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AIBU to feel hurt that DS seems to prefer MIL?

(40 Posts)
CheeseCat85 Tue 31-Jan-17 17:14:37


Just after some opinions. DS is 1 and MIL has him 2 days a week whilst I'm at work. I have a good relationship with her on the whole but she is very "full on" and tends to take over things a lot.
She means well I'm sure but if DS is crying whilst I am there and I'm trying to comfort him she will immediately take him off me and start to comfort her himself. She also does this to members of my own family if they have him too, not just me. The thing is when MIL is there DS seems to want her more than me- she can settle him quicker and he will crawl away from me and towards her. I know he's only a baby but this is really hurtful as DS is my world and I spend the majority of my time when not in work revolving my life round him, looking after him and playing etc. I pride myself on being the best mother I can be.
This morning when DS crawled towards me when eating my breakfast she said "oh you only want your Mum coz she has food" and once again took his away from me immediately and picked him up (which he didn't seem to mind). She probably means well thinking 'I'll let her eat' but it's so full on and it's really starting to get me down. On my days off she's always texting me asking how he slept/how he is etc. It's lovely she cares but it's a bit much.
I'm so glad DS loves his grandmother, and that she loves him- they have a special bond. It's really lovely watching them together, but I just wish she didn't take him off me all the time when I'm there or act like she's his Mum instead of me. Furthermore I wish my DS would prefer me to settle him when he's upset/tired if I'm there!
Being too sensitive?

BarbarianMum Tue 31-Jan-17 17:24:07

Your son knows who his mother is and it's great that he's so secure with you that he's happy to be comforted by someone else.

Of course he prefers you- but (no offense) granny is more of a novelty.

YANBU to object to her taking him away from you, even if she means well. Just tell her "It's fine, I've got him" and keep hold of him. Smile at her. Don't give in.

thethoughtfox Tue 31-Jan-17 17:24:21

Tell her exactly what you have just written. Only an unreasonable person or one who was secretly enjoying being number 1 would ever take offence to what you have just written.

Trifleorbust Tue 31-Jan-17 17:30:28

What BarbarianMum said. It's brilliant that they have a good relationship but you need to stand your ground a bit more. When you are there you are the primary carer and she shouldn't be taking him from you unless you offer or ask.

MGFM Tue 31-Jan-17 17:37:39

I have a similar issue. My PIL look after my 21 month old once a week. They love him a lot and he clearly loves them - gets excited when we pull into their drive way. No separation issues when leaving him with them etc. Sometime when they drop him home , he gets into a strop when he comes in the house and my FIL almost has to coax him in. He does it with me aswell - it's just because he wants to go outside or get back into the car to play. I swear sometimes my FIL enjoys these moments. Also when I have been reprimanding my son for throwing or hitting or whatever it may be that a toddler does , he pipes up in the baxk ground - oh go on xx , do what your mummy tells you' type of comment. As if my son would listen to him and not me. I just ignore and carry on doing what I am doing or I say 'I've got it' or I over emphasise 'mummy has said xyz etc etc' . It does annoy me and my DH has noticed it a few times but I tend to just nip in the bud there and then. If hey ever tried to take him off me I would have no problem telling them no. When my ds has been ill, he won't settle for them anyway.

Softkitty2 Tue 31-Jan-17 18:04:39

When she takes him off you say "no, i'll do it but thank you"

QuiteLikely5 Tue 31-Jan-17 18:07:55

Don't kick up a fuss. Having a good relationship with your in laws is priceless.

The woman adores him and is showing that. Don't be jealous - be thankful.

Ilovecaindingle Tue 31-Jan-17 18:12:32

Just smile and say 'dm is back on duty now' and take him back off her. She will get the message.

pipsqueak25 Tue 31-Jan-17 18:13:30

don't let this spoil things between you and mil in the long run, it is hard feeling you are being pushed aside but you are #1 in your ds's life, he has a special bond with mil but she is gm not you, he will love you in a different way to her as he grows older, there is more than enough love to go round.
in the mean time try not to get upset but just let her know you can manage by yourself and she doesn't always need to step in,
have you spoken to her about how you feel ?

theSnuffster Tue 31-Jan-17 18:18:33

My MIL is similar. Likes to take over, very over the top, often 'accidentally' referred to herself as Mummy! My 8 year old definitely prefers her to me! But at his age now it's because she lets him do what he wants, spends their whole time together playing and making mess, constantly buys treats, never tells him off when he's badly behaved etc. It upsets me/ annoys me but I try my best to ignore it.

HandbagCrazy Tue 31-Jan-17 18:24:00

Try not to let him preferring her bother you. Children are fickle! My dnephew preferred me for a while around that age and my sister was upset, but he preferred me when I was there because it was a treat - he only saw me once a week when he could get comfort from him mum anytime iyswim?

With MIL though, I agree with pp line "mummy's back on duty now" and just taking him back. If she says anything, just be honest. "I'm here and I'd like to comfort him / feed him / play with him." Don't explain why you want to, just state it as a fact and do it.

WappersReturns Tue 31-Jan-17 18:33:57

Honestly truly, don't worry! I had a similar situation with MIL who is exceptionally close to my DC and I admit I felt jealous because I had to parent and she could treat them without the boundaries that cone with parenting.
We moved a few hours away so the children often stay there during school holidays for a week or more sometimes. MIL always rings after nearly a week to let me know they've had enough and they keep asking for mummy at bed time smile

I'm so grateful to have a wonderful MIL and that my children have such a wonderful GM, I desperately need a break when they go but I'm always desperate to have them home right around the time they are desperate to come home! They might adore their GM but that doesn't in any way diminish how much they love me.

I promise you, you are your DS's world just as he is yours. His world just expands every day and that's good!

LilQueenie Tue 31-Jan-17 18:39:47

Be careful my own mother did this. it did not turn out well. She was obsessed.

CherryChasingDotMuncher Tue 31-Jan-17 18:41:19

I think this is normal. As he gets older he'll behave better for her too! But as PPs have said, he knows your his mum and you will always be his number 1!

CherryChasingDotMuncher Tue 31-Jan-17 18:41:34

*you're blush

pipsqueak25 Tue 31-Jan-17 18:44:59

most important thing to remember ds is not the rope in a tug of war, he is your child and she is gm, different people offering different things that should enrich his life for the better.
hope mil doesn't go down the 'extra mummy' route though, that would be war imo

ollieplimsoles Tue 31-Jan-17 18:51:10

I think its lovely she obviously adores him, but I know the feeling, my DD loves my dm so much, she gets so excited around her and my mum is great with little kids, she used work at a nursery and knows loads of ways to calm them and entertain them.
At first I was jealous, but then I kind of started to learn things from her.

I agree with others though don't let mil take over, but he does know who his mum is, gparents are a novelty to young children

WappersReturns Tue 31-Jan-17 19:16:08

My DM was obsessive about DS1, which is why I'm so grateful for my MIL. The difference with my DM was it was insidious and under the guise of 'helping' so it felt churlish to refuse or object when she took him.

OP's MIL seems to be fairly transparent, she adores her GC and wants to be top granny! Totally natural imho, my MIL made the odd comment when mine were small asserting her family-ness to them without thinking that it came across as insensitive. There's plenty of openings here to say "that's not a very nice thing to say" or "no its mummy time now" and jolt her into realising she's been rude. Believe me, I'm hyper sensitive to overbearing GP (DS1 lives with my DM sad) but I can't see any great reason to be concerned here as long as OP is able to pull MIL up when she's being insensitive.

pipsqueak25 Tue 31-Jan-17 19:19:47

there will be times you will be only too thankful to hand ds over to her for awhile, believe me it will happen smileplease don't take this the wrong way but is ds your first child ?

llangennith Tue 31-Jan-17 19:20:50

It's not unusual for babies/toddlers to become very attached to a grandparent who looks after them. By the time your DS is 2 he'll still love you all but he'll have worked out who you are and you'll be his favourite person. Often when toddlers are tired they will want Grandma as she's usually the calm and unexciting persongrin

Strongmummy Tue 31-Jan-17 19:22:53

Kids are sooooo fickle and she's a novelty to your son. As others have said you need to ensure the relationship stays firm as you're relying on her for childcare and you don't want to have bad feeling. Try to politely reassert yourself. If she doesn't take the hint then tell her what you've told us. Good luck!!!

CheeseCat85 Tue 31-Jan-17 19:24:01

Thanks for all of your advice so far. Tbf I know I need to be a bit firmer with her when she takes him off me. She's an older lady, almost 70 (although does not look or act a day over 60 tbf), and I really don't want to offend her in any way- I suffer from anxiety and know I'd worry myself sick if I thought I'd annoyed her or FIL, although I know that's stupid as I'm well within my rights to say something when my son is being snatched from me! I just don't want to rock the boat with the arrangement we have, or our good relationship.
I've not spoken to her about it but I'm going to try and politely stop her when she takes DS. It's hard though when he clearly wants to go to her aswell! It just makes me feel really shit. We're going on holiday later in the year with ILs and DPs DB and family, and I'm starting to dread how that's going to go in terms of her trying to take over then aswell.

CheeseCat85 Tue 31-Jan-17 19:27:20

Yes ds is my first pipsqueak. I lost my own mother at a very young age so being a mother has always been all the more special to me. Which is why it probably hits a nerve when she takes over so much

EatTheChocolateTeapot Tue 31-Jan-17 19:47:04

I think there are 2 separate things. The fact that your DS loves his grandma is great, the fact she takes over is not.
I think you need to think about your boundaries and then establish them (e.g. not taking DS away from you, respecting what you say, etc...).
For the holiday I think it will be more the role of your DP/DH to maintain those boundaries.
Yes, he is great that your DS loves his grandma but it is not a good example to let him see her walk all over you or make him think he wants to be with you just for food. I would be careful about the dynamics of the relationship, your DS is starting to understand a lot of what is going on around him and will probably base his opinions on yours.

EatTheChocolateTeapot Tue 31-Jan-17 19:47:41

It is great*

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