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To not want to end up like the horror MIL's in some stories??

(48 Posts)
BravoPanda Fri 13-Jan-17 13:06:55

Just found out our baby due in a couple of months is a Boy. Now terrified I will end up in a Mumsnet MIL horror story in 2047. For those who have nightmare MILs what do you wish they would change/do differently? What makes a good MIL?

I say this in the hope my Son will end up with a fairly mentally balanced partner (male or female) and not some crazy entitled prince/ss grin

GruochMacAlpin Fri 13-Jan-17 13:09:55

Just treat any DIL with the respect that you would any other adult and it will all be fine.

CigarsofthePharoahs Fri 13-Jan-17 13:10:19

I have read a lot of mil threads on here and most of them are a real education in How Not To Do It.
I think the big things are respecting boundaries and accepting that your grown up child isn't a baby any more! Hard I know, my boys are 6 and 2 and I wonder how they got so big!

Zarachristmas Fri 13-Jan-17 13:27:41

There are some truly awful mils. I do also think some mil and dil can't really win.

It's the relationship dynamic.

Women are usually the main cater for children and take charge (or are dumped with) of lots of the home stuff. The mil and dil aren't related and will have different ideas on how things should be.

No matter how useless the father or fil is the women will always get the blame.

girlywhirly Fri 13-Jan-17 13:56:50

I am likely to be a MIL one day to a DIL, my DS is living with his partner. I suppose I'm one in all but name now.

I would say, treat her as you would like to be treated, love her as you do your son. Trust his judgement in his choice of partner. Make sure she knows you are there for them both.

Respect her decisions even if you don't agree with them, don't always assume that you are right. If she asks for your opinion or advice, be honest and tactful. Sometimes say nothing. Don't take sides in their arguments. Ask her advice to show you value her opinion.

When you become a grandma, the same applies, support them and let them parent in their own way without interfering.

mrsmuddlepies Fri 13-Jan-17 14:51:20

There is a current thread running about gender disappointment and, specifically, disappointment with boy babies. I know It is probably frowned upon but I will copy and paste my response on that thread.
'I think the problem of gender disappointment is exacerbated by the number of anti MIL posts on Mumsnet. Calling a girl a tomboy seems to be a positive term yet describing a boy as a cissy is horrible. Women are encouraged to be close to their families. The description 'Mummy's boy' is widely used on MN As a term of abuse. I read a silly survey recently that found men who were close to their mothers to be a red flag for a relationship. I think it is hard to be a man today and it is hard to be the mothers of sons.consequently a lot of women want daughters.
When women expected to have large families they took it for granted that they would have a mix of girls and boys. With smaller families that mix is much less likely.There is a big demand for sex selection in the USA and in my opinion it will eventually be legalised in the UK.
Until there is true equality in the west and men are encouraged to maintain close relationships with their birth families and help care for their own elderly relatives(as in China and India) you will find many women hoping for a daughter. I hope that the eventual arrival of equality of gender in China and India might also result in the end of gender specific abortions which has so slewed the male female ratio in these '
Most women are still the primary carers for their children. Many are uncomfortable with too much in law contact. The term MIL has become a term of abuse and MILS are often used as a scapegoat for family disagreements. So much depends on the dynamic between MIL and Dil. A move towards equal parenting between mothers and fathers should help the extended family relationship.

HookandSwan Fri 13-Jan-17 15:03:28

I dunno when he has a gf or a wife befriend her, and support her. Don't belittle her and undermine her. That seems to be the main issues on here.

dollydaydream114 Fri 13-Jan-17 15:28:04

My MIL is completely lovely. She isn't in the slightest bit demanding or interfering and it would never occur to her to suggest that we should do things "her" way in our home/relationship. I'm sure there are things that we do that she thinks should be done differently, but she'd never say a word about it. She's also very grateful and appreciative of anything that we do for her and never criticises.

Having said that, I do make a proper effort to be a good DIL as well. I definitely think it goes both ways and I see a lot of posts on here about MILs where I think the DIL is at least partly at fault or is just being very intolerant of generational differences/simple misunderstandings.

LosAngeles444 Fri 13-Jan-17 15:38:09

Don't interfere and give DS and DIL lots of space! Don't treat DS like a child. Don't have a weird co-dependent relationship with him that will follow him into adulthood. And lastly, don't use emotional blackmail or play the victim e.g. "I didn't sleep a wink last night, I'm so stressed" or "my knees are so bad and I can't do anything today and need your help"....

DustyMaiden Fri 13-Jan-17 15:46:24

I think the problems start when you have such different views. I don't do controlled crying, will never. SiL wants me to when I babysit. It's their choice obviously but I'm not doing it.

Scaredycat3000 Fri 13-Jan-17 15:47:41

OP, there are horrible people out there. Some of them become MIL's, FIL's, SIL's, BIL's, OH's. If you are horrible now, and I assume you're not because you are think about it, then you will be a horrible MIL. But you're not horrible so you have nothing to worry about.

GummyBunting Fri 13-Jan-17 15:51:39

This applies to my own DM as well as MIL- Don't make everything your DIL's responsibility. If your son hasn't called you, it's not because the DIL won't let him. It's also not her fault for not reminding him, he's an adult who can manage his own life.

Camomila Fri 13-Jan-17 15:55:17

Some MILs are a bit 'too nice' I think, I don't need mine to love me/support me like she does her son, I have my own mother for that.
I think part of the problem is that DH and I have been together since uni so in her eyes we were kids but to my mind I was an adult when I met her and would rather have a more 'equal' relationship rather than the one where we're the young kids that don't know anything and she's the one that gives unasked for advice.

Chamonix1 Fri 13-Jan-17 15:55:40

Contact your son for things to do with your son.
Things are fine between me and MIL when my husband takes responsibility for his own relationship with his parents.
Don't expect to be best friends with daughter in law, if that happens then great but I've felt under huge pressure by my mil to be the daughter she never had, unfortunately I'm not the right person for that job.
If your sons useless at keeping in contact, don't blame dil, she's probably chosen the last 5 years of birthday cards, presents, anniversary presents and Christmas gifts and it'll make her wonder why she bothered.
Appreciate the fact you've got a grown up for a son now and he might not have as much time now he's got 3 kids, 2 jobs, his own house to keep and a wife but he still loves's not his wife's fault he doesn't have as much time as he used to.
Sort out issues with son through your son, dil isn't his PA.

OP, the fact you are worried about being a shit MIL before you've even had your baby suggests you're a caring person and wouldn't trample all over normal boundaries so you'll be just fine.
Treat how you'd like to be treated and hope your son ends up with a reasonable human as a significant other.

smilingsarahb Fri 13-Jan-17 15:58:08

I feel the same. I have two boys. I really enjoy being their mum but I feel that the general attitude is once a man has a serious girlfriend he should basically ditch his birth family. I am totally on board that my sons wife and daughters will be more important to him than I am (as lots of mumsnet terse point out), but I don't understand the idea that he should not need to have a mum figure in his life at all as most women seem to keep their mum and dad in those roles. My husband is the most important man in my life, but my Dad is still my Dad and I still love him. My husband is still really close to his mum, phones her loads, see her loads and she sees the children lots too. I really hope it ends up like that for me but looking around friends and mumsnet that looks like it's not the usual situation.

justmetwice Fri 13-Jan-17 15:58:55

This... Trust that you have raised your son to make his own decision, and don't blame your dil for any decision you do not agree with. Also give them space.

justmetwice Fri 13-Jan-17 15:59:31

That was to gummy bunting. Obviously took too long to write. Oops

missyB1 Fri 13-Jan-17 16:15:27

As a mum of 3 boys (one of whom is getting married this year), I worry about this too. In September I will be the Mil! I just plan to carry on being friendly and quietly supportive, but I am well aware that it's a tricky path.
I do feel us mums of boys will never be able to win really. As pp pointed out it's ok for girls to stay close to their mums but that's totally frowned on for boys! Well at least on MN it is anyway sad

KERALA1 Fri 13-Jan-17 16:45:50

The fact you've even asked the question or are having these thoughts proves you will never be an awful mil. Utter unawareness of others feelings is a pre requisite to being one of the awful mils and you have fallen at the first fence.

acornsandnuts Fri 13-Jan-17 16:54:29

When they want to live together dont go to the estate agents and bring home every brochure within a 1 mile radius of your house. Don't turn up on their first holiday with their new baby just to surprise them. Don't come around twice mid week and stay for hours and hours. Don't giggle at their messy house when they have a new born and expect to stay and be waited on for hours.

Basic boundaries are a must and if you want to help that's great but ask first and respect their answer.

GummyBunting Fri 13-Jan-17 17:00:52

I think a lot of the problem comes from the belief that all daughters have a fairytale relationship with their mum, who they see every day and tell everything to. I bet the percentage of women who have that relationship is very small?

I have a brilliant relationship with my Mum, and she lives 40 mins away, compared to MIL who lives 2 hours away.
However, DP phones his mum every other day. I speak to my mum on the phone perhaps once a week, sometimes not that much. I see my mum for more shorter visits, but we actually spend more time with MIL because the visits are longer.

But MIl will never see it that way, ever. In her case comparison is certainly the thief of joy, and it causes problems, and it's silly because it's inaccurate.

Scooby20 Fri 13-Jan-17 17:02:36

You can't ensure your dil doesnt think you are a nightmare.

Because there are two people in the relationship. You may act perfectly but she is a tit who takes offence at anything.

Some mils are awful but the truth is so are some dils

AcrossthePond55 Fri 13-Jan-17 17:40:08

I'm a MiL. I think I'm safe in saying that DiL and I feel lucky to have each other. She's a dream. She loves my son, shares her life with him yet allows him to have his own life, too. And the way they look at each other! It warms my heart to know how much he loves her and that she loves him back the same way. It's such a wonderful peaceful feeling to know that your child (be it son or daughter) has found someone to share their life with. She facilitates our relationship with our son, inviting us over, including us in plans, and coming to see us with him and joins in as part of the family. She jumps in and helps out, but if I tell her 'I've got this' then she'll 'stand down'. In times of trouble or illness, her first words are "What can I do?". I cherish her.

I think she'd tell you that she likes the fact that I don't interfere. I don't believe that my son should consider me before her. I don't show up unannounced, nor would I ever walk in their house even when I'm invited. I knock. I think she'd tell you that she likes that I listen to her when she talks to me about him and that I don't jump to his defense. The majority of the time I'll give her what insight I may have into why he does things but remind her that they have to talk and work things out themselves. That I won't get between them. I always keep her confidence. Wives get frustrated and sometimes blurt things out. I'm not going to run to my son with tittle-tattle.

They have no children yet, but when they do I'm going to remember that I've had my turn to be Mummy. It's her turn now. And that things are done differently to the way they were done when my children were young. And that doing it differently is not an insult to the way I did it. I will bite my tongue and say nothing unless I'm asked for my advice. I will be there when I am needed or wanted and not push in when the parents should be alone, figuring things out for themselves.

To tell the truth, these are the lessons I learnt from my own wonderful, late MiL. God rest her.

goose1964 Fri 13-Jan-17 17:58:21

I'm a mil and have a great mil it's easy, don't interfere but be supportive and treat your child in law as you do your own

violetgrey Fri 13-Jan-17 18:06:54

AcrossthePond55 I wish my MIL were like you. When you described your son's and your DIL relationship and how happy you are that they found each other, it was so lovely. And it made me sad as this is how our relationship is with DH and this is what bothers my MIL. That her son found someone whom he loves and who loves him back. Your DIL won a MIL lottery, lucky her!

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