Are you looking for how to deal with your mother in law when raising a baby.We often hear that the relationship dynamics between a husband and a wife change when a little baby enters the equation. The new entrant makes sure that he takes up the bulk of his parents’ time, effort and energy, thereby changing their relationship with everyone around them!
No matter how cordial (or otherwise) your relationship with your Mother in Law has been so far, it is sure to change with a new baby in the picture, and it may take a turn for the worse. Since time immemorial, raising children is a topic where the generations tend to differ. With more educated mothers and newer research happening in this field, modern Moms follow a child rearing approach that most of her older counterparts are likely to disagree with.
One common sore point between the young and the old is when it comes to baby’s food, as if it wasn’t stressful enough already! For example, an older family member or the Mother in Law may think it’s adorable to see the youngest family member smearing his face with a chocolate cream biscuit, and they may even let them feast on quite a few of them! However, the mother may be horrified at the amount of sugar her little darling is ingesting! Such differences in opinion usually cause many clashes between the generations, especially between the new Mom and her Mother in law. But don’t worry; even this seemingly impossible situation can be resolved with a little understanding and help from our side! Learn now to deal with your mother in law while raising your new born baby!!
How to Deal with your Mother in Law when Raising a Baby
1. Understand That They Mean Well
Problems arise when each person believes that he or she is absolutely right. The fact is that the baby’s health and safety is topmost on everyone’s mind, and no one would want to take a chance to do something that might harm the baby. So the first step in dealing with older relatives is to understand and firmly believe in the logic that they mean well and are really concerned about the little one’s well being. They are just trying to help you do the right thing based upon their experiences and opinions.
2. Pediatricians To The Rescue
Take your Mother in Law or other relatives along with your husband for regular pediatrician visits. Discussing baby issues together will help you clear doubts and will establish a more streamlined approach for the family to care for the baby as a unit. No one will want to go against the doctor’s advice and risk the little one’s health!
3. Say NO to Cold War
It is quintessential to communicate whenever there is a difference of opinion between you and your elders. No matter how easy a cold war or a “silent treatment” may seem, it will only worsen the situation and create an unhealthy atmosphere at home. Have an open discussion with your relatives without accusing or sounding condescending and provide reasons behind your actions, especially if they go against established traditional norms.
4. Keep An Ice Pack Handy
There we’ve said it! It’s important to keep your cool to maintain better relationships and a calm mind, which is essential for your overall mental health. A new baby is stressful as it is, and the last thing you need is breeding resentment waiting to erupt like a volcano!! So the next time you feel like exploding, use the ice pack and play it cool – for your sake as well as your baby’s!
5. It is always “OUR” Baby
It is only natural to understand your concern for the well being of your baby. But at the same time, it is important to realize that the others in your family love your baby too and want to help. Let them participate in activities like massaging, bathing, putting the baby to sleep etc. This will help them feel valued and useful, and they’ll appreciate you all the more for it, rather than thinking of you as a “NO” Machine! Involving them in caring for your baby will enhance their bonding with the little one, and as we all agree, babies can’t get too much love!!
When you’re dealing with lack of sleep and a continuous cycle of nappies and feeding, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and any advice or offers to help can seem like interference. But all you need to do is change your approach a little and accept the help offered; we know how badly you need it! Helpful, supportive elders can be a great boon to a new Mom and baby, and a great relationship between this trio can ensure a happy and loving environment for everyone at home.
Have you faced problems with elders in your family when it comes to raising your child? How did you deal with them?
“Honey Nagpal Lalwani is a trained Counseling Psychologist. Due to a highly complicated pregnancy, she had to give up a full time career and switch to being a Full Time Mom. Now her world is defined by her twin boys. She believes in the Modern school of parenting that is thoroughly backed by science and logic. She questions the norms and works her way out to a more creative form of parenting, which is now not just her job, but also her passion!”
My daughter is 13 months old. All along, it’s been my parents who’ve supported me in looking after her- be it diapering, her food (we cooked it ourselves for hygiene reasons until she was 11 months old), bathing, teaching things, overall development etc etc. MIL comes to visit and play when she wants to. Else is mostly happy with her phone, tv etc. Nobody from inlaws has ever changed her diapers, bathed her or for that matter they don’t teach her things. Only apply their old fashioned thinking. I have all along ignored this- for instance, as a newborn I was told not to hold the baby else I would spoil her etc etc. husband doesn’t support at all- hardly spends time with the child. It’s like I thrust the baby on him so I can make her breakfast or get her clothes ready. He’d rather drink his tea hot than hold the baby. Despite this, I’m expected to adhere to their family values of the child being vegetarian. They say they turned veg by choice which doesn’t seem to be the case because they’re super super adamant that the child not even eat egg. I’ve mentioned a million times that the Pediatrician has advised egg be given to avoid vitamin b12 deficiency. Also it’s an excellent source of protein. But no, no change in mindset. Husband also doesn’t even go for Pediatrician visits. I want the best for my child. But all this makes me frustrated.
Hi Dear, First of all I would appreciate your patience and your search for the best for the baby. You proved to be the best dear 🙂 Its time to continue to be patient.The only solution for diet change is to take your hubby or mother in law with you while you go for pediatric consultation. Try to be happy and positive always. Everything would change during a period of time. It’s time for you to enjoy the motherhood.cheers 🙂
I am dealing with worst of the situations.. my daughter is now 2 and i rejoined my office after maternity leave when she was just 6 months old. ever since my daughter’s birth my MIL is with us for most of the time…but she knows nothing about raising a baby. she, even today cant put on her clothes and change her pants. She keeps on placing things here n there, mess-up all her toys and we keep on searching for it for hours…m being so organised hates messing things up…but…a single reaction from myside creates havoc in family…she is always busy in reusing unusable things…i have kept a nanny from morning to evening, who does all household works till the time she is home, even she says that my MIL has no concern for my daughter..she never cooks anything for my daughter..although she says she can’t sit without work…but can’t sit and play with my daughter (except the time when we are about to come home from office, just to pretend she is playing with her)..although she is educated but never reads or writes and thing…neither teach anything to my daughter…my office is also very demanding and daughter too…husband supports, but he is having some health issue so spends most of his home time in meditating or roaming around in car with daughter…and get frustrated if i discuss d problems m facing with his mother..he says she can’t change herself..u start changing urself.
m really very stressed out with daily routine life in dealing with office responsibilities, household activities and raising a highly demanding toddler…we cant go outings too cause my MIL cant travel long distance in Car and neither cant stay alone at home even for 2 hours…it makes her freak out…
Dr Hemapriya says
These are rather tricky situations Jyoti and I feel for you. The little things you can do in such situations is to keep yourself pampered and happy, if he doesnt like to go out, take some time out for yourself, pamper yourself and take good care of yourself perhaps have some friends around once in a while and play with the little one to cheer yourself. Read lovely books if time permits. I wish you patience in such situations.
I am currently going through the same thing and i am glad to know that i am not the only one . You are right no one can replace the mother. 🙂
Hi Manasi, Prisha,
I am a mother of a two month old baby and my in-laws have been living with us ever since we had the baby. They have been extremely supportive and caring, but at the same time driving me nuts as they interfere and do not give me space or time to bond with my baby. From giving her a bath to playing with her to putting her to sleep (overnight) I don’t get to see my baby except when it’s time for nappy change or feeds! Initially it was fine, I needed the help and I thought it would be nice to involve them and let them bond with the baby but my MIL just doesn’t know where to set her boundaries. And my husband just doesn’t t care as he wants to keep his mum happy. This has in fact started to create a cold war situation with a very unhappy atmosphere in the house. Either I will go crazy or will burst out mad one day or things will turn really sour between me n my husband!
ANCHAL JAIN says
I am a mother of 10months baby and live in a joint family.
My mother in law and I before having a baby had a wonderful relationship!!
But boom starting from my Delivery at hospital I realised she is a mother in law and not mother, in bad pain whole night she slept well beside me ,without caring !!
Came home ,my mother in law followed untouchable attitude for 45days a mother in law was a friend before didn’t care to sit beside and came for emotional support,but it was ok to touch my little one , I faced same thing +she kept a maid at day time people used to take care of the baby, I just waited to see the baby, and at night I had to hold him most times , my maid n mother in law liked to sleep .
without my concent he got head massage and taking out milk from breast right after 6 days !!
I had the worse time !!
But honestly she didn’t wanted bad of me n my baby she just followed the tradition!! She did the best she could as per her knowledge,which is not applicable now a days .
We belong to a Morden age , we aged married late so we are 2generation away from her !!
In your case she wants you to rest and heal , now when you have healed be soft and tell her now I want to do all stuff of baby I am healed , I want to enjoy my mother hood this time wouldn’t come back !!
I get angry too sometimes but it makes thing worse ,calm Down and handle softly .
And for husband they are rare species of supportive husband, many guys are mummy’s boy !!
U have to solve your problems yourself!!
u r right , change has to come from within.. I will try to be more positive and will try to change my mindset. Thanks for your advice.
Honey Nagpal Lalwani says
The first thing i would like to share with you, is that to feel positive and happy, the change has to come from within first. Focus on the positives you gain out of your MIL taking care of your kid – that ways you can focus on making more funds available for your kid’s future. Any day, your MIL can take better care of your baby compared to nannies and day care people. There must be many such aspects where your baby being in the hands of your MIL is a way better option than you leaving your job too. Try to keep them in mind, instead of allowing negatives to settle down. For a positive change, the thought pattern needs to be modified.
As for the baby being attached more to her, i would like to represent a relative case here. Your baby will definitely be more attached to your MIL, compared to the attachment of other children to their grandmothers, where the mothers may not be working full time. No one can ever replace the mother – and rest assured, your baby loves you a lot more than what you can guage. But it is of crucial importance that you do participate in your baby’s activities regularly – may be you can give him a quick massage and bath, or may be you can feed him and put him to sleep on your own on a daily basis. Engaging the child in play is also crucial. Do not let the baby develop a habit of being OK with your absence.
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My mother in law always takes away my baby from me! My baby is going to be 1 year in few days!
She thinks she is THE MOTHER
As my daughter spends most of the time with her grandma, she pushes me away when I hold her n turn towards my in law.. my heart breaks!! I go n sit with them! But baby seems least interested in me!
She doesn’t love me anymore..
I feel depressed.. Donno what to do! I donot get time to be with my baby.. it’s very rare that she plays with me!
My in law does this on purpose.. n when baby turns her back towards me , my in law gives a smile ?
Dr Hemapriya says
Hi Smitha, you need to find ways to spend time with your daughter. You need to talk to your mother in law openly about spending time with your child and sought out any issues with her.
It’s not always about food or health. But there are so many things wherein in laws interfere.. like I always feel my LO will get more attached to them if I continued to work.
I get really frustrated at Times. Please advise how I can think positive and avoid such situations..
Hi Manasi! I can totally understand what you are going thru.. but trust me the child always knows the difference between his mother and the world. I have gone thru this phase wn my elder son was born. i was over protective and obsessed about him. After he turned one I had to leave him with my mom in law and go for work. It was a hell of a time..i used to cry and crib all the while. but i realised atleast my child is in safe hands and most importantly with someone who luvs and cares about him. That gave me relief..atleast he is not some crech. I know mom in laws do show that everything is done by them.. ignore..come home take your child..do everythng possible for him! Spend quality time with the child..trust me tho the child wud luv his sweet and loving grandparents..n enjoys his play time with them..he wud still wait for his mom to return home and hug him! U would soon notice that the child would go restless if you are late even by 5 mins! chin up dear…no one can replace a mother!
Thanks Deepthi..I am feeling much better.. I am planning to do some daily activities for her and spend qualitative time with her… and u r right no-one can replace a mother…