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to think my SIL is over the top with my nephews?

(83 Posts)
ItsFunnyYouShouldAsk Wed 17-Jul-19 20:28:37

My brother works away a lot abroad and is home probably one week a month. Him and my SIL have two boys, my dear nephews aged 9 and 5.

My SIL is a very enthusiastic mother shall we say, all of her social media accounts are just photos upon photos of my nephews and constant updates about them, in person it is impossible to have a conversation with her about anything other than the boys and at family gatherings if the conversation isn’t about my nephews she will always change the subject so the focus is on them. She also doesn’t allow any of our or her family to look after the boys, or have them overnight or take them on days out.

One thing that I find a bit unsettling is she insists on both the boys sleeping in her bed with her whilst my brother is away. She posts constantly on social media about how they are having “sleepovers in mummys bed” (like she posts this nightly whilst my brother is away) but the boys sleep in their own beds when my brother is home simply because there isn’t room for all of them together in one bed.

So AIBU to think this isn’t normal and SIL needs to stop smothering them? I know it’s not my place to say anything to her and I never would but interested to hear others opinions on this.

RonnieScotts Wed 17-Jul-19 23:38:55

I think she's going to find it a bit hard to let go as they grow up and become teenagers who want independence.

I have a friend who's a bit overbearing like this (even though she's a wonderful mum, she's always been a bit full on with her kids) as I've gotten closer to her she's opened up about a bit of a sad childhood, feeling rejected by her parents who always put themselves and their needs first. I think she's overcompensating for this in her own parenting. Now that they are teens she's really struggling and takes their need to be independent very personally and gets angry at them rejecting her (but it's just normal teenage behaviour, being grumpy and preferring their friends etc.)

I think your SIL may need some support and distraction when this starts to happen and her boys start growing up.

Stompythedinosaur Wed 17-Jul-19 23:19:04

I don't think anything you've described is hugely unusual. My dds are 8 and 6 and jump at a chance to sleep with me when dp is away, despite being fine it their beds 99% of the time.

justasking111 Wed 17-Jul-19 23:13:21

Sitting here wondering if mothers who dote on their children this much today are tomorrows MILs from hell grin

sweetkitty Wed 17-Jul-19 23:11:00

When my DH is away with work my DC argue whose turn it is to sleep with me as they think I’ll get lonely by myself. The teens have all but stopped now which is sad. DS who is 9 still loves too he’s horrendous to sleep with though I swear he kicks me in the face he wriggles so much but in a few short years there’s no way he’ll want to sleep with Mum

Your nephews will be the same OP.

Polly7805 Wed 17-Jul-19 23:08:48

Omg you are definitely being unreasonable
Grow up you silly cow

Tillygetsit Wed 17-Jul-19 23:07:20

I agree with Felix. This is for her benefit not her boys. That said, it's up to her to sort and not really any of your business.

TheHandsOfNeilBuchanan Wed 17-Jul-19 23:05:25

Maybe if your dear brother was at home with his family, she would have consistency and support which could facilitate her working and seeking that childcare. If she didn't do what she does your brother couldn't jet off whenever he fancies. She sounds lonely and like she had little in her life other than her children.

NaviSprite Wed 17-Jul-19 23:04:49

I’m on the “it’s a bit strange” side of this one. Not that she has sleepovers with her DC, that’s sweet. But the obsessive overriding of conversation and potential reality of nixing the sleepover because she wanted her own with the kids.

Now we all know to take what a post says is one side of a story - but I have a couple of cousins who are very much like your SIL @ItsFunnyYouShouldAsk

Everything revolves around them and their DC. To a point where they will start arguments with other Mum’s in the family (myself included) if they parent any other way. They also inundate their SM with pictures (like a minute by minute replay it’s rather tedious.)

Or if (like at the first and last family BBQ I went to since my twins were born) the conversation steers away from their children they derail and go straight back to it as though nobody else has a say - or will become extremely dramatic that nobody cares. They can also be weirdly competitive with their DC’s achievements. It makes their kids a bit uncomfortable too as they’re just trying to play and get told to perform for the family constantly 😳 so if your SIL is of a similar inclination I can fully understand why you find it odd.

I love my DC - they’re only toddlers and I do hope they might choose snuggles with me in bed sometime in the future. But I wouldn’t want to force it on them. I take pride in their achievements but can also talk about other subjects. Doesn’t make any of us the better or worse mums - just different.

With my Cousins thankfully I don’t have to see them regularly and have muted them on any social media so I’m not flooded with a minute by minute update of their days. I’ll pop onto their profiles occasionally to see how everyone is doing and I’m happy that they’re happy and know that - whilst I think they’re a bit over the top - they clearly love their kids and “not my monkeys not my circus” comes into play for me.

As for the bit about 9yo not getting to have a sleepover because the SIL wanted her “sleepover” with both DC is going too far IMO. But as people have said it’s possible this was her version of ‘kind reasoning’ to her Son, rather than an outright no?

YANBU to find it odd, that’s an opinion and you have a right to it - and I agree with you.

Other than the sleepover incident, has her behaviour shown any signs of depriving her DC of normality? If the eldest were to decline sleeping in her bed do you think she would understand or become emotional? If it’s the latter then that’s when you may have a genuine concern.

LadyLibre Wed 17-Jul-19 23:00:33

One of my nephews is the second messiah, it's very tiresome 😒

TheBouquets Wed 17-Jul-19 22:57:36

@Mummyoflittledragon The SIL may not actually have any option but to stay there. If the house is jointly owned she can not sell without DH's permission. If the house is in his name she has less chance of making a decision to move. The only other option would be to split with DH and get only with really being a single parent.

saraclara Wed 17-Jul-19 22:56:12

I feel sorry for her because it must be hard being a single parent so much of the time - and then being judged by her SIL as well.

I think you are seeing things how you want to because you don't like her much or because her style of parenting makes you feel insecure about yours.

You're just making things up. The OP hasn't said anything to her AT ALL. She's come on here to ask what we think. The SIL is oblivous. And the second sentence is pure speculation and fantasy

Mydogmylife Wed 17-Jul-19 22:52:57

From the info supplied it sounds as though th 9 year old may be starting to find this a bit restricting, and it does seem it's more for sil benefit than for the children. Also if I was DH and seeing posts on social media that implied that my dw was happier when I was away and she could be with the Dc on her own I think I would be more than a little hurt and looking at the state of the relationship. Still, this can't go on indefinitely (!) and time will no doubt sort things out

Goingonagondola Wed 17-Jul-19 22:41:29

I feel sorry for her because it must be hard being a single parent so much of the time - and then being judged by her SIL as well.

I think you are seeing things how you want to because you don't like her much or because her style of parenting makes you feel insecure about yours.

TuesdaySunshine Wed 17-Jul-19 22:40:30

I think it sounds weird and unhealthy tbh, but how (or even whether) you broach it with her I have no idea. Then again, if she's on MN you probably won't need to now, will you.

TulipsTwoLips Wed 17-Jul-19 22:28:10

I would have found that far too suffocating as a child.

Mummyoflittledragon Wed 17-Jul-19 22:23:28

TheBouquets
You may well be right. But as an adult she is choosing to live there. The children don’t get that choice. They should be allowed to sleep where they choose - either with mum or in their beds. That is unless there is a big drip feed they were burgled and she feels unsafe as happened in our case - especially as the burglar entered my bedroom with me asleep in it and dd down the hall.

choli Wed 17-Jul-19 22:11:30

My mother used to make at least one of us sleep with her every night after my father passed away. She did it for years. I hated it. I had to put my foot down when I was 12.

TheBouquets Wed 17-Jul-19 21:48:25

Maybe she feels vulnerable being alone with the DCs in a remote house miles from anywhere. Maybe she feels that if they are all in one room they could be safer together.
Maybe she resents DH for going away and leaving her alone with the DC while he goes various places.
Only my thoughts but perhaps a consideration.

Onceuponatime21 Wed 17-Jul-19 21:45:30

I think she posts a lot on social media because her husband is away, she wants him to see them, and her family too. Her kids sleep in her bed because they want to - having their DF away so much is probably a bit unsettling for them, and this is how they all cope with that. That her eldest DS probably didn't want the sleepover, but felt embarrassed, so she's taking the blame so he doesn't have to have judgemental in laws asking why he hasn't had a sleepover yet.

I also bet she's probably really nice and would be mortified to see a thread accusing her of basically being too loving towards her kids.

sockatoe Wed 17-Jul-19 21:42:08

YANBU. It sounds like particularly the eldest would benefit from a little more independence and possibly even privacy. If he's starting to miss out socially because his mummy will miss his cuddles, it's possibly getting to the time that something was said. Perhaps your brother could start taking him/them out without her occasionally when he's home? Perhaps she's lonely and could do with some social interaction or a hobby without the kids herself? That might be a kinder way round. She's heading for either a big fall when they want to spend more time with their peers or she'll have sad, bullied children who are mocked because they're not allowed out.
No actual problem with kids who want to be in bed with parents though - but it sounds like this is for her benefit not theirs

namechangeninjaevervigilant Wed 17-Jul-19 21:39:55

To be fair to *lillithsfamiliar we all make assumptions about threads based on our own experiences. That’s pretty much the point of any Internet forum - to get the opinions of people whose life is different to ours.

I think you are doing very well on this OP. It’s not a total whitewash, a fair number of people agree with you so it seems unnecessary to get a little snippy with someone whose opinion and experience of this situation doesn’t chime with yours.

Charlieandthechocolatecake Wed 17-Jul-19 21:39:16

She loves her boys. She is protective of them. Nothing wrong with that in my opinion. As for them sleeping in her bed, I'd love for my 2 DS's to sleep in my bed every night, I just prefer my own space!

LillithsFamiliar Wed 17-Jul-19 21:39:04

Gosh OP you're funny. You've come here asking for opinions from people who don't know anyone involved. Then you get snarky if posters disagree with you. Keep going, I'm sure you have another 'incident' you forgot to mention until you realised most posters didn't agree with you.

GabsAlot Wed 17-Jul-19 21:34:58

She sound smothering cant have a sleep over because she would miss her ds?

Shes not doing anyone any favours

justasking111 Wed 17-Jul-19 21:34:23

Wow guess she finds no need for a rampant rabbit while OH is away then grin

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