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Worried MIL is going to steal my baby?? Help!

(42 Posts)
justanewyoungmum Wed 13-Jan-16 19:45:08

Hi there,

I'm 33 weeks pregnant and currently stuck living with my MIL. I do work full time (I go on maternity leave next week, thank god!) but me and my partner just can't afford anywhere yet and the council has been no good to us yet sad.

My MIL is partially disabled. She does use a wheelchair when she is outside and is partially blind which is why I'm also concerned if she feels as though she's going to be taking over a lot - I can't trust her.

Anything I do is criticized by her and she is already trying to give me unwanted/unneeded advice about how I should bring up my child. This does sound like I'm being ungrateful but I'm not. I'm genuinely scared she will end up trying to take over from me with my baby. On the phone to my partner today I heard her scream 'How is MY baby?' and I laughed it off and said MY baby is fine, thank you. She then goes on to ask if she has kicked today.. Well duh! I'd be concerned if not!

My MIL had a stillbirth before her youngest son (my partner) who has also a girl (i'm expecting a girl) and I'm worried that she may be comparing my child to hers who sadly passed away.

I'm not sure!!

We will be living with her in her small flat for a while and I was wondering how I will ever get to be alone with my baby sad

I'm also very worried about how I'm going to feel about all of my partners family holding my baby very soon after the birth. He has a very very large family (compared to mine where I just have my mum and dad!) and I feel like I would like to bond with my child and feel comfortable with her before anyone else does? Is this wrong? Unreasonable? My partner says that his family will insist to hold her and I don't have a choice.

I don't know, anyone else been in a similar situation?

Lucy61 Wed 13-Jan-16 19:54:27

Sorry you feel that way. It can be suffocating living with in laws and parents. Adults need their own space, especially when bringing up a family. Do you think, however, that you are a bit over sensitive/ anxious. It is normal for family to want to hold the baby. Could you suggest that your partner and mother in law don't call anyone one you go into labour. That way you can inform people a few days later when you are ready for guests.

justanewyoungmum Wed 13-Jan-16 20:01:29

Thank you for your response!

I probably am being overly sensitive and anxious. I forgot to mention that I do suffer with anxiety and am completely aware of this.

I have tried to discuss with my partner about not letting his family visit straight away. I just asked for a few days to be alone so I could get comfortable with everything. His response was that he can't hide anything from his family and that I have no choice, they are coming and I will have to let all of them hold my baby.

This is my first child. I am scared! A little anxious and to be honest he does have 6 siblings, all adults with their own families who will all be visiting.. That's a lot of people. I already feel overwhelmed and she's not even born yet. sad

Maybe I should just leave the room for an hour and take advantage of the time to get in the shower or something??

I don't know..

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Wed 13-Jan-16 20:03:22

She isn't comparing your baby to hers, bereaved mothers aren't all child snatchers desperate for another baby [hmmm]

She sounds very normal, you will get unsolicited advice from everyone from health visitors to the woman behind the checkout in boots. Just smile and nod and do it your own way.

It is very generous of your MIL to share her small flat with you, her son and your baby, it cant be easy for any of you, but you need to remember she is doing you a huge favour.

This baby is your partners too, of course he wants his family to hold his child.

You need to chill out a bit, I get that it's overwhelming, we've all been there at some point or another, but you're stressing about feelings you haven't even had yet.

OwlinaTree Wed 13-Jan-16 20:13:46

You will be able to bond with your baby even if others hold her, don't worry. For the extended family there will be the initial excitement then they will all back off and leave you to it.

I'm sure your mil is not trying to replace her child, I expect she is excited about having a baby in the house.

Just smile and nod at the advice and then do what you want to do! Good luck

Lucy61 Wed 13-Jan-16 20:26:09

Op I would speak to your midwife about your anxiety.

April2013 Wed 13-Jan-16 20:42:05

I think a lot of women with a new baby need a bit of time with their baby before the visitors arrive, at least a few days but preferably much more - I think your partner should be helping to give you what you need which is a bit of space straight after birth, a perfectly reasonable request, you and the baby are the priorities not anyone else. Send them all some pics of the baby and say you will be in touch when ready for visitors. Speak to your midwife she may have some ideas to help you get what you need, if you are planning to BF this is a good excuse, you could just say you need to get BF established first. I think anxiety about playing pass the baby and overbearing mil is totally normal when you are being bossed around like this, trust your instincts. It is totally acceptable to decide not to leave your baby unattended with your mil if you don't feel comfortable. When the baby arrives I recommend getting out of the house as much as possible to get some space from your mil.

OpheliasWeepingWillow Wed 13-Jan-16 20:45:21

Going against the grain here if you don't want anyone else to hold your baby then don't give her to them! It sounds easier said than done but it's not pass the parcel... Sounds like you need to practise some assertiveness, in the nicest possible way

Junosmum Wed 13-Jan-16 22:03:54

Do you plan to breastfeed? I've found one of the perks being that baby HAS to come back to you. And incidentally, babies take AGES to breastfeed, and I don't like to feed in front of people. (The last 2 points aren't true, but I use them to my advantage when needed).

aimees75 Wed 13-Jan-16 22:04:23

I felt the same with DD1. Didn't realise how much I would not like other people holding my baby for too long. I was struggling to feed and bond and couldn't take it when all the people were fussing around DD. I think it's really important that you have a few days perhaps with your baby before you get a deluge of visitors, so that you can rest and get breastfeeding and bonding going, and it's not unreasonable at all to expect this. They sound a bit overbearing tbh and you don't want people playing pass the parcel the parcel with the baby when you want to to be feeding her. I think you need to put your foot down with DH and be a bit assertive.
Regarding your MIL, try to be grateful for the space she is offering you in her flat, but also let her know who's baby it is. She can only take over if you let her.
Best of luck

CumbriaMum91 Thu 14-Jan-16 03:34:19

As someone who's MIL reported her to children's services (false allegations that went nowhere) and court to attempt to take my DD (because her daughter's won't speak to her I assume) I am totally understanding where you're coming from.

She told me I was ungrateful for her letting me stay in her house when I said she couldn't take my DD places or feed her certain things etc. Moving out as soon as possible is really beneficial. I was made to feel like I had to "give" her time with my child out of "gratitude" for the help she was offering. It was horrific and I regret letting it happen massively.

I'm not very confident so don't like upsetting people however you start to grow a better backbone as a mum smile

I would be telling the midwives you aren't ready for visitors regardless of what your OH says. I hate 'pass the parcel' with newborns and I won't accept visitors unless there's only a couple per day. Your OH doesn't get to play the "tough that's how my family do it" card because you and baby are his family now. Tell him they can see baby when you're feeling up to it, if they've had their own kids they'll know how crap you feel after birth and hopefully understand better than your OH x

unimaginativename13 Thu 14-Jan-16 04:29:23

If you work full time and your partner does (?) why can't you move out and why would the council help you?

Some women just say things like that- I have a big in law family and they are very overbearing. It goes after the first bit, then they start complaining that your never available when they pop round. Fine by me!

I go to their houses when I feel like it so you can leave when I want.

BadlyBehavedShoppingTrolley Thu 14-Jan-16 05:11:59

I think it's a bit bad form to complain about the disabled woman who is putting a roof over your heads! You say you are 'stuck' living at hers, well no-one made you live there, surely? You could have just waited before starting a family until you could rent a place of your own? She's helping you out, stop looking for problems where there are none and be grateful she's supportive.

Or move back to your own parents.

BadlyBehavedShoppingTrolley Thu 14-Jan-16 05:19:26

I also think you are over-thinking how many people will want to hold this baby. If your partner has 6 siblings and they all have families of their own I'd imagine they've seen/held enough babies by now and most will not be clamouring to get there on day one, two or three and grab it out of your arms quite as much as you think they will.

rosieliveson1 Thu 14-Jan-16 05:24:34

The mil situation can be managed. You can stay on your room with your baby a lot of the time. You will both be extremely sleepy at first so this song be a hardship. After the first few weeks you can get out yo baby groups or just get wrapped up and go for a walk or to a cafe for some space.
It is also surprisingly easy to keep hold of your baby for the majority of time people visit. Be form with your partner that you also want his family to meet the baby but not all at once. Don't offer a hold straight away and preempt requests to take her with a "you can have a hold in a minute of you like" Once someone has had her for a while, you simply take her back gently and say " ooh what a lovely cuddle with auntie whatsername". Pop baby back in basket or bouncy chair explaining that you don't want her to build a habit of sleeping whilst held or take her upstairs to feed. I found actually saying I wasnt comfortable feeding I front of people was better than just nipping off.
Finally, if I ever did get a bit twitchy about anyone holding baby for too long, I just reminded myself that they'd be gone soon enough and took my opportunity to drink a hot cup of tea! Good luck.

rosieliveson1 Thu 14-Jan-16 05:25:38

Sorry for awful typos. Holding wriggly baby!

NerrSnerr Thu 14-Jan-16 05:38:57

I think you need to cut her some slack. Living in a small flat with a newborn won't be easy for her and she's doing you a huge favour. Not sure why you're waiting for the council if you both work, you've had about 7-8? months notice that you're having this baby so do you have any savings for a rental deposit?

Artioo2 Thu 14-Jan-16 10:15:04

A few people having a cuddle with your newborn isn't going to stop you bonding, honestly. It sounds a bit like you're worried that other people holding her soon after birth will mean they bond with her before you do, and in the nicest possible way, this is nonsense. You're her mum. She already knows your voice above anyone else's. She'll start to know and love your particular smell as soon as she's born. A few cuddles can't break this. And I bet your MIL won't be there wanting a cuddle when the baby wakes at 3am!

Besides, how much she or anyone else holds the baby is up to you. You need to work out some ways of being polite but assertive, maybe planning some things to say to people beforehand. "I'd love you to have a cuddle a bit later but we're just going off for a quiet feed now." "I'll have her back now, thank you." Statements, not questions or requests.

And everyone gives unwanted and unneeded advice when you're pregnant or have a new baby. It's just a fact of life, and very natural for an older person who has done it all before and wants to be helpful. You just have to nod and smile politely and continue to do what you think best. Don't get annoyed or stressed by it, let it slide over you. My MIL was obsessed with pushing the virtues of giving our newborn ice cubes or water in hot weather - I just nodded and smiled and stuck to milk. She was trying to help.

NNalreadyinuse Thu 14-Jan-16 10:24:18

It is not up to your partner to tell you what you have to put up with or not. When he gives birth, he gets to choose. In the meantime, he should respect that you are the one who is actually giving birth and whose hormones will be all over the place.

I would move back to my own parents house, at least for a couple of weeks post birth.

Remember, she is your baby and if you dont want her passed around, you have every right to say so. Staying in your mil's house doesnt give her rights to make parental decisions.

LeotardoDaVinci Thu 14-Jan-16 10:27:25

I can vividly recall the panic I felt when my dh took my new (first) baby to hand to his mother (15 years ago). I had to sit on my hands to stop myself from snatching her back. It was kind of irrational I know now but that can be how it is after having a baby. I'd have handed my second to a passing stranger by the way wink. I'm not a great fan of this huge pressure on mothers to breastfeed (as it can be difficult and stressful) but I bf my PFB and it did always give me the excuse that I had to take the baby to feed her.

And yy to that point above everyone gives unwanted and unneeded advice when you're pregnant or have a new baby and it's not always helpful, kind or constructive but you do need to let it wash over you. I cried buckets over a random stranger saying loudly to another that it was irresponsible of me to have my baby out on a day like this (cold, sunny winter's day). Seems crazy now that I got so upset about all of it. Your baby will be your baby for a long time - you will be the most important figure in her life so don't worry about being usurped.

firesidechat Thu 14-Jan-16 10:33:00

I know this is a bit of a side issue, but disabled people aren't automatically unsafe or untrustworthy parents. My dad is partially sighted and my mum is blind. They successfully brought up 3 children with no help and far fewer accidents than I managed with my own children.

And I agree with some others on here , she is doing you a huge favour. It doesn't give her rights, but it does mean you all have to compromise to make it work.

TheSecondViola Thu 14-Jan-16 10:37:33

Move out of her small flat which the poor woman has been good enough to share with you, then you can have all the control you want. You sound absolutely horrible about her, she's doing you a huge favour and you are calling her a child stealing witch who is of no use to you.

BathTangle Thu 14-Jan-16 10:45:41

I think you may need to point out gently to your DP that you and your baby are his PRIMARY family now. He needs to back you up - although I totally get that the situation is complicated by the fact that you live with your MIL.

Can you have a conversation about how he is going to balance out your NEEDS with the WISHES of his extended family (note the difference between needs and wishes)? I imagine that if you want some professional backup your midwife or health visitor might be able to help you, would your DP would take the information better from a professional, or would he think they were interfering?

BertrandRussell Thu 14-Jan-16 10:57:32

What a horrible thread title.sad

mouldycheesefan Thu 14-Jan-16 11:04:14

Move out. The way you speak about mil is vile. She is providing you with accommodation as you are unable to provide your own. You are very very disrespectful. Not sure why you think you can't trust her, you don't say. But she is blind and disabled so she can hardly 'steal ' the baby. She sounds excited is all. You chose to have a child without being able to provide accommodation for it, you are very lucky mil is so kind as to put you all up. Count your blessings.

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