To be annoyed with father in law (sorry a bit long but I needed to vent)(82 Posts)
Basically the issues started when my dd was born (9 months now) .
My father in law took it upon himself to take my newborn baby out of my arms on so many occasions that my dh had to tell him he was making me claustrophobic and that as a new mother I was very protective .He acted like a massive child and wouldn't speak to my dh for a couple of days after this .i didn't say anything myself as I thought this would cause more issues.
It calmed down slightly over the next couple of months but now every time we visit dh's parents fil takes dd away to another room to play with her by himself ! Nothing untoward at all just strange and quite rude ! Mil is lovely and will chat away to me and as such misses out on time with dd as fil seems obsessed!
Things came to a head yesterday when he actively took her to a different room when I walked in ! My dh knows it bothers me and he hates that I feel this way and that fil does this . He emotionally blackmails dh quite a lot which I absolutely hate !
Am I being completely unreasonable to resent this?
I find it all a bit weird tbh, surely he can play in the same room with her.
Personally I would tell FIL myself. Just be straight with him.
Can't get any worse than it is, surely?!
I don't think you are and I find it bizarre that he'd want to take her to a completely separate room to play with her as well.
I'd say play here and tip out toys for her in the room so everyone gets to be a apart of it.
Did your DH say something yesterday, you say it came to a head?
i would feel uncomfortable. why is it necessary to go to another room? doesnt your mil want to see her too
Exactly ! Yesterday there was another baby there and everyone chatting in one room
But apparently that wasn't enough ! It feels like a possessive thing to me but then again maybe I'm just ring over protective . My parents are so careful not to step on dh's toes as well I'd appreciate the same from him!
I mean my parents went in other room with dd to show her something or take her to show her things in the garden but they wouldn't actively have taken her from me to play in the other room.
Yes mil would love to see her but she's so polite and doesn't seem to say anything to him ! If it were my dh I'd tell him to
theborg my parents are the same And that doesn't bother me at all .
The whole thing has started to make me hate going there at all
you need to say, dont HOG her, we all want to play
is he being difficult on purpose?
I remember your previous posts. Strange man!!
I think I'd stop letting FIL hold her. Or when he has her and gets up tell him not to leave the room. If he still goes, follow him or suggest DH goes too.
It seems like a power thing. He appears to want to be in control. Make it clear to him that you are not happy and you are in control when it comes to DD.
If he continues, only have then visit at your house so you have more control.
Dh did not say anything , he's even less confrontational than me which is saying something . But you're right I think
I'll have to say something next time it's just so awkward , I've never seen a man that age behave so
Like a child .
Thanks for your replies
Has your Dh said anything to his Df?
Can you go into the same room as FIL, so basically follow him?
Justmuddlingalong - not since dd was about 1 month. His fil reacted so badly dh got really upset .
may be you shoudl let it go, and he will stop. he is being childish. let it pass - Ignore this bad behaivour, like you would in a child.
NOT acceptable at all. Almost a bit creepy, sorry. Make him stop it, even if he does then have massive sulks.
Cadlecrap - I did do that yesterday and he said 'come on dd lets go in here' and walked out !!
either that, or the whole lot of you join him in the other room.
If I'm honest I think I'd get quite irritated by this as well. I don't think you have been unreasonable at all I know how annoying IL's can be and you just have to sit there biting your tongue ... HARD!
Maybe you could talk with your partner and maybe come up with a resolution to approach your FIL rationally or, you could talk to your MIL about it if you get on quite well or, maybe you could use it to your advantage and arrange for your IL's to look after your DD for a few hours here and there, maybe this will discourage the 'alone' time?
Although they are your IL's sometimes you do have to speak up, remember you have feelings too and they are just as important and if you no longer feel comfortable with this situation, it's time for you to voice your opinion calmly.
Hope things get better!
Gently but clearly remind him when you next visit that she is your daughter. You do not appreciate him removing her from your care at every opportunity and from now on you prefer her to remain in the same room as you and DH.
You need not give any further information.
Try handing her straight to mil when you arrive and if he attempts to take her say fil leave her with nanny for a bit, she loves cuddles with nanny.
He will probably have a strop but tbh he will strop no matter how you handle the situation.
I have tried to let it go but it really gets to
Me . It does need to stop . I just need to pick the right time to say something . I never expected this to be an issue when I had a baby! Dc2 on the way as well .. So it'll have to stop before they're born !
My step-dad used to do this because he felt he was giving me & DH a break.
However it used to really upset my DH because it was often when he was holding DS that step dad would intervene and take the baby off. Particularly if he was fussing.
We had to be firm and as he approached to remove the baby say "no, it's ok. We're fine" and he doesn't do it as much anymore.
Could your FIL actions be coming from a good place? (If not a bit insensitive & unthinking)
Thanks everyone , glad you don't think I'm being unreasonable as I switch from being so angry to thinking it's all me !
Great suggestions as well , I'll maybe have a word with my dh tonight. Damn ILs lol
You need to say directly to him when he picks her up, can you stay in here please? If he ignores you, say it louder. If he ignores you again, take the child out of his arms and ask why do you keep wanting to take her away from everyone else and then pause and wait for a reply. Don't fill the silence or make it a rhetorical question, look at him and expect a reply. Then tell him it is not on.
Oooh, sorry. Missed the bit in your OP about FIL having a strop and not speaking to your DH. That is odd.
Mcroo yes I think his intentions are good but he has gone about everything the completely wrong way . He obviously loves her and I know that but so does everyone else . He seems like a very jealous and selfish man sometimes . Almost as if he's trying to
Make up for not spending loads of time with dh when he was young
I have no advice but my MIL does the same thing with my DS
<<wonders what he will do when next one comes?>>
Maybe suggest to your Dh that he has a word with his Df in private. Then if it continues you have a word. His behaviour is making you uncomfortable and it's putting you off visiting. This could affect the whole family dynamic in future, so it needs to be sorted sooner rather than later. Awkward but important in the long term.
I don't think your DH has helped at the start by blaming you ("claustrophobic" ... "protective") for your reasonable response, rather than both of you asserting yourselves together. It's given your FIL the go-ahead to override you.
Agree with PPs, next time you go, make it clear that you're going to all stay in one room. No need to get defensive or bring MIL into it, just make it clear how you'd like things to be. Be pleasant, be polite, but be prepared to leave if your wishes are not being respected.
Your DD may be getting towards the separation anxiety phase anyway, so - depending on how often she sees your FIL and how attached to him she is - being carried away into another room might well be wrong for her too.
Ah yes, the good old "I'm going to fix the mistakes I made as a parent with my grandchildren". God that's annoying. I think sometimes grandparents forget that the grandchildren are not their children and feel they have some sort of divine right over them.
(I find in laws are worse for this than your actual parents - although I'm sure my husband would say the same )
Yeh I think that's the best plan speak to dh and then if it continues ill say something . No idea what he'll do with dc2 but hopefully it will be sorted by then ....
Shudder I would get up and follow them to every single room they went by themselves.
blame separation anxyety, tell them she won't want to be away from you
That would annoy me too. What would happen if you just said "whoa ,where are you going, come back in here" all friendly like?
Puddock - no dh made a complete mess of that one .. He used the words I used whilst speaking to him and said to his DM who spoke to his DF . It really was very awkward.
I would do the same on his behalf if my parents did anything which annoyed him so I think it's his place to say first and foremost
We just happen to be moving house at the moment and are living with my parents at the moment which I don't think sits very well with him .
It is the last think I thought I'd be stressed about after having dd
And...it's not you being hormonal, it's just plain weird. Don't let that be used as an excuse for Fil behaviour!
Are you sure there isn't more to this? You.come accross as being quite difficult and to complain about grandad taking DD from you for a cuddle is something over nothing. My FIL will take my DD for a cuddle... so what? I get the impression that if you get prickly about this then u probably do about other things too.
It's a power thing. He is exerting his control by taking your child away.
Arrange to go over and when he goes to take her let him have a cuddle then take her back. I had to do this with mil. There was a tense moment, me and mil eye balled each other, I dont think mil was actually going to let go but I leaned in a lifted her back , saying "oh come and give mummy a big cuddle " and waked away from her.
Everyone seen, but it stopped right there.
I was shaking like a leaf inside but felt strong and protective.
Op does not come across as difficult at all
No doctorbrownbear - I do not get this annoyed about everything. I could get on with a wall if I had to but it's his controlling personality which really gets to
Me . I had no problem before I had dd .
Mishmash family - you're right it is a power thing . He can hardly let go of dh as just his son and doesn't seem to grasp that as well as being his family he has his own district family unit now
OP is not difficult Doctor fil is not just taking the baby for a cuddle. He is removing her from the room. Taking her away from everyone else including doting mil.
I hope you can sort it OP with as little fall out as possible
Thanks funny foot me too , these types of conversations make me feel ill ! Better in the long run though!
If I was in your situation OP I wouldn't make anyone confront him but everytime he leaves the room with her go & take her back. If he stays in the room with you all then he can keep hold of her for a while.
If you do this every time, he will get the message.
No I would not be happy with this at all.
You really have to ask why he needs to be alone with her in his mind.
Why does he feel he needs to do this.
It's just so strange to do this, maybe to get his 'own' time with dd ? He sees her every week without fail but still said infront of dh that he didn't see her very much which made dh feel awful !
My dh was looked after my his paternal grandparents while fil and mil worked so maybe he thought he'd see dd as much and it would be the same? I honestly don't know
Very odd. I think you should either lock all of the other rooms when he visits (purely to see what he'll do - stand in the hall? Take her out into the garden?) or everyone get up theatrically, making as much noise and fuss as possible, and follow FIL into another room.
Though a more mature response would probably to look puzzled and ask whether he needs something when he heads off to another room, then ask him to bring her back as the other room is unheated/unbabyproofed.
The only problem with that is that as we're now at my mums for a whole we go to visit his house so I think they'd question my sanity if I started locking doors there
We just moved out of an apartment and tbh it was far better when he came there as there was nowhere to escape to ! Once we're in the new house I'll try and make most visits at my own house .
Ridiculous that this should have to even
I'd go with blunt: why do you keep taking DD to a different room FIL? What are you doing there?
It's weird and rude.
Hopalongon how I would love to
Say that !! Unfortunately I'd need to
Grow a huge set of balls first
I think puddock puts it really well. Don't have anything much to add to that, other than that you're not being unreasonable, OP, & that this won't improve until you, DH or ideally both of you together assert yourselves.
You both seem to find this very difficult - have you thought about buying a simple book about learning to express yourselves assertively? My DH did this to get some ideas when he was finding communication with his parents a bit tricky, & it's been really helpful to us both. Lots of the strategies it recommends - using "I" statements, not being drawn into self-justification etc., seem obvious when you read them but are proving surprisingly effective!
Loonvanboon - you're right we're both useless at things like this . But this has just gone on for too long and I'm going to have to bite the bullet and say something to dh and if that fails maybe act on it myself whether that is just taking her back !
Really helpful suggestions from everyone though , really appreciate it
Op your not being difficult in the slightest and I am sorry but a grown man insisting on whisking a baby away to another room, alone is not normal.
However doctor even if op was the most difficult woman in the whole world...it still doesn't diminish the point that a grown man has gone gaga over this baby.
Op it sounds un hinged to me. Very un hinged.
He sees her every week without fail but still said infront of dh that he didn't see her very much which made dh feel awful
I think you need to help your DH get some perspective on this, there is no set time or rule how often GP get to see GC and once a week is amazing, I only saw mine a couple of times a year as we lived a long way away and there were so many of us, I don't think they cared that much.
I don't feel like I missed out on one on one room time with my GF.
You need to get across to your DH that it not normal behaviour.
That it needs tackling and nipping the in the bud.
If you cant say anything yet, I would suggest you say to your DH that you are simply not going there.
If I were you, I wouldn't wait for your DH to say something, I would say something to FIL myself. You are a human being and the baby's mother and just as entitled to speak to FIL as DH is!
I thought Puddock put it perfectly:
<i>next time you go, make it clear that you're going to all stay in one room. No need to get defensive or bring MIL into it, just make it clear how you'd like things to be. Be pleasant, be polite, but be prepared to leave if your wishes are not being respected.</i>
"Excuse me, FIL, I would like DD to stay in this room with all of us, please. Thank you." And if he protests or tries to leave: "No, sorry, I'm not happy with that, stay in this room with DD please".
You don't have to say why, you are her mum. If he is so inconsiderate of your feelings, frankly he is not going to be inconsiderate of DD's feelings either. It's in her best interests to stay where you can see her. Your daughter is not an object to be shared round, she is a person too.
Arrgh I feel your pain you could be talking about my FIL. I am not an unassertive person but it is so hard to say anything as it is the controlling behaviour that is behind what he is doing that is wrong so he can just easily say something like, 'I was just showing her something' or even, 'I just wanted to spend a bit of time with her' and he'll sound reasonable because if a normal person was saying it it would be reasonable.
Also it can sound like you are implying something untoward is going on, I am now stuck in a situation where my DH thinks I am calling his father a child abuser because I feel so uncomfortable with how FIL is with my DD.
Would just not going be an option? Your DH has had a word and it did no good and changed nothing so why put yourself through the stress and worry of what to say and what his reaction might be.
When he ask's why you haven't been keeping up with the usual visits I would say someone who leaves a room everytime i enter it makes me feel very unwelcome.
Bumpkitty - exactly ! It can all seem
Reasonable if there was a toy or something in the other room but more often than not he takes her away to let her pull leaves off mils plants !
Id rather play here - you're right once a week is loads . I think my dh thinks it's unfair that dd sees my DM more as I am a sahm and she doesn't work until the afternoons so I do spend a lot of time with her , for a bit of company and support but that's just the way it is .
Feelinggrinchy - you're right she is a person too and I do hate seeing her being passed around like a parcel .
I honestly thought after the first time dh said something it would stop but it seems it fell on deaf ears .
If he is so inconsiderate of your feelings, frankly he is not going to be considerate of DD's feelings either
This is what concerns me when I hear of anyone riding so roughshod over parents feelings, what on earth are they going to do to the child's feelings...
I also hate this competitiveness between one set of Gps and the other.
My own PILS tried to pull this on us even though DC saw them regularly. AND and Fil admitted he rarely when to visit his own parents with the children so DH didn't know his paternal GP very well. They still moaned about my dp seeing dc...marginally more.
You need to start being firm yourself, I am sorry DH but we are not going there again until we have a plan to get this issue under control.
Then FIL really will have something to moan about, but as said before, i think its ab normal behaviour.
FWIW my DF has mobility issues and as such has never been alone with DC and lives a long way away, he has been very happy to sit at a table and paint with them, draw....with us all round...no complaints and if he has any...he has never voiced them.
I'd find the whole thing pretty creepy about taking the baby to another room! You just have to tell him yourself, as he clearly does not listen to his son.
I've occasionally said things to my FIL and it is like I've told off a child, he is so shocked at being confronted as nobody ever stands up to him.
Bump kitty I think that's the problem that nobody has ever said no to him before and when something was said he reacted like a spoilt child . Not very becoming for a man in his 50s .
I'd rather play here - that's exactly the way it should be re your df ! Happy to play away regardless of who
Is about .
Littleen - no he doesn't listen to his son and that annoys me a lot . He's a great parent and deserved some respect when he managed to speak on my behalf .
It's not so much creepy more completely selfish. I'd say it was like if I took a fun game round to their house and FIL wants all the fun to himself so, like a toddler would, he takes the game off so he doesn't have to share as he is the most important person so should get what he wants.
Bump kitty that sums it up ! Poor mil is too nice and polite so just spends time taking to me like a human being instead of obsessing over dd . Which isn't fair on her either but I guess that's their own issue to deal with .
OP - I don't know what to suggest as I haven't handled my situation very well. All I can say is that it does get a bit better in that DD can now say who she wants to play with and can get away from him herself! She much prefers her nanny (MIL) and her other Grandad - so it doesn't do them much good in the end
Thanks bump kitty - dd is the first gc too so I think that exacerbates the situation . I'm glad your situation eventually sorted itself out though .
op don't want to elaborate but definatly understand the situation. it gets better as soon as the child is mobile as kids move around constantly and you will find fil gets less keen if he had to keep chasing a toddler.
he's doing it to annoy you and it's control. he wants to be the popular grand parent. it won't work as kids don't work like this.
in the meantime I wouldn't visit them. make them come to you. if he starts to take her out say firmly no dd is staying in here. take her back off him. don't allow him control.
much easier in your own home.
another good trick is placing your chair blocking the exit. so you all settle in the one room and then you block the door. just don't move.
OP I find this weird too. If he continues after your dh has had a word then you must be clear with FIL, that it stops.
I would be upfront but speak lightly. So when he gets up to take baby out the room just say
"oh where are you taking baby fil [smile}"
If he says something along the lines of " just to play in other room"
" I'd like baby to stay in here with the rest of us please"
If he says I wont be long etc
" As ive just said, I'd like her to stay in here with all of us"
If FIL persists then say "Dh has already explained that I feel uncomfortable with baby being taken away, Im happy for you to play with baby but there is no reason why you must take her out"
Whilst I prefer hopalongs suggestion, maybe you'd be more comfortable with what whiteblossom suggests.
YANBU, his behaviour is odd.
Or you could try something like "I'd rather she play here with all of us" if he persists step it up with something like "Please bring her back to the other room where we can all enjoy her".
I know its hard sometimes to 'confront' things like this but it sounds like you will (politely) have to.
Perhaps its good that you do? There are bound to be other times when you have to speak up about something that is happening regarding your baby and it will be good to have a warm up on your FIL.
Definitely jacknonereacher ! I'll just have to man up !
My Dad used to do exactly the same thing with dd1. Interesting you say your fil may be regretting not spending more time with your dh when he was a baby. I'm an only child and my parents had me when they were young which was very difficult for them. I know my Dad regrets not spending more time with me as a baby and feels he blinked and missed his only crack at 'the baby years'. Maybe this is why they do it.
It was very difficult for us but luckily for me my dh is quite blunt. He'd go and find Dad and fairly lightly ask him to bring dd1 back in so we could all play with her.
Once she got to about 2 it stopped because she was mobile, vocal and could express herself. I remember the last time he did it, we were all sitting on a steam train and Dad suddenly picked up dd1 and went and sat halfway down the carriage on his own with her. She immediately just slipped off the chair and raced back to us. He never tried it again.
Dd1 is now almost 10, my parents have returned to normal and thankfully that crazy babyhood phase is a distant memory.
Have you considered giving him a time limit on it so he gets his one-to-one time without spoiling everyone else's fun?
I wouldn't discourage it too firmly if I were you- the day will come when you'll be very glad of a grandparent wanting to take your DD off of your hands at family occasions
Interesting you say your fil may be regretting not spending more time with your dh when he was a baby
I still do not understand why this means taking baby to a different room...how this means it more quality time and so on...
FWIW what parent who spent most of time working doesn't regret that at some point...I still do not get why taking the baby to a different room some how quells this.
I wouldn't discourage it too firmly if I were you- the day will come when you'll be very glad of a grandparent wanting to take your DD off of your hands at family occasions wink
I would rather have the child than hand over to a GP that sulks and gets moody when he can't be alone with the baby.
I don't think its normal/acceptable behaviour.
I really think someone needs to ask this man face to face why do you need to be alone with this child.
My dp tried speaking to his DM but was afraid of hurting her feelings so it came out weak and sounded silly and she just laughed it off. It actually took me dealing with it to show her I was in charge of DD.
I felt that intimidated by it, I practised what I was going to say/do, so the min I felt she was over stepping boundaries,I stepped up. Which I wish I had done forcefully enough when I was pregnant as mil tormented me over issues. Thankfully dp did step up in the end but that was after months of stress and tears. Life's just too bloody short.
I think on this occasion , you deal with it in regards to leaving it to dh.
Get your mamma bear on!
Thankfully dp did step up in the end but that was after months of stress and tears
we see this on thread after thread, people are afraid to rock boats, confront nad I have also had problems with it...
I think it should be taught in schools, how to make points heard and listened to and so on. so many people suffer because they are to afraid to speak out.
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