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AIBU or is she being as manipulative and scheming as I think she is.

(124 Posts)
Giraffinalaugh Sat 29-Jun-13 00:48:49

And if so what do I do?

DP and I have a 3, nearly four week old son. His mum lives in the same road and I did make a point of saying to her when we got home to pop in whenever, which so far has been about twice a week for 5 or 10 minutes and doesn't really pay so much attention to the baby. She doesn't always hold him or seem that fussed by him (when I found out I was pregnant she said she was shocked because I'm not maternal, but she doesn't seem that bothered with him really).

Getting to the point, she spends the time when she is here telling me, not suggesting.. Actually insisting on everything I'm doing wrong in her eyes. She came up twice this week and on both occasions told me the room was far too hot because the gro egg room thermometer was orange and about 21 or 22 degrees. Using my common sense straight away I checked the back of his neck when she mentioned it and he felt neither hot or cold to me so I thought nothing of it. Would have opened a window or taken his blanket off if he was warm, but when he was born he was in Scbu because he was so cold so regardless of room temp I'm more bothered about his temp.
He's also significantly tounge tied and until he has it snipped we have been using bottles, she made a point of telling me that if he's struggling to feed I'm probably holding the bottles wrong. And that she has never heard of a baby being unsettled and crying for hours (this has only happened once so far and I know it was down to the tounge tie and wind, there was a midwife here at the time who wasn't concerned) but she is really really concerned because babies just don't do that and she's never heard of it.
I was having a nap yesterday and I woke up to her screaming at DP in the hall (well I've raised kids, I know!!!) and then slammed my front door almost off its hinges. Is it me or is this just not normal behaviour?

She also takes issue with the fact that I have spent the last three weeks sleeping on the couch with him in the Moses basket next to me.. It works for me for now as one of the windows in our room is jammed and it gets very hot in there sometimes, I've had a c section and its just easier for me staying downstairs close to the kitchen and with all if his stuff in one room than being upstairs and cgoing up and down all night. I'd rather save my energy for getting out for nice walks with him in the day. But I'm wrong and I can't give him a proper bedtime routine if I'm not carrying him up the stairs at three weeks old.

The shit hit the fan yesterday when after a series of texts saying how concerned and worried about him she was.. She sent this beauty.. Nt to me though but to DP behind my back

"Hi, how is baby this morning. I am working close by today if giraffe needs me so tell her to ring me if she needs someone. I am really worried about how she sits in the front room when it's hot and doesn't seem to look at the temp egg, you need to keep the door open to keep some air flowing. I wonder sometimes if she does it deliberately. Please make sure she opens windows. I know I go on but I think it's because she either doesn't want advice or doesn't listen to it and baby is very precious and needs proper care xxx"

I confronted her about the txt last night, her only defence was that it is a private txt and none of my business. My issue is that she never bothered touching baby to see if he was hot or cold, yet is so so worried by the temp on a gro egg that she can insinuate I would neglect my child. When I confronted her about this she said that she has raised babies and she knows and then started literally screaming "cot death, giraffe, cot death!!!" I my face like I was stupid. I spent four years training as a nurse, I can gage a temp for gods sake.
I wonder how you can be not worried enough to reach in and check baby, yet worried enough to tell my DP things like that behind my back.. It doesn't feel genuine to me, it feels really manipulitive, like she is interfering and trying to break us up or see me fail or something. She's very bitter in general and always slating some one but to cause all of this over something so trivial.
Understandably I was very angry but couldn't even justify myself as a parent as she was standing there smirking and rolling her eyes saying to DP "see, look what she's like, see you weren't raised to be a drama queen like that" all very patronising and school playground behaviour. I ended up walking out and telling her if she didn't change then she wouldn't see me or baby again. It's out DP in a horrible position but I feel like I have to make a stand. I know this was really long winded but what would you lot be doing? She doesn't have a lot of friends and doesn't speak to a lot of family other than her daughters and just poisons people against each other, I don't want it to spoil these early days for us and really don't want ds hearing it all. Wwyd???

Oldraver Sat 29-Jun-13 01:25:41

I think you should say she cant see the baby until she learns to button it. I would be telling her she is only welcome to your house if she keeps her mouth shut.

Stressing you out is not the way to go, you need to enjoy these early weeks, you wont get them back

ThirdTimesABrokenFanjo Sat 29-Jun-13 01:25:43

I wonder sometimes if she does it deliberately. Please make sure she opens windows

You do what deliberately?is she saying trying to hurt your child?

I know I go on but I think it's because she either doesn't want advice or doesn't listen to it and baby is very precious and needs proper care xxx

No you don't want her advice it was not requested. And to say you aren't providing proper care? Your dh needs to let her know you and baby are his family now and she cannot speak to you that way

wonderingagain Sat 29-Jun-13 01:26:13

I think she's projecting, insecure and a bit sad really. But I also think she needs to feel important about her role in her GCs life and that is actually quite nice.

You should work on DP - make sure he can feed her a line and doesn't get dragged into it. He needs to be able to be firm with her without feeling he's pushing her away and that's a hard thing for a son to be able to do to his mother so he will need help. He needs you to help him stand up to her in a way that won't break up the family.

The best way with people like this is to humour them or to go fully along with their concerns or suggestions. Don't get upset if she thinks it's too hot - just go and open the window. Say, of course, I meant to do that after you mentioned it, blabla.

So you need to manage her a little, like you would an employee - be nice but be firm. Set boundaries, make sure you never leave her hanging and unsure or she will get insecure and go nuts again.

A good one also is to set a regular visiting time - say once a week on a Friday etc so she knows that's when she will see you again.

solarbright Sat 29-Jun-13 01:26:46

Millions of people have babies in hot countries with no air con and the temp never drops below 35C. Somehow they manage.

Anyway, your MIL is a horror. She no longer gets to enter your home until she learns some manners and some respect. DP needs to back you up. He can take DC to visit her in her own home. But she does not cross your threshold again until the bitchiness stops. I would never let my mother in our house if she spoke to DH like that.

The 'I wish he'd never met her' comment is way, way beyond acceptability. Way beyond interfering. For whatever reason, she's after you. Have no part of it.

WandaDoff Sat 29-Jun-13 01:31:21

I would throw her out.
Then I would throw the fucking gro-egg after her.

I think shes jealous, she is aging & not dealing with it too well.
Her ego & self-image is probably tied up with being a mother & you are threatening it.

IMO of course, it's all speculation smile

AgentZigzag Sat 29-Jun-13 01:32:39

Would you really be happy with someone coming into your home and, unasked, ordering to do as they say regarding how you take care of the most precious person you've ever known Wondering?

Blatantly saying they don't trust you not to kill that person?

Because the cot death threats were as fucking low as they go IMO, 'Do as I say or your baby will die'.

That's fucking horrible.

That's not someone who cares about the mum or the baby, only that she's obeyed to the letter.

aldiwhore Sat 29-Jun-13 01:32:48

I'm usually a smiler and nodder, but I think it's way past smile and nod o'clock, you had a baby 4 weeks ago ffs. She's launched into craziness pretty quickly and has overstepped many marks.

You need to tell her to fit in or fuck (or more politely, to respect your wishes and good sense as a mother AND a trained nurse) and to acknowledge that you and her son are a team.

I feel for you, and I feel for your DP... whatever her reasons, her behaviour is worrying (she SHOUTED at your mum in the street??) and I would support your DP and acknowledge this must be hard for him as well, you need to be a united front.

From a personal PoV, 22 degrees is WARM, 18 is recommended, but 22 degrees isn't over hot, babies are born in far hotter temps and are fine. Use your common sense, don't use stubborn indignation.

YANBU to be utterly flabbergasted at this woman's behaviour. Your relationship with her will be salvageable if you make a firm line in the sand now.

Giraffinalaugh Sat 29-Jun-13 01:44:00

I am so careful with his temp. Like I say he was in Scbu when he was born because he was cold and window is almost always open but I trust feeling how he is over a battery operated device any day of the week. There has to be common sense and discretion, and I feel like if she had had the sense to reach in and check how he felt (if she really was ^so so worried^) then I'd be a lot more inclined to listen.

I make such an effort with his family, large family, always make a big effort for birthdays and Xmas and generally making conversation with everyone and being nice.. I just don't get why she's behaving like this. Does she not see or care that its hurting him more than anyone? I'm scared she will make him choose sad

solarbright Sat 29-Jun-13 01:50:20

He can still see her all he likes, but not at the house you live in. Not until she learns some respect. Why don't you get your Mum round to shout at him and tell him he's putting his baby in mortal danger through neglect? How long do you think your Mum would be welcome?

solarbright Sat 29-Jun-13 01:52:35

I am sure his temperature is fine, by the way. That's a red herring in the MIL issue. If you have any concerns about his temp, discuss it with your HV or GP, not your crazy MIL. smile

AgentZigzag Sat 29-Jun-13 02:03:10

Why would you be scared if she made him choose?

That would completely come back on her, surely?

Giraffinalaugh Sat 29-Jun-13 02:14:45

I'm not sure zig zag, I feel like she's manipulating him and its working. I don't want to back down until she grows up, but I think he expects me to just be like, oh well lets just move on for the sake of keeping the peace and I'm just too angry.

He's been very supportive and it's very hard for him but he makes excuses for her and it just carries on. They txt us the morning after he was born to tell us they had an issue with his name, it's just nasty stuff that on no planet is socially acceptable. But it's always me giving in. I don't know I guess I just never realised how vindictive she was before.

AgentZigzag Sat 29-Jun-13 02:27:20

You have to remember he's brainwashed (or brought up to think, if you prefer grin) into thinking how she behaves is normal.

Because to him, it is.

As a child he's been taught to appease her and gain her approval, and knowing there'd be consequences when he was in a position to have to defer (and rightly too, she was his mum) makes it hard to shake off that feeling even though he's an adult.

It is hard for him, but he should recognise and acknowledge it's harder for you.

Don't blame him for trying to keep the peace, he's developed the coping mechanisms to deal with her behaviour, but his loyalty should lay completely with his family (you/your baby).

She hasn't got centre stage any more in his life, and she shouldn't be allowed to think she can tantrum her way into it.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 29-Jun-13 02:27:43

You do realise that its highly likely she thinks she is laying foundations for a call to SS don't you?

Unfortunatly some people in this world are bonkers and see a new baby as a opertunity to show a bit of power and control,making serious allegations to other family members or people about the baby's care goes one of two ways

1. Everybody laughs at the person lying and several weeks down the line they feel like crap and are very sorry.

2. Nobody listens to the lies or they don't get the desired result so they notch it up as much as their twattish ness allows ( usually anon calls to SS or not anon if very bonkers) these abuse or pisspoor care claims can be maintained for decades even if nobody professional agrees with the person,and is a ace stick to beat a unliked person with especially if its about a GC and when they are adults you can manipulate them into believing bad of one or both parents ( that bit takes serious nastiness as it harms the GC as well but they never think about that bit).

Drama llamas who tell lies or falsely imply abuse of any description tend to do so to show how fab and lovely and supportive they are,how much better than the object of the allegation they are and they rarely admit it was untrue as that makes them look like giant bastards.

WinkyWinkola Sat 29-Jun-13 02:27:50

I think she sounds scary. And a bully. My mil was the same, suggesting I wasn't taking care of ds1 properly.

Her text is horrible. Really nasty and insidious.

I'm afraid you are just going to have to stand up to her. Tell her if you need advice you will ask for it. I had to do this with my mil so she realised I meant business and backed off.

Bullies usually only need standing up to once or twice.

poppingin1 Sat 29-Jun-13 02:36:30

I haven't used MN in maybe 6 months and just happened to feel bored today so logged in and saw this.

Wanted to post to OP to say that my MIL was EXACTLY the same.

Do not get drawn into it and try to justify yourself. It is great that your DH seems to be dealing with this by supporting you. Nip it in the bud now.

After going through this with my MIL and not dealing with it effectively from the start, we ended up having to effectively cut her out of our lives. It can become a very destructive family issue and will spoil your precious time with your baby. She is being controlling so she needs to back off.

poppingin1 Sat 29-Jun-13 02:41:03

Ah I just read the other stuff about your DH.

My DH was the same and always making excuses for his mother. Long story short, he regretted it in the end.

heidihole Sat 29-Jun-13 02:46:12

Christ everyone has already said it all. Only thing to add is that you need to lock your front door. She can make appointments to visit at the weekend when your dp is around and he is to have STRICT instructions that he either backs you up or she isn't coming again till baby is 18.

When my baby was 3 weeks I wouldn't have had MIL over twice a week and she was merely passive aggressive not full on openly aggressive!

Giraffinalaugh Sat 29-Jun-13 02:47:04

Poppingin1 what do you mean by he regretted it?

AgentZigzag Sat 29-Jun-13 02:48:22

Bloody hell heidi, only 18 eh?

You're forgiving.


heidihole Sat 29-Jun-13 03:00:26

By the way this is the official advice so tell your MIL to suck it...

16°C - 1 sheet plus 3 layers of blanket (a doubled over blanket counts as two layers)
18°C - 1 sheet plus 2 layers of blanket
21°C - 1 sheet plus 1 layer of blanket
24°C - 1 sheet only

redcaryellowcar Sat 29-Jun-13 03:00:53

I am so sorry she is being this horrid, and especially at a time when its all new and you should just be enjoying your ds!
A NCT friend said to me that advice from mil was usually received as criticism yet from mother received as a suggestion. I think if my mil had said same to me as yours i would feel exactly as you do, yet if my mother had said it i would probably have opened the window, but to clarify my mum is a nurse and would never have said it in same circumstances!
My ds was in scbu for 5 days and it was so hot in there that deciding what was the right temperature for him once back home felt like a continual challenge!
I agree with other posters that your mil needs to see you and dp as a united front and respect that you are babys parents. I had some mil problems when ds was small and best quote from my Dh was 'he's our baby'
as mother in law tried to explain that a baby spending time in smokers house was less of a risk than cats (odd as we don't have cats, nor wanted ds to be in their smoky house)
I would take back the 'pop over whenever' and arrange to see her much less regularly as its not enjoyable nor helpful for you. I also don't see my pils without dh now As just Not an enjoyable experience.

heidihole Sat 29-Jun-13 03:01:26

Maybe 17.5 If she changed her ways :D

Longdistance Sat 29-Jun-13 03:24:59

Your dh really needs to support you on this. It's really stressful as it is with a new born, and it should be an enjoyable time.

You really don't need some witch coming over twice a week, wafting in like a fart, and being a complete bitch. She needs to be told, that she cannot come to the house til she behaves in a normal manner.

You're the child's mother, you know what's best. Not some old bag, who visits for 5 minutes confused

AgentZigzag Sat 29-Jun-13 03:30:38

Oi Long, mind your language.

I'm an Old Bag now (and have the outspoken opinions to prove it) and I'm a bit touchy about it <twitch>

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