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Mother-in-Law

(49 Posts)
hsanders Mon 04-Apr-05 20:13:36

Age old problem, but I really would like some advice...

I have a nine week old and from day one, I may as well not exist in the eyes of my Mother-in-Law.

When she comes over, she does not talk to me, and if DS is asleep on my lap or in my arms, she comes over and tries to wake him up - and does so still completely ignoring me and in my personal space!

She will not leave DS alone and tries constantly to keep him awake or wake him up. We like to let him have time on his play mat as he really enjoys it, and she just storms in and picks him up, despite my husband saying 'look, actually, he likes his play mat and we like him to have a good kick before he eats [or words to that effect!]'

I feel completely disrespected by her. When I thanked her for visting in the hospital, she said, 'you don't have to thank me; you've given me a grandson'. Even during my pregnancy [which was particularly difficult] she was only ever interested in the baby, not me or how I was feeling. I have just been a vessel for her grandson. She seems to have forgotten that her eldset son has become a father.

Don't know if you can tell..but she's driving me crazy.

Newbarnsleygirl Mon 04-Apr-05 20:16:44

From experience I think the best thing is to talk to her or ask your dh to.

I did not do that and it caused big problems for us!

hsanders Mon 04-Apr-05 20:25:33

Thanks - but where do we start? I dread her even coming over and insist DH takes him on his own - but then I get even more stressed because I know DS will come home so overtired it's unreal.

daisey Tue 05-Apr-05 20:28:22

oh my god you are me! My mil is exactly the same, shes constantly asking to babysit. Shes always critiscising how we do things.She treats my baby as if it were her own. Me and my dp don't exist as far as shes concerned. I never go arnd ne more cus I find her comments upsetting. I feel like I cant even hold my baby when he cries when shes arnd, she automatically steps in. I used to get along with her until I became the number 1 women in my dp life.

Pinotmum Tue 05-Apr-05 20:42:40

No you are me . My mil thankfully lives in Scotland and I in London. When my dd was born she and fil visited and stayed for 3 weeks. She was awful always taking dd from me when I was breastfeeding saying she's had enough now and dd would be crying for more food. I can't bore you with the rest of it but I do know what you are saying. When ds was born I said they could come for a long weekend and she was as bad. Taking him out of the moses basket and waking him up just cos she wanted to hold him even though I said I've just got him down. There's no point talking to her because she doesn't listen to what she doesn't like to hear. My dh even got annoyed and that's something as he always makes excuses for her behaviour.

Chandra Tue 05-Apr-05 21:04:04

Stand your ground NOW, but ask your DH to do the talking. I have a similar MIL and to her request of the baby being taken to her by DH without me I replied by teling DH that I was also part of the family and didn't want to be excluded just because MIL could not understand that her grandson had also a mother. It took months of work but we are slightly (very very slightly) getting there, though we needed to cut contact altogether to get those little improvements. BEst of luck, many hugs and as somebody said to me in one of my rantings: The hand that rocks the craddle is the hand that rules the world. You know what is best for your baby and if a scraming clapping granny stresses your baby as much as mine did you have all the right in the world to ask her to stop. In more practical terms, when MIL was excesively noisy with DS while newborn I only said DS was hungry as soon as he started to cry and took him with me to the bedroom for a "feed".

Chandra Tue 05-Apr-05 21:09:50

Daisey, my MIL is so posesive that since I accepted to marry DH she thinks I am one of her belongings. For many years she insisted in deciding what was best for us and was always insisting that I should change to match better her ideal of a DIL (even asking me to pretend I was not born in my country! ). Why do some women act like that???

debs26 Tue 05-Apr-05 21:16:21

my xmil was ridiculousy interfering when it came to ds1. came to see us in hospital, said 'ooh, first grandson'. was a bit sheepish when i pointed out she already had a grandson by her daughter. didnt come to see ds2 in hospital. xp sided with her over every argument and eventually we split, mainly because of her. for the last three years there has been tension, arguments, miserable kids, court hearings - all because she wont keep herself to herself - xp now has new girlfriend but still does just what darling mummy tells him. i wish i had told the evil witch to get out of our lives and leave us alone. you need to sort it now. if she is like my xmil it wont improve sorry for the rant

babyburps Tue 05-Apr-05 21:25:00

haven't met dp's family yet! they live in france, and only speak french. i only have school french, 'how old are you?' 'how many brothers and sisters do you have?" ds is nearly 11mths and we haven't taken him to see them yet, planning on going next month, she's going to hate me! chunky english girl who hasn't lost her preg weight, can't cook...blah blah, blah. i don't care, won't be able to understand a word she says anyway! i'll just smile innanely and say 'oui oui'

hsanders Tue 05-Apr-05 21:27:21

So do I or don't I - or should I say does my DH have a long, honest and frank conversation with his mum?

We've even considered moving away to nearer my parents, but then that gives me heart palpitations at the thought she'd have to stay for longer than lunch and a cup of tea!

My DH even told her today on the phone that I would not be in on Thursday so as she would not come around because he knows how upsetting she is.

UUUUURRRGGGHHH

Please do not let me be like her when/if my DS ever has children

hsanders Tue 05-Apr-05 21:29:22

babyburps - perhaps I could try your technique on my MIL - she practically talks another language anyway

And totally know where you are coming from with the whole pregnancy weight thing - I'm as big as a house and MIL is tiny [amazing such a small person can cause so much upset and stress really!]

Amanda3266 Tue 05-Apr-05 21:32:14

Not sure what to say here. I suspect that she probably means well by saying "No need to thank me - you've given me a grandson". I always think grandsons are a daughter in law's crowning glory and she's obviously over the moon about him.
I think your hubby needs to have a word and say as gently as he can get away with that if the baby is sleeping she can look but mustn't touch till he wakes. If he's on his playmat it's harder - I bet she picks him up because she just can't help herself and she again needs reminding that she should check that it's okay with you and his Dad first.
Is it worth trying to make her feel needed in some way, perhaps asking her advice about some things so she feels useful? You know her so you'll know if this is a good idea or not.. Just wondering if that might get her talking to you again and remembering that she has a daughter-in-law who produced that wonderful grandson. It might also remind her what it was like for her when she was a new mum.

Just an idea.

Mandy

hsanders Tue 05-Apr-05 21:39:16

Mandy, thanks so much for your message. I know everything you're saying makes sense and we've tried to fair but firm approach when she picks him up from his playmat. Perhaps we need to persevere.
The line about giving her a Grandson still resonates as it's almost like I've literally produced him for her, not us!!
The other issue I have yet to mention is I am adopted and as such, my DS is my only blood relative I know to touch and kiss and call my own. She is well aware of this and knows how emotional a time it is as we talked through it all before I had my DS. However she is intent on constantly saying 'doesn't he look like my son ie. my DH' even though she knows that I'd love to be able to look at my DS and think he has my nose or eyes as I have no other blood relatives that I know. This is a little bit of a trickier situation so can understand if people do not get this but..oh I don't know. She's just taken everything so far, I am not sure what to do.

WestCountryLass Tue 05-Apr-05 21:58:24

I think you have to be honest and tell her how you are feeling, or get your DH to tell her. You are an adult, and a mother now, and you should not fear any recriminations (she should though as she as more to lsoe ). Good luck!

hsanders Tue 05-Apr-05 22:03:00

True - I am an adult and a mother now - - so perhaps I just need more courage!!

daisey Tue 05-Apr-05 22:04:51

hsanders I feel for you. It really bugs me that my mil says that our son looks like my dp. I admit at first he was a spitting image but hes 4mths now and beginning to look more like me but she still insists it looks like him. As if it is all to do with her family genes not ne thing to do with me. She drives me mad when shen picks up our son and repeats about 20 times you love your nana, you love your nana dont you, you wanna stay with me.

daisey Tue 05-Apr-05 22:10:44

I had complications with my pregnancy and had to stay in hospital to be monitored. My mil told my dp that I probably needed to rest and probably wouldnt want ne visitors (I was bored out of my head). After I gave birth she was straight up and wanted to come up every day. My baby wasnt very well, I was knackered and had the baby blues. Visitoring was restricted. Plus I was breast feeding every few hrs last thing I wanted was my mil sat I my bed.

hsanders Tue 05-Apr-05 22:13:36

Daisey - I hear you! 'Your nana loves you, your nana love you' seems to be all she can much of the time too! Another one is if my DS starts crying when I am holding him, she says 'you were fine in my arms weren't you?'

Has it settled down with you and your MIL and if so, how did you do it?

daisey Tue 05-Apr-05 22:22:22

Im still going through it!! If I said sumthing she prob would never talk to me again which is fine but now I have a little one its alot harder because I dont want it to affect him. What I worry about is her turning my son against me when hes older. The way she is with him when we are actually there-I dread to think what shes like when were notor what shes saying to him.

babyburps Tue 05-Apr-05 23:03:45

hsanders don't worry about your preg weight your ds is only 9weeks! bless! listen, the thing to remember is you are the boss, you are the mum, put your mil in her place, best thing to do be super polite but also super firm, say 'oh you think, well i can see dh's chin on him but he def has my eyes' if she says 'no dear blah blah blah' just say well no he def does, everybody says so. dh must support you, 9weeks is very soon after birth really and you should be being adored by him. tell her your routines i.e not waking sleeping babies, allowing kick times. hark at me with no shared language with the mil. i shall frown disapprovingly if she crosses me!

babyburps Tue 05-Apr-05 23:06:22

otherwise...and this works with my own mother!...ignore her until she acts in an acceptable way! pretend to be out, tell her your busy etc etc, she'll get the msg hopefully! omg sound like a right moo, i'm not honest! my mum can be a complete stresshead thats all!

Rarrie Wed 06-Apr-05 00:03:43

I'm so there, with you on this one! My MIL can't even ask how I am when she phones up... she only ever visits on the days I'm out at work, I literally have no relationship with her..

But if you're bfeeding, that is a great way or getting some time out, just say its feeding time now... and you can go off to "feed". Great as a polite way for time out when it all gets too much!


I agree you have to say something... I'm left seething every time we visit inlaws... well I don't bother going any more, seems to suit us all fine. But its just the little things like my MIL used to pass my daughter round all the family, to everyone except me, and take her off me when she was crying... and I was like, hello! I am here!?!

To be honest, I don't know if there is a solution to this one... it has caused many rows between dh and I, but he won't say anything (it upsets her, apparrently) and she won't change. I've decided in my case, its juts not worth the bother, and I'm not prepared to go over and visit when they can't be bothered to talk. Sorry, to be so depressive about the whole thing, but I found trying to sort it out just causes more problems - and it just wasn't worth it, for me.

Hope you find a solution though!

Chandra Wed 06-Apr-05 00:05:35

I have been thinking a lot if I should post the following, as after all you asked a question and I don't want to hijack your thread ranting about my MIL. I understand not all MILs are the same and I really hope you don't have one like mine, but if my experience helps to make the things better (though they may get worse before they improve) here there is:

"Sweet" things MIL has told me include "that baby doesn't belong to you, he is ours" (freaked me out). "I have decided what school he is going to attend and I have already opened an account for him to pay for it, and I want him to have access to that money all the time" (what good is going to make a child to learn that her bossy granny is making 500 euro deposits a month for his pocket money against the wishes of his parents?), "No, you can't use a weird name from your country to name my grandson, dear." (and later started to introduce DS to other people with a name she liked better than his)."You may be the mother but I DO HAVE the experience", "your family can't love my grandson as much as I do, after all they have other grandchildren so this one may be just another one for them" etc.

I sincerely believe that if we have stoped her before, our marriage would have not been so afected, we have even got to the point of considering divorce (she even asked DH to decide between her and me when I finally decided I have had enough). So my only advice would be to leave things clear from the beginning, before it adds more preasure to marriage and motherhood. Some MILS are way out of the "normal" mil's behaviour, if you suspect yours is one of them neutralise her as soon as you can. Get your DH to support you with good arguments and always emphasise how important it's for your baby to have parents with a happy and healthy relationship.

Oh, and one last point, let DH do the talking as MIL is likely to get harder on you if she doesn't see that your DH supports you.

HTH

babyburps Wed 06-Apr-05 01:00:51

chandra! calling your child by another name, quite loopy, sounds certifiable to me! its so difficult, obviously children don't really 'belong' to anyone, they are individuals, we care for them and raise them safely and as best as we can...within a family who knows! as mums we nurture and give birth to our children and so they are ours...suppose some mums find this hard to relinquish when their children have grown up so when a grandchild appears they switch ownership to that by proxy! personally i think giving unsolicited advice can be taken as 'over caring' and dealt with as tenderly as possible but i'm sorry but being rude or mean or obnoxious is just that, no matter who it comes from in life! its not acceptable just because it comes froma family member. with in laws the prob really is placitating your husband, putting up with it for his sake, so not to split the family but its not fair!

Chandra Wed 06-Apr-05 01:48:17

Yes Babyburps, I agree with you, but the day that I told her that "our" children don't belong to us but we just have them "on loan" for some time, she replied "My children belong to me and I decide what they should do". There are other things that I preffer not to mention here.

I have put up with it for 7-8 yrs now, but I'm not having it anymore. Dh better support me on this as I can't take more abuse. I would rather loose him than continue going through this hell.

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