Another mil one, sorry!(87 Posts)
Dh's mum lives about an hours drive away from us. We visit her every second weekend. I like her, she can be annoying at times, but so can I!
Ds is almost two and at the horrible tantruming stage. He's very active and loves running about and exploring things (like most toddlers I'm sure)
However mil always wants ds to go sit on her knee, give her cuddles etc and he ends up screaming to get down, she tries to hold onto him and the result is a full on screaming match which I am left to deal with.
She also tells him not to touch every single thing he touches. She never moves anything special or expensive out of his reach before we arrive, despite me saying that he grabs everything so best to move anything precious. Every two seconds it's "no, don't touch ds, no don't touch that." Her house is so small and he is told not to touch anything, he ends up bored and frustrated, then when the inevitable
Crying starts she says he is getting to be a right moaner. Drives me mad!
He is only like this at hers, at my parents they just let him get on and have fun, anything that can break or is dangerous is moved up high and then they don't have to keep saying no don't touch to him. He is so happy at my parents and loves staying there. Mil wants him to start staying at hers in the new year, she has never asked before. Wibu to say no, given everything that I have explained. Ds will be bored, and then I will have to hear how he moaned all night and is so whingey
Etc etc. She also smokes in the house, around ds. I take him outside or upstairs but I know if he was alone with her she would just light up in front of him.
So as not to drip feed, ds is very wary of mil, my parents live next to us so he knows them really well and
always runs to them for cuddles. Mil
is jealous of their close relationship and I do understand that it must suck but not anything I can do if he doesn't want to hug and kiss her, I'm not going to force him!
Dh agrees with me but obviously feels guilty about saying no to her request to have to stay, but what else can we say??
Just going by the smoking in the house would make it a no from me.
She also tells him not to touch every single thing he touches.
sounds about right, how else is he supposed to learn?
I barely removed things that could be dangerous with mine, and only because I don't supervise kids constantly in my own home. I taught them not to touch everything. How else would they behave when you visit friends and family?
Apart from that, perfectly reasonable to say he's too young to stay at hers. The smoking habit would keep me out of her house. I have relatives who smoke, but make an effort to do so outside their own home when we come with kids - and I've never asked them - out of respect for the children.
The not moving things is fair enough - I agree that he needs to learn not to touch. The smoking would be a deal breaker.
The smoking in the house would make me say no. It is a valid reason. I also hate seeing kids being forced into giving and receiving hugs and kisses. You wouldn't expect adults to do it, so it's unfair to make kids do it.
But it's literally everything, like if he opens a cupboard that has biscuits in it she's like
"Nooo ds don't open that" for no reason! He doesn't try to eat anything just likes having a nosey.
At my parents he has a laugh he's allowed to nosey around the kitchen and living room, obviously if he does
Touch something dangerous he gets told no, but not to every little thing, it gets frustrating just hearing no repeated all day.
He loves staying at my parents, he has done since he was first born, it's not an age thing. As soon as we walk into mils he starts crying because he knows he's not allowed to do anything other than sit on mils knee!
Donald that's how I feel. I would hate to be made to kiss somebody I didn't want to, so I wouldn't make ds do it!
Can she come and stay at yours and they you guys go out and leave her to it?
I don't think getting kids to not touch other things/not go through cupboards is in anyway unreasonable. Sorry.
I get how the not moving things can be exhausting. The thing is some children genuinely do take a lot longer to learn 'not to touch' and if everything they find interesting is within sight and reach that is an awful lot of curtailing what they see as fun.
And the smoking. I get that she will want to do her own thing in her own house but really at the stage your DS is at a person caring for him really has to be prepared to make adaptations and it sounds like she is not making any!
I would just put off the staying over. Don't mention what your DM does. Also it might be less stressful that instead of spending all of your visits round at her house you go out to somewhere more child friendly. That way she might get to know what your DS is like when he is happy.
he's allowed to nosey around the kitchen and living room
Fine if your parents are happy with that, but it's not an acceptable behaviour in other people's house. If you visit friends or other family members, he's not going to start exploring their house, is he. It's never to early to teach them basic manners (at 2, you do have to be behind them constantly when you visit someone, but you can still tell them)
Can you not take MIL and DS to the park or ball pit so he can look forward to seeing her and having fun?
Something needs to change really!
Fair enough last queen maybe some people feel that way but I personally don't think a grandchild having a wee nosey about is so horrific. It's not like he's going through her dildo drawer, it's a cupboard full of biscuits, cereals etc and he just likes to open it, and have a look. It will just end up he never wants to go when he's older and will prefer to stay atmy parents and that will be his choice I guess.
Could you bring some toys when you visit? That way there will be something for him to do.
It doesn't seem like the time is right for an overnight stay though.
Astro she just wants to sit in the house and smoke. We invite her to ours and she says no, she wouldn't even come over for his birthday party this year, we had all the family over but she wanted us to go to her so she could see him alone. I think she is jealous, she makes digs at my parents about how close we are to them. My parents have been excellent, I have depression and they help out loads and help us out with money when we are struggling, they are brilliant with ds. This bothers her I think.
Rock that is exactly it, it just feels like he's constantly told no and I find it exhausting so no wonder it frustrates ds! I always end up running behind him, it's just never a nice way to spend an afternoon lol
It might be the way you've written the OP, or maybe I'm reading it wrong, but to me it seems that you're almost pleased he doesn't like her, and that he prefers your parents. Which is understandable, most would probably secretly feel the same! It would be nice to try to encourage a better relationship between them for his sake though.
The smoking would be a complete deal breaker for me. MIL would have to quit smoking altogether before my child could stay there.
As for visits; just move everything out of the way yourself! I used to do this in other people's houses. Who cares if it's a bit forward? It's better than having your DC break something special or expensive - and it means both you and he can relax a bit. Your MIL may soon get the message and start moving things out of the way herself anyway.
I'd ask mil where she'd like to meet up instead of her house because that's not working for ds just now. Museums, stately homes, pubs with ball pits, swimming, the park, your house - anywhere but hers, except very occasionally. Aim for him to have fun with her around and that will help build the relationship. If/when he genuinely loves and trusts her, and you trust her to look after him well, then can be overnights and that mean they never happen.
Wrt forced affection, take a harder line on that: tell mil it's v important that he learn about consent and bodily autonomy and so be protected from abuse (and from abusing, later). There will be advice online from someone like the nspcc if you need back up.
Advocate for your kid! He matters most here.
If she never will come and see you, you would be within your rights to limit visits. She is making absolutely no allowances for your family's needs and as you can see this just doesn't work. You cannot magic different behaviour into your child - he has to have time to learn and he really is still very little. The people who say they don't child proof anything would not expect the same hazards in a nursery or playgroup. Constant supervision is exhausting and frustrating all round. I don't blame you for wanting a bit of a break from it tbh.
just move everything out of the way yourself!
as opposed to disciplining your child and being a parent?
I don't understand why small kids need to stay overnight at gps houses without their own parents present. I would say no, it ism't necessary for her to have him without you there. My dc would not be in a house with a smoker and that would be totally non negotiable.
I would also reduce the visits - she makes no effort to make the visit nice for him, she just troes to impose her will on him. Maybe suggest meeting at the park or soft play or going swimming together, so she can get to know him and he will then associate seeing her with having a nice time rather than with constantly hearing the word no.
If she cba then her loss and you just visit her less often.
Most of the stuff is pretty standard older person not used to a small person.
The smoking would be deal breaker for me
* as opposed to disciplining your child and being a parent?*
Discipline must be appropriate to their ability to understand what they must and must not do. For example you would not discipline a newborn for filling their nappy would you?
This little boy, quite understandably, is finding it difficult to negotiate his way through these rules at the MiL's, where he cannot do anything apparently, apart from sit on her knee! Personally I would find that pretty insufferable too!
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