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MIL giving a bath and playing dress-up - Page 8

post #141 of 167
AveryMomma's your posts are so beautiful . My first baby is 17 so I think alot about these issues, I hope that any DIL I have one day will forgive me if I am overbearing.

Shay
post #142 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caneel View Post
and





Your MIL sounds like my mom.

At first, my husband couldn't understand how excited she was about little things like giving a bath. It was sort of an issue as he would get annoyed with her.

Then I realized, sadly, that he never saw such unrestrainted parent/grandparent child love before and that was why he thought all the little things like sharing a bath time, getting the first hug thru the door, having a pj cuddle, etc. were unnecessary for a grandparent.

OMG - who wouldn't just love a fresh washed baby-in-their-pjs cuddle?!?!

As time has gone by, he now "gets" it and is happy our DS has a close relationship with my mom.

I have a close friend whose in-laws and two sets of great-grandparents are over the moon about their grandkids. She also didn't come from an outwardly loving family and she is constantly annoyed by the grandparent's and great-grandparent's desires to just be with the grandkids.
This was helpful. I'm always mystified by how outraged people get by family members being close to their kids. I don't get why a grandparent can't bathe, dress and take pictures. Mine always did....and I guess that's the ticket. Close families are totally in my comfort zone. Really, if I was watching anyone's child it would not occur to me to get permission or protocals before bathing a mussed child.
post #143 of 167
oh, averysmomma.
my goodness. you have a beautiful way with words. and such wisdom.
and operamommy. what a moving story.
i've cried twice reading this thread. this is MDC at it's best, ya'll.
thank you. im sure my MIL would thank you, too.
post #144 of 167
WRT the swing/ floor-cleaning story, it's so odd that there must be more to it which the poster didn't have time to go into. So let's not jump all over that one.

Averysmomma, that's a great post! Thank you. And you too operamommy.
post #145 of 167
averysmom that was outstanding. and may i add that i think that can go for our own mothers, too.

i have seen the saddness coupled with the joy of my own mother looking at my baby and i have to dig deep to find the sympathy sometimes when she's seemingly going out of her way to give me too much advice or wanting to comfort him when he cries because hey that is MY job, he is my baby to comfort.

but like you said she had those some feelings towards her babies and i'm sure having her grandkids within reach when they are upset evokes the same feelings.. so i need to learn not to get so bent out of shape.

op i can understand where you are coming from, i feel a strong sense of jealousy when anyone other than myself or dh can do something "parental" (like bathing) with our baby. though nothing like that has happened, i think i could feel the same as you do just i probably wouldn't think to make it an issue because the bath didn't hurt or kill him and the new clothes.. well i know my baby gets anywhere from 1-3 different outfits a day right now due to spit up or messy meals so i don't think that would've crossed my radar as boundary crossing.

and lastly, since becoming part of the mothering world (not this community ) i have the strongest of urges to mother.. anyone who needs mothering. i have become way more into feeding people from my home, making things for people i love, giving soothing words when i can, being an overall kinder, more gentle person has all stemmed from me becoming a mother. i see babies/kids in the park and i want to give them cheers when they do a cool jump off a swing or i hear them telling a story from school i want to tell them how interesting i think that is.

i think a bath and some new clothes is a drop in the bucket of things we should choose to have a beef with.

gl to you
post #146 of 167
OP, I do NOT think you are "over reacting". I think the feelings you have are completely normal, based on the circumstances and age of your child.

I went back to work when dd was 5 months old. I'd see a photo that her dad took while I was at work and she had on clothes that I hadn't purchased. (Her dad and I were separated and on very rocky terms). I always sent extra clothes for my baby to wear and it made me feel left out of dd's life some how. Why weren't the clothes I sent good enough? It also made me mad, thinking that they saw dd as a baby doll to play dress up with. She is a person, not a doll to play dress up with.

Every so often, I'd get dd after work and her hair smelled heavenly--she had been given a bath. I immediately felt jealousy and anger. Why did they bathe my baby? I can do that. I'm her mother. That's my job.

It hurt. Small things like that just plain hurt. Made me want to cry. It hurt because I wasn't there. I didn't get to see her have fun in the tub. I didn't get to share in that moment. Someone else did. That's why it hurt.

Sometimes I felt like a failure of a mother somehow. Perhaps because I wasn't able to stay home with her--or because my clothes weren't good enough, etc. Sometimes I felt that I shouldn't be her mother at all, since everyone else can replace me so easily--which lead to more depression. (I was already depressed and was dealing with PTSD (birth trauma).

I'd say, I had those feelings for a couple of months or so. I never said anything to anyone, because I knew that although my feelings were real--I knew that it was something that I would have to get over. And I did. I still have moments of jealousy--but usually for major events like holidays and stuff....big stuff that I miss because of work. But it gets easier.

So. Although most responses have been "you're completely over reacting", please know that the feelings you have, IMO, are completely normal. And you will get past them in time. When you want so badly to stay home with your baby and your can't, it is hard to let go of the dream.

Until you work past the feelings, please don't say things to MIL that you may regret. Don't stone her for bathing/dressing your baby. I would perhaps have a heart to heart discussion with her and tell her your feelings--like a MIL-DIL heart-to-heart talk. I'm sure she would understand the way you feel--but don't take the small joys away from her.

You'll be okay
post #147 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayBaby2007 View Post
OP, I do NOT think you are "over reacting". I think the feelings you have are completely normal, based on the circumstances and age of your child.

I went back to work when dd was 5 months old. I'd see a photo that her dad took while I was at work and she had on clothes that I hadn't purchased. (Her dad and I were separated and on very rocky terms). I always sent extra clothes for my baby to wear and it made me feel left out of dd's life some how. Why weren't the clothes I sent good enough? It also made me mad, thinking that they saw dd as a baby doll to play dress up with. She is a person, not a doll to play dress up with.

Every so often, I'd get dd after work and her hair smelled heavenly--she had been given a bath. I immediately felt jealousy and anger. Why did they bathe my baby? I can do that. I'm her mother. That's my job.

It hurt. Small things like that just plain hurt. Made me want to cry. It hurt because I wasn't there. I didn't get to see her have fun in the tub. I didn't get to share in that moment. Someone else did. That's why it hurt.

Sometimes I felt like a failure of a mother somehow. Perhaps because I wasn't able to stay home with her--or because my clothes weren't good enough, etc. Sometimes I felt that I shouldn't be her mother at all, since everyone else can replace me so easily--which lead to more depression. (I was already depressed and was dealing with PTSD (birth trauma).

I'd say, I had those feelings for a couple of months or so. I never said anything to anyone, because I knew that although my feelings were real--I knew that it was something that I would have to get over. And I did. I still have moments of jealousy--but usually for major events like holidays and stuff....big stuff that I miss because of work. But it gets easier.

So. Although most responses have been "you're completely over reacting", please know that the feelings you have, IMO, are completely normal. And you will get past them in time. When you want so badly to stay home with your baby and your can't, it is hard to let go of the dream.

Until you work past the feelings, please don't say things to MIL that you may regret. Don't stone her for bathing/dressing your baby. I would perhaps have a heart to heart discussion with her and tell her your feelings--like a MIL-DIL heart-to-heart talk. I'm sure she would understand the way you feel--but don't take the small joys away from her.

You'll be okay

WOW! That was an Awesome post! Exactly what I was trying to say!!!

I wanted to add this. We at MDC are VERY assertive when it comes to a momma following her intuition. Her gut feelings, and what not. This momma says that there is a lot more to this whole situation with MIL than she's telling us (the DH and MIL relationship particularly) and if that's the case, couldn't her intuition be telling her that MIL is doing something that isn't quite right? Maybe she is picking up on something deeper that's going on here. MIL isn't the one that normally watches the baby, OP's dad does, and there fore it's a "trust" issue? It seems to me that OP COULD be getting some of those all powerfull mommy vibes that are warning her that something is isn't right. I'm just saying that we seem to be SO quick to judge based on the little details "MIL bathed baby and dressed him up like a doll and I don't like it" and maybe we are missing somthing bigger? Just wondering....
post #148 of 167
OP. It sounds like you really miss your baby during the day. I can completely see how that plus previous interactions with a, "self-proclaimed selfish granny," would colour your views here.

It also sounds like you were partly just really surprised about the bath. I would think that a little odd, too, but we don't give baths every night, so it wouldn't occur to me to give a baby a bath 'just because.'

I will offer the perspective that for me, one of the most unexpected joys of parenting has been watching my son (now coming up on 3 y.o.) develop wonderful relationships with all of his grandparents, especially as he got older, recognized them consistently, and started to talk. It is such a beautiful thing for him to have all these people in his life who love him so much.

Not all of the grandparents do everything the way I would do it. One of them is an unusually oblivious, self-centred person (see above about my understanding the 'selfish granny' thing!) so sometimes I find myself biting my tongue a little, but overall, it is so worth it IMHO.

Also, FWIW, as a WOHM, two things:

1) I love to see my DS developing strong attachments to his daytime caregivers. I would be over the moon if one of them were a grandparent who would be in his life long-term.

2) No matter what anyone else does with your baby while you are at work, you will always be mama and will therefore always hold that place of primary importance in his life.

I hope you can figure out how to address this in a way that works for you.
post #149 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~pi View Post

2) No matter what anyone else does with your baby while you are at work, you will always be mama and will therefore always hold that place of primary importance in his life.
This is SO true!!
post #150 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by kryztuh View Post
Overall, you're right, this isn't the end of the world and she's only watching him for a few days. And it's not worth getting stressed out over. Sometimes I just feel like DH's family treats me like an incubator/milk factory and that's it. Need to think about it some more.
Didn't read the whole thread, so I may be way late on this...

I think your comment here is the crux of the matter! This was how FIL and MIL treated me after DS1 was born, and it really bothered me that they assumed they had rights to take DS1 and do whatever they wanted with him. (e.g., lots of little things, like they always called him "my grandson" with the emphasis on "my" and did not call him by his name or call him "your son"...). Little things that conveyed their attitude of having "ownership rights" to DS1 brought out an unreasonably strong mama-bear instinct in me. It made me angry, and at times I would tell them they were out of line. But from the perspective of an outsider, my ILs look awesome, and in may ways they are. However, especially at the beginning of motherhood for me, their subtle ways of taking over from me without asking, and making comments that devalue my parenting choices - my existence even - made a once-great relationship with them into a just OK relationship now. (e.g., They were telling DS1 "Poor grandson, your mom won't let you have any chocolate pie..." at the Christmas dinner I hosted, when DS1 was 5 months old and exclusively nursing. A minor comment in some people's eyes, but one of many subtle "I would be better to you than your mommy" messages, because they DID feed choco pie to DH when he was that age.) So I can see how your feelings might be erupting from the same sort of background that I had with my ILs. If so, you're not crazy for feeling the way you do! I could go on and on about having similar experiences for the past five years!!!

Also, for me, I know it's not a matter of being overprotective in general. I have a nanny watch my kids while I WAH P/T, and feel totally OK with her doing things with my kids that I won't let the ILs do. I think it's because she doesn't act like she has a right to "own" them and defers to my parenting choices.

If it were me, I wouldn't let MIL watch DS for any substantial period of time until I felt like she was able to respect me as the mother and my parenting style choices. It's not good to have an undermining influence when you are a new mother. I wouldn't say anything to MIL, except "no thanks - we've got it covered" when she offered to watch DS. But that's my style and everyone's is different...

ETA: I read more PPs, who say you should let go and let MIL have her time with DS. I agree to a point... but I think it takes time, and it sounds like you need to her to better recognize your place as mother, and then it will be easier for you to confidently allow her to baby her grandson when she's with him. You can't just turn off those feelings overnight!
post #151 of 167
wouldent bother me at all, one less bath time i have to do and id be glad they played together too.
post #152 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by yarngoddess View Post
I wanted to add this. We at MDC are VERY assertive when it comes to a momma following her intuition. Her gut feelings, and what not. This momma says that there is a lot more to this whole situation with MIL than she's telling us (the DH and MIL relationship particularly) and if that's the case, couldn't her intuition be telling her that MIL is doing something that isn't quite right? Maybe she is picking up on something deeper that's going on here. MIL isn't the one that normally watches the baby, OP's dad does, and there fore it's a "trust" issue? It seems to me that OP COULD be getting some of those all powerfull mommy vibes that are warning her that something is isn't right. I'm just saying that we seem to be SO quick to judge based on the little details "MIL bathed baby and dressed him up like a doll and I don't like it" and maybe we are missing somthing bigger? Just wondering....
:

I have been thinking about some of the things that made me uncomfortable early on, and if I'd complained about them here I'd have gotten the same reaction as the OP. You'd (almost) all have been saying I was overprotective and needed to back off and let MIL have her way.

But in my case, my gut was telling me something that turned out to be true. Not only did my MIL's behavior get more and more...weird...but more details began to surface about the extent of the abuse she'd inflicted on her own kids, AND I found out about a lot of things she'd done with her earlier grandchild which caused serious problems in my SIL's household (culminating in the other granddaughter being a full-blown bulimic by the age of 7. SEVEN. And no, that's not all from what the grandma did, it's also because the mama is pretty screwed up from being abused. why she let her mom have the kid so much is beyond me, but...)

I am glad that I tried very hard, I am glad that I never did anything to poison DD against her. I feel empathy for the woman, absolutely. BUT I am so glad that I listened to my instincts and never let her into DD's life to the extent she wanted, so she could "co-parent" (that's not an assumption on my part, that what she said she expected to do when "her baby" was born.) I let her hold DD, I let her spend time with her, but I simply politely dragged my heels on the issues I wasn't comfortable with...and thank goodness I did. Now that DH has worked through his issues -- at least enough to deal with her with no stress or tension -- we're able to see her and let her have a relationship with DD while being able to ensure that no harm comes to DD. But she'll never be unsupervised with her or allowed input into any decisions. As far as I'm concerned, if you massively screw up 3 kids and a grandkid, you are beyond done and you do not get a whack at mine.

The OP clearly IS trying to trust her MIL. While she's isn't totally forthcoming on the details, there are obviously serious trust issues there that involve not just her, but her DH -- the woman's own son. But she took a leap of faith and entrusted her 5-month old to the MIL for a full day. And found herself feeling disrespected and blindsided. Sure, the actual behavior was innocuous, but I can understand her feelings.
post #153 of 167
I think some of you are making a LOT of assumptions here not based on anything that the OP actually SAID. I'd stop projecting your own issues onto this person's situation and try to be objective.
post #154 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoringTales View Post
I think some of you are making a LOT of assumptions here not based on anything that the OP actually SAID. I'd stop projecting your own issues onto this person's situation and try to be objective.
OK for you. But I decided I wanted to make a LOT of assumptions (called reading between the lines...) and project my own issues onto her situation. If I guessed wrong, OP can ignore my post. If I am right, maybe she'll find a little sisterhood here.
post #155 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoringTales View Post
I think some of you are making a LOT of assumptions here not based on anything that the OP actually SAID. I'd stop projecting your own issues onto this person's situation and try to be objective.
All we have is our experiences from which to speak. That's the point of these forums, right? Shared experiences, shared wisdom. The OP asked whether or not she was "making a mountain out of a molehill" and PPs answered with their opinions based on their similar experiences. Objectivity is a myth.

I certainly don't want to heap more bad feeling onto the OP. I think what she's experiencing is something than many many mothers experience. And it's yucky and tough and murky. No, we're not there with her, but the best we can do is help from our subjective points of view.
post #156 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoringTales View Post
I think some of you are making a LOT of assumptions here not based on anything that the OP actually SAID. I'd stop projecting your own issues onto this person's situation and try to be objective.
That could apply to the pro-MIL camp just as easily, you know -- ALL OF US are making assumptions. Some of us are assuming that this MIL was a loving mother and is a perfectly great grandma and that the OP is overreacting. Some of us are assuming that the trouble goes deeper than the obvious. None of us know her or know exactly what the situation is. She asked for perspectives and she got several, and I think that's supposed to be part of what MDC's about, is it not?
post #157 of 167
Oh AverysMomma! What a voice and what wisdom! Your writing is so touching!
post #158 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mymble View Post
That could apply to the pro-MIL camp just as easily, you know -- ALL OF US are making assumptions. Some of us are assuming that this MIL was a loving mother and is a perfectly great grandma and that the OP is overreacting. Some of us are assuming that the trouble goes deeper than the obvious. None of us know her or know exactly what the situation is. She asked for perspectives and she got several, and I think that's supposed to be part of what MDC's about, is it not?
No, some of us are reading what she's actually writing and going off of that. I just I did assume that when asking for opinions she gave the necessary relevant information.

I'm one that doesn't get the whole 'thing' with MIL and DIL's though, I guess. I mean, I've certainly experienced some of those feelings, but hope that I'm rational enough not to blow things out of proportion.

There's 'intuition' and then there is being an overly sensitive new mother. Its hard to distinguish between the two when you are in the thick of it.

Seems to me if there are underlying issues here its on the part of the OP and her not wanting to be working away from her child.
post #159 of 167
:

My only concern would be safety. In our family we would all love a break so would welcome any help if the gandparents were able, but my mom does not want to try, for fear that she is not able, and she would make a careless mistake that could be harmfull. Do not even mention my dad. On dad's side, they are not physically able.

I hear a power struggle.

I
post #160 of 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by AverysMomma View Post
Honey, I have a ten month old, I totally get the mamabear feelings...I understand why it bugged you...but I think you need to remember something about grandmas:

They are women, mothers, just like you. She held her baby, rocked him and hummed softly. She felt that same mama bear instinct that made her worry endlessly about your DH when he was tiny. All those special moments you love and the things about your new life as a mother that you would never trade...even on the hardest day of mothering...she had that, she has come alllll the way through that, to the other side. To watching her baby, with a baby. Think about how happy it makes you to bath your DS. Think about the fact that soon all his beautiful fat will melt away. His body will become the wiry, hard body of a little boy child and he will still be beautiful to you always...but he;ll never be a baby again...you'll never get to squish his slippery fat body in a tub again. That's sad to think about, isn't it?

Now....imagine your DS is allll grown up. The years and years have passed and he's grown into such a fine man and has a new best girl in his life...and then he marries her and they have a BABY BOY!!! "WHAT LUCK!" you would say to yourself "My baby grandson...squishy, fatty little baby, I remember how this felt...oh, this feels good!" - can you imagine. Rediscovering the joy in that experience, after losing it for so many decades? You would be in your bliss!

It's hard to remember how it feels not being around a baby, after you have your baby. But, in a whirl of years it all passes. And we look back and say "Where did it go?" - you are in your prime. This is your new budding family at it's finest...having a baby in the house is the luckiest, lovingest, cutest, most positive time in a famiy's life. Let her enjoy this time with you....I know, she sucks. She dresses him in new clothes and all of that. Just let her live this again, touching that squishy baby. And as for you....I know how absolutely awful it is to have to sit at work and miss him. But he's being loved...and it's about him. If you are at work and unavailable to enjoy yourself with him...she may as well be, right?

Let her do her thing, one day you will look at your grandkids and you will begin to relive with them those precious years from far past and you'll be so glad for your DIL, when she is kind to you and humors an old woman with a crush on her baby.


As a mother of two boys and future mil, I am deeply moved by this post and your following post.
I agree that it so hard to step outside ourselves sometimes and to see past circumstances or our own feelings. But when we do we can start to truly see people, sometimes for the first time.
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