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to want to avoid MIL

25 replies

Sushipaws · 05/01/2008 22:38

I just read another MIL post and have been tempted to post this as I think perhaps I have been unreasonable. Dh and I have had words about this but while he agrees she overstepped her mark he keeps saying she was just worried.

About 1.30am on New Years morning my dd started to moan a bit in her sleep, it was followed by a big fart. We were staying with my InLaws so the cot and dd were in the bedroom with us. A few minutes later she started crying, long low moans, sounded like she was in pain, probably from wind. I gave her a cuddle but she really wasn't happy so I put her back in the cot while I got out the calpol. My MIL walked into the bedroom without knocking and asked if everything was ok and if she could help. I told her I was just giving my dd some calpol and thanks for the offer but we were fine.

MIL left the room and I picked up dd and rocked her in my arms. She kept dropping off and would wake up crying with an explosive fart, this went on for about 40 minutes. I was bursting for a wee, so my DH took over the cuddling while I nipped out the room. I was just finishing in the loo when I coughed, I heard my MIL's bedroom door go and I came out the bathroom to see her bursting into our bedroom. I walked in as she rushed over to DH and took my DD from him. She kept saying "Thats just not right" and went to walk out the room with her. I stood in the doorway and said I was going to feed her again and held out my arms to take her. My MIL said I should feed her downstairs and again tried to walk past me. My DD was now screaming and had her arms held out for me. I said NO, i would feed DD in the bedroom as she may go back to sleep and I could put her in her cot. I just took DD from her and sat on the bed, whipped up my nighty and concentrated on feeding DD. I didn't even look but heard MIL leave the room. DH rolled over and went back to sleep. DD had a small feed and a couple more farts and went back to sleep too. I lay there for ages furious that MIL thinks that I'm such a bad mother she can take my DD away from me.

In the morning she just pretended like nothing had happened and we left to come home mid-morning.

DH has told her we'll be going back to stay for 5 nights at the end of this month, I tried to tell him I don't feel comfortable and asked if he would speak to her. But he got extremely defensive. He is very proud of his mother and rightly so, I normally get on well with her and I think she is a very strong, inspirational woman.

Well done if you've read this far

Am I being unreasonable to feel that she undermined me and that trying to take a baby away from it's mother is not a helpful thing to do. I feel like she thinks I wasn't doing all I could for my daughter and that she thought she could do better.

I am a bit mad these days so I guess I could be unreasonable, I just don't know.

OP posts:

fingerwoman · 05/01/2008 22:45

hmm I guess she was just concerned. But I wouldn't have liked it either.
you are her mother, and as such you get to make the decisions on whether she is ill, where she gets fed etc etc.

I hate the not handing the baby back when you request it thing though. Have a couple of relatives who do that too and it's very frustrating


Easywriter · 05/01/2008 22:48

YANBU - but take comfort, I think she was just worried and did overstep the mark but your response was the right one.

You say you normally get on well and though life would be a whole lot simpler if your dh had a word, it's possible that her actions the next morning could suggest she appreciates that her behaviour was inappropriate.

Try to be calm and give her the benefit of the doubt this once.

If she ar*es up again... well that's a different story!


Easywriter · 05/01/2008 22:48

Forgot the on the end of that!


candypandy · 05/01/2008 22:50

I don't think you are being unreasonable. Sounds like she doesn't intend to undermine you but she is, it takes such a confident mother not to let this sort of thing get to you! My MIL used to take my first baby from my arms and it used to get my stress levels so high that eventually, whenever we were at her house, I couldn't relax at all and the tension spread to the baby and it was nothing but fussing and crying, and I couldn't calm him down, so you start feeling like you really ARE a bad mother.. and so on and so forth. I only had one strategy and that was avoidance so I can only offer sympathy not advice. I feel for you but stay strong! Think of it this way -- if she could really remember what it was like to have a babe in arms, she would remember how damaging and unpleasant this sort of interference is! So really you do know best, and even if you don't know best in some situations, it's only by being with your baby through these things that you learn together. Anyway long, sorry, but sympathy to you. I think avoidance is so important that while your dh is naturally protective of his mother maybe you need to say 5 nights is too long (I mean it really is an awfully long time) without having a go at her too much. You don't want to end up feeling totally alone on this, which could happen if there is a huge row.


candypandy · 05/01/2008 22:52

Sorry slightly hijacked that -- brought back awful memories! Would echo easywriter on needing to talk to dh and dh possibly having a word, then she knows you have his support which is so important.


crokky · 05/01/2008 22:54

I do agree with you that it is not a good plan to just take a baby from the mother without asking, however, MIL had probably been laying in her bed worrying for the whole 40 minutes so she was proabably really anxious. I would also think it was OK for her to walk in without knocking, given that your DD was crying etc.

I think probably you should forget about the incident and not say anything to her, because her motivation (ie caring about your DD) was right. I'm not sure it would help if your DH spoke to MIL about it, because she was trying to help. MIL/DIL relationships are really hard, but overall on balance, yours does not sound like a witch!


rosalinda · 05/01/2008 22:54

I think it is unreasonable for your MIl to walk into the bedroom without knocking and your DH should mention this


policywonk · 05/01/2008 22:55

Just to give the other point of view - whenever I stayed with my parents when my boys were babies, my mam AND my dad would come into the bedroom and offer to take charge of the baby if he was crying and keeping us all awake (they would always knock first though, I do think your MIL is out-of-order on that point). I was usually just grateful that they had offered, but I know that my DP used to get irritated by it.

If your MIL is a strong, confident type, then she presumably wouldn't be too upset by you having a word with her about it. 'Look, I know that you were trying to help and we are grateful for all that you do for us, but when you tried to take the baby away from me that time it made me feel really undermined.'? How would she react to that?


Staceym21AtLast · 05/01/2008 22:57

i would say YANBU, but i think she was doing what she thought best, but not handing the baby back was out of order!

agree with policy wonk on having a chat and just saying, look i understand you were doing what you thought best, but i was dealign with it and felt like you were trying to bypass me.

how do you feel she would react?


fireflyfairy2 · 05/01/2008 22:59

Are you sure she wasn't just pissed off that the baby was crying & keeping her awake?

Maybe she wanted you to feed the baby downstairs so she could get back to sleep..

fwiw, on NYE my drunken MIL dropped my dd & then fell on top of her.. I'm still speaking to her.


Sushipaws · 05/01/2008 23:00

I'm not usually an unreasonable woman.

Easywriter, I think you might be right about her not saying anything the next day. In the morning I tried to go out for a walk so I could call my mum and tell her what had happened but she insisted on coming with me and blethered non-stop about the weather for ages.

Candy, I totally know what you mean. I think if she remembered what it was like to have young kids again then she wouldn't have done it. I am nervous about going back and I do worry that DD will pick up on it, but you know sods law she'll probably have bad wind again eeeeek. I can't avoid them as FIL has advanced MS and I want my DH to spend as much time as he can with his dad. Think I'll suggest 3 nights instead.

OP posts:

PortAndLemonaid · 05/01/2008 23:04

I think this is one of those generally cool MIL one-off bad experience give benefit of doubt things.

YANBU to feel the way you do, but I think you'd be unwise to let it affect your relationship based on one incident.


candypandy · 05/01/2008 23:08

If you say three nights and that's accepted you will feel stronger automatically, just from being slightly more in control from the off. I suppose I have just thought of one more suggestion. That is, offer dd to MIL when she's absolutely fine so that MIL gets a good "dosage" and you don't look scratchy and possessive. But confidently take her back whenever a squawk starts and don't take no for an answer. A second refusal to hand her back to you would be very very difficult for her. But all that said, you know how terrible it could be if relations really went downhill. The problem is it's always the new mums who are seeking to be tactful and not offend when the MILs, who aren't under any "new baby" stress at all, seem free to steamroller over everyone's feelings! hope everything works out peacefully x


Sushipaws · 05/01/2008 23:48

Thanks all.

I didn't see the other posts when I added that last bit.

I don't think she was just pissed off at being kept awake

I would be annoyed if my mother had done this, I would've asked her what the frup she was doing. But I don't feel like it's my place to talk to my MIL about it, again if it was the other way round I would never expect my DH to speak to my mother.

I guess I get a bit worked up going there as well because my MIL always says she never let any of hers cry for even one second. I find this hard to believe as she had 3 boys in 4 years, which must have been bloody hard work. My dd cries when you put a hat on her or when you put her in the buggy, only for a few seconds but I find it's easier just to do it quickly and give her a big kiss after. When my MIL is there she always tries to get in and stop my dd from squeaking which just prolongs the exercise and makes things worse. It also makes me feel like I've been bad for not instantly soothing my child.

I think I'll just go up for 3 days and act normal, I'll hand dd to Nana like I always do. I will also ask her opinion more, she might feel more helpful if she'd giving me advice.

OP posts:

Easywriter · 05/01/2008 23:54

Beware of setting a precedent that you may not be truly comfortable with re. asking advice.
What happens if you choose to disregard the advice you get?

MIL's with the greatest of respect can be full of it. I guess it's time that makes them forget.

We had/have a tough time toilet training dd's. MIL's helpful comment during an accident was that 'her boys never had any accidents' lucky dp pointed out that clearly that was boll*cks (though in much more polite language).


candypandy · 05/01/2008 23:55

Sushi, you sound like a real peacekeeper and thumbs up to you. Can I give you a word of warning. I'm sure your MIL is much much more tactful than mine (trying to be diplomatic and not war-mongering) BUT if you start asking her advice you may find that she sees it as a green light to offer you free advice (ie tells you what to do) whenever she feels like it. Which can be ever so slightly ENRAGING. Not that my MIL did this. Golly I am getting really cross again after all these years.

Look out. Above all don't let it damage your relationship with your baby.

I need to go and punch something now.

Good luck!


candypandy · 05/01/2008 23:57

But feel free to ignore all advice quite frankly even on here. Hold this thought it's your baby and you know what's best.


Sushipaws · 06/01/2008 00:02

Good point, maybe I'll just carry on as normal, be confident and do my own thing

Candy - find the nearest teddy bear and throttle it. Don't know your story but sounds like your MIL was a bit of an arse.

OP posts:

cat64 · 06/01/2008 00:14

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

policywonk · 06/01/2008 00:17

I know what you mean cat. I have two boys and no girls, and frankly some of the posts on MN make me absolutely quake to think how my future DILs (if I have them) will regard me.


Easywriter · 06/01/2008 00:17

sometimes they desrve all they get!


ladymariner · 06/01/2008 00:31

agree with cat, what a great post, think I'm trying to back mil's up because I have one ds and I shall probably be regarded as the mil from hell for trying to be involved, judging by some of the posts on here!!!


candypandy · 06/01/2008 00:34

Do that Sushipaws. (but of course all advice from me qualified by right of advicee to ignore it totally!) Even when you're wrong about your baby, and everyone is sometimes, you're the right person to be wrong about her, if you know what I mean.
er what? but I'm sure you do


Easywriter · 06/01/2008 00:35

Re advice of MIL's the main reason it gets shot down in flames is because is usually out of date by 20-30 years.

Actually mums usually know best!


Sushipaws · 06/01/2008 14:17

I usually get on well with my MIL, she had 3 sons and I really repect her. I know she will always love my dd and will always offer her help and support. She has offered out of date advice and other small things but I'm usually very diplomatic and I just need to talk to her. I do think she was worried about my dd but I think she overstepped the mark and has undermind me.

I agree that many MIL's get a hard time becuase they want to help, most of the time they just want to support you in the only way they know how.

OP posts:
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