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Having issues with MIL need help!

(62 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.

Tokyojo3 Mon 30-Apr-18 09:55:57

Hello. I’m totally on your side darling. I’m lucky enough to be a Nanny to my daughters beautiful two year old little girl and from day one I have slotted in with exactly how they want things done regarding THEIR child. They both know I will do exactly what they’ve told me every time . This is her first child and new mums need to be supported as it’s a very nervous time . I agree with who said the grandchild is not a prize that the grandparent is entitled to. I’ve moved to the other end of the country to be near my granddaughter and daughter and it’s a privilege to look after and spend precious time with her. I had a horrible Mother who demanded I give my precious babies over to her and I refused as I didn’t trust her . She thought she had a “ right”. She didn’t and I never left my daughters with her unattended and your mil sounds awfully familiar. You stick to you guns darling and remember that you are Mum and what you say goes!

lilihu Mon 30-Apr-18 10:01:43

I agree we have only heard one part of the story, however, the OP comes across as a caring, considerate and practical new mother. She’s trying to do the best for everyone involved. A new mother with a 4 month old, who is learning all the time, trying to keep everyone involved (with an extended family), juggling motherhood with a job. She comes across as a very reasonable person.
Some posters are trying to portray the MIL as a paragon of grandmotherly virtue, which, from the info so far, is a fantasy.
Has anyone considered that having just recently had a new boyfriend move in with her, she may have other priorities and be very much occupied with the new partner, rather than overly concerned with seeing the new baby?
My concerns would be joint - residual smoke in the apartment and how well does everyone know the boyfriend. Until I felt totally happy about both, I would have child care at my home, on my terms.

GoldenAge Mon 30-Apr-18 10:20:25

Your MIL sounds a bit of a drama queen to me and your DH needs to get on board with this - It does matter where a 4 month old baby is taken care of - because all the feeding gear is at home, and the smell of the environment etc. is part of baby's safe haven. It would be different if your MIL had developed a relationship with the baby but she hasn't for whatever reason. The smoking is the issue - if she takes the attitude that she's brought up four children blah, blah - then she'll also turn a blind eye to her boyfriend's smoking. You were right to tell her it wasn't going to work - find a professional nanny to babymind for the weekend and then afterwards do your best to create a relationship between grandma and baby on your terms.

Annie29 Mon 30-Apr-18 10:25:33

I think it's reasonable for you to ask her to come to you. All the stuff your baby needs will be at hand. I used to leave home at 6 am catch two trains to look after grandchildren. Most importantly it is not good for babies and children to be in a environment where people smoke. Hope your husband supports you in your decision. Both my parents and in laws smoked and I wish I had been stronger about taking my children into smokey environment. Good luck

Coconut Mon 30-Apr-18 10:32:58

Draw a line in the sand, ask her to meet up for a coffee and talk to iron out misunderstandings etc to find a way forward ..... for everyones sake.

anitamp1 Mon 30-Apr-18 10:51:31

It's very hard to comment without both sides of the story. And an awful lot depends on how things were said, just as much as what was said. I think perhaps you are being a bit precious to say you want your daughter to be babysat in her own home. Babies and toddlers are perfectly happy and comfortable different environments. I can understand your concerns about cigarette smoke. But I don't get the impression you have actually been to your mother's home and smelt smoke. If you have, then I apologise. I think your first move should have been to visit your mum with baby and discuss things face to face. Then if you could smell smoke you could have raised your concerns. At the end of the day your mother would be doing you a big favour, yet it feels like she's been approached more like a laid child minder. Sorry if I sound a bit harsh, but am sure you could repair any bad feeling if the two of you could meet somewhere in the middle, and it would benefit you both.

vickya Mon 30-Apr-18 11:05:56

Mamabearchadwick I've got 2 daughters and #1 has a 9 year old and 3 year old and #2 an 18 month old. Before I spent time alone I spent time together with daughters and then graduated to taking grandkids out in the buggy for short walks, to give mum a rest. Then when I babysat I had instructions and it was in daughters' homes. Usually it was a couple of hours at first. My biggest difficulty is the equipment! Be patient with mum and mil as the buggies, highchairs and car seat are much more complicated than when daughters were little. Folding a buggy requires a 6 week training course!

I do after nursery care and did after school and my worst gig is when #1 daughter is very ill and home and wafts in and our while I am looking after the 3 year old. Or when she was 1 or 2. Daughter critiques my performance and gives notes to do it better! I want to carry on looking after them as that's mainly when I see them so I say ok and smile smile.

OldMeg Mon 30-Apr-18 11:06:16

anitampl it’s her MiL NOT her mother and why are you questioning a simple statement that the MiL’s new partner is a smoker?

vickya Mon 30-Apr-18 11:12:23

Oops, oldest grandson will be 12 in June, he's not 9. When I look after his little sister he helps if there and he tells me what to do as well! I am a put-upon gran! To be fair he is fantastic with his sister. #1 daughter is picky and cranky and difficult. #2 daughter is easy to please, but sadly a 1.5 hour drive away. I don't know what you are like but as a first time mum I should think a bit picky now. Actually second daughter almost never lets me do anything as I travel far to her and she thinks I should enjoy playing and not do childcare.

You could start again with Mil and ask her over and let her watch you change baby and take baby out for a walk? In a few months she might like to go to a play group or music session with you and baby?

OldMeg Mon 30-Apr-18 11:20:56


Alexa Mon 30-Apr-18 11:28:01

Mamabearchadwick, you need to lay down the ground rules about the care of your child whoever the babysitter is. A mother in law is no better and no worse than any other baby sitter. You mother in law has little to complain about. I agree that it would be a kindness on your part if you tried to explain to her how smoking matters to your child's health. You may need to patiently reiterate your point of view many times. You seem to be doing very well juggling all those relations and relationships. Good for you breast feeding! Hope you can keep it up.

sarahellenwhitney Mon 30-Apr-18 11:30:42

How important is it that you work until your child is much older./
I can understand not wanting your child in a smoking environment and this is mainly at the root of the issue but I do not blame MIL for wanting to have her grandchild at her own home rather at yours How long would you be at work? What would you expect her to do other than baby sit?. Again how important is it that you work as well as DH.?

quizqueen Mon 30-Apr-18 11:35:53

I wouldn't consider entrusting a four month old baby to someone they had no relationship with and certainly wouldn't expose her to a smoky apartment so she needs to be told that. You also need to have seen how carers, no matter who they are, interact with your baby first before leaving them for a number of hours. I think you need to look for good, paid professional childcare on the days your mum can't do it but you have left it a bit late for that. Personally, I would not have let the first four months pass without building up that relationship between baby and MinL in the first place.

sarahellenwhitney Mon 30-Apr-18 11:44:19

Am I missing something?hmm
It appears you have discussed MIL response with your own mother? who it appears is 'baffled by the behaviour' ' So why then has not your own flesh and blood offered to do what you request of your MIL????

trisher Mon 30-Apr-18 11:52:48

vickya grin I needed training for buggies as well. I was also educated in baby led weaning and many other modern parenting techniques!!! I think the thing is it takes time to build confidence and it is up to the GP to try and help the new mum adjust. They have so many demands on them nowadays and often have to return to work, something they do with mixed emotions. Taking the stress off them by complying with their baby minding requirements seems a small price to pay for the joy of looking after GCs and building a relationship with them.

grandtanteJE65 Mon 30-Apr-18 12:12:01

Actually the OP said she hadn't been to her MIL's house because she hadn't been invited, which in my book is a very good reason for staying away!

It sounds to me as if the MIL - DIL issues started well before the baby was born. Why has MIL not been to visit her new GD?

OP you are quite right to feel your DD would be happier being looked after in her own home, but honestly if I were your MIL I would be furious and hurt at apparently not having been invited to your place during the four months since the child's birth. Or have I misunderstood the situation, is it MIL who can't or won't come, just as she doesn't invite you to her place?

If so, what made you and your DH feel she was a good person to ask to baby-sit?

EmilyHarburn Mon 30-Apr-18 12:19:28

Do not take your new baby to a house where she has not been before, where someone smokes and there is a boy friend who is not a relative. I am sorry you have had to return to work and have not been able to get different hours from your husband. I am sorry your work has not got a creche. I hope you can find a local person to baby sit who will come to your house and keep your daughter happy within the routine she knows and amongst familiar possessions.

gummybears Mon 30-Apr-18 12:34:37

I will poke my head over the parapet here and say that as a daughter, let alone a DIL, it is hard to bring up the issue of why a grandparent apparently is indifferent to seeing a grandchild.

It’s awkward and tbh quite hurtful to have to say “I asked you to come over any time, you don’t ever come, why is this?”

So the situation can rumble on and become more and more awkward and unpleasant.

It’s not all on OP to make all the running here for MIL to have seen the baby more in the last few months. It feels really yucky to feel like you are taking your baby to see someone who doesn’t seem that into them. That might not seem ‘mature’, but feelings often aren’t, especially feelings of rejection.

Just a side point, I’ll go back downstairs now!

knickas63 Mon 30-Apr-18 12:37:55

I do think a lot of new mums can be very controlling and demanding (and yes - I know it is their precious child, I do have some understanding). They are bombarded with so many 'rules' and recommendations that I think it can be overwhelming. I do so wish that they could relax and stop trying to do everything by the book. I am so glad that my own daughters are very laid back and just don't read any experts books. I am quite sure that the baby would be absolutely fine to just be dropped off with MIL. Yes - A bit more contact previously would be better, but all in all - it isn't a big deal. On the other hand - I would want to be fairly comfortable with the boyfriend first - I feel that is more of an issue.

Bluekitchen192 Mon 30-Apr-18 12:48:45

My grand daughter is three months old. First child for my daughter & husband. First grndchild for everyone. They live an hour plus away from both grandparents. I visit two/three times a week. Bringing cooked dinners initially. Now bringing bits & pieces. Mil is in a snit. She "doesnt understand" why baby doesn't visit her. Wants them to move closer so "she can see her only grandchild" Doesn't work. Has no committments Smokes. Certainly she is vulnerable to to complain continually that I "am getting all the fun" is upsetting her son. Sometimes people need to get a grip. Sorry to be unsympathetic.

nipsmum Mon 30-Apr-18 13:12:31

I agree with Bluebell. You want everything your way. It obviously suits you for Mil to babysit as no one else is available. If you don't like the heat stay out of the kitchen. Look after your baby your way.

anitamp1 Mon 30-Apr-18 13:40:15

Oldmeg. Sorry if I didn't make that clear. I wasn't questioning whether the partner was a smoker. What I was questioning was whether the house smelt of smoke. Both my late parents smoked and the house at times smelt awful. Sadly my parents, who i loved dearly, died before i had my son. But had they still been around I would have been very unhappy about taking him into that environment.. However, I have friends who smoke occasionally, but never actually in the house. They go into the garden and within the house there is sign they smoke. I was really trying to play devil's advocate in the hope it might help diffuse the situation.

blue60 Mon 30-Apr-18 14:09:45

If you can avoid this situation escalating into position where neither of you speak, it will become very difficult.

Nip it in the bud now if you can. Invite her out for coffee/shopping or just a walk with baby and talk honestly with her.

From my point of view, there is misunderstanding between you, and I am not pointing the finger at either of you as I don't know both sides of the story.

I had a horrendous time with my mil for 18 years before she died. I was ostracised by my sil and mil, and she told her friends untrue stories about me; they saw me as being someone to dislike - and they all made no effort to conceal it either.

Continue to be friendly towards her, and confide in her what your worries are to make sure there is no misunderstanding. I wouldn't send your DH to speak to her - I think it sends the wrong message and a 'go between' rarely ever gets respect. It's still early days being a new mother, so cut yourself some slack and acknowledge your feelings, but also try to understand them.

I hope everything sorts itself out soon for you all. xx

palliser65 Mon 30-Apr-18 15:25:20

From your perspective you had a baby only 4 months ago and could do without all this stress. Mother in Law not sure what to do about visiting as you are both busy. To be honest baby better cared for in own home instead of you having all pressure of lugging evrything to mother in lawas in all weather. I find child care much easier in grandchildrens own home. Text her offer of coffee somewhere. Then say 'i'm sorry we've got off as new parents and grandparents on thsi misundertanding'. See what happens. All those feelings you've described are the ones she'd describe of herself. Also please be kind to yourself. New motherhood is very hard.

Chinesecrested Mon 30-Apr-18 16:06:18

A mil can find she's in a very difficult position. Should she visit often and run the risk of dil thinking she's breathing down her neck? Or should she take a step backwards and wait to be invited, in which case dil could think she's not interested (but also that invitation may never come). It may be just a lack of communication but the son in law could help with this.