Gransnet forums


Advice from Grans please

(52 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.

HildaW Wed 20-Jul-11 18:25:38

OK m'dear....will teach me to read a bit more thoroughly!

jangly Wed 20-Jul-11 18:35:38


We all have that little thought at some times in our married lives - about stealing her son! grin

groovygranny Wed 20-Jul-11 19:04:15

The way my DS is behaving at the moment I wish someone would 'steal' him!!!

jangly Wed 20-Jul-11 19:06:46

Oh Groovy, I know just how you feel. grin

helshea Wed 20-Jul-11 19:11:01

But then they fool you into thinking they have stolen them, and just as you relax they give them back...

groovygranny Wed 20-Jul-11 19:12:39

Haha! The 'Boomerang' generation!

helshea Wed 20-Jul-11 19:15:42

Weird how the house seems so much smaller the second time round. sad

Charlotta Wed 20-Jul-11 20:04:07

Hello Youngun2011. next time MILsays something about taking baby out - fatsen on to it and develop the conversation. Ask what she has in mind and if she suggests taking baby to their house tell her you intend to breast feed and it might be inconvenient, but if she would like to bring round some lunch some day that you'd appreciate it. You will love it if she takes the baby out for an hour so you can catch up with your sleep, but be firm that it is on your terms.

About breastfeeding. Make it clear that you are not going to disappear into the spare room to feed your baby but to sit in your own favourite chair, surrounded by baby's cushions and she has to get used to you lifting your t-shirt and getting started. If she's fussy or embarrassed about this absolutely natural act then its better she doesn't come during those times. Make that clear now. Ask her how long she thinks it is good to breastfeed and if she says 6 weeks then she is actually against it as a minimum of 5 months is now considered best for babies and in the later months it is very time and money saving.- and enjoyable!

RAF Thu 21-Jul-11 11:43:58

As mother of three sons and one daughter, with three granddaughters and two more on the way, the relationship with daughters-in-law and daughters with regard to children is very different. There has to be an element of 'treading on eggshells' from both sides if it is not your daughter, which whom you are naturally much closer.

But I am all for complete honesty, communication is the key! Say to your MiL that you are thrilled she is so excited about the baby, and that you look forward to sharing times together with him/her. Play up to her by saying you know it is your first child and you will appreciate help, but in the early days you can't imagine wanting to let your baby out of your sight, though you know this will change in a little while. Tell her how much you will look forward to joint outings, and perhaps visits to your home to cuddle her whilst you rest. Be honest, and she will appreciate it. She will be worried about getting off on the wrong foot, even it she doesn't admit to it! :-)

jangly Thu 21-Jul-11 14:29:16

What a lovely, sensible post RAF. Hope youngun comes back and reads that.

GadaboutGran Thu 21-Jul-11 16:46:58

Just read 'Daughters in Law' by Joanna Trollope for a very insightful examination of issues for DiLs, sons and mothers letting go and fearing the future.

RAF Mon 25-Jul-11 12:07:53

Thank you Jangly, you've made my day! :-)

AnnieGran Mon 25-Jul-11 13:20:01

Hello Youngun2011.

Your MIL is very lucky because you say you love her. My first MIL made my life a misery - but only because I was very young and let her do it. Yours must be a nice person or you wouldn't love her, so I would advise you not to have a big hurtful confrontation but act quietly but firmly on each occasion you feel she crosses the line, remembering that YOU draw the line.

I would say don't put your poor husband in the middle unless it is really necessary, but develop your own relationship with her: you are in charge here and can afford to be kind. Think of her as a fluffy puppy who needs training and she will get the idea and your confidence will grow. Ask her advice sometimes, even if you don't take it.

You are about to begin a new phase in family relationships - perhaps family politics, and as the years go by your power grows while hers diminishes until you become the MIL, and and can use your memories of this time to help your DIL.
Good luck.

Faye Tue 26-Jul-11 01:52:32

That is actually good advice AnnieGran, maybe its best Youngun2011 not to put your husband in the middle. I really enjoy my relationship with my daughter in law. I think my son is very lucky to have her and I love that they have a great relationship. I spent a month at their house this year, taking my 5 year old grandson to school and enjoying time with my 3 year old grandson. I cooked, washed, cleaned and did everything I could to help while she did her 'teachers prac'. She is very dedicated and she told me at the end she couldn't have done it without my help, it made me feel very good. My daughter in law is very important in my life. I would even make sure I made cakes for her to take for her morning tea. It does make life so much easier to get on when you can.

Mariposa Tue 26-Jul-11 13:21:04

Youngun, I suggest that you wait until your baby is born and then deal with any "problems" then, although I do realise that your hormones will be all over the place.

You may welcome your MIL taking baby out so that you will be able to have some much needed rest, even if it is just putting your feet up and reading a book.

My bet is that it will work out beautifully, if not, then just be calm and assertive.

Good luck and I hope your baby arrives safely, it is a wonderful time.

maxgran Wed 27-Jul-11 12:39:41

Jackyann & Jangly,.... I for one had a MiL who told me I was selfish to breastfeed because it meant my husband ( and her) would not be able to feed the baby ! My sister in Law has made the same comment to her son's wife ! ( she must have got that from her Mother, MiL) !!

I think the MiL in this case is just being insensitive and over excited about the baby. Just set your intention that YOU will decide what happens and when after the baby is born and try to make sure you do allow the grandparents to spend some time with the baby - but on your own terms !

Mention to your MiL that you would appreciate it if she would accompany you and the baby on walks sometimes and you would love her company. However, I don't think its unreasonable to expect her to back off a bit until you find your feet with being a new Mum. Just be honest in a sensitive way and if she takes offence,.. thats not your problem.

veryordinaryjangly Wed 27-Jul-11 12:51:40

FGS! let this mum-in-law get over-excited if she wants to! Where's the harm in that. We all do it.

I'm sorry you, seemingly, had such a horrible mum-in-law. I don't think that's the norm.

maxgran Wed 27-Jul-11 13:52:13

Well,... There can be harm in that,... and 'we' shouldn't all do it. I for one,..wouldn't do it.

veryordinaryjangly Wed 27-Jul-11 14:11:33

I think my darling daughter has been very tolerant on the whole. smile

ElseG Wed 27-Jul-11 14:24:47

Your comments RAF were really good. I have been going hot and cold here remembering things I said to my m-in-l and things I have said to my daughters. Oh dear.

helshea Fri 05-Aug-11 19:49:46

I know it's been said quite often about DIL's taking the sons away.. but in my case she took him, they had my lovely grandson and ALL moved back in with me and my slightly younger son... and I love it.

JessM Fri 05-Aug-11 20:36:51

Ah - how lovely for you helshea

helshea Fri 05-Aug-11 20:39:13

Thanks Jess.. I had forgotton how much "stuff" you have with a new baby though!

Nanban Mon 22-Aug-11 20:21:14

Perhaps they don't want to be intrusive and think the best way to help you is to give you some space while looking after the baby, and being just a short space away might make them very sensitive to your need for privacy - they may have had troubles with their own babies and families and are making sure they don't do the same to you. I hope that's what it is because you sound so nice - you'll be fine once your baby arrives hopefully life will sort itself out.

Eleanorre Tue 23-Aug-11 22:12:21

My mother was lovely but sometimes I felt she could take over . On one occasion we were visiting relatives and it came to bottle time and my mother said loudly '' I will give her her bottle '' I just ignored her and did it myself and have felt so bad about it ever since ( 41 years ago) . My son still says his gran was his favourite person ever so you can see how good she was to them she do not grudge the grandparents their time .