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Dear God please help me with my IL's...

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I don't know what to do about my IL's. They disregard every single thing I do as a parent. For instance...

I nursed my son. My FIL would make rude comments all the time pretending as though he was the baby. He would say things like, "When I get off this titty, I'm..." (this would aways be different. I was extremely offended by it, but he isn't my parent, and as a matter of fact he isn't my husbands real father either, but I try and leave those discussions up to my husband and his family. Everyone just laughs at his rude and degrading comments. I don't find them amusing.

FIL also thinks car seats are stupid. He thinks I am nuts because it is so important to me that a car seat is properly installed and that my son is fastened in just right. He thinks it is a conspiracy that people have to go out and BUY car seats, that all cars should come with them "built in".

He feeds all the infant grandchildren anything he is eating. Loves to give them pickes, and icing, and anything he can put in their mouth. I have been in SO many fights with everyone in the family over this, but he has made clear he doesn't intend to change. I told him it wouldn't be happening with my next child, and he said in that baby voice, "Oh we will, when you aren't looking."

MIL is a whole other story. She doesn't say anything about me nursing my children, so I guess that is a plus, but she is on the same page as FIL about giving the babies a ton of junk. There have been MANY times my son has come home from a day at Gramma's with severe diarrhea to the point it lasts a couple of days and leaves scabs on his rear. She has been told time, and time, and time, and time, (I could go on here) again to please be easy on the sugar with him, but she just can't seem to understand, or listen. I know it makes her mad that we have to tell her, because after all, "She raised 2 boys and they turned out just fine." but I told her that he must have inherited my bowel and not his fathers. She could buy 100% juice, but would prefer give him kool-aid or soda even though we have discussed this time and time again. You would think it would be easier to just LISTEN and not get griped at about it when he is sick. I just don't think she realizes how sick he gets because she passes him off for us to deal with before she shows any signs of getting diarrhea. Did I mention that I never wanted my child having all kinds of junk and sugar?

The woman doesn't know how to install or put a baby in a carseat. Just a couple of months ago, she drove my 6 week old nephew to church and back without strapping him in his carseat. I was FURIOUS about this, and decided she would be taking my son ANYWHERE until she learned how to buckle a kid in. She claimed she couldn't get it buckled and didn't understand, but that was no excuse in my book. She could have asked for help from someone at church, but no. She is Mrs. Invincible and just that one time there was no way that anything would happen.

Not to mention she will let all the grandkids go HOURS without diaper changes, but she makes sure she changes them right before mom and dad get there.

I know they "love" my son, but they don't respect my and my husbands decisions and I am growing more and more annoyed with them. I don't trust my son there, and I WILL NOT trust this baby there because I know they sabotage every parenting idea I have for my children. They are toxic.

They are all we have because my parents are disabled and unable to help out in any way shape or form. I don't have any close friends I can rely on, and neither does DH.

Anyway this is just a rant. Hopefully I can come up with a solution between now and when the baby is born because I am sure I will need a bit of help. Truth is I need support, but I would rather do it alone, than have my beliefs smashed all the time.
post #2 of 17
I'd stop leaving them there, period. Go over to "Finding Your Tribe," meet some like-minded mamas in your area, and arrange to swap baby sitting with a few moms you meet. Get out, go to the park, story time at the library, etc and find others you can trust your kids with. If any neighbors have teen or preteen girls who are responsible, let them "help" you til you're comfortable leaving your kids with them. Young girls won't have any preconceived ideas about how to parent, and won't give your kids junk if you tell them not to.

Bottom line, I wouldn't give your ILs the time of day, given what you've written here, nevermind time alone with the kids.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Finding people in my area is easier said than done. I live in a very rural area, and I can't afford to drive a half an hour one way for a decent baby sitter, if I should be able to meet one.

I really appreciate your advice though. I need to get out there.
post #4 of 17
are they providing childcare while you work or other essential babysitting, or are they babysitting for non-essential stuff?

if they are your childcare while you work, and you don't think you could afford someone else, maybe you qualify for assistance. if it's just so you can have a babysitter, i would stop. i know it sucks to never or rarely have a sitter (because that's how it has been for me, for the past 4.5 years!) but the only solution to your problem with your in-laws is to stop leaving your son with them.

do you have any friends who are moms? maybe you can trade babysitting with someone. i'm sure you know what you're talking about when you say it's easier said than done, but that doesn't mean it's impossible. you must have some neighbors within a 20-30 minute drive. are they all worse potential babysitters than your in-laws?
post #5 of 17
Are they necessary child care? If not then I wouldn't allow them to be unsupervised w/your children. If they are, try to find something else.

It would be really simple in my house, people who act like that are not people I want to spend time with. My ILs don't babysit for this very reason. I don't trust their judgement when it comes to my kids. We don't even go to their house after an incident where FIL got drunk and said some rude things to me.

It sucks but they keep treating you like crap and disregarding your wishes bc you let them (not trying to blame/shame you, I know it can be a frustrating dynamic). Find a way to take your power back (it doesn't have to be w/a bunch of drama) and it will stop. Luckily, my dh is on board w/me, if yours isn't then it will be an uphill battle. IMO, help w/child care is not worth it if the price is a lifetime of the treatment you have been getting.
post #6 of 17
You can't change people, you can only change your own situation. The grandparents have made it clear that they don't hear you (or don't care). So it's in your best interest to not leave them alone with your child or stop expecting the grandparents to listen to your wishes. It will drive you crazy if you expect them to change.
post #7 of 17
If it helps to know, my in-laws (Well, my SMIL and FIL. My MIL is very sweet.) are exactly like yours. My son is almost 7 and they STILL challenge every. single. thing. we say as parents. At the last Thanksgiving get together, I told ds no more candy in front of them. When they thought I wasn't looking they slipped him some and said "Don't tell Mom." He turned around and handed it to me. We don't do secrets in that way and they are beginning to lose his respect. (I say nothing judgemental about them. He's smart enough to begin to see how atrocious they behave.)

They have never watched him without hubby and I around. EVER. By my choice.

The thing is, you canNOT reason with people like this. Don't ask them, don't "encourage" them, don't drop hints, don't try to explain or justify what you are doing. They DO. NOT. CARE.

Instead, I take the stance of, this is what we are doing...and watch him like a hawk. Does it tick them off? You bet. Does it hinder them seeing him more? You bet...by their choice. Because they know ALL they have to do is show us a little respect and follow our wishes. Which aren't all that stringent, to be honest. (It's pretty easy with us. Buckle him in properly EVERY time, don't give him candy/soda/ice cream more than once per trip. They don't drink water-only soda and have given SILs kids candy and ice cream as a MEAL many times. Oh and we ask that they not try to teach our son to keep secrets from us.) We have told them this point blank and they (verbally) refused. They will do things their way whether we like it or not, they say. Hence, the never watching my child.

The bottom line is, after nearly 7 years, they still REFUSE. They simply aren't going to change. Don't worry about how they feel as they obviously aren't offering you that courtesy. Adopt a "this is the way it is" standpoint, don't ever let them watch him and watch him like a hawk and be ready to physically swoop him away if they are doing something inappropriate.
post #8 of 17
Honestly, I wouldn't leave him there until they come around a bit more. Maybe if they "miss" him... they'll play by your rules.
post #9 of 17
I encourage you to go back and read what you have written. These are people who put your child's life in danger (with the carseat incident), and who think nothing of compromising your child's health and welfare (SORES on his bottom from food they continue to give him against your wishes?).

Your father-in-law's comments border on (well, he's crossed the border in my opinion) sexual harassment (referring to your breasts as TITTIES?)....

I mean, really. This is not a rant so much as a cry for help and validation of what you already know:

These people cannot be trusted with your child or future children.

They have blatantly TOLD you this to your face ("we will do it when you're not looking")!!

I would not expose my child, and just as importantly, myself, to this for another moment. If your husband won't stand up for you, YOU stand up for you, and your child. I see this a lot. Partners will say, they are his parents, he should say something. Should or shouldn't, if someone is treating you in a manner which is disrespectful, you need to speak up and be your own advocate.

I send you strength and prayers mama.
post #10 of 17
I agree with the pps. If you are leaving the child there because of free childcare, you get what you pay for. They aren't going to change.

If I were you, I'd find a different childcare arrangement and then I'd set some serious boundaries.
post #11 of 17
I just wanted to chime in with the pp's. I know how hard it is. My MIL lives with us, so it was very tempting ot have her sit for the baby. But since we don't get along, and I can't trust her worth a damn, we hired a v.expensive baby sitter.

When you let them care for your kiddos, it also sends them a message that you are ok with what is going on. A firm, this is why you aren't allowed to babysit the kids, might go along way to changing their behavior-- even if it doesn't change their mind.
post #12 of 17
In the event that you do have to leave your ds there again, could you take him to the ER when the diarrhea starts and get MIL to pay for it?
post #13 of 17
Wow, that is awful. Since FIL seems to be acting like a bully at best, and downright dangerous at worst, I am pretty sure I would respond the way I would respond to a bully. Zero tolerance. I would let him know that I wasn't going to change either, and since they are my kids I "win". I get to choose, and if he doesn't like it he doesn't get to see you. Period. I would tell him I don't care what his opinion is on my parenting style, but he has to follow it. If he doesn't, I wouldn't let the kids visit without you. Some of that I can deal with even though it is disrespectful, but some of it is dangerous for your child, and doesn't show respect to you as a person and a parent, and that is not OK in any way shape or form. Usually it helps to point out to someone like this what they would feel like in the other persons shoes. Ask him how he would feel when his kids were young if someone went against what he wanted as a parent. Also I would directly confront him on the titties thing. "Wow, I had no idea you had so little respect for women and so little understanding of the health benefits of breast feeding." I think this will help shut him up. I know it isn't pleasant to be confrontational, but he isn't respecting you or your child, so he should hear about it.

My FIL and BIL can really say things to me that hurt me, I would get upset and tell DH (who would try to defend me, but as the youngest they don't listen to him much either), so I started commenting back. Never mean, but if they say something condescending to me or about the kids I will say "well, you don't have nice things to say about me/my parenting, so I'm not surprised by your opinion." It seems to be working, and at the very least it is making me feel better. . I'm actually enjoying it because his brother is honestly, and sweetly trying to change, and his dad, well I really like them both, but I hope to make a change there as well. It's worth it to have a good relationship to me as well, but you have to stand up for yourselves. I'm not sure my inlaws agreed with my parenting stuff, especially when I insisted on using my carseat in Mexico, but they respected it!
post #14 of 17
Why on earth would you let them anywhere near your DC unsupervised? None of this is ok in my book. My parents get irritated over any instructions I give them - keep in mind - they only babysit when I am still home (albeit in another room for work, etc.) I get the "we raised kids" and I respond with "not this one." You either sign up for the program or you don't play, sorry.

I think your solution is simple. Don't let them unsupervised around your kid.
post #15 of 17
Originally Posted by New_Natural_Mom View Post
Why on earth would you let them anywhere near your DC unsupervised? None of this is ok in my book. My parents get irritated over any instructions I give them - keep in mind - they only babysit when I am still home (albeit in another room for work, etc.) I get the "we raised kids" and I respond with "not this one." You either sign up for the program or you don't play, sorry.

I think your solution is simple. Don't let them unsupervised around your kid.
This 100%.
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
OP here!

First off I want to say thank you to all of you who responded. I lost internet access for a couple of weeks so this is my first time really being able to read through all the suggestions, and they are really empowering!

I noticed a few people asking if they were my only means of childcare. I wanted to answer you by saying it is complicated with a capital C! My mother is a hoarder, and my father is a stroke victim, so if I need them to watch DS I have to call and make appointments. Most of the time when I call, there is no answer, my mom sleeps probably 18-20 hours a day and dad doesn't talk much. I don't have any friends, close relatives, neighbors I trust. The IL's are literally all I have if something comes up, but we haven't had too many emergencies so far.

BUT..... most of the time when MIL takes DS, it is on her own terms. 2 Thursday's ago she called about a dozen times to make plans to come over and see us. It was back and forth, she didn't know whether she wanted to come, or whether she could come on my terms. (I needed her to come sooner than later because my son needed his nap and he had gotten up about 1.5 hours early that day) I NEVER EVER ask her to watch him for me.

Well as soon as I she got here, my son thought he was going with Gramma. He went in and got his shoes and sock and was asking her to go Bye-Bye. I made it clear he wouldn't be going with her because he NEEDED his nap and I knew she probably wouldn't make him take one. She kept on and on about how it was breaking her heart that he wanted to go with her ...blah..blah..blah. I knew he really wanted to go and hadn't been over in quite a few weeks so I finally agreed AS LONG AS SHE MADE SURE HE HAD A NAP!

You guessed it, she sent him home without a nap at 5 that evening and we happened to have somewhere to go. I knew he would be cranky and I knew DH wouldn't be happy, but when he picked him up he didn't mention anything to her. Instead, he took his frustrations out on me and my son...ERR. Yeah, we fought over it and I think I now have DH on board with me about it, but only time will tell. DH is a mama's boy after all.

Last Friday we went out for a couple of hours and for some reason (she asked us) I said yes to her watching him again. I made it very clear to DH that he tell her that DS hadn't been in a diaper for 3 days and had NO accidents and she would have to continue with the potty training regimen. Also no candy unless he uses the potty, because we found he will go for candy as a reward, but not if he is being fed it all day for no reason at all.

You guessed it again, they fed him candy the entire time and he didn't use the potty 1 time in 3-4 hours. No accidents thank God, but it still burns me up.

I guess it just hurts that I have noone I can turn to with my children. I don't have a trustworthy family member to whom I can trust my kiddos when I need a break or I am sick.

I feel and am made to feel guilty when I don't allow my son to go over to their home, but they won't come to our home. I know my son wants to see his Gramma and Popaw so it is hard to deny him that special time with them.

You all are right though, they don't respect me and it is so toxic to me and my relationship to DH because I DO expect him to say something to them when they do wrong. My parents would never get away with treating me that way and they wouldn't get away with handling my child(ren) that way.

I think I am going to reread all of these suggestions again. They made me feel so good!
post #17 of 17
I'm sorry, but no way! I have some boundry issues with my inlaws but NOTHING this bad! My inlaws are my only trusted source of childcare as well. I have in the past refused to take himthere, and KNOW how hard that was. Luckily the IL's learned that we weren't going to be pushed around and things have been much better. Honestly OP, you can't trust your IL's... they do things that are both deliberately against your wishes and NOT in the best interests of your child.
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