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About MIL and DD

(21 Posts)
Roastchicken Tue 11-Aug-15 06:12:27

Dd 9 has had some on-off issues for a while about sleeping in her own bed. At bedtime, she complains that her mattress is too soft/hard, that she's afraid of spiders, she hears noises etc. We often sit outside her room when she goes to sleep and sometimes on a mattress in her room but do not want to co-sleep every night as I want evenings with DP. After a few days the problem resolves, but tends to re-occur if she has been sharing a room with someone else.

PIL live abroad. For the past two years, DD visits them alone and when there sleeps with MIL while PIL is in the guest room.i am fine with this, but don't want this to happen at our house as I want to be consistent that DD sleeps in her own bed.

So PIL are staying for a week to look after DD while I work. They are great with her and I am very grateful. Yesterday evening DD woke at 11, said she was scared and didn't want to sleep in her bed. I said that I would sleep on a mattress in her room. She refused as she wanted to sleep in the guest room with MIL. I said no. I also explained to MIL that I wanted DD to stay in her room, that I would sleep there so she didn't get scared, but that I did not want her to sleep with MIL as it would end up being for a week and make it much more difficult for us to get her back to her own room.

DD protested but eventually agreed. MIL then comes along and says in front of DD that it's no problem - FIL can sleep in DD's bed and she can sleep with her. She also tells me that I am too stressed because I work (she never worked with kids).

AIBU to be furious and feel humiliated and undermined? DD of course then jumped at the chance. She will now most likely sleep with MIL all week - going to bed at 10:30 not 9. When MIL leaves we will face weeks of getting her used to sleeping alone in her own bed again and going to bed at a proper time. I am of course grateful (stuck) for childcare but I feel that this has overstepped the mark.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Tue 11-Aug-15 06:15:50

This s morning you talk to mil and explain why you cannot let her do it again and make sure mil understands and will not undermine you. DD is not the boss here, you are. You do not have to let this happen. I dare say mil wasn't trying to undermine you and probably doesn't get why it's ok on holiday and not here but today you nip it in the bud.

spad Tue 11-Aug-15 06:16:38

Chill, enjoy the easy week and help.

Make sure your dd knows that it is only for one week.

Have a couple of nights of chaos after. and don't be so rude about it

StillStayingClassySanDiego Tue 11-Aug-15 06:21:53

I'm not surprised you're miffed.

MiL has overstepped the mark and I think you should tell her today, kindly but firmly, that you'd prefer her not to make that suggestion again.
You have your routine for a reason and so far it's worked.

You're stressed because the InLaws are interfering, with good intentions but messing you around nonetheless.

BugPlaster Tue 11-Aug-15 06:22:59

What Obsi said. Take control - you are the one dealing with the aftermath. MIL being shortsighted while no doubt trying to help.

Roastchicken Tue 11-Aug-15 06:37:37

I would love to take control but I can't see how. I explained to MIL last night that I didn't want DD to sleep with her and she then said to DD that she would have slept with her but mummy didn't want her to. This to me was the last straw as I was being set up as'bad cop' and undermined in front of DD. MIL is stubborn. I now feel like avoiding them and my home for the rest of the week.

GirlsWhoWearGlasses Tue 11-Aug-15 06:45:17

It doesn't matter what your MIL says, or whether she says it in front of your DD or not, you are her mother and you decide. Tell them both that.

I agree that your MIL not only overstepped the mark, but was really rude about you in front of your DD.

Hope the rest of the week passes uneventfully.

Pippioddstocking Tue 11-Aug-15 06:50:21

Chicken I totally understand where you are coming from . I think people need to try and imagine what it's like to have a 9 yr old who still won't always go to sleep alone. I have 2 of them so feel your desperation .
I think sit MIL down and explain the situation and say you can't let it happen again and then also sit your 9 yr old down and explain it to them too . Ive had too many nights of minimal sleep due to others well Meaning intentions so no YANBU ( but neither is she as she doesn't understand , yet ) .
Good luck

StillStayingClassySanDiego Tue 11-Aug-15 06:56:16

You have to be more stubborn then.

Be the 'bad cop' if you need to be. Your dd won't love you any less for it but you have to keep reminding yourself why you are taking this action.

holeinmyheart Tue 11-Aug-15 10:19:12

Your MIL is being really short sighted here. She is putting her love of her GC before you and your routine. As a MIL myself I think her behaviour is outrageous.
If you can't get up the courage to tell her in a non aggressive way, then your relationship is going to be damaged. It will end up with you frosting her off and she won't realise why, unless you make it clear.

If you preface your conversation with ' I am so grateful for you coming and I think you have been a wonderful Support, BUT I really need you to maintain my DDs routine and when you tell her that she can sleep with you when I have said she can't , it leaves me feeling undermined. I know you love her very much and I understand where you are coming from, but if you and I are to get on then I really need you support my decisions, even if you don't like them!!!
If she then continues to defy you, then she deserves frosting off.

I had this with one of my DC on holiday recently. My GD had done something and was put in her bedroom. She is four and was screaming her head off. My DH, her dad and mum and me were downstairs in this holiday apartment. She is screaming and screaming and sobbing and it was causing my husband and I actually physically pain. BUT I had to hold my tongue because I am only her Grandmother and know I have to respect my SIL , right or wrong. Sometimes it is very very painful. I love my GD, she is a blood relation. I have grown to like my SIL.

Then the other side of me thinks.... Aw well, they have come and given you a week of their life. They are usually great so just let it go. Annoying as it is...weighed against the help they have given you ?

Roastchicken Tue 11-Aug-15 11:25:00

Thanks - good to have a MIL's perspective that I'm NBU. We have been battling the sleep issue for a while and it is very hard to stand back and have all the work being undermined in my own home. It may seem only 1 week, but it will now mean a battle once MIL goes and again every time MIL visits as the precedent has been set. It really puts me off having her over/visiting even if she is great with the kids.

DP will speak to MIL tonight. Ironically, she used to complain to me that DN slept with her mother at 9. Seems like her DILs cannot win.

GoblinLittleOwl Tue 11-Aug-15 12:18:06

Think you need to address the issue of your nine year old not sleeping unless you are on a mattress outside or inside her room; control issues here.

holeinmyheart Tue 11-Aug-15 16:57:57

Well, we all feel a bit awkward with our MIL! Don't we? . Mine was awful to me as she was so jealous. I just soldiered on.

However, I think I am very much more self aware than she is and I knew before any DILs came on the scene, that it was possibly not going to be an easy relationship.
All my friends who have married sons say how different things are than with a DD. YES of course I realise there are always exceptions.( before Mumsnetters start telling me about their wonderful relationships with their MILs. )

For two strangers to come together, when neither has actually chosen the other is difficult. I am not my DILs mother and never will be. I do my best to love them, but however much I try it is not such an easy relationship as with my Daughters. Their husbands are appear much more easy going.

It must be something deep rooted as you and your MIL are both woman, she has had a lot of the same experiences after all.
You would think we should find empathising with each other easy., wouldn't you.? The MIL, DIL conflict crops up so often on Mumsnet. (Sighs)

Anyway I hope your MIL listens tonight.

littlejohnnydory Tue 11-Aug-15 17:00:28

I think you are being u if you allow it at PILS' house but not at home. One consistent rule would be easiest for MIL and DD to understand. Your MIL was also being U to undermine you, she shouldn't get involved in issues of discipline if you are there. But she probably didn't see the logic in "it's ok there but not here" - which I don't either. Isn't it just as hard to get dd used to sleeping alone again when she comes home?

Fwiw, I don't think it's healthy for MIL to share a bed with dd. My Grandmother shared a bed with me at that age. It wasn't sexual but it feels incestuous and violating when I remember even though at the time I wanted to.

Redshoes55 Tue 11-Aug-15 17:07:22

Your mil was wrong to over rule you so you are nbu.

Our teen dd has issues sleeping alone in the dark after a trauma. Have you fairy lights, door open etc. Apologies if you have already done this.

By all means be the bad cop. Your dd will learn a lesson that she can't manipulate the adults around her as they all try to.

Don't get cross. State your case and that's that.

Your dd won't want to bed share with you and mil for much longer am sure so don't be too stressed.

Redshoes55 Tue 11-Aug-15 17:11:11

Crikey littlejohnny that's a bit ott language isn't it?

You do realise that people not bed sharing with parents, grandparents and siblings is a fairly new phenomenon.

My grandmother and her sister shared a bed after they were both widowed and lived together. People did back in the day. For warmth and companionship and out of necessity.

It was normal life.

BettyCatKitten Tue 11-Aug-15 17:26:26

I don't think yabu, mil has undermined you after you had come to a compromise with dd.
With regards to dd sleeping, does she have a night light so her room isn't dark? Also a CD player with soothing audio books or music which she can have on until she's asleep. Do a sweep of her room to eliminate spiders/insects before she gets into bed.

Hissy Tue 11-Aug-15 17:39:38

this is a ridiculous situation all round. This mattress nonsense has to stop. She is 9 yo and is calling the shots in your life/relationship.

Get a night light and tough it out. The holidays are the best time to do this. No co sleeping, no faffing about turfing FIL out of bed fgs, no undermining you.

If they don't like your routine, they can go stay in a BnB.

Think about what Super Nanny would do? She would put dd to bed, and take her back again and again, no engagement, no poncing about. It's time to sleep DD, broken record. And refuse to take on whatever perceived and irrational excuse she has concocted.

This is out of hand and you'll have to go through a shed load of crap to correct it, but otherwise you are failing her, and you are failing your relationship.

No more Ms Nice Guy. Routine, rigorous and no negotiation.

Hissy Tue 11-Aug-15 17:41:19

She is 9, not 4. She knows the spiders are not there as much as you do op. Tell her to hoover the room before she had her bath or whatever.. Instead of a bedtime story.

Spiders or story.... I know what she'll choose...

MintJulip Tue 11-Aug-15 18:03:31

She is putting her love of her GC before you and your routine. As a MIL myself I think her behaviour is outrageous

Oh yes that special kind of Mil only love - that puts their own wants above the good of the child.

Op It wouldn't have mattered to me one jot what mil said in front of DD I would have said - NO darling, I am your DM and I said - NO. Grandma knows why - we want you to sleep in your own room, and grandma is naughty for getting your hopes up, the ansa is NO.

Roastchicken Tue 11-Aug-15 18:10:53

Agree that it is ridiculous and out of hand. For the record, we don't do it every night. Basically we tough it out for a few days, problem goes away, then something happens - shares a room on holiday, sleepover and it reoccurs. I offered to sleep on the mattress last night to stop the MIL option - she couldn't claim to be scared if someone was in the same room! It's bad at the minute mostly because MIL is here and she shared when she visits her. I would much rather she didn't share with MIL when she visits her but I am not there so can't dictate from afar! I totally agree that it's about control and DD has MIL under her thumb.

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