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MIL is driving me mad!

(24 Posts)
holidayneeded Mon 31-Aug-09 08:14:50

she is soo controlling and seems to be unhappy with everything i do with dd, 3. She said i take her out too much, don't feed her at night anymore like she would like to as she thinks going from 8 to 8am without a feed is way too long for a child!,...she has to tell me what to feed dd, how to dress her up,...is driving me mad! I had a few arguments with her when i stood up to her but she will say nothing then and say this is my coice but then ive me hints such as: look, your sister in law doesn't go out too much, her kids are in a good routine,...
i could go on and on..please give me some strength as i feel that she is always in competition with me and that should not be!

holidayneeded Mon 31-Aug-09 08:15:55

sorry, meant "choice...but then give me hints"..

MamiBabi Mon 31-Aug-09 08:24:56

You need to remember that all of her behaviour is ultimately driven by her own insecurities and that she is attempting to make you feel insecure in order to make her feel that she has the control/power in your relationship. From what you've written it sounds as though she has sons rather than daughters which often can cause the MIL to feel even more insecure as she feels 'outside' the group as you will have the closeness with your mother etc. The trick is to remember that much of her 'advice' is not meant to undermine you or to make you feel as though you are not a good mother, undoubtedly she will also be playing this game with your SIL as well, but the behaviour is driven by her own concerns over her place in the scheme of things.

"Look at this article [[http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/lifeandstyle/women/relationships/article6738683.ece ]]"

I was having lots of the same confusion about my MIL and being made to feel inadequate and just reading this helped me put it in perspective, almost take back the power for myself.

holidayneeded Mon 31-Aug-09 08:39:44

thanks mamibi, you are right, she plays the same game with sil...she just has to control it all! but i think she knows she is out as she is no longer invited to go on holidays with us, or even go to scans with us and she would have loved it! i think she is a bit upset about that but hey, i am not going to binvite her around if she gives me so much grief everytime i see her!!

diddl Mon 31-Aug-09 08:51:00

Do you usually see her without hubby?
If so, stop doing that & let him take some of the pressure off-it´s his mum, after all!

piscesmoon Mon 31-Aug-09 08:57:34

I should let it wash over you, smile and say really-change the subject and do you own thing.Don't get drawn in.

holidayneeded Mon 31-Aug-09 09:04:19

i am now going to stop visiting and calling but feel it is unfair on dd and next child...the worst thing is that i bury my head into it all the time as i keep inviting her and the rest of family to go out with us when we take dd to park or seaside so dd has good time with family (we have done it a lot the past week as school is starting soon and thought i'd take advantage of the weather hmm and the last week before school starts again...instead of appreciating my invitation, she moans that dd travels too much and we are uncaring

2rebecca Mon 31-Aug-09 09:04:34

Just see less of her, only invite her round when her son is there and change the subject if she starts dicusssing your parenting or leave the room and find something pressing to do with the kids/ in the kitchen. If she does it alot I'd probably tell her to stop as it is irritating you and putting you off seeing her.

2rebecca Mon 31-Aug-09 09:06:53

If it's you visiting her then the solution is easy. Find some mother and toddler clubs to take the kids to if you are lonely, or some friends with similar age children where you can discuss parenting rather than be preached at.

pjmama Mon 31-Aug-09 09:14:58

Tell her the truth. Tell her that you'd love for her to spend time with her grandchildren, but frankly the constant "suggestions" are starting to grate. You're happy to spend time with her, providing she will just enjoy the children and leave the parenting to you. If she can't, tell her you'll just stop bringing them around. She's clearly being a PITA, but you should be totally straight with her give her the opportunity to put it right before you remove her grandchildren from her.

holidayneeded Mon 31-Aug-09 09:45:30

i have put my foot down on several occasions but it does not seem to work,,,...she is very stubborn and thinks she is always right(she is very traditional, old fashionn,...)so i think your approach rebecca is right...but it is finding the strength not to be annoyed by her comments! I take dd to toddler groups everytime i am off so we are not bored but when she finds out she says i take dd out too much! (she phones and says: i phoned u earlier but u were not there!)...she is soo nosy!i can't bother to see her as everytime this happens, i get upset,....can't believe i've seen her soo much over the past week...when she is on holiday, it feels so much better!!!

piscesmoon Mon 31-Aug-09 09:55:51

I found that smiling sweetly and ignoring worked fine-we never had cross words and in the end she gave up and in fact quite respected me as in 'piscesmoon does it her way'. It didn't take very long-you can't disagree with someone who doesn't say anything other than 'mmmm' or 'really'!

pjmama Mon 31-Aug-09 09:59:34

Don't get upset, it's her problem not yours.

If you've spoken to her about this before, then whenever she does it just say "you're doing it again, stop it now or I'm leaving/hanging up because I'm not putting up with this anymore". If she's been told in no uncertain terms that you are the parent and if you want her opinion you will ask for it, then I think you're justified in being blunt with her. It doesn't matter how 'right' she thinks she is, you're not interested and don't want to hear it.

If she continues to criticise then it's her own fault if she never gets to see them isn't it?

holidayneeded Mon 31-Aug-09 10:10:18

thanks...piscesmoon, i'll try, but it is so hard to hide my emotions, especially when i am angry!!

piscesmoon Mon 31-Aug-09 10:17:23

On reflection it is perhaps a bit unfair-mine was fairly easy to ignore and a fairly placid person. It might be difficult with a more forceful personality. She and my mother both thought that I 'over stimulated' my babies'!

slowreadingprogress Mon 31-Aug-09 10:19:56

I think you should see her only with your DH present for a while - HE needs to kick in here, and stand up for you and dd. He either needs to take the direct approach "don't criticse my wife, she's bringing up my child exactly the way we both agree on and I won't have her criticised" or he could just back you up by saying how glad he is that you are such a brilliant mum, etc etc etc until she gets sick of hearing it grin

I just think as it's his mum he needs to help you here.

slowreadingprogress Mon 31-Aug-09 10:22:15

pisces for 'over stimulated' read "oh my god pisces does so much with her child, when she was a baby I left her in the pram for hours on end while I had a fag and read 'woman's own'"....grin As Mami said, it's all about their own insecurities isn't it, and also about people having difficulty taking on how much things have changed - and they have changed so much in the last 30 or so years.

mathanxiety Mon 31-Aug-09 18:43:56

She feels old and useless, and that's because she is old and according to your description, pretty useless. Seriously, if your DH is reluctant to tell her to back off with all the advice, it's because she made it her business to control in her own home too. But he is the one to tell her this. It will shock her more.

groundhogs Mon 31-Aug-09 22:33:48

imo, pjmama said it all, that's exactly what i would have said.

You couldn't win with mil any way you try, just know in yr heart that you are doing the very best, and are 100% right in what yr doing. Get blunt if you have to, but limit as much contact to when yr dh is with you. Refuse to let her get started, leave the room, go to the loo, whatever, but you're a good mum, it's her empty nest syndrome, boredom, control issues, nothing to do with you.

holidayneeded Tue 01-Sep-09 07:43:00

she is controlling the whole family....and my dp does not say much anymore as he knows how his mum is!! it has been years that i have tried to prove her wrong but still noo luck...she told me for example that i did not need to make dd burp when she had winds as she never did it but when she saw me doing it, told me the correct way to do it!! she cut dd hair several times even if i told her not to bt i think she got the message as i only take her to hairdresser..but she always mentions that she cuts her other gc 'hair...and their mum lets her

2rebecca Tue 01-Sep-09 13:51:51

If she's that controlling then I really don't see why you bother with her. She's not your mother, let your husband deal with her. When he is at work just do your own thing, keep visits to one a fortnight or something manageable and keep phone calls short and uninformative. You have your life to live, she has hers. You don't have to include her in your life more than you want to. My parents and inlaws always lived some distance away so I find it odd when people can't just get on with their own lives without interference. I also worked part time most of the time so was never expected to be permanently in the house or in visiting mode.
Must admit I do think we Brits are obsessed with winding, other cultures don't do it as much and I'm not convinced it makes much difference to things like colic. If I have a DIL I'd probably not mention that sort of thing unless asked though.

holidayneeded Tue 01-Sep-09 20:53:11

rebecca, it is easier for u not to get ur in laws involved as they live far away,,,mine lives very close-by and i admit i wish i lived much further away but the local school is very good and i don't see why i should sacrifice my dd's education because of her...believe me, i am going to try not to let her interfere too much, but it is easier said than done....

2rebecca Tue 01-Sep-09 23:46:59

I suppose I feel that if you wouldn't spend alot of time phoning and visiting your inlaws if you didn't have children then I see no reason to do so just because you have children. I don't think men would do this if they were house husbands, it does seem to be a female thing. My brother is a house husband and lives near his inlaws but they usually see the kids when his wife is in or takes them. He doesn't spend his days phoning them or visiting them, and doesn't worry about the fact that he's not doing so. I suspect he'd just say nothing and smile and ignore any parenting advice given by anyone except his wife.

holidayneeded Wed 02-Sep-09 08:38:41

you are right rebecca, it is really a girl thing...i have now decided to behave a bit like my dp who does not even bother phning his own mum....but keep it sweet when i see her, really try not to bother when she comments on anything...this is the best approach..she will then see that i was trying to put her family together but because of her i have given up. she has only herself to blame as the other members of the family don't really bother me....

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