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DIL anxious about me

(56 Posts)
grandreg Fri 21-Oct-16 16:26:41

Hi, new here, and wanted to get some advice. My 1st grandchild, a beautiful girl is 6 weeks old. My oldest son, (have 4 25-35)and his wife are the parents. They live close by which is wonderful. They have been married 3 years.
I have always had a super relationship with my DIL, she is lovely and fun, and we have never had a cross word with each other.
Of course I am over the moon happy to have my first grandbaby. However, I have been very careful to give them space with the new baby, never show up without calling or being invited, and offer help at anytime they need it, all they need to do is ask. They are doing a great job as new parents.
Last night my DIL and son came for dinner and my DIL wanted to talk to me about something. She apologized to me as she thought she was rude to me last time we saw each other. I didn't even know what she was talking about, but assured her is was ok. She told me she is very anxious when I am around the baby, and she is not sure why. I was so sorry to hear that she was feeling that way. I never knew it or felt it. She says it is totally irrational, and that I have never even come close to making her feel that way before.
I assured her that feeling anxious, especially with hormones raging is common. She is also going back to work, a job she loves in 6 weeks and they have asked me to take care of the baby 2 days a week, which is great. She is of course feeling anxious about leaving the baby, which I totally understand. The baby will be with my son several days a week and me 2 days most weeks.
She knows that I will take wonderful care of the baby, that is not even an issue.
I guess I need advice on how to help her feel less anxious. We had a great talk last night and I reassured her she is a great mom, which she is, and I will do anything to help her feel better about the whole situation. She felt relieved after our talk however. Sometimes it is good to get things out in the open!
Thanks for your time in reading my post!

thatbags Fri 21-Oct-16 16:32:22

Just keep calm, competent, and reassuring and hope for the best. I don't think talking about it will help her. She'll just have to wing it like all new mums.

thatbags Fri 21-Oct-16 16:34:22

I mean talking about it with you. If she's really, really anxious, she should speak to her health visitor or GP who may be able to help.

It is totally normal to feel anxious about other people looking after one's precious baby, especially the first.

Does she have any reason to worry that you won't be able to cope?

Liz46 Fri 21-Oct-16 16:44:09

The first time I looked after my GD, she came with three sheets of foolscap paper covered in instructions. I have a photo of me showing the baby the instructions and telling her that she wasn't doing what she was supposed to do!

After time and another baby, the GC just get thrown in now and the parents make a quick bid for freedom.

judypark Fri 21-Oct-16 16:49:48

Yes it is irrational but what first time mum just 6 weeks after giving birth is totally rational?I know I wasn't even to the polnt of telling my own mum how to cross a quiet country road with a pram. Sounds like you're doing a great job of being a supportive Gran and congratultions on your lovely granddaughter.

grandreg Fri 21-Oct-16 16:51:34

Thanks thatbags.

I totally agree about having someone else look after your new baby, no matter who it is! I stayed home with my kids so I can only imagine the worry about leaving them.

She does not have worry about me coping, she has said that she is happy that I can be there with the baby. I have made it very clear, whatever she is comfortable with, our place or theirs I will do. Whatever works best for them and the baby. I have a pretty free schedule, although I am an active equestrian, I can plan most anything around that serious hobby.
Thanks again.

mumofmadboys Fri 21-Oct-16 16:53:12

Six weeks after a first baby is very early days.Give your DIL time. She is probably anxious about going back to work. Hope things work out well- I'm sure they will.

Luckygirl Fri 21-Oct-16 17:37:40

Well - it all seems positive to me. She trusts you enough to be open and honest with you about her feelings. And it certainly sounds as though you have said all the right things.

She is on the brink of parting with her dear babe to the care of others and it is so tough - she is sitting there sizing you up, her rational mind knowing that all will be well, but her primeval emotions getting a look in too.

Stay upbeat; reassure her that you will follow her instructions and that what she says goes; and never give the slightest weeniest most microscopic hint that you know better about anything child related at all - you probably do on some things, but that is not the point! grin

Many of us grans have been there, and staying cheerful and reinforcing the mother's prime position is the way to go.

One of my DDs brings the children's own water (yes really!) when they come here - I just smile and say nowt!

M0nica Fri 21-Oct-16 17:42:05

DS & DDiL were very anxious new parents. The first time we were allowed to push her round town for an hour while DDil had a haircut, we were given so many instructions we were as nervous as cats and terrified of crossing roads in case anything happened!

5 years later we took said DGD out to the sea for the day, the first time we had done anything like that, as we do not live close to them. DGD slipped on some seaweed and grazed her leg and hand. We took her home thinking we would never be allowed to take her out again. Her DP's reaction was a quick shrug, sympathy for DGD - and we took her out for the day a week later.

The moral of the story is that grandreg's DIL's worries are normal and she will soon get over them.

notanan Fri 21-Oct-16 17:45:25

it's great that she can talk to you about her anxiety! That is helping, you are helping, you're already doing it by being approachable in that way x

grandreg Fri 21-Oct-16 19:11:55

Thanks to all! I am sure we will all be fine. As a mom of 4, I certainly can understand feelings of being a new mom and respect that.
Thanks again!

trisher Fri 21-Oct-16 21:30:51

Just go with whatever she wants grandreg especially when she is around. There are some ideas about child rearing now that I had never heard of- baby led weaning for one. I had to read up on it. It terrified me at first I kept waiting for GD to choke, but she survived. If she sees you doing all the things she wants you can spend time when she isn't there doing it your way.

Deedaa Fri 21-Oct-16 22:00:06

It seems very soon to be going back to work, no wonder she's feeling anxious. I think everything should settle down into a routine quite quickly and she'll be quite happy with your help.

carerof123 Sat 22-Oct-16 09:10:02

How wonderful that she can talk to you about her concerns. It is so sad that she has to leave her baby after such a short time. She is lucky that baby's care will be family, can you imagine if she had to leave the baby with a childminder!!!!

annemac101 Sat 22-Oct-16 09:12:29

Yes it is a bit soon to return to work,no wonder she is anxious. I think it's brilliant that she can talk about such a sensitive subject with you and I'm sure if you're both honest with each other everything will be fine. I wish my dil could talk to me like that,they tell me nothing so that makes every text she doesn't reply to annoy me more and more until I feel she really doesn't like me at all. And we thought our troubles were over when our children left home,lol!

radicalnan Sat 22-Oct-16 09:21:46

She isn't anxious abut you really, she is anxious about going back to work and concerned that you see her as a devoted mum, which of course she is.......

All us devoted mums have had to tread that same path, fancy a gran who has horses as a hobby what a treat for a child that will be.

I think she was looking for (and found) some female solidarity. How lucky she is to have you.

Harris27 Sat 22-Oct-16 09:24:22

It's early days and she will be glad she's got you keep going her anxiety will lessen as her. Confidence returns .

marionk Sat 22-Oct-16 09:31:01

How fantastic that you are able to be so open with each other, you must be a lovely MIL and I am envious, I would not have been able to talk to my own mother like that let alone my MIL!!

Flossieturner Sat 22-Oct-16 09:32:43

Grandreg,I think it is a huge compliment to you that she was able to express her fears.

I would ask her to write down in detail the babies routine. might sound silly but one of my DILs is a great list maker. Ask her if she would like updates during the first week. I send a photo occasionally when they little ones are being looked after.

How lucky you all are to have this wonderful opportunity to bond the 3 generations.

Anya Sat 22-Oct-16 10:02:49

Yes, this all sounds perfectly normal. Of course she's anxious....first time mum and all that.

I too remember the explicit instructions Liz and the recipes for home-made butter squash purée! Exactly what time they had to have their nap (which nobody seemed to have explained to baby) and what time they had to wake up (ditto). I retaliated by writing a diary detailing every poo, changed nappy, food experience, nap, walk with buggy, tummy time and so on. It wasn't long before all responsibility was handed over to me and I was told to just do what seemed best (which I'd been doing all along).

That's first time parents for you.

Relax, enjoy your time with your grandchild and mum will relax too.

Best of luck.

grandMattie Sat 22-Oct-16 10:08:05

Good luck - no advice to offer.
When I had my babies, I just couldn't bear having them with anyone not even their wonderful father. I had to steel myself. Perhaps DiL is like that? Raging hormones and acute mothering instinct? If so, I sympathise to both women...

Everthankful Sat 22-Oct-16 11:22:24

I looked after my first grandchild when his mum went back to school (a very young teenage mum). The baby was my younger son's. Although they were both young and inexperienced, they loved their child and made wonderful parents. They are still together twenty years and two more children later. I remember her being upset that she was worried that her son would think I was his Mum. I assured her that as she was the one that tucked him up at night and sang songs and cuddled him to sleep and was also the first face he saw on a morning, not to worry as quality, not quantity was important in spending time with him.

Sylviann60 Sat 22-Oct-16 11:22:38

I'm think your DIL been listening to other mothers complaining about MIL interfering with there children it seems it's ok for mothers to get involved but not MIL now she's cleared the air by expressing her concerns I'm sure everything will be ok

Yorkshiregel Sat 22-Oct-16 12:07:57

My DIL came round to my house one day with my GS who was a few months old. She was crying and saying she could not cope. I sat her down and made her a cup of tea, and let her talk about how she felt she was not doing a great job of looking after her son. He had colic from reflux and so was always feeling uncomfortable and so he cried. The crying was really getting to DIL and she looked so tired. I told her she was doing a wonderful job of looking after him and that all mothers find it hard going at first, even more so if the child is ill. I told her I would look after him every weekend for one day and I have been doing that now for 16 years. She was glad of the rest and the time to herself and he has grown up a much loved GS who is good mannered, happy and very caring. I cannot fault her at all.

Sometimes a little bit of help can go a long way. All she needed was reassurance and a bit more sleep and it worked wonders.

Teddy123 Sat 22-Oct-16 13:23:34

You sound like the best MIL in the world. Great that she can express how she feels. We all know it's "their hormones" ..... Can be quite tricky to deal with ..... But within a few months once their darling babies are sleeping through the night, everything seems to settle and everyone relaxes.

As I said, you sound so fabulous and understanding .... So good luck with it all