or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Talk Amongst Ourselves › Personal Growth › Need to Vent About My MIL
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Need to Vent About My MIL

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Okay, before I begin my little rant I will say that I love my mother in law. My husband's parents have been, for the most part, very helpful and supportive of our lives. We are greatful to have such caring parents in our lives (especially since my parents are not in the picture).

 

But right now, my mother in law is driving me crazy. And I know that everyone has different opinions about the issues below, but all that aside...

 

She tells me I can't paint my toenails because I might hurt the baby. My OB thinks it's fine to have an occassional pedicure as long as I use low-fume nail polish (which I already use) in a well ventilated area. My MIL thinks my OB is wrong.

 

She says I'm not allowed to wear high heels because I might trip and injure/kill the baby. I've never worn stillettos in my life, but I do wear kitten heeled mary janes from time to time. I move about as fast as a sloth these days, so I don't think I have a higher trip risk in low heels.

 

I am not allowed to have even a sip of wine. I know opinion varies on this topic, but my husband and I feel that a small (one to two ounce) glass of low-alcohol wine every once in a great while (certainly not more than a once or twice a month) is fine for our pregnancy. We've read medical studies and pro/con-ed both approaches. I didn't drink at all during the first trimester. She's convinced that we'll have a completely disabled child if I even smell alcohol, despite independent medical studies that show that light drinking during the last two trimesters can actually have beneficial effects, not harmful ones.

 

And then today she freaked out on us about a curio cabinet. I want to get my husband a curio cabinet that he wants for his miniature figures (he's an accomplished painter) from Ikea. As all curio cabinets do, it has glass sides. My mother in law thinks that if we have one in the house the child will knock on it, the glass will shatter and the child will be horribly maimed.

 

Come on now. First of all, even though this is my first child, I am not a complete idiot. I have common sense. Obviously I will teach my child not to knock on glass and that glass furniture is not a plaything. I grew up around glass and furniture and didn't kill myself. I learned appropriate indoor behavior (no running, no hitting breakable things, no climbing up bookcases/curio cabinets, etc.) and I plan to pass that same type of knowledge onto my child. I know accidents happen, but we can not bubble wrap our entire home or our child. We can do our best to make sure we have a reasonably safe environment and teach our child how to live in it.

 

Despite not having had a child before this one, I think I can do that. I just feel like every little thing I think or plan to do as a parent she thinks is completely wrong. That I don't know any better, and because of that I'm going to inadvertently get my child seriously hurt or killed. This lack of faith in my parenting ability - and I know that I don't know it all - I will have to learn a lot as I go, I know - really insults me and hurts my feelings.

 

Maybe I'm over reacting, but it upsets me, and I needed to vent about it. Thanks for listening to my little rant.

post #2 of 9

Everybody's got an opinion, don't they? Time to start practicing the time-honored art of changing the subject! The sooner you establish the idea that YOU are the parent, the better. It can be done kindly and considerately, but it needs to be done.

post #3 of 9
Jeesh, those are a lot of opinions! I can understand why it's bugging you. My MIL doesn't do that so much, but my Mom does and it drives me nutso! Lots of this stuff I wouldn't argue with her about I'd just give some non committal answer and go on my merry way. She doesn't have to see your painted toenails (just wear socks or closed toes shoes around her) and she doesn't need to see you drink a glass of wine... Plus you wouldn't enjoy it, if she was there while you were drinking it, so it'd be a waste. My DH is always reminding me that I'm under no obligation to share every little detail of my life with my Mom especially when it's something that I don't agree with her about. Same thing for you and your MIL you don't have to tell her everything, you can keep some stuff private. What she doesn't know about she can't comment on.
post #4 of 9

Best of luck on this one.  My MIL didn't get on my nerves at all until I had a child (my second, but my first with her son).  There has been a change in my sensitivity/irritability towards her like mad.  I have to really watch myself and ask whether her advice and needling is out of hand or if a friend did/said the same thing, would I be bothered?  I agree BIG TIME with the PP who said you don't need to share details that might cause a problem.  I have learned to say "Well, I will do some reading on that" when we disagree and then drop the subject.  Good luck and wonderful health to you for the rest of your pregnancy. 

post #5 of 9

She certainly likes to nit-pick doesn't she..

I wish I could say it will get better but TBH once the baby arrives I can imagine there is a good chance it will only get worse. Or she will be so in love with her grandbaby that she will give a break for a little bit...

post #6 of 9

What a beaaaaaatiful opportunity to put her in her place (grandma, not mom) and make her stay there. I think many here can agree that had this fact been established early on, things would have been easier after the baby was born. If your mil has this much to say now, I don't even want to think of what all she will have to say about your parenting.... Good luck. Do use your husband to draw the boundaries.... NOW!

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by LessTraveledBy View Post

What a beaaaaaatiful opportunity to put her in her place (grandma, not mom) and make her stay there. I think many here can agree that had this fact been established early on, things would have been easier after the baby was born. If your mil has this much to say now, I don't even want to think of what all she will have to say about your parenting.... Good luck. Do use your husband to draw the boundaries.... NOW!

 

 

Yup! Time to read up on boundaries, as well as Toxic In-Laws. I know you love her, so "toxic" might feel extreme. Go ahead and read it now anyway, so that you can head off the situation early on. If it's allowed to continue, the relationship will be rotten soon enough!

 

The onus is on HER to accept the phase of her life that she is in...A phase in which she MIGHT be lucky enough to be asked for advice now and then. If she has trouble with that, refer her to a compassionate therapist. Don't wait until your marriage is compromised and you hate the woman you now love. Good for you that you posted about this now!
 

 

post #8 of 9

Hugs, mama. Time to set some serious boundaries--do it now before your baby is born or things are going to get much harder. And make sure you and your DH are on the same page. Love her or not, she's way out of line.

 

I would just stop sharing so many little details and decisions with her, and when she comments inappropriately or gives you unsolicited advice, just change the subject.

 

"Goodness, I appreciate your concern but I'm pretty sure we can manage to pick appropriate furniture." [Change the subject immediately]

 

"Thanks, but we've made our decision." [Change the subject immediately]

 

"Oh, I hadn't heard that." [Change the subject immediately]

 

"Interesting." [Change the subject immediately]

 

"I'll keep it in mind." [Change the subject immediately]

 

"Thanks for your concern, but we're on top of it." [Change the subject immediately]

 

"You are so sweet to worry, but we've got it." [Change the subject immediately]

 

These responses are neutral and noncommittal and won't give her the idea that she's influencing you in any way, but they keep you from looking like a contrarian ogre or worse, a crazy pregnant lady who won't listen to reason. Keep it calm and let your husband handle his mother if it needs to get more emotional. Anything she needs to hear will be MUCH better received if he says it.

 

Just gently and firmly shut her down. It sounds like she's crazy about you and this grandbaby and is going into super overprotective mode--not entirely uncommon but that doesn't make it any less annoying! And you need to set strong boundaries now while it's still relatively harmless. You need to know that she'll respect your parenting decisions once the baby arrives; you really don't want to worry that she might "helpfully" do something "for the baby's good" that you and your DH don't want her to do.

 

Your DH should probably say something too, something like, "Mom, we know you're excited about this baby but the constant advice and admonishments are stressing us out. Please lay off. It's our turn to be the parents now. You get to be the grandmother--chill out and try to enjoy it!"

 

hug.gif

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks ladies! All of the advice and suggestions are really good. I really appreciate it!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Personal Growth
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Talk Amongst Ourselves › Personal Growth › Need to Vent About My MIL