Would you like to be a member of our research panel? Join here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive offered for your views.
MIL stressing me out already!(30 Posts)
Sorry if im sounding selfish or maybe im being too sensitive? (please tell me if I am! This is a bit of a rant)
I am only about 10/11 WEEKS pregnant , we had an early scan which was great and have the NHS scan at the beginning of July, which is the 12week one and to be honest I don’t really want to start telling people or start thinking ahead until then,
But im getting the impression she is going to try and take over, this is her first grandchild (and our first child) it’s great that she wants to be involved and is excited but its early days – we still have a long way to go
She has already said she wants to be at the scan (wasn’t asked – I want it to be just me and DP).. constantly nagging about when can she tell everyone,
Then she was talking about throwing a baby shower for me – alarm bells started ringing at this point: personally I don’t want a babyshower and have said this, but it seems my opinion on the matter isn’t important, also IMO I feel it would be for my mum to be organising this, who did mention it but as soon as I said I didn’t want one she said “no problem and its completely upto you, but if you change your mind I will crack on with planning” so if my own mum can understand, why cant my MIL! She just doesn’t seem to get that she can’t call all the shots and be deciding things for me.
Shes been suggesting names
Saying her daughter should be godmother
Planning visits when I’m out of the hospital and taking the baby out
Questioning me on my birthplan (?!?! I don’t even know all the options yet)
Writing this down I’m worried I’m sounding a little petty but its just all little things said in conversation that are building up and I’m getting stressed out already, maybe im making it worse in my head.
Has anyone got any experience or words of wisdom for me? I don’t want to cause tension between us because she is a lovely person and we get on well but she is the type of person to over react if i just said something, its just that its my first pregnancy and not to sound like a diva but shouldn’t I (and my partner) be calling the shots
Yes you absolutely should be. Can your DH have a word? He should be backing you up here. Yes she's excited, but you have a long way to go yet.
I suggest not discussing names with her at all. She may calm down when you're able to tell everyone. What about giving her something to buy? Something to focus on?
Your not being petty.
Set your stall out now and be firm. She may be just very over excited. But if you put firm boundry lines in now she should back off a bit.
Don't leave it in fear of if upsetting her as it will just get worse. Wanting to be at birth ect.... I left it too late and my mil really ruined my pregnacy. She caught me hiding at one point when I couldn't bare opening the door to her as she was really pressuring me over things.
Put your foot down and blame it on hormones
Don't discuss names. Nod and smile if she discusses it then call baby what you like
I don't think you're over reacting. Make sure you speak to your partner about this, but it may be easier to deal with each little thing as it happens rather than having a chat and making a big issue of the whole.
With some things, the smile and nod approach might work. She starts talking names? Nod and go "mm-hmm", saying her daughter should be godmother? nod and change the subject. These decisions are absolutely ones for you and your partner to make, and are nothing to do with her, but challenging her every time will get very wearing (especially if she over reacts).
Other things (eg birthplan), you could go with "dp and I haven't decided that yet", or "obviously we'll have to wait and see how we feel at the time". Or if she really pushes, start crying a little bit (I'm sure with all those hormones you can manage ) and start talking about how you just feel so overwhelmed, it's very personal, and you can't talk about this right now (unintentionally did this when mil started trying to plan ds's childcare for my return to work - I was seriously emotional about the whole thing and just ran out the room crying. It did work though).
For the baby shower (which I totally understand not wanting one!) could you go along the lines of "oh that's a lovely idea, but I'm really not comfortable being the centre of a party, but maybe you and me (and x friends/my mum) could go out for afternoon tea together to celebrate?".
I have a mil who, although not nearly as bad as yours, does have a tendency to get over excited and want to get overinvolved, and to take it very personally if told to back off. Once I walked into the room having just put ds to bed when I was about 3 months pg, and she said "so, shall we talk names? how about x?", I just looked shocked, said "yes, maybe", and started talking about something else - she hasn't brought it up again.
Come up with strategies - you will need them once the baby is born as this won't stop. You need to figure out where your lines are - what are the things that, while they might not be ideal, you can let slide, and what are the things which are absolutes.
OhEmGee that’s a great idea about giving her a focus
Thanks ladies, I already feel better about it knowing others agree, I was starting to think I was just being a bit mean
I think a lot of it is because she’s not really happy in her marriage and she likes being in control of everything but that’s not for me and my baby to be worrying about
DP is great but when it comes to his mum he gets a little defensive - I think it’s a lot to do with her bringing them up as a single mum and he feels like he has to look after her still, which I’m not knocking but sometimes I do roll my eyes!
I think I just need to get a bit of a backbone myself and put my footdown! (easier said than done – im a whimp really haha)
you or actually your DP really have to nip this in the bud. Honestly. You will find so many stories about overbearing MILs (mostly MILs) on MN - how they barged into delivery rooms, grabbed the newborn and refused to hand them back etc, and generally steamrolled over any wishes of the parents for years and years.
It will only get worse if you don't make it clear right now that this is your baby and not hers. Better some upset and resentment now, than decades of this!
Agree with what the others have said, nip this in the bud right now.
Don't tell her when the scan is, and if she already knows call her and tell her only you and DP will be going.
She will have to accept this and cannot force her way in!
Best to sort this out now, otherwise you'll have her at the birth staring at the business end of labour for 20 hours!!
You are all completely right and made me feel so much better so thank you … best to get it done now then at least I can blame my hormones as suggested haha
number3cometome your last sentence did make me laugh! Scary thought but also could be comical
Honestly, trawl the threads and I am sure you will find some poor soul who's MIL turned up wanting to see!!
Yes blame the hormones. You don't have to be mean about it (men always seem to get upset where their Mum's are concerned)
Just state you want to keep this between you and OH and that it's a special time for you both!
Yes I remember a thread where MIL barged in and ended up holding OP's leg during pushing. Even though she was clearly told not to come to hospital in the first place.
I am 39 weeks and haven't discussed a birth plan/names etc with anyone except DH! Quite frankly it's nothing to do with anyone else! Wouldn't have dreamt of having anyone else at the scans either, even if they'd asked!
Discussing a baby shower at 11 weeks is madness, especially if you don't even want one.
It's lovely that people are excited for you but it's going to be a long pregnancy if she wants this level of involvement all the way through. Nip it in the bud!
Don't mean to sound smug, but it's stories like this that make me ever so grateful for my lovely MiL.
As for what to do... if I was in your situation I would just say 'its hospital policy that only one person can attend the scans, you wouldn't want to deprive (dp's name) from seeing OUR baby', then at 20 weeks, same thing, except say that as it's the anomaly scan you think you dp should be there in case there's anything wrong.
As to when she can tell people, just say, 'please wait until we're ready to share OUR news.'
Then with baby shower.... maybe just always be busy whenever she wants to organise it. BUT then you run the risk of her organising a surprise one so make sure your dp knows you don't want one. I would also tell any other family members she'd be likely to invite to such a thing that you really hate the idea. Let them field it too!
Names are tricky because everyone and his dog has a fucking opinion on it (sorry, had my boss stupidly saying that the names me and my dp have chosen are ' Too posh' - whatever that means!!! Grrr!) But smiling and nodding in a noncommittal way should stop the conversation. Ditto with godmother....
Say it's nice that she wants to be involved in the baby's life, but it's too early to start planning days out with someone not even born yet!
As for birth plan... I haven't even started thinking about mine at 28 weeks, so just say you're not ready and would prefer to discuss it with your midwife first anyway, and they don't talk about it until much later! (I think I'll be discussing mine with the midwife when I see her in a fortnight)
Always call the baby your baby, don't EVER refer to it as 'the baby' but always 'MY baby' or 'OUR baby' (so long as the context implies you mean you and your dp as the our and not 'the family'...)
My hospital only allows one person to accompany someone to scans, we were going to take my Mum along but weren't allowed, so worth checking your scan letter or just telling her that. I paid for a private scan to find out the sex and took my parents to that instead and all went for a meal after. I would have probably done the same with the in-laws to make them feel involved and as a one off but they live in another country.
It's hard because they're excited but can be a bit too much and show it in these ways. My MIL and FIL are coming over in August to meet their first Grandchild and are already saying they will take her out for long walks and sit up with her in the night, I think they forget that I am breastfeeding... And whilst OI sound like a cow when I say it will be a tough three weeks,it will be because they will be so full on and want to be around the baby 24\7.
You have!y sympathy.
Whatever you do, don't tell her your due date. Give her one 3-4 weeks after the real one. Or she'll be in your face just when you need space. Trust me on this.
I understand she is excited, I would be too BUT now is the time to be extra assertive ( but nicely done ).
Speak out now and nip it in the bud.
Smile and nod could just lead to ' well you didn't say that when I said x, y, z '
Baby names, Id say to her, 'We have decided on names, everyone will find out when the baby arrives.' It doesn't matter that you haven't, but it will put an end to her bringing it up.
Baby Shower, just firmly repeat, thank you but it's not for me, I don't want one.
Scan, We are not inviting anyone but we will show you a picture.
Godparents, I'm not thinking about that just yet but I have a few people in mind.
My MIL was the same, took some effort on my part but she did get the message.
Thanks so much for all ur replies full of advise! I feel so much better about it and I'm not gonna let her stress me out- def going to smile and nod and take all your pointers on how to handle certain conversations.
Especially the baby shower - I have no problem with them but it's just really not for me- I'm def more of a happy in the background person so an afternoon full of people fussing and all attention on me would send me into a panic
Maybe try to think of some lovely things she could do, that you would enjoy, so she focuses on that and has less time for things you don't want? As someone suggested, nice afternoon tea instead of a baby shower? Looking at the childhood photos of your partner together and asking to tell some stories about them (I loved this when expecting my first DS - I kind of wanted to see what thd baby will look like - and he was and is an absolute copy of his dad), or ask to make something for a baby - knit a blanket or a cardigan, or some embroidery, if she is into that. Good luck!
I sympathise, my MIL is a horror too. I'm 13 weeks pregnant. She's already told me my favourite girls name is awful and that our home isn't nice enough for a home birth as the midwife will judge us. You really need back up from your DH, I'd go to pieces if mine didn't have words with her.
Get her some wool and knitting needles, tell her that's what grannies do. Congratulations on pregnancy xx
noarmani I can't believe your MIL said that to you.. I'm glad your DP is on your side and knows when to say something.. I hope her baby name opinion hasn't changed your mind!
Haha I like the idea of handing her a ball of wool and some knitting needles and telling her to get cracking
If you don't want a baby shower you could try the 'I'm superstitious' option and claim that your not comfortable celebrating before the birth but suggest afternoon tea to help you relax while you still can.
Just tell her you'd rather not have a baby shower, and then refuse to engage with any discussion on the subject. Remember that it really is your choice. Speaking from experience, I would follow the rules of never justify, argue, defend, or explain. Doing so makes it seem like it's up for debate.
Join the discussion
Please login first.