Mothers-in-law often get a bad rap, however one woman, whose mother-in-law gave her a hard time after her first-born, is now questioning what makes them spiral and overstep boundaries, especially soon after a grandchild is born.
Writing to the online forum Mumsnet, the woman said her mother-in-law freaked out when she had her first child and continuously broke boundaries, but was back to her lovely self by the time the second child arrived.
“When I had my first baby my MIL [mother-in-law] suddenly had no respect for me,” she said. “She turned up unannounced on a daily basis, often with friends. We would be mid-dinner and she would apologise but make no attempt to leave. She would criticise [my] parenting.”
The frustrated woman continued: “She would book us in to go and see her family members of a weekend to essentially show off the baby. It was almost like she was trying to be in control of our lives.”
However, she went on to say that after her second child it was as if her mother-in-law was a totally different person, explaining: “Anyway, with my second child, she was the absolute opposite. She is an absolutely lovely woman and would go to the ends of the earth to help anyone, so I just couldn’t work it out.”
“If you’re a MIL who realises now that you overstepped certain boundaries when your DIL [daughter-in-law] first had a baby, what do you think the reasons were looking back?” she concluded.
Fellow Mumsnet users weighed in on the topic, with one claiming “newborns turn new grandparents slightly doolally”. “There are no studies into this, but I’m sure that even the most laidback people when they turn into a grandparent [it] changes something inside them,” they wrote.
However, one commenter said it’s “such a fine line between wanting to be helpful and not overstepping the mark”. “You don’t want to be thought of as a nuisance or uninterested,” they said. “It’s hard to negotiate the right path especially if you don’t know your DIL closely.”
Meanwhile, one person said it’s not always the mother-in-law’s fault, explaining: “I think a lot of women go a bit power hungry after having babies to be honest and start blatantly building the baby’s relationship with their side of the family at the expense of the dad’s, ignoring really bad behaviour from their side, but will poke holes out of every tiny interaction they have with their MIL.”