I am the "bad daughter" in my family. My stepsister and I were pregnant with our first children and due a week apart. We have totally different parenting attitudes and there was a lot of confilict those first couple years.
I wanted to labor at home for as long as possible -- alone. My mom and stepdad wanted to be called so they could come down at the first labor pain. My mother thought that she was going to be present at the birth, and cried when I told her that it was going to be only my dh and I there. They wanted to spend as much time in our hospital room as we did. I got lucky, and my stepsister delivered five days before I did. My mom and stepdad came and pretty much lived in her hospital room. When I delivered on Mother's Day they were in town visiting my stepsister, but had to go home that day because they had used up all their time off when my niece was born. They came up to the hospital for a couple hours then had to go home for the week.
My stepsister works 50 hours a week (not in a high earning, professional job) and puts her daughter in daycare five and sometimes seven days a week. When her dd was just a tiny infant they left her with my mom and stepdad for a weekend when they had to work. They have left her with our parents for a week or more at a time. We refused to let our son stay at their home. It is not at all babyproofed and is a deathtrap. Their are poisonous plants sitting all over the floor. They have a staircase to the basement that is in a very dangerous place. The lean a thin piece of paneling in front of it and think it's safe.
My stepsister weaned her dd at two months. My parents though it was great that she nursed that long and that two months was a good time to wean. I nursed my ds until he weaned himself at 22 months when I was three months pregnant.. They thought that it was horrible that I nursed that long. From three months on I was nagged about when I was finally going to stop "doing that." Doing what, feeding my baby??? I once said "If I don't feed my baby, isn't that neglect?" That didn't go over too well with them. Imagine their horror when I got pregnant and didn't wean. The concept of tandem nursing about sent them over the edge.
I am an AP parent in a very non AP family. I can't name another person in my family including all of my cousins who even comes close to APing. No one breastfed (except my stepsister) and they had never seen a sling before they saw mine. I was told that my son would grow up to be insecure, spoiled, dependent on me. None of these things happened, and my son is a wonderful, caring child. All of their critical, hurtful comments have been swept under the rug and forgotten, at least by them. They will long be remembered by my dh and I. This is just an overview of our situation, I could go on and on, but it would make me too angry.
As for your your bil being a doctor, you didn't mention his specialty, but I assume that he isn't an obgyn. Being a doctor makes him an "expert" so to speak in his specialty, but not others. My husband is a construction engineer, but would you want him designing for NASA? Of course not, he isn't an aerospace engineer. Simply being an engineer doesn't make him an expert on engineering as a whole, nor does being a doctor make your bil and expert on all things medical (that is if you consider birth a "medical" event.) After all, would you want your obgyn removing a brain tumor? As for pediatricians, I too, have a good friend who is a pediatrician. Her daughter is the same age as my second son, and she comes to me much, much more often for advice than I come to her. After all, she says, she was trained to treat sick children, not to parent. Her training was not in things such as how to get your child to sleep through the night, or the best way to toilet train, or what to do if your child hits other children. These are all parenting issues, not medical issues. My former pediatrician (she just left the practice
) had two boys in elementary school. I greatly trusted her input on parenting issues, but even she told me that the advice that she would give was as a parent, not as a doctor. What worked for her, might not work in our situation and I had to do what was best for my children.
I would talk to your bil and his wife soon and tell them how they are taking the joy out of this for you. It sounds as if bil has to be the one who knows it all and that people look up to. IMHO it seems as if they are criticizing your choices because perhaps they feel guilty about theirs. There is nothing wrong with using disposable diapers if they choose, but to belittle you for doing so is just plain rude, uncaring and certainly unsupportive. Why should they care, anyway? As first time parents they know no more than you do, even if they would like to think that they do. If they want your children to be close they need to lighten up and realize that there is more than one way to parent. If it were me in your situation I would find myself avoiding being around them because of their attitude. Take the high road and try to talk to them now before it gets too bad.
I feel sorry for your sil. Think of the crappy birth she is going to have. I've had two drug free births -- they rock!!!
Best of luck, and if you want to blow off some steam, please pm me!! Being the bad daughter isn't so bad. I feel like a rebel!