How do I deal with MIL politely?

(33 Posts)
babyperks Sat 02-Feb-13 06:27:27

The more I think of it, the more it winds me up.

Yesterday, me and my OH took my 17 day old DS to his nanny's. We were sat talking about DS and she randomly asked "so are you going to put him on solids at 6 weeks?"
My immediate reaction was "shock No way, I couldn't do that!" Well that went down like a lead balloon!
After explaining how it is bad for them to do it at such a young age, and her looking at me like I'm crazy, she then said "Well I put all mine (she's had 5 kids) on solids at 6 weeks and they're alright" I then said "Yeah I know, but I just couldn't do it, I don't want to and I'm not going to."

We then got on to the subject of SIDS. My mum lost my brother at 11 weeks old 10 years before having me, so it's even more of a worry for me. My OH was explaining the basic guidelines to help prevent it and saying only laying babies on their backs, and not their fronts, was one of them. Again, after another look, "Well I laid all of you on your fronts!" She then said "I think these new health visitors are so far fetched, unless they've had kids of their own, they don't know what they're chatting about."

Basically I'm just getting fed up of me and OH "not being allowed" to bring our son up the way WE want to, and the way WE feel is best. I agree that the way we bring our kids nowadays, compared to 20 odd years ago, is completely different as my mum says the same. But at least my mum accepts that how I bring up my child is down to me and OH only.

I just want to know how you other lovely mummys would react to this, without letting on that you're really pissed off and without just telling them to eff off and let us do it our way not yours! angry

Sorry about the rant, but like I said, the more I think of it, the more it makes me angry! Oh, and sorry for long post too blush

TIA grin xx

Tolly81 Sat 02-Feb-13 10:16:39

Sympathies baby perks my MIL is the same. I don't think you're over-reacting, I always felt really annoyed/threatened/got at/irritated when MIL did this but as others have said when you respond with shock and incredulity you are also criticizing her parenting (I know that isn't your aim of course) that's why the stock response is "well I raised x number of children and they were fine" - they're defending their own practices. The thing about guidelines from a pp is a very good response. I would only give her leaflets if she seems genuinely interested otherwise she won't read them and it will just make her angry. I tried getting my DH to say something but it doesn't work. My main advice is avoid the conversations in the first place, then you can't get wound up. All parents like to give advice (you'll find yourself doing it in a few months to mates/relatives) but just avoid the conversations. If they keep on about it just say "well I'll have a think about it..." etc. the confrontation is not worth the upset. Change the subject. Seek their advice on things that don't matter - like should we go to x, y or z with the baby for the weekend (make sure they're all places you wouldn't mind going) or tell her about this thing that he did and that thing etc. Good luck!

constantnamechanger Sat 02-Feb-13 10:21:18

sorry op there was a lot more to my post it disappeared

YellowAndGreenAndRedAndBlue Sat 02-Feb-13 10:24:44

I would simply say something like 'every generation had its own way, I guess you'll either have to respect our choices or stay away' but I have two nightmare families to keep in check so have little time for tiptoeing around!

At leas your DP is backing up your thinking, nt trying t get you to do it his um's way!

babyperks Sat 02-Feb-13 10:55:10

I don't think what I said really offended her, it just shocked me that she even suggested to start weaning a 6 week old baby. The way I responded wasn't harsh or mean, it just looks that way written down. The thing that annoyed me was the way she looked at me, and the way SHE responded to my response. Her DD is very easily led, so she had her kids on 3 meals a day at 6 weeks old because MIL said it was ok to, because she did it with her kids. Which is fine if that's what they want to do, but we don't wish to do it that way and I would like to be respected by that. Not looked at as if I'm some complete weirdo!

Another example: When we found out we were pregnant, OH's sister asked me if I was going to BF. I said yes I would like to give it a go. Again I was given a look and she said "Ugh, I don't know how you could do that. Yuck" Did I make a comment about her NOT BF her kids? No because that's her choice, if she doesn't like BF then that's her choice, but there was no need to respond like that.

I really don't want there to be any arguments so I'm really going to have to learn how to bite my tongue! smile

Tolly81 Sat 02-Feb-13 11:42:52

It is really tough. I don't think she'll change and it doesn't sound as if you'll be successful in bringing her views up to date as she sounds pretty dyed-in-the-wool tbh (esp if she managed to persuade your SIL to wean at 6 weeks!) so the best tactic is just to say a placatiry phrase and change the subject. If she's really hassling you and won't let up then perhaps get your dh to say something like "it's nice that you're taking an interest but we're going to do it our way/or in line with the cirrent guidelines". My MIL also asked if I was going to start giving dd baby rice at 8 weeks "to make her sleep better" but that was what they were told to do at the time. Just let it wash over you and start thinking about neutral territory - the price of baby clothes? The difference in sizes between shops? Something like that. I really feel for you but take it from someone a few months down the line - it only makes you more annoyed and upset to disagree with someone like that. My tongue is now covered in cuts and ulcers though wink

Tolly81 Sat 02-Feb-13 11:47:04

Sorry about typos. Also I would say either it gets better or you start noticing/caring less as time goes on because I can't think of when MIL has done this much recently. Also when your baby gets a older (mine is nearly 9 m) and you're happier to spend a bit of time apart dh can take him round while you sleep/go to the gym/shop etc for a couple of hours thus avoiding the pils, so thrre is light at the end of the tunnel! Works for me [big grin]

Tolly81 Sat 02-Feb-13 11:47:44

Sorry! grin

babyperks Sat 02-Feb-13 13:08:52

I guess you're right Tolly. Thank you for your advice, its really helpful smile

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