(Closed) MIL driving me nuts already

posted 4 years ago in Babies
Post # 2
3050 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

Have you tried countering things she does that bother you? For instance, when she saids “my baby”…have you tried innocently correcting her like “you mean your grandbaby” in a nice tone.

Also, don’t give her an option for grandma terms…just use them.

As for touching your belly, have your husband speak with her that you really aren’t comfortable with it. Or speak up…say, “My stomach is really sensitive and hurts…and I just would prefer no one touch it and I hope you can understand”.

If something bugs you, speak up or get your husband involved but try to be respectful and also choose your battles on what you confront.

Post # 3
4 posts
  • Wedding: May 2014

I’ve read both your post and could understand how collectively that could be annoying. As for the belly touching, you could say my belly is really sensitive and it’s better to ask so it’s not putting me in pain. All the other things just polietly correct her, when she says it’s her baby you say grandbaby ect and if she can’t take the hint have your hubby and you sit down with her and tell her polietly but firmly what is and isn’t okay better to get it out now than after baby comes 

Post # 4
621 posts
Busy bee

I feel you! I have a lot of theories on mothers of boys (my Darling Husband is also from a family of all boys) and I’m sure it’s not universally true, but soooo many of my friends have shared these experiences. I just think there’s usually a different bond with a girl and her mother that lasts into adulthood in a lot of situations, and with a boy, they separate a lot more from their mom once there’s a wife. If your Mother-In-Law, like mine, bases a lot of her identity in being a mother, I think it’s super hard for them when they stop being the most important woman in their son’s lives. I try to remember that when mine is driving me up the wall, that she’s struggling with the transition and it’s usually not anything she MEANS to do. At the same time, boundaries are so important in the early days, because patterns that get established early on are going to continue. I would probably wait on saying anything to most of this and just wait and see how she does. I bet a lot of this is anxiety about not being as important as your own mother is, and her son separating from her further now that he has his own family. If she sees that you still involve her, that she’s important, etc. she might back off. If not, then I would absolutely talk to your husband and both of you talk to her and let her know that she matters, but she also has to give you space and respect your boundaries with your baby. 

In terms of dealing with it…I’m super guilty of having knee-jerk reactions to my in-laws because they just so often grate on my nerves, and little things they do can build up such resentment. I think it’s just natural in the in-law relationship. But the thing is, they’re generally good people, and when I can calm down and understand that it’s them being worried about being cut out of my DH’s life, it’s a little easier to treat them like real people, lol. I’ve found that when I CAN stop fuming and raging and just try to understand why they do the things they do, I remember they aren’t monsters! My in-laws WANT to be part of our lives and don’t always go about it the right way, but when we politely explain our position and why things bother us, they *generally* want to fix it and respect our boundaries, because they know the alternative is seeing us less and damaging the relationship. I think if you can just remember that this is hard for her and a lot of her behavior probably comes from worry, not any real intent to interfere, you’ll be able to relax a bit more. It’s hard because we’re so extra sensitive right now, especially when ti comes to annoying “my baby” comments. For the record, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with addressing the belly touching. If she does it again, tell her politely you’d really like to be asked because you aren’t always feeling comfortable with it. It’s YOUR body, even if you are pregnant! 

ETA: I apologize for writing you a novel; I apparently have lots of feelings on this!

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by  jetsetbee.
Post # 5
8832 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

lalanono:  You are going to make your life miserable by taking these things so literally and so personally. Tons of grandmas I know (and many aunts, some siblings and cousins, etc) call a new baby “my baby”. It is NOT “as if she is the mother.” At all. Nobody thinks that. I know lots of grandmas (and aunts, siblings, cousins, etc) who say “I’m the favorite!” and even get into joking contests or “arguments” about who is the favorite and why. It is SO not a big deal. YOU are making these normal expressions of excitement into some personal offense when they’re really not. It’s obvious you’re going to keep seeing it that way and nobody can change that, but it’s going to have a negative impact on what has so far been a good relationship and it doesn’t have to be that way. The Christmas thing was shitty — I’ll give you that, but hopefully it was a one-time thing. The others are barely even molehills that you are making into mountains to die on.

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by  Daisy_Mae.
Post # 6
412 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

I don’t know, but I think your mil sounds like a horror show!


You’re an adult and should not feel bad about setting boundaries NOW.



Post # 7
170 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

I think you have every right to be upset. One of my sisters had this issue with her Mother-In-Law, although her first child was the second grandchild, but first girl. My sis and her husband were together for 8 years before then and they all live in the same town, so I don’t think the behavior was all about “losing” her son. I think it’s just how some mothers of boys are. That being said, you need to sit her down and talk with her about your feelings. Emphasize how you appreciate her excitement. It was awkward for my sister, but it worked and I think it will for you, too. Otherwise, you’re going to be miserable. It’s not the same when the son talks to his mother because they often don’t get the point across because they sugar coat it, not wanting to hurt their mother’s feelings. Another thing I suggest you do (if you feel like to will bother you when the baby is born) is get a baby carrier / sling. If she’s the kind of person who will take the baby from you without asking and not give it back, it might help a little bit. At least she cares! 

Post # 8
5826 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2011

I get the “my baby” thing, my mom was doing the same and I finally asked her when she was due. She was pissed at first but now she knows not to say it.

You can either accept that she just has no filter and is always going to be a little ‘extra’ or you can gently correct her as stuff comes up. 

Post # 9
228 posts
Helper bee

Congratulations on the baby.  Babies are great and bring so much joy and love to families and keep in mind that there can never be enough people in this world who love your child.  From what you write I think your issue is with your Mother-In-Law and you need to figure why she annoys you so much while remberining that she raised your Darling Husband.  Best of luck, 2016 will be wonderful with your new arrival.

Post # 10
3126 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

lalanono:  I’m not pregnant nor do I have kids but my fmil constantly touches my really curly hair demanding I straighten it. I asked her politely so many times as has my fi to stop. Now when she goes in I just move away or give her a high give saying how much I love my curls and leave. Mother in laws be crazy.

Post # 11
3611 posts
Sugar bee

lalanono:  I didn’t read your first post but based on the second one, she sounds cray-cray and like she doesn’t know the meaning of the word “boundaries.” I respect your attitude of not wanting to bad-mouth or complain about DH’s parents to him. However, my sense is that if you indicate to her that she needs to back off, she would probably respond by being even more pushy and possibly even bad-mouthing you to your Darling Husband. If it comes from her own son, she might actually get the message instead of writing it off as “my bitchy DIL doesn’t want me to be involved in my granchild’s life.” I think he is going to have to get involved.

Post # 12
5154 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

Ugh what is with MILs! My first Christmas spent with my ILs had a super awkward moment where she handed out cards to everyone but me (DH and his three siblings). I double checked and no, my name wasnt on my husbands card. It was so awkward because they contained cash and everyone got up to hug my ILs but I didn’t..because I didn’t get a card. 

This year she kicked me out of a family photo because “I want one just with my children”. Oh okay. 

It sounds like you (or even better – your husband) need to start correcting her with certain things. 

I also highly recommend you NOT tell her when you are in labor. I would call her once the baby is born and you are ready for visitors. Alert a nurse to the situation and have them ask her to leave after an hour so “baby and you can get some rest”. 

Post # 13
16 posts
  • Wedding: February 2016

Oooh this would really bother me. I have similar situations with my future Mother-In-Law and she sounds like she knows this lady, ha! I would say to set the boundaries firmly immediately. I think you might be surprised at her reaction once you enforce a strong line. The next time she touches your belly, I would remind her that even if it’s “her baby” it’s “YOUR BODY” until the baby is born! Unfortunately, she also sounds clueless, so even correcting her might go right over her head. I agree I would choose a grandma name for her and go with it, or have Darling Husband choose. That sets a boundary too. I have to disagree with another commenter that “all grandmas are competitive.” I think that’s a strange behavior.

Another option might be to have your husband be around the next time you see her, and when she goes to touch your belly, have your husband say, “Mom, that’s inappropriate, please don’t touch my wife’s belly without asking.” 

That stocking thing is ridiculous. 

Post # 14
320 posts
Helper bee

I think the comment around your mom was really rude but it really just makes her looks nuts. I don’t think the stocking was an accident but its also not something you can make a big deal out of. I’d put an end to the belly touching. “I prefer not to have my belly touched” should be sufficient. If she moves to do it again, be more firm. “I have already told you not to touch my belly. Please don’t do so again.” Or better yet, have your Fiance speak up for you on any subsequent time. “Mom, she already asked you not to touch her belly, don’t do it again.”

Post # 15
9588 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016


1 Shrug it off… I think this one is a nonissue. You can just start greeting her and referring to her as grandma, if it makes you feel better.

2 Yes that would bother me to no end. You have autonomy. I’d exert it once in a while by just saying “not right now” and gently pushing her hand aside. No explanation needed. You don’t need to explain to ANYONE why they can’t touch your body. If she starts to make a big scene about it, just look at her in shock and bewilderment. Let her rant it out while you gape. “I’m really sorry you feel that way. Me not wanting to be touched right now really isn’t about *you* at all.” Then go pee.

3 Sigh. Oh well, what more can you expect? I had almost the exact same thing happen to me this Christmas. It only sucked because I’d spent significant change on their gifts and didn’t realize that when it came to me it was a $10 and under sort of deal. Anyway, nothing much that can be done about this one. Go to your parents next year and enjoy it. Every other year may suck. It is what it is.

4 This one bothers me again, like 2. Probably because like 3 I see my own in laws in this one.. Let her make all the entitled plans she wants to. It’s your baby, and if you don’t want her to have the baby then she won’t. So long as your Darling Husband is with you on this one, just shrug it off. Don’t get in hypothetical arguments, wait until it happens.

5 Lol, whatever. Again, do what you’re gonna do and don’t bother arguing with her over it.

6 I think your mom has it right. She’s insecure. Babies and even kids don’t give a shit who says “you like me more” they just like the nicer one more.


Overall I totally empathize.. my in laws drive me insane for very similar reasons.  I’m not pregnant, but I am looking for a job and she talks about how unfair it is that I got an interview in the city where my parents live, but not the one where she lives.  She talks about how our ultimate goal is that me and Fiance move to where she lives, not that we’d ever want to settle down near my parents.  They make fun of my family and family traditions, etc… all this crap that rubs me the wrong way because of the entitlement and assumption and rudeness… but in the end, most of it’s just not worth engaging and making a fight out of.  

What helps me, more than anything, is that my Fiance is ALWAYS on my side.  He lets me rant about his parents to him, and rarely downplays my concerns (the only thing he does is say how he thinks they meant it, which I think is just logical thinking.. trying to see all angles first).  He is usually the one who will defend me if they say anything too overt, before I’ve even realized what they said.  This helps me get through it a ton, because it reassures me that we really are just letting them talk and that they won’t actually have any say in the choices we make about where we live, how we raise our kids, etc..  How is your Darling Husband with handling all this?

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