CONTROL FREAK MOTHER IN LAW
My mother-in-law is a control freak and now she and her daughter, my wife Sue (not her real name) seem to have ganged up on me, which is very undermining.
I knew she was difficult from the start but never imagined it would go this far. For example she ‘helped out’ with the décor of our first flat, saying Sue was ‘much too busy.’ I am not that interested in colour schemes so I didn’t mind, but I don’t want it to look like a mini version of her home. When Sue got pregnant we made the mistake of revealing that the baby was a girl and she bought loads of clothes before she was born. No questions asked. She came to the hospital when my wife went into labour and supervised both Sue and the nurses. I felt very left out as I’d hoped it would be an intimate occasion between Sue and me.
She then moved in with us to do the night feeds and cook us dinner. We were both nervous new parents and appreciated her being helpful but she stayed for a month instead of a few days and I was barely involved. I was so relieved when she left. I do like her and it’s not that she hasn’t anything else to do. She’s also a successful business woman and has plenty of friends. Four months ago we employed a day nanny as my wife went back to work. Her job involves going abroad fairly regularly for about a week at a time. The first time Sue travelled since our daughter was born, she told me she wanted her mother to bath our daughter, put her to bed and then stay the night in case she woke up. She added that I was such a heavy sleeper I wouldn’t not hear her if she cried. I felt put down and had five awkward evenings making small talk with my mother-in-law when I would have preferred to have been with my daughter on my own. The second time Sue went away she made the same arrangement but I suggested to my mother-in-law that I could manage the bedtime routine. She flew into a rage and was very rude to me. Sue and I discussed the matter and finally agreed her mother would bath the baby and put her to bed in case I was late from work, but not stay the night.
I am sort of okay with that but my mother-in-law is now very uncommunicative and obviously still angry. I’ve asked Sue to speak to her again but I don’t think anything has come of it.