The Mother-in-Law

The Mother-in-Law

I’ve got another guest post today – this time from the lovely Lucinda over at Teacher 2 Mummy. Sometimes there are just things you don’t want to say on your own blog…

This post is about ‘mother in law woes’, sometimes you just need to get something off your chest! I have wanted to write this post for a long time but it’s not appropriate for my blog (for obvious reasons). Firstly though, thank you to Sarah for having me as a guest poster on Toby Goes Bananas!

Before I get into any moaning I think it’s best to start with the good stuff…
My OH’s mum is fab with Eliot, she adores him and he loves being in her company. She looks after him two full days a week while we are at work and also does a bit of tidying when he’s napping. She also helps out by taking him out for a walk if things need to be done at home. For these reasons and more I’m very grateful for her but there are several things that just drive me potty!

I wonder is it me just being…well me? Or do many of you feel a similar way with your MIL? I find that there a certain things she may do with Eliot that bother me immensely, however if it’s my mum she would never do them or they bother me less (or not at all). Speaking to one of my best friends she said she feels the same!

I’ll share a few of the things that I’m taking about (some I’m sure will infuriate you too).

1. The day after Eliot was born I was in hospital with him when he began choking on some fluid that he’d brought up. After pressing the emergency button, a midwife simply turned him over (facing the floor) and patted his back. She explained it was fluid that hadn’t been expelled during birth and it could happen again. Now I knew what to do I wasn’t worried.
It did happen again, when my OH and his mum were there. So I did just as the midwife had shown/explained. Except my MIL thought she knew better and literally snatched him off me. It happened to be during a nappy change and just at this point the meconium made it’s appearance. All over my MIL, the floor, the bed. Eliot began to scream as he was also covered in his own…mess. I was fuming!

2. A health visitor was on the ward and she popped over to help us clean the mess. My MIL then turned her and said ‘Can you show him how to hold a baby properly’ referring to my OH. I snapped at this point and said ‘he doesn’t need showing how to hold a baby’. Seriously?!

I really wish I’d said something after number 1. as it still bothers me now.

3. When the midwife who delivered Eliot was on a routine visit with a student midwife, my MIL also happened to be visiting. She asked them something about Milton sterilising fluid but basically not asking outright if it’s something we should be doing as we were obviously doing the wrong thing when sterilising his bottles (we use a microwave steriliser). Grrrrr!

4. Eliot has had a dummy from about 2 weeks. Now I know there are mixed views about dummies but a my MIL has quite a different one. She said in the early days that he looked ‘cute’ with his dummy. For her it seemed like just a reason to give him one. Obviously I don’t want him using one if he doesn’t ‘need’ it. So it thoroughly annoyed me when she would ask ‘where’s his dummy’ and give him it when he didn’t need one.

5. When we went to an antenatal class we were told by midwives to apply a thin layer of cream after nappy changing to still allow the skin to breathe. My MIL thinks she knows better and slathers cream on, even though I’ve repeatedly asked/told her not to. Once I was tidying Eliot’s room when she was changing his nappy and she deliberately stood in front of him so she could stop me seeing how much cream she put on. Arrrggh!

I’m not sure if she knows I can read her like a book!

6. The most recent thing has been taking him to a chemist to ask about his cheeks because they have been very red (due to teething & catching the sun). To me this totally undermines what we are doing as parents.

There are many more but these are ones that stand out for me.

What it boils down to is that she doesn’t listen to our wishes, she will pick him up when we wouldn’t, she will shove a dummy in just for the sake of it and she thinks she knows better. I know a lot of people say (some) grandparents are like that but I know that’s not true. One of my colleagues is a nan and said she follows her granddaughters routine to a tee. She said she wouldn’t go against her son and daughter in law’s wishes.

So what do you think? Would the above bother you as much as it bothers me?

Thanks again Lucinda for sharing your MIL troubles! My mum and my mother-in-law both live over 200 miles away so we don’t get to see them that often…and so they never really get chance to do anything that might annoy us! What do you think though? Do you just have to put up with the annoying stuff, especially if your mother-in-law (or any other relative) is looking after your child for you?

4 thoughts on “The Mother-in-Law

  1. Thankfully my MIL is amazing, her and FIL are pretty much the only family we have that would look after the kids. But they still have the things that niggle me – Giving the kids endless sweet treats, chocolate etc. Letting the kids stay up late when they sleep over – A 2 year old staying up late isn’t a novelty, it’s hard work, especially the next day! So I do feel your pain x

  2. Well, this has kind of made my day, not because I’d wish this kind of MIL on you but because mine also drives me NUTS. I also feel like she undermines me, does things differently, does things I REALLY don’t agree with. Despite saying she would “never want to upset us”. Ha! Plus M turns into a little monster when he’s around her and FIL as they spoil him rotten.

    The thing is though, I think all of these behaviours are almost inevitable. First, M is the only grandchild so he is utterly adored. Second, MIL in particular has always been in control – with three men in her household (and a husband who was often away) she is used to doing everything by herself, in her way. Accepting that she does not have control over how her precious grandson is brought up is really, really hard for her. Third, (and my own mum has alluded to this too) the fact that we are so keen on doing things in a different way to how she brought her own children up makes her feel insecure, as though everything they did in her day was wrong.

    Add a slightly anxious and overtired mum into the mix and you have a recipe for disaster, without anyone really trying intentionally to cause upset.

    So I try REALLY hard not to take her behaviour personally and to hold my tongue unless something is a big deal (compromising M’s safety or health). I try to remember that she is, in the scheme of things, a fantastic grandmother who M adores. I’m truly grateful for that, as there is someone on my side of the family who takes little interest in him. This is worse, believe me.

    Anyway, sorry for the essay but I do know how you feel. And it does nearly kill me to ignore her behaviour. x

  3. Thankfully my MIL lives 200+ miles away so we don’t see her that often, although when we do I feel like she’s picking at everything we do. I try not to retaliate but sometimes she’s just ridiculous. I don’t feel she has a great bond with our little boy either which really gets to me. Maybe if she spent less time criticising & more time getting to know her grandson I’d be happier xx

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