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Serious problem with MIL Lock Rss

I've jst read a similar post in this thread about MIL's and FIL's not respecting parents wishes when looking after baby etc. I have major issues at the moment with the MIL. She has always given me a hard time but I've learnt to let it wash over me now, but since having my DD I'm not prepared to let it slide anymore. It's just the way she treats her, as though she has rights to her or something. She is so controlling, to the point where she bullied me to put DD on bottle at 2 months old when I was having problems with PND..however I wasn't ready to wean her then and I'm so glad I stuck to my guns. She comes over to our place and just states she's taking DD for awhile..no "is it ok if I take her" etc. just I'm taking her. It's so hard cos she's the first to offer to babysit but i'm simply not comfortable leaving her there..I know she'd never intentionally hurt her grand daughter but i get the feeling she would let her eat/drink anything (i'm constantly having to say please don't give her such and such, I don't want her having that..ice blocks etc) and whenever we pick her up she always seems to have a new bump on her head - she's jst learnt to crawl so is into everything, that's fair enough, but still. It's just a bad feeling I have. Another thing is that she constantly calls my baby 'fat', 'fat girl' etc. (She is a big baby - 7 mo, 10.6 kg, 70cm long) and as her name is Isabella, nanny thought it would be funny to call her Isa-buddah (haha). It was funny at first but now it's just buddah, and often 'big girl' but I've heard her say "come her fatty" etc. I just don't like it. It maybe a joke but I don't think she'll find it funny whn she's old enough to understand what it means. My parents would never dream of referring to her as that. I just don't get it. I know that she had alot to do with raising her other grand daughter and think she struggles with not having the same 'free reign' over our daughter. I've tried raising the subject with my partner but he gets all defensive and says i'm just being silly. He will always stick up for his mother over me, I just wish he could see that I'm not being a cow, I actually have genuine concerns over how MIL treats our daughter. I'm getting all upset just thinking about it. Does anyone have a similar problem? How do you deal with it and not cause a family feud or World war 3?!? there's only so many more offers of babysitting I can turn down without it coming up again...

hi there,
i've recently had this discussion with my husband regarding both my MIL and FIL.

firstly, your MIL behaviour is disgraceful. she needs to be reminded that as a grandmother, she is just that and has NO parental rights over your child. you can choose to remove her from your baby's life completely if you want. i'm not saying that you should do that, but i have no problem letting my MIL know that i would do this if she will not respect my decisions regarding my baby.

but before all of that, you will get nowhere without your partners support.

firstly, i would recommend sitting down very calmly with your partner and discussing the importance of healthy relationships.

he needs to realise that no matter how close he is to his parents, that his relationship with you must supercede this, and you and the baby must come first in his life. it is not appropriate for a husband/partner and father to choose to support his parents at the expense of his own immediate family.

then i would suggest writing down all of the things that you cannot tolerate regarding your MIL's behaviour towards your child, and sit down with your partner and address them one by one. its important that he hears your concerns and takes them seriously.

if you don't think that he will listen for your sake then make it for the sake of your daughter - for example give him the stats for eating disorders in young girls as result of growing up with a negative body image etc.

then its time to have the discussion with MIL and your partner needs to be present at the time and back you up every step of the way. assertion, not aggression is the best way to deal with such people, and just keep repeating the same line - "that is not what WE want for OUR baby".

just remember YOUR baby YOUR rules.

i hope this is of some help.



Thank you so much for your comments and advice - it's soo nice to know I'm not going completely crazy! you're right, it's not healthy and i'm actually starting to lose sleep over it so something needs to be done. First step is getting my partner on board..will approach it tonight and see how he takes it.

no problem. you're not on your own on this issue. if you trawl through the posts you will find many of us in the same "in-law" boat.

my husband didn't stick up for his parents as such. he just didn't want to upset them or confront them on any topic (big skirt!) and used to take what he thought was the path of least resistance, until i showed him that he would get a whole lot of resistance from me if he didn't grow a spine where his parents are concerned. its very frustrating isn't it when you think that you have to do all the in-law negotiations yourself?

anyway after we had the discussion, we started some fun coaching sessions where i would be MIL or FIL and say something like "why don't you bring Imogene to visit us?" and he would have to respond appropriately. the first time his response was "because you don't have a pool fence". and i had to point out to him that that was not supporting me because they would assume that i was the obstructive one. so i had him reply "because WE don't want imogene to be anywhere near an unfenced pool". (yes they refuse to fence their pool even though they have a new and active granddaughter - that is what I'm dealing with!).

now, every so often i pretend to be his parents and fire some random questions at him so that he can practice. it's become a game for us now (we don't get out much), but it is helping him to be more assertive where they are concerned. he admitted that he is afraid of upsetting them. it's not that he wants to be unsupportive toward me, he just had no ability to confront his parents. so i asked him who would he prefer to upset?????

anyway, sorry for the ramble. i just thought you might want a few strategies to move forward.

i hope it all goes well for you
all the best
argh, that pool fence thing would sooo annoy me too! What is it about the older generation they must think wee kids are bulletproof or something. It's not like the olden days where kids sit quietly and do nothing, they're into absolutely EVERYTHING! That's a safety issue, and law I gather? so what's their problem? (sigh) well I told my partner about how p*ssed off I was getting and he pretty much brushed me off, I said about the 'fat' thing and he just goes 'well she is fat' - not in a nasty way, he was joking but still - i'm so over all the joking! it won't be funny when she's 10 and they're still calling her that and she develops an eating disorder or something. Grrr, so infuriating. Anyways wee girl has woken up so better grab her. Thanks for the understanding ear!
Kate

argh, that pool fence thing would sooo annoy me too! What is it about the older generation they must think wee kids are bulletproof or something. It's not like the olden days where kids sit quietly and do nothing, they're into absolutely EVERYTHING! That's a safety issue, and law I gather? so what's their problem? (sigh) well I told my partner about how p*ssed off I was getting and he pretty much brushed me off, I said about the 'fat' thing and he just goes 'well she is fat' - not in a nasty way, he was joking but still - i'm so over all the joking! it won't be funny when she's 10 and they're still calling her that and she develops an eating disorder or something. Grrr, so infuriating. Anyways wee girl has woken up so better grab her. Thanks for the understanding ear!
Kate

oh, sorry to hear that. that would seriously do my head in. i guess all you can do is keep chipping away at him.

there's no reason why you can't still insist on your rules for your MIL though. even if your partner sticks up for her, all you have to do is keep saying that you are Bella's mummy and you make the rules.

whatever happens you know that you will do the right thing because you're her mum!

good luck
gawd how frustrating, my MIL is the biggest pain in the ass though not as bad as that our biggest problem with her is that she smokes around the grand kids. My husband smokes but has always been extremely careful not to smoke around bub and always does it outside away from the door or downstairs, once the MIL was standing at the door smoking and it was just wafting inside whilst i was playing with the lil man on the floor. I just got up and politely said that it was coming inside and shut the door on her. (luckly my husband backs me up on the smoking thing).
I also would hate the idea of her looking after him, even though she has had 4 kids and now 6 grand kids something just makes me feel uneasy about her looking after bub. Even though my husband is really keen for her to baby sit I've found the best thing to do is just agree with him then find a good excuse why she can't... oooh we had to go out, or the lil man seemed a bit off today so didn't want you to have to deal with him etc etc. Try and come up with something for any situation (not easy inno).
And if things really come to a head just say to her that look I'm her mother and if you can't respect my wishes then don't bother coming around. Just remember that MIL are a bit like lil kids they like to push the boundaries see how much they can get away with and if you remain calm and polite and stick to your guns when dealing with her, and the repercussions with your husband, then she dosn't have a leg to stand on.

I also just wanted to say dont be too upset by anyone calling your baby fat (even though it isn't nice inno) but just take it from a mum who has to tube feed her baby (other medical reasons) that i think it is one of the nicest comments someone could make. It means your doing a great job and that she is fit and healthy.

Good luck!

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