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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

Rudolphstolemycarrots Fri 07-Dec-12 00:26:13

I recon she thought she would have first dabs on the grandchild with it living in her house and using all her equipment/clothes. Her nose must have really been put out of joint.

I really wouldn't be separated from my 2 month old.

LDNmummy Fri 07-Dec-12 01:22:32

*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.*


This is exactly what I was going to say. My MIL is THE EXACT SAME (including the neatness) and it is a control issue and basic psychology (which is why it is surprisingly common).

You do need to nip the overnight stays in the bud now or she will slowly and tactfully try and get more out of you in the future. DH's mother tried to force on me her parenting techniques and was furious with me for not doing things the way she thought was best. When I was out of sight (which wasn't often which is why she tried to force me to do it myself as she felt was best) she would try to do things for DD the way she thought was best. She bought a cutlery set for my DD when she was two months old as she expected me to start feeding her solids at 3 months. When I didn't, she started bringing it up. Eventually she was shouting at me that I was starving my DD.

My MIL also HATED my DM or family visiting (we lived with her too, AT HER SUGGESTION so we could save money, and which was also used as a way to say she did us some huge favour and we were being ungrateful) and wouldn't even speak to them when they were in the house beyond saying hello and goodbye. She would avoid them and then be in a bad mood and snappy or withdrawn with me. My whole family picked up on this.

She started saying she was going to retire to look after my DD full time (so I could go back to work/education apparently) without asking if I would even be OK with it and even told me she had drafted in her best friend to help raise my DD in my absence too, all without asking me. Apparently another good intention of hers I was ungrateful over.

The list goes on... and on... and on...

Eventually it blew up into a big fight and we also left her home and moved in with my family till we got our own place.

If DH took my side then it was because I was influencing him. So basically if he didn't agree with everything she told him was right, then he was being controlled by me (the irony).

All these apparent good intentions and generous offers she bestowed on you were ways to get you under her roof and in her control. It looks like good intentions on the surface, but its just a way to control everything right down to what your child wears. She wants to play mummy with your child and have you comply. Your family is just a reminder that she isn't the mummy and your child has other family too. Its about possession too.

I'm just writing all this down because I don't think you need to be grateful for much of what you have outlined above. It is all control IMO, and no, you are not alone when it comes to controlling MIL's wink

MagicHouse Fri 07-Dec-12 02:03:24

Totally agree with PPs about the overnight stays. Nip it in the bud. Just say you don't feel comfortable with it, but that your DD can visit (with you!) during the day. I didn't let my DD have an overnight stay with anyone til she was 2! It's really unusual to be demanding (and getting) weekly overnight stays! You sound very young and not very assertive. But you CAN say this. Say it with a smile. Look your MIL and DP in the eye and say sweetly that you miss your DD too much. If they insist, just say "it's how I feel, maybe when she's older". If they say you're being unreasonable, say all your friends agree with you. Keep smiling. Just repeat what you're saying. Say youy know she wants to see her and you have no problem bringing her over (WITH YOU!!)
I only say it, because I agree with PPs who say she is controlling, and I think you'll find this increasingly difficult as time goes on, especially if your parenting styles differ. Freaking our because you wanted your mum to visit is really odd. She sounds very needy, wanting to mother your DD, and I don't think it'll be healthy for your DD as she gets older, and you'll find it harder to stand up to her as time goes by.
my (now ex, but lovely) MIL was never like this. But I've come across controlling people in my life, and the only way to be is assertive. Doesn't mean rude or unfriendly though - in fact it's ten times harder for them if you stay friendly and polite.

Mytimewillcome Fri 07-Dec-12 09:25:33

I wouldn't let my 2 month old baby stay overnight with anyone and especially with someone I dislike. Please try and stop this. She is trying to be a mother again and you have handed it all back to her on a plate. Please try and stand up to her. Your baby may not understand staying over at the moment but will at some point and will miss you. And make her visit at your house!

Mytimewillcome Fri 07-Dec-12 09:33:07

Your situation has made me very angry for you! You should be enjoying your baby and not dealing with all this crap. She is wrong!

elizaregina Fri 07-Dec-12 10:52:31


Until you have experienced one of these first hand its very hard to explain, as you say all the gifts are usually about control.

If they werent they would happily hand over clothes, not change them, be free and easy about clothes both ways....

I went through a stage feeling sorry for my MIL as I felt her life was soo empty and sad, she told my dh " all i have in this world is THAT HOUSE".

when DD was born I made a huge effort to get on with them again, my own DM has passed away so I was hoping to really share this exitment with MIL> I got constant negativity!!! I brought TWO baby vests from a nice shop - TWO and naively showed them too her all excited, she inspected them for several mineuts then put them down with a tired sigh...." you really shouldnt buy anytiung you know - you will get loads of stuff".

Then she offered to help with the cost of a pram, again I got excited thinking we would ALL go out and buy one!

No, she went to where her mother lives in europe and THEY had a lolvey time choosing one! Choosing a pram for ME that I would be using every single day for three years!!! She was negative about EVERYTHING then when the baby was born she snapped and verbally abused me for about one to two hours.

She blamed me for her sons appearance - his job - his life - everything about him!!!! How he is with her and how he doesnt call her " everyday " to tell her how much he loves her - when her DD does!!! How I have ripped him apart from his you say LD any problems in thier relationship is now directly down to me,

Thankfully in my situation - even though its very very sad for my DH, he was actually in therapy when I met him - desperalty despressed because of his DP's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am waiting for the day when someone brings this up again, so I can set that record straight!

We have not spoken since the attack - I let DD go there - but she never came back happy - we had alot of pressures on us at the time, so we never thought it all out - they ruined hte birth of DD - I had a break down of sorts....and its taken me along time to recover as I had also lost a close family memeber very suddenly in suspiscous circs!

This time they have not been told of this DD - it feels so very wrong to hand over my children to people whom do not only not like me at all - but have also never said a positve thing about thier son, my DH!!!

Once you make these descions things get much easier - much easier than wavering - being afraid of hurting feelings etc etc etc...If the GP truelly loves the GC they will come down off thier high horse - and bend a little and accomodate.

I feel for all DILS dealing with these nasty horrid women!

elizaregina Fri 07-Dec-12 10:57:10

also no matter how strong you are - and in some ways i am strong - its still extremly undermining to have someone else so close who wants to be negative about every single aspect of the way you look after your child,

i said to my DH she would LOVE IT if something happened to me so she could take over!

she wanted me to put my two year old - into a car with people i have never met - take her to the airport - fly with her to europe then stay with her and her mother for a week....

this was all offered under the kind guise of...." to give Eliza a break to help her recover from her cold".

they even had the temerity to argue about why it was so right when we said - no thanks!!!

i know she would want to adopt my DD and do it in a flash.
because she can do things so much cleaner than me!!!

she told me her and her mother were " weeping every day" when DD was born due to our " filthy carpet".

LDNmummy Fri 07-Dec-12 11:54:29

" you really shouldnt buy anytiung you know - you will get loads of stuff"

Oh yes I heard this when I bought a pack of onesies and showed my MIL. Any time I talked about buying anything she would say this. She would even say it as if she was telling of a child, kind of like "I have told you already, you will get lots of things so there is no need for you to buy anything, just leave it".

I didn't bathe my DD for the first two months of her life because MIL had decided it was her role. When I tentatively would try to suggest I do it (I didn't like the way she did it as she wanted to bathe my new born daily and it was giving her inflamed eczema) she would say "don't you think I know how to bathe a baby? I have had <insert number> children you know" and then she would be upset for the evening. In the end I started bathing my DD before she would get home to avoid the confrontation. She realised this and resented me for it.

Anything and everything to do with my DD was turned into a tense stand off.

When I was obviously angry and she new she had pushed me to an edge, she would start being overly nice like OP described. After a while it would switch back.

I do agree that even if you are a very strong person, it is hard to deal with.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Fri 07-Dec-12 11:57:57


You post shows the reasons why a it it not a good idea to live with the inlaws or the outslaws. They want control. Hell would freeze over before I lived with either of mine, yet I love them dearly! .

elizaregina Fri 07-Dec-12 19:32:55

ld - you poor thing!!!! my DH said in some ways mines explosion so soon after dd birth was a good thing as meant she didnt come over again,

i thought it was an omen when mine knocked off DD's umblical cord before it was ready to drop off!!!

Nicole2781 Fri 07-Dec-12 23:49:42

I've just said to dp that I'm not very comfortable with ds staying overnight at mils and got the reaction of...'I need that one night off a week I don't see what your problem is, i know my mum and dad will look after him better than anyone else bla bla bla'

So we have now had a full on argument and its all gone shite again. I didn't even say it in a bad way I told him I'm finding it difficult being away from him so long. He's taking it as though I'm trying to stop his parents from seeing him which is not what I'm doing.

How do I sort this now? I really don't know what to do anymore hmm

timeforachangebaby Sat 08-Dec-12 00:07:28

Poor you, devil and deep blue sea here really - when is he away next?

LDNmummy Sat 08-Dec-12 00:33:59

eliza your DH is right, I wish I had followed my gut instinct and knocked it on the head sooner. Now I jus go around preaching to all and sundry about controlling MIL's and how to deal with them grin

Oh dear Nicole, it might be worth speaking to your health advisor. When I had my problems with my MIL, my health visitor was willing to come round and have a talk on the best ways to handle a new mother and baby relationship. A sort of way to explain to my DH and MIL that MIL needed to back off but in a disguised way IYSWIM. As if she had just popped round and could take it as an opportunity to engage my MIL and DH on how things were going so she could put my issues forward without it causing too much tension and as if it was just a normal visit.

Maybe your health visitor would be able to 'pop in' and talk to your and DH and discuss your anxiety's about your DS being away for a whole night at such a young age?

Nicole2781 Sat 08-Dec-12 00:34:46

I know hmm feeling sorry for myself right now trying to cheer myself up reading funny threads on here is helping thoughgrin

Not for a good while yet thank god!

LDNmummy Sat 08-Dec-12 00:36:16

speak to your health visitor, not advisor!

soundevenfruity Sat 08-Dec-12 00:42:36

Just a quick point. If your parents smoke you do realise that smoke gets trapped in their clothes and that is what your baby breathes in when they cuddle him? They need to wear different clothes or put something on top when they hold him.

Your annoyance is quite understandable, its hormones and general maddness about new babies that turns all relationships upside down. Your partner's mother is just another person to love your child and it's not any more about you.

MerylStrop Sat 08-Dec-12 00:53:54

LDN seems to me you are projecting your own experience onto the OP in a way that may not be helpful to her (possibly very different) circumstances

Nicole, poor you, this seems to have gotten blown out of all proportion. Would it be fair to say that you have a teensy weensy bit of an inferiority complex in relation to MIL? Are you quite young? Is she quite full on?

Can you separate the issues, here? You over-reacted by moving out, she was hurt and took umbrage (she should know better). Clear the air, move on. Re smoke, yep, probably the baby's stuff smells of smoke. Her reaction is disproportionate and IMO passive aggressive. If you don't want your child to be apart from you for a day and night each week, that's your prerogative as his mother. Sort the other stuff out and try to drop your own misplaced anger and defensiveness though. Otherwise it will just be another flashpoint.

Kiwiinkits Sat 08-Dec-12 01:34:34

As always Merylstrop provides a voice of reason

OP, overnight visits for such young babies are not normal - almost unheard of. I wouldn't have left mine overnight until at around 1.5 - 2 years old! Your DP just needs to suck that one up.

But, it sounds like you are being a bit immature and dramatic about all of this. Try not to take MIL's gestures about the baby as personal attacks. She was admittedly nuts about your mum visiting but she apologised for that and you have to move on.

In the meantime, roll on January when you can move into your own house. It will be a breath of fresh air to have your own space. There's no way in the world I would live with either my parents or PILs, EVER, and I love them all to bits.

Brycie Sat 08-Dec-12 01:39:09

I agree with LDN mummy way up at the beginning of the thread.

Brycie Sat 08-Dec-12 01:44:06

Yes, now I've read more I completely agree with LDN.Be careful, you could be driven nuts or depressed. Already you don't know what's right or wrong or which way is up.

Now think of this - if she REALLY knew what it was like to have a first newborn baby - she would not be doing this.

She IS doing this, therefore she does NOT know, therefore you can safely ignore her.

With regard to your husband, stand your ground. Don't get angry, don't even respond sometimes. It's only like that that he will see how unreasonable she is being. Also if you just go quiet and don't respond or obviously ignore it will irritate her into being out and out rude and unreasonable so that she won't be able to hide it even from her son and he'll see exactly what she's doing.

LDNmummy Sat 08-Dec-12 01:49:35

Meryl I knew someone would say that because I can see how it comes across that way, its my long winded posts grin But honestly, I am just giving my opinion based on what the OP has written. I only went through the effort of outlining my own experience because I felt like a lot of people were dismissing the OP's feelings that her MIL is really stepping over the mark in her behaviour.

My experience was arguably quite extreme, but I do think the OP is dealing with a controlling MIL. Her MIL txt's her DH to tell him that she wishes he and the OP's son were living with her, that is more than a blown out of proportion falling out. She has OP's son for a night a week and the OP is put in an uncomfortable situation if she says anything about this. The OP's MIL gets upset if the OP involves her own mother in a simple activity to do with the baby.

These would send alarm bells ringing for me with or without my own experience. I just think my experience -though possibly on the more extreme end- is very similar, and was using it to make my point.

Brycie Sat 08-Dec-12 01:53:12

Yes - I think posts telling the OP she's being oversensitive and overreacting are in some ways quite dangerous - they'll make her doubt herself even more. I fear these sorts of situations can lead to PND or just plain depression.

Hope you've got a grand mum OP who's got a good sense of perspective.

Brycie Sat 08-Dec-12 01:55:33

She's quite mad for example to think it's reasonable to take a baby away from you overnight at eight weeks and to get her son to try to push an unwilling mother into this. I mean, does a normal person do that? Would anyone on this thread do that? Course they wouldn't. It's bloody ridiculous.

Brycie Sat 08-Dec-12 01:57:28

"It sounds like you are being a bit immature and dramatic about all of this."

Couldn't disagree more. Sounds like the mil is being over-dramatic and immature - to say the very least. I would add unkind, insensitive, selfish, self-centred and thoughtless.

LDNmummy Sat 08-Dec-12 01:58:31

Exactly Brycie, that is just not on.

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