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Old 05-14-2007, 01:44 AM   #1
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I need help with M-I-L issues

I'm wondering what your opinions are out there. When I had my baby 6 months ago my M-I-L came immediately and stayed with us for several days (she lives out of town.) She and her husband are nice people but quite anxious and very involved in their children's lives. Usually call every week (every day when the baby was born). By the end of the weekend I was exhausted. Glad that they got a chance to be excited about the baby as we were but at the same time I felt so tired and overwhelmed and felt like I had to be on my best behavior with them here. They were to come back in 2 weeks for another visit - about 5 days but they had such a good time that they decided to extend their trip and stay with us for 11 days. I literally freaked out at hearing that they were going to stay longer. Caused some serious marital strife but it was almost like I could not control my emotions. I felt so close to the brink of not being able to deal with them. When they came I really tried hard. But when they came my M-I-L would hold the baby for hours on end and coo to him and sing to him and play with him. And then when I would tell them about my rough night she would say but He's such an easy baby or he's not like that with me... I should have been grateful that my baby was getting so much attention because that was supposed to allow me to rest but instead I started to feel jealous or something like that - like Give me back my baby. I want to have a chance to be his mother. I wanted to coo to him and sing to him but at the time I was so sleep deprived that by the time I would get him I couldn't think of a song to sing and I'd be falling asleep while he was breastfeeding! Anyway, I figured that I was just not totally myself at that time as I was recovering from labor. But now months later I still don't have a great feeling toward my M-I-L. She has abit of an annoying habit of always having comments and opinions about everything related to his care and wanting to share those with me. And whenever we visit she takes the baby from me and walks away - which on the one hand I understand they feel like they don't have much time with him because they live so far away, but on the other it feels like we're not sharing him. I feel like they're almost upset when I mention that I need to take him for a few minutes to breastfeed him. I would really like to have a good relationship with her but now every time she calls or we visit I feel some serious negative feelings toward her and I am trying to let this go. What do I do? How do I deal with her. She's my DH's mom. He loves her. I want to love her. She's my DS's grandmother so I don't want him to think I don't like her. We're about to go on a weeklong vacation with her and I'm getting a little worried. That's why I'm on here now! Help!

 
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Old 05-14-2007, 10:18 AM   #2
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Re: I need help with M-I-L issues

First of all, I want to say CONGRATS on being able to put up with her as long as you have!! LOL!! ALL MIL's are pretty much this way. I guess I am lucky, b/c mine lives only 20 minutes away, so she doesn't have the "deprived" feeling. You have every right to feel like you do. The only thing I can think of is to talk to her about it. It is the only way you will feel better about it. I think that if you just say to her "I know you are enjoying holding him, but I need to feed him right now and he needs a nap. You can hold him as soon as he wakes up" she should understand. IF she still seems upset about you taking him, that is HER problem!! This is YOU'RE child, and you have the right to take him at will. She will get over it. Plus, look at it this way...once he is old enough to squirm and not want her to hold him, you can have your laugh. I know this probably wasn't much help, but I do sympathize. I just think telling her like it is is the best thing. ESPECIALLY if you are spending a WEEK with her!!

 
Old 05-14-2007, 10:37 AM   #3
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Re: I need help with M-I-L issues

I can relate to the "advice" issue. It seemed like everybody had some advice to give about babies and how they should be raised. You could say to her when she suggests something, "that is interesting, I'll think about and talk it over with my husband". Maybe even ask her advice about something. She wants to help and doesn't quite know how. Ask her what her son was like at that age - she'll love to talk about that.

Next baby though, tell everybody absolutely NO visitors until the baby is say, 2 weeks old. That is a very important time for you to rest and get used to having the little tyke around, getting into a new routine, etc. Say if they want to help, then send in a maid service for a week or do after you are home.

About the not wanting them to hold the baby, I was like that too, but just with my first. I would get jealous of other people holding my baby - I carried him, I went through labour, he's mine! I never said anything though, except to other young mothers who could relate.

I would also talk to my husband and set some ground rules for this trip you are taking. For example, nobody plans anything when it's baby's naptime, bedtime, mealtime, etc. Talk to your MIL and let her know the best times for her to interact with baby and she can arrange her schedule to fit. Take advantage of them being there and get out by yourselves for an evening.

Good Luck

 
Old 05-14-2007, 02:33 PM   #4
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Re: I need help with M-I-L issues

Congratulations!!!!!!

My MIL lives 45 minutes away and goes absolutely bananas if she goes more than two weeks without seeing the girls. I think a lot of grandmothers are like this.

As hard as it may be for you you do need to put your foot down about it. He is your son and if you have to feed him, change him, or just want to cuddle him that is your right to do so and you shouldn't have to justify it. Try to be as nice about it as you can, and if she has a problem then that is her's to deal with.

I'm curious, how does your husband feel about all of this? My dh use to tell me that I shouldn't worry so much and that she was only trying to help (which I obviously knew, but still). I had to talk to him about it a few times, but once he understood where I was coming from he became a very big help in deflecting his mom.

Don't get me wrong, I love my MIL. She is very good to all of us and more of a mother to me than my own at times. It's just sometimes she does have issues with boundaries and every once in a while she just needs a gentle reminder. If it doesn't work coming from my mouth then it comes from dh's.

 
Old 05-14-2007, 03:13 PM   #5
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Re: I need help with M-I-L issues

I think what got me annoyed was trying to get into a routine and my inlaws lived nearby would stay and stay and stay and I just wanted to go to bed at 9:30 and sleep 'cuz I KNEW I'd be up at 2 a.m. and then again at 6 a.m. for a feeding. Wanted to say, if you really, really want to hold him so much, why don't you show up for those feedings, so we can get some rest.

That or the "lets wake him up so we can see his eyes". Fine if she wanted to hold him, but please, please don't wake him up. He's a dreadful napper and I just got him to sleep.

It's an adjustment period, plus your hormones are still probably out of wack. I specficially asked my family not to show up for at least a week afterwards. And when they did -- it was a godsend. My dad got up at the 2 a.m. feeding to let me sleep.

 
Old 05-14-2007, 04:33 PM   #6
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Re: I need help with M-I-L issues

Enlist your husband's support and help. He should have no problems with backing you up with his mom (if he does, he needs to go to counseling with you - LOL!). Have him talk to his mom and let her know, without making you out to be the bad guy, that you both have some particular things that you want to do with your son's care, his naps, etc. and that she needs to back off a little.

Remember the book "Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten"? One of the big things in there was sharing... and while it may seem hard to share your baby with others, think about the joy that it is bringing to your in-laws to spend time with them. Be thankful that they want to be a part of your child's life even though they live far away. My parents live nearby (within walking distance almost) and see my child only every few weeks, typically when I bring her for a visit, and then it's only for 30-60 minutes, with me doing most of the holding and caring for during that time. I always got a kick out the look of sheer pleasure I could bring to people's faces when I would offer to let them hold my infant, especially when she was just 1 or 2 months old. They were so excited with the prospect of a newborn in their arms and the smell and the feel of the soft skin, etc. You could see their eyes shining as they remembered back to when their children were little or when their sibling was born or whatever. It truly made me happy to see someone else so thrilled. I hope you can experience that with your MIL.

My MIL lives 1000 miles away and was pretty negative about us even having children (before we got pregnant) and then wasn't very supportive during my pregnancy. Then my FIL died when I was 6 months pregnant and her tune changed some. I get some negative ***** from her ocassionally, but my DH was quick to say "well, if she's going to continue to act/talk like that, then we just won't go to visit her" -- which was very surprising to me.

Hang in there -- you and your MIL will figure out your changing relationship eventually.

 
Old 05-14-2007, 08:21 PM   #7
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Re: I need help with M-I-L issues

I had a MIL like yours, my kids adored her, cherished her and she cherished them. There were issues, but we got to laugh about most of them when the second one came along (much better). My own parents were totally uninterested in my kids, and never once remembered a birthday, asked to see them. When my daughter at age 20 months or so called my mother Grandma, she freaked out and really upset my little girl. I cried to my MIL about it, and her words were "She's the one who is missing out". I know which approach I prefer now. It is hard with the first one, but be patient with them, set your boundaries on the occasion, don't lay down a list of rules, cos instances change.

 
Old 05-15-2007, 08:32 AM   #8
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Re: I need help with M-I-L issues

I love my mothers in law, yes i have two. 1st marriage and 2nd and they are both my mothers and I love them as though they were. My 1st MIL would fight with FIL to see who got baby first. I didnt get angry i laughed...

Your hormones can get the better of you. Many people see things differently, the other posters have not have a good relationship with theirs but i have so i thought maybe i would give my 2cents for ya.

I have an Aunt (husband sides) and she comes in and takes baby from where ever she is and walks away. My feelings on it is that we know this is what she does and we try not to laugh too hard and we even bet how long it will be from time she walks in to time she snatches baby. LOL The only thing i can say is, I am so blessed to have a MIL's and FIL's that want to be a part of my childrens lives and aunts and uncles who fight over each kid who comes into this large family. Everyone has their own 2cents to add and you say thank you very much and smile and thats it. Weather you do it or not is your decision but you dont have to argue with them(not saying you do) about it. Remember that you are breastfeeding, not something that was big back in the day so your MIL doesnt get it and thats ok for her not to get it. She is so anxious to see baby that she doesnt care who she cracks over the head with the frying pan to get baby all day long. I have to laugh becuase there are women out htere who have kids and their grandparents just dont give a hoot.

I was a child of a young mom, she had me at 18 and sister at just 17. Our grandmother said "she was too young" to be a grandmother and never aloud us to call her grandma it was always Barbara or Tony(gramps) and I am 33 and still have to call her that even now that she is 78. I wished it were different but it's not. So when i had my kids I said the more people who love my children the better. So what if they dont feel the way we do or did things different then we did. They had their chance and now it is ours. But sometimes there opinions help you think and help you make an informed decision.

I am sure MIL means well and is a very loving mother and grandma. You're still breastfeeding and may have the whole mamabear hormone thing going on. Nursing sure brings out the mean in us. LOL

I remember feeling "oh why oh why does my dd3 sleep at grams house and not mine" oh poor me...I swear my dd never sleeps at my house the way she sleep at hers. I laugh at this now but didnt back then. I use to get so sick of it but then thought wait a minute who cares, the kid is good when grams is here so why fight it. I would let mother in law hold that kid till she couldnt anymore and i would go sleep or i would go do dishes or something. It was just a case of realizing what was more important. And yes my MIL said the same things like she doesnt do that with me...its not out of malice its out of a "as a matter of fact" talking . I realized there was no need for me to be angry about it just take it as it comes and let my in laws enjoy what they can because one day they wont be here and at least my kids where able to say they new them.

I just lost my Pepa last june 4 weeks before I had my 4th child (his 10th greatgrand child) and although he never diapered or help any one of his children he held mine and cussed up a storm in front of them with his sailor mouth and those are the best memories I have and wouldnt ask for any less or any different.

Are you stressed when you bring baby somewhere about breast feeding...Like do you think to yourself well i dont want to go because then i will be feeding baby the entire time and wont get to visit? Stress sure has an impact on us females when we tend to our littleones.

Not saying anyone is wrong or right, just letting you see it through my 2cents and hope that you nurse as long as you can and get through this weekend coming and hopefully you will relax and maybe just let it happen with MIL, let her fuss over baby. In turn that means you arent the one holding baby, you have your arms free to do what you want. Ahhhh the good ole days.

Good luck and let us know what happens. Remember when you feel angry to just take a step back and breathe. Is it really that important to be upset about the thing you are upset about? Always ask this to yourself then think before you react.

Last edited by prairie_dawn; 05-15-2007 at 08:59 PM.

 
Old 05-16-2007, 08:56 AM   #9
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Re: I need help with M-I-L issues

Like the other ladies have said, don't let it get to you too much. Although it can seem annoying and stressful now, when or if you decide to have more children, you may welcome the help!! I WISH my MIL would take more time to spend with my kids. They live a little over an hour away and I may see them once every 2-4 months. They are retired and live a jet set lifestyle. They are always away or are hanging out with friends. I think that's great, but it doesn't allow time for them to visit their grandchildren. I am due with my third child any day now and they are leaving to go away on vacation on Saturday, so will not be here for the birth of their son's baby. It kinda ticks me off. Not that I want them here, I want them here for my husband and kids.

I had grandparents who were similar to my in laws when growing up. I hoping that my children will have a better relationship with both sets of grandparents. It's sad when you only have one side that seems to be there and I want both there for my kids. I hope I'm making sense!

If it's really causing you stress, talk it out with your husband and have him approach his mom. She may not realize it's bothering you so much. Good luck and I hope things get better soon!!!!!!

 
Old 05-16-2007, 09:44 AM   #10
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Re: I need help with M-I-L issues

We actually teased my MIL about being the "baby-hog" 'cuz she'd never let anyone else hold ds.

 
Old 05-16-2007, 11:20 AM   #11
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Re: I need help with M-I-L issues

We call dh's aunt, Titi Hog I ! Titi is spanish for Aunt.

Not only will a new born act different with others when they grow up they will do the same. It is instincts, servival. When a woman's baby cries her instinct is to comfort/change/sooth/feed and baby senses and knows that at a young age to learn trust they also learn this by knowing it is YOU by smell, from being in utero they know your scent and will never forget it. Others dont smell quite like you not even your dh so baby has to act accordingly to make sure that they get what they need.

Of course dear it is easy for grams to come in and snatch up baby and be with baby for hours on end and not even have a care about anyone else around her. The reason for this is because she no longer has to spend the night awake feeding, so she can enjoy this. This is why it is called being a Grandma. LOL

Did you notice in my post that I didnt mention my own mother? the reason is she is in maine and living with my stepfather who hurt her and us as kids. she knows i have 4 and my sister has 4 kids and she doesnt come to visit but once in 9 years. I talk to her on the phone but that is it, how i wish i had her here to help me. But for now I have both mothers in law. And yes my instincts to keep baby even after haveing 4 were strong when someone wanted to take baby or hold. I still had to let it happen and get over it, just like you will gradually. Knowing what you are feeling is half the battle. I had depression after #4 and just by talking to dh about it and all my aggrivations I was fine.

You might want to take this time you will spend with her to ask her how she did it. You are in this for the long haul with your dh so maybe you need to get some family history going there. especially funny stuff about what dh did. I always love those stories.

 
Old 05-16-2007, 08:40 PM   #12
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Re: I need help with M-I-L issues

THanks for all the advice and support from everyone. I think I'm at the point that I am both venting and hoping to be a better person. So all comments appreciated. Its coming up in 2 weeks so I will let you all know how things went.

 
Old 05-17-2007, 12:39 AM   #13
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Re: I need help with M-I-L issues

Congrats on your baby! As for the MIL issue... I consider myself lucky in that my MIL doesn't speak English fluently and I speak no Chinese whatsoever. So we have communication issues that actually work to my advantage. BUt that doesn't stop her from trying to do the whole 'advice' thing. Here's what works for me - I just agree with her all the time. She'll say things like, 'babies need to be held a lot - do you hold them all day?' (oh, btw, I have twins... how am I supposed to do this?) Instead of being a smart *** or actually engaging in the conversation, I just say what I think she wants to hear - "yes". That ends the conversation. When we bottle feed them, she ALWAYS asks, "is this your milk?" (she obviously thinks that's better than giving them any formula at all). Again, regardless of what's in the bottle, I just say "yes". End of conversation. I know - it's not entirely honest, but I've got two 8-week-olds to care for....I'm way too tired to deal with it, and it's not hurting anyone. When she makes little comments that aren't direct questions, I usually just give a generic response like, "that's a great idea" or, "ok - we'll try that".

I can't say much about the jealousy thing. With two babies, we have plenty to go around so I'm afraid I can't give any helpful insights on that one. Good luck - I hope you can work it out so you both get to spend the time you want with your little one!
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