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Overbearing SMIL

(89 Posts)
FishFingersAndCustard11 Thu 13-Dec-18 16:04:42

My step mother in law has DD once a week on a Thursday. This wasnt mine or DH's idea. It wasn't a problem though, because it's when we do our weekly shop so it fit in nicely.

I live 230 miles away from my mum. Travel is expensive and sometimes she pays over £100, depending on how close she books the tickets. My mum came up on Wednesday evening last week. I messaged SMIL with my apologises and said we're going to have to give the weekly visit a miss, because it was the first full day my mum was coming up. It didn't seem right her granddaughter not being here. I made it clear that SMIL is more than welcome to come up instead so she can see her, or she can have her later on in the week if she wanted her alone. She text back a short reply but I thought nothing off it.

Fast forward a week, my mum has left. Yesterday my SMIL caught my husband in town. She started saying to him I was pushing her out and taking advantage of her. Apparently when my mum comes up I want nothing to do with SMIL and it makes her very upset and she feels as if I'm using her for babysitting services. I would of spoke up if I was there but I wasn't. It feels wrong to message her now about it because DH handled it. He didn't add points I would of added though, which has left me feeling as if more things need to be said but as I said, I don't want to bring it up again. She was still very annoyed with DH and has said to him 'I need to see DGD ASAP' she also wants to increase the visits to 3 times a week, and once overnight a week when I stop breastfeeding her in the night. I feel that's far too much for her to have her.

I'm worried if I say no then she would say I'm pushing her out. AIBU in saying no, I want to keep to our weekly arrangements or should I negotiate/just agree with SMIL and let her have her them times to avoid arguing. Am I also being unreasonable for not letting SMIL have her the first day my mum comes up.

Reading this back I can hear how much of a pushover I sound blush I have PND, with no family around. DH works 60 hours a week and I'm a stay at home mum. I have no friends or family within a 200 mile radius. I feel isolated and SMIL is the only person I have to talk to that lives near by. That's why why it's important to me I keep the peace. I feel so down at times and all of this is stressing me out left right and centre.

Sorry it's such a long post and thank you for reading it

WorraLiberty Thu 13-Dec-18 16:11:28

How long did your mum visit for?

Wednesday evening was a bit late to text your SMIL, so perhaps that upset her a bit?

YANBU to want to keep to the normal arrangements.

Smurfybubbles Thu 13-Dec-18 16:14:41

She sounds nuts demanding to see her ASAP and ramping visits up to three times a week confused I'd out my foot down on that to be honest, she's only going to get worse!

Justanothernameonthepage Thu 13-Dec-18 16:15:47

I'd reply. 'im sorry if you feel used/dismissed, that wasn't my intention. We do appreciate everything you've insisted on doing for us so far but we think it's best to stick to once a week as normal and I'll do my best to give more notice when my DM is visiting.

Celtic1hair Thu 13-Dec-18 16:16:56

What did your DH say when she confronted him?

MaMaMaMySharona Thu 13-Dec-18 16:18:06

Agree with PP, she sounds very intense. I think the best way to handle it is to carry on as normal - if she wants to discuss further days she needs to speak to you about it as well, not just your DP.

FishFingersAndCustard11 Thu 13-Dec-18 16:18:37


Sorry I forgot to say my message to her was a reply. She messaged me first to ask if she could have DGD and then i replied. Her short reply was 'sorry I forgot she was coming up'. That's why I thought nothing of it.

He said he'll speak to me about it, but he's sure that isn't the case. He said she's welcome any time. He said he can't remember what else he said to her

Justanothernameonthepage Thu 13-Dec-18 16:21:24

Or if you don't want to do the once a week 'sorry but we were thinking of reducing the visits, not increasing them. We appreciate that you're so supportive and we love that you love X and want to spend more time with her, but right now there are lots of things coming up that we want to do together that would mean she's with us and we don't want to keep messing you around cancelling different weeks.'

Phillipa12 Thu 13-Dec-18 16:22:54

I would just apologise for not lettig her know sooner re your mum, and then continue with what is already in place. If she wants to increase visits then say that that shall be discussed at a later date between you and your dh but you are both already in agreement about no overnights.

TheLovleyChebbyMcGee Thu 13-Dec-18 16:25:23

Yanbu! I think your DD is too young to be doing overnight visits, even once you stop BF, assuming she is, what, 3 years old or less??

I can understand that your MIL is upset at feeling pushed out my your DM, but as you said about it not being your request that MIL looks after her then she is being a little unreasonable.

I'd get together and have a chat over a coffee, might be awkward at first, but emails and texts can be mis-interpreted and make things worse. However, I would not be getting into an arrangement 3 times a week, it's just too much, when would you get time the 3 of you as a family?!

NonaGrey Thu 13-Dec-18 16:25:56

I'm worried if I say no then she would say I'm pushing her out.


You are in control here. She doesn’t get to dictate terms. She’s emotionally blackmailing you.

My response would be that “we appreciate you having DD once a week and feel that is an appropriate amount but if you feel taken for granted then we can stop the arrangement any time you like”. Then I would smile politely and wait for her to back pedal.

Three times a week and overnight weekly? That’s ridiculous.

Say no politely and stand your ground.

She can throw a tantrum is she likes all that will happen is that she won’t see you DD.

Honestly you hold all the cards.

You are her parent, you are in charge, you might want to occasionally remind everyone of that.

Snowwontbelong Thu 13-Dec-18 16:26:59

Personally would be reducing the weekly thing. She is beginning to be entitled. Maybe sugggest you need to actually take dc now and again to try clothes /shoes etc. You are not obliged to have her so full on in your dc's life you know!!

Cherries101 Thu 13-Dec-18 16:27:48

I think if you want to keep the visits as they are it’s fine, but I would say no to increasing the visits. This is a baby she wants not a prize. Suggest you go to her with your DH and clear the air but make it clear that visits will stay as they are.

DorisDances Thu 13-Dec-18 16:32:56

Also have a think about how you could build a network of friends. Daunting given your PND but could your Health Visitor suggest a welcoming group or maybe something at your local library just to get you started making contacts. Good luck

Celtic1hair Thu 13-Dec-18 16:34:50

YANBU but I think family dynamics can be tricky, and she may well think she is helping by giving you a break, especially if she is aware of your PND and isolation. I would text her, apologising if you in any way made her feel pushed out ,& reiterating how much you have been glad of her help (I know you don't need it as such but actually it really does benefit you just to have a little time alone, as long as you feel comfortable with it!) I'd just ignore the demands for the extra time with DC unless she mentions it again, but if she does maybe ask why she feels it's necessary- it may be that she genuinely wants to help, but if not just be firm and tell her you feel that amount of time would be excessive as a regular pattern.

Bunnymumma Thu 13-Dec-18 16:35:53

Yowsers. This needs to be nipped in the bid now, while the timing is right.

Personally, I'd stick with the weekly visit but let it be known that, if anything, you might look to make those fortnightly and that you are definitely not planning to increase. Three days a week, plus an overnight is insane. That would almost mean a 50/50 co-parenting agreement! Unheard of, especially with a step MIL.

If you don't kill this quickly I think you'll end up with her shit stirring, trying to drive a wedge between you and DH and just being a nightmare in general.

Also sounds like your DH did the classic bloke thing of nodding and not rocking the boat, then pretending not to know what he said to you. He needs to step up a bit and remind her that DGD visits are appreciated but also a privilege, not a right or a bartering tool.

CantWaitToRetire Thu 13-Dec-18 16:39:39

Your SMIL does not get to make demands about YOUR child, what a CF! I'm guessing DD is still young if you're still BF? If she brings it up again then acknowledge the help she is giving now and how it is appreciated, but state firmly that increasing DDs visits to SMIL would not work for you right now. You don't have to give a reason. If you're feeling charitable, maybe invite her to visit DD at yours once a week on top of the one day she's having her. Be assertive that overnights are not an option.

If she should claim again that she feels used as a babysitter, maybe remind her that the current arrangement was at her instigation.

Is there any opportunity to get out and join a baby and toddler group to meet other mums in your area?

badirene Thu 13-Dec-18 16:57:05

It sounds like she is overreacting and using your mum's visit to push her own agenda. I mean how can she claim to be pushed out by your DM when you DM is living over 200 miles away?

Realistically how often does you DM visit and get time with her GC, your SMIL is starting a pissing contest to assert herself in your DC life as the dominant Nanna. This is not Highlander, there can be more than one. Do not increase the visits if you are not comfortable with that and try to build a friend network in your area, it will help to have others to talk to and back up when it comes to SMIL.

myhamsteratefreddiestarr Thu 13-Dec-18 16:57:25

Are there any baby groups near you? Most villages and towns have them and it is a great opportunity to meet other people and to get you out of the house.

I don't know why your SMIL expects to have your child overnight once a week, it seems a bit odd, plus 3 visits a week?

You really need to make a life for yourself away from SMIL.

Oldraver Thu 13-Dec-18 16:57:32

I'm sorry that you feel we're taking advantage of you. I think it best if we cut back on the weekly visits.

Frankly if I were you hell would freeze over before she got her hands on your DD after what she has said

HollowTalk Thu 13-Dec-18 17:03:39

I can see that you don't want to cross this woman if she's one of the few people you have to chat to, but she really has got a nerve. Three times a week and an overnight?! Tell her no way. To put it in perspective, if you divorced it's unlikely your daughter's own father would have her that often.

You need to make some new friends so that you have support. There must be some mum and toddler groups around. How old is your daughter? If she's very young don't be put off by "toddler" in the name - it's for anyone with a baby. I would go to a couple of groups and give them a few goes - it might look at first as though everyone knows each other but there will be an organiser who'll take you to meet people. I found this a life saver when my children were small.

Is your dad still around?

BewareOfDragons Thu 13-Dec-18 17:03:53

Stick to the once a week, but only if you want to and if/when it suits you.

she is unreasonable and pushy and entitled.

Missingstreetlife Thu 13-Dec-18 17:05:01

IWs she even related to your child?

kateandme Thu 13-Dec-18 17:08:20

no no no ! stand your ground really can do that and it would be ok to.your a mum you have a lioness in you I promise.use that to protect u and ur own.
this is YOUR child.even if you got to the night before and decided you all wanted the night in it would be ok to cancel.she is her grandparent not her owner ur baby is not her prise or toy she is your person.and that means also that plans and life brings changes or unexpected events.which means plans have to change.or you want to change them because YOUR THE PARENTS.
maybe it should be talked about it not being so rigid so that no one gets upset if something suddenly means plans change.
seeing your grandchild should be able to be more random than this.
do not increase.
I know you don't want to rock the boat but equally you will feel so much worse wont you if you bow down to her and it means you put yourself into a situation you don't feel in control keep going with brave.
maybe there could be the odd week you both go out together with baby?could this also then help you get out a bit.for a coffee.or the park or a walk?then it means shes not just the one night rigid babysitter and if things change in ur plans its easier for all to deal with.
could you get out at all.even if it just you and be around people and have a bit of social interaction might help.are there any groups you have seen and fancy trying.could your hv hep with anything?
there are so many friends to be made.what abouonline are there any local mother fb groups to get involved in or some meetups.
don't feel overhwlemed with your mil.and also get some hand holding from the dh with this.he needs to have your back luv.

Aquamarine1029 Thu 13-Dec-18 17:09:21

Your SMIL is insane, manipulative and controlling. I would back well off from that one. Don't allow her to make the rules for one second.

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