Is it ok for my mom-in-law to spoil my son, who's about 6 months. She is so obssesed with him and always wants to take over. Is that ok?

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Emily - posted on 04/22/2009

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You can't spoil a baby and it is great that she is so in love with him. My only concerns are if she pushes you out of the way, won;t give him back when it is time to feed, or gets possessive of him. She shouldn't be trying to take over because it is important for you as his primary caregiver to learn his signals and cues. It is hard to tell from your post if she is just a bit overzealous about being a grandma or if she is getting creepy! Maybe find other ways to help out like asking what types of baby lotion she recommends or asking her to grab some wipes when it is time for a change so she doesn't feel excluded but isn't the one providing all of the holding or playing.

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Sarah - posted on 04/25/2009

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No, but pick your battles and if it's important for you to do something and not her, then just tell her "Thanks for your help, but I would like to do this". If she doesn't understand that now is your time to be the mom, then maybe she needs to take a good look at herself and realize that it's not about her, it's about you, your husband and your baby.

[deleted account]

Seeing as how he's so young I don't know if I would worry to much about it. I can understand if you feel as though she's attempting to become the primary care giver you have every right to step in and say something. When my oldest was born we ended up living with my in laws for about a month afterwards. Having that support there was a wonderful thing and greatly helped me out. My husband and I were married when the baby was about five months old and we still went on a honeymoon to Hawaii. It was hard to leave the baby behind and in the care of someone besides myself, but I knew that I had to take the time and focus on my relationship with my husband because without that we wouldn't have even had the baby. Of course I kept checking in with them to see how things were going. The two of them had a wonderful week together and were able to really bond. My MIL made sure to get my ok for things such as introducing her to a new food and so on. Of course I was worried that grandmom was spoiling her rotten and she wouldn't be happy to see us return home. I will never forget though the moment that we stepped off our plane and saw grandmom standing there with Haley. My daughter actually did a double take "Like hey there you guys are" and just broke into the biggest smile and started cracking up laughing because she was so happy to see us. At that moment it was clear to me that I didn't have to worry about being replaced and my baby was in love with all her family.

My daughter is nine and now and we also have a second daughter who is six. Both of them have wonderful relationships with their grandmom and I'm so grateful for that. I can easily say that my MIL has played a part in raising them. She was the only person who I felt that I could fully trust to watch my girls (I may be a tad bit overprotective with that but that's just the way I am). My MIL would take my girls for one night a month so that me and my husband can go out and be adults. I actually talk to my MIL every day on the phone so she knows everything that is going on with our family and so on. I stressed early on to her that I while I know she's the grandmom and the kids look forward to seeing her because she will always have fun activities for them that she ABSOLUTELY had to make sure the girls followed the same rules that were set in our house. I wanted to make sure that they did not think they could go to grandmom's and get away with things that mom and dad did not let them do. I have always been a parent who makes it a point to present a united front in terms of discipline so that the girls didn't think they could get away with whatever because they were around a person who was more relaxed with the rules. So yeah they know that grandmom will buy them special presents I don't feel like they are spoiled by her, they genuinely appreciate it. The oldest just turned 9 and grandmom bought her a new bike for her birthday (which was something she discussed with me beforehand) and she also sent my daughter an email describing the day she was born and how excited she was to meet her first grandbaby. My oldest was crying more over that letter than the bike.

I feel very lucky with the way my family works, and I'm glad I talked to her about what my husband and I wanted to do in terms of raising the girls early on. She may or may not have agreed with our views on everything but she did respect our decisions. But since I worked things out with her early my girls are able to have a wonderful relationship with her and I don't feel like she's spoiling them/overstepping her boundaries.

Monica - posted on 04/25/2009

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Don't worry about the spoiling, because as the other moms said it can't happen. Your MIL needs to know that your are his mother and although you are happy and greatful that she loves him so much, their still must be boundaries. She should not take control, because later down the road it will hurt your family and your role as his mother. Talk to her and let her know how you feel. She probably does not realize what she is doing.

Dawn - posted on 04/25/2009

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Only ok to sme degree.. He is YOUR son after all! As he gets older it will become harder for you to step in when she wants to 'take over'. Politely and gently let her know that while you appreciate her involvment, it needs to be you and your husband's decisions in the end.

Amina - posted on 04/25/2009

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thanks many, guys! I will keep in mind what you guys said :)

(P.S...I couldn't write back to your answers...but honestly I have read them all and took about a hour to read them all!)

Samantha - posted on 04/25/2009

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You CAN spoil a baby! If your mother-in-law isn't watching your baby all the time for you, then it is okay for her to spoil and help when she wants. If she is being a caretaker, then you need to make some rules, b/c she is taking part in raising your child. My mother-in-law watched my kids and we had to tell her that she couldn't give them everything all the time. You don't want your child to always want to be held, always need to sleep in someone's arms, or expect someone to come running over the smallest things. You are the mom and you don't want things to be difficult on you b/c of things she does. I hope I didn't come across too negative, just pointing out things that I have gone through.

Rebecca - posted on 04/25/2009

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in a way i was in da same position but da other way round i have nieces n nephews but all through marriage most of them were oldr when i married da oldest is 20 the youngest is 6. my sister recently had a baby, so now i have my 1st blood related nephew and i was so excited it was like hes mine. his mommy n daddy were 1st time parents my sister went through a really long n hard labour i was there through everything with her n her boyfriend i wanted to help as much as possiable and so didnt see my self taking over every time i was there i would take over feeding n changing n pikin hm up if he cryed mom n dad didnt get a look in but i was sat hlding him 1 day and realised exactly what i was doing id literlly taken over nd everytime id walk in her reconized my voice and turn towards me hes 3weeks old now but i talked to my sister and apologised for taking ova she told me shed noticed thanked me for everything id done to help but yes it did feel like i was takin over i always ask now n if she says its fine to do something ill do it but if she says she can do it then i wont. keep ur mil involved but ask her to take a little less involvement in ur babys upbringing she probably thinks shes just helping but shes not have a relaxed talk with her n shell probably see wat shes doing but make sure u keep her involved a bit and thank her she'll feel appriceated but will back off abit good luck for ur future with ur lil boy n ur mil

Mel - posted on 04/24/2009

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its ffine as long as you are ok with it and as long as she doesnt get too over the top. trust me be greatful my mother in law lives 10 mins down the road does not work and has not once come up to see her grand daughter or help me out in 12 months

Lianne - posted on 04/24/2009

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No it's not ok for her to take over...u r his mom....so make sur he isnt too spoilt which then turns into him disobeying u later on in his life cos it will happen. trust me!!

Becky - posted on 04/24/2009

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I have a smiliar problem with my mother in law she takes over competely and now my 3 year old does not listen to me. It has taken me this long to stand up to her, for a number of reasons but it has effected our relationship leaving it for so long. I felt i could not say anything she is a very over powering woman and and ex police officer so is used to leading the way so to speak. No one has ever challenged her so it was a shock i think when i did.
But i woke up one day and thought if i am not careful i will loose complete control over my daughter.
As for spoiling that is a little different, i think its a grandparents right lol. But it depends if it goes against what you say. For example i have a rule no sweats, chocolate or crisps before lunch time (apart from very specail occaisons) my daughter knows this, my mother in law knows this. Yet until i stood up to her my mother in law used to give her chocolate for breakfast!!!!!!! If i said no and took it away she used to give Jessica more and then have the nerve to say to me chocolate before breakfast never killed anyone!!!!!
It is going to take a while for us to get this relationship sorted but remember you are the mum what you say GOES!

Rachael - posted on 04/23/2009

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I have actually seen this go the complete opposite way. The mother was the one without boundaries and grandma (and everyone else) was begging for them. I know the majority here thinks babies can not be spoiled but I personally disagree and a very very horribly misbehaving child proved that to me. It was one of those children that you see on supper nanny that is hitting, kicking, screaming and cursing. You name it and this child was doing it-scarrrry. I think that as the mother you have to set boundaries and stick to them. My daughters grandmother has always been very respectful and asks what the normal procedure is and tries to stick to it. We want as much consistency as we can get so our daughter does not get confused. Don't let her become Marie from Everybody Loves Raymond-my ex's mother was just like her to a T-shudder.

Jennifer - posted on 04/23/2009

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Spoiling is expected by a grandparent but you must always stand your ground or they will walk all over you. Spoiling with toys and certain foods is ok, but not giving the child their way. Stand your ground with mother-in-law and tell her that it is ok to spoil with material things but not when it comes to behavioral situations. The child will get used to grammy spoiling them and giving them thier way that they will believe that mom and dad will do the same thing. My sister has the same problem with her children, but when Aunt Jen is around they know better because I stand my ground with them. And I have told her the same thing. The children are improving with behavioral issues because she is finally doing what I do. Sad thing is she is my older sister!

Rose - posted on 04/23/2009

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try not to let it get to you but make it work for you. first of talk to her about all parts of his life and how you are adressing them so that she knows your way of doing thing and she feels apart of it. this is a great time to build a good solid bone between your child and the mother in law. ask is she will have him once a week for a special grandma visit, this way you get time to do house work / gym / shopping ect. the more you talk to her the better it will be. i have 3 kids 1yo. 2yo +6yo, grand picks the 6yo up from school on mondays and brings her back after dinner, on tuesday she picks up the 2yo for the day and on fridays she has the 1yo all day. they all love her and all get time alone with her and with me. i feel safe knowing if i had to be somewhere all of a sudden that she can take over and the kids will feel safe.

Kate - posted on 04/23/2009

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Its great that you have some help with your son, my parents live 12hrs away and i have no help at all, but I know what your going through, before we moved to brisbane my MIL was the same. You just have to let her know in the nicest way possible that you respect her and value her actions and opinions and appreciate everything she is doing for you all but in saying that, let her know that shes only trying to help but its making you feel like you are helpless with your own child, even though she might not be truely doing this on purpose. or get your partner to talk to her if you feel uncomfortable in talking to her about the situation, if he loves you and understands he will do this, because its very important to you.

good luck

kate 26yrs

Amy - posted on 04/23/2009

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I have the same problem, My mother in law wants to spoil my daughter, she tells her whatever u want grandma will get it for you just ask she knows this makes us mad, she irriatates me like no one ever has. But we set the boundaries as you need to do.She still says it all the time but she doesn't do it. SET BOUNDARIES.

User - posted on 04/23/2009

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It is ok but you need to draw the line now. My daughter is 3 and if we did not literally sit down and discuss her effect on spoiling our daughter, only our daughter would suffer because they pick up a "I get whatever I want" behavior.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/23/2009

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You can't spoil a baby-that's for sure! However, you're still a new mommy & anything that makes you feel the least bit nervous (even if it doesn't seem to make sense) IS NOT OK! You don't want to blow up at her later, either.

[deleted account]

its fine to spoil them its a grand parents right and they will agrue with u on that and also saying things like its my house i can do what ever i want with my grandchild but its ur child that u take care and itf they act like that or cant follow the schedual or boundries then they shouldnt she them...my mother is the same way with my children...always getting them soemthing to harping at me when we are at a family function adn changing my son as if was a rag doll like 5 times within one day.....if theirs something she is bothering u talkto ur husband and tell him whats wrong and that he or both of you needs to talk to her to tell her to back off alittle or if u have a good relationship talk to her about ur concern and once she relize that then she prob more then likely co-operate with u

Stephanie - posted on 04/23/2009

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Hmm...Despite everyone elses argument, I think you can spoil a baby. Every time our son went to my mothers he came back home acting differently. We set boundaries, but her lack of boundaries and letting him do what he wants all the time is DEFINITELY spoiling to me. I just tell her if she can't follow simple rules that we lay for OUR child then he can't stay with her. She can come visit if it's that big of a deal.

Sunshine - posted on 04/22/2009

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I had the same problem, I also agree that u cant spoil them to much but u cant let her disregard u as the mum esspecialy in front of your children, if u say NO to something no matter what it is she has to listen and respect that . You need to talk to your husband honestly about how u feel about her disrespecting u as mum and have him be on your side and help to step in and set boundries for her. She wont like it and if she is like my mother in law she will probably throw a tantram worse than a 2 yr old ! just ignore it and it will work out better in the end. Then my mother in law eventualy worked out that if she didnt respect me as my childs mum she was hardly going to see us, she still now does try to step over me sometimes but i just stay strong and dont let her and i do think we have a better relationship because of it as i am not always worried that she is going to undermined me in front of my husband and children..

Sarah - posted on 04/22/2009

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my mother in law is just the same, shes soo over the top and its driving me mad, i put my daughter down for a nap i know her signs when shes tired i let her whinge a little, my mother in law heard her cry and picked her up and put her on her play mat i was so mad that she took over and didnt even ask. she was talking about children being naughty and she said if ella was like that i'd slap her legs, what people do to their own kids is up 2 them i,e telling them off but i wont smack my daughter and i certainly dnt want any1 else to, i feel she takes over and i feel pushed out and im to polite to say anything.

Dana - posted on 04/22/2009

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dont let her take over! my mother in law was the same way but she wanted my son to call her mom in stead of me! we got into a huge fight and she called me a bad mother because i wont let her raise my son. Try to take care of the issue as soon as possible.

Jamie - posted on 04/22/2009

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Quoting Emily:

You can't spoil a baby and it is great that she is so in love with him. My only concerns are if she pushes you out of the way, won;t give him back when it is time to feed, or gets possessive of him. She shouldn't be trying to take over because it is important for you as his primary caregiver to learn his signals and cues. It is hard to tell from your post if she is just a bit overzealous about being a grandma or if she is getting creepy! Maybe find other ways to help out like asking what types of baby lotion she recommends or asking her to grab some wipes when it is time for a change so she doesn't feel excluded but isn't the one providing all of the holding or playing.



I agree, if shes being creepy obsessed Id be concerned, if not id just enjoy the free time.

Ira - posted on 04/22/2009

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YOU are his mother don't let her take over too much or it will cause problems later.Let her know that that is your child and that you have to lern him some of your roules and that he will not know who to listen. if she spoild him you will get lost.

Brooke - posted on 04/22/2009

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Quoting Jenifer:

Honestly, you can't spoil a baby - so that's not what I'd be worried about. I'd be concerned that your MIL doesn't seem to have any boundaries. You're the mom - you get to make the decisions and be responsible for his care. Set the boundaries now, and most importantly, make sure your husband supports you!



Agree completely !

[deleted account]

Honestly, you can't spoil a baby - so that's not what I'd be worried about. I'd be concerned that your MIL doesn't seem to have any boundaries. You're the mom - you get to make the decisions and be responsible for his care. Set the boundaries now, and most importantly, make sure your husband supports you!

Shauna - posted on 04/22/2009

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It's absolutely ok, but you have to draw the line somewhere. YOU are his mother don't let her take over too much or it will cause problems later.

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