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How do you deal with overbearing Grandparents?

(60 Posts)
SheWillBeLoved Mon 31-Aug-09 12:31:09

I feel absolutely awful for typing this blush but how do you deal with them? DD is almost 5 weeks old, and her dads mum is constantly pestering us to let her stay overnight at her house, 30 miles away.

She always phones/leaves messages on FB/leaves me voicemails if I ignore miss her calls, asking when "I'm going to get off my arse and bring her granddaughter to see her as she doesn't want her growing up not knowing who she is" shock She's 5 weeks old fgs! She laughs when she says it to make it seem like a joke, but I don't find it very funny any more.

We make the trip up there once a week, usually Sunday, it's the only time we can make it as I don't drive and he works all week.

As soon as we get there, she snatches the car seat off me, whisks DD into the living room, and whether she is asleep or not - will either get her out, or poke and prod at her whilst cooing in her face and shouting her name. She also whacks me away whenever I go to my own bloody daughter, saying "She's in my house now, my turn!". Then continues to constantly ask when she can stay over, and reels off a list of days which are convenient for her.

I do stand up to her, but as she makes it seem like she is just joking - there's only so much I feel I can say without just wanting to whack her one shock

I find her completely suffocating, but everybody else seems to think it's normal. I don't want her staying out, I don't see any need for my 5 week old baby to be away from me overnight. I'm not that exhausted, and even if I was - it'd do me no good as I'd spend my night awake wondering if she was okay.

Am I being a bitch? blush Is she just an excited grandma or an annoying git? If the latter, any tips on how best to deal with her?

GivePeasAChance Mon 31-Aug-09 12:38:03

Its a hard job being a grandmother in law. She just sounds really excited. I guarantee that one day you will appreciate hang on in there and let her have her couple of hours for now. I agree about the night away, its too much but the fact that the offer is there is fantastic.

AMumInScotland Mon 31-Aug-09 12:39:16

Annoying git, but it's DPs job to tell her so, in as polite or blunt a way as he finds effective.

No way I'd let a 5 week old stay overnight, unless it was necessary for some reason.

SheWillBeLoved Mon 31-Aug-09 12:43:30

GivePeas - I know it's fantastic, I really do appreciate the offer, but I don't appreciate almost feeling forced into it by her asking every other day and asking in a way which makes me feel like a horrible cow for not saying yes. She almost emotionally blackmails me by saying "Ahhh, it's ok baby, you'll just grow up not knowing who I am won't you cause nasty mummy won't let you stay with me will she?!"

Katisha Mon 31-Aug-09 12:44:36

Gawd this needs nipping in the bud before it becomes habitual that you are "nasty mummy"...

Katisha Mon 31-Aug-09 12:45:02

DP needs to tell her to back off as it's upsetting you.

LevitatingCopy Mon 31-Aug-09 12:46:49

If those are her exact words her behaviour is dreadful - she's very silly if she expects that approach will endear you to her and gain your cooperation with more visits. It's too much pressure too soon, when you're only just finding your feet with a new baby.

I think you (or preferably DP) might have to tell her straight out that that it's very kind of her to offer to babysit etc etc but you won't be happy for DD to be away from you overnight till she's a certain age, and that's that. You can add that you're sure that in the future when she's a bit older there will be lots of opportunities for DD to visit her overnight (assuming that you can envisage this happening).

Yes it's great that DD has an interested grandparent, but if the price is pressure, misery and guilt for you then her behaviour isn't fair and imo shows selfishness and lack of respect on her part.

MarshaBrady Mon 31-Aug-09 12:47:30

Sounds fairly unbearable, and it is unreasonable to expect you to leave your 5 week old at night.

You dh should ask her to calm down and let you enjoy the early months with your baby.

rubyslippers Mon 31-Aug-09 12:50:05

this is a job for your DP - he needs to be really clear and firm about this

is your DD a first grandchild?

it is very passive aggressive to wrap this all up as a joke when it isn't to her

MarshaBrady Mon 31-Aug-09 12:51:06

Also the language is overbearing and suffocatingly manipulative, she is in danger of ruining a decent relationship with you. Your dh needs to step in and help you.

MissisBoot Mon 31-Aug-09 12:53:01

she sounds awful - you need to get you dh to either speak to her about her approach or ease off the visits a bit.

Once a week to visit the inlaws is a bit much - could you reduce it to once a month - this would save your sanity as well as take the pressure off you as a family to deal with her comments - you need to spend time together as a new family.

Goblinchild Mon 31-Aug-09 12:54:41

It is possible to be an excited grandma and an annoying bitch simultaneously.
With me it was DD's Great grandmother, like a gigantic pink meringue with pink claws and a razor sharp line in self pity.
Fortunately, my mum played defence for me.
Stick to a weekend visit and earplugs.

clam Mon 31-Aug-09 12:55:17

This would hack me off too. It is totally unreasonable to expect to have a 5-week-old overnight. 5 years old, maybe!
ANd I would keep firm hold of that carseat and say, "sorry, she's only just dropped off. Plenty of time for a cuddle when she's woken up." Beyond that, all the 'nasty mummy' supposed jokes, I would get your DH to deal with.
OK, so she's an excited grandma, but she needs fending off. Now.

bluebump Mon 31-Aug-09 12:55:48

You have my sympathies as my MIL was exactly the same. Whilst I know she was not being malicious she really did uspet me many times. I certainly would not have left my 5 week old DS with her overnight let alone for a couple of hours, actually I haven't left him with her at all until now and he is 1!

You should try and get your DH to say something to her, but she may be like my MIL and let it go in one ear and out the other. I used to try and get DP to say it from my DSs point of view - ie he doesn't like it when he is woken up from a nap when he's not ready, or please don't crowd him as he hates it - you'd think that his tears would have shown her that.

It has got better for me as time has gone on though so I hope it does for you.

SheWillBeLoved Mon 31-Aug-09 12:58:21

Ruby - No, she has 3 other grandchildren who she is around every single day. Maybe that's why she makes such a fuss over DD - she isn't used to not seeing a grandchild every day. I just think her behaviour when we visit her is completely unfair. I get that she is excited, but to at times physically 'jokingly' push me out of the way when DD is crying etc, is a bit much.

DP is now ex DP as of 3 weeks ago, but we still see each other daily for DD and to visit his family together. He knows how I feel, and to be fair he has told her to back off to her face, but she just says "Oh shut up, I never see her, you never bring her here!".

Also goes on about how we need to get her into a routine, and how she should be left to cry. Her parenting style is everything mine isn't, which is also why I'm reluctant to leave her with her overnight. I don't want to sit at home thinking about DD being left to cry because she's hungry less than 4 hours after her last bottle - which is how often MIL insists babies are fed hmm

I'm waffling on blush she just really gets to me. We are due to see her today, and my heart thumps faster whenever I think about it.

MarshaBrady Mon 31-Aug-09 13:00:16

Be firm, set boundaries.

Once a week is too much imo but ok if you feel you can manage that, everything else needs to change. At her house your baby is still yours.

Katisha Mon 31-Aug-09 13:01:26

You have a lot on your plate.
Doesn't sound like seeing her so often is helping anyone except her, and for sure DD won't know anything about it.

MarshaBrady Mon 31-Aug-09 13:02:20

Just read your post , you poor thing it will be an uphill battle if she sees the other gc everyday.

Katisha Mon 31-Aug-09 13:03:22

WHy does everyone else see her EVERY DAY??? Have they nothing else to do?
Also, if is he now exH, why are you obligated to see his family quite so much?

LevitatingCopy Mon 31-Aug-09 13:06:13

Yes - agree that she is the only one benefiting from your visits at the moment, and she needs to realise that. If she has been particularly odious one day, then leave it a bit longer before you see her again.

YOU are ultimately in control of your DD's relationship with her - at least until DD is old enough to make up her own mind - and she's trying to make you feel as if you aren't. Probably the fact that you have split with DP doesn't help, she will realise that she has less control over you (and therefore DD) if you're not with DP, so she's trying all the harder to exert her control by undermining you.

AMumInScotland Mon 31-Aug-09 13:08:52

I think he needs to say to her "If you don't back off, we won't be able to visit as often, as you're upsetting all of us by behaving this way"

You don't have to leave your baby with anyone, not even her grandmother. Specially if you know she will not be looked after in a way you can feel comfortable with.

As far as things like snatching the carseat and pushing you away are concerned, I wouldn't put up with that from anyone. It might seem petty, but I'd be tempted to pick the carseat back up and say "Right, we're leaving if you can't treat me with respect" (Warn DP beforehand of course, so he backs you up).

SheWillBeLoved Mon 31-Aug-09 13:09:09

Katisha - she lives literally a couple of roads away from her daughter and her husband so quite often babysits for them whilst they work or just pops in for a while and vice versa.

I'm also not obligated to see them, I could quite easily give DD to her dad for him to take. But to be honest, I don't trust him to not stand up to her when I'm not around. I'd rather just go and make small talk for a couple of hours than sit at home fretting about whether or not she is being left to cry/being disturbed by people picking her up/poking her/passing her around when she is trying to sleep.

beanieb Mon 31-Aug-09 13:10:33

first things first, use your privacy settings to stop her from being able to see so much on Facebook, if you can block her from being able to post on your wall.

Goblinchild Mon 31-Aug-09 13:11:01

How about choosing not to go one weekend, and having something else lovely to do instead?
Just to get your neck out from under her boot and make her realise that you can make choices too?

Katisha Mon 31-Aug-09 13:14:08

How is she dealing with the fact that you and DP are no longer together?
Surely she can't expect you to carry on as if nothing has changed?

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