MIL giving a bath and playing dress-up - Page 6 - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-09-2009, 11:56 AM
 
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wouldent bother me at all, one less bath time i have to do and id be glad they played together too.

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Old 04-09-2009, 12:18 PM
 
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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.
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:34 PM
 
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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.

Nicole - Mom to FOUR healthy, happy, wild boys.
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:41 PM
 
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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.

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Old 04-09-2009, 01:44 PM
 
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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.

Wendy ~ mom to VeeGee (6/05), who has PRS, Apraxia, SPD, VPI, a G-Tube, 14q duplication, and is a delightful little pistol! I'm an English professor and a writer.
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Old 04-09-2009, 01:55 PM
 
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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?
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Old 04-09-2009, 02:02 PM
 
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Oh AverysMomma! What a voice and what wisdom! Your writing is so touching!
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Old 04-09-2009, 04:25 PM
 
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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.

Nicole - Mom to FOUR healthy, happy, wild boys.
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Old 04-09-2009, 04:38 PM
 
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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
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Old 04-09-2009, 05:13 PM
 
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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.

April thankful mommy to my boys Big Red 3/06 Little Z 9/08 and happily awaiting the arrival of 10/10 :
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Old 04-10-2009, 02:07 AM
 
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I think you are overreacting, yes. But I think it's coming from a place of wanting to be with your baby and wanting to do these things yourself.
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Old 04-11-2009, 08:28 PM
 
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This isn't the OP, but it speaks to our DIL vs. MIL (or mother) issues. She cleaned your floors and you thank her with keeping her granddaughter from her care for 6-7 YEARS???? Wow. Now would be a good time to call her and apologize for that.

When my dd1 was born, my best friend's mom (my own mom died when I was a kid) came to the hospital (a five hour drive) in the middle of the night and sat in the hall, coming in only after dd was born and a nurse let me know someone was waiting outside for us. Other than me and dp, she was the first person to hold dd. Then she went to my house. When we arrived the next day, bringing dd home for the first time, now a FAMILY of three, with videocamera rolling we walked into our house. First thing I say - on tape for all eternity - "Marty, she cleaned the floors!" I was so thrilled. We had cats and I'd been very pregnant and it was bright summer and you could tell the floors were in need of attention.

To put the baby somewhere she is happy and safe in order to clean your floors - I'd be grateful for the help. Some here would complain that their mother or MIL hogged the baby and did nothing to help. Yours did something to help and you persecuted her for it. That is really sad.
Oh no! My mom cleaned her *own* floors- we were visiting her!

And just to clarify further:

We live a few hundred miles from my mom, so the opportunities for her to be alone with my dd are rather few and far between anyway. I go to visit her with my kiddo or she comes here and we all spend time together. After that very early experience with my mom caring for my dd I decided that it would be time *together* as opposed to break time for mama. It wasn't ever a big issue, my mom never really pushed for time alone with my kiddo.

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Old 04-11-2009, 08:43 PM
 
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It must be very difficult to be away from you baby. hugs:

But honestly I think you are way overreacting. She did what most normal grandmas do. Good luck and again hugs.
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Old 04-11-2009, 09:12 PM
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Who doesn't want to see a baby splashing in the water.

It's just too fun!

That's all she did. No biggie. I wouldn't even say anything.

In the whole scheme of things - it doesn't matter.

Trying to do the right thing with three kids and a hubby. 
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Old 04-12-2009, 03:22 AM
 
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You are definately making a mountain out of a mole hill. It has been a long time since she had a baby to dress and bathe. Giving a baby a bath is fun! They are wet and cute and smiley. I don't see this as a boundry issue and think it is a bit strange that you feel she was invading your sons privacy. I am a very paranoid mama, but this to me is just over reacting.
Would you rather her ignore him while she is tending him?
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Old 04-12-2009, 03:31 AM
 
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/>I'm with Avery's Mom. Let it go and put yourself in grandma's shoes.
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Old 04-19-2009, 09:30 PM
 
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Oh mama, I know that hurt.

Quote:
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
I just so totally and completely agree with this. I'm a single mama too, and the feelings, the absolute hormonal, gut feelings that come out from being separated from a young child - well, IME they often have no rationalization.

Full time working mom to two bright and busy little girls! treehugger.gif
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