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Please help, overbearing In-Laws!

12 answers
Please help! Since my husband and I had our first baby last summer my In-laws have become very hard to deal with. They directly pick him up when we ask them to let our son cry it out. My MIL refers to my son as her baby and even when I was pregnant she told people she was having the baby and that it was hers. Now, my In-laws tell me to expect my son to be gone each morning because they are going to take him home with them. I had a difficult pregnancy and a traumatic labor (4+ hrs of pushing and a 4th degree tear) and comments like these really hurt my feelings. My husband is supportive, but he thinks I am being too sensitive. I find myself dreading their visits now. Please help, can anyone give me some constructive suggestions on how to deal with this?

answers (12)

have you told them that these comments are hurting your feelings and you would like for them to back off? sometimes just talking to them can help. sometimes not. but remember he is YOUR son and what you say goes. let them know as well.
have you told them that these comments are hurting your feelings and you would like for them to back off? sometimes just talking to them can help. sometimes not. but remember he is YOUR son and what you say goes. let them know as well.
wow, so sorry momma. my MIL is terrible too. I am ALWAYS wrong in what I do, she is always right. I would tell them if she doesn't start treating you like the mother of her GRANDCHILD then she won't be able to take him. And that she had her chance as a parent and now it's yours and to let you make the decisions right or wrong and that you need to learn on your own what type of parent you are going to be.
I think you will regret saying anything. Unless your child is being put in danger, let a grandma be a grandma. My MIL was the same way, and I fumed and FUMED but I didn't say anything (to her- I vented non stop) but now that my son is 4 she has chilled out and it's fine. When I first had him though she was constantly trying to "claim him" by outright claiming him, by doing what SHE thought was best even over my wishes, but I didn't say anything, I stayed the course (fumed) and was confident that I would be the primary woman in my son's life and it is all fine (MY mother on the other hand almost took her down a few times when they had their own claiming fights- which were kind of amusing to watch- and cringe worthy). I only stepped in when I felt my son was in danger- like when he developed a food allergy- to me labels had to be double checked- which probably insulted her- but no food was going into his mouth until I was confident it was safe. I think every son's mom- if you are having the first grandchild is like this. She misses be a mom. It makes you incredibly angry and territorial but rather than create a fight that will damage your relationship, step back and try to be compassionate. That being said- if she TAKES CARE of your child- on a daily basis or something- none of what I said applies because she can't be in grandma role she has to be in babysitter role and there is no room for not respecting your precise wishes (like the baby crying it out). But if you only see them twice a month on weekends, let it go, fume in your head and promise yourself you won't do it to your future daughter in law (which we will)
Its hard to say if you are being sensitive or not, but i get the impression that this comes down to respect... I would set your expectations and feelings clearly, but avoid blaming, accussing and try to be objective if possible... put it in terms of : I really appreciate your help. You did this and this and that really makes it easier... and you know what would be so helpful to me...  or let there be times that your son can stay with them, but let them know that he needs bonding with you too as the PRIMARY parent... the other option is to confide in here that "someone" is not respecting your wishes and ask how she would handle it...
First of all, your husband needs to put his immediate family, which is you and your child first.  Secondly, try to bond with your MIL but still have clear boundries.  Maybe you and your husband can talk about some of the things you feel uncomfortable with, but don't forget to tell him the things you do like about your inlaws so he knows you are being genuine and not trying to cause trouble.  Your inlaws will probably never feel as comfortable as your own extended family, but draw your boundries.  If this upsets them, it is there problem.  You are a parent too, and your first priority is to your child.
I would talk to your husband and tell him that these things really bother you. They are his parents and he should talk to them and they should respect how you guys feel. He should tell them that both of you feel this way and they need to back off a little. Grandparents should be involved but not to the point its upsetting you. They need to have permission to take your baby anywhere. Hopefully your husband will back you as you guys are a team as parents. Good luck I hope things get better. 
I do not have to deal with a MIL but I do have my own mother that has done this. I agree with what mere284 said. My son is now four and it has calmed down A LOT from when he was a baby. My mom used to claim him as her own and act like his mother which drove me insane, but with it being my mother easier for me to speak up (didn't really do much good). I think it is just a grandma thing and the newness of the baby will wear off eventually. Even now I still have them (my mother and grandmother) giving him snacks and candy when I am trying to get him to eat lunch or dinner or breakfast, drives me crazy but I let it go because they do not get to see him all of the time. Now I have a second boy on the way and am curious if it will happen all over again...
You are not alone. My mother in law stayed with me for a week after my child was born. I have a delivery story similar to yours and I wasn't in the mood to have someone tell me how to change or dress my child. It's hard enough during that time that you are trying to find your child's schedule and learn your childs needs.I don't think talking will help but you could. My husband has told me that I'm the Mom so what I say goes and for a while that is all the support I needed. When she tells someone it's her baby correct her saying yes, it's your Grandbaby.  If they just stop by whenever they want you and your husband need to set more boundries for your family, as in you, your husband and your child and have space from the in-laws. If your in-laws babysit maybe it would be time to spend the horrible amount on daycare because it gives you privacy that is needed. Or find a home babysitter that more fits your needs.I had to explain at Christmas that no Santa comes to our house, you are the Grandma and thats who the gifts are from.  At a recent family wedding my inlaws tried to let my child do what I asked her not too (she's two) and then got huffy when I once again told my daughter why we don't do what they said was okay. You just have to stick to your guns, you're the Mom and you know best.
maybe you should be more permisive, at least that is my opinion!italy charter


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