Mother and sisters-in-law and my beautiful baby girl

Sara - posted on 12/17/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )




I'm a first time mom, my baby girl is 7 weeks old. Since she was born I've been having a bad time dealing with my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law (both in their 40s and no children). They behave as if they were the mom of my baby and I really can't take their behaviour. Anytime we visit with the baby they comment on the way I feed her, hold her, etc. When I change her nappy they all gather around me and stare at the poor baby all the time. My mother in law always insists on feeding the baby. I can't breastfeed, therefore I decided that, apart from my husband, I'll be the only one to bottlefeed my daughter, since this is a moment of bonding for us. Last night, at a family dinner at my husband's cousin's, my baby fell asleep while we were having dinner and I put her in her travel bed in the living room. Well as soon as I got back to the dining room to finish my dinner, my mother-in-law left the table and the guests (she hadn't finished her meal yet) and walked straight to the living room where my baby was sleeping, sitting in a chiar near my baby's bed. I found this behaviour quite inappropriate. It's like she took advantage of the situation to spend alone time with my baby. Moreover they're jealous of the fact that after giving birth my relation with my mom and sisters got stronger and we help each other a lot when it comes to taking care of our children (my sisters have also small kids, one is also an OB nurse, and they've been providing me with advice and help since I got pregnant. This doesn't mean I dont let my in-laws meet the baby, they see her once a week, almost every Sunday, and always have their chance to hold her, etc. It's just that for the time being I don't feel comfortable with them babysitting or spending alone time with my daugther. Moreover, they were mean to me in the past. They never inquire after my health when I was pregnant. At the 36th week of pregnancy I got kidney colic and spent four days at the hospital and never visited or gave me a ring to see how I was. When my beautiful baby girl arrived they were the first to get to the hospital....I might be overreacting, maybe it's hormonal change, but I needed to vent.


♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 12/17/2013




Ok, yes, you are overreacting. If in laws are critical of your parenting, you simply smile, say "thank you for the input" and move on to another topic. If you don't want them helping with nappy changes, remove yourself and baby to the restroom for privacy.

I also see a lot of "I decided"...Did you let your husband in on ANY decisions for this baby? Just curious.

But, to be upset that your MIL went and sat by the baby (sat, you said, not woke, not touched)...ease up a little, or you're going to drive yourself crazy! "Its like she took advantage of the situation to spend time alone"...well, you're not giving her much time at all, compared to the time you're giving your mother! Do you blame her? Oh, yes, you do. Well, honey, STOP. After all, she's got just as much right as a grandparent as your mother does, and you said yourself that you don't mind if YOUR mother minds the baby. Well, this is your husband's mother, and he may not mind having her sit, care for, etc HIS child as well!

You cannot change how you perceive their treatment of you. But you can, perhaps, learn to open up more now that baby is here, and learn how to at the very least tolerate your inlaws so that you don't have such a stressful time.


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Anne - posted on 12/17/2013




While I think that hormones are playing a big part in your feelings, your in-laws aren't really taking your feelings into consideration, either. Have you talked to your husband about this? He probably is the best one to take them aside and tell them that as a brand new mother, you are still in the "mama bear" stage and they should (1) concentrate on you as much as they do the baby (after all, you've been through a life-changing event and your entire body as well as these new motherly feelings have had a big impact on you), and (2) respect your right to be the one to mother your baby, which includes feeding. You're right that it's an important bonding process for both you and your little girl, and they must not interfere with it. If your husband can't or won't have that conversation with them, then I guess it's up to you. Better yet, maybe you can have both sides of your family to your place for a simple carry-out dinner, and ask your sister to have the conversation with them. She will have the most credibility, as an OB nurse. This should be the time for you and your husband and your baby to bond as a family unit without interference from others. Especially if they are critical of your mothering. It might be better if you only visit once every two weeks for awhile. Soon enough your little girl will be crawling around and getting into things, and you'll be glad(ish) to have your in-laws there to chase and keep her away from the electrical outlets. The one solid suggestion I would make is that if you are the one to have the conversation with them, write down the points you want to make and practice ahead of time so you can be tactful and not make enemies out of them. And don't be afraid to take the baby and bottle out of your mother-in-law's hands and cheerfully say, "Oh, thank you! I was just going to do that and you saved me the trip to the kitchen."

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