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AIBU or is MIl. I never wanted to turn into one of those awful DILs and I think I might be.

(134 Posts)
honeytea Tue 15-Jan-13 20:18:33

I have posted about my mil before but things have come to a head in the last few days.

The background info is that I have always got on well with MIL (or so I thought) I have encouraged my useless dp to spend time with his parents and I have been the one to buy MIL gifts/cards on birthdays and mothersdays, she probably doesn't realise this.

I'm not sure if it is relavant but I am British and DP and MIl are Swedish, we live in Sweden. There are quite a few cultural differences between the 2 countries.

When I became pregnant last year and I started talking about having a child our differences became more apparent. Things like me drinking one small glass of wine whilst pregnant/breastfeeding shocked her to the point she called "mother's who do that kind of thing" disgusting. I understand that people have personal opinions on alcohol and BF/pregnancy but I think it would have been nice for her to be a little more diplomatic keep her opinions to herself She also said she would be deeply ashamed if we used reins. She said if we didn't use a dummy and I breastfed DS he would become so fat he wouldn't be able to learn to walk as he would use my boob as a dummy. She also said cloth nappies would rot away DS's bum as he would have red hair.

I took the attitude that smiling and nodding and ignoring would be the best thing to do.

DS was born just before christmas We had lots and lots of visitors, MIL and FIL live a 10 hour drive away and they came down to visit (staying with SIL thank god) my mum stepdad sister and brother came to stay too. I really stuggled emotionally the 1st 2 weeks of DS's life, I felt very overwhelmed by the love I felt for him and I was sure he was going to die/get seriously hurt.

My MIL came to visit one day when DS was about 4 days old, I had been up all night feeding and sobbing into his little soft head when they arived I was sleeping, it wasn't the 1st time they came to visit us and we had had visitors all morning- DP came and woke me up when DS needed feeding, I came and sat in the living room and didn't say much I am not great when I have just woken up and they were speaking Swedish which I can speak but it is hard work and I have to concentrate so I sat quietly feeding the baby.

MIL thought that I had an attitude and FIL phoned my DP later to tell him MIL was angry with me. It upset me but I just tried to ignore it and move on.

MIL also was very upset by the way I wind the baby -(sitting on my knee supporting his chest and rubbing his back) I thought this is just how you wind babies, it is how the babies in my family are winded anyway.

I was very very worried about the risk of sids, a friend of mine lost her son to sids last year sad I wanted to do everything I could to keep DS safe. My dp asked his DM and sisters to wash their hands after smoking and wait 30 mins before holding DS, I can see that this is very PFB but it made me feel better. MIL was furious she still is. I also asked my DM to do the same and I accused DM of bring fleas into my home (it was actually post birth hives blush )

MIL is still furious and hurt about the smoking request she is angry that i ignored her advice on burping (the reason i don't like to burp him on my shoulder is because he is a big puker and it is best to try and catch the puke when burping him)

she has 3 daughters and 10 grandchildren from them, she was like a 2nd mum to those kids. She talked about wanting my DS to sleep in her bed with her and FIL when we go and visit (which was supposed to be next month when he is 8 weeks) I hadn't actually said no your not having my baby sleep in bed with you I just hadn't mentioned it. They are looking at houses near us so they can see DS all the time which would be lovely. I think she sees DS as one of her babies, she said to me how nice it was for her to have another baby, I said that she became a great aunt 3 times last year and she said yes but DS is her baby because he is her grandson. I don't mind her saying he is hers, ds is very lucky to have so many people who adore him but what bothers me is when she disaproves of me and my parenting style. Everything I do she comments negatively on, if DS is in a babygrow she comes in and says he is cold if he has a hat on she says he is hot, if I put him down so he wakes up to feed him (in the very early days of bf when he was super sleepy due to jandice) I am cruel. I feel like I have hidden my irritation well I have not challenged her I have just ignored the advice. My ignoring has made her very angry. I don't think she has ever had a women with different parenting ideas to her in her life.

we are supposed to go and stay with them next month, it will cost lots of money and it will be a very long drive. I don't want to go, they live just below the arctic circle so it will be very very cold and dark most of the time, I will be sat in their house with MIL criticising my parenting choices for days on end.

I understand I probably still have some crazy post birth hormones and I would like to be told IABU if I am. Also how can I move forward? for the sake of DS and DP I want to have as nice a relationship with MIL as possible.

Sorry about the essay!

HumphreyCobbler Tue 15-Jan-13 20:21:54

Good god, you have been very well behaved in the face of such provocation. What does your DH say about all the criticism? I think it is time for HIM to help deal with this situation.

Squitten Tue 15-Jan-13 20:22:02

Where is your DP in all this? It's his mother so he needs to be dealing with her and tell her to leave you alone

HumphreyCobbler Tue 15-Jan-13 20:23:32

Smiling, nodding and ignoring has worked so far but it all sounds too much for you to deal with right now. Do you have to go?

fatcuntroller Tue 15-Jan-13 20:24:12

You are definitely not being unreasonable!! Your Dh needs to have serious and firm words with his dm.

TheCarefulLaundress Tue 15-Jan-13 20:25:58

Can't you come back to blighty?

YourHandInMyHand Tue 15-Jan-13 20:26:00

Has your DP been vocally supportive of YOU during all this criticism?

No way would I be going to visit.
No way would I want them moving closer.
No way would I want her to refer to her grandchild as "my baby".
No way would I put up with such obvious criticism.
No way would my baby be sleeping in the same bed as their grandparents when their parents are in the same house!

She sounds odd, judgemental, overbearing and without any appropriate boundaries.

honeytea Tue 15-Jan-13 20:27:52

My DP said an awful thing to his mother today, he said she was egocentric and it was me who suggested visiting them and me who bought all the gifts for them.

But then he says I should just do what his mum wants because she is a little crazy and takes strong painkillers for her back.

I don't want to change the way I parent because his mother is like she is but I don't want to make a family rift.

The way I am with my own mother is lots more harsh, I tell her not to talk such rubbish when she praises DS for doing a poo for 15 mins and I have told her we won't come and visit unless they lock their (child biting) dog away.

honeytea Tue 15-Jan-13 20:29:42

Can't you come back to blighty?

Good plan! I think that might push her over the edge, she is very against us even sending DS to an English speaking school.

ENormaSnob Tue 15-Jan-13 20:31:41


Your mil is a cunt.

Hope your dp supports you.

duende Tue 15-Jan-13 20:31:59

Oh my god, OP, you must be a saint! I would definitely have exploded by now. Also, if someone was criticising me so much in the first weeks of my baby's life, it wold make me feel very low.
Fwiw, my DP and his family are British and I am not, so I know what it's like to have to deal wih cultural differences. My MIL is also quite a bitter person and has very set opinions but even she wouldn't cross the boundaries your MIL seems to cross regularly.
Where is your DP in this? My DP certainly wouldn't let his mum treat me like this and he hates confrontation.

cees Tue 15-Jan-13 20:32:18

Oh cause the rift, she is being a bitch and your dp's answer is to do as she says!! Tell him to find his backbone and use it, you need to do the same. As for having your 8 week old baby sleep with her and her partner, they can fuck off in my book. Bloody weirdos/

ENormaSnob Tue 15-Jan-13 20:32:54

Oh and please don't put your baby at risk to keep stupid ignorant mil happy hmm

coffeewhitenosugar Tue 15-Jan-13 20:33:22

Wow, you are DNBU, your MIL sounds like she has serious control issues. Like you say your DS is her grandson but he's your baby, not hers. With regards to the smoking I think you were really lenient - I probably would have made them change their clothes, wash their hair and brush their teeth grin. I felt very much the same as you when my dd was born and thankfully my family just put up with it - they probably said plenty to other people but not to me, although they do make the odd comment now that dd is a bit older. I certainly wouldn't let your ds sleep in their bed, that's plain odd, although obviously different cultures do different things - I've heard of some cultures where the baby sleeps with the parents for a long time but not with the grandparents. IMO you are the parents so you say what goes, stick to your gut instincts and if necessary say no, I hope your DP will support and stand by you but you ANBU your MIL is. Hope it works out well for all of you.

25catsnameSam Tue 15-Jan-13 20:34:05

I had a massive melt down at my mil for much less. The thing that sticks out is her wanting your DS in her bed which is odd- why would she want to be woken when you have to feed him? Have you talked to DH? You are tired, these first few weeks are unbelievably hard work (it does get better!) and I would not want to spend that long in someone else's house even if they were really lovely and supportive.

AlmostAHipster Tue 15-Jan-13 20:35:12

She wants to sleep with your 8 week old baby in her bed????????

She's a nutter! Ignore the silly moo and just carry on raising your son the way you think fit, regardless of whether MIL is there or not.

manicbmc Tue 15-Jan-13 20:35:14

Don't go. If your mil has a problem maybe you should say something. It will piss her off greatly but she is going to be like this forever unless you put your foot down now.

Just think how bad this will be if she moves near to you?

Nanny0gg Tue 15-Jan-13 20:35:55

I assume they smoke in the house?

That could be the final straw...

(And you are definitely not U)

farewellfarewell Tue 15-Jan-13 20:38:00

No yanbu- he is your tiny new baby, you are following your natural instincts to protect him. If you don't want to visit (yet) don't do it. You will be stressing out and not enjoying your early days with the baby. Just say he has a slight cold/you have a cold, anything. Delay it for a while. When he is bigger you can reassess. It is all about you and your baby, she can shag off frankly. Also re the interference I think it would be best next time you see her/maybe next time you chat on the phone (if you are a coward like me!!) just make up your mind to challenge her (gently?) if she questions a decision you are making re baby, something like "I will do things my way, he is my baby so I will be making those decisions (with dh)-I'm sure you followed your instincts with your babies, that is what I will be doing, the last thing I want is for us to fall out over it" (!!!)
I do think she is being positively mean by poking her nose in like this, she must know you are feeling vulnerable, so assert yourself early on wd be my advice. Be firm.

LemonBreeland Tue 15-Jan-13 20:38:26

She sounds incredibly hard work, and that is being diplomatic about it.

You don't need to visit them. If they want to see you they should be doing the travelling. Although I would try to put them off.

thegreylady Tue 15-Jan-13 20:38:28

YANBU and I agree you should not visit unless your dp [not you] explains to his dm that the baby will not be sleeping with them and that the rules re handwashing after smoking and the way you wind the baby are common practice here and as you are british then that is the way you will be doing things.I would also get him to explain your wish to have a close relationship with her and that he hopes that,for the sake of that and your ds,she will compromise.
Good Luck

lightrain Tue 15-Jan-13 20:38:32

How would it go down if you had a genuine conversation with her, told her you repected her opinion but she must understand that you want to do what you think is best for your child and that might not always be the same thing that she thinks, and that you feel that she criticises you a great deal and it makes you feel very uncomfortable?

If that's a possibility, I'd try to have that difficult conversation with her. Then I'd ask DH to step in where she was difficult in his presence. He needs to help you out.

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 15-Jan-13 20:38:35

Um...I think you are being remarkably tolerant especially considering how new your DS is.

She needs to back off. Yes there may be cultural differences,give her a list of yours. As in THIS will be his I raise my child xyz.

I have a Swedish friend and she definitely wasn't of the "the occasional glass of wine while pregnant" is disgusting mindset at all.

Do you really have to go and visit them? It doesn't sound like your DH is keen and what he said gives you a way out.

WhatchuTalkinBoutPhyllis Tue 15-Jan-13 20:38:43

My god op YANBU!!! Wheres the boundaries? She isn't his mum.

Undermining you like that is not acceptable, by anyone's standards.

Your husband needs a kick up the arse.

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 15-Jan-13 20:38:57

*how not his blush

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