First of all, I just want to say that I have always had a really great relationship with my MIL before my son was born. To the point where I would brag on how awesome she was and how lucky I was that I didn't have one of those "crazy and overbearing MILs" that I had heard the horror stories about from my friends. Well, my husband and I had our first baby in June of last year and he is the first grandchild. Her other two sons are most likely not going to have kids. One has never been in any kind of serious relationship before and really likes his independence and the other one married a woman that already had two kids and she is about 10 years older than her son so she's done having kids. I tried to prepare myself for all of the grandparents reactions to the first grandbaby in the family. However, my MIL has made me feel like I have been nothing but an incubator. I feel bad complaining about her because she is extremely sweet and will do anything to help us out but some of the comments that she has made have really hurt me. Some of it I feel like I may be overly sensitive or just overreacting being a first time mom and all. But she is constantly talking about how much my baby favors her son and everything he gets is either from her, her son or someone in her family. I do understand that she's not going to say that he got anything from my family because she doesn't know them like she does her family but she is implying that he didn't get anything from me. I mean he does have half of my DNA so there was a contribution there. My mother doesn't do that. My mom did say that he looked like me right after he was born when I was a baby but a few months later she told me that he was looking more like my husband. She just says what she really thinks. But my MIL will never say that he is anything like me or looks like me or anybody in my family. I even tried to say certain things that he gets from me and she's like oh no I'm musically inclined so he gets that from me or my other son is really tall so that's why the baby is so long he's going to be tall even though her other son is like 6 feet and they're people in my family that are 6 1/2 to almost 7 foot tall the his blue eyes he gets from me even though my dad and her son has blue eyes. My son has problems with constipation and we were discussing that the other day and I was saying how when I was little I had a lot of problems like that and it was difficult for me to go and she started talking about how he must have got it from her because she's always been constipated. Who argues about constipation coming from their side of the family? I mean geez.
I've always tried to include her and my FIL when I was pregnant and anytime I would send unltrasound pictures or updates to my parents I would also send them to them. Same thing since the baby's been born anything I send my parents I feel like I need to send them as well because I'm trying my hardest not to treat them differently. We live two and a half hours away from our family so when I take the baby for a weekend because my husband has to work I make sure that I don't just go to my family and I go to their house for at the very least a few hours if not for a day. I've invited my MIL up to stay with us for a week just about every other month so that she can see her grandson. She's not working but my FIL is. When she is here I try to do chores and run errands and not hover and give her space with the baby alone. To the point where I start having anxiety because I haven't held my baby and he starts getting really fussy and wanting to come to me because he's used to being with me everyday. There are times he is screaming and trying to reach out to me and she is restraining him and I have to physically take him from her. She wants to be the one to console him. She refers to my baby as "my boy" which I know shouldn't be a big deal but when you had trouble getting pregnant and cried and prayed for a child you get a little bit upset when someone tries to stake claim on him.
My husband and I took my son and MIL to the park the other day when she was here and put my son on the swing for the first time. There was another mother swinging her baby beside of us and later my MIL told me does she couldn't help comparing the babies and that when she saw that mother with her baby she thought "mine's cuter." I'm sorry why didn't you think your grandbaby is cuter not mine. He is your grandchild not your child. I honestly don't think I would feel this possessive if I didn't feel like she tried to exclude me when she talks about my baby getting everything from her side of the family and she's also been telling my son every chance she could you have to say Dada first and would try to get him to say it. What's funny is that I worked really hard on getting him to say mama first and he did so now she's really trying to get him to say DaDa.
She apparently asked my husband a couple of months ago about keeping our baby overnight and he said that she could so she told me that her son said it was okay and I said well I'm not ready, he's too young. I talked to my husband about it and he said I think she misunderstood me because I meant that eventually yes he could stay with his grandparents but I didn't say soon or right now. Then a couple of days ago she says in this playful voice to my son "me and your grandpa decided that we will wait until you turn one but then you're going to come stay the night with us whether mommy likes it or not." Um, no. He's not sleeping through the night still and even though he's 10 months I don't feel comfortable being away from him for a night when I never have been. Especially considering they live two and a half hours away. This caused a huge argument between my husband and I because I felt like we were not showing that we were a united front on this topic because she obviously feels that my husband is perfectly fine with the baby spending the night and I'm the problem. Otherwise she wouldn't have said whether mommy likes it or not she would have said whether mommy and daddy like it or not. Then my husband made a joke later about her taking our dogs with her when she leaves because they were driving us crazy and then said take Jackson too. So now that gives her the idea that I'm the holdout and he's okay with it but when I've talked to my husband about it he agrees with me that he's not comfortable yet and the baby is too young. He doesn't seem to see my point and just says we are the parents so we will decide when the baby can spend the night regardless of what they say so why are you worried? He doesn't get that he's causing this conflict because it seems as though he's playing both sides.
She also tries to make everything into a competition. I went to wake up my son from his nap because I wanted him to sleep good at night and he was taking longer nap than usual and he was fussy about it and whined and gave me a hard time about getting up. We were chuckling together about it and then she said "Jackson tell your mommy that you did so much better for Grandma when she woke you up this morning then you're doing for your mommy." If I had said that to her in reverse she would have got her feelings hurt. So why say it to me? I just feel like I go out of my way to not be that horrible DIL that treats their in-laws poorly or blatantly favors their parents when it comes to the grandbaby.
Lastly, she will sit and stare at my son sleeping almost like the whole time he sleeps. I get that she loves him and I'm so glad about that and that she's excited but some of her behaviors seem abnormal to me. We just saw her when I went down to visit about a week ago and she knew she was coming to stay this week and when she got here she told me that as soon as we had left she was so upset and that she just couldn't wait to see the baby again. When she first came into the house she's used to seeing the baby playing on the floor or at least in view and he was in the kitchen in his high chair eating a snack and she was like "where's the baby" all frantic. I told her and she ran in there to do her baby talk and everything. She told me later that she thought she might have a panic attack when she didn't see him. She kisses him constantly. And I mean I'll be in the kitchen making us lunch and all I hear the whole time I feel like is kissing sounds. It just all seems to be a bit much. My question would be is this behavior normal for a first-time grandparent? How should I deal with the pressure of them wanting to take the baby overnight, am I being too overprotective? I wonder when everyone else normally lets their babies go overnight the first time. Also, what is the fascination of grandparents getting to have the baby alone to themselves at their house? I mean I've offered countless times and they usually always take me up on it for both grandparents to come and stay the night with us and husband I go out on a date night and run errands during the day so they are alone with our child most of the day. I mean what can you do with the baby that you can't do in front of the parents? I do understand they want to bond with their grandchild and that is so very important. Some of my fondest memories were with my grandparents but he's not going to remember anything going over there as an infant, that's more for them than it is for him. Is it to play mommy again? I mean when she said that about him coming to spend the night once he was one she also said your mom would let you come if she was able to come but it would be grandparents time and you need to get away from mommy. I totally disagree. My fear about even later when I am ready to have him go spend the night is that she is the type of person since she wants to make everything a competition that she'll be doing everything she can to my son's "favorite" person. I need to know if I am being a crazy mama bear or do I have a right to feel this way??