Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

My mother in law

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  • #863717 Reply
    avatarelwynn
    Participant

    My husband and I just had a baby girl in October. I also have a 4 yr old son from a previous relationship. My MiL has come over at least 3 times a month since she was born. It is driving me crazy I just want to be able to relax at home with my husband on his days off and clean but she is always coming over. It makes it worst that she does not treat my son the same as the baby. I fear that if it is like this now it will be worse later. I don’t want him to feel like he does not belong. It really hurts bc my husband is the only dad he has ever known and to us he is his and he has plans to adopt him. Also the fact that she does not listen to me and chooses to disrespects me makes it more frustrating. I don’t even want to deal with the fact that she does not seem to really care about my son bc it is her loss. But if I have to keep seeing her all the time I am gonna lose it. How do I set boundaries without causing a falling out?

    #863719 Reply
    avatarHelen
    Guest

    Luckily for you this is your husband’s job! He needs to tell his mom that she needs to treat the children the same. If she brings a present for the baby, she needs to have one for the boy too. Favoritism has a negative impact on the favorite as well as the other. And it can affect their sibling bond. Hopefully she gets it. The frequent visits might solve its self when the novelty of the baby wears off. Once she’s a fit pitching, hair pulling, food throwing toddler I bet granny shows up less often. Or you can have your husband set limits now.

    #863720 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    You talk to your husband and he sets the boundaries. We get this question all the time, and that’s the answer. You don’t go directly to the MIL, you work it out with your husband what you’re both comfortable with, and he communicates it to the MIL and helps enforce the boundaries he sets. How often they come by, what notice they give you first, how long they stay, etc.

    We have a new puppy and my parents are always wanting to come see him. They text me. I talk to my husband and get back to them. That’s how it works.

    If you can’t work this out with your husband, then you have a Husband problem, not a MIL problem.

    #863721 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    Also. Why doesn’t your husband just go ahead and adopt your son? Plans don’t really mean anything. He should go ahead with the adoption and communicate to his parents that this is his son.

    #863730 Reply
    avatarelwynn
    Participant

    Thank you for the help that is what I will do. As to why he does not adopt him right now there are many reasons. You have to be married a year which we are almost there but also we have to get my ex’s rights terminated and then there is a cost factor. Our goal is before he starts school so that he does not have to switch last names after learning how to spell my long maiden name

    #863731 Reply
    avatarelwynn
    Participant

    Thank you

    #863780 Reply
    avatarFYI
    Guest

    Three times a month doesn’t sound all that frequent to me, esp to help with a newborn.
    I dunno. If someone talks about being “disrespected,” I immediately doubt what they’re saying.

    #863803 Reply
    avatarelwynn
    Participant

    Yeah I don’t really know how to word it… Just asking me what I want and doing the opposite. But it is a lot to me bc my husband works nights and is only off two nights a week and she does not drop in and leave after an hour or two it’s like five or six. But she is not really any help. 🙁 I know I sound dramatic but she is only there for the baby and never came over before that.

    #863806 Reply

    Talk to your husband and tell him to deal with her. He can call her and say, “mom, you need to call or text and ask if you can come over. You need to treat both of our kids the same. He is my son, and I expect you to treat him as if he is. When elwynn answers your call or text and say it’s an okay time to come over, please only stay for 2 hours, tops.”

    Have a conversation with him, get on the same page and have him work it out with her. She is his mom and he should take charge of this issue.

    #864246 Reply
    avatarbrise
    Guest

    I understand your problem. With a newborn, the visits seem quickly very long and should last an hour, maybe two for close family, not more. Say that to your husband so that he can organise better the visits: speak to him positively, as something he can manage for your sake given your fatigue, not as a critic of your MIL. It is your turf, your home, so she (or anyone) shouldn’t come without notice and stay as long as she wants. After an hour or maximum two, if she is still there, just leave with your baby, say that you are busy and get out. She will get the message and it will align with a clear and proactive behavior.

    #864280 Reply
    avatarbrise
    Guest

    An other suggestion about your elder son: you could ask your MIL, as she shows “good-will” as a grandma, to babysit your son for an afternoon out of your place (if you consider her fit for that), so that you can have a rest with the baby. It sends her the implicit message that she is a grandma to both children, and she can go with him to a museum for kids, a playground, whatever. If she spends time with your son, she will develop a relationship. Plus, you will feel quiet at your place without her. When she comes back with your kid, thank her profusely and start to do something else like bathing the baby so she sees that she is expected to leave your place. I think she needs some frame to limit and orientate her presence in your family.

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