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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!

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.

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.

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!

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.

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

I think its just her MIL picking on her.

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!

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!

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.

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.

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.

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!

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 10:05:59

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.

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.

BuntyCollocks Fri 18-Jan-13 09:49:05

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

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.

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).

coffeeandcream Fri 18-Jan-13 05:46:55

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

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?

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

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

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

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

OP why do you need to 'save face'?

Let me answer... you don't.

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....

StateofConfusion Thu 17-Jan-13 19:07:19

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.

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....

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