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Was my MIL having a PA DIG at me or AIBU

(81 Posts)
ORlyNow Sat 11-Aug-18 16:49:04

My husband isn't sure as he didn't hear the initial exchange and BIL who also didn't hear it thought she was just expressing genuine surprise.

Every time we take our 15 week old daughter to see the in-laws at theirs (every 2 to 4 weeks) she'll cry inconsolably the first one to three hours off and on after arriving despite our best efforts. I read this is fairly common with young babies even with family.

She cries with my husband and I as well during this intial period but more so with the extended family. Sometimes even if they just look at her she'll start crying. My MIL takes it VERY VERY personally even though it's not, it's normal, and she cries with everyone.

I gave my MIL a bottle to feed our crying daughter and she started drinking. I lightly touched my daughter's hand and back to crying. This is normal behaviour for her during this initial period, you just never know what will set her off again. That didn't bother me, other then wishing she felt better ofc.

What bothered me was the moment this occurred my MIL exclaimed in a loud shocked 'joking' tone "Mrs X!!!" "Mrs X!!!" "Mrs X!!!" You'd think I had just given my daughter a bottle of full sugar coke by her shocked tone. I just said something like "Ooops." And how upset she tends to be after we arrive there. Then when my husband and his brother turned around to see what the fuss was about my MIL said to them "She was Fiiiiiine then X touched her and she started screeeeaming." Then MIL repeated variations of that a few times, how fine my daughter was until her evil Mum touched her.

I walked out of the room because I was fucked off my husband didn't say anything to her. It's well known in the family that my MH went to shit after I gave birth and I struggled with thinking I was a bad Mum constantly and would often say it when I screwed up even little things. So I think it was insensitive for her to imply I was shit with my daughter.

I think she was actually happy I caused my daughter cry and she leapt at the chance to villainize me to make herself feel better about our daughter crying upon arrival every visit.

Was she being passive aggressive or am I just being sensitive?

ORlyNow Sat 11-Aug-18 16:49:44

For context my MIL has form for being rude and PA and claiming she's just trying to help.

Other MIL gems:

- Rearranging our furniture.

- Slagging off our housekeeping after I'd just given birth.

- Telling us how we need to decorate our house.

- Telling me multiple times she knows of a better colour I should use on my hair then what I currently use.

- Buying us stuff we don't need after we said no to it when she previously suggested it.

- Sending us ads for fourth hand cots that cost a fiver, after I mentioned how nice it was that my Mum was buying a new cot for our daughter.

- After I bought a pack of CR2 batteries for my daughter's breathing monitor she went on and on about how expensive they were. As I was buying them "Oh those are expensive aren't they?" As I was putting them in the monitor "Oh those are those expensive batteries you bought." As she picked up the packet with the remaining battery the next day "Oh this is one of those expensive batteries." hmm

TestingTestingWonTooFree Sat 11-Aug-18 16:51:08

She sounds like an idiot.

PotteringAlong Sat 11-Aug-18 16:51:26

I think you’re being a bit over sensitive, sorry. flowers

CassandraLamontaigne Sat 11-Aug-18 16:53:05

I don't know but if I were you I'd stop visiting. The trip clearly unsettles the baby so feck it, stay home. Let MIL come to your house on your terms. And if she's going to make comments about the baby crying then you hold the baby and wait til she stops. Say something like "oh she just wants her mummy right now". That might induce MIL not to make silly comments

Bluntness100 Sat 11-Aug-18 16:53:33

I'm not sure it is quite normal for a four month old to cry for up to three hours, what's she like at home?

I think you're being a little over sensitive in the baby thing,

The rest, seems odd though,

Aprilshowersinaugust Sat 11-Aug-18 16:57:03

Clearly your dd is picking up mil nasty vibes!!
Stay home until dd is old enough to get there herself!!

ORlyNow Sat 11-Aug-18 16:58:50


Yeah I hate travelling now because our daughter gets so upset but all of his family live at least 2 hours away. 2.5 for his Mum's.


She doesn't do this at home unless physically unwell (constipated, teething, etc). I read the long car journey and overwhelming rapid change of house combined with lots of faces she doesn't normally see are what causes this.

CluedoAddict Sat 11-Aug-18 16:58:59

I also don't think it's normal for a baby to cry that much. My youngest had colic and we would try lots of tricks to stop the crying. It must be awful that they see her so infrequently and when they do she is crying all the time.

CassandraLamontaigne Sat 11-Aug-18 17:02:21

I read your second post. She sounds awful. Can you stop the visits? Let her come to you if she wants to see baby?

ORlyNow Sat 11-Aug-18 17:04:20


Well after the initial period of crying then she's perfectly fine the rest of our stay which is usually one or two nights.

As I said in OP it is not crying straight for 3 hours, just off and on between 1 to 3 hours. The longest was 3 hours when we took her to a house we'd never been to before with lots and lots of new faces. The average time is crying off and on for 1.5 hours.

fc301 Sat 11-Aug-18 17:07:23

I'd be very very wary of this MIL who seems personally affronted that a baby is crying, rather than having empathy.
You sound rational & reasonable but if you have had MH issues you should expect your DH to be supportive of you. If he's not you have a DH problem 💐

Hberries Sat 11-Aug-18 17:07:42

Completely agree with @CassandraLamontaigne. I think it’s the travel (and your MIL) that’s upsetting and unsettling her.

selfesteemqueen Sat 11-Aug-18 17:09:29

DP's family are like this and it really annoys me. We only see his family every few weeks (and only when we travel to see them as apparently they are unable to make the effort) and after the long drive, DD is very tired and can be irritable for the first hour or so. Cue lots of digs at my daughter for crying, as if she is deliberately trying to offend and things such as 'oh what a fussy baby, what's wrong with her, she's not very friendly etc' or there's huffing if I can't get her to quieten down quick enough. Sounds tough OP, I hope you're okay thanks

ORlyNow Sat 11-Aug-18 17:09:31

Sorry about the 2 posts I thought it would be easier to digest that way. Also was on the fence about the 2nd post until the last second.

GreenMeerkat Sat 11-Aug-18 17:14:27

Front he first post it sounded like you were being a bit over sensitive. But then reading the second post I can see exactly why you took it that way.

As PPs have said, the visits are clearly distressing your daughter so I'd say make them come to your house where she is more comfortable.

ems137 Sat 11-Aug-18 17:17:45

My now almost 3 yo DD was EXACTLY like this with anyone except me or at a push DH. My dad or anyone really only had to look at her and she'd start screaming. She wouldn't ever take a bottle or food from anyone etc

It honestly didn't take too long for her to grow out of it. She definitely had by the time she was walking at 9 months. The screaming stopped but she was still wary for the first 15 mins. Your friends and family need to be sensitive to baby's feelings and not force themselves on her or get mad about it. My dad and step mum just kept trying and DD eventually has got to the point where she never wants to go home now 😂

Bluetrews25 Sat 11-Aug-18 17:21:43

I don't think you have a MH problem, I think you have a MIL problem!
Keep away until DD more settled and you feel more robust.

GreenMeerkat Sat 11-Aug-18 17:31:04

Just to add my DD was terrified of my DF until she was about 1. She'd cry if he even looked at her. He is the most loving and gentle person you can imagine too. Now she thinks he is the best person in the world.

Cleanermaidcook Sat 11-Aug-18 17:32:14

Tbh from your first post I'd say she was probably a bit fed up (maybe not the right word) the baby was crying again and at pains to say it wasnt me, not sure from your second post though. She could either be perceived as controlling or just trying to make conversation/be helpful. It depends on your relationship overall I guess.

heartsease68 Sat 11-Aug-18 17:34:55

She sounds extremely immature and is trying, perhaps unconsciously, to compete.

Don't go often.

ferrier Sat 11-Aug-18 17:41:28

That's a long journey for a 15 week old to be making regularly. I'd stay at home and get the family to visit you. Your dd will be much more settled. Also keep the numbers down and give her lots of reassurance.

SassitudeandSparkle Sat 11-Aug-18 17:42:47

I think you are being a little sensitive today (about the touching/crying) but it does sound as if you are all tense which is completely understandable!

FWIW, it used to take a long time for my niece to settle when she visited grandparents and they (the grandparents) did find it distressing to hear her cry so much. Not in a why-doesn't-she-like-me way, just that they really didn't like seeing and hearing her so upset.

I also suspect that as far as feeling judged about being a bad mum, you are being far more judgemental about yourself than anyone else is! Honestly, be kind to yourself!

ORlyNow Sat 11-Aug-18 17:43:53

Usually my husband doesn't defend her because he knows how she is. For example at the time in his life when he needed her most as a preteen...she then sent him off to boarding school.


My husband doesn't want her over at our house since he found out she slagged off how clean our house was after our daughter was born.

BoomBoomsCousin Sat 11-Aug-18 17:47:20

I think you're being a bit oversensitive, though with a 15 week old baby I think that's quite common and people ought to be a little bit cognizant of it. And you MiL sounds like a bit of a bore with too many loudly expressed opinions on things she ought to just keep shtum about. But I suspect this particular incident wasn't about having a dig at you but instead about her feeling a bit relieved it wasn't just her that her gc cried for. It must feel pretty upsetting for her that everytime her gc turns up she seems to hate being there at first. Your MiL is probably feeling a bit oversensitive about that too but has handled her feeling badly.

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