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mil stress!! - am i being paranoid?

53 replies

Joso · 16/06/2003 10:35

Ok this might sound slightly petty but just wandered what anyone else thought about this. My mil takes care of my one year old dd one day a week. On these days I had this bizaare paranoia that she was dressing her up in a different outfit to the one that I dressed her in that morning. The reason for this is that I know she keeps a few items of clothing for her at her house but she also mentions clothes that's she's bought for her that I never actually see. Then this weekend my mil & fil showed me some video that they taken of my DD and to confirm my suspicions she was wearing this completely different outfit and it really pissed me off!! Am I being unreasonable or is this completey out-of-order??

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fio2 · 16/06/2003 10:43

I dont know how you should feel but personally I think it does sound a bit strange-but families are a bit strange arent they. They most probably just like to make a big fuss of her and make her feel special. It is nice that they look after her for you 1 day a week, I would have to force my MIL to do that for me. Sorry this most probably isnt much help.

whymummy · 16/06/2003 10:44

i dont think youre being unreasonable,i think is very odd behaviour,at least they could let you take those outfits,ask them if theyre unhappy or embarrashed of the clothes your dd wears(im sure theres nothing wrong with her clothes)but if their answer is yes tell them that youre quite happy for your dd to wear them and she doesnt need changing,you need to find out why theyre doing this

StripyMouse · 16/06/2003 10:59

Definitely a little bit odd but not necessarily anything to get wound up about or worried over. I doubt it is any form of criticism about your choice of clothes or trying to out do you. Trying to be positive and imagine what on earth possesses her to do this - perhaps she is worried about getting her clothes dirty when playing and changes her out of a "pride" thing . Another possibility is that she just likes to play "mummy" and can?t resist the temptation to buy clothes and have her little "secrets" with your dd. My mum is sort of like this. She buys toys and clothes for my dd and enjoys dressing her up just the two of them, taking her out on their "secret missions" and takes a lot of pleasure out of having her over to visit. It used to irritate me loads but now I am more used to it I think it is her way of putting her little "stamp" on her while she is in her care and makes her feel more in charge. If she is a bit of a matriarch figure and really dotes on her it might well be her way of coping with the fact that she isn?t her mummy and has to hand her back!
I have to agree with fio2 as well - I wish my MIL showed as much interest in my little one. She shows enough interest for about two minutes and is then just worried about where and when her next cigarette can be smoked...this is despite only seeing her about twice a year - always at our effort and expense, never hers. The idea of her spending money on our dd is unheard of - lucky if she gets a token birthday present or dodgy card from the market...

breeze · 16/06/2003 11:32

Just come back from a 5 day break with Dh and my mum showed some video footage of 2 different days and even though I packed about a months worth of clothes he still was not in the clothes that I left. TBH Thought it was a bit odd then forgot about it. They have their own little idea's on what makes the children look nice, I wouldn't worry too much about it, if it makes her happy.

aloha · 16/06/2003 11:41

I agree with the last comment. She probably just loves buying little things for your dd and dressing her up. I love dressing up my ds (sometimes change his outfits a couple of times a day just for the fun of seeing him in cute dungarees or his little linen shirt), and would be even worse with a dd! I suspect your MIL also enjoys the dress up aspect of looking after a baby. As you say, she looks after her one day a week which is a hell of a commitment in my book and a big favour to you (my mum worships ds but can only have him for a few hours at a time) so if you are happy with the care she gives your dd, and your dd is happy, then I think it would be counter-productive even to mention this, myself. Just let it go and put it down to her funny little ways. It's essentially harmless IMO.

whymummy · 16/06/2003 12:25

yes,i can see it from everyone`s point of view,sorry to sound so negative,is just that my MIL does a lot of things behind my back and really gets to me

Tortington · 16/06/2003 14:51

i understand whymummy, somehow it seems like a slight on your prowess as a mother - it did for me they had toys they wouldnt let me bring home and clothes and sterelizers and a whole set of everything.

now i see my MIL - loved being a mum - and this was just her way of doing it again.

at the time though i hated it!

Oakmaiden · 16/06/2003 16:23

My m-i-l is very similar and quite simply drives me nuts. I have never known her to actually change ds just for the sake of it, but she is constantly ignoring things that are considered by us to be rules, and then tries to get ds to lie to us about it. Which makes me furious (obviously). Fortunately ds is an honest little chap, and says to me - "Grandma says I mustn't tell you that...."

I don't know what to do about it, to be honest. She has him semi-regularly - sometimes every week, sometimes 3 or 4 weeks between seeing him - and always at her convienience, never ours. So it is not like she is doing us a favour, and I am often half inclined to say he can't go and visit her 'cos I don't trust her, but I never have because he loves her so much (Grrrr) and she is simply potty about him.

Sorry for barging in on this and venting! Needed to say it!

whymummy · 16/06/2003 16:56

i told my MIL not to wash dds face with soap because she gets eczema,they were with her for 2 days and when we came back dds face was covered in eczema,when ds was a few weeks old she insisted on dipping his dummie in honey i told her not to but she did the minute my back was turned and is the same with everything else,and not im not a fussy mum always telling her not to do things but its like i haven`t got a clue and she knows best,aaaaargh!!

Boe · 16/06/2003 17:09

Know exactly how you feel - life with the ils was a disaster from the moment they walked into the delivery suite 10 minutes after I had had my daughter - they came in took my newborn off of me and took loads of photos - I have never forgiven them - specially when shortly after fil made a joke about when they first say me after dd was born I was completely 'off my face', not only that but an allergic to latex so could not have catheter and had just peed all over the bed - nice!!

Mother in law has house full of girls stuff and dollies and everything you need for a baby and she insisted in feeding my daughter things which I thought unappropriate like honey (at 3 weeks) - told her that if my daughter got botulism (as was health scare at the time) I would kill her!! (I did put it down to postnatal thing but actually meant it!!)

I think with her it was because it was her first granchild and she only had 2 boys - but when she dressed her in a red lace dress I put my foot down - my god if anyone had seen my dd out in thatI would have died.

I think a lot of the time mils try to be your best friend and do not realise that you have friends and want them to stay as mils. They also think because they have brought up children (not that mine did a good job with her own) they are perfectly justified in deciding how you should bring up your children - in the end the best thing to do is come clean and tell her how much it is upsetting you.

codswallop · 16/06/2003 17:14

funny she keeps it quiet...

codswallop · 16/06/2003 17:15

ps wm the dummy and honey thing is horrendous!

whymummy · 16/06/2003 17:19

youre right boe!i had a really traumatic birth with ds and was treated badly by the midwife,when i told this to MIL she told me to stop being soft and when i told her that i had PND she said that if i was depressed it was because i didnt love my baby i went for her and if it wasnt for dh that stepped in i would have put her in hospital,ive never forgiven her for that!!
sorry joso were not hijacking your thread id love to know about your outcome

whymummy · 16/06/2003 17:22

that`s nothing coddy,when he started on solids the mad cow disease was going around and i told her not to give ds meat,well she only went and pour the beef juices(blood)on his mashed potatoes i got up and threw it in the bin and told her to listen to me for once!!

codswallop · 16/06/2003 18:08

yikes! you sound rather sterotypically spanish in that episode!!

whymummy · 16/06/2003 18:21

you mean the spanish temper??i think anybody will loose it with my MIL

codswallop · 16/06/2003 18:27

does she live near? Is it hard for you to imagine that she loves your husband as much as you love your baby?

whymummy · 16/06/2003 18:31

she doesn`t cod,dh was in hospital for 3 months with a life threatening condition and they only came down for a weekend

expatkat · 16/06/2003 19:07

I'm with those who see something control-freakish in Joso's & whymummy's mil's behaviour. It's insensitive and, frankly, even a little aggressivea kind of message of disapprovalto change dd's clothes in your absence, and then change them back again. It's as though she's saying you have bad taste. Yes, it's a benign enough hobby, but still rejecting in its way.

That said, don't start a row about it. Control freaks have to be control freaks: it's the way their wired. But perhaps make a subtle joke about it one time, just so she knows that you know what she's up to.

codswallop · 16/06/2003 19:10

wm sounds like you have just cause.

whymummy · 16/06/2003 19:16

expatkat i wasnt going to post on here anymore as feeling hot,ovulating and talking about my MIL is a deadly combination,i just wished i had a nice MIL but i dont sorry if i offended you cod but you think i was over reacting when she put cows blood on my ds food but i dont think i did if i`m ever like her i want someone to shoot me,enough said

whymummy · 16/06/2003 19:18

thanks coddy

beetroot · 16/06/2003 19:30

This reply has been deleted

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fio2 · 16/06/2003 19:34

well if they are embarassing tell her dd can only wear them in MIL house then you have reached a compromise

Joso · 17/06/2003 11:09

Well thanks everyone for so many pearls of wisdom. I think what I find so irritating about my mil changing my dd's clothes is that it feels like one step too far accross the line. I am glad that she wants to have such a close relationship with my dd but there are certain things which, as her mother I decide...and petty though it may be, what she wears is one of those things. My mil and I have extremely different taste (in everything!!) and it makes my blood boil to see her in an outfit that I would never choose. I know I'm probably sounding crazy but like Expatkat says there is something vaguely controlling and agressive about the whole thing. ?Although I understand that she's basically just 'dressing up'my daughter, and I may sound like a spoilsport, I simply feel like it is completely undermining towards me. There is something underhand about her behaviour in that she knows that my dd is too young to know, care or more importantly talk about the clothes she's been wearing. Like Boe my mil too has two sons and I think there is an element of wanting to be the mummy to the little girl she never had....but I don't think that is fair on me. Oh lordy I'm just gonna go on forever if I don't stop now!! Thanks everyone for your comments...v.interesting.

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