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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!

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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