Resentment towards MIL since having a baby

posted 7 months ago in Relationships
Post # 16
845 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

A healthy person would have a job, activities, interests, friends, hobbies, maybe a church, a bowling league, a place at which to volunteer–a life. “obviously all of her focus is on us” makes her sound like a vampire bat lady, draining your life to feed hers. Which may be her choice for herself, but you don’t have to kneel down and offer her your neck. You can choose not to be her sole source of interest and meaning and social contact.

Post # 17
1152 posts
Bumble bee

I’d be worried about your daughters mental & emotional well-being  and the influence your Mother-In-Law have on her when she gets a bit older, especially if she’s to be left alone with grandma. I’d be even more careful with visits when daughter is a bit older. 

Post # 18
179 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

You sound like you feel as if you owe her something. You don’t. That she has no life and is obsessed with your nuclear family is HER problem, not yours. Don’t take responsibility for her feelings. As another poster said, she has VERY unrealistic expectations regarding her role in your nuclear family’s life and her role as a grandmother. Stop letting her pretend she’s the third parent to your daughter. You’re only reinforcing her delusions by catering to you. She’s grandma — NOT mom. She is not entitled to anything. She doesn’t get to go to swim lessons and gymboree unless you want her there for some reason. And seeing her once a week with your baby is way too much in my opinion. I have a Mother-In-Law like yours and when I have kids there’s no way in hell I’m taking them to her once a week. More like once or twice a month. I don’t think that’s unreasonable. They aren’t her kids. She doesn’t need to see them on a weekly basis, particularly as she’s a boundary-stomper and obsessive. Have you tried really talking to her? Your Darling Husband has to have a serious conversation with her and her behavior and how it makes you feel, and you need to drastically cut the visits back. Let go of the idea that you’re “hurting her” or “being mean to her” by not letting her see your child whenever she pleases. You’re not. You’re just living your life. It’s normal. It’s bad enough that SHE thinks she’s entitled to “parent-like” thing when it comes to your daughter. You can’t think that she is also! Let it go and let the guilt go too. Good luck!! 

Post # 19
137 posts
Blushing bee

Although I do not have kids, the situation you are referring to is one that I am certain is inevitable for me. My Future Mother-In-Law is also single and depends on me and my boyfriend’s life to be her sole form of relationship fulfillment and entertainment. She is very emotionally dependent on my boyfriend, as she does not date and has little to no friends to occupy her time or give her emotional support. I can only imagine how she will be once I have a child – so I feel you 1000%. Talk to your husband. If he is just as annoyed as you, then approach him about your feelings – about how you feel she is dubbing herself mommy #2. This is not sustainable, and I hope you guys figure this out. Good luck, Bee.

Post # 20
2553 posts
Sugar bee

Grandparent’s rights are NOT a grey area. They don’t have rights to YOUR child, YOUR nuclear family, to make you or your baby responsible for their own emotional state, etc. They do not have ANY rights when it comes to you and YOUR child.

At this point, your husband (and you) have let her run roughshod all over you. And the cumulative boundary stomping is starting to make you feel traumatized.

You are NOT starting from ground zero here. You are starting from a resentful, traumatized place, and you need to treat the situation accordingly.

To recover from trauma/feeling victimized, you need time and space AWAY from the perpetrator (whether or not the perpetrator MEANT to traumatize you is NOT important) to heal and to start to feel safe again.

ONCE YOU NO LONGER FEEL TRAUMATIZED by the perpetrator – once you feel more in control of your emotional state around this person – THEN you begin to slowly (at your own pace) reintroduce yourself (without baby) to them.

The fact that your baby cries every time they see Mother-In-Law is an awful awful sign. You should never allow your Mother-In-Law to babysit. In fact, in your shoes, I would keep the baby away from Mother-In-Law, and I would feel absolutely 0 guilt doing so. It is your job to protect that baby. She obviously finds Mother-In-Law distressing, so she needs to be subjected to that as little as possible. 

So my plan would be this:

You institute a ELC (extremely low contact) rule with your Mother-In-Law. You and baby are ELC. Husband (DuH) can do whatever he wants, but you and baby are off limits unless on YOUR terms. 

DEPENDING ON HOW Mother-In-Law RESPONDS, and at a time when you feel healed and ready, you initiate short Olive Garden meetups with Mother-In-Law. This way she does not get to invade your safe space (your home), you do not have to be on her turf (her home), and you can leave at any time, easily. 

At first, do not bring baby. If Mother-In-Law can’t carry on a civil conversation with her own son and DIL and express interest in THEIR lives and wellbeings, then WHY should she get access to their child? 

Your baby is not Mother-In-Law Prozac. 

The glaring problem with this plan is that your DuH is going to hate it and is most likely going to guilt trip you for “taking her grandbaby away”. Or cast you as unreasonable. I can tell this is what he’s going to do because he has just stood by all this time and allowed his mother to traumatize you in this way. He is serving your baby up to keep his mother happy. 

The other glaring problem is that Mother-In-Law is going to go off the deep end. She WILL throw tantrums, send Flying Monkeys at you and your husband, try to triangulate/drive a wedge between the two, disrespect you to anyone and everyone who will listen, and just in general behave very poorly.

Do you feel ready to stand up to her in those situations? Call her bad behavior out in a calm way, end the interaction, and black hole any and all attempts at contacting you? Do you think your husband is ready to stand up to her and stop allowing her to make him responsible for her emotional state? To call her out when she’s behaving like a child?

Because as soon as you take steps to do what YOU need to do to feel OK being around this woman, she is going to raise holy hell and if you cave, you’ll have taken 100 steps backwards. You HAVE to start teaching her (you and your husband TOGETHER) have to start teaching her that unwanted behavior will be PUNISHED, not rewarded with more baby time.

You don’t seem at all ready for this step, but just to share with you how distorted your own thinking on this subject is, here is mine:

Darling Husband and I plan to start TTC in 4 months. If his mother (who is “sweet” but actually controlling and manipulative) tries to make me or my baby responsible for her emotional state even ONCE, we are going to be off the table for 6 months at the very minimum. And that’s just for the first offense. 

If she tries to insinuate that she has any “rights” to MY child, the same consequence will go into place. 

If she EVER talks badly to my husband about me, in an attempt to  “divide and conquer”, same consequence. 

If I even hear a wiff of gossip that she’s being judgemental about my parenting choices behind my back from other family members, same consequence.

In short, if she does or says ANYTHING that displays a controlling or entitled or disrespectful attitude toward me or my child, she will be in Time Out for 6 months. 

And then, depending on her behavior, she may be (CO) Cut Off for good. The DWIL Nation motto is “No good, respectful relationship with the parents, no relationship with the child.”

Post # 23
2561 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I can definitely relate. My ex’s mom was exactly like this when I first had my son. It was her first grandchild and she was extremely overbearing. It was difficult because I had a very tramatic birth, was trying to recover from a c-section, and bonding with my son. She would literally message me daily asking when she could come over, when she could see him. My ex was a doormat and thought I was being mean for thinking it was too much. 

Anyways, my advice to you is the same as everyone else has posted so I won’t repeat. But I totally understand how you feel and your feelings are valid. Since my ex and I are no longer together, I very rarely have to deal with her anymore but she STILL occasionally will message me about him (it has gotten better as the years have passed but still). 

Best of luck bee!!!

Post # 24
9245 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

DWIL can be helpful, but keep in mind they are very very extreme. I guarantee they will say stop contacting her or replying to messages, and only have visits when your husband is around to host her.

My Mother-In-Law is not quite this intense, but she also has no hobbies or anything so I get how it can be overwhelming. We personally set one time a week for her to come over for about 1.5 hours, and that is it. She knows what day it is on, and we do it before bed time so there’s no extending the time (otherwise she stays FOREVERRRR). It’s still more frequently than I’d like, but at least I don’t have to deal with her badgering me about visits constantly.

Post # 25
478 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

Agree with some of the previous posts. My in-laws are lovely people, but my husband would likely see them every other day if he could, and I’m really solid on once a week at the most. When we had our first, we worked out that they take him one day a week, and do some babysitting on weekends etc. it has been great! They get to spend time with their grandkids, and we (or I) get some free time. Everybody wins! So, when you’re ready, I totally suggest that route. 

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