ergggh....mil just left from visit - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 05-07-2007, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey everyone,
My mil just left after spending just 3 days with us...and driving me nutty. She originally came when Gavin was 3 weeks and was really helpful....although she was pushing the pacifier like crazy. Overall, she was really helpful, though.
This time I found myself getting irritated constantly. If he was hungry or trying to nurse she would try to distract him or give him the pacifier. He spits up alot and so she would say " Obviously he's full, he's spitting up all the excess"...ugh. One time, he was routing around on her arm trying to nurse and she just stuck the pacifier in and I was like ...ummm he's hungry :
And she was constantly saying passive aggressive things, like complaining that his cloth diapers were too bulky that he couldn't bend at the waist...bs.
One night we were all eating dinner and she was holding Gavin and he started to cry and she was like "oh, he's fine...just fussing"...and continued to eat. I was like " ummm..not he's not...let me have him" Jeez. I don't get it?!
And finally, when I asked for her to hand him to me, she just acted soooo reluctant like I was being riduculous....I think I know my son?!
I understand that she needs to establish a relationship with her grandson, etc...and I did leave her alone with him for short periods. But, ultimately, I know my son and if I can tell he's fussing for food or comfort from mom, then of course I'm going to feed and love him...jeez
So, I'm just writing to vent a little and to get advice on how everyone's deals with their inlaws.
TIA!

"Breastfeeding is a robust, biologically stable activity so central to our evolutionary identity that it names the class of animals to which we belong" (Breastfeeding Atlas, Third Edition)
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#2 of 6 Old 05-07-2007, 08:42 PM
 
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Hey Mama,

Ug, that sounds like a rough visit. How old is he now? It does get easier as they get older and they see that your child turns out ok.
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#3 of 6 Old 05-07-2007, 08:42 PM
 
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My MIL was a lot like this when DS was new. She was so bossy and controlling. We had major breastfeeding problems...my nipples are short, and DS sucked his lower lip in like crazy, and he just couldn't latch on at the hospital (and we had to stay extra days because I had a c-section). So I'd be trying to get him to latch on, and MIL would actually be hovering over me trying to move his arms out of the way. It made me feel this primal feeling of wanting to bite her arm...I mean hello, get the hell out of my personal breastfeeding space bubble! : I told her nicely not to do it, and when she kept doing it finally I snapped at her. She went in the bathroom and cried. It's always all about her.

Both she and FIL were constantly telling us we held DS too much, and asked questions like "is he on a schedule yet?" when I had told them again and again that we didn't INTEND to get him on a schedule, and that I was nursing on cue. I remember being at their house when DS was about 6 weeks old, and we sat down to eat and DS started fussing...when DH went to pick him up, FIL was like "you're going to get him when he makes the smallest little PEEP?" and DH, who's not always great about standing up to his parents, roared "YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO IT!" as he comforted DS. Yay!

ANYWAY, I thought things would be awful forever, and I dreaded every time they came over...I'd hand them DS, and they'd put him in the bouncy seat or something (which I only used for a few minutes at a time, when I absolutely had to) and just look at him and talk to him without holding him, and I just hated it and felt like they were scarring him for life. A very wise friend kept calming me down though, and told me they'd just end up having a different relationship with him than I would, and it wasn't like they were letting him cry (although they did let him get fussier than I would have preferred). And also, DH and I were the main ones caring for him, and we'd leave the biggest impression.

The good news is that now that DS is almost a year, things are a lot better. When he was a newborn, his signs were so hard for others to read....I could interpret his little squalks and know just what he needed, while my inlaws always seemed clueless. But now, DS is much more communicative, and is much better able to make his needs known. If MIL tried sticking him in the exersaucer for more than 5 minutes, she'd hear his protest loud and clear. So now, although I still don't feel as happy about his being around them as I do with my own mom, I feel like he's OK with them. They love him more than just about anyone on the planet does, besides me and DH, and that counts for a lot. And it didn't take long for them to STFU about trying to tell me when and how to feed him and hold him. As long as you're very confident and firm about it, you should be able to establish yourself as the decision maker. One line I like to use is, "This is not going to be decided by committee- it's up to me and DH and that's it!"

And if worse comes to worse, you can always have DH talk to them.

Good luck! It'll get better, I promise.

SAHM to 6.5yo DS and 4yo DD. PCOS with two early m/cs. Married 8 yrs. Certified birth doula, writer, editor.

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#4 of 6 Old 05-07-2007, 08:46 PM
 
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I think that parenting was different 20 years ago. She is probably doing what her generation was told to do.

Maybe you or your partner can talk to her and explain why you do what you do. Let her in on your parenting ideas so she can perhaps learn and get on board. Maybe she is willing to do things your way if you tell her what you want her to do.

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#5 of 6 Old 05-07-2007, 09:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Gavin is 3 months old....and when my mil was here last I was having tons of issues getting the breastfeeding relationship going smoothly. But now everything is great. I know she only breastfed for about a month so I'm sure she is not very knowledgable about bfing. I guess I just don't know if it's worth approaching her about it? She lives across country so I won't be seeing her very often but I don't want to dread everytime I see her. We always had a respectful relationship but this weekend I feel like she was incredibly disrespectful. I guess what I'm not sure about is if it's even worth bringing up...or if I should just bite my tongue about it. The next time I'll see her will be in 2 months....then after that probably Christmas...

"Breastfeeding is a robust, biologically stable activity so central to our evolutionary identity that it names the class of animals to which we belong" (Breastfeeding Atlas, Third Edition)
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#6 of 6 Old 05-07-2007, 10:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gavin'smom View Post
I understand that she needs to establish a relationship with her grandson, etc...and I did leave her alone with him for short periods. But, ultimately, I know my son and if I can tell he's fussing for food or comfort from mom, then of course I'm going to feed and love him...jeez
First of all, nothing trumps your need to take care of your baby- even her need to establish a relationship.
I had a hard time remembering this with my MIL at first, but eventually it sank in that I had to do what my baby needed, even if it hurt her feelings.
As for whether you should discuss it with her or not, you have to do what works best for you. With me, since I did not see MIL very often (and we could not have convinced her anyway), we did not have a formal talk, but I do not hesitate to correct her when she does something that I feel is not right for my sons.

Homeschooling mom of 2 rambunctious, loving, spectacular boys, wife to an incredible man who has been my best friend on this journey <3

 

 

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