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Mother in Law doing my head in...

(25 Posts)
CraftySewNSew Sun 28-Feb-16 20:08:16

Warning - I am feeling the need to rant...

So, I am 31wks pregnant with my first baby and my husband's mum has gone from being an awesome MIL to a crazy control freak that I am finding it difficult to cope with.

I know she has wanted to be a Grandmother since basically the day after she gave birth to her first child, so this is all very exciting for her and she also lives in another country so it must be hard being so far away from the action, but...

She keeps telling me that I am huge and have become fat all over (which no-one else seems to echo). She keeps telling me that my bump is so wide that I should be having a girl, not a boy.

At the beginning of my pregnancy I had horrible morning sickness, to the extent that I actually leant on the loo seat on one side so much that I snapped it! She made a huge deal about the fact the SHE never had morning sickness and my SIL (who is also pregnant and due 8 days before me) had no sickness, so I must be a massive hypochondriac or eating all the wrong things.

I am being constantly compared to her wonderful daughter, who is barely even showing at 32 wks whereas I am the giant hippo woman.

For months she has been trying to force the SIL's cot on us - this cot is mahogany and was bought in 1978. It may be the ugliest piece of furniture in history and we have borrowed a lovely simple pine Mamas & Papas cot from another relative. When we told the MIL thanks but no thanks she said she would have to BOOK A FLIGHT and come to the UK to sort this out herself. Luckily my husband managed to put her off doing this.

Amongst other things, she is insisting on specific names for our son and keeps insulting our house (which is in the process of being done up but is perfectly liveable in the meantime) saying 'you can't bring a child into THAT house'.

Basically, I am at the end of my rope with her but I know it all comes from a good place so don't feel like I can say anything.

Any advice on dealing with this would be gratefully received!grin

MypocketsarelikeNarnia Sun 28-Feb-16 20:21:32

Saying you're fat and telling you you caused your own morning sickness 'all comes from a good place'? Where IS this place op?

Your Dh needs to tell her NOW.

Quietwhenreading Sun 28-Feb-16 20:23:46

This is your DH's issue.

He needs to have a firm word right now.

Blu Sun 28-Feb-16 20:32:47

Yes, is your DH sympathetic to all this?
He needs to tell her to calm down, back off and behave herself!

Also, if she has gone from 'awesome MIL' are you close enough to be direct with her, and say 'Whoa MIL! You've just called me a massive fat hippo living in a terrible house with awful choice in names - have some sympathy for your poor DIL!'

Gera yourself up. If she starts, on the phone, say 'OK, thank you, that's enough of the 'fat DIL' conversation, shall we talk about something else or will you call back next week?'.

Have a reply to the 'names' conversation. Say 'Yep, great idea - but as it happens, it' DH and mine turn to do baby naming for this generation - you'll have to wait and see hat we decide on'.

Stick up for yourself but in an assertive way rather than waiting until you really lose it.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 28-Feb-16 20:41:50

"I am at the end of my rope with her but I know it all comes from a good place so don't feel like I can say anything".

How does this come from a good place exactly?.

I think you are now seeing your MIL for what she really is; someone who wants to undermine you as parents and your parenting skills at every turn.

What is your DH doing about his mother?.

Your DH should be speaking to her as a matter of urgency because this behaviour of his mother's should never be at all tolerated. She needs to be reminded that his wife and child come first to him now.

I would suggest that you now read "Toxic Inlaws" written by Susan Forward.

littleleftie Sun 28-Feb-16 20:51:41

Oh God! This is going to develop into one of those threads where the MIL is set to arrive 20 minutes after OP gives birth and intends to sit in her house criticising everything and expecting to be waited on hand and foot isn't it?

How on earth does she know how big you are if you are in another country? Do you have to giver her a twirl on skype calls? Back away from her big time until she calms down or learns not to behave so poorly.

And yes - what is DH doing to protect his wife from all this shite?

MoominPie22 Sun 28-Feb-16 21:08:46

I get she´s giddy with excitement but everything you´ve described just sounds bang out of order to me. Totally insensitive and uncalled for. She sounds massively over-bearing and I would be dreading her coming if this is how she is in another country!

I think you need to get boundaries sorted before she arrives so you and your OH can be prepared. You both need to be on the same page knowing what you´ll tolerate and what you will not put up with.

I agree with pp. Get sorted and assert yourself now. Yes it´s your OHś issue to an extent but that doesn´t mean you can´t fight your own battles. I really hope he´s not a Mummy´s Boy who´s gonna minimize her behaviour and undermine you. Read enough of that bullshit on here! hmm

To pot with her opinions, there´s a difference between help and interference so you and your husband need to be speaking in earnest about what will and won´t be tolerated on her visit. It´s not like a Grin and Bear It exercise. If she´s gonna come round sticking her oar in you need to be properly assertive with her knowing your OH will have your back. Don´t be taking no bullshit. It´s your baby, your house and your life. If other people wanna get over-zealous with their opinions then they can butt the fuck out! smile

PotteringAlong Sun 28-Feb-16 21:12:47

If she lives in a different country how are you having this much contact with her? Surely you can just ignore her if she's abroad?

CraftySewNSew Sun 28-Feb-16 23:01:15

Thanks all, you've made me feel loads better about my reactions to this situation. I have been feeling like perhaps I was being over-sensitive and hormonal but actually I feel vindicated.

Hub is being great actually; he used to do whatever she said but since I got pregnant he's stuck up for me a lot and won't be bossed by her.

We've told her she's being unreasonable about the names and that we will be choosing them ourselves (that didn't go down well) and I've already made it clear that my mum will be given first refusal on visiting once we feel up to it. That is the good part about the SIL being due at the same time - she likely will be with her, 6000 miles away!

And yes, I am being FORCED to show my bump regularly on FaceTime. I hate it and have told hub to stick up for me when I refuse, which he has been doing.

The woman is VERY domineering. I'm actually terrified she'll try and move in (to criticise me at close range) at some point during mat leave...

zipzap Mon 29-Feb-16 00:45:50

I guess the good news is that you're in a different country...

And tell your dh that next time you're on facetime with mil and she demands to see your bump or says something horrible or wants to veto name choices or whatever it is that is bugging you, don't get mad inside and think you can't say anything because it comes from a good place. It doesn't - she's doing it because you're a long way away and she wants control and thinks that this is how she gets it.

You however have control - tell her not to be so ridiculous/horrible/demanding/as appropriate - and say that you're not going to show her your bump or give her naming rights or whatever and that if she continues to do that, the facetime is going off and you're off until she can behave. And then do it - just terminate the call and go.

If dh wants to ring back later to see if she will apologise then that's one thing. But every time she is wretched - tell her you'll speak when she;s being more reasonable and just cut the call.

(And make sure that you say that MIL is welcome to come to stay whenever she wants so long as your dh is there... Lots of dh seem to think that they are doing their visiting their parent duty by inviting them to stay and then going to work leaving their dw to do all the hard work of being nice to them all day, leaving the dh to swan in at the end of the day, eat a meal together and think that they've done really well... Just make sure that your dp is always there - he's not going to want to take off loads of time just to babysit them - which will hopefully naturally limit the time that they come to stay to a more reasonable length!)

firsttimemummy12345 Mon 29-Feb-16 01:54:26

omg I could have wrote something similar. I gave birth 6 weeks ago and even before then she was crazy. let me just say firstly this is the first grandchild for both sides of the family. my mum and nan only helped when I needed while I was pregnant, they know I like to do my own thing till I need help but my MIL....the week leading to the birth she was round everyday. she was even there when I had my first real contractions saying 'I felt everyone with you/her'

the little one was born and she booked a week off from work thinking I would only need help from her not my family and when she came round uninvited and found out that I was out with my mum and nan she made our I was ungrateful and didn't need her help. DP said something and sil did too and she back down a bit. we went shopping and ask if she wanted to come to he'll me...not once did she, she took my child from me and pushed him. and the most recent thing she done was told me I wasn't looking after my child cause his hands was cold after I told her they always are.

basically don't let her dictate to you or she'll turn into my MIL. stop her now while you can. best if luck op

ptumbi Mon 29-Feb-16 07:40:33

And yes, I am being FORCED to show my bump regularly on FaceTime. - how does she hold a gun to your head from 6000 miles away? Say 'No', walk away, close the connection.

Until she learns. No, that won't 'go down well' either, but putting your foot down never does! grin

Practice it, OP. It will give your so much strength - and remember, you have the power here.

HortonWho Mon 29-Feb-16 07:56:41

I would push her right back now, while you're pregnant. No, don't talk to me like I'm a child, did you just tell me our home is X - all in an insulted, how dare you tone. And then refuse to engage with her on phone. Husband can then warn her she won't be welcomed at your house at the rate she's pissing you off by the time the baby comes.

If she's a domineering matriarch, she might shrug off your "rebellion" as hormones in her mind, and settle down so as to not upset you. If you wait until the baby is here to confront her, she'll use those same hormones to try to tell you how irrational/possessive/jealous you're acting about her holding the baby and advising you based on her experience, etc

DoreenLethal Mon 29-Feb-16 07:59:48

Stop facetiming her! Gosh your husband needs to say 'No Crafty isn't here to face time you. And she won't be either if you keep insulting her, the house and having a go at her about names. It's your choice'.

diddl Mon 29-Feb-16 08:03:30

How come you are being offered SILs(?) cot & not Sil?

Is ypur husband concerned that his sister's child will be favoured unless he falls in line?

If thats the case then GMs "love" isn't worth having!

But good grief, you're not even having to tell her "no" face to face at the moment".

At keast she won't want or be able to stay with you when she visits.

Gazelda Mon 29-Feb-16 08:09:36

When she tells you to show her your bump on facetime, just say "no way, you always call me fat when I do".

Get your DH to tell her to back off with her criticisms about the house, morning sickness, cot etc as you both want to enjoy your chats with her, which you don't at the moment. Her insults are hurtful and unfair and make you both less inclined to spare the time to facetime.

MoominPie22 Mon 29-Feb-16 08:25:25

Nobody is ¨forcing¨ you to do anything! If you´re gonna be that easily pushed around and controlled from another continent then I suggest you start an assertiveness course asap, cos God help you when she´s there in person. confused

bakeoffcake Mon 29-Feb-16 08:26:36

This reminds me of my Aunt. She says what the hell she likes and it's quite shocking to hear but if it's pointed out to her that she's being rude and hurtful, she apologies and shuts up. till the next time
We have to say to her "you're over stepping the line now, please be quiet"
I think your H needs to tell her when she's being rude. Or you can say things like "can we stop with the personal comments" or "if you carry on insulting me, I'm not going to want to speak to you"

See how she reacts to the direct approach!

Ragwort Mon 29-Feb-16 08:26:39

Stop face timing her - honestly, the cheek of this woman. You MUST be assertive, just refuse. There is no Law that says you have to face time/skype people.

PhoenixReisling Mon 29-Feb-16 08:33:06

Sorry, but fuck that shit of you showing her your bump on face time!

She doesn't sound very nice and her comments or her trying to call the shots do not come from a nice place.

Firstly, stop discussing names with her. Just tell her that you both are either leaving it as a surprise until the birth or throw her off the scent by telling her a name you would never use.

Secondly, tell DH that you won't be presenting your bump on face time as she is being, rude, insulting and frankly you will no longer tolerate it. Tell him also that it is quite bizarre anyway.

Thirdly, tell DH that he needs to step up and tell his mother that your home, what cot you use and any names will not be discussed with her. If she continues to ask badger then he needs to abruptly change the subject or tell her to stop.

Op my MIL is from another culture (lives in the uk) and can be quite pushy. We get on very well and I actually have a better relationship with her than my own mother. I found that being firm every single time was the way forward, otherwise she would totally dominate everything.

Skiptonlass Mon 29-Feb-16 08:44:05

I'm sure you've read enough insane MIL threads on here to know that you need to put boundaries down now. If you don't then it'll be much harder once the baby arrives.

No more being exhibited on FaceTime. Face only in the frame (if you want to, otherwise feel perfectly free to be bustling about the kitchen and let dh handle it )

insulting remarks are met with the following technique: people who say stuff like this rely on hit and run - get the remark in quickly and expect not to be challenged. So you need to draw it out, make them repeat it and lose them the element of surprise

"You're a hippo!"
(Distracted tone) .... Hmmmm sorry what did you say, I missed that?
"Your bump is huge."
(Pause, tone of slight disapproval/disgust) speak slowly, draw it out. "So, my bump is huge and I look like a hippo.... Right..." Frosty silence. Wait for her to speak

Once you turn the attention back onto how awful these remarks are and stop her getting in with quick blows, you change the balance of power.

diddl Mon 29-Feb-16 08:44:14

Have you always face timed her Op?

mamas12 Mon 29-Feb-16 10:12:42

why don't you offer dhs testicles to view on FaceTime instead of bump as he must be feeling a little left out
Go on have a laugh at her expense
Try to make a joke of what she will come up with next, a sort of mil bingo kind of thing
Please detach now be unavailable and stop worrying what she says, stop dh from repeating what she says and concentrate on your birth and baby the way you need to make it as stress free as poss for you

CraftySewNSew Mon 29-Feb-16 19:18:32

It's not really me they are speaking to when they FaceTime, it's the husband. You're right though, I am going to have to excuse myself (which I did yesterday) when they call or actually call her up on it.

I had the midwife today and baby / bump measuring just right, so she can shove that up her blowhole the next time she calls me huge.

I was talking to a friend about this today and she agrees that MIL is a nightmare that I've put up with for too long. Thankfully she is also driving DH crazy, so we are trying to manage her from afar. He's getting a lot of hassle about his renovation of the nursery (which he is doing a beautiful job on) and she's questioning all our choices. He's better at telling her to do one than I am though!

The reason we are being offered SIL's cot is because the cot is in the UK and SIL lives in Asia. PIL bought SIL a lovely new cot. Grrrrrrr. (Yes, we have the 'second best' situation going on here).

FrancesNiadova Mon 29-Feb-16 20:39:26

Love your name Crafty!
I would step away from the crazy. Disengage. She's not your problem, she's DH' s (Took me 17 years to work that one out!)
You're on a hiding to nothing. If you continue to be involved you'll get enmeshed in a game that you can never win.
Step back, be precious Mum to be, & let DH sort her out.

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