Jealous of My MIL?

Updated on June 25, 2010
C.H. asks from Fort Worth, TX
43 answers

I feel as if I'm slowly losing my sanity. My fiance and I live with his parents. I love them to death and I know they love me, but I really think that I'm going to go crazy if we stay for as long as we had planned (until Summer 2011). It is a blessing that we are able to stay there and save money and I also knew going into this situation that it wouldn't be easy. I'm used to living on my own, having my own kitchen, and all that but I promised my fiance I would suck it up so that it will pay off in the future. I'm starting to crack. His mom constantly cleans up after us...even though I already cleaned up. I'm a clean person and I know how to keep a clean living area. She constantly goes over what I already have done. In the process she moves our stuff around. Our stuff is ONLY in our bedroom and bathroom. Every morning I have to search for my brush, make up, purse, jewelry. She never puts it in the same place. I would understand if I just left all of my things strewn around the house, but i don't. I make our bed every morning and when I come home I can tell she made it again because she sets the pillows up differently. I'm trying to not make a mess for her to clean up but she still comes in and does these things. Then she complains about them to her daughter, but makes it sound like we don't pick up after ourselves. I wash our dishes when we eat on them, I vacuum our room, pick up after my fiance, but its never good enough. It drives me crazy!! My fiance is oblivious to all of this. His mom can do no wrong in his eyes.

Here's the kicker - we have a 2 1/2 month old baby. She watches him during the day, which is a blessing! But sometimes I feel like I would rather take him to a daycare. She just does whatever she wants with him and ignores my requests about anything concerning him. I have no idea what they do during the day. I'll text her while I'm at work to ask how he is and what he's doing and she only ever responds with "Fine." or "ok". When I come home she doesn't want to give him back to me. I miss him and I want to hold him and be with him once I come home. It's brought me to tears. I'm afraid he's going to be rolling over or sitting up and I won't even know because she won't tell me. The other day I heard her playing with him and she refers to herself as "mama." I just about lost it. My fear is that my baby will think that she's his mama and will learn to call her that, not me. Every time i've brought it up to my fiance, he says I'm being silly. Am I? Or is this a concern other moms have? I think I'm starting to feel jealous of her being able to spend all day with my beautiful son. When I come home she's always holding him and gives me some excuse as to why I should just let him be. I end up just going back to my room and crying. I'm feeling like I have no control over anything. I can't keep my room or belongings where I want and I can't be a parent to my baby. Is this a normal feeling or am I just being "silly"?

What can I do next?

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answers from Seattle on

Step 1) The moment you walk in the door... take your baby back. Walk in and pick him up. Period. Each and every single time. You are his MOM, that is your RIGHT. NO ONE CAN KEEP YOU FROM YOUR BABY UNLESS YOU LET THEM. So stop letting it happen. Don't beat yourself up over it, it sounds like the first few times you were being polite / considerate. You don't have to stop being polite, but you can stop listening. Walk in and pick up your baby. Even if you have to take him out of someone else's arms. "Mommy's home, love, I missed you soooo much." and pick him up. Focus. And do it. Period.

Step 2) Talk with your MIL about privacy. It can be as simple as asking if she's laying down in your bed with the baby while you're at work? Because you notice the bed is always remade. And mentioning that someone is moving stuff around in the bathroom, and you can't find your things... could whoever is moving stuff around please stop? If it doesn't stop... get locks for your rooms.

Step 3) Nanny cam :) :) :) In fact, you can get 2. One for your room & one for elsewhere. You want to know what is going on and she isn't telling you, so it's time.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Under the circumstances, yes this is a normal response. It is also a healthy response. It is letting you know something is wrong. It is wrong for your mother-in-law to withhold your child from you. It is wrong for her to teach your child to call her momma. It is wrong of your fiance to disregard how you are feeling.

You are in a precarious position because you are not in your own territory. Sometimes no matter how much of a good idea something may seem it is really just a foolish thing to do. Naturally hindsight is 20/20. Find another way to save money. It will take you longer but this isn't a healthy situation for you, your child and your relationships with your fiance and his momma.

If I were you, I would have a long talk with my fiance (try not to be emotional - men tend to not take us serious when we are emotional). Try to list the facts and how you feel and make the case for moving to your own place. You may consider placing baby in daycare for a few days a week to transition MIL from him.

I would run as quickly as possible to my own space because this situation isn't working. In the long run is this helping to develop a loving well balanced family or is it promoting dysfunct? Only you can answer that for yourself but I would definitely get the heck out of Dodge.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Wow- this is like deja vu :)

When I was married to my first husband, we were in almost the same situation: we lived in the upstairs unit of a two-apartment home owned by his mother, who lived in the apartment downstairs. She was a little old Polish lady and had no problems at all walking right into our apartment whenever she wanted. When I was pregnant, I was still working as a grocery store manager and often didn't get home until after 11 PM. I would try and sleep through my morning sickness after my husband left for work.

My MIL would come right into the bedroom and ask me why I was still in bed and start picking up my husband's laundry! She also would come in when we weren't home and move things around- lol, I can laugh at it now, but at the time, it made me NUTS. She moved furniture, replaced a clock I had bought with another one she thought was 'nicer'... and after my son was born she always did just what she wanted with him and pretty much ignored what I asked her to do.

So where does that leave me, advice-wise? Here's what I can tell you:

Is there any other relative you can ask to assist you with? My SIL and her husband were aware that my MIL had some 'privacy issues' and we all had a family meeting about what was ok and what was not ok.

Also, -- and I am not trying to disregard what you're saying at all- but you are totally post-partum hormonal right now and EVERYTHING is getting on your nerves more than usual. I've been there and you can't ignore it, but I bet it is a factor.

Since you are living in her house, it's a little different. But I don't think asking her to leave your personal possessions alone is out of line. But there is a positive way to do this and a negative way.

Try saying " I've noticed that when I leave my purse on the hall table it's always moved. If I leave it on the dresser in our bedroom instead, will that work better for you? I just really need to be able to find it where I left it when I leave for work!" Say it NICELY- and unless your MIL is totally dense, she should get the message.

As far as the cleaning thing== honestly, honey, let that one go. At the very least, it is one less thing for you to worry about having to do. It is probably just HER habit or else she thinks she is helping you. Since you get along in other respects, it doesn't sound like it is meant as a criticism of you or your housekeeping habits.

If there are one or two SPECIFIC things that are really bothering you, again, just be NICE and say " I've noticed that you're always sorting the laundry in the basket. I usually wait until I take it to the washing machine to sort it. Would it be better if I do it upstairs instead?"

She will most likely either say no, of course however you do it is fine, or she will insist on doing it because she is trying to help.

It took me a long time to realize with my former MIL that nothing is as hurtful as thinking you are 'helping' and having that help turned away- especially, I think, for grandmas! Remember that even though it's making you crazy- in her mind she is trying to save you some work and make things easier for you!

As for not doing what you want with your son... ok, this one is so so frustrating and LOTS of new moms deal with it, whether they live with the grandparents or not, but it is much harder when you do. You may not want to hear this next bit of advice, but...
Let most of it go.

Your son is going to know for sure who 'mama' is, don't worry! Her not wanting to give him back to you is selfish, yes, but just put your stuff away, change out of your work clothes and come and hold out your arms and get him. If you need to just ignore her saying she just put him down for a nap or whatever, do that. Just take him and say " I had such a long day at work and I missed him so much ALL DAY. I really need to hold my baby right now."
Again, say it NICELY- but she will get the hint, trust me. Sometimes grabby grandmas just need a reminder here and there!

It's natural to feel jealous. My son is TEN and I hate the fact that I have to go to work everyday and am not home afterschool to be with him. I HATE it- I am totally jealous of moms who don't have to make that choice, lol! But you can't let jealousy sour your relationship with your in-laws or make you bitter.

As long as your son is safe in her care and she is not endangering him in anyway, just try not to worry about it. I know its hard, but think of it this way- grandparents are not around forever. Think of all the joy this relationship is bringing your MIL and how wonderful it is that your son will know her so well. Your son will be fine with a few things being different with grandma, so as long as it is not causing a huge issue with his health, etc. don't worry about it.

When I got divorced, *I* was the one who made sure that my son who was 4, still got over to see his 'Grandma Sweetie' as he has always called her. I put aside any personal frustration I had because I knew that spending some time with her provided stability for my son and I also knew that she was really afraid I would just cut them off from my son.

Amazingly enough, we now get along great! She is very fond of my second husband and now she and my 10 year old son play cards together, go to the movies on the Senior Bus and out for ice cream, and I get the wonderful experience of seeing my son 'looking out' for the grandma that took care of him as a baby. If you had asked me then if we could ever have this kind of relationship, I would have said NEVER.

Remember that even things that make you crazy can be done out of love and that you want these people in your son's life for a long long time. In her Girlfriend's Guide book, Vicki Iovine says " Fight the big fires and step over the small ones" and I've really taken that to heart.

Politely address the things are really important or REALLY a problem and let the others go with as much graciousness and love as you can. In another year you'll be in your own house and YOU can run the show!

Good luck and God bless!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You've gotten a lot of good advice here. I have three different points to add:

(1) Don't get too upset if your son says "ma-ma" and it appears that he's calling your MIL "Mama".

Many babies say either "Mama", "Dada", or "Papa" when they are babbling--ALL OVER THE WORLD, no matter what language the family speaks. These are sounds that develop early. One of the first "words" that many babies say is "Mama", because "ma" is one of the first sound combinations that all human beings say. That's why most languages have a word for "mother" that is similar to "ma" or "mama". It gets a big reaction, so they keep on saying it!

Sooooo, it is very likely that your son will say "mama" in the presence of the person who is with him more of his waking hours, quite by accident, NOT because he thinks your MIL is his mother.

He'll start to understand the symbolism of words in several months. He hears you say "Mama", but he only knows that he hears that sound combination a lot when you're around, not that it's your name (or even the concept of people having names). "Grandma" can come out as "Ma", as well. He knows that YOU are his most special person, and Grandma is another special person who is with him during a different part of his waking hours.

It might be helpful to mention this about the random babblings of babies BEFORE it happens, to beat her to punch from any gloating over him saying "Mama" to her. Stay calm if it happens, and say that it's just meaningless babbling. ;) (Then, take him alone in your room with the door closed and hug him close saying, "Mama loves you" over and over, until he associates "Mama" with the cozy feeling he gets with YOU!)

(2) Of course you're starting to lose it--YOU JUST HAD A BABY 2-1/2 MONTHS AGO!!

ALL moms lose it a lot at that stage, whether or not they're working outside the home. (Am I right, ladies?) After eight weeks of not sleeping more than three consecutive hours, adjusting to changing hormones, and bearing tons of new responsibility with a baby (which I had wanted and prayed for), I snapped one morning when my husband mentioned that I was "on vacation". I handed him the crying baby, and told him that it was his turn to take the "vacation", and I was going to go to work instead of him!

On top of the normal pressures of a new baby, you're working outside the home and in the extremely stressful situation of living with your fiance's parents. That would test the mettle of ANYONE, even in the best of conditions with the sweetest of MIL's.

(3) There must be a good reason why you haven't already gotten married. However, seriously consider whether that reason is worth it.

You and your husband committed to 18 years with someone you didn't even know yet. Why wait on giving the ultimate commitment to your relationship? Doesn't your son deserve a secure commitment between his parents? What if something happens to one of you before you get married?

A wedding can be simple and inexpensive. Just do it. Then go get an apartment and a hot plate. Whatever you're planning to do with the money you're saving by living with the in-laws cannot buy peace, private time during your baby's crucial first year of life, and an easier time establishing a healthy relationship with his father.

Grandma can still do the childcare, if you want, but go home to your own home, as humble as it may be. Or, get child care somewhere else. Or, quit your job, scrimp and be frugal, and enjoy the simple pleasures of being home with your baby all day. (Okay, sometimes that can make you want to tear your hair out, too, but it's very good for the baby!) It's an adventure that you and your fiance/husband can enjoy together.

In summary: Is what you're saving for worth it?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

She's calling herself "mama" to YOUR child! That is sooo not OK!

Personally, I am completely done trying to have a meaningful relationship with my MIL (who I do not live with). And when she called herself "Mommy" to my child and it was the last freakin' straw....

You are NOT being silly!!!!!!!!!!

Since you KNOW she is complaining, I suggest you talk with your fiance about a plan to move NOW if at all possible. Since he is unresponsive to your concerns about his Mom (which, trust me, you will have to address with him sooner or later), perhaps you could try suggesting to him that you think SHE'S ready to have her house back.

Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

It sounds like your MIL is probably jealous of you, but that's just a bumper-sticker assessment, and not very useful. Your money-saving arrangements are a thin silver lining on a very black cloud. Money is important, but it shouldn't cost you your happiness, or your relationship with your son.

If you can't convince your bf to move out, or think you just have to endure this awhile longer, look into a fabulous process called Non-Violent Communication. It can teach you how to listen respectfully to others, help them identify their genuine feelings and needs, and present your own feelings and needs in a way they can hear with understanding and sympathy. Only one person using this approach can make a remarkable difference in a challenging relationship.

Google Non-Violent Communication for explanations of the 4 basic steps, tips and examples, books and videos and classes. It will give you some control, something positive to do with all your frustration, and work toward a better relationship with both your fiance and your mil.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sioux City on

I could let all the rearranging go and I could even let the cleaning up behind me go, but the issues you have with her about your child are not acceptable. You are the babies Mother. You come before her in his life. Your wishes should be respected. There is now way on God's green earth that I would stand for anyone not giving me MY child when I request him.

Move out. Your BF is not helping and he isn't acting honorable. If you were my daughter I wouldn't want you in such a toxic environment. Find someone else to take care of your little guy.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I have to side with your fiance on all this. I sympathize that it's hard to live like a child in your parent's house, but it's the reality of your situation. And there is SO much to be grateful for. Ask any un-wed mother out there who is paying rent and daycare, trying to make ends meet.

Also, it seems that since you promised your fiance to live in this situation, you need to accept it. Whenever you want to complain about something, remember what a gift you are being given by getting to live there. If that's not enough, think about the alternative - rent a small apartment, struggle to make ends meet, ect. You are in a blessed situation that many young mothers would love to have.

Second, I know it's hard when you feel like your son has a stronger bond with his grandmother than with you. But it seems that by sending him to daycare to make yourself feel better, this hurts your son and takes him away from bonding with his grandmother. I mean, would you rather have your only son with his grandmother or a stranger?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

You need to talk to your bf. You need to move or to make other child care arrangements if this is causing you stress (and from what you wrote I know I would be stressed!) If the situation is going to remain the same than your bf needs to set ground rules for his mom, like that she will stay out of your area (room and bathroom) and that she will refer to herself as grandma to the child, never mama, and that she will hand over the child as soon as you get home and give you the space to be a family.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I don't think your being silly at all!! You are doing everything right it sounds like your MIL is a control freak and while it is a blessing that your able to live there and save money as well as having a free babysitter you and your fiance would be better off moving out and doing this on your own. Yes it will be harder but in the end it will be worth it. Just think if she wasen't around for you to live with or watch your son what would you do? You would still survive right? So picture your life that way and get moving!!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Little Rock on

I agree w/ Diane and VL . U should take control of this before it gets out hand. But don't do this alone. Sit with ur BF BEFORE the IL's and tell them how IT IS GOING TO BE. And not as they see it. U 2 are the boys parents and U2 need to be in charge. So talk to you BF and MAKE him understand that this is NOT something is going to go away unless both of you stick together and deal with it. And I know momma can't do any wrong. My husband was that way until she did and it REALLY hurt him. But I was there for him to get threw it.
So stay Strong and NOT SILENT!
Hope this Helps u out

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

this is a very delicate manner ... The woman needs to feel important.....she wants to take care of her kids and grandchild....and babysitting is clearly the highlight of her life.
Your baby knows who is the real momma.... and will probably call more than one other women momma for one reason or another over the next year or two.... not just your mother in-law.
Sort of like how an toddler may start out calling every four legged animal a puppy..
Should MIL stay out of your business? YES... should she share every cute cuddly story with you? YES.
Is she being malicious towards you because she just wants to relive her mommy days... NO.
If you want to preserve the relationship with your MIL, you need to think very hard how you approach this..... Preserving a good relationship with MIL is a high priority.
Maybe find a good time bring up (with fiance there), how she wants to be called by your baby when he/she starts talking... gramms? gramma? grandma? oma? bachi? .. I know so many cultures have different grandma names....pick something and use it.
That is how you can sort of hint that she needs to start using her title too....
It would be much better than telling her to back off your 'momma' status.

Your bigger problem is that your fiance doesn't 'get it' .. you need to work on him seeing what you see... because this sort of thing is not going away when you move out. .... he needs to respect your feelings... this is NOT silly.
When you move out and she comes over to babysit.. she is likely going to try to make your bed in your house too... and she'll think she is helping..... she'll straighten up your stuff... do your laundry and put it all away and start telling you how to run the house.
I just don't see good results from contronting her while you are in her house... but I do see using the transition to a new home as a way to start breaking her habits...... it's all out of love too.....
Tough spot for you to be in... good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

You are not being silly. You guys really better move out soon. Sorry, but I am all for saving money and building a future but you may have to go a little slower. Mother in law is clearly crossing some boundaries and unless you want to have a fight I suggest you pretend like you found such a deal on an apartment and leave FAST. And if fiancee won't go one more thing I do not usually recommend is that you leave with baby. I seldom urge something like that but I know a couple of people who ended up in some bad situations due to these kinds of circumstances.
And at home do not get into a discussion about it. Take over your baby. It is your your your baby, not hers. Do not permit her to rob you of this.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

First question to you dear is are you and your fiance saved? If not that should be the first thing you seek to do is to accept christ into your life as your personal saviour. Your life to me seems to be in disarray because christ is not the center of it. If this is something that does not interest you then i have no other advice at this time except get your own place. May the lord bless you and keep you is my prayer.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

When you are dependent on another person for basic living needs (which is sounds like you are), you put yourself in a position to have to "take what they give". You are also likely feeling very guilty about being away from your son and are definitely jealous of their relationship. My neice has been in this position with her in-laws and elected to just grin-and-bear it b/c they couldn't afford to live on their own.

If you confront her and she takes it the wrong way, you are stuck. If you don't confront her, you're stuck.

My suggestion would be to have a conversation with her that starts with a thank you... she has given you a place to live and free daycare. That is HUGE. If you are not in a position to use a daycare, tread lightly. Explain to her that you are trying to establish routines that you will be able to continue after you move into your own place. Don't becomes accusatory, but be honest and use your feeling words.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

You don't have control over anything because you and your boyfriend are living like children in his parents house. Well that's how his mom sees it. She's being passive aggressive by cleaning after you've already cleaned and taking care of the baby even when you are home.

You and your boyfriend need to sit down with his parents and discuss the situation and determine who is responsible for what. Without guidelines you have nothing to complain about. If that doesn't work then you two need to move out and do it on your own. You are grown ups and if his mom will not treat you as a grown up then that's an issue.

And whining to her daughter about a situation she is creating is childish so I'm thinking having a talk with her will not lead to a resolution.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

OOHHHHH....... I feel so bad for you. But your having normal feelings. I have to say that your lucky to have such a person watching your baby. You need boundaries with MIL. I really think she means well with you. But she is controlling to much of your life.

When you walk in from work just pick up your little one, No matter what she says he is still your baby. I would just pick him up no matter what and just smile at her. I also would nicely ask her to please just keep your things in one spot so you can fine them each time. You can say this nice, even let her pick the spot. Is Momma going to be her name like grammy or Nana. Ask her what she wants to be called. If she says momma .....all you have to say is that is taken...with a smile. You really do not want to rock the boat to much. She is really helping you both out. Even thou it getting on your nerves.
If she wants to reclean the things you already do, let her. No harm just her way of dealing with life. She is of a different time. I have lived with my whole married life and we have our differences here. Its just the way you handle it is what will determine how your life will be for the next year. If you can try to over look things until the day you move and can have your own place.
When you get home from work walk over to the baby and say now it s my turn!!! And be his mommy!!!
I wish you luck and patients!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

i think it's important for you fiance and you to sit down and talk about this. Why aren't you married yet??? are there commitment issues? As a new family the three of you need to be your own unit. He should support your feelings over his mothers! It is not his job to worry about his mother's feelings. As a new family the two of you should be most important to each other and should strive to do what is best of your new family! If these feelings are real to you then they are real and your fiance should respect that. If he is choosing his mother over you now he will choose his mother over you later. I forsee this as being a very huge problem for you in the future as well as now! get married and move out!! start your own famliy where you, your fiance and your child are the most important people. Check out the total money makeover by dave ramsey for some advice on how to live with a small budget. These things are two important to let go of just to save money!!


answers from Pittsburgh on

Sounds to me like you need to move out. Is it really worth all your grief to stay there?



answers from Dallas on

I don't think you're being silly at all. My husband and 3 kids lived with my parents for a couple of years. In that time frame I had our 3rd child. I was blessed because I didn't really have those problems with my parents. However, I had them with another family member that frequented the house. I would say something every now and then and finally one day, I completed lost my mind and went crazy on her. We ended up not being able to be in the same vincinity as each other for about a year and then another year for us to get on speaking terms. In saying that...going off isn't the way to go.
One thing you have to remember is yes...they are helping you, but you still have to protect the best interests of your family.
I believe your fiance should be given the oppurtunity FIRST to handle the situation. You know your fiance and you know how you need to be to get him to hear AND listen AND respect your feelings on this. I would suggest giving him the opprtunity and if he doesn't, talk to him again and tell him you out of respect to him and his mother you gave him the chance. Since he didn't take it, now its your turn.
I think the clean is definitly an irritant but minor in comparison to your son. So in saying that..pick your battles. But you still get to have your personal space...take a stand on that.
When/if you do speak to her keep in mind she may be having a hard time with the fact her son has grown up and is making up for it with your baby. You can still respect her feelings but be firm and tell her how its gonna be with out being disrespectful. I know putting him in daycare is probably not your greatest desire, but it is not the worst option either. There are also a lot of amazing women who watch children from theit home. Remember that this is a choice YOU have as the mother.
Her calling herself momma to him is unexceptable. Suggest picking out a name together for her grandson to call her that will be special to her. If she continues, call her on it immediatly. I would even go as far as not allowing her to be his primary care giver when you work. Make it clear there are consequences to her over stepping her bounds.
When we moved in with my parents, we had a contract that we all had to sign and respect. It was primarily for the beginning while we were all still adjusting to the new situation. But I think it was a helpful way for us to all communicate our needs while in an unusual situation. It provided a time for open honest communication without things being said in the "heat of the moment" a lot of hurt feelings and guilt were spared for all.
I pray that you find wht works for you and your family. I hope these are reasonabe suggestions ad if not, someone will give you some that will work best for your family. But the most important one of all...if you are a praying and God fearing woman..take it to God. He will give you the answer you need and the grace to handle and get through this season in your life.



answers from Cleveland on

I think your feelings are totally normal! It would drive me nuts as well ... especially with her calling herself "mama" and her not wanting you to play with your son when you come home. I am lucky enough to have my own mother watch my 10-month-old but I would definitely have a talk with her if she acted that way. She always gladly hands him over to me when I come home and gets him all excited with a "Mommy's home!" Also, she is always sending me pictures over the phone and texting me while I am at work per my request. ;-) It's hard leaving your child at home and you do and will miss things. But when you are home you take priority and YOU are ALWAYS the mama. I would definitely talk to your BF about that part at least. And she should do things the way that you want her to while you are gone when it is concerning your child. My mom follows my exact instructions ... the only intructions I have are when & what (now that he is eating some table foods there is a little room there) to feed him and when he takes his naps ... and then to send me pictures so I can see him and make my day better. The rest of the day she does what she wants whether it be walks or whatever and sometimes she takes him to her house (she watches him at mine) but she still does meal and naps at the same time. I would say def talk to your BF about your concerns and maybe he can talk to your future MIL in regards to what is happening with the baby. And if it were me and he didn't want to say anything then I would. In a respectful way just tell her how much you miss your son during the day and would really like to spend time with him when you come home and that also you would really appreciate if she didn't refer to herself as mama as you don't want to cause any confusion as you are the mommy and she is the grandmother ... which is still a very important role. The cleaning stuff would be annoying but I might try to ignore that more than the other. As long as she could stop moving your things to where you can't find them that is ... good luck!!



answers from Indianapolis on

My oldest sister lived with her in-laws for 12 years. Yes, that's 12 long years with 3 kids. Long story, but what started as a great situation quickly turned bad, and I don't know if it's ever recovered.

Her situation was a little different because there were no day care issues (they were in traditional day care facilities), and they were married. Unfortunately, you're not yet married, so while it may not make a difference to you and your fiance, it may to your soon-to-be MIL.

At the end of the day, it's your child that you're away from during the day. I'd find a way to let her know that you miss your baby and really just want to spend time him since you're gone all day.

I have a strong personality, and I'd probably snap in the situation no matter how kind and generous they are being. It sounds like she's also very controlling and wants things a certain way. While it's her house, I do find it rude that she's coming into the space designated for your small family and re-doing/re-arranging things. Opening blinds/curtains is one thing. Remaking a bed and moving make-up is a little over the top.

I don't know how to advise you because it may be a no-win situation at this point. Good luck! I hope you're able to get out on your own soon!



answers from San Francisco on

No it's YOUR child not hers. When you get home just take him don't ask. If she has a problem with that simply say i want to spend time with MY baby. If i were in your shoes i would seriously flip. He shouldn't refer to her as mama unless you are okay with. Let your fiance know how your feeling again & tell him if he doesn't tell her anything you will. That's what I do with my husband. He knows if he doesn't do it I will & it wont be nicely. If things remain the same I would take him to daycare. As for the cleaning maybe she has some sort of cleaning OCD. Probably not the correct term but I know my mom always has lol soo i can't really say much there..



answers from Washington DC on

As others have said , the tidying issue I could ignore for the next 12 months , even though really it was annoying me! , but the issue with your son is not acceptable. Yes she is doing you a HUGE favor looking after him while you work , so you can save the money you would spend on daycare , but when you come home , she should make a big fuss of the fact mommy's home and hand him to you straight away. Your BF should also listen to you , especially on this subject and back you up.

What are you reasons for living with them? Is it to be able to afford any house , or a house that you dream of? If it were me , I would have to sit the MIL and BF down and firmly tell them you are not happy with the current situation with your baby , and that if it doesn't change then you have no choice but to move out earlier than planned.

Is living with your parent/s and option? Maybe you could look into that.

Don't feel silly or like you are overreacting , this is your first child and of course you want to know what he is doing or how he is during the day while you are at work. Could there be an issue with MIL for instance , such as she missed out on her own kids growing up and is now trying to make it up with her grandson? Did she have to work and leave her kids at daycare?

As for her calling herself "mama" , NO absolutely not!....I would flip at that , you are his mama and no-one else , she should be happy wit nana or granny or whatever.

Put on a strong front , be firm and tell them both how it is , you don't need to be rude while doing this , and make sure you tell them how much you appreciate living with them so you can save , but explain that your heart feels like it is being ripped out and you NEED to see your baby as soon as you get home and at that point you take over his care....End of.

I hope you sort this asap.



answers from Amarillo on

No you are not siilly you are trying to be a mother to your child. Your future MIL is not letting you be that. And **** no she would not refer to herself as "momma". There is only one mom and that is you you birthed him. Is there any way you two can get an apartment of your own and forget about a house right now? Is it a credit thing or that you owe to many bills that you two are there? I would find a way to get out. If you feel things aren't going to get any better, then maybe you should NOT get married. Just because you have a child together does not always make a marriage. Talk to your BF and do it with a list of pros and cons and present them to him in a manner that you would a banker and with no emotion just the facts straight. If he can't be on your side, then he has to go. Momma is running the show and you will never be in charge of your family. Momma doesn't want to cut the cord and son is letting her run the show. Relationships don't get better they get worse. Think long and hard about this. Good luck to you. The other S.



answers from Dallas on

Ever seen that movie, the hand that rocks the cradle? Weird. It is difficult living with people. . . especially family members. I would suggest you get your child in a third party child care setting for your peace of mind so the other stuff can slide. Position it as your desire to have your child exposed to more and get into the routine that will need to be followed when you are in your own home, working, etc.

I don't care if you are in her house, there are some areas that still need to be OFF LIMITS to her. Your bedroom/bath should be one of those.



answers from Dallas on

You aren't being jealous. I would feel the exact same way as you.

Maybe ask your MIL if she wouldn't mine telling you about his activities during the day. Explain that you miss him when you are gone and would just like to know how he is progressing during the day. If that doesn't work, then maybe consider day care.

What ever you do....good luck!!!! I feel for you.



answers from San Angelo on

I believe this is a normal feeling. You need to express this to your husband that this is not something you are happy about. Your sanity is the most important thing that he should be worried about besides ya'lls son. Ya'll probably should go and talk for an evening, and discuss everything on how you feel and if this is really worth saving money instead of your sanity. I would look into enrolling him into daycare, especially if you work during the day. That's my opinion.



answers from Hartford on

I dont think you are being silly at all. the clean up thing: ahh no big deal. let her clean what she wants moving your stuff can be super annoying but a little price to pay for free R and B. the child thing is another story. yeah she is helping you out and that is wonderful...but he is still YOUR kid and she needs to respect your rules/wishes ect. My sister just had this problem w/ my mother watching her son and it was awful for her. My mom watched him for 2 1/2 years 40 plus hours a week (never sees my DD by the way) and she never listened to a word my sister said and was very good to him of course never hurt him but that is not the point. she also started to go overboard and it was looking ot my sister that she thought her grandson was her son so my sister put an end to it and took him out and now put him w/ someone else. that is great for my sister, but my mom is a mess! I do think that if you remove him then it will cause problems, but at the same time you are his mom and you need to do something. have you ever talked to her about your rules/wishes? if not you need to and your man should help you and be supportive so you should figure out what you want to say ahead of time. if that does not work then you might have to take things further, you are an adult, he is your child help is one thing but she still needs to respect your parenting. good luck. xo


answers from Seattle on

You need to talk to your fiance and talk to her. Woman to woman, mother to mother. You need to explain to her how you feel and that when you get home from work you want to spend time with your child. You need that time! Also, why is she going into your room? My husband and I lived with family for a little while too but NO ONE ever came in our room without asking. It is a privacy thing. She doesn't need to be going in your room when no one is there. It isn't right. You really need to talk to both of them. You have a right. If you let this go right now without letting them know how it is making you feel, then this will continue for the rest of your life. After you are married it will continue... You need to stop it now.


answers from Los Angeles on

all the money u save up get it pack up ur stuff and leave, can u stay with ur mother? have any other relatives? or friends? she just wants to take credit for everything and thats not right, shes makin u look like a lazy fiance. GIRL JUST LEAVE ask ur fiance wat he would rather be with his mom or his new family? U CAN MAKE IT ON UR OWN!!!!!



answers from Boca Raton on

I would rather live in a studio apartment with a hotplate than allow my boyfriend's mother to alienate my child from me.

And make no mistake - that is absolutely what could happen, especially if she does not respect the proper boundaries of the mother-child relationship.

Time is of the essence . . . please give this alot of prayer and thought.

Good luck to you and your son. Don't let ANYONE come between you and your baby. Keep his best interests at heart at all times. You are his mommy and he needs YOU.

Just my humble opinion . . .

PS: Having a good intuition that something is amiss with your boyfriend's mom is not the same thing as being "jealous." If it were me I'd never give her the impression that you are "jealous" because it just cedes even more power over to her. Be confident and take charge. You are the mom.



answers from Los Angeles on

First off, Jealous NO!!!!

You and your fiance need to re-evaluate your living situation and how long you plan to be tolerated, or tolerate the MIL.

Baby's development: your concerns are the #1 reason my child is at home with me and not anywhere else. I don't want to miss out on her milestones and I will not tolerate anyone else doing as they please with my child. Never! I've learned from a lot of sound minds on this board that you have to be upfront about your feelings towards MIL. They can be controlling and overbearing if you get off on the wrong foot of giving them too much control which it sounds like you have. It's not too late. However, if your financial status dictates you working, then it's in everyone's best interest that you speak up and involve your fiance in the process, he may have better luck reaching his mother.


answers from San Francisco on

I don't live with my MIL (Thank God!! :) but my MIL does watch my son during the day. She has been since he was 5 months old. We have our good days and our bad. I so fully understand where you are coming from with your concerns, I go through this often. My Son Ryan sat up by himself for a whole 2 weeks and I didn't know. I didn't know he did this until I sat him down on the floor and when i mentioned it to his Mom she said, "oh he has been doing that".. would of been nice to know. But either way I was just as happy seeing' it for the first time. She carry's Ryan all the time, he didn't know how to crawl because he is always carried, one weekend I had a 4 day weekend and I put him on the floor by Tuesday morning he was crawling...

I know its hard- but I think of it this way. Would you rather someone watch him that may leave him all day unattended, in a dirty diaper, with no attention. I wouldn't. My MIL is crazy over my son and if i can't be there, or my Mom then she obviously did a good job raising my husband so even though she does things that drives me insane, now after this long i've came to the conclusion I am his Mom. Only me, I can make the rules even if i'm not there and she needs to listen to them or he will be in day care. Neither of us want that so we just find a happy medium ground.

Keep your head up- and remember your his Mom you need to be heard! :)



answers from Dallas on

First - I am sorry that you feel that way - I know it is not easy. Second - do everything you can to move out as soon as possible. Third - I would personally look into daycare for my child. It seems to me that your MIL is much like mine - she thinks the baby is hers and will continue to act that way until the baby is not there 24/7. People can say that you should appreciate all your MIL does for you - and you should - but you are the childs mother and you get to make the decisions that pertain to YOUR baby. Again - do everything you can to move out quickly - it will only get worse with time. If it is bothering you that much - you most likely won't get over it. My MIL lives 2 blocks away and still refers to my son as "her baby". I posted some rants about her on this site before and several ladies told me that it really was my MIL's baby and I shouldn't be so sensitive. HA HA!! WRONG! Also - your boyfriend will probably never see that what his mother does is inappropriate. My husband still doesn't notice it, until I point it out. Good luck to you!



answers from Detroit on

I'm so sorry you are dealing with this. I would absolutely hate it. It's like being a teenager again. Your MIL sounds very controlling. You will probably feel this way until you move out as I don't see how a talk with her is going to change anything. This is just who she is. If it were me I would be out of their ASAP. It's hard enough working all day and being away from your son. You should not have to come home and be miserable the remainder of the day. My suggestion would be to move before things get out of control and words are exchanged that you or she can't take back. And if she is trying to keep you from your child things will get ugly real fast because you are a mom and that's just how we get when someone is interfering with our children.

You probably can forget about you bf putting a stop to this. Most men don't have the stomach or the guts to get in the middle of two women who are having disagreements, especially when it involves his mother and fiance'/wife. They get very whimpish!. He is basically in a no win situation. Don't say anything bad about his mom because it will probably make matters worse.
But on a positive note it does sound as though she loves your son and he seems to be getting love and affection while you are at work. And she is keeping him safe.
I hope you guys find a place of your own real soon.



answers from Houston on

I think your MIL sounds great, she lets you stay in her house for free, looks after your 2 months old all day for free - not an easy job for an older person, she probably hates to have people in her house, but tries not to tell you or show you by just tidying up when you are not there.
maybe you can put a lock on your bedroom door - they are really easy to install, i just put one in the other day from home depot.

It is very hard to live with someone, it is harder still if it is your MIL, I think either put up with it or move out - again your MIL sounds wonderful, caring and generous.

as for her calling herself mama to your baby, i am sure unless she is delusional that she knows she is not the mama, my MIL also says my daughter is her baby, but it's just kind of a figure of speech.
also when you are looking after someone elses child, it is difficult to follow the mothers instructions to the letter, she probably gives him unhealthy snacks and stuff like that, but it is not going to harm him. when you come home, she should give him over to you then, but she probably misses him, and it's hard to just "turn off" the mothering at 5.30 if she has been doing it all day.

I live next door to my MIL, I live in their house that they own for free, she looks after my kids for me, I try and be as generous in my attitude to her as she is to me - not always easy! you are not being "silly", but I think your situation could be a lot worse.



answers from Houston on

You are not being silly at all! That would drive me insane especially the calling her 'mama' part. I personally think its rude of her to go into your space and touch your things, although I could see it from her perspective that maybe she thinks she is being helpful. Can you get a lock for that door? (Having your fiance talk to her first) Otherwise try to bear that part. As far as the not handing you your baby and your fiance disregarding your feelings is just wrong. Remember you don't have to be mean but you teach people how to treat you. It is your baby take him when you walk in the door and ignore her suggestions about leaving him alone, etc. You are his mother. Since you are away from him most of the day your time with him is precious and in the long run your time spent with him during the baby years (instead of being in your room crying) is gonna be so much more important than trying not to step on MIL toes. You and your fiance need to have a long talk, his priority now should be keeping his family happy (you and baby) and cut the cord, he probably feels super comfy cause he is in his 'territory' but your feelings count just as much. If you guys are saving enough money by living there is it possible for you to cut back to part-time? Seriously crunch the numbers maybe its possible even for a few months. You will never regret that. There are also jobs you can do and be with your baby too. Let us know how it goes, hope this helped a little



answers from Detroit on

I would move out; if your fiance doesn't believe you, set up a hidden camera then confront your fiance, your soon to be mil and sister in law. With just one small baby, you should be able to get by with a one bedroom until the baby is really moving.

Good luck!


answers from Phoenix on

Put a lock on your bedroom door. Even tho its her home, she should respect your personal space and if she can't, I would lock her out of it! I would also just take the baby from her when I got home. I would say something simple like "I appreciate you watching him during the day, but I'm home now and I can take over". And I would do everything in my power to get the heck out of her house and into my own space. I feel for you and am sorry you are going thru this. I'm sure it's normal. Good luck to you!



answers from Missoula on

This sounds like a really difficult situation, I'm sorry you are going through this.
Honestly, it sounds to me like it is time for you guys to find your own place. Are you able to afford that? I know you said you are saving money living with his parents, but for the sake of your new little family and your sanity, it may be best to have your own space.
If that is not an option, then my suggestion is that you are going to have to sit down with your m-i-l to-be and discuss what is bothering you. I would start with the issues with your son. That seems like the important part. You may have to chalk the annoying other stuff up to being the "cost" of living there.
When you talk to your m-i-l, tell her that you really appreciate that she is letting you live there and tell he how lucky you feel that your son is being cared for by someone who loves him so much while you are at work. Ask her to show you how she likes the bed made so that she doesn't have to do it over, and see what you can do to help around the house. Then tell her how hard it is for you to be away from your son. Ask for her help with a few little updates throughout the day. Exlplain that you need time with him when you get home. Tell her "you are such a good mother to (fiance), I know you understand that I need to cuddle (son) when I've been away all day."
In addition to talking to your m-i-l it sounds like you may just have to start asserting yourself a little bit as your child's mother. I don't mean you have to be combative with your m-i-l, but don't let her dictate how you parent your child. You don't need an invitation or permission from her to be his mother. If you come home and want to hold him, then hold him.
On a slightly different note, you mentioned that you fiance's mom can do no wrong in his eyes. In my expreience (married 6 years, together for 10) that view is unlikely to change. If you are planning to marry this guy, be aware that you may always have this kind of issues with his mother, and he may alway be oblivious, or he may take her side over yours. Just something I've learned, hope it helps you.
Best of luck.



answers from Detroit on

No, you are not being silly--you are reaching your breaking point. You have been reduced down to a child living with her parents. My mom was like your MIL except she never had my daughter call her mama. She would have got h#ll from me if she had done that. Evenutally, C., you will get to the point where you will lose it one day and blowup at her...that's what happened to me. If I could have changed things, I would have moved out a heck of alot sooner before that had happened. After awhile, resentment builds up and you need to let it out. Sometimes letting it out can cost you a good relationship too. You cannot change your MIL, she is what she is. But, you can change you. I think it's time to sit down your fiance and talk about other alternatives here. What are your options? Do you have family that you can stay with until you've saved up enough for a place of your own? Can you get a reasonable priced apartment? If your fiance isn't willing to compromise for the sake of your sanity, then you may have to do this alone. I feel for you--you're between a rock and a hard place. I wish you the best.




answers from Dallas on

Yes you are being "silly"! You are living in your MIL house, as long as you are there it is her rules. Be grateful you have a baby sitter and a place to live. How much rent do you pay? does she provide food for you three? It sounds like you might be quite young to be jealous instead of appreciating her.

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