My husband’s cousin [54F] crosses my [30F] boundaries regarding my child [1F]
Aug. 13, 2019
My cousin-in-law, let’s call her Gina, has a very strong personality. In fact, she’s intimidating. She has no qualms about cussing you out and making her opinion known by any means necessary. I have never had a problem with Gina until now. We have always gotten along very well and we have a great time together, but I wouldn’t want to be on her bad side.
When I gave birth to my first child (we’ll call her Susie) a little more than a year ago, Gina and her family came to the hospital the day she was born. Gina has made every effort to be a major part of Susie’s life, and for the most part, this has not been a problem. Gina doesn’t have any grandchildren of her own and has sort of adopted Susie as her grandchild. She babysits for us occasionally, buys gifts for Susie, and comes over to our house all the time.
I’ve had a handful of issues with Gina being overbearing over the past year. She has insisted that we put lotion on Susie after her bath, has told me that Susie’s feet were cold and she needed socks (her feet were not cold). I don’t want to call these things suggestions because she wasn’t suggesting them. She was demanding them, but then again, the word “demand” sounds too harsh. Anyway, these comments over the past year have annoyed me but I’ve let them go, thinking it wasn’t worth it to argue.
We recently had Susie’s first birthday party. Susie wasn’t wearing any shoes when Gina arrived (no problem, she never wears shoes in the house). Gina picked her up and carried her around for several minutes. She then approached me and said “Susie wants to get down but she doesn’t have any shoes on.” I told her it was fine to go ahead and put her down, that she runs around barefoot in my house all the time. Gina refused. She said it was unsanitary because of all the guests we had to have Susie go barefoot. I told her probably three times that Susie could be put down, but Gina would not do it until she had shoes on.
I haven’t stopped thinking about this interaction since the party. I’m so angry about it. I’m Susie’s mother, and my decision should be the bottom line.
We have a family trip coming up in a couple of weeks. I foresee something similar happening. How can I set a boundary with Gina without causing a rift in the family?
TL;DR: Cousin-in-law went against what I decided was okay for my one year old and I am pissed about it.