MIL doesn't show must interest in my baby, how to deal…

posted 3 years ago in Babies
Post # 3
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@SamanthaLovesJames:  I think you might be being too sensitive but it’s still something that is okay to be a little upset about.  Unfortunately, grandparents do play favorites.  You are also likely at a disadvantage because your baby was born so soon after her daughter had a child.

Am I correct in assumming there are 3 grandchildren including your daughter?  By the time grandparents have one of each the subsequent grandchildren are not as exciting for them.  It sucks but it happens.  I saw it with my stepsister; she was the fourth grandchild and by then grandma had already picked her favorite and lavished all of the money and attention on the eldest grandchild.

Myabe try to set up some afternoon “playdates” with just you, your daughter, and grandma to encourage her to develop more of a relationship with your daughter.  It was probably overwhelming for her to be aorund so many of her grandchildren at once and she has had more time to bond with the older children.

Post # 4
1710 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

I am sorry that you are going through this.

I have a somewhat similar situation with MIL that I’m not sure how it will go when our baby boy is born.


BG Info: DH and I got married in March 2013, found out we were pregnant 12/19/12. Neither of our families are super religious, so they didn’t mind that the baby was conceived before we were married. My family lives 10 miles away, his family is an hour and 10 minute plane ride away and we see them every other month.

1. She wasn’t as thrilled about the baby as my parents were. Okay, that’s fine. Maybe it was a shock at first.

2. She very, very rarely asks about how I am doing or how my appointments are. I was updating her after every appointment to try to keep her in the loop since she doesn’t live close by, and shoot, it’s their first grandbaby! I stopped updating her on my appointments around week 24, unless she asked DH how they went (which has happened once)

3. When we went to go visit them in May, DH and I took MIL and FIL to Target and asked them to pick out a car seat (for us to purchase for them) so that when we came to visit, they would have a car seat here to use for the baby in their car so we wouldn’t have to pay for a plane ticket for  the baby for awhile. MIL said “that’s not necessary.” We don’t need that junk just sitting around. Then proceeded to make a comment about how in her children’s days, they put babies in buckets as car seats. Our feelings were very, very hurt.

4. On that same visit, MIL suggested that we take a 5 mile hike up the mountains or go jet-skiing at the lake. She is a NURSE and knows that women in their third trimester should not be jet-skiing. Plus, the altitude mixed with the heat would not have been a good time had we gone hiking.

5. On her visit here last weekend, for her birthday, she barely talked about the upcoming birth, except to inform us that they would be visiting in September to meet him. It was also her birthday weekend. We live in Oklahoma and it was 101 degrees out. We asked MIL what she wanted to do for her birthday. She gave three options of what she wanted to do (I was 36 weeks at this visit). her options: 1. Go to a local amusement park. 2. Go hike around the lake or 3. Rent a boat at another lake. DH informed her that his 36 week pregnant wife was not going to be going to walk around the lake, go powerboating, or ride rollercoaster rides. DH offered to take her and FIL, and I told her that I had plenty to do around the house to keep me busy while they had a nice time. She pouted and said she would “settle for going swimming.”

I’m frustrated. At my wit’s ends. I don’t know how to please her. I don’t know if she is having a hard time adjusting to DH having his own family starting, or if she is just so self centered and narrow minded. 


So, OP, I’m with you. I have no idea how much interest she will show in our baby. I’m sorry you are going through this as well. 🙁 I hope that she comes around!

Post # 5
2302 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

@SamanthaLovesJames:  she might be consciously trying to give you space and to not pressure you. there are lots of new mums that might feel a bit overprotective etc of their new babies (understandably!) and so she may be trying to respect your ‘new motherhood’ by not smothering you, or commenting etc. 

obviously she may be way underdoing it – but she might not be trying to upset you at all!

Post # 6
5905 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2018

@SamanthaLovesJames:  …its difficult when your daughter in law becomes a mother, in contrast to when your own daughter enters the fold.  After all, you’ve known your daugher forever, and certainly have established and comfortable boundaries and lines of communication….but when its your daughter in law…..well, you don’t always know where that line is and certainly don’t want to overstep your boundaries with a new mother and risk straining a relationship with your grandkids….if your baby is only two weeks old, she might be maintaining a respectful distance because she’s getting a feel for where you’re at as a Mom and with your baby…its a fine line between being excited and intruding.

Post # 7
8677 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

I agree — It’s different between your daughter having a baby and your daughter in law having a baby.

Give her time, she may come around. I think you need some time to let the newness wear off, plus your own hormones and let everyone settle down. Two babies in such a short amount of time is going to jostle things as well.

Post # 8
4395 posts
Honey bee

You will probably have to set the tone about how she interacts with your baby.

Post # 10
568 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

At least your MIL doesnt do what my grandma used to do when i was a toddler. She used to come over and give presents (toys, candy, balloons, etc) to my sister but wouldnt bring me anything. She just completely ignored the fact that i even existed. One day she tried it when my other grandma was visiting, and my other grandma took the toys right out of her hand and threw them out the window and told her when she was ready to treat us kids equally she could bring gifts. Love her.

Im sure she will come around.

Post # 11
1526 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I can totally see this happening to me and my DH when we have kids.  My MIL totally favors her daughter and worships her grandson.  We live 20 minutes away from my MIL and see her less than they see my SIL who lives 4 hours away!  I have a very hard time dealing with favortism since it was non-existant in my family.

Post # 12
9412 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@Hyperventilate:  +1. My mom treats all of her grandkids the same, but she is certainly a little more involved with my sister than my SILs. It has worked out though because my SILs have their own mothers. It just seems to be how it works.

Post # 13
672 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

@SamanthaLovesJames:  I’m not pregnant but I can see this happening with my MIL and I can speak personally about this. My grandmother, fathers mother, use to ignore me and my sister. She would do special things for my cousins but not us. during holidays she would tell my sister and I to clean off the table and put everything away while my other cousins were doing whatever they wanted. my mother always felt hurt about it and it wasn’t until I was in my late teens that my father finally caught on and stood up for Us.

hopefully you can work it out with her. It not only hurts you but can hurt your child’s feelings as well. 

Post # 14
1327 posts
Bumble bee

I think you might be a tad sensitive…I’d say give it more time.  As a PP said, subsequent (as in not first) grandchildren are not as exciting.

However, if it turns out that your MIL really does favour her other grandchildren and ignores your daughter, I’d deal with it this way: see it as a blessing!  That’s one less meddling MIL.  Do you know how many MILs out there who have to have a say and a hand in EVERYTHING with regards to their grandchildren?  Not only that but their way can completely clash with the mothers’ way of doing things.  That’s certainly worse, right?  Absent/apathetic grandmas, while not great, are better than overbearing, steamrollering ones.  I say this from experience. 😛

ETA: You can’t change someone’s attitude/actions, so I highly recommend finding the good aspects of your situation!

Post # 15
677 posts
Busy bee

I don’t know if this will be totally helpful, but it may be a little interesting for some perspective.

That being said, be on the look out if this behaviour continues as your daughter grows up. I always felt like the “spare” grandchild with my grandpa, and it sucked. I personally preferred having no relationship with my dad’s parents over the unappreciated relationship with my mom’s dad (BTW I was his first biological granddaughter, he had a step granddaughter through my mom’s stepmom)

Post # 16
2139 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I’m not in the same boat but I think I understand. I’m kind of pissed at FI’s family for the way they treat everyone differently…only because in my family we treat everyone the same. FI’s dad doesn’t even know the names of the four grandchildren he has from his oldest daughter. He has never taken a trip out to see them (long plane ride) but the daughter and her kids have flown out once or twice to spend time with him. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even count the existence of his second oldest daughter’s kids because he didn’t know she was his daughter till she already had children. He flew out of state when his son’s daughter was born and he at least remembers her name. His youngest daughter had a son too and he pretty much doesn’t really care about that kid anymore because he’s always at the house and has really bad adhd and nobody can handle him. FI is the only one that doesn’t have children. We plan on trying, but I have endometriosis and we’re not sure how it will all work out. I feel like everyone is going to shit a brick if we have to adopt. Like, they already don’t give a shit about the grandchildren that exist, so if we adopt, our baby is going to be a COMPLETE outsider. Not to mention I’m the only “brown” person in the white family and everyone clearly thinks I’m “different”.

Anyway, I hope this is just a case of you being a little sensitive after the birth…but if your MIL’s behavior continues, just know that you are not alone. Hugs.

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