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My problem and what I'm doing about it

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
My problem: My CIO SIL's second husband's daughter

Thanksgiving is the second time I've met SIL's husband's daughter, mother of a 7 month old. From the little I talked to her, she sounds like a thoughtful, well meaning new mother who has put some research into her parenting. I noticed the formula container amidst her belongings. Baby played with other children, disappeared into the basement for a nap, and woke crying during dinner.

Someone's awake, I called, since no one else seemed to notice. A discussion at the table followed with newMom telling her husband NOT to get the baby, then newMom, SIL, and MIL all talking about exercising lungs, how he has to learn to be by himself, etc etc etc as I'm unable to eat. This woman has been carefully studying the wrong sources.

My AP techniques were a big source of tension in the family though all charges of weirdness have been dropped since Dd is the best adjusted child in the family. MIL (who gave me years of misery over my AP style) is the one who says this, this is not from me.

I did not want to start WWIII at the table, but I said I'd be happy to get baby if newMom wanted to enjoy her dinner. The crying escalated and so did my 'suggestions'. I said, it's a long time since I've held a baby and I didn't mind. Dd bumped my knee under the table and I wondered if it was a message telling me to please not horn in on his family's business, to which they don't generally take kindly. I headed off any such request by whispering that my milk was about to let down from the crying and my shirt would be a mess right in front of everyone. This would reveal that I still have milk, an awkward revelation in this family since Dd is 6.

newMom said, You can get him ONLY if you have fininshed eating. Of course - baby must fit into the adult world and his need to know that he is not alone in the world of a strange dark basement must come second to any adult desire for another bite of mashed potato.

I'm done, I said, and got up and got baby. He was happy to be rescued, quiet and smiley. But his eyes were wet which prompted a discussion among IL ladies of the 'real tears.' Baby remined content until of course he saw Mama across the table, and then he started howling. NewMom got up and took him, at which point he stopped crying. She gave him the old, tired, 'oh, you can turn those tears right on and off.'

I said, You are his whole world, you are special.

I didn't think a few words would make much difference, this woman has clearly been indoctrinated. And I couldn't find quite the chance to sit down and talk to her - and I don't know her well enough to know how she'd take yet another person and her advice - we all know how vulnerable new mothers can feel.

Solution: So I decided I'd send her something in support of AP. Since I didn't want her to feel that because she isn't breastfeeding she can't AP, I actually wanted something that stressed other aspects of attachment. I have on order a copy of Connection Parenting by Pam Leo, which I will be sending along to her as soon as it arrives; after I peek at it since it's fairly new and I haven't seen it myself. But it seems like it will do the job as much as anything might. I want to set this woman straight!
post #2 of 7
I understand your desire to educate this woman, I would feel exactly the same way.

I have to say though that I think sending her a book is really presumptous and I don't think it will be well received. How happy would you be if someone sent you a Babywise book?

I think sending her a book is going to make her angry and she won't take in anything in the book (if she even reads it)

Anyway, just my two cents. I hope that she reads it, and loves it, and changes her parenting style!
post #3 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Learning_Mum View Post
I understand your desire to educate this woman, I would feel exactly the same way.

I have to say though that I think sending her a book is really presumptous and I don't think it will be well received. How happy would you be if someone sent you a Babywise book?

I think sending her a book is going to make her angry and she won't take in anything in the book (if she even reads it)

Anyway, just my two cents. I hope that she reads it, and loves it, and changes her parenting style!
:

I've always been uncomfortable with witnessing of religion (even if my own religion pushes it)
and I guess I have the same feeling about giving parenting advice. I feel a deep responsibility
to raise my dd the very best I personally can. I hope and pray the same for all children, that
their parents are doing their best, or what they think is best.

I also hope she reads the book, and it changes her parenting style. But it seems this Mama had
some pretty strong opinions on what she was doing. So I would prepare that the book could be
seen as a threat. It's not like while the child was crying she was asking for advice, but was
speaking up on why what she was doing was the best thing.
post #4 of 7
I think the best thing you could do is what you already did- telling her that her baby stopped crying when she held her because she's the baby's whole world.

Let it go. She's unlikely to change her infant-care practices based on a book sent to her by a near stranger.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Update

Hey everyone. Lighten up.

To this woman I'm an IN-LAW.

Read the posts all over this board. IN-LAWs feel free to share their opinions, spout their messages. Many have no problem being downright rude. In my Dh's family, there is lots of precedent for ILs butting in. So who am I to stand in the way of tradition?

I saw them again at Christmas. They thanked me for the book and when it was time for us to leave the young Dad jumped up from the couch to run across the room and give me a big hug.

Maybe the book will affect them and maybe not, but there was no damage done and I'm enjoying my first experience as a Busybody In-Law.
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curious View Post

Maybe the book will affect them and maybe not, but there was no damage done and I'm enjoying my first experience as a Busybody In-Law.
Good for you! It's a good thing that there are people out there who try to make the world a better place! Let's hope your book can make a difference in the way they treat their child!
post #7 of 7
I think you did a really nice thing.
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