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(51 Posts)
nothingbyhalves Sun 23-Sep-12 20:21:17

Hi, MIL has always been somewhat of a challenge, but last night it all blew up. We go and stay with her quite regularly due to the fact she was widowed last Nov. When we go and stay with her I always make the effort to take food etc as she worries about money. I also don't expect her to run round after the kids, or get up with them. When we go there she has never made a effort at all. We don't even get offered a cup of tea. (If we went to stay with my family my mother would automatically have a meal planned, even if it was just beans on toast or a sandwich). Her idea of entertaining the kids is to put on the tv. Whenever i suggest going to the park etc she tells me to stop trying to be super mum.

This tho is not the main problem. When it comes to our DTs she always goes against whatever we say. examples include using biological washing powder when they were tiny on their clothes and bedding (and yes we did tell her to leave the washing to me! but she would whisk it off when i wasn't looking!!), smacking them when we told her not to, constantly mildly swearing in front of them, cuddling them to sleep when we are trying to get them to self sooth etc etc Basically if we decided to adopt a vegetarian diet as a family she would still feed them meat behind our backs. She is simply petty. If you say the sky is blue she would argue it was black with tartan check!

Last night I put the twins to bed and they didn't settle straight away, but as i have said we are trying to encourage them to self sooth as we have found by going into them winds them up and they take longer to settle. (we have discussed this with her) She walked past me smirked at me and practically ran into their room. When she came out I simply said i wished she hadn't and my husband said he wished she would respect us as parents. She went mad, flounced off to bed slamming doors on the way (it was 8pm) in the morning we told her we were leaving. she refused to say goodbye to DTs and said if we left we were not welcome back. We left. DH has been miserable all day. Sorry to go on , but am I right in thinking her behaviour was unreasonable.

WelshMaenad Sun 23-Sep-12 20:23:08

Anyone who hit my children would have had a smack in the chops and an invitation to fuck off to fucksville a LONG time ago.

Tee2072 Sun 23-Sep-12 20:24:41

As soon as someone smacks my child, they are no longer in my child's life.

Forget the rest. That right there is a deal breaker.

hermioneweasley Sun 23-Sep-12 20:24:50

Of course she is unreasonable. If she truly behaved as described then yo should be delighted that you're not allowed back!

GoldShip Sun 23-Sep-12 20:24:51

Welsh grin

OP I have no advice but that must be so shitty for you sad

AnOldieButNotSoGoody Sun 23-Sep-12 20:25:17

Yes she does sound out of order.

Have you ever got on with her, I mean before her DH died or before you had your DT?

featherbag Sun 23-Sep-12 20:26:12

I can understand why some of the things she does upset you (smacking, for example - I'd smack her back tbh), but it sounds a bit like you all need to climb out of your own arses a bit, sit down and have a chat, and realise life is FAR too short to fall out over granny cuddling grandbairns when DIL says not to! How old are DTs?

puds11 Sun 23-Sep-12 20:27:59

How old are your DT?

I would no tolerate someone smacking my child or undermining my parenting.

LaurieFairyCake Sun 23-Sep-12 20:28:06

Phew, take her at her word - how fabulous to not have to visit the silly cow grin

Look, she will not be able to be mad at you both for long, she will contact you - for some reason she feels able to be angry with you both (maybe she's still grieving).

Just don't put up with any crap.

googietheegg Sun 23-Sep-12 20:32:11

My mil loves to go against everything I say too. I think it's a control & a jealousy thing, like 'your life is better than mine so I'm going to piss you off just because I can'.

nothingbyhalves Sun 23-Sep-12 20:32:45

I've tried since day 1 to get on with her, inviting her down to stay before FIL passed away, my mum has invited her out shopping etc with limited success. She used to come down to "help" with DTs when they were tiny and sit around all day reading her magazines whilst i did everything, making comment like "your doing it that way are you...." she even disapproved of my breast feeding! If it was just granny giving them a cuddle i would climb out of my arse, the cuddle last night was just one thing after another and another etc etc. Dts are almost 3. DH has admitted that she does slag me off to him when I'm not there, but then again she slags off everyone, so I wasn't shocked.

CBear6 Sun 23-Sep-12 20:33:21

She was being very unreasonable.

I think most grandparents occasionally push their luck in terms of pandering to the every whim of their grandchildren, my own parents are big fans of the old 'have a biscuit, have some crisps, of course you can stay up until 10pm' when they have DS (3yo) and DD (12mo) over but it's not all of the time and I think it's nice for them to occasionally spoil them so long as its not undermining us (which it doesn't, a few extra biscuits and the odd late night never did anyone any harm).

There is a line though and your MIL has crossed it. Frankly I'd have called it a day the moment she broke your rule on smacking. She's continually undermined you on major issues such as discipline, sleeping, etc and then took a strop when you called her on it.

Leave her to simmer, if she calms down when fine (with a polite reminder that she needs to respect how you and DH parent), if she doesn't then it's her loss.

BarbarianMum Sun 23-Sep-12 20:36:27

YANBU, and she most definitely is. However, you need to sit down with your dh and agree a way forward because he's kind of in the middle here (glad he is primarily supportive of you though).

nothingbyhalves Sun 23-Sep-12 20:37:47

She has asked DH to "Visit" tomorrow. I'm quietly taking the attitude that Our overnight visits are going to stop, days out and special occasions are fine, but yes she is grieving but so is DH!

featherbag Sun 23-Sep-12 20:39:46

Ok, in that case YANBU, no arse-climbing needed wink Why don't you and DH sit down and work out 1) what does she do which is irritating, but basically harmless? 2) what does she do which is totally unacceptable, and why are these behaviours so unacceptable? What harm will they cause? 3) what are the good things she does for/contributes to your family life, or even just your DTs lives? Then have a chat - disregard everything that comes under 1), tell her all the things you've listed under 3), then explain that the things in list 2) need to stop immediately, and why, and that if there is even one repeat of any of these behaviours, contact will stop or be seriously limited.

Disclaimer - my replies are coloured by my job giving me a lot of experience of sudden death and how unneccessary feuds devastate families who thought they had all the time in the world to sort it out; and also by the recent loss of my own MIL, who I now realise wasn't so bad after all.

SlightlySuperiorPeasant Sun 23-Sep-12 20:40:09

YANBU. Frankly, if your DH wasn't so upset I'd be relieved that she had withdrawn the welcome.

CaptainVonTrapp Sun 23-Sep-12 20:42:26


Welsh is harsh... but right.

This isn't about an extra cuddle from Granny at bedtime. Smacking and deliberately undermining you... No.

Time she realised she cannot behave exactly as she pleases. I hope that you can resolve this (not immediately) and her realise that there are boundaries. Like a child, but then she sounds like she's behaved like a child flouncing off to bed etc

DoingTheBestICan Sun 23-Sep-12 20:43:17

Take her at her word,if anyone raised their hand to my ds I would never ever speak to them again.
I was hit as a child and I vowed to never use violence as a power trip to control my ds.

As a parent you have to put your dc needs above everyone else's and if that means keeping them away from her then so be it.

Makes me very angry when I hear of children being hit.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Sun 23-Sep-12 20:46:18


She sounds like a total nightmare. I 'd keep my contact with her to a bare minimum, your dh can take the DCs for day visits, and that would be it for me.

Gay40 Sun 23-Sep-12 20:48:19

Smacking. That's the deal breaker even if everything else was fine.

Bongaloo Sun 23-Sep-12 20:53:10

How dare she smack them. angry

maytheoddsbeeverinyourfavour Sun 23-Sep-12 20:56:57

I agree that smacking is a total dealbraker

I'm also shock that you DH let's her slag you off in front of him, my DH would never let anyone do that, nor I with him

Something seriously needs to change, you cannot go on like this

nothingbyhalves Sun 23-Sep-12 20:58:18

DH does not put up with her slagging me off to be fair, they have argued about it a fair few times in the past.

MrsRajeshKoothrappali Sun 23-Sep-12 20:59:58

If someone smacked my child I'd throttle them. I'd do time to protect my child.

You've had the patience of a saint, don't feel bad.

milkymocha Sun 23-Sep-12 21:02:04

My mil is also a year one after lising her husband.
We stay with her so she doesnt feel lonely and gets time to spend with the DC.

Difference is we are fed, watered, waited on, kids entertained, helped with anything (holding baby, washing clothes etc)
We are guests.
We treat guests in the same way??? Although reading that we do seem a bit 'spoilt' actually blush

I think you need to keep away from her house, let her appericiate your visits and miss them.

How you didnt smack her back is beyond me! My MIL is twice as big as me (and could beat me up easily and i adore her!) but i'd still punch her if she hit my babies!!!

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