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Problems w/MIL!

I just recently had a discussion with my MIL about her lack of respect for me as a parent. This has been a constant problem which resulted in a long heated discussion about a year ago. My DH and I had a fight about it the other day and he said that he was tired of being in the middle and suggested that I discuss it with her. To say the least, nothing was resolved. She kept turning the subject around and saying that she has raised two children and did a fine job and that she has been an educator for 25 years and basically knows what she is doing. I tried to explain that everyone has their own parenting styles and that this is not about whether she agreed with me or not but the fact that if I make a decision that it is not up for debate and she needs to respect them. Since this discussion, I have trying not to discuss the issues with my DH (cont)

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:43 PM on Jan. 5, 2009 in Relationships

Answers (15)
  • so not to put him in the middle but on the other hand he is also like my best friend and is the one that I have always relied on for advice and support. I understand that he feels torn between his wife and mother but I am at my wits end. When we had our first discussion a year ago my MIL told me that her parents did a lot of things she did not approve of but that it made them happy so she did not say anything. She has lied to me on several occasions but my DH refuses to believe it. He thinks that it is misunderstandings. I feel that she is more deceitful then he is willing to admit to. Things are becoming extremely strained between us and I am at the point that I do not want to see her or let her watch my children. I feel that she will never change and am afraid that she will be the reason we divorce. My DH has tried talking with her as well and did not seem to make a difference. Does anyone have any advice for me?

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:44 PM on Jan. 5, 2009

  • Well your hubby is right for not wanting to get in the middle, and basically left it up to you guys to work things out ON YOUR OWN, so I would do just that not involve him and just deal with her yourself. I will say though if I were you I would just tell her "I am the parent NOT you and until you can learn to respect that I wont allow the kids to be around you" it may be harsh but I am sure it would get her to listen and start respecting you


    Answer by hautemama83 at 2:49 PM on Jan. 5, 2009

  • Really its just one of those things you have to bite your tounge on. I think this is a VERY common thing. People just tend to like to do things there way. I would just leave it at you have your ways and I have mine... you had your kids and this ones mine! If shes not respecting your wishes... as in for example one thing I'm worried about with my MIL is when my child starts eating real food I don't want her snacking on cookies or anything like that... she can snack on grapes. And honestly if I tell her this and she chooses to do so anyways then if I need a sitter I'll just have to figure something else out, and I'll just be there when my child is so I know shes respecting my wishes. My MIL is not over baring though so I'm not overly worried about it. I'm hoping she'll respect my no junk food policy! Lol. Good luck! And don't loss your temper over this... it's very normal!

    Answer by dtetz at 2:53 PM on Jan. 5, 2009

  • Well, this is a no win situation. You do have to respect your husband's MIL, but that respect works both ways. She sounds very 'old-school' and rigid in her ideas of what a MIL's role is in a grandkids life and seems to be playing out her experience with her parents on you. Forget going through your husband on this one. You can't control how she feels about you but you can control how you respond. Tell her point blank that she will no longer be spending alone time with your children if she is unwilling to respect your wishes as a parent. Tell her that you aren't malicious and want them to have a relationship with her but that you can no longer take being disrespected. If you have trouble saying this to her face, try writing a letter.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:02 PM on Jan. 5, 2009

  • It is just not that we do things different it is that she will make comments or do exactly what I asked her not to do in front of my child. All this is teacher her is that what I say does not really matter. All I really want her to do is respect my decisions and if she really has a problem with them then discuss them in private. For example, my three year old was playing with push pins that was on her fridge the other day. I told her that she did not really need to be playing with them because she could hurt herself or they could fall on the floor and her little sister could hurt herself. My MIL made it perfectly clear that she did not agree with me. With a million toys at her house by does she need to be playing with push pins.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:05 PM on Jan. 5, 2009

  • Either you are the mother or you are not.

    If you are the mother, take the push pins away and point your child in a new direction. If your MIL says something, just smile. If you are up and playing with your child and redirecting them as needed, there is nothing for her to complain about. Be positive and realize that like it or not, she is in your life to stay. Just minimize your time with her - don't invite her over and only meet in public if possible.

    Answer by Wimsey at 3:15 PM on Jan. 5, 2009


    There's a MIL/DIL CafeMom group that can give you lots of great information...why don't you try them and see what they say?

    Answer by companygoddess at 3:18 PM on Jan. 5, 2009

  • Your husband shouldn't be put in the middle - he should be on YOUR SIDE. They are your children, you are their Mother, you will do as you see fit - END OF STORY - it's not up for debate. If you think that your MIL isn't going to do something that you like or deliberatley go against your wishes for you children YOU are not obligated to let her watch them. Bottom line - she had her chance to raise kids the way SHE wanted to now it's YOUR turn. - is another good group for MIL issues

    Answer by Fooph121780 at 3:32 PM on Jan. 5, 2009

  • you need to adopt the "my word is law" attitude and TAKE your authority. that's what I do. MIL hates it.

    Answer by laadeedah at 3:39 PM on Jan. 5, 2009

  • Well, your husband should not have to choose sides so keeping him out is good. Your MIL should have respect but in the same you should have respect for your elders as well and that may be her mind set where you are concerned. Honestly, just keep parenting like you do and do not allow a person, such as MIL be the reason you divorce, saying might give the impression that is what you are looking for? Be careful and choose your battles. As long as the kids are happy, healthy, safe and know who their parents are you have little to worry.

    Answer by toweringbeauty at 3:40 PM on Jan. 5, 2009

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