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Aggressive mother in law & great grandma

Posted by on Oct. 28, 2012 at 11:26 PM
  • 39 Replies

My baby boy is 6 weeks old and we have been visiting family with him more often lately.  When we visit my mom it is a lot easier for me to tell my mom what id prefer her to do and not to do with him. My mom is also a lot more chill with the baby and sits on the couch with him because she knows i feel more comfortable that way since hes still so new.  Everytime we visit my mother in law and great grandma i am so stressed out.  My husbands mom will walk all over the house with him out of my sight and invite a bunch of friends over to see him (and doesnt let me know).. she wont even tell me when he goes poop because she doesnt want me to take him away.  ( i know this bc once i finally had him she said oh yeah i think he pooped through his diaper) How could u forget to tell me somthing like that! My husbands grandma is 90 years old and is also so aggressive.  I am breastfeeding and when im in the process she will huddle over me and be like can i have him yet, is he done yet, let me have him!  She will also try to throw him over her shoulder and try to burp him, i always have to watch him because he swings his head around.  I have told her once before to please not burp him like that because it makes me uncomfortable and she continues to do it.  How can i approach them in a nice way to not do some of the things that bother me?  Everytime i see them (which sometimes is for hours) they wont let me hold him.  i know i know its my baby, but i dont want to be rude! Has anyone had an aggressive mother in law or family members? i dont want to be stressed out everytime were there..my husband even gets stressed out listening to his mom and grandma arguing over who gets to old him and for how long..

by on Oct. 28, 2012 at 11:26 PM
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Replies (1-10):
I_told_you_so
by on Oct. 28, 2012 at 11:36 PM
1 mom liked this

I can tell you that it will get better.  The newness will wear off and they won't want to keep holding him so much as he gets bigger and starts to move.  However, with that will come a whole new challenge.  If they won't listen to you now, they will be correcting him and he will be having a bunch of adults telling him what to do as he gets older.  Unfortunately, the great grandma is 90, so she won't be around forever, but his mom will be around longer.  You're going to have to get aggressive yourself and take him back - you can do it without being rude by saying - I need to check his diaper, or I need to see if he's hungry or whatever.  As for the problems as he gets older, you and your husband are going to have to provide a united front and tell them - you are the parents, and you are the ones who are disciplining him.  If they see that he's in danger or if they are babysitting, then they can step in, but if you are there, you need to be the ones doing it so that he will respond to you, and see you as the authority figure.  When they do step in when you're there (and they will) a gentle but firm - thank you, but I'll handle it, is sufficient.   That's what my daughter does when I say something to my grandson.

BraydensMom20
by on Oct. 28, 2012 at 11:50 PM

I agree i need to get aggressive myself or speak up more, but it bothers me how they dont listen the first time.  I will say i need to do this or i need to do that.. i was even holding my baby with a pillow under his lap and my husbands grandmother ripped the pillow off my lap and said hand him over! and she was smiling.. i didnt know how to say let me just hold him.  I feel like if i limit the amount of time they have with him than they will be even more aggressive once they do see him.  ugh..

CoeyG
by on Oct. 28, 2012 at 11:55 PM
4 moms liked this

You are the one who needs to chill out.  Your mother in law I'm sure has carried a child or two around the house...One of those kids is your husband.  If you are afraid he is going to ppop when she has him make sure she takes along an extra diaper...I'm sure she knows how they work too.  As for his grandmother, you might just want to keep an eye on her and make sure she is sitting down.   

PrettyLady80253
by on Oct. 29, 2012 at 12:12 AM
1 mom liked this

Go over to the mother in law's place just you without the baby. It is easy to discuss how you are feeling and you would be heard better. I had similar problems with my mother in law we didn't really get along well. when I finally went to her for a one on one It was difficult to stand my ground on how I felt and try not to step on toes but in the end I got a whole lot more respect, compromise, and a really good friend that I can talk to about many things.

 

gacgbaker
by on Oct. 29, 2012 at 7:43 AM
1 mom liked this

That is not a fun situation to be in!  I've found that in some cases with my in laws, I need to let go of things and be understanding that they do things differently then I do- in other cases, I need to put my foot down and let them know there is a line and they may not cross it.  I would talk to your husband about your feelings and agree on a line and establish that line with them but talking to them, then following through with what you decide. 

Bleacheddecay
by on Oct. 29, 2012 at 9:47 AM

This. *hugs* Good luck with these women. I wouldn't put up with such behavior.

Quoting gacgbaker:

That is not a fun situation to be in!  I've found that in some cases with my in laws, I need to let go of things and be understanding that they do things differently then I do- in other cases, I need to put my foot down and let them know there is a line and they may not cross it.  I would talk to your husband about your feelings and agree on a line and establish that line with them but talking to them, then following through with what you decide. 


nuts4scouts
by Bronze Member on Oct. 29, 2012 at 10:28 AM
1 mom liked this

Have you stopped to think about WHY your MIL and Great Grandma are so anxious to hold the baby?

Is this the first baby in the family? 

How often do they get to see the baby?

Keep in mind, they are NOT trying to abduct, or hurt your baby. They LOVE their GRANDCHILD!

Take a breath and relax.

You get to hold your child 24/7 (does dad get any 1-on-1 baby time?). They get to see/hold their grandchild for a few hours (at the MOST)  once a month? Once  every few months? Once a year?

While Great Granny might be getting a bit unstable on her feet, both of these women have raised children of their own, and are not complete inexperienced idiots.

RELAX, and let the family enjoy their baby time. 

LoreleiSieja
by on Oct. 29, 2012 at 10:32 AM
1 mom liked this

I bet this is the first grandchild? Or at least the first one in a while.. they sound overly excited and eager!  I can understand their enthusiasm, yet also hear your frustration.

You can do two things.  First, you should "lighten up" just a bit.  They've raised children before - and they aren't really doing anything dangerous.  You have the "first time mom" fears - maybe a bit overprotective.  Talk with your pediatrician and find out if any of their behaviors are actually dangerous. If not... it's really okay to walk around the house with the baby, or burp him over the shoulder. 

Next, you need to decide WHICH battles you do want to fight.  This is an important tip for any and all family conflicts.  There are some things that are just not worth fighting over.  Then, there are some that are VERY important.  I would be worried about all the guests and visitors - that's not good for the baby.  They might be sick or coming down with something, and for a newborn, this just isn't wise to expose him to so much.  Also, I would be upset if I wasn't allowed to hold my own child!  These are battles worth waging.  Then, loosen up about the burping and walking thing - unless one of them is very unsteady on her feet - like the great-grandma - if she needs to walk with a walker, then she should not be carrying the baby!

Discuss this calmly with your husband.  Tell him how you feel.  Together, make up a list of "rules" and write them down.  You might make a list something like this:

1) when I nurse my baby, I want some space and privacy.  Please back off and let me have my space.  I need about thirty minutes, and then if the baby is sleeping, he will lay in his crib/portacrib for a nap - undisturbed!

2) when we visit, I'd appreciate it if you'd limit your other guests - it isn't good for the baby's health to be exposed to so many possible germs and viruses.  Send your neighbors photographs - but limit their visits until he's older.  

Thank you!

Ater making such a list with your husband, send it to your inlaws.  When you are getting ready to visit them, ask them if they recieved the list, and what they feel about it.  If they aren't willing to listen to you, then apologize, but tell them that you will wait until the baby is older before you visit them at their house again.

You'll get their attention.  Be firm, be kind, be loving, but be firm!

Good luck.

http://raisingcreativechildren.com/nail-biting/


piwife
by on Oct. 29, 2012 at 11:04 AM
I would sit and talk to them. If they don't listen then stop going there
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BraydensMom20
by on Oct. 29, 2012 at 11:08 AM

i know that i will be excited and anxious to hold my son or daughters child one day, so its not that i dont understand WHY their acting this way. and trust me, i take advantage of the times we go places to see family to relax, its that i dont find the experience relaxing.  they see brayden (my son) a lot. we live 5 min away from them. they have seen him more than my mother.  i like to see my husbands grandmother bc she is so old and i want her to have time with him, she just doesnt listen when i ask her to not burp him because his head flings around and being 90 she is not that strong anymore. and as for my mother in law i dont find it comforting when she runs away upstairs with the baby for a while and not tell me where shes going or what shes doing. maybe im over protective but i like to keep an eye on my child especially when hes only 6 weeks old.

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