(Closed) MIL driving me nuts already

posted 4 years ago in Babies
Post # 16
1702 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

I read both your posts and that sounds so annoying because each time she is showing no concern for your relationships and your personal comfort!! I hope your Darling Husband can set her straight!

Post # 17
180 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2015



+1 to both of you. 

These situations are hard because it’s not like she’s being outright mean to you..but it definitely sounds passive aggressive and like a lack of respect. Mothers of only boys are interesting. I do think it can be hard to accept not being the number one woman in your son’s life any more. 

I think stuff like this is part of the reason people say the first year of marriage is hard, and I’m sure pregnanct brings additional challenges. I talked to my mom about it and she said it took her years to feel as comfortable around her ILs as she did her own family. It takes time, but it’ll never happen if you don’t speak up when something she says or does is truly bothering you. Just try to choose carefully. I’d let a comment here or there slide, and maybe focus more on repeated behavior.

But overall I can empathize with the weird Mother-In-Law. Mine posted an article on facebook about “being a mother of only boys” that talked mostly about how you’ll never get to be the one to “choose the wedding venue” (like parents choose that anyway?) or basically plan your daughter’s wedding. This was a few months before Darling Husband and I’s wedding. Um, passive aggressive much?

Post # 18
11974 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

For the most part I  think you are overreacting.  Out of all the things you mentioned,  the touching of your stomach would annoy me the most.  Once or twice is one thing, but if it’s become a routine, tactfully say that you’d like her to wait to be asked.  Suggesting that you naming the baby after her is out of line as well. I’d have Fiance address that one in private.

Yes, she should have been thoughtful enough to remember about the Christmas stocking. but she did say she’d rectify it next year. Maybe it really did  slip her mind until they were taken out of storage. At that point,  I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect that she’d run out to the stores, since she was likely getting read to entertain a houseful of people. 

The “favorite” grandma comment was clearly made in jest, which is why your mother didn’t think anything of it.  Similarly, “our baby” is just a figure of speech. I wouldn’t take these things so literally. I assure you, the baby won’t be calling her mommy, and if she’s making comments like this right in front of your mother, she’s not serious.  

I’d try to cut the woman some slack and pick your battles. 

Post # 19
604 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013 - Outdoor

lalanono:  sorry bee, it sounds like she’s really getting on your nerves right now. I would say start picking your battles/standing up for yourself now, so she starts getting the message before the baby comes. Most of her little comments I would let slide, she’s excited but not showing it well- but when she reaches out to touch your belly, take her hand, just act like she was trying to shake your hand or hold your hand or something. Give her hand a loving pat and say something like, I’m sure you’re so excited to be a grandma, right? Like neutral but putting her in her (grandma) place. If she won’t pick a grandma name, just start referring to her as grandma. Since you said overall that you don’t mind the touching, but want it on your terms, maybe when you feel the baby kicking a lot you can say, here grandma, feel your granddaughter saying hello! and gently place her hand where the kicks are, with your hand over hers, and then when you’re ready take her hand off. Just little things to help her figure out your boundaries. She probably is insecure because she know that you are closer with your own mom, so try not to let it bother you, especially if your mom doesn’t care. Also, maybe start talking to your Darling Husband about how the 3 of you are going to need lots of time together just parents and baby, and how you and the baby will need lots of rest, and you are planning to count on him to be able to end visits when your tired or say it’s not a good time no matter who it is. Talk to him about setting some ground rules and take his thoughts into account, so he feels like part of your team, not put in between you and you Mother-In-Law. 

Anyway I’m not due until July but my Darling Husband does have a pretty pushy stepmom. I think I’m in a bit easier of a position though because she’s not his mom and didn’t raise him, so I know if I have any big issues he’ll help me out. Actually at this point my aunt (my mom’s SIL) is being the pushy one. She keeps declaring that it’s a boy, told me over and over not to put my hair up so it will grow out- when I said I was thinking about cutting it she was like- No! I want it to your elbows! I’m just like… Whatever auntie! 

Post # 20
1341 posts
Bumble bee

I wont address the other points as I saw your previous post and commented there 🙂

Regarding number 6, it’s lovely that you took her to the scan. But I honestly don’t think that comment was a big deal. It was said in a joking way. She probably is just a little worried that she will be left out of things. I also don’t think your mum should lie by ommission to her. Avoiding answering will probably result in more insecurity as it makes it a big deal when you don’t want to tell someone something.

Touching the belly is probably the ONE thing that would annoy me. ASK her to stop, as long as you have the same rules for others and not just her.

Post # 23
1180 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

lalanono:  Considering what I went through with my Mother-In-Law leading up to our wedding, I’m sure my Mother-In-Law will be just like this when I get pregnant. She does this with everything… she changed all the day of plans re: hair and makeup to better suit her and left me hanging and finding someone else to get hair and make up done in her spot that I had paid for. Any time wedding talk came up she took it over with how difficult finding the perfect dress was, or something about the rehearsal dinner, etc.

We’re buying a house and in an effort to repair some of our relationship I asked for help with the landscaping… needed ideas on what plants will work best. Now she’s calling it “her yard” and wants to make major changes to the landscaping and find some big decorative rock, etc. 

She’s already dropping hints about how we should raise a kid, or already looking forward to being the cool grandmother.

I have no advice but tons of sympathy for you. If you give her an inch, she takes 10 miles. You drop subtle hits she doesn’t notice or purposefuly ignores them, and (I know from experience) if you call her out you’ll hurt her “more than anyone else in her entire life” and you’ll instantly become the bad guy. 

Anyway, I’m extremely sensitive to the topic of pushy bitchy MILs right now so take what I said with a grain of salt. But like I said… I feel for you. 

Post # 25
369 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

lalanono:  Congratulations on your baby bee. Let me start by saying I am speaking from a very biased place. Tomorrow will  mark the one year anniversary of my MIL-to-be passing away. So in all honesty I am a bit jealous of those of you whose children will have the luxury of 2 grandmas. That said, your feelings are valid and no one should tell you you’re being too sensitive. You are certainly entitled to feel the way you feel. 

I agree with most that much of this is typical passive agressive Mother-In-Law behaivior that usually comes with a major life change like having a baby. It is really hard to shift from primary mom to secondary mom. Perhaps that is why she is trying to level the playing field by using terms like “our baby”. I think it’s harmless but I encourage you to keep emphasizing that Darling Husband is her baby. The one you’re carrying in her grandbaby but continue to be light hearted about it. 

The belly-touching is a violation of your personal space and if it were YOUR mother, she gets a pass but MIL- no way! Nip that in the bud immediately. I say let the stocking thing slide but if it happens again, have something to say about it. Everything else falls under pick and choose your battles. With this being the first grandbaby, it can bring a little bit of the crazies out of people. I’m sure she will mellow out once she settles into her new role as grandma. Good luck! (((hugs)))

Post # 26
3352 posts
Sugar bee

sumshine.dawn:  On my first meeting of my now Mother-In-Law, we were sitting around after dinner and I felt something in my hair. I turned around and she was playing with my hair.  Cray.

Post # 27
180 posts
Blushing bee

OP, you sound like a very tolerant, non-confrontational person.  And that is really good in a lot of situations!  But this is not one of them.  If you don’t put your foot down with your mother-in-law now, who knows how far her crazy behavior will get before you’ve finally had enough?  Don’t think I’m telling you to be mean or rude, either.  You can confront people in a polite way.  The key is to be very direct and to leave your emotions out of it.  Address specific behaviors rather than trying to analyze what your mother-in-law is thinking.  If she touches your stomach when you don’t want her to, tell her that you don’t mind her touching you but that you’d like her to ask first in case you’re feeling extra sensitive or nauseated.  If she calls the baby her baby, tell her, “Well, the baby is ours, but she’ll be your grandbaby!”  None of this is rude, and it will show her that there are lines she needs to toe.

Post # 28
604 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013 - Outdoor

lalanono:  Honestly, grandma names are really up to the kid when they start talking. My grandmother finally decided that she wanted her grandma name to be “bestemor” which is what she called her norwegian grandmother… but it was too late because we were already talking and already called her grandma. My aunt to this day is called “Wowie” because that’s how my mom said her baby sister’s name as a toddler. 

Since Mother-In-Law is stomping all over your boundaries and doesn’t even seem to realize it, it is going to take time for you to establish them- time and consistency. If you correct her on the “my baby” thing one time, yeah she’ll probably brush it off. You have to do it every single time. Same with the belly touching. Intercept her when it’s not invited, and make a point to invite her to touch when you are ok with it. If you continue to be consistent (maybe she won’t get it with this one, but for future pregnancies also, and the same with grabbing the baby, making demands, etc) she will eventually get that she only gets to touch when invited. It may take a long time, but every time you do it is like putting a tiny lego brick on your wall of bounaries. Yes, one brick at a time takes a while, but no bricks=no wall. It sounds like you are on the right track.

Post # 30
7 posts

I haven’t read through the comments, but I had a lot of similar issues with my Mother-In-Law.  She also referred to the baby as “my …” when we told her it was a girl, she said, “you know how much I’ve always wanted a daughter..” Told me she was going to be in the delivery room, ( which she was absolutely not, for either of my deliveries, and told my husband that I had to compromise with her about her being able to come over as often as she wanted.

I had to set firm boundaries really early on. My older daughter is now 2.5 and my younger is 1.  Before I had kids, my Mother-In-Law and I weren’t close, but got along. Since I’ve had kids, we don’t get along at all, and it’s been because she has been so pushy with my kids.  The only advice I can give is to set those boudaries and make your stance clear.  However, I would still try and include her when you can so your relationship doesn’t get to be like my relatioship with my Mother-In-Law.  The more someone tries to push with me, the more I put up my guard which hasn’t turned out well haha.

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