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Yay for "Grandparents today" class

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I've been stressing this whole pregnancy about how I'm going to handle my MIL, who lives in the same city, and her ideas on baby-care.  She's a VERY strong willed woman, who has been through a lot in her life.  She was shushed by her father, and shushed by her husband, and any disagreement with her now she takes as someone telling her to shush, so she responds either by screaming loudly over the person trying to talk to her, or she doesn't, and then does what she wants anyway.  She is also a nurse and she thinks she knows everything and there is no telling her otherwise.  I've been prodding DH to talk to her about certain important things for when she's watching baby, before the baby is born.  The baby will be intact, as is DH, and she keeps talking about the importance of retraction for hygiene.  She thinks babies who have trouble sleeping should be placed on their stomachs because they fall asleep more easily that way (which I'm told is true, but...).  She's a cry-it-out type of person, and thinks baby-wearing spoils babies.  

 

I'm sure there is more, but these are things I've been able to glean from roundabout conversations with her.  DH and I are both dreading having to ask her to respect our parenting wishes, but I just discovered a class near us called "Grandparents today."  The class is taught by one of several very educated, knowledgeable women of MIL's generation, who explain how times have changed and current trends in parenting are different.  It's from a parenting center that's not 100% crunchy, but definitely is crunchier than mainstream, and I've talked with some of the women teaching the class, who are pretty crunchy.  And it's all couched in celebrating grandparents.  So DH and I are getting it for MIL as a "gift" for being so helpful during the pregnancy.  We know it won't solve all our problems (by far), but are so glad that there is a method to get the conversation started that doesn't have to be my DH telling his mother what's up.  He's younger, he's her son, and he's a man, and we were worried that she would become immediately defensive.  We're hoping that if someone teaches her, and she can then "teach" us, it will all go over much better.

 

So, YAY!  I just wanted to express my glee to several sympathetic women who do not know my MIL.

post #2 of 5

That sounds like an amazing class!  How awesome that you found that.  I can empathize with your feelings- my mother is a nurse and parents VERY differently than us- so do our in-laws but they try really hard to please us. We have never actually allowed either set of parents to babysit and we moved cross country when DS was 16 months old, so it hasn't been an issue since.  
 

Just my two cents- my son would NOT sleep on his back.  I know seems like a very black and white issue but I know many, many, many babies who slept on their tummies, even from day one.  We talked with his ped about it and she recommended letting him sleep in his carseat at night for the first 4 months (seriously- he loved being curled up a bit.  He's one of 4 babies I know who slept in the carseat at night, lol).  He was always right next to me (in a sidecar... in his car seat!) so I felt okay with it.  At 4 months we let him sleep on his belly all the time because he could roll over anyway.  If you're co-sleeping, baby will probably not be on their back much (unless they love it) and if not co-sleeping then take heart that a good sleep environment (organics, good air flow, and a breastfeeding relationship) GREATLY reduce the risk of SIDS.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ablemec View Post

I've been stressing this whole pregnancy about how I'm going to handle my MIL, who lives in the same city, and her ideas on baby-care.  She's a VERY strong willed woman, who has been through a lot in her life.  She was shushed by her father, and shushed by her husband, and any disagreement with her now she takes as someone telling her to shush, so she responds either by screaming loudly over the person trying to talk to her, or she doesn't, and then does what she wants anyway.  She is also a nurse and she thinks she knows everything and there is no telling her otherwise.  I've been prodding DH to talk to her about certain important things for when she's watching baby, before the baby is born.  The baby will be intact, as is DH, and she keeps talking about the importance of retraction for hygiene.  She thinks babies who have trouble sleeping should be placed on their stomachs because they fall asleep more easily that way (which I'm told is true, but...).  She's a cry-it-out type of person, and thinks baby-wearing spoils babies.  

 

I'm sure there is more, but these are things I've been able to glean from roundabout conversations with her.  DH and I are both dreading having to ask her to respect our parenting wishes, but I just discovered a class near us called "Grandparents today."  The class is taught by one of several very educated, knowledgeable women of MIL's generation, who explain how times have changed and current trends in parenting are different.  It's from a parenting center that's not 100% crunchy, but definitely is crunchier than mainstream, and I've talked with some of the women teaching the class, who are pretty crunchy.  And it's all couched in celebrating grandparents.  So DH and I are getting it for MIL as a "gift" for being so helpful during the pregnancy.  We know it won't solve all our problems (by far), but are so glad that there is a method to get the conversation started that doesn't have to be my DH telling his mother what's up.  He's younger, he's her son, and he's a man, and we were worried that she would become immediately defensive.  We're hoping that if someone teaches her, and she can then "teach" us, it will all go over much better.

 

So, YAY!  I just wanted to express my glee to several sympathetic women who do not know my MIL.



 

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbk21 View Post

 

Just my two cents- my son would NOT sleep on his back.  I know seems like a very black and white issue but I know many, many, many babies who slept on their tummies, even from day one.  We talked with his ped about it and she recommended letting him sleep in his carseat at night for the first 4 months (seriously- he loved being curled up a bit.  He's one of 4 babies I know who slept in the carseat at night, lol).  He was always right next to me (in a sidecar... in his car seat!) so I felt okay with it.  At 4 months we let him sleep on his belly all the time because he could roll over anyway.  If you're co-sleeping, baby will probably not be on their back much (unless they love it) and if not co-sleeping then take heart that a good sleep environment (organics, good air flow, and a breastfeeding relationship) GREATLY reduce the risk of SIDS.  

 



 

 

Thanks for the advice on back-sleeping!  I'll keep that in mind.  It's not so much that I think I'm 100% right and there is no other way to do things, or that I plan to be completely inflexible.  I recognize there are many ways of doing things and different parents have different choices and that's all fine.  It's that as far as other people are concerned, for *my* baby, there is no other way.  What I say goes.  If you disagree with what I'm asking you to do with *my* baby, and if it couldn't possibly be viewed as any form of abuse, then you have two choices - go along with it anyway or don't watch my baby.  I'm afraid my MIL will choose non-existent option 3:  do it her own way.  Obviously I'm not talking about little things; grandparents have a right to spoil their grandkids to a certain extent and "break the rules."  I expect that.  But if I say don't retract the foreskin, she can feel free to try to explain to me why she thinks that's wrong, but she can't just yell over me and do what she wants.  

 


Edited to say that I just re-read this and it may come across as though I'm yelling at you, jbk21, and that's not at all my intention.  So I really hope it doesn't come across that way.  I'm just very stressed about these anticipated heated conversations with my MIL that I have all sorts of arguments with her in my head.  Not healthy, I know.

 

post #4 of 5


TOTALLY.  I hear you for sure.  I just offered the back-sleeping anecdote because IF your baby doesn't like back-sleeping, then I would imagine that it would be a tough, guilt-ridden decision for you to decide to place them on their belly (it was for us, that's why we waited to speak to the ped and WOW was it ever a long few weeks of sleeplessness until we got her approval).  So I just wanted to offer it to say that it's okay if that is what your baby needs :)  We all just have to do what works best for us, even if "experts" say it is wrong.

 

And I definitely, definitely understand the "what I say goes" attitude.  I'm a total mama bear, that's why our parents have never watched our son :)  They would NOT respect our rules, and that is so not okay with me.  Other people might think we are too strict or too overprotective, but it's my kid.  I'm with you 100% :)

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ablemec View Post



 

Thanks for the advice on back-sleeping!  I'll keep that in mind.  It's not so much that I think I'm 100% right and there is no other way to do things, or that I plan to be completely inflexible.  I recognize there are many ways of doing things and different parents have different choices and that's all fine.  It's that as far as other people are concerned, for *my* baby, there is no other way.  What I say goes.  If you disagree with what I'm asking you to do with *my* baby, and if it couldn't possibly be viewed as any form of abuse, then you have two choices - go along with it anyway or don't watch my baby.  I'm afraid my MIL will choose non-existent option 3:  do it her own way.  Obviously I'm not talking about little things; grandparents have a right to spoil their grandkids to a certain extent and "break the rules."  I expect that.  But if I say don't retract the foreskin, she can feel free to try to explain to me why she thinks that's wrong, but she can't just yell over me and do what she wants.  

 


Edited to say that I just re-read this and it may come across as though I'm yelling at you, jbk21, and that's not at all my intention.  So I really hope it doesn't come across that way.  I'm just very stressed about these anticipated heated conversations with my MIL that I have all sorts of arguments with her in my head.  Not healthy, I know.

 



 

post #5 of 5

Yup, my DS only slept on his tummy too.  For the first 3-4mo he slept on my chest, then when he was a little bigger he slept on his tummy next to me.  My DD would only sleep swaddled.  Each kid is different and you have to do what works..  :)
 

Oh, and I simply wouldn't let someone watch my children that wouldn't respect my values.  I'm lucky in the fact that my mom (who raised us AP) and my IL's are both on board with our plan.  My MIL wasn't AP, but she's a very respectful person and would rather have a good relationship with us.  I do have many friends with horrible il's and parents.  They simply get through their time with them and try to move on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbk21 View Post


TOTALLY.  I hear you for sure.  I just offered the back-sleeping anecdote because IF your baby doesn't like back-sleeping, then I would imagine that it would be a tough, guilt-ridden decision for you to decide to place them on their belly (it was for us, that's why we waited to speak to the ped and WOW was it ever a long few weeks of sleeplessness until we got her approval).  So I just wanted to offer it to say that it's okay if that is what your baby needs :)  We all just have to do what works best for us, even if "experts" say it is wrong.

 

And I definitely, definitely understand the "what I say goes" attitude.  I'm a total mama bear, that's why our parents have never watched our son :)  They would NOT respect our rules, and that is so not okay with me.  Other people might think we are too strict or too overprotective, but it's my kid.  I'm with you 100% :)

 

 



 



 

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