My baby is almost 6 months now (we made it this far!!)
And I am struggling with the relationship with my mother in law.
Before I had my baby there was a lot of behaviour I could put up with - constant reliance on my OH, emotional strain that this put on our relationship - regardless of the amount of practical things we put in place she would never do anything to help herself. But we have been there - day or night no questions asked.
Unfortunately she is the only active grandparent in my child's life. But the constant reliance on my partner (more than a few times since having my baby he has had to go round after work until 11pm, on a weekend etc to sort things we arranged external help for), the way she constantly undermines me as a mother and moans about me to her son is really starting to bother me and I find it deeply direspectful.
Her constant reliance on my OH leaves him emotionally and quite often practically unavailable to not only me (who does EVERYTHING for him and his child) but more importantly his child.
I don't want any of her comments to influence my child when he old enough to understand.
I have tried to bring it up with my OH but he grows defensive of his mother. She really can do no wrong - while my perception of the situation has changed since having my baby and there really are situations he had been put in/asked to deal with that I would never put my baby in)
I can't help but feel totally taken for granted with the amount of rubbish I put up with that he doesn't have to as my parents are no longer here.
I am understanding to the fact that she is his Mother, but he is a grown man with more responsibilities in his life now and has 3 siblings that don't help/she doesn't call on them at all. It feels like there are three people in our relationship - personal things I tell him he forwards to his mother.
I am at a loss and don't know what to do. I don't want to be heartless but something has to give a little! Right?
Sorry to read this LittleNettle (lovely name )
My DP has been guilty of this. His parents are still together but have quite a dysfunctional relationship. She had made my DP her surrogate husband and I called this out to my DP.
He didn't like it at first, but I think he listened as things have changed now.
It sounds like this is similar for you.
You need to remind your OH that YOU are his partner. Yes he loves his mum and you both will always be there for her, but his primary role now is with you.
It's hard, but he needs to make that shift.
Isn't it so tough? - I honestly feel I have enabled this behaviour to some extent as prior to having our baby I put up with the behaviour a lot more and helped. Of course now priorities have changed - and honestly I grew slightly resentful of this during pregnancy as it over shadowed a lot of what should have been a special time. I also think my OH can be selfish at home as he has too much responsibility else where. I wouldn't mind if it was an impossible situation - but it's not. We have arrange help etc.
Its getting to the stage where I actually feel uncomfortable in a room with her as she is just so selfish.
Thanks for your advice!
My DP used to complain about being spread too thinly and I had to point out to him that this was because he was trying to be too many things to too many people: marriage counsellor to his dad and surrogate husband to his mum.
I reminded him that his primary roles are dad to his sons, partner to me and step dad to my DCs.
Yes his parents will always be his parents, but the generations are as they are, and he is not responsible for his parents' marriage and happiness.
Of course when needed, we will both be there, but day to day we have to focus on OUR immediate family (us and our respective kids).
As a blended family, it's even more complicated.
But the fabulous book Stepmonster states that the primary Union is husband and wife (or partners as we're not married!) and everything else has to stem from that.
For you, you need to be his number 1 priority. It's the way it should be.
His mum should expect that too. If she doesn't, he needs to steer her there.
I think you'll have to point this out to him. Hope you can make him see.
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