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My mother detests my husband's parenting skills

(16 Posts)
betenoire2012 Thu 06-Mar-14 11:33:25

My mother came to stay with us while DH recovers from a life-changing back op - it's worth pointing out he was our toddler's sole carer beforehand.

Mum has been looking after DD for three months now, while I've been working full time. The relationship between her and DH has deteriorated to the point of no return.

She has started telling me how he "treats her like a lap baby" and makes her sit on his knee in front of the TV, doesn't let her play and climb on furniture and that "she needs to fall off things learn from her mistakes" and gives her "too many yoghurts which is making her constipated".

Firstly, I do the weekly shop and there doesn't seem to be any yoghurt-ODing in our house. Secondly, I can't quite believe that DH stops her from playing - she's a strong little mite and wouldn't sit still for any longer than she'd want to! And thirdly, is stopping a child from climbing on the furniture such a bad thing?

I confronted her about this, and numerous other criticisms, and she says that DH is an "idiot with two year olds and needs to read some parenting books" and that she is "worried what will happen with DD when she goes home".

Ever since we had DD, Mum has been different towards DH, and is constantly disapproving of him. Perhaps because my own dad didn't play such an active parenting role she thinks males are incapable. I'm pretty peeved that she thinks so little of my choice of partner too!

I've seen plenty of posts about MILs, but has anyone else encountered similar problems with their own flesh and blood?

TheSurgeonsMate Thu 06-Mar-14 11:46:54

I have a shit relationship with my mother arising from the fact that she simply dislikes by husband. It's getting a bit out of control to be frank, so you perhaps ought not to follow my advice. But, I wanted to say you are not alone and to tell you something I told her that did make a difference for a couple of years. I said - before you roll your eyes and girn at the mere mention of my DH one more time, you need to consider your relationship with your own daughter, because in actual fact that's the only one you have any influence over, and the way you're going you're going to lose it.

TheSurgeonsMate Thu 06-Mar-14 11:48:15

Sorry, that's a bit abrupt. It was quite difficult to post blush I hope you get the gist.

gertiegusset Thu 06-Mar-14 11:50:11

Your Mum is going to need to wind her neck in then otherwise she'll be the loser.
No one puts up with being bad mouthed for long.

Cigarettesandsmirnoff Thu 06-Mar-14 11:51:32

What dh like when your there?
If you know there is no truth in this, tell her it's offending you and will ruin your relationship.

Only seen it from my mil to my SIL. It's not nice and she belittles her n front of dgc and it's really damaging to them.

Burren Thu 06-Mar-14 11:56:48

It sounds from reading your OP as if your mother is being unfair, even if it's motivated by genuine (if misguided) concern for your daughter - and I certainly don't think she should be talking to you about your husband like that.

Have they got on well previously? Is it awkward for them both being in the house together during the day, especially if your husband is in pain or weak, and feels under an obligation for childcare to someone who is increasingly critical?

If your husband is recovering from major surgery, I imagine he's still resting, and not up for jumping about like Tigger with a toddler, so perhaps they are both spending more time on the sofa than previously. If it's temporary, I don't see the harm. My toddler and I have quite nice times watching Fireman Sam together and chatting about it.

Have you suggested your mother raises specific concerns with your husband at the time, rather than sniping to you? Does he know of her criticisms?

KoalaFace Thu 06-Mar-14 11:57:13

Your DH would be well within his rights to tell your DM that she's no longer welcome in his house if she is going to be so disrespectful (whether she's been helping with childcare or not). For her sake as well as DH's and yours I'd spell it out to her what you and DH will not stand for.

starfishmummy Thu 06-Mar-14 12:19:41

Time.for Mum to go home I think, b�te

starfishmummy Thu 06-Mar-14 12:20:14


mustardtomango Thu 06-Mar-14 12:30:37

Telling you about it doesn't seem a way of making it better - is she hoping you'll intervene? It's not a nice situation for you or Dh I imagine

Perhaps you could suggest she raises any issues as she sees them with him, with a heavy reminder that you and Dh are in agreement about your shared approach to parenting (and that recovery periods are not everyday life).

Attempting to divide you by talking behind his back isn't very nice.

MyNameIsKenAdams Thu 06-Mar-14 12:34:04

How are you backibg up DH? Id say "Mum, stop criticising DH. He is a bloody brilliant father to our child. If you continue to be so spiteful towards him you will have to leave"

pictish Thu 06-Mar-14 12:41:00

From what you've said, your mum needs to back off. The things she is sniping about are actually none of her business. She is not your child's parent, your dh is.
I don't know what she is hoping to achieve by behaving this way - it's almost as though she is jealous, and wants to trump him.

impty Thu 06-Mar-14 12:41:26

My mum did this to me, nothing I did was right. Nothing my sil's did was right. All our children would do much better if she brought them up.

Part of being a parent or pil to grown up children is to back off, and let them look after their children, their way.

My mum couldn't do it, she's not been part of my life for 11 years. Mil was very good at doing this, , she's always welcome.

Perhaps Mum needs to go home now...

pictish Thu 06-Mar-14 12:45:12

I think it's time for your mum to leave. She is far too invested in how your dd is being parented, and is behaving inappropriately, taking swipes at trivial things that are just not in her jurisdiction.

pictish Thu 06-Mar-14 12:59:27

Btw - my mum was a bit like this as well...back when our ds1 was small. She sniped about my dh's parenting, and even once referred to my husband's involvement with our son as 'interfering'!
She found fault with many things he said or did, and was forever pulling faces, rolling her eyes, and bitching to me about him.
My mum didn't really like men much it has to be said. She also doted on ds1 perhaps a little too much. I think she would have been happy if I had deferred to her as co parent, and regarded my dh only as the one who brought in the money, and stayed out of things that were none of his concern. The fact that he had more say over our son than she did aggravated the Hell out of her imo.

My mum died 8 years ago now sadly, and while she is sadly missed, I do know that if she were alive today, I would have been long put back in her place. At the time I felt very conflicted about it all...but with hindsight, my mother had some controlling tendencies, and desperately wanted to inflate her role while diminishing my husband's.

Your mum sounds very similar.

betenoire2012 Thu 06-Mar-14 16:45:36

Thanks everyone for your comments, they all kind of confirm what I've been thinking. I think a huge step back is needed by both parties - maybe absence will make the heart grow fonder.

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