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Mother-in-law criticises everything about me and my parenting - what can I do??

(24 Posts)
pinky27 Mon 15-Aug-11 21:42:11

Hiya, Having a few difficulties with the Mother-in-law - she just seems to criticise everything I do or says things that are hurtful. I might be being over sensitive but how would you react to the following :-
1) ( Baby has a little bit of nappy rash) "What have you been doing to her? Have you not been changing her? I havn't seen a bum like it, take her to the docs!"
2) ( When she last saw me)"You used to look nice but now you have spots and what is going on with your hair??"
3) ( when I was feeding the baby) " She shouldn't be eating that now she needs to be eating ......"
4) ( about the house) " Your understairs cupboard looks like a shithole, there could be a dead body living in there".
5) ( when the baby had a slight red mark on her head cos she had been rubbing her head) "What's that mark on her head? what have you been doing to her?"
And the list could go on. I am trying my very best to be a good mum and am trying to bite my tongue when she says all these things but I am very close to saying something. What would anyone else do? What should I say??
My husband feels stuck in the middle and doesn't know what to do either.
Thanks :-)

Firawla Mon 15-Aug-11 21:45:59

i would see a bit less of her if she's like that! those comments are just rude surely she must realise that. you should challenge her on some of it. the baby ones she could claim she is just asking out of concern but #2 and #4 i dont see what justification she can say, its just like shes trying to insult

hopenglory Mon 15-Aug-11 21:46:56

or you could just tell her to fuck right off?

cornsilx Mon 15-Aug-11 21:47:04

she is being rude - agree with firawla

Catsmamma Mon 15-Aug-11 21:48:26

I would have to give ridiculous answers

1)....well does one nappy not do three whole days then?
2)...i gave up looking good for Lent
3)....well she likes this brand of cat food
4)....I wondered what the smell was
5)....yeah, dropped her down the stairs, she bounced mostly

fgs don't let the woman into your house, pretend to be out, or dead and your dh needs to man up a little and tell his overbearing mother to butt out! ...preferably through the letterbox so she does not get in to nag youa ll some more.

BBwannaB Mon 15-Aug-11 21:50:08

The classic MN response (in innocent/nonchalent voice) 'that sounded very rude, did you mean to be so rude?' might be a good start, if she doesn't get the hint restrict the time she gets to spend with you and Baby, short visits on your terms only. There is really no reason foe her to be poking around in your cupboards. Good Luck!

OriginalPoster Mon 15-Aug-11 21:55:15

Ask her to tell you if there is anything that you are doing right. Tell her you need encouragement and support, not criticism. Then smile broadly.

Her brain will meltdown as she attempts to think her first positive thought in years...

exoticfruits Mon 15-Aug-11 22:27:25

I would go with catsmamma and give silly answers.
If that fails go onto plan B with BBwannaB.
(both excellent ideas).

toptramp Tue 16-Aug-11 08:40:12

Your husband shouldn't feel stuck in the middle if his mum is being a cow; he should support you. In the mean time tell her to bog off.

pinky27 Tue 16-Aug-11 09:14:29

Thanks very much for all your posts - Love the idea of coming back with sarcastic answers or pretending to be out!!!! Definately think that it is time to have a word with her because otherwise things will only get worse not better. Eeee, the joys of mother-in-laws!!!! smile

exoticfruits Tue 16-Aug-11 09:58:37

You could have real fun with the silly answers-just make sure that you say them in a light hearted fun way!

e.g.Your understairs cupboard looks like a shithole, there could be a dead body living in there".
'shh-don't tell anyone-I haven't had time to move it'!!

happygilmore Tue 16-Aug-11 14:10:29

Crikey, I think "fuck off" would be appropriate.

Is your husband around when she makes these comments? He needs to tell her to get her beak out.

SenoritaViva Tue 16-Aug-11 14:13:24

With regards to the dead body in the cupboard under the stairs I think I might just have retorted, 'yes, I've been preparing it so I can hide yours in there'.

She sounds hideous!

colditz Tue 16-Aug-11 14:13:49

Don't see her and when she's rude to you, say "Shut up. Don't speak to me like that."

PonceyMcPonce Tue 16-Aug-11 14:18:00

Wow, do you think your rudeness is the start of dementia/why we never want to see you/why you don't have friends?

bagelmonkey Tue 16-Aug-11 14:19:34

Have you considered a hitman?

stripeywoollenhat Tue 16-Aug-11 14:22:17

stop having her round. she can't go poking her nose in your stuff/accusing you of being a bad mother/insulting you if she's not there to do so. your dh can take the baby around to see her from time to time if he wants.

(obviously, you might not react like this, but i would...)

KellyKettle Tue 16-Aug-11 14:24:36

I did have a little giggle at dead body living under the stairs.

I think you're going to have to say something to her pinky. My MIL is quite critical although I am not sure she means it nastily, she's just rude blunt.

I either ignore, ignore, ignore or come back with a jokey response. She usually just laughs. If she doesn't like my answer she just says "mmm" whilst staring at DD (as comments are invariably about my parenting of her).

EldritchCleavage Tue 16-Aug-11 14:28:25

My husband feels stuck in the middle and doesn't know what to do either.

See, I think that's very drippy. He is not 'stuck in the middle' because this isn't, from what you've said, some silly argument where you and MIL are both as bad as each other. Your MIL is being rude and unkind.

I agree with Firawla that #2 and #4 are just insults. But even the other questions are put in a really unpleasant, accusatory way ("What have you been doing to her", if said seriously, has some pretty nasty inferences behind it). There is no good reason for your DH not to pull his mother up on this behaviour and tell her to stop being so unpleasant.

Do stick up for yourself, too, though I agree in the first instance more distance is the way to go.

AMumInScotland Tue 16-Aug-11 14:52:41

Yep your choices are
- innocent surprise "gosh that sounded rude!"
- jokey comments "no dead bodies yet - want to be first?"
- rude in return "Don't talk to me like that/ FOAD"
- don't see her

And with any of them, tell your DH to man up - what he "has to do" is stop this person being rude to you. Its not a silly spat, its deliberate rudeness for no reason, and he can't just pretend it has nothing to do with him.

chester21 Tue 16-Aug-11 15:31:24

all these ideas are so good my mil is a bit similar but not quite so rude mine said i amchanging ds too often!!!!!!!!!!

the only thing i can think of too say to her is next time she says something hurtful/rude retort with a 'IF U DONT HAVE ANYTHING NICE TOO SAY DONT SPEAK'

she truly sounds hideous

exoticfruits Tue 16-Aug-11 17:15:22

I never know why people feel the need to go for open confrontation-flippant answers do the trick-it gives her no comeback. People make these remarks to hurt, belittle, get a reaction etc-the worst you can do is not give them the satisfaction.
To changing too often just smile and agree in a non confrontational tone to DS 'Yes I am a wicked mummy aren't I?' and carry on changing him. What can she come back with? If she then tries to repeat it look amazed and just say -'I agreed with you'and carry on doing your own thing.

KatieScarlett2833 Tue 16-Aug-11 17:22:36

I find "Sorry, what DID you say there?" with menacing eye glint particularly effective.

Iggly Thu 18-Aug-11 06:42:00

DH has had words with MIL (she didn't mean to be rude though). Helped a lot. She occasionally says the odd thing but I let it go as she's been helpful in many other ways.

Your DH should say something - he's only justified in feeling caught in the middle if you're being rude too - ask him why he feels like that.

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