Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


to let MIL get to me so much? Very long rant, but will make me feel better.

23 replies

BibiThree · 19/03/2007 21:02

She's not anywhere near as bad as some MILs and I am very grateful for her help in looking after dd etc, but nothing I do concerning what I provide for dd is good enough for her. I have no idea why it gets to me so much, it's very trivial really, but it makes me so mad.

Bit of background:
She picks dd up twice a week from creche after lunch. And EVERY SINGLE TIME she will moan when we pick her up at the end of the day about what dd's wearing/not wearing/has in her crech bag.
MIL rarely takes her out in the afternoons, they live on a farm so there are lots of outdoorsy things for her to do there, feed the animals, go for walks, play on the swings, splash in the stream etc, so we put her in play clothes.

I bought a Tesco Value tracksuit for MIL to keep over there as spares in case dd got filthy/wet. It was fleecy and warm, and nice and cheap, so we wouldn't care if it got ruined - but pale pink. MIL has refused to put her in it because "it's not a serviceable colour" - we told her time and time again it was v cheap, we don't care how filthy it gets, it's meant for playing in. Not good enough, why didn't we buy a navy boys one, we might as well take it home as she won't use it etc etc.

We have bought a spare winter coat, rain mac, hat, scarf, gloves and wellies for dd to keep over there because a) they won't all fit in her creche bag, b) we can't always predict the weather for the afternoon and c) we sometimes forget to pack it all. MIL complained last week that dd's jacket wasn't warm enough when she took her shopping and she was worried all afternoon about her being cold. FFS! she never takes her out, has her own coat for dd which she obviously didn't think to take with her and we never overload dd with coats and hats to go to creche because MIL always bloody leaves them there anyway and we end up with none left at home!

Last week, I sent her over in a Minnie Mouse fleecy hoodie which was relatively expensive when we bought it (from Disneyland so it would be) but has gone shabby now so we're letting dd get the wear out of it before it goes too small. MIL took it off her and complained that she'd had to change her out of her nice things and into play clothes and wasn't it lucky she'd had spares there. I explained that I wouldn't put her in anything we weren't happy for her to play in because she plays outdoors a lot and roughly. Today she told dh how disappointed she was that dd wasn't in her nice fleece top as she took her to see relatives and she looked scruffy. Did she TELL us she was taking her to visit people? No. Did she ASK for a change of clothes when we rang her this morning? No. Are we meant to be mind readers? Apparently so.

I could go on, the list is endless, but we never dress her correctly for MILs plans and apparently, providing MIL with sets of clothes and outerwear so dd doesn't get caught out in unexpected weather just isn't doing enough to help MIL out and accommodate her needs. Am on the verge of ringing her every morning and asking exactly what she would like dd to wear that day, or asking her to come over and dress her herself.

Phew, that feels better! I love MN.

OP posts:

duke · 19/03/2007 21:11

oh dear, do you suffer from the, I'm talking to the baby but really i'm talking to you, syndrome? ie oh dear dosen't your mummy have a bib for you to wear. I bet you would like your dinner with 2 table spoons of sugar on it wouldn't you.
Sounds like a call every morning might just do the trick. Or buy 2 of everything!


Elasticwoman · 19/03/2007 21:12

You are right to be cross - your MIL is being unreasonable, despite your bending over backwards to accommodate her.

I wonder what's behind it, is it something else that's really bothering her?

One thing you could try, is occasionally make dd unavailable to MIL. Ring up and sweetly say that you have other plans for dd today. I don't mean stop letting her have dd altogether, just give MIL some time off and see what happens.


RosaLuxembourg · 19/03/2007 21:13

Yes - do call her every morning and ask her what to dress DD in. Then she'll have nothing to complain about and I'm sure she will be very happy


BibiThree · 19/03/2007 21:13

We've had the snide comments about dd being vegetarian through MIL taking to her but really to me.
"I bet you'd really like some of Gran's ham snadwich, but Mummy says you can't, which is a terrible shame because it's sooooooooooo tasty"

OP posts:

Sobernow · 19/03/2007 21:16

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BibiThree · 19/03/2007 21:17

She has a v clever way of making me feel like a child, and quite inadequate. My fault for not standing up to her, but I'm v quiet until I lose my temper, then I go a bit OTT and make things worse. She's v used to being forceful and getting her own way, her husband, dh and his brother tend to just give in to her for a quiet life and she just LOVES to argue.

OP posts:

BibiThree · 19/03/2007 21:19

I think you've hit the nail on the head sobernow. She is used to getting her own way and has to be right, so maybe it is a power thing.

OP posts:

BibiThree · 19/03/2007 21:21

Also, (I'm on a roll here) if you stand up to her/question her judgement, she gets all "upset" and sometimes tearful to make us feel like we're attacking her, especially in front of dh.

OP posts:

RosaLuxembourg · 19/03/2007 21:27

She sounds just like my MIL. Nobody in her family has ever stood up to her either. She used to do the talking to DD thing too. 'Mummy had better go and change your nappy now or your bottom will be all sore' was one that rankled particularly. (Nappy was clean btw)


duke · 19/03/2007 21:33

Ahhh I have 2 big veggie dd's and I'm always getting the 'oh your looking at my bacon sandwich aren't you I bet you would love some wouldn't you, it will make you big and strong'


jenwa · 19/03/2007 21:37

Oh dear!
No your are not being unreasonable. I would flip out! Be upfront and ask or call the night before and say "will you be taking dd out tomorrow" or "do you need spare clothes apart from the ones you have, for dd to play in tomorrow" maybe after awhile she will get fed up with the phone calls, or you could just ignore her! Can DH speak to her?
I asked my DH to speak to my MIL bit it never happened! Still waiting..


AlanasMum · 19/03/2007 21:47

Wow this rings so true with me too. The veggie comment that drives me crazy is 'wouldn't you just love a big chicken bone'
No she bloody well won't she's a baby not a dog!!
Oh and that fake I'm so upset, I don't understand what the problem is Grrr!
definitely about power and control IMO.
I've just gained control of my MIL situation, but at some cost to my relationship with DH.


duke · 19/03/2007 22:11

I nearly chopped my brothers head off when he dangled a bit of parma ham in front of my ds when he was only 6 mths old.


sunnysideup · 19/03/2007 22:15

bibi, she does sound utterly annoying.

I WOULD ring her every morning that she's going to collect your dd. Let her know that you're just dressing dd and packing her bag and you want to know what MIL's plans are for the afternoon so that you can dress dd appropriately.

I reckon she will hate having to tell you what she's doing and she may shut up for a bit about what your dd is dressed in, if she knows that comments about it always result in a phone call from you demanding (in a caring way ) what your MIL's plans are......

It is definitely about power. She is making herself feel better by picking holes in the way you do things.


Elasticwoman · 20/03/2007 12:32

all you veggie parents whose in-laws don't respect your choice! Ham has loads of salt so is unsuitable for babies. (So has cheese btw but lots of people give that to babies too.)

Bibi have you thought of going to assertiveness classes to help you deal with MIL who sounds extremely domineering? I used to have a difficult relationship with my own mother, but at least she never did that fake tears thing (thank heaven for small mercies)!

If you are ever feeling brave enough to tell her some home truths (and I don't know that I would) you might remind her that she has had her turn at parenting and taking the ultimate responsibility. Now it is your turn, and the buck stops with you. Perhaps next time she goes on about what dd wears/eats/does you might ask her, er, whose child is this? Be firm about what your instructions are for your child, and don't back down. If she chooses to ignore or go against your instructions you can let her know that she has done so, without having a row or taking any further action. Eg, I did send the red coat purposely so that dd could wear it. [mil rabbits on about her way being better] You say Nevertheless this was what I wanted you to do, and what I'd like you to do in future.

I'd be interested to know what you decide to do and how you get on.


duke · 20/03/2007 13:43

How about telling her what she should wear and eat for the day. 'I would prefer it if you could wear a plaid skirt and wellies and a crown, when you pick dd up today. They are learning about the queen at nursery!' see how she likes it.


nogoes · 20/03/2007 13:55

What is it about MIL's? Sometimes they can be downright nasty.


mamhaf · 20/03/2007 15:35

Hate to say it, but that's the problem when you rely on family to help out with childcare - there always seems to be an emotional price to pay. It definitely seems to be a power/control thing here - and if it wasn't about dd's clothes it would be something else. Very frustrating - try to rise above it and just be glad of the help you get, and that dd is having the chance to develop a close relationship with her grandmother. Harder to do than say, I know - I had similar problems with my late MIL, dh would never deal with it - but the children loved her and are very sad that she's not around any more. Dh and I, on the other hand, are happier than we've ever been - which sounds callous I know - but life is so much less complicated without the emotional blackmail and my never being good enough for her son.


Kif · 20/03/2007 15:49

what a weirdo!

put your Dd in a victorian pinafore!


BibiThree · 21/03/2007 09:33

Isn't it funny how things happen to redress the balance a little...? I've just fonud out that MIL is going to be playing host (for an unpecified length of time) to her husband's son, daughter-in-law and their two teenage boys, all of which are an extremely odd, eclectic and sometimes downright eccentric mix. MIL can and tries to get on with FILs children, but I know it's going to drive her absolutely potty!


PS> I rang her last night to ask if she was taking dd out anywhere today and if she needed any extra things for her. She said no. We'll find out this evening.

OP posts:

duke · 21/03/2007 10:27

He he he what goes around comes around your dd dress sense will go out the window for a few days!


BibiThree · 21/03/2007 10:33

Longer than a few days, more like a few months! They are building their own house and it's no where near finished but they've had to move out of their current house - dd's clothes will be the last thing on her mind!

OP posts:

duke · 21/03/2007 10:37

you can now nod smugly as she moans on about her new subject of irritation

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?