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Discussion Starter #1
Yet another MIL thread here.<br>
We are staying with MIL for 3 months until our apartment is done being built and a problem that used to mildly annoy me has now become a major issue to both DH and I.<br><br>
MIL practically from the time DD was born has called herself mommy, mom, mother, mummy etc. when talking to DD...<br><br>
For example, MIL "hey baby why don't you come play with Mommy! Oh oops haha, grandma!"<br><br>
Or "Did you miss mommy!?" Followed by a half-hearted "just joking".<br><br>
This woman is extremely passive aggressive and cries at the drop of a hat. DH told her yesterday that he didn't like it when she snatched up DD while he was playing with her and brought DD into her bedroom. She burst into tears and mumbled something like "well I'll never touch her again!" Before storming out the door to something she had to do. The point being we try to be very delicate with her just to keep the peace. Unfortunately I am losing my patience with this in a huge way because it is happening way more often than could ever really be considered a coincidence. Even after DH has talked to her about it. She also uses the term "my baby" constantly and the possessiveness of that tern is starting annoy me to.<br><br>
I can't separate if I am just not thrilled living here or it is really something to be upset about, you know? Maybe I am just not used to sharing space with her and DD makes it more complicated? Then again I think about how often she does it and I get all steamed again.<br>
Does anyone else have a family member like this? A grandparent who is very possessive of baby in a passive aggressive way if that even makes sense?<br>
Or am I just overreacting?
 

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I don't have that situation, but I think you have every right to be offended. Plus, how confusing is that for a baby? She should stop doing that, right now.<br><br>
Can you find a different, temporary, living situation? Have you tried craigslist for temporary housing?
 

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That is just weird, passive aggressive, boundry crossing behavior. Your MIL sounds like she has some serious issues that have never been dealt with. I can't imagine my mother or MIL acting that way EVER, whether we lived there or not. Just very strange. It would bother the crap outta me too.
 

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You're not overreacting and her behavior is not ok. My mother is very similar. The story of my mother is very long so I won't post again here. If you would like more details though I will be happy to provide.<br><br>
You should, if possible, try to separate from the situation. You can also try talking to your MIL or setting clear boundaries. It sounds though like talking it out may not work(it never worked with my mother)<br><br>
So sorry you have to deal with this. If you need any support I am here. There is an entire thread of this to. It is about toxic parents.
 

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You are not overreacting. That is crazy and totally inappropriate behavior and I STRONGLY encourage you to find somewhere else to stay ASAP if at all possible. I would also spend as little time as possible in the home with her in the meantime.
 

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You are not overreacting AT ALL! I would be SO upset.<br><br>
If she asks where her baby is, tell her XX is over there (your husband, that is her baby, not YOUR baby).<br><br>
If my MIL pulled that crap there would be some serious words spoken! Calling herself mommy is NOT ok.<br><br>
That would make me not want my child to be around here, that is just kind of freaky IMO!<br><br>
If you have any other possible living arrangements, I would make them now!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>wife&mommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15373763"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">You are not overreacting AT ALL! I would be SO upset.<br><br>
If she asks where her baby is, tell her XX is over there (your husband, that is her baby, not YOUR baby).<br></div>
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EXACTLY! and a bigYEAH THAT!<br><br>
MIL would do things like this when DS was a newborn, and we weren't living with them. It still drove me up a wall. If she is doing it around you simply act like you're talking for your dd...<br><br>
IE - Did you miss mommy? Yes grammy I was very happy to see her come home now we're playing! or I don't know if daddy missed you grammy you'll have to ask him.<br><br>
They key, at least in my situation was keeping my voice very light almost a joking tone. She got the message faster than I expected.<br><br>
Good Luck mama! and yes, I'd make other living arrangements, you need to put boundries in place for this woman NOW!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
thanks for the replies! DH used to think I was overreacting about it but now that we are here it bugs him more than me I think...<br>
Yes to everyone who guessed that yeah MIL has some serious mental stuff going on. She is quite "fragile". I mean once or twice is a mistake I can live with but doing it all the time makes me feel like she is trying to undermine me as a mother.<br><br>
Also as someone pointed out, I know that DD knows I am her mother or rather the most important person in her life<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> but she is almost a year old (I haven't updated my sig in ages) and she does not ever call me mama. Daddy yes, mama no, which isn't a big deal but I do think it can be confusing to her. She doesn't need to have other people referring to themselves as mama to confuse her even more...<br><br>
Unfortunately we absolutely cannot move out for at least 2 months and then we will be gone as soon as we can (our apartment is just not ready to live in)...I was thinking of spending a lot of time at my own mother's house but she lives 4 hours away and DH couldn't be there that often because of work. He would miss DD too much for me to do that and DD loves to be with her dada as much as possible.<br><br>
Is it that out of the range of normal? I thought a lot of people would have grandparents doing that and now I am beginning to think that maybe it is not so common to have a MIL/FIL behave this way.
 

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I would call her on it. She's got you jumping through hoops protecting her "fragile" self while she does whatever she wants. I call BS. She cries and such because it WORKS. Stop letting it work <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Easier said than done if you are the type to get caught up in it, I know, but I sincerely believe that the answer is to simply stop playing the game. If she gets upset, it's because she got herself upset, it's not up to you to let her run ramshod all over your family just so her tender little feelings don't get hurt - which I doubt is even the case, it's just her method of control.
 

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It is sadly all too common but common does not make it normal or ok. It can (as in the case of my mother) become dangerous if the situation escalates. You know the most about what happens so only you (and DH) can decide how severe it is. It helped me to run the facts(keep how you feel separate) past a third party that I trust. I got good non emotional feedback on how my mother's behavior was unacceptable.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Ldavis24</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15374041"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Is it that out of the range of normal? I thought a lot of people would have grandparents doing that and now I am beginning to think that maybe it is not so common to have a MIL/FIL behave this way.</div>
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Yeah, that's out of the range of normal. My mom and MIL don't need reminders to know that they are grandmothers, not mothers, of DD. It's either manipulative (that's my bet) or a sign of mental degradation if she sincerely forgets that she's not the mother of that child.
 

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Well, when she starts crying, tell her "I know, you really want to feel like your dd's mother, but that isn't how things are. It's okay for you to be sad, but you are an adult and you can either get over it yourself or you can get professional help. It isn't my responsibility to let you lie to my dd and confuse her."<br><br>
Maybe if MIL fake cries for a day or two, she'll remember not to pull that P/A BS any more.
 

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I don't think you are overreacting unless she still has small kids at home and is used to talking like that right now because of that. Maybe you could ask her if she would like to be called Nana, Mimi, or something else like that instead of grandma. Grandma is a word that some people (my mother included) don't want to hear in reference to themselves.
 

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Definitely not normal, and way passive aggressive. I agree that it works because you let it work. But on the other hand, I don't see putting your foot down about her hysterics working, either.<br><br>
It's happened a few times that my father has called himself "Daddy" while playing with my kids, and it's actually really sweet and kind of sad. He LOVES babies, and really loved being a father and now he only sees his grandkids once or twice a year because they live so far away. He always catches himself and looks really wistful and apologizes: it's obvious he was just caught up in the moment, kwim? That sounds miles and miles away from what your mother is doing. Her motives may be from a similar planet (she likes babies, feels possessive, misses having her own kids), but it's 100% about delivery.<br><br>
How soon can you leave? In all honestly, while in a perfect universe I would say "ignore her until she stops," I have a feeling that will actually make the situation worse and her behaviors even more passive aggressive. Or she might just drop the passive part and really make your life miserable while you're there and after you leave. I think that all you really can do is set your boundaries, have DH continue to talk to her when things go too far, and get out of there as soon as possible.
 

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Things to say:<br>
"Awww poor grandma, she keeps forgetting that daddy is her baby!''<br><br>
"Mil, I'm getting a little worried, you seem confused lately when you call yourself mommy. Are there other situations where you feel confused? Maybe we need to talk to the dr?"<br><br>
"I guess that makes me grandma then!! Give me that sweet baby!!"<br><br>
As for the crying thing, I'm nuts enough to give it right back. She starts in about how you're trying to keep her from having a relationship with her grandbaby you start in how you feel that when she calls herself mommy she's trying to take over your role as mother. Big tears, heaving sobs....give as good as she does.<br><br>
Lach, my dad did the same thing a few times. It wasn't sinister, just a caught up in the moment type thing.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Ldavis24</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15374041"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">thanks for the replies! DH used to think I was overreacting about it but now that we are here it bugs him more than me I think...<br>
Yes to everyone who guessed that yeah MIL has some serious mental stuff going on.</div>
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Trust me, it wasn't about guessing. That's completely over the top and out of line.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Is it that out of the range of normal? I thought a lot of people would have grandparents doing that and now I am beginning to think that maybe it is not so common to have a MIL/FIL behave this way.</td>
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Yes. It's out of the range of normal. It might be fairly common, but lots of toxic behaviour is fairly common. And, I have to tell you that if <i>anybody</i> scooped up my kid while I was playing with him/her, it would get ugly fast. That's <i>maybe</i> even more over-the-top than referring to herself as mommy.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yeah DH did not take her scooping DD lightly. I was getting dressed from a shower and heard this whole commotion.<br><br>
I told him after their spat that there is really no point in trying to reason with her about why it upset him. She started crying right away and got dramatic and he was still trying to calmly and logically explain to her that he wasn't trying to hurt her feelings.<br><br><br>
It sucks because she is really good with DD and DD loves her. She is cuddly and affectionate and playful with DD like she should be.
 

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Could you sit with her and say: "DD is getting so big, she is saying Daddy now, can you believe it? I can't wait until she calls me Mama. Do you want her to call you Grandma, or did you have some other special name in mind? There are so many alternatives to "grandma!" Maybe we could start out with something easy for her to say."<br><br>
I would do it very casually in the car on the road somewhere, on the couch during a commercial, etc. Hopefully she won't be offended and start the crying PA crap, but still get the message. Then constantly reinforce the name she chose for herself.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>One_Girl</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15374164"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I don't think you are overreacting unless she still has small kids at home and is used to talking like that right now because of that. Maybe you could ask her if she would like to be called Nana, Mimi, or something else like that instead of grandma. Grandma is a word that some people (my mother included) don't want to hear in reference to themselves.</div>
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It's not even normal then. I have a 4.5 year old DD and a 3.5 year old granddaughter. When I'm with both kids I'm mommy to one and grandma to the other, except the few times they decide to just call me by my first name.
 

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<span>no it's not normal imo , my little sister often gets confused with what to call my children , we both have the same dad but different mums so she is my childrens aunty but cos she hears our dad refer to my lo's as grandkids she often does the same but she is only 6 so i think it is normal for her to be confused about it all sometimes.</span>
 
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