I am hoping someone can help me out, I am looking for a little bit of advice on how to deal with a situation with my mother in law (who isn’t?!)
A little bit of back story, I was raised by a single father with my 3 younger brothers. I learned how to be independent at a very young age and I truly enjoy doing things for myself and for my family. My husband was raised by both of his parents and 4 sisters, his sisters all have children and their mom was always a huge part of helping them all with their kids.
When our first daughter was born we actually lived 3 houses down from his parents and his mom was ALWAYS there when I was pregnant and when she was born, it bothered me a lot but I never said anything about it.
We moved out of the state during the time our three sons were born so I didn’t run into the same problem as much and it was great.
I am pregnant with our twins and we live about an hour from his parents now and my [name_f]MIL[/name_f] will not leave our house. I do not want to sound ungrateful AT ALL but I have a routine with my children and I can do it by myself. My husband is in the marines and is overseas, we have dealt with several deployments and I have been alone for the last 10 years until we moved back near his parents.
I feel like she thinks I really need her help, and I genuinely appreciate her concern but I just don’t need the help. 3 of my kids are in school all day so I am home with my youngest son and my [name_f]MIL[/name_f] seems to think I can’t handle that. She didn’t let her daughters have any independence so they genuinely need her help but I don’t need someone to do dishes and laundry for me or watch my toddler.
Wow, she sounds like she is a pain in the rear. I would let her know that her help is not needed and that she needs to go to her own home. I am extremely blunt in my personality though, and have no issues telling people to leave.
Honestly, it’s going to “hurt” her feelings but she will have to get over that as you clearly do not want the help, help is only help if you want it. And from what you said about her being all up in “helping” her daughters, she probably is not used to having boundaries.
I would look at Babycenter’s DWIL Nation, not sure if she would be as bsc as some of the in-laws who they see, if you do end up posting be sure to read the Sticky first. They have wonderful experience dealing with people who want to be too involved when you are not wanting that.
Can you come tell her for me?! Lol! I try to tell her in little ways all the time… she will say oh I’m going to take out the trash for you and I will tell her that taking out the trash is one of Kingstons chores and I want to keep that consistent. Or she will do my daughters laundry, my daughter has been doing her own laundry since she was in school.
I will definitely come tell her for you. Unfortunately, with people like her they use the fact that people will view them as “helpful and nice” to get away with actually wanting to be in control and boundary stomping. So you will have to be quite blunt. Example, if she goes to take the trash out, “No, (her name), you will not be taking the trash out.” When she goes on a while later to attempt the same thing, “(Her name), maybe you need to be checked for memory loss a I already told you no.” If it continues then you’ll have to ask her to leave your house completely.
What is your husband’s opinions on her “help”? Is he on your side?
I’m trying to see it from your side but having trouble cos I can identify with your [name_f]MIL[/name_f].
My mum lives very close and would do all these sorts of things for me and hubby, especially as I’m expecting second baby and [name_u]Sawyer[/name_u] is only 15 months. Hubby and I have very different maternal experiences, my mum is very nurturing and his is very independent and unemotional. I’m lucky that hubby appreciates what my mum does as ways to show she loves us, we are lucky that she is sensitive about trying to make sure she doesn’t overstep and over the years we have all worked to keep the communication open.
It’s hard trying to completely reconcile someone you feel is interfering and they feel are helping.
Maybe start a conversation where you say things like: I know you are only trying to help and be part of our lives but when you do certain things I feel upset/ it works against some of our parenting decisions. Some things that are helpful are when you do X, Y Z and I especially appreciate these things while I’m pregnant. BUT whether you do things or not you are a big part of our lives and we love to spend time with you.
Maybe instead of her being in your space you could suggest an outing every couple of weeks so she knows you are seeing her, she isn’t invading your space and this could give you more positive experiences to share.
I have the complete opposite problem, my [name_f]MIL[/name_f] is so completely independent from us we only see her rarely and my son has only been to her house once when we were invited for dinner ( we have only been invited over once since he was born 15 months ago!). If we ask her to babysit she acts like a complete guest in our house - can’t work the TV, toys are left out ( the ones that we have put out, never gets out new ones, never puts them away in the storage boxes and will sit and watch me and hubby clear up), nappies are left outside bedroom rather than put into the bin etc.
It’s difficult at times with either situation but both sides need to work on communication so that you have a positive relationship for your children to view. I accept that my [name_f]MIL[/name_f] shows support by respecting our ability to decide things ourselves and ask for help when we need it. Hubby accepts that my mother will more likely offer solutions, proactively try to help rather than making us ask, that’s how she shows support.
Try and keep in mind that actions are not always interpreted as they are meant, my mother will ask when she can have my son to sleep over and makes me feel that she wants to spend time with him, my [name_f]MIL[/name_f] has never asked to take my son out, this might feel more comfortable to you but to me it makes me feel that she isn’t interested in her grandson…
Be prepared when opening up the conversation that if you say : ‘when you do X it makes me feel Y’ that she may do the same thing- eg when you don’t let me help you it makes me feel like you don’t respect my opinions/are pushing me away from being included in your family etc. Maybe have a think about other ways you can make her feel included/ useful/show her care that you feel are more appropriate.
Good luck xxx