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I confronted my MiI, advice please.

(99 Posts)
Ohdear11 Wed 05-Feb-20 22:44:23

Okay so I’ve been here before asking opinions if I was valid to feel hurt and upset about my mils unannounced visits.

Long story short. I had told her before my baby was born that mil was to call first and not drop in unannounced.
But not once did she do this! We live very close so she literally would let herself into my house without even waiting for me to answer the door.
It took a huge toll on me and caused a lot of anxiety.
I since have confronted her after a long 8 months.

This is basically how it went (see below) and I just don’t feel she’s acknowledged what she did and that she disrespected my boundaries. Advice please? I don’t know how I am meant to move I just let it go? It’s made me so angry that I finally said something and the fact she said she only did it twice (refer below also)

Thank you ladies xx

“So I addressed that mil didn’t listen to my requests Re visits and I reiterated the entire conversation her and I had had (not that I think she’s ever magically forgotten).
It was very obvious she was kind of ignoring it and wouldn’t acknowledge it, so she changed the subject....all the while im a bit annoyed and confused she had nothing to say.
She then asked me if she could help in anyway and so I said actually an explanation as to why you chose to not listen to me about my boundaries I had once I had the baby, is what I need right now. And she okay I made that mistake 2x and I was shocked!!! I said ummm sorry what do you mean? - her “I dropped in twice” . I was so livid, but I tried to stay calm and corrected her. “Actually no you dropped in way more than that”. She dropped in very often and at least 10 times during the early weeks which may not seem like much now but it was for me.
Her: “well it doesn’t matter if it was 10 or 20x can’t we move forward”. I told her it actually matters to me and it caused a lot of stress and anxiety and made things hard between my partner and I. She just refused to acknowledge what she did and couldn’t apologise.

**I don’t know how to move forward now...I don’t feel I’ve gotten closure from this experience at all and I would like some tips on what I can say to her while it’s all still fresh rather than leave it?

I since messaged and said thank you for the chat. I really want to clarify that my boundaries needed to be respected for me as a new mum and person regardless of any anxiety I had.

And she replied “yes we just want you to get better, on here to help that’s what families are for”

**I just feel she’s ignoring responsibility that she yes made a mistake but it wasn’t okay.
My fil has no idea that I’d asked her to call before visits and just thinks I’ve been stand offish with her for no reason. It’s driving me insane!

Shelmiss Fri 07-Feb-20 06:41:45

You’re spot on Hetty58 👍🏻

BlueBelle Fri 07-Feb-20 07:27:54

I too noticed that hetty very strange

QuaintIrene Fri 07-Feb-20 07:37:47

Wise, hetty I think you are right.

Grannyjay Fri 07-Feb-20 07:50:42

Oh dear! I kind of sympathise with both. For one you probably made your MIL embarrassed or feel ashamed of her behaviour and she had trouble acknowledging what she had done. Little irritating things become very large and I can understand your needs to be respected. I personally think that yes you are entitled to tell your MIL not to come around unannounced and you have made your point but maybe her shame made her shrug it off and she didn’t want to feel that. Some of us are pretty open people with open doors to all members of the family and are not at all bothered who comes in and take all the help they can get as she is family. You have been truthful to how you feel but it may have come across that you don’t want her and her pride/hurt is dealing with it by shrugging it off. I think changing the locks is a bit drastic and hurtful and she is not a criminal she is the loving grandmother but lock the doors by all means and ignore the knocking. If she says she called round just say I’m sorry but I was busy with the baby and she should give you a call to see if you were free. I think eventually she will take the hint.

Greymar Fri 07-Feb-20 08:28:40

Hetty are you in fact Hetty Wainthrope? It's a very strange business.

Hetty58 Fri 07-Feb-20 09:25:30

Greymar, we can be whoever we like on here, even clone ourselves, what fun!

Buffybee Fri 07-Feb-20 09:50:03

Ohdearand Naty are two different posters, with similar problems and maybe similar posting styles, which could be a young persons way of posting, as in, similar to texting.
On Ohdear's previous thread, there was this same confusion.
She's stated a couple of times that she is not Naty, so I think we should leave it at that.

MawB Fri 07-Feb-20 09:58:03

I just feel she’s ignoring responsibility that she yes made a mistake but it wasn’t okay

Can’t you just let it go and move forward!
This bearing of grudges and inability to find “closure” bodes ill for the future. Can you honestly say you have never made a mistake?
She has apologised but no, you still want to rub her nose in it too like a naughty puppy.

Buffybee Fri 07-Feb-20 10:19:59

I can’t see anywhere that the Mil apologised, I can see that she ignoredand wouldn’t acknowledge, changed the subject, denied how many times she had barged in previously and refused to acknowledge what she did and couldn’t apologize.
I think that Ohdear would probably be ok with no apology from Mil, as long as she understood and respected Ohdear’s request, not to intrude again.

SadafGransnet (GNHQ) Fri 07-Feb-20 10:23:54

Can we just remind you that troll-hunting is against Gransnet guidelines. Please report to us rather than troll hunt and be assured we always investigate. Our forums are to help gransnetters support each other, so let's focus on helping the OP.

Tillybelle Fri 07-Feb-20 15:11:24

Dear @ Ohdear11
I am so sorry to read how distressed you are feeling. It sounds to me as if your MiL is not at all on the same "wave-length" as you. That is, whatever you say, she does not understand what you mean. I think it might help you more to give up trying to explain to her about the previous events and try to let them go. If you can leave them in the past it might save you a lot of distress.

Moving forward, you need to keep things very simple with your MiL. Simply text or tell her, "It's nice to see you. You are very welcome. Please always phone before calling on me to make sure it is convenient." If she says she wouldn't disturb you or what do you mean by convenient, give her one simple example such as "I might be feeding my baby and I want peace and no interruptions then so do not let yourself in unless I have said it is OK". If she keeps asking, just repeat the same example or possible say "Baby might be asleep and I might be needing a rest. Do not let yourself in unless I have said it is OK".

Also put a message tied with a pretty ribbon on your door saying "Please Do Not Disturb. Baby and Mummy are busy sleeping/feeding/having a break together."

Your letter sounds as if you are having some distressing feelings about this matter. Are you a bit isolated? Is it possible for you to get out and meet other young mums with their babies?

I think it would be a good idea to have a check-up at your Doctor's and explain how this has got on top of you and how hard it is to get over it. I think it's possible you could have a bit of Post Natal Depression. I can't possibly say whether you have or not, but the amount of distress you are feeling does deserve some help and I would like you to get some support. Therefore I recommend seeing your Doctor and asking for some Counselling. Being able to talk things over face to face with someone who is completely objective, in a supportive and therapeutic environment might be such a relief for you. I did this after the traumatic birth of my first child and because of my husband's completely unsupportive and cruel constant remarks to me. I was helped so much that later I studied Psychology and became a Counselling Psychologist among other things. Looking after your first baby, especially if you don't see many friends you get on well with, is terribly hard. Anyone who says otherwise has a very lucky time with a very easy baby!

I recommend you stop trying to explain what you mean to your MiL. She's one of those lost causes who is always going to frustrate you and never going to understand. Drop your frustrations about her in the bin marked "On Another Planet". Don't frustrate yourself trying to extract an apology from her. Some people never apologise. It's their loss, but don't let it become your distress. After all, she may be your DH's mother, but you did not choose her or marry her and you are not obliged to have a close relationship with her. Try to make your own friends and soon her place in your life will become unimportant and less able to upset you. You'll gain the confidence to be able to shrug and think "Well, that's just her..." and not care what she says.

I do hope you are able to do these three things: Decide to give up bothering to make your MiL see sense. Meet some friends and spend time with them and see your Doctor.

Wishing you every piece of good luck and that soon you will be able to relax and stop feeling upset about this. You deserve to feel happy and enjoy your lovely baby. I assure you, that very soon you will be able to do this without frustrating thoughts of a MiL who is so obstinately refusing to apologise. Flip those thoughts away like you would an annoying fly buzzing round your head.
With much love, Elle x 🌈🦋🌺🌼

Tillybelle Fri 07-Feb-20 18:41:01

You sound so kind and like the sort of person who wants to keep the peace. E.g. I'll just quote one of your generous messages:
"Apologies for taking up your time with all my added posts. Hopefully it can make some sense."

Because the thread has been all over the place, I need to add that I simply answer the text from the OP as it is written and observe their additional remarks throughout the current thread. However, sometimes the remarks throughout a thread may be said in self-defence for something that came up here, more than clarifying the OP's situation about which she asked our opinion or help.

Ohdear11, I'm going to suggest you have a behaviour style, please forgive me. It has a name and having learned that I am one, and having learned the hard lesson as to why, and that it does not make your life go smoothly, I am going to suggest that I see signs of it in you. It's called a "People Pleaser". We want everyone to feel happy, to like you/us, and you apologise a lot, explain a lot and rather than say you are hurt when somebody is rather sarcastic or critical, you praise their remark. I am not being critical! i have been there and still have to learn to not do it. I'm just pointing it out. I was like it. I was like it because I did not have enough self-esteem. I was very easily crushed. I wanted people to like me. Having been bullied throughout my childhood, I married a bully, knowing no different. I had always been pushed around, mocked, spoken about as if I were stupid/ugly and I had a very low expectation of how people would treat me. If someone said thank you to e I thought they were wonderful. I would be so relieved and able to cope for another day if my husband just made a cup of instant coffee for me - he was making his own and he was not talking to me, but the coffee make me feel as though I existed. It took many years to learn that I did not have to be metaphorically "beaten up" all the time. I did not have to smile while they made cruel "jokes" about me.

If you are like this you cannot set boundaries. If you are trying to keep everybody happy you find it hard to know what to ask of them when it comes to how they treat you. When they seem to treat you unfairly and say things against you that are untrue, you become obsessed with trying to get fairness and truth about yourself because you can't afford to let them not like you. You do not think to say to one of their co-gossips, that you don't care about what they think, if they are stupid enough to listen to such a gossipy tell tale then their opinion is not relevant to you. So if her husband thinks you are stand offish that is his problem. The way to gain closure is to decide that you don't need to be involved with this woman because she is unreasonable and that she simply needs managing, like a recalcitrant teenager. You don't need to bother about her apology. It wouldn't mean anything. You don't need to bother with her understanding why her letting herself enter freely into your home without your agreement is rude, unpleasant and has been upsetting the early days of settling your baby into a routine. Just give her plain simple rules. A few words. Do not come in unless I have said you can and agreed the time. Do not touch/disturb the baby without asking me first, unless it is an emergency.
Please give up bothering to get her to like you. She will probably be more respectful to you when you become like an assertive school-marm from the 1800s!

You have to know how you expect people to treat you before you set boundaries. You have to know that you are worthy of being treated decently, you have to have self-love enough to say "I do not allow you to walk all over me like that." You can only say this with meaning when you believe it in your heart. You need to believe that it's alright to stop someone treating you however they like whenever they like and not listening to your "house-rules". You must not feel apologetic for asking for reasonable boundaries and you do not need to give explanations for having them.

My own daughter had a situation where her MiL had a key to her home and even showed her friends around the house - my DD's home - without asking my DD first! DD had trouble getting breast feeding started. MiL would just walk in. My DGS might at last be asleep and MiL would come in and whisk him out of his basket and wake him up. He would cry. She would say he needs feeding, my DD would say he's just been fed, MiL would say he's hungry and before long MiL was saying my DD couldn't manage! Even to me she said it! My DD had to stay in hospital for the first week of her baby's life while he was tube fed in SCBU. Of course they had a difficult time!

Now, I hope you know whose 'side' I am on Ohdear11!!! I think you are a much too kind, really sweet, scared to upset your DH and thus find it hard to explain what you mean by your boundaries to his MiL. Yes - I know that's a lot to infer from this thread... of course I know I am "reading things in" to the situation. But it is a method we all use and because there are lots of us, you can choose which of us might be a bit helpful with what you are experiencing. I don't mind if I'm wrong. I'm not competing to be the clever one. If I say anything helpful then I and very glad. If what I say isn't for you, just leave it to one side and move on. Most of all, if my approach isn't the one for you, do not be upset by it. Just ignore it. I send it in good faith and I know it might not be the way things are for you. I only want you to be ok. So please do not worry if hat I say isn't the way you want to go. I understand that.

The thing about boundaries is that you need to come across as someone who has them. You need to gain people's respect and seem confident, in control and assertive. In a nice calm self-assured way. No need to be loud and bossy. Best not to in fact. If you don't feel self-assured, just act like you are! This is a kind of whole new attitude. It's a great time for you to demonstrate you are in charge and that you expect people to treat you and yours decently. You are a new mum! A brilliant time to become assertive and show people that what you say and do goes. If MiL doesn't say she's sorry she constantly invaded your privacy and interrupted and there is a conversation going on do not feel bothered by saying calmly and firmly that you have noticed she has never addressed the facts of the situation and how she repeatedly entered your home without invitation and invaded your privacy in the early days of your baby's life when you both needed peace and rest and that she has never apologised for doing this.

Maybe, though, your boundary explanations haven't been understood by brick-wall MiL. Sorry, but someone who lets herself in when a new baby is in the house is as insensitive as a brick wall and she seems to listen like a brick wall. (not the kind that has ears) is probably not capable of understanding about boundaries. Maybe she needs an easier word or phrase such as 'common decency' or 'simple respect' or 'basic understanding' for a person'd home and privacy and as a mother, she ought to have a 'natural understanding' and 'remember how mother and baby need time yo be left in peace together'. When setting your boundaries, usually one doesn't even use the word "boundary". I would love you to say firmly to her "Nobody except (Baby's name)'s Dad comes into this house without asking first!" "We will not be disturbed by anyone while Baby is settling and I need rest! I shall set the phone on vibrate and only attend to emergencies."

I would use the sign on the door idea. After my husband died, people were coming to the house all the time. It was exhausting. I said to my GP that we (children and I) didn't have a minute to ourselves and were so tired. He said to put a sign on the door, "Please do not disturb we are sleeping." Or whatever we wanted it to say.

I have a low opinion of your MiL because of her desire to say you need to "get better", extracting that from one small thing you tried to explain to her.

I don't think you need to see your Doctor to "get better" but I do think it's a good idea to ask for a bit of Counselling. You don't need to be ill to ask for counselling, but when you are in a situation that keeps bothering you it can really help.

For Boundaries and learning what they are etc, I found Stephanie Lyn on YouTube very good. She produces a talk every week so there are many! Don't give up if the first one seems not to hit the mark but try a few out just to see if they might help. She is a professional, from the USA and has a lot of experience. One of her talks helped me a lot but annoyingly it had a titled not related exactly to the boundaries issue! I will try to find it. Meanwhile try: Teach people how you want to be treated. Looks at your self-image, do you really have self-respect? Do there respect you or manipulate you (e.g. turn one comment you made into saying she wants you to get better) and walk all over you? explains how being a People Pleaser (a 'giving' person) is one reason we don't have boundaries. I Think this is the one I found earlier on and was most pleased with.
This one may not sound as though it is relevant but some of what she says rang a bell with me.
It is:
The way your MiL speaks to you is not that of helpful friendly person who actually cares about having a good relationship with you. However, you may not get any sympathy from anyone else. The only people who would understand your distress would be those she has treated as she has treated you. People she does not do this to, or who don't mind her intrusiveness, will not understand. This talk by Stephanie Lyn might have some clues as to how you might proceed. As I said before, if it doesn't sound relevant just try some others.
I'll wish you every success and really, I would try and build up your life with your own friends and not be bothered about a relationship with this MiL. Lots of love to you, Elle x

Naty Sat 08-Feb-20 17:07:10

Hi, I AM the poster with the Italian in-laws. It has strained my relationship with them because I'm not sure if I'll be able to 100% trust them to respect my wishes with my child. This is a serious thing. When people repeatedly ignore you, they are being aggressive and selfish.

My in-laws have backed off, but I do get stressed knowing that we live far too close for comfort.

This is a power struggle, and your MIL saying " we want you to get better" is just making you out to be some crazy person they need to take care of.

I agree with one poster: send her and FIL a text message and email your expectations going forward. So it's in black and white.

It's hard to let go of that anger, I know. I hope it gets better. I know you are angry for that vulnerable new mom you were, and now you are sticking up for yourself with a boundary stomper. I'm glad you set her straight. She won't forget that conversation. She's probably shocked you brought it up.

Next time you see her, thank her for the chat and say that you sent her the text to be fully clear and transparent with her.

Try to let it go for your own mental health. Follow up with your husband too.

I'm sorry people are bashing you, thinking you are me.

Ohdear11 Mon 10-Feb-20 02:43:15


Hi smile
No she hasn’t apologised.....which is kind of my issue and the reason I wrote this thread smile I don’t know how I’m meant to move forward when she hasn’t acknowledged it etc.

But I think previous person is right and maybe she’s feeling guilty/ashamed and that’s why she keeps shrugging it off.

Ohdear11 Mon 10-Feb-20 02:51:38

Hi @Tillybelle,

Thank you smile

Your post makes a lot of sense.
I have talked to my doctor, he does think I’m quite stressed but we are just going to monitor it but he doesn’t think I have PND smile
And I’ve been really focusing on spending time with people that make me happy smile I worked for a few years in my local town as a vet nurse, so know a lot of people. I’m also really lucky I have my own mum close by and extended family so don’t worry I’m drenched in love and friends.

And I agree, the only way is just to let things go and move forward. Whilst of course I will still maintain my boundaries and keep things simple with MIL. I have no desire to be close to her and it was actually refreshing to hear that I don’t have to have a close relationship. I think people worry too much of this.

Thank you for your kind words and wisdom xx

Ohdear11 Mon 10-Feb-20 02:53:07

I can’t see what Hetty wrote but I’m assuming she thinks I’m someone else again lol

I don’t know how I’m meant to prove I’m not Naty but I think it’s completely possible for two people to have mil problems lol

Namsnanny Mon 10-Feb-20 03:00:24

Well Ohdear11 … as Naty has replied two or three posts back maybe others will read her post and realise that you aren't the same posters!

Hope you both get some peace from who ever pesters you flowers

Ohdear11 Mon 10-Feb-20 03:02:26

Thanks TillyBelle

I just read your second reply. And you are very correct. I am/was a people pleaser. Up until the end of last year. Since then and I am still learning but I am getting really good at not pleasing people at the expense of my own happiness. Which is how I ended up confronting my mil. I even had to come back to the topic to tell her how it was....even if she didn’t want to apologise/acknowledge at the end of it. I certainly told her it was not okay and that in future she was to respect my boundaries and privacy and this was my home.
I still have room for improv but I feel so much stronger after I realise the toll it was taking on me smile

Ohdear11 Mon 10-Feb-20 08:45:21

Hi @Namsnanny
Yes thank you smile
It’s been really frustrating with all this silly business of me being someone else. I don’t know why anyone would go to such an effort to make a new account?! Lol

It’s been quite strange having some people treat me as if they knew for a fact that I was this Naty....but I guess that is something you have to accept with the internet....not everyone can be nice.
I live on a farm Nz, DH works with his father, hence living close. Is it really so hard to believe two women can’t seem to get their mil to listen?

I hope Hetty58 can fund a better hobby than looking for conspiracy theories in commented at the beginning and then again recently on this thread...I just don’t see the need! You are wrong.

I’ve had great advice though and honestly having everyone’s unbiased opinions and to see so much kindness from strangers has really been what I’ve needed. I have been stressed, I wondered if I had PND myself.
But I’ve just had a very tough time with my mil and TillyBelle was spot on, I’m a people pleaser, I went through all the upset just so mils feelings wouldn’t hurt until I got to the very end and finally said what is felt.

So thank you ladies for your advice and help ❤️ your kindness has honestly helped heal my wound from all this and given me the strength to move forward and let go of my anger x

ananimous Thu 13-Feb-20 12:34:46

I think it happens a lot on GN where some regular folk smell the scent of hooves under the bridge, (not very subtle, I know) and run with it - usually scaring off innocent newbs.

MawB Thu 13-Feb-20 13:13:16

I hope Hetty58 can fund a better hobby than looking for conspiracy theories in gransnet
Oh dear oh dear11 why the need for the heavy sarcasm?

You asked for advice?

Well many posts later, surely the best advice is to move on not hang on to your sense of injustice and whether you are in the right.

In the words of that song from Frozen - 🎶🎶 well you know the one I mean.
Alternatively you could “nurse your wrath to keep it warm” and make everybody, yourself included , unhappy.

Ohdear11 Mon 17-Feb-20 03:58:01


Hetty58 didn’t give me advice, She tried to accuse me that I was another poster (Naty). Her comments were removed by admin.

So yes I was sarcastic because she did it twice throughout my post, claiming I’m someone else....hence my comment!

MawB Mon 17-Feb-20 03:59:26

I repeat, you asked for advice, I and others have given advice.
Time to move on.