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  #1  
March 26th, 2014, 07:24 AM
KellJoO's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I've gone into great detail on this subject in other forum areas like TTC and TTC your 1st. I wont bore everyone with all of that- but I am hoping some of you have some insight for me and my husband on how to deal with a few certain family members.

Mainly its my MIL.

She never has anything good to say. She's constantly calling him to complain about money, how she doesn't have a boyfriend (dont get me started on that), her house is cold, and that nobody ever comes to see her.

She lives 5 houses down from DH's twin brother- which- I commend him- I couldn't do it. She will drive by their house at night to see if their living room lights are on and call them nonstop then because she knows they're home.

In the past- she's always had a boyfriend there to keep a fire going and the house warm. Well some stuff went down this winter earlier and her boyfriend at the time got arrested for drug trafficking- out of HER house. So now, she has nobody there. She works at a restaurant and usually works like 11-7 shift so her fire is usually out when she gets home.

In a nutshell- nobody can keep her happy. She will call DH at least once a day to complain about something. We stop by and see her every once in a while- drop off kindling for her, visit, we've invited her over to our house...... I can count on one hand how many times she's been at our house.

I get so unbelievably frustrated hearing their conversations- and seeing how upset DH gets when she calls. If he doesn't answer- then she's panicking wondering why he wont talk to her. She's even gone as far as to show up at their work if they dont answer their phones!

With the people she's been involved with in the past- I do not feel comfortable with her having our baby at her home. Its just not a safe place. After her boyfriend got arrested, the cops had raided the house and we had to help with clean up. We found over 200 needles laying scattered around the basement that she claims she "knew nothing about".

How do I deal with this? I know she's going to turn into one of those people who try and tell me how to parent, and she will want to babysit and its going to drive me crazy.

Its DH's mom- we cant just cut her off. As much as I would like to some days. Plus its all DH has left, his dad died when he was 15.

Somedays I just wish she would call with something good to say. And be happy for a change! Anybody else have family like this?
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  #2  
March 26th, 2014, 07:38 AM
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Yes. I have a family member like this, and worse in some ways due to dementia. The only way to get a handle on it is to set absolute boundaries and stick to them with no wiggle room. For example - if she calls and he doesn't answer, she should leave a message and he will call back within 24 hours. It sounds stupid, but sometimes it needs to be specifically stated. And that she is not to come to his work under any circumstances and he will not see her if she does show up. If he's not willing to set limits you're kind of stuck though.
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  #3  
March 26th, 2014, 07:54 AM
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Definitely set boundries. My sister is an addict, and she was living with my mom for a while. My mom babsits my kid 2x a week - I told my mom - she is not to be alone with my sister. That I do not trust her - and that he is not allowed in her room - I was worried he'd find a pill and put it in his mouth or something!I would tell DH that you do not want to cut her out completely - but that because of her track record - you can not trust her with the baby alone. She can come over to see the baby - and if she doesn't - its not your fault - its hers. Its so hard when they are family! UGH! I hope your able to sort this out!
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  #4  
March 26th, 2014, 08:44 AM
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I have family like this too and I just ignore it, which is hard to do
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  #5  
March 26th, 2014, 08:51 AM
Kengskow's Avatar Veteran
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Boundaries! Strict boundaries! I have younger step brother who is an addict and alcoholic who lived with my mother and stepfather when my first was born. I told my mom that as long as he was in the house my DD would not be there and she could come over whenever she wanted instead. Not long after by step brother nearly burned the house down by accident(he was wasted and lit a cig and fell asleep with it on the bed).


I know the situation is different because she is your MIL but I would make your feelings very clear to DH and explain that whatever contact btwn you and MIL has to be through him and that she isn't to appear when she likes and expect to have her grandchild when she wants it. That she has to play by your rules if she wants to be in the your and the baby's life.

Once your baby is born you will be more protective than you ever thought you could be and you will be blunt and won't haven to think of what to do. You'll do what is natural and you and DH will have different view on how to handle family.
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  #6  
March 26th, 2014, 08:55 AM
BlueEyes09's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I know you say she's your DH's mother and you can't cut her off, but the great thing about being an adult is that you can choose who to interact with. You CAN cut her off. I've cut out a lot of people in my life and kept only the positive ones. It makes a world of difference. If she's making you miserable you'll never change her, but you can change how involved you and your DH are with her.
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  #7  
March 26th, 2014, 09:07 AM
MommyOf22014's Avatar Sarah
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Try living with that family member. I live with my mom right now, and she's exactly like you describe. It drives me crazy. You need to put your foot down and set boundaries. It is not healthy the way she acts, nor normal. She sounds like she has issues that she needs counseling for. She's obviously scared to be alone, and is miserable. Misery loves company. Try talking to her about it first and set your boundaries to calling once a week, and so on. If she doesn't agree or listen, put a block on your phone and do it the hard way. Don't answer the door if she comes over. Not nessarily cut her out, but ignore her til she gets it through her head she needs to back up. Unfortunately I can't do that with my mom because I live with her. But we are moving in July and I'm planning on cutting off till she understands not to mettle in my life and learn to be happy/positive.
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  #8  
March 26th, 2014, 09:07 AM
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Boundaries are great in theory, but the person you're trying to put boundaries on is probably NEVER going to respect them. She's not acting like an adult and she does not deserve to have privileges like having your baby at her house.

I know it's hard because it's your MIL and not your own family, so you have to respect your husband in this matter too. But ultimately YOU are his priority and he needs to protect you and your baby. I agree with blueeyes that you CAN cut her out of your life, if that is what you choose to do.

She's not going to change, that is evident. And you can give her as many chances as you feel you want to but ultimately the outcome will always be the same. It's just a matter of whether or not you can live with it.
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  #9  
March 26th, 2014, 09:08 AM
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Boundaries are definitely key. My mom is high maintenance (not as difficult as your situation though), and I've had to set boundaries when she flies off the handle about stuff. For example, this past Christmas she freaked out and said I wasn't allowed to mention my dad in her house. Never mind that they got divorced 25 years ago. I laid it out right there that things like that weren't fair to me or DH (or our future children) to spend the holidays and if she chose to act that way we will not be coming home for Christmas again. She knew I was serious - I get that from my dad ;-)




You know what to expect, so lay out boundaries well in advance so no one has the excuse to be surprised.
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  #10  
March 26th, 2014, 09:10 AM
KellJoO's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Thank you ladies.

DH and I are on the same page about the whole situation. He knows that once baby arrives- there will be rules. Baby will not be hanging out there if she's got strange people around. Time will only tell what happens here in the next few months... she may find another friend to bring in who is just as bad. I dont believe she is a user- but she allows anything and everything to go on there.

He answers her calls to keep her off his back. Which I understand, but he cant be at her beckon call 24/7. SHe is a grown woman who needs to learn to take care of herself.

Sorry for venting. This all just boiled over this morning when DH told me he had a text from a mutual friend of his and his moms that read "Call your mother- she misses you" at 1130PM. We didn't see it til this morning.

Its just hard for me to grasp the concept that a 50 year old woman still hasn't figured out that nobody in this world is responsible for her happiness but herself. I guess I am fortunate to have figured that out when I was young.
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  #11  
March 26th, 2014, 09:23 AM
MommyOf22014's Avatar Sarah
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Wow she called a friend and they texted you. This woman has no shame. I agree with ladytack!!!!!
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  #12  
March 26th, 2014, 09:27 AM
KellJoO's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyOf22014 View Post
Wow she called a friend and they texted you. This woman has no shame. I agree with ladytack!!!!!
Nope- she works at a bar/restaurant and I am assuming this friend stopped in for a drink. She was probably off work drinking herself into depression and she vented to him about how nobody talks to her. He felt the need to text, which I'm sure he was drunk too.

Yep- story of my life. DH text me at work this morning and told me he called her and she played dumb. She text me this morning and asked why Bob called out of the blue and if Rick said anythign to him. I told her yes, he text us at 1130 last night and told us to call you.

She needs to get a grip. It really makes me wonder what she says to everyone........we must be rotten kids.
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  #13  
March 26th, 2014, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladytack View Post
Boundaries are great in theory, but the person you're trying to put boundaries on is probably NEVER going to respect them.
I would disagree. She will HAVE to respect them if they are set up and stuck to. My uncle was told not to contact anyone in my family, he may see us at family functions and that is his only allowed interaction. He ignored that boundary, and we gave him one chance to act appropriately. He didn't. So the emails go directly to spam, and phone numbers are now blocked.

If the person doesn't respect the boundaries that are set, it is up to the person setting them to take appropriate action. And to never make "threats" follow through with every consequence and the person will either straighten up or be out of the situation entirely.

Quote:
This all just boiled over this morning when DH told me he had a text from a mutual friend of his and his moms that read "Call your mother- she misses you" at 1130PM.
My now-husband and I weren't even living together and his mother would call me and ask me to give him messages. I told him that was way over the line, and he called her while I was standing there and told her "Michelle is not my secretary. If you want to talk to me, call me and leave a message." She did it once more, and I said "I'm sorry, but if you would like to talk to him, please call him. I am not responsible for taking messages his messages." She still plays passive aggressive games, but at least it's not on my phone.

Your husband needs to tell her directly that unless it's an emergency, she should leave a message on his phone and he'll return the call. And if it is an emergency, she should call 911, not a friend.
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  #14  
March 26th, 2014, 09:36 AM
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I don't care if it was MIL or the Pope. I would never take my child into a home where I found 200 needles and a home where the person associated with drug traffickers. What about your baby's safety? The only way I would let her see the baby was at your house for a brief and supervised visit. She associates with dangerous people. No way should you bring your baby to that house for even the shortest visit.
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  #15  
March 26th, 2014, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyc_mama View Post
I don't care if it was MIL or the Pope. I would never take my child into a home where I found 200 needles and a home where the person associated with drug traffickers. What about your baby's safety? The only way I would let her see the baby was at your house for a brief and supervised visit. She associates with dangerous people. No way should you bring your baby to that house for even the shortest visit.
We wont be.

She wonders why she never gets to see her grandson. They live 5 houses down, and they refuse to bring him over there. It will be the same with our baby. But in the same breath, she never goes there to see him. It works both ways!!!

And yes she has crazy people stop there- still thinking they can pick up their drugs there. She has to keep her doors locked and be on alert at all times. Its just sick. But, she allowed it so its her own doing.
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  #16  
March 26th, 2014, 09:44 AM
MommyOf22014's Avatar Sarah
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That's really sad. I really hope you guys figure this out one way or another
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  #17  
March 26th, 2014, 09:45 AM
nyc_mama's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Your husband is lucky that you even allow her to see the baby at all. She sounds like a dangerous mess. My husband is a detective and has so many sad stories of babies being at drug infested houses and being hurt or killed by eating or drinking things they shouldn't. I am sorry you have to go through that.
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  #18  
March 26th, 2014, 09:47 AM
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I can only advise that this woman isn't going anywhere. She's your hubby's mother, however dysfunctional she is. But when it comes to your own child, you decide now what you will and won't allow happen. Think in your mind what you will respond with when (and if) your mother-in-law offers unwanted advice. Say it gently at first, and apply force when necessary. No need to alienate the woman or to insult her. When I was preggers with our first, I was so overlay worried about my own mil. She can be intimidating with her opinions and judgements, but I freaked out over nothing. She is opinionated, but she never tried to force anything on me or our parenting. Granted, she lives a bit far. But never tried to anyway. Maybe she sensed what I she could and couldn't say to me. But you still want grandma to be a part of the baby's life. She doesn't have to babysit, but she can come over or join you on your outings to the park or whatever. Just make the decision now what will and won't happen with YOUR baby, and KNOW that you will stick to your guns. To hell with everything else.
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  #19  
March 26th, 2014, 10:12 AM
ReaganorDean's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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In law issues can ruin a marriage, so I'm glad you and DH are on the same page. You may need to cut her off, but give her a chance to abide by the rules first and see how it goes. She sounds pretty toxic though. Is she using herself?
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  #20  
March 26th, 2014, 10:21 AM
KellJoO's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I dont believe she is, or that she ever has used drugs.


DH's father committed suicide when DH was 15. He was on drugs at the time, cocaine I believe. So, its been something that she's dealt with before which is what baffles me. I dont know why she'd put herself through the heartache of dealing with someone who uses again. But, she is afraid of being alone. So she pretty much puts up with anything and everything just so that she has someone home with her. As sad as it is.

I try to be supportive of DH and know that I dont expect him to alienate her, because she is all that he's got left. But, there will be boundaries drawn once the baby arrives. I am feeling protective already I am sure that will amplify once the baby is actually here. She will be welcome to visit us whenever she wants, but I dont think I could ever trust her to have my child alone.
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