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To be upset at mil for this...?

(42 Posts)
Moulesfrites Mon 30-May-11 10:20:11

Yesterday was my ds's christening, he is 4 months old. He is ebf and was quite a good sleeper up until a few weeks ago when he started waking every 2/3 hours. I do feel this is slowly improving again, but last week I had a horrible cold and was on my knees. Feel loads better now and so the broken night are much easier to handle - I have just accepted that this is the way he is for now and have my fingers crossed that things will get better...

Anyway, my bil and his gf have just had their 2 nd baby in the space of a year. They are in their v early 20s, Neither baby was planned but they seem to have taken parenthood in their stride and have even said how "easy" they are finding it! I admire them really, as easy isn't exactly how I would describe the last 4 months although I am very much enjoying motherhood.

Anyway, bil's dd2 is 4 weeks old, and the first thing that mil said to me yesterday was that she is sleeping through the night. I think, well good for her, but how is it helpful to tell me this in such an accusatory way- I felt that she was implying that we are not doing as good a job as ds is nowhere near sleeping though. Our niece is ff from birth which I know might or might not be a factor. And then all day at the christening yesterday people kept coming up to me saying "ooh, you're still having to feed him through the night, you know a bottle wouldn't do any harm...etc etc", so I know mil had been telling them all, painting me as some kind of martyr who has chosen to do it the hard way, and I really just want her to back off!

Just needed to vent! Aibu? And any advice?

MonstaMunch Mon 30-May-11 10:22:18

i think you are being oversensitive

she was probs just saying it in conversation, as people do

dont take it to heart

cookcleanerchaufferetc Mon 30-May-11 10:25:20

They may be having it easy now but it won't last! All babies go through phases of sleeping well, getting up at 5am, or every few hours! It is normal. So what if your baby is doing something different. Ignore the MiL as she is being a prize cow. It looks as though she will compare your baby with your BIL baby so nip it in the bud now. Next time she makes a comment just make a garbed comment to shut her up. Next it will be comparisons about how you are giving your baby a jar and your BIL baby only gets organic, free range, ethical, free trade, non polluted, non processed pure food! Don't worry and don't take it personally!

OddBoots Mon 30-May-11 10:25:33

That must be annoying but let it was over you, you are both at the very start of your parenting, there will be so many other issues as time goes on some of the time you'll have it easier some of the time they will.

bf of ff, some babies sleep, some done - some sleep for a while then wake loads in their later babyhood and into toddlerhood.

Practice in your head ready to use phrases such as 'Isn't if funny how they're all so different' and 'they're only babies for such a short time' and so on to throw at people with 'well meaning' advice.

MrsGravy Mon 30-May-11 10:26:09

Yanbu. My mum upset me the same way when my ds was a nightmare at night. She used to delight in telling me which babies were sleeping through. She only stopped when I burst into tears! She didn't mean to be cruel but i'd been making light of his sleep problems so she thought i'd be able to laugh along with her. My advice? Start lying! Only vent about sleep problems to people who you know will be supportive, as far as anyone else is concerned your baby sleeps well at night.

olderyetwider Mon 30-May-11 10:27:12

I can't really see from your post what mil has done really. Do you think people were just wanting to be supportive, even though you didn't find it helpful. Your tired, you've been ill, and it's early days, and it's really easy to feel undermined and inadequate in the early days, especially when establishing bf. I wouldn't get in a sweat about mil, it's just another potential stress!

TheProvincialLady Mon 30-May-11 10:28:11

Yes YABU, it is just conversation. There isn't a lot else you can tell people about a baby of that age, other than whether s/he is breast of formula fed, sleeps through the night or not, and cries a lot or is contented. It is annoying that people seem to need to give advice in all circumstances, even if they have never met you or your baby before, but get used to it because it's not going to stop for another 18+ years!

Your MIL may unconsciously or consciously approve of the way BIL's dd2 is being raised as the 'perfect' 1950s baby, because that was almost certainly how she was taught to raise her own children and the benchmark of success was guzzling gallons of formula and virtually never waking up. Don't take it personally. You are doing a good jobsmile

troisgarcons Mon 30-May-11 10:29:38

Everyone over reacts when their hormones are all over the place. Any passing comment can be taken as a slight. Only you know whether your MIL and you have one of those relationships or not - on the surface nice but with barbed undertones - or whether you genuinely get along ok.

Having said that, my MIL was lovely until I had my first child, Then her true colours came out. She was very controlling and undermining - but this did coincide with the death of FIL and my own mother - therefore her desire to control was born out of need to ensure her own son stayed close and filled FILs role.

Zimm Mon 30-May-11 10:30:11

YANBU - I'd be upset. Give MIl a copy of teh NCt reasons to be proud leaflet and tell her to back off. This kind of behaviour needs to be nipped into the bud - be firm with the MILs! :-)

Brevity Mon 30-May-11 10:30:47

You don't sound oversensitive to me, but very sensible smile.

In a few months there will be something else MIL will be comparing between them. As Oddboots says, use some stock phrases and ignore politely.

GoldenGreen Mon 30-May-11 10:32:43

you need to lie to her!

I had this to a certain extent with dd when she was bfing every two hours, day and night, between 15 and 17 weeks. I didn't see what else I could do but keep feeding her but the comments from others were along the lines of "well, if you're happy to do it" - implying I was being a martyr about it. So I just didn't moan about it. Pleasanter all round!

Guitargirl Mon 30-May-11 10:35:19

Ignore, ignore, ignore. I had exactly the same with my cousin's DC who is the same age as my eldest. I bf and co-slept, they mix fed and did controlled crying. We were the useless parents who were making a rod for our own backs and spoiling our DCs. It upset me at the time but 4.5 years have passed now and it moved from sleeping to potty training to school to whose child eats the most healthily. Now I have learnt to smile and change the subject as quickly as possible.

skybluepearl Mon 30-May-11 10:40:49

it's hard going in thoses early days isn't it. BF and being ill with little sleep is wearing. I've been there before and am there again with a 4 month old. It will pass though and things will look much brighter when little one sleeps better at night. just hold close that you are providing the absolute best start for you baby by breast feeding. breast milk is magic stuff. and also all the protection against breast cancer etc for you.

my MIL is a nightmare also. best just smile and be a little fuzzy about details. if she asks how baby is sleeping say 'like a baby' or 'shes doing really well'. Then change the topic of conversation. Aviod discussing sleeping with non supportive people. Remember that some people won't admit to any struggles they do have as they want to give the impression they are doing perfectly. All isn't as it seems.

ledkr Mon 30-May-11 10:51:17

op can i suggest you come over onto our fab feb post natal thread,ourbabies are all 3-4 months and many are not sleeping,we are all a nice bunch of down to earth womwn all differnet ages etc. I cant link at mo but do a search,at the mo its called "its all about the shred" My dd is 18wks and sleeps ok but did wake loads at around the 15wk mark-regression??
Hope to see you there.

stitchy Mon 30-May-11 10:56:55

Try not to stress out about it. My MIL is the same and also promotes formula as the answer to everything - sleep, baby's happiness, weight, crying etc. so much I wonder whether she has shares in it. My ds is 14 weeks and still feeds a lot through the night but I know from experience that it won't last forever (he's my 2nd) in fact it's a really short time in the grand scheme - just because he's not sleeping for long periods now certainly does not mean he's going to be a problem sleeper . Sleeping through is not a barometer of your success as a parent. You're doing your best, you're doing brilliantly - don't let anyone make you feel otherwise.

kaid100 Mon 30-May-11 19:09:45

We have twins and are bfing. You can do it, and ignore your MIL smile She just can't bear that you are doing better than her son.

PenguinArmy Mon 30-May-11 19:17:46

People that have only had easy sleepers just don't realise that it's part of the normal spectrum.

DD has had the same sleeping pattern as me when I was a baby. I was FF, DD was BF. Luckily my mum had all kinds of sleepers so I was always aware it's just a luck thing. MIL had two that slept through at 6 weeks and is still convinced that there's something wrong with DD and that we should get her checked out hmm. It comes from worry but it's bloody annoying.

Same way there are plenty of people who can't accepts that some babies have easier more content temperaments and others are more high needs. Then come on here and get all judgey when other people say they find it hard.

With MIL we just don't speak about sleep anymore, or BF, or even solid food (DD is rather petite). She is 14 months now, but she'll get there and so will you.

LineRunner Mon 30-May-11 19:23:00

My ex-MIL did this shit to me. I could never work out what business it was of hers anyway, what happened in my home at night.

I just ignored her in the end, especially with the second baby.

Please just do what you think is best for your baby. It's your investment, and you're bloody brilliant.

lollystix Mon 30-May-11 19:24:00

For what it's worth, I've had 3 babies who were breastfed and each of them started waking more at 4 months. I always smile when folk tell me about their angels who are sleeping through at 2 weeks plus and tell them to wait till they hit 4 months. Yes you're feeding which will make a difference to some degree against FF niece but also all babies are different. Also my in laws all formula fed and used to leave the room in embarrassment with ds1 when I was feeding- they couldn't understand my wanting to bf ds1 but after him they just learnt to accept my feeding choice and never passed comment with ds2 or 3 when i whacked my boobs out. Just ignore as much as you can - your baby, your choice. End of.

ShuffleBallChange Mon 30-May-11 19:24:18

I actually tried a bottle of formula in the evening because everyone was going on and on about how it would help with sleep. It hasnt made one jot of difference apart from the fact that I know exactly how much he has had, he is still fed once or twice through the night.

People think they know best, just smile through gritted teeth and make uh-huh noises grin

MrsTittleMouse Mon 30-May-11 19:30:46

I agree, 4 months was a rubbish age for both of my EBF babies. It does get easier! No problem venting here, that's one of the best things about MN in my opinion - the chance to have a bit of a rant so that you can nod and smile at people in RL. smile

You might also like to know that my 3-BFs-a-night 8 month-old baby was looked after by my Mum for 3 nights, and woke up like clockwork for 3 bottles of formula. So it wasn't the magic solution to a good night's sleep that my SIL always droned on about (with the implication that I was an idiot for not knowing that an evening bottle was a complete solution for a poor sleeper, and also that I was some kind of lentil-weaving martyr for BFing past 6 weeks hmm)

PenguinArmy Mon 30-May-11 19:36:19

watch out for the 'it's just a habit then, all this waking up' implication being you can fix it if you tried.

saffy85 Mon 30-May-11 19:46:38

You're being a bit sensitive but having said that, you're sleep deprived and not been well so totally understand that comments like this are unhelpful. My mum and also MIL are both guilty of "Oh, DD is having a tantrum? You/DP never behaved that way, ever". hmm "Oh DD wont eat vegetables this week? Never had that problem with my DC."

Ignore it. My DD was sleeping through at 5 weeks old. I was as pleased as anything. It didn't last and her sleep pattern has changed alot over the last 3 years of her life. Good periods and not so good periods. FF might be a factor. HV told me it often is. You're doing nothing wrong at all,neither are your BIL and his partner.Too bad your MIL sees it as some kind of competion.

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Mon 30-May-11 19:51:33

Seriously treat it as water of a ducks back.

Sylvaniasandwich Mon 30-May-11 19:59:41

Yes lie! My MIL was always talking about the fact dds weren't sleeping through and telling me I should be leaving them to cry. I was hypersensitive and used to feel very criticised. In retrospect I think she was just trying to help.

Very few bf babies sleep through because they need to eat little and often, so the ff is almost certainly a factor. FWIW I thought that I would introduce a bottle second time round at about four months. But when it came to it I realised that I was happier feeding my baby myself and sacrificing some sleep.

You just have to parent your own way and learn to shrug off the advice and criticism. Most people forget how sensitive you are in the months after having had a baby.

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