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Am I being over sensitive ?

(38 Posts)
Justamom Tue 01-Feb-22 16:03:40

Hi just looking for a little advice, I will give you about of a brief overview on mines and my MIL relationship. We get on well but we in no way have a close relationship, I fell pregnant with my first child less than 3 months of being with my partner so maybe that's part of the reason; because we never really got to know each other. I feel she sometimes her personality changes depending on what mood she is in, I will admit I am a sensitive person and perhaps I do over analyse things abit too much, I want to believe her heart is in the right place and that she means well but sometimes her comments and little digs are too much and I'm beginning to feel like I'm not good enough for my children, it is making me depressed, it's also making me really dislike my mother in law and hate every thing she does, which I hate. My partner isn't much help as he jumps to her defence even when I'm just explaining to him that what she said was bang out of order, he literally sees no wrong in what she does. I will give some examples of what she has done in the past and recently that have hurt my feelings and that I feel are over stepping the mark.

1. Whenever we visit and I'm changing my son she will say things like " put some nappy cream on him"
"Just let him have his nappy off to get abit of fresh air" "aren't you going to put a vest underneath his clothes" I could go on for days about the comments and unwanted suggestions she makes, but she makes me feel like I don't know what I'm doing!

2. I am currently pregnant with my 3rd little monkey and my 2nd born will only be 2.4yr when little one arrives and I just want to point out that it wasn't a suggestion I was TOLD that I would use my 2nd borns pram and not buy a double and she would purchase us a buggy board, I said thank you but me and my partner have already decided we need a double buggy because I don't drive and need to walk 2 ish miles to nursery for my son so I thought it was unfair to make him stand if his legs would happen to get tired. She brought it up to partner again when I wasn't around and then again when I was and my partner kindly said " thanks mum and we appreciate you wanting to help us but we need a double buggy because we know that Noah won't want to stand for long" to which she replied very smart and cheekily saying " you are the parents and you need to tell him that he will have to stand on the board"

3. We were on holiday and my son who is 2 was getting abit overwhelmed with all the people and getting frustrated that he couldn't go into the water where the ducks were and when he chucked himself to the floor I went to pick him up and she said " don't pick him up just leave him on the floor he will come out of it" I said he needed a cuddle and that's what I will give him, he soon settled now and was fine, later on that night he was getting restless in his pram and wanted to walk but I tried to keep him in the pram for a few more minutes I tired to give him his toy truck but he was getting so upset he made himself sick, so I decided to give him a cuddle and told him that If he wanted to walk he must take mummy's hand and MIL said " you need to stop giving him his own way all the time, I know it's hard but he will soon learn he has to sit in his pram" I then ignored her because I was about to snap!

4. We were all sat around the breakfast table and my partners auntie said that my son was very smart for being non verbal I took this as a compliment until MIL said " he must take that from the Murray's" ( Murray is her maiden name ) to which everyone just looked at her because I think everyone could tell I wasn't happy at her trying to embarrass me in front of people.

5. I cooked her and 8 other people breakfast with SIL to which she laughed and said " these young people don't have a clue on how to cook" to which I said well make it yourself next time smile

6. She told me she had been snooping on my fb and that she saw photos when I was skinny I just thought to myself what an absolute b*tch.
She also then made a comment about if my partner wasn't her son and she was 10 years younger she would go for him herself, that comment made me feel uncomfortable I'm not going to lie.

Sorry for the long post but I just feel like my partner makes me feel like I'm over sensitive and that she's just trying to help us, he knows everything she says to me and he says "she won't mean it in that way she was only joking" but I don't take it that way.

SachaMac Wed 02-Feb-22 10:01:08

She sounds like a miserable, insecure person. She may mean well with some of her childcare tips but she needs to understand her way is not the only way and she has to acknowledge & accept your parenting style. I try not to give advice re the GC unless specifically asked, tempting as it is at times.
Also, why is she snooping on your FB page and then has the cheek to tell you and make a comment about your weight on a photograph!? This comment brought a memory back for me. I had always been very slim but put on quite a lot of weight during my first pregnancy. I felt terrible and so I very quickly put myself on a strict calorie controlled diet, I worked really hard & lost the wait quickly plus quite a bit more besides. My mil had made a few subtle comments about my weight gain but when I had lost all the weight and was starting to feel good about myself she never said a word, never paid me a compliment or said well done etc. After a few months I put a couple of lbs back on but didn’t think anything of it. My mil was visiting one evening & I was climbing over the stair gate to take some washing upstairs, as I cocked my leg over it with my back to her she shouted out in front of everyone ‘are you putting weight back on!! I didn’t answer but just carried on upstairs, sat on our bed and cried. After she had gone I ended up falling out with my husband over her comment even though it wasn’t his fault. He was furious with her and told me not to take any notice. I was also quite sensitive at that time, especially about my weight and her comment really upset me and I never forgot it. She wasn’t too bad overall but had her moments.
Don’t let it get to you, she is the one in the wrong, I think it may be useful for your partner to have a word with her if this continues. I think it’s important for him to show her that his loyalties are with you, as much as he may love his mum you are the most important woman in his life now, she has to stop undermining you with these snide comments.

Madgran77 Wed 02-Feb-22 10:37:43

Next time she says it, you could come back with ‘Too right! So don’t!’

Brilliant answer janeainsworth grin

Dickens Wed 02-Feb-22 13:52:30


Thank you for all of your advice, it made me feel a lot better that perhaps I am seeing things for what the are. MIL has a very cleaver way of putting her little digs across, sometimes harshly but sometimes very back handedly. So when I do bring it up to my partner he says I’m over reacting because he doesn’t see what she’s said in a negative way. Whether she said it in a sarcastic way or a jokey way I don’t see how someone can get pleasure with constantly making rude remarks trying to put another person down! I have previously told her that I don’t like to talk about my weight especially when I’m pregnant she again said “ can’t say anything to you young ones these days” and still the comments continue.

can’t say anything to you young ones these days” and still the comments continue.

... she appears to have a problem with young people - hence the comment when you cooked breakfast for her and others.

I bet she calls young people 'snowflakes' too.

Do your best to ignore her and don't let her comments drag you down - she sounds like one of those older generation who who often start sentences with "in my day..." who believe that they were the fount of all wisdom and that young people should follow their way of doing things.

Your children, your rules.

M0nica Wed 02-Feb-22 16:56:16

I still think that ignoring and blanking her is the best response.

She is making these remarks because she knows they irritate you and that she gets a response. If you just blank her and ignore her remarks, you take the wind from her sails. What is the point of her making all these remarks if she doesn't get a response?

I have never had this problem with a parent or Parent-in-law, but I did use it on a senior manager who liked to deal in double-entendres when in the presence of women. He came into my department and started doing it to me in front of my staff and I just blanked him. He didn't stay long and didn't try to do it again. With no response the game lost its point.

Madgran77 Wed 02-Feb-22 17:27:23

I do agree that ignoring can be a good strategy in some scenarios but I think within family dynamics involving what happens with children it is not always the best way forward for the long term.

I hope you find a way that works for you justamom

grandtanteJE65 Thu 03-Feb-22 17:37:39

Well, you have two options here, dear.

Either you pin a sweet smile on your face and let your MIL's comments about nappy cream and vests and such like go in one ear and out of the other, and only react to the big stuff, like interfering when the new pram was mentioned,

You tell her you are sick to death of her interference and WILL SHE PLEASE MIND HER OWN BUSINESS!

This will relieve your feelings for a minute or two, but cause a full scale row between you and her and between you and your partner, who apparently sees it as no part of his duty to you to tell his mother to button her lip.

So, love, next time she annoys you, take this piece of advice. Say nothing until you have fastened the baby's nappy and put him back in his pram, then walk out of the room to where you keep your coat, muffle your head in it, and say the very rudest word you can think of.

That done, pin that sweet smile back on, and go back to MIL.
If she starts off on the same track again, smile and say, "Sorry, I haven't time to discuss it right now, I must get the dinner on, will you peel the potatoes for me, please?"

Or if it is nowhere near dinner time - "Just going to put a load of washing on. Could you start the ironing for me?"

That'll get her out of the house! With all those bairns I am sure you are never without washing or ironing, and even if you never iron anything there is no reason why MIL shouldn't do your ironing for you, is there?

Smileless2012 Thu 03-Feb-22 17:41:19

Hopefully, if the comments are ignored by the time the children are old enough to pick up on them, the OP's m.i.l. will have given up because she wasn't being reacted too.

Shandy57 Thu 03-Feb-22 17:53:53

So sorry she's constantly trying to tell you how to parent.

My late MIL was similar, and her ideas were about fifty years out of date. One evening, she very reluctantly agreed to babysit for a few hours whilst I went to the dentists. My son was about a fourteen months.

When I got back, my son was on the sofa in just a t shirt and his nappy, and so was what I thought were bits of white bread covered in sugar. As she was so old fashioned I didn't say anything, I just groaned internally.

The funniest thing was that it was actually bits of nappy - she hadn't checked it for hours, and it was disintegrating!

DiscoDancer1975 Fri 04-Feb-22 12:33:01


Hopefully, if the comments are ignored by the time the children are old enough to pick up on them, the OP's m.i.l. will have given up because she wasn't being reacted too.

That’s what happened with our children, well certainly the oldest two. It was game over after that.

eazybee Fri 04-Feb-22 17:17:05

Have you thought about spending rather less time with her?

GrauntyHelen Mon 07-Feb-22 04:13:19

Don't let her get to you and don't put up with her behaviour either Fortunately I have a "wha dare medl wi me "persona so haven't had to put up with this because everyone knows I wouldn't!

welbeck Mon 07-Feb-22 12:47:20

i don't believe in telling people how they make you feel, because that is giving them further ammunition to use against you.
don't discuss or justify any decisions you make; the subtext of that is that you have to have a good reason, and to try to convince her.
say as little as possible. avoid her as much as possible.
could say, not for us. you are entitled to your opinion, eg when claiming child's ability must come from her side of family.
don't engage with her. that's what she wants. she is not a reasonable person, don't try to reason with her.
good luck.