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Do your in-laws drive you mad?

(20 Posts)
dogonwheels Wed 21-Oct-09 17:12:55

I've just been to stay with my in-laws and hated it. My baby is 7 months old and I've been gradually weaning him for a month, but they kept trying to feed him things like prawn crackers and Tesco's trifle. It really annoyed me. Do you think they do it on purpose to wind us up? They also questioned me when I went to see DS because he was crying through the monitor. Suggesting I should let him cry, but talking about it when I was out of the room. Then they told me that the organic pots of food I'd brought (rather than start cooking in their kitchen) were probably full of 'secret' animal products. I just wanted to grab my baby and run away. Does anyone else have this and how do you cope?

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 21-Oct-09 17:19:29

What did your DH have to say about the food, was he with them as well?.

He needs to speak to his parents, he cannot pass the responsibility for dealing with them to you alone.

Setting firm boundaries with them is a way forward.

claricebeansmum Wed 21-Oct-09 17:23:41

This sounds so so familiar.

I went through a joyous faze when everytime we went to stay with the in-laws I went down with a migraine under the stress sad.

Is he their PFBGS? My DS was and as far as MIL was concerned I did - and still do - everything wrong. She is mad as a box of frogs and how my DH actually survived is a miracle.

I tend to now just to not get involved and let everything wash over me. I ignore MIL stupid comments and just smile politely. I did go through a faze of answering back but that did get a little unpleasant.

Hassled Wed 21-Oct-09 17:25:33

I think people are too quick to assume that it's deliberately done to wind the DIL up - I think mostly it's a generational thing - child-rearing was so different a generation ago. You just have to learn to ignore politely - or agree with everything they say and then do the opposite. Whatever makes your life easier - but don't be too quick to take it personally.

DutchGirly Wed 21-Oct-09 17:27:49

Set VERY firm boundaries and stick to them, you need the support of your DH though.

You have to make it crystal clear what is acceptable or not.

As for feeding prawn crackers to a 7 month old baby, I would be annoyed too!

DuelingFANGo Wed 21-Oct-09 17:29:54

ah but it's the law for grandparents to feed children things like prawn crackers and chocolate donchaknow, or so I have been told by other people on this site! wink

Jux Wed 21-Oct-09 17:30:30

DD's 10, healthy as anything, bright, intelligent, but oh boy have I got everything wrong from the word go. I'm amazed she's still alive considering I'm the one who's looking after her. According to them I have never, and will never, do anything right.

Luckily, MIL won't drive this far (150miles) on her own, sFIL won't drive simply to see us, dh won't drive there simply to see them, but will (occasionally) take dd to stay with them for 2 nights at most. I don't have to go with him so I don't. Oh shucks. I never see them.

stuffitllllama Wed 21-Oct-09 17:30:31

The MOST important thing is to not take it away with you from their house or from their visit. If you think about it afterwards it starts to burn away at you. This doesn't matter to them of course but it matters enormously to you. Don't let them spoil the time you have with your baby. I mean, when you're on your own, at home. Don't start eg checking the labels of your organic food and that kind of thing.

Attila is right about the boundaries. Big mistake I made was to keep quiet and smile. If you say early on -- no I don't do it that way -- or something like that it can really put them off their stride.

They've had babies and they think they know what to do. It's hard when you're experienced to watch someone do things differently. I sympathise with them, but I sympathise more with the Mum, who has no emotional energy to spare for this kind of bothersome bilge.

claricebeansmum Wed 21-Oct-09 17:33:14

Often what keeps me going is the thought of getting my own back on DS wife when he has one! gringrin

I am going to only feed GC chocolate.
They will clean their teeth in cola.
We will entertain them in amusement arcades!

DH and I are soooo looking forward to grandchildren!

Jamieandhismagictorch Wed 21-Oct-09 17:37:59

>>>They've had babies and they think they know what to do. It's hard when you're experienced to watch someone do things differently. I sympathise with them, but I sympathise more with the Mum, who has no emotional energy to spare for this kind of bothersome bilge.

That's a really good point stuffitt, and I agree with Hassled that it's not necessarily done to wind you up. it's just a shame some people (not just MILs, and not all MILs) don't think before they speak.

I think some people just feel very threatened and dislocated when other people do it different to them. OP, I'd say, set some boundaries but pick your battles. It will stress you out in the end to try and control every little thing (easier said than done with you first baby, I know).

bigchris Wed 21-Oct-09 17:42:02

you will just learn to develop a thick skin over time

i find myself muttering to myself in the loo 'only 24 hours to go' lol

just remember what they say is just their opinion you dont need to do what they say because it is your baby not theirs

dogonwheels Wed 21-Oct-09 17:47:33

Yes, unfortunately I am thinking about it afterwards. We got back on Monday and I am still raging. I am trying to rationalise it, but finding it difficult. I just want to rant! DH is with me on this. He firmly said no to the prawn cracker and I intervened on the trifle! It's the principle that gets to me though, that MIL wouldn't think to check or ask first. Perhaps I am naive.

Like you say stuffit, I was so exhausted because DS wouldn't sleep in their house I was running on empty already. I think that makes things seem worse.

I might follow you jux and stop visiting. MIL kept telling me to go to bed, but i couldn't relax. House was full of people fussing over DS. Also I wouldn't do what she told me on principle, perhaps we are as bad as each other!

And yes it is indeed their PFBGS and they live in northern ireland so hardly see him.

LilianGish Wed 21-Oct-09 17:57:53

What stuffitllama said.
I think it's par for the course - imo we rarely have this with our own mothers because our own childrearing techniques are either similar to theirs or we don't feel so harshly towards them if they suggest something different. As a previous poster has said, a lot of the time it's a generational thing. As the mum of a ds (and I am one too) you have all this to look forward to from another perspective when he eventually gets married, has children and his wife wants to leave the baby cry/feed him prawn crackers and you want to talk about her when she's out of the room!

MadameDuBain Wed 21-Oct-09 18:06:06

Mine do drive me (and DP) mad although they are actually not critical re childrearing. They are just very self-absorbed and have little time for DS, and expect us to put up with their awful stinky dogs leaping all over us, and I hate their awful falling-down junk yard of a house that I think is going to collapse on us all - although despite living in this mess, MIL will have a fit if you put a cup down without a coaster. Plus they have a weird relationship and we have to listen to them kvetching about each other...

But MIL in particular always praises my mothering and says I am a natural, which is so nice of her. I have never had a single criticism from her (unlike my own mum hmm).

diddl Wed 21-Oct-09 18:09:10

I don´t get on with my ILs, we are just poles apart.

They have never tried to tell me what to do, offered advice or feed the children anything without checking first.

But the time I wasted analysing everthing they said/did.

Until I thought, FFS, woman, you´re an adult, you´ve managed to give birth, so grow up.

How much time do think they spend thinking/talking about what you say/do after every visit.(None!)

Also, wittering on to your husband about his parents isn´t nice for him either.

I think there are some who do it on purpose to wind up, others think they are being helpful,and others frankly haven´t a clue any more!

Although ours checked with food, they would happily have let them play with something like a sharp knife-because they didn´t want to upset them by taking it away[rolls eyes emoticon]

Fortunately we had no such qualms about causing upset.grin

And to this day, they have never been left alone with them!

Jamieandhismagictorch Wed 21-Oct-09 18:20:04

>>But MIL in particular always praises my mothering and says I am a natural, which is so nice of her.

MadameDuBain That is really nice smile

dogonwheels Wed 21-Oct-09 18:28:46

I've been thinking about it and all your comments and realise there probably is more to me reacting so much to this.

I think I've taken it to heart because I don't feel very confident, not just in parenting, but perhaps because i've been at home for months looking after DS I have lost a sense of who I am/was before I had him.

I am taking this as a sign that I need to start doing something for myself and think about returning to work. I'm sure I have too much thinking time.

Just to defend myself though, I'm not going on about ILs to DH...just ranting to everyone else!

Jux Wed 21-Oct-09 18:56:43

You may be right. It was a problem I had - too much time to think with too little to think about (I had been in that position before I had dd anyway, as my job really wasn't challenging me, so though I worked pt after dd was born, I still had too little to think about).

You need to give yourself something to occupy your mind during all those hours of happy but intellectually empty activity!

NanaNina Thu 22-Oct-09 00:12:18

I am a mil and a GM and when my kids were babies, it was the norm to feed them bits of this and that, the same as the adults were eating. I didn't subscribe to this and didn't like them having sweet stuff etc especially when they didn't even know what it was. I well remember seeing people putting chocolate on very young babies tongues for instance. My mil and fil used to go on about putting rice in the bottle and getting them to "eat what we eat" from a very young age. I used to feed my babies a lot with jars of baby food (no freezers in those days to freeze the ice cube thingys that my GC have) and my mil was very opposed, saying it wasn't proper food and she never used them etc etc. We have a photograph of my eldest son at about a year old with his GPs (I must have left him there) sitting on his GPs lap holding a half
eaten chocolate bar!! They obviously waited till I was out of the way, but what the hell, it didn't do him any harm - mind he is approaching 40 and loves chocolate!

My friend has memories of her mother slicing up a Mars bar to give to her baby........my parents did like to give the kids treats but were always sensible and maybe a very small packet of sweets occasionally.

I agree that sometimes these things rankle with young mothers more than they should, but it's easy to understand why this happens. Agree that a few words like "oooh don't think I like him having that" etc should usually do the trick. The ILs might grumble about you after but you won't be thereto hear it!

I see on these threads that lots of GPs seem to want to feed babies with sweet things and other junk and I can't imagine why, other than it is a hang over from the way they used to feed their own children.

diddl Thu 22-Oct-09 09:06:11

If things "rankle more than they should", might I suggest it´s because DILs have minds of their own and want to decide for themselves what to fed baby and when?

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