I see this problem from lots of angles, and I hope I can give you my two cents worth.
AS A CHILD -
I was the oldest of nine and there was lots of arguing all of the time. My mom seemed to feed on the rancor. My Father was old to me, but he was the youngest in his large family and he married late and started the family late, so my Aunt and Uncles on that side were all much older than my mom, so they saw her as a little girl with little sense. My mom constantly told my Uncles and my Aunt off rudely. My mom's mother was a little nutty and her father was very ill with diabetes the entire time I knew him; I ended up caring for them in their last three years as they died - my Father was as old as they were and he never got along with them. I promised myself that a line would be drawn to keep my children out of this poisonous stew of human disagreements.
It was not easy.
AS A MARRIED ADULT WITH CHILDREN
My MIL was an alcoholic and proud of it. My FIL catered to her quietly. When my DH and I had been married nine years, my MIL died of lung cancer as she was a heavy smoker too, and I ended up caring for my FIL in my home while I had three children under the age of four. Suddenly, my SIL was flying in to visit each weekend - she never so much as called or sent a Christmas before, but there she was, suddenly, every weekend; I suspected that she did not trust me with her father or with his $. I treated my SIL graciously, made a big dinner each Friday which is what I did anyway; her children, my DH's niece and nephew, were rude to me and hated my children - and they showed it by ignoring them, and my children could sense it, so I kept them busy and away when they came with her. After three years of this, I sent my FIL packing to be with her since it was too much to care for FIL and the children. My SIL cared for him for another six years and he then died. I helped her by calling family members in the area to let them know.
When my husband died, I never heard from my SIL. She knew he was on his deathbed and she never called. I have left it that way. This is the way I like it.
My husband has a brother, who has come and stayed for a month or so. He is a pleasant, low-key kind of person, and I have always welcomed him into my home. He worked at MIU for the Maharishi.
AS A WIDOW AND MIL
Now, I am an MIL. I see lots of things I do not care for - as my DIL stopped breastfeeding after four months because she went back to work. They have three dogs and bought another house. I say nothing. Those things are her call and she will live with the outcome. She cares for my grandson well and with love, and my son loves her and she makes him happy, so what else could I really ask for? They have asked me questions about child spacing and I gave them my sage advice, and they did not follow my advice, but this is their decision to make.
As for gifts, I told my children to give me a gift of their time. I have enough things to dust. In turn, I will give them the gift of the time I have left in this life. That is something no $ can buy. With the internet, it is easy to keep in touch.
So my advice is to be open, listen, and do what you want. This is your baby. This is your husband. This is your marriage. Smile and remind your MIL of that. I am glad that you go to the gym with her - I went to the gym with my SIL a few times, but not recently. Do not let her ruin the time you have with your baby. Make sure your husband protects you too when you are recovering from the delivery. You will be low then, so make sure your hubby has your back. The problem is your husband needs to stand by YOU.
Since you are raising them in your faith, LDS, later when you take your children to the Temple for whatever dedication ceremony you have, TELL your MIL and FIL of any traditions that they need to be aware of so that they can join in the solemnity of the time. Let them know what they can and cannot do and take charge and make sure your husband stands by you. As for materialism, your husband needs to tell his mother to curb it, but if she gives lots of gifts, take them graciously and when she leaves, set them aside, or put them away before the baby notices it - this is not going to be easy, but keep a few of the gifts and give the rest away. Do not let your child get attached to them.
Your home, your rules. I hope your husband really understands the values of the LDS faith. Details!
"Vaccines are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get - acute hemorrhagic edema of infancy, allergies, anaphylaxis, asthma, autoimmune disease, diabetes, eczema, petit/gran mal seizures, fibromyalgia, Henoch-Schonlein purpua, Dravet's Syndrome, Retts Syndrome, Sweet's Syndrome, Hughes Syndrome, encephalitis, speech delay, tics, neurological damage, coma, ADEM, ADHD, AFP, ASIA, CFS, CRPS, GBS, ITP, JPA, JRA, LGS, LKS, MS, OMS, ORS, PANDAS, PANS, PINTANDS, POF, POTS, RA, SIDS, SJS, SLE, SPD, SUDS, TPI, the disease one is being vaccinated against, or death."
Paraphrased from "Forrest Gump".
List from the drug companies' own package inserts that come with their product as required by law.
Last edited by applejuice; 06-17-2015 at 08:11 PM.