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Are new mums more intense today- or is it just MIL DIL relationships

(4 Posts)
jefm Wed 18-Mar-20 12:24:13

Hi I know its a difficult time to post about other issues but I wonder if its me and that i just don't understand the younger generation. Its not that I don't recognise that being a mum can be hard but i so enjoyed the vast majority of it myself. Yes I did often wonder if what I was doing was OK but I tried to make the decisions that were right for me and my baby, eg re breastfeeding re sleep re weaning ! sure I didn't get it all right but i think? I took it all in my stride. I have 2 sons , the eldest has 2 children my adorable GC now 14 and 12. Its been a struggle understanding various things dictated to be by my DIL ( I live 200+ miles away so haven't seen then as much as i would like) I wont bore you with the whole 14 years but the Latest is after 14 years of giving them little gifts of pocket money that i should NOT give them any more as "the parents give them money for jobs they do and they don't want them to expect a top up" ( I have given then between £5 and £10 every few months ). This summer my DIL told the kids that she didnt get on with me so not to expect to see me much . I have had to adjust to all of this over the years to ensure i have a good relationship with my son and GC- My DIL doesnt talk to me. However my actual worry is that my youngest son has had a baby he is 4 months old , again 200+ miles away. Thank fully unlike DIL with eldest i receive lots of videos and updates for my new GS and also have seen him 4 times in 5 months which is great. I had a lovely rapport with my DIL , I was so thank ful. However since baby was born my DIL ( 37 ) has been quite frenetic about checking everything she does with the internet and books. She went to at least 3 different sets of classes prior to birth but seems to get really confused about feeding and sleeping - most things really, all patterns are recorded on her phone. She now has a sleep consultant for baby ( although he doesn't appear to have a problem ?? , he is a happy lovely baby) She seems to change her mind about everything - my son has said that she is finding motherhood hard . I believe i am an empathetic person and before baby she often rang me for advice on difficulties she was having at work etc. She seems to want to "train" ( my partners words) baby to be perfect and of course they aren't. She goes out everyday to mum's groups which is good, she does long walks in the afternoon so that he can sleep. However there doesn't appear to be much calm. I suppose i am writing because i feel helpless as the MIL to help her ( she suggests all is well ) and i am frightened in all honesty that she will go the way of my first DIL . I have'nt said anything at all about what i see, I praise her but my every move with my GS is watched and i am tutored on what to do with him!! This last weekend she absolutely got uptight with me and bit my head off as baby fell asleep while i was playing with him. Is it me?? Any help to ensure that this relationship stays in tact would be very welcome. I promise you that i don't say or do anything that I feel would upset her and how she wants to bring up my GS. I feel though again that I am starting to walk on eggshells and am not able to be me. I have mentioned PND to my son but he says that she does'nt want solutions that she can't work out herself? If its not PND then I feel it just could be MIL DIL dynamics again- and maybe it is me?? I am desperate for it not to be that though! Advice whatever you think welcome- sorry its such a long post!!

endlessstrife Thu 19-Mar-20 09:07:28

I don’t think it’s you. I’ve got six grandchildren over two DIL’s and one daughter. All of them have struggled with what we call the ‘ baby police’. There is SO much interference from authorities on how to do everything, they’ve been left feeling inadequate and anxious. Luckily, two of them were really up for my help, the third less so, but it didn’t lead to problems. I always emphasised, that if the baby sleeps, then they can, and everything else slips into place. The major problem I think, has been this ‘ back to sleep’, which was unheard of in our day. In fact, when I was a nurse on the baby ward in the eighties, a nurse was severely reprimanded for laying a baby on his back. Now it’s pushed, and they don’t sleep as well. My daughter discovered something called an Owlett, which monitors the baby while they sleep, and sets off an alarm if there’s a problem. It’s been a real blessing, and my daughter instantly relaxed, baby sensed it, and she relaxed. I understand your DIL wanting to work things out for herself even more than perhaps we would have done, because so much is interfered with for them, and they probably just want something for themselves. Just keep encouraging, maybe through your son. Explain that you didn’t have a wealth of experience either as a new mum, but you do now, and it seems a shame to waste it. Then sit back and wait. I think we forget the energy we had then, I know I do. I find it exhausting watching them going without sleep etc. then remember they’re 25 to 30 years younger! Congrats on your new grandson and keep well.

Davidhs Thu 19-Mar-20 10:10:29

I can only observe but I do ask how old were you when you had your first, my wife was 21 and the world was a very different place. Mother and MIL lived closeby to help out as needed, there was certainly no great stress.

Your daughter is 37 no doubt she had a very organized life, a demanding job, everything happened on schedule. Now she has a baby who demands attention 24/7, it’s a big change and she is stressed, because she is tense the baby senses it and never settles. I’m sure a lot of older mums think babies will fit into a schedule, they don’t, you have to change, when they get older maybe, if you are lucky.

As for the baby police, my youngest daughter with 4 young kids is probably less bothered about other people’s opinion than her mother was.

jefm Thu 19-Mar-20 10:58:45

Thank you endlesssrife very sound comments.

Davidhs i was 25 and 29 when i had mine ( and in a career that I gladly gave up ) but you are right about the world being a different place now, maybe perceived expectations of mums are higher?I love them all dearly and just don't want it to end up as it has with DIL no 1.