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MIL moving to be near us, advice please!

14 replies

Winniepops12 · 07/07/2019 18:57

Let me start by saying that my MIL cannot do enough for us as a family, and is a doting grandmother to her grandchildren. I recognise this and am grateful for her support, because really they have helped us out so much with childcare and seem to want to do more and more.

BUT she is interfering beyond words. She tells me i shouldnt call my son 'my baby' as it encourages him to want to be with me all the time? He never wants to sleep over at their house because she always ends up lecturing him about something - he is only 6 and i have to say the easiest child. He is calm, polite and kindness personified but he is very shy and quiet. She forces him to do things he doesnt want to do and he gets upset and doesnt want to go again. Everytime i broach the subject she says its time for him to grow up. She tells me he is the way he is because i am too attentive, too mollycoddling, too soft etc. She called my husband once to say Id made a meal but id not washed the tomatoes before throwing them in the pan. Why? My husband once gave her the key to our house and though he has asked for it back repeatedly, she finds an excuse and then turns up (once at 8.30am on a sunday when we were all in bed watching a film). She judges our choices, she blames her sons stress on me (he has an extremely stressful job) and once asked the headmistress at our childs school what to do with my sons 'shyness' and even consulted a child paychologist behind our back.

She has told me that they will be moving within 3 minutes of our house and I have gone into a panic. We see them twice a week as it is. I dont want her close to me to scrutinise my life and judge the life we have built for our children. We have a wonderful family unit, and our kids are loved, happy and healthy. When she walks in through the door my kids will give her 10 minutes (because ive drummed it into them that they cant be rude) and then they disappear upstairs. My husband listens to one of her hour long conversations judging someone or something and disappears too leaving me to listen and take any criticism she can give behind my husbands back.

He said we cannot control where she lives and nor should we, but he cannot stand up to her and so setting boundaries wont work. How can we say 'yes please pick up kids for us but dont come over'. Its not fair, its hurtful and it is using her. But i dont want the stress of knowing she can turn up any moment. A five minute visit is always 2-3 hours of her complaining about me/someone else/ her husband (whom i adore by the way).

Has anyone else experienced this? Any advice?

OP posts:
Nquartz · 10/07/2019 06:02

Try re-posting in Relationships, this isn't really the right place.

slipperywhensparticus · 10/07/2019 06:10

Change the locks tell your husband it's his mother he deals with her they dont get to leave it to you

Mintjulia · 10/07/2019 06:17

Change the locks, definitely.

Stop using her for childcare. Find any other way to rely on her less.

hormonesorDHbeingadick · 10/07/2019 06:19

Get a big for sale sign for your house.

Aquamarine1029 · 10/07/2019 06:23

Your husband needs to grow some balls. Why the fuck aren't you enraged that he doesn't defend you?? He's a mummy's boy and it's pathetic.

El0die · 10/07/2019 06:29

Yes- consider moving. Definitely change your lock if she won't return a key. (Who wouldn't return a key when asked???? Tell her she's invalidating your insurance or something...) or have a bolt fitted inside- and do not open the door to her if she tries to come in. You can't have her letting herself in at will.
In answer to your question, I don't think you can ask her to pick the kids up but not have her come in. And horrible as she sounds, that doesn't make you sound good. You can't use her for childcare when it suits.
I would certainly not allow DS to spend time with her alone, especially not a sleepover. He sounds absolutely lovely and the way she treats him is vile. Ask your DH to spend time with her at her house.
I truly would consider moving. Either wait for her to move and settle, then it will be plain why you are going. Or announce it now, but prevaricate and procrastinate, 'consider' places miles away.... have something 'fall through' ..just to delay her moving.

justilou1 · 10/07/2019 06:30

Change the fucking locks ASAP!!!

sneakypinky · 10/07/2019 06:31

Change the locks

Invest in some good door curtains/blinds for the front of the house.

Get a ring doorbell with camera so you can see who's there.

Get a back gate with a lock.

Michellebops · 10/07/2019 06:38

No need to change the locks! Say you've misplaced your key and ask for hers whilst you're with her or get your husband to collect. Don't warn her in advance or she'd go and get a copy cut! This is what mine would do.

Realistically you can't tell her where to live and you know that, however now is the time for setting boundaries.

Restrict her visits to specific days or say you'll all pop to hers seeing as she's closer and move the dynamics back the way. If she turns up unplanned just say you were popping out to the shops etc

Our in law issues is that they don't get involved enough however you have to be careful as you need them for childcare.

Windygate · 10/07/2019 06:47

MIL isn't a nice person, nor is she a doting grandparent and on top of that you have a massive DH problem.
You need to protect your DC from this woman, make it very clear to the head teacher that they and their staff do not have permission to discuss anything with this woman. Get the key back or change the locks, ring door bell, decent lock on back gate, garage etc and very firm boundaries are needed.
Your DH doesn't have your or the DC's backs in this matter, you need to protect them. Why do the DC need to be polite when their DGM isn't ? Where is FIL in these dynamics?

RonnieScotts · 10/07/2019 07:16

For starters...change the locks

Winniepops12 · 10/07/2019 08:03

I am so appreciative of all your posts. After posting here the other evening I decided it was time to have a heart to heart with DH. He recognised all my points, listened carefully to my points and agreed with most. So when I asked what he was going to do about it he said he would stay with me for the duration of her visits and if he hears something he will say something. However, he says we are going to have to watch what we say and how we deliver the message because we will lose childcare is she feels like she is being attacked. And then things got heated and turned into an argument.

I happened to bump into her yesterday and she was lovely. She is just so interfering! From my perspective i can see she is coming from a good place but she is awfully misguided and in her own sons words ‘not normal’.

My husband is a good father and husband. He dotes on his boys. I just dont get this dynamic with his mother.

OP posts:
AllyBamma · 10/07/2019 09:15

Well I guess you have 2 options (aside from changing the locks which I would definitely do)

  1. You start standing up for yourself and the way you chose to parent your child. YOUR child, not hers. You’re the mum, the buck stops with you. Either you start telling her that her interference is neither appropriate or welcome or it’s just going to continue isn’t it? Yep you may lose your childcare but the other alternative is:

2. Keep going on the way you have, with free childcare (trust me, I can see the appeal) only it’s going to get much worse with her 3 mins away.
The choice is yours! Personally I’d rather find alternative childcare arrangements than have an interfering busybody ruling my life.
Disfordarkchocolate · 10/07/2019 09:24

Constant criticism does not come from a good place. It comes from a judgemental place, that is not a role model you want your children to follow. How she acts towards your youngest is cruel and needs to be stopped.

You can't stop them moving near to you but you can change the locks and change your childcare arrangements. Without a changes in how you act this will cause big problems in your marriage.

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