My daughter-in-law has screaming rages so much that it is clearly abusive for the children (and my son). Now she has turned on me and left a horrific phone message, calling me 'evil' and saying she doesn't want me near her daughter who I adore. I am very distressed by all of this and feel soi powerless.
The baby is 18 months, the daughter 3 1/2. I thought it was too late for ppd but maybe not. I don't think they have considered this and I also don't think she realizes her behavior is so out of control. She just vents and blames and projects all over the place. I am talking screaming!
I must be very very careful with what I say so as not to further escalate her. Also, the role of mother-in-law is dicey. It seems to matter not that I have consistently been loving and kind.
I feel I have a responsibility to say something, to try to mitigate the abusive situation.We live 3 hours apart and I am planning visit this weekend, regardless of her words.
Anything you can say to me will be appreciated.
It was Anne Lamott who said that being a grandmother is more and more about doing less and less. I'd challenge you to be a pure source of love energy, without trying to change her, or the situation. I think you'll get more of what you want that way...more contact with the babies, less resistance, less anger. Just be the change you want to see in their world.
If my mother-in-law came to stay with me "regardless of my words," I would be furious. Part of the reason my MIL and I get along fairly well is she is a) supportive of my parenting, and b) respects my boundaries (no surprise visits is a biggie for me since she lives close and I am very nervous about having people over in general). Our relationship isn't perfect, but whose is? There has definitely been give and take on both sides. My SIL, who also lives locally, almost doesn't talk to her (or me, but that's another story).
The MIL/DIL relationship is one to tread carefully. MILs often want their experience and wisdom respected, and DILs want to be treated as competent. I have no doubt it is tough on both ends.
Do you best to avoid offering any unsolicited advice. Find things in her parenting you admire and comment on them.
You are in a tough spot for sure. Good luck.
I got tired of my signature, but I still love my children and husband and miss my little brother.
You might have a look at the book "Boundaries."
Absolutely, you need to draw boundaries and ensure that you are treated with basic respect. Your DIL does not have to like you, but she may not treat you abusively.
Also, make sure you are respecting her boundaries as well. I too was a little "what?" reading that you are planning to visit whether she likes it or not. That's not acceptable, you must be invited to be a guest in someone's home. You'll also need to understand that you cannot control her marriage or parenting.
Assuming that she really is out of control, discussing your concerns with your son is the most mature route. And make sure you are talking about concerns and not a list of grievances.
I deleted a previous post because it contained a referral to Focus on the Family. This organization advocates physical punishment of children which we do not support here at Mothering. That referral is inappropriate in this community.
Married to a wonderful woman since 2010. Baby boy C arrived in June 2013!
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