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Advice from Grans please

(51 Posts)
Youngun2011 Mon 18-Jul-11 14:21:10

Hi, I’m a new mum-to-be and wondered if I could seek some advice from Grans please?

I genuinely love my parent in laws but sometimes feel my MIL is a bit pushy (in a nice but stern manner)

She likes us to go around to their house as often as possible – which we do, but it’s hard when we both work long hours. So I invited them round to see the nursery which we have just finished but she said it’d be easier for them to come round when I finish work for maternity in a month’s time. We live 15 minutes away.

I was a bit shocked she didn’t want to visit as she’s so excited about baby … but I have noticed that every time we talk she goes on about taking baby out (without me), days out (without me) and last time we spoke she told me where they’d ‘decided’ to take baby whilst I get on with things around the house. I know it’s important for Grandparents to spend quality time with their grandchildren but I’d like her to ask if it’s ok – not let me know how it will be.

Plus, I don’t want to stay in and do house work whilst they go out – in fact I’d quite like to join them and have some adult company whilst getting my baby out and about.

I don’t want to sound unappreciative but I want to get to know my baby, and feel like she just isn’t interested in me yet can’t wait to take my baby from me.

My husband admits she’s hard work sometimes but that she doesn’t mean to make me feel this way.

How do broach this subject without upsetting her – or am I best leaving it until baby arrives and just see how it goes?

Just feeling a bit overwhelmed.

jangly Mon 18-Jul-11 14:27:15

Definitely leave it until the baby arrives! You will find you can handle it much better when it actually happens. Try not to worry in advance. Now is definitely not the time. smile

You will probably appreciate them taking the baby out for a little while now and again. You will not do housework during that time! You will want to rest.

You sound a very understanding person. I think you will handle it just fine. smile

crimson Mon 18-Jul-11 14:49:20

Are you planning to breast feed baby? If so, mum in law won't find it easy to do all the things she seems to be plannig! Sound awfully pushy to me. I'd agree about not worrying too much until you've had the baby, but I'd get a firm idea in my head about what you will allow and what you won't. I won't say boo to a goose when it comes to myself but I was amazed at how assertive I became when it was anything to do with my children. It might be quite handy to have someone prepared to push baby round the block in the pram a few times to get him/her asleep [I've walked a few miles doing that over the past few years]! You'd think the best thing to say to someone who's just had a baby would be 'what would you like me to do to help?' Good luck, anyway. Sounds to me like you'll make a super mum.

greenmossgiel Mon 18-Jul-11 14:52:02

I agree with jangly to a large extent. Is this baby going to be her first grandchild? If not, you may be able to find out how she is with other grandchildren and their mums or dads? It can be a difficult time, but it IS about you, your husband and your baby. Your baby's grandma is going to be playing an important part in its life, but only on your terms. Some mothers-in-law can be a bit controlling, as some of us know! Can I sense a little lack of confidence on your own part here? If she appears a bit stern, then that's her way of approaching things, but she doesn't need to be that way with you. You are a woman in your own right (and about to be a mother in your own right). She'll likely be a good one to have on your side, but may need a little 'softening'! Good luck! smile

Youngun2011 Mon 18-Jul-11 15:08:13

Thanks for your kind words. Yes I do have a small issue with self confidence although I try my best not to show it in front of her as I know I can be easily taken advantage of – I don’t like to say no. Baby won’t be her first grandchild – her daughter has two and I think this may stem from the fact that she spends a lot of time with them whereas they do leave the other grandma out a bit – which I’m guessing she fears will be her. I feels it’s her way or the high way sometimes and she’s very persuasive with her family – but I’m hoping I’ll be tough when baby comes arrives and things will be on our terms – I know I have a tough side in there somewhere! smile

janreb Mon 18-Jul-11 18:06:58

I agree you really don't need to be worrying over anything just now. See how things are after the birth, if you breast feeding she won't be ble to go far without you. However don't be pushed around - this is your baby and you must be comfortable and happy. Make an effort to ask her to look after the little one - when it suits you, and why not say something like "I am taking the baby out on Friday would you like to come with us"? You didn't mention your own Mum, is she around? I'm sure things will reach a happy level fairly quickly.

jackyann Mon 18-Jul-11 18:27:54

I agree that you need to be very clear. There has been another thread here about the difference between son's children & daughter's children.
People do say "you don't know what it's like until the baby gets here" and that is true up to a point, but I agree that you can have some ideas now - at least in your own head.

As for breast-feeding - I have a theory that some grans (none of the lovelies here, I'm sure!) secretly scupper breast feeding so that they can muscle in (are you shocked?!) - so do be very clear (again, in your own head - that means you can change your mind!)

I agree with janreb that you should take the initiative - and remember to be positive about what you ask for. Especially when discussing with your husband - every time you think "I don't want m-i-l to do X (take baby for hours)" try in your mind to say "I do want m-i-l to do Y (take baby for a short walk to do errand & back)". You be the one it is hard to say "no" to!!!!!!!!!

helshea Mon 18-Jul-11 18:29:47

Wow Jackyann, that is the best advise I have heard for a while! Wish Gransnet had been around when my children were young. smile

HildaW Mon 18-Jul-11 20:34:08

Youngun, well you pinched her 'baby' boy didn't you? I had the beginings of this kind of relationship with my first MIL - enough said!

Joking apart, you are in the last stages of pregnancy and your hormones are all over the place. Someone once explained that these hormones tend to accentuate your basic personality. So if you are a bit of a worrier, you worry a lot more and so on. So if you are normally a bit unsure of yourself you will feel even more so.

Take a deep breath and just smile, you are the Mother of this child and you will be able to steer most events your way. As Jackyann says dont be negative, just make positive suggestions. For so many other reasons I'd recommend breast feeding, its basically so jolly easy and none of that damed sterilizing. Its even better late at night, I found I could feed without really waking up!

Good luck, am sure things will sort themselves out.

jangly Mon 18-Jul-11 20:45:20

jackyann, I really don't think you should put that kind of idea in the OP's head. "some grans secretly scupper breastfeeding so that they can muscle in". !!!

That is an awful thing to suggest.

Youngun has already said that she loves her in-laws. I'm sure her mum-in-law is simply an overexcited granny. Yes, she sounds a bit naturally overbearing but that doesn't mean she is a really mean, nasty person which she would have to be to act in the way you suggest.

jangly Mon 18-Jul-11 20:47:17

And I don't think this thread needs to go down a really unpleasant "my mother-in-law was just the same" path.

helshea Mon 18-Jul-11 21:04:18

Jangly I think you are being a little over sensitive here. Jackyann finished her post by giving some very good advice about saying positive things rather than negative, and I for one think this advice is very good. Perhaps Jangly has proof of someone who has acted in the way she suggested with putting someone off breastfeeding... We are all allowed our opinions, and sometimes people have had the experiences to back them up so give Jackyann a bit of slack here please.

jangly Mon 18-Jul-11 21:08:01

No, I won't.

That was putting poison in a young woman's mind. Not necessary. Youngun had probably never even thought of such a thing!

jangly Mon 18-Jul-11 21:09:02

and why would I have proof of - whatever! confused

jangly Mon 18-Jul-11 21:10:38

My daughter has happily and successfully breastfed both of my grandsons. smile

I am not a mother-in-law to a young mother yet. (I live in hope smile)

helshea Mon 18-Jul-11 21:13:51

My post should have read... perhaps Jackyann has proof, not you Jangly sorry sad

GrannyTunnocks Mon 18-Jul-11 21:15:37

I agree with the others, wait till the baby is here. You may be glad of a break but like someone said don't do housework, have a rest or some pampering. My DIL is very good at letting us have our granddaughter, we have her one day a week just to have fun and we appreciate that. However I would not overstep the boundaries and always ask if we can go somewhere with her. Often we take DIL and stepgrandson as well as DIL does not drive.

jangly Mon 18-Jul-11 21:15:54

Ok Helshea. typos happen. grin

jackyann Mon 18-Jul-11 22:31:23

Oh gosh, I'm sorry to upset!
And thanks for saying that I had some positive things to say.

Yes, I have known grans put mums off breast feeding, then say "now you can give baby to me to feed" (and yes, that is plural!). I have even heard one say to her daughter "well, if you stop breast feeding, then I can give him a bottle while you get on with the housework" (!)
I can see why some of you think it is an unhelpful thing to suggest - I guess I was thinking "fore-warned & fore-armed".
However, some of you were thinking "that's overloading" and I can't disagree.

I think that anyone posting on such an open forum is bound to get lots of suggestions, helpful & not. I normally (see my previous posts) offer advice as "take what's useful, forget what isn't" and I should definitely have added that to that posting.
So Youngun( and everyone else) please take this post in the spirit in which it is written; and good luck!

Faye Mon 18-Jul-11 22:56:34

My opinion for some reason often is different, I guess its because I am upside down. confused My suggestion if I was talking to my own daughter would be to tell her husband to say no, the baby is too small to be away from his/her mother. Also he could suggest that his parents might like to take you out sometimes with the baby.
If the baby is breastfed it will need to be fed in the early days at least every one to three hours. Breast milk digests faster than formula, which means your baby will be hungry more often than a bottle fed infant.
I also think you should start as you mean to go on, you are the baby's mother and you are in charge. I wouldn't have liked to have seen someone else driving off with my baby. I would have welcomed a grandparent taking my baby in the pram for a walk though.

Faye Mon 18-Jul-11 23:17:11

One more thing I meant to add, I believe its very important to get this sorted out now. Don't leave it, new mums often feel a bit down after giving birth and I think this is on your mind and bothering you. You do need to set the agenda and it shouldn't be too hard for your husband to step in and stop you having to worry. If you and your husband don't let MIL know how it's going to be you will have more problems down the track. Plus don't visit her if you are tired, you are working and pregnant, you would do well to rest up more. She is not your boss!!!!!

Baggy Tue 19-Jul-11 06:44:22

I agree, faye.

crimson Tue 19-Jul-11 14:24:09

Need to be firm as well if she seems to be visiting a lot when baby arrives. Help can be most welcome, but not too many visits/visitors when one is tired. Youngun is obviously someone who hates the thought of hurting or offending someone but mustn't be dominated by MIL.

HildaW Tue 19-Jul-11 17:38:38

Jangly....I see no reason not to let Youngun know shes not the only one who is having or has had probs with MIL...I ment it humerously anyway...hence the exclamation marks. Its no bad thing to know that your problem is not confined to you.

jangly Tue 19-Jul-11 17:58:00

I was referring only to the quote I put in quotation marks. smile