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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sometimes I forget that having this baby is going to bring the inlaws into my life more. We really don't have much important contact with Dh's family - we see them here and there and I can ignore that they are nothing like my own family. For the most part I can even stand to be around them, which I always thought was a plus! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
But when it's come to this baby.... sigh.<br><br>
MIL just brought over some baby blankets made by "Great Aunt Sandy" whom I've never met or even heard of until today. One is crocheted, one is a quilt. The quilt is lovingly made, and gorgeous.... IF WE KNEW WE WERE HAVING A GIRL!!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/eadunne/Misc/photo#5219370191934916386" target="_blank">Here</a> it is. The back is solid pink, too. And MIL has the gall to pretend it's gender neutral! I'm sitting there with a smile plastered to my face saying thanks thinking, gender neutral?!?!? Dh thinks that at some point MIL thought we'd told her we were having a girl and passed on the info and is now covering it up. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><br><br>
I showed her the cradle my family has passed onto me, the one that all 3 of us kids plus numerous other relatives have used and that was made by my father, and the comment she makes is "Well, it's awfully small, guess you won't need to use it for long though!" with this conspiratorial grin on her face... like we're both in on some joke at my Dad's woodworking expense or something.<br><br>
We got on the subject of diapers and how we were going to use cloth and she says, "Well, yes, but I was going to get you some little disposables b/c there's no way you want to deal with cloth for the first couple weeks." I tried politely to tell her we didn't feel that way, but she insisted that we wouldn't want to be doing laundry during that time. I thought it quite diplomatic of myself not to mention that MY mother was going to be here to help for the first month and would specifically be doing things like laundry. Instead I just kept insisting we didn't want to use any disposables. When I showed her the cloth dipes I DID want to use (organic cotton fitteds) she was appalled at the price and that we would even consider spending "that much" on diapers, not to mention how would we afford it? Um, we're not destitute. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><br><br>
I have the feeling that my relationship with my inlaws is going to get much more tense and is going to feel more like a battle to me once this little one arrives. I'm feeling less and less inclined to leave my child with them, which has been the plan at one point or another for when I go back to school. I don't WANT it to be that way, b/c I know it will cause issues b/t Dh and I when I'm constantly seeming to battle his family while feeling at ease with my own... but they are two completely different kinds of people. While my Mom has quietly, respectfully, and reassuringly encouraged every single one of my parenting choices so far it seems MIL has done the opposite.<br><br>
Ack, sorry that rant got long. Guess I needed to get that out tonight. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent">
 

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I think that your MIL could benefit from a price comparison chart between cloth and disposable diapers. Families can spend up to $3,000 a kid on diapers. We may spend $500 on cloth, but we can use those on more than one kid.
 

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It really seems like when babies are born, in laws go crazy! And if you have a girl, that's a lovely blanket...if you have a boy, you have a wonderful gift for the next friend that has a girl <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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IL's are so hard because you're expected to love and care for these people just as much as your family but the relationship takes time. I'm sure that your mother in law has good intentions and doesn't realize that you're ubber sensitive while pregnant! My mother in law makes me crazy sometimes but she is the sweetest lady and would do anything for us! It's my mother that says WHATEVER is on her mind..... I guess you have to take the good with the bad <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Big hugs and I assure you that it won't be as bad as you imagine~! Just stand your ground and remember that you and your hubby are the parents....you never have to explain yourself!
 

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i got on a lot better with my ILs before they became the grandparents to my daughter. they're not bad people, it's just a dynamic i didnt quite anticipate and my own family are on another continent 4,000 miles away.<br><br>
like a pp said, you just gotta stand your ground.
 

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I have a handmade cradle that my grandpa made all of us girls when we were really small, for our dolls. DS slept in it for about 4 months <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> And my MIL, knowing I'd planned to use the cradle, bought us a vibrating bassinet... which, while it hit me wrong at the time, came in handy after he outgrew my wooden cradle. Then I gave it to the first friend who was expecting.<br><br>
I'm of the firm opinion that handmade stuff is meant to be used. Your little one isn't going to care what color that blanket is, and if you choose not to use it inside, maybe it can be a ground cover for when you take him outside? Also, I agree with the pp who said showing her a cost comparison of disposable vs. cloth diapers might get her off your back.<br><br>
Good luck to you, probably she means well. Times, they change though. And yup, you're the mama. Your word is law <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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My mom drives me crazy, even though she means well with everything she says and does. I can barely tolerate my partner's mom as well. Thankfully, my mom is about 2 hours away by car, and my partner's mom is about 12 hours away by plane.<br><br>
Be firm but civil. If your mother-in-law really doesn't get it, tell her to fuck off -- politely, of course! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> Stand your ground.
 

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The quilt really is very nice. If you don't feel comfortable using it if you have a boy maybe you can just put away for the next one (if there is a next one), or as someone else suggested give to someone else with a girl.<br><br>
I don't think it is uncommon for the relationship with MIL to become rougher after a baby. A friend of mine got along great with hers until her first child came along & it's been nothing but downhill since then.<br><br>
I wouldn't even bother getting into debates with her. Simply say "yes, it is a little pricey to get started but in the long term will be cheaper". I have found that most people who are not supportive of cd think it is way too much of an inconvenience to be bothered with.
 

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The quilt's lovely. You could use it for a boy. Maybe not with the solid pink side up, but the front is lovely, and honestly, your baby wont care if he (if it is a boy that is!) has a little pink around him!<br><br>
As for MIL's, I don't even want to go there. Mine is great in some ways, but high maintenance in others, and we've had one or two major falling outs, but generally not over parenting. Probably because she lives far away enough that I can ignore the unwanted advice and take the wanted advice (and she does have some good advice, she has worked in the non-profit childcare sector and been involved in childcare at the provincial government level, so she does know child development!). After all, she has no idea I nursed The Boy until he was almost 4, and that's probably for the best!
 

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Oh I could go on and on about MIL woes... But I won't. All I can say, just stand your ground. If she insults you, tell her you think that is insulting and that she should respect your decisions because this is YOUR (and your husband's) baby! I agree that quilt, though very beautiful, isn't gender neutral. But you could always save it for the next babe or regift it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> GL mama!
 

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Learning to live with (and have a decent relationship with) the ILs defiantely takes time. I'm still learning 8 years later.<br><br>
What really helped in my case was to sit down with my dh and have a conversation with him about what we were willing to tolerate from both of our parents. This babe is my 5th so the grandparents have learned to deal with our quirkiness over the years but at first it was rocky. Once dh and I decided what we could handle from well-intentioned grandparents, we could then confront them together in a gentle way. I think hearing our collective feelings definately helped them all get the message.<br><br>
As far as things like diapers and where your kid sleeps, that's up to you. You're the mama. When grandma is sending her 2 cents your way just smile and nod, thank her for her advice, and then do your own thing. A lot of it comes from them needing to feel validated for the parenting choices they made. Let her say her piece and she'll move on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks ladies!! I'm feeling better about it this morning, I just needed to rant a bit last night before I could sleep I guess. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> I need to remember the "smile and nod" strategy - part of me wants to explain and educate or something about WHY we're choosing this (maybe also looking for some validation?), but I need to remember that the best way is just to let her have her say and then do what we were going to do anyways.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">"Well, yes, but I was going to get you some little disposables b/c there's no way you want to deal with cloth for the first couple weeks."</td>
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My MIL said the exact same thing. She showed up with packs of disposables, which I stuck in the closet and later returned to walmart (for credit which I used to buy something I actually needed...)<br><br>
Our relationship was just as you describe, they were easy enough to get along with. But after my son was born (Oct 2006) it has changed completely. And not for the better <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> My advice is to make yourself very clear from the beginning, becuase I didn't - kept trying to be polite - and now we're still having issues 2 years later. Ugh. Good luck!
 

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The quilt is lovely but I wouldn't use it for a boy, handmade or not. Not that I'm wasteful...but I just wouldn't use it, especially if the boy was my first baby.<br><br>
I had some similar stuff with my IL's. They all just want to be involved.
 

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I would gift the quilt if you end up having a boy and leave it at that.<br>
Re. the cloth dipes issue, explain to her the value/savings of CDing over time and I would clue her in that your mother will be with you for the first month.<br>
No need to hide that or be weird about her knowing that.<br>
You are going through something major and your mom is well, YOUR mom. Most people would expect a woman giving birth the first time to have their mother or sister there- not an IL.<br>
Its good to set boundaries as well in a very diplomatic and nice way so that you are respected.<br>
((hugs))
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Amber Lion</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11624956"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thanks ladies!! I'm feeling better about it this morning, I just needed to rant a bit last night before I could sleep I guess. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> I need to remember the "smile and nod" strategy - part of me wants to explain and educate or something about WHY we're choosing this (maybe also looking for some validation?), but I need to remember that the best way is just to let her have her say and then do what we were going to do anyways.</div>
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Totally. I was going to give you a sage word of cliche advice: "Pick your battles". Smile, nod, do what you want. You know, sometimes they ARE even right (not saying that your MIL is, but, like, for example, even if you're totally going cloth- which we did- and extra bag of disposables in the house isn't a bad idea entirely... And there ARE people who do use disposables for the first few weeks for a couple different reasons then go to cloth, so, I mean that may not be you, but I guess I'm saying she's not totally from Mars for mentioning it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent">).<br><br>
Pick what REALLY matters to you and stick to your guns. Otherwise, if your MIL is a good person just really excited, maybe just recognise that this is a big event for her too and she's trying to be helpful.<br><br>
I guess as a mama of boys, I hope that someday I will have a daughter-in-law (a mother of my grandchildren) who is OK with me being part of her life and share in her happiness as mother as well (not just <i>her</i> mom... I know I'll never be her mom, but I'd hope that I could have a place too). I think sometimes the DH's mom can already feel second class. Sometimes by just finding a way to communicate that you value her and she will be a part of things, that may set a different tone... And, again, if she's an overall good person, she'll come around with all that you are passionate about when she sees what a good mom you are.<br><br>
And soon you may find that much of what seems so black-and-white about what you want and will do as a mother may not be so clear when baby actually comes. Often priorities change or are questioned or abandoned all together (I'm saying because this totally happened to me, and I think it happens to some degree to everyone). The more support you have (even of good people who may not agree with you all the time but who love you and your child) is really helpful. If she is a good person and loves you guys and is accepting of when you do things that she would have done differently, someday you two will be laughing over this and thanking the good Lord for her safe and loving care as you drop off to her your filthy, exhausted toddler who is dressed in rainboots and a stained second hand shirt and needs a diaper change and a snack that you didn't have time to pack while you desperately rush out for an hour to collect yourself and buy underwear as yours have holes in them and every time you go to the store with the baby she has a tantrum <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent">. Can you tell I've been there? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">
 

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When it comes to my choices (in general) and other people sharing their opininion I remember lyrics from Baz Luhrmans "Everybody's Free..."<br><blockquote><p>Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who<br>
supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of<br>
fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the<br>
ugly parts and recycling it for more than<br>
it’s worth.<br><br>
But trust me on the sunscreen…</p></blockquote>
<br>
Even if I'm not feeling very charitable I try to grit my teeth and hope for the same charity when I open my big mouth and give unsolicited advice! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
One other thing that helps me with regards ESPECIALLY to advice about my children....is to remember that people (especially family people) are giving me their opinion because they already love my child. (whether they do or not is unimportant, this is what I tell myself...if they care enough to have an opinion, that means they care for my child)...and remembering that despite differences in opinion....my child is already loved and thought about and cared for.<br><br>
As for receiving gifts .... say thank you. Period. Especially homemade gifts...someone put time and love into that item thinking of YOUR child....what a special thing! Whether you use it or no doesn't matter, love it and appreciate it for what it is ... a token of affection for your wee one.<br><br>
Good luck mama! It's not just in-laws that have opinions...and though you may want to educated people on why you made the choices you did for your family....remember, it may be you that is giving unsolicted advice/opinion in the future!
 

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what I want to know is why it's always up to us to deal with this stuff...like why couldn't your mil talk to your dh about the disposibles and then he could have said no we don't want any we plan on using only cloth on our baby right from the start.....so frustrating...<br><br>
but I agree with pp's who have said pick your battles.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>amandaleigh37</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11624992"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My MIL said the exact same thing. She showed up with packs of disposables, which I stuck in the closet and later returned to walmart (for credit which I used to buy something I actually needed...)</div>
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I agree. Keep the disposables until you know you don't need them and then return them to the store to get something you do need. As for the blanket, just know that you'll likely get 20+ blankets, many from relatives you never knew existed. You'll use the favorites often, and be able to put away the others. My GMIL gave me a pretty pink blanket she made for my FIL 63 years ago, before he was born, and I never used it, even though I had a girl. (She did use it for him all the time, however.)<br><br>
As for the monster MIL, yes as pps have said, relationships do change. Nothing has been harder on our relationship than parenting, (well, perhaps her treating DH's diabetes as a simple food pickiness issue-- and being mortified to know that I threw away her cinnamon rolls which he would have devoured) and we still get through it. Sadly, I was the daughter she'd always wanted for the first 8 years of my marriage-- her same major and profession, interest in cooking, being domestic, reading, etc. Then, when I got pg with DD, every choice I made became (to her) an indictment of how poorly she'd parented.<br><br>
Everyone has her own issues, and standing your ground now will be lots better on those battles that you know are important. I silently co-slept and pretended we weren't, but because the ILs said my DH would crush my baby, he didn't sleep with us for 3 months! We weathered that too. Now, the ILs relish their sleepovers with DD, as she still isn't in her own bed.<br><br>
So, Amber Lion, all the best to you, and know that you have lots of support from other people when your ML is unreasonable.
 
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