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Having issues with MIL need help!

(61 Posts)
Mamabearchadwick Sun 29-Apr-18 03:47:53

My daughter is 4 months old and my MIL hasn’t been very involved so she doesn’t know her. My MIL was going to watch her while my husband and I were both at work this weekend. At the beginning of the week I texted her and asked if she could come over the day before to get familiar with her as well as give me the opportunity to go over the babies schedule. (( i am the primary caregiving for her and my husband doesn’t really know her daily routine)) I also said that I wanted her to watch the baby at our house, instead of her home this time so that she is in a comfortable environment that she knows . ((( she has not been over to MIL home yet because we haven’t been invited & her boyfriend also smokes and that make me hesitant without going over to see if the house smell like it)))

So this was in the morning. I heard nothing all day until my husband calls me to tell me about his mother calling him crying and going on about me not wanting her to watch the baby. So I told him that I would handle it. So I call her no answer, leave a message and wait.... finally 2-3 hrs later she calls me back. Basically blaming me for her not visiting and that she should be able to watch her grand baby wherever she want to. Saying she has been to everyone else’s home but her’s and how unfair I was being. She finished with if she can’t watch her at her home then I needed to find someone else.
I got very upset because I feel as a new mom that I should be able to make small requests for the first time she watches her? My parenting decision should be respected. I welcome advice but all she was thinking about was what she wanted.

I made a point to explain why and wanting her to be introduced to new environments and the day of my husband would just have time to drop her off no time to get her comfortable. I feel that may cause her to be stressed and extra fussy which has happened in the past.
And all my MIL kept going on and on about how she raise 4 kids and she can take care of her and she would never become familiar and comfortable with her unless she was able to spend time with her. ((( by this point in the conversation I became very frustrated because I felt she wasnt hearing me and what my concerns were. I lost my cool for a minute and said “you have to try to see her, you haven’t tried” and she had an excuse for that too trying to not to bother us. ((( my husband works every day ‘m-f and now the weekend too. All of which she knows as well as knowing I’m home alone a lot of the time taking care of the baby. I don’t think that I should have to reach out every single time to make sure she spends time with her GD!

I guess I’m am looking for perspective...

Am I still feel very disrespected, frustrated, angry, hurt and sad.
The conversation end with me saying I’m sorry it is just not going to work out this weekend I will find someone else. Have a great night.

Her behavior seemed very selfish to me.

I just need some outside perspective. I talked to my mom about it and she was baffled by the behavior and I just outsiders thoughts.

OldMeg Sun 29-Apr-18 06:12:43

Well, we are only hearing one side of this story, but if it as you say then you have my sympathy. The ball is in her court now and you need your husband to back you on this,

His job is to firstly act as a go between but primarily to support you and the new baby.

Families! Who’d have ‘em? 🤨

Situpstraight Sun 29-Apr-18 07:18:48

As oldmeg has said we only have your side of the story.

However, the baby should be looked after in her own home, especially as she doesn’t have a relationship with your MIL and to me that’s the most important issue. If it was me I would want her to spend a lot more time with me and the baby before she babysat for a whole day.

I have other issues as well, presumably the boyfriend is a long term partner ? If you haven’t been to the house to check it out, why not? If it’s because they smoke in the house, then that’s a very good reason not to take your daughter there. But are there other reasons that you stay away from them?
it’s probably true that she brought up 4 children, but I’m sure that, as you are doing, she brought them up as she saw fit, so she should certainly see where you are coming from.

TBH if your MIL wants a relationship with your daughter then she should come to see you in your own home and start from there, the child isn’t a prize that she gets to have because she brought up your OH.

I think you need to speak to him and be honest and then he should go and speak to his mother with both of your concerns.

Families are a minefield, they all seem to expect certain rights, it’s a delicate pathway to negotiate.

BlueBelle Sun 29-Apr-18 08:18:40

We seem to be attracting American mother in law problems at the moment I am guessing you are American as the Mom seems to indicate you are over the pond
A few questions why hasn’t the mother in law been involved and been over to see the baby in the last four months?
Why have you never visited her you say you don’t know if the house smells of smoke so obviously you haven’t ever been to her house?
If your mother in law hasn’t been to see the baby in 4 months and you ve never been to her house why would you suddenly expected her to do a full day care wouldn’t it be better to have eased her in bit by bit and hour here an hour there before giving your baby over for a full day ?

I may have got this wrong but it sounds very much as if you are stuck for a baby sitter and are using your mother in law otherwise why haven’t you been including her in meeting her granddaughter she probably feels a bit torn wanting to be in contact and looking after her granddaughter but feeling put on for a whole day out of her own home all on your terms don’t get me wrong I don’t think the baby should be taken for a full day out of her environment for the first time but I also think you are using the grandmother and expecting a lot of her for the first time meeting
You have missed the bus in introducing them bit by bit over the last four months and suddenly find yourself in need not fair on either of them or yourself come to that

stella1949 Sun 29-Apr-18 10:36:25

I agree with Bluebelle on this - it seems that you haven't gone to visit her for the entire four months, and now you want some babysitting but want to lay down the rules.

You say that you find her selfish but I guess that goes both ways. When I had young babies it was my responsibility to take the baby to see my in laws, I didn't expect it to be all their job to do that.

If you need a babysitter you might have to pay someone else , rather than expecting family to suddenly do it with no introduction.

trisher Sun 29-Apr-18 11:01:29

If her boyfriend smokes in the house I wouldn't take a baby to visit her and certainly wouldn't want her looking after the baby there. But it does seem as though this hasn't been made absolutely clear to her. You might like to send her some information about 2nd and 3rd hand smoke effects on children.
Infants can also be affected by thirdhand smoke. One study suggests that smoke exposure is one of the biggest risk factors for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The other large risk factor for SIDS is improper sleeping position.
Aside from the risk of SIDS, thirdhand smoke exposure sets infants up for some of the same health risks as older children, including frequent illnesses and respiratory problems.
3rd hand smoke is the residue of chemicals left on surfaces in houses and other places where anyone smokes.
I am a MIL and I respected my DIL wishes, visiting her and the babies when they were tiny. Holding them when I was asked and watching them when she wanted.
You are handing the most precious person in your life to someone else, no matter who that is, you have the right to decide where, when, and how, things are done.

Luckygirl Sun 29-Apr-18 11:14:29

I think you will have to find someone else to look after your baby - someone who understands the priorities and worries of a new mother.

Luckygirl Sun 29-Apr-18 11:14:44

- and whom you can trust! -

Chewbacca Sun 29-Apr-18 11:34:58

I too wonder why you haven't been to your MIL's house before? Is there any reason for this? It doesn't sound, from what you've said in your OP, as though there is an existing relationship between you? You seem to know so little about each other and I can't help thinking that asking your MIL to care for your baby, for a full weekend, without there being any kind of a relationship in place, is going to be very difficult for all of you. Perhaps you could start to build up that relationship over a period of weeks or months, so that you all get to know each other properly and build up trust, before you leave your baby with her.

Mamabearchadwick Sun 29-Apr-18 14:15:00

BlueBelle I should clarify. My MIL was checking in and visiting for the first maybe first month, but as time has gone on she slowly stoped. Now I send photo and updates almost everyday ( to all the grandparents). I don’t get a response from her when I send these. There have even been a few time that she had planned to come over and then never showed up. My mom is usually the one that watches her when I go to work( which is only 3 days a week) but she wanted to go out of town for the weekend with my dad. So my husband asked his mother and she agreed, it would be 5-6hrs.

To address not having been to her apartment. We have been to her apartment but not since the baby was born which was the same time the boyfriend moved in. Prior to that no smoke. My concerns is SIDS and the risk increases when exposed to smoke. I have had this concern and spoken about this many times with my husband. Explains that I want to go check out her apartment, but it never worked out for one reason or another and he would just say we have to do it later.

I really appreciate everyone’s perspective and thoughts

Madgran77 Sun 29-Apr-18 14:17:24

Oh dear. This sounds like since the baby was born your MIL has been trying to do the right thing by not being over demanding to give you space .... but has been building resentment because she hasn't been invited and you haven't visited her. You on the other hand expected her to come round or ask to visit if she wanted to and didn't visit her because of your valid concerns about the smoking! A lack of communication about expectations, needs and wants on both sides! What a shame ...but she deserves some credit for acknowledging you might need time and space as a new mum ...you are lucky that she has that much insight into a new parents needs!
Then into this resentment building situation up pops the first opportunity for her to spend some quality time with her grandchild; excited and pleased she is very likely looking forward to it. She gets a text with your requests (which sound sensible and reasonable!) and oh boy does that building resentment kick in (remember her interpretation of not seeing her grandchild, not being invited etc is likely to be that you don't much want your daughter to build a relationship with her; this may not be true but how would she know?) ...so her responses to you come from resentment, anger, upset, hurt, feeling a bit used....and your responses to her come from anger, protectiveness of your child and maybe a feeling building that your MIL isn't really interested as she hasn't asked to visit!!

You two need to sit down quietly without interruptions and speak honestly about 1. Your wishes for your daughter and why 2. Each others needs/expectations about visiting etc 3. How this whole misunderstanding has occurred and moving on from it. Then maybe arrange a couple of little outings together with your daughter....the park, for coffee, to the play club etc ...to all enjoy each others company!! Your daughter will build a relationship with her grandmother; you will build a mutually supportive relationship with your MIL, a different one than before perhaps now that you are a mother too.

I truly hope you can sort this and that your MIL is willing to meet you halfway in sorting out the misunderstandings and the future ...for her own sake, for your sake and for your daughters sake! flowers

Dontaskme Sun 29-Apr-18 14:18:28

This is a 4month old baby who does not need to stay in her own home to feel comfortable in an "environment that she knows". At that age they don't care and I don't understand why so many new mothers insist that their babies need to be in one place or another to feel comfortable - this is where the issues start with screaming kids being left at childcare/nursery/school as mums insist on either never being away from them, them never going anywhere without them or going off to new environments.
This IS the Grandmother we're talking about here. Just write the schedule down and give it to her, along with any bottles/formula etc the baby will need and leave them to get on with it, in the Grandmothers home. For someone on here to suggest that you cant trust the Grandmother, who you don't say has actually done anything wrong, is a disgrace.
I feel sorry for the Grandmother who you don't seem to have included in her Grandchilds life and have now decided that she's not capable of looking after her own grandchild.
Smoking - all you need to do is ask them not to smoke around the baby and I'm sure they won't.
I get really fed up with the way so many MIL go through the wringer - rarely do we hear such stories about the maternal side, its always the paternal who are useless it seems.

trisher Sun 29-Apr-18 14:22:35

Smoking - all you need to do is ask them not to smoke around the baby and I'm sure they won't.
Dontaskme read up about third hand smoking. The chemicals remain on surfaces and are easily picked up by little hands. It is dangerous.

BlueBelle Sun 29-Apr-18 14:24:09

I agree with you Dontaskme they don’t even know if the boyfriend smokes in the house as they ve never been for all they know he may go outside to have his fag .But fancy never visiting for four months or maybe never the poor grandmother said she hadn’t want to interfere but that was wrong too then suddenly they need her for a whole day
Not fair at all

Mamabearchadwick Sun 29-Apr-18 14:51:59

Dontaskme I asked these same things from my own mother and she agreed without any objections the first few times she watched her. She now watches her at her house and she does very well. I think that is why I was so shocked about my MIL objections/refusals.
I want all of the grandparents to be apart of her life as much as they can but having a fragmented family because of divorce is tough we have my husband dad , stepdad, and mom to keep up running from one place to the next to see everyone is very exhausting as a new mom and hard when is nursing every 2-3hrs. That’s why I made a point to tell them I would happy for them to visit whenever they have free time to just call before they drop by. We all live in the same town. I haven’t said no to anyone so far and I don’t plan on stopping anyone from seeing her.
Now that she is getting older and flu season is over we get out to new places as much as we can and she is doing very well.
The smoke is an happening in the apartment when no one is there but when people visit he goes outside. So 3rd had smoke is the concern as she becomes more active and is always putting her hands in her mouth.

I just want what is best for her health.

Luckygirl Sun 29-Apr-18 15:09:51

Don't go into the smoker's home - it will be clinging to the curtains, the carpets, clothes etc.

First duty is to baby.

cornishclio Sun 29-Apr-18 15:58:47

Smoke lingers so if the MILs DP smokes then it is likely to be in the apartment unless he only smokes outside.

Your request for MIL to come over to get familiar with baby and her routine and ideally to look after her at your house sounds very reasonable to me. All the equipment is there and she will be able to put her down in her own cot for naps etc. I cannot see why MIL should protest this so much having been a mum herself.

She has no right to visit grandbaby whenever she wants and visits should be a two way thing. She sounds as if she is either cross you have not been over to visit or defensive of you implying she cannot look after baby as she does not know her or routine. Maybe invite her over once a week for a while until she gets to know her. Make your DH arrange a visit to his mums so you can see if the smoking thing will be a problem. I would have no problem saying baby cannot go there if it stinks of smoke.

BlueBelle Sun 29-Apr-18 16:52:00

She has no right to visit grand baby whenever she wants where’s that come from Cornish there is no mention of her ever visiting in fact the grand mum said she had held back as she didn’t want to get in their way
I totally agree with others about the smoking thing but if they have never been to the house they have no way of knowing if there is smoking going on or not Surely it would have made sense all round to have been in some sort of physical contact before asking the woman to have the baby for a whole day

Madgran77 Sun 29-Apr-18 19:29:48

Mamabear * I want all of the grandparents to be apart of her life as much as they can but having a fragmented family because of divorce is tough we have my husband dad , stepdad, and mom to keep up running from one place to the next to see everyone is very exhausting as a new mom and hard when is nursing every 2-3hrs. That’s why I made a point to tell them I would happy for them to visit whenever they have free time to just call before they drop by. We all live in the same town. I haven’t said no to anyone so far and I don’t plan on stopping anyone from seeing her*
I had not seen this follow up post of yours when I previously commented. However I still think my comments are worth your consideration. I think explaining all of the above to her (including that you asked you own Mum to do the same initially) is part of that discussion with her.

Mamabearchadwick Sun 29-Apr-18 19:49:01

Madgran77– yes I appreciate your suggestions and agree with you we do need to talk in person. I have reach out since this incident and have been ignored. So I resorted to have my husband to offer to visit this week so hopefully it goes well.

Cold Sun 29-Apr-18 20:18:26

I would not allow a 4 month old baby to be in a smoker's house if they ever smoke indoors - smoke residue permeates all of the carpets, curtains, sofas and textiles etc

OldMeg Mon 30-Apr-18 06:24:25

The risk of SIDS is greatly increased by exposing a young baby to tobacco smoke, some of you don’t seem to have registered that fact.

dizzygran Mon 30-Apr-18 09:39:47

Oh dear.. not an easy one to manage mama bear. When my dil went back to work I had my GD from Sunday afternoon to Monday evening. /this worked for them and gave dil a good nights sleep before work on Monday. It was tiring at times but we coped and we have a good relationship with everyone. I would not let a baby stay or go to a house where someone is smoking. If it upsets them that is tough. I think you have been reasonable in wanting MIL to get to know your baby in your home - hope its not to late to put the situation right. How about meeting MIL for coffee with the baby and talking the situation through. Meeting away from both your homes might help. You need to build your relationship with her too. Best of luck.

DameDiscoDiva Mon 30-Apr-18 09:39:56

Seems to me that the real issue here is the smoking. I can understand why you don’t want your baby there and I can understand why you wouldn’t want to address it with your Mother in law. However, someone needs to and it needs to be your husband. At the end of the day he needs the baby sitting as much as you do so he needs to take some responsibility. I agree with an earlier comment I really don’t think a 4 month baby gives a hoot whose lounge they’re in at the time. All they need is attention, love and warmth wherever they are. The biggest issue you are heading for is an upset baby because she’ll detect the tension no matter whose house she’s in. That will then create even more problems going forward. Either way your husband needs to sort this and then you and your mother in law can move forward creating the right environment for the little girl grow comfortable with everyone.

Lewie Mon 30-Apr-18 09:51:10

Excellent response Bluebelle my thoughts exactly.