to be struggling with this?(37 Posts)
This isn't a typical in laws bashing thread as there's a lot of history behind this. From them announcing my gestational diabetes at a family wedding (when I'd specifically said I wanted it kept quiet). To taking dd out of my arms in hospital after being told to wait a minute (I'd just got her back after all of her paediatric checks). To being bullied by them and my dh into letting them take her from me as and when they wanted whenever we visited in the early days.
We lost my mum back at the beginning of January. She was severely disabled and had had one virus on top of the other and we think her body just gave up. Despite us expecting it to happen down the line, it was sudden and was not expected when it happened.
My husband was an employed carer for her and as a result of her passing away he has been made redundant. The plan was to always return to dh's home town when my mum passed away as my dad passed away in 2009 and the only family keeping me there would have been my brothers and dh stands a better chance of getting work here. But because of this happening sooner rather than later we haven't had chance to build up our savings account to what we had hoped and have had to move in with the in laws.
And this is where I start to struggle. Fil is getting in my face when it comes to dd. He's really trying to take over. I can be sat feeding her (it doesn't matter what time of day it is) and he will come right over and start playing with her, even though it's obvious what I'm doing and I keep saying to dd "come on let's finish your food". When I've been trying to get her down for a nap he would come and start talking to her (though she now naps upstairs now we have been able to get her cot set up - which he doesn't seem impressed about). He takes toys away from her that I've given her to play with because he thinks she will hurt herself with them (think age appropriate toys for a 10 month old). And every single time that she cries, he's there with the questions, asking what happened, why is she crying, what did she do. She did it with her tea as she had got it in her eyes and didn't want to be wiped down, he was there immediately, running through to the room we were in with his questions. And it's getting stifling. I feel like I can't do anything with her or even say anything as I've caught him pulling his face when I've tried to keep in place OUR rules for her.
I said to dh yesterday that I was beginning to struggle, but he won't say anything because his dad has a tendency to attention seek and would turn it into a huge drama. But tonight has really got to me as he's beginning to make me feel like he thinks I'm to blame when she gets upset. I said to dh that I need to get away and get some space and his exact words were "good"
I appreciate that they've taken us in. But it doesn't give him the automatic right to take over the way he is doing. I'm trying to deal with the loss of my mum, I don't need pushing away from dd too
YANBU OP and I feel for you, when my sister in law asked me when my DS nappy had last been changed I almost flew off the handle, let alone having someone constantly bothering you AND having to live with them.
IMO i think your husband should grow a pair of balls and stand up to his father, you're dealing with the loss of your mum that although was foreseen does not make it any less painful, he should be there for you and respect that you want your DD to have a routine. You can be a lovable grandparent without being in the way the WHOLE TIME and at inappropriate times.
My mum and dad would never dream of interrupting things like eating/sleeping as they're important, any other time is playtime so why can't he shove off and wait for those times? Your DH needs to step up here, yes it was lovely of them to take you in, but this doesn't automatically mean they have the right to interfere with everything.
Dh never will. He's far too focused on keeping the peace than standing up for me or even just being there for me.
Mil to be fair to her, we have clashed big time in the past, but she's being really understanding and is just letting me get on with things (I don't know if it's because she understands slightly as she lost her dad not long before Christmas). She's not there with the 24 questions if dd cries. And she accepts that I just want to let dd play and not be hovered over. Fil is constantly there trying to stop her from hurting herself and pulls his face if I say that dd will let us know if she's hurt herself - obviously I don't want her to get hurt, but I can't physically protect her from everything as much as I want to.
I've had to take myself out of the way this evening because dh's response has really hurt. He doesn't get that I'm feeling really judged and suffocated. Either that or he just isn't bothered
It sounds like you are over reacting a bit and being a little precious. It does sound like annoying behaviour but nothing nasty or malicious, just annoying to you. Your FIL clearly cares about his granddaughter and is being overprotective. You are in his home. You have chosen to be there so I think you need to accept it. You knew about this sort of thing before and made an informed choice.
Get yourself out of the house more with your dd, go to groups, out walking, to the park etc, and make plans to move as soon as you are able to.
Make a mdium term plan to leave. Include short term goals. Go out as much as possible in the meantime.
And have time with your little one in your bedroom. If you wear t shirt and pants you'd have every reason to tell him not to come in.
I agree that getting out of the house more often and also researching somewhere else to live in the mean time may help you regain some power and help cope with the situation until you are able to find your own place. It'd be helpful too if DH would defend you. Good luck
Unfortunately, the best advice we can give you is to move out and get a place of your own, away from their interference.
We are trying to find somewhere else and have submitted forms for council housing, but, they can take up to 4 weeks to process
I tried explaining to dh last night how it's making me feel and I don't think he quite gets what I mean. It honestly feels as if I'm under surveillance with my own daughter. As if I'm being interrogated when he starts with the 50 questions. It's making me feel uncomfortable and we haven't even been here for a full week yet.
Dh is going back to our old area for a dentist appointment tomorrow and last night I was talking to dh and said that I plan on getting out with dd. Of course fil pulled his face and started muttering that I would have to check the weather first. I was looking into some baby groups too and have signed her up to a messy play session and we're thinking about swimming once a week too. So I said to dh that I'd like to find one more group or activity and again fil had to comment that it would tire her out too much as she'd be so busy. And I explained that once dh is back in work if I don't keep myself busy then I will mope and probably get depressed, he soon shut up but I caught him rolling his eyes as if he seems to think I'm being stupid by wanting to keep busy
I understand that it's frustrating but how about a bright and cheerful 'Thanks for that but I'm her Mum so I get to decide.' Or an equally cheerful 'Aww I can tell you love her to bits. I bet you were a great Dad when DH was a baby but it's our turn now.' It's all in the delivery - kind, smiley, bright and breezy and then befote he has a chance to respond, start chatting away about something else.
Like diverting a toddler
try to keep focused on what is best for you and dd, dh as you know needs a kick up the back side but i understand your frustration, let's hope the housing situation sorts its self out sooner rather than later.
you need your own front door asap. fil might mean well iho but there is a limit of 'fussing' and she is your child not his.
sorry meant to ask is lo the first gc ? if so that might account for his behaviour.
I could not live with my DPs. My DM maybe, my DF no chance.
Unfortunately you're under their roof, so your bargaining power isn't strong.
To be fair to your FIL if you weren't living with him you might find his attention to his GC amusing or heartwarming if you encountered it every couple of weeks rather than all the time every day.
I think you just need a few phrases "We've got this one granddad", "We'll be fine" "Thanks for caring" or some other such nonsense to say through gritted teeth and try to ignore it as much as possible whilst you focus on getting a new home. Having an end date will help enormously even if it's not for a few weeks.
He obviously cares for DGD very much so why not turn it to your advantage
by getting him to take DD out for a walk for an hour or two while you treat yourself.
I expect FIL would be chuffed at being involved more and it would give him a chance to curb his unwanted advice as he'd 'be in charge,' for a while.
Pipsqueak yes you're right dd is the first grandchild.
Rookiemere I do try to say things like "she's fine, she will get worse when she's toddling" but it honestly doesn't seem to make a difference. He will follow her round and keep his hand at the side of her to protect her from any bumps. Even this morning when he came down and I was feeding her he was straight there grabbing her attention for as long as he could.
I honestly think it should be a case of our rules should override anything he thinks, regardless of whether we're under their roof or not. I don't stop him having quality time with her, he will play on the floor with her several times a day, or gives her cuddles, but he's got to be involved in literally everything and doesn't seem to like me (or dh for that matter) having fun with her
ah, pfb that speaks volumes, as rookie suggested why not let him have some time with dd on his own, whilst you have some 'me time' if he dotes that much it might help ease his 'fussing' given time. it's always going to be difficult under someone else roof, hang onto the thought of your own home, this time although it might be a bit in your face won't last for ever, and once you move out and dd is older you'll be glad you've got loving gps who will baby sit.
Do you know of anything in FIL's past that might have prompted this behaviour; it is mildly alarming in a grandparent when it's never been seen before, I would've thought you'd find it very irritating, unnerving.
It reminds me strongly of a friends Dad - lost his sibling at a very young age, is now obsessive about his relations not getting sick/hurting themselves, and is quite a catastrophist... I'm just wondering if his fretting comes from somewhere else?
Sounds as if MIL and DH have always lived with it, and don't react/or just give in all the time. Very difficult to walk into a situation like that.
Agree with pp about keeping the bright and breezy "this is how we do it with our child" sort of approach, and ignore the eye rolling. Truly, ignore.
meant to say, sorry to hear about your dm, how are you coping in that sense ? is it possible your feelings are are clouding the issue with fil - ie feeling more sensitive than you would normally ? had your dm been around and well doing what fil does do you think you'd feel the same way as you do now about the 'fussing' ?
you mentioned a back story, might not want to share but, has it anything to do with how dh was raised as a child, was fil involved, might have missed out in some way and wanting to make up for it now ?
clutching at straws here, ime pfb had similar dotage, 2nd not so much and down the line to no. 6 'your having another baby ? okay... that's nice'
I think you need to sit down with your FIL and tell him how you feel. He might not of had this much time with his own DC? Maybe your MIL did all the hands on stuff and he was out the house whilst feeding, naps etc took place. He might think he's being helpful? Obviously, you do not view it this way. That's why there needs to be clear direct communication.
If you feel uncomfortable about addressing this directly, then maybe approach your MIL. Ask her to have a word in his ear.
Sounds infuriating. Hopefully your own place will get sorted quickly.
In the meantime maybe you need to up the ante with a bit of passive aggression. If you're feeding her tea and she starts to cry then shout in a sickeningly cheerful voice before he can rush in "don't worry FIL, I haven't hurt her - she just rubbed food in her face, you can stay where you are".
You are being assertive, letting him (and everyone around) know he has been overstepping the line, and you can have some fun with it without being unkind .
In the short term I would get yourself out of the house as much as possible..
go to as many playgroups etc as you can
How old is dd?
your main aim should be getting out of there as quickly as possible...are you eligible for housing in my borough you have to have lived there for at least 6years ....
Is dh getting on with looking for work - if not why can't you look for work or both of you look for work...maybe then you could afford to rent and get out quicker..
In fact if dh not that bothered maybe you should look at working/renting applying for accommodation yourself
According to fil's own mum he's always been a worrier even as a child. So I don't think there was anything specific that has set this off
Dd is playing on the floor at the moment and she just rolled over and knocked her head slightly and fil immediately jumped up huffing and puffing moving things out of the way.
I haven't really dealt with mum's death yet. Not really had the chance to as so much has happened since then. But she never would have been able to follow her about to this extent as she was in a wheelchair. Though she did used to come rushing through if I was feeding dd in her front room and she got stroppy. But mum would just ask if everything was ok and then leave me to it, not carry on asking questions. But, had she been the same I would have felt the same too as it is really overwhelming
lborgia that's exactly the word I've been trying to find. It most definitely is unnerving
We have applied for council housing while dh is in the process of looking for work as the local council just needs you to have a family connection to the area if you've just moved here. It's not possible for me at the moment as dd is epileptic and there's no one that we can leave her with for me to be able to work. She's 10 months old so starting to get a lot more mobile than she used to be. And yep, we're looking for as many baby groups as possible in the area for us to get out to
God, your FIL sounds like an absolute nightmare with no boundaries. What happens if you say 'Stop it, FIL! She's having her tea. She can play later.'
Or 'FIL, pls leave dd alone. She's trying to nap.'
Or She's fine. Why do you keep doing this? You're upsetting dd. I am in charge of her?'
And you have a DH problem too. If he's always putting his parents' wishes in front of you, you'll have a miserable life.
In the short term, I'd get out every day as much as you can. I'm sure a nanny or nursery would be able to cope with an epileptic child - unless you have special nursing training to look after her??
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