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(25 Posts)
Swirlyceiling Sat 16-May-20 08:24:08

Wondering if anyone can offer advice if they have been in this situation, as I don't want to feel this way any more.

When I was pregnant, MIL grated on me, overstepped with a lot of what she said, kept pushing 'helpful' suggestions even after I said thanks but no thanks and the like.
Since DS has been born, she has ignored things we have asked her not to do (when we are present) and we have to remind her we don't like it.

He is now 13 months old and she has hinted many times at wanting to baby sit. My issue is that she doesn't spend a lot of time with him. Pre-lockdown she would see him every few weeks for about half an hour, as she would come to see him as he was going to bed.

My parents have looked after him a few times for us, including for a full day, but he sees them 3 times a week. His face lights up when he sees them, MIL gets a blank stare.

I don't want to leave him with somebody he 1. Doesn't spend much time with, and 2. Who I worry about ignoring things we say, as already demonstrated. Her DD left her children with her from being a couple of weeks old so I worry they will think I am being a 'over protective' - that is the word I have heard thrown around by MIL about mums not letting their children be baby sat willy nilly.

Pre lockdown I pushed for more of a relationship between them (DS spent more time settling in at nursery than with MIL before she wanted to baby sit alone) and it was going well, but now he hasn't seen her for weeks. I felt like they were just getting somewhere.

I feel anxious about this eventuality. I don't know if I am hanging on to feelings from my pregnancy (when I was told things like I'll spoil my child for not letting him CIO), I know I'll have to let her have the time with him eventually, but how do I make myself comfortable with that?
Obviously this is all when life returns to normal, whenever that may be. I've just been thinking about it recently.

I do get on with MIL generally so don't want to hold on to these feelings, and I know it is important for DC to have a bond with their GP (which I was pushing).

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Swirlyceiling Sat 16-May-20 08:24:43

Sorry that is long, trying to avoid a drip feed

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Carrotcake202 Tue 19-May-20 08:41:03

I had the same problem with my mil, she would overstep the boundaries, my advice would be if you feel uncomfortable then don’t leave you ds with her especially if she ignores the things you ask her not to do. Also you can never spoil your baby to much! He is your ds so you do what you see fit and if she doesn’t like it then that’s her problem.

CurlyEndive Tue 19-May-20 08:44:57

I can see that if your parents have him on their own your MIL might feel she's being treated differently. But of course you don't have to leave him with anyone if you feel uncomfortable. How about brief periods, eg she minds him for an hour while you pop out for a coffee? Definitely not a whole day! What does DH think?

Swirlyceiling Tue 19-May-20 13:50:41

DH wants them to have the time together but also acknowledges she doesn't spent much time with DS and that needs to happen first. She has had 13 months and only lives a 10 min drive away. I've mentioned an hour here and there to her (she has watched him once for 30 mins) but she is really pushing all day or over night. I feel like the awful DIL.

With my parents, they have maybe had him 4 times - twice whilst I went to medical appointments, once while DH and I had a meal (so a couple of hours) and then once all day.

When life returns to normal I will be suggesting an hour here and there again but she keeps mentioning us going out for hours so that she can do us a favour and babysit...but I have never asked for that.

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MeridianB Tue 19-May-20 13:57:16

There is a never ending stream of stories on MN about MILs wanting to have baby on their own and overnight.

The bottom line is what is right for your child and you. If you don’t want it then it‘s a simple ‘Thanks, we will see/keep it in mind’.

You don’t need to give a long explanation. Just be polite and decline each time. Include her in things as much as you can with you after lockdown though.

UnfinishedSymphon Tue 19-May-20 13:57:52

So why can your parents have him for ours but your DH's parents can't? She's never going to get to know him if you won't give her the time with him.

After lockdown obvs

UnfinishedSymphon Tue 19-May-20 13:58:14

*hours

BoomyBooms Tue 19-May-20 14:02:27

Can you and husband be open about it and tell her she can have him once he's gotten to know him better? Blame lockdown if you need to. And then when you do decide to go out and leave them, keep it short. She can't force you to go out longer but perhaps she thinks she's doing you a favour by offering. Try mid afternoon so she can't mess up lunch, dinner or bedtime?

Swirlyceiling Tue 19-May-20 15:01:21

So why can your parents have him for ours but your DH's parents can't? She's never going to get to know him if you won't give her the time with him.

I haven't said she can't. My parents come to see him several times a week, she sees him once or twice a month for about 30 mins. Both are regularly invited to see him. So he knows my parents and does not really know MIL.
It isn't a case of my parents vs ILs, it is a case of DS knowing the people he is left with. The same as I wouldn't leave him at nursery without settling in properly.
I also invite her on days out with us (before lockdown). I really want them to have time together, it is important to me that he knows all his GP.

Include her in things as much as you can with you after lockdown though.

Yes definitely, when we are allowed to I'll pick things back up with spending time with her.

Can you and husband be open about it and tell her she can have him once he's gotten to know him better? Blame lockdown if you need to. And then when you do decide to go out and leave them, keep it short.

DH said that before and said if you want 'alone time' with DS please could you have more time in general first. This must have been when he was about...7 months?
I agree, a short period of time in the afternoon, maybe DH and I can go for lunch when life returns to normal. Not too close to bedtime.

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Windyatthebeach Tue 19-May-20 15:07:25

My ils never had my dc unsupervised... No way.
And we saw them plenty. They showed too well they were oblivious to dangers!
Ask mil what child proofing she intends to do.. Go visit (after lockdown!) and take a step back. Let her deal with your dc the entire visit.
Bet she has greatly underestimated how she can manage effectively a strange dc... Let dh be there but agree mil is in charge..

FizzyGreenWater Tue 19-May-20 15:12:01

You just keep the message clear and plain between BOTH of you.

'Yes babysitting would be great! Once he's got to know you better through more visiting, so he's confident and familiar with you enough, we can do that.'

'We'd love you to have him. We couldn't at the moment of course because he doesn't know you well enough - let's schedule some more visits'

'mum, we've said this a thousand times. We won't be happy with you babysitting UNTIL HE KNOWS YOU BETTER. You may not realise but everyone else he's been left with - we haven't done that until he's really at ease with them and trusts them. You really haven't seen him that much, compared to X and X he really does not know you. We are not leaving him with someone he isn't confident with. We would love you to babysit but it won't happen until you spend more time with him with us there.'

FizzyGreenWater Tue 19-May-20 15:20:15

...mind you, be prepared for the reality being that she doesn't really want to babysit.

More grannies than you would think are like this. They actually don't want the hassle. But there's definitely pressure to be Loving Involved Granny, which they get around by looking sad and expressing that wish to 'have them more' - 'wish I could help out more' - 'would love to have him for a whole day' etc.

You're leavign the door wide open - she has to walk through it, though. You're doing nothing wrong. She may not want to walk that walk as much as she protests!

Zaphodsotherhead Tue 19-May-20 17:10:12

I'm going to agree with FizzyGreenWater.

Don't look at what she says, look at what she does. If she's always got something better to do when you invite her over, or she only spends a few minutes with your DS when she visits, then maybe she's saying she'd love to babysit because she feels it's expected of her or because she feels she needs to compete with your DPs. But maybe she's nervous of having such a small child to look after, or she's busy, or she's too tired.

It may be lip service, knowing what she thinks a granny should say, without any intention to follow through.

Bluebird3456 Tue 19-May-20 18:22:12

I agree with Meridian I find it really odd how many DMs/MILs are adamant they want to look after GCs but it has to be alone. Why? Can't they spend time together with parents present? Can you just say "thanks, but we don't actually need a babysitter. You can come to the zoo with us next Sunday though..." etc (of course after lockdown).

KEH1982 Tue 19-May-20 18:50:56

I'd add to the above poster it's common that they only want to have the child on their own.
That's why she doesn't take you up on the invitations to visit - looks like she is willing to wait until you are happy to leave him.

It's really frustrating as the DIL but I really think it magnifies any bad relationship with the MIL. My husband works shifts and my MIL is always over when I'm working and he is off to spend time with my son. Yet the 4 weekends in a row my husband is working I never see from her. She is also very vocal about how 'helpful' she is and how available to step in she can be. Just not when I'd actually appreciate it!!

Gutterton Tue 19-May-20 19:17:26

Listen v closely to your gut and put your DC and your needs front and centre 100% each and every time.

Your DC is not a teddy bear, a toy plaything for your MIL. I find this weird that they want the DC alone for line periods - why? It’s odd.

Does she want to play Mum - do things her way - undermine your methods?

Sounds quite controlling and manipulative.

This is all about meeting her emotional needs - not what is best for your DC or your new little family. She is trying to dominate and stake territory.

She is continuing to push your v clear and repeatedly communicated boundaries - she needs to build up a RS first - she chooses not to.

Ignore her - always do want you want - listen carefully to any confusion in your gut. Always do what suits you and are your family values.

Swirlyceiling Tue 19-May-20 19:24:35

She is also very vocal about how 'helpful' she is and how available to step in she can be

Now that you've made me think about out, MIL has always said this but when I've asked for help, I've not had it.

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LaureBerthaud Tue 19-May-20 19:27:31

She knows you don't like her.

Swirlyceiling Tue 19-May-20 19:36:04

It's irritating because I think there is an expectation that we will do what her DD did which is leave her with her as frequently as she liked, from birth. I just don't understand the resistance to relationship building. She is a good GM to her GC but it is on her terms.

I always had a good relationship with her before I was pregnant with DS, but she pushed my buttons so much when I was pregnant, I didn't know if AIBU now.

She used to have a dog that was really iffy around the kids, too. Didn't like them and it was obvious, but she would never put it elsewhere when her GC were round. It has died since, but the fact she didn't recognise it not liking the way children played always scared me.

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Swirlyceiling Tue 19-May-20 19:41:57

She knows you don't like her.

I don't dislike her. She is a lovely lady and I really care about her. She is very caring, doesn't do things to upset people (well, family), and makes me laugh. She's a good person and I'm lucky because I read about some awful MILs on here. I just want to strike the right balance between her knowing DS well enough before she starts looking after him, and not making her feel left out. I don't want to be the DIL that looks like she favours her parents, and the MIL gets pushed out. I hope that whoever DS marries in the future wants me to be involved, as I kind of dread being 'the MIL'! That is why I am giving this so much consideration.

I think doing an hour here and there as a pp suggested might be good. Obviously after lockdown.

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Whatshername20 Tue 19-May-20 19:46:31

Completely feel your dilemma so following - not a lot of advice to give as baby only 12 weeks but MIL and I were fine until baby born and then she made me feel like a used incubator who wanted to snatch baby away from me. I'm actually dreading the end of lockdown!

Don't feel pressure to do something you're not comfy with for your child. Keep offering opportunities to get to know but also be mindful that if she can't take you up on it, it shouldn't be one sided and she has to take some responsibility for a relationship and it's not a given just because of who she is.

Swirlyceiling Tue 19-May-20 19:57:15

Whatshername20 that is really helpful advice and has made me think. Thank-you. I know the feeling about the incubator thing.

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Windyatthebeach Tue 19-May-20 19:58:56

Maybe she is miffed because you don't actually need her? My now ex mil had her dd's dc from literally the delivery room.. I never felt the need to ask her to have mine.. She loved to play the martyr about having sil's dc all the time but if she didn't want to she could have said..
.

Gutterton Tue 19-May-20 20:02:52

You are not being unreasonable - your discomfort is your protective mama hormones kicking in - she has done many things to threaten / sabotage your motherhood and your DC safety.

Lots of little things. List them all out so that you see the patterns.

Stick to what you know you want to do for your family and doing it your way - she has had her opportunity to run a family. This is your time now.

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