Thanks for all the great suggestions, especially "Hasta la vista Granny" and "Strangle her- just kidding". It is just so hard to deal with A MIL that acts like a child. She is stubborn and spiteful and has brought me to tears on numberous occasions (mind you they were tears of frustration and I never backed down in front of her).
I have made it very clear that my child's well-being is where I draw the line but she then calls my husband and cries saying she is lonely and I am keeping her from seeing her only grandchild because she doesn't feel welcome. In that light I seem like Satan even though I'm only trying to keep my little angel safe and would have the same response to anyone acting that way with my baby. She has uses up her "get out of jail free" cards and her feelings at this point mean squat to me. Any normal human being would try to hold a tiny baby carefully and wouldn't yell at someone else's three month old right?
My husband told her he would try to talk to me about it but that he thought she should call me herself and that honestly she put herself in this situation. To be entirely truthful I am sick of conflict and drama and only addressed individual safety concerns but your responses have made me realize I can't keep dodging the topic.
Now I am just wondering if I should take the initiative and call her, email her, or wait to address it in person. I just don't want to wait and have something bad happen but don't want to pick a fight "out of the blue". Ugh if she could just move away...I could deal with supervising her on holidays but my MIL lives 20 min away so this will be a continuous battle if I don't address it.
The weird part is that you are not alone, and still mothers, wives, and parents are facing MIL problems. But I have to tell you that I agree with the moms that have told you to stand your ground and I want to tell you that you will have to do it more than once. I can definitely say that I have problems with my in-laws because I am a different race, because my husband had children from a prior marriage, because I had a daughter from a previous marriage (and a bad MIL there too - who actually shaved my daughter's hair while I was at work - completely off). They do everything they can to get between me and my children, because they are trying to be their friends instead of supporting family, like they should be.
But, I will tell you something, we took a stand with them that they either got with it or we would limit things, we even had to move once to get them to understand that we were serious.
My husbands father got sick and the worst thing we ever did was move closer, so now we have to set limits almost daily, because they feel that we bought a house and that makes us obligated to their stuff. I can tell you that not all MILs are like yours and mine, and some MILs like ours do change. But, not unless you put your foot down. This will not be easy, but it might make time with her tolerable.
I wish you the very best. I am proud of you for speaking out and asking for direction, it took a lot of courage to question yourself first. Make sure you are seeing things clearly - BEFORE you do something, but I also think that you appear to have good instincts and you appear to just want your child to be safe, and you have spoken kindly of your MIL in the midst of this. So, I applaud you and I just thought you should know this.
I had the exact sorts of issues ... with my mom. My MIL? She's a gem...a true doting Grandma. My mom took my daughter (then 2.5 months old) out of her car seat, because the little one HATES her car seat and was screaming bloody murder.
When I told her to put Marianne back in the car seat, she yelled at me, scaring the baby more, saying it'd be fine and she knew what she was doing.
When I told her I could lose my child if someone saw her out of the car seat, she said she'd hide the baby and not to be so silly.
When we got to the house 5 minutes away, I was shaking with rage. It took all my willpower NOT to physically harm my mother. I know my mom didn't mean anything malicious, but she tripped my apparently-until-then-dormant momma bear switch.
My mom and I don't talk much now. She refuses to see her granddaughter because she's "afraid of me." That makes me angry, but if she's going to be that way about it, I won't let it bother me...and I will make sure my little girl grows up happy and loved regardless.
All I have to say for you OP, is stick to your guns. Your MIL does NOT have the right to abuse her granddaughter, and that's what that sort of treatment is. Callous disregard for her safety, or couching neglect and rough handling of the baby as 'experience' is complete and utter BS. I wish you luck, because standing up to a person like that is much harder when they don't manage to trip the momma-bear-switch first.
i'm curious, how did she raise your dear hubby?
I know you've heard this several times today, but YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I can tell you horror stories from my MIL that would make your blood curl and even 4 years later I fly into a rage and want to literally rip her head off. Totally not kidding!
Because of her, in 6 years, we have almost gotten divorced-TWICE, as far as talking to attorneys. The most important thing we learned in counseling was that hubby and you need to be on the same page. Try to get him to understand exactly how you are feeling (and try really hard to do this without losing your temper if possible). It will take more than one conversation. Not just for him to understand that you don't like what his mom is doing but exactly HOW frustrated you are and HOW scary it is watching her almost dropped your baby just out of spite because she refuses to hold on to her. Tell him exactly how much it crushes you or damages you when she does these things and how much you really don't want to fight with her because you love HIM so much. Do what you can to make him understand.
After that make him talk to his mother about all these things, he will know how to best handle her the most tactfully. For four years my hubby was going to his mom and doing the obligitory "talks" just to appease me but he didn't get it, not really. He chalked it up to PPD or hormones. Until the day he "GOT IT". Since then the talks with his mom are meaningful and actually helpful. SET BOUNDARIES. Like she needs to call first before she comes over to see if you are free and can't just pop in whenever she chooses or she's not allowed to call her son at work just to whine, if she has a complaint or something she needs to talk to him about, unless the house is on fire, it can wait until he gets off work. Set whatever boundaries will make you feel better. She's going to whine and be a baby and probably say things like "I don't feel welcomed here". Tough, that officially NOT your problem. Just keep saying to yourself, "she's MY baby and the only one I need to make happy is her!"
You can do it, and you aren't alone. That thought alone is what got me through, and as an added plus, my relationship with my husband is fantastic, better than it has ever been, better than even when we were dating. There is a good light at the end of this crazy MIL tunnel.
Stay strong mama!
Loving wife to Grant
Proud mama to Amy 5-1-06
and Anya 9-16-07 and
number three on the way!
Umm. Wow. That doesn't even sound like the typical annoying mother-in-law. That sounds crazy. Literally psycho and sheer ignorance. I say just snap at her once. If she tries to do something that will potentially harm your baby, just say, "Look, I don't care how you raised your kids, but she's mine and you won't do that or you just won't come back." It sounds really harsh, but how many 'almosts' will there be until something happens? Probably not too many.
I realize this is months old, but just in case you are still needing advice, I thought I'd share.
I don't usually respond to online things, but, your post touched me so much that I was almost brought to tears. I am the mom of a 2 year old, and the stepmom of 2 "early 20+ year olds" who I raised from the time they were pre-teens. My current child was a late life baby who we decided to have. I have YEARS of experience with your situation. After some time, I realized that my MIL probably MEANS well, but, the way she goes about things makes it seem like living in BIZARRO-World. I put up with quite a bit of it with my step-kids, because my husband set the tone. Even though he'd be mad about something she'd do, I'd know it, but, because he adored her, he'd never let her know that a line had been crossed.
I think that what is going on is that they know that their SONS adore them, so, they try to get away with more, and, eventually begin to act as though they are ENTITLED to do so. I was MISERABLE FOR YEARS!
With THIS BABY, I'd had it. I finally learned that for me, making HIM take definitive action was key. It made it easier for ME to take action too. He finally DID draw a line, created some SERIOUS boundaries and eventually, she started to see that she had no choice. She didn't like it, but, it didn't matter. What mattered was that as parents, the buck stops with you, and, everyone else better "get with it, or get out of the way!"
Anyway, sorry for the long post and luck to you. Don't wait over a decade being miserable like I did! You'll be happier and your marriage will be better off.