Mother-In-Law Driving Me Mad!!!!!

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Can mother-in-law's be too pushy?

Poll ended at Thu Jan 10, 2008 3:12 pm

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Total votes : 12

Mother-In-Law Driving Me Mad!!!!!

Postby Louby » Tue Oct 02, 2007 3:12 pm

I am currently 4 months pregnant and loving the thought of the baby growing inside me (can't wait to feel any movements that the "bump" may make!). Me and my husband have been married for over a year, but have been together as a couple for almost 9 years, living together for almost 8 of those so we are very solid as a couple. I love my husband with all of my heart but the problem is his mother. She drives me mad with the constant interferring. She did this while we were planning our wedding and to be honest it caused some major arguments between us. Since she found out that I'm pregnant again (I had a miscarriage in early June and fell pregnant again straight away) she is full of helpful tips and advice such as "well you do have quite large breasts so I doubt you will be able to breast feed" which is something I have always felt quite strongly about trying my hardest to do for my child and I find her comments quite hurtful.

She always has comments to make about everything that we do and most of them involve either pretending to be stupid and asking a daft question or just being plain rude. My husband is in his 30's and I am 27 we are not children anymore and would like to be treated like adults with a little bit of respect but she just carries on as if we are silly little kids!

We were discussing our plans for the nursery, something I am very passionate about and she asked me if I wanted second hand furniture. Now I know that not everybody is in a position to pay a lot for baby furniture but both my husband and I have very good jobs, which pay very well and we wanted to buy new furniture for our new arrival. When we disagree with her, or more to the point I disagree with her she takes this as a personal attack which is not what I intended.

All I want to do is the best for my baby and I sometimes think she will be the grandmother from hell. If this is what she is like at the moment, surely things will only get worse when the baby is born? My own mother and I are very close and she would never in a million years speak to me like that or even make the suggestion of telling me what do to.

Any advice on the best way to deal with this without upsetting myself and everyone else (especially my husband - however mad she may be, I can appreciate that she is still his mother) would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Postby misskrystal » Tue Oct 02, 2007 11:32 pm

Although you're the one she has a problem with, it's really your husband's issue to deal with. He needs to stand up for his wife and for his family. Whenever you do this, it will be most likely seen as you trying to split up the family, or forcing your husband to choose between you and his mother, which really isn't the case.

Explain to your husband that you love his mother and would never want to cause problems with his family, but you have some issues with your mother-in-law that you feel need to be addressed. Tell him exactly what you told us and give him reasonable solutions that you think could/ should be found.

Whenever family issues like these come up, it's really up to the related partner (in this case your husband) to deal with it.
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Postby Pwif » Wed Oct 03, 2007 9:27 am

First of all, a few questions:

- does your husband have any brothers and/or sisters? - If so, is he the eldest/youngest/only child? How does your MIL treat his siblings?
- you don't mention your father-in-law. If he is around, what are his views on the situation?
- does your MIL live nearby? You mention that she has a view on everything that you do. Is that by phone, or does she visit?
- does she have friends/hobbies/other things going on in her life?

From what you have said, I think that I was in a very similar situation to you. My MIL was a very strong-willed lady, and would 'offer' advice on a lot of things in our lives. For example, taking us round houses she'd chosen when we were going to get married, advising my hubby to buy me a second-hand engagement ring, and giving him his grandmother's wedding ring (without consulting me first). I was really upset at this intrusion in our lives. My husband was an only child, and his mother doted on him. I think she found it hard that another woman would take her place as the most important person in his life. We did have some difficult times to start with. However, I learnt what my MIL was good at and what she was happiest doing (excellent gardener and very organised). Gave her free reign in our garden, asked her advice on lots of things, and we built up quite a bond. When she offered advice on things I didn't agree with, I very politely said no. Because she knew that I appreciated her help with other things, she didn't take my refusal as a personal criticism and accepted it. She died suddenly of cancer at a very early age, and I do miss her.

You sound as if you want to get on with your MIL. She doesn't sound an ogre; just that she wants to continue being part of your lives. Make her feel welcome, but set boundaries, so she knows what is and isn't acceptable. For example, thank her profusely for her advice on the baby's bedroom furniture. Just let her know how upset you were when you miscarried, and you want this time to be special - hence new furniture. Maybe there is something else you can get her to be in charge of to feel part of being grandma? Knitting jackets/booties or something else?

Good luck and hope everything goes well with the baby. :P
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Re: Mother-In-Law Driving Me Mad!!!!!

Postby retrochav » Thu Oct 04, 2007 12:18 am

You may have to be the grown up one here! She is acting rather childishly, but there could be so many reasons so try not to be too hard.

Firstly, if she is offering advice, listen to it (even if you think its rubbish and would rather walk hot coals than take it!) and ask her about her experiances when pregnant or as a young mum.

Secondly, if she is being bitchy turn it to her by saying " why do you feel the need to be unpleasant" she will probably deny it, dont be dettered, say something like "I feel hurt by your comment and you wouldnt like me to get catty to you, would you?" Be careful to be calm (even if you are raging) otherwise if she is being a bully she will love it, if its unintentional she'll write it off as "hormones".

Thirdly, do have a chat with your husband. Tell him you appreciate her advice, but not the bitchness. Try to include her wherever you can, but stand firm remebering that ultimatly times change, you arent her and you must do what you think best.

Compromise, whilst not easy, may get the result you want. After all, a doting granny makes a great childminder when you need a break!
whatever your problem someone else has been there and bears the scars.
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Postby Louby » Fri Oct 05, 2007 3:42 pm

Hi All,

Thanks for the advice.

Pwif in answer to your questions 1) my husband is an only child and his parents split when he was very young, as a result my husbands biological father was never in the picture. However my mother-in-law did re-marry again when my husband was quite young so his step-father has been part of his family for a long time.

2) I would refer to my husband's step-father as my father-in-law and we generally get on very well, however he seems incapable of standing up to his wife when they disagree over things such as what to call the grandparents. She would like to be called Gran and would prefer him to be called Papa, he disagrees and would like to be called Granpa but will only mention this to me - not to her!

3) We live about 15 minute car journey away from our in-laws and
generally we visit them. If we don't visit about once a week then she will call up and ask why we haven't visited, although they would never think about coming to visit us! (Even tho my husband and I have lived in our current house for 4 years they have only been in our house 4 or 5 times).

4) My mother-in-law babysits (I say babysits but I feel as tho it's almost kidnapping) my husbands cousins little girl. She will just phone up and ask to watch the little girl (who is just under 2 years old) whenever she feels like it. Now I know that her parents must be happy with this arrangement but I find it very bizarre that they just had their child off to my in-laws. What I find more worrying is that they have been doing this for quite some time and they have bought a cot, pram and all sorts for this little girl to stay with them overnight. We last visited on Wednesday night and the little girl was staying with them and she actually referred to my mother-in-law as Mummy on several occassions!

It just makes me think is that how she will expect things to be with our child???

I am willing to get on with her and I have done over the years, and I have made the willing sacrifices such as letting her have her own way at times but I feel that this is a time when my husband and I should be able to do things exactly as we want to.
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Postby samsim » Thu Oct 25, 2007 4:17 pm

i know this is a bit late but can i just say, i had my civil partnership three months ago, (although i like to call it wedding) im a silly person, im always loosing my glasses and im constantly leaving my phone places. silly things like that.
When we told my mother in law we were thinking of having a child do you know what she said.................. but you will loose it!!!!! i was so upset, i was crying to my partner, but she couldnt understand why i was upset, my mother in law keeps having digs, saying little things ever since the wedding really. dont do that, do this, why would you want to do this, another example is....... my friends stag night, i was his best woman, we had gone out and my wife was working the next day, she went to sleep at about 3AM. i was up till about 6/6.30am So the next day at about 11.30 my mother in law phoned me, i answered still half asleep and she was really really rude saying.... why are you still in bed, i said oh coz i was out late last nigth, she was like well so was my daughter but SHEEEEEE got up to go to work.
My mother in law is rude, she doesnt think before she speaks, she can be really really hurtful the things she says but you know what........ she loves her daughter! she loves my wife, as much as she pains me and upsets me i just got to accept she is part of our lives. i spoke to my wife and said i dont want our child alone with her, (her grandaughter came around with her two children and EVERYTHING she did, my mother in law was like, your doing it wrong your doing it wrong) i dont want that! i want to have our child and raise it how we want to raise it, i told my wife straight, if she EVER tries to tell me how to raise our child i will tell her were to get off, My wife obviously spoke to her mother, the word baby has not been used again!
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Postby Louby » Mon Oct 29, 2007 5:25 pm

Thanks I can see your point. That despite my problems with my Mother In Law she does love my husband and I suppose the fact that he is an only child makes it worse.

I have a fantastic relationship with my own mother and perhaps this just makes it harder to me to be told what I should be doing by his mother.

My Mum is great and we can talk about ANYTHING together - we always have been able to. She has always been there for me when I needed her, but most importantly when I didn't think I needed her at all. I guess I'm just not used to someone who interferes all the time.
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