Im extremely frustrated with my mother in law. Prior to having my 11wk old my MIL was slightly interfering and is a very opinionated womab in general. More and more im noticing her take over and make her own decisions about my baby... for example i have watched her put food on her finger and put it in my babies mouth then a couple of days ago put a tip of a banana in her mouth and let her suck!!! Without even asking me first!!!! Then bathing her asking my partner to get her towell, my partner replied to say we normally leave bub in bath for longer... she completely ignored and shouted at his dad to get the towell now...
i feel as though she is completely ignoring the fact that we are the parents and making up her own mind on what is right for my child. Im finding this more and more frustrating to the point i dont want to be in the same room as her....
Also my partner wants her to look after bub atleast once a week when im back at work, my problem is i dont want her to have alone time because i dont believe she will respect my decisions and choices for my baby.
I have spoken to my partner about some things and he says im being petty and picking things... is he right? I really think this is just the beginning of a very difficult situation for all of us. I would speak to her but she gets offended easily and twists things.
Wondered if anyone else has been through this or something similar??
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16-10-2015 15:20 #1Junior Member
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- Oct 2015
mother in law!!
16-10-2015 15:26 #2Senior Member
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- Mar 2012
I hear alarm bells! Firstly, I don't think giving an 11 week old food is a "petty niggle" - that's a big issue! And secondly, even if the other annoyances are petty (and I don't know if they are), you're the parent, and you have every right to decide how things are done. You need to feel comfortable with her care, and it sounds like she is being dismissive of your wishes and methods of doing things.
Unless you can all have a sensible discussion and get her to agree to some basic ground rules, I can only see things escalating and more conflict developing if you leave your child with her one day a week.
16-10-2015 15:37 #3
You really do need to get on top of it now, or it definitely will get worse. Mothers and MILs often overstep the mark (in my experience) thinking they know better especially if you are a first time mum. I find a gentle but firm approach works but you might need to be a little firmer especially with things like feeding your child (wtf?!).
Unfortunately many of them take the POV that 'that's the way we always did it and you kids turned out fine' and it's really hard to change that view. You will have to be very specific about what is and isn't acceptable and explain that it's really important to you and your partner. And make sure your partner fully understands and supports you. Sometimes it's better if it comes from him.
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16-10-2015 18:07 #4
mother in law!!
Following as having a similar problem.
My MIL has always been a fusser but I didn't really mind much as it was quite nice to be 'looked after' when I went over. Since having my first DD 4 months ago I've really struggled with her. I think it all stems from being SO exhausted after a C section and dealing with a newborn and having to say 'No thanks' like 4 times each time she fussed. I just didn't have the mental strength. I also have her completely ignore me when I say what DD needs right then. She almost snatches her out of my hands when I go over and I hate it. I actually ended up shouting at her the other day as I'd just arrived and she wanted DD. I was trying get DD's coat off and said 'wait a second' and she ignored me and went to take the baby anyways. I just snapped. There is also the time DD was crying and she refused the boob. I explained that DD only cries of tired or hungry so it's just a process of elimination. MIL attempted to go in for my boob!! 😤( DD was asleep 5 mins later btw )
As she totally ignoress me I won't let her baby sit and actually got a sitter for the one night I've been out. Just easier to pay someone I trust to do things my way.
In short I have no answers.. Just empathy. I think it stems from not having hardly any family myself I therefore struggle to see the benefits..its always been just me really.
I have spoken to friends tho and especially ones with grandparents and the general gist is:
1. Bubs deserves to have a close relationship with them, even if I don't. I have never experienced that bond but DD has the chance so should get it.
2. If comes from a place of love so I need to try and be more patient.
3. It's your DH's mum. Get him to have a chat to her and explain you don't feel like she trusts you to parent your own child ( guilt trip somewhat but true in my case )
4. Accept they won't be around forever. My FIL has become very sick recently so it's forcing me to suck it up.
5. Only see her when you and bubs are not tired and grumpy. So before witching hours start! You don't want to be tired and have to fend off MIL's advice when you know your baby is just tired also.
6. If English is her first language then maybe have a chat to her?
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16-10-2015 18:50 #5Senior Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2009
Remember too: a lot has changed since your partner was a baby. Your MIL will need to be educated about current practice. If she tries to feed baby again as well as saying 'no' tell her that science has shown that waiting till baby is 6 months old allows proper gut development and minimises food allergies (or whatever the current truth is).
16-10-2015 19:01 #6
First of all, you poor thing! That's a lot to be dealing with on top of a new baby. So frustrating & it's hard especially when it's not your side of the family.
It would drive me up the wall if anyone was giving my baby food/s without checking with me first. Especially at such a young age too. You definitely have every right to be upset!
Family issues are so difficult as they need to be dealt with but at the same time you hope she's not going to take it the wrong way & make a big deal over it when she needs to accept that she's not the parent & needs to respect what you want for your baby.
Are you able to talk to MIL about it or get hubby too? Hopefully he'll understand why it upsets you. She can't be ignoring what you both want for baby.
Otherwise maybe next time she goes to feed her could you pick up dd & say politely (but still getting point across) 'no we're not giving dd solids/foods yet'.
We currently have a 16 week old dd & I've had to become assertive with all family. It's really frustrating as I'm very open with my side of the family. So if they do something that annoy's me I tell them that haha. DH on the other hand never wants to say anything. If there's an issue I'll talk to him about it but it's usually me that ends up having to say something. I know if I bottle it up & don't say anything it would end up coming out over something little. We had similar where MIL wanted to start dd on food & doesn't like that I breast feed baby (as women weren't encouraged too when she had babies apparently) & I've straight out told her no, that we're the parents & we will make all of those decisions. So far she's backed off telling me how to do things & it's worked much better. It wasn't said in a rude way but I needed to set boundaries early & she hasn't bought it up again.
It's just so hard because they're used to telling their kids what to do & now you're the parents. And things have changed so much with things since they last had babies with things like sleeping & feeding.
Can you talk to your partner about it, explain why it bothers you & ask him to get her to back off a bit before it does become an issue? Hopefully he can help set boundaries.
I hope she comes to respect your wishes as parents. At the moment I don't blame you at all, I wouldn't want her looking after dd either if she's going to go against everything you've said.
I hope it all works out. Families are such hard work! But she does need to respect your views & that if she gives you advice that's all it is, advice. It's up to you both as to if you want to follow it or not.
17-10-2015 06:29 #7
Oh gosh I'm so sorry you're going through this. My mother is very similar. If you're not a naturally confident person happy to put your foot down when necessary (ie me!) it can be really tricky. I get furious with my mother on a regular basis, but ultimately, you need to remember that you are the one in control. This is a big time of change for you. I was always that person who just 'copped it' and never really stood up for myself, then all of a sudden DD came along and I had to toughen up. You may never be able to change your MIL, I know I can't with my mother (highly narcissistic personality), so it's a matter of learning how to live with her. You're both adjusting to a new way of life, she's used to being the one in control and giving all the advice, but now it's your turn. Some personalities are just very different - my mother in particular is huge on the whole "well we never did it that way in my day and we all survived" thing 😐 Not a great argument, but maybe think about why your MIL is the way she is. Most likely it's not about you, or anything you're doing, it's about her. My mother for example, is a highly insecure person and very narcissistic. She's been through a lot in her life that has left her highly anxious and constantly feeling judged and as though she has to prove herself to everyone. As a result, every interaction with her is a battle. She made some seriously shoddy parenting decisions and it's like DD is a chance for her to prove she didn't do that bad a job after all...like by telling me what to do and correcting me on every single thing I do/say, she's proving to herself that she IS right, she IS a good parent after all etc. so by me understanding that, whilst it's not easy to deal with, it takes myself out of the equation so to speak. My mother is using me and DD to try & make up for her own insecurities and that's not OK but it's also not my problem to try and fix. I know I'm doing good job with DD. And despite everything, DD has a good relationship with her. If I ever get a sense of DD possibly being affected by her drama I'll have to make changes, but for now, she gets a lot out of their relationship.
Also, it is up to you how much time you spend around this woman. It would be much more cost effective for me to leave DD with mum while I work but there's no way in hell I could handle that. I did it before and constantly having to deal with her drama really got me down. Now I have a balance, she has DD two mornings a week and she's in daycare the other days. When I pick her up/drop her off, I'm in and out like a flash. This is my daughter and my life, it took me a while to take control in that way because I was used to listening to her advice but ultimately it is my choice who and what I want in our lives.
And at the end of the day, ultimately, it does take all kinds in this world! Not everyone will see things the way you see them or act how you wish they would. It's the first in a long line of difficult or different personalities you will come across as a parent. Like others have said, your MIL will not be around forever. My FIL is very sick atm and honestly it puts it all into perspective. Your MIL does love you and your DD, it's just a matter of finding a way to make this new situation work for all of you. Good luck xx
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17-10-2015 07:04 #8
Whenever someone trots out the old "that's what happened in my day and my kids are fine!" I like to say that kids used to come home from hospital in a basket on the back seat of the family car. We know better now and so we do better!
17-10-2015 07:26 #9
sorry to hear you're going through this. whenever I read these threads, the common theme always seems to be the dh/dp telling his wife/partner that she's being petty and to just let sleeping dogs lie aka don't upset mummy dearest. this really bothers me. overbearing mils who don't respect mum's wishes and continue to impose their way of thinking on a baby that isn't even theirs clearly have no sense of boundaries.
I believe it's up to the dh/dp to step in and back his partner/wife up in these situations. after all, it's her bub and she just gave birth to it! why do they stand up for the mil??
if dp/dh can't find his tongue (or his balls) you'll just have to be more forceful yourself. if she gets her nose out of joint, well so be it. it's your bub and your rules.
don't let her push you around!
does mil live with you? if not, could you just limit the amount of time she's over?
or just don't hand bub over to her to bathe etc.
as for the food, I'd be flat out barking at her that bub is too young to be eating food off the end of her finger (ewww btw) and to stop doing that immediately. if she can't comply, take bub off her.
you're going to have to be tough. hopefully dp/dh finds some backbone and backs you on this.
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17-10-2015 08:03 #10Member
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- Oct 2015
Get a backbone and tell her straight up not to keep doing that!
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