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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 11-20-2016, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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Monster In Law!!!

I need advice on how to deal with my mother in law. She goes completely overboard, ignores my rules as a parent, and is absolutely nuts.
A little boyfriend and I live together. We have been together for 3 years and lived together for half of that time. My 7 year old calls him dad. They are best friends. His mother had 3 boys, no girls, and my daughter is the only grandchild. When her boys were young, they were poor, and her husband died several years ago, and she has since come into some money, which she likes to flaunt.
Here are some of the things she has done that I am uncomfortable or angry about: She used to take my daughter (when she was 5-6) to get mani-pedis every other weekend when I would let her spend time with her. I asked her to please stop, because it's my belief that a pedicure is something that should be done as a special occasion, like a birthday gift. Not just something you do all the time, when you are 6 years old. She buys her hundreds of dollars worth of clothing at a time. She has a children's place credit card and a justice card, just to buy stuff for my daughter. I have asked her to cut back, because she had a closet full of things with tags still on them that I was reselling or donating when she outgrew them. For her birthday, she spent $3,000.00 on new bedroom furniture for my daughter. She bought her a shirt one time that was "a little sheer", so she bought her a BRA to wear under it. She bought a SIX year old a BRA. I told her that she has about 50 camisoles that are for that purpose. I have been very specific about some things, like I've said that my daughter is not to wear mascara or eyeliner. She's 7 now and likes makeup. That's fine if she has on a little blush or eye shadow once in a while, or even some lipstick. But I do not want her wearing mascara. Last week, my daughter was grounded (no tv privileges and no extra fun things like shopping) because her grades have been slipping and she needed to refocus her attentions on school. I am an ER tech, and once in a while I have to work nights. Her dad has to leave at 4am for work, so she offered to keep her last Friday night. I told her "she is grounded, because of a couple of bad grades, so there's no shopping or pedicures or that kind of stuff". Yesterday I go get her, and she tells me that "grandma bought her a Christmas dress"...I say oh...I wonder why she didn't ask me if I had one for you. She then says "I wasn't supposed to tell you, because I'm grounded". So I text her and say "she said you bought her a Christmas dress?" She replies "well, it's just a formal dress. Can be worn for any special occasion really". I reply, "she also told me you told her not to tell me." She says "I didn't want you to get mad, I forgot she was grounded." I don't reply. Then an hour later she replies "it was supposed to be a surprise for you. We were going to go get Christmas pictures taken. Part of your Christmas gift. But now I guess not." This is what she does. If she thinks she's "in trouble", she manipulates you into being the bad guy. If I go full out bitch and tell her to stop undermining my parenting or she will not take her anywhere, she will make my life hell. She does these "nice" things for people, like takes them shopping or pays for things, then acts like the person is destitute and couldn't afford their own clothes, or their kid's own school supplies, so she has to do it for them. My boyfriend has even said "she's crazy, I would just let her do what she wants. Our daughter doesn't act like a spoiled brat, and she knows that grandma is a little crazy and goes overboard." But I can't do it. It has to stop! I dread Christmas every year because we literally have to drive the pickup truck to her house to haul all the toys home because they don't fit in my car. Any advice???
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 11:56 PM
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Sounds like a tough, annoying character, your mom-in-law. The best way to diffuse her overbearing influence is to repeatedly kill her with kindness. It is as difficult as it sounds, but it is a life skill nonetheless. You can be assertive and disarming while being kind. You can say, for example, "Thank you for your gift, but we are not accepting anymore from you. You have been too generous." Return the gift and be sure to keep returning whatever you deem is too rich or inappropriate for your daughter. I know it's not a great solution; this is just a suggestion.
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