Pil woes(59 Posts)
done to death I know but I need some perspective on this. Since the birth of my ds nearly 7 months ago pretty much everything my pils have said and done has upset me. I blamed the hormones at first but now I'm not so sure, and I don't know if dh or I should say something about it.
Basically, they disapprove of a lot of our parenting decisions. They don't come out with it explicitly but make barbed comments and disapproving tuts. They don't agree with waiting til 6 months to wean, the fact that ds slept in our room for 6 months (they would freak if they knew we occasionally. Co - sleep), the fact that he wasn't in a strict 4 hr feeding routine since birth. The night we came home from hospital they were staying at out house and ds was crying, and mil came into our room and took him and tried to settle him. I have never quite got over this, and every time they have stayed since I barely sleep thinking she will come in at the slightest peep. Pre ds we used to go and stay at theirs a lot but have not stayed overnight since he was born as I just thought it would be too stressful. We have however stayed at my parents, friends, various hotels etc, so I think pils were getting a bit miffed about it. So this weekend we stayed, but I just found it such a tense and horrible time. I constantly worry that they are judging and criticising my parenting, as they are quite judgemental generally. This weekend they were moaning about the fact that he does not sleep through the night as it means they can't have him overnight. Mil was going on about how he should be cutting down the breastfeeds as he is weaned - he is on 3 meals plus 4 bfs a day which she thinks is far too much. She also told me I need to think about weaning him off the bf as I am going back to work in 4 months time . Any time I tell them about advice I have received from the gp or hv they greet it with scorn and derision. Today I told them about the hv telling me not to give ds tea or coffee, in a kind of 'as if I would do this' sort of way, and they thought it was ludicrous as it never did their kids any harm - completely misjudged that one! I then had to explain the iron absorption thing and they just looked at me as if I am some kind of humourless harpy. Ditto the botulism risk with honey.
I think the problem is they just think I am blindly accepting the guidelines and don't have a mind of my own, when in fact I have made informed decisions about all of these issues. I have read about 5 books about bf and weaning recently, but they still think they know better than me or any hcp.
I think the problem is really I am annoyed with myself for not having the confidence to ignore them and trust my own parenting decisions. Do you think I should say something? My mum is the same age as them but she accepts that guidelines have changed and we need to do it our way. I am feeling so crap about this, aibu? Any advice?
Awww sweet that sounds like a crap situation
The problem is that in-laws think they know best and only their way will do, my pil's still undermine everything that me and OH do with DD and she's 3!!!! We tell them every time, without fail, that we are doing things our way as times have changed. We're not rude about it, we almost make a joke about it, but we make sure they understand that we appreciate their advice but we decide on how's best to bring up DD.
It doesn't have to be a battle, but it needs to be nipped in the bud sharpish as this will only fester!!
I wouldn't discuss your choices with them, just state them as fact. If they start huffing and tutting, say nothing and get on with whatever you're doing.
What the stupid arses can't see is that if they undermine your decisions, you won't feel able to trust them on their own with DS and you'll never let them have him overnight.
Grow a thick skin and get DH to have a chat if they don't stop this behaviour.
Your baby, your rules.
Nodding and smiling a lot is actually quite good for making you feel better.
When your MiL comes out with a 'you should be doing xxxxxxx' then just nod and smile then just say 'I think we will carry on with the way we are doing things'. Say it lightly but not as a question just as a statement.
I dont think it is worth you having it out with your MiL. She isnt going to suddenly see the light and change because you spoke with her.
What I do think is worth doing is for your DH to speak to his parents and say something along the lines of 'We appreciate you have your own opinions on child rearing but we will do things our way. When we want advice we will certainly ask for it.' Again he should say it lightly but as a statement not an apology or a question. If your MiL challenges this in some way then he should make it clear to her that you both feel criticised and as a result unwelcome in her home.
Agree that you do need to deal with this now or your resentment will fester and they will get worse.
I would get my dh to deal with them, as criticism is often taken better if it comes from their son rather than their dil.
He needs to tell them that their interference and implied criticism is upsetting you and that it has to stop. He should gently remind them that this is your baby, not theirs and that you have thought very carefully about how you want to look after him. He could point out that if they were in your position they would not feel comfortable with their own IL's or parents implying that everything they do is wrong.
If your dh is a wuss when it comes to his parents, tell him that if he doesn't sort this in his own tactful way, then you will and may be a lot less tactful.
And get a lock for your bedroom door. No one needs to wake up to find MIL staring at them!
Smile nicely and remind them that there are millions of parents out there who have managed to raise children without running it by them.
I adore my Mil, but when ds was first born she was a little like this. It eventually stopped when I regularly reminded her that ds was mine, and it very quickly stopped.
In regards to the night feeds and breast feeding, next time they complain he can't stay the night with them put on your absolute best perplexed face and ask "why would he need to?"
Another approach is to say "grandchildren are meant to be a pleasure not a burden, we didn't have him to foist his care on other people, that's not fair. I'm sure you were the same?"
It is really hard, but I found it only took a few comments back before they backed off and realised that THE PARENTING was mine and dh's job.
And as I have said I adore my MiL and she knows I will happily listen to any advice she offers and may well try it, but equally she now knows I know what's best for my dc's.
op i had a nightmare when i bought dd home from hospital as pils were asked not to be here but did and demanded food and were just unforgivable-lomg story-it made me ill (pnd) and has seriously damaged any realtionships with me dd and dh.So my advice would definately be to nip tnis in the bud,dh should do it.My dh is still upset with his parents 6 months later and wishes he'd been more forcefull.
Practice what you want to say to them and then say it assertively ie. "well thats good advice but i will be doing it this way thanks" etc i think you will only need to say it a few times before they get the message.Stand up for yourself or you will be bitter like me.
Your PIL are being annoying. So YANBU to be annoyed. But they aren't doing anything essentially wrong, just voicing the opinions that were current when they were raising their kids. I totally sympathise with not wanting someone else to take your newborn off you so soon after birth, I would have found that upsetting too, but it sounds like your MIL was trying to help.
FWIW I found 6-12m much easier than 0-6m with DD. My confidence in what I was doing grew and DD became much calmer and more predictable. So it was easier for me to ignore comments on our parenting choices. It also became easier to point at DD and say 'Well look at her - we must be doing something right!'. So time and your increasing confidence in your skills may resolve this one of its own accord.
If something needs to be said about something that for you is non-negotiable then ideally your DP should say it. My MIL made a lot of comments about how we shouldn't do baby-led weaning because it would give DD the message that she should just eat what she liked (err yes - that was the point). DH rang her and explained why we were doing it this way, that DD seemed to like it and we were happy and that obviously we'd only be serving DD a sensible diet, but letting DD determine how she ate it. She came round when he pointed out that BLW generated much less washing up and was therefore better for the environment than pureeing (not sure if that is true btw but that isn't the point).
The other thing to bear in mind is that just as we can fall into the trap of competitive parenting so our parents can encounter competitive grandparents. MIL became a grandmother at exactly the same time as her best friend and best friend's DIL used Gina Ford and her son slept through the night from 12 weeks. Ooh the stick we got about not having a routine. But DD learnt to walk much sooner than best friends grandson so that evened the stakes a bit and I think the competition has calmed down (now that it has become clear that DD is the infinitely superior baby she so obviously is!).
why do you need to discuss every little detail with them
i dont think my mum would have known if the baby had slept in the cats basket - it just wasnt discussed as it wasnt her business
They are being rather silly aren't they? They are simply unaware of how parenting advice has changed, and seem unwilling to change their ideas. Just say 'hmm' or 'perhaps' and then ignore and carry on doing things your way. I'm sure that they are doing this from love and a desire to be involved - but (your MIL in particular) is going about it in the wrong way.
Perhaps you could send your MIL a link to Gransnet? I'm sure she'll hear some alternative opinions over there.
I hope your DH is supportive, he didn't get much of mention in your OP. If you do decide that Words Need To Be Had, then I'd suggest that he speak to his parents rather than putting more pressure on you.
Yes, my dh is very supportive but he just has a much thicker skin and lets it wash over him. He just ignores them and I don't think he understands why I get so upset about it.
Lucey - I know, but they ask. This morning after we stayed the night it was all "ooh, how many times was he up through the night? What time? Pooh no did you have to feed him again" blah blah.
I think they are essentially well meaning but pil is so arrogant and defensive and mil just expresses herself clumsily and winds me up.
Thanks for advice.
Honestly? You sound hyper sensitive about the whole thing. You need to let it all wash over you and then do your own thing. I wouldn't say anything. To be fair to them a huge proportion of the general public will share their views, and if you can't share your views with your nearest and dearest, who can you with?
Also, I am guessing your LO is about the same age as mine from what you have said about weaning and the HV has just told me that I should move from 4bfs a day to 2 by the time lo is 8-8.5 months. I'm probably not going to follow this but it goes to show that there is a wide range of valid views.
You need to forgive her for taking the baby that one night - it was only one night and I'm sure she had the best of intentions, other DILs would have welcomed that. Maybe you just don't get on?
If you can't get past this you are risking your LO chance to have as good a relationship as possible with their paternal grandparents, who are as important as maternal ones.
I don't understand why DH isn't sitting his parents down and telling them to stop with the comments. The parental choices and decision are joint (your DH and yourself) and need to be respected, not questioned and critiqued. They are his parents, he needs to have an adult conversation with them.
If they cannot show you respect, they shouldn't expect any back from you. And, frankly, your DH should point out if you two can't trust them to follow your parental decisions when you're not around, then that will limit the type of relationship they will have with your DS.
It sounds like you don't have much to talk about other than the baby!
I agree with Veronica that it will get much easier as the baby gets older, 6-12 months is a lovely age.
She came and took your crying newborn from your room???????
She's lucky she's still in one piece.
I don't think this is actually an IL situation, particularly as you and your DH are in agreement. I think this is the special bit of parenting no-one tells you. From the second you announce your pregnancy, other people will start to tell you what you should be doing, what you're doing wrong and how they'd do it better.
There are loads of different approaches to parenting. People BF, FF, co-sleep, put the baby in it's own room, use dummies, wean at 6 months, BLW, wean before guidelines suggest, do babywearing, do controlled crying etc etc
All that matters is that you and your DH are happy with how you're doing it.
Have some confidence in yourself (and DH) and stand up for yourself as a parent. You don't need to be argumentative, but you also don't need to tell them 'the HV suggested/said'. What matters is what you say.
When they start off, 'You had your DS(DH) and chose how to raise him. He's all grown up now. This is our DS, and we'll make the decisions about how we want to raise him.' Don't get into debates about sleep, feeding etc. Just stick to the 'Our son, our choice' line.
It sounds quite normal to me (in my family at least). I just tend to smile sweetly and say that it seems to be working ok for us. There is no point in trying to convince them that your way is right and that their way is wrong - they presumably brought up at least one child fairly successfully!
They don't mean to be horrible, just trying to help, albeit mis-guidedly.
4 BFs is not too much for a 7m-o. And why would you want your young baby to stay over at their house? I don't understand.
No advice, but I have a similar problem with my MIL. She had 4 children herself and has been a nanny to 2 girls the last few years. She loves babies and sees herself as something of an expert.
She constantly comments on everything I do or don't do with DD who is now 6 1/2 months. Nothing major, but everything is just not quite what SHE would do. She even told me DD didn't have a very big feed (I'm BFing and she wasn't with me for most of the feed FFS!)
Whilst I appreciate that she knows a lot about babies, she won't appreciate that I know quite a lot more about my own particular baby.
I just wish my SIL would have a baby so I could get some peace!
I find not actually discussing what i am doing works,i talk about other stuff instead or im courting reactions.,
Mils fave response is to tell me what her dc's did when they were tnhat age ie potty trained or slept 16 hrs at night you know the type. She cant do that if i talk about shopping or current affairs can she?
I don't want him to go overnight, but they seem to think it is one of their granparental duties! They have done this with bil's 2 dds pretty much from birth (both ff). I think they are comparing ds with them, which doesn't help.
I know I need to toughen up a bit!
Yes that is another thing, pils are very domesticated and insular. They sometimes forget that there is a world beyond their home and garden - much of the conversation revolves around these things (and their dog). Eg, we have just spent the weekend there and they never once mentioned the riots- my mention of them was swept aside. I find this so bizarre as it is so different from what happens in my family. I guess we are just different, but they are so judgemental of people who are different from them. Eg they were talking about a neighbour who had took a trip to Edinburgh for the day and they were like " well, she just can't settle in her own home, she just needs to be out and about" tut tut, shaking heads as if this was some sort of dreaded affliction. WTF?
4hrs between breastfeeds-hahahahaha!!
Don´t tell them anything & don´t answer questions directly.
Baby doesn´t ever have to stay over if you don´t want it.
What I do with my mil is just say "mmmm yes I'll think about that" and then tell dp on the way home what current best practice is, how what she has said is all bollocks and she is not to do any of the things if I'm not there
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