Over the top mother in law

Sandy - posted on 04/02/2010 ( 80 moms have responded )

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I need help! My mother in law has always been pushy and overbearing but lately it's causing alot of friction between my husband and myself. She minds my children one day a month and takes it upon herself to take them out and about. When I come to collect them and ask what did they do today - she responds nothing. I then find out by chance that they have been to the library, park and McDonalds.

I feel very threatened by her as my daughter will have nothing to do with me when she is around and I need help because my jealousy is causing my husband to be angry with me. As far as he is concerned, there is no problem with his mum doing what she does (including giving my daughter her first birthday party with friends when I was at work) and that I am being a mother basher. Another example is when I arrived to find my daughter having a bubble bath despite telling my mother in law that she is not to come into contact with soap products because of her excema.

I'd like to hear your thoughts. Thanks, Sandy.

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Dear Sandy,
I can understand where you are coming from and I had a similar situation in the past. The relationship with my mother in-law now is great after learning all that involved.
What would I do if i was in your position? Let me break it down:
1. Mother in-law mind my children one day in a month
What is the purpose for this? To create strong relationship between grandmother and grandchildren? If the answer is YES that is great! If the answer is You need the helping hand one day in a month and she could do it that is great too.
Every game has rule/rules - what is your agreement with her? If you don't have it yet - you may want to do so. It is very important to communicate and please think all the rule/rules for the best of the children sake not about you and not about grandmother.

2.Excema - please explain to her, get information from internet print it out so she has something to read about the Excema. Sometime it is more acceptable when it comes from someone else.

3.Birthday party, did your mother in-law discuss this with you before she threw a party? If not this should be addressed to her however you might want to work this out between you and your husband frist. The best scenario is you and your husband talk to her at the same time - it is not that she is wrong to throw a party for her grandchildren however discussion before hand is a must.

4.Jealousy VS work ---> Do you think you would enjoy to be a stay home mom rather than a working mom? I don't think you are jealous of your mother in-law - I think you want to be with your children more instead of at work. Is there anyway you could be a stay home mom? or maybe get a part time job as a baby step?

Hope this would help Sandy considering coming from the note you have posted ;))

The best of luck dear - I know you are very capable!!!!
Lily

Christie - posted on 04/09/2010

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I don't doubt that you are grateful your children have a grandmother that is able to spend time with your child. That doesn't give her carte blanche to do whatever she wants! I like what some people have said as far as establishing rules and if she doesn't follow them, she doesn't get to see the child. Clearly she has overstepped in probably more cases than you care to share with strangers. Whether your husband wants to or not, it is his mother and he should talk to her but not say "Sandy doesn't want you to do this, etc." He should say WE and I think you feel that he is not working together with you on this. He is married to you now and you should be united on major things like this and it will continue to cause problems if shoved under the rug. I don't believe you should feel bad for wanting to know what she does with your child, IT"S YOUR CHILD, not hers. Again, there are issues I'm sure you are not saying here and maybe she's pitting your child against you and her so you want to know what happens when she's with grandma. This happened with my sister who truly HAD an mil from hell not repsecting any of my sister's wishes and her husband stayed out of it, now he's out of mostly everything. Not for only that reason, mind you, but it was a huge factor. The point is someone else is making decisions for your nuclear family and he is just going along with it, not supporting his wife. If it was a friend of yours that did these things, I'm sure he would have said something by now. There's no excuse for your mil's behavior and yes you do have to "deal" with her, but you call the shots for your daughter. If she doesn't like it, too bad. She's the one choosing to have less time with her grandchild if visits become restricted because of her actions.

Tara - posted on 04/07/2010

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First and foremost you and your husband need to be a united front. This can be hard when it comes to them and their mommies lol. I would be livid if my mother in law or my mom went behind my back and threw a first birthday party. There are lines that shouldn't be crossed. I think you need to sit down with both and discuss your feelings. Tell your husband that bubble baths that while yes they may be fun they can cause HARM to your daughter and how can he be ok with this? My son has eczema so I know how it can make their little skin hurt. There are milestones that parents should and need to be involved with. Even if it is a small lie the "nothing" is still a lie. I would say it doesn't bother me that you take my daughter out but the fact you lie is a huge deal. I would always speak respectfully about your MIL even if you want to call her every name under the sun. Tell your husband gently how it makes you feel. This is in fact your daughter not hers. This is his daughter not hers. Honestly, I had problems with my mother and in the end I had to cut all contact with her. It was drastic but it was what needed to be done.
But like some others have said I would pick your battles...taking her to the park and library really aren't big deals but the lying about it is. And yes kids will prefer one parent to another at times or even a grand parent...especially grand parents because they don't make rules, they really don't have to discipline it's all fun times. I would try to do special girl times, like going out for tea, or milkshakes, getting nails or hair done. It will be a great bonding time for you both

Reenie - posted on 04/05/2010

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I am a grandma and I have my grandchildren one day each week. We play, eat out, go to movies and usually take a tubby everytime they are over as they love to play in the water. My children believe that what happens at Grandma's stays at Grandma's. The grandchildren trust and love me and I would never harm them!! Some times when we are really having a good time and the parents come to get them they will say go away Mom. It's not because they love me more its because we are having a good time. I love the fact that my children will share their children with me!

Sharon - posted on 04/03/2010

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Ok - taking the kids out and about.. is that REALLY a big deal?



Giving the child her first birthday party was while you were at work was the work of a complete bitch.



Exposing the child to something she is allergic to (bubble bath) is borderline child abuse.



Children will always prefer the one who provides more fun than discipline, that is the joy of being a grandparent.



If asked, my kids will always vote to stay with my mom rather than me & hubby. Geeze grandma takes them to build a bear, mcdonalds, other restaurants, never cooks, so she never needs to clean her kitchen, she has someone who cleans her yard so there are no chores there either. I am not threatened by that.



You shouldn't feel threatened either. Instead just lay down the law. If your mother in law continues to disregard your feelings and wishes regarding the rearing of YOUR DAUGHTER then she will no longer see her. That is it.



If you need to quit your job and let your husband carry the full load of the bills then so be it. Usually the threat of this is enough to make most husbands snap to. Especially the lazy ones.

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Kathy - posted on 05/30/2014

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It seems that daughters in law get concerned about things that they should really appreciate but instead can't handle. Grandparents enjoy their grandchildren and in most cases would not do anything against their DIL's wishes! it seems to me that the DILs need to chill out and be thankful not obsessive. I just don't get it! Try understanding and appreciating each other and not be no sensitive and controlling.

[deleted account]

my 1 year old son hates my mother-in-law because she was always in his face. i got tired of it and told her if she didnt back off she was not going to see him and ever since then she has backed down a lot. it might be hard and hubby may get a little mad but you need to tell her how you feel and stand up to her. all grandmas get a little crazy at times so as mothers we need to stand up to them and put them in their place.

Jody - posted on 04/12/2010

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Dear Sandy, I am a new grandma that is thousands of miles away from our new grandson! I would give my eye teeth to see him once a month....I would definately follow the choices of things to do that my daughter suggest is age appropriate for my grandson. Maybe if you spoke with your husband and wrote out a few suggestions for a "fun Time" that you both have agreed on, then mom in law won't be so apt to do as she pleases with your children. Explain to your husband that with your daughter comes special treatment for her excema and how some soaps are very harmful. I was always the one in my family who had allergies to so many things, including soaps of several kinds.. especially laundry soaps and bath soaps.... the results were miserable for me. I remember even crying when I was real young because the sores hurt when I would itch them. To this day, 50+ years later, I have to carefully watch my ingredients so I do not have reactions. Explain this pain to your husband and hopefully he will see that this does not happen to "daddy's girl!" trust me the sores are very painfull. Your mom in law would never intentionally harm her she is just not seeing the whole picture with skin irritations. Explain to her the problems it can cause in her health and the future of her health..... Good luck! keep calm when you talk things over with your husband, maybe he doesn't understand either....have him get involved more so he can see when there is a reaction. But the birthday party without you....well that was very selfish on her part and any self respecting grandma that I know whould NEVER do that! Good luck.. as for me I get to see my grandson once a year, and he is now 5 months old so ......let her know it is a privilage to be with her and not a given thing!!! Because you can stop her from seeing her grandaughter.

Shanna - posted on 04/12/2010

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i agree with sharon!! I wish you the best of luck! I don't let my mother or father in law take my children in their vehicles at all!

Maybe send sopa that your child can have to her house???

Throwing a birthday party while you are at work OMG that is WRONG! your husband should have had your back on that one!

Tania - posted on 04/12/2010

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Also, if you shower your husband with complete love and respect - and expect nothing in return. He will probably feel inspired one day (in the future) to stand up to his mum and stick up for you. You will no longer need to request for his support, if he is feeling supported himself. Or with respect to his feelings ask him honestly how he feels about the situation, and respect his answer - if he feels like everything is fine, trust his instincts. But don't allow him to give you the "she'll be right" attitude. AND work out whether your feelings are jealousy and fear ridden emotions, or instinctive intuition. Have some confidence in your parenting to realise your daughter will always love you more than anyone else.

Tania - posted on 04/12/2010

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The more people who are in your child's life that love her - The better. My daughter is dealing with a split family with two parents and two sets of grandparents all using different parenting styles and all competing for love. She seems to me like she is extremely and unnecceserilly spoilt. She gets McDonalds and Puma shoes (she is now 6yrs) from her dad, gorgeous clothes and lots of lollies from one nana, loads of chocolate, donuts, pies and movies from another, it leaves me feeling like all I get to do is discipline her, help with homework, go to the dentist and doctors and put her on a diet with an exercise regime. I can't afford the things they can all give her and I am always left cleaning up the mess. However, she still loves me and I had to take a long hard look at my feelings and simply accept that what doesn't hurt my daughter is simply going to teach her lessons. Enjoy that one day a month of freedom you get to clean, or sleep or get out of the house and maybe purchase an excema friendly bubble bath - encourage your inlaws to enjoy your child - they will have so much to teach her. It's hard to let go, and if your inlaws are not very nice your daughter will learn that for herself one day. But she may resent you, for your attitude towards people she enjoys. I completely agree that it's tough, though I would probably convince my husband that his mother is not doing "good" by showing him how much I can love him unconditionally and respect his family inspite of my discomfort. Be diplomatic!!

Dorothy - posted on 04/09/2010

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Your Mother-In-Law is taking your comments to heart. Alot of people really don't understand what this means. Ask your Mother-In-Law to go out somewhere quiet and tell her you know how much she loves her grandchildren. Let her know you respect her and could you work together to raise your children. Let her know she'll be in their lives for a long time and you really need her help.Then give her a big hug and thank her.

Kelsey - posted on 04/08/2010

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So people made very good remarks here. I agree-grandparents are suppose to be able to spoil their grandkids. That's the fun of going. They already put in their time with discipline and rules and such. Now it's fun vacation time. I don't think I paid attention to my parents when my grandma was over either because grandma visits didn't happen as often as mommy and daddy visits. So just like other people said, don't sweat the small stuff.



That being said, the bubble bath and birthday party were not cool, whether it was just with her friends or not. Baby's first birthday is HUGE and the parents should always be involved in something that big. Your husband should have a talk with his mom in that department and should realize that while that is his mom, she did overstep there. Try explaining that to him calmly and hopefully he'll understand why that upset you. If not, sit grandma down and explain that you appreciate her helping out and it's great the kids love her but with milestones like all the "firsts" like first bday parties and such, you need to be included. Remind her that she would be upset if she were left out of her grandchild's first birthday party, so she shouldn't do that to you. And stress the importance of the bubble baths, that it is a medical thing, not you being neurotic. Other than those things, sounds like she's a good Gma.



Good luck =]

Kristi - posted on 04/08/2010

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Hi Sandy,
I understand your feelings... they sound a lot like me and my mom. My oldest is 6 and my mom and I have been on thin ice ever since she was born when it comes to parenting issues. We are so different and she has a hard time being respectful of my wishes - it's quite a power struggle. While it stinks because I love the treat of being able to get time to myself, I have resolved the situation by inviting her to spend time with my girls while I am around. We go do things together, like having lunch or going shopping. It's helped because it has eliminated all the friction that occurs when she does stuff I don't like and she would claim she didn't know I would be bothered by it. Now I can intervene before it happens. It's been hard to get used to, and she still offers to watch them while I go out, but I always suggest an alternative get together instead, which I think will be better for us in the long run. I love mom even though she drives me crazy, so the sacrifice is worth it. Maybe you could try it for the sake of your relationship with your husband. Good luck!

Amanda - posted on 04/08/2010

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SAAAMMMMEE HERE! the little one wont listen to me or daddy whenever the grandma is around b/c she spoils her rotten n she knows she can get away with anything she wants. Mother in laws/ Grandma's think theyre entitled to this behavior for some reason. Any time the little one is throwing a fit about something, neither me or daddy are allowed to have anything to do with the situation b/c she'll push us away yelling "IVE GOT IT UNDER CONTROL, DONT WORRY ABOUT IT, IM HANDLING IT" '

and NO ONE in his side of the family seems to care about her eating healthy. They buy her more chocolate than she could handle in a year, i dont get it. Then Im the bad guy b/c I said she needs to have apple slices instead of fries @ McDonalds!

Sharee - posted on 04/08/2010

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As I once had to tell my mother in law and my mother that they are part of my family, I'm no longer your family. I have my own adjenda and mistakes will be made but they will be mine to make and live with, please respect that! I had a great relationship with my mother in law and she apologize the next time we saw each other and respected my wishes. It's a fine line with grandparents as we have our (2) grandkids four or more days a week and overnight a couple of times a week, I feel sometimes as though I'm raising my children all over again. My daughter is very opinionated on what she wants for her children and I try to respect that, but there has been a couple of times I've have done what I felt was the right thing to do and it worked out. Good luck with your mother in law/

Lisa - posted on 04/08/2010

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I disagree that she needs to be invited for tea or coffee... this is very specific. Husband STEP UP. I don't think that you and she can be in the same location for this conversation. Have tea when he is certain that she understands her roll and boundaries.



Oh yeah... did I mention, before she decides to change the shoes you sent and replace them with new ones she purchased for her... she needs to show them to you and ask permission. She needs to earn her place with you at this point!!! Unbelievable.... a few little "nice gestures" she has made so she doesn't look like bad one in this situation? She is trying to make a fool out of her own son and sabitauge his relationship with his wife! UH! Ok, I'm finished. That just really ticked me off. Hopefully he will stick up for his marital unit!

Mary - posted on 04/08/2010

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Ask your mother in law to come over for tea/coffee/dessert - whatever works in your family. Speak with your husband and remind him that YOU are his wife and the mother of his children and that he needs to support you. Some things are not really important - try not to feel jealous of your children loving thier grandmother and her wanting to spend time with them. Some things are really important - anything involving the children's health such as excema. I am willing to believe that, as the grandmother of the children,she wants the best for them. Try to enlist her support in caring for the children. She should be willing to tell you where she is going to take the children - you have a right to know where they are. Remind her that she was a mom once also and would have wanted to know where her son was and what he was doing. Best case would be if you all could have an open conversation. Remind her that all of you want what is best for the children.
Above all, make sure that you and your husband stay connected. Plan at least one night every other week as "date night". Ask grandma to babysit while you two go to a movie or out to dinner or just for a walk. She will feel good to be involved and needed and you two will have time to remember why you got married in the first place. Remember that you two started out together and will end up together. For a brief, wonderful time you have been blessed with children, but you two have to put each other first. There is no greater gift that you can give your children than a happy marriage.
And remember - someday you will be the mother-in-law!

Lisa - posted on 04/08/2010

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Call it "heart to heart"... "leave and cleave"... whatever you want? I call it respect. Before she takes your child in a car anywhere she needs permission. Before she acts on a special occasion, she needs your permission. Before she administers any type of medicine, she needs permission. Not dad's... but yours! Whether she likes you or not, her son needs to tell her ALL of this...



She loves her son, she loves her grandchildren... she'll get over it. Whether she LIKES YOU or not... you deserve respect, YOU ARE THE MOTHER. If she was the sitter... she'd be fired. Husband, step up. If he doesn't "get it" go to one session of marriage counseling, he'll get it then. Threw her a birthday party? Over my dead body! Just go ahead and read this to your husband... :)

Kelly - posted on 04/08/2010

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I think you need to have a heart to heart with your husband. He needs to support you. Yes, you may respond harshly to something she does that is small, but I think that is probably because all of the little things she does to undermine your authority build in your mind. And knowing he is not there to support you, only makes it worse.

I'm pretty much guessing on all of that, because that is where I have been for a long time. I love my husband, and he is wonderful in most respects. But where his mother is concerned, even when he knows she is wrong, he will not stand up to her. And I feel like that is his place, since it is his mother.

I finally realized (for the most part), that when it comes to the major things, I just have to stand up to her, whether it causes an argument or not. All major decisions for our child will be made by his parents. If she can't understand that, I will restrict the time she has alone with him.

We still have our moments. It's very hard to respect your elders, when they do not show you any respect. I can deal with a lot, including spoiling my child to death when I've asked you not to, but don't cross the line.

Amanda - posted on 04/08/2010

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Sandy, i wouldn`t worry yourself over it. It`s only once a month. Let grandma enjoy her grandkids while she is still here on earth.
you know,grandparents are the ones that spoil the kids. so, let them have there fun!!! Don`t worry. next time you pick up the children from grandma`s house just give her a thank you and go on your merry way. Don`t ask any questions. Don`t show any concerns in front of her.ask the children later on when your home ,
'Like before bed time,say in a nice friendly voice,hey, guys what did you do for fun today with grandma?and see what kind of response you get. let me know how you made out. Amanda

Kate - posted on 04/08/2010

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OMG!! Your MIL makes mine sound like the tooth fairy! Seriously though, you both(DH and you) need to be on the same team in order for any rules to stick when it comes to your children! He has to understand that you and he are the parents, not her, and she needs to respect that! So what if she is your DH's mother...being a grandparent is a privledge, not a right...two very distinct differences. She has to abide by your instructions when it comes to the care of your children, especially when it concerns the health and well being of your daughter...ie her eczema. I think she is absolutely playing on the fact that she has her son/your hubby still attached to the umbilical cord(it needs to be severed, and he has to be the one to do it) and that is why she is going behind your back with the birthday stuff and the various outings with your children...just ask why she feels the need to lie? Can't she just come out and say she took them to the library or a bite to eat? What's the harm in the truth? She says "nothing" because MIL's like to piss off their DIL's!
When you talk to your hubby, explain why its important that both of you need to be on the same page with rules and instructions for the children when either grandparent are looking after them(that way its not just his side being attacked or in question). Tell him that you are both fortunate to have her look after them, but the lying and the lack of respect must stop, or her time with the kids will cease and exist too! Maybe that will help clear out the cobwebs with the hubby, as that will resonate loud and clear!
I wish you all the best, and good luck with the improvements! KUP!!

Eastlyn - posted on 04/08/2010

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I have read other replies and they are cool! I am a mother in law and would like to know when my daughter in law has a problem with me.My daughter has excema grew up using a variety of special kinds of soaps for her excema.Did you check to see the kind of soap she uses? I think that you really have a jelous problem with your in law because no matter what she does you will make a comment! There are some things you just need to turn a blind eye to.The best part about this is that it is only once a month.Please grow up and share the love!
A mother-out-law!!!!!!!!!!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/08/2010

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Ok, I have read through a fair amount of these posts, and I am going for a different approach. Honey, from what you have said your MIL is NOT difficult at all...mine...is...She only gets to see the kid one day per month? No wonder she is taking her out and about spoiling her...no it is not ok about the birthday party, and some older people think skin issues like excema are not real....beings that she only sees her 1 time per month can you blame her? She probably never sees the bubbles react to the skin. I am not sure why you would be threatened...,that is a little dramatic...once again she only sees the kid once a month and your kid probably worships the ground she walks on BECOUSE it is such a rare treat to see grandma....see what I am saying here? You should go out with her to lunch with your daughter, or go to the park together, or just go and have coffee...bring a cake or something.,,make an effort for a relationship instead of just getting annoyed by her actions. Instead of getting upset, bring over the bath products that are approved for excema, go straight into the bathroom and take the bubble bath out and explain to her what will happen. This friction may start to come to a halt if she gets to see her grandchild more frequently. Maybe she is threatened by you and wants to show your daughter the best time she possibly can, to get your approval...hey if your daughter has fun with grandma it makes her look good...

Harriett - posted on 04/08/2010

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Hi Sandy,
It sounds like your mother-in-law is doing things with your daugher she thinks you are NOT doing. This is for one day a month, right? I suggest you take a piece of paper and divide it into two columns, one for the positives of her keeping her and one for the negatives. On the negative side you need to write down WHY you have a problem with the issues, i.e. going to McDonalds - food is not healthy, for her bubble baths it is not good for her skin. On the positive side, note going to library and park is okay, but don't need to hide it from you. When you have done this, you need to go over the list with your husband. You need to remain calm and stay focused on the health and well being of your and his daughter. Do not make this a personal attack on his mother! Do not get into a shouting match or yelling contest because that will get you no where. You need to tell him of your concerns for her health, (if that is the issue) and also let him know you don't have a problem with the library and park, but she doesn't need to hide it from you. (Probably, she is hiding these things from you because she is doing other things you have asked her not to do, so she just isn't telling you anything and asking your daughter to not tell you either.)

If he doesn't listen and is not concerned about your concerns, then you have no other alternative but to talk with his mother. Remember, do not make this a personal attack on what she is doing with your daughter, one day a month. Your concern is for her health and well being. Let his mother know you don't have a problem with her taking your daughter to the park or to the library, but she doesn't have to hide it from you.

You do want your daughter to have a good relationship with her but if she continues to hide things from you and do things that can harm her health or well being down the road, you will have to find someone else to keep her that day and she will have supervised visits with her. (Supervised visits only as a last straw because this can really cause problems within the family) You need to try to work with her but let her know your daughter's well being and health are the most important issue at this time.

I hope you can work this out because a grandparent has so much to offer a child as they grow up and with her living close by, there can be many good times the family can share together. If she continues to disrespect your requests, then you do what you have to do, but try to let HER make the choice as to what she intends to do and if she continues with things that are not consistent with your requests, she has made her choice.

Regina - posted on 04/08/2010

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i had a mother in law like that she caused so much trouble i couldnt stick it any longer i left husband now i dont see my son as my mother in law has bad mouthed me so much to him. why cant they just keep out of it and let us live a normal life. mine was the same as urs bathing them even when i told them not to as he was sick i feel sorry for you

Susan - posted on 04/08/2010

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Sandy,
Here is my brief advice. First, enjoy your grown-up time when your kids are with Grandma. You don't have to feel guilty. You desrve time to yourself. Sounds like your mother-in-law might even give you a little more time if you ask. Second, choose you battles. You can confront her if she does somthing, which might compromise your daughter's health, or causes behavior problems, but let the other stuff slide. Finally, settle disputes between you and your mother-in-law directly. Leave your husband out of it. Save any complaints you have for your girlfirends.

Heather - posted on 04/08/2010

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Sorry for your situation....unless you have the support of your husband and he can speak to the "mom" well even then he probably can't/won't your probably stuck....it's not nice...but when it comes to the "mom's" seems the sons just turn to mush.

Jane - posted on 04/08/2010

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Hi Sandy, as an older mother and grandmother i no it can be difficult to get it right ( my own mum Gould be a night mere ) Have you taken your Mother in law out just you to girl's some were relaxed meal my be and had good heart to heart with out putting her down but being firm about what is and isn't OK, but be prepared to listen as well, please dont feel theatened by her we both have have our rolls and mum will all ways be no 1 ( my eldisest child is 37 and still comes to her mum best of luck. JANE

Claire - posted on 04/08/2010

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Gosh
You are'nt a relative of ours are you lol?
My MIL and SIL are exactly the same.
We have told ours numerous times that our kids are not allowed McDonalds etc and we find out they have been taking them.
Not only that but also encouraging the children to LIE about going.
Same with presents etc----the two of them very much favour the girls we have over the boys(to the point were my MIL didnt see my youngest son until he was 6 weeks despite living less than 1/2 mile away) and they are constantly bringing presents/sweets for the girls and nothing for my boys.
Dont feel threatened however --your daughter will love you unconditionally--mine are the same but I suspect they run to her cos of what she gives them not cos they love her more than me.

Eventually I had to sit with my partner and tell him how unhappy it was making me and if he didnt speak to her then he was risking me refusing to let them see her at all.
I wish I could tell you things were perfect now---they are not --but she does seem to be respecting our views a little more after he had to out with her
Good luck to you x

Rebecca - posted on 04/08/2010

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I saw your post and must say I know how u feel. My mother in law thinks she also knows best and for a time she looked after my oldest daughter one day a week. I found out after a year she really didnt want to do it and instead of talking to me she decided to bitch to other people behind my back. I confronted her about this and subsequently my daughter ended up in daycare one day a week. Its possible she is trying to tell u something like that (without telling u) that was my experience with my mother in law. Your husband should be backing you as you and your daughter r his family first and everyone else (including all other family members) a distant second. It took a long time but my husband came to realise that his mother gets a bit spiteful and now knows that I dont overreact so hopefully in time your husband can see that. I think with the whole eczema thing u should stand your ground and maybe next time u c your mother in law give her the stuff you bathe your daughter in and tell her that thats her to keep for when your daughter is over at her house. With the whole birthday party thing i dont know what to say, even my mother in law didnt step over that mark so maybe with her next birthday make sure a party is done the weekend before her birthday so your mother in law cant steal your thunder because she's your daughter not hers. Hope this helps. As for my relationship with my mother in law now, we r now civil and I really hope that one day we can get back on track - baby steps.

Gina - posted on 04/08/2010

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It sounds to me like your mother-in-law and husband don't have any respect for you. Your husband should support you and not argue. It seems like he is a mamas boy who is wrapped around his mother's finger because it sounds like to me that he sides with her on everything. You have to put your foot down. Here's an idea don't let you mother-in-law have the kids for a couple of weeks. Tell her if she doesn't start respecting your wishes then the visits are going to get less and less until she doesn't see them anymore. Are your parent/s still alive? Have them, other family or close friends take the children instead for this period of time. This also sends a message to your mother-in-law that she isn't the only one the children can stay with. It might give her a dose of reality that she is not the only one who will look after your children. It will probably stop arguments with your husband.

Bernadette - posted on 04/07/2010

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I have an over the top mother in law so I have to my house as little as possible. Thank goodness she lives interstate.

If you have the services of your mother in law once per month you are saving money on babysitting services. So it is bit hard to get her help but try to tell there is no way she can do anything with them during this time. It all comes with a cost so think about what is the greatest cost. Is work more important then being with your children?

It is your husband's job to deal with his mother. Anyone who minds your children will do it differently to you so we do have to relax a little about it.

If your marriage is suffering, think about why you are at work and if she is the best babysitter. You may get those material possessions or holiday but you may end up being a single mother. It is not worth it.

Kim - posted on 04/07/2010

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Recently there was a show like this on Dr. Phil> 1st of all I think you should set up some boundries as to what you want done with your children and why. You and your husband should be a parental unit and he has to realise that as your childrens mother that rules you set for your children are meant for their best interests and not to "bash his mother" and let him know that he chose you as his family and that family should be his first prority and let your mother in law know that you expect the rules to be followed and that if she feels that she can not do that I would find someone else to watch the children until the matter can be resolved. Your mother in law needs to realise that she is not the parent in this case and that you appreciate what she does do for the children but that you feel she has disrespected you and your marriage to her son. If she does take them to Mcdonalds and to the park that one day then let them enjoy that time together, I would love it if my childrens Grandparents actually took any kind of an interest in them. In the meantime make sure you alot yourself some special time with your children as well, it can be anything like taking walks together or going on a picnic it doesn't have to cost money to be special time and children need that time with either parent. If she has a birthday party with friends it doesn't mean that you cant do the same thing but on a different day it wont mean any less to your children but will probably mean more and make sure your the bigger person in the situation. Have you ever heard of the expression kill them with kindness well kill her with kindness allow her to do special things with and for your children and you can do special things with them as well they will remember everything that both of you do. Please remember to allow your children to enjot their grandmother and their mother, because if everyone is looking out for the childrens best interests and everyone loves them then how can that be wrong. Stay strong and stay true to yourself and your marriage. Your children will thrive with the love they receive from everyone.

Brenda - posted on 04/07/2010

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You need to sit down with hubby and come up with a bunch of rules/expectations then he needs to talk to his mom.

Ultimately though, if your husband is like many men, you're just going to have to put your foot down. I can't count the number of times I have said "Because I am his mother and I said so", "I won't let you disrespect me in front of my children, its a bad example" and my current favourite "If that bothers you they kids don't need to come over here"

Of course for every 1 time I say something there are usually 10 where I should but don't because I don't want to fight with hubby.

Right now my FIL isn't even speaking to me, which is actually a nice change. I don't have to listen to his racist comments, his abuse, his repetitive stories. This fight, you won't even believe if, the fight was over my kids not sitting at a table when they were eating. Now asking kids to sit and eat is a perfectly reasonable request, if you say so to them or me beforehand, and if you have a clean table for them to eat at. When you have one table covered in bills and an electronic keyboard and one covered in cigarette ashes, lighters, and other dangerous things then you can't expect anyone to eat at the table. Particularly if you or your spouse hands them the food one bite at a time as they run around you don't have the right to swear over dropped food and completely overreact.

Cecilia - posted on 04/07/2010

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She should have more respect for your wishes, have a talk with her be very open and honest about your wishes. If she can't follow them then I wouldn't let her keep doing what she wants it's not her child it's yours.

Tairyn - posted on 04/07/2010

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Why would she lie about taking the kids out? It doesn't make sense. Especially when all they did was go to the library & the park! Those are great things to do with kids, and it's nothing she should feel she needs to keep from you.
The first birthday party is a important landmark for a lot of people, and I don't blame you being upset that your mother in law would intentionally arrange a party for a time she knew you couldn't be there. Were you the only one excluded? Was your husband there?
Why doesn't your daughter want to be near you when grandma is around? Does she just want to spend time with grandma, or does she seem to avoid you like there's something wrong? Who's being the mother basher here?
And the whole excema thing, that's just putting your daughters health at risk!
I think you need to have a serious talk them both your husband and mother in law.
She is lying, avoiding, and ignoring you. You need to figure out why. Let her know you appreciate her taking the kids out for fun things, and that you'd like to hear about the adventures they had. Ask her to please arrange parties around your schedule when possible. And be firm about the bubble baths. I love my mother in law to pieces, but she does stuff like let the kids have popscicles for breakfast, or try to give them EVERY NEW TOY at the SAME TIME [instead of hiding some as a surprise for later...]. They just need that "high" they get when they make their grandchild smile. And GET YOUR HUSBANDS SUPPORT. It's very important. You are not the bad guy here, and your requests are reasonable.
Good luck.

Kathy - posted on 04/07/2010

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I am a mother-in-law. I try to be sensitive to what my daughter-in-laws want. The one is very much into doing the firsts. She is wrong to do a party for her without consulting you. I am sure she is doing things because she loves being a grandma. Especially if its her first. She should follow what you say in health matters only. Of course she is going to do fun things with her. She shouldn't lie about this. Your husband should support you but learn to fight your battles. Taking her places safely and doing fun things is part of being a grandma. But she needs to follow some rules. Not giving her foods that you don't want or bubble baths. Sit and talk with her. Don't lecture but explain what you would like and boundaries. See if you can compromise with her. Try to get to know grandma better. If you have a day that you can invite her to do things with you and your daughter. Don't be jealous of the baby wanting her. Feel good that your daughter is comfortable with her. The best child care is someone who loves your child almost as much as you. Hope this helps.

Jennifer - posted on 04/07/2010

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my mother in law is too much too. I think that's just how mothers-in-laws are. Sometimes I get so mad at my husband for allways taking her side but Ive found , I just need to ignore him when he CARRIES ON!! about how wonderful and selfless she is((BLAH!!)) we fight less about what I see as her BS. and when I have an issue whit her I just tell her and leave him out of it becasue he is NEVER gonna cut the apron strings. It's not perfect but it's helping. For some reson he is still desperate to please her it's kinda pathetic so I just let it go and pick my battles. Good luck MIL's are almost always touchy situations

Starlene - posted on 04/07/2010

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I dealt with a similar situation...over 20 years ago! I will admit that I too was very jealous of my time with my kids. Add to it that my own mom died when my oldest was 6 months old and it really gets complicated. I have to believe that at the time my MIL meant well, but it didn't make it any easier to deal with. I was constantly being corrected from how to diaper to how much food to put on the spoon. Finally one day I'd had enough. I firmly said to her, 'You had the opportunity to raise your children, now it's my turn to raise mine.' From that point on we had a mutual understanding. You can't count on your spouse to get involved. He doesn't (or won't) always see what's going on. Like others have said, it's his mom you're talking about; not some one off the street. You need to put yourself on equal footing with her. The only way to do that is to nicely, yet firmly, stand up for your rights as a mom. Trust me, there's still a part of her that sees her son (and you!) as know nothing kids who need her expertise and wisdom.

Now it's my turn in the MIL seat. I had a heart-to-heart with my DIL shortly after the wedding. We hadn't had the opportunity to spend time together before and it caused all kinds of problems with pre-conceived notions we both had about each other. It was amazing how much the conversation has helped our relationship over the past 2 years. So much so that I spent a month with her while my son was deployed and she was having difficulties with her pregnancy. I have a great deal of respect for her as a DIL, a wife and a mom. She keeps a great home for my son and is doing a wonderful job with our grandchild. I hope you find that with your MIL. Good luck.

Pam - posted on 04/07/2010

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Grandparents are truly a blessing; however the first birthday party which did not include you and giving her a bubble bath when you specifically told her she cannot come into contact with soap products truly are not acceptable. Your husband needs to talk with her about these things. My kids don't pay much attention to me when around their grandparents either but I know it's me they come home with and cuddle with at the end of the day. I also know if they stay with her for an afternoon it's me they come running to when I come to pick them up. Grandparents are special people but no one can take the place of Mom. Just remember they are your children and always will be.

Jennifer - posted on 04/07/2010

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It is easy to sit here and send you my 2 cents worth.....because no one is in your shoes. A suggestion to you, mom to mom, is this: be direct to hubby, he needs to stand up for your thoughts and feelings, toughen up, you'll feel most uncomfortable BUT YOU ARE YOUR CHILDRENS MOM, your mom-in-law had her chance aleady (with your husband). He must be on board 100%, you need his support on this one.

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you will miss you mother-in-law when she is not around , alot of children has grandmothers that want nothing to do with them. Your mother-in-law will do nothing to harm your children believe me , you will look back some day and say what a fool I have been. Have to tried talking to her? maybe you should. I'm sure she is a great lady. I wished I could have had that, when my children were young. (1) Have your husband to stand up and be a man,(2) You should buy yourself a nanny!!!

Inez - posted on 04/07/2010

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Sandy I had a similar problem with my mother in law. I came up with I needed to get over myself and let my mother in law be a grandmother. The soapy products is something I would nicely and firmly let her know that your daughters skin is very sensitive and soaps will harm her. I know you are the mother and you want to be the one who does all the fun things with your kids but you sometimes can't. So be happy you have a grandparent who is invested in their grandchildren. My mother only is interested in my children when there are people around watching. So I remind myself thank God my kids have a grandparent who can help my child experience life. In laws will eventually learn their boundaries you just have to put it out there and let them know what the boundaries are. Don't expect your husband to choose you over his mother it is not right but you can ask him to support you on things like soapy water. Remember a grandparents job is to spoil a kid and return them. oh one more thing when you are at your in-laws make sure you are firm about rules. the rules you have at home should be the same rules everywhere else. example if you don't allow your kids to eat a snack before dinner at home that rule should apply at your in-laws house as well.

Sandi - posted on 04/07/2010

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Hi Sandi,

I know it's been said time and time again but choose your battles.
Don't trivialize the important things like your daughters health and your familys once in a life time memories with things like visiting the library.

You said you were jealous, are you sure it's not guilt? You can't compare your relationship as a mother to that of a mother in law. She has 30 days to prepare for 1 day of fun packed, sugar rushed day of activites. You have 1 day to prepare for 30 days of tantrums, dinners, school and the odd weekend away.

Grandparents are there as payback for all the stress and tantrums they dealt with when we were kids. Draw the line when it comes to their health and special moments you will never relive. Sit her down and talk about everything, she isn't a mind reader so tell her what you expect and why. She isn't there to see the effects of the "one off bubble bath" and probably doesn't know how she made you feel by taking away your special family moment.

Best of luck
~x~

Sammi - posted on 04/07/2010

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Hi Sandy, From my painful experience it is REALLY important that you and your husband are on the same page. If you have an issue - it is valid, and he needs to try and understand you. He's married to you, not his mother and you should be his priority. Decide what you would like to change - don't be afraid of dealing with your mum-in-law DIRECT if hubby won't support you. Just be clear and calm about what you want and not afriad of saying what you want. She's your kid - and you have the right to be in charge with your husband. I think his support is the key. Good luck Sam xx

Nicole - posted on 04/07/2010

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Ok, I read the responses down until I got to Sharon's. I am COMPLETELY with her on that response! Your MIL needs to realize that this IS YOUR DAUGHTER and MUST respect that!

Susan - posted on 04/07/2010

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Don't count on your husband understanding or doing anything about it. He should, but if he is anything like mine, he wants to be "Switzerland" (Neutral) and not get involved. *roll eyes here* It has caused fighting and feeling not supported or loved by him in my case. Really hurt our marriage. Please try to control your jealousy & let them remember time with Grandma as fun. Not everyone has that availability.

Skin Problem suggestion = Ask MIL what she used in the bath last time. Explain that it really reacted badly on her grand daughter's skin & caused her itching for x-amount of days and you had to keep re-applying excema lotion to her. Make it more about your daughter's health and comfort. "Oh, I wish she didn't suffer so much when she comes into contact with these soap products. Unfortunately, most people have no idea how much it makes her miserable after using soap. Please use what is recommended by her Dr. or product X (Aveeno or whatever) that we know helps her to feel better."
Then GIVE HER the products to use, so there are NO EXCUSES! Also make a point of giving her the Excema lotion (for when she has a flare up).
Best wishes, Susan

Jill - posted on 04/07/2010

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I can understand where you're coming from. I lived with my mother in law for 9 months with two toddlers....believe me, 5 years on and we still have our moments! But I never really got any help with mine......
I'm sensing that perhaps your jealousy isn't born out of what she's doing with the children? It might be hard to admit...but I'm sensing that perhaps you're feeling guilty about having to leave them. Is this just as much about you as it is about what your mother in law is doing. Do you resent the time that their grandma is spending with them? Is it work? Do you feel guilty leaving them? Have a think....is it because you're not actually in control of what happens on this day?
Do you all spend anytime together? On holiday? Playbarn? Weekend lunches/Dinners?
How would you feel if it had been a childminder doing this?
Do you discuss what plans she might have for the kids on the day together? Have you tried making suggestions? It's hard staying in with kids as the day draws on, like you she might find comfort in being in control, so when she goes out with them, this might give herself an excuse to get out of the house and meet people whilst at the same time "controlling" the children. We had a situation when we lived at his mums house whereby I moved all the breakable ornaments, out of the kids rooms and into a box, so that they'd be safe, I thought his mum wouldn't mind....but she did! Not because I'd touched them, simply because I hadn't told her before hand and I was trespassing on her territory as it were......She might be taking the kids out to save her house....you know how messy....noisy....hyper kids can get....I don't believe she's doing these things simply to get at yourself. I truly believe that it's her way of doing her bit, showing the kids off, trying to keep her own sanity whilst keeping a brave face on it....plus they're older, can't do as much! BUT don't want to admit it...so keeping the house tidy makes sense. My mother in law would NEVER admit to not having the energy to cope with two kids...even though she's only EVER had one herself. She's in her mid 60's now. Personally, I'd get her to go through some old photos of her son over some biscuits and a cup of tea, or even a glass of wine, say your doing a scrapbook for the kids and would like some old photies.... show them to the kids...have a laugh about them....ask her what she enjoyed about having her own kids....and what she misses, if her son ever had any health issues, what they did in those days..how he got on with his grandparents...dig around....take a step back and put yourself in her shoes just for a second. I know it's hard! Especially when they get on your pigging nerves!
There was probably no McDonalds, no understanding of what excema was or is, they just had rashes in those days, zinc and castor oil was liberally applied! Plus, with them being grandparents you think they're like yourself, you only need to be told once about something and you remember it....Grandparents are actually small children themselves, I know this as I have to repeat myself about 5 times, both to the children and to the grandparents for them to remember anything.....plus sometimes their hearing isn't brilliant either, and memory crikey....it's like a meeting of the Altzheimer's society when they come round, can't remember what day they said what to whom and you're lucky if you get a straight story out of them without them diving off on a tangent about whose died..they remember that bit, but then forget the point of the tale......and then at that point I've forgotten too........it's all much better over a glass of wine or two though....invite them round for dinner, or Sunday lunch! Get her to make you some curtains...keep her busy...give her the kids uniforms to label up as well....she wants to do something....and she wants to be useful....and at their time of life...they start to think of how much time they have left......be humble, flatter her, be charming and smile....say things like..."You're really good at that aren't you....would you be able to do xxxxxx for me?" Find out what she loves to do....sewing, shopping...and play to those strengths...."oh while you're out today you couldn't get me this particular bubble bath it's for xxxxxx's excema, he uses it all the time at home and I've run out...do you need one for your place too?"
keep cool, take it one step at a time...but make that step, there's a lot of relationships involved!
Take care
Jill

Tara - posted on 04/07/2010

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Lanette that is one of the reasons I get along so well with my inlaws there are rules but we share the same rules. If they do want to take the kids out the day is pretty much run by us first. Any question is asked to us the kids parents. They know what we wouldn't really care about and what we would. There is a mutual respect between all of us

Lanette (Sarah) - posted on 04/07/2010

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If u don't mind, i would like to say something to what u said,im a Nana, and in my house when the grand kids r here there r alot of rules, and im stright with them, they have to follow what i say and yes we have lots of fun and for me i find that beings there r rules here they respect me, and there is so much love between us all, thanks Tara it is good u said that, and its good also i was able to say my side, no hard feelings, just to let u know that it is not always fun and games......having rules is a big part of respect

Alison - posted on 04/07/2010

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I read this with some amount of jealousy myself! Wish I had any mother/mother-in-law but do understand what you are saying.I used to feel jealous about my helper when at work!! Perhaps you are feeling guilty about work and unhappy you cannot be there all the time yourself! The best would be if you cannot give up work is encourage the relationship but have a few ground rules esp the soap and eczema...maybe purchase the correct bath soaps and leave them with her.You are really lucky to have someone who obviously loves your children as they are her grandchildren.Rather that than a stranger you have to pay.She should however respect your wishes re food etc.Try explaining to her the importance of your ground rules.The first birthday party is a bit much!! The biggest problem is you are married to her "baby"...you have to find a way to like her...

Nicole - posted on 04/07/2010

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ummmm. I had an almost mother-in-law that was extremely overbearing (hence why I called her my soon-to-be outlaw!) and she was an indirect reason my fiance and I split. She couldn't cut the ambilical chord. Furthermore, her grandson (my soon-to-be-step-son), was spoiled rotten and raised so wrong (on so many levels) because of her and he was frustrating my son bc of his behaviors. It was rough. I realized towards the end of our relationship I'd be thankful when it was gone. Now that I'm out of that relationship I still talk to my ex and our kids are still close (they still go to school together, too) and we talk about getting back together. I get anxiety thinking of his mom though. I think if we did I'd have to accept it'd be till death that I'd have to tolerate her. I don't get why mom's get like that..they ruin their kids relationships.

Namatsai - posted on 04/07/2010

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relationships are always tricky, But ask your self a few questions Why do you feel threatened by your mother in law ? Do you feel you have to be in competition with her. Why do you find it nessary to try to stamp you authority/ground with her, For me the fact that you allow her to look after your children speaks volumes this women is not totally bad you obiously trust her to some extend as does you daugherter as she displays by sucking up to granma which is a good sign Is she really the problem? or do you have some issues of your own you need to deal with, my sister used to take my son out to lots of different places that i could not afford becov i was broke and had to work a lot It used to make me feel inadequate now i am very great full that she was there at that time, This women is you husbands mum it is tricky to make him understand , but it is not about pointing out this womens faults to him , when you are calm and not angry about an incident try to process the issue first before verblising it and when you talk to you husband try to be factual and precise most problems in marriage are a communication issue if you are really stuck seek professional help there are many councelling facilities some even for free just to help you put things into prospective and help you deal with you mother inlaw personally i have been to counceling and it has helped me a lot to deal with life in general and challenging pesonalitied most people are afraid of councelling as i was but it takes a lot to ask for help but you hae already taken the firat step by talking to us all you are abiously trying to work this thing out all hats off to you is all i would say and keep looking for solutions my mother used to say there is no problem with out a solution keep focused and i pray you will make it

Teresa - posted on 04/07/2010

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Sandy, I understand your concerns and I understand your jealousy of her because my grandson wants me when her is at my house. But the birthday party would have cause a problem, she is not her parent and that should have your wonderful day, that would have cause a BIG issues with me. Some grandparents don't understand their place....
Won't your husband help or is he one of those that MOMMY can't do anything wrong.
Can you sit down wiht him and explain your case to him? Try not to get emotional and just talk. Write things down that upsets you and ask him how you should talk with her.
Some of us ( grandparents) Can be pushy, overbearing and even rude to their in laws, but you may have to speak to her and give your reasons for your wishes.
Good Luck because I can be that way too! I do know my place because my in law was just rude. Just learn to breath and count to 10. Best Wishes Teresa

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