A first-time mom writes in looking for advice on how to deal with a situation concerning her mother-in-law.
A first-time mom from our community asks:
“I would love to get some advice about my mother-in-law. A little something to keep in mind, she lost her 30-year-old son- my husband’s brother, to suicide seven years ago. She and I haven’t had a great relationship, I am very independent, and as soon as her son and I got married, I felt like she wanted me as her daughter to do things with. We did a few things, but we just are totally different people; it was always awkward. I always feel like she resents me for this.
We continued to have weekly dinners, the 3 of us until I was eight months or so pregnant. As soon as I had the baby, she constantly was asking when she can keep him at her house, which made me feel uncomfortable. I had nightmares of her stealing him. First-time mom here. I eventually returned back to work, and she watches him at her house two times a week. Fast forward to now, a year later, she keeps asking when he can stay the night at her house, He’s only a year old, and my husband and I both do not feel comfortable yet, but she keeps pushing. When she watches him during the week, and I try to ask questions about how their day went and how he ate, she has responded, “I ‘ll let you know if he doesn’t eat well” or “I’ll let you know if theirs a problem”.
There’s a big communication gap between us and definitely thinks that’s why I’m so uncomfortable letting him stay with her, she doesn’t tell me ANYTHING. My friends suggest she thinks to be “his mother” while in her care. She constantly says how he looks like her son and is always giving us his old clothes or baby blankets instead of my husband’s. I hope I do not sound rude because I genuinely care for my husband’s brother, I just would like unbiased advice on how to go about dealing with this situation and not make it worse with her.“
Community Advice For This First Time Mom Struggling With Her Mother-in-law’s Care Of Her Baby
To see what advice the Mamas Uncut Facebook community has for this first time mom, read the comments of the post embedded below.
The responses to the first-time mom focus on doing what you are comfortable with. You can read some of these responses below.
“It sounds like she’s overstepping. I don’t think you’re wrong at all. If you don’t feel comfortable then don’t do it! She isn’t communicating as she should, she’s being dodgy with her answers. You have every reason to feel the way you do, just because she has “years of experience” and has kids of her own doesn’t mean she knows how to care for YOUR child overnight. She’s only the grandparent.“
“I think there are many comments that are mean saying shes ungrateful or something similar.
I think that if you are uncomfortable about something that is ok..just respect each other..i think communicating with her along the lines ‘thank you for watching and taking care of him but as his mom, I just simply want to know what and how he ate or how his day went even if there is nothing wrong’
When asked about staying the night ‘ i don’t think we are ready for him yet to stay, maybe sometime later’ and around the same answer any time its asked. Although she is grandma and wants to spoil and spend time with the baby she still needs to respect the mother with what she is comfortable with whatever it is person to person. I do hope everything will be fine. Blessings to everyone“
“No overnights until you are ready and let her know she will be first. I never asked my son’s sitter questions they just told me how he did that day. I think she is relating her grandson to her deceased son. Ask to see him in pictures when he was a baby. Giving baby clothes from the deceased son does seem odd. I never kept baby clothes, I handed them down to others then my sister when she got pregnant. Let her talk about him. Maybe she is still stuck in a ‘black hole’. My son was his Dad’s clone when he was young. His Dad passed when he was 32. Maybe MIL needs a pet to care for and love on those days grandson is not there. It is surprising how much they can help. Just a thought.“
I think the situation sounds quite sensitive for both you as a first-time mom and for her as a first-time grandmother. It may be that you are reading a little more into her actions than you should, but whether you are or aren’t, it would be good to just be honest and let her know how you feel about your baby sleeping over anywhere right now. With the questions you would like to ask about how the day went when she is watching the baby, you may just have to let that go. As a first time mom, I understand that it can be very hard, but you will need to pick and choose your battles now and in the future.
Try to look for the positive and don’t dwell on any of the negative. It can take a long time for a grieving mother to heal and having a baby to shower her love on can be quite helpful.
Do you have any advice for this first-time mom? Leave a comment to help another mom out!
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Dawn Onye is a Certified Lactation Counselor. With this certification comes education and her own experience helping mothers and babies with breastfeeding. With her CLC, she is required to keep herself up to date on the research studies, conferences, and training related to breastfeeding. She chose this field not just because she is an advocate for the benefits of breastfeeding, but because she sincerely loves working with mothers and babies. Her mission is not to push breastfeeding on all mothers and babies, but to help all mothers reach the goals they have and to provide the expertise for them to do so. The most important thing in life is to do what is best for your family without judgment from others.
Dawn is also a wife and a mother. She has four children ranging from 12 to 19 years old. She can help many families with tips and tricks she has learned along the way. She loves to read and write. Her favorite seasons are spring and fall, although she does enjoy summers while spending time with her family. There has been no greater accomplishment in life for her than being a mother.
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