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AIBU or do I have to just put up with this? MIL related

129 replies

Pinkflipflop · 23/04/2013 19:46

MIL is going to help with childcare when I return to work so I know we are very lucky. However despite the fact that I am 33 and by no means a spring chicken MIL treats me like I don't really know what I'm doing with my ds.

He's 11 weeks and was talking to my dh about starting him Farley rusks now as 'a little taste' despite me stating that he will not be weaned until 6 months
She is going to stop medication prescribed by the GP for my ds as she doesn't think he should have it
She tells me to hold my ds differently to how I am, e.g. If he facing away from me and well supported she'll say oh turn him round
She stands over me when I'm feeding him and just watches, which I find so annoying.

He has really dry skin on his face and it's itchy, so I use the babygros with scratch mits as I don't want his face scratched, I came home today with a big old bleeding scratch on his face. I asked why the scratch mits weren't on and she said she was afraid his hand would go deformed Hmm. I tried to say look there wouldn't be scratch mits on the babygros if there was a danger of this but, no I'm wrong.
I know he will get lots of bumps and scratches in his life but I was very clear that I didn't want his hands scratching his face. FWIW I always allow him to use his hands to touch and explore and feel but then I cover them up again. I'm rubbish at trimming his nails, so I know the scratch issue is partly my fault.

I'm probably very PFB and my ds is only 11 weeks. I was away for 2 days on a work course so that's why she was with him.

I'm worried about how ill feel towards her when I go back to work (she will be doing 1 day a week). I really don't want my wishes ignored.

Do I have to bite my tongue? She said to my dh today that she has had lots of children so she knows what she is doing but she hasn't had my child before!

How do I get around this without falling out? I would never be disrespectful to her as my dh adores his dm and I adore him iykwim?!

Sorry for the ramble!

OP posts:
okthen · 23/04/2013 22:17

Sorry have not read the whole thread, but speaking from bitter experience, I would advise that you do not rely on her for childcare. We did with mil and it caused no end of irritation at best, serious tension at worst.

In fact I'd advise anyone not to rely on family for childcare unless it's really really unavoidable, or unless the relationship is excellent and childcare approach completely in tune.

CatsRule · 23/04/2013 22:20

Your mil can't care much for her gc if she feels the need to undermine the mother. This is your baby and you need to set the rules...sooner rather than later. And your dh needs to get a grip and put your child first and that includes necessary medication.

My ds was terrible with reflux too and my mil was and still is a complete cow. Difference is, she has never and will never be trusted...even by her own son whos eyes were truly opened to her appauling behaviour when ds was born. She even tried to make out it was a disgusting thing to brreastfeed my own baby!

She will miss out and it is her own fault. Your mil seems to be heading in that direction. I know it's hard especially to have the confidence to stand up to people after having a baby but the sooner you do it the easier it will get. I errupted at her and she knows her place. Every now and then I do need to nip at her and remind her that she doesn't make any decisions, dh and I do where ds is concerned.

interalia · 23/04/2013 22:21

I would be seriously unhappy with all the things she has done. In fact, I would have started a row about it ages ago so you are more patient and nicer than me. I don't stand for being criticised for no reason.

Get a professional to care for your son. Tell mother in law that you are worried it will be too much for her looking after him all day, what about her life, etc. but that you would be so grateful if she would look after him the odd time. Will it be a problem financially if you have to pay for care for him 1 day a week?

Gay40 · 23/04/2013 22:22

I don't think you are being pfb at all. There is no such thing as free childcare though...everything has a price one way or the other.
If you feel that she isn't going to adhere to your "rules" then she cannot be trusted with your baby. Never mind hurt feelings. It's your baby.
Pay for childcare and then you can call the tune.

DailyNameChanger · 23/04/2013 22:41

Oh crap, reading this has taken me back 9 years lol and a good reminder why, as well as the fact I am too old, I can defo have no more babies. It is mega annoying but it does get better. Sort out your own childcare, get hub to visit once a week with bub and see her yourself on high days and holidays.

WishIdbeenatigermum · 23/04/2013 22:47

You're not overanxious- Mil's 'care' is substandard. Look for a nursery cm or nanny. She may well be upset, but she's deliberately goading you with the rusks, medication and scratch mits; she could have taken your concerns onboard and has chosen not to.

Pinkflipflop · 23/04/2013 22:58

I really think I will have to look for a proper childcare arrangement and someone who is reliable for my ds.

I thought it would have worked but today has shown it clearly won't.

I'm going to be working for nothing until ds goes to school. I know most people are in the same boat.

OP posts:
ChasedByBees · 23/04/2013 23:06

Based on everything you've said, I wouldn't let her babysit for a couple of hours, let alone be regular childcare. Get a nursery or childminder. You may be working for nothing now, but it keeps you relevant and in the market place and it'll pay off in the end.

IneedAsockamnesty · 24/04/2013 00:20

If she gets all hurt because your mum may still be helping out make sure you remind her that your mum does not ignore your instructions and if she ever did then you are quite happy to tell her to fuck off and stop it, with out it causing a massive drama.

pickledginger · 24/04/2013 00:36

It's really a case of do you mind her doing what she sees fit for 2 days a week. Which from what you've said means not giving him reflux medication, not protecting him from scratching himself, trying to wean an 11 week old and leaving him alone outside.

LeoandBoosmum · 24/04/2013 00:45

If there is any other way I would not have your MIL provide childcare. It is NOT going to work and will end in tears.

AMR73 · 24/04/2013 00:56

Your MIL would drive me nuts. You are the Mother- she should respect your wishes. Your Husband should be putting your wishes first.

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 24/04/2013 01:18

"She's very hungry, try her on some rusk"

DD was 4 weeks old and hungry because she was a star who slept all night from 10pm to 6am (she had a huge feed before bed and didn't stir) so she was catching up.

"Give her some jam on your finger"
DD was 3 months old.

Hmm, we didn't ask MIL to babysit DD Hmm

CautionaryWhale · 24/04/2013 01:20

Wow! this is the first time in 5 years I am not automatically siding with DIL
that said YANBU to be irritated by MIL - as is shown on mumsnet regularly it can be very fraught with an annoying doting MIL and a baby particularly PFB.

YABU to not cut her a bit of slack. It is quite simply a question of different eras/parenting advice.
When I had DC1 years ago you could start to wean at 4 months, now it's six. Sleeping positions is another - Back To Sleep was excellent for reducing SIDS but not new research/trends make such huge differences. I used infacol for DC1 - now wouldn't for DC2 as some research has shown it has little effect at all. Cod liver oil used to be used rather than vit D supplements etc etc

I know it is a case of wanting to be heard and respected and it sounds instead like a battle of wills/control freakery but face it, you are going to cause huge family tension by allowing your mum to have him 2 days and your MIL not at all.

Bottom line- she has brought up a baby really well - must have done as you fell in love with him.
She will provide TLC that can be got from a childminder yes, but not all childminders are equal.

The rusks - i get it, i do - my MIL wanted to give dippy eggs early but we had allergies in the family so I wanted to wait, but looking back I was being pfb about it, certainly in how abrupt/dismissive I was rather than seeing it for what it was which was echoing little things she had done with and for DH, ditto baby powder, ditto wanting to give a bottle...

I exclusively bf and extended bf and boy did I lord that over her in retrospectshe used to like to watch but that was the only way she could feel connected with the milk as I refused to entertain the idea of mixed feeding or expressing nipple confusion etc but again I was a bit petty about it

The hand mitts is hilarious - I know what she means though Blush I often thought DD looked cramp even though knew she was fine - but really you have said you are not cutting the nails as often as you should and that's not her fault - don't blame you either, hate cutting nails but that's by the by

The medicine would depend entirely if it has to be taken every feed or a specific time or if it is proven to be an essential/has conclusive benefits rather than a placebo/give it a try prescription. I could talk at length about overprescribing and the baby industry but as I do not know the details I will try and butt out.

Pram outside - many advocate a bit of cold freah air - particularly Scandinavia and quite a few nurseries might also do. Sleeping in pram outside if baby not at sitting up stage etc not worst thing I have ever heard - it would help promote sleep. If can be seen from window or heard from monitor would not be unduly concerned unless there are neighbours with big dogs or totally exposed area or rough as fuck area (not being a snob, have lived in areas where I wouldn't leave my cat out let alone a baby and others where I would feel perfectly safe doing so. The media and internet have made a great deal out of baby snatching and paedophiles etc and many children have lost out as a result) will probably have less resentment if you make other arrangements but you are going to have more rows with DH and MIL as a result of that decision.
Rusks - would not kill me
Free hands - would not kill me - Would ask MIL to cut nails as 'her' job
Meds - would not kill me, would give later - unless absolutely critical
Air outside - would not kill me but would request back if front dangerous

But I say that now as a mum of two with third due in a few weeks and without support from family (MIL cancer, mum away) so I cannot be anything other than biased.

Am aware that with my pfb nothing my MIL did was seen as anything other than oppressive, controlling, competitive and interfering. I rejected all of it. It is only now I see she just wanted to be let in, included, have her opinions respected if not followed and be allowed the freedom to dote on her first grandchild Sad

CautionaryWhale · 24/04/2013 01:22

not all new research/trends

CautionaryWhale · 24/04/2013 01:25

fresh Should not mumsnet at stupid o'clock in the morning

zipzap · 24/04/2013 01:26

You'vealready had the probationary period - now. And mil has shown that she is not to be trusted.

She's putting her thoughts and wishes above the welfare of her dgc - so I wouldn't hesitate to pick her up on it - tell her that as she doesn't want the best for her grandchild then you're not letting her look after him.

And I know the feeling about being treated like a child by her but unfortunately you need to take a deep breath and start treating her like a doddery old buffoon asthat ishowshe is presenting herself at the moment.

Good luck - I think that not allowing her to do any childcare isthe way you have to go. And remember if she gets angry or upset with you for making this decision remind her that it was only as a result of her actions and obvious disregard for your wishes combined with a complete disregard for any advances in modern medicine or childcare techniques over the past 40(?) years that have forced you and dh to have to make the decision. You could even wind her up more if you felt like it by saying that you would have liked her to look after your ds even if its not true but how could you possibly risk your child with her after she has demonstrated exactly how badly she would treat your dc.

IneedAsockamnesty · 24/04/2013 08:02

Loads of things have changed since I started having baby's.

I does not mean than should I look after someone else's I would go against their wishes.

Gay40 · 24/04/2013 08:24

Yes, generations of people raised babies. However, this is not the point. OP is worried about the care of her baby, and it's her choice who looks after him.
There is nothing worse than being at work, worrying about your baby. No amount of hurt feelings by grandparents will justify that worry.
OP I'm totally with you on this. Your rules, or just No.

memphis83 · 24/04/2013 08:50

My MIL only has ds for short times while I go to the doctors or something after she made it clear early on her parenting was totally different. Including-
Ds (my dp) slept through from 6 weeks....well he went in his own room and when he cried I ignored him as he was old enough to sleep through.
You entertain him too much my ds would sit happily in the other room all day i his pushchair with a wooden spoon and whisk.
When my ds was 3 months he used to tug on my hair, she told me to smack his hand away.

I told dp my reasons why she couldn't have him and he understood. Your child your rules imo and if she can't do them the she loses out. Would it be easier to sit down with her and explain?

innermuddle · 24/04/2013 08:51

This is exactly why I would never use family as childcare. I would much h rather pay and feel more able to control what happens.
Does your husband agree that his mum is a nightmare?

Mamuss · 24/04/2013 09:03

I had similar and eventually got a childminder. So nice going to work knowing my child will be cared for as I want him to be. However because I initially let mil have him it caused problems when I 'replaced' her. She misses having him but she just did not listen...

Saski · 24/04/2013 09:12

Gah! I am horrified at the thought of someone giving a RUSK to an ELEVEN WEEK OLD!!!!

What the hell?

And sorry, I haven't read the whole thread but what kind of medication is she withholding? WTF?

I'd do a lot to keep the peace with my MIL, who also is prone to overstepping the mark - but I wouldn't leave my baby alone with this woman. Just don't.

Flobbadobs · 24/04/2013 09:20

I actually stopped my MIL looking after my DC's after giving her many chances. I ended up looking for another job in order to not need her as she was a nightmare and my children were older!
DH would pick them up and get a list of things we were doing wrong such as giving them a snack after school despite the fact that they would practially inhale their tea, DS in particular came in for a bashing as he wrote phonetically at the time and she would stand over him while he did his homework and the fact that even though he went to school looking clean and tidy he would come out with shirt untucked and tie in his pocket.
They were constantly compared to their cousins (who she also looked after) and were getting to the stage where they didn't want to go and visit at the weekend or have anything to do with her. It took 2 months before I gave up which frankly was about 7 weeks too long.
DS's relationship with her has never recoved even after 5 years.
Use proper trustworthy childcare, saving money isn't worth the hassle!

sparkle101 · 24/04/2013 09:32

I know I have to count myself lucky and it all could change in the future but my mil has dd for one day a week.

I have never had any concerns about her looking after dd. She followed our (maybe overly strict) routine, gave dd her medicine and when I was ready to wean her she supported me but didn't push to do it before.

If I was looking after someone else's child I would not think just because I had dd I knew what to do better than their mum. Each child and family is different.

The main issue for me is with the medication. Dd suffered with reflux and the medicine made 1 million % difference (not a placebo effect as someone mentioned but actual physical, noticeable difference). When we may have rarely forgotten the occasional dose dd was inconsolable and in so much pain. If someone deliberately over ruled the gp and then us I wouldn't have them anywhere near my children. Dd didn't grown out of it until about 11 months and weaning off was a huge, long drawn out process, under guidance from doctors.

If I felt strongly about things either if they happened in my past or just the way I was parenting I would expect some agreement to stick to some basics (unless obviously I was being way ott - which I don't think you are).

If you can get some ground rules set and she sticks to them the relationship they gain is great but it is your son and do what's best for him.

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