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Overbearing SIL and sleepovers for dd

(17 Posts)
nello Mon 16-Jun-14 10:28:53

I find my SIL overbearing. I don't know her very well at all as live far away from each other. She is keen to be a very involved aunty to dd who is 3 but with this is making decisions and suggestions that I'm not happy with. She is very assertive and it's quite difficult to get myself heard. Recently she has suggested that dd could have sleepovers there and I am really not ready for that as I think 3 is still so little and I don't think my dd is ready either as she still comes into our bed in the middle of the night. The problem is trying to get myself heard though. DH is much more relaxed than me and often thinks I'm being too much of a worrier and as it is his sister will think it is not a big deal.

DH and SIL grew up themselves with a very domineering aunty who was more like a mother figure and I feel this is the role that SIL is trying to take on. But I am the mother and want a proper say in these decisions, especially when they are 'first experiences'.

Any suggestions for making myself heard with regards to this?


MrsWinnibago Mon 16-Jun-14 14:03:24

Just say "No....she's not ready for that yet" and if she pushes or ridicules repeat the exact same sentence "No, she's not ready for that yet"

Whatever she says that you're not comfortable with use the SAME sentence. If she asks why or tries to get a different response through the wording of her questions you say "oh you're obsessed! She's not ready yet."

And change the subject. Laugh when you tell her she's obsessed but DO NOT be drawn into explaining yourself or giving are in charge...not her..she can't persuade you as you know best.

DeWee Mon 16-Jun-14 16:36:43

MIL offered to take dd1 frr sleepovers from about that age. I just said that she wasn't ready, which she wasn't. She started sleepovers there at 6yo. Dd2 started at 5yo, and ds still isn't ready at 7yo.

nello Mon 16-Jun-14 18:38:11

Than you. Really helpful. I will practice that sentence. I do always end up trying to over explain myself and then get all caught up with my words and end up sounding yes I think a single sentence is a good idea. Thanks very much

nello Mon 16-Jun-14 18:47:15

The other thing that I wanted to add in is that rather than asking me she asks my 3 year old dd. so rather than asking me if she can sleep over she will ask my dd. This happens for numerous things and often for things that I don't want dd to do. It makes it harder to intervene and say no as she's often made plans before I even know of it! Any suggestions?

Scrounger Mon 16-Jun-14 18:55:15

I have a similar problem, my SIL is very controlling and I find it difficult and tiring to deal with. She has never tried asked DS something before asking me though. Next time your SIL does this, pull her up on it and say, "You shouldn't be raising DD's expectations without asking me first. Next time you must ask me first"

MrsWinnibago Mon 16-Jun-14 23:43:51

Ah. If she addresses your DD in her questions then you say "Oh don't be a silly Auntie! It's not up to YOU is it DD?" Har har ha ha! And laugh all jolly at her.

"'s up to MUMMY isn't it darling!" Then fix her with a steely gaze and repeat. "No. She's not ready yet."

nello Tue 17-Jun-14 06:41:54

Thank you, this is really helpful. I'm going to practice this! The other thing she does is TELL me what she is going to do, for example " I'll take dd out for an hour or two." I think she should ask me,rather than tell me. How would you respond to this one?

Thank you! I am. Going to get the hang of having simple one line replies rather than getting all worked up and apologetic!

MrsWinnibago Tue 17-Jun-14 08:48:34

I'm glad it's helping you....My MIL was like this with me nello and I believe that for some women, when you become a Mother, you have to learn to "woman up" a bit. So much of our young, single years is spent in "Being good" and "Doing as we're told" by older men and women that it's a massive shift to suddenly realise that you have to stand up for yourself more simply because you're responsible for another person.

It took me over 2 years to get more confident and proactive about not being bossed about.

When SIL says "I'll take DD out for an hour or so." or just have to say "Ah's not a good time at the moment....maybe tomorrow, I'll let you know."

It's litereally taking the ball she states what she's "going to do" and you deny her.

SIL: "I'm going to take DD to the park later."

YOU: "No, you might be able to tomorrow but I'll let you know for sure."

You don't need to explain why....if she says "Why not?" then you can say "Because it's not a good time, but I'll let you know when it is."

That's taking the ball back but not explaining or making any excuses.

People like your SIL and my MIL go through life like this...they state what they want and get used to people agreeing.

Just're the're the "main woman" in DDs life...

MrsWinnibago Tue 17-Jun-14 08:49:22

And don't worry about consequences...she has nothing over you...if she gets in a stomp laugh at her.

nello Sat 21-Jun-14 10:07:24

Thanks again! But what if the request itself is ok and So I don't mind her taking dd, but just want her to ask me rather than tell me. Is it fair enough to say 'can you ask me, rather than tell me?' What is a good (assertive, unemotive and clear) way of saying this?

Thank you! This is all going to practiced in advance of our next meeting!

Jinty64 Sun 22-Jun-14 11:28:16

If you are happy for her to do the thing I wouldn't make too much fuss. I would pick your battles carefully as it sounds as if there will be many. If you are not happy with her suggestions then I like "sorry, that won't work for me/us" and repeat.

MrsWinnibago Sun 22-Jun-14 11:30:08

Nello then you can say this

HER: I'm taking DD out for tea.

YOU: Are you? Did you ask if it was ok first? {laugh but wait for her answer)

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 22-Jun-14 11:36:26

How about
'I am taking DD out for tea'.
Oh that's nice, when would that be then?
'Tomorrow/next week [whenever].
Oh, you mean MY DD? Don't you think you should ask first before making plans, as you don't know what else we have planned'.

'I am having DD for a sleepover'.
'Oh you mean MY DD/name? Oh, she's far too young for that. Maybe when she is older, ask me again then'.

Shallan Sun 22-Jun-14 11:38:17

I think even if you're ok with the suggestion, it's worth making the point that it's your decision. So "I'll take dd out later" should be met with "what time were you thinking? Hmm. Ok, that works for us so long as you are back by x". Ie you make the point, politely, that you are considering it and then giving her permission.

Kleinzeit Sun 22-Jun-14 16:27:09

To give yourself a bit of breathing space and also make it clear that SIL does not give orders, you might say “Thank you for offering to .... whatever".

Then make your decision and either tell her “yes, that’s fine” or “no, she's too young” or add some more questions or conditions “What time did you mean?” or “Yes, if you can be back by four” or even "I'll have to think about that / ask DH about it". Good luck, she sounds well meaning but a bit of a pain!

nello Tue 24-Jun-14 07:33:59

Thank you! This is really very helpful. I'm going to practice being firm and decisive and not always trying to explain myself/apologise! Wish me luck!

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