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to feel disappointed at MIL and DPs lack of support for how I want to do things with DD?

(59 Posts)
RGPargy Mon 04-Aug-08 13:18:00

I need to know if i'm being unreasonable or not on this.

DD is 8 months and for the last 3 months i have been introducing some baby signs to her, i.e. "milk", "more", "eat", that sort of thing. Anyway, despite his apparent enthusiasm for signing, DP has hardly ever bothered to sign to DD. So now i've said that i want to take DD to Sing and Sign classes but because i was late getting my forms back, the only class they've got available now is a Wednesday morning. I cant do this class because i've just gone back to work and will be working part time, including Wednesdays. MIL was chomping at the bit to look after DD when i returned to work so i thought that as there was a Wednesday space left, she could possibly take DD there and learn some signs herself too. Great! (or so I thought).

I phoned up MIL and asked how she would feel about taking DD to the S&S class and she said "well i wouldn't, really". When i asked her why she said that she'd been talking to her partner that morning and in so many words told me it was a load of crap and that "babies have managed to get across what they want long before that came along" and she said that she wouldn't do the signs with her either. I was quite shock at this because I thought she was the type of person to try different things and i thought she was quite open minded. I just thought it would be nice for DD to get out of the house and thought it might interest MIL to start doing the odd sign or two. Kinda two birds with one stone sort of thing.

AIBU about that? DP hasn't said much about but just shrugged in a "oh right" kind of way. hmm

Another thing too that i feel i'm losing a battle on is what DD is eating. DP was raised a vegetarian and has never eaten meat or fish in his life. I am NOT a veggie and made it clear to him that i wanted DD to eat meat but she was very welcome not to eat it later in life if that was her choice. Anyway, i gave her a bit of chicken to try and he was like "eeeww she wont like that" and then because she didn't eat it (it takes time for her to accept new foods) he made a flippant comment that she was also a veggie. He then kicked up a real stink when i offered her a bit of fish (just some cod). he was saying that it was making his stomach turn etc. DD got on better with this and put it to her mouth several times although she didn't actually eat any.

Later that night, DP said he was actually starting to feel quite "funny" about DD eating meat and he more or less forbid me to give DD fish just because neither I or DP eat it! It wasn't something hugely smelly or gross, just a bit of bloody fish!! Just because i'm not keen on fish and hardly ever touch it doesn't mean that DD shouldn't eat it, does it?!!

I just feel that i am fighting a losing battle on my own with regard to the signing and the meat issues and i dont feel that i've got the support of DP or MIL on either matter.

It's got to the point where i feel really down about it and now i'm wondering if me alone just signing to DD will actually do any good or whether i should just chuck it in because no one else is going to bother anyway!

I'm so sorry this is a rather long post and thank you if you've managed to get this far.

chelsygirl Mon 04-Aug-08 13:20:56

don't know much about the veggie issue, but with the babysitting issue, if you want childcare provided by someone who follows your wishes you'll have to pay for it, simple as.

Sobernow Mon 04-Aug-08 13:27:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RGPargy Mon 04-Aug-08 13:30:36

I wouldn't insist that she went along if she didn't want to. I think what has upset me the most was her attitude to it. Rather than being subtle and saying that she didn't think it was for her, she just said that it was a load of crap and waved it off with a "maaahhh" type of thing (IYKWIM).

herbietea Mon 04-Aug-08 13:31:42

Message withdrawn

KelaH Mon 04-Aug-08 13:33:50

Hi RG!

Don't know much about the signing, but I am a veggie and agree with you about meat - I won't specifically cook meat for DD but will be giving her some that has been cooked by other people etc (like Sunday lunch at my parents). And it is important for babies to eat as many different things as poss at this age so they don't reject it later, so no, YANBU

RGPargy Mon 04-Aug-08 13:35:21

I just thought that as she was like an excited child in the classroom with their hand up who was trying to touch the ceiling going "ME ME ME!!" when the talk of what to do with DD when i returned to work came about, she would be keen!

It seems from replies on here that I am being unreasonable.

meemar Mon 04-Aug-08 13:36:21

It was a bit rude of your MIL to be so dismissive of the baby signing, however she is entitled to her opinion and you can't expect her to spend her babysitting time doing something she doesn't enjoy.

Your DP is being childish over the fish. You agreed that you were both happy for her to make up her own mind about vegetarianism. Now he's backtracking because it makes him feel 'funny'. Presumably the issue is not about having fish/meat in the house as you are a meat eater anyway.

Tell him that he doesn't have to feed her any meat, but if you are feeding her then he has no place making negative comments.

cestlavie Mon 04-Aug-08 13:38:25

Well your MIL is entitled to her opinion to be fair and I'm sure plenty of her generation would think similarly about 'modern' practices. Provided she wasn't rude or unpleasant about it I'd just take it at face value and accept she's got different views to you on this.

On your DP being vegetarian, it's just a question of compromise. For what it's worth I absolutely agree that kids should be exposed to all types of food and left to make up their own mind later on. Equally I can recognise that some people feel very differently about this and if it genuinely upset my partner, I'd certainly bear their views very closely in mind.

RGPargy Mon 04-Aug-08 13:42:45

That's the thing, cestlavie, she WAS rude and dismissive about it! Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinions but tact doesn't have to go out the window does it?

I do try and compromise with the veggie thing too. For instance, i will try not to give DD any meat on the days that MIL has her (she is a veggie too and absolutely HATES meat now) so as not to cause offence to her.

As for the fish, I'm going to compromise on that too and try DD on fish when DP is not around so that it doesn't offend him.

findtheriver Mon 04-Aug-08 13:43:38

Agree with Chelsy. There are frequently threads about mothers or MILS who are used for free childcare, and then the parents complain that things aren't done the way they want. Simple - choose and pay for the childcare you want.

SiennaMillerLovesBotoxFiller Mon 04-Aug-08 13:43:44

Do you think she has said that about the class as a diversion and actually she just wants to spend some time with your dd by herself?

I think baby signing is amazing and you will be pleased you did it with her in the long run. I would say that (I teach babies SL) grin

Get yourself a library book and learn yourself and teach her you don't need a class, just repeat the signs as you have been doing with the primary signs. If sh elikes books then sign as you read to her. I bet you by the time your baby is a year and telling you most of her wants and needs you MIL will take a bit of notice (mine did) and she was so dismissive she told me I would do my dd harm (she's mad)

With regards to the diet, if it were me I'd give her a veggie diet when dh was around and feed her the stuff (experiment with meat taste etc) when he's not there. I wouldn't be sneaky about it. I just wouldn't do it with him around.

nooname Mon 04-Aug-08 13:44:02

Well I can comment on the veggie thing as I don't eat meat (do eat fish) but don't have a problem with other people eating it, but I was surprised by how strongly I felt about ds not eating meat once he was being weaned.

I just can't bear the thought of him eating meat and I can totally understand where your dh is coming from. I personally think that if he feels this strongly then you should seriously consider not giving your dd meat/fish. She can have a perfectly healthy diet and then can make up her own mind when she's older.

nooname Mon 04-Aug-08 13:46:01

Plus I think your dh might feel a bit annoyed that he's got to be totally understanding as to how YOU want to do things, yet you're not taking account of how HE wants to do things. She's his dd as well.

deepinlaundry Mon 04-Aug-08 13:46:26

I'm not your MIL generation, but do agree with her- she'd probably rather do a lot of other things than baby signing. She is being kind to help really.

KT14 Mon 04-Aug-08 13:50:43

RGPargy, I don't think YABU, especially re the veggie thing. I've been vegetarian since I was 7, haven't eaten meat or fish at all since then, but am more than happy for DS's (or anyone else) to cook or eat it around me. I actually encourage other people (childminder, grandparents etc) to feed it to the children as I'm crap at cooking it myself but want them to have a balanced and nutritious diet and make the choice to be vegetarian only if they ever want to (and if they're like dh, they won't want to!).. all sounds very awkward, I feel for you!

tiggerlovestobounce Mon 04-Aug-08 13:51:38

Sorry, but I think you are being alittle unreasonable. I think that if your MIL doesnt want to do baby signing then that is reasonable.
Lots of people dont want to do it even with their own child.

Re the meat, if you dont eat fish then why give it to your baby?
It is perfectly possible for babies to be vegetarian (and a good vegetarian diet is probably healthier than the average meat eaters diet).
I think that your DP is right to let your DD make her own mind up when she is older whether she wants to eat meat or not, when there is no need for her to have it now.

bubblagirl Mon 04-Aug-08 14:06:40

i think you both need to sit down and talk things through as its not fair to ask him to respect your wishes when his are not taken into account as parents both peoples feelings should be taken into account not just one parents

as for mil i would say slightly unreasonable but in there time this was not nessasary if child didnt have learning difficulties so as much as it may annoy you again if she is uncomfortable with it you cant expect her to take her or see if you can come to some comprimise with her if she takes her

as a mum you do want your wishes respected and you do feel you know best but sometimes we have to except others will not feel the same and your dp has as much say to dd upbringing as you

takingitasitcomes Mon 04-Aug-08 14:23:18

Oooo the old MIL strikes again. It is a constant mystery to me why more women don't remember their own feelings about their own MILs when they become one themselves and tread a bit more lightly on DIL's feelings! (Did that make sense?).

Your MIL sounds very rude. However, as there's not much point trying to force the issue, or trying to 'teach her manners' when she is presumably past 50 (apologies if that assumption is wrong) I agree with the majority of the posts above as regards the signing. It works - and will still work even if it is only between you and your dd.

As to the veggie issue - it IS unreasonable for your dp to backtrack on a previous agreement without warning. Different if he'd sat down and spoken to you about it like an adult rather than making faces etc infront of dd. Sounds to me like you need to clear the air with dp and be honest about how his mum made you feel too. His feelings about meat will no doubt be genuine - he just needs to alter the way he shows them.

Good luck!smile

branflake81 Mon 04-Aug-08 14:26:38 say you are pissed off because your DP doesn't agree with your methods. However it is his child as well and he has the right to say how he wants her to be raised. Somehow you have to meet in the middle but your child shouldn't eat meat just because you say so, or go to signing class because you want it. They have a right to disagree.

barnsleybelle Mon 04-Aug-08 14:31:27

I don't think it's fair to expect MIL to mind dd for you and then tell her where to go etc.

My friends ds did the sign thing and she totally regretted it cos he used it instead of talking when he was able. although i hear many people love it. MIL is donating child care for free so is entitled to an opinion.

As for the dp i agree with the ones who say what about him... You are both 50/50 responsible for dd so he's entitled to have his say equal to you.

Compromise time i reckon..

Oblomov Mon 04-Aug-08 14:31:55

Well, I would like to completely go against the grain here, and say. I think YABU.
Totally disagree with Chelsy, re childcare issue.
This is not a childcare thing.
This is, wishing, in an ideal world, that mil would liekt o spend some time with dd. And take her to a class that mum thinks would benefit dd.
Alas this is not to be.
Do you find your mil generally like this ? Becasue I suspect that unfortunaetly this kind of issue will crop up again and agin, re how you bring your dd up. bet you mil will be saying, oh you shouldn't be taking the stabilisers off yet. Oh, brownies and ballet are far too much for dd.
Is this how you anticipate things. Because I fear so. I think you just have to accept that thsi is the way it is, and try not to let mil interfere/upset you, too much.

I think you need to talk to dp seperatly. In an idela world you would ahve discussed this before and made a decision. But on this, and for future things, you need to agree/be united on how to tackle things.

Dh and I discuss ds when ds is in bed. I say, I think this might work..... I really not comfortable when yuo do....., what do you think. We agree. We are united. Then it is presented to ds , this is how it is. Sometimes this process is hard, dh and I disagree, but we try to be united.

I think it is important.

Oblomov Mon 04-Aug-08 14:34:57

Sorry, I think YANBU. I do not agree with the other posters. I think you do have some valid points.

Sorry, COMPLETELY mucked up previous post, by missing out the 'n' in the YANBU

Oblomov Mon 04-Aug-08 14:40:56

And when a granparents looks after a grandchild. It is not always CHILDMINDING.

My mum lives 1.5 hrs away. Once I went to bed for a sleep. And my mum took ds to the park.
Its called grandparent looking after/enjoying grandchild.
This is not childminding necessarily.

The course propb only lasts 6 weeks. Maybe one hour. O.k. mil doesn't want to take dd.

Why on MN is it automatically CHILDMINDING.

Don't your parents want to spend anytime at ALL with your children. We all would like grandparents and grandchildren to have a loving relationship. How do you think this happens, unless they spend time together ?

iwouldgoouttonight Mon 04-Aug-08 14:42:33

I do sympathise with you and don't think you're being unreasonable. I suppose you can't expect your MIL to go somewhere she doesn't want to but she doesn't have to be rude about it! I took my DS to Sing and Sign and my mum was a bit baffled as to why we we bothering, but she was tactful about it and was delighted when DS started doing the sign for milk to her when he was hungry. Maybe your MIL might change her mind if she sees the signing is effective.

For what its worth, we went to the classes for about 18 months and it definitely helped DS to communicate when he was younger - milk, hot, cold, etc, although he didn't pay much attention in the classes (none of the babies did, they just liked the crawl about exploring!) so he learnt more from me doing the signs to him at home. DP did them a bit but not much and my mum didn't do them at all. But he still picked up on a lot of them so its worth you persevering even if you don't go to the classes and nobody else is signing to your DD. I found some books in our library about it and you can also order the Sing and Sign DVD from their website I think without having to go to the classes.

On the vegetarian thing, I don't eat meat but my DP does so him or my mum give him fish occasionally (as long as I don't have to cook it!) I think its important for DS to try new things and its up to him if he chooses to eat meat or not when he's older. But I'd give your DD meat when DP isn't there - if he really doesn't like watching her eat it he might give off negative feelings about it and make her more fussy about it.

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