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ARGH. Interfering mother in law.

(31 Posts)
MisselthwaiteManor Wed 01-May-13 16:18:39

Anyone else have this?

I'm probably hormonal and ungrateful and moody. But, she's driving me mad.

She talks about babysitting as if the baby is going to be with her all the time. We don't intend to ever leave the baby there and she has been told. She has been taking second hand stuff from everyone and their dog, she's got a pram, Moses basket, travel cot, carseat, bouncer, she's got people knitting blankets and cardies etc. All of this is for leaving at her house for using while she's babysitting.

She's telling me what to eat, what to do, what to buy. Making orders and demands, have you bought this/that yet? WHY not? etc. Telling me what my sleeping/feeding arrangements will be. There was an 'ew' when I stated my intention to breastfeed.

We don't know the sex but she's decided it's a girl, and what's it's name will be hmm

She's mentioned being in the room while I give birth! Over my cold, dead body will this happen.

I get that she's excited but I'm anticipating her snatching the baby and running away to Spain.

Lolapink Wed 01-May-13 16:27:35

Oh my she sounds exactly like my mother inlaw. She has never bothered with me, now I am pregnant wont leave me alone. She seems to think the baby will be practically living at hers. She lives over an hour and half away, not a chance!

Who are these people who think that they get to go to see their DIL give birth? Does this EVER happen????

somanystripes Wed 01-May-13 16:36:02

I feel for you. My MIL was very opinionated during my first pregnancy, and also didn't approve of breastfeeding. She had decided the baby was a boy and that was the end of it (she's a girl). She was quite pushy, insisting that she came to stay within days of DD being born even though it was the last thing I wanted. It was a disaster and I don't think I'm overstating it to say that was one trigger for my PND - it was just way too much pressure and scrutiny. This time round I am holding my ground on all fronts and I've made sure that DH is in no doubt about her level of involvement with the new baby being all on my terms, at least for the first few months this time.

The only advice I can give you is this:

1) Don't let your DP off the hook. It's his mother - get him to understand the stress it's causing you and get him to talk to her. A united front is really essential or she'll just act like you are a cow. Make sure he makes it clear she's not coming near the delivery room way ahead of time.

2) Try to see things from her point of view. I know it's hard, but she is clearly very excited about the baby. She's obviously not listening to you or your wishes, but she probably thinks she's doing nice things for you both and 'helping' and doesn't really get how suffocating and frustrating it is. You may want the babysitting further down the line, you never know.

3) Accept that this is just the start of her wanting to have her say/way, and probably the easiest thing is to ignore her or you'll be in for years of annoyance. My MIL still wants us to potty train, wean, sleep train etc. in the way she thinks is right or did herself. I have learned to nod and do my own thung, or simply say 'that's not how we're doing it'.

Having said all that, at times I was incandescent with rage with my MIL in my last pregnancy and she has reduced me to tears since with feeling undermined, so I really do know how awful it can be! Good luck xx

usualsuspect Wed 01-May-13 16:36:28

She sounds a bit ott. But you might be glad of the babysitting.

janey1234 Wed 01-May-13 16:37:42

My friend's MIL asked to be there, as she wasn't allowed to be there for her daughter confused, and knew my friend had asked her own mum to be there. My friend said no, she was sorry, but she wouldn't feel comfortable with that as she's such a private person. MIL said she understood. Yet when she got to the pushing stage, which lasted two hours, and was far from knowing her right mind, her MIL came into the room anyway, and ended up holding one foot. So bloody rude when she'd been told no - but went in anyway. They had - and have - a really good relationship, but for me I think I'd struggle to get over it. My friend is a pretty private person and I think it's almost an abuse of their relationship to go in, knowingly against her request, simply because she wasn't in a position to argue at the time!

popsnsqeeze Wed 01-May-13 16:39:41

My best friends MiL barged her way into the delivery room and wouldn't leave... Apparently she convinced everyone (including her own son) that she was a trauma midwife (whatever the fuck that is.) My best friend just didn't feel comfortable telling her to leave even though she had been informed before the birth that she was not invited.

She has since been outed as a pathological liar and the closest she's ever come to being a 'trauma midwife' is inventing the position in her own head!

Probably not so helpful to the OP... But get your husband to talk to her and try and nip this in the bud!

fruitpastille Wed 01-May-13 16:45:13

You can put on your birth plan who you want to have there and who is definitely not allowed. Tell your midwife and they won't let her in.

She does sound annoying but i must admit i enjoy the fact that our kids will happily sleep at the in laws house there days!

MisselthwaiteManor Wed 01-May-13 16:52:35

We aren't telling anyone I'm in labour until the baby is out and we've had some time to ourself, so hopefully she won't get the chance to barge in. I cant believe people actually do that, that's such a massive violation! But I can see her turning up at our house as soon as we get home and staying here until the baby turns 18.

DH feels the same as me and isn't afraid to tell her to back off but she laughs. She doesn't get it.

I do understand her excitement but I wish she would step back and let me have my excitement too.

NigellaTufnel Wed 01-May-13 16:55:35

You need to put your foot down about get coming over after the baby is born. Use the excuse that you are establishing breast feeding

My MIL is the same. Making all sorts of plans for when baby is here. Holidays we are all going on, walks - they were getting a dog but now they aren't 'because we can take baby for walks instead. She's said she'll be at the hospital with a flask!!??? er I don't think so! My folks live in another country and asked what I would prefer, them coming over before due date to be there for me or after when we are settled in a bit, I was grateful for the choice as i dont want any parents at the birth or even in the birthing unit hanging around. MIL just assumed. She said she would have to go on holiday once my parents are here as she doesn't trust herself to stay away. I mean, have some restraint woman! I had to have it out with OH as I was stressing so much. He said, what I say goes, but I can just see her 'popping in' every five minutes during and after the birth and I'll never get shot of her. OH said she won't just turn up, she'll ring and he'll check with me first. That will make me look like a cow if a I say 'not today' wont it! We'll see what happens, but I'm not taking any sh1t!

alienbanana Wed 01-May-13 17:17:04

Are you going for MN MIL bingo?

Twinklestarstwinklestars Wed 01-May-13 17:25:23

She sounds awful, and I thought mine was bad! We haven't spoken to her for 3 years but she rang the other day wanting ds to be her page boy next year, don't think so! And she's said she's not bothered about him but wants to be a grandma to dc3 when its born. Last time she came to the hospital after a few days and the midwife had to take ds off her as he was getting cold out of the hot cot, dp had cleared off home and left me with her! This time she's not coming til we're home if at all.

AlmondFrangipani Wed 01-May-13 20:36:06

I can completely sympathise with this! My MIL has spent the last few months commenting on bump size to the point that she bought over her 2 sets of maternity notes (they are over 30 years old) and showed me how much she weighed at each stage!! She has also questioned everything we have bought. Firstly saying we have been frivolous (she is a massive hoarder and hates buying new) despite a lot of things being borrowed or got off eBay and secondly questioning 'modern' things like sleep pods as these didn't exist when her kids were born. I am also having the baby early due to a pre-existing medical condition and she just cant get her head around this and keeps going on about why they cant leave me to go to term. In the end I just shouted 'because I might die' (bit of an exaggeration but just wanted her to shut up). I have also had 4 hours of her trying to name the baby and suggesting every single name we hate and then questioning my rationale for hating the names. Deep breaths were needed....!

I am dreading the first few weeks and having to have her to stay. She lives 1.5hr a way so no choice on that front and this is her first grandchild. I just told DH that he has to be here and to back me if she starts interfering. GRRR!

mrspaddy Wed 01-May-13 20:44:07

Oh dear .. you do not need this at all. Don't tell her you've gone into labour.. keep your distance from now on.. reduce visits and phonecalls. She will defo ask your DH why you've gone quiet.. let him explain that you are stressed. Make him do the work for you.. it is his mother. Yes she will be grandmother and that is a special role but she is overstepping the mark. I can't believe what some people have to put up with. To think she feels she has a say on names and being there at the birth grrrr.... is DH strong enough to sort this though ???

trikken Wed 01-May-13 20:45:33

My mil (plus mum and dh) was at the birth of dd, but that was my choice. I love my mil and we get on really well though.

If she acted like OP's mil I would b annoyed as well..

Springforward Wed 01-May-13 21:10:59

Seriously. Just tell her no. What's the worst that can happen? And what's DH doing to support you?

MultipleMama Wed 01-May-13 21:32:06

I am so thankful ym PiL live in Germany and don't have the chance to but it, as I know my MiL would love to get very hands on.

I only have DH with me, and DF who visits me after but then I don't see him for at least a week, I don't even announce I'm in labor or given birth because I did it during PG1 and my phone never stopped going off!

You need to be firm and put your foot down, and tell her politely that the birth is private and you would like time to bond with your child before you introduce them to the world. I'd repeat until she got the message haha.

madamecake Wed 01-May-13 22:31:50

If you think she might turn up at your house once your home with baby, turn off your doorbell, close the curtains, and leave a key in the back of the front door in case she gas a spare (this comes from experience!).

Luckily my MIL didn't push to be in the room when I was in labour, but did want to sit outside the delivery suite with FIL.

Apparently this was in case DH needed anything, such as a sandwich, which they could go and get for him. Needless to say this didn't happen!

HazleNutt Thu 02-May-13 09:11:24

almond my PILs live about 1,5 hours away. I just told them that we want to be left alone and allowed to settle in and get used to the new addition. And that we will let them know when it is ok to visit. It might be their grandchild, but it's your baby!

Bunnylion Thu 02-May-13 09:24:39

watermellon88 I really feel for you. I have the same issues but my ILs are abroad. Good in some ways but also means I suffer very intense bursts of this kind of behaviour when they visit.

Last time there were here I was casually showing MIL an ornament that I got in Chile and my FIL leapt across the room and grabbed it out my hand, saying I shouldn't be touching it incase it has lead in it. They monitored my fridge contents, stand over me as I cook, interrogated me on my diet, stopped me getting out the car at a petrol station because of the fumes, told me not to touch my dog because I could catch salmonella (!) and generally suffocated the hell out of me.

They make me feel like I'm a womb for their grandchild with a very inconvenient and stupid woman attached to it.

I dread the post-birth visits.

upsydaisy33 Thu 02-May-13 09:34:09

You have my sympathy. My MIL is great (and lives miles away) but my own mother is like your MIL.

Some other posters have said you might be grateful for the babysitting, and I would love a babysitter but wouldn't let my mum do it EVER. Yes, I know she has brought me up, but that's one of the good reasons why I wouldn't let her! (She still thinks it's going to happen though) So, work out what your own limits are. I have my good reasons, and I do try to give my mum nice days with my dd, and try to look grateful for the endless things she turns up with that we neither want nor need....many of them get passed on to others or charity shops, and some of them we lie about...well how will she know if the clothes have been worn or not? I found it infuriating to have things 'bought' for me that I neither wanted and to have the choice of what I wanted taken away from me. For me this has tailed off a bit (or rather, she's no longer bringing moses baskets, but books/toys/clothes instead, which are easier to deal with).

It may be easier for me because it is my mother who is the problem, and i don't have to go through DH. Indeed it is often the other way around when he tells me not to let her interfere/ruin our weekends. And he is right, but it is so hard to deal with. Telling her no can lead to an even greater outburst and massive stress, so I often give in to things I don't want. So I'm just saying this may be the problem for your OH. I don't have a solution, only that we find it tough.

If your MIL is as similar to my mother as she sounds, though, if you can set your boundaries and stand REALLY FIRM then afterwards it will be as if it never happened. My mother never came near the birth nor the hospital (cue hysterical behaviour from her at the time - and I mean ringing me up when dd was a day old and shouting at me repeatedly on the phone, accusing me of all sorts of things) but now never mentions it.

Good luck, and make space for your needs.

Snowflakepie Thu 02-May-13 09:41:31

Just don't tell them. Labour can be a long slow process and you don't need any added stress. If you don't want them near after for a few days you can either be honest and say you want to be left alone, or just refuse to answer the door, unplug the phone, and if anyone questions it later just say you were exhausted and asleep. It may well be true anyway. Make it very clear to your midwife and DP who is welcome and who is not, they will support you.

Agree your DP needs to deal with this now though. It will only get worse and if you don't want it to happen you need to be blunt, consistent and just keep saying no. Like with a toddler, really! Grandparents and toddlers are very similar creatures. Things may change in time but if the relationship is damaged now, it is very hard to trust again. Your bonding time with your baby is so precious, don't let anything get in the way. Stand your ground, be rude if its called for, throw a fit and throw them out because you really can with a newborn! Be selfish.

I'm not sure if its worse having them living nearby so you can have short but unexpected visits, or having to stay and they drive you mad tbh. I've put a limit of 2 nights max and not until the summer holidays this time, as I want to get DD settled and kept in her routine when DS arrives in 7 weeks or so. I have no need of help while DH is on leave. The only headache is someone to look after DD during the birth, so one set of parents will need to know. But I have already said that they will look after her, then meet the baby and then we will see them in a few weeks. My parents were fine with this and they will be my first choice. My MIL was a bit shock but they will just have to deal with it. I don't need people hanging round my house getting in the way if DD is at preschool, baby is napping and I want to get some rest. Plus we only have one bathroom. They aren't staying here. Good luck x

izchaz Thu 02-May-13 10:46:02

Allow me to show you the frankly scary opposite-side-of-the-proverbial coin.My MIL couldn't be a more unpleasantly uncaring woman about her son if she had tried to run him over as a small child.
He told her we were expecting our first child (and her first grandchild) last night, her first words were "dear oh dear oh dear... that is terrible news." She made him feel like he was an irresponsible 15YO coming home to tell his mum he'd knocked up his 13YO girlfriend, as opposed to a man in his 30s proud to be telling his mum that after a year of actively trying he and his WIFE have managed to get a pregnancy to stick beyond 5 weeks.
All of this is complicated by the fact that she is terminal with cancer and we had hoped for her to meet her first grandchild before she dies. DH is so distraught by her reaction he actually said "F* her, if she wasn't dying I'd never have spoken to her again after the way she spoke to me this evening." I now must negotiate a fraught path in trying to rebuild this (already extremely fragile) relationship before she dies, because they're both stubborn as mules...

Teaandflapjacks Thu 02-May-13 11:09:51

oh good luck with this - my MIL, while lovely, can be terribly overbearing, she does means well. I live in Germany now, and my parents are far away - it is unfortunate since i think my on mother is a saint and would love to have her close by and popping in all the time, as it is we speak every day on the phone or skype - but not the same. I would advise, like the others, really standing your ground, as if you give an inch it gets worse and worse. I have already made it clear that they can visit when I want - this may not be in the hospital, but once we are home, for example.

I know from bitter experience about my own wedding to DH. It is far too long to repeat here. I got upset about it after the wedding, and luckily DH saw what she had been up to, and went to see her and basically told her to back off. Now grandchild number one is on the way, she has been up to her old tricks a bit - but now I can speak german and understand everything she says and just put my foot down - including a stand off over the buggy/pram (apparently it is too small, and we will have some giant baby coming out of my lady bits!), some second hand bed at theirs for the baby (a flat no from me, she said 'but your husband slept on a 40 year old horse hair mattress, you are being ridiculous, he's fine...'), she has been 'collecting' spare stuff for baby for theirs too. You just have to say no, get DH to say no, and get hospital staff also clued up on it too, just in case. This is what I plan to do. I decided the easiest way to handle her when she gets like this is give her a job - she is an excellent seamstress, so I got her to make up baby bedding. I have rationed the amount of fabric I buy each time - so I can spin this out over the next month. This way she is involved, quite happy. Maybe think of something like this for her? But you need DH to stand firm with her, and make the point too.

Good luck - and breathe!!

thanks

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