3rd Trimester

MIL Advice

I want to start this by saying that I am one of the lucky ones.  My MIL is a wonderfully supportive person and one of the strongest women I know. I am very excited to be able to give her the grandchild I know she has been waiting so long for. 

That being said, she visited recently (she lives 5 hours away), and I saw a side of her that I had never seen before.  My husband and I just moved into a bigger place, and had just finished dragging everything into our new home by the time she arrived.  We had boxes piled everywhere, appliances scattered in the kitchen, and clothes piled high in our bedroom.  My husband warned me that she might want to help us unpack when she visited, to which I said, "The more help we have, the better." Mistake. 

My MIL suddenly turned into an overbearing control/neat-freak.  When she asked where I wanted something, and I told her, it was put where she wanted it anyway.  (She and my husband nearly ended up in an all-out brawl over where to put the wine glasses.) She would move things that my husband and I had already placed. When it came time to prepare Easter dinner for her and my family, I was allowed no part in it.  Everything we owned was suddenly "disgusting." Apparently my husband was familiar with this side of her, but in our five years together I had never witnessed it.  I've always known she liked a tidy house, but I was unaware that this extended to my home too. I like things clean but lived in.  She does not.   While here, she insisted on buying the baby's crib, stroller, and car seat.  She would have purchased more if we had let her.  I'm pretty sure she wanted the baby's entire room set up and ready to go before she left.  Thank God for my husband who drew the line there.  This was all pretty shocking to me, because the last time she visited (over a year ago), she did none of this.

Now to the question: I originally wanted to ask her to stay with us for a week after our baby is born (due in June).  My own mother passed away two years ago, and while I'm comfortable with the idea of taking care of baby, I thought it would be nice to have someone around to help us with the other stuff in the beginning.  My concern is that this new side of her that I recently witnessed will extend to the baby.  She has already made it clear that I'm an inadequate housekeeper.  I can accept that.  But if it turns into me being an inadequate mother, then we have a problem.  I'm concerned that, even if we set those boundaries beforehand, they will be disregarded.  (They certainly were when it came to our home.)

Does anyone have experience in this department that can offer some advice? 

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