Advanced search

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.

Mother in Law Hell !

(28 Posts)
Harrysmom Thu 13-Jan-05 14:34:05

Since my DS was born, the MIL hasn't has a good word to say about the way Im bringing him up! (and Im putting my heart and soul into it) Critisism and comparing to her daughter are getting me down. Im not very good with words though, and never know what to say at the right moment (without causing a family ruck) apart from P off has anyone got any ideas how I can politely tell her to lay off me!!

wordsmith Thu 13-Jan-05 14:37:07

Just say something like 'thank you for your advice, but he's my son, and I'm the one bringing him up". I had to say something similar to my (now dearly departed) MIL. You have to stand up to her and make her realise that whatever she says, You're the mummy! It's a difficult relationahip though, I don't know any MIL/SIL relationships that are totally trouble free, esp when babies come along. Good luck!

nailpolish Thu 13-Jan-05 15:14:42

my MIL used to say things like 'its not like it used to be' then one day when i asked her if she knew how to use the steriliser she gave me a dirty look and said 'of course, things havent changed that much'.

she also used to critise the fact that i never dressed dd in the horrible old fashioned cardigans she used to knit.

its a nightmare, i know, but just smile and say 'thank you, but we are doing just fine'

sadly, my MIL has recently died and i miss her nagging.

makes no sense!

nailpolish Thu 13-Jan-05 15:16:30

comparisons are the worst and totally unnecesary. put it to her straight that you dont feel comparisons are appropriate, and thats its unfair on the children. she will not have an answer to that, and deep down she will hopefully agree with you

moondog Thu 13-Jan-05 15:19:03

Aaaaghh np! Bet the cardies were knitted with love though! (I love old fashioned baby clothes!)

How about just smiling and saying 'I'll bear that in mind' then doingly exactly what you want to? It's not rude or confrontational but you'll soon have made your point!

moondog Thu 13-Jan-05 15:19:03

Aaaaghh np! Bet the cardies were knitted with love though! (I love old fashioned baby clothes!)

How about just smiling and saying 'I'll bear that in mind' then doingly exactly what you want to? It's not rude or confrontational but you'll soon have made your point!

moondog Thu 13-Jan-05 15:20:16

(What IS the matter with me-that's twice I've double posted in 10 mins?! Ds I think-sabotaging the keyboard as I type.)

nailpolish Thu 13-Jan-05 15:21:13

md what is wrong with your keyboard? LOL!

no the cardies were not nice, they were knitted before babes were born, so were mingin neon yellow and orange 'neutral' or so she said.

bless her. shell be up there rolling her eyes at me and tutting

moondog Thu 13-Jan-05 15:24:18

Oh!!! No, they don't sound too great!
(Under control on keyboard front now I think...)

nailpolish Thu 13-Jan-05 15:30:13

phew md!

Harrysmom Thu 13-Jan-05 15:56:48

Thanks all I'll try my hardest to be gentle with the old bag!!

Stilltrue Thu 13-Jan-05 15:58:31

Harrysmom you've had some good advice here; you could always look up some old threads under "interference", "mil","unwanted advice" etc. to see what some mumsnetters have had to put up with and how they dealt with it... One important thing is to present a united front with dh/dp on your side.
There seem to be 2 camps of these irritating mils - those who just can't help themselves, but are well meaning, and those who are actually out to control the upbringing of their grandchild to such an extent that they almost think the child is their own, and who stop at NOTHING to try and get their way, regardless of your feelings.
Mine started off in the second camp but is slowly (and I mean 4 kids later...) moving into the first.

Harrysmom Thu 13-Jan-05 22:07:36

The latest update is that I am "taking things to the extreme" "Am unlike anyone she has ever known before" I recently asked SIL to hold off visiting us as her son had v bad cold (DS just got over a bad one, dont want another) my name was mud!! and I have "offended her daughter" and in her opinion I am being just plain stupid!!! grrrrrr

nailpolish Fri 14-Jan-05 07:41:27

harrysmom, ive done that loads of times, asked people not to come cos they have the cold. its perfectly reasonable. how old is your ds? and how old are is SIL's ds? how well do you get on with your SIL? could you get her on your side too?

dont mean to talk about 'sides' but if SIL agreed with you then maybe MIL would keep quiet. maybe get your dh/dp to have a word?

maybe just try and stay out of her way for a while. she obviously likes getting her tuppence worth in, and hopefully she will get fed up of it soon

bluemint Fri 14-Jan-05 22:50:22

Just do what I intend to do if I get any interference i.e. sit her down and explain calmly that she may not approve of the way you're raising your son but kids don't come with a manual and you're learning as you go along just like she had to. In the meantime, if you need advice you'll ask for it, however your son seems to be doing great despite her reservations. At the end of the day you don't make judgements about what kind of a mother she was or is and the only person who has a right to make judgements about your parenting skills is your son and so far he hasn't complained.

Take heart, the world is full of MILs like that and I find that the occasional dose of the truth helps to remind them that they have no rights to have a say even though we try to accomodate them.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

Caligula Fri 14-Jan-05 23:08:44

I always wonder how MIL's got on with their own MIL's. Could you maybe lure her into a conversation about her MIL? Maybe a little gentle memory jogging might make her think a bit about her own behaviour as a MIL?

Next time she gives you some unwanted advice/ criticis, you could engage her in conversation: "oh really, is that how you did it then? and what did YOUR MIL say about that? Did she think it was some funny modern fad that you young mothers were going in for?" or something along those lines!

Harrysmom Sat 15-Jan-05 13:52:02

Great advice from everyone...I have so many quick fire responses up my sleeve now (I hope I can remember them at the time)

morningpaper Sat 15-Jan-05 14:02:29

When she tells you you're a crap mother, you can always smile sweetly and say "Well it's lucky I'm such a good lay then isn't it?"

Bunglie Sat 15-Jan-05 14:08:32

My MIL did not like me and was my dh's step-mother and had never had a child. When I was pg she told me to brush my nipples daily with surgical spirit and a nailbrush....Ouch!
When I did have my ds she phoned me the same day and said "Please do not bring 'it' to the house, I don't like babies and I have my dogs to consider (toy poodles), she refused to see her grand-children until they were 2 years old...
What makes it scary is that she was a qualified childrens nurse and a nursing sister at the local hospital!
No! My MIL did not like me!
I found the best tactic was to ignore her, she hated that!

hatstand Sat 15-Jan-05 21:00:48


Is it worth asking yourself what your relationship was like before ds? If it was good I'd maybe give her a bit of benefit of the doubt. Seeing your son have a child is probably a reminder that you've slipped into third place and it might be quite tough. Obvioulsy it depends a lot on her character (and maybe I'm completely wrong) but maybe she's insecure and/or maybe she really genuinely doesn't realise that things she's saying seem like criticisms to you. I'd have a go at a "subtle" (?) conversation about how it's easy to feel under fire when "people" offer so much advice; about conversations with other new mums who agree that advice can sometimes feel like criticism; and then say how you're really beginning to feel good about how things are going and how well you're coping, mention that it's amazing how well a MOTHER gets to know her baby and know what different cries mean etc. Oh, and say how EVERY baby is different, and every mother-baby relationship is different, ie no two babies can be treated the same. But at the end of the day if she doesn't take the hint I guess you just have to develop a thick skin.

egypt Sat 15-Jan-05 22:24:30

bunglie thats terrible!

lol at the cardies. we have a loft full.....and dd is only 7 months.

orangina Sat 15-Jan-05 23:34:39

harrysmom, just reading this thread, pg with my 1st, and a MIL many miles away (frantically knitting as I type!), and i thought hatstand's comment about her (MIL) slipping into 3rd place was a good one.... also, if she is comparing you to her daughter (which she shouldn't be of course), perhaps the daughter is asking for a lot of advice (as daughters often do), and your MIL wishes you might do the same (though of course you won't necessarily, your relationship with her is completely different to that of your own actualy mother). So she is "volunteering" her advice, plus the inevitable comments with daughter as well. Perhaps she even thinks you are too shy to ask for her advice , and is trying to be helpful?
Anyway, I do have all of this ahead of me, and hope you get it sorted soon!

Elf1981 Sun 16-Jan-05 21:17:16

Harrysmom, I feel for you, I really do. On the bright side, (though you may not be able to see it) it would be worse. I unfortunately have two MIL's. Both tend to interfere and have their own opinion anyway on how me & hubby should do things etc.
I do not look forward to relations with them after we have children. Currently me & hubby are trying... and now getting very frightened of MIL's getting worse! Bad enough to be told my living room decorations are "wrong"... how will I cope if it turns to comments on how I look after babies?
The only advise I can offer is to try to understand that in your MIL's own way, she is trying to help. Is there anybody else who has seen the way she treats you / heard what she says and is in a position to comment to you MIL about her behaviour, such as a mutual friend?

Harrysmom Sun 16-Jan-05 22:17:30

Maybe she does feel pushed out, but I just feel like she,s trying to make me feel stupid or something.....I just wish that in the past 6 month she could have said just one tiny nice thing about the way Im bringing DS up. If I was a Granny, I'd complain if my DIL was perhaps not caring enough for the child, but she seems to ridicule me for taking "too much" Cooking and pureeing all my own organic food was an "un necessary waste of time" and not allowing people to smoke near him was silly also...apparently she has photos of her holding her babies with a cigarrette hanging out of her mouth and none of them have got asthma!! Sometimes I think that Im not "rough" enough for her. Anyhow...she is visiting next weekend and I have decided that if anything else is said I will politely ask to mind her own GD business.

PuffTheMagicDragon Sun 16-Jan-05 22:23:22

Ooh, the bit about it being ok to smoke near babies is pretty awful! I'd also find it hard to bite my tongue!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: