(Closed) I feel like MIL thinks of me as an incubator–how to set boundaries early

posted 4 years ago in Babies
Post # 31
460 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2006

I have a friend with an Mother-In-Law just like yours. Trust me it transcends beyond birth and it’ll be the type of situation where you’ll need to set boundaries all the time. Now that my friend’s kids are older she is always doing the opposite of what both she and her husband request when caring for their kids. My friend is always having to have conversations with her and resetting boundaries time and time again. She even invited herself to her last baby’s birth, thankfully she was able to divert it but it’s super annoying and it is a constant battle for her. I’m gonna go ahead and say it will be fine to set some boundaries about how she relates to you now, but play it by ear with future scenario boundaries because my friend and her husband really do appreciate her help when she is around even when she doesnt fully respect their rules or boundaries. 

Sorry you’re having to go through this but I agree with you, when it relates to you personally and even in the future it is a good idea for it to come from you. My friend’s Mother-In-Law listens more when it comes from her than when it comes from her son. He only steps in if she continues behavior or if he needs to show a united front with his wife. 


Post # 32
385 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

I honestly don’t see the problem with most of this stuff. When my mom sees her grandkids, she often says “my babies!” We all know she doesn’t actually believe that they are her babies. She just adores them and loves them just as much as she loves her own children. And you brought up your fear of her taking the baby into another room without asking. Really? What do you think she’s going to do? Also, I’ve heard many relatives of babies talk about “getting to keep” or “getting to have” the baby at their house. Again, they are not literally claiming the baby for themselves…they are simply expressing how excited they are to spend time with/babysitting the kid. I think you need to let the grandmother be a grandmother. 

Apart from all of that, touching the belly without asking isn’t cool. 

And the stocking thing was bitchy on her part. 

Post # 33
1092 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

I think a lot of this is a personality clash. I understand though because I’m the same way! My Mother-In-Law and I used to get along great and now sooo many things she does annoys me. My daughter is 9 weeks and my Mother-In-Law wants to come over all the time and will think of little things she absolutely has to drop off at our house so she can have time with her grandchild.

I of course want grandma and baby to have time together but basically she just wants to come and sit on our couch for hours and hold her while watching tv – this is really boring for me. She also won’t give her up when my daughter starts to cry. On Christmas morning she was getting upset and my husband said ‘hon why don’t you grab her and give her the mommy touch’ and my Mother-In-Law actually glared at me and almost refused to give MY daughter to me.  

On the one hand it’s nice that the grandma wants to be involved, but they have to understand that some moms need lots of time to bond and be with baby and can feel protective of that time. Another thing my Mother-In-Law does that drives me nuts is wanting to buy all the outfits for special occasions. Like, she gave me a Halloween outfit, Christmas pajamas, a Christmas dinner outfit, and has already given me a dress for her to wear on Valentine’s Day. As a first time mom, those are fun things that I want to be able to do and pick out. I’ve started to just ignore them and dress her in the clothes I pick. 

So yes, set boundaries and don’t be afraid to be blunt. Trust me, that gets easier when you are overtired and frustrated! 😉

Post # 34
2473 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

lalanono:   I could’ve written a similar post to this ….  I had very big boundary issues with my Il’s as well  and I can tell you as PP have said this really needs to be enforced by your husband!  During pregnancy both M I L and F I L would say things about what they will be doing about what my baby will be doing etc. and it drove me insane until my husband basically told me that it doesn’t matter what they say I am the mom and he is the dad and we will be making the rules. The belly touching drove me insane and  essentially what I used to do was just wear a hoodie or something loose and I keep my own hands on my belly when I was around them and literally if my mother-in-law went to touch me I took a step back  and just covered my stomach with my own hands.  We didn’t see them a huge ton so it wasn’t a major thing …

 But trust me talk to your Darling Husband and make sure you’re on the same page and let him know how you feel about all of these things and that when the baby comes you will be letting him know how much visiting time you will be up for so whether that means specific days or a specific timeframe … Maybe you could even come up with the secret phrase like “honey could you get me a glass of water with lemon” and then Darling Husband will know when you ask for something with lemon that means it’s time for everybody to leave and it’s his job to say OK guys mom and baby need some rest now  thanks for coming!  My Darling Husband was really amazing for keeping everybody at bay and his parents actually got a little upset at him at one point but he said this isnt about you and your wants….this is about my wife and my daughter recovering and getting rest!  You will be deciding when and if she goes to their house to spend time etc. it’s not like they actually get a say you need to remember that  and stand up for yourself 

 Just remember that in the postpartum. This is the perfect time to let your freak flag fly in terms of saying whatever you want bluntly  and if you don’t like something so be it… It’s called hormones 😉 

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by  shanbp.

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