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I dont want to spend my maternity leave with MIL!! HELP!(140 Posts)
It all started when I was pregnant... my MILs nursery was ready before ours was having never had a conversation about her looking after the baby when she was born. Then she offered to pay for a wedding for my partner and I before she came along as she would have 'preferred us to get married first.' Its the 21st century, I declined!
when the baby was born she held back interferring for the first few weeks and was actually really helpful, then my partner went back to work and it all began...
The coming over to the house to help with the baby while I slept and taking her to her own house! The two hour visits which turned into 6, the 'advice' on how to get my house cleaner, the reminders about the deposit she gave my partner for the house, the opinions on why we cant replace the old fashioned furniture she gave him when he bought the house, the decorating advice, the 4hour shopping trips when I want to get home because the baby has a temperature and her telling me 'she's fine', the requests to look after her for the day and to take her round to their house....
My partner asked her to give me some space a few weeks ago and it was bliss. Last week it started again... the phone calls, messages, then turning up unannounced when I dont respond, the requests to take my baby to meet HER friends. So I took control at the weekend and gave her a 2 hour slot every week when she could visit. This has snowballed into a whole day out on her terms not mine... Im not strong enough to deal with her and my 'taking control' is a joke.
Ive had a complete meltdown and messaged her this morning (cowards way out) saying that I dont want her messaging and calling me in the week because we have other friends and family to see but that I'd let her know if/when we're available. We see her every weekend for atleast a few hours. Why isnt this enough? I just want to enjoy my maternity leave without being exhausted and over-powered by my MIL figure. I dont enjoy her company, she just meddles in my business and tells me about everyone elses for hours on end. Im too much of a wuss to take control with her.
I just rant at my partner about her and he sits there quietly, looking sad. He cant stand being around her himself though!
What shall I do? I'm getting all worked up and panicky at the thought of her being around so much and at the thought of what my partner is going to say when he discovers Ive sent her a very blunt message! Isnt weekend visits enough?
It's plenty. Good for you for sending that message. Don't give in and don't feel guilty.
If you have been very blunt in a way that you aren't happy about now you've sent it, I would send her another quick message and say "sorry for the last message, I didnt mean to be rude. However I still need my space and the day long visits are too much so we need to go back to the shorter ones. I'll give you a call later in the week to arrange something. DiL.x
You need to work on your boundaries, don't let her in your house so much, go to hers and then get up and leave. Avoiding her calls only makes her pop by so answer them and then say 'sorry cant today but can on X at Ypm.
Oh and i'd get in first and tell your Partner you've had a bit of a word vomit on text to MIL and while you didn't mean to be rude you are feeling really stressed out by it all again.
You need to speak up and tell her to back the eff off, she is YOUR baby, and if it's causing you this much stress than enough is enough.
Your P needs to be sending her a very blunt message as well! And he needs to back you up more with this issue.
You need to set the boundaries not her. Tell her you can meet her for lunch on x day at 12:30 but that you have to leave at 2:30 then do so. You can always leave her eating and give her cash for yours.
If she goes on about people you don't know, keep interrupting and asking who are they? She'll get the message.
As for PA comments about house deposits, tell her its nothing to do with you and if she has a problem to speak with your DP.
You definitely do need to stand up to her though, she won't change her behaviour if you don't. Your DP has to be with you when you do and he has to agree with you.
If she is that intrusive and that insensitive to your wishes and feelings I wouldn't meet up with her at all unless I was with DP also - Sunday lunch or something.
I would not be meeting up with her at all during the week - your maternity leave is precious and wonderful and will pass so quickly - you need to reassert your control over it quickly and do what brings you pleasure.
"I just rant at my partner about her and he sits there quietly, looking sad.
He cant stand being around her himself though!"
The above is a very telling comment re your man and he is infact acting like some other men would do here i.e be spineless. However, he has had a lifetime of such conditioning at his mother's hands and such is very hard to undo easily if at all. Fear, obligation and guilt towards his mother are three of many damaging legacies she has left him. He would rather upset you than his mother due to his innate fear of her.
He also needs to realise that his inertia is actually hurting you now as well as his child. This is a situation that is not going to go away (I am certain he would like nothing better than for you and she to get along so that he does not have to get further involved) and he will have to step up far more with regards to his mother because she will continue to walk all over you - and him otherwise. She's already done that well before you became parents anyway; there were warning signs before your child was born which you did not recognise or perhaps minimised.
Never take a penny off this woman; such "gifts" never come without a hefty dose of obligation and unwritten conditions attached to them.
She has done her mothering bit now its your turn so she needs to be told firmly to back off. If he cannot do that you will need to do so. She will continue to dominate your entire lives otherwise. Do not be afraid of potentially upsetting her, such people rarely if ever get upset in the usual sense of the word. They instead become annoyed because their own power and control is being taken away from them.
You need to maintain and further strengthen your own boundaries here and it may well be that she will decide to ignore this as well.
I would suggest that if she cannot or will not behave here, she does not get to see any of you. You would not have tolerated any of this from a friend, family are no different.
I do feel for you, you've come from a family of origin where this sort of familial dysfunction is thankfully unknown. I would also suggest you read "Toxic Inlaws" written by Susan Forward to further understand the power and control dynamics that are really going on here.
Some people really should not be given any access to their grandchildren and his mother is a case in point. Such people like his mother too can use the child against the parents; they often also over value or under value the relationship between their grandchild and themselves.
I'm sorry, she decorated a nursery in your house even though the baby was never going to be there?
In her house even! Of course the baby is in your house
oh wow AttilaTheMeerkat... you know what you are talking about. The gifts come in regularly, adding to my guilt for feeling this way and so comes the obligating feeling to do as she wishes as a result! My partner has actually been under his mother's thumb for a long, long time even though he cant stand her company.
She comes across so lovely and even ditsy but she dominates all that we do. I feel like she is here in the house with us. In our furniture, in the house, she has had a say in so much of it and she lives so close by. I dread my partner popping the question because she will want to pay for everything... in return for mass domination.
Thanks everyone for your responses, I feel like I've done the right thing sending the message now. For once, she hasn't called me back or responded!
Can't you just switch off your phone & lock your door. Pretend that you aren't in
My exMIL was like this. She thought that she was going to raise my child by herself. When she didn't get to she had a massive sulk & now doesn't see her grandchild. Its bliss.
It sounds bliss Trendstopper. I get the feeling mine might already know how over-whelming her behaviour can be, she regularly talks about articles she's read or people she's spoken to who don't get to see their grand-children and how sad it is. As if she's guilt tripping me beforehand just incase it ever happens!
Anytime she mentions articles like that just make comments like 'the parents probably got sick of the grandparents interfering'.
Don't be afraid to speak your mind. It is your child. Realistically what can she do.
We live 5000 miles away from my MIL. It does help. I think you need to be very strong in this situation. Don't beat yourself up, OP, it takes a long time to learn how to properly stand up to someone like that and feel ok about it if you are not naturally the confrontational type.
I do understand op, it's so tricky. My mil loves to make pa digs all the time - about how hard everything is/was for her and how easy everything is for me - and DH doesn't appreciate how ficking tiring it is. If it was my own mum saying it I could decide whether to say anything, but as its mil it feels like I'm forced to accept it.
The coming over to the house to help with the baby while I slept and taking her to her own house!
Does she have a key to your house? Get that back off her quick, or change the locks! Letting her have a key sends a message that she's welcome to treat your home as hers.
You're handling it very well given how awful she is.
I would ask DP to tell his mother that her overbearing behaviour is jeopardising a long term relationship with her grandchild, and that she needs to give you space until the baby is a bit older. 2 hours a week is reasonable, but you and DP need to both call her out when she attempts to extend it.
His Dad has a key to the house for emergencies, he's lovely and to be fair, she only tends to use it when he's there too. Spoke to OH about it a bit more tonight and he says she only has good intentions. He's being very quiet with me... now I feel like the bad guy.
No, you're not the bad guy. taking your baby out of the house without your permission is unforgiveable.
Your partner needs to man up. He's being a total wimp. She sounds awful.
no, the intentions aren't good, they are undermining you, wearing you out and it's got to stop.
you can control this, he backs you up. it's that simple.
no call, no visits, don't let her in.
why on earth are the weekend visits cast in stone? that's not normal!
She sounds dreadful. Sounds like your DH just wants the quiet life. She's him mum!
"she only has good intentions"
Okay, so because they're good intentions you have to accept it? Her "good intentions" are having the opposite effect and your OH needs to understand that. He wouldn't like it if the shoe was on the other foot.
Basically you need to start saying "That doesn't work for me" when it doesn't work. When re-decorating comes up "OH & I prefer X but that is a good idea". If she doesn't think he should get rid of the furniture, tell her that you're looking at selling it or donating it and does she want it any of it back... you're not her storage shed and nor should you feel obliged to keep it if you don't like it.
It sucks but you need to work on this relationship now. It took 3 years of NC but my MIL now realises she can't control us or tell us how things "should" be. She also doesn't randomly spam text now. She's doing a lot better and I finally have in-laws. It's almost weird... I expect when/if kids come along that she'll try and ramp it up a bit but those 3 years showed her that we're adult and do fine without them (PIL's) so yay!
No she does not have good intentions; this lady wants to play mummy again and this time with your child.
Unfortunately your man is deeply mired in FOG so is both unwilling and unable to properly back you up here. Therefore you will have to strengthen and maintain firm and consistent boundaries because he will not do so.
I would not let FIL off the hook here because he is seemingly doing nothing to prevent this all from happening nor trying to rein in his wife's mad excesses of behaviour. He is weak too and is acting here as a bystander. Infact people like his mother always but always need a willing enabler to help them.
Ok so she is over bearing but well meaning. Would you like it if your dh gave your mother a text deciding she could only see the baby for two hours per week?
I am trying to put myself in her shoes, I will want to buy my GC presents, I will want to be a part of its life on a regular basis, I would like to visit my DiL etc it surely doesn't mean I'm a terrible person.
There are ways and means of going about avoiding her if she is pestering you too much but I don't think she is necessarily an inherently bad person, she just loves her family! And who wouldn't love a little baby..........especially when you can hand it back!
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