Help!! What should I do about my MIL??

Becky - posted on 08/06/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )

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My issues with my mother-in-law started last year when we were planning our 1st wedding. She tried taking over the planning,from wanting to put a picture frame on our cake,to telling my husband she would not attend if the wedding was held at her ex-husband's house(I didn't want to get married in her basement). Mind you, I had to deal with all this while I was 6 months pregnant. It was my BIL that had to talk to her and remind her that it was not about her,but our wedding day.

Next occurance was at our baby shower when she yelled at my friend,and gave us pictures frames with price tags still attached to them and a cheap baby book(nothing we needed). She told my mom, "That baby will have everything she needs." When I had my daughter,my MIL called to say congrats,and asked if my husband was staying with me at the hospital or can he bond with his 11 y/o son. This upset myself and my parents-I felt it was more inportant for us to bond with our 2 hr old daughter then his son who has had 8+ years to bond with his father. The next day,despite what I said,she brought his son to the hospital,intending for him to stay there because she was going to work after visiting us. His son has ADHD and is a handful-something that a woman shouldn't have to deal with after giving birth. Luckily, my parents took him home-had they not, my husband would have had to go home. I feel that she favors my step-son over my daughter.

She has pulled some other crazy stunts,from inviting people last minute to our larger wedding,telling someone he could stay at the reception even through there was no plate for him, giving us $25 as a wedding gift. One thing that really upset me was I put my daughter in her crib while I went to the bathroom. When I came out, my MIl came out of her room and told me she had covered her up-I was stunned to see the comforter over my daughter's head(she was 2 months old). Note that my MIL is a mentally unstable woman who was admitted to a psych hospital when my husband was young because she allegigly tried to drown him. I also heard she tried to drown her younger sister as well. She also used to beat her sons.

Sunday was my daughter's 1st birthday,and I had not seen/talked to my MIL since April because she told my husband she "Didn't want to hear it" when my husband tried to tell her that our daughter choked on a penny,then continued discussing her own problem. This comment really offended me. She told my husband that it brought back bad memories when he choked on pennies 30+ years ago. I thought it was just an excuse and her way of manupulating m husband as usual. On Sunday, my mom made us hug,and my MIl apologized and tried to explain why she said what she did. I told her "Not today"-it was my 1st born's bday,I'm pregnant,and just thought it wasn't the right occassion. She didn't listen,continued talking,then started crying like she does to get attention. She talked to my mom and husband outside,then my husband asked if I could just let it go,which really upset me because he hadn't heard my side of the story. What really bothers me is despite that my MIL made a lasagna,and borrowed chairs/tables from her church, she did not give our daughter anything,not even a card. I have not told my husband this. I am sure that if it was his son's bday, she would have gotten him something. How do I deal with this woman from now on? I am not a fake person, so if I don't like someone, I cannot hide my feelings. Should I tell my husband? I know it is his mother,but how do I make him see what other people see-that his mother is a troublemaker and toxic? Thanks for reading this-I know it's a long question!

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Tara - posted on 08/07/2009

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I would mention it to him. Maybe try and get him to put himself in your daughters shoes. how would he feel if his mother only got stuff for his brother and never got anything for him? Ask him if he wants his daughter to have to deal with that. I also had a grandmother who played favorites. I vowed I would never let this happen to my children, and I have put my foot down with this as well. My husband is not the biological father to my son, but has been there since he was 3. My husband sees him as his son, and we were quite firm with his mother about this. When I had my twins, who are now 19 months, I was concerned about this, but I guess our talked worked, cause she treats them all equally. If you really feel this way, you have to stand up for it and be your daughter's advocate. and he definately needs to hear the whole story before listening to your MIL, she is totally playong him!

Becky - posted on 08/06/2009

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Yeah, unfortunetly, I think you're right Kattie and that he may never see the negative part of his mom. I really wish that he was like his brothers who see her for what she is and maintain their distance-they both now live in CA. My husband and his mom are close,and she knows this, so I think she plays it up and uses it to her advantage. I did tell him on Sunday when she pulled her crying act that he's my husband and he's suppossed to have my back,not take sides without hearing each side 1st. Should I mention to him that she did not even get our daughter a card,which really hurts me?

Kattie - posted on 08/06/2009

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Unfortunately, men rarely seem to want to recognize when their mom's are wrong. I have never dealt with the extremes that you have, but there have been moments like when my ex's mom invited "us" over for dinner, and then when we got there with our roommate in tow, she said she only meant my ex and our roommate. I got to watch them eat, and it was our roommate that shared. My MIL is "great" (rose colored glasses and the facade of June Cleaver), but she aslo has her moments, like when they expected me to invite my BIL's baby mamma who was insane to my wedding or how she invited his aunts and uncles to the rehersal dinner even though we expressed our desire not to because mine weren't invited. I am just waiting for the moment when I have to defend my parenting, because I have seen both his parents go behind and against his siblings' wishes. Whatever it takes protect your children and stand firm on your beliefs (meaning both of yours). I would make sure hse is always supervised as well. I'm not one to hide my true emotions either, and it makes me crazy when people expect me to hide it. I try to keep it under wraps until I can discuss it with my husband once we're away from the situation. It has taken him some time, but every so often, he recognizes the issue. He may never see what others see, though, because that is his momma.

Becky - posted on 08/06/2009

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Thank you for your response! I decided earlier this year to only deal with my MIL only when necessary,like hodidays. Even that I am dreading. My husband though,does get upset when I say I will not go somewhere if she's there. I did tell him about the blanket incident, but he does not believe that his mother is malicious. He says that she's changed and would not hit a child anymore. I have told him that she will never be left alone with our children. The sad thing is I've had 3 other people tell me not to leave her alone with them either, including his parental grandmother,and maternal cousin. I'm just drained and really don't know what to do. I am very sensitive to the favoritism because my paternal grandmother had her favorite,and it was not my siblings or I.

Tara - posted on 08/06/2009

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wow, and I thought my MIL was bad. I can relate with the mental instability. It is hard to deal with sometimes. It completely seems like she is very minipulative, and knows exactly what she is doing. I think you should talk to your husband and tell him how you feel, just watch how you approach it. It may be his mother, but you are his wife and you have a family together. It may be that maybe he will have to visit her by himself, and you just keep your distance. You don't need to expose yourself to people like that. And I definately wouldn't let her be by your child without supervision! Maybe you need to remind your husband of his childhood, and ask him if that is what he wants for your child too? And I would tell him that you will not put up with favourtism with the children, your daughter may only be small now and not understand, but soon she will, and no child should have to deal with that. She's a grandmother to all of the children, or to none! Good luck!

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