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MIL takes over

(64 Posts)
afar Tue 10-Jan-12 12:11:35

I am starting to get really annoyed with my MIL and I trying very hard to ignore it an not make an issue out of it. My LB is 3 and I think quite well mannered, considering that he is only 3. When we go there for dinner he will sit next to me on one side and MIL will sit on my other side. While he is eating she will lean over me and tell my 3yr old to use his napkin or wipe his face and will also correct him when he talks before I even get a chance. It's like I'm not there. I like to think that it's my place to teach and decide when he needs to be corrected but apparently that makes me possesive? I didn't ask for help in mothering my child. And it just seems to be getting worse....

supernana Mon 23-Jan-12 16:59:13

bagitha smile

JessM Mon 23-Jan-12 17:20:02

Sorry absent - it depends on family traditions i think. We never had 'em in our family (not a posh lot). Might get a bit of kitchen towel at mine, if meal a messy one.
But expecting a 3 year old who is not used to using them to suddenly know what they are for is still pretty special. These days they are more likely to expect mother to swoop upon them at the end of a meal with a disposable baby wipe...

absentgrana Mon 23-Jan-12 17:33:21

JessM I don't think we would have counted as posh. I agree that expecting a three-year-old to know what they're for and use them whether or not they have seen them before is completely bonkers. A damp flannel was still required at the end of the meal – and that was just for absentgrana.

Anne58 Mon 23-Jan-12 18:39:02

She accused you of being jealous??? Jealous of what, exactly?

afar Tue 24-Jan-12 05:11:24

Apparently of my child having another mother-figure in his life...

Greatnan Tue 24-Jan-12 06:28:15

I really wish I had been as strong as bagitha when I married at 18. I meekly went along with having to visit MIL every Sunday and eat her awful cooking. As you can probably see, I became much more strong-minded in later years but I realise now that if I had just stood my ground from the start MIL would have had to get used to it.
If grandparents cut themselves off, that is their loss and I hope they soon come to realise their stupidity.

JessM Tue 24-Jan-12 07:32:30

I think "jealous" might be a case of what Freud called "transference" . It is probably the MIL that is terribly jealous /envious and is struggling to adapt to being "pushed off the perch" as the head honcho of the family. She has been the mother for a long time and now "afar" is the mother. She has, as it were, been demoted to the dower house. The back seat of the car. I'm sure many of us have encountered this interesting phenomenon when our sons have got married or when they have become fathers. They have been our main focus for so many years and suddenly it is very clear that their wives and kids are now their main focus. In some other societies there is an established way of dealing with this transition. Some cultures maintain the power of the MIL e.g. in the subcontinent where DILs go to live with MILs and the MILs continue to control their own homes with the DIL in a relatively powerless position.
In our society there are not guidelines and we are each left to deal with it ourselves. Or not.

bagitha Tue 24-Jan-12 09:21:48

Next time she says you're jealous, afar, I suggest you tell her that that's what makes you a good mother. Mothers throughout the animal kingdom are fiercely protective of their young offspring and often object to interference from others. It's a survival strategy. She's calling it by the wrong name because, as jess suggests, it's probably she who is jealous.

In short, you're allowed to be "jealous" (figuratively kick the butts) of other women trying to control your child. It's normal. smile

Carol Tue 24-Jan-12 11:18:33

There's nothing like a lioness watching over her cubs. Press the wrong buttons and I could go off like a rocket when my children were little - that survival instinct that makes you fiercely protective was designed in us for a good reason.

bagitha Tue 24-Jan-12 11:22:29

evolved, not designed.

bagitha Tue 24-Jan-12 11:24:16

But yes, when I've stopped being pedantic, you're right, carol. Anything that helps offspring survive will be "selected for" in the evolutioon stakes and, therefore, passed on genetically.

bagitha Tue 24-Jan-12 11:25:14

Forgive me for the pedantry there, but it is important to distinguish. wink

Carol Tue 24-Jan-12 11:38:53

No probs bags just being lazy! (I'm not a creationist!)