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Grandmother doesn't get it

124 replies

Firstgrandbabyissues · 26/02/2024 00:00

Hi all.
Unfortunately I am making a post and I'm sorry to say that it will be a long one. So apologies in advance but I really need some advice .

I used to get along well with my MIL, until I got pregnant. She works as a health assistant at our local hospital and were I had the baby.

It started during the pregnancy. She treated me like an incubator for a baby, would demand I stopped wearing certain clothes because She didn't like it (especially my heels I wore to church) she tried to get involved my birth plan, she even tried to speak to my midwife about my appointments as I didn't share everything with her( some things were private) she would tell me how to parent etc and invaded my privacy. This made my difficult pregnancy with hyperemesis gravidarum even worse. She always told me how she never felt sick or nauseous once during any of her 2 pregnancies.

I was a planned c section due to medical reason and I didn't want her to know when it was due as I didn't want her opinions about it or try and show up. My husband would tell her whatever she wanted and got mad a me when I didn't want to share personal details with my MiL. His argument was that it was her grand baby and therefore her rights.
My husband didn't tell her when the baby was due but then we started arguing about visits as I didn't want visitors in hospital. He said it wasn't fair on her. She also kept on demanding getting texts when I would go into labour.
I hemorrhaged during the section and spent 6 hours in recovery. Baby was fine!!
My parents live in Sweden and my mum knew about the section as she's had 3, and I know she wouldn't fly over straight away as she knows I would need space to recover in the early days pp.

4 hours after a healthy baby boy was born we decided to start calling people. When we called my in laws my MiL immediately called my baby hers and refused to accept that it was her grandchild. Thankfully FIL put his foot down. She didn't ask how I was doing, got annoyed when she found I he had been born 4 hours prior to the call. My husband tried to wheel baby out to see her as I didn't want visitors ( came to the point where my midwife had to make people aware of MIL in order to prevent her coming by)
Still she met us as we were being discharged as my husband tried to get her into postnatal.

Making a long story shorter. She told my son I had been mean by forcing her to wait 5 days to see him when they came to visit..she spent the first 3 months trying to constantly take baby off me. Was rude and nasty when she didn't get her way. Ex when I sat next to my sister in church, when she didn't get to hold baby in a busy pub as he was unsettled and fuzzy (husbands grandparents 60th wedding anniversary) baby was 8 weeks and we had travelled 2 hours for this event. She refused to give him back when asked for naps, feeding or baby crying. I would always have to take him back. She prevented naps from happening or woke him up from naps even when I'd asked her to leave him alone. She hoovers over him like a possession, treats me like a stupid first time mum (I have studied children's development and family psychology for 7 years-I work with it for a living) she's been pure nasty. My husband has defended her and after Christmas I refused to see her. During Christmas she refused to give him back when he was crying ( she's knows that's our rule as she has complained about me taking my baby back) refused to put him down or hand him back after I told her 4 times it was nap time. She keeps talking badly about me to baby like "mummy needs to do what nanny says because nanny knows best, its in her best interest" etc. My husband got annoyed with me and told me I was the problem for butting heads with his mum. I told him that all I wanted was to be respected as a parent.
He spoke to his parents end of Jan when he realised that I was serious about not wanting to see his mum again as I had put up with it for 5 months, plus the pregnancy. They had a chat and MIL said she was only trying to help but that she understood. However my husband said she didn't need to apologise for her behavior towards me.
She's been a bit better the last 3 weeks, as in no rude or nasty comments. But now she's starting to call me and my husband mean and bullies when we say no to baby, like no to grabbing a knife, plate or anything that can hurt him. I'm not OK with that as that will undermine us as parents. She still hoovers and tries to take over when doing things like putting his coat on, putting him in his pram, trying to take over feeds (baby is FF) she cannot leave things for us to do on our own as she clearly thinks we aren't capable (she still tries to make decisions for my husband due to her controlling needs)..... she's not once to this day said anything positive about me as a mum. Baby is almost 7 months

Today we went out for a meal for her birthday after church, where she hoovered over baby, was desperate for his attention, not leaving him alone to nap.
During the meal she constantly kept commenting about him. From food, to what he's doing...she cannot focus on anything else or talk about anything else when he's around. Told baby I was being mean when I didn't let him grab my plate because its too heavy for him. Baby went to her for a bit but fell asleep. I asked my husband to take him back so we could put him in the pram to sleep but he didn't. I asked again as they were bringing the cake out and wanted him in his pram as I know my FIL would take a video and post it on social media. We keep baby off social media ( we share photos another way with family) and his parents know this. Yet FIL posted the video on social media...
My parents are aware of everything that's happened with my MIL as she has hurt my feeling soo many times. My dad called and said he wasn't happy when he saw the video of my MIL refusing to hand baby back to my husband when he asked for baby back. She ignored him and hung on to baby tighter. Turns out my husband asked 3 times before baby came back to him. I got annoyed as MIL was made aware that her behavior had to change and handing baby back was 1 of the issues. Yet she only managed 3 weeks before falling into her old behavior. My husband said it was no big deal as he got his son back eventually, but for me it's the disrespect of a parent's order.

I really don't kmow what to do anymore as husband keeps playing it down and accepting her behavior, whilst I'm fed up with it. I try and call it out whenever she disrespects us but I cannot keep doing it every time we see them (usually once a week, sometimes more as she complans when she doesn't get to see baby every week) She only lasted 3 weeks since the conversation with my husband. She's mentally exhausting to be around (she always lectures me about my own child) and it's taking it toll on me. My husband wants us to get along so baby can have a good relationship with his grandparents. As do I but I need to be respected as a parent as well, and she's made it clear that she doesn't listen to me. She will only talk to me if I have the baby, she ignores me when not.
Husband is fed up of me bringing it up but I cannot let it go.
So, AIBU about it all or should I keep calling her out? I feel like I can't keep calling her out forever either so not sure what to do.

Really sorry about the long post but could really use some advice! Thanks

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

1093 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
justasking111 · 26/02/2024 00:07

Can your FIL rein her in. Otherwise I wouldn't let them over the threshold. She sounds unhinged to be honest.

My friend had a mother in law like this she eventually one particular day when MIL rolled up uninvited threatened to call the police if she didn't leave.

Lazypeopledrivemecrazy · 26/02/2024 00:12

My advice would be to tell your DH that you have had enough of his mother's interference, and his constant failure to back you up. You've had a conversation with MIL, during which she agreed to take a step back, but lasted only 3 weeks, now it's time to tell your DH, that you have given her the opportunity to show you that she can change, she's failed to do so, and that you want nothing further to do with her! Your DH, as I'm sure you realise, is part of the problem, as he's grown up with Mummy always being right, and presumably always had to do as he was told so he's conditioned to continue doing it now as an adult and parent himself. So in MN terms OP, you not only have a MIL problem, you also have a DH problem. If he continues to refuse to see things from your point of view, could you go and spend some time staying at your parent's home with baby? Talk to your parents about it, and get some advice from them, as they obviously know you better than anyone on MN is going to. Personally, in your shoes I'd be making plans to dump DH and his toxic family, if he's not prepared to back you up in not seeing them, as otherwise you're going to have these battles time after time, after time, until eventually the marriage breaks anyway.

Tempnamechng · 26/02/2024 00:19

I think I would be on the plane ro Sweden with my baby. She's exhausting and he is absolutely under her thumb. (Watch the American "I Love a Mamma's Boy" for lots of examples of controlling, overbearing mothers and their overgrown baby boys who put their wives in firm second place.

TheABC · 26/02/2024 00:28

Until DH prioritizes you over her, you will have a problem.

notwavingbutdrowning1 · 26/02/2024 00:37

Honestly, just stop seeing her. No one can make you and she does not have a ‘right’ to her grandchild.

Have a total break from her for a few months. Tell your DH that when she has learned to behave herself you will allow fortnightly visits of no more than an hour but the minute she disrespects you again she’s out.

Don’t worry what any of them think about you when you do this. They sound utterly toxic. What matters is you and the baby.

Meadowfinch · 26/02/2024 00:47

I'd take a three month break from work and head for Sweden, making it clear you need a break from your MIL's relentless bullying and unwelcome interference.

Why do women do that? Where does the ridiculous 'let's pretend to be mummy' nonsense come from? It's just weird. Don't these women have their own lives?

To be clear, she has no 'rights' as a grandparent. and it would be completely understandable if you refused to spend time in her company ever again.

SapphOhNo · 26/02/2024 00:49

You have both a MIL and a DH problem.

He's not on your side.

MotherofChaosandDestruction · 26/02/2024 00:57

Honestly, I think some grandparents go bananas with their first grandchild. My MIL was ridiculous when DC1 was born, seriously ridiculous behaviour towards me and DC. I have a lot to say about my ex but he really stuck up for me and considered my needs as a new mum during this time.

All I can say is that it does calm down eventually but you need your DH onboard! I would have a serious conversation with him and potentially go low contact for a little while. That's what I did and it seemed to stop it.

mathanxiety · 26/02/2024 01:15

Tell your H that he needs to choose you or his mother and he can't have both.

This woman is a nasty, deranged cow, and her son is enabling her because he is a spineless waste of space.

NoOrdinaryMorning · 26/02/2024 01:48

Tempnamechng · 26/02/2024 00:19

I think I would be on the plane ro Sweden with my baby. She's exhausting and he is absolutely under her thumb. (Watch the American "I Love a Mamma's Boy" for lots of examples of controlling, overbearing mothers and their overgrown baby boys who put their wives in firm second place.

Unfortunately OP cannot do this as her DH will have parental responsibility. This would be considered Parental Abduction and OP would be arrested by Swedish police on behalf of UK Police

DifficultBloodyWoman · 26/02/2024 01:50

NoOrdinaryMorning · 26/02/2024 01:48

Unfortunately OP cannot do this as her DH will have parental responsibility. This would be considered Parental Abduction and OP would be arrested by Swedish police on behalf of UK Police

Not if:

  • she has her husbands permission
  • her husband doesn’t know
  • she has full custody
  • she is the residential parent going for 28 days or less (double check the time period on that to be sure)
CatamaranViper · 26/02/2024 02:00

Sadly it sounds like you have a major DH problem. He should support you and stand up to his mother.

I love my MIL but even today she said something disrespectful to me and DH called her out on it. She then apologised to me.

I couldn't be with someone who would let his parents treat me with such little regard

telestrations · 26/02/2024 02:11

Yeah a visit to your parents is in order, see things with a fresh perspective and then have your DH come out to you to discuss it. Basically dont go back until you feel reassured.

It would be quite the escalation for the DH to have the mother of his child whom he's not separated from and is visiting her parents arrested!

witmum · 26/02/2024 08:28

This is a husbands issue however please consider if like the Chinese finger trap you are also pulling hard in your own direct.

The video thing though annoying is not the end of the world. You are waiting for her to fail. Her cuddling a sleeping baby is not the issue the issue is your FIL video, address that with him rather than make MIL the villain. At the time either ask him to video without the baby in it or that he edits baby out or does not put it on social media.

This is a woman who has loved her own children and has felt the void of no babies for a long time. She wants to desperately be a grandmother. Too much maybe but give her grace.

MiltonNorthern · 26/02/2024 08:34

DifficultBloodyWoman · 26/02/2024 01:50

Not if:

  • she has her husbands permission
  • her husband doesn’t know
  • she has full custody
  • she is the residential parent going for 28 days or less (double check the time period on that to be sure)

1- yes
2- no! He can report her and the Swedish police would arrest her
3- what do you mean full custody? She would need to have a child arrangements order excluding any contact with the father to have 'full custody' (not a term that exists in UK law) and she wouldn't get that even if she tried
4- no, only if she has a child arrangements order, and see above

SunflowerSeeds123 · 26/02/2024 08:44

The trip to Sweden is tempting but maybe your DH goes as well. It might help HIM get some perspective too.

Your DH is caught in the middle of all this but he needs to stand up to his mother. He's being weak, tbh. I think his dad has a role to play too (he's already stepped in before). Both of them need to stage an "intervention" and keep GM on watch.

Coldupnorth7 · 26/02/2024 08:47

Read Toxic In-laws book.

Susan Forward. I'd resisted reading it for years but it really does help with perspective. Plus tools to deal with the situation.

Maddy70 · 26/02/2024 08:51

I cam see both sides. Shes overbearing and needs reining in for sure.

However showing his child to his mum is perfectly normal why would you make her wait 5 days?
Thats a bit wierd. Maybe shes become more clingy with him because she's not allowed access like usual with a grandparent ?

You need your dh and fil to set boundaries but please be mindful that this is also your DHa. Childs and he wants her to have a relationship with his child

Stopwiththedamnrain · 26/02/2024 08:53

Is your DH her only child? They sound enmeshed and she sounds overbearing and a little unhinged.

But you know you have a DH problem as well as a MIL problem, right? If he doesn't have your back with his own family then you need to talk to him about this and you both should listen. I can understand that he would like his DPs to be close to his child but you need to agree expectations around behaviours with them - and he needs to back up what you agree. If they don't agree with your choices or deliberately ignore them then the consequence is you see them a lot less.

Can your mum come over and stay with you and support you as well?

NotFastButFurious · 26/02/2024 08:55

I’d never turn away someone who comes round and hoovers 🤣
seriously though, she’s bonkers

OneMoreTime23 · 26/02/2024 09:00

You primarily have a DH problem. Book flights to Sweden for you and baby and leave a note along the lines of:

Dear Husband. I’m off to Sweden for a month. Partly to get some space from your mother, and secondly to show you what life will be like when I leave you for failing to advocate for and put me and our baby first. Your mother’s wants should not come before mine and our baby’s needs.

Would suggest you use this time to get some
counselling to deal with your mummy issues and figure how how you can support us better if/when I return.


Kitkat1523 · 26/02/2024 09:11

Your DP is your main problem….he is her enabler… won’t change your MIL…. But if you can’t change DPs attitude then you will always have issues

fourelementary · 26/02/2024 09:23

In all honesty you ARE being quite unreasonable and so is she. Your baby is not a rope in a tug of war but you’re acting like he is and she’s tugging and so are you.
Of course it’s okay for you to want privacy but you interpret her comments badly and not as suggestions to help coming from a place of concern. The comment about the shoes could come from well meaning advice given to her about heels causing back pain or making you likely to fall or causing piles … so a well-intended comment taken badly from you.

The nonsense about no visitors in hospital- totally wrong of you. Maybe none that day as you’d been through a lot but so had your husband and it’s his baby too. Maybe he needed the support of seeing his mum and dad after seeing you go through that? Maybe he wanted to show off his baby and let him meet his family- that’s not wrong. You were being precious and mean spirited. I would have been gutted to not be able to see my grandchild when they were born for five days!

The “give him back” things is completely understandable in the early days- an upset baby should always be returned to mum unless she has asked you to try to settle baby. But as he’s older I do think that it’s okay to let other people help soothe or settle him and absolutely okay to enjoy a sleeping baby in your arms. There is nothing more precious. With the video issue you could have said could MIL have her back to the video or be out of shot for the cake if she wanted to hold him.

I think as your parents are not near you have a warped idea of parental support. I think MIL wants to be helpful and present and you should start again with her- apologise for being OTT and set new boundaries but listen to her too snd let her be involved- you and your husband will benefit from that relationship she builds when you do want overnight breaks etc. By all
means have boundaries but as a strong woman herself she might actually respond well to a strong woman setting reasonable boundaries but I don’t think yours have been reasonable. More people to love your baby is a blessing not a curse. @Firstgrandbabyissues I hope you can learn to let go a little bit and stop trying to control everyone and everything. Speak to your husband and listen to his ideas and what he wants.

TheLambtonWorm · 26/02/2024 10:34

DH is the main issue to tackle first. He sounds far too enmeshed with his mother and unless you're both singing from the same hymn book you will never be able to tackle his overbearing and nutso mother.

IsthisthereallifeIsthisjustfantasy · 26/02/2024 10:42

His argument was that it was her grand baby and therefore her rights.

He said it wasn't fair on her

she's been pure nasty. My husband has defended her

 husband keeps playing it down and accepting her behavior,

Someone needs to make a sign/meme that says "YOU HAVE A DH PROBLEM".

Your DH needs to understand how serious this is and that if he continues to back his mother over you, it will put your marriage in jeopardy.

A grandparent doesn't have "rights". Have you tried marriage counselling?

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