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Mother in law... And new baby! Please help

(23 Posts)
firstimer30s Tue 05-Nov-13 19:42:33

Ok, my mother in law is coming to stay for 2 weeks (2 weeks!) about three months after baby is due.

She is strong-willed, opinionated and sorry, mean. Most of her opinions are about what I could/should be doing better (taking better care of her son, managing the house better -whatever that means - spending less, even though I work full time etc)
Anyway, you get the picture.

There is no way out of it. Anyone got any tips for dealing with this? If she lays into my parenting tips (which she will) I will flip. Or cry. Also, her trip will be when I'm just returning to work and I don't want her to intervene with the childcare.

Sorry for long rant. Any help appreciated.

Mitchell2 Tue 05-Nov-13 19:55:07

I don't have any direct experience on this but my mother (from O/S) came and stayed with my sister when she had her baby.

It wasn't the smoothest ride but I think that Was mainly because my sister and BIL wimped out and didn't set the ground rules/expectations.

I think you need to plan plan plan - before she arrives set out YOUR intended schedule and get her to tell you what she is wanting to do (over and above just hanging out with the baby!). Ensure that your partner is 100% behind you and ensure all the messages come from you both not just you.

Good luck!

SweetPea86 Tue 05-Nov-13 20:04:00

First of all hats off to you, I would have a break down if my mother inlaw stayed for a day let alone 2 weeks.

When we moved in to our house we spend six months renovating before hand not once did she offer any help then once we moved in she came around. My mum walked around and praised us for all the hard work were ad my mother inlaw walked around and TOLD us how she would of done it.

This is my first baby and quite frankly I'm quite worried about mother inlaw. She's the type who GIVES her opion asked or not lol

Now that you know she's staying for 2 weeks just try and tell your self it's only two weeks. ( I know not day) you could speak to your hubby and if she does criticise make sure he is at hand to put her in her place. If he's any thing like my fella he will bury his head in the sand and let her say things.

Try and bite you lip and reframe from kicking off for the pure fact it will look bad on your be the bigger person. As irrating as they can be she prob just means well,

Is this your first baby

SweetPea86 Tue 05-Nov-13 20:06:48

Sorry bloody iPad and auto correct on things hope it made some sense lol

I meant to also say stand your ground if you have a routine stick to it don't let her change things. Your house your baby smile

DIYandEatCake Wed 06-Nov-13 04:57:01

You might find it's better than expected... At least 3 months gives you time to find your feet and be more confident in your own parenting. I was pleasantly surprised that my relationship with mil improved after having dd (though I did recently post a thread worrying about how to cope when she's at our house whilst I'm in labour - she's looking after dd when I'm in hospital....!)
The best thing I did was to get her talking about dp when he was a baby, and how early parenthood was for her. Yes you'll get told how her babies slept through the night from 3 weeks and never cried and were eating roast dinners at 3 months... But it was a bit of a bonding experience for us, having something in common (and after I asked her how she managed to keep on top of the housework and she admitted she had a housekeeper back then, she went a bit gentler on me!).
Definitely agree to plan the time a bit, so you're not sitting about getting on top of each other too much. And let her help in ways you don't mind - pushing the pram out on walks, playing with the baby, whatever you're comfortable with (think about this in advance and be proactive in offering her chances to help in ways you don't mind - you have some control in that way). Good luck!

Lavenderhoney Wed 06-Nov-13 05:25:12

Will you be at home or work? I'm not clear from your post. If you are at work, where will your baby be, is she looking after him/ her?

If she thinks she is coming to take care of the baby, you need to know.
Is your dh in agreement with you that she is difficult?

LittleBairn Wed 06-Nov-13 11:16:32

If there is no way out if it then you need to be firm with boundaries straight away so she knows how its going to be regarding your DC.

I would also make plans like baby music group, mums & baby groups, swimming class and make it clear you are going to these alone that way you have time apart.
Is there any family near by or any tourist attractions they could visit? To keep them busy a day or two each week?

SaucyJack Wed 06-Nov-13 11:28:47

What is the problem with you flipping? You don't have to tolerate being spoken to like a naughty child in your own home if you don't want to.

Inglori0us Wed 06-Nov-13 13:10:16

Make it very clear to her how things are done with your baby in your house, and chat to your dh so he's on board and will support you.
2 weeks may seem like 2 years but at the end of each day you'll be a day closer to her leaving! Can you plan activities for the weekends in advance as this will make you feel more in control?
My mil was (slightly) better than expected when I clearly asked her to help with specific things. Try not to let her get under your skin. It sounds like she will say things that'll piss you off, so be prepared, take lots of deep breaths, and try to let it wash over you. Just keep saying to yourself "only x more days!"
Good luck! Try not to worry too much until the time comes.

firstimer30s Wed 06-Nov-13 13:20:03

Thanks! I'll be going back to work part time and will have a nanny. Hopefully she won't fire her in my absence or something insane like that.
My Dh knows what she's like but he still thinks she's wonderful, the fount of all knowledge and just a sweet woman who we should try to make happy because it's hard to be away from your kids.
I have flipped at her before but it didn't end well! She's a proper tough nut.
Also, she was a fervent career woman, but of course thinks I should "let my career take a backseat" for the sake of Dh, kids etc!

firstimer30s Wed 06-Nov-13 13:20:50

Ps I like the suggestions of planning lots of activities and having a schedule set up before she comes! Good ideas!

TheFabulousIdiot Wed 06-Nov-13 13:24:57

get yourself involved in some kind of antenatal group. look for breastfeeding groups and baby massage classes. Sign up for them so that while she is staying you know you will have days where you will be booked up and so can send some time out of the house and with other people.

I don't mean you have to be out all the time, that would be rude, but at least make sure the message is given that you do have a life and it will be continuing while she is there.

Also - is your DH/DP going to be taking time off during her visit to help keep her entertained?

TheFabulousIdiot Wed 06-Nov-13 13:26:09

Also make sure the childcare is firmly set in place, could she come earlier? Surely coming at a time when you will be making the transition to working mum is the WORST time for her to be there?

TheFabulousIdiot Wed 06-Nov-13 13:27:47

just seen the bit about the Nanny.

How will the Nanny deal with the transition? How will she deal with the potential upset of having your MIL there when she is trying to bond with your child?

Lavenderhoney Wed 06-Nov-13 17:09:36

Does your mil know you have a nanny coming? Does she know the nanny has full power?

More importantly, have you told the nanny? As she may think mil is there to spy on her and supervise and it could all go badly wrong.

Can't your mil come another time? Because apart anything, I would hate to come home and find my mil there telling me how my baby didn't miss me, oh no. And frankly just being there at such a potentially difficult and emotional time.

BummyMummy77 Wed 06-Nov-13 17:31:50

I was a maternity nurse (sometimes nanny) for 18 years and have to say mil being there was the worst possible situation.

I don't want to sound awful but it would be something that would make me take another job over that one. You ought to let her know or will be starting on the wrong foot. I left a couple of short term mat nurse appointments as I just couldn't do my job properly with mil around and didn't have the heart to tell them to back off.

It's also really important if you see her as a long term nanny that she gets to establish her routines and bond with baby too.

perfectstorm Wed 06-Nov-13 20:01:40

When you say "there is no way out of it" my jaw dropped slightly. Erm, you live there as well. You are partners, not employer and employee. Your DH has no right to set out the law on these things. A few days perhaps, but two weeks? It's easy for him to insist she's lovely, when you are the one getting crap and he's Golden Boy! Why should you take that from anyone in your own home?

If he wants that happening he needs to take annual leave and be there to look after her and stop her making your life a misery.

Brucietheshark Wed 06-Nov-13 20:04:51


For her or you and baby.

This will not end well, 2 weeks is madness. Is this your first DC?

Lavenderhoney Thu 07-Nov-13 05:06:01

Two weeks is too long. Have you got a big house? I'm sorry, but it is not going to end well.

There is a way out of it. You haven't had your baby yet and you have no idea how you will feel. How did the idea even come about? Has she stayed before for that long? Say its not set in stone and tbh she should just come for a weekend, thanks, or not at all.

Even if she was your best friend, its too long.

What's she going to do all day, because it won't be cleaning whilst the nanny takes care of her grandchild. And when you get home from work, you will have to listen to a lot of talking when you will be tired, stressed and worried. Plus potentially awake all night with your baby, unless your dh plans to do that? Or will he hand that over to mil and she have the baby in with her?

annielosthergun Thu 07-Nov-13 07:22:08

I live overseas and had my mil stay 2 weeks when my baby was 4 weeks. It was quite tough as I was still finding my own way but I know mil really appreciated the opportunity to spend time with the new baby. I wouldn't do it that early again though as I do think it's easier once your routines are established and you are more confident. I also have full time live-in help and I know she felt very pushed out and a bit 'dominated' during this visit (also when my dm was there too tbf) as we also were still working out how I wanted things done so I suggest really making sure your nanny is clear on how you want things done before mil arrives - and also make sure she has some good strategies on how to handle mil! Good luck - it will be over before you know it!

firstimer30s Thu 07-Nov-13 09:32:50

Thanks for raising point about nanny. MIL already has her flight booked and it means a lot to hubby. She has cut down her time to ten days and we're going to see if she can get a hotel for a few days.

I will seriously re-think nanny point and give her my support before MIL comes. I might even consider giving her time off or thinking of some alternative ways to manage it as you are all right - having a MIL and a nanny in the same house is a recipe for disaster!

TheUnstoppableWindmill Thu 07-Nov-13 09:37:41

A tip fr

TheUnstoppableWindmill Thu 07-Nov-13 09:40:43

Sorry- stupid phone!

A tip from teaching (managing difficult kids!) would be to have a 'script' in place so that you have stock phrases to repeat when you need to challenge her. Things like 'This is how I'm going to feed/bath/cuddle my baby' or 'That may have been the advice in your day but now things are different'. Just repeat them as necessary. Helps you to stay calm and stops you from getting tangled up in arguments.

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