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Father in law makes me feel like a bad mum

(62 Posts)
Alim11 Tue 26-Apr-16 08:34:48

i have a 5 week newborn who is my first child and so I am trying my best to look after her despite not having any previous experience with babies. The other day my MIL wanted to bath my baby (which I let her do to allow her to feel a bond with my child) and whilst bathing her she notice that under her neck was slightly red and sore. She asked me whether I had been cleaning that area to which I replied yes with wipes an she told me that this was wrong and that's why my babies neck was sore I should have cleaned it with cotton wool. I immediately felt like crap as I didn't mean to hurt my baby . I actually wanted to cry I felt so bad but anyway after that discussion i thought that it was all over but 20 mins later my FIL confronts me about it and asks me why my babies neck is red and I explained I think it's from using wipes not cotton wool but he implied I was a lier and that it was because I wasn't cleaning my baby. I felt really awful because I have been cleaning her and I felt confused because I don't know how it's happened . It's not hurting her and she seems fine and it looks like little spots rather than a sore. This whole situation makes me feel so embarrassed upset and like a bad mum. My FIL also went on to say that if I can do this then what is next ... I feel like everyone thinks I'm incapable of being a mother ... Know I'm sensitive but I won't even let my baby cry for one second and I don't leave her side at all. My in laws have 8 kids so they always try to give me parenting advice. They tried to discourage me from BF saying that my baby is still hungry but I think it's because they want to be able to spend time with the baby without me. They tried to get me to give my newborn water because they said she's dehydrated ... I feel like they are constantly trying to take control of my baby .... My MIL is even trying to persuade me to go back to work ... Again because I feel like they want the baby... When I go to their house .. Which they guilt trip me and my husband to do pretty much 3 times a week which is just too much to me.. They always pass my baby around and hold her which sometimes I don't mind but other times I get such bad anxiety and I can't say anything because I don't want to act irrational. I know my baby feels anxious to because she ends up crying and being very unsettled. At times my in laws do have good intentions but other times they just are over bearing.... I don't know how to stop feeling upset about this ... I'm not a confrontational person so I can't say anything back ... My husband isn't really supportive and I don't have any family because they have disowned me...

JontyDoggle37 Tue 26-Apr-16 08:38:52

Rashes under the neck are normal and it's not from using wipes, they just happen. You are doing better fine, but your husband needs to seriously step up and you need to make it clear going to then 3 times a week is not on. If you need help with the confrontation, speak to your health visitor and get her to have a word with your husband about how he needs to support you. flowers

Alim11 Tue 26-Apr-16 08:44:29

Thanks Jontydoggle I feel so stupid for even making this all into such a big deal ... But I'm just feeling so emotional about it all.. I think it's the constant going over to their house which is just making the situation worse because it feels like I can't escape.. Thanks for the advice

NapQueen Tue 26-Apr-16 08:45:16

Rashes under the neck is totally normal. We used to call dds the "cheesy milk line" as nothing we did could stop the milk from pooling there and irritating.

You need to tell dh to tell them to back the hell off.

And drop the visits down to once a week!

red333 Tue 26-Apr-16 08:47:09

Oh I feel for you. Don't worry too much about the rash on baby's neck. All 3 of my children have had this. It's completely normal.
Does your dp know how they are treating you?
I'd make excuses and not go round to theirs as often if I were you. As hard as it may be, try and get some distance from them.

cookiecooks Tue 26-Apr-16 08:50:35

I've never known a baby that doesn't have a dribble rash when small. Most do.

Your baby doesn't need water and if your baby being passed around makes you and see uncomfortable then this needs to be stopped. YOU are the mother, YOU get to say who holds your newborn and when.

Please, stop letting these people make you feel anxious. Your DP needs to step in here.

CocktailQueen Tue 26-Apr-16 08:51:03

The rash is totally normal until babies can hold their heads up a little more! Probably cotton wool and water is better for cleaning than wipes, but hey ho.

Your in-laws sound overbearing and far too involved. They need to back off. Shame your dh isn't more supportive - I like Jonty's advice to have a word with your hv and ask her to speak to your dh.

Drop your visits to your in-laws right down - can you tell them to stop criticising you/give them a hard stare/tell them you're doing things your way and that works for you? Anything to make them stop. They sound pretty awful. Sounds like you're being a great mum - have confidence in yourself. flowers

cookiecooks Tue 26-Apr-16 08:51:21

And it is a big deal, they are making a really special time in your life hard for you.

Alim11 Tue 26-Apr-16 08:52:00

I told him about the situation and I tell him when they do other things that really upset me but he's always like u need to open ur mouth and just say something back. His family are very fiery but I wasn't raised like that I had a very small non confrontational family so I don't really know how to address this type of situation.. I am definitely going to start making more excuses to not go around I just don't want to offend them and as my family have disowned me and they have been on the whole so good to me I just feel awful distancing myself and offending them but I really want to enjoy my first child and my family without them ...

farmers Tue 26-Apr-16 08:52:49

I think your ILs are being quite controlling. If you don't feel comfortable telling them you need to cut down visits then your dh needs to step up and tell them.
Your FIL implying that you would hurt your baby because of a rash is not ok.
Sounds like you're having a tough time flowers

Twinklestar2 Tue 26-Apr-16 08:55:42

Are you English, OP?

Cut the visits down to once a week and try and ignore their advice. Easier said then done I know.

Gentleness Tue 26-Apr-16 08:55:49

You are being bullied. Your mil might have a point about wipes being harsh on some babies' faces - but it's a mistake that many of us made and learned from and certainly not neglect. And your fil has no right to speak to you like that - what a bully.

Their advice is dangerous about feeding your baby water. They aren't listening to you or respecting your role. And to top it all off, you are at a vulnerable point - 5 weeks is often the time that it feels like nothing is ever going to get easier, then suddenly over the next couple of weeks, it does. If it were me, I'd go non-contact for a week to 10 days and do it all your own way. Don't answer the phone or door to them. Let your dh explain why. Be bold and brave for yourself and your baby.

expotition Tue 26-Apr-16 08:55:50

You sound overwhelmed not because being a mother is too much for you but because you're not being given the chance to get on with it! Sounds to me like your instincts are really good. If you need unjudgemental advice try here, other mums of newborns, or your health visitor.

Meanwhile tell your husband he needs to be acting as insulation between you & your PIL as you have more important things to do than spend time in a stressful environment just to stroke their egos. Agree with PP re asking HV to speak to him if he doesn't get it. And don't be pushed into going back to work before you're ready!

Gutterflower Tue 26-Apr-16 08:57:13

If you don't stand your ground now It will only get worse as your baby gets older. They may have raised 8 children but that doesn't make them better parents than you. She is YOUR daughter and YOU know best for her thanks

Gutterflower Tue 26-Apr-16 08:57:17

If you don't stand your ground now It will only get worse as your baby gets older. They may have raised 8 children but that doesn't make them better parents than you. She is YOUR daughter and YOU know best for her thanks

bushtailadventures Tue 26-Apr-16 08:57:32

As has already been said, rashes in the creases of her neck are perfectly normal, she's too little to lift her head up so it gets sweaty and milky under there no matter how many times you wipe it.

It sounds to me like you are doing a very good job with your baby, and your in-laws have some very old-fashioned views. For instance, back when my DD was a baby we were told to give them boiled water to drink in between feeds, but that was 28 years ago and things have changed a lot since then. We were told to put them to sleep on their tummies too, now we know thats not such a good idea. Maybe firmly tell them that things have changed since they had their children and if they want to be involved grandparents they should do some reading? I know when my DGD was due, I read up on things again, just so I knew what not to do/say.

Give your dd a huge cuddle and tell her she's lucky to have such a good mum smile

HumphreyCobblers Tue 26-Apr-16 08:58:49

You are being treated extremely badly, how DARE they criticise your perfectly normal parenting?

They are bullies and have no right to pick all over your choices. It sounds awful sad So sorry you are having to put up with this.

BadDoGooder Tue 26-Apr-16 08:58:59

You have had great advice from pp.
The only thing I will add is that it seems really common for controlling relatives to try and get you to stop BFing, so they get to do more.
Do not listen when they say baby is dehydrated/not getting enough, whatever.
If you want to BF then you should have support, not snide comments.

They sound horrible and I would avoid them as much as possible.


aprilanne Tue 26-Apr-16 08:59:00

listen you are doing fine just ignore them and what are they talking about .WORK god if i got myself washed and the house half tidy when my first born was 5 weeks it was a bloody miracle .

Gentleness Tue 26-Apr-16 09:00:49

Sorry - didn't mean to imply the wipes caused your babies' rash. The rash is normal. I was just looking for something true about what they'd told you! I know you say they've been good to you, but this isn't good. When dh tells you to speak up, maybe ask for his help in planning it and support in doing it.

DippyHippy2016 Tue 26-Apr-16 09:01:58

Agree ^^ you're not being given a chance to get on with it. Don't let pushy IL's ruin your first newborn days/weeks/months. Best of luck flowers

havalina1 Tue 26-Apr-16 09:06:02

Oh you poor thing.

Get a few stock phrases and actions ready to blurt out even if you don't feel the confidence of them yet.

Occasionally say a firm 'no' when they ask to hold your baby.

When they suggest she's hungry, say something like "nope, she's perfect" and SMILE.

when they suggest water - keep saying no no no.

I had the IL also who constantly suggested the baby was hungry.

Your h is right though you have to say something back.

But I especially wanted to say you're doing such a lovely job exactly as you're doing it! You are caring for her! Enjoy figuring your baby out thanks

Alim11 Tue 26-Apr-16 09:07:11

Thank you everyone for your advice .. I actually feel so much better and stronger now .. No dw I understand gentleness I am going to give baby wipes a skip from now on ... It's so hard being a first time mum I am really enjoying looking after her but it's definitely over whelming and you don't want to do anything "wrong" per say. Btw Twinklestar2 my husband and I are from an asian background

ArmfulOfRoses Tue 26-Apr-16 09:08:14

If you or your husband aren't quite up to directly challenging them with your own views, might you find it easier to use the health visitor as a buffer?
As in "HV says that's perfectly normal"
"HV says we both need more rest so we will be staying at home"
"Hv says that isn't advised anymore, isn't it funny how things change"

RabbitSaysWoof Tue 26-Apr-16 09:08:37

I don't know what it about other peoples babies that brings out the possessive child in grown adults. It's ugly.
I echo other posters, they are not being good to you, you are being bullied. I think the Hv is a really good idea.
Congratulations on your baby.

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