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AIBU to tell MIL where to go?

(26 Posts)
Bubblegumfan Sun 28-May-17 12:01:18

Hi lovely ladies,

Please bare with me, this may be long but i genuinely need help with this one.
Me and dh have been together 12 years, married 7 and have 2 ds.
At first me and MIL get along really well, i lived with dh and PIL. I lived with them for 6 six months while we bought our house. She and i would go shopping, drinks etc. Then my closest relative died after a battle of cancer, i was the main carer while working ft and studying. I had no help or support (seperate issue with husband that we have since resolved).
Going through this horrendous time really changed my perpesctive on life, i realised i had to speak up more and stop putting myself in situations that made me unhappy. This caused my relationship with my MIL to suffer, i started saying no.
Along came my ds and we have done nothing but clash. I have no family so it is only PIL who can occassionally babysit and to have that lifeline has been wonderful. However, my eldest ds comes home a little rat bag. No manners and wants everything and he wants it now! Over the immediate couple of days he is a nightmare then will slowly come back to the polite happy child i have raised. Up until now, i have never stopped them going to stay with PIL but i am now dreading him coming home! I have tried talking to her and addressing his behaviour but i am met with "hes always so good for us though". Yes he may be, but you never tell him no or wait so ofcourse he has no reason to act out.
She gets very grumpy when i wont allow my dc to be around a certain family member of hers who should never be allowed around children (her own admission)
She is a very domineering woman who is never wrong and knows everything. My poor FIL says very little for the quiet life. She slags him.off constantly infront of my dc and now 4 year old is repeating it.
My BIL and SIL have gone nc with her due to her behaviour and at the time i was deeply hurt by there actions. Now..... that must be bliss!
Little things include nagging in my dhs ear about me, giving dc food/drink iv asked her not too and refusing to take children anywhere ( they only ever stay in house or go to fast food chain)

Please help MN, aibu to go no contact fo4 my own mental health? Leave hubby to deal with her?

Ps hubby is in full agreement with me and she does his head in too!

MatildaTheCat Sun 28-May-17 12:07:16

Find someone else to babysit and go low contact. She doesn't sound reasonable so not much point in trying to discuss the problem.

EweAreHere Sun 28-May-17 12:08:26

Then hubby needs to sit her down and lay out the ground rules. If she doesn't abide by them, and things don't change, then she doesn't have the children any more without supervision.

You'll have to stump up, without complaint, for a babysitter, though, if it comes to this.

Bubblegumfan Sun 28-May-17 12:09:03

Thank you Matilda. It feels so good to write it all out!

Bubblegumfan Sun 28-May-17 12:10:44

I would happily pay for babysitter and badger hubby into being more generous taking turns on a weekend to have a lie in!

ChicRock Sun 28-May-17 12:14:47

YANBU to go low/no contact.

But honestly, I personally think it's a bit unfair to be slagging off your MIL's childcare whilst still handing your DC over for her to babysit. Pay for a babysitter, problem solved.

Oh and as usual on these type of threads, you have a DH problem. He shouldn't need "badgering" to take it in turns to have a lie in at weekends.

Bubblegumfan Sun 28-May-17 12:19:42

Sorry chicrock i probably didnt make myself clear, i was raised by my grandparents so i believe it os important for children to have a good relationship with them despite my feelings for MIL. "Childcare" is not the only reason i send them, its only about 1/4 of the time i have genuine need the rest of the time its to allow my dc and PIL to have time together.
I have now only started to doubt it when it has recently begun affecting my ds behaviour.
And no they are not there all the time, 1 day in 2 weeks.

Bizzysocks Sun 28-May-17 12:30:00

it may not be anything your mil does that effects your dc behaviour when he comes home it may be just a reaction to being away from you/home, could the visits be shorter. but yes leave most the communication to dh.

Hulder Sun 28-May-17 12:36:32

It is important for DCs to have healthy relationships with GCs - you clearly had this.

It may be that your MIL is incapable of providing this.

Also healthy relationships can be achieved in a number of ways - many of which don't involve babysitting!

I had lovely positive relationships with my GPs, one of whom I only saw for a fortnight every other year. And yet I loved her to bits and she was a big part of our lives.

So you need to decide - she clearly can't manage the babysitting in a healthy way. Can you manage for her to have a healthy relationship with the DCs in another way?

Bubblegumfan Sun 28-May-17 12:42:31

Hulder- thank you. That has definately given me a different option. Is there any ideas you could suggest?

category12 Sun 28-May-17 12:45:51

If she's like this, do you really trust her to keep your dc away from this dangerous-to-children person? I'm not sure I would. And that alone would be enough to stop accepting the babysitting and go low contact.

Leeds2 Sun 28-May-17 12:46:47

How old are your DSs? Could they maybe do a weekend club/activity which the ILs go to with you, so maintaining regular contact but with you there are the time?

PovertyPain Sun 28-May-17 12:47:03

Are you 100% certain that your DC is not anywhere near her relative?

chocatoo Sun 28-May-17 12:48:59

The behaviour might not be due to anything they are or are not doing or allowing. Maybe he just needs to learn that the rules in grandmas house are different to those at home? My grandmother spoiled me but I understood that different rules applied at home. I think it's great that you are encouraging the relationship with his grandparents. How about you invite them to you more for meals if you are concerned about too much fast food? Seems a shame for you to grow apart from them when you were so close.

Bubblegumfan Sun 28-May-17 12:50:11

They dont live in this country and i know well in advance when they are visiting! My dc are 4 and 1

Bubblegumfan Sun 28-May-17 12:55:14

I will think about having her here more often although it is becoming very hard to not scream in frustration at her comments/ slagging FIL off to his face and her inability to ever be wrong.

WeAllHaveWings Sun 28-May-17 13:10:18

GPs have been spoiling their dgc for years, that's what they are there for.

A few hours with gp once a fortnight is unlikely to have a major impact on your dc's behaviour, it more likely just the way you dc is when he has spent time away from you. It is good for him to learn to adapt his behaviour to the situation.

gp feed children crap treats, always have always will, its the best bit about visiting gps. My gps feed us an endless supply of cake and had crates of Alpine ginger whenever we went to visit. It's only once a fortnight and as long as you feed a healthy diet the rest of the time its no biggie.

Some gps don't feel confident taking small children out, if they don't its better and safer if they stay at home.

Not enough information about the dodgy family member to comment and given your op ironic you slag her off for her personality and slagging others off.

I don't see anything in your post to suggest nc, low contact, or making your dh to have a word appropriate. You used to get on ok and she was kind enough to let you live with her for 6 months, and gives you free childcare if you need it. Posts like this make me nervous about becoming a MIL when my ds settles down.

You say your cancer experience with your relative made you start saying no to stop making yourself unhappy? Sounds a bit extreme, maybe think about compromising and picking your battles instead to make everyone happy.

StillDrivingMeBonkers Sun 28-May-17 13:17:25

You can certainly go low/no contact if you so wish. However you do not have exclusive rights to your children, your DH also has a say in whether your children see his parents etc etc.

Presumably your DH was brought up by your PIL and didn't end up 'a little ratbag' or else presumably you wouldn't have married him?

Bubblegumfan Sun 28-May-17 13:25:41

Just to clarify? My nc question was in regards to me only, not my children. I wouldnt stop my children or my dh seeing her.

Bubblegumfan Sun 28-May-17 13:27:11

My dh has problems resulting from his childhood and i have supported him through these and helped him have a healthier relationship with his DM

Hulder Sun 28-May-17 13:37:27

I know it's hard, but if she is that bad, it would probably better for you to be around when she is with the GCs than leave it to your DP - he will find it much harder than you to tell her to shut up as he will be affected from her from childhood.

If you and your DP can agree some absolute boundaries that would result in telling her to leave in advance that might work eg - feeding the kids chocolate is OK, it's what grannies do, slagging you off gets instant request for apology and clear statement this is not acceptable behaviour in your house, 2nd time she is told next occasion she will be asked to leave and mean it, etc, etc

You will prob have to let slagging off FIL go - that's his battle and he seems to have accepted his role as her enabler.

Kids can also learn v young that certain behaviour may be OK at one place but it's not OK at another - eg Granny may let you have whatever you want, slag off Grandad but these are not the rules at home.

CiliatedEpithelium Sun 28-May-17 13:45:59

We have a situation in our family where the DW has lessened the contact with the GP'/PIL's because they infantilise the children to such a horrendous degree. DW has given up work to be a SAHM and the difference in the children is astonishing. They are actually finally becoming young well rounded adults capable of reasoned thought, rather than coming home with baby speak and a total regression of behaviours. Try lowering the contact or NC. You will surely see a result OP.

user1495707114 Sun 28-May-17 13:52:11

None of your complaints are interesting or meaningful except the one where she won't protect your children from (I'm assuming) a child molester.

You should be ending all babysitting over that one issue. All the other stuff is basically nothing.

dinosaursandtea Sun 28-May-17 13:53:21

It's pretty clear that your MIL has major issues - both from what you've said and about your DC's behaviour. Sit down with your DH and sort out a plan - it's going to have to involve either an ultimatum or lessening the contact your PIL have with your DC.

Lisa9819 Sun 28-May-17 14:03:36

I went through something very very similar. Had a relatively positive relationship with ILs that slowly went down hill as DCs came and then a parent died. Their controlling/entitled behaviors toward us continued to get worse and I finally had a breaking point. Much like you after losing my DM, I decided I'd rather stand up for the life I truly wished to have instead of living to appease other people constantly, which was making me miserable. I had terrible anxiety on the days leading up to seeing them every single time.
Sounds like you can relate.

I would not suggest going complete no contact, but sounds like you do need to set some boundaries in order to have a healthier relationship and to get some more space from them. I had to realize that I could not change them and that it wasn't my place to, I could only change the things that were in my right to change.. myself and my expectations. For us that meant we no longer relied or allowed them to be part of child care, we now pay babysitters. DH makes the plans with his family so that he has to deal with them. We see them a couple of times a month and spend a meal together so that DCs can still have a relationship with them, but one that is positive.

Initially setting new boundaries can be very hard and you will most likely get a lot of push back. It created a large rift for us for months, but now that everyone has gotten used to the changes things are so much better. Even my relationship with DH has gotten way better since we're not constantly dealing with the stress of it all.

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