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AIBU about my MIL? Please help!

(114 Posts)
Nicole2781 Wed 05-Dec-12 23:35:19

Hi I'm new to MN, I'd just like to know if people think I'm being unreasonable to feel upset/angry.

It's a bit of a long story so I'm sorry in advance.

I have a 2 mo son who is currently living with me and my fiancé and my parents house until we can move into our first home in jan.

While I was pregnant, my MIL said we could live with her and wouldn't charge us board so we could save up for our wedding which was a very kind offer which of course we accepted. I have never really felt comfortable in her house as its basically a show home and she's very strict and picky about things like cleaning etc and I come from a home where cleaning is not #1 priority every single day not to say I'm a messy person I always kept it tidy and clean, washed and ironed for them while I was on maternity leave.
So obviously we accepted her offer and I had only been living there 3 wks and was 4 days from my due date when she made a big deal with the fact I had asked my mum to come and help me wash my sons clothes and put them away in his nursery as she hadn't seen any of his clothes or seen his beautiful nursery that MIL kindly paid for and decorated. So I tell my MIL I had asked my mum if she could come help me sort his clothes out and she appeared to be ok about it. Later on that day my fiancé came home and said MIL had rang him in tears because she wanted me to sort the clothes with her (even though she'd suggested I do it the Monday while she was at work) anyways, she was really upset , told dp that she felt like a stranger in her own home and didn't want other people coming into her house. My mum is not just any person and she would not have trashed the place or anything. I was always told by her that I need to act as it was my own home etc so I really didn't think it would be such a huge deal. So I got upset and my parter and I moved into my mum and dads the next day. She didn't even speak to me she just completely blanked me. I thought it was such a horrible thing to do after saying I was to make myself at home she acted like that over a stupid thing. I would never have agreed to move into her home if I had known that nobody would have been able to visit me while mil + fil were at work and I would have been all on my own being a new first time mother.

So after son is born mil is acting like I'm a hero and being so nice and I'm being nice also even though I still hugely upset over the whole thing and how much stress it caused.

Now apparently she thinks my sons clothes smells of smoke... My parents do smoke BUT they smoke outside of the house obviously. She is so anti-smoking which is fine but my son actually doesn't smell of smoke. When I pack his bag to go to her house she doesn't put any of the clothes I plan out for him on, she puts brand new things on him, has her own blankets for him and even got her 17year old pram down from the loft to take my son out in. She has bought everything brand new for him like a bouncy chair, towels, bath everything! And keeps it in her house. I find this so annoying and I feel like she's acting like my son is her son. Obviously I understand she's excited to become a grandparent but it's too much. Every time I get pissed off it causes arguments between me and dp as he doesn't like me complaining about his mother. Also she has never expressed any of the problems she has to me she's always texting or ringing dp and upsetting him saying she wishes he and my son could go and live with her, she's not happy with them both living at my house etc... And my dp won't tell any of this to me I found out by reading his text messages as he wouldn't tell me why he was in such a bad mood. (I know it's wrong to do that but I knew something was up)
Am I being unreasonable? It's getting too much. She is known for being a bitch anyway, she thinks she is better than everyone else and looks down her nose at people which is awful to watch.
It's getting quite bad now I'm so unhappy and find everything she says or does gets me angry and my dp and I argue a lot about her. He doesn't see it from my point but I know it upsets him me getting upset and I really wish she would just keep her opinions to herself. It's hard enough being a new parent with a wedding and new house in the next few months.

I even sent her a message just before ds was born saying I don't know why she's upset with me and asking why she wanted us to move in so badly but not letting me know about her rules about visitors like did she seriously expect me to sit at home alone with nobody to help me if I felt I needed it? confused

She didn't even reply! And a week or so ago I complained to dp that she had just completely blanked my message and so he told her to reply to get it sorted and she said she had nothing to be sorry about she hasn't done anything wrong and she wasn't going to appologize for being her.
But she txt me saying she's fed up of the atmosphere between us and to accept that we are all different people with different opinions and put it in the past which I replied that I was still upset but I was willing to put it behind me and start fresh for ds and dp's sake. (Even though I still despise her) and try not to go to her house if I don't have to cause everything she says pisses me off.

Am I being unreasonable to feel like shit about it all still?
Am I in the wrong?
I know this all looks so petty but I'd really like an outsiders point of view and I'm sorry for babbling on smile

i just want to say that the way she reacted to your mother visiting was totally out of order... and that deserves an apology. she wouldnt like it if your mother excluded her while you're living there.

it is dificult living with other people, and you do have to respect their rules and try to fit in to their lives... however they need to respect you too and the way you live. neither of you should change just to keep the other happy, reguardless of who it is or whose house it is

when you and your dp move in together things will get so much easier. just make sure that you make it clear that no one should be inviting themselves or just popping round at a momments notice without calling/checking with you first. if you need space, just say no. its about your little family now

good luck grin

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Thu 06-Dec-12 09:25:30

I don't think your being unreasonable to have your mum visit, would your m not have been allowed to come over and see the baby?

I also think its nice of her to buy the equipment, clothes and asking for them back is a bit much. Even with the maybe, maybe not smoke smell, you just wash it secretly when you get it back!

Until your other half sees it, rant to your mum / on here keep it shut to your him. Your right, you know it but its his mum and he obviously doesn't want to see it

Frustratedartist Thu 06-Dec-12 09:29:13

Just wanted to say I totally agree with LDNmummy - my MIL was exactly the same.
But for your own sake as a family you need to 'separate' from each of your families and build your own family life together.
Your partner will never understand your feelings about your MIL, but it will drive a wedge between you.
Don't give her what she wants. Appreciate the help, and move on. One day you'll be a MIL.
I do agree about the smoke - if you're a non smoker you can smell the tiniest amount and it is a health risk most people no longer take.

LemonBreeland Thu 06-Dec-12 09:40:47

Agree the baby probably does smell of smoke.

I also think you moving out of her house probably was an over reaction. However your MIL was also in the wrong as she blew up over nothing.

The staying overnight thing would not be happening if it was my baby though. It is her choice not to visit baby at your parents. Also there is nothing to stop your dp taking thevbaby around to see her, but no need at all for overnight visits. That is a case of her taking over.

redskyatnight Thu 06-Dec-12 09:57:46

I suspect your MiL wanted to sort through the baby's clothes with you. And it was emotional time for both of you and you both overreacted. Whilst I understand why you did , moving out has only made the problem worse? Is this MiL's 1st grandchild? I know my mum went a bit mad when I had DS (her 1st GC) - she was very overfocused in being involved in everything. It did need reining in, but it was just a manifestation of her being overexcited - which tbh sounds like the case for your MiL.

As others have said, your baby's clothes etc will probably smell of smoke. DD has a friend whose parents only smoke away from her and out of the house, but DD always reeks when she comes home from playing there.

It is fairly normal for grandparents to keep baby stuff at their own houses - believe me, this makes life much easier for you than lugging everything there every time you visit.

The whole thing sounds like an overemotional episode that has got blown out of proportion.

YouOldSlag Thu 06-Dec-12 10:00:14

There's no way I would have left my 2 mo DS with anyone overnight for a start.

The more you accept her offers and leave the baby with her overnight etc the more involved she will think she is. You can't have it both ways. You are sending her mixed messages by doing this.

She does sound a bit unreasonable but it also sounds like you could be handling this wrong and taking offence when you don't need to.

Whoever is right or wrong, and it's hard to say since there are so many she said/she said incidents, the fact remains that you will be his mother forever and he will be her grandson forever so the two of you are going to have to find a middle ground and you need to find a place to live!

Why are you staying with parents to save for a wedding? You NEED your own home more than you need an expensive wedding. it's causing problems between you and DP and a new baby needs an environment with stability, not family politics and tension.

Speedos Thu 06-Dec-12 10:13:03

Why on earth is your 2 month old going once a week away from you for the night, your baby needs his mother at that age. Knock that on the head straight away.

As others have said he will smell of smoke, my in laws smoke and whenever we go to their house I have to wash everything and everyone and they smoke outside. I also have to move their coats from our cloakroom as they stink all our stuff out when the visit!

KenLeeeeeee Thu 06-Dec-12 10:18:21

You live with smokers; you will all smell of smoke.

You're really surprised that your MIL is upset that you upped & left the day after one row rather than talking it through like adults? You sound like you have a massive chip on your shoulder about her being well off and houseproud, and tbf you need to get a grip and be as accepting of your MIL's personality and lifestyle as you are of your own parents'.

Put the wedding on the back burner & get your own place.


Petershadow Thu 06-Dec-12 10:21:22

sit down and bloody talk to her

you are going to have to deal with this woman for a loonngg time
Obviously she is a bit ott, but this needs pointing out to her, she sounds very stubborn

you both sound as bad as each other in some ways
she wanted the snowsuit that she bought, but you wanted the other clothes back???

your mother and mil should have equal "access" to their grandchild, that includes being involved in the fun preparation things. you are obviously going to favour your mother and that can be hurtful to the mil, and she feels pushed out

But I'm not sure I'd be letting the 2 month old DS stay overnight? That's a bit unusual

I have a pushy(but fantastic!!) mother and mil is a pain in the arse, but I always have to remind myself that they both just want to love DS.

i missed the bit where your ds was staying overnight without you... you need to put a stop to that. your ds needs to be with you. 2mo is too young

TygerTyger Thu 06-Dec-12 13:02:32

You're going to have to get your own place. Don't engage with the argument and get on with your life.

impty Thu 06-Dec-12 13:23:13

It sounds like you are both a bit unreasonable.

You need to stop accepting help from her, as sometimes GPs do feel that this gives them more rights, or a bigger say on what happens in their GCs lives.

I also think that after having a first baby both mothers and grandmothers can become a bit possessive, and therefore unreasonable.

Most of all you need to disengage from this. Be nice to her. She brought up your DP, he loves her. Don't make it a battle.

Then, and this will become easier when you are in your own house, concentrate on being a new family of 3.

It may be that she is a terrible MIL but you need to develop a thicker skin and an (outwardly) calm disposition. I am a firm believer in give them enough rope they will hang themselves

Nicole2781 Thu 06-Dec-12 14:02:59

Thanks for all of your responses it has really helped me to see I'm being a bit silly letting this all get to me and I do feel bad for resenting her so much.

My dp loves it that mil can have him overnight I think of I did stop this or voice my opinion that I'm not entirely happy about it, he will think I'm doing it to get at get which I'm not.
I just hate the fact that from the beginning when she had a problem with me, she didn't talk to me about it she moaned at dp ad has done ever since.
I'm know I should have talked to her face to face but I'm not the type of person that feels comfortable doing so and worry about it turning onto a full blown argument and saying things we don't mean just to hurt each others feelings. That's why I sent her a text to start off with. Mil and I both moan at dp and I do feel awful for him being in the middle.

We didn't just up and leave, when dp first told me she was upset I suggested we sit down that night and explain I didn't mean for her to feel left out I have always included her in wedding and baby plans I even let her see my wedding dress which I wasn't completely comfortable with, she asked when I was going to take her to see it on me and I felt unable to upset her by saying no. I have also included her in taking her to antenatal classes and going shopping together. We always got on really well before the clothes incident so I was shocked that she was so petty about it and obviously I was feeling emotional and scared about labour and being a new mum in someone else's home.
Dp is in the military and we will be having an army house which we have had to wait for which we will move into in jan, two weeks before wedding.

Just because mil is very generous with giving/buying things and offering to help out with ds doesn't make me awful for accepting. I only accept most of it as dp gets upset if I feel I we accept too much from her. So I don't know what to do about that.
She knows she's welcome to see ds anytime as long as she arranges it before hand but refuses to come to my house, she only wants to have him at the weekend in her house and doing her own thing with him like taking him out.

YouOldSlag Thu 06-Dec-12 14:05:26

If living with your parents and arguing with your MIL is causing problems with your DP, it's definitely time to use those wedding savings for a place of your own.

A dream wedding is not as important as your own space since this current arrangement is clearly not working out for you.

And stop the sleepovers. No way should a 2mo be having weekly sleepovers.

Plus if you keep rowing there might not be a wedding! (worst case scenario).

Nicole2781 Thu 06-Dec-12 14:06:38

My god my typing is awful.

I meant to put dp and I didn't just up and leave, I suggested we sit down with mil and fil that night but dp decided against it as she was so upset. Dp talked to her that night when I was upstairs and he said well if you are not happy then maybe we should move out and mil said maybe you should. So that confirmed to me that she wasn't interested in talking about it to me and that I wasn't welcome in her home.

timeforachangebaby Thu 06-Dec-12 14:10:56

Sounds to me like the ans of someone backed into a corner and said in the heat of the moment to me - not the thought out answer of someone who doesn't care.

One of you needs to be the bigger person and resolve this - for DPs sake I think it should be you.

You are about to get married you don't need to start married life like this.

timeforachangebaby Thu 06-Dec-12 14:12:13

Nor do you need to be starting married life afraid to tell your husband how you feel weekly overnights at 2 months old is ridiculous and I assume she is having him in daytime as well.

YouOldSlag Thu 06-Dec-12 14:12:27

*I just hate the fact that from the beginning when she had a problem with me, she didn't talk to me about it she moaned at dp ad has done ever since.
I'm know I should have talked to her face to face but I'm not the type of person that feels comfortable doing so and worry about it turning onto a full blown argument and saying things we don't mean just to hurt each others feelings. That's why I sent her a text to start off with. Mil and I both moan at dp and I do feel awful for him being in the middle. *

But you are both as bad as each other here! You complain she didn't contact you directly and then explain why you didn't contact her directly.

OK I understand about the house not being ready- cross post. If your husband is in the military he will presumably be away a lot so it doesn't seem fair that he sets rules that you have to live with in his absence.

A 2mo baby should not be having weekly sleepovers at grandma's, it's way too young. Maybe you could tell him about this thread? Most mothers wouldn't let anyone do that.

As for your MIL refusing to visit the baby- she is being ridiculous and fussy. if you don't set firm groundrules now when your baby is young, she will walk over you, especially if your DP/future DH is going to be away.

Start making a stand now and start as you mean to go on.

LemonBreeland Thu 06-Dec-12 16:48:12

You are allowing your mil to overrule you as a mother. If she wants to see her grandson she can, but it should be on your terms not hers. You need to speak to your dp about this. When will it end? Does your mil get an overnight once your ds is at school? The Longer a situation like this goes on the harder it will be to stop. And your dp will let it continue even if he doesn't want to as he won't want to upset his Mum.

Just tell your dp you miss your ds too much and he can go around for an afternoon visit at the most, or whatever you are comfortable with.

Speedos Thu 06-Dec-12 20:04:48

My dp loves it that mil can have him overnight

Does your DP like this because it gives him a break from the baby? Does he find babies hard work because he is in for a rude awakening when you have a toddler!

IneedAsockamnesty Thu 06-Dec-12 20:23:59

Over nights once a week started at such a young age? It's sounding very much like a contact arrangement.

I would be cautious about it

elizaregina Thu 06-Dec-12 22:02:27


You poor thing. This is totally about control, she cleans obsessively because she is trying to control her world - her life, she is anal about her house because she needs control.

she thought she had you all to herself adn then you invited in the enemey - your own mother......du du duuuuuuuurrrrrr.....

massive shock - shut down - couldnt handle it.

this is her baby with her son and his nice wife to be who seems to be nicely under her control thus far - a cosy sort of foursome when baby comes....

then you remind her - actually there is a wider world here and wider family and they WILL be also involved.

I have one of these Nicole, its been hideous. Truelly hideous. Its nearly broken us up on many an occasion and has been the main cause of arguments between us.

My DD also started to go to MILS at an early age you do need to decide whether you can get over your problems with MIL - and if you deicde you can - i would really try and do it now - see if you can resolve your issues to a degree ....because if further problems develope you will not want her to be in your childs life much and it may be hard to disengage later on.

My DD went to mils on a regular basis till last year - so until she was 4 and half....I have now cut right down on visits.

This is for many many many reasons.

Life is very organic - I conmplety understand why you went to stay there etc and accepted a break from your DC...if these things work out its all great - if they dont you only know they wont with hindsight!!!!

My Mil has also been dreadfully rude and snobby about my parents and my family -not wanting us all to mix at xmas etc...wanting my DH and DD to go to thiers at xmas leaving me and my poor DF alone! We would have them all to ours but our house isnt nice enough for them! My MIl has a " special room" we call the no go zone, its only used for xmas day!!! you are not allowed any coloured drinks in sit stiff and awkard whilst we all chat about mils house and how you cant make a mess in it!!!!!!!!

Mine also changes and washes my DD when she went there - even for a few hours - she has also held onto our clothes we brought DD - I wouldnt mind but we have been " cruxified" in the past for not retuning any items belonging to them - etc...for them everyting must be in its place....

I totally see the smoke thing - I am sure she will smell it and probably be repulsed by it but unfortunalty - she will see her sense of cleanliness as way of being superior to others...its really horrid thing to be around...

at least she can talk to her son though - your DP thats one thing!!!

have a really good bash at trying to get over this hurdle - genuinly give it your all - if she doesnt bend - meet you half way - become nicer to you - after a decent amount of time - serisouly question if you want your child to be around this woman.

if she is not going to play ball i think you have every right to limit your sons visits.

gimmecakeandcandy Thu 06-Dec-12 22:11:28

Wow just wow that you let this rude woman who treats you like shit have your - YOUR son! Tell her and your child man that until this woman starts treating you with respect she won't see him. You DON'T have to let her have him overnight you know just say NO!

SamSmalaidh Thu 06-Dec-12 22:37:32

Her reaction to your mum visiting makes her sound like a control freak.

Weekly overnight stays for a 2 month old just sound crazy by the way - I don't think any court would award overnight contact for a tiny baby to be separated from it's mother! If you don't feel comfortable with this then put a stop to it.

Kundry Thu 06-Dec-12 23:24:35

Even if you can't stop the overnight stays altogether, for goodness sake stop them being a weekly routine. Otherwise MIL will be expecting this to carry on until the end of time - when your kids are older, don't want to go, have clubs or parties or friends to hang out with, you want to go on holiday - and MIL will be throwing a strop about 'her night'.

Nobody lets their 2 month old stay overnight with someone else - even Dads don't get this in custody battles.

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