How Do I Get My Mother-in-Law To Respect Me?

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"My mother-in-law has taken my son from me multiple times while I’m holding him without asking. I’m a pretty easygoing person but every time she does this it upsets me because if she asked I would, of course, say yes. The other day my son bumped his head and was crying so I was holding him trying to calm him down and she walked over and just grabbed him from me. My husband said something to her but he’s always nice when he says something and doesn’t like to upset his mother so I feel like she’s not getting the point. I feel like I’m not being respected and I’m not sure what to do."

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The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

"I would take him back and tell her straight out that it is more polite to ask instead of just take and walk away with YOUR child in your arms. If hubby tried to do it nicely and softly and she didn’t get the message then a firm ‘what the hell’ is needed. If you let her walk over you now while your child is young then she is going to think she can do anything she pleases… I'm sorry if this sounds harsh but you need to stop it now otherwise it will get worse."

"I would straight up say “please ask before you take my son. If you can’t ask then you don’t get to hold him"

"Literally just immediately take him back from her when she does that and remind her you are his mother, not her."

"Be frank with her. “I would appreciate it if you stopped doing that. It feels very disrespectful.” If she balks, cut her off until she apologizes."

"Stand up for yourself and children… she will never respect you as a mother if you don’t respect yourself… feelings might get hurt in the beginning but in the long run, you will be respected"

"I’ll never forget when my son was about three days old and we were on our first night home (she insisted she stay with us a week turned into 25 days before I snapped) and he wakes up in the middle of the night crying and I’m sitting up in bed breastfeeding and she tries to take him from me. I was like “you can get out now thanks I got this “ she couldn’t understand why smh gotta lay the law now before it gets worse"

"Oh hell no. If you see her coming tell her it’s none of her business. Take him back no matter but, tell her to do it. There can’t be a tug if war. Tell her next you are not returning until she can apologize and respect you. My mom was treated this way. But she started to tell her “NO. This is my child to take care of…”. I also remember her never going back but, we visited with dad only. I had been the one in the tug of war. Very scary for the child I can tell you. Your husband needs to be the one to stand up and make sure she does as asked. If he doesn’t, leave and don’t go back. It will never happen. Trust me. Sending the kids is btw you and him."

"Well. He’s yours. Take him back. She needs to learn that yes, while she is in fact his grandmother that doesn’t mean she can just take your child away from you whenever she sees fit. He’s your child, not a toy. I bet if someone did it to her she wouldn’t appreciate it either."

"My mother-in-law said and did things early on at times that made me feel insulted and inadequate as a mother. Despite me already having an older child from my first marriage. (While she only has the one spoiled son lol). I had to have a long talk with my husband and eventually let her have it in a respectful way. Never had the issue again."

"Maybe she has empty nest syndrome and she just wants to soothe him and feel needed so maybe just tell her she needs to ask first before grabbing him"

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