Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Wwyd Mil distraught by my behaviour(181 Posts)
Sorry this is very long, but I'm in a bit of a difficult situation and could really use some objective advice to help me move forward.
Mil and I have always got on ok, not best buddies and she's said/done somethings I don't agree with. However, she is my DH's mum and I respect that. I am very close to my mum, Dh isn't as close to mil but all families have their own dynamic.
When we had our first Dc 4 months ago, both my mum and mil were over the moon as it is their first gc. I suffer from pnd and both my mum and mil offered great support and helped so much with dc. We tried to make sure my mum and mil saw dc equally (mil is very concerned that she is equal to my mum in dc's eyes). My mum is retired and mil still works, so we made sure that every weekend she saw dc.
Three weeks ago my sister very kindly treated me to a spa day. It was on a Saturday and meant I'd be gone between 10am and 4pm. Dh was happy to look after dc, bit we have a very bouncy labrador that would need a walk during that time. I suggested we ask mil to come over and look after dc while Dh walked the dog, as she would usually see dc at weekend anyway. She was really happy we had asked her.
On the Saturday she turned up at our house at 11am. Dh took the dog out at 12 and said he'd be about 2 hours. When he came back mil and dc had gone. He text and rang but she didn't answer for over an hour, when she sent him a message saying she had dc and would be back soon.
When I arrived home at 4, she still hadn't arrived. Dh had tried to contact her again, and had she had replied saying she had gone to a nearby town with dc shopping and would be half an hour. Two hours later she still hadn't arrived. I told Dh she was taking the piss and I was getting annoyed as she had taken him without our consent. Dh said that he could see where I was coming from, but felt mil had just got over excited and carried away and that as long as dc was safe we should just enjoy the extra time together. I explained that I missed dc and as it was 6pm I really felt he should be home as we start his bedtime routine at 6.30.
By 6.45 she still hadn't brought dc back, so I text this, "Hi Mil, thanks for taking care of baby tonic today. I was just wondering if you were on your way with him as I have missed him so much. Hope he's been good for you x" I didn't tell my husband I sent the text as it didn't seem important. Finally mil brought dc back at 7. All was pleasant and I thanked her.
The next day she saw my Dh whilst he was walking the dog, stopped him in the street and told him I had really upset her yesterday by texting her. She showed him the message and said I would never have sent that to my mum. Dh came home and spoke to me about it and I'm afraid I got my back up and was annoyed as I had done my best to be polite, and would have text anyone - even Dh if I felt dc should have been at home. I said if she was upset I would call her and explain as we are both adults. Mil would not answer the phone to me.
Now mil will not speak to me at all. She has not seen dc, or even called or text Dh to see how he is for 3 weeks. She says she is distraught by my selfish behaviour. I don't feel I have been selfish. I know I went to the spa but that was my first day out since having dc. Was I selfish to go? I am quite stubborn and really feel she needs to grow up, but should I make the first move? Dh thinks I should ask her to take care of dc at weekend but I really don't want too as I've lost some trust in her.
Please help me move forward with this and do be honest if you feel I'm being selfish or have acted unfairly. Thank you for reading this enormous post.
It's not you, it's her.
I would knock unsupervised visits on the head from now on. She took your 4 month old out for hours without asking first? And is now in a huff would your polite text??
I'm not clear what she thought was selfish - the day spa or the text - and towards her, dh or your dc? . tbh it sounds as if dh wasn't clear with his expectations that she would babysit for a couple of hours over lunchtime, not take him out all afternoon. How did she have enough milk, nappies etc ?
Your MIL sounds like a nutter to me. Have you seen the stately homes thread?
She's using your child to punish you for perceived bad behaviour. I'd enjoy the no contact with her while it lasts. It probably won't though, and this looks like the start of a long and tiresome time with her.
Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.
I wouldn't let her have your baby on her own for some time. She's utterly in the wrong here and has broken your trust.
It's up to her to make it up to you. Ignore her. You tired to talk to her. She responded by sulking. Fuck her.
I think her calling you selfish is pure projection on her part. She ignored your wishes and your baby's bedtime routine so she could do what she wanted to do. She is the selfish one here, not you. Your DH needs to relocate his spine and stand up for his family.
She's being very silly. You've really not been selfish to have a day out or to send texts. When you're expecting children to be returned at a particular time, it's a worry if they are late no matter who they are with. I think she knows all that really but she's dug herself into a hole and seems determined to keep digging. All this 'equal time' and 'you wouldn't have reacted this way with your DM' stuff makes her sound very insecure btw. Now you're in a pride-based stand-off where she's not calling because it'll look like giving in .... blah blah blah, Tedium
It's been three weeks and, given that she's very stubborn, it's probably time to break the ice. Give her a call, see if she wants to come round.
Not acted unfairly at all, your mil got carried away with looking after your dc end off and she knows it! If my mum did that I would of reacted exactly the same. She over stepped the mark and you also need to let your dh know that.
So your MIL stole your child and your the one being unreasonable? I don't think so, I think your text was remarkably restrained. You don't take someone else's baby out for hours on end without clearing it with them first.
She says she is distraught by my selfish behaviour - i do not see where you have been 'selfish', in fact she was very selfish to just take your baby off and not let you know.
however why did you text her and not just phone?
she sounds a bit.....sensitive as well as selfish.
maybe as an older person she does not like texts, have no idea.
It's absolutely not you. Mil should have checked with you re taking him out and returned when she said she would. There was nothing wrong with your text.
You have nothing to feel bad about and your text was perfectly polite. Personally what I would do is either a) let her stew in her own ridiculousness or b) just go straight to her front door and have it out with her (politely) but DON'T apologise.
Selfish? You, no way. Her? Yes, definitely.
I would have blown a gasket if someone had taken my baby off past the agreed time and gone incommunicado.
Now she's playing the martyr in the hope that you'll get confused and she can normalize what she's done. Your DH needs to understand you're the babies mother and his mother's feelings have been well accommodated but despite this she's broken your trust and is taking advantage.
Don't have it. There may be a face on for a while. Tough, it's her own fault. Cheek of her, taking your baby so she can play mummy.
You are not overreacting, neither my mother or my MIL would take my children out without checking with me or DH first, she probably didn't ask because she thought you might say no and she had made up her mind to do it.
I don't think your text was rude either, in tone or content.
give her another chance but with simple ground rules about phoning or texting before any change of plans.
she probably knows in her heart of heart that she was wrong and is trying to divert her guilt into anger at you, my DS does this, it is something I am doing my best to sort out! I am amazed at the number of adults on mumsnet who seem to do it.
Tell her to fuck off or shut up or she'll always pull shut like this.
Tell your husband to grow a pair and support you. Fuck that for a game of soldiers. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, does it?
She took your PFB out for hours without teling you where they were, when they would be home, and she is annoyed about your (perfectly reasonable, polite) text???????
I'd be FURIOUS! Why aren't you raging at her? This is your child - and she is riding roughshod over your feelings! (And I'd be annoyed at DH too!)
I'd stop contact - she is obviously not that bothered about seeing her GC if she can use him/her like this.
WHEN she apologises to you for taking your child, I'd think about letting her see him/her, in your home, for an hour. NEVER NEVER again would she take my child away from her parents. (well not until he/she is about 12!)
I'd be telling her she was lucky I was so polite in the text.
Stop reaching out to her, she was in the wrong. And your oh should back you up.
I think she is in the wrong from what you have told us.
She took your very young baby out without checking first and then didn't bring them back when requested.
If she had come back when asked I would probably say cut her some slack but she didn't.
Your text was not unkind, merely enquiring.
She sounds like she has very big issues about her relative position in your family.
Your DH needs a big chat with her to reassure her that she is equal but explain that you where quite distressed by her essentially kidnapping the baby and are unhappy with leaving DC with her for a while.
Lemme get this straight. Your MIL takes your 4 mo baby out for around 7 hours, without prior arrangement; is uncontactable for part of the day so you have no idea where he is; keeps him out later than the half hour she (finally) said she'd be; doesn't bring him home til after his bedtime; runs telling tales to your DH claiming to be distraught over the perfectly nice and polite text you sent. And you wonder if you're the one being selfish?
The only selfish, unreasonable one here is MIL. She knows she's done wrong by taking him without consent and for so long, so she's acting all upset in an effort to turn the blame onto you, and make you go running back to her with "of course you can take him any time and for as long as you like" in an effort to make the peace. Don't. You did nothing wrong. She is a loon. Hope you enjoyed the spa
Would you have texted your Mum if she had been looking after your DS?
She's being silly ignore it for the childish behaviour that it is, don't entertain her nonsense or apologise, You and DH need to pretend her outburst never happened, and that you are not affected by it. Just carry on being totally normal with her and if she brings it up just laugh it off and dismiss it.
When shje realises her behaviour is not having the desired effect she will stop.
It worked for me with my MIl, I ignored all the sly digs, appalling rudeness, and moods and pretended they had never happened, she gave up in the end as her strops were'nt having the desired effect.
I think your text was very polite and reserved compared to what I imagine I would have written if someone had taken my 4 month old without even asking, relative or not. I would have been livid.
I can't see what you've done wrong here, and if she is upset with you then she should talk to you not your husband.
I do think you are probably treating her differently to you mil. If my mil took my baby out like that I would be distraught but try to hold it together and let dh speak to her. I would probably have sent a polite text the way you did.
If my mother had done that? I would have let her have it with both barrels. I would have told her exactly how worried and anxious she had made me, and how she was never to do that again because she had ruined the trust we had in her.
But my mother would never take my baby away without full permission to do so.
You really don't have to see them every weekend. And with your mother being retired it's far more likely you'll see her more as she has more free time.
I hate all this "every visit must match to be fair" stuff. It's pointless and childish.
My mil lives far away, they see the dcs less often, but when they are here they get 100% of the attention. My mother lives closer and gets more contact, but not such quality time.
They are all grownups and whilst mil would love to see us more there has never been any competition with my mother. That would be weird.
I would have been livid. However, she is completely in the wrong and I suspect knows it. She got carried away, playing mummy with 'her' baby and got all defensive when called (although in a very polite way btw) on it.
I would never think of keeping a young baby out and about for such a long time (someone elses, that it) unles expressly asked to do so.
Your husband needs to take her aside and explain firmly that what she did was wrong/inconsiderate and that you were in no way rude or hysterical, or whatever she accuses you of, and that in reality, it is she who ought to apologise to you.
She sounds like she has the 'Lou Beale Complex' (me, matriarch, hear me roar and tremble before me).
She sounds unhinged tbh.
A baby isn't an accessory to be shown off to people whilst out and about.
Your dh needs to support you in this...utterly unreasonable behaviour.
And...if anyone had done that with pfb I would have been far less diplomatic than you!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.