I am a first time mum to a wonderful 7 month old son. I'm struggling to deal with the (unexpected) changes that producing their grandson have made to my relationship with my in laws. In a nutshell: I'm finding it really hard to deal with how maternal my MIL is towards my son. Since the day he was born I've felt like she (for want of a better way of putting this) couldn't wait to get her hands on him and that I get in the way of her being able to [grand??]mother him. It's hard to give examples of the subtle behaviours that make me feel like this: from 'He can't be hungry again' comments when i tried to extract him from her arms to (breast)feed him, to her wanting to immediately do anything I do with him with him for the first time herself, to declaring frequently all the things she will do with him, and that she will turn him into [her career] - comments not tempered by any overt acknowledgement that we parents may wish to influence his interests and development (yes, we do have our own varied interests that we are keen to share).
It feels somewhat shameful to admit this. I had what I thought was a very good relationship with my in laws before baby came along. My MIL is usually very positive, loving, empathic and reasonable - indeed unusually so, at least in comparison to my own family. And I am truly grateful that my son has many people such as her that love and support him. However I don't think I'm just being an overprotective new mum; the most intense of the new mum hormones have definitely subsided (tho of course only in the sense that I feel sane with them now), and I am quite relaxed with the way other women are with my son. No matter how much I try to rationalise and understand things from my MIL's point of view, my emotional response as she tries to take him from my arms (again) is still BACK OFF.
My partner doesn't see an issue - and thinks it is just a matter of differing family styles, his family being far more demonstrative and hands-on than my own. However I'm not convinced that's the whole story, I don't think this is just about me. My MIL is a first time gran and sometimes I wonder if it could be difficult for her to be a grandma and not a mum??
I guess I'm looking for shared experiences from 'the other side', or from people who've felt similarly, or suggestions as to what if anything to do about this. I don't want to get in the way of my son having a good relationship with his grandparents. I don't think jealousy of the other grandparents can be a factor - i'm not particularly close to my mum and she hasn't been any more involved with the baby, and they all live similar distances from us and spend similar time / do similar activities with us and baby. Sorry for the long post...
notagrannyyet Wed 24-Aug-11 22:51:11
harrigran Wed 24-Aug-11 23:20:38
Granny23 Thu 25-Aug-11 02:48:48
jangly Thu 25-Aug-11 08:58:52
Zephrine Thu 25-Aug-11 09:19:03
absentgrana Thu 25-Aug-11 09:45:42
jangly Thu 25-Aug-11 11:18:43
nanachrissy Thu 25-Aug-11 12:49:39
maxgran Thu 25-Aug-11 15:10:58
lucid Thu 25-Aug-11 15:30:03
jackyann Thu 25-Aug-11 17:16:06
GrannyTunnocks Thu 25-Aug-11 22:00:51
riclorian Thu 25-Aug-11 22:05:14
absentgrana Fri 26-Aug-11 12:11:35
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HildaW Fri 26-Aug-11 18:48:57