View Full Version : Over bearing Mother-in-law
05-22-2010, 01:32 PM
I could use some advice. Currently, my mother in law watches our daughter 2x a week. She would like to watch her everyday and even told us she always planned and dreamed about watching her grandchild. She has two other grandchildren already.
My problem is that everyday I come home from a long stressful day and faced with either complaints or advice on how to better take care of our daughter. Although I am a new mother I am 37 years old.
The other day she said, "I don't care if you don't like what I have to say or you get mad at me but...." She went into how she has feelings too and she doesn't like that my sitter has a dog who might possibly step on my daughter while she is crawling around at my sitters.
I simply let her now that it is not a concern of mine and the dog is 8yrs old and grew up around my sitters two children.
I am tired of justifying my parenting skills to her. I am a certified teacher with degree in early childhood.
What should I do? My husband has already told her to ease up.
05-22-2010, 02:06 PM
I have major in-law problems of my own, in fact if you check my past posts a good chunk are about those, but a friend had a situation that might help you. Her problem was with her own mom, but could easily be used on a MIL too.
Her mom wouldn't enforce rules she wanted, feed healthy foods or stop telling her everything she was doing wrong so she researched different sitters. She told her mom flat out that she didn't have the money to hire a different sitter and her daughter enjoyed all the time she got with her, but if she wasn't willing to make changes then she would go somewhere else for childcare. When her mom kept doing it she followed through. It only took 2 weeks or less for the mother to apologize and ask for another chance. She still slips up every once in awhile, but she has exceeded my friends expectations.
I have promised myself I will NEVER do those things to my children or their spouses! I just wish MILs could step back and remember what it was like to be a new mother, that you need some support, not to berrated all the time. We question ourselves enough as it is! My own MIL sat and told me stories of the things her MIL used to do to her and all I want to do is ask "do you see what you are doing to me?"
I hope things get better for you. If you find a solution that works you should share, because everyone could use some advice for in-law troubles! Good Luck!
05-25-2010, 11:17 AM
I know what your going thru~ fortunately I dont have to deal with her ugliness ever again because I divorced her son and so in turn I divorce her too!!! Well, I know your not going to go to that extreme and no she was not really the reason for our divorce but many times I felt like it!!
What eventually worked for me was not letting her see my kids as much, now I know you might think its mean but if you have already spoken to your mil about the situation and how you feel about it and she is not seeing your point or is refusing to, you have the right as your childs mother to take your child elsewhere. Regardless, of how its going to make her feel she has to go by YOUR RULES when it comes to YOUR KIDS! The previous poster is right!
06-28-2010, 03:24 PM
Tell her that she already had her kids and it's yours and your husband's turn now.
07-15-2010, 12:00 PM
Bottom line, don't compromise your parenting for ANYONE! She had her kids and raised them how she wanted to, and you have the right to do the same. At the end of the day you have to be happy with the choices you make as a mother. The worst feeling is taking someone else's advice because you feel pressured to and then it not turning out so great. I learned that the hard way. Let her say what she wants and you do what makes you the happiest and at the most ease. And if she can't respect your decisions, you might have to keep your distance until she learns to.
07-15-2010, 12:23 PM
Just be honest with her without attacking her. Tell her you appreciate her concern and her input. You like hearing her ideas, but you dont appreciate being treated like you are incapable of caring for your child. Tell her that if you need her advice or opinion, you will most definitely ask for it. Let her know that she is entitled to her feelings, but your feelings and your husband's feelings are priority since you are her parents.
09-07-2010, 07:10 PM
Kids generally love spending time with grandparents and vice versa. Is it a horrible thing if she wants to watch her granddaughter every day instead of the sitter? Especially after than long stressful day - what if she takes the kid to her place for a couple of hours? This way you will get to relax AND be away from her irritating advice for some time. Either she will go "oh.. this is harder than I remembered" and leave you alone after some time, or she will love it and then consider yourself lucky. Especially if you end up having more than one kid, this feeling of newness/aversion to offers for help fades in a year or two.
Joe the Man
09-08-2010, 12:48 PM
I agree with NaomiK. You do not want to alienate your inlaws or make her think that her opinion means nothing. But you do want her to know that this is your child and therefore your decisions not hers.
12-30-2010, 08:40 PM
I could write a book on MIL issues. So I speak from experience. I used to get the "Oh, THAT's how YOU'RE doing it" and "Why would you do THAT?" from her all the time. You have GOT to nip this in the bud.
I'm so NOT on board with the "don't alienate the MIL" or "don't hurt her feelings" perspective. I understand it, I get where you're coming from, I do. But I'll tell you - I'm a grown woman, I'm a teacher, I have a fantastic pediatrician, I'm up on the latest safety issues, I'm the best mom that I can be, and when it comes to my kids and my MIL, it's my way or the highway. If she doesn't like the way I parent, she is welcome to her opinions - but she is NOT welcome to voice her opinions to me. If I want her advice, I will ask her for it, but unless I directly come out and say, "What do you think?" she is NOT allowed to tell me. (And before you all think I'm a *****, let me tell you that it was my pediatrician who told me to tell her that!)
Oh, at first I tried the "thanks for letting me know, I'll think about that" or "I'll have to ask my pediatrician about that, thanks" tactic. That will only let her know that you will listen to her criticize you and stick her nose in. Sure, it may come from a place of love and concern (it may not; only you know for sure), but in the end, surely she wouldn't have appreciated her MIL telling her what to do all the time, right? That's one way to point it out to her. Another is to say, "Well, things have changed in the 37 years since you had your kids, so this is the way we're going to do it."
Personally, I think the best thing is for your husband to talk to her - again - and tell her that he doesn't appreciate her comments to you, that he doesn't want you to feel like she's being critical, that he thinks you are a fantastic mother and he supports your decisions 100%. I found that my MIL got worse after the birth of my first child. She went from "Don't you ever buy him ___? It's his favorite" and "Why should HE do dishes, he worked all day!" (never mind that so had I) when we were first married, to being very passive aggressive and critical after the first baby came. It's almost like I'd taken her son, but now with a baby, he was REALLY not hers anymore. I have daughters so I don't get the whole mother/son dynamic, but she's a little off her rocker about her son. But that's another topic.
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