Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

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.

Alexa Tue 01-May-18 12:16:27

Thanks for that, Hazbeen:

"it would be a strange day if we all saw things the same way!"

I'd have been worried and afraid to take charge of my grandchildren when they were babies.I was completely confident with my own babies but lacked self confidence about my grandbabies and doubted that my sons and daughters in law would have trusted me to get it right. I was happier in grandchildrens' company when they were older, but never got much chance to do things with them . I never knew what this was , whether they did not trust me personally, or whether they did not regard a grandmother as acceptable company on outings and so on. I never knew which it was. It does not matter now as all are adults and set in their ways.

I'm not like the OP's mother in law . I like to be instructed about what I am expected to do and concede to the parents.

HAZBEEN Tue 01-May-18 08:33:49

By the way you and your husband maybe need to get to know the boyfriend better too, it does seem like he is going to be a big part of MILs life!

HAZBEEN Tue 01-May-18 08:32:19

I think one of the problems is people are just different! What one person gets the meaning and reason for another doesnt. Your mother probably has the same outlook on things as you which would be expected, your MIL has a different outlook on life and childcare. Maybe as others have said you need to reach out to her and just explain your point of view (gently!) and maybe ask her to be more involved in your childs life.
Some of the comments on here have been a little harsh but as I said everyone is different and it would be a strange day if we all saw things the same way!

Mamabearchadwick Tue 01-May-18 02:34:05


I think your asking why I haven’t made the same request of my own mother?
I did, make the same requests
My mom came to my home and played, went on walks, etc built a relationship with my daughter. The first few time she took care of her, on her own, she came to my house to get settle with her routine. She now watches her at her home, she also has a full set up there for the baby everything she should need is already in her home ( her choice to do so) we didn’t rush into it either. The smoking is also not an issue because no one smokes. I asked her and she agree no discussion that’s why when I made the same request of my MIL that I was so taken aback by her refusal.

Esspee Mon 30-Apr-18 23:01:57

MIL = mother in law

PaddysAcre67 Mon 30-Apr-18 22:28:25

What is MIL????😕

Madgran77 Mon 30-Apr-18 20:05:17

mamabear Its a shame your contact has been ignored by your MIL. Not good! I hope that your husband/her son can help. What was your relationship like with your MIL before the baby was born by the way?

Jalima1108 Mon 30-Apr-18 19:55:20

I think there is a difference between being a part of their FAMILY's lives and being propped up by your parents.

My experience of bringing up a family was like GabriellaG's (except that I didn't have 5 children) simply because of DH's job, not living near parents etc.

I hope our family has found a happy medium and we do some child care for DGC and see family as often as possible, but it is whatever suits each family and the individual family members - as long as everyone is happy.

paddyann Mon 30-Apr-18 19:49:19

GabriellaG Some of us believe we're parents for ALL of our childrens lives.We dont cut them off when they turn 16 or refuse help if its asked for...or even if its not .I see my AC almost every day ,sometimes my son pops in twice a day and they msg me and phone when they have something interesting to talk about..or a problem.I've watched GC for 15 years and will happily go on looking after them .Its not propping them up its what families do. I dont understand any mother who doesn't like being a part of their FAMILY's lives .

GabriellaG Mon 30-Apr-18 18:56:29

After reading all these posts I'm jolly glad that I don't get put upon by my children. Rules for looking after baby, watching what and how you do the tasks, being a taxi for ferrying GC to and from school, playdates, weekends, babysitting, ironing, taking meals round...whew!!
Then there's some animosity between GPs about who has the most access to GC and jealousy about who spends Christmas with whom and then the price of presents rears it's ugly head.
I don't know... (sigh)
I brought up my children virtually single handedly as H worked offshore, his parents in Oz, my father dead years before I married and mum lived 150+ miles away.
Granted, I didn't have to work but looking after 5 children kept me busy. How do adults not manage? Help from all quarters and still many of them 'suffer' from anxiety, all sorts of mental health issues (if the posts here are indicative of the true scale of the problem) MiL and other problems, it goes on...
I thought that when you became an adult, married or had a life partner, had a job and had children together, that you'd be old enough to run your life yourself, not have to be propped up financially, emotionally or physically by your parents, via their bank or babysitting, ready made meals, taxiing services etc.

GabriellaG Mon 30-Apr-18 18:30:08

Yeah...I would want a cast-iron assurance that MiL's b/f was never going to be left alone with the baby even if MiL was only 'nipping to the corner shop' or cooking dinner or any other circumstance.
No, in fact I wouldn't even be happy with an assurance as I'd always be worrying at work.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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?

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.

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????

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 11:30:42

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.?