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Need advice with MIL

My dd is 8 months old now and ever since I was pregnant my MIL became overbearing. We always got along great beforehand, but once I found out I was pregnant that became a different story. The parenting advice, product advice, endless buying of toys and clothing, input on baby names, and her throwing me a baby shower even though I stated I would not like one (I was still grateful for it, but I wished she had respected my choice). DD was unexpected so money was tight and we had to live with MIL for a while until I had enough. DD was in NICU when she was first born for two weeks and she would visit her everyday without letting us know beforehand and one time showed up without notice and I was breastfeeding my daughter and just wanted some privacy and she insisted on staying saying she didn’t mind, even though I clearly felt uncomfortable. I tried to let this pass but after DD finally could come home MIL would be knocking on our bedroom door to see DD all the time, offering advice, and constantly trying to hold her when I just wanted to bond with her alone as a family. I could not even change her in the bathroom as without fail she would come in every time to hold DD’s hand because “she liked it”. DH told her to stop intruding so much but she still continued this behaviour. As we lived there MIL invited friends over (which is fine because after all it is her house) however, she would knock on the door when I’m in my PJ’s trying to relax and catch up on sleep (as DD was waking every 45 minutes) so that these people I don’t know could come in and see “her granddaughter” as she refers her by. Everyday, I felt like I was just the mother of her granddaughter and she was no longer interested in keeping a good relationship. She would say good morning to my granddaughter without saying anything to me. There was even a number of times where DD cried in the morning and MIL came into our room to take her and go into another room, so I got up and went to take her back and MIL held DD closer to her and said that she was “fine” where she was, this made my blood boil. The problems continued and arguments started, I felt like I should have spoken up more at the time and stood my ground but I found this hard as a young FTM and felt like DH should deal with his mum. So anyways fast forward, there was a huge argument between DH and MIL and we moved that day. I didn’t visit MIL with DD for a couple of months until Christmas, and she had bought my DD “my first christmas” outfit and again I felt annoyed as I wanted her to realise that these are the things that are mother should buy, not grandma. I have let her babysit a few times, and one time we came back to pick DD up and she was in MILS arms and I had missed her while I was gone and went to pick her up and MIL again wouldn’t let me, pulling her closer and saying to her “oh mum is annoying you isn’t she, because you’re comfortable”. Every time I have seen MIL since for family outings she comes up to me straight away to snatch DD without asking. The last time she did this and I took her back and then 10 minutes later she came up to try to take her again! Now DD is 8 months old and I avoid visiting mil with DD when I can. Recently, it was Easter and she bought my DD chocolate. I was shocked and I said she won’t be having any, and MIL insisted saying “it was fine”. She also bought more clothes after the last time I visited she bought DD a shirt that says “grandma said I could” I then made it clear we have more clothes when we need. After the shirt and the chocolate, I’ve decided I don’t want her babysitting DD alone ever again as I feel she would probably sneak her foods she shouldn’t be having without me knowing, especially with how she thinks that her rules overrule mine somehow? DH was telling her to back off in the beginning but since there hasn’t been any big fights between us all again, he doesn’t really say anything to her now. He did tell her DD isn’t eating chocolate though. I guess I just really needed to vent and I’m trying to see if I’m in the wrong about any of this? Am I wrong for not wanting her to be alone with my baby? I don’t even want to visit her to be honest and I want her to have as little contact with my daughter as possible, I hate even seeing MIL hold her! She constantly bags out her other children’s wives/husbands which definitely makes me think she would do the same about me. There’s a lot of other things that have been done that I can’t look past, and I’m not sure if I can ever forgive these things. As anyone else had any similar problems or has any advice? How do I make her see that I am her mother and she is not entitled to any of these things she tries to do. She can be “nice” to me sometimes and make small talk but whenever she visits or we visit it is definitely all about her seeing our daughter. Sorry for the very long post, it has been absolutely bothering me for so long!


  • You poor thing. It sounds like you're really trying to be kind and thoughtful of her feelings - but it seems she isn't reciprocating. 

    I've not had this issue myself but hopefully, I might be able to give you some ideas  :) My main piece of advice is to remember that you and your DH are the parents. Your baby is the most important person here so you do whatever you need to (including telling your own parents what is/isn't ok) to keep her happy and healthy.

    In my opinion, you're not being unreasonable to be annoyed about a lot of what you've listed. I do feel that you're being unreasonable with respect to the clothes and toys. I would always say thank you for them even if you don't need them. Ie. it's not going to do any harm. If you already have too much stuff at your house then all you need to do is say thank you and say that they will need to stay at your MILs house so that they're ready for when your baby visits. 

    I also think it's unreasonable for you to consider removing contact without setting some rules in place/explaining to your MIL that there is a problem. Currently, it sounds like you've mostly put up with her behaviour and not told her exactly what you are and aren't ok with. 

    There's a big difference between saying "I'd rather you didn't intrude on our personal space" and "I appreciate that we are living in your house but this room is our room. It is absolutely not acceptable for you to be inviting people into here when I'm trying to rest and bond with my baby" if you see what I mean? 

    There's also a big difference between listening to advice and telling someone "Thanks for the thought, but we'll just have to wait and see and decide what we want nearer the time". Repeat that enough times to a pushy person and they will stop offering advice.

    I totally agree with you that really your DH should be dealing with this for/with you. So my advice for you would be to sit down and tell him all of this. Then work out as a couple what is and isn't acceptable to you as parents. Then work out how you're going to sit down and talk to your MIL. Assuming best intent on her side she may just be very excited about her grandchild and doesn't truly mean to make you feel this way or undermine you so it's important to be calm and friendly, but also very clear and assertive. 

    If your husband won't back you and take charge of speaking to his mother with you then it wouldn't be entirely unreasonable for you to remove the contact.

    I would hope that you'd work out what is/isn't acceptable and explain everything you've been feeling. Then I'd start with supervised contact until you are happy that she understands that you are the parents - not her. 

    If you both don't feel comfortable having the big chat/clearing the air but if you do want your daughter to know her grandma then you could keep to supervised contact but begin being firm whenever she is unreasonable, it could be very frustrating/confusing to your MIL if you don't explain why things have changed but she'd soon get the message.

    Her: so I got up and went to take her back and MIL held DD closer to her and said that she was “fine”
    You: "No it isn't, pass her back to me now please"

    Her: she would come in every time to hold DD’s hand because “she liked it”
    You: Stop doing what you're doing. "I'm trying to change her, can you leave us to it please"
    You in future: Locks the door before changing

    Her: pulling her closer and saying to her “oh mum is annoying you isn’t she, because you’re comfortable”
    You: "Haha, very good. Pass her back to me now please"
    Her: Says something dismissive
    You: Smiling and holding your arms out "I want my baby back now please"

    Her: Every time I have seen MIL since for family outings she comes up to me straight away to snatch DD without asking
    You: "Hello, how are you?" Gesturing that she can't take the baby and don't let her take the baby

    You: "She won't be having any chocolate"
    MIL insisted saying “it was fine”
    You: "It's not fine to me and I am her parent. I really appreciate the thought but we're not allowing her to have chocolate"

    Your MIL potentially won't like it if things change, but that's up to you to decide if that's worth the risk. Personally I wouldn't care much about what their opinion was so long as I felt I was doing the right thing for my baby.

    Good luck with every :) (And wow that ended up being a long reply 
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