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I resent MIl, advice

(53 Posts)
AbbieS9812 Mon 29-Mar-21 11:17:07

Hi everyone, im not a nan but wanted to ask here to get different perspectives. I want to understand her point of view because i feel like our relationship is strained and i dont like it. I have a gut feeling she is resenting me, but im also resenting her. We had a great relationship and we still do but theres an unspoken tension and i want to sort it. MIL has put a lot of pressure on me to forefil her expectations of being a nan such as sleep overs, days babysitting etc. At times it felt like she cared more about makeing my baby more available for babysitting then she did about our needs as baby and mum. It's pushed me away and made me shun the idea of MIL haveing LO. If she wasnt so pushy I'd of been more open to the idea.

Im going to try shorten it, sorry if its a bit rushed. Im just going to try give an idea of everything

Im in my early 20s with my first child who is now 14 months old . I dont work and am a stay at home mum, i know im really lucky.
When i got pregnant MIL would tell me she was excited to have her over when she was born, telling me that i should book a meal 3 days ater birth and leave LO with her. Trying to get us to go on holiday with her to a cottage, 6 hours away when LO was 6 weeks old. She would tell me how me and partner can go for a walk and leave leave LO with her at the cottage.. when we said no, the holiday never happened. She spoke about doing extra hours at work to take days off to babysit. Talking about buying a cosleeper for sleepovers at her house. This is an idea of the things she would bring up at EVERY conversation. I was happy my soon to be babys nan was eager but at the same time, I was a first time mum and all these expectations to give up my child up before she was born made me anxious.

When baby was born, she picked us up from the hospital and for appointments such as jaundice, check ups etc I was groggy, tired, in pain but I was trying my best. During these car rides she would just tell me how I should teach LO to be on the bottle instead of just the breast so others can have her. Telling me she will become to attached to me and wont be able to go to others. That is mean to not give others a chance to feed LO as they are missing out on that bonding. Telling me to give dummys so she doesnt need the breast. One day in the car, I was sick if hearing the same comments and constantly justifying my parenting. I snapped and got really moody, my replies became very short and snappy. we all went silent and MIl had tears in her eyes. My partner got annoyed at me for speaking to his mum like that, but no one was considering how bad i was feeling and how much these comments were getting to me. She would call up to 10 times a day, even at 7am after being up all night and just getting to sleep 2 hours ago. These calls woke everyone up. I eventually i put all the phones on silent. She lives down the road so was always knocking and makeing up excuses to come round. I felt smothered. Every time she saw me I'd get atleast one critique and one reason I should do things differently so others can have LO. I was going through really bad PND, my partner was not supportive. He didnt help with the house work, baby duties or give any emotional support. It was all on me and I was struggling (things are better now) LO took a while to learn how to breastfeed so i was constantly back and fourth to the doctors but it sure gave MIL a reason to keep bringing up about letting others feed LO. I was trying so hard and all I felt from MIL was negativity, feeling smothered and her trying to control and manipulate me when I was in such a bad place. But at the same time she was really helping us out by fetching stuff from the shop, bringing some new baby clothes, comeing back from visiting my family and seeing a spotless house, being their to take me places as I dont drive. Out of the horrible pressures, she is a lovely woman but I feel like the negativity stuck with me more.
6 weeks after birth covid happened. When LO was born I said no smoking near her, wash hands before touching her. She questioned this, we were at a hospital appointment and had to stay a couple night. She was there messaging my partner how selfish this was and how she is sorry for putting my partner in the middle? No ones in the middle??? MiL came to the door with one of her sons who began smoking and the wind was blowing it all over my babys face. I pointed it out and mil went "hahahaha yh she doesnt like that, better go over there" in a sarcastic, mocking tone. I feel like she lacked respect for my wishes.

When covid hit, wed still get constant door knocks but after relising her comments were haveing no impact because I was sticking to exclusively breastfeeding and now she couldnt babysit, her comments changed to telling me i should stop holding LO so much incase she gets too attached and others cant have her after lockdown. Dummys were constantly being brought up because I didnt want to use them, my baby has never needed one but I'd still get the talk about how it soothed another baby to sleep. Shes now saying that when lockdown is over she can have her. She even started telling me how she could go in to hold minding as she has the qualifications, that she might change job and she would be qualified to her LO. FIL said, shut up shes just saying that because she wants LO.. she never shuts up. At this point I'm getting really annoyed with the pressure and I messaged her telling her that I'm not ready to leave LO yet but I'm grateful she loves her and wants to be involved. I wanted her to know that I love her but wasnt ready.

Despite tons of other comments, i shut myself off and accepted it as her trying to pass on parenting experience. I relised that maybe she was just trying to help. She eventually stops talking about babysitting but now I've been going round to hers on Saturdays and sundays, shes bringing it up again. 7 people live at mils house, LO screams at every single one of them apart from MIL because of the little contact shes had during lockdown. Not long ago we had another conversation about it. she just kept bringing up other nans and how they all get their grandkids for nights etc and how it's unfair she cant. I explain that LO isnt ready and until she is, I wont be. She has spent most her life in lockdown, those mums required baby sitting, I didnt. But despite the talks, every weekend she offers to have LO for a couple hours and I have to constantly repeat myself about why LO isnt ready and that she needs to get used to you all first. When I see MILs sisters, they ask me weather I'm going to let her have LO for a sleepover, if I'm ever going to leave LO with her etc
I'm starting to get really annoyed. I love her but I resent her. When LO is ready I will be ready to leave LO with MIl for one and one bonding but the more she pushes the more I'm retracting. The more I'm starting to not like her company. Shes even talking through her sisters which tells me shes been talking about it to them.

MIL has said that when she had her sons, she left for work at 7am and got home at 5pm. She only saw them for a bit in the morning and 2 hours after work. Her kids main care giver was her mum. MIls sisters kids are now heavily looked after by their mum when they work too. I think she sees being a nan as more of a coparenting role, that now she has more free time she can make up for the time lost with her sons. I love her spending time with my LO but my baby doesnt need 2 mums.

When Lo is with MIl I see the love in her eyes as she watches her play. I adore it. But at the same time I resent her for makeing me feel so smothered at a time when I was struggling, it's like she was watching me drown and used it as a way to manipulate me. It's like she cared more about her need to make up for time and experience being a mum again, then she did about us. I dont want to compete with a secound mum, but that's how she makes me feel. I hate her company when before I loved it. I love MIl, I really do.. I dont want to resent her. Why does she keep pushing and pushing

Franbern Mon 29-Mar-21 11:26:19

You have been pretty good about this rather pushy MIL. How anyone who states, in one breath, how much she loves the baby - then, in the second breath, attempts you to stop the best possible feeding method for that baby (the breath).

Anybody who asks a new Mum how they can help needs to be pointed in the direction of the iron and ironing board, the vacuum cleaner, the washing machine, meal preparation, even the garden!!!! etc. Never at the baby!!!

You seem to have been patient. Do not let her undermind yourself as a Mum, Sleepovers are not at all necessary for a small baby or infant - except on the odd occasion when it might be good for Mum & Dad to be able to have longed for break. Your need of the baby is as great (if not greater) than the baby's need for you.

Enjoy this wonderful time - do not let MiL ever take over - she has had her time as a Mum she needs to learn the rules for being a good, supportive Grandmother.

AbbieS9812 Mon 29-Mar-21 11:26:43

Ive left LO aith MIl a couples times and looked so uncomfortable in videos MIl sent. Mil can have her when she is ready to be left. I just dont understand why she is so dan pushy about it and cant seem to hear me

AbbieS9812 Mon 29-Mar-21 11:29:24

I just wanted to add that ^ just incase people think I'm being selfish with LO, I'm not I take her round twice a week and MIl comes round once or twice herself. I've also left LO with my nan and grandad too. It's just the pressure side of it, its pushing me away and its makeing me not want to leave LO with her at all... even when LO is ready. I dont want to feel closed off towards her sad

Bibbity Mon 29-Mar-21 11:32:00

I would’ve ripped my husband a new arsehole if he’d snapped at me like that. How dare they.
Personally I’d tell husband that you are blocking her and now 100% of communication is on him. That you won’t be going over alone anymore. That you will join as part of a family but she is his problem.

Hithere Mon 29-Mar-21 11:37:07

Where does your husband stand?

Does he recognize that she is overbearing, smothering, and wants to take over being the mother of your child?

Drop the rope with your mil
From now on, all communications go through him, including her getting pics of your child.
Visits only to take place with him present and he calls her out when she oversteps her boundaries.

Your instincts are spot on - take control of your life again and tell mil to back off.
You had a baby for you and your dh, not your mil

CafeAuLait Mon 29-Mar-21 11:40:39

Your MIL seems to have ideas about what she wants as a grandmother that clash with what you want as a mother. You don't have to fill her dreams with something you aren't comfortable with but it would be kind if you could tell her that you are not going to allow her to have the baby overnight because you don't feel ready for that. That way she can stop hoping and waiting. If she pushes it, she's out of line. What she chose to do with her children doesn't have any influence on how you get to parent and you don't need to fall into line with her expectations.

Kamiso Mon 29-Mar-21 11:44:04

You’ve already done more than enough to try and appease. Your MIL. She made her own parenting choices and possibly now regrets not spending time with her own babies but that is not your problem!

I have known a few cases where grandparents try and relive their early parenting days through the grandchildren but that level of interference is just wrong on so many levels and usually ends up with the total opposite trying to avoid contact to gain privacy and peace of mind.

Decide on your own boundaries and stick to them. I can just see this grandma pos

FlexibleFriend Mon 29-Mar-21 12:57:12

Wow I never left my second son with anyone else until he was two years old, neither of us were comfortable with it. Everyone said he'd suffer as a result but he didn't, he was a very outgoing confident little boy. Don't allow anyone to bully you into leaving your baby with them until You are happy to do so. She's being manipulative because she can't see past what she wants. She's not the important one here you are. Stick to your guns.

Oopsadaisy1 Mon 29-Mar-21 13:02:51

I agree with cafeaulait try it for 3 weeks, if it doesn’t work, then go with what bibbity said.
This cannot be allowed to continue and you shouldn’t be made to give in to her needs, she is not the childs Mother and she needs to remember that.

nanna8 Mon 29-Mar-21 13:37:40

She is trying to relive her years as a mother. You can’t let her do that. It is your baby, not hers and she just has to accept that. It will be hard for her but that is life and you are not trying to cut her out, just being a normal mum.

Smileless2012 Mon 29-Mar-21 17:54:42

You need to set boundaries Abbie and stick to them. Better to talk to your H and do this together but if he's unable or unwilling then it's up to you.

Just tell her what you are and are not comfortable with and stick to it. I don't agree that blocking her is a good idea as it's childish and you and your H are a team and need to work together to resolve this problem.

Far better to be firm and consistent with your responses to ongoing requests for sleep overs etc.

It hasn't helped that your baby is now 14 months old and this remains an issue. A firmer approach is needed and the sooner the better.

Chardy Mon 29-Mar-21 18:42:41

Abbie I'd only got halfway through before I wanted to punch her. You have the patience of a saint. If she'd encouraged you to use a breast pump, so her son could feed little one, I'd have understood. Pushy, but I'd have understood. But bottle feeding and a dummy for no reason? Really?
Your baby, stick to your guns.
Btw your response to all her stuff is 'Thats what the health visitor recommends'

M0nica Mon 29-Mar-21 18:52:14

This lady should have been put firmly in her place early on. The longer its left , the more difficult it is to deal with because her behaviour is entrenched.

But lets start at the beginning. Grandparents have absolutely no rights where there grandchildren are concerned. Any contact is the result of the parents of their grandchild agreeing to it. In most families, this kind of stating of the law is not necessary they adjust to an arrangement.Some grandparents are cut off from their grandchildren, but have to swallow hard and accept that, although it breaks their hearts. That is the child's parents prerogative. You have the other problem on encroaching MiL.

The first question I would ask is Is your partner a Mummies boy? Did she run his childhood and adult life before you came into it, in the way she wants to run you and you and your partner's child, or is it just the baby she wants to take over? I ask this because the first thing you need to do is make your partner sit down and discuss the problem with you. Do not accuse him of anything, do not make him feel defensive . See it in terms of we have this problem, as much as I love your mother and her love of her grand child, she is going too far and coming between our child and us.

Then agree what needs to be done - house visits 2 a week only, for example, no more than 2 phone calls a day.

Then the two of you sit her down, thank her for all she has done, say how much you have appreciated it, but say that now your Dc is 15 months old, you both need to stand on your own feet with your child, so in future she need only come round twice a week and doesn't need to phone more than twice a day. Smother her with love, send her flowers afterwards - and then when she ignores them, stop answering the phone and do not open the door and let her into the house, if she calls without an appointment.

You have left all this far too long. You have a major job on your hands that requires self-confidence, determination and strength, but your child's upbringing is at stake. Do it for them.

BlueBelle Mon 29-Mar-21 19:28:11

Your mother in law would have driven me to drink if she’d been mine thankfully my mother in law left me well alone, bless her, she was busy with her own life my mum and dad helped, if I needed it , I knew how they brought me up I knew their ways and their believes and where I stood but there’s no way I d leave a baby with someone I didn’t really know their habits etc
Your mother in law it being intrusive over bearing and totally out of order, your husband is being a snake and should be the one telling her to back off in the nicest possible way of course !!
One thing concerns me you say ‘ coming back from visiting your family to a spotless house’ please don’t tell, me she has a key and comes and goes as she pleases

Please set some firm guidelines and talk to your husband and tell him it’s not acceptable, show him these answers if you want
You have been over generous it’s your baby not hers take your own motherhood back

Maz149 Mon 29-Mar-21 19:46:39

I really feel for you Abbie. My daughter had exactly the same problem with her MIL and I know how terribly upsetting the whole thing was.

If you try and speak to her again, it will undoubtedly get a bit emotional and you may both say things you could regret.
Would you consider writing to her to explain how you feel?
Ask her how she would feel if someone was telling her how to run her life. You can write it out as many times as you need, without being too accusatory, until you feel you have got it right, then write the finished letter into a nice card and send it to her, perhaps offering some kind of olive branch to show that you want to have a good relationship with her - assuming you do!

Talk to your H and show him the card so he knows you are trying your best, and ask him to support you.

You may not even feel you want to send it in the end, but in writing it you may find a way to work it out.

Thinking of you . . . .

welbeck Mon 29-Mar-21 19:57:17

you need to take control of this situation.
if your partner is unwilling to address it properly, then i doubt the relationship will survive.
this is appalling behaviour from MIL.
the best that can be said is maybe she has a psychological imbalance.
your first role is to protect your child.
this woman is trying to wrest him/her away from you.
she sounds like a child wanting to play house and dress-up.
she sounds a dangerous mixture of immature and domineering.
she thinks nothing of exposing the baby to cigarette smoke, and complains about having to wash her hands, yet purports to want to be perfect care-giver.
i would keep her at very long arms length.
you are giving mixed signals by being too polite.
you could never trust your child with her. the way she treats his/her mother would rule her out as suitable alone.
read up on assertive communication.
also see dr les carter on you tube.
good luck.

ElaineI Mon 29-Mar-21 20:53:26

Yes agree with all the above. I wouldn't be seeing her I'm afraid. We looked after our DGC 1 and 2 from about 10 months as DD went back to work part time (teacher) other grandparents a. If she hadn't then we wouldn't have been minding them. DGC3 we had from 7 months as DD2 had to go back early (nurse) due to her lazy drug abusing violent partner being thrown out. Again it was not what she would have wanted. Both DDs exclusively breastfed till 2 and expressed their milk and froze it so we used that. Doesn't sound like your MiL would do that though (babies were weaned from about 6 months btw but the milk was breast milk). It sounds like your partner should be standing up to them all as it is horrible you are getting all this hassle. Sleepovers did not happen till over 3. DGS2 is 3 on 31st and we haven't had him sleeping over yet though I have stayed at DDs house when she was working late.

ClareAB Mon 29-Mar-21 21:33:28

Talk to your husband and ask him to tell his Mum to back off and respect you as babies Mum. He needs to be firm about this as kindly as possible. She is probably feeling very empty nesty, plus menopausal, plus insecure. Give her a little grace. But, you guys make the rules, with love and compassion and respect for you all. Sometimes Mums have trouble letting go. One day you'll be in her position xx

DiscoDancer1975 Tue 30-Mar-21 08:14:38

This is wrong on so many levels, it’s difficult to know where to start! I think you know that though, and just need it confirming. Read your own post, and imagine it’s written by someone else. You’d have the answers. Consider it confirmed. It doesn’t matter what she’s trying to do. How much is ‘ in your own interest’. It isn’t. It’s about her and only her. We estranged from family for much less than this. This is YOUR baby, YOUR life. Your husband needs to deal with this now, and until then, I wouldn’t see her, or let her anywhere near you. NEVER make allowances for other people over your child/ children. Seeing the back of difficult family was the best thing we ever did. Years later, our children were thankful too. All the best💐

Hetty58 Tue 30-Mar-21 08:27:02

We've had lots of posts about this very same 'problem' (remember the Italian MIL everyone). I'm always amazed that a busy mum has time to write an essay about it.

It just boils down to sticking up for yourself and being quite clear about who's in charge, that's all!

DiscoDancer1975 Tue 30-Mar-21 08:54:08

I think it just goes to show it’s a common problem. Some people find it hard to be straight, particularly to someone a lot older. I was brought up to always respect my elders, no matter what. Sticking up for yourself and showing who’s in charge only works if the ears it falls upon are listening! In my case, they weren’t, so there was nothing else to do but walk away.

TerriBull Tue 30-Mar-21 09:20:30

What a problem your mother in law sounds Abbey, and awful for you having to deal with that as a new mother. I agree with others here, parameters need to be set, it's not her time anymore, she has had her shot at being a mother, she needs to back off and take one giant step back. Grandparenting is a supporting role. She needs to take her own advice regarding, breast feeding, dummies and dump it, none of her business you need to follow your instincts, you are the baby's mother and you know what is best for your child. I'm not sure I'd want my baby staying or having regular visits to a house full of cigarette smokers.

What an absolute pain in the arse these interfering grandmas are, you must get your husband to have strong words with her she is way out of line. Maybe show him this thread. Sadly women like her give grandmothers a bad name!

Lesley60 Tue 30-Mar-21 11:09:24

Wow I thought my mil was interfering when I had my first baby but this is on another level
I agree with what most have said and I would also say times have changed (with a little laugh) they say to do this now I think she’s lucky you have been so patient if she comes around when hubby isn’t home I would pretend I was out.
He also needs to grow a pair and not be such a mummy’s boy.
What’s your father in law like can he see how interfering she is.
she has to be told as you won’t have these precious years with your baby back so should be enjoying them.
I really feel for you 💐

Newatthis Tue 30-Mar-21 11:56:28

OMG - none of this is helping you PND. Your husband doesn't sound too supportive either. Someone has to tell her before she drives you crazy. You are the child's mother therefore you decide what's best. Given that your husband doesn't get involved much. nor supports you at all it would seem then you probably be up against him as well - you poor thing! Can you have a word with another member of his family, perhaps FiL or someone that you trust to try to get them on your side? Also speak with your health visitor about your PND, please do not neglect this. this is a time to enjoy your new baby not feel like this. If all fails, show her this thread and tell her it's you that posted it - maybe if she sees things in black and white she might realise what she is doing to you and how it is affecting you.