Gransnet forums


A new mum unsure how to handle her MIL

(39 Posts)
SKMP28 Fri 01-May-20 08:48:57

Hello everyone. I’m a mum to a little 15 month old boy and have been having problems with MIL since he was born. I’m posting here instead of Mumsnet as I don’t want this to turn into a bashing MIL thread but desperately need advice. Before ds was born me and my mil had a lovely relationship. But I started noticing a few things when I was about to give birth that I didn’t feel comfortable with.

Just before I gave birth she asked me if I wouldn’t use a dummy on ds as she never did with her two boys and doesn’t agree with them. She asked me this as her “one wish as a granmother “. I also had a friend who gave birth but didn’t breastfeed for longer than 2 weeks which she was very opinionated about in front of me which made me feel like I had to or I would be judged as a bad mother from the get go. Thankfully both me and ds enjoyed bf so it didn’t cause any issues however I did feel pressure on her behalf.

Anyway the real issues began when my little boy was born. I had told her that she could come once ds was born as I wanted my mum and dear partner with me in the room. Sadly this was not respected she made her way to hospital as soon as she found out and also brought her friend. They were both nurses so managed to convince staff to let them into the room. I found out I was having an emergency Csection and mil was taking pictures etc no even giving me space to process the situation. A few days later she visits and I’m talking to my midwife on the phone about ds bellybutton as I was a bit concerned she took the phone out of my hand to speak herself. It made me feel like I wasn’t doing a good job. She even suggests holding ds in the backseat instead of putting him in a his car seat to not upset him. She would come by daily and wouldn’t ask to hold my son but instead would just take him of my arms. Place him back when he was hungry and take him away as soon as he had finished feeding. She would even check to see if he was latched on if he was taking a bit longer. And as soon as he wasn’t she would take him from me. Throughout that whole time I would be so tense as I just wanted to hold my newborn especially because I had to wait a while to hold him after he was born due to the csection ( it’s silly but I just loved holding him).
One time she asked to pop by randomly I was in my rob and underwear but said okay as she is family but when I opened the door there was also a random women who I had never met standing there. I felt so uncomfortable and judged by the random person.

It’s also caused some issues in my relationship and my dp. He has a strong relationship with his mum. She posted pictures of my son on her social media as soon as he was born without asking. Which was an issue as I didn’t want pictures of him on the internet just yet and when other members of the family asked I did say to hold of until I was ready. Anyway I understand she didn’t know and simply asked if she wouldn’t post anymore and to ask about these types of things in the future. A few days passed and my partner got a call from her saying that she got a message on Facebook saying “ stop it” and thinks i had asked someone to send it. This was very untrue and made me feel as though she never really saw me as the daughter she said she did. I was shocked and upset but the fact she went to my partner bothered me even more. Which caused us to argue. Although he did believe I had nothing to do with it.

We also had different opinions of ds foreskin which I won’t go into as it’s a very private matter but it’s one of the biggest issues I have with her. One I will never forgive but never got an apology for anyway.

Fast forward a couple of months and we told her to not visit so often as we needed our family space she was hurt but that was that. Until she started constantly mentioning that she wanted us to always show ds a picture of her or something that smelt of her... which is weird to me as my parents live 2 hours away and see him less often and she was still visiting him every week. She then once said at her house surrounded by her friends she only held my son for 15 minutes which wasn’t true. She constantly tells me that “ I know you love him but you’ll never understand how much I love him it’s different “ . Which I don’t appreciate to be honest. She wanted to set up my sons bank account herself. When I complained about how painfull csection recovery was she mentioned how she had made full course meal for her extended family days after hers. She’s had an input on all our decisions like our house being close to her place of work. Our car. Etc .

She’s getting married and is well off so is doing a wedding abroad. We said that was great but we would book our own flights / hotel so we can find prices that match our budget but she spoke to my partner on how she would rather we did like them... even if it wa out of our budgets to start paying it of now. But I just don’t think that’s fair to be honest as we have a lot we want to do and accomplish within the this next year. Now that we are in quarantine she’s been doing window visits everyday and I just need to do something about it. Because I feel so unhappy with this situation and frankly don’t want her around my son.

Please could I have some advice is this normal? Thank you in advance.

Gemini17892 Fri 01-May-20 08:55:46

This sounds like a nightmare for you. She is well out of order in my opinion.
I think you should try and get her son to have a word or three with her. If she is so intrusive now it will only escalate. Someone needs to put a foot down and risk her taking her bat home.

Hetty58 Fri 01-May-20 09:02:52

This doesn't ring true. Have you posted before? It all sounds so familiar.

Just close the curtains and don't answer the phone. If she wants to come and talk to an empty window, so be it!

Bathsheba Fri 01-May-20 09:05:35

Keep your curtains closed. She should get the message after a few days, then you won't have to.

But seriously, your partner must talk to her, absolutely must sort this out - he may be close to his mum but he should be closer to you!

Oopsadaisy3 Fri 01-May-20 09:06:51

You are now a mother and it’s time that you put yourself and your son first.
Write your MIL a letter , like the OP , set out your ‘new rules’ and stick to them.
It’s in your hands, if it upsets your partner then thats his problem, I assume that he knows how you feel and has done nothing?
Time to put a stop to all of this.
You will have to stand up for you and your son in lots of scenarios as he gets older, get this one sorted ASAP. and the rest will be a doddle.

Alexa Fri 01-May-20 09:23:11

Regarding the foreskin problem, maybe your mother in law is Jewish and believes God likes little boys ' foreskins.If so she may also believe she as the mother in law has more natural authority than you have.

Please try to rise above your mother in law's authority. You owe this to your baby and to yourself.

Can you afford legal advice about stalking?

Oopsminty Fri 01-May-20 09:28:42

She sounds dreadful

You are going to have to be firm

And yes, close your curtains

eazybee Fri 01-May-20 09:41:38

Sounds very familiar; different style of writing though.

Grannynannywanny Fri 01-May-20 09:47:36

How awful. Does your husband realise how much this is affecting you? Before tackling the Mil you need a heart to heart with him and then present a united front to sort out the mil issue. If he is on board then it might just be possible to resolve this situation. She’ll be offended and hurt but if she realises she can’t go behind your back and try to manipulate her son she will back off. But first your OH needs to realise he is a partner and father first and foremost.

SKMP28 Fri 01-May-20 09:58:03

@Hetty58 thank you @eazybee thank you and no I’ve never posted before on any platform, although that does appear to be besides the point.

tickingbird Fri 01-May-20 09:58:43

Not sure about this as a couple of posters seem to think this has been posted before but taking your post on face value I was horrified. This is your child not hers. You should not be under all this pressure and you must be firm. Giving your baby something smelling of her?? Just unacceptable. I did wonder, reading your post, if it was a cultural thing as it’s so over the top. You cannot allow this to continue and need to have a good talk with your partner but make it clear this is your child and you and him come first and this has to stop as it’s time with your baby you’ll never get back. Good luck.

SKMP28 Fri 01-May-20 09:59:36

Thank you for all your lovely advice ladies and I do think a serious conversation is due. @grannynannywanny

SKMP28 Fri 01-May-20 10:02:35

I’ve just signed up today and never posted not sure why that would be an issue anyway. But this is my first time posting. Can someone tell me why there would be an issue otherwise?

Redhead56 Fri 01-May-20 10:09:29

You need too lay the law down and it can be done firmly not with nastiness. I assume you know your partners family background if yours is not the same and you don't believe in circumcision just say so. This issue should have been discussed long before your baby was born. Your partner needs to man up and tell his mother to stop bringing random friends around to your house. Make it clear she is welcome to visit on a weekly basis. Her advice is well meant however if you need advice you will ask for it. Do you have your own family and friends visiting or offering advice. Regarding her making window visits text or tell her you will be going out for walks but you do not know what time. So it's not worth her making random trips. She sounds a tough character but if you and your partner are firm she may well back down. Regarding her wedding you have to be straight it's out of the question going anywhere now. Even in the near future you don't have the finances for a trip and you do not want to travel. She wants to be the centre of attention as long as she has her wedding day she will be fine.

jaylucy Fri 01-May-20 10:20:30

Why some mothers and MiLs seem to think that their grandchild is an extension of themselves, so can do what they like , is really beyond me - it just shows a lack of respect, however close they are to either DS or DiL!
This woman sounds like a complete nightmare. To barge into the delivery room, bringing a complete stranger with her and take photos is unforgiveable - I'd be very tempted to make a complaint to the hospital about it.
She is obviously thrilled to be a grannie, with the posting of photos and dragging her friends in uninvited, but you have the right to bring up your child as you want, without anyone's input, so stick to your guns! Close your curtains - in fact, if I saw her peering through the window, I'd close the curtains in her face - if she complains either directly or indirectly via your OH, you can always say that as you were walking around in your robe/ breastfeeding/ getting baby dressed, that with people out on their constitutionals, you wanted a bit of privacy as you never knew who would be looking through the window!!! (If you shut the curtains in her face, say the sun was in the babies eyes!!)

Witzend Fri 01-May-20 10:20:32

There’s probably been someone posting on a very similar theme before, OP.
Reading your post has made me realise, not for the first time, why so many DiLs want nothing, or as little as possible, to do with their MiLs. What is wrong with these women, that they have to be so interfering/controlling and have no idea of acceptable boundaries?

OP, you will need to be extremely firm, but as calmly and politely as you possibly can ( so as not to give her or your dp any possible grounds for saying you’re being hysterical, over-emotional, etc.).

It will no doubt be hard, but people like this (with controlling/bullying tendencies) will often IMO rely on the other person giving in, either because they hate confrontation, or through sheer weariness at having to fight the battle of wills.

NotSpaghetti Fri 01-May-20 10:27:44

There was a post about a year ago SKMP28 that was almost the same. They had moved near to the mother-in-law and the new mother was regretting it.
Sadly, from this there must be many mums with overbearing mother in laws. My own mother would probably have been overbearing in different ways had she lived close enough.

My feeling is that you need to speak to your husband. HE is the one that needs to be there for you and your little one and fight your corner. I personally wouldn't close curtains as that is pretty depressing but I might make a note of when she drops by and try to be out at that time. I think maybe your husband doesn't realise fully the impact thus micr-managegement is having on your confidence and your own joy of your little one. Now is the time to be honest. He needs to realise that his role is now to work with you for a happy family life. Of course he loves his mother (with all our faults most of us do have children who love us) but he needs to kindly but firmly explain that you will be parenting your little boy in your own way. He mustn't let his mother be the wedge that drives your family apart.

As regards the wedding, when we wanted our other children and families to stay in a particular hotel with us for my daughter's wedding we just paid for it. Obviously we asked them if they minded first! Why isn't she offering this I wonder if she is so affluent?

If it is really the cost that makes you want to stay elsewhere, you need to say so firmly now. "Sorry it's out of our budget". Just say no. Don't get caught in the "we'll think about it" trap. Say no now and it will go away or it will grind you down.
If really you just want to get away for a few days and stay elsewhere say "we are going to have a little family break and have booked somewhere else but wd are SO looking forward to being with you on your big day"!

Good luck!

TrendyNannie6 Fri 01-May-20 10:39:23

You post makes my blood boil. I totally sympathise, I had the mil from hell but yours really takes some beating! I can’t and never will be able to get my head round the fact that these type of people still exist, and I’m going back 40 odd years with mine, my heart goes out to you, I suggest you have a word with your husband and ask him to speak to his interfering mother, surely he sees how she is around her grandson. Or is most of it done when you are alone with her? Either way he needs to support you over her treatment of you, this post is so very much like another post few months ago, regarding an interfering MIL . But as you say it’s your first post then I’m taking it at face value, stand up to her in very firm way it’s your baby, your rules not hers

Bopeep14 Fri 01-May-20 10:46:54

Oh my your mother in law sounds awful.

First and foremost its you partners job to tell his mother how you both feel, you are a family in your own right now. You both need to agree on what you both want.

You should be enjoying your time with your son as they grow up so quick, not be worrying about her.

For now keep your curtains closed hopefully she will get the message, but if everything you say about her is true i doubt it.

Sardinia2020 Fri 01-May-20 11:08:37

I am so sorry to hear about the issues you are having with your MIL. She obviously loves her GS very much and is thrilled to be a grandma but her behaviour is completely unacceptable. He is your baby, not hers. You’re going to have to be strong and assertive. I wouldn’t just leave it to your partner to sort it out.

Toadinthehole Fri 01-May-20 11:31:11

There’s so much wrong here, I can hardly believe it. Thank goodness for lockdown and some respite for you. What’s your partner doing? Has he read this? I’d show him and your awful MIL this post. Then say if things don’t change, you’ll no longer have her in your life. DO however, give her chance to change. You’ve obviously not been assertive at all, and have kind of made it worse, to the point she may not realise what she’s been doing. Please don’t let it continue. This is your and partner’s child, she needs to seriously butt out.

MawB Fri 01-May-20 12:39:38

I too think the first thing is close those curtains, block her number on your mobile and take your landline off the hook!
Oh and unfriend her on FB .
Are you actually in quarantine? Why?
If you are in lockdown are either of you working from home? Even if you are you are still restricted in your movements so stay in.
Then sit down with your partner and lay it on the line - you need to agree a course of action.

Hithere Fri 01-May-20 13:07:34

Where does your partner stand? Does he recognize his mother is a nightmare?

SKMP28 Fri 01-May-20 14:02:09

Hey everyone thank you for replying with your advice. My mil isn’t Jewish but from a country in Africa. And yes dh is aware now and we are trying to figure it out without being disrespectful

SKMP28 Fri 01-May-20 14:03:06

Thank you all it’s very reassuring that I do need to take action! Thank you