Post # 1
I’m a first time mom, my baby girl is 7 weeks old. Since she was born I’ve been having a bad time dealing with my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law (both in their 40s and no children). They behave as if they were the mom of my baby and I really can’t take their behaviour. Anytime we visit with the baby they comment on the way I feed her, hold her, etc. When I change her nappy they all gather around me and stare at the poor baby all the time. My mother in law always insists on feeding the baby. I can’t breastfeed, therefore I decided that, apart from my husband, I’ll be the only one to bottlefeed my daughter, since this is a moment of bonding for us. Last night, at a family dinner at my husband’s cousin’s, my baby fell asleep while we were having dinner and I put her in her travel bed in the living room. Well as soon as I got back to the dining room to finish my dinner, my mother-in-law left the table and the guests (she hadn’t finished her meal yet) and walked straight to the living room where my baby was sleeping, sitting in a chiar near my baby’s bed. I found this behaviour quite inappropriate. It’s like she took advantage of the situation to spend alone time with my baby. Moreover they’re jealous of the fact that after giving birth my relation with my mom and sisters got stronger and we help each other a lot when it comes to taking care of our children (my sisters have also small kids, one is also an OB nurse, and they’ve been providing me with advice and help since I got pregnant. This doesn’t mean I dont let my in-laws meet the baby, they see her once a week, almost every Sunday, and always have their chance to hold her, etc. It’s just that for the time being I don’t feel comfortable with them babysitting or spending alone time with my daugther. Moreover, they were mean to me in the past. They never inquire after my health when I was pregnant. At the 36th week of pregnancy I got kidney colics and spent four days at the hospital and never visited or gave me a ring to see how I was. When my beautiful baby girl arrived they were the first to get to the hospital….I might be overreacting, maybe it’s hormonal change, but I needed to vent.
Post # 3
@sasi: What does your husband say about this? If your gut is saying something, listen to it.
I’m a new mommy too but luckily my family is not as intrusive. I’m a big believer of what’s called the “polite spine”.
When they make comments about you feeding her, respond “This is they way I was taught at the hosptial by liscensed doctors. Thank you for your concern but I’m medically correct” or sometingl ike that.
If she demands to feed the baby say “I’m going to feed her now because this is our bonding time. Maybe next time you can”
As for babysitting, she is too young for them to do it. Do not be afriad to tell them ‘I’m sorry but right now that’s not possible”. You owe them no explination.
Talk to your OB sister or google how to deal with intrusive relatives with a newborn.
Post # 4
This is the first baby – first grand child syndrom. This is something that will go away with time. I’ve been through this. Its hard. Just do your mom thing and put your foot down with them. That’s all you can do.
As far as your Mother-In-Law going into the room and sitting in a chair by your baby while it slept, i don’t see what the big deal is. Maybe she just wanted to watch the baby sleep?
As far as not wanting to let people babysit and spend alone time with your baby, you will have to bring that wall down sooner or later. You can’t protect your child and be there 24/7. You are a first time mom, these feelings will subside with time.
Post # 5
Ugh! In-laws! My Mother-In-Law used to come kiss by baby’s head and hold his hands and feets WHILE I WAS BREASTFEEDING!
Talk with your husband, set clear limits according to your level of comfort and act as a team with both your families. Be polite, but firm.
Post # 6
oh sounds so much like my Mother-In-Law she even now and my son is 2 smothers him she used to hold him like she was breastfeeding him even now she does it constantly prodding and poking him and trying to take over him changing his nappy smothering him in cream head to toe because it smells nice. i remember once we where going a walk down the street with my Darling Husband Dirty Delete Mother-In-Law and Father-In-Law and she stood and the door tight grasp of the buggy for a full 10 mins while we all got ready then proceded to walk way in front of us wouldnt let me have the buggy what so ever! constantly tell me how to do stuff. i nod and agree and then do my own thing i brought up my Dirty Delete alone when i was 17 and shes turned out perfect!
just smile grit your teeth and do your own thing but if they are really annoying you you have to put your foot down otherwise it just gets worse as i know lol.
Post # 7
@mommytobee: oh god my Mother-In-Law used to do that even tho i didnt breastfeed shed be right next to me she might aswell be sitting on my knee she was that close stroking his leg kissing him etc. cant imagine how akward it would be for you!
Post # 8
Thank you guys for sharing your opinions! My husband is great but he has some problems in communicating with his parents, he knows I don’t feel comfortable with his mom and sister’s behaviour towards my child, but it’s like he’s afraid of facing them. We talked about this many times, I also told him that I often hear them making mean comments about me and my family, but he always say I misunderstood them…or that they don’t mean to hurt me… I’m the exact opposite: I always address my parents directly whenever they say or do something I’m not comfortable with….
Post # 9
@sasi: Well until their behavior improves, they can come see the baby on YOUR ‘turf’. I say for the next couple of weeks, have them come over your home to see her and make sure your family is there.