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Alcoholic Mother in Law

Community Member

I have recently had a baby and am struggling with my partners mother.

She is battling alcohol addition and has been in and out of rehab facilities over the last few years.

I feel extremely uncomfortable with her around my baby because I can never be confident that she hasn’t been drinking. She makes comments about babysitting but I could never risk the safety of my child which is sad because she obviously wants to have a relationship with our child but is currently not doing anything to help get her drinking under control.

It is her birthday this week and we are having a family dinner at a restaurant. My partner has informed me that she will be drinking which again makes me feel uneasy. When I asked him if he thought that was appropriate he got quite defensive saying it was better that she was drinking with her family rather than alone.

I just don’t know what the appropriate way to deal with this situation is. I don’t want to make a statement by not going but I can feel myself being judgemental if I do go to the dinner.

I am really at a loss and it’s making me feel isolated from my partner because we have very conflicting ideas on how things should be managed.

3 Replies 3

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

My views are of a non professional nature so here it is.

When a couple have conflicting views on a topic I believe you should be able to resort to your own personal views.

EG I would attend that party and observe. Once you MIL has had say- more than 3 drinks I'd leave and get a taxi home or get dropped off. If she has had some drink prior to arriving and you know it then reduce that amount to one drink. This might mean staying only one hour or until your meal is finished but - leave!

That way your partner can remain there as long as he likes. You are your own person and can make your own rules. I would be disappointed with your partner because he obviously accepts her drinking problem as ok. It isnt.

As for baby sitting your child that is not acceptable. Baby sitters should perform with the highest standards of trust and ability- if you have any reservations- dont allow it.

Others might feel differently.


Community Champion
Community Champion

hi and welcome.

there is someone in my family that likes to drink. And then in-law as well and results in the end of a marriage as well. It is very difficult to try to change someones attitude. It might seem like a small positive and shows the strength alcohol can have but she has previously tried to stop drinking .The statement made by your partner can also sound like they know about the problem and cannot find a way to do anything about it. (I am thinking about own family situation here.)

there is a group called "al anon" you could talk to - they "help families and friends of alcoholics recover from the effects of living with someone whose drinking is a problem" - https://www.al-anon.org.au/

There are ways a grandparent can have the relationship with their grandchildren without having to babysit such as dinners, birthday parties (the child), with the child when you are also around.

How have conversations gone with your partners or mother gone when you speak about your concerns for your baby?

Community Champion
Community Champion


Welcome. I understand your natural feelings to protect your baby.
I watched a show about addiction and it stated that relapses happen on the road to recovery. Many People with alcoholic addiction do try to give up but ic can be very hard .