I need some help processing this (MIL issue) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 04-15-2006, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There was a bit of an incident at my house last night, and I'm having a heck of a time processing it... Let me give some background information first.

I have always been glad that I had a semi-crunchy MIL. She BFed, cloth diapered, and was VERY "do your own thing" with the kids, to me, that's the most important thing, and I only hope I can be a laid back with my children as she was with hers. She was at DS's birth, and I was so happy to have her there. She was SO excited about the way I was doing things, and thanked me with tears in her eyes many times. I know I am the kind of woman she wished her son would marry. That makes me really happy.

Last night she was over with SIL. DS was crying and I got up to bounce him a little and try to get him to go to sleep, he was overtired from the company. She looked at me with a totally sweet, normal look on her face and said the most horrific things I have ever heard out of someone's mouth. (All said in the most loving tone you can imagine)

"Honey, don't you ever just let him cry?" My eyes must have looked like they were going to fall out of my head. "No, I don't" I replied. "You know, you could just put on some headphones and..." I cut her off and snapped a little "NO!" Then continued "I can't stand hearing him cry." (Mind you to me this was like the president sitting there and saying Democracy sucks... I was in total shock) She goes on to say "I love hearing babies cry, it's so sweet, plus it's good exersize for their little lungs!" Still shocked all I could get out was "Actually, that's an old wives' tale" she replied with "Well, I used to let the kids get their exersize in the evenings before their dad came home from work." Then she added "But your the boss, he's your baby, do things your way" Which I appreciated, but this situation has totally floored me.

I almost feel like I was violated, she was at the birth of my son, and now she's reccomending I let my two week old baby cry?! How could she do that?! And worse yet, I know she did it to DH. (He says it doesn't bother him, and we know better... but still... ) Keep in mind this was all coming from someone I idealoize as a mother, and she said it in such a sweet, loving tone that made it sound like she couldn't possibly imagine it being bad advice.

After she left SIL and I talked about it a bit, and she totally agreed with me, and said she used to get really upset when her mom let the boys cry and she would pick them up and rock them... etc

I have no intention of trying to 'educate' her, because I know she would never let him cry if that's not how we do things, plus I just don't want to rock the boat... I know she will respect our decisions, and that's all I need from her.

BUT, I just can't seem to get past this... I feel sick every time I think about it, the sound of DS SCREAMING keeps running through my head, and makes me want to cry...

I guess I'm not really looking for any advice, I just needed to complain... I expressed my feelings to DH, but it's his mom, and he loves her, and I feel bad venting about her to him.

Dawn, mama to D (3.06) & N (9.07) C (11.09) & Still-in-shock surprise due in Aug!
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#2 of 10 Old 04-15-2006, 05:50 PM
 
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oh, that sucks. especially since you look up to her so much. one good thing is that she does respect your decision. that is big. it has probably been engrained in her thinking forever that it is okay to let babies cry. i would chalk it up to that. you are lucky she respects your decision! so many don't.

s to you. complain away. that is what we are here for!
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#3 of 10 Old 04-15-2006, 05:52 PM
 
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I know how you feel. Just imagining a baby (any baby) in distress can put me over the edge since I became a mom.

to you.

Christine , wife of Ron , mama to Tony (4-25-03) and Maria (3-19-06) :
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#4 of 10 Old 04-15-2006, 10:10 PM
 
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Wow, that's so hard to imagine - especially that someone who is otherwise so cool, pro-HB, BF, etc - could happily listen to her own baby screaming. EXCERCISE? What a bizarre concept. It does turn my stomach, that's true.

I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. You sound like me - my DH says "is there ANYTHING you don't care about?" I just get so emotionally invested in everything, it's hard ot just put it aside and let it go.

I'm glad that at least you have the assurance that she would never go against your wishes. I would not be able to sleep at night if I thought my MIL, or my mom, or anyone, might let me precious baby "excercise" his lungs when I wasn't there!
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#5 of 10 Old 04-15-2006, 10:16 PM
 
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It is awful.BUT that is something that was so totally enforced as positive and healthy during those days.Doctors assured mothers that it was necessary to let babies cry for their health.So now we know that isn't true or right but since she was taught that i would suggest saying to her that you understand that theory was taught when she had kids but it is now a proven fact that children can not be spoiled or held too much and it is necessary to pick them up when they are crying.I unfortunatly reacted much like you when my grandma said this to me and now looking back i realize she was just trying to be helpful thinking she was saying the right thing.I created a riff when it wasn't even necessary.I hope that helps
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#6 of 10 Old 04-15-2006, 11:30 PM
 
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It's so hard dealing with these kind of things, especially with the in-laws. But I think your MIL was really trying to be kind. It looks like this is your first baby (based on your signature line) and I think people take certain advances with first-time moms. It's good that you stated your position on the matter and that she backed down so easily. Maybe you could talk more with her about your parenting choices as the occasions arise.

When I had my first baby, I was single and had to move in with my parents for their help. I had to be very open with my mom about all my parenting choices. Granted, it was easier with my own mom but she is very strongly opinionated and thought a lot of my choices were ridiculous. But, like your MIL, my mom carried through with my wishes. I just had to accept that there were times when she thought what I wanted was silly. Good luck. Babies bring on lots of unwanted advice, looks, visitors, etc.
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#7 of 10 Old 04-16-2006, 12:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Actually I have a 4 year old little girl, she lives with her father, and I couldn't fit everything on the alloted 2 lines of siggy

Thanks everyone... I'm dealing with it... it's gotten eaiser as the day has gone on

Dawn, mama to D (3.06) & N (9.07) C (11.09) & Still-in-shock surprise due in Aug!
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#8 of 10 Old 04-16-2006, 12:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
I'm sorry you're having to deal with this. You sound like me - my DH says "is there ANYTHING you don't care about?" I just get so emotionally invested in everything, it's hard ot just put it aside and let it go.
ROFL! DH acts the same way with me... when I start going on and on about something, he just gives me that "there she goes again!" look. I swear, I have a stinkin opinion about everything

Dawn, mama to D (3.06) & N (9.07) C (11.09) & Still-in-shock surprise due in Aug!
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#9 of 10 Old 04-16-2006, 04:23 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daisie125
ROFL! DH acts the same way with me... when I start going on and on about something, he just gives me that "there she goes again!" look. I swear, I have a stinkin opinion about everything
This sounds like my dh too.

Sorry your MIL's comment about letting the baby cry has upset you. I, too, have a MIL that is a bit on the crunchy side. But I realized after a conversation or two that we don't see eye to eye on everything. Sometimes I think it's hard to accept that someone we love and maybe even revere or look up to isn't quite as perfect as we thought. I think it's great that even though your MIL did let her kids cry, she's supportive of letting you and your dh do things your way. Maybe in the months to come she'll learn to understand your point of view and see that "letting" babies cry is not a good practice and is NOT exercise (puh-leeze!).

Good luck!
Jill
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#10 of 10 Old 04-18-2006, 01:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs Dimples
You sound like me - my DH says "is there ANYTHING you don't care about?" I just get so emotionally invested in everything, it's hard ot just put it aside and let it go.
HAHA!! Sounds like my DH, too!! If we are out & see something he knows will upset me he always says: "PLEASE don't loudly say anything to me about that!!!!!" Who...me?? LOL!!

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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