My MIL is seen by most people as 'really nice'.
She is a lovely lady, and does have a big heart, and cares so much about her grandchildren.
I find her 'niceness' too much sometimes and find her to be overbearing.
Whenever we visit she will pull DS out of my arms without asking and constantly smothers him. It is like I don't exist. She is extremely over the top with preparing the house etc for him. I wish she'd just relax when we're around. I can feel DS getting frustrated by her as he is now 14 months and often wants to do his own thing, but she always has to hold him and carry him around like he is still a small baby. It makes me feel very uncomfortable and guilty that I get frustrated by her, like I must be an awful person to not appreciate having a MIL that is too nice.
She says things to me such as 'thank you for ALLOWING' DS and Husband to visit when they go on their own, which to me almost insinuates that I am controlling and that they need my permission to see her. I am NOT like that at all, and often encourage visits because I want my son to have a relationship with his grandparents. It makes me feel so awful.
She also constantly gives me advice about how to look after children and refers back to her experience as a family day carer - 20 years ago. In any one visit she will probably bring this up at least 2-3 times.
When DS is eating, she will try and push food into his mouth, even though I encourage baby led weaning and self feeding, and he is sitting next to me.
Today I reached breaking point. I left DS with her for a few hours, which I hardly ever do, but thought it would be nice for them to spend time together as she keeps telling me she wants to take him to the park. DS bumped his head while I was still there and began to cry. I started to walk over to him to comfort him and she scooped him up, turned her back to me and walked away. My heart ached for him as I could tell he was really upset. She sat on the ground with him and tried to distract him with toys but he kept crying so I sat down next to them. Finally I said, 'I can tell he's really hurt, that is his hurt cry' and took him off her to give him a cuddle. She stood up and stormed off into the kitchen. It was like she was trying to prove that she could settle him. Fair enough if I wasn't there, but I'm his mother! She has done a similar thing before when he hurt himself and told me that I shouldn't show him that I'm upset and to keep my emotions to myself because I will upset him more. I'm not one to make a fuss over every little bump and scrape, but if I can tell he is really hurt, rather than just whinging, I will comfort him and will show concern.
I really can't stand it anymore as it has been happening since DS was born and I feel it is getting worse. It makes me feel like I am worthless as a mother and that she has no confidence in the way I parent DS. The first time it ever happened DS was only a few days and she tried to pull him off me while he was breastfeeding. I literally had to put my hand up and say 'no!' She often makes comments about wanting DS to come over more often (she sees him at least 2-3 times a week at the moment), but I feel myself not wanting to take him there anymore because of how she obsesses over him. My husband has also witnessed her behavior and keeps telling me to say something, but I know she will over react and be deeply hurt and offended if I do. I really need to get what I say to her right and need some advice on how to go about it!
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14-08-2012 12:02 #1
What to do about my 'nice' MIL
14-08-2012 13:00 #2
What to do about my 'nice' MIL
It is good that she is excited and wants to see your DS, but she does need I back of a little from the sounds of it. If anyone tried to take my baby from my arms while I was feeding then, they'd get more than a no!!
14-08-2012 13:02 #3
Tell your husband to say something its HIS mum!
She obviously loves your son alot and compared to alot of other mil's it could be worse. But I do see where you are coming from.
I honestly think its your husbands responsibilty to speak to her. Good luck.
14-08-2012 13:09 #4
What to do about my 'nice' MIL
Do we have the same MIL?? Even down to being a family daycare mum.. You could be describing my MIL here! Just put of curiosity does she communicate in a baby voice as if she is trying to sound cute or meek and mild or something? Lol
Is your DH supportive? My MIL is very much as you describe with my SIL's kids who are older than our DS so we saw it coming and decided before he was born that WE were the parents, not her. IL's were just here visiting for 2 weeks (staying with us in our 2bdr flat with our newborn but thats another story) as they live far away and it was eating her up that we weren't allowing her to take over. She kept telling me how good she was being because she was 'sharing' and trying not to be overbearing, yeah right!! I don't know what makes her think she is so good for sharing her grandson with his own parents!? She hated that I am bf'ing because it meant he actually needed me and she couldn't just decide that she was going to do everything, and we made sure it just spiraled from there - nappy changes, baths etc, and then if he was happy i would give him to her for a cuddle, which is what she is there for as a grandparent!! I was so happy that my DH was supportive (even though he's a bit of a mummies boy) - it got to the point where she was doing something with our bub that she knew we had been advised not to do by our paed and DH even stood up to her and told her to stop. She didn't like it at all and told us if we didn't like it then don't look (!!!!!!!). I made it worse for her by telling her that if she couldn't respect decisions we were making for OUR child then I would be putting him in his bed instead of her having a lovely cuddle. She said I was blackmailing her!! Um, I don't think so. Then she was shi**y with me for ages afterwards!
Why do they think we shouldn't be allowed to parent our own kids!? If your DH is supportive of you and wanting to be the parents I think that makes it easier. You should try and tell her when she is treating him like a little baby that he likes to do things himself! Sorry that I have turned this into a big rant.. He is YOUR son and you should be 'allowed' to give him a cuddle if he is hurt without fear of offending your MIL!! He should also be made to feel safe and secure but also independent, that is how kids learn!!
14-08-2012 13:10 #5
I'm with Californication. It's your husband that needs to say something, not you.
Whilst people may think she's 'nice', she sounds very fake and manipulative to me. Somehow she's managed to make you feel guilty when you've done absolutely nothing wrong, and she is being extremely overbearing.
14-08-2012 13:11 #6
What to do about my 'nice' MIL
Agree that your hubby needs to say something, it can't go on like it is!!
14-08-2012 13:15 #7
Also, I don't think you should have to think yourself lucky just because she's so nice. An overbearing TOO nice mother in law, can be just as horrible if not more so than a not particularly friendly one.
Fact is, if she wasn't quite so nice, maybe you wouldn't have to see her so goddam often and she wouldn't be able to annoy you so much!! I can't believe she gets to see your son 2 - 3 times a week! That is a lot.
14-08-2012 14:21 #8
I havnt read all the replies but I think you should talk to her, not your husband. She is not going to respect that you are his mother and in control if you get your husband to do the talking for you.
I found DHs mum to be fairly similar initially, then I really started praising up how much DS loves her and enjoys her company, so she didnt feel like she had something to prove IYKWIM. Then you can just gradually guide her by saying things like "DS has hurt his head, mummy is for feeling better cuddles Granny is for fun cuddles" or something.
I've been on the other end of this, it's really hard when you love a child as your own but they are not.
14-08-2012 14:24 #9Senior Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2011
Uggghhh, I feel your pain. Massive sore point for me too.
Is your FIL in the picture, or does she have a partner? Sometimes husbands of overbearing women know how to speak to them without offending them, but still communicating clearly. I intend to get my DH to speak to his dad about his mum.
Good luck, and don't be afraid to remind your MIL that she's already had her chance to be a mum!
14-08-2012 14:45 #10
I don't think you're ungrateful. I have had similar issues with my IL's in the past, and it is frustrating.
I would also get your DH to say something. Not as though it is coming "from" you, but just the things he has noticed. At least then she is aware and if it keeps up happening then you could always talk to her as well.
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