my children without my having something very loud and very aggressive to say about it. Guess what?

Nobody in my family would dare even if they wanted to. So make it like that, make crossing you on the kids way more trouble than it is worth.

FatOwl Thu 10-Oct-13 02:43:27

OP I really feel for you.

My MIL is very hard to deal with- if you met her, you'd think what a lovely woman, but honestly I can barely be in the same room as her.

She puts down my dds in obvious favour of SILs DDs, still doesn't consider me family after 22 years of marriage to her ds, and will only talk to him about "family" stuff

DH was like your dh, until one day he turned a corner and saw it but he still panders to her a lot (like inviting her to come and stay for an extended time - but that's a whole other thread)

crimsonwitch Thu 10-Oct-13 02:47:40

morloth your absolutely right. I find assertiveness difficult (confronting her in the past has caused me much anxiety) Its hard to be the only one standing alone in a family. Im going to have to grow a pair.

Morloth Thu 10-Oct-13 02:49:00

Just remember your poor baby being sick and that she did that on purpose to get at you.

If you can't be strong for yourself, then at least be strong for them.

crimsonwitch Thu 10-Oct-13 02:52:27

FatOwl She sounds like her. She Favours my SIL and their children. Wont involve me in family issues, acts positively jealous should dp prefer my company to hers. She also makes a big deal about any tiny little thing she may do for us telling anyone who will listen how great she is for doing it.

Wishfulmakeupping Thu 10-Oct-13 02:59:11

I'm so mad on your behalf! What a nasty trick to pull.
She's playing a game with you and using your DCs as the bait- take yourself out if that game- disengaged however you can.
longterm your DP needs to see her for what she is I would point out everytime she does something unacceptable and ask him whether he wants to challenge her behaviour or say you will do it if he won't.

crimsonwitch Thu 10-Oct-13 03:01:42

Thanks for the input everyone I think I need to go to bed, as sitting up seething about this is probably not very healthy. Will reflect on this tomorrow and hopefully find a way to disengage from toxic MIL (would help if she didn't live 2 streets away) sad
goodnight all.

unfortunatedischarge Thu 10-Oct-13 03:02:29

If you aren't great at confrontation send a email or text.

You are no longer allowed around children unsupervised due to inability to accept our rules. Nastiness or rrudeness in the future will result in no contact

ICameOnTheJitney Thu 10-Oct-13 03:10:12

From your post about her bathing them and washing their clothes I think it's more like she wants to parent them herself. My MIL had a bit of this when mine were small...I found it repugnant frankly and you should too....well you do don't's a weird and disturbing way for a grandparent to behave.

aurynne Thu 10-Oct-13 04:19:02

Perhaps if she is one of the "I am always right" old-school brigade you could use some good old evidence-based research to let her know that she has fed your son something that increases his risks of asthma, allergies, respiratory and cardiovascular disease, ear infections, cancer and diabetes, apart from making him more likely to be overweight in the future. Oh, and she has changed his gut's pH and increased his chances of acquiring harmful gut bacteria, of which breastmilk is protective. It will take your DS 2-3 weeks to restore his healthy gut pH and flora thanks to you MIL.

Click here in case you need some references to back it all up.

redcaryellowcar Thu 10-Oct-13 04:46:20

this sort of thing is why my pil and sil will never be allowed to look after my children. great to hear your dds are seeing through things, I would be livid if I were you.

SlangKing Thu 10-Oct-13 04:50:21

OP - A few messages back you acknowledged that you'd got used to being "undermined and criticised" etc.,, and you've let stuff go that you (prolly) shouldnt've. Reason I focus on that is cuz if you've found it difficult to confront the dragon it's going to be harder for your DH cuz he's been subjected to her conditioning for his entire life. The good news seems to be that while his attitude frustrates you, you've not otherwise complained that doesn't support you or always sides with MIL. Assuming I've read the situation correctly I suggest the following. I think having a "talk" with DH about him standing up to her generally/on all occasions would be too much for him and isn't immediately necessary. Instead, tell him you need to talk to him about childcare arrangements because you're no longer prepared to let her have unsupervised access to them. If you don't back down he'll NO DOUBT be pressured by MIL (when you're out of earshot) to undermine you. Since you won't back down he'll have to stand up to her on this one issue. It'll be good practise for him. Of course, he might crack and come down harder on you but at least you're affording him the opportunity to 'man up'. So, in your relationship with DH, the implicit demand that he backs you on the one issue is totally reasonable as is - after two instances of physical abuse and her belittling you to the older DCs - your decision to deny her access. You have the moral high ground here so don't back down. Anyone failing to support you isn't someone you need in your life. For sure making that decision will provoke a reaction. If DH can remain strong her next tactic will likely be to have you physically/emotionally ostracised by all those in-laws but that'd be a blessing, wouldn't it?

KirjavaTheCorpse Thu 10-Oct-13 04:56:43

I would be incensed. How dare she?!

No contact would be the least of her issues if it were me.

birdmomma Thu 10-Oct-13 05:36:07

I think it is best to be assertive and honest in situations like this. Gather your courage, and face to face say that you need to have a chat with her about something you are unhappy about. Say something along the lines of "I felt very undermined when you fed DS formula yesterday. Breastfeeding is very important to me and I think you know that. I feel like I can't trust you to look after my children in the way that I need them to be cared for. For this reason, they will only be having supervised contact with you from now on, until I feel that I can trust you again"

Good luck.

Jinty64 Thu 10-Oct-13 06:21:31

Why do you need her for childcare? Do you work? I would look at other arrangements if at all possible. Could you use paid childcare, we do. It means going without other things but to be able to choose who will be looking after them and what they will (not) be doing is really important to me.

I agree with Slangking that getting dp to support you in this one thing would be a good start..

YANBU I would be furious.

Milkjug Thu 10-Oct-13 07:09:41

Crimsonwitch, I do not condone violence. However, in this case, I will personally come and hold your coat.

KillerKoalaFace Thu 10-Oct-13 07:23:10

Oh OP I feel for you.

I think it's time for you to demand some respect. From your DH and your MIL.

I'd also make whatever tightening of budget is necessary to have paid childcare so your DC are no longer under her control. If you keep on leaving them with her she will carry on like this. Why wouldn't she? There's no consequences to her doing whatever the hell she likes.

ArtexMonkey Thu 10-Oct-13 07:27:07

She sounds dreadful and you would be right to cut her out, i would have done so after the smacking incident tbh.

However whoever was on about how she has increased your ds's risk of cancer, diabetes, obesity etc sounds hysterical and needs to take a chill pill. It wasn't that long since the majority of babies would be on solids at 5 mo, yes i know that is not the advice now, but i think op has enough on her plate without worrying about all that unnecessarily, and imo if she starts going on about that to the mil she'll make herself sound like the controlling neurotic unreasonable one.

Hissy Thu 10-Oct-13 07:34:40

I agree, what she's done is unforgivable.

She knew full well what she was doing, and has made your baby sick.

I personally would tell DP to look after the kids and i'd go round there myself, on my own, and suggest that seeing as slapping the legs of people that are deemed as a 'fucking little bully' is the punishment SHE decided to exact on your DC that she needs to choose which legs YOU are going to slap first.

I'd also tell her in low, menacing terms that she will never, ever be allowed access to your DC, and that DP WILL toe the line on this one if he know what's good for him.

Tell her that YOU rule your roost, and YOU will defend and protect your DC from dangerous and evil people.

You do need to go nuclear on this.

fairy1303 Thu 10-Oct-13 07:39:13

I am speaking from experience. OP, this has to stop. You need to phone her. Tell her: MIL, your actions were unacceptable. They are my children, not yours and whilst we appreciate your babysitting, your actions today undermined me, and YOU have made DS ill. Unfortunately as I cannot be sure that you will follow my wishes in future, you will not be able to care for the baby from now on.

You have to stand up for yourself OP, honestly these women only get away with this shit because we are nice people, don't let her.

TheCrumpetQueen Thu 10-Oct-13 07:41:08

This is exactly why I never let my mil babysit my ds. She was always against me breastfeeding hmm and was forever asking ds when he was going to drink aptimil confused.
I knew if I left him with her, she would have done the same as your mil.

PoppyWearer Thu 10-Oct-13 07:49:11

How is your baby this morning, OP?

FWIW I'd be mad too. It's the kind of thing my MIL might have done, had I given her opportunity to look after the DCs as babies (I didn't, because I was bf'ing and she was anti-bf), but she has done other things with them when older (screwed up our potty training of DC1 by having a hissy fit about an accident, for example) that have made my blood boil.

You have my sympathy!

BlingLoving Thu 10-Oct-13 07:49:46

I don't think MIL is consciously tryig to undermine you. You need to take this less personally. She is a crazy control freak who thinks she knows best, and that is totally unacceptable. But try to see it as her issue and not about you.

She thinks ff is better so will do whatever it takes to make that happen. It wouldn't matter who you are, she would behave this way.

And you should take the same approach - the fact that she is mil is irrelevant. A person with whom you entrusted your baby did not follow your instructions or wishes and as a result your baby is sick. A) she should be told b) she cannot be trusted to look after ds again and needs to understand why (even if she cannot accept or agree) and c) dh needs to take this more seriously.

thebody Thu 10-Oct-13 07:53:29

what a stupid woman she sounds and can totally understand your rage.

posters have been very helpful in telling you to confront/ reason with her that she was out if order and made your baby sick/ undermined you etc.

also to get your dh to man up to her.

none if this will work as she's too obviously head of the family and your dh won't be able to do it.

the only sure fire way of stopping her is to immediately stop all unsupervised access.

just visit her as 'granny' with you and the kids together.

no childminding and no babysitting.

far far more effective and annoying for her as of you confront her she will be the 'martyr'

get a childminder/ babysitter you can trust and move on.

GreenGiant3 Thu 10-Oct-13 08:01:23

What a bloody vindictive, evil little woman, I am livid for you OP!! Don't stand for this any longer, hire a babysitter if need be!! She sounds like a control freak. angryconfused

I hope DC is better today sadthanks x

Beccagain Thu 10-Oct-13 08:08:27

Yes she sounds dreadful but <runs and hides> so do you...really angry and unmeasured (possibly with justification, I don't know)

This is what makes me think so:

I feel very isolated because everyone else lets her be this self appointed matriarch including her other daughter in-laws. They let her get away with it so that she will babysit, buy lots of presents at xmas/birthdays (for them and dc) she signs cards to her other daughter in-laws love from mum and they call her mum, its sickening

We are clearly only hearing your side of this. Maybe, just maybe she is not quite the overbearing witch you think she is if her other dil's like her, but such is your take on things that you think nobody can possibly like her unless they are self interested. Heaven forbid they might just erm, be easier to get on with themselves. Yes I know you've said you're non assertive, but frankly, that may not be the whole unpolished case.


rallytog1 Thu 10-Oct-13 08:08:55

I can't believe someone would throw away perfectly good breastmilk. As one of the fabled 2% of women who can't breastfeed, we were lucky enough to get 2 weeks' worth of donor milk for dd, and I honestly felt like we'd been given liquid gold. Anyone who would just throw the stuff away is just ignorant and rude. Blood boiling on your behalf op.

Beccagain Thu 10-Oct-13 08:10:54

Ih her other dils like her

You see you have got me so riled up I am forgetting that I am the apostrophe (or lack of it) queen of the world.

BlingBang Thu 10-Oct-13 08:21:28

I also usually open MIL threads with a sigh as I have the least interfering, opiniated MIL you could get and I only have boys so will be a MIL one day. But, I 'd be livid here, beyond furious. You need to back off from her and take control. What a cow.

Tuppenceinred Thu 10-Oct-13 08:30:53

Where ever you live, surely you can find yourself a babysitter? It would be better to pay to use a professional service for the odd night out. The way to deal with people like this is to stop being reliant on them and control the time you and your family are with them.

Tuppenceinred Thu 10-Oct-13 08:37:18

You know, you don't need to make a big thing of this by confronting her now, if you feel that would be difficult. Just let her find out gradually that things have changed. She offers to babysit "No thanks, I've made arrangements". Tries to take over when you're in her house "Actually MIL, we don't do things that way. Leave DC here". Or even "To be honest, I'm getting a bit tired of this, we're going home".
Be prepared to leave when things are slightly inconvenient, you only live just around the corner after all. Don't use her as a babysitter again, find your own reliable solution. Quietly take control. At some point if she says "You never let me look after the children" that might be the time to reply with "That's right, I don't. After you gave baby that formula milk and making him sick I decided I didn't want you ignoring my wishes any more".

ivykaty44 Thu 10-Oct-13 08:43:18

get a baby sitter and then tell mil you do this as she cant manage a simple baby sitting task you need to hire one.

you are always on the defence - start attacking

MarshaBrady Thu 10-Oct-13 08:50:40

God you poor thing.

I wouldn't ask her to babysit again. Find someone else that isn't hell bent on doing things their way no matter what.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 10-Oct-13 08:50:51

Exactly what tuppenceinred said - word for word! and ivy (and probably quite few others if I read all the replies!).

As for your DP - he needs to grow a pair and act like a MAN not a MOUSE. These are his children, he needs to put them first, not his mother & her stupid ways.

RevelsRoulette Thu 10-Oct-13 08:58:07

She doesn't sound like she loves them.

she's hit them, she bitches about you to /in front of them (nobody who loved a child would hurt them by doing that), she is happy to make them ill because she wants to get one over on you.

I honestly don't know where you're getting this idea of some sort of poweful love from. And even if she does, her clear contempt for you is damaging to your children. And I'd always be worried that if they didn't toe the line, she'd turn on them.

I'd sacrifice the babysitting to be free of that!

Buglugs Thu 10-Oct-13 09:15:42

I agree with Tuppenceinred as well, because I think if you do a big confrontation, she will just turn it into you being an unreasonable evil witch and poor her. People like this rarely have insight into their own behaviour and she may never accept that she is in the wrong here.

My dad behaves in similar way. He once did something very stupid to do with care of dn and db and sil went ballistic, and I told him I agreed with them. But, he will not admit he was in the wrong and instead he maintains that sil is unreasonable, cruel to him, poor him, was only trying to help, and db only backs her up because he is under evil sil's control.

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Thu 10-Oct-13 09:23:11


Read toxic parents. Mull it over and work out boundaries, put in place strategies. Do not engage with her. She will win every time. She cares about being the top dog, you care about your family. You are playing a different game.

Good luck. Do relax now. It happened. Arrange for sitters to come around next time, or someone you can trust.

WaitMonkey Thu 10-Oct-13 09:31:53

shock angry Am do shocked by this. I would never let her near my children without supervision again.

HopeS01 Thu 10-Oct-13 09:39:40

Unbelievable !!! I think your DP needs to talk to her.
I would be furious too, OP

D0G Thu 10-Oct-13 09:43:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SidneyBristow Thu 10-Oct-13 09:46:06

OP I hope your DS is feeling better today and that you've both gotten some rest. You're in a shit situation but I feel like you're the one with the actual power - do what tuppence has suggested and just quietly go about minimizing your MIL's presence in your/your DC's lives.

Just to share, mother's mother is a poisonous bitch, constantly slagging off anyone who was out of earshot. [she's still alive but we've had no contact in many years] When we were little, my sister and I knew she was prickly, but our mum felt it important that we keep going around so as to have strong relationships with cousins/aunts/uncles etc. I think the combination of teenage moodiness and the allure of being our grandma's "special one" was too much to resist, and DS went from being normal to being poisonous and hateful also - she was miserably angry and I'm not exaggerating when I say it derailed our family life for 20 years. The tension in the house marred my childhood and almost permanently affected my sister's relationship with our parents. The only reason it ended was that eventually our grandmother went too far and DS couldn't deny she had been used. DS now feels she was manipulated and was never actually that important to our grandma - the pain the woman caused all of us is immeasurable.

People like your MIL are dangerous for children to be around. I'm glad your DC seem wary of her now, but please don't underestimate the influence your MIL could have. Keep them away from her - she's not to be trusted.

hackmum Thu 10-Oct-13 09:50:16

She sounds immensely stupid as well as nasty.

I think the only thing to do is not let her babysit your children ever again. She sounds like a positive menace - who knows what other weird ideas she might have about childrearing that she is going to inflict on them?

Legosareforever Thu 10-Oct-13 09:53:55

Op, sorry that your mil is so controlling and unreasonable. I cannot believe her behaviour, she is way out of angry shock.

I would read her the riot act and have a very serious conversation with your dh. My dh prefers to stay out of any conflict with his folks and, in doing so, makes everything much worse. I think this kind of passivity can put a serious strin on a marriage.

Your dh needs to grow a spine and sit his mother down and tell her that you and him are in charge. And that if she oversteps again, she will miss out on seeing her gc.

Your mil sounds like a narcissist.

thanks to you or having to put up with her.

pictish Thu 10-Oct-13 09:55:54

I think she sounds utterly dreadful! She is overbearing, entitled, inappropriate, arrogant and lacking in emotional intelligence. I don't blame you for being so angry and put out at all!


I think the formula/being sick thing is a red herring. I bf two of mine exclusively, but then switched over to formula, and the change didn't make either of them sick. I think your ds was just sick anyway - probably from being overfed...but I doubt it was because of the evil formula. Still her fault...but be wary of making it all about the formula. That makes YOU look unreasonable as well.

It's high time your dh stood up to his bloody mother!!!

BurberryQ Thu 10-Oct-13 10:05:50

perhaps it was not the formula per se that made him sick, but who knows, an unsterilised bottle/too much milk perhaps?
either way you need to take control and that means no more babysitting, ever.

Donkeyok Thu 10-Oct-13 10:08:46

No way holy moley shock

Go on, I'm with milkjug smack her one.

You have to get tough and refuse unsupervised access until dh supports you and she gets the message You have a 'book' of violent, dangerous and undermining behaviours to cite. Facts speak, you have reached your breaking point, she has pushed you to this course of action. Stay strong and refuse to budge on this as your dh will support you when he realises you are not going to buckle.

choccychoccylover Thu 10-Oct-13 10:29:48

People like this need telling in no uncertains terms that their behaviour is totally unacceptable.No more pussyfooting round tell her straight to her face in plain English so she gets the message.

Gruntfuttock Thu 10-Oct-13 10:56:29

I agree with all those saying get a babysitter in future, but I wouldn't put it past your vile MIL to come round while you're out and try to take over from the babysitter. She sounds that much of a control freak.

Tanith Thu 10-Oct-13 11:18:42

I think it more likely that she didn't clean the bottle out properly, much less sterilised it.

A client of mine started sending her child to me after her mother did exactly the same thing and the baby ended up in hospital.

I would agree: don't bother talking or confronting or justifying. Just stop leaving your children with her and, only if she complains, tell her why you can't trust her.

fluffyraggies Thu 10-Oct-13 11:21:42

Just so frustrating to read so many fully justified MIL rant threads just lately, where the DP just sits back on his arse and will NOT stand up to their mother on behalf of their wife angry

Are the same amount of women so cowed and beholden to their mothers i wonder? Or is this a mother/son thing? confused

cornflakegirl Thu 10-Oct-13 11:57:22

Your MIL is clearly a control freak, and was completely out of order to override your wishes on feeding your DS.

But I agree with ArtexMonkey. It seems unlikely that the formula made him sick - plenty of babies are switched to formula at 5m or younger and they don't all get violently ill. Maybe it was the formula, maybe the bottle wasn't properly clean, maybe it was just a bug. She's not going to agree with you, and you can't prove anything, so don't make yourself look like the unreasonable one here.

Also, sickness aside, the formula probably won't have done any harm. Your DS's gut is likely pretty mature and it was only one bottle. And most babies that are raised on formula are entirely fine (although I agree there are additional risks at a population level).

If I were you, I would stick to not putting up with any more crap from her. And start paying a babysitter.

The formula is is side issue, the fact is that she planned to undermine you to the point that she had bought formula, brought it to your house and was never going to feed anything else to your baby because she is right and you are wrong (in her mind).

She will put her wishes before yours because she does not consider yours to be important. To her mind you are the parent in name only.

For that reason she no longer gets unsupervised access to your children.

As for the smacking? That would have been the end for me right there.

Mutley77 Thu 10-Oct-13 12:20:17

I think that is totally horrific. As a mum of a 4 months old (number 3 so not PFB) - what she is fed is of the utmost importance - it is a natural instinct to nurture your baby at this age. I ff but do not let anyone (other than DH) take responsibility for cleaning and washing bottles or preparing feeds - could be a control freak thing but to me it is instinct, they are so dependent on us at this stage we need to manage what is going on.

I have only left DD with DH and twice (briefly) with other well trusted family members who I trusted to follow my instructions to the letter.

Tbh my MIL would probably do the same thing as yours (i.e. her own thing) and hence would never be trusted with my DD - I only leave my older two with her now aged 5 and 8 for very short periods when she has no option but to follow my normal routine for them.

It isn't about bf/ff (and tbh if she believes ff is ok she won't be bothered about the implications of what she has done) it is about her total disregard for your expertise as your child's mother and IMO you can't leave your child with her again.

pomdereplay Thu 10-Oct-13 12:51:03

Sickened me to read this. What an absolute vile witch. If anyone tried to undermine my breastfeeding relationship with my DD like that -- a relationship I have fought long and hard for -- it would be the very last I saw of them. That is not even taking into account her other issues.

Your DH needs to grow up and put this woman right once and for all. Yes, you need to be prepared to be more assertive yourself, but this is HIS mother and he needs to take some responsibility for setting her straight and standing up for you and your children. What a grim state of affairs.

BlingBang Thu 10-Oct-13 13:03:03

I agree with those who have said just back away and minimise contact. Doubt you will win if you go for a big confrontation and it could backfire on you as you find it difficult to confront and sounds like she has lots of back up. Just be busy, use other babysitters etc. Be strong to her face in future with any episodes but just take the high ground and brush her aside and be confident, no need hopefully for screaming matches as that will play to her strengths rather then yours.

sebsmummy1 Thu 10-Oct-13 13:06:19


Oh my god I would have gone BALLISTIC. I actually think I would have cried if anyone had done that to my ebf son when I was so determined to feed him my milk only and had gone to the effort of expressing.

I am fuming on yr behalf.

TheBigJessie Thu 10-Oct-13 13:18:40

Your MIL is like an overgrown six-year-old who gets her own way all the time. She needs to actually meet with consequences for ignoring instructions and requests.

There's no disincentive here for her not to do wwhat she wants.

I would start by never allowing her to babysit again until after he's weaned, at least. It's not like the break would benefit you- you'd be worrying the whole time she had him. Or, like today, your break would be followed by a stressful day with an ill baby, like this lunch out with your husband was.

owlface Thu 10-Oct-13 13:39:08

I would go spare if anyone did this to DD. I'd also charge for the wasted breast milk - the NHS has to pay about £100 a litre I believe. How dare she make a parenting decision?

ems1910 Thu 10-Oct-13 13:43:20

I know what I want to say, I want to say that you need to tell her, whether that be in person, text or email saying that you will not be needing her help with your child from now on and this is because of the fact she cannot listen to your instructions.

However, in reality I would be screaming, crying and telling my OH to talk to her. What has he said about it? Sorry if I have missed that bit.

Do not let her look after your children again, it wouldn't be very relaxing for you!

Hissy Thu 10-Oct-13 14:04:47

If I were caring for a baby for someone for a couple of hours I wouldn't EVER buy formula to take with me just in case. hmm

That woman planned this. She bought formula, in advance for a <breastfed baby>.

Even for a FF baby one would call to check to see what brand to buy FFS!

She knew what she was doing, and had the formula IN HER BAG as she crossed the threshold of OP's house.

She still didn't mention it.

She chose further NOT to call her son, or the OP to check if the milk was alright and if it was safe to use.

No. She took the FF that she had bought, in advance, for an EBF baby, in full knowledge of that fact, and threw away her mother's milk and made up a bottle.

If she went to this trouble to get at the OP, what else would she do in terms of neglect/lack of care or even wilful HARM to use the vulnerable and helpless child, her own grandchild as collateral damage to hurt her DIL, the OP.

This has to be one of the worst, most insidious cases of abuse of power i've seen since the MIL gave the baby triplets CP.

The MIL here has made her GC sick, and has to be held responsible for this. perhaps she even poisoned the FF she made up.

Given the planning she's already put in, why would she stop at mere contempt of her son's family?

I agree, having calmed down now, that confrontation won't do anything much apart from raise the OP's blood pressure, but coldly and with a measured demeanour, i'd be informing her of my new childcare arrangements the second she commented on lack of contact.

I'd expect her son to back me up too, no excuses.

This was a terrible abuse of power here. sad

PoppyWearer Thu 10-Oct-13 14:09:13

For the previous poster who commented on the fact that MIL gets on with the other DILs...could it just be that the other DILs bow down to MIL's wishes more easily, or at least give the appearance of doing so?

sebsmummy1 Thu 10-Oct-13 14:12:09

Hissy you actually scared me with that post!

Buglugs Thu 10-Oct-13 14:14:25

I read that the baby was at MIL's house - they went to pick him up. But still don't know why she would have bought formula just in case. Unless there are other ff fed gc?

Either way, she should not have done it. I bet other she pisses off other dils as well.

TheFabulousIdiot Thu 10-Oct-13 14:15:38

This would make me want to punch her too.

I would absolutely refuse to allow her to have him alone again.

crimsonwitch Thu 10-Oct-13 14:26:19

Sorry for the late reply, but there is news. Ds was unsettled all night and I found out from Mil that she gave him hungry baby milk which probably lay a bit heavy on his tummy and after a very stinky poo this morning he is fine. I dont think formula is evil, I would be more than happy to use it if it was my choice. To the pp who said her other dil like her, they dont. They just suck up to her and reap the benefit. So I spoke to her today and told her how unhappy I was with her behaviour and that we no longer needed her to babysit. Cue massive row and dp FINALLY pulling his finger out and telling her she was out of order. You should of seen her catbum face, teas beautiful.

Treaguez Thu 10-Oct-13 14:27:26

I think the best you can hope for (given your partner's unwillingness to get involved) is to never again engineer, or have engineered for you, a situation where she can do this sort of thing.

No amount of free childcare is worth this sort of stress. If you rely on her, rework your life.

Treaguez Thu 10-Oct-13 14:27:58

Ha! x-post grin

crimsonwitch Thu 10-Oct-13 14:28:01

It was beautiful, not teas beautiful. Which it is, just not in this context.

EldritchCleavage Thu 10-Oct-13 14:32:43

Aha, glad your DH stepped up.
Now don't let her or any other less brave family members wheedle you into backing down. There is every prospect of having a much improved relationship with her if she only learns to respect your role as parents a bit more.

I'm glad you've put your foot down about this, if she thought for a second she'd gotten away with this there'd be no stopping her! She now knows that she's crossed a line and there are consequences so hopefully she will rein herself in. It was definitely a power/control thing and not well meaning.

Souper Thu 10-Oct-13 14:34:25

OP, I think you did very well to remain calm when you picked up your baby. I would have been like Ross on Friends when the guy ate his sandwich.


nickelbabe Thu 10-Oct-13 14:35:17

so even just normal formula, but hungry baby stuff?

OP, even without that information, if this were my MIL, there would be pistols at dawn over this.

dietcokeandwine Thu 10-Oct-13 14:49:35

As others have said, this isn't about BF/FF - although I am as always slightly bemused at the way some mumsnetters speak of formula as if it is liquid devil incarnate confused - it's about the fact that she seeks to undermine you consistently and has done for years. This was just one more chapter in what sounds like a positive book of undermining issues! Some of the other stuff you've posted seems far more of an issue to me (the smacking of a toddler, the slating of you to your own children, the shoving baby rice in a bottle etc) than the formula one tbh. I am amazed you've been as tolerant as you have been for so long!

Well done on confronting her and good news that your DH finally pulled his finger out too.

nickelbabe Thu 10-Oct-13 14:59:00

diet - i think it's more that the parent has made the decision as to what the child will eat, so, yes, it does come down to BM vs formula in this instance ,because that's the choice - esp as MIL threw away the BM that was provided.

crimsonwitch Thu 10-Oct-13 15:04:08

Me and dp have been together since I was 15 and I had dd at 17. I think this is why I allowed this treatment, as I was still a child myself when it started. Reading this thread has turned on a lightbulb and I feel much better about the situation. I dont think it is over but now dp is in my corner I feel better about dealing with her. Thank you for all your help everyone.

maddening Thu 10-Oct-13 15:14:12

I would have sat in her front room and hand expressed in to her best china - what a bitch!

She has crossed the line with this!

ivykaty44 Thu 10-Oct-13 15:15:39

well done, small firm steps forward.

I am sure the well fare of your dc is more important than lavish presents and rewards as the other mum suck up at least you can hold your head high and proud at being your own person.

good for your dp to at last stand in your corner - his baby is his family and his mother needs to know she comes way down the list as extended family to his dc. The family matriarch crap needs to be stopped as far as your family of five are concerned smile

Well done OP, but stay strong and be prepared for an onslaught in the coming days. One thing I've learnt from MN is that people like your MIL never back down at the first confrontation, and always follow a script.

Donkeyok Thu 10-Oct-13 15:38:06

So glad you dp is supporting you in this you may have worse to come by the sounds of her. Well done you.

PrimalLass Thu 10-Oct-13 17:32:12

I think the formula/being sick thing is a red herring. I bf two of mine exclusively, but then switched over to formula, and the change didn't make either of them sick.

My DD was sick whenever she had formula. Every time projectile-stylee. And I wanted her to have it as she bf for 22 months and I was so ready to stop.

sue52 Thu 10-Oct-13 17:44:33

Well done to your DP. Now he's stood up to her once, it will get easier for him to do it next time she oversteps the line. I just hope she doesn't do it with the children again.

PoppyWearer Thu 10-Oct-13 17:50:44

Well done OP and your DP! thanks

youarewinning Thu 10-Oct-13 17:58:41

I agree with others that she is bonkers, controlling and needs to be stopped. OK, you might be the bad guy in her and the others eyes but in your DC's eyes you'll be the hero and that's what counts.

My XMIL used to buy DS jars of food, on the one occasion she had him I said nuggets or sausage, chips and cucumber/carrot sticks are fine for eating. He was 16 months. Any way I go to get him and he's crying and she's telling me he's been 'naughty' refusing the jar or food she'd got him and pushing the spoon away whilst she tried to feed him. Read ^^ he was 16 months. What did she expect?

unfortunatedischarge Thu 10-Oct-13 18:11:29

I disagree pictish, my ff babies would get ill on certain formulas and if they were switched. Formula isn't poison but baby tummies can be very sensitive.

enormouse Thu 10-Oct-13 18:12:39

Like primallass my DS hated formula despite me trying several different brands and attempts to wean him off bf. He was 15months at the time and starting to wear me out.
well done btw OP.

"Well done OP, but stay strong and be prepared for an onslaught in the coming days. One thing I've learnt from MN is that people like your MIL never back down at the first confrontation, and always follow a script."

I agree, tell your dh to watch out for any emotional blackmail from her too.

They do seem to follow a script.

seasavage Thu 10-Oct-13 19:48:34

Hello. I have been lurking around the site, but your post struck such a chord with me. I had nearly word for wordthe same scenario (although in mine my eldest actually threw up over the ex MIL - hurrah). I still occaisionally have to 'deal' with the interfering woman but fortunately through my ex husband.
Stick to your guns, this woman needs to let you and your husband (?) be adults, pretending that she knows better is her failing to acknowledge you as adults and show basic respect. I would call her out on it. But, i was in the fortunate situation of not caring about repercussions.
Calmly write down what you want from her as a grandparent to your children. Ask her if she can do that and outline how you would prefer your and her relationship would be. I wouldn't give her the writing. Just get it clear in your head. Take her for a coffee and talk it through. If she makes a fuss or flips out you have your answer.

DrCoconut Thu 10-Oct-13 22:19:44

I would have been fuming. My DS's were both EBF and it was very important to me. I had DH's support and we managed to weather the storm of anti BF advice by well meaning I think people.

HaveTeaWillSurvive Thu 10-Oct-13 23:12:16

Well having struggled to EBF pfb I think this is a highly emotive subject and BF tends to turn women a bit primal <<shudders at memory of weeks of constant feeding till TT and reflux identified and treated>> so watch you don't end up looking unreasonable - you aren't by the way.

Glad your OH has stepped up.

crimsonwitch Fri 11-Oct-13 00:26:48

Baby is sleeping now and no idea what the fuss is about, but the whole thing has made me wake up. I think I have figured out mil anti bf stance. She never fed her dc and apparently, according to her other dil, thinks that doing it past 4 weeks is disgusting. hmm It is like what a previous poster pointed out, she is trying to be their parent. However, bf is one thing she can't do, so she tried to manipulate me into ff so she could take over there too. I am not in any way anti ff. I feel a child is happy that they get the milk, wherever it is from, as long as they are loved. I am prepared for the backlash from my confrontation with her, but for now all is quiet.

JoinYourPlayfellows Fri 11-Oct-13 00:33:12

Why do you let your children spend time with this poisonous woman?

It can't be doing them any good to have to listen to her bitch about you when you are not there.

What are they learning?

crimsonwitch Fri 11-Oct-13 00:51:57

I agree with what you are saying fellows for too many years its been very much a wood for the trees situation. Since I being 15 this is the only family I've had and I suppose I have allowed myself to be sucked in to the disfunction rather than be isolated and ostricised. Time to stand alone and create our own family now and let her get on with ruining her own.

crimsonwitch Fri 11-Oct-13 00:54:09

Sorry for any typos, im on my phone and have fat thumbs.

JoinYourPlayfellows Fri 11-Oct-13 01:00:13

grin @ fat thumbs

It's understandable that if you've been around her since you were a teenager that it's taken you a while to see her clearly for the nasty bully she is.

I'm sure she took full advantage of your youth and inexperience when you had your eldest to make her bossiness seem normal.

Scarifying Fri 11-Oct-13 01:02:40

I think you were a bit optimistic leaving the kids with her and not expecting her to do anything wrong given her track record. I wouldn't have left my kids with someone who had smacked a child of mine.
She sounds awful.

Easy to be wise in hindsight but at least you now not to leave them with her again.

crimsonwitch Fri 11-Oct-13 02:37:00

I am envious of people who have good relationships with their mil, and she is the only older female rolemodel I've had. (could write a brand new thread about my own mother) I have allowed her to continue to treat me this way for a long time <sigh> i feel like such a pathetic mug when i think back to all the incidents. She is definitely not seeing them unsupervised again.

Chottie Fri 11-Oct-13 02:44:48

I am a GM and yes, things were done differently in 'my' day. But things move and a GM should support her GC parents and respect their views on child rearing. Your MiL is really out of order. She is fortunate that you speak to her still.

crimsonwitch Fri 11-Oct-13 02:48:54

I think that never being backed up and her behaviour being downplayed by others in the family pressured me into letting her get away with totally unreasonable things. Writing it down here and having others validate my concerns has really helped me to see clearer. Thank you for your support MNers

TheTruffleHunter Fri 11-Oct-13 02:50:12

Crimsonwitch, I do not condone violence. However, in this case, I will personally come and hold your coat.

this. but also well done to your DH for manning up to her, I'm sure that was hard for him. Good to know where your boundaries are tho

crimsonwitch Fri 11-Oct-13 03:01:26

Dp did actually amaze me. He has always been on my side in theory but would never say anything to he, preferring to diffuse the situation and make excuses for her. When we went round I told her how upset I was and she started ranting about how much she has done for me nothing and what a bad mother I am, and how im unfit (due to my mh problems which is her favourite weapon of choice). Dp cuts her off and said how dare she criticise me when she is such a terrible mother!! And I am better than her in every way. My face was like this..shock No one has EVER spoke to her this way.

SlangKing Fri 11-Oct-13 04:53:54

This is good news. When I wrote my first post way up the thread I wasn't sure which way your DH would go but he needed to commit and he has,,, so well done to the pair of you. I'm now wondering if your actions will positively affect the other in-laws,, whether MILs efforts to ostracise you will instead lead to mutiny in the rank and file. Wishful thinking perhaps, but ya never can tell.

crimsonwitch Fri 11-Oct-13 08:19:01

Thanx but tbh I dont care about the rest of the family now. Bunch of arse sucking tosspots the lot of them. I didn't want to feel left out, but on reflection, being out of that dysfunctional mess can only be a good thing.

cornflakegirl Fri 11-Oct-13 11:57:17

I'm so pleased that DH stood up for you and that you've started to see the relationship with your MIL for what it really is.

It might be worth starting a thread in Relationships to get some advice on how to move forwards - I'm sure it won't be a smooth ride for your or DH. Lots of posters there seem to give really good advice on dealing with toxic parents / in laws.

HalleLouja Fri 11-Oct-13 12:24:17

Well done your DH. I would be livid if anyone did something completely against my wishes to my children.

Donkeyok Fri 11-Oct-13 19:16:05

Well done Crimsonwitch I can see you flying smile

bubalou Sat 12-Oct-13 08:49:42

Well done crimson. I'm glad that it has been said.

I have similar mother in law problems and I literally cannot stand the woman but no one stands up to her, DH used to think it was me but I have stood back and over the past year events have added up and he has learnt on his own who is the really bitch!

My mil likes to give my son things she knows I won't like and then smile at me when she tells me. Grrrr - you keep standing up for yourself. You were in the right and hopefully she will bloody learn her lesson.

Hope baby is ok now wink x

sofurcough Thu 17-Oct-13 14:42:42

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

TheFabulousIdiot Thu 17-Oct-13 15:08:41

And the Daily Mail Katy - don't forget the Daily Mail!

EldritchCleavage Thu 17-Oct-13 15:12:45

Are you going to post that exact post on every MIL thread, sofur/*Katy*? Because that will keep you busy.

Thesouthernwindisblowing Thu 17-Oct-13 15:12:49

I thought you were ott in your title but on reading your first post Yanbu. I would have gone apeshit.

TheFabulousIdiot Thu 17-Oct-13 15:20:00

I wonder if Katy's book about MILs contains the advice 'punch her in the face'?

EldritchCleavage Thu 17-Oct-13 15:30:52

It is potentially seriously deficient if not, Fabulous.

MintyChops Thu 17-Oct-13 16:07:16

Well done on dealing with her. Stand by for her having some sort of health crisis brought on by your "unreasonable" "attack" on her. Heart attack/fainting fit perhaps? This seems to be the next step for these toxic relatives....

BananasInNegligees Thu 17-Oct-13 16:18:31

Well done OP.
She sounds like a nightmare. Hope your LO is better after the poo smile

I had similar with my own MIL.
DH actually distanced himself years ago but I kept up the visits and the calls because I thought the kids should know her.
I got the same attitude towards BF too.

Anyhow, we have had no contact in over a year and it feels like a weight off.
I realised nothing could change her toxic ways and my own family unit didn't need that kind of negativity.

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