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AIBU or do I have to just put up with this? MIL related

129 replies

Pinkflipflop · 23/04/2013 19:46

MIL is going to help with childcare when I return to work so I know we are very lucky. However despite the fact that I am 33 and by no means a spring chicken MIL treats me like I don't really know what I'm doing with my ds.

He's 11 weeks and was talking to my dh about starting him Farley rusks now as 'a little taste' despite me stating that he will not be weaned until 6 months
She is going to stop medication prescribed by the GP for my ds as she doesn't think he should have it
She tells me to hold my ds differently to how I am, e.g. If he facing away from me and well supported she'll say oh turn him round
She stands over me when I'm feeding him and just watches, which I find so annoying.

He has really dry skin on his face and it's itchy, so I use the babygros with scratch mits as I don't want his face scratched, I came home today with a big old bleeding scratch on his face. I asked why the scratch mits weren't on and she said she was afraid his hand would go deformed Hmm. I tried to say look there wouldn't be scratch mits on the babygros if there was a danger of this but, no I'm wrong.
I know he will get lots of bumps and scratches in his life but I was very clear that I didn't want his hands scratching his face. FWIW I always allow him to use his hands to touch and explore and feel but then I cover them up again. I'm rubbish at trimming his nails, so I know the scratch issue is partly my fault.

I'm probably very PFB and my ds is only 11 weeks. I was away for 2 days on a work course so that's why she was with him.

I'm worried about how ill feel towards her when I go back to work (she will be doing 1 day a week). I really don't want my wishes ignored.

Do I have to bite my tongue? She said to my dh today that she has had lots of children so she knows what she is doing but she hasn't had my child before!

How do I get around this without falling out? I would never be disrespectful to her as my dh adores his dm and I adore him iykwim?!

Sorry for the ramble!

OP posts:
Pinkflipflop · 24/04/2013 09:33

Going to read the replies back over again but I'm still so wound up about this. I had a nightmare about it last night.

Part of me feels I'm going to shoot myself in the foot if I me toon anything as I will be turning my back on free childcare but then my sanity comes first.

I'm rally surprised at her being like this as we previously had a not bad relationship, although we weren't really in contact that much.

Babies expose flaws in relationships I suppose!

OP posts:
Maternitygold · 24/04/2013 09:41

If there are issues now there will be more later on. Talking from experience... So better get another child care option and sort this out to make life easier.

AlbertaCampion · 24/04/2013 10:35

Pinkflipflop something I have learned - the hard way - is that it isn't about flaws in the relationship between you & your MIL (or in my case DM). It's about the complex relationship between women and motherhood, IYSWIM.

For my mum, every difference of opinion over medication, early weaning and the like... it was like I was slapping her very hard in the face. But the slap was less to do with her relationship with me, and more to do with how she saw herself as a good/bad mother. It was almost as if all the old insecurities & anxieties of when SHE was a first-time mother came flooding back to her. So when I disagreed with her - by BF, say, instead of FF as she did - then in her head I was telling her she was a crap mum (as opposed to grandmum). Hence the battleground.

I hope that makes sense: it's difficult to explain.

Geeklover · 24/04/2013 10:51

Alberta so well put. And absolutely spot on.
When I realised this about my ex mil it allowed me to deal with it so much better and now even though she is ex mil we have a fantastic relationship and I see her every day.

okthen · 24/04/2013 14:10

Alberta you are exactly right, and I'd never looked at it that way before!

DontmindifIdo · 24/04/2013 14:20

alberta - my mum was the same, she sees every different choice I make to her as a direct insult to her parenting, except she's quite vocal about it so it's really damaged our relationship, I can't be doing with feeling I have to do it her way in order to keep the peace when I think she was wrong.

That's something else you have to keep in mind to the "well DM/MIL raised 2/3/4/10 DCs and they've turned out ok" well yes, lots of people raise DCs without killing them or doing any serious long term injury, but amongst my "mummy friends" now I look at some who make different choices to me and I still think what I'm doing is better. I wouldn't say it to them, but I wouldn't do things their way just because their DCs are surviving. (and not all that bad, but things like letting DCs watch a lot of TV, letting them eat a lot more junk than I allow DS, not doing anything like arts and crafts, not reading them stories regularly etc - these things aren't going to cause massive problems or endanger DCs, but not really the best option)

Your DS will probably be OK with your MIL, but if you want and can afford better than OK, then you aren't being selfish to do that.

Oh and re the placebo comment re the medicine in the feeds, how does that work with an 11 week old baby who doesn't know they are being given this medicine?

aufaniae · 24/04/2013 19:30

It's not about different parenting styles, it's that she doesn't respect your opinion enough to do as you ask.

She can't be trusted, and also doesn't know or care about modern safety advice (e.g. wrt early weaning). Therefore she's not a suitable child care provider for your DS.

I'm sorry, this can't be easy. But in your shoes, letting her look after my DS would not be an option. You need to find another way.

Have you tried looking at //

seriouscakeeater · 24/04/2013 19:41

Shock second MIL thread where I think its my MIL being discussed and Shock at her blatant disregard to medication,weening,scratch mitts and anything else you have decided on!!

My Mil assumed she would be the care provider when I went back to work. She was promptly put straight.

Seriously if you can afford it (scrape every last penny!!) send your ds to a professional care provider!!

feesh · 24/04/2013 19:50

Don't give her a trial period, it'll get messy. I think this is a pretty straightforward one really.

If his medication happens to be Omeprazole, missing a dose can really mess things up for the next few days, speaking from experience! The stomach goes into overdrive with acid production if a dose is missed and it can be quite messy!

Good luck, but you really have to grasp the nettle with this one I think.

zipzap · 24/04/2013 21:46

You could try talking to her about how she made decisions about how to look after her dc in the early days - how she found info, did she listen to her MIL &/or Mum, research the latest and most up to date info, felt she just knew what was right for her baby etc etc.

This is not to be nice and fluffy. Oh no. It is to garner info to turn back around on her.

If she wanted the most up to date info - then say why, when you want exactly the same thing, is she denying the same thing to her dgc - the current most up to date info. And find out exactly how things had moved on since her mother had her and then when she had her dc. Point out that for some of your friends (even if they are just other Mnetters from posts made on here!) have said that advice has changed between their first and most recent dc in the last 2/3/4/5/etc years, things do move on quite a lot as there is a constant flow of babies and people watching to see what can be improved or thinking of new ways of doing stuff or new gadgets or new research. It's not just doing things differently from her - point out that more than likely you will be doing things differently with any future babies too! ie it's not personal.

If she listened to her MIL/mum then does she really want her dgc being brought up with methods that are now 2 generations old (and what - 40-80 years old? depending on how old you both are!) when things have moved on so much in the mean time. Oh and is she going to stop taking any medicine that has been developed in the last 40-80 years as she seems to want to deny that to your dc.

if she felt she knew what she was doing - then why can't she understand that you too feel you know what is best for your dc - others respected her right to do that when she had her dc and now it is her turn to show you that respect too.

etc - figure out all possible different combinations so you have an answer to swing it round to work for you in the conversation. Do this before the conversation though, so you don't get trapped without an answer for the main points whilst talking to her!

And still don't let her do regular childcare, sounds like she is much too set in her ways, she needs to prove that she will listen to your wishes before she can do that. This is merely a starting point in that journey, also to try to show that you are an equal and not to treat you like a little girl.

Mamacj · 24/04/2013 21:55

Write her a letter- try to make it work- you will need her at some point as nurseries will send them home with some illnesses. I have a ds and will be a mil. My mil really annoys me but I try to treat her how I would want to be treated

ProphetOfDoom · 24/04/2013 21:58

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bobyan · 24/04/2013 22:26

CautionaryWhale - "The medicine would depend entirely if it has to be taken every feed or a specific time or if it is proven to be an essential/has conclusive benefits rather than a placebo/give it a try prescription."

Do you really think that doctors write " give it a try prescriptions" for 11 week old babies if there is no actual issue? Or that the OP would just dish out some drugs to her DS if it wasn't essential?
And how the hell would a placebo work on a young baby? The whole idea of a placebo is that the person taking it responds psychologically to their condition. I'm pretty sure that OP's DS isn't imagining his reflux Angry.

Stay strong OP, if your Mil won't respect your wishes, when looking after your DS she's the wrong choice for childcare.

Hissy · 24/04/2013 22:27


Don't write a letter! It'll give her ammunition to use against you! And it's like negotiations.

Take the decision NOT to use her, and you can revisit that situation IF the circumstances permit it.

For now though? Childminder/nursery! You need to focus on getting back to work, not worrying about what will happen to your baby while he's not with you.

DontSHOUTTTTTT · 24/04/2013 22:59

Don't write a letter, don't give her a 'probationary' period, don't try talking to her ..... just DON'T use her for free childcare. You will never be happy with how she looks after your DS and it is unfair of you to put her in a situation where she will definitely fail.

CautionaryWhale · 24/04/2013 23:28

A BMJ paper published in 2007 reviewing treatment of colic examined the evidence :

"One poor-quality randomised controlled trial (RCT) found limited evidence that simethicone reduced the number of crying attacks on days 4?7 of treatment compared with placebo."

By poor quality the BMJ clarify that there were only 26 infants aged 1-12 weeks in the study and no reported details on how cases of colic were defined.

Oh that's disappointing. But surely GP's and all these other health professionals aren't suggesting or prescribing infacol on the basis of a "poor quality" small study of 26 babies? A study that doesn't define nor claim to ease colic, but refers to "crying attacks" which could potentially have any cause or be of any frequency?

The BMJ discuss two other trials that do define colic, perhaps these are more compelling.

First is a double-blind, crossover of 83 infants aged 2?8 weeks, comparing 0.3 mL of simethicone versus placebo for a week before feeds.

"It found no significant difference in colic (using the standard colic definition), when rated by carers, between simethicone and placebo (28% improved with simethicone v 37% with placebo v 20% with simethicone plus placebo.)"

So a study three times the size of the first, found Infacol was actually 9% LESS effective than a placebo at helping colic?

Let's try again.

The second study (double-blind, crossover trial, 27 infants aged 2?8 weeks) found no significant difference between simethicone and placebo (10 drops before meals, duration of treatment 24 hours) in improvement as rated by parental interview, 24-hour diary, or behavioural observation.

In fact the BMJ conclude:

"Further trials are not considered to be of clinical importance and are unlikely to be undertaken. According to the available evidence, there is no reason to use simethicone in the treatment of infantile colic."

Yet the NHS website states:

"This medicine helps relieve griping pains and colic in babies and infants which may be caused by swallowing air."

Does it NHS? Says who? Infacol themselves with their "clinically proven" claims? The BMJ disagrees!

What about reasons not to?

Let's look at the other ingredients in Infacol besides Simethicone.

Purified Water
Orange Flavour
Saccharin Sodium
Methyl Hydroxybenzoate (E218)
Propyl Hydroxybenzoate (E216)

Obviously these ingredients have been approved for use in this product, but when weighing up whether to use or take a medicine, we typically consider the benefits that can be obtained, versus any risks or downsides.

The literature surrounding infacol states that Simethicone is not absorbed into the body and thus is unlikely to cause harm (although some parents do report perceived side effects and some more here), but some do warn that Methyl and propyl hydroxybenzoates (E218, E216) may cause allergic reactions (possibly delayed)

Furthermore E216 and E218 are parabens considered controversial by some and even taking this out of the equation, has anyone considered the potential the impact to the baby's gut flora of putting a product containing fungicide, combined combined with artificial sweetener and a dollop of orange flavour in his digestive system several times per day for weeks at a time?

All for something that evidence suggests doesn't work?

What's also interesting is that there is a mounting body of evidence that probiotics may be an effective tool in reducing infant crying, including a trial that directly compared them to Simethicone:

"Eighty-three infants completed the trial: 41 in the probiotic group and 42 in the simethicone group. The infants were similar regarding gestational age, birth weight, gender, and crying time at baseline.
On day 28, 39 patients (95%) were responders in the probiotic group and 3 patients (7%) were responders in the simethicone group.

And it's not an isolated study,two more studies highlight effectiveness of probiotics for colic.

So why then aren't GP's, health visitors and midwives prescribing and recommending them instead of something seemingly no more effective than a placebo?

Taken from a blogger who imho raises good points. I am not expecting you all to agree but we can agree to disagree without the Angry

Bobyan I have no idea what medicine the OP has been prescribed.
She hasn't said nor has she confirmed what her baby has. Not my business. I used the word placebo badly as I did not mean placebo effect on baby rather than the effect on parents. Do I feel relieved/better if I give my child Calpol for a fever? Short answer yes - it feels like I am doing something - even though there is a train of thought that we should let fevers run as the body's natural defence mechanism.
Ditto for cough medecine use.

I am not saying colic is imagined thank you very much - as stated my DC1 had it - I am saying that there are alternatives to simethicone.

I do not think GPs hand out medication like sweets - far from it particularly when it obviously won't help eg antibiotics for a virus.
I am saying however that sometimes medicine is prescribed that is ineffective eg simethicone based medicine.

There are also alternatives to standard prescriptions eg breast milk will naturally sort sticky eye rather than fucithalmic acid.

IneedAsockamnesty · 24/04/2013 23:39

It's my understanding that infacol is not often used these days for reflux

BelleEtLaBaby · 24/04/2013 23:57

Ok, the free childcare thing. It's easy to think, oh I can't turn my back on free childcare.

So, pretend for a sec we're not talking about your mil, but that I've gifted you a free day a week with a childminder. Who refuses to give medication as you requested, attempts to feed biscuits to an 11 week old baby, sends them back to you scratched despite you explicitly telling her how to avoid this, and chucks them out the front for a nap. Said childminder justifies this by claiming never to have harmed the 2 other children they'd practised on.

Would you take the free childcare then?

I can't even begin to tell you how important it is for your sanity that you trust the person charged with your child, while you work, to follow your wishes. It really is hard enough leaving them at first even if you do trust them. Please do get your dp onside here - it is hard to avoid hurting her feelings here, but your relationship will quickly deteriorate if you are stressing all day thinking she is going against your wishes, then you could end up arguing regularly and seriously falling out. Tricky situation though, and I sympathise.

Bobyan · 25/04/2013 00:25

Cautionarywhale maybe you should just read the thread.
The OP hasn't said her DS has colic, so how about you start your own thread about whatever issues / agenda you have about infacols active / non-active ingredients.

YouDontWinFriendsWithSalad · 25/04/2013 00:59

Step away from the thread, CautionaryWhale Confused.

CautionaryWhale · 25/04/2013 01:45

You are correct Bobyan - the OP said the medication was anti reflux not colic. But I have no agenda thank you. Apologies if you think I was derailing but you questioned specifically about my use of word placebo and doctors handing out prescriptions. I answered in reply to that - that is all. Still do not understand your Angry - this is a debating forum after all and you think the OP should stay strong: that is your opinion. I think the MIL is being demonised somewhat: that is mine. We don't have to agree. This is AIBU not chat or relationships. I have not been unsympathetic to the OP - merely pointing out her issues with the MIL are not the worst I've ever heard. But I am clearly in the minority am the minority Wink and that's fine too.
*YouDontWinFriends' Am already backing away slowly Confused

CoolaSchmoola · 25/04/2013 01:55

My DD was given Gaviscon for reflux... It had to go in EVERY bottle or the vast major of what went in would come back out, at high velocity, and would STILL be coming out when the next feed was due.

If anyone had suggested stopping it that early I would have freaked - my DD puked milk feeds and runny stuff up constantly for ten months.

We tried all sorts, including Ranitidine (made her MORE sick!), and only Gaviscon reduced the puke.

And I constantly had people telling me 'all babies are sick' until they'd been on the receiving end of flying hot and wet and then they shut up.

I would not leave my DD with someone who does not respect me and my role as her mum. What I (and DH) say goes, end of.

Thumbwitch · 25/04/2013 01:56

Bottom line - she doesn't respect your wishes, therefore she doesn't get to do childcare. And your wishes are quite reasonable - give him the prescribed medication (not some OTC prep that you felt he might need, PRESCRIBED);
don't leave him outside the front of the house unattended (People still think that's ok, really?!); stop him from scratching himself to bits by putting mitts on; don't feed him solids yet, he's not ready...

I mean seriously, these are quite big things now when he's only 11wo. Imagine a few months down the line, maybe a year - she decides that his hair needs cutting and gets it done "as a nice surprise" for you.

Save yourself the heartache and the almost inevitable fall-out that will occur, and all the arguments that will happen between you and your DH because he refuses to go against his mother - get paid child-care.

As an aside - my DH also thinks his mother can do no wrong, raised 2 sons, blah blah. He thought that right up to the point where she nearly drowned both herself and DS1 by taking him swimming in the lake aged 3, when he couldn't swim at all, and she lost her footing. DH was, thankfully, fishing at the time and noticed that she was underwater, holding DS1 above the waterline (which wouldn't have lasted much longer) and he jumped in and saved them both. I'd said several times that I didn't want DS1 going "swimming" in the lake until he was older and more capable - nearly lost him that day through their pigheadedness.

joanofarchitrave · 25/04/2013 02:11

I agree with the bulk of the thread.

On another tack, what did your husband do when his mother advised him not to put the medication in the bottle?

Jux · 25/04/2013 11:36

My MIL was like this. Ignored medication prescribed by the doc, threw home cooked food away in preference to jars when dd was being weaned, put her on a feeding schedule when dd was fed on demand etc etc etc. it seemed that everything I said, she did the opposite.

DH would only allow family to babysit, which meant my mum or MIL. It was a nightmare. i hated every minute that MIL babysat. I'd get home from work to a screaming baby, who hadn't been fed (I only fed her a few hours ago! She's NOT ON A 4 HOUR SCHEDULE you stupid woman ), nor had dd been changed, she wouldn't have had medication when required etc etc etc.

Get proper childcare. DH and I nearly divorced over MIL's crap babysitting.

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