Mother in law from hell troubles...

Bean - posted on 02/04/2013 ( 6 moms have responded )

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Hello to anyone reading. The purpose of my post is to get some advice. I am having terrible mother in law difficulties. I guess to lend advise you have to know the background information. My hubby and I have been together for 10 years. For the first seven (of which we were not married) I had no problems with any of my future in laws. Things changed dramatically when my little guy was born and has gotten worse as the years went on. She has always wanted to push the envelope with my children. Referring to herself as "Mommy" to my son, undermining the values and discipline that I expect my children to uphold when she thinks I am not listening, trying to do my husbands and sons laundry when we visit (they live in a different state), being thoughtless about my sons food allergies and opening and eating things that could send him into shock then wanting to touch and kiss him, being careless about my sons safety. Things got much worse when I got pregnant with our second child. When I told her via webcam what the sex of our baby was, her response was "Oh....(look of disdain) oh that's ok." She had wanted a girl but got another boy. I cried for several days over this, though I was emotional and hormonal, no one wants to remember that moment that only happens maybe once or twice in a lifetime as an unhappy and sad memory. From there she took no interest in her unborn grandchild (the only ones she has), never asked about him, would walk out of the room if someone asked me about the baby, didn't want to see a sono nothing, until of course he was born, and she wanted a picture of show around the office. I have hit my breaking point though over the holidays. She refuses to speak to me (which I am ok with if it is just the two of us), alienates me from the rest of the family and continually makes comments to my husband and children that are none of her business. She has said things to my husband like "Don't worry BABY will come into his own soon and figure out how to potty train himself." (Which is ridiculous because he is training very well) My husband understands my feelings and agrees that she is cold and tries to make me uncomfortable but he won't confront it head on and when I try she just blows me off. My parents and his live 6 blocks away from each other and I am torn between just visiting my family and not taking my children there or allowing my children to visit while we are there. I feel torn because they only get 2 sets of grandparents and I am not sure if it is wrong to deprive them of that opportunity to have a relationship with my husbands family for a few days while we visit every now and again. I know my children will one day see it for what it is on their own but for now I am unsure of how to proceed. I am struggling to decipher what is in my children's best interest, how to be their role model and what I need to do for my own sanity and the sake of my marriage. Any thoughts?

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It would be wrong to deprive your children of a relationship with their paternal grandparents just because you do not get along with her. If you want to avoid her completely, you could always stay with your parents, since they live so close to her, and send your husband over to visit with the kids. I think that would be much less stressful for everyone.

Honestly, a lot of the first half sounds cultural or accidental. I was taught that when guests stay with you, you are to take care of them--do their dishes, laundry, etc.. In my old culture (though I've adapted now) it was common for Grandmothers to be called "mama" as well. The food allergy thing is major, but perhaps she just needs reminding. If it is something she has never had to deal with before, she may forget about it with the excitement of having her family home. You didn't mention context for the comment about potty training. Honestly, they sound like pretty supportive words to me. Most babies do come into their own and potty train, albeit with our guidance, but all we can do is guide. What about that was offensive? If she said it out of the blue after noticing a diaper, you could just say "Yes, he is doing very well with potty training."

Is it possible that your reactions could have led her to believe you do not like her, and thus to exclude you the way she does? Excluding you is wrong, but I have learned in my experience with large families that most of the time, when two members of a family are alienating one another, they are reacting to some action that neither one of them knew was offensive.

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Bean - posted on 02/06/2013

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Thank you all so much. I have gotten a great variety of responses and I think it is just best for all of us to put some distance between us and her when visiting our hometown. My husband is a good man but he just is very drama free and when it comes to his mother, he honestly tunes her out most of the time. If she says something to him that he doesn't like he puts her in her place, when she is talking to others he doesn't pay attention because he says it is "fake" and "cold" and he doesn't care to listen, including me. He knows I am a tough girl and I handle my problems quickly and effectively but I don't want to damage his relationship with his family (what little there is) and that is where I get conflicted. To Kelly: I should state that these are not cultural or accidental things she is doing, they are because she feels that she should be able to act like the mother to my children and I will not allow that. Also the potty training comment was not actually involved in a conversation about potty training. She said it to him when he commented about how great our son has been learning his numbers and letters and what a good job he thought I was doing. In another light I would have taken it as supportive but it unfortunately was a dig at me. They do not have a large family, it is just my husband his parents and sibling and they have had plenty of opportunity to know me over the past 10 years and be able to come to me if they have an issue. I am a reasonable person and I would try my best to work it out. Thank you for you input though, sometimes you need someone to point it out black and white so to speak and you raised some things that I have really be thinking about. Beth: I need some of your backbone I think! :) I am pretty tough but not tough enough to do that (yet.. though I am close if this continues). Jo: I am glad to know that I am not alone in my struggles. I understand the struggle you faced with this and how it has probably caused you a great deal of hardship and conflicting emotions. Thank you so much ladies!

Jo - posted on 02/06/2013

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men will never let their wives win a battle when it is with his mother, same here btw u just have to be either limited with her or super polite to a point he will have to say something when she annoys u... unfortunately u have to point out what she says to him about u and shame him for listening so that he will start to react... esp if u overhear he will feel like he needs to prove to u that he isnt what u think,,,
kelly it is not always wrong sometimes it should be done and as she said even her son doesnt like her, which is a good sign :D i had worse experience my daughter wouldnt sleep when i hold her since i only held her to feed her, the rest of the time mom did not allow me to touch her... now that hell is away... my mom and i love her but no this is my baby.
This is your house, your rules and good luck :D

Beth - posted on 02/05/2013

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Tell the Grandma she is being cutoff for a 1 year period. No contact for 1 year under any circumstances. By the end of that year she will be broken and she will realize that you are the gatekeeper.

Bean - posted on 02/05/2013

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Thanks for your response Jo. The funniest part about it is my son doesn't really respond well to her. When she refers to herself as mommy, by saying "Come to mommy" he comes to me not her. Also I am not shy especially when it comes to my children. The hard part is that she doesn't care about anything I say in response but if my husband says it, well that's a different tune. He won't however say to her, "I don't like you treating my wife the way you are. She is my WIFE and the MOTHER OF MY CHILDREN so if you can't be nice and set a good example for our children then they will not be coming here." So I am torn as to make this call on my own or have to upset our marriage more with this and argue about it more. Lastly, I am a certified early childhood teacher, I was trained to know how to teach children to be potty trained. Her dig was implying that I am not capable to do my job as a mother.

Jo - posted on 02/05/2013

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i had the same trouble but not with my inlaws :D my mom herself. She was almost wishing me dead to take place... the only solution is to stay away or else your child not only will be spoiled, he will have someone favoured over you and that will not be good in the future when he becomes a teenager :S will be badly spoiled and detached from you. My mom left after the 40 days and the baby was responsive again after two days but the two days were hell and will be to you but u have to hang on to your nerves and be very patient or loving :D keep them away or go away with your kid to parks or so if you can without her knowing and make sure you tell her what you dont want her doing or saying regardless the consequences :P most probably she wont stay around much with your rules

i wanted to add one thing i noticed :D DO NOT BE SHY... i once was one :D thank god that person is away... make a stand. that is your kid not hers :D she had her turn in raising not its yours. btw such women are usually very possessive so the more shy you are the happier she is and more controlling, if you're enjoying that stay shy :D .. and btw base your info from research like potty training so that your info is stronger so she cant argue back :P you can ask the doctor simply about anything and ull have all answers

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