AIBU or is MIl. I never wanted to turn into one of those awful DILs and I think I might be.

(134 Posts)
honeytea Tue 15-Jan-13 20:18:33

I have posted about my mil before but things have come to a head in the last few days.

The background info is that I have always got on well with MIL (or so I thought) I have encouraged my useless dp to spend time with his parents and I have been the one to buy MIL gifts/cards on birthdays and mothersdays, she probably doesn't realise this.

I'm not sure if it is relavant but I am British and DP and MIl are Swedish, we live in Sweden. There are quite a few cultural differences between the 2 countries.

When I became pregnant last year and I started talking about having a child our differences became more apparent. Things like me drinking one small glass of wine whilst pregnant/breastfeeding shocked her to the point she called "mother's who do that kind of thing" disgusting. I understand that people have personal opinions on alcohol and BF/pregnancy but I think it would have been nice for her to be a little more diplomatic keep her opinions to herself She also said she would be deeply ashamed if we used reins. She said if we didn't use a dummy and I breastfed DS he would become so fat he wouldn't be able to learn to walk as he would use my boob as a dummy. She also said cloth nappies would rot away DS's bum as he would have red hair.

I took the attitude that smiling and nodding and ignoring would be the best thing to do.

DS was born just before christmas We had lots and lots of visitors, MIL and FIL live a 10 hour drive away and they came down to visit (staying with SIL thank god) my mum stepdad sister and brother came to stay too. I really stuggled emotionally the 1st 2 weeks of DS's life, I felt very overwhelmed by the love I felt for him and I was sure he was going to die/get seriously hurt.

My MIL came to visit one day when DS was about 4 days old, I had been up all night feeding and sobbing into his little soft head when they arived I was sleeping, it wasn't the 1st time they came to visit us and we had had visitors all morning- DP came and woke me up when DS needed feeding, I came and sat in the living room and didn't say much I am not great when I have just woken up and they were speaking Swedish which I can speak but it is hard work and I have to concentrate so I sat quietly feeding the baby.

MIL thought that I had an attitude and FIL phoned my DP later to tell him MIL was angry with me. It upset me but I just tried to ignore it and move on.

MIL also was very upset by the way I wind the baby -(sitting on my knee supporting his chest and rubbing his back) I thought this is just how you wind babies, it is how the babies in my family are winded anyway.

I was very very worried about the risk of sids, a friend of mine lost her son to sids last year sad I wanted to do everything I could to keep DS safe. My dp asked his DM and sisters to wash their hands after smoking and wait 30 mins before holding DS, I can see that this is very PFB but it made me feel better. MIL was furious she still is. I also asked my DM to do the same and I accused DM of bring fleas into my home (it was actually post birth hives blush )

MIL is still furious and hurt about the smoking request she is angry that i ignored her advice on burping (the reason i don't like to burp him on my shoulder is because he is a big puker and it is best to try and catch the puke when burping him)

she has 3 daughters and 10 grandchildren from them, she was like a 2nd mum to those kids. She talked about wanting my DS to sleep in her bed with her and FIL when we go and visit (which was supposed to be next month when he is 8 weeks) I hadn't actually said no your not having my baby sleep in bed with you I just hadn't mentioned it. They are looking at houses near us so they can see DS all the time which would be lovely. I think she sees DS as one of her babies, she said to me how nice it was for her to have another baby, I said that she became a great aunt 3 times last year and she said yes but DS is her baby because he is her grandson. I don't mind her saying he is hers, ds is very lucky to have so many people who adore him but what bothers me is when she disaproves of me and my parenting style. Everything I do she comments negatively on, if DS is in a babygrow she comes in and says he is cold if he has a hat on she says he is hot, if I put him down so he wakes up to feed him (in the very early days of bf when he was super sleepy due to jandice) I am cruel. I feel like I have hidden my irritation well I have not challenged her I have just ignored the advice. My ignoring has made her very angry. I don't think she has ever had a women with different parenting ideas to her in her life.

we are supposed to go and stay with them next month, it will cost lots of money and it will be a very long drive. I don't want to go, they live just below the arctic circle so it will be very very cold and dark most of the time, I will be sat in their house with MIL criticising my parenting choices for days on end.

I understand I probably still have some crazy post birth hormones and I would like to be told IABU if I am. Also how can I move forward? for the sake of DS and DP I want to have as nice a relationship with MIL as possible.

Sorry about the essay!

HumphreyCobbler Tue 15-Jan-13 20:21:54

Good god, you have been very well behaved in the face of such provocation. What does your DH say about all the criticism? I think it is time for HIM to help deal with this situation.

Squitten Tue 15-Jan-13 20:22:02

Where is your DP in all this? It's his mother so he needs to be dealing with her and tell her to leave you alone

HumphreyCobbler Tue 15-Jan-13 20:23:32

Smiling, nodding and ignoring has worked so far but it all sounds too much for you to deal with right now. Do you have to go?

fatcuntroller Tue 15-Jan-13 20:24:12

You are definitely not being unreasonable!! Your Dh needs to have serious and firm words with his dm.

TheCarefulLaundress Tue 15-Jan-13 20:25:58

Can't you come back to blighty?

Has your DP been vocally supportive of YOU during all this criticism?

No way would I be going to visit.
No way would I want them moving closer.
No way would I want her to refer to her grandchild as "my baby".
No way would I put up with such obvious criticism.
No way would my baby be sleeping in the same bed as their grandparents when their parents are in the same house!

She sounds odd, judgemental, overbearing and without any appropriate boundaries.

honeytea Tue 15-Jan-13 20:27:52

My DP said an awful thing to his mother today, he said she was egocentric and it was me who suggested visiting them and me who bought all the gifts for them.

But then he says I should just do what his mum wants because she is a little crazy and takes strong painkillers for her back.

I don't want to change the way I parent because his mother is like she is but I don't want to make a family rift.

The way I am with my own mother is lots more harsh, I tell her not to talk such rubbish when she praises DS for doing a poo for 15 mins and I have told her we won't come and visit unless they lock their (child biting) dog away.

honeytea Tue 15-Jan-13 20:29:42

Can't you come back to blighty?

Good plan! I think that might push her over the edge, she is very against us even sending DS to an English speaking school.

ENormaSnob Tue 15-Jan-13 20:31:41


Your mil is a cunt.

Hope your dp supports you.

duende Tue 15-Jan-13 20:31:59

Oh my god, OP, you must be a saint! I would definitely have exploded by now. Also, if someone was criticising me so much in the first weeks of my baby's life, it wold make me feel very low.
Fwiw, my DP and his family are British and I am not, so I know what it's like to have to deal wih cultural differences. My MIL is also quite a bitter person and has very set opinions but even she wouldn't cross the boundaries your MIL seems to cross regularly.
Where is your DP in this? My DP certainly wouldn't let his mum treat me like this and he hates confrontation.

cees Tue 15-Jan-13 20:32:18

Oh cause the rift, she is being a bitch and your dp's answer is to do as she says!! Tell him to find his backbone and use it, you need to do the same. As for having your 8 week old baby sleep with her and her partner, they can fuck off in my book. Bloody weirdos/

ENormaSnob Tue 15-Jan-13 20:32:54

Oh and please don't put your baby at risk to keep stupid ignorant mil happy hmm

coffeewhitenosugar Tue 15-Jan-13 20:33:22

Wow, you are DNBU, your MIL sounds like she has serious control issues. Like you say your DS is her grandson but he's your baby, not hers. With regards to the smoking I think you were really lenient - I probably would have made them change their clothes, wash their hair and brush their teeth grin. I felt very much the same as you when my dd was born and thankfully my family just put up with it - they probably said plenty to other people but not to me, although they do make the odd comment now that dd is a bit older. I certainly wouldn't let your ds sleep in their bed, that's plain odd, although obviously different cultures do different things - I've heard of some cultures where the baby sleeps with the parents for a long time but not with the grandparents. IMO you are the parents so you say what goes, stick to your gut instincts and if necessary say no, I hope your DP will support and stand by you but you ANBU your MIL is. Hope it works out well for all of you.

I had a massive melt down at my mil for much less. The thing that sticks out is her wanting your DS in her bed which is odd- why would she want to be woken when you have to feed him? Have you talked to DH? You are tired, these first few weeks are unbelievably hard work (it does get better!) and I would not want to spend that long in someone else's house even if they were really lovely and supportive.

She wants to sleep with your 8 week old baby in her bed????????

She's a nutter! Ignore the silly moo and just carry on raising your son the way you think fit, regardless of whether MIL is there or not.

manicbmc Tue 15-Jan-13 20:35:14

Don't go. If your mil has a problem maybe you should say something. It will piss her off greatly but she is going to be like this forever unless you put your foot down now.

Just think how bad this will be if she moves near to you?

Nanny0gg Tue 15-Jan-13 20:35:55

I assume they smoke in the house?

That could be the final straw...

(And you are definitely not U)

farewellfarewell Tue 15-Jan-13 20:38:00

No yanbu- he is your tiny new baby, you are following your natural instincts to protect him. If you don't want to visit (yet) don't do it. You will be stressing out and not enjoying your early days with the baby. Just say he has a slight cold/you have a cold, anything. Delay it for a while. When he is bigger you can reassess. It is all about you and your baby, she can shag off frankly. Also re the interference I think it would be best next time you see her/maybe next time you chat on the phone (if you are a coward like me!!) just make up your mind to challenge her (gently?) if she questions a decision you are making re baby, something like "I will do things my way, he is my baby so I will be making those decisions (with dh)-I'm sure you followed your instincts with your babies, that is what I will be doing, the last thing I want is for us to fall out over it" (!!!)
I do think she is being positively mean by poking her nose in like this, she must know you are feeling vulnerable, so assert yourself early on wd be my advice. Be firm.

LemonBreeland Tue 15-Jan-13 20:38:26

She sounds incredibly hard work, and that is being diplomatic about it.

You don't need to visit them. If they want to see you they should be doing the travelling. Although I would try to put them off.

thegreylady Tue 15-Jan-13 20:38:28

YANBU and I agree you should not visit unless your dp [not you] explains to his dm that the baby will not be sleeping with them and that the rules re handwashing after smoking and the way you wind the baby are common practice here and as you are british then that is the way you will be doing things.I would also get him to explain your wish to have a close relationship with her and that he hopes that,for the sake of that and your ds,she will compromise.
Good Luck

lightrain Tue 15-Jan-13 20:38:32

How would it go down if you had a genuine conversation with her, told her you repected her opinion but she must understand that you want to do what you think is best for your child and that might not always be the same thing that she thinks, and that you feel that she criticises you a great deal and it makes you feel very uncomfortable?

If that's a possibility, I'd try to have that difficult conversation with her. Then I'd ask DH to step in where she was difficult in his presence. He needs to help you out.

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 15-Jan-13 20:38:35

Um...I think you are being remarkably tolerant especially considering how new your DS is.

She needs to back off. Yes there may be cultural differences,give her a list of yours. As in THIS will be his I raise my child xyz.

I have a Swedish friend and she definitely wasn't of the "the occasional glass of wine while pregnant" is disgusting mindset at all.

Do you really have to go and visit them? It doesn't sound like your DH is keen and what he said gives you a way out.

WhatchuTalkinBoutPhyllis Tue 15-Jan-13 20:38:43

My god op YANBU!!! Wheres the boundaries? She isn't his mum.

Undermining you like that is not acceptable, by anyone's standards.

Your husband needs a kick up the arse.

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 15-Jan-13 20:38:57

*how not his blush

WhatchuTalkinBoutPhyllis Tue 15-Jan-13 20:41:36

Just read your third paragraph, she sounds like a fucking loon

honeytea Tue 15-Jan-13 20:42:39

Few! I am so glad IANBU, I was worried my perception of the world was a litlle hormonaly skewed.

It was hard to get so much criticism, it was outweighed by my mother's comments every other sentance about what a wonderful mother I was and how perfect everything we were doing was (her constant positive words also anoyed me although I can see that IABU about that!)

I don't know why she would want to sleep in bed with a pukey baby who will wake up every 2-4 hours. If she wants some alone time with DS she could offer to look after him one afternoon whilst me and DP had nap.

If we ever have DC2 I will not tell anyone for at least a month.

EverybodysSnowyEyed Tue 15-Jan-13 20:42:47

You need to nip it in the bud

I smiled and sucked it up with my PFB because I didn't want to be rude etc etc. Luckily DH was pretty good at supporting my choices.

With my second I felt far more comfortable and the first time she said something critical I said something along the lines of
'I am her mother and whilst I may not do things the same way you do, that doesn't mean what I am doing is wrong. You have raised your children and were able to do so in your own way, please give me the same courtesy'

You also need to speak to DH and explain that whilst you are grateful that so many people care for your son, you are his parents and it is up to you how you raise him and you expect him to support you in that. Also remind him (as I did with DH!) that if you choose to have kids with someone from a different culture, you have to accept that they are unlikely to do things like their mother!

She smokes, is on painkillers and wants your child on her bed? But a glass of wine is totally outrageous for you.
You can't go it will be hell, she's not going to get any better! Let your DH talk to her you've got enough to do.

BuiltForComfort Tue 15-Jan-13 20:44:08

YADNBU and you - or rather your DH - needs to tell MIL to do one.

Re baby sleeping in their bed - are they crazy? A massive SIDS risk factor is co-sleeping with smokers. On no account let that happen! And FWIW I wouldn't take a new baby on a 10hr drive to spend days in the near-dark even if it was my best friend I was visiting!

bootsycollins Tue 15-Jan-13 20:47:05

Honeytea YANBU your mil is an absolute loon. Don't be making that journey to stay with her, she's a control freak with no respect for you, your feelings or your boundaries. You wouldn't be the reason for a rift, her behaviour is the problem. Whatever you decide to do to make it happen don't let her manipulate you and your family.

I hope that this gets dealt with soon and your enjoying your lovely new baby x

You sound very sensible on most things: Not allowed near baby after smoking, yep. Winding sitting up: yep (putting ours on our shoulder post feed often caused a puke, think it was the pressure on the stomach). Fleas: you're allowed some post birth moments!

Seriously, just give yourself some space from her. Your baby is tiny. You are naturally hormonal. She is plain wrong about loads of stuff (co sleeping with a non parent who smokes and is on strong pain meds? No no no!). There will be years when she can get invOlved and your Ds is a bit more robust or you can speak your mind, but right now just avoid.

CaptainVonTrapp Tue 15-Jan-13 20:52:06


She's awful.

Wind him whatever way works.

You probably are hormonal at this time and that is why your DP needs to shoulder some of the burden of his Mother. Someone will eventually have to say 'no' to her. Preferably him. The sooner the better IMHO. Then you can start building a relationship with her where she doesn't imagine she can say/behave/get exactly what she likes.

I wouldn't go.

You talk about cultural differences (and I'm sure there are) but don't let that become an excuse for her bad behaviour. From my limited experience of Swedes she is not representative of them. There are however many MIL in this country who behave like her and worse.

MamaBear17 Tue 15-Jan-13 20:52:21

I would advise against the trip to see them. I went away for a weekend with my inlaws when my dd was 6 weeks old and it was horrendous. Not because of my inlaws, but because I wasnt ready to be out of my pyjamas let alone out of the house. Put it off for a while, there is plenty of time for visit.

If I were you, I would arm yourself with the following comment, ready to use if your MIL criticises you:

"I appreciate what you are saying, you are an experienced mum and grandma and I know that you are saying it out of love, but I am ds's mum, and I want to be able to do things my own way without you judging me. I really want and need your support, but I also need to be able to do things my own way."

You will find as you settle into your new role and your hormones settle down you become much more confident and do not second guess yourself as much. The bottom line is: Do not allow anyone to do anything that you are uncomfortable with (like your inlaws co-sleeping with your newborn.) Try and agree on how to handle your inlaws with your hubby before you visit, and let him tell them no when you do not feel strong enough too. It all gets easier, honestly x

ShipwreckedAndComatose Tue 15-Jan-13 20:53:56

This ain't baby hormones honey, this is a controlling MIL who is used to being in charge and having it all her way!!

What does DH say? You do need to set some boundaries down as soon as you can!

MadonnaKebab Tue 15-Jan-13 20:56:04

Far too long for a baby to be in a car seat, that would be my excuse
If she's this bad in your house, she'll be far worse once you're stuck in her home

MamaBear17 Tue 15-Jan-13 20:59:17

In my post I meant that your hormones make dealing with unreasonable people harder because you worry that you are being over protective or unreasonable because you feel anxious all of the time. When all of that settles down you feel much more confident because you know you are right!

1) Don't go. Tell her you are just too tired, or something. Or 10 hours in a carseat is bad for a baby's breathing, that's true.

2) Tell her you will be doing things differently to the way she does them, and she must get used to this. Tell her that her criticism is getting you down and making you not want to see her.

3) Get dh to phone and repeat (1) and (2) at her - united front is best.

4) Stop smiling and nodding. She thinks you agree and she can say what she likes. You'll need a one-liner to repeat endlessly in a bored monotone - "you're criticising my parenting again, please stop" or "we do things differently and this is ok".

skratta Tue 15-Jan-13 20:59:39

YANBU. Btw I'm Swedish, I think it's pretty much your MIL with that attitude. You're being very patient! I lived in Kiruna, so in the Arctic Circle, and apart from the very depressing darkness, being stuck with someone like your MIL! Sounds like a nightmare. It must be very hard to ignore with your very new baby!

hoodoo12345 Tue 15-Jan-13 20:59:41

I would of told my mil acting the same way to "back the fuck off!"i would of also expected DH to back me up, you need to sort this quickly or it will only get worse as your ds gets older.

Yfronts Tue 15-Jan-13 20:59:44

Dont go unless she agrees to let you parent in your own style and is less critical. Also say your baby is not sleeping in her bed.

BeaLola Tue 15-Jan-13 21:00:07

Sending huge hug to you & raising a glass to you. She sounds horrendous. DO NOT VISIT - you will be stressed & will hate it + I assume they will smoke in their own home ? - not good for your PFB. Is it common in sweden to sleep with your grandchildren ??? I would be polite but firm & soften it with praise for anything nice about her that you can think of eg how lovely for your DS that his Grandma is so thrilled that he is here that she drove for 10 hours to come & stay - so lovely. How you've always been so pleased that she has been excited about you DP having baby, how kind she has been to you in the past etc when you are so far from home & your friends etc etc.

I would have a frank but kind conversation with her & see if she takes the hint ..... plus I would be moaning at my DH to support me in this. I think if you continue to ignore it she will continiue as she is but living nearer to you & you will have to bear her visits more -

1stMrsFrugal Tue 15-Jan-13 21:01:51

I could not read and not comment. YANBU.

It must be so hard to become a mother for the first time in another culture. I felt me and DH were very similar in our family values etc. until we had the DTs and then I had many moments with MIL and realised that having DCs is a whole new ball game than just marrying into a family!! Even without any cultural difference she made many comments about not picking up the DTs when they cried, giving them water from bottle, shouldn't feed on demand but wait 4 hrs etc. i just kept calmly saying that I felt this was the right way and research had changed opinions. I also made a big effort to thank her when she made useful suggestions or was supportive and a bit like training a toddler, the balance has shifted over time to more supportive.

You have been so tolerant, and it's so so thoughtful of you to try and be so polite but you are DS's mother and you must make the decisions and anyway your decisions are right and hers -- are-- wrong and be confident.

I would not go to visit (yet). Wait til you feel stronger and more confident. Enjoy learning to be his mum for a bit longer in your own home. Keep coming here for support.

NonnoMum Tue 15-Jan-13 21:01:59

Please don't go on a ten hour trip to see her.

Get used to your beautiful new baby, and establish breastfeeding, and get into a (bit of a ) routine and establish your parenting style.

She's had her chance to be a parent, now it's yours.

Stixswhichtwizzle Tue 15-Jan-13 21:02:51


I know you are probably aware of this but she absolutely must not co-sleep with your 8 wk old! She smokes, is on meds and isn't his breastfeeding (therefore hyper aware of him) mother. It goes against all co-sleeping rules! She may smother him your DH needs to be much firmer. I'd be tempted to refuse to go tbh.

honeytea Tue 15-Jan-13 21:04:57

We were planning to do the car journy over 2 days in 2 2.5 hour journys on each day. The cost of a hotel and the petrol will all add up. DS is a dream so I was thinking the journy would be easy but I have been thinking maybe he is only a dream because I bf him on demand and cuddle him most of the time, he might not be so calm in a car seat.

I think maybe I will get my DP to tell them he can't get the time off work so we can't go.

I feel really sad fir mil, her other grandchildren are grown up or teenagers, she only has 1 ds (my dp) and this is his first baby, I think she just wants to have a baby in her life. It is sad that the way she is acting is pushing me and therefore my DS away from her.

honeytea Tue 15-Jan-13 21:12:16

There is no way I will let DS sleep in there bed, the midwife did advise me to co sleep with DS and we have a sidecar cot but even i don't want him in bed with me whilst he is so little, I think once he can roll over I might have him in bed with me but not even next to my DP.

They don't smoke in the house, we have our own little cabin in the garden to stay in but even so it is likely to be too cold for wimpy Englis me to go out.

Skratta I hope you didn't think I was rude! I think the far north is very lovely in the summer and fun in the winter if you can go out smile

DoodlesNoodles Tue 15-Jan-13 21:12:52

She sounds awful.sad Can you get any support from your SIL's. She may well have behaved equally badly with them but they would have been able to tell her to bog off more easily. My DM was a bit mad at times but I could easily tell her stop poking her nose in without causing any upset at all.
Maybe, one of them could have a word with her?

I also wouldn't visit. Could your DH invent an excuse to do with work. That way you would be totally blameless.

Regardless of whether you go or not your DH needs to make sure she doesn't criticise you.

Good luck ( it sounds like you will need it)


HoneyDragon Tue 15-Jan-13 21:15:10

Don't visit - think of it as the start of laying down boundaries.

Please don't think you are a horrible person or a bad DiL, this is your baby not hers. If she's so separate to have a child in her bed your dh can offer to get in with her wink

And the my baby thing does not sound nice. My friends Mum is like this, and its like she's asserting ownership and control.

My MiL oth has always referred to my children as her babies, and I like it. I love that she loves them as much as I do, and it doesn't feel threatening like when friends mum says it about her grandchildren.

HoneyDragon Tue 15-Jan-13 21:15:37

* separate - desperate

MarinaIvy Tue 15-Jan-13 21:16:40

Yeah, what pretty much everybody else is saying. She's being unreasonable, not you. Stop smiling and nodding, put your foot down and make sure DP stays on side.

No long trip, no other people calling your baby "my baby", no more criticism. You need every ounce of strength to treat your baby to the best start in life, and treat yourself to the wonderful new experience.

I'm a big fan of co-sleeping when it's baby with breastfeeding mum (&dad is welcome, as apropos), but I Do Not Get why the grandparents would want to.

More to the point, YA,L,SVMFingDNBU* for not wanting your baby to sleep with somebody who both smokes and takes heavy painkillers! Sheesh, would your MiL prefer to crush him or choke him to death?

... Like, *So MuthaF&^%ing Definitely ...

OK, yes, you're hormonal right now, but you're definitely dealing with this better than most people I know. Keep strong!

redexpat Tue 15-Jan-13 21:17:55

I remember you! I recommended shouting well in case you hadn't noticed I'm not fucking swedish!

On this occassion I would say that you need to tel her directly that you appreciate her concern, but if you need advice, you will ask for it.

I also think you should find some sort of job she can do to be involved in DS's life. eg DS's bedstemor knits. A lot. And we send pictures of him wearing them to her.

Don't go to see them. You dont sound like you're up for it.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Tue 15-Jan-13 21:18:54

Your MIL needs to look at her entry in "Whos Crazy!!" encyclopedia.

You need to set some boundaries or tell her to fuck off, who is she to critizcise you so much, is the the perfect parent of all perfect parents. I dont think so!!!

TinyDancingHoofer Tue 15-Jan-13 21:19:02

YANBU! And definitely don't let her co-sleep with him whilst she is on painkillers!

ceebie Tue 15-Jan-13 21:19:56

YAsooooNBU! You have been an angel to not rise to her comments and critisisms! I do wonder, though, as your passive response does not seem to be having an effect, whether it might be time for you to be a bit firmer in rejecting her suggestions (as you would with your own mother). I'm not convinced that anything will make the woman back down, but perhaps if you openly stand up to her a bit more, it might start dawning on her that she simply isn't going to get her own way?

loubielou31 Tue 15-Jan-13 21:22:35

Say something NOW, politely but firmly, get your DH to back you up, (less politely if need be). The longer you leave it the harder it will be.
I have always been pretty blunt with my ILs and my DPs, I think if you would say it to your mum you could say it to your MIL, even be a bit jokey about and say that you told your mum... and you would like to think your relationship is a close that you can be just as honest/ demanding with your MIL.
And Definitely NO to baby sleeping in PILs bed, even if they weren't smokers on meds. YANBU

HumphreyCobbler Tue 15-Jan-13 21:22:54

I think not going is the best short term plan

you can work on the long term plan and get your DH to deal with it

zumbaholic Tue 15-Jan-13 21:23:36


you are an adult, you can make your own choices! do not for the love of god go, you will end up feeling shit, in a strange environment/country and what good will that do you or your baby?

again, DONT GO!!smile

OMG she sounds horrendous. Poor you, I hope your Dh realizes he has to stick up for you and his Ds, you are his family, she is a nutter.
She has had her turn at raising children, now it is yours and Dh turn, she needs to butt out and as for co-sleeping with him, Oh hell no. Even if there was no smoking and painkillers involved, that is just plain weird and creepy to want to do that with someone elses new baby.

galwaygirl Tue 15-Jan-13 21:33:17

Honeytea, you poor thing!! This is definitely not a Swedish thing - my Swedish MIL wouldn't dream of saying those things to me. It's just her being an utter bitch!
Don't go on the journey, look after yourself - your DS needs you to be feeling good and not upset by this old cow. Tell them it won't work for ye and ye might come up in the summer - and don't apologise!!

elizaregina Tue 15-Jan-13 21:37:36

"I feel really sad fir mil, her other grandchildren are grown up or teenagers, she only has 1 ds (my dp) and this is his first baby, I think she just wants to have a baby in her life. It is sad that the way she is acting is pushing me and therefore my DS away from her. "

This is the problem with - " being one of those dils" .....^

Usually its one of those dils who do have feelings and care about others and dont just rail road thier way through other peoples lives....they have empathy and sympathy for people just as you have expressed ^. Unlike thier MILs who are usually all like you have described - sense of ownership, bullying, no boundaries - critical , never ever ask if anything is ok to do - just wade right in!

I also felt sorry for my MIL - tried to please her etc etc etc and it didnt do me any good she still did most of the things you described except smoke. We dont speak at all now and I did hide my second DD;s conception and birth from her/them.

Its been BLISS, peaceful, calm, happy!

Your problem is she has three DD's ALL or most I assume get on with her - and probably raised thier children more in line with her ways - as she is their a perverse way - its probably quite nice she feels she can talk to you - like she spoke to them - and being her daughters they may not have taken offense in the way same - ie just easier when you know how to handle your own mum, take what she says with a pinch of salt etc...

Def get your DP to step up and even say - look ds's are your DD DM, honey isnt your DD she has a differnet way of doing things as well as her own DM, and a diff culture...and of course dont go.

PandaOnAPushBike Tue 15-Jan-13 21:45:07

OP, I'm in Sweden too and don't believe this is a cultural clash. This is down to her being out of her tree. Do not go and stay with them until she reins it in. Otherwise you'll be on her turf and it'll be even worse.

CecilyP Tue 15-Jan-13 21:55:41

She sounds absolutely barking. YANBU - if you weren't feeling the post-birth sensitivity, you would probably realise just how daft her comments and demands actually are. Your burping behaviour seems completely normal andI would love to know where all these children are who are too fat too walk just because they didn't have a dummy. And the thing about wanting your baby to share a bed with her is just weird.

I would definitely try to put off the visit. At least until the late spring when you can get out and about with with your LO in the pram. You will also be feeling much more like your old self again and be able to be more confident and assertive.

Graceparkhill Tue 15-Jan-13 22:14:17

I never say this but in your case I am adamant :

Your baby, your rules ( you and DH that is, in partnership )

You don't need to explain/apologise/ appease your MIL and you certainly don't need a ten hour car journey followed by perpetual darkness ( literal and metaphorical)

When a become an MIL I am only going to give advice when asked.

Good luck and enjoy the baby!!

maddening Tue 15-Jan-13 22:25:25

Yanbu - cancel the trip - they can come to you and dp needs to be there to stop every comment. Being firm now will pay dividends in the future - she sounds very determined and somewhat toxic.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Tue 15-Jan-13 22:43:40

When she calls your son 'my baby' just smile sweetly, point at your DH and say 'but that's your baby - this one's mine'.

When she tells you what to do or criticises you, say 'thanks for your kind advice but I'm going to do xyz'

Failing that, tell her she has had the pleasure of raising her children according to her own instinct and now it's your turn to raise your son according to yours.

Failing that, tell her to feck the feck off to feckland and then when she gets there, she can feck off some more.

You are DNBU. It's not the hormones - it's her.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Tue 15-Jan-13 22:45:12

And maybe your DH needs to read this thread?

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Tue 15-Jan-13 22:53:02

Yanbu. Op, you are a saint. I would truly have told your mil to fuck off by now. Seriously, you have been incredibly restrained to date. It is time to let her know that her opinions mean very little to you and that you will not be dictated to. Man up to this witch. She is going to treat you like shit on a shoe unless you put her very firmly in her place. Don't suffer her any longer.

Schnarkle Tue 15-Jan-13 23:32:26

Taking the grand parents co - sleeping with an 8 week old one awful step further. Is the MIL planning on trying to breast feed the child too?

How else is that plan going to work out? She has the child in her bed, child wakes to be fed and she brings the child to you in your cabin and waits until finished before taking the baby back to her bed hmm

BruisedFanjo Tue 15-Jan-13 23:45:15

Yanbu at all. Take it from someone who knows, start being assertive now whilst your Ds is little. Don't let her talking to you like that become habit.

Phrase things in such a way she can't argue without showing herself up, avoids arguments n she will know you've sussedher. I.e instead of "were not coming because youre a dick we don't think its best for D's" (true but she will see it as an insult) try "oh I know how much you love ds and you're so good at putting his needs first. That's why we know you won't be too disappointed we can't visit you for a year or three because of all the car seat rules. We knew you'd agree once we saw the guidelines." Or something?

If that fails, next time you have a "Honey tea, you're doing xyz wrong" situation, try "oh DO fuck off. It would be most kind of you" smile

When my mil thought she was going to do her own thing regardless of me already saying no, I gave her a big smirk smile, and said nice n slowly - "try it."

She didn't.

honeytea Thu 17-Jan-13 07:26:05

Thank you for the replies and the pms, I will reply to them when if ds will go down in his cot for a nap, I'm typing one handed on my phone not the easiest task!

Little update, we have decided not to go to visit them, we are going to spend the money going to the UK at easter. We havnt told mil/film yet, I worry what we will say if they offer to pay for us but we will cross that bridge when if it comes to that.

My dp has asked me to not wind ds sitting up and mot drink alcohol (even 1 glass of 2% beer) when mil is there. I have told him it makes me feel like he doesn't trust me to keep ds safe.

CaptainVonTrapp Thu 17-Jan-13 10:21:08

Glad to hear you're not going.

Please continue to wind your baby in the way you feel is the most effective and that you are happiest with. Your DP should support you in caring for your baby in the best way for ds (and you). Not in the interests of keeping his Mum happy.

Drink what you like.

Compromise is one thing. This is quite different. Making odd adaptions to your life because no one wants to be the one to tell MIL 'no' is ridiculous and a dangerous precendent. Whatever are you going to have to do next to keep her happy? Its like dealing with a bully, you have to stand up to them to move on. If you keep backing down, she'll keep pushing.

Good Luck.

elizaregina Thu 17-Jan-13 10:26:49

ooh no honey, that is not good - he is trying to change your behaviour to please her???

no no no!!!stand your ground - how ridiculous.

elizaregina Thu 17-Jan-13 10:28:41

agree captain, whatever you do do not go down this road - of adapting behaviour to please this bully.

diddl Thu 17-Jan-13 10:40:06

She has been an absolute bitch imo.

No way would I visit.


IloveJudgeJudy Thu 17-Jan-13 10:42:43

No, don't change the way you wind your baby. That was the way they told us to do it in hospital when DS1 (18) was born.

Also, don't change your behaviour to suit them. Just carry on doing what you would normally do. The wrong thing to do would obviously to drink loads, but if you normally drink a glass or two of beer on occasion (or any other drink), then just continue.

I hope it all turns out well for you.

TheCraicDealer Thu 17-Jan-13 10:46:19

Apart from the fact it crosses all sorts of boundaries demanding your 8 week old DGC sleeps with you in your bed, doesn't smoking increasing the risk of cot death?

Your DP needs to man up and tell his mother to wind her fucking neck in. He's having a go at you because you're the reasonable one, the "path of least resistance" when avoiding arguments. That's not sustainable and will just breed resentment.

LittleBearPad Thu 17-Jan-13 10:56:51

Glad you aren't going. Make sure your DP doesn't agree to you going by yourself if he says he can't get the time off and MIL suggests that instead - would be even worse! DP needs to stand up his mother - the winding approach for example. YANBU - remember this if you doubt yourself.

EverybodysSnowyEyed Thu 17-Jan-13 11:09:09

Tell your dp that you will not alter your behaviour for his mum and the quicker both of them realise that the better.

FWIW my ds would only wind in the position you describe. we have some adorable pictures of him looking like a little bear in that position! My dd winded better over the shoulder. Keep doing what suits your baby best!!

Cherriesarelovely Thu 17-Jan-13 11:13:06

It really is not you. She is a nightmare. I thought my ex mil was controlling and interfering but this takes the biscuit. I would not go and visit them. It sounds as if it will be unbearable. Your DP needs to step in. Certainly with my ex mil nothing improved until I finally snapped and told her exactly what I thought. It was very hard but it worked. In short your MIL is a domineering bully and people like that don't respond to softly, softly approaches.

DoodleAlley Thu 17-Jan-13 11:17:58

Op we had a reflux baby who vomited a lot and the way you described winding was actually the way we were recommended by a registrar to wind him. So stick to your guns if it's what you are comfortable with.

mrsMeeple Thu 17-Jan-13 11:21:47

Hi HoneyTea. I'm in a similar situation, though my Swedish MIL isn't anywhere as extreme!

Glad you decided not to go. I made DH postpone our trip to MIL's when DS was tiny, and it was definitely the right decision! We went later, when all factors made for a better trip. MIL was disappointed, but NMP.

I get the criticism (overt or passive) about parenting techniques not common in Sweden. Yes, my DS sleeps in a sleep bag. No it's not bad for him! Pm me if you need to moan, we can swap stories!

Re alcohol, quote this at her, copied directly from Livsmedelsverkets website:

Enligt nuvarande forskning innebär det ... inga medicinska risker för barnet om du dricker måttliga mängder alkohol när du ammar, det vill säga 1-2 glas vin eller motsvarande 1-2 gånger i veckan. Den mängd alkohol som barnet kan få i sig med bröstmjölken är mycket liten.

Hang in there. As numerous threads here om Mumsnet are repeating at the moment, MILs need to back off and let the child's mother be the parent!

BeautifulBlondePineapple Thu 17-Jan-13 11:23:02

She sounds like a loon. The boundaries need to be firmly set and your DH needs to start supporting you.

Apart from any of the other smoking/sleeping nonsense, I winded all 3 of my DCs when they were sitting up. It always worked with them. Oh and they were all breastfed, didn't have dummies & all walked before 10 months. She is talking mince.

Dinglebert Thu 17-Jan-13 11:23:31

Tell you DH to grow a pair.

Your post has made me seriously cross on your behalf OP. What a dreadful, dreadful woman. Please put some polite boundries in now before you have any more children and before she comes between you and your DH.

'They are looking at houses near us so they can see DS all the time which would be lovely' - be honest with yourself. No. It wouldn't be. It would be hell on earth. You would be crazy to let them. You have the control here OP, use it before it is too late.

Dinglebert Thu 17-Jan-13 11:23:50

'tell your DH'

honeytea Thu 17-Jan-13 11:59:03

Thanks for the Swedish info on alcohol mrsmeeple, I am going to show that to my dp when he is home from work. His argument about me not drinking when we are around his family is that they may well call social services and the have our baby taken away.

I think we need to talk to mil (well dp needs to talk to her) and tell her that she must never contradict us when it comes to our ds. We went to stay with mil/fil with my little sister (she is 7) my d-sis was repeatedly jumping over a rug in mil's kitchen (she was playing horse jumping) I told d-sis to stop doing it as she was jumping close to mil's lovely posh glasses and there was a high chance she would slip and break the glasses and hurt herself. Mil said to my d-sis don't worry you don't need to stop and then said to me vhildren will be children which is a swedish saying that can basically let kids do what they want. Also I have seen her grandson hit his mother (the child was 8 at the time) the mother told the child off and told him to go away, the child was upset at being told to go away and ashamed I guess. MIL went and got some sweets and gave them to her grandson and sat him on her knee (next to the child's mother) and cuddled him because he was crying, she didn't make the child say sorry to the mother for hitting her. If these things happened with DS I am not sure I could cope, I think we would just have to go home so it is probably best to warn her not to contradict us.

diddl Thu 17-Jan-13 12:07:24

It sounds as if your husband might agree with his mum about the drinking.

If so then he should say so imo.

Wanting to appease her when he should be telling her to keep her beak out.

She parented how she wanted & now you two are doing the same.

As for a smoker wanting a newborn in her bed-oh the irony!

Don´t tell me-she did it with hers & it didn´t harm themhmm

1charlie1 Thu 17-Jan-13 12:13:29

Your DP needs to massively step up. Really. Expecting you to change reasonable (and recommended, re the winding) behaviour to accomodate your MILs unreasonable demands? In preference to him saying to his mother 'Back off, and please don't speak to my wife like that'? Can he not see that that approach is 'feeding the beast'?
I have a difficult (ahem) MIL, and in the early days I was despairing of my DH's reluctance to call her on her bullshit behaviour. But I insisted he do so. Thankfully, he did. Things have improved. She pushes - he pushes straight back. She backs off. It's a work in progress, but things are better.

PandaOnAPushBike Thu 17-Jan-13 12:16:39

To be fair on the alcohol front, it is very different in Sweden to the UK. People seem to fall into 2 categories, absolutely paralytic every weekend or obsessively teetotal. There doesn't appear to be any middle ground. And whichever group people fall into, suggesting a pint after work on a Wednesday to your colleagues will be met with the same reaction as suggesting a hit of crack cocaine. They appear unable to grasp the concept of their being a reasonable level of alcohol consumption.

PandaOnAPushBike Thu 17-Jan-13 12:17:56

* there not their

OhGood Thu 17-Jan-13 12:25:56

YANBU at all and agree with everyone who says DP needs to deal with this.

If it helps, my MIL went insane when DD was born. Best example - she started insisting that DP and I CHANGE OUR NAMES TO HER NAME so that DD could have her surname. Totally hilarious in retrospect but at the time, when she was calling us and screaming and crying down the phone, not so funny. Lots of similar criticism of our methods - phoning me and saying 'That child needs water' and faintly threatening to report me (???) (dd like 2mo at time and EBF.)

She has calmed down now and seems almost normal. Admittedly I now don't trust her as far as I can throw her. But our relationship is easier and she is no longer totally mad.

Something to do about control, I think. I also come from a different country, settled in the UK, she lives about 5 hours drive from us. I think she sees me as the interloper who has taken her son away, and when we had a child he was moving totally out of her control, which made her bats. Also, she bullies her kids and bosses them around, and manipulates them emotionally, and she can't do that with me, and that makes her bats too.

I think you need to keep doing what you're doing, tune her out as far as you can, for God's sake don't go and stay with her - lie if you have to if you think it will cause a dramatic rift - and keep talking to your DP.

Ooh, I also posted in AIBU and got my DP to read responses. These are disinterested responses from people who are pointing out that your MIL's behaviour is distressing, inappropriate etc - and pointing out that he needs to be the person who sorts this out. Helped my DP realise that yes, his mother was acting insanely, and he was not being disloyal by seeing that.

Good luck.

mrsMeeple Thu 17-Jan-13 12:41:07

Sorry PandaoaPB but your post made me laugh. As against the UK, which has such a healthy drinking culture??!?

Like anywhere, alcohol consumption depends in large part on your social group. I'm aware that there are a lot of people in Sweden with alcohol issues, and traditions for many celebrations reflect this. But I rarely come across it. The social circles I move in are quite sensible about alcohol. There are people who don't drink, and there's no pressure on them to do so. (Which is SUCH a nice change!). My work colleagues go out for "after work" every so often. It's not a big deal.

PandaOnAPushBike Thu 17-Jan-13 12:54:51

I never said there was a healthy drinking culture in the UK. I was saying how it seems to me in Sweden. I've never been to a parents evening in the UK and had a hour long lecture from the alcohol advisory service talking about how alcohol is a gateway drug and how having it in the same house as teenagers will result in them being heroin addicts. Had it at 4 different schools in 4 different kommuns here. But anyway, I didn't post to argue, I posted to point out that this is something which in my experience is very much a cultural difference. Not better, not worse, just different.

Mosman Thu 17-Jan-13 13:01:26

As they smoke they actually shouldn't hold the baby at all never mind have him in their bed. What planet are they on ?

NutellaNutter Thu 17-Jan-13 13:04:36

OMG you are so NBU. Why don't you tell her to fuck off to the far side of fuck? I find it strange that you are so keen not to upset her, when she so obviously doesn't give a second thought about upsetting you.

elfycat Thu 17-Jan-13 13:34:33

I think you know YANBU by now.

Re the burping sitting up thing - I preferred it as DD2 would occasionally choke on a bit of sick-up in the early days and I could supervise her better.

And No co-sleeping with smokers or people on medication. Huge SIDS risk.

You and DH need to pick your own way through child-raising. Then you follow that and support each other with your decisions. There might be some compromise between him and you, but never based on the ILs.

My PIL disapprove of many things I do like breathe but they can't find any weakness in our armour!

standingintheriver Thu 17-Jan-13 13:39:16

what Nutella said.^^

Look here is a load of NOs, feel free to use them, when they run out, there are plenty more,

No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,
No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,
No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope, No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope, No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope, No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,
No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NONo, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,
No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,
No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,

The thing is with swedish people in my family, you have to never give a millimetre, or you will be overruled for ever. maybe in a few hundred life times time, you will be allowed to choose colour of your toothbrush again, but it will be a one off,

so say,

NO, NO, no,Nope, No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope, No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope, No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,
No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NONo, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,
No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,
No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,NO, NO, no,Nope, No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope, No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope, No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,
No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NONo, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,
No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,
No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,NO, NO, no,Nope, No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope, No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope, No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,
No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NONo, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,
No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,
No, NO, NO,No, NO, NO, no,Nope,

I think I love standingintheriver

What she said!

msrisotto Thu 17-Jan-13 13:52:18

Standingintheriver I find your post a little ambiguous, could you be a bit more direct please?

honeytea Thu 17-Jan-13 13:54:06

I love all the nos!

I think my dp can see the logic that one or maybe 2 very low percentage beer (maybe 2-3%) is not going to effect ds. He said he is happy for me to drink 1-2 drinks when we are with my friends (who are not Swedish) he used the term "saving face" when he said I shouldn't drink anything when we are with his family. I feel like filling up an empty vodka bottle with water and taking "shots" out of it all evening next time we visit.

Mil has an issue with the way my mum is about alcohol, my family was at my dp's family Christmas dinner this year, the Swedes drink snaps (very strong big shots) with their Christmas dinner. My mum who is more of the wine/beer with dinner rather than 40% spirits with dinner culture was fairly tipsy, my d-sis who is now 9 years old was telling her mum your so embarrassing and drunk, my mum wasn't falling over or shouting or being rude she was just being a little silly. someone ask my mum if she wanted to hold the baby and my mum said no I have had a couple of snaps I'd better not. Mil thinks that my ds will grow up being embarrassed of my drinking in the same way my d-sis is embarrassed of our mum. My sister is a mini teenager and everything my mum does embarrases d-sis and me drinking a beer or 2 is very different to drinking snaps which I wouldn't do when in charge of a small child.

waterrat Thu 17-Jan-13 14:02:18

I read an excellent scientific description of how minute/tiny the amount of alcohol in breastmilk is - it was actual research showing that a very drunk woman would pass on something like 0.2 per cent of the alcohol in her bloodstream into the milk - it's not like a baby in the womb which shares the bloodstream - the milk is a drink made separately by the woman's body when breastfeeding.

I will find it and PM it to you.

I agree with everyone here that you need to speak to this woman - if she is a woman with a good heart under it all then be honest - say 'I am a mum now and I want to do things my way< I understand you may not agree but you are making me feel very unhappy and I need the chance to learn to be a parent without constant criticism'.

MikeOxardInTheSnow Thu 17-Jan-13 14:07:42

Grandparents bedsharing when they smoke and are on strong painkillers?! NO!! Is she mad? Don't go and see her, it will make you miserable. Baby won't be tiny for long, enjoy this time. You have taken enough of this woman's crap imo.

diddl Thu 17-Jan-13 14:12:11

The snaps thing is quite interesting imo.

Ifeveryone drank the same, then surely all it shows is that ILs are more used to stronger spirits-which isn't necessarily anything to be proud of!

Maybe your Mum should have stopped sooner if she felt unable to hold your baby though??

DystopianReality Thu 17-Jan-13 14:22:58

Co-sleeping is considered safe when not drinking, smoking and taking strong drugs. Any one of these increases the risk of SIDS +++ and it would be outright dangerous. If your DP will not stand up for you, you need to do it yourself, for the sake and safety of your child.
You need to really distance yourself, preferably physically from this rather narcisisstic woman.
Good luck

Goldmandra Thu 17-Jan-13 14:23:59

Establish the rules now.

The longer you go on smiling and nodding the harder it will be to assert yourself as the decision-makers about your DS. The more you change to keep her happy, the more she will expect you to change.

If you feel openly criticised you will avoid seeing them wherever possible and everyone will be worse off.

You are not your MIL's DD. You will have a different relationship with her and she needs to get used to that idea from day one. You were brought up following different rules and routines and she needs to accept that they are just as valid as those she used and passed on to her own DDs.

If you can adjust the relationship now to one in which she minds her Ps and Qs around you and does not feel able to openly criticise you, she will see more of her DS and her DGS and have a better relationship with all of you.

You will be doing her a favour if you can stand up to her now and find a workable truce. That does not mean you changing your parenting to suit her views or that she cannot ever offer advice. It means that she is welcome to make the odd suggestion and you will say "Thank you. I will bear that in mind". If you decide not to act on her suggestion she must accept it with good grace.

I feel bad that my MIL sees so little of my DH and our DDs but her behaviour makes us all tense and unhappy around her and I have never managed to find a way to reach a truce. Please don't be the same as me in 15 years. It doesn't feel good even though she probably sees me as the 'winner'.

I did however establish the rules early on with my own DM and, although it gave us a tough few months of tears and tantrums to deal with, things became a lot easier when she realised we wouldn't bow to her every wish and we still see my parents a couple of times a week.

Pigsmummy Thu 17-Jan-13 14:47:28

Sleeping in the bed with her
!! That suggestion has set my "nutter" alarm off, that isn't normal behaviour. I don't know anyone who has done this. You need to get your DP involved, put the trip off, invent something, then when you go make sure that DP is around you lots.

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Thu 17-Jan-13 14:56:43

Yanbu. I do not think this is a cultural difference.

Your DP has it. She is a little mad. She would call SS to take your baby away?? Gosh.

I would say no at anything unsafe to baby, eg sleeping with other adults.

MolehillAlchemy Thu 17-Jan-13 15:16:16

I understand your MIL's horror about the alcohol consumption with BF, but only because I was taught (by health professionals) that only complete abstinence was acceptable, that even though only a small amount of alcohol ended up in breast milk it was not right to pass that on to an infant. Obviously opinion has changed since then, but without knowing this, your MIL may just be repeating her unquestioned knowledge. So could just be a generational thing. And to think of all those birthdays when I said no to the Pina Coladas sobs

BUT, all the other stuff is way out of order. And as for sleeping with your baby with faggy breath and dosed up on painkillers? Hell no!

ToysRLuv Thu 17-Jan-13 15:52:14

I'm originally from Scandi, and don't think this is about cultural differences at all. But obviously there are annoying know-all's in every country. Your MIL seems to certainly be one.

However, I know that there are differences between the ways baby care is done in Scandi and in Britain: E.g. Sleeping bags are v. rare in Scandinavia and thus seen as weird. Also, winding the baby is ALWAYS done by slinging baby on one's shoulder - my mum was horrified to see how I was taught to wind my DS at British hospital (on the knee, sitting, supporting chest and head with one hand and rubbing/patting back with other). But she accepted that it must be fine, since a it's the done way in Britain.

elizaregina Thu 17-Jan-13 18:08:42

i am amazed people are so static with thier winding! we do it on knee like op and on shoulder - and anyway really....

My 3rd dc was born just before christmas, two members of my family smoke, they haven't held her. I don't give two shiny shits if its pfb, I don't want that vile smell on my baby and waiting hours to hold them I can still smell it when they're handed back when my older dc were small.


And as for dc sleeping in bed with a non parent, why and NO. Especially not a smoker! I'm sure that's on the list of things that increase the chance of Sids.

Jux Thu 17-Jan-13 19:11:15

Oh boy, do your own thing and ignore that mad bint!

Don't let your life be turned into a misery by her. Is your dh going to forego booze while with his mum? No? Then nor need you. It is outrageous of him to expect you to change your ways to keep his nutty mum quiet. Tell him if he can't support you then she won't be seeing ds until he's 18....

CaptainVonTrapp Fri 18-Jan-13 00:13:01

OP why do you need to 'save face'?

Let me answer... you don't.

INeedThatForkOff Fri 18-Jan-13 05:25:27

waterrat, can I have the link to that research too please? Love the NOs grin

Chottie Fri 18-Jan-13 05:42:18

Honeytea I just wanted to say that I really, really admire your self control around your MiL. I would have exploded by now, I can remember so clearly those first few weeks with my PFB too. Follow your instincts and stay strong. smile

HollyBerryBush Fri 18-Jan-13 05:44:01

There is a campaign in the USA at the moment to raise awareness that co-sleeping is a baby killer - as dangerous as sleeping with a knife. A little hysterical from my POV but it gets the message across - the pictures are designed to shock in the ads

Despite the possible pros, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns parents not to place their infants to sleep in adult beds, stating that the practice puts babies at risk of suffocation and strangulation. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the practice of room-sharing with parents without bed-sharing. The practice of room-sharing according to the AAP is a way to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

And this research too :

OP - can I put a different perspective on your threads? You are living in a different country, where you have a remedial grasp of the language; you have a new baby - and the way I read your threads is very dismissive of the way the Swedish do things. Now whether the Swedes are right, wrong, or in the middle is anyones guess but to be effectively telling an entire nation they haven't got a scooby on childrearing isn't really appropriate. Vent here by all means but I can guess you are giving those vibes to your ILs. What does your DH think about all this tension?

Someone may already have said this, but if MIL and FIL smoke then your baby should absolutely not sleep in their bed as that is a big risk factor for increasing chances of SIDS.

And it's downright peculiar... hmm

ZillionChocolate Fri 18-Jan-13 08:47:18

Drinking alcohol when breast feeding is either acceptable or it's not. You and DH need to make the decision about how you're going to parent and then get on with it. Doing something different when mil is watching is ludicrous. I'd almost be tempted to ring social services and ask what their position is on it. Children wouldn't be removed in the uk for something as trivial as having a small beer when breast feeding.

Your MIL is not the parenting police. To change your practices to keep her quiet is really unwise and is only going to make you stressed. There's no need for it.

(No idea what HollyBerryBush is on about. I didn't think you were dismissive of Swedish practices at all. You acknowledge that there are different ways of doing things and you want to go with the one which makes you most comfortable).

honeytea Fri 18-Jan-13 09:36:19

Hollyberrybush there are some amazing things about bringing up children in Sweden, 18 months parental leave, daycare that costs 100 pounds a month at the most, free schools (as in free private schools so we could choose to send ds to an international school or a music school) the Swedes love the outdoors, kids go iceskating on frozen lakes and skiing with their nursery when they are as young as 2 university is free, breastfeeding is normal so you don't have to put a blanket over your baby to feed, bus travel is free when you have a pram/pushchair I could go on but talking about the positives comes across as boasting a little.

In my opinion ds will have a lovely childhood in Sweden, if I didn't think he would have a nice childhood we would move. Dispite the positives it is really really hard living in another country and bringing up children. I often talk about how lucky we are to have the nice things Sweden offers I don't say anything to there faces about the things I disagree with I think part of the problem is that I don't speak up.

My dp is also critical of some of the things about the UK, he refused to take ds to my parents house unless they promise to have the heating on 24/7 because he is used to warm houses. He is horrified that I was (occasionally and very lightly) smacked as a child he sees it that I was abused.

You're not one of 'those' dils. She is one on 'those' mils. Bloody hell. You've done well not to lamp her.

CecilyP Fri 18-Jan-13 09:50:07

I didn't think honeytea was particularly dismissive of Swedish ways -to some extent she was just excusing her MiL by thinking it was Swedish ways, when, in fact, it is that her MiL is a very difficult woman. For example, winding the baby; in the grand scheme of things, I doubt it matters a jot how you wind the baby, but for the MiL, her way is right and everything else is wrong.

elizaregina Fri 18-Jan-13 10:05:59

I am not reading ops posts at all in a way that she is dissing a whole nation?

She has a specific problem.

wow free buses for people with buggies! Day care 100 pounds a month, i would be interested to know what standards of day care that is.

We are always told here - its pricey because of the high standards....and checks you know of many scandals coming out due to lax standard theres>

I bet its 100% better child care.

waterrat Fri 18-Jan-13 10:09:27

and I quote 'if you are sober enough to drive you are sober enough to breastfeed'

elizaregina Fri 18-Jan-13 10:12:33


She - the MIL sounds like she will pick on pretty anything op does - now and in the future - today is winding and BF tomorow it will be other stuff.

Is her DH going to provide her with a list for all other stuff that will come up thru the years.

Honeslty....if she says she suddenly wants everyone to hop on one leg is thats whats going to be enforced? Just do it to save face!

Goldmandra Fri 18-Jan-13 10:18:41

effectively telling an entire nation they haven't got a scooby on childrearing isn't really appropriate.

The OP absolutely has not done this!!!

I suggest you re-read her posts and tell us where you think her words are derogatory. I would be very interested to see.

Swedish Early Years practice is world leading and the envy of many UK practitioners. I'm sure that, as in any country, there are better and worse settings but overall theirs is recognised as a model curriculum.

honeytea Fri 18-Jan-13 10:53:14

I have quoted the kellymom info about if your sober enough yo drive you drive you can breastfeed but the say the law in Sweden is no alcohol in your system to drive so it should be alcohol to bf. I said yes but I'm English and they said yes bit the baby will be Swedish I said he will be half English so I will habe half a drink ;)

The childcare here is amazing, the people looking after the kids have to have studied for 3 years, there is a mix of men and women who work with kids. It is government subsidised which is why it's so cheap, the people who work there get paid around 2000 pounds a month.

waterrat Fri 18-Jan-13 10:58:03

honey - I think in the end, you are mum, it's your body, your breasts - there comes a point where you must not feel you have to continually justify yourself - I think the 'no drinking while breastfeeding' is anti BF frankly - it creates a belief that a woman must live like a hermit while BF and that is just bollocks. I have drunk regularly and reasonably while BF - also - if you have a glass of wine and then wait a couple hours there will be no alcohol in your bloodstream anyway.

mrsMeeple Fri 18-Jan-13 11:29:08

On alcohol and drinking and driving, the limit in Sweden is 0.2 promille. That's lower than the 0.8 I believe is permitted in the UK, but your Swedish relatives are talking bollocks if they say it's zero.

The info I quoted above on drinking recommendations while BF is from the government agency who are responsible for the official guideines. If they need to see it for themselves the link is: (second to last heading, under "Att tänka på").

It is really hard when you move to a new country, to judge what is cultural differences and what is just an individual viewpoint. (Even after being here for years!). Add to that being a new mother and knowing that your own hormones are possibly affecting your decision making, and I feel for you HoneyTea. From what I've heard you post, your MIL is odd. No-one else I know in Sweden expects a GM to co-sleep with a GC. And that she wants to do it while a smoker and on medication is shocking. If you can slip it into the conversation with the BVC while your DH is there, I'm sure they'll back you up!

elizaregina Fri 18-Jan-13 11:37:35

v interesting honey about childcare,

I have never ever bought the excuse its so expensive here because its hte best out of europe.

I bet its amazing there.

YOu poor thing, I wonder if you saw the amazing mother in law thread by french the other day>

Alot of us dils found it quite healing in the end! Loads of very articulate and great comments about why MILS shouldnt interefere and stuff....

people pay alot of money for therapy of that kind!

if you can find it - read it - it will give you strengh!

elizaregina Fri 18-Jan-13 11:38:57

I think its just her MIL picking on her.

BuiltForComfort Fri 18-Jan-13 11:50:14

I love the idea that there is a whole cultural identity built around the method for winding a baby!! Surely you just wind the baby in the way that's best for the individual? So when your MIL says "oh you must put him on your shoulder to wind him" you can smile, shrug and say "well this way is most comfortable and effective for him," with an air of bemused tolerance that anyone could actually be so bothered by such a thing.

diddl Fri 18-Jan-13 12:24:09

Sounds as if MIL is a "my way or the high way" type.

Who is used to everyone kowtowing.

Given that her own son would rather appease than tell her to shut up...

And I would definitely still have a drink OP -otherwise she´ll think that you´re falling in line as well!

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Fri 18-Jan-13 13:47:54

When my DS3 was restless and colicky and I was stressed to the eyeballs over a house move, my excellent GP (in his 40s) recommended that I drank a tot of whisky half an hour before the last feed of the day. He said it would do us both good. And it did.

I can understand how it might feel as a MIL if you feel utterly convinced that something the parents are doing will actually be really damaging to the child but she's being so very unreasonable in her way of dealing with it - and she is also just wrong.

You do need to stick up for yourselves or this is the beginning of a long and very hard road.

CaptainVonTrapp Fri 18-Jan-13 13:50:01

Has she actually said she would contact social services if she sees you drinking and feeding?

This is despicable and would actually make me stay right away from her. Possibly forever.

If she can make you do things by using that threat I would have nothing more to do with her. TBH you're a saint to have put up with this much. Not that I think SS would act on this.

Oh and I have no idea which thread Hollyberrybush is reading.

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