How to handle overbearing MIL(37 Posts)
My partners mother is very pushy and overbearing. She announced a few weeks ago that she was coming to see her grandson and basically landed on us without asking and without telling us how long she planned to stay. She buys a lot of stuff for DS and insists on paying for everything when she's here. I appreciate all of this of course but don't appreciate anyone coming to stay without asking and checking it's ok, never mind telling me what to do and treating me like the cow that feeds the child. She regularly takes over when I'm changing him, dresses him up the way she wants, grabs him out of my arms and is away too close and touchy while I'm BF. We have a small apartment (1 bed) and a small baby and having visitors for a couple of days takes its toll. After 3 days of me having to spend all day with her I cracked and asked DP to find out how long she was planning to stay. I figured if it was longer than a week then I'd ask her to at least give me some hours at home daily on own with baby, just for the head space. When I asked DP took offense and told her I wanted her to leave. She was 'hurt' and felt unwelcome and sulked and gave me the cold shoulder for the next 2 days until she could get a ticket home. I don't think IABU, but somehow DP is making me feel guilty for standing up to this woman. She is his mother after all and doesn't like to see her upset. I know we could have handled it differently but i think she would still have been offended as she isn't used to being told to back off. Anyone any experience dealing with a MIL like this and how do you manage it? I've never had to deal with someone like this and need a plan as unfortunately we'll be dealing with each other other for a long time.
You have - as often said on mn a dh problem. He needs to insist on the boundaries of an adult son/ mother relationship. She sounds a pita that she hasn't the sicial awareness to realise those boundaries need respecting.
You have to establish boundaries (asking for notice of a visit isn't at all unreasonable).
Unfortunately, if your DP isn't onside you'll never win the battle.
Treat her as you would any other person who is overstepping your boundaries.
"Please don't do that, it makes me feel uncomfortable." or whatever. You actually don't have to explain any further. The fact she is your mother in law is irrelevant. Except it's more important to sort it than if it was a random in a cafe getting all touchy feely with your baby whilst you are bf.
Is dh also there all day when she is? Or is he at work. It's very different spending 24/7 with someone and think you should point this out to him. My very laid back but helpful mum would end up winding me up if we where in a 1 bedroom flat together!
Are you sure DP didn't know she was coming?
Tell him he has to be there to entertain her when she visits, and it has to be with your prior agreement.
Oh, and that either she stays in a hotel, or you and the baby will. A one bed flat isn't big enough for a family of three plus house guests.
I thought she was staying with a friend of hers. On the day she was due to arrive dp told me she would stay with us on the first night as she got in late, then would go to the friends the next day. She didn't go the next day, and the day after she dragged me and DS to the friends. The friend had no idea she was even coming to visit, never mind planning to stay at hers. Apparently DP didn't know any of this.
Install a TV in your room (and a small fridge with snacks) when baby needs feeding just go off into your refuge! Insist your dh is the main entertainer when she is there as its his mother! Get yourself a busy baby filled schedule ASAP for next time she arrives and say already have plans so sorry u are off out for the day!
Your DH needs to step up. Anyone anywhere near me while BF would be bawled at. She is bu to want to stay with you in a one bed flat no a newborn-there is nowhere for you to go! Tell her directly (sod this going via the DH) that it's fine to visit, but you need to know when, for how long, departure date and give her a list of local hotels.
Dh's mother turns up without asking, he has no idea how long she's staying, he doesn't know where she's staying and he intends to be at work anyway so won't be doing any of the actual hands on interacting with her, entertaining her and dealing with her. So his plan was to dump alllll of this on you - but you may not have feelings about this or he'll throw a wobbler and say you're behaving badly?
He's looking a bit of a tit really in this picture?
If he'd like you and his mother to have a good relationship he may need to get up off his bum and take a bit of responsibility.
Did I mention DS is only 8 weeks old? DP was working, so I was with her all day. I think I deserve a medal for lasting as long as I did! I was being too bloody polite and didn't push back gradually, unfortunately let it get to boiling point. But my fuse is a lot shorter than usual atm. she turned on the waterworks and all but then rejected several attempts from me to clear the air over the next 2 days. I think it's all an act and part of how she controls her family. not sure where it will go next but I foresee many awkward family situations and me being made out to be an ungrateful granny-hater who kicked her out of my (tiny) home.
He's looking a bit of a tit really in this picture? - yes. I think I needed that to be validated.
Just an update on this, so MIL is still at it. I'm in a facebook group with their family which was set up to share DS photos. Side note: she would use this to remote-parent, telling us if she believed DS was too warm, cold, needed a change of clothes, should wear more of the things she bought, change the bedsheets etc. based on the pics. Anyway this morning she posted a whiny message about how some grandparents can see their grandkids all the time and she cant. I responded with a smiling photo of DS saying he thanks her for coming to see him, and all the lovely things she does, and that he loves her. I figured I'd show publicly to the family that I'm not the problem, despite what she may have told them. I checked her FB page and she has posted two things which are surely directed at me, something about silence not being consent, just a refusal to argue with idiots, and something else equally pointed. She's a bully and is extremely immature to not want to resolve an issue where her son and grandchild are concerned. Especially when all I did was ask how long she planned to stay after her arriving unannounced! Sorry, just needed to rant, to stop me reacting to her.
You asked DP to find out how long she was staying, and he told her you wanted her to leave?????
I hope he's going to grow up very soon, because it's going to be a bit much for you having to deal with two small children (three if you count MIL)
Have a good think about how your DP is acting and address that, before you even start thinking about how to deal with your MIL. He's by far the bigger problem.
If any of your family agree with what she's saying send her to stay with them instead.
Why is she still at your flat?
Where are your parents, family, friends? Pack a bag for you and DS and leave.
Tell your DH you will consider returning once she has left and he has proven that you're on the same team.
Leave the FB group. Simple. You are the mother rand you have control.
She has disrespected you so now she loss the PRIVLAGES that you have allowed her. She doesn't get nice pictures. She doesn't get to see her GC because she can't be a decent human.
Unless you grow a spine and do something this isn't a MIL problem or a DH problem it's a you problem.
I don't think anyone should live with a partner or have children unless they have taken an assertiveness course on how to handle pushy in laws.
It would be the end all these mil threads
Omg you poor kid.
Speaking as a mil and s gran she sounds bat shit crazy and an immature pain in the arse.
You have been a saint so far but now is the time to nip this bollocks in the bud or it will only get worse.
Start with that man child daddy's boy you live with and take back control.
What a cowboy!
You are two months into parenting, hormones all over the place, still physically exhausted, I would imagine, and this vindictive old bat thinks she can land unannounced for an indeterminate length of time and that's okay?!
If you can get out - go now until she leaves (I'm assuming she was distraught with grief over your cruel verbal assault that she has been unable to go home?).
Or do the Facebook thing about "some people arriving unannounced and etcetcetc" - no names, obviously. See if she responds (I know - this will escalate hostilities, but honestly! What appalling behaviour!)
I would demand that dp explain that you asked him to ask her how long she was planning on staying, that he stupidly took offence and told her to leave and that if she should be treating anyone badly it is him
Trust your instincts, my mil uses similar behaviour to control family too. You really have to nip this in the bud now or she will get worse. As other posters have said, you need to get DP on your side first, he must fight your corner with you. I expect he is afraid of her tears and tantrum routines, so be supportive but firm about what you expect.
Try meeting up with mil on mutual ground in future. Then you can always leave when you have had enough, and she might be better behaved in public than at your place.
My mil was the same with my first born and she got worse and worse, gate crashing our holidays (and ruining them), expecting us to cancel plans with other friends & family so that we could see her instead. Once we even had to leave our own home for the day as she was inviting herself over and wouldn't take no for an answer.
Work out what you want to say to DP, and sit down tonight and talk to him.
Thanks for all the feedback. I tried to speak to DP last night but he's not budging. He 'doesn't want to get involved' but the irony is he was the one who kicked it all off. Anyway I've decided that I'm going to be ok with the situation for the moment, I don't have to hear from MIL, won't get any unsolicited advice or instructions on how to handle my baby, and won't have to deal with her next time she comes to visit (she left last week after 3 days of ignoring me). As far as nipping the situation in the bud, I don't know if I've done that as nothing is resolved, but at least she and I agree on a dislike of each other and the desire to avoid each other. It just pisses me off because I didn't do anything to deserve her bad treatment, but on reflection I think it may have always been heading this way: she ADORES her little boy (my DP) and no woman would ever be good enough, and from day one I was dispensable, when they came to visit us in hospital when DS was born they brought no flowers or even a bloody grape, and practically knocked me out of the way to get to the baby. Alarm bells. Also I've lost respect for DP and think he's spineless. That's my problem now.
Is there a cultural difference that would somehow explain why your husband would let her come over and stay?
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