Mother-In-Laws

I want to go on the record and say that I love my mother-in-law.  For the majority of the time, she’s a warm, compassionate and caring person.  Lately though, she’s starting to piss me off.  I was at a baby shower for a coworker the other day, and my MIL was there (we work together, and in fact, I’m her assistant), and she did a few things that I found to be hurtful or insensitive, and I’m not sure what, if anything, I should do about it.

The first was that she kept calling my baby a boy to everyone in the room.  I know that she was just excited and forgot that we’re keeping the gender a secret, but come on!  It shouldn’t have happened more than once, but I think it happened a total of 3 times!  I think I played it off pretty well though, but it still irks me.

The second one, and the one that really actually made me mad/upset/bewildered was that she keeps calling MY baby, HER baby.  And by kept calling, I mean that it happened more than once.  Example:

MIL:  “My baby is due in June.”

Me:  (looking at her as if she has two heads) “Your baby?

MIL: laughs it off and continues to call it her baby.

I’m not even sure how to handle this.  I’m hoping she realizes that she’s not the one to be raising this child and making the important parental decisions, or even be included in the important parental decisions….I’m just in shock at this statement and have no idea how to handle this….

Thirdly is that she has made it known to me REPEATEDLY, as in at least 6 times now, that she is NOT throwing me a baby shower.  I wasn’t expecting her to, I didn’t ask her to.  The first time she said it, I told her that it was fine, that my sister and aunt are both throwing me one, and that she doesn’t need to feel obligated to do so.  But she keeps restating it, and it’s really starting to hurt my feelings.  If she keeps this shit up, she’s not going to be invited to any of them that people are actually planning for me! GRRRRRRRR

Lastly, (for the moment) she seems to be a bit deluded about some things.  Example:

J to MIL:  “Manda and I were thinking that you might want a car seat base for your car for when you’ll watch the baby.  I can get you the information if you want it.”

MIL:  “I have a car seat.”

J:  “You bought a car seat?”

MIL: “No.  I still have yours from when you were a baby.  I think that will work fine.”

Me:  Staring at her in horror……

Why on earth would she think that a 27 year old car seat would be acceptable?  Let’s just throw safety ratings and modern technology and construction out the window, did they even have rear facing car seats 27 years ago?!  If she thinks for one moment that I’ll allow her to put my baby in that now death trap, then she is seriously mistaken.

When I first became pregnant I was really happy that we had J’s family close by to help out with the baby.  Now….I don’t think I want them near him, and if they are,  J or I will always have to be there to supervise…..I’m at a loss….How could a baby (one who isn’t even born yet) turn perfectly normal people into petty, illogical, and mean spirited people?  I don’t know what to do!

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5 thoughts on “Mother-In-Laws

  1. Firstly, J’s fam, J’s prob. He has to handle it. You are speakin’ my language though. My MIL kept calling Addison “Addie” at our showers, AFTER we had told her there weren’t to be any nicknames. And now we have a gun issue…MIL’s husband likes to show off his new guns, around Addison.

    On one other note, my mother sometimes says, “how’s my baby?” BUT I can totally see how this would upset me if my MIL said that…because they are two different people who communicate and go about things a lot differently.

    Anyway, my advice is, J handles it. And it’s not an “A feels this way about what you did.” It’s, “Mom, WE feel that…..”

    I know you guys know how to communicate, just my two cents from experience. Good Luck. You’re not alone.

  2. ugh mother-in-laws.

    im with geeunit…your husbands got to stand up to her, bc you can’t be getting into any confrontations, you got that lil baby to worry about!! cant be getting worked up. but hopefully he’s better at talking to his mom than my husband! my MIL referred to my daughter as “her baby” since the minute we told her the news and it truly pissed me the f off. every time she’d say it, i would pretty much say the same thing you did “your baby!?!? i didnt know you were pregnant too” and she’d laugh it off as i said it in the most bitchy way possible. i learned to pick my battles with her.

    but seriously…no way could she ever think a 27 yr old car seat is still usable!!!! i feel your pain…

  3. oh boy… mother-in-laws. where to begin. you know from my posts that my relationship with my in-laws is far from flawless and that I’ve tried everything possible to mend the bridges they’ve burned etc. but I’ve come to the realization that they are who they are, they aren’t going to change and there’s nothing I can do about it. HOWEVER, there are boundaries and you have to be strict with those boundaries. you are who you are too, and they need to realize that there’s nothing they can do about that. if J talks to her about the situation and it doesn’t seem to make any difference at all, then just continue to hold your boundaries. sooner or later she may start to realize that if she doesn’t respect those boundaries, she’s going to start missing out. she may be extremely extremely excited which is understandable and you may be more irritable (not accusing, just an observation… pregnant friends give you some insight into these things) and some of her comments may be rubbing you the wrong way when she really just means to be happy and excited about what’s going on. don’t let it bother you too much. in the end it is YOUR baby not hers and you will get to make the decisions – that’s just plain fact. the 27 year old car seat though…. that’s another story. buy her a new one for her birthday? if she’s not willing to get one and you’re thinking that there will definitely be times she will babysit, you may need to be a bit more proactive. just an idea. oh mother-in-laws…

  4. Oh mother-in-laws, a blessing and a curse. Mine is fantastic, but often overbearing. She thinks of me as her own daughter. She would do anything for us. We don’t have kids yet, but I remember last year her talking about the grandkids she does have, from her step-children. It went something like “Of course you know I love Alan’s kids, I love R & D. But when you and T have a baby, that baby is *MINE*!!!” She said “mine:” with the force of a lion. And I really got freaked out when she said that!!
    But since that time I’ve thought a lot about things. First and foremost, regardless of what your MIL says about the baby, or refers to him as her baby, etc, it will never change the fact that you will always be your child’s mother. You and your child will always have an incredibly special bond that no matter how much she said/did/took the baby, it won’t change that you’re the mommy! Your child will *always* love you the most. Now, what you should be worried about, is when your boy grows up to be a man and his heart is taken away by some girl out there =P heheheh YIKES!!!!
    Second, how amazing will it be for your child to have a grandmother who loves that baby as much as she does? To have a grandmother that thinks of her grandchild as one of her own? If I had to choose between an overly involved grandmother or a grandmother who didn’t care, I’d choose the overly involved. I know in the future, my MIL will not be able to resist babysitting, buying our child clothes and toys… it will make our lives so easy. She’ll probably be over at our house cleaning our house, bringing us food. I could choose to feel threatened “my MIL doesn’t think our house is clean enough, or that I have what it takes, or she doesn’t like my kid’s clothes” but ultimately, I choose to see the perks in all that she will do for us out of love. And I remember as a child, getting to see my grandmother every Friday. It was SO special. Not everyone is as fortunate to have that.
    Third, the car seat. I second what the above people have said. If you can find the funds, buy her at least the car seat base !! No compromise on safety.
    Fourth – BREATHE!!!! I love reading your blog. You will be, and already are, an incredible mom. Enjoy it. Don’t let the crazy things people say stress you out. Totally not worth it. It won’t matter in the end.

  5. Oh yea one more thing. Here’s a good cognitive technique… whenever MIL says “my baby is due in June” add “grand” to it…. just try to hear “my *grand*baby is due in June.” heheheheh

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