Needy Mother-in-Law?

Husband and my first year of marriage, and I am 9 months pregnant with our first child.

His mother, granted, has just been left by her husband in the last few months and is surely experiencing some loneliness.

But boy is she needy, and pushy about it as well. She is driving both of us mad with her constant requests- demands- for help.

2-3 times a week she will call and ask that my husband go take out her trash, mow the lawn, clean up the dog's pee before she gets home because she had a long day. Or whatever other menial task that she could do herself, or have anyone else do. She lives across town.

Also poignant to note here that husband and I both work night shift. Meaning we sleep during the daytime, and being called at 2 PM with a request to come help her clean is like being called at 2 in the morning for 'regular' people.

"No" "we are busy" or anything like that is usually just steamrolled. And standing our ground either winds up in anger or tears or a cold shoulder.

I recently made a stand about her not showing up unexpectedly, especially when husband is at work and I'm sleeping, as I'm likely to take a baseball bat to somebody's head if they let themself in the house unexpectedly. And while she has listened so far- to the extent that she will call and leave a voicemail and come over whether I answer or not- said voicemails come across quite patronizing "I wouldn't want you to freak out, so heads up, I repeat heads up, I'm coming over."


9 Answers

  • 3 weeks ago
    Best answer

    Ultimately it is your husband's duty to protect you from his mother just as it is your duty to protect your husband from your mother.  A mother must always play "second fiddle" to your spouse or else the marriage is in major trouble.

    What I cannot understand is what she is coming over FOR. A conversation with you?  After you have changed the locks it might be difficult but if you get a "heads up I'm coming over" then get out of the house and leave it empty.  So that no amount of knocking or fuss will raise any response.

    If you stay she may just keep bashing on the door or windows until you cave in.  You can't have that.  At any cost.

    If you are BOTH there then you should BOTH do this until mum gets the message that she comes if invited but not otherwise.

  • 3 weeks ago

    Your husband needs to have a talk with her! This is absolutely unacceptable!

  • Tj
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    change the locks, turn off all phones. He needs to get a pair and tell her NO, when she starts demanding. He needs to grow up.

    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    So keep your doors locked and do not answer, turn the phones off, explain for the last time you work nights, you sleep in the day. I would move a long way away, imagine the trouble you will have when you have a child!

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  • 3 weeks ago

    You AND your husband have to have to show her a united front about her behaviour - Oh and change the locks. If she doesn't live there she does NOT need to have a key to your place.

  • 3 weeks ago

    Your husband has to put his foot down. Only he can stop her. if he refuses, she will just push and push and push

  • Ann
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    I hope your MIL doesn't have a key to your house.  If she does, change all of the locks so she can't just walk in while you're asleep. Next, turn off your answering machine when you go to bed and don't turn it back on until you're ready to leave to go to work.  Third, if she comes over, don't answer the door.  Disengage your doorbell, and sleep somewhere that you don't hear knocking on the door. Post a sign--in large writing--on the door that says, "Day Sleepers.  Do not disturb before 5 p.m." (or whatever time you usually get up).  Now--the most important thing is for your husband to set limits for his mother.  It doesn't sound as if he has the strength to do this, because she does the temper tantrum/pouting routine. Think about why her husband left.  Maybe it was her demanding attitude.  Maybe he found a new chickee. Whatever it was, the MIL is feeling insecure and abandoned. On a day off from your job, find/make the time to do this:  Tell her you're going to spend the day with her because you know she would like to have some fun.  Then, you show up at her house at 6:30 n the morning, ready to go.  Only give her time to throw on some clothes if she's  in bed asleep.  Be sure to lean on the doorbell and bang on the door to get her up, and off you go.  Go out to eat breakfast.  Eat within 20 minutes, call for the check, whether she's finished or not. Off to the next activity.  Take her shopping at a Dollar General/Dollar Tree/Family Dollar Store.  Walk up and down every aisle, and decide you don't want anything. Go to a mall (if there's one in your town).  Do the same thing.  Go in at least six-eight stores.  Walk every aisle, and buy maybe one thing in one store.  Then it's time for a coffee break.  Go to a McDonald's or somewhere cheap, get some coffee and a snack (McDonald's has little apple turnovers), and be done in 15 minutes.  Back to shopping.  This time, go to a pharmacy.  Look at makeup, perfumes, etc.  Again, drag it out and only buy one thing.  Don't ask her if she's getting tired.  She's probably dragging a little by that time.  Next--it's lunch time.  Go somewhere and eat a salad.  You've already had breakfast and a snack.  Give her 30 minutes to eat and recoup.  Then--you're going to a movie!  Now I know movies are expensive, so find the cheapest show in town and settle in with popcorn.  Make it an action movie that's loud--one she won't understand and will hate.  After the movie, Tell her you need to go to the grocery store. By now, you know the routine.  Up and down the aisles, studying all of the brands and ingredients on cans. She will probably be in tears by this time, she'll be so tired and frantic. Finally, you will take her home.  As you drop her off, ask her if she doesn't want to do the same thing the following week, and wasn't it a fun day?  She will run into the house to get away from you.  Make sure it's dark by the time you finally release her.  Then during the rest of the week, do the phone off the hook/sign on the door/no access to your house thing.  If you want to really get to her, actually show up the next week at 6:30 again.  I know this sounds absolutely insane, but I have seen it happen and I know for a fact it works.  A friend of mine did it to her MIL, who was way over the top with clinginess and neediness.  It took her three Saturdays  to get the point across, but the MIL quit bothering her and begged her to not come back.     

  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    I'd speak to a Psychiatrist before taking a baseball bat to anyone's head OR threatening to do so on the open Internet.

    Of course, I wouldn't marry such a p*ssy so I would never have your problem.  Maybe if your husband would grow a pair ...

    • Lol. Anon. I'd expect a baseball bat on a suspected house intruder/burglar is better than a gun. My psychiatrist agrees. ;)

  • Linda
    Lv 6
    3 weeks ago

    She sounds like the MIL from h@ll. Your husband needs to be more assertive with her and his lack of not being so is a big part of the problem. Tell your husband to set some boundaries with his mom or you are going to. He needs to stop catering to his mom's demands. Turn your answering machine off when you are sleeping or change your number and do not give it out.

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