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mother in law annoying help

(13 Posts)
Diddlo Tue 01-Jul-14 10:34:28

My mother in law is Jewish. Not wishing to make too many trite stereotypes (!) but well, she can kill you with kindness.

I'm about to drop my second baby and I have the growing sense that her overwhelming need to help/ meddle is rearing its head. It happened with DD1, not so much help/ talk through the pregnancy (neurotic, anxious will the baby be ok etc) then bam, baby out, and I'm overwhelmed with an outpouring of help ( I know this sounds ungrateful but there is a thing of personal space, let me work out how to be a mom before you start sticking your oar in) not understanding thanks but no thanks, not right now. It caused such issues between me and my partner that it put us in couples counselling.

It just seems when I need to assert my 'mom' status she comes crashing in-with kindness(!) and occupies so much space.

Anyone have any tips to reign In assert some control over an errant MiL.??Apart from hitting her over the head with a frying pan, I'm not sure how to get her to hear me. But also because it's all wrapped up in 'help' and 'love' I can't yell at her to get out of the sodding way, which I would love to do...

OhGood Tue 01-Jul-14 10:36:30

Like what? Can you give some examples of sort of thing she does?

ThisOneAndThatOne Tue 01-Jul-14 10:50:45

So you don't want to make any trite stereotypes ....ok
hmm

JellyStrawberries Tue 01-Jul-14 10:52:06

It might be more beneficial to you with the second baby - I know I appreciated help more when I had a newborn plus toddler. People playing with the toddler and taking him out was invaluable - could you ask her to take your eldest to the park, cinema etc? Then she'd be doing something helpful but also be out of your way. Or are there some jobs you could ask her to do, like cooking, laundry, food shopping? I've found looking after two pretty challenging and am biting people's arms off for help/babysitting/adult company - you might find her help is more welcome this time around?

OhGood Tue 01-Jul-14 11:41:20

Yes I go with Jelly in terms of directing her energy. Your DC1 will really appreciate having someone to focus lots of attention on her / him while you spend hours on the sofa feeding the baby.

Have you got your DH on board this time? Will he help you set boundaries?

pictish Tue 01-Jul-14 11:43:27

Depends what sort of things she's doing.

Diddlo Tue 01-Jul-14 14:24:01

Not sure if I posted something half finished or not but to get back to a recent example; putting dd1 in bath at MiL house. MiL, you want me to? Me, no thanks need to get it done and her home quickly. Repeat said phrase 4 times. Really. Pick up dd1 to take to bath who being resistant to being torn away from bugs bunny or something, proclaims I want MiL to take me. Who is standing 2 inches away from me perched like a bird on my shoulder. Who instantly throws arms open to take DD1 saying I'll take her. Me, I've got this, looking firmly in her eyes, and knowing DD1 delay tactics and just getting to point of messing about. Then walk with DD1 to plonk in the bath with MiL following me up stairs and into bathroom. Where she stays, standing over DD1 who now has stage fright to do a poo and me thinking why are you in this sodding bathroom! Ok, maybe I'm being unfair, she's obviously trying to help but Jesus Christ there's a lot of this, lack of spacial awareness, and a mother who sort of knows what she's doing especially at the moment when things need to just get done, and needing to be left to do it.

It's a tricky scenario because it's all out of wanting to help and give love but it comes out as crushing someone's space with her eagerness. Am I over sensitive??

pictish Tue 01-Jul-14 16:38:51

Just let her do the bath fgs. You get to do it every other night...what's the big deal?

petalsandstars Tue 01-Jul-14 16:42:37

Point her in DD1's direction - that's where you will need the help - while you get to grips with the new one.

Diddlo Tue 01-Jul-14 18:19:40

Pictish, she gets lots of time with DD1 I'm not denying her her time with her but you know when you just need to get on with stuff and someone is 5 inches from your face, it can feel a little, repressive...

It's finding a way to balance her, yes I want her involved, yes I'm going to need her help, DD1 loves her, amazing. But when I need space or time to get on with stuff just let me get on with it... But even repeating myself a hundred times doesn't seem to get the message in her head...I thought mothers of sons had a sense they are one step removed, I'm not her daughter I have my own mom...

pictish Tue 01-Jul-14 18:26:25

Yeah I can understand that...she's getting under your feet.

Well bad news first...you won't be able to stop her without causing some serious hurt feelings, so you're kind of stuck with it...sorry. Good news though - when you have two on the go she'll come into her own, and she sounds like a willing babysitter too. Bonus!

Diddlo Tue 01-Jul-14 19:05:19

Thanks for that, i guess it's just learning to get on with it and trying to not be too sensitive to her lack of giving someone their personal space. I think I'm just caught up with impending feeling of having new bubba and trying to make sure The world around has a moment of calm before the MiL comes crashing in...

OhGood Tue 01-Jul-14 20:27:29

Diddlo I don't think you're being unreasonable at all, especially given the history. I totally identify with what you're saying about new baby and need for space.

Can you limit they days you see her?

Is your DH on board with this now after the counselling? Will he be able to say 'Mum, BACK OFF' if she is getting too much in your face?

I don't see why you should be the only person to compromise here.

And I second the positive comments about getting her to focus on DD1.

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