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Bluesdetoi

Argument and No Contact with MIL

19 posts in this topic

Hi ladies,

I haven’t posted in a while. My daughter was born in August and we’re getting used to being a family and all the new changes. Like predicted, my MIL has been amping up her annoying behavior and we are now not speaking.

Since my daughter was born she has refused to take directives from me and my husband, she always knows better and doesn’t listen. She tried to lecture me about breastfeeding. She overstimulates DD and makes her cry, she doesn’t support her when she holds her, she gives unsolicited advice, she doesnt call DD by her given name cause she doesnt like it, she brings us crap that we don’t want, she competes with my mother on facebook etc. 

I have tried to be the bigger person, appreciate that she is excited and just taken deep breaths with all this behaviour. One thing that is a HARD boundary for us is my daughter will not be taken to MIL’s house. She and FIL are chain smokers and we refuse to expose our child to this. My husband has explained this to her several times when she has asked before our daughter was born, and several times since.

A month ago MIL, FIL, BIL and GMIL all came for a visit to see the baby. Everyone was being friendly and we were being generous with the baby so everyone can hold her. They’re all smokers and all have been instructed not to smoke 30 minutes before they come if they want to hold the baby and to wash their hands when they do. My MIL then decides to ask me, (not my husband), when baby will come to their house. I tell her never because they smoke indoors and the smoke clings to furniture, walls and their clothes, but they are welcome over whenever they want as long as they call in advance and make sure we are free.

She then gets very riled up and says how awful she feels and how embarrassed she is that when her friends ask her if her GD has been around she can’t tell them yes. (Major eyeroll, who cares that she cant play GM of the year.) She feels like they can’t bond and her GD doesn’t know her. (She doesn’t even know her own hands, yall, much less her GM.) She says she insists we bring her there soon.

I ask if she cares about her GD’s health at all, and she gets very defensive saying that smoke is not dangerous in those amounts and how my DH and I were raised among smokers and look at how healthy we are and we need to stop putting our baby in bubble wrap. This is when I got ******. She continues to undermine all our decisions, but to speak about something that is so harmful in such a nonchalant way and to make it seem as if WE are the bad guys robbing poor grandma of something when she is choosing cigarettes over her GD, well that’s just plain insane. 

I told her that SIDS is a real thing and it’s directly linked to newborns being near smoke, that I’m sick and tired of her questioning all our decisions and in the future she doesn’t need to cross-ask about anything if she has already asked my husband because we make decisions together as our daughter’s parents. I admit that I went off a little more than intended, but months of trying to keep the peace had been eating at me and I blew up.

My MIL being the martyr she is starts crying saying how she doesn’t feel welcome in our home (lies), and we make her feel like she smells (you do!). She starts gathering her stuff and leaves in a huff with everyone else still there baffled. She slammed the door upon leaving.

A few weeks passed, and my DH reached out to her to have a talk with her and explain if she doesn’t respect us and our decisions, she will not be seeing our daughter. I’ve told him I am taking some time because she stresses me out, but they are still welcome in our home when they want to see our DD. I will just make myself scarce for an hour or two and they can hang out. When my husband explained this to her, she rejected it completely. She said she can’t come to my home without me being there, so she will not come visit unless I am there. This also means unfortunately for her, that she will not see her GD. I think that’s completely insane. I want them to know each other. She may be a shitty MIL, but she can still be a good GM. 

I feel like she is trying to emotionally blackmail me to be present by saying she won’t see our daughter unless I am there, when it has been made clear to her that I need a break from her. I don’t want to budge, but instead of getting the break I need, this feels exhausting and like everything depends on me. 

Please tell me what you would do in my situation ladies. I feel guilty because she and FIL are not seeing DD, but I also feel like it’s her goal to make me feel this way. 

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Good grief. Yep, there is no reason why a baby (or anyone else, really) needs to visit in a certain location. No need I can wrap my head around currently. Also, there is absolutely no reason you have to be around for your DH to visit his mother with the baby, in your home. MILs wrong on so many levels.

I'd hold my ground and not back down, she could slam all the doors she wanted, I'd still not give a flying frog.

ETA: I am an OLD lady. Old ladies do NOT ask other old ladies if their GC, born in August, has been to their home yet. Nope, just not a normal topic of conversation. Old ladies ask other old ladies if the baby is sweet, what she weighed, if she's a good baby. The end.

Edited by JanelleK
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12 minutes ago, JanelleK said:

Good grief. Yep, there is no reason why a baby (or anyone else, really) needs to visit in a certain location. No need I can wrap my head around currently. Also, there is absolutely no reason you have to be around for your DH to visit his mother with the baby, in your home. MILs wrong on so many levels.

I'd hold my ground and not back down, she could slam all the doors she wanted, I'd still not give a flying frog.

ETA: I am an OLD lady. Old ladies do NOT ask other old ladies if their GC, born in August, has been to their home yet. Nope, just not a normal topic of conversation. Old ladies ask other old ladies if the baby is sweet, what she weighed, if she's a good baby. The end.

What she said.

P.S. Your MIL is a bigger baby than your baby.  Maybe offer her a pacifier the next time you do see her. 

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People ask grandmother's if they have seen their grandchild but they don't usually ask where you see them, at least in my experience. The second hand smoke, chemicals on clothes would be a hard boundary for me too. I wouldn't discuss it ever again, MIL knows your position. She has straight from her DS and you. At this point I would just stay on a break from her until she reaches out to her son and he is satisfied she will behave better around his family. If FIL is willing to follow your rules and visit without MIL, I wouldn't stop him from coming. That would be up to FIL and MIL to work out between themselves and none of your business whatever they decide. 

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@Bluesdetoi - In and out today. Leaving again now, but will be back later. For now, just want to stop to say congratulations on your new baby! :give_rose::give_rose::give_rose:

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First, congrats on the new baby!

Second, you're not being at all unreasonable. Your MIL has decided that getting her way is her HTDO (Hill To Die On). That's her choice. That doesn't make it your problem.

What's your dh saying in this?

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Definitely congrats on the new bundle. As for that other grown baby you are dealing with, ugh....In your defense of not wanting DD around 2nd hand smoke, YAY for you for taking a stand. The 2nd smoke we grew up around was actually far less toxic than what's in tobacco products today. 

You are getting your break from her...since she won't come around at all. When you feel sufficient restored, let DH know. He obviously is doing all he can to enforce your boundaries. You can always keep yourself busy in another part of the house when she visits. 

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45 minutes ago, missmm said:

People ask grandmother's if they have seen their grandchild but they don't usually ask where you see them, at least in my experience. The second hand smoke, chemicals on clothes would be a hard boundary for me too. I wouldn't discuss it ever again, MIL knows your position. She has straight from her DS and you. At this point I would just stay on a break from her until she reaches out to her son and he is satisfied she will behave better around his family. If FIL is willing to follow your rules and visit without MIL, I wouldn't stop him from coming. That would be up to FIL and MIL to work out between themselves and none of your business whatever they decide. 

FIL always follows the rules, he is very easy going and has been pleasant with the baby. I don’t think he will visit by himself, though he is welcome, as a show of support for his wife. FIL has expressed to my husband that he misses me and the baby and he thinks it’s an unfortunate situation.

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2 hours ago, Bluesdetoi said:

A few weeks passed, and my DH reached out to her to have a talk with her and explain if she doesn’t respect us and our decisions, she will not be seeing our daughter. I’ve told him I am taking some time because she stresses me out, but they are still welcome in our home when they want to see our DD. I will just make myself scarce for an hour or two and they can hang out. When my husband explained this to her, she rejected it completely. She said she can’t come to my home without me being there, so she will not come visit unless I am there. This also means unfortunately for her, that she will not see her GD. I think that’s completely insane. I want them to know each other. She may be a shitty MIL, but she can still be a good GM. 

That is hilarious in a pathetic sort of way. The reply to the red above is, "Well, you know what our decision is for now so it's your loss should you choose to stay away." Do NOT let her manipulate you on this or it will never end.

ETA: If you and DH are on the same page and she knows this, or even to reinforce this, don't answer any more of her questions. Each time she confronts you, direct her to DH. She should get the message pretty quick that he speaks for the both of you and that you are in unity in your decision making.

Edited by Cupcake55
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36 minutes ago, Cupcake55 said:

 

ETA: If you and DH are on the same page and she knows this, or even to reinforce this, don't answer any more of her questions. Each time she confronts you, direct her to DH. She should get the message pretty quick that he speaks for the both of you and that you are in unity in your decision making.

And as missmm suggested, there's no need for explaining the same position over and over, IMO. Once should be enough. Maybe twice if MIL claims she "forgot" or doesn't "understand," or whatever. But after that, I think, "We've been over this before" or "You know the answer to that," or something of that nature is all that's needed. Granted, what DH says is up to him.

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Anyhow,  as Imp indicates, it seems MIL cares more about having things her way/forcing you to be present at her visits than she does about seeing the baby. That's her choice. It's kind of you to care whether your ILs and baby gets to see each other. But please try to let go of any guilt you feel. She's creating this situation, not you.

Besides, would it really be beneficial for baby to be around a GM who won't follow your rules, etc? Yes, she could turn out to be "a good GM," but, IMO, not if she undermines you and DH.

And BTW, welcome back! :)

ETA: About this...

I feel like she is trying to emotionally blackmail me to be present by saying she won’t see our daughter unless I am there, when it has been made clear to her that I need a break from her.

TBF, she might simply be offended by the idea that you "need a break from her" (I completely understand why you do) and is just doing what she sees as "fighting back." Still, yes, it seems like a kind of "emotional blackmail." But it can only work if you hold onto the notion that she and your DD "must" spend time together. If you consider that she might not be such a good influence for DD, you may be able to let go of that idea.

Edited by RoseRed135

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As a new mother you really should not be dealing with this drama and yes she is trying to blackmail you. It seems you and your husband are on the same page and need to stand firm. Please don't feel guilty, your mil is being rude and disrespectful. 

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I dont have a hang of the quote button on mobile so I’ll just reply to all messages at once instead of individually.

First, thanks for all the well wishes! Being a mom is such a joy and a thrill, but it’s also the most tired I have ever been. Man, who knew babies were that demanding? :D

To those asking about my husband’s position on it, he’s totally supportive and on my page. He knows his mother is manipulative and pushy. After talking to her the last time, he’s told her that he doesn’t want arguments and to have to pick sides, but if he is put in a position to choose, his wife and baby are his choice. I also don’t want to put him in that position so I will never demand any kind of cut-off from his parents. 

Also I absolutely know logically that it’s not my job to try and facilitate a relationship between DD and MIL, but I always try to be the bigger person in hopes she will calm down when she realizes this is not a power struggle but a boundary that isn’t specifically aimed at her, but at smokers who smoke indoors. I, as much as anyone else, want a decent in-law relationship with no drama. I will have to accept that I have offered they come see her when they want, and any choice not to is on them (her). 

 

 

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First congrats Mom, such an amazing time to enjoy! 

Your MIL is being 100% totally unreasonable... and personally I think she is testing her limits... Stand firm!! 

In the back of their minds...Most smokers totally know its not a health concious choice, whether she wants to admit that or not... and there is probably some guilt mixed in that she cannot quit smoking for the sake of her grandchild... not that any of that justifies her actions... she should never even suggest that a baby be in a smoking household - I don't care how long of the time period.  And honestly she should recogize what a good mother you are.

I was a smoker up to the very second I found out I was preggers, and honestly wished that I had never smoked but at that time we also thought that a child was not in the cards for us... anyhow from that moment on... never again.  I quit smoking instantly throwing the pack out as soon as I went back to the car. Not too long after my DH followed. 

I am sure there will be time of over protectiveness - I think all new mother are guilt of that to an extent - but this isn't that.  Of all the things for MIL to push for I just find this one laughable.  

Best of luck! 

 

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Congratulations on your new baby.  Best wishes.  So MIL is embarrassed in front of her friends, but not embarrassed enough to quit smoking.  IMHO you are being kind with the 30 minute rule for smoking.  If these people are regular smokers it is clinging to their clothing, hair, etc. and probably coming out of their pores (I am an ex-smoker and you all know what fanatics we are - lol).  I would have a problem with her putting baby up to her shoulder and baby sucking in the chemicals that are on her clothing.  

Also, the list of "things" she does not do, like holding baby correctly and not calling baby by the correct name are just a significant as the smoking.  I just cannot have constant turmoil with.ever.encounter.with.MIL.  

Also, on a previous thread not being around when MIL is visiting grandchildren was discussed.  I was of the opinion of not being there, but I have since changed my mind.  This is your baby, you have a right and obligation to be there, especially because she sounds a little dangerous to baby or just acting stoopid.  I would be there, and call her out each and every time.  MIL, that is not baby's name, please don't use it again.  MIL, please hold and support baby correctly.  MIL, you have asked and I have answered that question(s) more than once, please don't ask again.  Every.single.time.  It might just get down to - Listen, MIL, I am putting up with you because you are my husbands mother, but if you keep it up, there will be consequences.  and PS MIL, your threat of staying away is not the threat you seem to think is it.  

If you give an inch she will take mile.  Don't play nice, she isn't.  Put her in her place sooner rather than later.  

 

 

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I agree with Freegirl, excellent advice.  

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21 hours ago, JanelleK said:

ETA: I am an OLD lady. Old ladies do NOT ask other old ladies if their GC, born in August, has been to their home yet. Nope, just not a normal topic of conversation. Old ladies ask other old ladies if the baby is sweet, what she weighed, if she's a good baby. The end.

THIS!!!  I'm always amazed at the number of people that use 'other people' to make their case for them.  If I'm not changing my mind because someone that I know and care about is asking, then what exactly is going to change my mind when random, unknown people are invoked? Is this supposed to be some kind of peer pressure?  I don't understand why people feel this will change the tide in their direction!

Here is the bottom line. YOU offered her a way to spend time with YOUR child. In spite of your current problems with her, you know that she wants to spend time with her grandchild and you are providing her with a way to do that. You also need to preserve your own sanity and as such put in a requirement that DH handle these visits and that you are absent.  If she chooses not to take that opportunity because she requires that you attend as well...SHE is making the choice not to see her grandchild. You aren't forcing her or preventing her from seeing the baby. She doesn't like the requirements so she is trying to make requirements of her own. If she chooses to require that you be there, and the only way she is allowed to see the baby is if you are not there, she's making her choice. 

 

As far as the smoking exposure....I'm not kind about this. As a child of the 70s who was raised by smokers (mom quit, dad never did, but mom required him to smoke outside or down in his externally vented man cave from then on) I have asthma to this day.  My siblings all have health issues related to smoke exposure.  One of the biggest reasons that mom and dad created the externally vented man cave was because we had decided to have children. They were very careful about exposing the grands because they knew by then what exposing us had done to our health.  This is a deal breaker period. 

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You are right, it is her goal to make you feel this way. But it's emotional blackmail, and don't give in to it. You've been trying to be accommodating to her while keeping your boundaries, but it's not enough. If you give in now, it reinforces that guilt trips work, and she'll just crank it up next time. 

My MIL also operates using guilt trips, and I see a lot of what happened early on with my kids in your post. I wish I could tell you it got better, but honestly in some ways it's gotten worse and I'm on an indefinite TO from her right now (my oldest is now 6).  I finally hit a breaking point when she was guilt tripping me via DH for not wanting to be around her because of the way she acted when my mom died. It was eye opening that even in that situation, I couldn't just catch a break from her, so really, there is no circumstances where I will. 

It's also very frustrating when you're offering a compromise, and they refuse to budge on it. Their choice, but you know you tried. There were some years we invited MIL for Christmas, she said no, and then complained about us excluding her from Christmas. We just couldn't win no matter what. You're not dealing with a rational logical person, and so you're not going to get a rational logical response.  

You are kinder than me, there was no way I would agree to anyone visiting my baby without me present. DH and I have that agreement now, but my kids are a little bit older, and very capable of voicing their choices and opinions. I don't worry so much any more about her getting in their faces or trying to force them to do things because they just won't do it. We talk a lot about respecting other people's choices regarding their own bodies/possessions and that people are responsible for handling their own feelings. 

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I have to say, I would rescind the offer of you being gone so she can visit. Imagine what it would be like if she announced she was coming Christmas day, and expected you to be gone? I just see a whole lot of issues w/that.

Just take a break until you feel able to deal w/her again. She's already refused to take you up on your offer, so if she turns around and decides that it is good enough, she can be told that it's no longer available.

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