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How do I get the mother-in-law to keep her opinions to herself?!

Discussion in 'Personal' started by life2teach, Oct 28, 2017.

  1. life2teach

    life2teach New commenter

    Hello all
    I just needed somewhere to vent.
    I’ll try to keep this post short so not to take up too much of your time

    I’m so annoyed
    The mum in law came round and baby was crying because she woke up out of her sleep.

    Hubby and I were in the living room (the rooms are next door to each other). However I was timing baby’s cries and watching on the baby monitor.
    I go in the room and comfort her periodically (after 3, 5, 8 mins etc). She does stop crying when I do this but after I leave or stop touching her she cries again.

    Good news is she only cries now for about 10 minutes before she falls back asleep.

    The mum in law was judging and saying I shouldn’t let her cry and I should do this and that...
    I stood up for myself and told her I’m doing it my way.
    Then I went in the other room (to comfort make sure baby was ok)

    After Hubby told me his mum gave him a lecture.
    I asked him what he said to her.
    He didn’t say anything because he doesn’t know what I do to put her to sleep.

    I was annoyed at Hubby then!

    I told hubby HE should put baby to sleep then he’ll know what I go through.

    They’re not the ones putting her to bed every night,
    AND putting her back to sleep when she wakes up,
    AND feeding her at 1am and 4am.

    I do watch her when she cries to make sure she’s ok.

    I guess I’m annoyed because Hubby didn’t defend me. Also everyone has their own methods and shouldn’t be made to feel bad. I don’t mind the mum in law making suggestions but I think it’s unfair for her to say what is right and wrong because that’s just her point of view.

    Anyway thanks for listening
  2. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Oh it's so difficult. :confused:

    I'm on the other side, being the mother-in-law.;)

    Yesterday I was cuddling my 4 and a half month old grandson. Late afternoon is apparently his usual restles 'grizzle time', but after a few minutes he decided to really yell and 'go for it'.:eek: But there were no tears, he'd been fed and changed and was just waiting for bathtime, so I'm afraid I just held him and reassured him, but let him cry. He still wouldn't stop.:(
    I was reluctant to 'hand him back to Mum', as she deals with him all the time and he has to get used to me. But I was worried that my d-I-l would get stressed out by hearing him cry and by the end he was going red in the face. So I gave in and handed him over. But more from worry about her distress than young grandson's.

    Still not sure if that was the right thing to do or not?
    JosieWhitehead likes this.
  3. calamansi

    calamansi Lead commenter

    Sometimes we just used to let them get bored and cry themselves to sleep. They didn't seem to hold it against us...
    Lara mfl 05 and grumpydogwoman like this.
  4. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    Print out the method and reasoning of what you are doing.
    Next time this happens, reassure her that baby doesn't have high temp, colic, reflux etc. Ask her to read the print out.

    This might allay her fears/concerns.

    Suggest ways she could help - if there are any,
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  5. Brunel

    Brunel Senior commenter

    Never mind mother-in-law, it's hubby you need to work on! Is there a good reason why he's not involved at all in baby's bedtime routine?
  6. install

    install Star commenter

    Time to limit Mother in law visits. You neef SPACE and its YOUR PLACE .:cool:
    TCSC47 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  7. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    A tale as old as time.

    There are ways.

    • Get out of my house now.
    • Back off.
    • It's MY kid.
    • Shut up.
    • Please just drop it.
    • I have my reasons and I am far too tired to go into detail. Please trust me.
    • Everybody does things differently.
    • I will ask you if I need your help. I promise.
    • Yes, I have tried that. Thanks. It didn't work.

    I told my own mum to bog off. And she had trained as a paediatric nurse and knew what she was on about! So she bog ged off.

    There's no easy way. Someone will get hurt. Just go for it. Follow your instinct. Husband is obviously a chocolate teapot.
  8. drvs

    drvs Star commenter

  9. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Agree with @Brunel . Involve your husband with the baby more and then he might be more able to see your point of view and present a united front to the m-I-l. I really understand that you need him to support you and it doesn't need to come to cross words, I think the "please trust us" as suggested by gdw is a strong response particularly if delivered with a smile and an arm round the shoulder.
    slingshotsally and kibosh like this.
  10. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    There is a path of least resistance here. If this happens again, leave the room and go lie down with something nice to read and drink. Let them deal with the kid.
    If you are feeding at 1.00 and 4.00, you must be knackered, and firstly you don't mention how this can contribute to irritability, and secondly, you don't mention the slightest iota of awareness from the other two that you must be tired.
    It sounds like actions rather than words would get a message across, and get you some rest too. I know this might come as alien thinking to you, but it has to be about you sometimes, not just baby,husband and MIL.
    Such a shame that with two other people there, you don't seem to be able to see it as somebody else to take the reins, rather than contenders adding fuel to a fire.
    Steer it. They get the wails, and you get some down time. Who cares how they do it? They're family, they have a role to play. Let them take the baby, and scoot off.
    Some years down the line, you will be grateful for this precedent-believe me!
    emerald52, Laphroig, bonxie and 6 others like this.
  11. kibosh

    kibosh Star commenter

    Fears and anxieties drive people to behave in controlling ways. Back seat drivers, effectively. It's tiresome when you have enough on your plate just dealing with the situation in question, but in order to get them off your back, you have to go the extra mile and manage them (their anxiety) too.
    I agree with others, that going on a Reassurance Offensive might just work with MiL. Talk to your husband about how best to reassure his mum's worries.

    If that doesn't work, and give it a few months at least, then I'd suggest going away for an overnight stay and suggest the MiL and husband look after the baby together.
    Dragonlady30 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  12. zizzyballoon

    zizzyballoon Star commenter

    The way the OP talks about 'the' mother- in -law rather than 'my' mother-in-law already sounds hostile. There is talk later down the thread of a 'united' front. It makes it sound like a battle ground. Why? I expect m-I-l just wants to help. Surely it would be better to find a way to let her take some of the burden?.
  13. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Do it asap, when feeding is not an absolute tie, and try not to be overtly smug when they phone after three hours for advice.
    See the change on your return. Job done.
    Dragonlady30 and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  14. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    Zizzy, if I could double like that I would! 'The' mother in law makes it sound as though she has no relationship to the OP at all. I hate that it becomes a battle ground. Of course the OP should raise her child in the way she sees fit, but surely all everyone wants is a baby that's loved and cared for.

    I think that having a new baby can be a stressful time and people can become very sensitive, but she loves the baby and wants to help I'm sure.
  15. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I must admit I certainly made the point that in the early months, unannounced visits would not be so effective as announced ones. If m-I-l popped over (they only lived next door so this was relatively easy;)) and I'd just got the babe to sleep/ settled and I wanted to use that short period for my own 'downtime' that a postponed visit would be better. My own d-I-l has recently done just the same.:D

    Always better to have this approach.

    I agree, sometimes, just as you are learning how to be parents, your in-laws are also having to learn how to be good inlaws/ grandparents and inevitably there will be 'teething problems'.;)
    bonxie, foxtail3 and install like this.
  16. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Can I just say this?

    If they cry they're basically OK. You don't need to watch them. It's when they don't cry you may just have to worry.

    But really? Just get on with your life. The baby is obviously very small and you're new to this. They are programmed to be resilient and to survive. No matter what.

    By the time the child is 2 or 5 or 10 you will wonder why you were all so stressed about it. And it's not worth messing up a relationship with your MiL over something that is just an expression of primal fear. You're all anxious. You don't need to be but you are.

    How about this? The baby is going to be fine anyway. It's your MiL you have to get on with. Let her do her thing. She wants to pick her up. Let her. Essentially just let her do as she pleases. She isn't going to harm your baby.

    I got very uptight as I felt my mother was undermining me. As if it matters. It really isn't worth it. Babies change so quickly. You'll get this fabulous routine and then the baby has grown and adapted and evolved and you need a new one. It's not about maternal or grandmaternal pride. It's not a battle about who's right. Babies come through no matter what.

    Just make your MiL a cup of tea and let her feel wanted.
  17. zizzyballoon

    zizzyballoon Star commenter

    I don't think so. When I had my second, I had no mother and no mother- in- law. What is more, the baby's father had decided to go away and sulk because it was all too much for him. The baby cried and cried and cried. He was very sick. He got thinner and thinner and thinner. The doctor told me I was an over- anxious older mother and the baby had a bit of colic.To cut a long story short, the baby was admitted to hospital on day 27 for a major operation without which he would have died. So, babies cry when they are all right but they ALSO cry when they AREN'T all right. And incidentally I could certainly have done with my mum or a mother-in law to help me then!
    JTL, emerald52, Sundaytrekker and 3 others like this.
  18. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    There isn't really any way of making a baby go to sleep. It just an illusion. They don't even know they have slept. so if they go to sleep crying then cry when they wake up, as far as they are concerned it is all one long cry without a break, and definitely without any of this 3,5,8 timing, or controlled crying or anything the parents think is obvious to the child, and is teaching the child something. It isn't, and they are not aware of it, or of having been asleep, at any level.

    You've got bogged down into some sort of procedure that your husband isn't on board at all, and that in itself is stressful and unnecessary.

    forget the 3,5,8 etc, which is meaningless, decide either with your husband you are either parents who leave the baby to cry, or parents who pick them up every time. Decide in principle, because on a day to day basis you are going to play it by ear to a greater of lesser extent anyway.

    Your answer to your MIL is just, O, I'm leaving her to see if she settles, or whatever. Simple answer, not some convoluted system that is just becoming a tyranny to you and not helping anyone.

    Or ignore my post totally, and do what ever you think is right.

    I was a nanny for 14 years. I've seen every system going! I've given you my onion, you can consider it or ignore it, its entirely up to you

    I'm always slightly bewildered at the number of otherwise intelligent people that seem to think a baby understands what sleep is though, or knows that they have done it.
  19. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    When my daughter had her twins she printed out a care manual for them. It was more complicated with twins and they had a strict routine so it was useful when babysitting. She did use a form of controlled crying btw - she would never have got a minute's peace picking one up after another constantly - and found 'white noise' in the room helpful.

    Probably true but a few months before my daughter was born a neighbour left her baby to cry and the baby died. The poor thing had bronchial pneumonia (sp?) so it wasn't a direct result of leaving her to cry (although if they'd been in and checked they might have seen she had a temperature) but it made me extra cautious when my baby was born.
    Lara mfl 05 and zizzyballoon like this.
  20. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    not true, my friends child died of MCADD, basically starved to death even though had been fed regularly. With this condition you need far more regular feedings than normal.He was crying with hunger but they didn't realise.

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