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MIL goes against my request with my child and wonders why we don’t want her around.


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The adventures of the “I’m the boss” Mother in law continues.  Our baby just turned 1.  After several situations with my MIL when baby was first born, we have kept our distance from her and had only occasional visits.  An example of those situation is her showing up and walking into our house when the baby was a few weeks old.  My husband was outside and had told her “no”to coming in because I wasn’t expecting company, but she said “she is the grandma and can come in” and walked right in.  I was half naked.  She still stayed an hour while I was trying to stay covered on the couch. 
 

After that my husband said “don’t do that again” and told her that was not ok.  That turn into her telling everyone “ that we “don’t allow her over” and “ I never see my grand baby”.  This is not true.  I still allow her over if she asks with a day set up and it’s maybe once a month.  
 

She tells family that she never gets to come over and then they come to us saying “she said she is not allowed over so maybe you can work in your relationship”.  Basically, we are the bad guys but her behavior has dictated our boundaries.  She leaves that part out to family and friends.

This weekend we invited her over for our daughter first birthday (hoping for the best).  Immediately when she got there she pissed me off.  I had my daughter seated in her high chair to take pictures with her decorations.  My MIL arrives at the party and while I’m taking pictures, she came right over and starts removing my daughter from the high chair.  I say 2x, “ can you leave her in there, I am taking pictures”.  She then says “no, your going to take this picture” ( it is my MIL now holding my daughter out of the high chair).  MIL then takes her and starts walking around and I never get the picture.  Even when I try to get a picture of her eating her smash cake, I can’t get one without my MIL in it because my MIL pulls up a chair right next to her high chair for the cake smashing.  My MIL put her fingers in the cake too and tasted it during the cake smash.  
 

How do I handle this lady.  If we pull back again because of her behavior, she will paint us as the bad guy to everyone.  I certainly don’t think she is going to change. 

 

 

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Hi Liz!

 

Mother of three here, my youngest is nearly 11 months old so I feel like I am in a similar time of life!

 

I totally understand - and I realise how irritating and frustrating and disrespectful it can be. I don’t want to belittle your problems but, the things you mention here, this is probably every other mother in law out there who has young grandchildren. It is so common. I talk to other mums and you are never more than half an hour away from someone in the circle starting to complain or re-tell a story about a mother in law over stepping boundaries.

 

You have to choose your battles and step back sometimes. It’s frustrating that you didn’t get your picture but, in the grand scheme of things? This is not a terrible thing. She didn’t do anything to harm your baby and Y’know, sometimes people can be bullish and not even realise how it affects you, to give her the benefit of the doubt. I know you told her twice, she ignored. This is very frustrating.

 

The only way I find you can get your outcome is to be completely straight and forceful when you ask. When she didn’t step away, maybe you should have said, can I please have a word over here? And explained to her why you want the picture and that it is important to you - and that she needs to give you space to take the photo, and if she doesn’t like your house rules, she is welcome to leave. No joke. I know it sounds extreme but it’s the only thing that gets through sometimes.

 

I used to be coy and scared of hurting peoples feelings. Now I just say. It’s actually my own parents that don’t respect my wishes. They take constant and incessant mundane photos of the kids (my son is 4, daughter 3, baby 11 months). I tell them and have done a few times, no constant photos, we just want to enjoy the moment and play. My mum took her phone out and I just took it from her, walked it into the kitchen next door and came back in without saying anything and carried on playing. Extreme you might think but, she never said anything and she has never done it again!!!

 

Your house, your rules.

 

You sound like you are dealing with an irritation. Just be very firm and very clear and step her to one side if it doesn’t get through first or second time around. 
 

I’m actually very relaxed with things personally, but I understand everyone is different, everyone parents different - and, whether they like it or not, extended family don’t have a right to force their way onto you. 
 

It was nice of your husband to stick up for you! 
 

x

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3 hours ago, liz22 said:

If we pull back again because of her behavior, she will paint us as the bad guy to everyone.

Then I would just keep setting the record straight when people question you about it. 

And then close the discussion. People can think what they want, but it will still mean you can enforce your boundaries with her. 

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Think about it this way…. is a smash cake picture more important or a relationship with her grandmother? Believe me I am not on MIL side here as I had battles with my in-laws for decades . However, this is not just you having issues with a MIL, this person is also your child’s grandparent and unless she is outright abusive your child deserves a relationship with this person. And one day your child’s relationship with grandma won’t include you. My son is almost 25 now and his relationship with his father’s mother is completely independent of me. As much as my MIL and I disliked each other and battled over the years( now she is too damn old to fight me. She is 88) this is still my son’s family and my husband’s much loved mother. 

So it is not just about you and the MIL or pictures or whatever the battle is that day. 

Something to reflect on. 

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Thank you everyone.  I understand some of these things seem mundane.  I think it is the fact that I deal with it on a constant basis and she has does thing that dont make me feel comfortable leaving her alone with my baby.  Things I didn’t even get into on this post.  Everything from her calling my pregnancy “crap” (I think she is very jealous of baby and could go Lifetime Movie Network on the baby) to letting her kids get molested as kids and never turning in the family member (she is still friends with the family member like nothing happened).   So it’s the big things and the little things for me.  The little things just get my irritated on a daily basis.  

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13 hours ago, liz22 said:

How do I handle this lady.

Your husband is the problem. HE needs to "handle this lady". He is not standing for you.

He is passively allowing it all. He has you angry and enraged at her. Perfect. Takes the focus off the fact that he's the culprit by having no boundaries and passively condoning her aggression and inappropriateness.

He needs to cut the apron strings  and you know it. Change the locks. Get a home security system with video surveillance. As a grandparent legal she has ZERO "rights". Delete her from all your social media and messaging apps. let your husband deal with her.

Edited by Wiseman2
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1 hour ago, liz22 said:

Everything from her calling my pregnancy “crap” (I think she is very jealous of baby and could go Lifetime Movie Network on the baby) to letting her kids get molested as kids and never turning in the family member (she is still friends with the family member like nothing happened)

She is a nightmare. Textbook narcissist- although I can't diagnose her.

I did feel you were scratching just above the surface with your post, but now you confirmed it.

Your husband needs to step up more and keep her at bay. You need to double down boundaries when she crosses them. It's hard work, but it has to be done. Have a conversation with him about this and how much it's important to you.

And, I get that you only invite her to formal occasions, and I'd probably do the same. She's toxic and you don't want her around longer than the formal thing per se. Also change the locks of the house. Who the hell gave her the keys to begin with!? She's a danger to all of you, specially your kid.

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2 hours ago, liz22 said:

Thank you everyone.  I understand some of these things seem mundane.  I think it is the fact that I deal with it on a constant basis and she has does thing that dont make me feel comfortable leaving her alone with my baby.  Things I didn’t even get into on this post.  Everything from her calling my pregnancy “crap” (I think she is very jealous of baby and could go Lifetime Movie Network on the baby) to letting her kids get molested as kids and never turning in the family member (she is still friends with the family member like nothing happened).   So it’s the big things and the little things for me.  The little things just get my irritated on a daily basis.  

Oh my God, well I can definitely see your major hesitation.

 

Always, always trust your gut instincts, they are usually right, and ESPECIALLY, uncannily correct when it is something to do with your children. Stick too your guns. Let her see your baby but always supervised.

 

I can completely see where you are coming from with this, especially now you have revealed more. You just never know. 
 

I am exactly the same way but with my own parents. None of my children have ever slept at theirs or even been alone with them. I am always there. Something happened to me as a kid and it’s a grey area and I’m just not sure, regarding my Dad - so I just never risk it, ever. 
 

Trust your instincts. Do what feels right for you and your family.

 

x

Edited by mylolita
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I can understand your reservation. My father was seriously abusive and under his care I was sexually abused by his brother. When my son came along my son did see his grandpa but 100% supervised by me. Even phone calls were supervised by me even when my son was an adult. 
 

I still think people need to know where they came from or they go looking for these people later. My son knows his grandpa was not a good person but they enjoyed their relationship with each other. Plus my son understands why I am how I am and my issues that came out of my upbringing . My dad is passed away now. 
 

My husband’s parents severely emotionally terrorized my husband. My son still enjoyed his relationship with my husband’s father. He is passed on now as well. He still enjoys a relationship with my husband’s mother. 
 

Supervision is key. Outright denying relations will cause more issues than you will anticipate. 

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2 hours ago, liz22 said:

Thank you everyone.  I understand some of these things seem mundane.  I think it is the fact that I deal with it on a constant basis and she has does thing that dont make me feel comfortable leaving her alone with my baby.  Things I didn’t even get into on this post.  Everything from her calling my pregnancy “crap” (I think she is very jealous of baby and could go Lifetime Movie Network on the baby) to letting her kids get molested as kids and never turning in the family member (she is still friends with the family member like nothing happened).   So it’s the big things and the little things for me.  The little things just get my irritated on a daily basis.  

Well, you shed more light and yea, I wouldn't feel comfortable with her at all. I also agree your husband needs to step up and be more direct and assertive. He has to be able to physically block his mom from entering your house, not just hands up, side stepping and acting "nothing I could do" attitude.

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2 hours ago, LootieTootie said:

Well, you shed more light and yea, I wouldn't feel comfortable with her at all. I also agree your husband needs to step up and be more direct and assertive. He has to be able to physically block his mom from entering your house, not just hands up, side stepping and acting "nothing I could do" attitude.

Yes in this situation I agree. (And yes I think especially with social media certain parents focus way too much on the "smash cake" picture than on having fun/close times with family).  It is up to your husband.  My in-laws who I loved very much -and certain of their friends -could be very overbearing when my son was a baby and toddler and I went all Mama Bear on them as needed. 

No, I didn't want the spit up cloth placed over the crib railing, no, you can't feed my toddler french fries without checking with me, no you can't leave your purse with meds in it within his reach and yes you do have to remove your shoes in our home, no you can't take him for a walk in busy city streets in his stroller because (did you forget?) you're legally blind.

  I heard all sorts of snarky comments.  Oh well.  It's part of parenting -you do you, your house your rules, and know that there will be petty and snarky comments.  Your child's best interests are more important.  I'm sorry this is so stressful!

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I find it kinda creepy when grandmas etc. act like it's their baby. It reeks of a couple of screws loose. Maybe it's partially due to bad things that have happened to her, things she hasn't resolved. But at the end of the day, your number one priority is taking care of your child. If super firm boundaries are needed, then they are, and oh well if some people wag their tongues. It's just not normal to walk into your daughter in laws home, see she's half naked, and still not clue in that now is not a time to visit. She lacks sensible boundaries. And people with no boundaries are not to be really trusted. 

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23 hours ago, liz22 said:

Basically, we are the bad guys but her behavior has dictated our boundaries.  She leaves that part out to family and friends.

Anyone who knows this woman also knows the problem, so don't let them stir your pot.

I'd just look at them and ask, "Seriously? You think I want to hear this?"

Head high, and read my sig.

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I agree with others.  Your husband needs to speak up to HIS mother, defend you and his immediate family.  He needs to man up and do the right thing.

If I were you, I wouldn't care what everyone in the family thinks.  Enforce stronger boundaries and if it means uninviting your MIL to certain events, then do it until she behaves properly. 

Even though my story differs from yours, I'm in the process of eliminating certain family members from my life or we're nonattendance or certain family members are uninvited because being "nice" doesn't work anymore. 

Often times you can't fix stupid so you have to take more Draconian measures in order to protect yourself and your child.  If not protection, you need to control the atmosphere or environment by making it more pleasant otherwise you simply must endure and tolerate unacceptable conditions. 

Most of the time, people are not willing to change for you.  Therefore, you're the one who has to make changes in order to have peace of mind. 

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Your husband and his mother have got this all wrong. Seeing a grandchild and being a guest in your home is a privilege, not a right.

Tell your passive aggressive husband to deal with his mother.

Get an security system for the home with video surveillance and change the locks since your undermining husband won't do it.

Delete and block her from all your social media and messaging apps. Let her follow his social media and contact him on his phone.

You have absolutely no obligation to deal with her. You have an obligation to protect yourself, your sanity and your child . 

You need to turn off the gaslighting that your husband's mother has any "rights" at all. She has zero rights. She is a guest, that's it. If she abuses that invitation, don't invite her to your house.

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I have to believe she is this way in other areas of her life.  It might stand to reason that people will take that into consideration when she complains about how unfair you are.  Besides, who cares what others think.  She clearly doesn't care what you think.

I am a MIL and I know my place.  It doesn't matter the relationship, showing up unannounced, taking over, disregarding direct requests in someone elses home is rude in any situation.

Get control over this now. I know you've spoken up, but you need to do it in a way she is able to hear.  It will likely get more difficult before it gets better.  My guess is she dearly wants a relationship with her granddaughter.  If she wants to see her, it's on your terms.  Period.

Though I support you being firm and speaking up, your husband needs to be equally involved.

Edited by reinventmyself
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23 hours ago, liz22 said:

Everything from her calling my pregnancy “crap” (I think she is very jealous of baby and could go Lifetime Movie Network on the baby) to letting her kids get molested as kids and never turning in the family member (she is still friends with the family member like nothing happened).

...I have no much to say...but you are the momma, and your kids, your rules.  Always expect her to be a sh**ty, so I would keep your visits to a minimum, and expect the worst.  If you want pics, do them earlier.  Have her start times later, so you have guests there to deflect and handle her.  If your husband was subject to the abuse, he may not know how to say "no" to her.

I haven't communicated with my MIL since 2011 and she has never met her grandkids...and hubs and I won't let her meet them.  I don't blame you for being nervous around her.  I had read and experienced too many things when it comes to a jealous MIL.

Sorry about the smash pics, but in reality, all the what comes next photos, you always treasure.  So many moments of pride to come.   Make sure she doesn't have a key, and list her name as people for school, camp, etc, is NOT able to pick them up.  There is a special place I have for people who enable abusers and do not listen and stick up and defend their kids...it's the dumpster.  Good luck!

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On 6/19/2022 at 11:43 PM, liz22 said:

The adventures of the “I’m the boss” Mother in law continues.  Our baby just turned 1.  After several situations with my MIL when baby was first born, we have kept our distance from her and had only occasional visits.  An example of those situation is her showing up and walking into our house when the baby was a few weeks old.  My husband was outside and had told her “no”to coming in because I wasn’t expecting company, but she said “she is the grandma and can come in” and walked right in.  I was half naked.  She still stayed an hour while I was trying to stay covered on the couch. 
 

After that my husband said “don’t do that again” and told her that was not ok.  That turn into her telling everyone “ that we “don’t allow her over” and “ I never see my grand baby”.  This is not true.  I still allow her over if she asks with a day set up and it’s maybe once a month.  
 

She tells family that she never gets to come over and then they come to us saying “she said she is not allowed over so maybe you can work in your relationship”.  Basically, we are the bad guys but her behavior has dictated our boundaries.  She leaves that part out to family and friends.

This weekend we invited her over for our daughter first birthday (hoping for the best).  Immediately when she got there she pissed me off.  I had my daughter seated in her high chair to take pictures with her decorations.  My MIL arrives at the party and while I’m taking pictures, she came right over and starts removing my daughter from the high chair.  I say 2x, “ can you leave her in there, I am taking pictures”.  She then says “no, your going to take this picture” ( it is my MIL now holding my daughter out of the high chair).  MIL then takes her and starts walking around and I never get the picture.  Even when I try to get a picture of her eating her smash cake, I can’t get one without my MIL in it because my MIL pulls up a chair right next to her high chair for the cake smashing.  My MIL put her fingers in the cake too and tasted it during the cake smash.  
 

How do I handle this lady.  If we pull back again because of her behavior, she will paint us as the bad guy to everyone.  I certainly don’t think she is going to change. 

 

 

Oh man... your situation sounds exactly like what I went through 12 years ago with our oldest child!  

It never got better just FYI 🙂 and it *did* affect the way other family members treated us to the point where we couldn't really go to their events, their collective behavior was so awful.

Eventually... after many years and a few estrangements from his family, my husband has kind of just let them go.

We are the bad guys.  And we no longer care 😉.

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