How to deal with a controlling and overbearing mother-in-law

My mother-in-law and I have been really close and have always gotten along. She has been great to me and we’ve been good friends… Until… I got pregnant… So. I’m pregnant now, and she’s being so controlling and overbearing about this baby in my belly.. I’m glad she is excited and happy to be a grandma and all, but grandmas do not make all the decisions, the parents do!! Right?!? She thinks she should be able to name the baby. She thinks this baby is hers, she’s calling it hers!! She wants to make the rules of life for this baby! She wants to choose who can see and who can’t see the baby! She thinks I should leave the baby with her all the time!

She wants to name the baby.. I told her to give me suggestions if we (baby daddy and I) decide we like it we may use it… So she gave us her suggestions.. We didn’t really care for many of them.. If I liked it, he didn’t, so it was a long hard battle… The whole naming a baby thing is always hard… But when you throw more people into the name game instead of just mommy & daddy it makes it even more hard!! So.. We decided on our boy name and our girl name.. And we are set with our names… The mother-in-law.. Does not like the names.. She finds every excuse in the book to make fun of the names and so on… She says if we name the baby a name she doesn’t like she’s just going to call the baby by a different name!! I told her she needs to settle down and agree with our names cause once that baby comes the name will fit him/her just perfectly… So.. She still through a fit… I told her to stop complaining and nagging about the names we picked or we are changing the boy name to her ex-husbands name- baby’s daddy’s dad’s name. (I would never, but I knew it would bug her). That must have been a bad thing to say! Cause she let me hear about it for the next 3 hours. How he didn’t deserve to have a baby named after him.. And I’m being an a**hole and rude to her. She contined to tell us that if we ever let our baby see his/her other grandparents (baby’s dad’s dad and step mom) that the mom-in-law would never feel the same about our baby. I just told her she’d be missing out on the baby’s life then. She said baby would be missing out on her.. Then she continued to tell me that my baby will not be spoiled like I was growing up. That she will force my baby to eat bread crust even if he/she doesn’t want to. I told her. Then my baby will never be left with you alone..

I would never ever want to keep my baby away from any of its family! That’s why we are being fair and allowing the “other” grandparents to see the baby whenever they want. Just because there was a divorce in the family doesn’t mean it needs to break up the whole family!! Come on!!

What do I do in this situation!!!???

Please help!! This is forcing me to go crazy and get stressed.. And being pregnant and stressed is not good!!

I’m ready to just pick up and run away from this family.. But I don’t really want to.. I just want the craziness to go away…

I want people to love my child.. But not be too overbearing and try to tell me what I need to do and what I can’t do with my very own baby!!!

Please please help!!

Thanks a bunch!!

Answer #1

Lord have mercy on us with such problems. I have the same problem with my mother in law. Shes a good lady but, My son is almost 5 now and she hasn’t changed a bit. The thing I hate the most is how my husband ALWAYS complies with her. Such a big fat mama’s boy. I’ ve been having sooo much problems with this that I am at the end of my rope. So lets all pray for each other and grab these old ladies by the hair sit them down AND LAY DOWN THE LAW OR ELSE NO MORE GRAND KIDS!!! I feel now that’s the only way to go. And if daddy doesn’t like it too bad! We’re the ones dealing with the kids and dinner, lunch, sack, school, staying up late at night because they have a fever etc, etc. So MOMMY=BOSS shouldn’t be an argument just a fact. Good luck to all of us, for me IT IS TIME TO LAY DOWN THE LAW, IT IS LOOONG OVER DO!!! =)

Answer #2

Its your child and you need to tell her that. I don’t really like my mother in law at all. She thinks that everything is about her and her four little kids she adopted from third world countries. She try ed to make me and my husbands wedding about her and the little ones and it did not happen and she complained about it after the wedding. My mother in law think that her sons live should still revolve around her. Let me tell you if she try’s that crap with me I will tell her I am the parent you are not so you have no say so get over it. Oh and do not let her give you suggestions on the names for the baby she needs to back off.

Answer #3

First take your husband into confidence with your love. But don’t expect him to plead on your behalf; it is too much to expect. Stand tough to your MIL without reciprocating her shouts. Establish you are mostly right and you care your hubby. You will surprisingly get the approval of his. Now you can look for oppotunities to fire her at her little mistakes. Don’t hesitate to even kick if necessary. Keep her busy with your orders. The tables are already changed, bravo!

Answer #4

Hurtnme- I am interested in hearing what has happened since the baby was born.. I have a very similar situation, but actually mine is WORSE. my mother in law goes out into public and calls the baby in my belly HER NAME. she has done it repeatidly and I dont know what to do. she also treats me like a surrogate- like I am carrying her child for her- which is SO TWISTED! she tries to buy me things and then holds it over my head. my husband has taken her aside twice and told her to stop calling the baby her first and middle name and she will not stop. soemtimes she laughs at us and sometimes she acts like she is going to cry to get his attention. but this isn’t the only thing she has done- the list goes ON and ON. I dont know what to do because I am having all this stress and anxiety and am pregnant and am just like you- I want to run away! I may go see a therapist because this is much too much for someone who is pregnant to deal with. she has questioned my “parenting” skills for my dog non-stop and disrespects me any chance she gets. anything I do that is wrong she tells me I am “stupid”. she comes up with all these ideas (like filling the freezer with her homecooked food so my husband doesn’t go hungry at the likes of me) and if I disagree she tells me she is doing it anyways. she told me that MY BABY is never going to love me as much as she will love my husband.. and the list goes ON AND ON. I have gotten to the point where I CAN’T speak to her, but the woman is so stupid that she doesn’t get it and if I have to interact with her she does it again! doesn’t she see she is only hurting herself?? she told me she is going to come and take the baby whenever she wants. she has threatened me before too that I better not give my mother extra privildges or else. I dont want to limit her time with the child, but I am actually scared that she will talk bad about me to my baby (like she does my dog- I have heard her say “oh you poor thing, if only you could have a walk, nobody loves you”!).. it would be interesting to know what has happened since your baby was born and what your mother in law is like now.. I VOW to never treat my children or their chosed spouse this way and to respect people- because this BS really hurts!!! it is hurting my marriage too which I think- she wants. most of the time my husband sticks up for me, but she is very manipulative and does it mostly when he is not around. I try and by empathetic and put myself in her shoes, but this is beyond crossed the line!

Answer #5

you need to have a heart to heart with your mother in law. ask her for some time to go out for smoothies or something so you can have some time to talk (an in public she can’t be loud and obnoxious without making a scene and embarrassing herself). write down all of your concerns and make bullet points. ask for her permission to speak without being interrupted and let her know she will have her time where you listen. You need to be very clear about what you would like her role to entail. tell her what your expectations and boundaries are. and let her know how she is offending you with her current behaviour. tell her that you love her and you want her to be in your childs life, but her time with the baby will be in good taste and she needs to play by your rules, or don’t play at all. let her know that you respect her opinion and you and your spouse will lovingly consider all of her suggestions b/c you know she has so much experience yadda yadda yadda.

just tell her how you feel. it is your job to protect your baby from harm (physical, psycological, and otherwise) don’t let her bully you, you have all the cards.

Answer #6

Frustraitedmommy-I will just tell you right now that s* would not fly with me and my husband ever again. I broke down crying one night and made him realize how his mother really made me feel. I am not pregnant nor do I have any children, (yet) but your hubby needs to stop condoning her behavior, and stand up on your behalf! Tell him how you feel, and tell him to hear you out. If he still doesn’t understand, tell him his mother got just what she wanted and that is divorce papers served to his stupid a because he’s just as blind as his mother. Got dammit, now. That makes me so mad b/c my husband would believe his mothers lies at one point, because hello?! It’s his mom! But what kind of sick, twisted person would want to bring that upon someone? Anyway, I felt so much better whenever he understood how I really felt; he even called her the next day and gave her a piece of his mind because he was quite upset. Like the other girl posted earlier, she would feed me bullshit when he wasn’t around, and then sugarcoat everything to him about our conversation. Then shed turn around and badmouth about me to him and his grandparents, falsifying it to her taste! Jealous much? Get your own hubby psycho…lol

Answer #7

THANKS SO MUCH for your input!! I’m so floored with the way she’s been acting I’m willing to try anything at this point!! Or just run away from it all an dnever let anyone see my baby!! But I know that’ is NOT the right thing to do and it would not help matters at all!! I do think I need to try and talk to her.. but at this point I don’t know if I should.. I’m so mad still, and I don’t think I should be the one initiating the “talk.” Maybe I’m just being stubborn.. but I think after how she is acting and the things she’s said, I think she should apologize to me and then from there I can sit down and talk with her and tell her how I feel and how I wish she would act differently!.. The joke: “They say hope and the mother in law die last..” is hillarious!!!

I guess this is just anther battle or mountain to climb in this so called life to make me stronger and prepare me for the future and what will come!!

Thanks to all who have answered and helped out!!

Answer #8

hmmm to tell you the truth the only way I can think of is to go with her ideas unbtil the baby is born…if you have tried to talk to her and nothing is happening then you have to take matters into your own hands…

this can be quite hard because she is your mother in law… but I think if you put your foot down on these matters and dont take no as an answer ull be ok…

sigh besides that there really is no way you can do this… I mean it is your baby and you are bringing it to this world… you could also try explaining to her what you have just explained here?

on a lighter note…they say hope and the mother in law die last (its just a joke dont take it the hard way)

Answer #9

It feels so good to hear that other women have the same issues. I don’t have a baby yet, but my MIL thinks that it should go along with her and my sister in-law’s timing. Up until a year ago, my MIL used to always joke and say, “You know I’m not ready to be called a grandma yet?” HaHA! I never thought it was funny because she made the comments every time we were together.
Now, she says things like, “You know your SIL is going to be really upset if your not pregnant by her birthday?” This time she says it seriously.
The funny thing is that the more they pressure me and make digs like that, the less I want a baby. I fear of getting pregnant now. I’m very depressed over it. I used to get excited thinking about getting pregnant and starting a family. Now, I associate pregnancy with fear. We have a dog and she already calls my dog her baby. SCARY! She has already made statements about how we are going to spend Christmas together when we have kids. Of course, it’s never phrased like a question.
Every time I see my MIL and SIL they always say something about us having a baby. My husband defends them and says they are just having fun. It’s not fun when it is constant and they are serious. They have always acted like the world revolves around them. My SIL was actually raised that way. I’m struggling with how to handle this. I’ve been so down about this whole baby thing. The only solution I can think of doing is to politely tell them it is our decision and please respect our privacy. It’s none of their freakin’ business! HELP!

Answer #10


it wont change…NO BUDDY!!!

Answer #11

I’m in the same boat as darkdiamond! I’m scared that me and my husband will end in divorce and I’ll have to go without seeing my babies every other weekend at the LEAST which tears my heart up inside. My mother in law is very controlling and INCREDIBLY manipulative. My husband always thinks she is doing nothing wrong and yells at me if I bring something up or want to make a stand against her. She has no respect at all for me and does whatever she wants despite me asking her to stop certain things (like forcing her religious beliefs, eating beliefs as a vegetarian, etc. on my 2 year old son.)

I wish so badly there was a way to correct this…but I feel so backed into a wall with my husband not on my side and always siding with her. I can’t take much more honestly…


I’m about to have to put her in her place and hope my husband doesnt file for a divorce. It’s too emotionally confusing on my kids with what she is doing to them. I want to rip my hair out!

Answer #12

Im also curious to know how this situation turned out. I like you had problems with my mother in law but to add to the issues, the sister inlaw chimed in with her. They kept trying to force names we didnt like onto us, and kept telling us the names we wanted were not acceptable. its now my little ones baptism and I have had to change the date to suit them, even though the sister in law is not coming because “she isnt playing an important role on the day” - in other words, we didnt choose her as a god parent. The mother in law insists on being the one to choose who is on the invite list. she thinks, just because her family is smaller than mine, she has a right to invite all of my husbands uncles and kids to make the numbers even.

I am so sick of it and am really struggling to bite my tongue. I know that one day I am just going to blow up and scream at them both for thinking everything revolves around them. I only worry that when I do finally explode, it will be over something so stupid, its going to make me look silly.

Answer #13

Mines the same, I`m a fella recently married to the woman of my dreams. The day we got married my mother inlaw jumped in the bridal car and started making comments when I spoke “ were talking about a turkish wedding” I could have flipped, with her comments and dirty looks. Then the rest of the day she just stared at me, with hate in her eyes. I didnt snap once with her. Since meeting my wife her mum has been really hard work, I’ve tried really hard to be polite and treat her daughter right. I work, I dont take drugs, I dont drink that often, im socialbe and have loads of mates yet nothing I do seems good enough, im tired of her comments, dirtyu looks and put downs!! I’ve tried to talk to my wife, and to be far she has been supportive and understands her mum is hard work. I feel lost and that my marriage eveloves around my mother in law rather than me and my wife, also to out the cherry on top my wife has just told me shes pregnant (2 months) im really happy about being a Dad and having a family, but I really am worried about my mother in law shes calling the baby hers and my wifes, doesnt like the names I’ve suggested. and believe men are only their for earning the money. Please what should I do, this woman is driving me crazy, I have tried to have it out with her, she had me in tears apologising to her and now is saying to people im blaming her for my problems and imagining things!!!?? One thing is I wont leave my kid for anyone, please give some advise I what to do. Thanks

Answer #14

I go through this everyday with my mother-in-law. My 2 girls are 4 and 2. Just recently I addressed this with her in a not so nice way. It seems to be better but I decided enough is enough. We had the best relationship until I had children…how sad is that! My husband seems to be semi on board. I think he is finally coming to terms with how overbearing and controlling she is. She truly thinks my girls are hers…craziness… I continue to find ways to control her obsession although unless she changes I will keep my girls at a healthy distance…it’s good to have balance I just balance out how much they see them..and try to make that my focus until they are in school full time…wish me luck!

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