Need help with a know-it-all mother in law, who actually knows nothing.

Sarah - posted on 06/06/2010 ( 12 moms have responded )




So... my mother in law is a nice person and I know she wouldn't cause any physical harm to my 5 month old son, but I am having a lot of problems when it comes to her butting in on how to raise him.

When he was 2 months old she was putting pablum cereal into the bottle, which can plug the nipple up, she has ALWAYS puts him to sleep on his stomach, which is dangerous in my eyes, and lets him cry himself to sleep, which is just MEAN. And just recently I found out that she had given him a bottle of regular whole milk (the kind that we drink) the last time she babysat him. I am at my wits end, and I don't know how to deal with her.

My boyfriend defends his mother tooth and nail, so it is two against one. She says she is just doing what she did to my boyfriend when he was a baby. Sure, that might have been fine 24 years ago, but times change.

I have told her I disagree with her ways, but she doesn't care. She thinks she knows everything. The last time she was over for supper she fed him mashed potatoes and gravy, even though I said NO, right in front of me. And now she is hiding stuff from me (like giving him milk when I'm not looking).

How would you guys deal with this? I don't want to be mean, or cause anything that would ruin my relationship with my boyfriend... I don't want to cut my son out of his grandmother's life, but at the same time I don't want to put him in a situation where he is not getting the adequate care he needs.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

(Oh, and I might mention that it takes a long time for her to get my normally very happy son to smile at her... he simply glares at her. Makes me wonder what else is going on when I'm not around, like, why does he dislike her so much?)

I have already decided that she is not to babysit anymore, and I will not allow it, she doesn't have time to babysit anyways.


Also, she has only had one child. I have a younger brother and countless younger cousins. My mother has 5 younger siblings, and 2 other grandchildren, and many neices and nephews. She doesn't agree with what my boyfriends mother is doing either. So, it's not like my MIL knows more about babies than either of us.


[deleted account]

YIKES! I definitely wouldn't let her babysit anymore.....he's still so young and it's not up to her to decide what is ok and what isn't! If she can't respect certain things then she shouldn't have access. You need to figure out what's most important to you and what you're willing to compromise on and lay some ground rules....

My in-laws have done a few things to raise some red flags and although I would never deny them access I haven't let Roxanne alone with them yet and she's 21 months. I nicely and politely explained that once my daughter is old enough to ask permission to spend time with them they're welcome to more independant time with her but right now I'm not comfortable with it. I know my MIL is itching to have my daughter overnight but it's just not feasible in my opinion......they're not, their home isn't properly equipped to deal with a toddler. They say they'll make due and get by but that makes me nervous.....who knows, maybe I'm over reacting? LOL! Please excuse my rambling.

Anyhow, I understand your frustrations and I hope things can work themselves out! I also think you and your boyfriend NEED to get on the same page....VERY important! At least my boyfriend backs me up.

Good luck, keep us posted!

User - posted on 06/06/2010




Your son might feel your tension with her and is reacting to that. I was going to suggest not to let her babysit any more as a first step. My mother-in-law actually told me that my 1st 2 miscarriages was my fault because I was working. I miscarried both prior to the 12 week mark. She also told me that I was going to give my son cancer by giving him formula in plastic bottles, and Down Syndrome by immunizing him!!! So I know what you are talking about. I just never leave either of my kids (2yr old son and 9wk old daughter) with her. I don't even trust her to change their diapers. My son has very sensitive skin and needs to be wiped off even if he just pees otherwise he gets a really bad diaper rash. She never does this. My son will run all excited when my mom comes to visit and calls her "Nana" but when my mother-in-law comes to visit he more or less ignores her and doesn't call her anything yet. My daughter cries when she holds her but not when my mother holds her.
Maybe a little rudeness is needed...Tell her that you appreciate her help BUT this is MY child and I will raise him the way I want to. YOU will respect MY/OUR wishes or.... It may cause a little tension with your BF, but you can talk with him about this before you say anything to his mother. Let him know how much it actually bothers you and the reasons it bothers you.


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Alaina - posted on 12/07/2012




Im sorry! My MIL is the kind of the same way. Both of my kids hve asthma and she smokes inside her house, i dont let my kids eat a lot of junk food so she gives them all the crap they want, i dont believe in spanking my kids but she does even after i have asked her not to. I just dont let my kids go over there and if we absolutely HAVE to, we stay outside weather permitting. Try explaining to her your reasons why you do not want her doing those things. If thay doesnt work, tell her that she can only see him at your house and only if you are there. Good luck sweetie!!

Tania - posted on 06/06/2010




Gee I really feel for you ... Bugger that... Its not her baby , she needs to have some respect for you . If you say no , you mean no , make it known to her , otherwise she just going to keep taking over and doing what she feels. Walk all over you. Be hard girl. I know easier said than done.
I don't like the sound of her at all. I wouldn't leave my baby with her at all. Having cows milk at a young age - what she thinking. AS for putting baby on tummy - who does she think she is??? - Thats so dangerous - baby will go on tummy when he is ready. My son has just started going on his tummy and he is one . I would hate to think she - mother in law put baby on tummy and something happen..........

Amanda - posted on 06/06/2010




i just had a problem like that husband and MIL wanted to take my 5 month old son to the beach without me after hes been coighing and sneezing and has a runny nose...there have also been tornado warnings so i said no...but they just packed him up and my husband grabbed him from me and were gonna leave but i refused to let them go without me...unfortunately we have to live with his mother cuz of hard times for now and he is a huge mamas boy...hes bigger than me and overpowers me and i dont want to hurt my son trying to keep him away from them...they give him chocolate and ice cream and there is nothing i can do about it...i feel just as helpless as you...only you can keep your MIL away and i cant

Jamey - posted on 06/06/2010




Well, i had the same problem. i ended up having to be mean about it. all you can do is tell her that he is YOUR son not hers. and if she can't respect the way you're raising him then she will not be allowed to have him alone. you're gonna have to put your foot down with your b/f too. he needs to understand that this is not his mothers child, and that you are his girlfriend. my boyfriend is a huge mommas boy so it took a while for him to see my side. he had to realize that we were his family now and he can't always be taking her side. and that if she didn't respect my wishes she was not allowed over until she could. it's like putting her in time out. i had to make it clear to him that he was dating me not his mom. and that she was always going to love him no matter what but if i kept being put on the back burner i might not always be around. (i would never of left him, but he didn't know that)

Brittany - posted on 06/06/2010




So I have a very similar MIL that you do.
Feels she knows everything because they've gone through it la de da.
I think it's good that you have decided to not allow her to babysit anymore. I think it's one of the most undermining thing MIL's do is to go against the simple rules you set for your children.
If she can't follow them then she shouldn't be allowed to care for your child. I had to do it to mine. I think you need to sit down with your boyfriend have this conversation with him first. Explain that if you can't trust his mother to follow the rules you've set she won't be caring for him. It's harsh I know but sometimes when it comes to the health of your children you have to be mean. You'll learn that. They are what is most important and if she can't respect your wishes then she can bugger off. My MIL and i had it out just after my daughters first birthday because she gave my daughter coconut rich icing!! (icing being a no no as it is in our house) but the coconut sent me over the edge.
How did she not know of allergies on my side of the family!? just assumed she knew best. My luck, this happened at a family function. So everyone saw what she was doing. My FIL lost it on her aswell. Does your boyfriend's dad not have anything to say? Try talking to him to. The more people you get involved the more people can watch out for your precious little man.
I know my post is a bit on the mean side but sometimes you just can't avoid it. I hope something of what I have said has been helpful.

Keara - posted on 06/06/2010




Maybe try getting her to go to some sort of classes with you? A little education for her might help and if you do it together then you are there to hear the exact same information she is hearing and then u know she's going, and its a way for you to do something together to help bring your relationship together... i'm having similar issues only its my mother who is being pushy and his mother who has my back... lol, and i havent' even had my baby yet... good luck

Whitney - posted on 06/06/2010




First off I'm sorry! I have had similar problems! I would tell her she isn't welcome to babysit your little one anymore until she respects you as HIS MOTHER! Tell her that you appreciate her giving advice but right now you are happy with the way you are doing things! I hope things get better soon! :)

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