What to do about mother in law.. Please help!!!!!

39 replies, Page 1

NJ 2009-11-13 15:00:42


I think I am going crazy, depressed etc. My mother in law lives with us. Before my baby was born, whenever I used to get upset with her, I just spend more time at work or shopping. Now that my baby is born I cant stay late at work like before. She has started taking over my boy. She is trying to stand in my place for him. Its true she spends more time with him as she is at home while i am working(Its not that I wanted her to take care of my baby. My company has an associated creche which is 5 mins travel from my work place. But its just that my hub wanted it that way). When he cries she tries to take him from me. She tells me to prepare his food and that she will keep him in the meanwhile. I want to spend time more with my baby, but I just feel so depressed on going home that she will be there. Please advice someone.. I feel I am trapped, my mil will stay with us life long.. When I tell my hub that she is doing this, he says that it is only in my mind.

 My hub told me this before our wedding itself that my mil will be staying with us and says that since he told me this already he will not do anything about it. I was so naive to accept the proposal that time, I feel if I have the ability to turn back time, I would have refused the proposal...

Will taking 2 houses work out? It will be expensive, but I dont mind paying the extra. I just want some peace of mind at home and I want MY HOME.

Please help someone,, before I go insane!!!

meg 2009-11-14 12:23:11


dont fret too much over this issue.it happens everywhere,happening with me too.But, think of the plus points.Ure baby is in safe hands.Well u may have access to a great creche, but a home is always home.....Just as u would want youre baby with u life long the sames with ure mil...Try and accept the truth and tell her in a nice way that ,the time ure home u wud want the baby with u cos u have to return to work the morning after.its a matter of time.Once ure baby becomes a toddler and has a mind of his own he will run to u even amongst a crowd of a million....his Mamma...Cheer up and be optimistic.Ure baby is in trusted hands.


Sky 2009-11-14 12:53:22


Oh my god i can imagine how dreadfull it must be to go home to some one so annoying .....I think a different home is a better option


Chubbu 2009-11-15 00:22:17


Hi NJ, its good that you are able to get it out in a forum like this than fretting and fuming over it all alone... For a moment, forget everything else and step into your mother in laws shoes.. she takes care of the baby when you are away working hard to make life easier for every one. She thinks she is being of value to the family that way and helping you guys out instead of putting you through the stress of sending the child to day care or having a nanny. She must be revisiting the days when she mothered your husband which i assume she must have done a good job.. so she has been there done that. You are first time mom and its all new to you - so maybe she assumed you need a bit of help. But ofcourse, now is your turn. You are the mom and i understand you wanting to spend time with your child when you are around. You could quietly tell her that you have been looking forward to spend time with the little one all through the day. I think she will understand. Kyunki saas bhu kabhi bahu thi!!! pls excuse the cliche.. Trust meg and me that when the toddler years happen your child would cling to you and you would really want somebody to take care of the kid when you can take a break. Do not deny your child the love and affection of grandparents - not every child has the privilege of having one... i am sure you will get over this soon and maybe even take a tip or two from your mil.


sripriya 2009-11-15 16:48:16


Hi NJ,

Many working women should be facing this problem,but beware of leaving ur child with a nanny,as today we hear lot of unhappy incidents when child is left alone.

I agree with ur feelings that u want to spend more time with ur child.What i suggest is u better sit and talk to her and convince her that ur feelings r right.For this first ur hub should acknowledge ur feelings.Talk to him very politely and make him understand.

Taking two seperate houses may be feasible in terms of  money.But who will take care of ur kid later on?Are u very confident of the day care centres u have nearby?Can u manage ur kid alone in case if something goes wrong?(like if u r sick or ur kid is sick)I think in such a case u might need a third persons help.If anybody else(ur mom or aunt etc) is accessible then very well u can go ahead of the thought of leading a nuclear family life which i feel is more comfortable nowadays.No doubt u will lead a very pieceful life.

All the best!


JC 2009-11-15 17:39:55


 Hi NJ,

Take a deep breath and relax! I like two of the replies posted by others, full of wisdom. There are few things very strong about the situation.

  1.  You husband put forth and you accepted the condition that his mom is going to stay with you folks for the rest of her life! <So, time to accept it once more and move on>
  2. What your MIL is doing is asking you to prepare food while she takes care of the baby, if you want the other way you can let her know that it would be better if she gets the food ready as she knows the quality/quantity as she does it during day time. It will help the baby as consistency is the key to good health. <That way you get to spend more time with the baby>
  3. Keep the man out of this ping-pong game of MIL/DIL. Boys/men don't like it, he would rather have you both settle it among yourselves. <This way too many cooks don't get involved and spoil the broth/marriage/family >
  4. You MIL is genuinely taking care of your baby, trust me I have heard horror stories about 1 month old baby being lugged the baby around and visiting places as grandparents are either bored at home or child is never their priority. <Looks like your MILis a caring person, give her credit for all the help  she is providing you while you are at work.>
  5. If you take your child to day care near work, you will need to pack his food, extra clothes, diapers, and then you will be stressful until you drop you child at the day care. This way the moment you step out of your home, your mind is free and you need that buffer time to destress yourself. <Do deep breathing and relax. During this buffer time think about tasks awaiting at work and how you plan to finish those>
  6. You are one of the lucky women who needn't worry about the baby while at work. Esp if the child falls sick, you don't have to take all 4 -5 days off. You can plan and spend couple of days home in the onset  of fever. < When babies have fever its best if mom is around that way you know a lot more medicines and ways to help get the fever down.>
  7. Taking another apartment is advisable for families with folks who are totally disfunctional as a family! They are constantly thinking about themselves and not helpful to each other. Remember your child will learn how to function in a family. It's give and take, you have to adjust to few things she does which you don't like and benefits are huge! <Kids learn by how parents do things, 'Monkey see monkey do'>


Also when you get upset or feel depressed take a note pad. Draw two columns, write down how your baby is benefiting from your MIL in one column and how much you are getting affected by her presence in the other column. Be fair to get the real picture of your situation.

Take care.


chiltu 2009-11-15 20:15:05


Hi NJ,

You are very lucky must say as i being at home always feel that at some time can smeone take care of my baby... but i also understand ur problem but tell u what its all in ur hands take the positive things of what she is doing and address it to her like if she id taking the baby off from u when she is crying then tell her that she is best in calming the baby ...if she has smething nasty in mind like keeping the baby away from u then obviously she will give u the baby the next its crying .....

Try to deal it cleverly as seriously baby care takers are not good... its better to leave the baby in a known hand rather xyz...

Take care


NJ 2009-11-16 10:15:06


Thanks to everyone here who have advised me on this.

My kid is now 15 months old. So he is already a toddler.

The first time this happened , it happened sometime when he was around 7-8 months old. i tried reasoning with her at that time also that after I come home to allow me to spend time with him. Even if he cries let me try to calm him down and support me in way to help increase my bonding with him, by giving us our space, avoiding to come very frequently in front of him and calling him etc. But it all fell on deaf ears. She continued to do her tactics to make him cry for her when I am there and when he cries she would try to take him away. I spoke to my husband about this and then there was some improvement. On my part I literally struggled to get my bonding with him back. This is what I had done -

  • Whenever I come home, I take him out for long walks, park etc, spend more time outside the house and come home nearly when my hub comes home.
  • I used to take chance to go on trips with him, myself and hub only to my relatives place , so that I have him entirely to myself for a few days
  • When he falls sick, I take leave from work and stay at home till he gets well
  • Be back at home by 6.30 pm and try to finish priority tasks at work by then and never agree to a bit more after 6.30 pm

After doing all this for a couple of months, his bonded with me very well again. Many said that after he becomes a toddler he will become more affectionate to his parents naturally. So I thought history will not repeat itself. For about 6 months everything went on fine. But 2 days back it happened again. When we were outside in a supermarket and my mil happened to be there too. He saw her and cried to go to her. This was not the case for the last 6 months. Then she started taking this opportunity to entice him all over again...

Here is what I had done now. I spoke to my hub to reemphasize to his mother that she should allow me to spend time with my kid after I come home and not take him away from me whatever be the case. If during the time we require help, we will ask for it. I feel that in these cases only hub can be the best mediator when it comes to his mother. Just like how we can speak to our mother will all love, authority and respect and our mother will reciprocate to us will all love, authority and respect, the same will be between him and his mother.

One of my friend told me that her mil also tried doing the same thing for her kid, but since she is feeding her, the bonding is still strong. I stopped feeding long back which I feel very bitter about the situation which made this happen(Thats another long story........)


NJ 2009-11-16 10:18:08


Please read "One of my friend told me that her mil also tried doing the same thing for her kid, but since she is feeding her, the bonding is still strong"


"One of my friend told me that her mil also tried doing the same thing for her kid, but since she is breast feeding her, the bonding is still strong"

I really wish there was an edit button to the posts. Moderators , please make this feature available. Will be very helpful.



Shruthi 2009-11-16 11:11:28


Hi Navina,

As I see, your situation is eating into your work time too.  Realx! Iknow it's easier said, but try.  The choice to work and stay away from your son was yours.  Whatever be the reason (run away from a nagging MIL/ bettering career prospects), atleast you are assured of good care!

Come to think of it, if your child doesn't cling to you ( which I wonder why you want, because once that happens, you'll really want ot run away from it), you'll have a "guilt-free" work life!  You can concentrate better at work because you don't need to  worry about his lunch/bath/sleep.

He'll grow up, maybe not clinging to you, but atleast with unrestrained love and the comfort of staying at home, no matter with whom.  Like someone who's rightly pointed out, make a list of the pluses and cons and you'll know what you need to do.

I sail in a boat where the people who want to care for my son are either not capable because of illnesses (my in-laws) or are too busy (my still working mother, already living with one grand-child)!  I know how tough it has been for me to find a day-care that takes my son in, whenever I need to be at work ( I work from home and need to be at office only on a need basis).  He doesn't like it one bit there despite me having verified the credibility of the place (cleanliness, care etc.).  Fortunately for me, my son came "cling-free" :). He's not very attached to me despite me having been the sole care-giver till he was two, after which I started working.

In case you still feel the need to get your MIL around, try these:

Go away on frequent get-aways leaving her with your son.

Go for late night movies leaving the child with her.

One might say "NASTY"...but you could try them to check if she's genuinely wanting to provide for the baby or is being bad to you.  If it's the latter, she might want to join you. And if it's the former, just let it be and enjoy the free time on your hand!


TJ 2009-11-16 11:14:27


Hi NJ,

I too felt same till my kid was 2 yrs old.I use to get very upset when my son wanted to  be with her even when I am home.

Once we went to out of station for 3 days and when we came back next 2 days he didn't come to me at all,as he was scared that I will take him away from his grandma again.....

Things got improved after some time,now is 3+ and as soon as I come home he comes to me.Nobody can change the fact that u r the mother and the kid will have the bonding with you always(even if u have stop breast feeding)Its just that kids gets more comfortable with whom they spend most of the time,and if u think practically nothing wrong in that.

Once they grow up  say by age of 8-10 they will spend more time with their friends..then what do u do ..can u stop them?

 So by my experience I can tell u ,just relax everything will be fine.After some time u will really feel thankfull towards ur mil .Its because of her only u are able to continue ur job without worring about the baby.


NJ 2009-11-16 11:40:17



Sometimes I really wish I could do these what you said-

Go away on frequent get-aways leaving her with your son.

Go for late night movies leaving the child with her.

But my hub will not allow for this. She will not take care of my son "alone". If I come home late from work she keeps objecting and goes on saying that its difficult to manage my kid since he is very active. She also has health problems . So for the day we hire an ayah  who does all his work like washing his clothes,utensils,cleaning poop, making his food etc while she sits with him. So basically the point here is what she is expecting is that I do the ayah work in the night while she sits with him. Get it?

Probably Grass is always greener on the other side.........


NJ 2009-11-16 11:56:06



I know its nice that someone is taking care when I am away at work(I have to work which is another long story.....). But I just wish that she was more understanding instead of being manipulative.


UmaHrishi 2009-11-16 13:42:53


Hi NJ - Am not going to say this is an Universal thingy. You have it now & you will be able to deal with it really very well like you must have handled very many challenging situations in life - at home, at work, with spouse, with parents, woth friends, with kid etc.

I was given a very good advice once which I believe suits every situation with any individual irrespective of who the person is ( Trust me - I have tried it & it works). Just turn a deaf year (initially I found it very very difficult but when I consiously practised, it worked like magic) in the real sense - dont let the word enter your ear/brain. Just ignore/completely switch off & think of something else - either something pleasant or think internally that the opponent is mentally challenged & requires sympathy. The minute you do that, trust me, you will never lose your cool. I promise, this works for me - so not just an advice!

Next - time with kid - Working parents have this challenge & you are doing very well based on the listing above on what you do with your kid. Depending on which part of Blr you are, browse for child-friendly places, baby gyms, library, activity areas etc & get away every weekend - it will be a good 3 hours one on one with your kid & may be your husband too.

You have a whole life-time with him - so dont be harsh to yourself, enjoy the time with the kid & chill....easier said & really easier done too :-)


 Former member 2009-11-17 11:54:20


Hi All, same situation everywhere...And i am sure everyone must be acting to cope with it. But i don't understand one thing, why MIL do not let DIL to enjoy her married life in her own way?? MIL has enjoyed her life in her way..with her kids and hubby...Now she should also give chance to DIL....??

As a woman at least.. MIL should understand the feeling of DIL

Does this mean that when we will become MIL,  we will also beahve like our MIL..??


sripriya 2009-11-17 12:03:01


Well said Pritam.

I totally agree with u and i several times ask the same question to many that why dont these MIL's let us lead a life for ourselves?

I strongly feel that they simply want to discharge responsibility of getting their son married.But i think after that every MIL has a insecured feeling abt life that their son is in somebody else's hands(DIL).

Therefore every second they think that they should do something to prove their importance.I think all problems rise at this point.

Don't anybody feel this?


NJ 2009-11-17 14:26:56


Weighing the advantages and disadvantages between nuclear family and joint family, then I feel nuclear family is better. After going through this, I dont mind staying at home and looking after my child till he goes to school and after that I can take up some light job also its ok. Its very difficult for 2 women to stay in the same home cordially forever. I have stayed and adjusted in hostels, PGs etc. But when it comes to ones home, then every woman needs control of her home. That gives rise to lot of problems that can disturb the mental peace of a home.


NJ 2009-11-17 14:36:31


For working women as in the west the option of good day care is also available. Probably the choice is not a lot as in US, Australia, but it is only a matter of time when many will be available in India also. They also hire a lot of nannies in the west, but I assume they are more safer than the nannies here and are not indecent like the ones portrayed in desperate housewives.


megha 2009-11-18 11:04:55


Hi NJ,

I am also a working mother. My mil takes care of my daughter. I have also been gone through the same experience but I never thought so much. Offcourse mine was not worse like yours.

Till 6-12 months I have also been trying to spent time with my child but not been able to because being busy in cooking. I see to it that atleast in the evening I feed my child. But at times it has happened that my daughter has not eaten from me but my mil. I just thought that atleast she is eating which is good for her. Then as it became affordable to me I kept a maid for cooking in the evening. Then I had all the time for my daughter. You can work on this.

Your idea for taking your son out is really good. I also do the same thing. Get him little more than you usually do. Not that it will spoil your child but to show them that it is because you are working else not possible if you were at home. Though small they understand. Tell him that your mom has brought this for you. Take him to the garden at weekends. Children really love to play. I hope he sleeps with you. Keep some attractive things in your bedroom. Play bat ball,  games whatever he likes. Things will improve.

My daughter for few months was not even sleeping with me as i use to sleep early being so tired. She used to sleep with my mil. However I also started sleeping late or sometimes my hubby used to sleep late so that she sleeps with us.

Offcourse it is very difficult when you have your inlaws staying with you. But you have no option unless and until you have a good day care or nanny. Now she is 2 years old. Though they stay with me I have put her in day care. She has started speaking and the daycare is also good.

Even I planned to leave my job because of these issues. But remember it will be more worse. Think before you take any decision.

Over the period of time he will offcourse come more and more closer to you. Now I see changes in my daughter when she is 2 years  old. She tells me to feed, sleeps with me, etc. A really good feeling. Come what may, no one can take the place of mother.

I hope you will feel good.

Have a good day!





NJ 2009-11-18 12:10:58


Thanks for sharing your experience Megha. I'm also planning to put him in my company day care when he turns 1.5 years old . He loves children,runs towards them and tries to talk to them in his language. So I thought that this will give him a good opportunity to socialize and also hopefully help him talk quicker as children learn more quickly from their peers. I plan to keep him in the day care for half a day at the beginning and then slowly progress to full day if things turn fine.


SiddhanthsMa 2009-11-19 18:05:26


NJ, lot of them have already suggested. Having MIL at home who is taking care is a boon. Arrangements like Creche, Nanny for such small children has more disadvantages than advantages. There are ways to reduce the differences with good communication.

I am sure you will be able to do it. Atleast till the baby is 3 years old, pls don't make him go to any daycares or think about a nuclear family with nanny taking care of him alone. Living with your parents may be another good option, but that will disable you from staying with your child all days of week if they don't live in the same city.

With pros and cons listed, this is a good situation just that you need to handle it with little care. I wish things works out better.

Lots of care to your child

Take Care




SiddhanthsMa 2009-11-19 18:08:02


It was leaving with your parents and not living.. uff, no edit option :-(


nehasarougi 2009-12-02 15:01:30



I think this is the problem with all working mothers and i am sure all mil's tries this tactics. actually i think mil feel that if she will do all these things, importance will be given to her and everyone in family will ask her. and when kid will be there in her hands so she can say us that see im feeding ur child and im taking care of him and what you are doing? they do it cos they want to feel important and they have this insecurity that i will be like a object in the house. my mother in law has also tried all these things, but i make sure that i make him sleep in night and when he gets up in the morning i feed him his breakfast, then i go to office. take leave from work for some days and go on vacation for few days and try to give more time to him and play diplomtic with her, believe me she will be on line in few days or tell her very clearly that i want to spend time with my baby so i am taking him down or i am taking him in my room, from the whole day when i come home i want him to be with me only.


namasteindia 2010-08-16 22:57:11


if you were in her place what would you have done??? 


Rubu 2010-08-16 23:37:06


hi NJ,

I m so scared some day my MIL would come and stay with us . I get along well with her now, but i think thats cause of the distance. else she has a opinion on everything, parenting, whent he child should go to school etc etc.. she wudnt agree on my methods of parenting.. and wud keep on comparing me with other women who are working. I m a sahm, i used to work but i quit for kids.

NJ, seriously living nuclear family is best. my sis works full time, she sends her kid to school and from there my neice goes to womans house, who takes care of no more than 3 kids . she charges lilke 2000 or sth , she makes the child complete homework, and most imp, she cooks whatever my neice wants...

many ppl find out that some of their freinds wife who are sahm , can take care of ur child just like their own .. even if u pay more you know ur child wud be cared for.

MILs, they say so many things/ I once had gone to my freinds house. she alwas used to praise her MIL, saying oh I can work so easily. When i went there, her MIL said, we dont even talkw ith our DIL, she had to go to hospital for health reasons 9 times, we had to pay medical bills. I was so shocked to hear such things from her. I never told my freind abt it, if she wud know, I know she wud get depressed..

they force her to work.. they are fm a very rich family...see, the reality is NJ, if they take care of the kid, they act dominant in the house, control everything in the house, in short they want everythign their way.. which can be very hard...Also later on, behind our back, they wud say we are very incompetent mothers.. thats what that lady said to me, our DIL, is so lazy, she cant handle kids etc etc...

SO NJ, find a way to get peace of mind... Stay separate and be happy...

I was away with my husband for 5 years alone here in US. we bonded so well, got closer, chilled out with kids every day...and enjoyed like crazy... now that i m returning back to India, i m a lil worried if i hv to stay with in laws.. fortunately for me, my MIL is good person, just very dominating. and I m the sort of person who cannot take crap easily.

Anyone who feels that hubby changes color in front of their mother.. my hubby sure does..They team up together and i end up alone.




lilliac 2010-08-17 11:53:52


hai rubu,

I'm afraid you are right.We lived abroad quite for 8 long years and those were the sweetest moments of my life.Right now I'm back in india along with my mil.Have 2 sons,5 and 3.I never got any help from my mil.so,i didnt quite had TJ's problem.my sons never went to her for anything at all.Even if I leave them for something very necessary,once I'm back she'll start complaining ,Oh!they behaved very nastiliy.so,I tend to take them with me wherever I go.

My kids cling to me for everything,its only me they have.My hub works from 8am-8pm.He doesn't spend much time with kids.I frequently ask him to go out on weekends atleast for the kids sake.

But my hub is the hub you described who tends to change colour in front of his mom.he doesn't even leave his mother when we go out.sometimes if she refuses to come because of her health,he keeps telling us hurry up we should be there at home soon.I feel, its better if he brings her along too.

I can never make out what mood my mil is in.If she's in a nasty mood,she gets out her anger on everyone even my hubby.I know my hub loves her very much,he is a very caring person but she does use him in a kind of emotional blackmail.I never talk anything against his mother to him.I feel so lonely ,we never have time to share any special moments,to be straight we almost never have time to relax or chillout alone either there are kids or my mil.

I just feel like a robot without feelings,or does my mil think of me like that.But I can do nothing to change it.I give up.I have wonderful friends.

I'm planning to work  along with my friend and atleast improve my career.I left my youngerone in daycare.My mil never offered to help.

I understand everygirl has a  problem.Some are blessed with a good MIL and hubby and some are not.We just have to get over or get along with it.

Rubu,if your hub wil listen to u.please go ahead with a nuclear family.



NJ 2010-08-18 12:14:58


namasteindia, to answer your question "If you were in her place what would you have done" ,If I was in my mils place , I would not stay with my children and their spouses and eat their lives up just like how my MIL is doing now!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

My mom and grandmothers are very independent. I will also be independent.



TaniyaC 2010-08-22 10:38:52


 Hi NJ,

I can understand your situation. I know sometimes how hard it becomes to cope with these kind of situations. I think the best way to cope with this situation is to just talk to your mil and tell her that after coming back home from your workplace u will look after your child as you want to spend some quality time with your child and also by doing this your mil will get some rest  as she looks after your baby all through the day. I think if you discuss this matter and make an arrangement I think you can solve this problem. Often your mil might think that as she takes care of your baby all through the day and she might be very protective about your child.................grandparents often tend to be like this. So don't worry it is just a matter of time after all your child will soon get  older and will know the difference and would like to spend more time with you!


Ganu 2010-08-24 17:10:42


Dear NJ,

This is a late reply, I am sure you must have sorted out the issue by this time, but I went through exactly the same situation as you have described - word by word - including the husband's thinking.

We solved this issue by taking another flat in the same buliding as my in-laws...it is a very expensive option, but look at it as good, long term investment, specially if you know that your in-laws will always be with you...

Do not join the flats together!! purchase a flat on a different floor.

In-laws may also support you in this decision as their child and grandchild will be in their vicinity...

Nobody in my MIL's  building was ready to sell their flat, even the vacant, investment type flats were also not for sale at that point in time. So we took a flat on rent - to "see if this arrangement works for all", and after 2 years, when a flat was available, we purchased it.

I am suggesting this to you as (assuming that) both of you work and would be able to afford this kind of solution.

Works well for parents, grand parents and very good for kids.


sugarmommy 2011-03-30 21:03:57


dear NJ,

I completely undertsnad what you must be going through, i too had the same problem. but let me tell you that ur son is going to be ur's and ur MIL wont change that. she can love him and  takecare of him as much as she wants but ur gonna be his mother and nt her....she is just taking care of him for u dear....kids understand who love them. so just relax and make ur peace with it....she cant his mom. he will love you even if ur at work or at home.......he will love you.


take care n chill

Poonam :))


srjaitly 2011-05-18 16:58:26


Yes ,i truly agree with you. Once a kid grows he knows who his mom his and he longs to be with mom only.

I am also working and my MIL takes care of my daughter during the day time but when I am home by daughter just wants to be with me.



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