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MIL cut Ds' hair!

(74 Posts)
annieee Sun 23-Sep-12 11:46:01

DS (16 months) stayed at MILs for the night in the week, it doesn't happen often but she has him 1 day a week while we work, and takes him shopping and into town/ to visit her mother etc, then drops him back to us. We have never had any issues with the way she cares for him, except for 1 time when DP asked her to make sure he gets a chance to sleep in the day at some point - he is in and out of the car/shops so often he barely got 30 minutes, and would come home miserable and tired, and scream all night.
He came back from her house with an obviously shorter fringe, he doesn't look stupid but me and DP were furious, we had made it quite clear to her on numerous occasions that we didn't want his hair cutting, we like it long and will cut it when he gets older. I was quite upset also at not being there for his first haircut - sounds silly but quite important to me.
DP asked MIL if she had cut in and she replied saying that she thought growing it would hinder his eyesight, and she didn't think it would be a problem, so didn't think to ask or tell us!
AIBU to be livid? I can't imagine EVER cutting anyone elses baby's hair! To make it worse she then turned us saying 'never do it again, it's really upset us' into a massive issue about how we don't think she can look after DS (not true) and now thinks it best she doesn't look after him in the week, as she can't stand the stress.
Maybe its all the pregnancy hormones but it's made me really cross, and quite upset that she would use this either as an excuse (?) or to cut her own nose off to spite her face and not see DS, I can't see how we could have handled it differently except for saying cutting DS' hair is fine, which it isn't!
Sorry very long post, didn't want to drip feed.

aldiwhore Sun 23-Sep-12 11:49:32

My mother will nag me, she'll go on and on about my sons' long hair and says they look like Cousin It, she harps on and annoys me.

But she would never EVER get their hair cut. Ever.

Its out of order. Even though it will grow back, it's just not up to her to decide.

I understand your DH's rage (even though a first hair cut aint all that) its just rude.

aldiwhore Sun 23-Sep-12 11:49:57

And your rage! YANBU. smile

WorraLiberty Sun 23-Sep-12 11:50:15

She trimmed his fringe because it was getting in his eyes?

She shouldn't have taken the task upon herself without asking you but I don't think it's a big deal really.

Maybe having your DS once a week is getting too much for her...but why would her not looking after him on that day mean she'd not see him?

Surely she'll visit and you and your DH will visit her with your DS to keep up contact?

FloppyWire Sun 23-Sep-12 11:50:56

Erm, in the nicest possible way, I think YABU.

It'll grow back. True, I don't have a DS or a MIL (she died long ago) but I wouldn't get myself too worked up about it. Your reaction seems quite extreme, to be honest I think your MIL has a point about it being stressfull.

happychappy Sun 23-Sep-12 11:51:44

My MIL does it to 'fix' the haircut I've given my son. Always a worse cut. It's a control thing. I ignore it and rise above at the end of the day it's hair it grows back and my son knows who his mum is and who's in control really. She's just an idiot.

cansu Sun 23-Sep-12 11:52:39

Can understand your feelings but this is what you get when you rely on parents for child are tbh. If you are relying on your mil to help you out regularly then you are probably going to have to be a bit careful in how you frame your upset. Ie maybe say i know you meant well but I'd rather you didn't cut his hair. If you think it's getting in his eyes let me know and I will sort it out. Then move on quickly so you have made your point without it being a massive issue. Alternatively put your ds into nursery on the day you work so she can look after him more on your terms.

Vinomcstephens Sun 23-Sep-12 11:54:13

If your D'S had come back with a short back and sides I could understand you being livid. However, it appears that all your MIL did was trim his fringe, yes? If that's so, massive over-reaction from you and your DH I'm afraid and yes, YABU. It's his fringe. It was trimmed. She's not given him a crew cut.

Tuttutitlookslikerain Sun 23-Sep-12 11:54:33

I think your MIL has a point. Maybe it was getting too stressful for her. Perhaps she felt on edge on all the time. If she is looking after him in the day, she should be able to take him to the shop, see her mother etc.

I can sort of see where your coming from about his hair, but perhaps his fringe did need cutting. Was it getting in his eyes and was he whinging about it?

Chill out a bit!

CatsRule Sun 23-Sep-12 11:54:51


Some first things are for parents only and no matter how big or small the thing is grandparents should not overstep.

It is good of anyone to help with childcare but it should not be used as a weapon and neither should the parents decisions be disregarded.

I would of been upset at that...if my own mother, mil or anyone I trusted with my child done it.

KatieScarlett2833 Sun 23-Sep-12 12:01:21

<looking at teeny God Daughter playing while I type>

Never would I cut any childs hair that I did not give birth to. Not only because I do not have the right, but also because I am not a qualified hairdresser.

annieee Sun 23-Sep-12 12:01:46

I have got over the first haircut thing now, and thought we had dealt with it relatively calmly, thankfully DP wouldn't let me ring her when I first saw the haircut, but Text her instead, and said Don't ever cut it again, it has really upset us that you did this without asking - I think I would also have been less mad if she told me, but her silence made me think she knew she had done wrong!
She didn't see DS much before I returned to work as they live out in the sticks and we don't get much time to go over or vice versa, I completely understand too if he was getting too much hard work now, but would rather she just told us and not used this as an excuse sad
It's not a massive issue her not having DS, I only have 9 weeks of work left until maternity and other people to help, I always assumed she wanted to have him and enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with him, we have never tried to make her feel like we are reliant on her help at all. I guess it is just that she felt she could do it without asking, and then get mad that we were less than thrilled!

DoMeDon Sun 23-Sep-12 12:03:03

While I would be upset that I had missed the first haircut - firsts are special. I can see your MIL POV. She is a grown woman who is caring for her DGC. She made a decision (not the best one but that's life) and was met with 'NEVER do it again, We are UPSET', just seems OTT.

There are so many DC with long hair flopping about in their eyes because their parents love their Dc's precious locks. All a bit daft and projection-ey IMO.

happychappy Sun 23-Sep-12 12:05:05

YANBU but how big an issue do you want to make it was my point. When I have a problem (which is fairly regularly, like every time i see her) I have to choose to get into an arguement where she cries and plays the victim and I end up apologising because she is crying and I feel guilty or not to play the game. I never will win an arguement with her because if I win my husband gets cross with me because he feels he ought to defend his mother or I back down. My solution rise above and ignore. Stangely now I am the one always defending his mothers unreasonable actions to him with him ranting about her. I just don't care enough about the small stuff and avoid avoid avoid (her that is). Same goes for my husband and my mother. When my children were small I did used to get really bothered by it all.

My kids stayed with her during the holiday and my son had chosen to have long hair (he's 10) and she spent the whole time trying to get him to cut his hair. He was so cross with her by the end of the time. One point to me I think.

brdgrl Sun 23-Sep-12 12:07:16


I would be livid. Livid.

JustSpiro Sun 23-Sep-12 12:10:04

Stick to your guns and don't let her turn the 'well, I can't look after him because of the stress (of realising he's your child and you call the shots)' into a means of emotionally blackmailing you to let her do what she likes.

I had 3 years of this crap from MIL and unfortunately I had no choice regarding using her for childcare because I had to work and my own parents are older and could only take on so much.

I was absolutely delighted when DD started nursery and even more so when she went to primary school as it was an end to all the aggro, which is a shame really.

Mutt Sun 23-Sep-12 12:10:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mutt Sun 23-Sep-12 12:11:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

annieee Sun 23-Sep-12 12:11:06

HAPPYCHAPPY - Do we share the same MIL? after the text she said sorry, she didn't think it would be an issue etc, we said ok - end of the issue right? WRONG! She spent all of yesterday in floods of tears, I ended up ringing her to say sorry for making her feel like she 'had failed us' and reiterated about 1000 times that we love her having DS and she does a great job, we just didn't want her to cut his hair and not tell us. We told her not to cut it again, not that we think she is a crap grandma and incapable, which is how she has taken it sad We then had calls from DPs Grandma asking what on earth had gone on as MIL was hysterical, after all she has done for us and we make her feel bad etc ..... sigh, maybe I should have just grinned and told her it was fine sad

PrimrosePath Sun 23-Sep-12 12:13:24

I think yabu to be livid over a trimmed fringe. Perhaps your response wasn't as calm as you think?

But if she is over reacting a perfectly friendly 'don't do it again', then maybe she is finding looking after ds stressful and is looking for an excuse pull back a bit?

I would try to rise above it, give her first refusal to look after him, but be friendly if she doesn't want to.

cansu Sun 23-Sep-12 12:14:14

The text sounds OTT and I think you handled it badly. agree with Mutt you should have simply made your point with a smile and all this upset could have been avoided. I understand you don't need her now but there may come a time when you do and you will then perhaps regret moments like these when you created tensions unnecessarily.

Nanny0gg Sun 23-Sep-12 12:15:56

She needs to get over herself.

I would never dream of interfering with my DGCs' appearance, she is now just guilt-tripping you.

Stop apologising and change the subject.

annieee Sun 23-Sep-12 12:17:43

I think I would be less livid over a fringe trim, if we hadn't specifically told her we do NOT want to cut his hair yet. loads of times, as she is of the view that boys should be crew cut and thats that! It just seemed so underhanded and disrespectful of our wishes.

janey68 Sun 23-Sep-12 12:18:20

I can understand you being a tad pissed off but I also agree with the view that if you expect your MIL to look after your child one day a week (which is a big commitment) then you need to approach it carefully.
This isn't the only thing thats annoyed you- you go on in the op about him not getting enough nap time because shes taking him in and out the car etc. it smacks to me of a woman who clearly has her own life to get on with and is happy enough to fit her grandson around her routine but doesn't want to revolve her life around him. Which is entirely reasonable. You may have assumed she'll be enamoured to provide childcare every week, but the reality may be that much as she loves him and enjoys seeing him, she'd prefer it to be social visits, not being a childminder.

If you intend to return to work after your next ML I would have some clear dialogue about whether she really wants to do this. If you want things on your terms you are better off paying for childcare.

Personally I wouldn't cut a child's hair apart from my own kids, but I suspect there's more to this than her just being awkward - his hair may have been getting in his eyes and she thought a quick trim wouldn't matter. But I think the root of the issue here is that you are expecting to use a relative for your convenience and it may not really be what she wants

happychappy Sun 23-Sep-12 12:24:59

I try not to ask my MIL for childcare, not only because she's rubbish at it and the kids hate it, but also the phrase there's no such thing as a free lunch comes to mind.

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