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PFG MIL has opinion on everything!

(16 Posts)
Tartineetketchup Mon 22-Oct-12 10:32:31

Precious first grandchild??

MIL is actually quite lovely but where DS -8mths- is concerned, there is literally not a single thing that I can do that she doesn't give an opinion on. Sometimes approving, but mostly mildly concerned (albeit always out of concern for DS rather than trying to undermine me I try to think). We saw her for the day on Sunday and she commented on DS clothes (is that neckline irritating him do you think, it looks a bit scratchy?), his toys (I think that teddy scares him!), his lunch (I'm not sure he can manage all those lumps), his cot (is that blanket warm enough?), his room (would he sleep better with blackout blinds?)

I'm really not averse to the odd suggestion and aware that none of these comments are bad in isolation, but its constant and it is the only thing she talks about!

I could go on, but anyway, it is getting my back up a bit now as I can't help taking it as a criticism of my parenting skills, even if it comes from a good place. We see her once every 10 days or so, so it's not a daily concern but enough to make me dread her visits.

Anyway. Two AIBUs; WIBU to ask DP to ask her to calm down a bit? And WIBU to ask you, in general, how you cope as a mother with other people's judgement/criticism/unsolicited advice? I feel I am getting so much of it lately. My friends say just smile, nod, ignore but I'm finding it is not so easy and I do take a lot of it to heart. Does it just come eventually. I need to find a way to make my peace with it (scuse wanky term) as I feel it's probably better in the long run to change the way I deal with it, rather than expecting others to change (scuse more wankiness)

DawnOfTheDee Mon 22-Oct-12 10:34:50

She doesn't sound too bad tbh so I'd probably wouldn't ask DP to have a word as I think it may do more harm than good.

Difficult as it is I think your friends are right. Smile/nod/ignore.

diddl Mon 22-Oct-12 10:38:44

I also think friends are right.

And if you generally get on with her-hold on to that.

Would that my MIL had ever been interested enough in anyone other than herself to offer any opinion at all!!

MrGeresHamster Mon 22-Oct-12 10:40:05

Little bit similar here. DH has been instructed to counter balance some of the suggestions with for example to a too hot comment 'hmm no actually I think he looks too cold'. Whether its true or not (possibly works better if not true).

Seems to be getting the hint across without being confrontational...

Iheartpasties Mon 22-Oct-12 10:40:11

This would drive me potty. My mum is similar and I end up biting her head off because it all adds up and feels like a barage of criticism, I hate hate hate it.

Narked Mon 22-Oct-12 10:40:38

Have you tried the broken record approach? When she comments say,'He's fine!' in a bright, light tone, smile and carry on with whatever you were saying/doing. Repeat as necessary. No explaining why it's not a problem or justifying yourself.

Lottapianos Mon 22-Oct-12 10:41:34

YANBU to be climbing the walls about this - I would be! I can't stand non-stop fussing like this - it undermines you and makes you feel like you are doing something wrong. How do you think MIL would respond if DP had a word with her? If it would cause a massive rift, I would probably leave it alone and grit my teeth and take the smile/nod approach. On the other hand, it sounds like she is being mega annoying and very unfair to you and DP by questioning everything you are doing as parents - why the heck should you have to grind your teeth down to stumps to save her feelings when she is being so crass about yours? Do whatever will give the best result for you, so you won't spend the next few years months walking on eggshells. Congratulations on DS smile

pictish Mon 22-Oct-12 10:46:11

When she pipes up, sigh, cock your head to one side enquiringly, and give her a hard stare. Do it every time but be otherwise pleasant as ever.

bonzo77 Mon 22-Oct-12 10:50:37

YANBU. Constant fussing drives me mental. It does feel like criticism of ones parenting. Luckily my MIL is so fucking oblivious that she wouldn't notice something of genuine concern. Actually not such a good thing. Mother and grandmother are " fussers" though. I generally ignore (no nod though). When it gets too much I just point out that DS is not exactly complaining and seems pretty healthy so I'll leave things as they are thanks. A good example was giving him bottles straight from the fridge instead of warming them.

SmellyFartado Mon 22-Oct-12 10:54:25

If it is bothering you that much, you have to say something - even if it's dropping in to a general chat such as 'it's been such a whirlwind with DC....I'm so worried to make sure I'm doing things right....am so glad of your support as it means a lot..'

Or go the other way and tell her yourself (or through your DH) that whilst you appreciate that her concerns are coming from a good place, some of her comments do feel mildly critical of you which is upsetting for you as you are only doing your best.

I've gone through this myself with my own mother - and yes, pfg - to the point where I was sobbing at her bluntness and constant criticism of what I was or wasn't doing. Life's too short - if it's bothering you, you have to address it.

oldraver Mon 22-Oct-12 10:58:54

What Pictish said.... probably add a withering "do you think so".

If it carried on I think I would have to say something. Probably ask her if she realised her comments were constant and although not serious in isolation the amount of them could be construed as critcism

5madthings Mon 22-Oct-12 11:02:05

oh dear it is soo annoying, ignoring it with a pointed look is the way to go tho. my mil does this, still even tho pfg is now 13! (and four more since him) i do tend to ignore it/say they are fine with a stfu expression on my face.

its grates and is incredibly wearing, but i know my mil says it because she is concerned and genuinly dotes on her grandchildren. i found it much harder to deal with when i had ds1 as i was young and he was my first but 4 more since then and its just a meh and a shrug, i know my kids are fine and she is just a worrier by nature.

diddl Mon 22-Oct-12 11:02:07

If you get on with her-why can´t you just ask her to stop as it pisses you off?

Has she always wittered on like this & you´ve only really noticed it now that it´s about the baby?

MyDonkeysAZombie Mon 22-Oct-12 11:03:10

You could risk asking her advice on something... I know, risky! but she might be bursting to help and it's not necessarily her criticising you but as you mentioned, out of concern for DS, just being kind and wanting to help... I'm not saying open the floodgate and stand back and have her take over, just every now and again, throw out a question like, "I was wondering about such + such, what do you reckon?"

You sound like you're handling her well and have identified the PFG thing so mention it to DP and if he takes it upon himself to mention it to his mum, well and good. I used to just nod and smile or say "Oh really? Yes they probably did that back in the day" and carry on.

wishingchair Mon 22-Oct-12 11:15:16

Agree it is hard. She probably thinks she's just engaging with you re: baby, but it's not coming across like that.

Agree with the smile, nod and "he's fine!!" approach every time. Also like MyDonkeysAZombie's suggestion for actually asking for advice on something.

You could then drop into conversation about a 'friend' of yours whose MIL is a total nightmare and is always criticising everything she does. "So glad you're not like that, cos it's so hard, especially with your first to do it right, and too much criticism can really get you down!"

lakeofshiningwaters Mon 22-Oct-12 11:34:32

Both my Mum and MIL were like this. It's hard not to let it get to you, but I think wishingchair has got it spot on - it's probably trying to be involved but not really knowing how to. I suppose gps go through a period of adjustment too.

One thing that helped me was asking MIL & DM to do different jobs for pfg, like 'oh that lovely lentil soup you make, could you do a batch for lo, but without the salt', or asking MIL to knit a pram blanket. Also found they loved being told that lo needed some some sleepsuits so could they pick up a packet. Bonus was all the fussing happened elsewhere (poor wool shop lady who had to cope with MIL spending 30 mins choosing between 2 different shades of blue) but it's a way of involving.

Also, I sometimes used to say to DH, you know I love your/my Mum, but I really really need a rant. Afterwards, he'd fetch me a glass of wine smile

Congrats on your son!

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