Gransnet forums

Grandparenting

Mil no longer allowed to see son

(121 Posts)
VanillaSoyLatte Sun 08-Oct-17 17:34:22

Hi, I’m not a Gran, but a first time mum hoping you lovely ladies can offer some advice. I’ve chosen to post here instead of mumsnet as I’m hoping to avoid this turning into a huge anti mil thread.
I want to start by saying that love my mil dearly, she’s a good woman who obviously adores my baby, she & I have always had a good relationship.

This may be quite long so please bear with me......

I gave birth to my first child, a son 19 weeks ago. This is the first gc on both sides of the family, so as you can imagine, very much loved.
Both my own mum & mil came to visit us at the first possible opportunity, the same 1hr visiting slot when my ds was less than 10hrs old. They were both obviously very excitited, but spent the whole visit commenting things such as ‘he’s hungry’ ‘you need to change him’ ‘he probably needs to be winded’ ‘you should hold him differently’ I found this VERY overwhelming & cried when they left (I don’t blame them at all, rather my my crazy new mum hormones grin) however since then my dh has been very protective of me when it comes to both our mums being what he deems overbearing.

My dh & mil are very similar, & have butted heads several times since my ds was born. These are usually over stupid things, such as my mil removing bottles from my steriliser and rewashing them because she wanted them washing ‘the way I think they should be done’ & a really stupid argument because my mil didn’t think dh should talk about his workday (he does quite a dangerous job) in front of our sleeping 3 week old ds. They’ve also had disagreements over the fact that ds is still predominantly & when dh asked mil to bring fewer gifts.

These arguments always finished as quickly as they started, until a few weeks ago when I left my mil alone with my ds in our lounge while I tidied my kitchen. My dh walked into the room the hear my mil saying ‘you can tell nanny all the nasty thing mummy does to you. Mummy’s a naughty lady, but nanny loves you. Nanny will sort it out’. My husband was furious, and made her leave our house before I even knew what had happened. I admit that I was hurt when my dh told me what happened, I was shocked that my mil would even jokingly imply I was a bad mum. I didn’t think this was worth a family fallout, I convinced my dh to allow me to invite my mil again a few days later (he was at work). My mil apologied, & although things have been slightly tense between them since, I thought things were back on track.

Then on Friday everything went wrong. My dh had been working away, due home that day, & I had invited my mil round for coffee with me & my ds. After a cuppa & catch-up I asked mil if she would mind occupying ds while I had a shower. This not only allows her to have a little alone time with ds, but is a massive help for me too. (After my ds was born he was diagnosed with a slight health problem. He is on the mend now, but still under the care of a paediatric consultant. Partly due to this & also because he is still so young, neither me or dh are comfortable with anybody taking ds. We try to make up for this by allowing ‘alone time in our house’) DH arrived home earlier than expected, walked into the bedroom where I was getting dressed and asked where ds was. I went downstairs to find my ds, mil & pram gone. She turned up 15 minutes later, saying she needed to bond with or ds away from me so that he knew ‘she was just as important as mummy’. My husband was furious (this was made worse by the fact ds was sobbing his heart out), spoke very harshly to mil, & told her to stay away from my dh & I.
Dh has since told me that she is no longer allowed around ds until she learns to respect me as a mother & the boundaries we choose.

I’m torn, I don’t want to argue with my husband, and I’m so angry at my mil (mainly for doing something so stupid after I’d fought to get dh to forgive her in the past), but she loves my ds so much, I don’t want him to miss out on a relationship with her. I also think it was would be so sad if the relationship between my dh & mil broke down. How can I start to mend fences?
Sorry again for the length of this post, any advice would be greatly appreciated.

wildswan16 Sun 08-Oct-17 17:58:18

Oh, lots of hugs coming your way. First, remember how fragile you still are. A very young baby who hasn't been very well etc etc.

MIL sounds like she hasn't got a lot of common sense. You and your DH are the parents and what you agree on is what should happen. Hopefully MIL will go away and reflect. Let her do just that for a little while. But clearly, it isn't a situation anyone will want to continue so I do hope bridges can be mended.

When you do next meet I think the "When you tell baby I'm a bad mummy, even in jest, it makes me feel very unhappy", "When you take baby out without asking I get very worried, I'd love you to take him for a walk but I must know first" type of conversation will be needed. Good luck.

Grannyknot Sun 08-Oct-17 17:59:02

Hi Latte ... I think often when relationships go awry, we want to force solutions "fix" things as soon as possible. Your MIL needs time to reflect (she sounds bonkers, no wonder her son rows with her). Hopefully when there's been a bit of "clear water" she can see her grandson again and be less overbearing. My advice is don't rush things, or try to fix it, it sounds as if everyone concerned needs a bit of space. Mend fences by doing your bit and being "normal" as a mum interacting with your child's grandparents.

Good luck.

Grannyknot Sun 08-Oct-17 18:00:32

wildswan great minds smile

Luckygirl Sun 08-Oct-17 18:03:42

Oh come on - she's nuts! - and completely out of order. Stop trying to appease her and imagine she is going to change. She is not. She is totally wrong - no ifs, no buts.

Your DH is right - he is protecting you and his child, and good on him. You need time to have fun with your little one (when you are awake enough!) and you do not need this crazy distraction spoiling these precious weeks. I cannot believe you actually invited her round for coffee - are you in a sainthood competition!!??

There is no reason on earth why your MIL should bond with your child - it is not her child. And there is absolutely no good reason for her to criticise you as she does. What a dreadful thing to do!

Put a distance between you and stop dreaming that she will change her ways.

I should put this on Mumsnet and stand back and wait for the fireworks!!

I speak as a MIL to 3 lovely young men and GM to 7. No such thoughts have ever ever entered my mind as are in your MIL's nor have I ever expressed such views. I am no paragon of virtue, believe me, but rule number one with all the DC is that we do our best to bolster their role as parents and to encourage and praise.

This lady is off the wall!!

Lona Sun 08-Oct-17 18:19:35

What a great husband you have, despite his mother!
I agree with Lucky, she sounds loopy.

Violetfloss Sun 08-Oct-17 18:30:47

No one 'Jokingly says those things, you don't joke to a child that their mom is nasty but nanny is good.
Imagine if she said that to a 4 year old.

She sounds overbearing, controlling and agree with Luckylegs, nuts.

Your DH sounds lovley and supportive. Remember he knows his mother alot better than you.

Violetfloss Sun 08-Oct-17 18:34:17

Sorry I ment Luckygirl.

Eglantine21 Sun 08-Oct-17 18:46:22

Your husband loves you and is doing his best to protect you and your child. Please don't undermine him by trying to placate your MIL.
I would just leave it now for her to reflect on things and concentrate on those who are supporting you. The first move should be hers and it should be an apology.

M0nica Sun 08-Oct-17 18:49:02

VanillaSoyLatte congratulations on your lovely new child, may your son give you as much pride and pleasure as mine has.

I quite agree your MiL is stepping way over the mark, but she sounds to me more a silly woman than malevolent. I
think what your DH is absolutely right in making it clear that if his mother is to visit again she must follow your rules.

Perhaps you could smooth things down a bit by explaining to your MiL and DM that childcare methods have changed a lot since they had their children and what you are doing is following current best practice, which they obviously aren't familar with, and while they can make comparisons, you will not accept criticism.of your child rearing methods.

You could remind them that when they had children they probably had a lot of criticism of their childcare methods from their mothers and ask them how they felt when they were new mothers and faced the same problem you are now facing with them.

Ilovecheese Sun 08-Oct-17 18:57:29

But when have childcare methods ever included saying those things to a baby about their mother?

VanillaSoyLatte Sun 08-Oct-17 19:04:37

Thank you so much for all of your kind words. You’re all correct my husband is a wonderful man and a fantastic father. I fully understand his decision and I’m so grateful to have his support.
I shall take your advice and give the situation some space. Hopefully my mil will reflect on what’s happened & see sense. It’ll be such a shame if she misses out on ds. But I think you’re right, my husband probably does know best.
I really appreciate all of your help. My concern has always being that I was being over sensitive. You have all made me feel a lot better smile

polyester57 Sun 08-Oct-17 19:19:58

Vanilla Soy Latte? Are you for real? Most new mothers love it when grandmas take the baby off them for a few hours. Most grandmas love to hand baby back and go home. What is this all about?

VanillaSoyLatte Sun 08-Oct-17 19:38:35

Polyester57 I genuinely love seeing my ds happy with all his grandparents, and I’m aware of their desire to spend time alone with ds, which is why I always try to give them space in my home to enjoy him. I leave them alone whilst I either get on with housework or take time to shower/nap etc. As I mentioned in my original post, my ds has health issues that are still being investigated. We were readmitted to hospital when he was 2 days old & 3 tines since (twice being blue lighted in an ambulance) my husband & i are just aren’t yet comfortable with ds being too far away until his health issues are resolved.
As I made clear in my op, it’s not myself but my dh who has stopped contact with my mil. Firstly after he caught her telling ds that I was being ‘nasty’ to ds (i was actually the one who reestablished contact after this incident) & now again when she took ds withou even leaving a note. I think his main problem was that she snuck ds out of the house, without either of our knowledge, not solely that she took him for a walk.

Christinefrance Sun 08-Oct-17 19:46:45

Polyester did you not read the original post? This mother in law is a menace. I agree with
Violetfloss your husband sounds like a good caring man and you should both be able to enjoy your baby without this interference.

Eglantine21 Sun 08-Oct-17 20:15:31

Vanilla, you as a couple, don't have to give anyone time alone with your ds. He's not a commodity to be shared out! He's a little baby and I expect he's happiest with you, especially if he's not been well.
Of course GP s want time with their grandchildren, but to specify time alone. Why on earth? That's weird.
Time with GD while you get on with other stuff but are close to hand sounds ideal to me.
Don't be bullied into trying to please anyone except your baby😀

M0nica Sun 08-Oct-17 22:48:09

I should have read your first mail more carefully, I have only just realised how outrageous your MiL's behaviour has been.

I would have been incandescent if my DM or MiL had dared to take my infant child out of the house without my express consent, especially if he had health issues. I missed that in the original post.

Your child is yours and you and your DH make all the decisions about his welfare and as grandparents our contact with our grand children is at their parents discretion. For most families this will not be a problem, although I do know some grand parents are cut off from contact with their grandchildren through no fault of their own.

To be honest if your MiL can talk about herself as 'being as important as Mummy' in her grandson's life, or say to him ‘you can tell nanny all the nasty thing mummy does to you. Mummy’s a naughty lady, but nanny loves you. Nanny will sort it out’. She is so far overstepping the mark as to be out of sight and her behaviour suggests she is on the verge of being considered unbalanced..

Yes, of course you want your son to know both his grandmothers, but their is a balance to be struck and if a grandmother is acting and talking in the unbalanced way your MiL is, then I think your DH is doing the right thing and even when contact is resumed, she should never ever be allowed to be with your son, unsupervised.

mcem Sun 08-Oct-17 23:06:32

When you're having a short spell on your own for a shower while Gran is downstairs keeping an eye on her GS that's just fine.
For her to take him out without a word to you or saying she'll sort out what nasty mummy does is totally unacceptable.
Your husband sounds great and a) he isn't dealing with the dreaded hormones b) has known this woman and her ways for a long time!
The 3 of you are forming a tight new family unit and she is the extra one. Make that clear and hopefully you'll work out a way to include her on your terms.

Starlady Mon 09-Oct-17 01:57:30

Polyester, didn't you see where Vanilla said her baby has a health issue? Many parents wouldn't leave him alone with anyone at all, let alone let them take him out. This isn't an ordinary situation.

Vanilla, I'm glad you appreciate dh's decision to protect you and baby. He's being a very good dh and df (dear father).

I'm sorry but you no longer have a "good relationship" with mil. Unfortunately, she seems to feel competitive with you for the baby's affection. She wants to be as important to him as you - and maybe even preferred over "nasty" mummy. She cares more about her own needs than baby's or yours.

Hopefully, as others have said, some time away from you people will cause her to reflect and see where she went wrong. But unless she really can show you signs of serious change, you may have to keep her away indefinitely or only be around her at large family events (holidays, etc. - but then be careful she doesn't slip away with baby).

By "show you signs," I mean, first apologizing again AND promising you that she'll respect your and dh's wishes from now on. Then maybe spending some time with you as a family - no alone-time with baby - so you can see if she really does respect you as the parents or tries to take over, etc.

It's great for kids to have a strong relationship with their gps, but not if it's unhealthy. And if mil were allowed to keep on in the direction she's going, any relationship that she might develop with ds is bound to be unhealthy.

Starlady Mon 09-Oct-17 01:59:12

Btw, you don't have to "make up for" anything with anybody if you're taking care of baby's health. It's nice that you and dh try to do that. But, imo, it's a privilege that people should appreciate, not try to take advantage of or twist suit their own needs, as mil has done.

Franbern Mon 09-Oct-17 14:31:13

First babies (especially if it has health issues), can be a very fraught time. Also, with this baby being the first g.child on both sides, it can become a tug-of-war as to which g.mother is first. Of course, neither of them are, but just as this new family - both husband and wife - are in that long process of learning to be parents, so their Mums are also both learning how to be g.mums.
Would be very sad for so many people for the son to exclude his own mother in this way. Far better to have a talk together and explain how bad some her comments were making you both feel. Also explain it is not a competition, and input from all parties is very important and will be so for very many years.
Lucky baby to have not only two loving parents, but also two loving g.mums.
Many years back, following the birth of my third child, there was a row and my parents were excluded from having contact with me and my family. This only lasted a couple of months, and we were all fortunate that my lovely Mum and Dad were able to be part of my childrens' lives for several more years. Yet, even now, over forty years later I so regret and feel so guilty about those few weeks.
So, my advice to you is to sit down together, all of your and discuss any problems and ensure that baby has the benefit of the love and care from all of you

Sunshine84 Mon 09-Oct-17 15:45:35

You poor thing.
I really feel for you, but you're not alone. I and so many of my friends have really similar stories about MILs who seemed pretty normal before the grandchildren came along but then turned possessive, disrespectful and interfering.
Your MIL sounds loopy and out of order.
Join Monster in Law forum on birth club - plenty of kindred spirits for you to vent to there smile!
xxxxx

Elrel Mon 09-Oct-17 16:52:13

Latte - I'm sure in the wilder waters of Mumsnet you've seen many a post about DHs who will believe no wrong of their sainted DM whatever she says or does. You are so fortunate in your DS who has no illusions about his mother and rightly protects you and DS.

trisher Mon 09-Oct-17 17:10:01

You are absolutely in the right VSL and your MIL needs to learn that trust has to be earned. I wouldn't have dreamed of doing anything with my GCs without my DiL's permission. Much as I love them they are her children, thankfully she recognised after the first that I would do things her way and she was much more trusting with the second baby-so I got more time. Perhaps yourDH could explain things to his mother and allow her to see your child under supervision wringer to behave well or he will again put a stop to her involvement. Mind you she may be one of those who never learns. Good luck.

Bluegal Mon 09-Oct-17 22:28:40

Can I just ask - was your MIL always a bit erm strange? You don't say what her relationship was like between her son and you prior to the arrival of your baby.

Seems strange that she would suddenly become a nutcase tbh.

Is she ill do you think? Just wondering why someone would say the things she has without any prior indication.

Personally, I would try to get to the bottom of why she is acting like she is if its a new thing or if not then no obviously you don't leave your son with her ever! Just reading it sounds like that woman on Emmerdale (Emma) apologies if you don't watch it but...she just sounds as deranged as her!