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I love my mother-in-law but......

(16 Posts)
CRAPTA Thu 09-May-13 14:08:24

She drives me absolutely, completely, utterly around the bend....



Why must she ignored everything I say about my daughter and blatantly do it her way.

When she was a baby she kept saying 'she needs an extra blanket',
I said, she doesn't need an extra blanket. I'm cleaning in the kitchen and shes watching my baby.
Half an hour later, she says - she needs to go to hospital, call for an ambulance etc.
I nearly have a heart attack, I rush through to where my daughter is sleeping. She's wrapped up in a thick blanket and bright red.

I strip her off and cool her down. I tell my m-i-l - she's too hot, I told you she didn't need an extra blanket. M-i-l refuses to believe she's too warm.

Again and again, she insists on wrapping her up warm. I can't relax when she's around as I'm constantly taking off blankets and extra cardigans and tops. She changes my daughter into warmer clothes, i dress my daughter, she comes around and changes her. i ask her not to, she says the clothes were dirty. i check, they are not. We have words and m-i-l backs off with the clothes chANGING BUT STILL WRAPS HER UP IN BLANKETS. She is very hurt by my attitude and my partner and brother in law are mad at me for upsetting her.

My daughter is now at school. Whenever M-i-l puts her to bed we have the same old battle - she needs extra blankets - I tell her no, shes fine. We have a room thermometer and the temperature is fine. I come up later and she's gone into our wardrobe and rooted around, found two blankets and wrapped them around my sleeping daughter.

A few weeks ago, the window was open, she says does it need closing, I say no, leave it and wait in the room until she goes downstairs. She's obviously not happy and wants the window closed.

A few nights ago, when it was warm, she put my daughter to bed. We have child locks on the windows. She asks my partner if we need the window closed, he says it's fine. our daughter doesn't like to get too hot. Last night I try to close the window as it's cold. I can't. She's tried to force the window closed and broken the locking mechanism so we can't close the window.

I want to really shout at her, it drives me mad. She's broken our window. My partner says I have to drop it.

We get on really well but she won't stop with this stupid obsession that she's too cold.

QueenofWhispers Thu 09-May-13 14:15:19

everyone says/does this to me too. Eventually I started hiding DS's clothes when they all came to visit.

MOTU Thu 09-May-13 14:16:35

She sounds genuinely mad but I assume if your daughters at school she's old enough to removers layers when granny's gone?!

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 09-May-13 14:27:37

His mother is not the only problem here.

I think the problem also lies with your partner because he can seemingly not stand up at all to his mad as a box of frogs mother (due to hard wiring/conditioning on her part to him). Instead he tells you that you have to drop it thus putting her before you.

I would not ask her for the money to repair the window lock; she won't pay up anyway. Such people never take responsibility for their actions let alone apologise for same.

Why is she still coming into your home at all?.

CRAPTA Thu 09-May-13 14:32:06

Hi, she's not mad - it's just this obsession about her being too cold.
My daughter just kicks off all the blankets now she's older - and then gets cold as she's kicked them all off.

She tends to also get very stubborn about things every once in a while and won't budge.

It feels very disrespectful when she asks, I say no, then she does it anyway. I'm the mum. I wish I'd put my foot down very heavily years ago.

When i remind her of what I've said, she pretends to not know what I'm talking about or just repeat she was too cold and needed another blanket.

When my daughter went bright red - that was a clear sign she was too hot yet at the time mil refused to believe she was too hot, she insisted she was ill and had a temperature. She kept telling me she needed the blanket on as i was stripping all her clothes off so she could cool down.
Eventually I got a leaflet from the HW about how many blankets to use, what clothes/how many layers to use and a free thermometer. i showed the mil but she just went very quiet and with a sullen look on her face.

When my daughter was a baby, she couldn't kick them off as they'd be wrapped tightly and tucked in. I would be so worried she'd overheat.

CRAPTA Thu 09-May-13 14:39:06

She's a great m-i-l, she helps us all the time, she's a wonderful gran to my daughter and we can always depend on her to babysit, help get shopping, we go clothes shopping together, she is good company.

She is very generous with her time and her money. She is almost like another mum to me...

But.... the blankets/window/too cold rubbish drives me spare.

CRAPTA Thu 09-May-13 14:42:33

My partner doesn't want her upset again.

He can be very weak about her as she has had very bad health problems.

She will always offer to help and we have to be careful she doesn't do too much and get ill.

forgetmenots Fri 10-May-13 12:54:31

Sorry OP but you need to put your foot down with your partner. 'Doesn't want her upset'? It's not your responsibility to somehow prevent her from being upset, it is your responsibility to look after your dc. Her reactions are her choice. You will never change her but you need to be united with your DP on this.

TheRealFellatio Fri 10-May-13 13:00:22

everyone says/does this to me too. Eventually I started hiding DS's clothes when they all came to visit.

I agree the OP's mum sounds batty but if 'everyone' keeps saying this to you, Queen then perhaps they have a point?!

LemonBreeland Fri 10-May-13 13:17:19

I think I would have to say something about the window. I would just mention calmly that you asked her to leave the window and now she has broken it.

I would also say that when you tell her no more blankets etc you eka it and that it is becoming rather wearing that she ignores you. Ask her why she feels the need to do that, particularly now that your dd is old enough to decide if she is cold or not herself.

Hopasholic Fri 10-May-13 13:23:56

I wish I had some comforting words and could tell you it gets better but sorry sad mine is exactly the same.

It all starts with:
Blankets/tea in a bottle/chocolate for breakfast lunch and tea. Now they're 11 & 13 and it's: inappropriate TV/ x-box games/ fizzy drinks/sweets/keeping them up late for company/ keeping hold of their stuff so she has yet another reason to call round and bloody let herself in.

Last week she told my 13 year old that 'there weren't any gays when she was young because it was illegal'
My son replied 'and now gay people are finally allowed to get married'
To which she responded 'I know, it's un-natural isn't it?'

My son was [shocked]

The words 'sorry' or 'ok I'll do it your way' have never and will never pass her lips.

She tells me I'm uptight hmm

There's always a price to pay I'm afraid with a mil like this. She does do a lot for us, but she uses it to get her own way as she is ALWAYS right and I am ALWAYS wrong. We've had blazing rows over the years.

She has a very powerful influence over my DC's as they want to visit her frequently as they can do as they damn well please and eat crap and play on the Xbox. (oh yes, she actually bought one to keep at her house)

Can you tell she makes my blood boil? grin

Nip it in the bud now OP. Really wish I had.

CRAPTA Sun 12-May-13 18:09:55

It is only really about my daughter being too cold that she gets really awkward about. We have had 'moments' about too many sweets/chocolates/toys/books/clothes being bought when they go out shopping together. I had to firmly request she only bought 1 thing each time. My M-I-L was spending too much money and spoiling her every time she saw her.

I feel like I can never 'treat' my daughter with chocolate or sweets as granny has already done it. I don't get to buy many clothes or shoes for my daughter as the wardrobes are full. I only seem to buy the vests, knickers, socks and tights.

I think I need to say - look, she's my daughter. If I say she doesn't need an extra blanket I expect you to respect that.

I think in the past people did wrap babies up warm - it was dangerous for them to catch a chill etc. These days we have central heating and plenty of drugs if they catch pneumonia (unlikely though it is) etc. Other older relatives do seem very fussed about wrapping up babies. My health visitor was very clear about how many layers my daughter needed. When I responded to older people's concerns I would quote the hv but they just say the H.V. doesn't know what she's talking about.

I get that people criticize out of concern but I think there is also a possessive element in this. My mother in law gets a real kick about people thinking she is mummy and gets a bit jealous if my daughter wants 'real' mummy time. She gets this look on her face. I sometimes feel she tries to compete for my daughters love. It's obvious my daughter loves me and her daddy the most - that is just the natural thing.

I've cooled down a bit since I wrote this and we have a temp repair on the window. She doesn't really ignore everything I say.

I get the uptight comments too. These comments seem to be made when I am laying down the law with the mil. It does feel like control issues, when I refused to go downstairs before my mother in law I could tell she was seething. it is a bit mad really, isn't it?

CRAPTA Sun 12-May-13 18:20:12

She does like to do things her way too. Hopasholic.

The more I think about her past behavior, the more I think a few things have been odd.

We generally eat at her favourite place (she generally pays), we had to go elsewhere as it was too busy a few times. We go to my favourite place and her food is vile, the service is slow (it was a busy day, we couldn't get in at her place). My food has always been fantastic there yet the few occasions she goes her food is horrible/inedible.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 12-May-13 18:34:12

This is at heart about power and control. Its her way or no way with her; she will never say sorry and I reckon as well she has not apologised to date for her actions let alone take responsibility for same.

None of what she does with you is without price, she is putting you under obligation to her.

I think you have a massive problem on your hands in the shape of his domineering mother who wants to override you all the time and play "mummy" again, this time with your DD. She's had her chance though.

If your man won't help you, you will need to take a stand yourself and reassert your authority as her mother with regards to your DD. You certainly need boundaries re his mother and these need to be raised a lot higher than they currently are.

All this is probably very hard to take in as you have likely not come across this before because your own birth family are emotionally healthy.

Your man is also part of this overall problem because he is unwilling and or unable (that could equally be the case here) to actually stand up to his mother due to her conditioning him to think that way. He is far more afraid of her than you perhaps realise hence his comments re asking you to drop it re his mother.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 12-May-13 18:39:09

It would not totally surprise me if she or your partner were behaving in the following ways:-

•Mother-in-law is insensitive; doesn't respect boundaries
•Mother-in-law is overly dependent on son for emotional and lifestyle support
•Partner clearly puts mother-in-law needs/requests ahead of yours
•Partner talks to mother daily; drops everything when she calls
•Partner values mother's advice and opinions over yours
•Partner runs to mother when arguments occur
•Mother-in-law attacks your character
•Mother-in-law treats her son like he's still a child/competes with you
•During family gatherings, you're overlooked or ignored by mother-in-law

CRAPTA Sun 12-May-13 20:51:58

Attilla, I think you are right that it is all about power and control. I've stood my ground with her before and it's about every now and then laying down the rules. Her behavior doesn't really fit in with your list though.

She does behave insensitively and have some boundary issues.

It does seem as if my daughter is most important thing in her world and my partner and his brother seem pushed out. She was unable to do a lot with them when they were young as she had not had her medical condition fully diagnosed and her medicines were not controlling her symptoms.

My partner does get annoyed when his mum moans to me she feels neglected by her sons. She does seem to be quite demanding of his attention.

My partner doesn't put up with her unreasonable needs/requests - generally he just ignores it when she's unreasonable. He does put me and our daughter first.

I talk most to her, she moans she never speaks to him. I have to make him phone her. I wouldn't say he values his mother's advice and opinions over mine.

I'd say I get on better with her than either of her sons and I think she's probably been more on my side when we've argued.

I think she overdoes it with my daughter and when she's overtired that's when she gets a bit controlling. Thinking back now it does seems to be virtually every time she's been stroppy she's had a long day.

I wonder if she feels cold herself due to her ill health and she is projecting that on my daughter.

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