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I feel like my Mother In Law took something special from us

(173 Posts)
GaurdiansofOurgalaxy Sat 24-Sep-16 13:52:27

My daughter is over 5 months old. My partner and I had been waiting for the right time to introduce solids to her diet (currently breastfed exclusively) and one morning earlier this week we made the decision to start feeding her just a little in the evenings. Based on the guidelines on the NHS website, she is ready. Also, she has started to wake up in the middle of the night more frequently for feeds! Once a week my partners mother takes care of the baby for two hours whilst we attend couples counselling. Before we left we told the MIL that we were going to feed her for the first time that evening and that we were excited. We explained that after we picked the Baby up after our session we were going to buy the highchair/bowls/spoons, etc. Oh how exciting, she said! Are you going to feed her banana? No, not banana. (I didn't explain that I have an allergy to bananas and maybe my baby might too, I just said no, not banana.) Anyway, we got back from our session and upon walking in the door the MIL says "I am so sorry but I had to feed the baby banana, she was soooo hungry"........... We are both upset that she did that. I had fed her a huge feed right before we left, we were only gone 2 hours and every 2.5 to 3 hours is her normal feed time. The MIL knows this. She wasn't hungry. But the MIL has nothing to do in her life since her children left home and her own mum who she cared for has passed away. She believed having grandchildren would fill this gap in her life, and I appreciate that this must be hard for her, but to take away special moments from us, the parents, so that she feels fulfilled doesn't seem fair. When she learned she was having a grandchild she had a whole room built with a full nursery. She had saved every toy and their boxes (including over 400 cuddlie toys in vacuum sealed bags) her children had, and all of her daughters clothing. She is literally obsessed with babies and treats them as toys, like dolls. She knows we are upset about it, but what now? This isn't the first time she has done something like this but she doesn't listen. Would you continue to let her have the baby without us there or are we just asking for more of this? Would you be upset?

RaeSkywalker Sat 24-Sep-16 13:57:09

I'd be upset, yes. Can anyone else have baby whilst you go to counselling? I'd still let her see your daughter as often as she currently does, but I'd make sure I was there when it happened from now on.

MUjunkie Sat 24-Sep-16 13:58:45

Yea I'd be REALLY pissed off!!! That is something you wanted to do for the first time and she should have understood that!
I think that unfortunately if you don't make it very clear now how far over the line she's stepped it won't be the last time she'll do it! wine

SleepingTiger Sat 24-Sep-16 13:59:14

From experience, use this to set some boundaries now. You cannot undo the banana, but you can 'do' the future. This is a great opportunity to nip things in the bud.

The baby/toy thing and the vacuum sealed memories I have come across before. It's not good.

You are perfectly reasonable to be upset. I would be truly pissed off, been there done it with all my DC's.

MomOfTwoGirls2 Sat 24-Sep-16 14:00:56

Don't tell her your plans in future. Tell her after it happens.
And find a new baby sitter.

Ilovenannyplum Sat 24-Sep-16 14:02:47

I'd be really angry if my MIL had done that. Or anyone had for that matter.

Can anyone else have your daughter instead of her?

ohfourfoxache Sat 24-Sep-16 14:02:59

I wouldn't be leaving baby with her unattended ever again tbh.

YNK Sat 24-Sep-16 14:07:03

Poor old soul.
Yes, you need to draw firm boundaries, but she could be your greatest asset if handled firmly but gently!
It takes a little bit of adjusting to be a good granny, but it's actually the best job in the world.
My daughter and 6yo son live with me and even he knows the rules. He tells me that even when mummy's not in, I'm only allowed to be in charge if mummy has told me what I can do, lol.

Dieu Sat 24-Sep-16 14:07:14

Seriously? You wouldn't leave them alone because she gave the baby a bit of banana (bearing in mind she didn't know about the possibility of an allergy)? hmm

Floggingmolly Sat 24-Sep-16 14:11:15

You'll remember this when you've just cooked your 5 millionth fishfinger, because she refused the roast dinner again, and wonder why someone else feeding your child was ever something to be discouraged.

Verydownaboutitall Sat 24-Sep-16 14:17:06

It's not the same as feeding a fussy pre-schooler. This is about deliberately overstepping your boundaries. You are the parent.

Nobody sane would begin the weaning process on someone else's child without their knowledge or consent. You are not being precious. Nip it in the bud now by not letting her babysit again. I know counselling is expensive but a couple of hours of babysitting would give you peace of mind and send a clear message to her.

I'm sorry to ask but are you in couples counselling because of MIL issues?

GreenHen Sat 24-Sep-16 14:18:47

That was mean of your MIL, I doubt she looks at it like that though. Makes her sound quite immature.

Yes, I would still leave my child with her but I would be very careful not to share information with her like this again.

WinchesterWoman Sat 24-Sep-16 14:19:02

I wouldn't see her with the baby for at least a month then I would not let her hold or do anything with the baby for the next two visits and I wouldn't let her babysit for as long as it takes to ask about it and then I would tell her exactly why - she thinks she knows best. I wouldn't even bother to get cross about it. Just stop,with determination.

At that point she'll realise that if she doesn't quietly accept that it's your way (or the highway) - you'll cut her out without remorse or mercy again.

Sellingyesterdaysnews Sat 24-Sep-16 14:19:42

From now on keep it simple with instructions to your mil ; don't feed her, just offer her her milk while we are out if she needs it. No food !
I have a baby grandson and am led by his parents .. If they don't mind about something I will go ahead if I'm comfortable, but generally I just do the looking after maybe offer him a bit of toast or banana if I'm certain he's allowed.
Also ask her to text or fb msg if she's not certain!

Dieu Sat 24-Sep-16 14:20:44

Not letting her babysit again? My father's war cry when we were babies, and again with the grandchildren, was "that wean's starvin" (he's Glaswegian). It became a family joke, as all the baby had to do was whimper and he'd come out with it grin.
A firm word will do just fine. She would be mortified if you stopped her babysitting. Life is too short for that level of preciousness.

Sellingyesterdaysnews Sat 24-Sep-16 14:21:23

He is older obviously. I never made bottle etc when he was tiny... Asked them to leave it made up and whether or not to give it .
Some people just aren't so aware of their own limitations and get carried away.

imother Sat 24-Sep-16 14:22:57

I can really understand you feeling upset. It was not your MIL's role to feed your baby for the first time.

But as YNK says, it takes time to adjust to being a gm, just like it does for the rest of you to adjust to a baby.

So I think you should definitely be assertive about this, but kindly. Tell her how you feel without being critical. Unless she's a real cow she will see the problem.

Also the clothes and cuddly toys need donating to a charity - Syrian refugees? Perhaps she could keep, say, 6 and give them to dc. 400 is really overwhelming for your dc and would drive me barmy

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sat 24-Sep-16 14:24:09

I'd be pissed off too, but especially because she deliberately gave her a food that you'd said you wouldn't - what would have happened if your DD had had an allergic reaction?

OK, your MIL didn't know about the possibility - but she shouldn't have done that. It could have had a very bad outcome.

I'd agree with not telling her your plans in future, at least not if you then leave your DD with her; but I'd also explain about the banana allergy and how she could have put your DD's life at risk with her selfish behaviour.

Sellingyesterdaysnews Sat 24-Sep-16 14:24:23

But I am pretty cautious.. My son and dil are much more laid back than me !!!

Trulymadlymotherly Sat 24-Sep-16 14:24:53

Those suggesting that it's no big deal are welcome to feel that way themselves but not to invalidate op's feelings. It sounds like mil oversteps boundaries frequently and while it's nice to think she's excited about becoming a grandmother the fully jutted out room and toys sounds a bit overwhelming.

It's quite clear that you'd shown how excited you were about starting weaning so it's not that she unthinkingly did it. She swooped in to be the first to do something that the child's parents should be able to do.

Verydownaboutitall Sat 24-Sep-16 14:25:26

400 vacuum packed soft toys is like the beginning of a horror film.

Dieu Sat 24-Sep-16 14:27:34

I don't blame the OP for being annoyed, and haven't downplayed her feelings. What I take exception to is the ridiculous notion that the grandmother is unfit, and shouldn't be left alone with the baby again.

WinchesterWoman Sat 24-Sep-16 14:28:18

The op's response is as significant as the mil's act. If the op feels undermined and overridden she needs to be very firm in order to make this feeling go away.

Harvey246 Sat 24-Sep-16 14:28:23

She did this deliberately in the full knowledge that it was something you were excited about doing yourself. Ok maybe it was excitement on her part too and not meant maliciously but yes I would be angry too. The only good thing is that at least she was honest and told you about it. I would be tempted to find alternative childcare for a couple of weeks, might make her think more carefully in future.

Thinkingblonde Sat 24-Sep-16 14:28:50

Don't tell her of any plans in future. I think your DH needs to have a quiet word with her about overstepping boundaries, "If you continue to override our requests not to butt in, we're awfully sorry but we will have to reduce your contact with him and we don't want to do that mum.

Nip this in the bud, before you know it she'll be buying the first shoes, taking baby for their first haircut, first visit to see Santa, first Christmas stocking...you get the drift.

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