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Not so much AIBU but does anyone else have this with their MiL/ SiL??

(18 Posts)
LetThemEatCake Wed 15-Jul-09 21:24:24

whether together or separately, they swoop on my dd and totally (for want of a better word) monopolise her.

She is very sociable and outgoing so more than happy to engage with them (ds is more shy and a bit more clingy so although they try with him, he's having none of it)

I understand wanting to play with her/ make the most of their time with her, and I totally stand back - good god, if I go near her I am treated like I have the plague, what with the dagger looks and constant undermining comments - but if she comes to me or wants me for anything they berate her and hassle her until she backs down. Example: we'd been doing a sticker book together over the course of the week, she got it out and said "mummy can you do this with me", SiL wrested it from her grasp and said "I'll do it with you". DD said, but I want to do it with my mummy, SiL said, Oh but I like doing these, I want to do it" and just opened it up and started doing it. (No, it wasn't to help me, I was just sitting there, not mid-cooking or whatever)

Poor dd looked really confused and sort of looked at me beseechingly but SiL kept harrassing her "come on, come on, where does this one go?" It made enough of an impression on her that afterwards she said "why wouldn't Aunty XXX let me do stickers with you?"

And after MiL's last visit, where every time dd came to me for a cuddle, she had to contend with MiL standing as close to us as possible, touching dd's cheeks, sweeping her hair back from her face etc, dd then asked me the other day if we could do something together (go on a fire engine, randomly) but then said "but we can't tell grandma because she doesn't like us to do things together"

WTF has MiL said to her???!! And does anyone else have a similar situation???

LetThemEatCake Wed 15-Jul-09 21:36:54

oh crikey, no responses - maybe it's just me???

TheFallenMadonna Wed 15-Jul-09 21:40:19

I have family who swoop on my children and take them over yes. Mine and DH's. But I also have children who don't mind. And neither do I. In fact I rather like it blush

4andnotout Wed 15-Jul-09 21:43:48

My mil does this but usually only when one of her cronies is around, she likes to pretend to be a perfect grandmother hmm

No advice im afraid though.

LetThemEatCake Wed 15-Jul-09 21:43:57

I don't mind, in terms of having a break or whatever - I just don't like that my dd feels uncomfortable about wanting her mum from time to time in the course of the day.

SobriquetDuJour Wed 15-Jul-09 22:06:35

This would piss me off tbh so yanbu (even though u didn't ask whether u were b u smile)

It seems obvious to me that you have a strong bond with your dd, perhaps they are threatened by it?

Firawla Wed 15-Jul-09 22:07:08

I have it a bit, maybe not as much as that, from mil and fil. They would be like "he is too clingy" "he's too much of a mummy's boy" & tell him like "you don't need to look @ mum/go to mum, you are with her every day."
So have to step back as you said, and leave them to it a bit otherwise will get looks, and they try to move away, take him elsewhere etc
and no its not to help with me either, because i dont get any actual help, i just get this.

cake that is really sad that your dd has picked up on it to this extent, that she has to feel guilty for spending time with her mum! i think someone may need to have a word with mil, for her to give that impression to your dd i think its been taken much too far

havent had any effects on mine i think thats prob because he is younger and that they dont do it to the extreme you mentioned

slowreadingprogress Wed 15-Jul-09 22:08:43

Your dd needs you to be her advocate in that situation. If she really wants you to do something, and they are preventing her from doing it with you, then I think as her mum it's up to you to simply be assertive and get in there and do it with her.

She needs to see you stick up for her/you so that she learns how to do it herself, imo.

Another thing that springs to mind is to divide and conquer - see MIL and SIL seperately; they might not be so overwhelming one at a time?

LetThemEatCake Wed 15-Jul-09 22:28:01

My dd is not even 3 yet, so I find it extraordinary that she's picked up on the 'vibe'

But yes, we are very close. I am close to both of my children, I think - in different ways. DD is more of a free spirit, she'll talk to anyone (going to have to nip that one in the bud in a year or so, stranger danger!!) whereas DS (20 months) takes longer to warm up to people.

I have stepped in and asserted myself before and that has led to accusations of being possessive of my children. As for seeing them separately, it's not always down to me - they're dh's family, he's away a lot for work so time to see friends and family is scarce .. we have to double up or lot or just not see people (actually, that sounds tempting...!!!!)

SobriquetDuJour Wed 15-Jul-09 22:50:33

I think if she is becoming distressed and says sth like 'I want mummy to do this' then that's when to stand your ground.

Easier said than done, I know...

I had this with both dcs, but with DD I was very young & didn't have the confidence to assert myself around the ILs. 5 yrs later, with DS it's very different as I am that much more confident.

Don't let them interfere when your DD wants her mummy smile

StayFrosty Thu 16-Jul-09 00:14:45

Does SiL have no dcs of her own?

I agree with slowreading and Sobriquet, I feel sad for your dd and I think maybe you could try just ognoring and doing whatever it is your dd wants to do regardless, or saying 'she wants her mum thanks' firmly (and then biiiiig friendly lovely smile). And if they say this and that about you as a consequence, well let them, they'd only be showing themselves up.

slowreadingprogress Thu 16-Jul-09 19:41:17

better that they think you're a bit possessive, than your dd feels you won't step in for her when she wants you, imho...................

squilly Thu 16-Jul-09 19:54:53

My MIL and SIL are exactly the same and always come as a 2 for 1 offer. MIL is too old to care for DD on her own (in my opinion...she's in her late 70's), so SIL tends to be there whenever dd visits.

They are nightmares for manipulating things and always have been. DD once reported back to me that MIL was very angry with me for some reason and didn't like the way I do things with DD, but she just said, 'I think nanny's a bit silly really'.

We have had to teach dd, over the years, that nanny and aunty J have certain ways of dealing with things which are different to ours. They also love squillyjunior very much and that makes them go a bit mad sometimes...going overboard with things.

DD, now 8, is very secure about her relationship with me and mine with the inlaws. She knows we don't always get on with each other, but that we do all love her. And that's what's important.

lovetoshop Fri 17-Jul-09 21:16:03

I have this problem too! Mil and Sil come as a package. Totally ignore me practically and swoop in on my 9 month old. When he cries they refer to each other to ponder why he might be doing so rather than ask me. I am terrified to go out with my partner because these two will have to come to have my poor little man. I am of course glad they obviously love him but it would be nice to feel involved when I take him to see them or they visit. I feel redundant and frustrated when they hold him. Its a nightmare.

wonderingwondering Fri 17-Jul-09 21:25:38

My PIL used to take loads of pictures of SIL holding my DS - and none of me with him. I thought it was odd, and was a bit put out. But I think they were really focussed on the fact that DS was 'their' family too, and went a bit overboard. It is very easy for the husband's family to feel as though they are in second place and to over-compensate.

My IL's calmed down a lot once it became clear they were going to be as involved with the children as much as they liked. So the posters with younger children might find things get better.

If they were acting as the OP describes, I would be quite blunt - say 'no, she wants me' - in fact, I have said similar in the past (esp in relation to people joining in/trying to 'help' when I'm telling one of the children off). It works, they don't do it any more.

Jux Fri 17-Jul-09 21:38:52

I think you have to stick up for your dd. If she asks to do something with you and they stick their oar in, you have to say something like, we'll do that later let's find something you can do with SIL/MIL. If you keep leaving her to deal with them herself she will give up on you and learn that they have the upper hand and are more important etc than you; not good.

lovetoshop Sat 18-Jul-09 10:25:58

I hope wonderingwondering is right and it does get easier as they get older (Ta). I guess lots of us are in the same boat with Il's and I think wonderingwondering is right, they do panic that somehow they will be less involved than the maternal grandmother/aunts etc..

I think the whole SIL thing probably adds to the stress. In my experience Mil's can be frustrating because they think the way they did things is the only way, but eventually their love for little one takes over and they retract their unhelpful comments. However, SIL's are usually around our age (often childless which really gets my goat) and upon being presented with a niece/nephew suddenly become child experts. Atleast thats what happened to me. The infuriating thing is I know what my SIL says comes straight from my MIL.

Is there any way you can see them separately?

bubble2bubble Sat 18-Jul-09 11:38:22

Oh yes, I have this.
MIL doesn't see us much ( too busy looking after other grandchild and SIL ) so completly overcompensates when she does come round by showering DDs in presents and completely ignoring me.
Now when she comes I just get on with what I was doing - washing/cooking/stacking dishwasher and leave them to it, but tend to wander in and out to check things are not getting out of control and DDs are happy
Both DDs are quite independent little things, so I hate to see them swamped, but they know they can come & get me if they want,and I would always stand up for them if they want me instead of MIL. This is the best way I can think of for DDs not to pick up a bad vibe of me sitting there being ignored.
As for accusations of being possessive - let them say it if they want- I love being with my kids and love it that they want to be with me. I haven't made them that way by excluding anyone, just think it is normal when they are little to want mummy rather than inlaws they rarely see.

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