Am getting peeved by every little thing MiL does...(24 Posts)
Until I had a baby a few months ago I had a fab relationship with MiL, better than my own parents. I loved them, they loved me and we enjoyed spending time together as a family. Since the baby the dynamics have changed remarkably. I sometimes worry that I am oversensitive or have post natal depression as almost every time I see MiL she does something to drive me nuts... E.g waking up the baby to play when I've finally got baby to sleep (which is a mission!), helping to tidy up but does everything her way (including putting things in the wrong place repeatedly), onlyever buys baby gifts which are on sale mainly from pdimark (don't get me wrong, I love prim ark, but not everything needs to come from there), I said I would clean baby after she was sick at her christening and MiL grabbed the muslin from my hand... Literally tug of war, repeated backhanded compliments about my weight- absolute shock that I fit pre preggers clothes even tho I already told her I weigh less than pre baby, and comments that ive lost NEARLY all the baby weight ( have lost it all) which I tried to take as a compliment so rather than gloat said yes vie lost it all just need to tone up and she said yes on your stomach! I am five ft eight and weigh eight stone... Hardly fat! Tries to pass off thirty year old baby clothes from her own kids as new, actually lies, and also makes own clothes for baby and pretends they are bought. I suppose none of it is sinister or malicious but it just keeps irritating me.
Help, I'm going out of my mind and DH is fed up of me moaning after each visit. We've agreed to a time out but now I look like an evil wench prising DH away when vie never issued any ultimatum just get annoyed after each visit
I think you should put your foot down about her waking the baby when he/she's just gone to sleep. That is madness.
As for putting things away in the wrong place - meh. It annoys me too but no-one really knows where kitchen stuff goes apart from me so I wouldn't say anything about that.
As for the presents - could you tell her someone has given you lots of clothes already and you don't need them? Then give any unwanted gifts straight to the charity shop. With handmade stuff though clearly some effort has gone into it and I'd accept that. My MIL had a habit of giving us stuff when they had a clear out of their house, usually when I'd just got organised and had a clear out ourselves, which used to drive me nuts, until I started saying "Er no thanks, we have one of those..." It seems to have stopped for now.
With the weight thing, she might be a bit jealous. If she makes any more comments like the tummy one say "Wow, did you mean that to come out as nasty as it sounded?"
YABU for using the term "preggers" and YABU for complaining that MIL only buys gifts from Primark. They are GIFTS. Be grateful and charming in acceptance.
YANBU in being annoyed when she wakes your baby however. You have full permission to swing for her.
Why are you spending so much time with her? Let her and DH get on with it and go for a lie down.
Yes you need to spend more time with baby or on your own or dh or all three.
Distance yourself a little and let dh bear the brunt for the forseeable and see how it goes.
Wait til she's still calling you "Mummy" when your DC is 9 ...
Haha, we had the same issue with the passing on of things from their house clear outs too!
Good advice, thanks all!
Reading your post OP was like a trip down memory lane, my DS is 3 and prior to his birth everything was Rosie but rapidly went downhill due to MIL's comments and interfering ways.
In a nutshell I backed off completely which caused a lot of upset and my SIL still hates me and treats me with contempt, despite my best efforts, but I had to do something as the situation was making me ill.
So make more time for yourselves on your own and create some distance. This will cause a problem and the balloon may go up as it as it did in my case for a while. But things are improving for me now as they will for you, and although I will never look at my outlaws the same we have found some common ground I think.
The problem is that when people really annoy you and you see too much of them, it becomes irrational - everything they do annoys you no matter whether it's fair or not. I should know, for years I felt that way about my MIL. The only thing that really helped was distance. I was able to deal with her much better (and keep my own irritation in check) when I saw her much less often. You don't need to move away (as I did), but you do need to set firm boundaries about how often you see her. And your husband has to understand that for the time being, at least, seeing less of her will be seeing more - as you will all be getting on better, which is good in the long term.
If you and dh have decided to keep a visit short, agree a code phrase before hand. You say it, and he announces that it is time to leave and gets you all out the door. So it isn't you being evil!
Nothing wrong with not being grateful for gifts, if she is clearly buying them to please herself and not you. No need to be grateful for being the brunt of someone else's shopping habit!
Stuff like waking the baby - tell her if she keeps doing it you will be seeing less of her. Then next time she does it, take the baby from her and ask her to leave.
The weight thing - "that was so RUDE! did you mean to be rude?" or if you're having a bad day you could try "you obviously found losing the baby weight really tough" in a sympathetic voice.
And if she snatches things from you, practise your talking-to-a-toddler voice "now MIL, we don't snatch, it is rude to snatch".
She'll probably settle down once she gets over the excitement of it all!
A new baby does change the dynamic of a family and brings to the surface all sorts of things that might have remained well hidden had you not had a child. Like you, I used to get on really well with my in laws until I had a child. Then our differences really became apparent.
I think it's important to be firm about what you want for your baby's care and routine. It is okay to ask her (politely, but firmly) not to disturb the baby when asleep, for example.
If she buys you things that you don't want, smile and say thanks, but then just pass it on to the charity shop. I wouldn't worry about her putting things in the wrong place - she is trying to help, which is more than a lot of relatives do.
I think you are feeling as you do, because you are a new mum and there is an instinctive thing to mark your position as the mother. She is having to relinquish her role as the one in charge, probably reluctantly. horrible to say it but there is probably a bit of a power struggle bubbling beneath the surface and both of you have to settle into your new roles.
Assuming that she is a nice person who loves your baby and DH and cares about you (and the fact that you like her suggests that she is), try to keep in mind all the things that you do like and remember that she is one of the people who absolutely loves your child and would run in front of a bus to save them from harm. It will help you to feel less irritated.
I agree too with seeing her less frequently and for reasonably short visits.
Mare11 - you're absolutely right, I think a time out so baby and DH can still see MiL without me always being there will help...
Mizza - DH was offered a role in Dubai and I was seriously contemplating it just for the distance but couldn't bring myself to leave all our friends and other fam, and pain in thebackside as she may be I might miss her if I didn't have to see her every week...
Playdoh - love the suggestion on snatching! I just laughed at the weight comments and said awkward out loud smiling... But I think she gathered from my stony silence after I was not best pleased!
Karma - I think you're also spot on, hard for her to give up the matriarchal role. It was q awkward after the wedding as she would be OTT with DH for a while but that was years ago, seems to be much the same again!
Forgot to say she also cooks food but then says it's from a take away, I wouldn't mind either way just can't stand the fibs!
I think some space will cure some of my irrational and rational angst...
Agree you need to see less of her and stop inviting her round/ tell her you need some space. Some of the things she is doing you are right to be annoyed about like waking up your sleeping baby and snatching your baby, other stuff like Primark is daft to get upset about.
I would just start being more assertive, reclaim your role as head woman of your family and reclaim your life and the right not to visit and be visited by her if you don't want to be. If she moans I would tell her that your hormones are making you a bit tetchy at the moment and you need more personal space otherwise you'll not want to see her at all.
That way you're not blaming her, but making it clear to her she has to step back.
I wouldn't be seeing much more of her post baby than you did prebaby. You still have a right to your own life, you don't now exist only as someone to take your baby places/ be visited by people wanting to see your baby.
Start going out more.
Thanks rebecca, yes post baby we've been seeing them every week whereas before it was more like once every three weeks (which I coped with fine and actually enjoyed). I always felt like I owe it to them to see them more post baby but just need to slow it down a fair bit.
Oh God - MIL clearing out our house into ours.
The last one was a George Foreman fecking grill which she would like to borrow from time to time. Argh! Just keep the useless fecking thing yourself. Can't even fecking bin it now!
As you were.
YOU DH taking the baby to his mum's will allow them to spent time together and will give you a much deserved break.
Nothing highlights differences in values like having a baby. As I get on well with my partner, I had no idea our upbringings were so different. I have found it challenging to manage the expectations between the two of us and the added dimension of IL's opinions push me over the edge at times.
I have found distance really helps. I also make it clear it is my DH's responsibility to make arrangements to visit and that I am not the family secretary. If he doesn't make visiting arrangements they have to lump it. I want my DH and DC to have a good relationship but I am not responsible for making it happen.
The way they spoil my DC drives me insane but if I am not there they have to deal with the resultant behaviour. Conflict may get worse and you need to have a plan for dealing with it so that you don't 'go out of your mind' Good luck
Well I think some of the things your MIL is doing are quite annoying, rather than it just being you being oversensitive!
If she wants to look after the baby, take the baby to her house and drop it off. Go somewhere with OH or go to bed.
My MIL was like this with my 1st. I soon realised i could use this to my advantage. Worked a treat and eldest is now 9. All 3 dd's sleep there every Saturday night and i get a break.
@ Primark. I can remember my house being full of Primark bags.
Don't get me wrong, I am a Primarni fan but it's the fact that EVERYTHING ( other than the 30 year old baby clothes dug out the loft and passed off as new...) comes from there, on sale and often too small or damaged!
Am thinking of trying a new line next time I see her... You're looking well for your age? Grinning broadly. See how she likes the back handed compliments? I know I shouldn't stoop to that level, but it might be fun...?
I'll see the GForeman grill and raise you medicine from 1991 and food packets which expired over three years ago. Methinks she is trying to kill me!
Oh I hear you there. When we were eating there and DD1 asked for ketchup, she dug some out from the cupboard (yes, not the fridge where it should be kept) and it was about 5 years out of date. I mean, I'm not precious about dates on yoghurt being a few days beyond or something, but five years?
I did notice BEFORE DD1 used/ate it and kept it at joke level but thought in my head.
Send all the baby things you cannot stand to a women's refuge. They always need them, as some women and their babies arrive with just the clothes they have on. Mil doesn't need to know.
The competitiveness has resurfaced, from who looks after DH best, to who looks after baby best. You need to put your foot down about disturbing a sleeping baby.
Ignore the remarks.
See her less.
Putting stuff in the wrong places is annoying, but more tolerable if MIL isn't around so often to do it! Same goes for the fibs.
I keep my ketchups and sauces in the cupboard. I have several of them and they don't go off. Open jars of chutney, pset, thai paste etc go in the fridge, jams and sauces happily live in the cupboard. They usually get eaten fairly quickly though. I'd have no fridge left for real food if all the sauces had to live in it.
I have developed an irrational phobia for little plastic bags, since MIL decided to put everything in them. <shudder>
Knitted cardis for DD? In a wee plastic bag.
Book for DD? In a wee plastic bag.
Each individual item from the fridge on holiday? You get it.
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