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I am posting a lot today on this board.


I'd like to ask you soulful and gentle mamas what you would do in this situation, because I honestly don't know how to handle it, and it's tearing me up.

I've always gotten along pretty well with DH's family. You know, there are always the basic anxieties that come with inlaws, but nothing I couldn't deal with. Since C has been born, it's different.

His grandmother has been making extremely rude comments. When C was 6 weeks old, she started chastising me for breastfeeding, the way I held her, etc, etc, etc. C was colicky and GMIL was ugly about that. "MY babies were always happy, no matter where they were." I can't do anything right, according to her. She is completely hateful and rude to me.

It seems to have gotten a bit better but I know it's just a lull in the storm. I can't stand to go over there because there is always some comment about my beautiful little girl. Last time it was "MY babies were always so much bigger than that. Is she eating table food yet? Can I give her some bread? Some meat?" (C is only interested in the boobie right now, which, in itself, stresses me out. But C is chubby and healthy, and bigger than most babies her age, but according to them she is "small".)

I have anxiety problems to begin with, and now DH is telling me I need to go back on meds.
: He won't say anything to his GM because he thinks I am being oversensitive and overreacting, and he thinks that they will treat me even worse if he says something. And I can't say anything because I am always shocked dumb.... if I open my mouth I would probably stutter and cry!

This is really upsetting me and I just want to know how other people would handle this situation. I'm trying to be mature and let it roll off my back, but it's not really in my personality to do that.
 

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Well FIRST dh has to be on your side. He MUST understand how rude an inappropriate this behavior is.

Then, I would not be around them. My baby. My choice. Those are toxic people.

-Angela
 

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Oh my, I am so sorry you are going through this. I can't compare our situations as we are two different people with two different sets of sqwuakers to deal with, but I do want to offer my sympathy. I am the only (and I mean ONLY) person in my family to exclusively breastfeed, cloth diaper, and will be feeding only homemade baby food once Anna IS eating baby food (because she is just not ready yet at only 5 months old!) So, rather than the IL's, I get the comments from my family and that is very hard to deal with. They just don't get it. Formula is easier, babies sleep through the night better the sooner you give them solids, yadda yadda yadda! The way I've been able to cope with it and finally secure some peace for myself is to know that they just don't get it and never will. They were raised differently and raised their children differently than Anna is being raised. If they sit back and admit that I am doing what is best for my little girl, then they would be admitting that they might have done something that wasn't the best for their kids. When I really can't handle just sitting back and listening to the nonsense, I simply state, "I'm following the recommendations of her doctor" and I leave it at that. Chances are they will never stop making rude comments and each month there will be something else you are doing wrong in their eyes. A gentle reminder that while you appreciate their concern, but you are doing what you feel is right may help them understand that their constant nagging will not get you to change your parenting. And by the way, I'm sure you're doing a beautiful job!
 

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I would stop going over there. If they wonder why they never see you have dh explain to them that you dislike thier critism and would prefer not to have that negativity around you and your dc.

that is unfair, rude and immature of your dh to tell you to go on meds instead of deal with his family like a husband and an adult.

 

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I'm so sorry that they are being so rude!


If your dh won't jump in to defend you, I would just speak up myself and tell them that you think their comments are totally out of line. I'd also mention that you think their negativity is harmful to your dd. Then say that you prefer not to surround her OR you with people who are openly unsupportive of your parenting.
Tell them they don't have to agree with everything you do but you'd appreciate it if they kept it to themselves.

Next time GMIL starts to run her mouth-hand her a Twix and walk away LOL

I hope things get better for you!
 

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People of a certain age are just like that, as sad as it is for you! But your dh should be on your side and see how hurtful it is to you. GM is old & crazy and even if you did tell her how you feel, she would ignore you anyway.

I second the "doctor" approach. To a lot of older people, the doctor is as close to god as the pope. Even if you don't think so, they will. So blame it on him/her! GMa is more likely to respect the doc than you or your dh!

Don't be frantic over it, just start slowly working your way up to it..."The FDA recommends exclusive bf for the first 12 months." or "Well, babies on my side of the family are small. I was small, and so is our LO."

Your DH has probably been bullied by them this whole time, and doesn't want to start dealing with it now. I bet if you miss a cuople of family functions, they'll get the picture!

Good luck &
 

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I wouldnt let Husbands Grandma get to you so much, old people are set in their ways. They are stubborn, mean/rude, and don't listen! I am currently staying with my Grandma and as many times as I have had son's ped doc talk to her she still believes what she believes, and wants me to do things like she did when her kids were babies.
I am not defending her just saying dont get worked up so much about it, they are old, deaf, and stubborn. I just say ok, Grandma, but we are in the 2000's now not in 1950. We do things different now. She usually shuts-up, or starts talking under her breath, or screams at me and says, "WELL, ALL MY KIDS SHOULD BE DEAD THEN!!" I am also constantly reminding her that he is my baby, and not hers. That I am going to do what works for me, not what worked for her.
If it bothers you so much maybe you shouldnt go over there till your baby is older. I wouldnt say never ever go over, because its not fair to your daughter to not know daddy's side of the family, but I wouldnt go over as much and tell them the truth, that your not comfertable with comments Grandma makes.
Your Husband should be on your side since you work together to raise baby, but maybe he is being picked on by his family, and its easier for him to blow them off then it is for you to. The Meds is all up to you not to him.
 

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Ooh, I feel for you! MIL has been the same way. I told DH I will not be in a marriage with someone who is too scared to get their priorities straight--your immediate family always comes before your extended family. If he will not address this problem (this is his responsibility) you may do it yourself. If you're not that kind of person, I'm not, you can tell DH that you won't be spending time with his family anymore because they are verbally/emotionally abusive towards you. If he has a problem with that--which he will--you should stick to your guns because he will get angry and react in a nasty way.

With MIL, DH had to deal with me everytime she said something b-wordy and he eventually got sick of it. He tried the over-sensitive, over-reative game with me and I told him off. I made my personal boundaries clear to him (even wrote them down for him) and told him that I would not stay married to him if he did not respect those boundaries and enforce them with his family. He has done so, slowly, and we still have problems with that but not with MIL.

In all honesty you may not be willing to take such a hard line with DH. So, I would stay away and let DH know exactly why. Don't let him guilt and shame you into changing your mind either. Also, your taking meds in the past is an issue he should not be using in an argument. That is VERY inappropriate and below the belt. He may not realize all the tactics he will use to get you to conform way of being, but you should be very consistent in pointing them out and explaining why they are not appropriate tactics. I would read "Toxic In-Laws" (can't remember the author). You'll basically highlight the whole book because these types of problems are textbook. Nearly everyone has someone like GMIL to deal with and GMIL won't change her behavior if no one has taken the time to correct her. I wouldn't be comfortable letting someone speak badly about my child (she is doing this, albeit only to get at you), esp in front of that child. Parenting is your privilige and responsiblity and she should not be interfering with that at all. Be strong mama, we all go through this!
 

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Ooh, I feel for you! MIL has been the same way. I told DH I will not be in a marriage with someone who is too scared to get their priorities straight--your immediate family always comes before your extended family. If he will not address this problem (this is his responsibility) you may do it yourself. If you're not that kind of person, I'm not, you can tell DH that you won't be spending time with his family anymore because they are verbally/emotionally abusive towards you. If he has a problem with that--which he will--you should stick to your guns because he will get angry and react in a nasty way.

With MIL, DH had to deal with me everytime she said something b-wordy and he eventually got sick of it. He tried the over-sensitive, over-reative game with me and I told him off. I made my personal boundaries clear to him (even wrote them down for him) and told him that I would not stay married to him if he did not respect those boundaries and enforce them with his family. He has done so, slowly, and we still have problems with that but not with MIL.

In all honesty you may not be willing to take such a hard line with DH. So, I would stay away and let DH know exactly why. Don't let him guilt and shame you into changing your mind either. Also, your taking meds in the past is an issue he should not be using in an argument. That is VERY inappropriate and below the belt. He may not realize all the tactics he will use to get you to conform way of being, but you should be very consistent in pointing them out and explaining why they are not appropriate tactics. I would read "Toxic In-Laws" (can't remember the author). You'll basically highlight the whole book because these types of problems are textbook. Nearly everyone has someone like GMIL to deal with and GMIL won't change her behavior if no one has taken the time to correct her. I wouldn't be comfortable letting someone speak badly about my child (she is doing this, albeit only to get at you), esp in front of that child. Parenting is your privilige and responsiblity and she should not be interfering with that at all. Be strong mama, we all go through this!

And obviously I have to politely disagree with the PPs. You should not put up with behavior like that simply because someone is elderly. Her age, if anything, means that she should have learned basic manners by this time. And she does not need to be schooled in newer childcare ideas (newer, that is funny b/c they are probably more traditional/primal), but just needs to be told to be more respectful of you. If she can't say something nice, she should be advised to say nothing at all if she wants to stay in contact with the children and yourself. There is nothing wrong with enforcing these boundaries.
 

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This sounds so much like what happened to us. ESPECIALLY the GMIL part. I hated going over there. They told me I needed to let ds cry. They told me I had "ruined" our birth b/c I wanted a tiny babymoon (which I didn't even get). They nitpicked about all our choices with constant comments. And they didn't even know the half of what we were doing differently
It was driving me mad.

By the time ds was 6 months dh had graduated and was looking for a teaching job. I suggested moving across the country and dh was up for it. For the record, dh was VERY supportive and actually got in an argument with his family a couple of times telling them these were our choices only.

Anyway, I made a deal with dh that I would not see GMIL more than once a month until we left. He kept his promise and we made excuses or were "busy" if she had more than one family party a month. Then we moved.

It's been heaven being away. And I really mean that. It's really sad actually, but I just know I couldn't take living by them. They didn't even know about extended bf, no vaxes, unschooling, no spanking and a million other things that will come up in the future. Now I will only have to deal with them 1-2 times tops per year.

I know that probably isn't an option for you. I just wanted to offer sympathy. I know how it is.

I didn't deal with it very well while we were there. If I could go back there is one thing I would do. Here is my advice.

DO NOT defend yourself to these people. Especially GMIL. Toxic people only want to argue and they will NEVER be open to thinking new ways. IME, that is. My one line would have been "Thank you, but it's our decision. It's not up for discussion". Repeat as necissary. Seriously, I wouldn't have even wasted my breath. It just resulted in arguments and soooo much stress. I think if you said this enough they may just realize it isn't going to work to bug you about your parenting choices.

Good luck. And if all else fails....move far far away
 

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I agree, if DH won't say something you should or you should completely avoid them. It's verbal abuse, pure and simple. If she was smacking you in the face every time you went over, no one would say "oh, she's old and crazy, you just have to deal with that's how some people are." No one has a right to do that to you, no matter what their deal is, and your daughter does not need to see/hear you being treated that way. She probably already senses the tension and hurt, and very soon she will start to understand what's going on and that will not be at all good for her.
If you can't stand up for yourself, think of it as standing up for your daughter.
 

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if u just stand up to them once - boldly, firmly - they will probably get the picture. be firm and say exactly what u feel - politely, but get the msg across even if it requires some abruptness. if u let them get away with treating u like this in her younger years, no doubt they will carry on when she is older (criticising ur choice of school, how she dresses, how she is doing at school, etc). u really have to act now before they take it for granted that u wont react. good luck
 

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I'm pretty passive-agressive myself, so I can understand the frustration. How rude of GMIL. You're doing a fine job, mama, and I'm sorry DH is suggesting meds instead of supporting you. He should be telling her that you're doing a great job and that your LO is fine, beautiful, healthy, perfect just the way he/she is. There's a few ways you can handle this. Tell GMIL that she's rude to her face and leave or politely decline to go see her (or leave promptly when she's coming to see you).

Grr. Older people should be respected, but I hate when they become the know-it-all, end-all-be-all, meddle in your business, overbearing, rude, self-righteous crankybottoms. *huff*
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by humblegyrl View Post
Grr. Older people should be respected, but I hate when they become the know-it-all, end-all-be-all, meddle in your business, overbearing, rude, self-righteous crankybottoms. *huff*
Haha, yes, exactly!
 

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My stock response to old people stupid is "How very interesting! Tell me about your son/daughter. When did he/she x,y (pull up, learn to tap dance, something that has nothing to do with what the initial comment was about." They just want to talk. They are reliving memories and reassuring themselves. Yes, it's rude. But it's not really about you. If you are sure you aren't doing anything wrong, then rock on with yourself. If you want a confrontation, then you might lead into it with "That comment made me feel hurt. I'm making the best decisions I can, and I'd appreciate your support or your silence if you don't agree." Justifying your decisions just makes you appear unsure and ripe for more picking. I do understand wanting to defend yourself, but when I get that feeling, at least with my particular set of family, I have to remember the old thing about teaching a pig to sing: "it wastes your time and annoys the pig."
 

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Hmmmm...interesting conundrum. I would do one of two things:

1) I would go over there primed and ready. Then when she said something rude, I would say "I find that incredibly rude and insensitive. Every time I come over here you criticize me. Do you think that means you will see my child more or less often?" Then I would get up and tell DP you're ready to go. I would look GMIL in the eye and say "I will not be back until you stop talking to me like that."

OR

2) I would cry. I would wait until she said something to me and I'd bawl my eyes out. I would be all "Why do you always criticize me? I'm trying my best and you make me feel so baaaaaad!" booo hooooo. Then, still crying I'd look at DP and say "Let's go." waaahhhhh. I'd continue crying till I got in the car. Then I'd look at DP and say "That's what's going to happen every time your GM talks to me like that until you grow some gonads and talk to your family."

But then again, I am devious when it comes to ignorant, critical people. All bets are off.
 

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Well, how old IS she exactly? Any hope that...

Just kidding, sort of... I know, I'm terrible...

I would try to avoid them as much as possible, and if dh has a problem with that, tell him that if he wants you to be around them, and expose your dd to them, he needs to defend you and your parenting.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by LizzyQ View Post
I would stop going over there. If they wonder why they never see you have dh explain to them that you dislike thier critism and would prefer not to have that negativity around you and your dc.

that is unfair, rude and immature of your dh to tell you to go on meds instead of deal with his family like a husband and an adult.


 
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