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Childish MIL


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  • 1 Post By Spottts

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  #1  
June 30th, 2014, 03:23 PM
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My MIL and I have always had what I thought was a great relationship. I am currently 15 weeks pregnant with our first child and the first grandchild on my husband's side of the family. We are currently living a 10 minute drive from my MIL who is planning to retire next year and move part-time to Florida during the winter months. She has already purchased property there and has frequently stated this to us and stated that she does not have interest in playing "nanny" with our baby during the day while we work. She just wants access to the baby on her time and has not offered to help, nor helped at any way during the pregnancy.
My own family, who own their own business and make their own schedule, have frequently stated how willing they would be the help us with the baby so that we could both continue to work and also have some time to ourselves when needed. The problem is that my family currently lives 45 minutes away; my MIL is the only family we have nearby to where we live.
Because of this, and also because the town we live in currently does not have a good school system at all, we are planning to sell our home and move closer to my parents. Our plan is to rent in my parent's rental property for the next 2 to 3 years, save a bunch of money while we both continue to work, and then buy a nicer home in a nicer town with a great public school system. It's hard for us to sell the home we live in as we both love it, but we have decided that this is the best decision for us and our child.
Currently, we could not afford a cut in income by one of us staying home and also afford to pay the mortgage, bills, etc. We also cannot come to terms with the fact of putting a newborn baby in daycare and the outrageous cost of this. I just would feel more comfortable leaving my baby with family and trusted friends who can and want to help; no diss to anyone who does choose daycare; it's just not for us. Luckily, my company is very flexible and will allow me to work from home a few days per week.
Since we told my MIL this, she has repeatedly thrown tantrums, crying and moaning about how she will never get to see her grandchild or get any alone time with him. At first, I encouraged my husband to be patient with her and allow her time to work through her feelings and I assured him that she would understand that we were making what we feel is a good decision for the future of our child and family.
Now, however, I am just angry. She said some nasty things about me in reference to a tough period my husband and I went through in our marriage and she is trying to convince him that this is the wrong decision, purely out of her own selfish wants. She is also badmouthing us both to the rest of his family, but me especially. My husband, the wonderful man that he is, has defended me and our decision tooth and nail but I can see how much this is hurting him and it makes me feel awful.
How can we make her understand and get past this childishness? I want my child to have a good relationship with all grandparents but I am having a hard time keeping my cool and peace with her when she is acting this way. My gut feeling is that she is just insanely jealous at the fact that we will be living on the same street as my parents who will be helping us, and who will get to see the baby more often.
I should also mention that she is very lonely; she has friends here but no significant other and the rest of my husband's family lives scattered across the country. I think she thought this baby would be the answer to her loneliness.
Any thoughts or suggestions or even comfort, would be much appreciated. I feel like the way that she is acting is putting a black cloud over what should be some of the happiest moments in the life my husband and I have together.
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  #2  
June 30th, 2014, 05:31 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 498
Hi- Just lurking and I am sorry but I think it will get worse before it gets better. There is something about MIL's and babies. My MIL went crazy too when I got pregnant (buying me gifts and calling me) and then when baby came and I told her I wanted space, she doesn't even acknowledge my birthday. She calls and texts and only wants to talk about my son and refers to him as "her" grandson and forgets to mention that I am his mother.

It is tough. There are tons of emotions. I clicked on your post because I hoped you would have an answer for me but one thing I will tell you from what I learned the last 2 years the hard way. You are the mom. God gave you that baby and you can try to please people but you never will and you will get exhausted trying. I tried and it added to my post pardum depression. Then I decided that this is my baby and I want to enjoy this time and I am not going to foster relationships with people who cause me more stress so if MIL is causing me stress, then she needs to stay away.

Your baby. Your rules. You makes the decisions. It is hard and it can divide or unit spouses but you need to set boundaries with inlaws and the sooner the better.

The other thing I would do is learn now (this is tough!!!!) do not bad mouth his mom to DH. This will put him in the middle. Just make it about you. Example would be instead of saying "she needs to stop acting childish" just say "I am not going to be involved in a back and forth drama because I need to maintain my healthy blood-pressure". If she wants to fuss, let her. Just let it roll off your back. I know it is hard with the pregger hormones and all but worth it to stay mellow.

I also was in the habit of pointing out MIL's issues to my DH and that just put him on the defense and we fought. Then I learned to let it roll and not say anything and she got so crazy because I didn't do things her way or argue with her about it that DH saw how crazy she was and now it is a lot better.
I really hope you can work it out. I spent the last 18 months stressed about my MIL's obsession with my DS. She thought just because I had a baby, I had to also run a bed and breakfast so they could come and see him.

I read somewhere that the reason MIL's have such an issue with this is because the power shifts. Before she holds more power because she is DH's mom and you want to respect her but now you are the new mom and it is your baby and she has to follow your rules and it is hard for some people to accept this.
MILS are tough. Sorry lots of rambling on this post but just know you are not alone. Keep us posted.

Last edited by Sassalota; June 30th, 2014 at 05:43 PM.
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  #3  
June 30th, 2014, 05:37 PM
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Does she have any daughters?

I think it can be hard because for most women, when they have a baby they want their mom (unless that relationship is not good). Let's face it, although takes two, having a baby is about the new mom and baby and it is hard for MIL's because they want to be there but most of the time their advice is not wanted because you want your mom to mentor you. I have often thought if my MIL had a daughter she would understand more about this issue too.

Most families go to the mother's side so this scares MILs too and you know what they say, "you son is your son until he takes a wife, your daughter is yours for life". It is natural for you to want to be around your mom at this time and don't let her jealousy upset you.
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  #4  
June 30th, 2014, 07:31 PM
Spottts's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,126
You've already gotten some advice but I'd like add to not discuss the topic with her. It doesn't sound like you can say anything to change what she's feeling. Don't bring up the move to MIL. If she does- tell her explicitly you're not discussing it with her. If you want you could tell her why, but after that conversation don't go over your reasons anymore. It's a battle of who can convince the other until you end it. Neither person will "win."

I had to do that with other issues with my former MIL and even my own mom at times. If the other person brought up topic that was off limits on the phone, I'd get off the phone. If I was at the other person's house I'd leave. If it was at my house I'd leave the room.


Best of luck
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  #5  
June 30th, 2014, 08:22 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 498
Audrey Hepburn was quoted saying "Don't complain or explain". Perfect advice for dealing with these types of people. If you complain you open pandoras box for them to flood you with advice and if you explain then they try to also flood you with advice and opinions.

You can practice the "I'm sorry you feel that way" and if your christian you can add "Ill keep you in my prayers". Smile and change the subject.
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  #6  
July 4th, 2014, 12:43 PM
Kalia20's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: ontario canada
Posts: 5,889
So shes saying she only wants to see the baby when it's convenient for her, and then whining she'll never get to see it? Selfish much? Maybe a little controlling? How can you say "I won't help you" and be a loving family member? Mines the same way. She didnt work, and lived 5 floors above us and maybe twice came down before we moved away. Oh well. Her loss.
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  #7  
July 4th, 2014, 12:52 PM
BabyBirdies's Avatar over the rainbow?
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I don't know that I would characterize this as childish, but I would as selfish. She doesn't want to help, but she wants you to stay nearby so that she can see the baby whenever she wants. Sorry, it doesn't work that way.

I'm glad that DH has been fighting the battle with her and I'm sure you are letting him know how much you appreciate it. I think some of the other ladies have said it, but I think it might be time to try to disengage from her. I, luckily, have a great relationship with my in-laws (so far) but my mom had a real hard time with my dad's dad and stepmom. By the time I was born, she had already really given up on a normal relationship, but I could tell that it was difficult - but it was similar stuff - refusing to visit us so making us come to them, etc. I hope you can figure it out and get through this rough period!
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