Struggling to like in-laws — The Bump
Babies: 3 - 6 Months

Struggling to like in-laws

I'm so sorry this is long, this is more of a post trying to understand my own feelings so that maybe I can look at this differently, and it can make me a better person. My baby boy is three months old and before he was born, I got along really well with the majority of my bfs family. Especially his mom, I would say we were very close. I will say I understand 100% why our family wants to be around my son and us. Which is because they love us, duh. That's why I feel stupid for struggling with certain things. 

MIL drives me nuts now. Even my mom drives me crazy too. I'm sure the majority of these feelings can be chalked up to horomones and I feel awful for it because I love both of our families so much. When we came home from the hospital we didn't keep visitors away like we should have. That's when the annoyance started with me. There were too many phone calls and questions. They all really care about his weight. Baby and I struggled to breastfeed so there were many nights of tears, and syringe feeding while my bf held me to comfort me over my feeling like a failure because baby wouldn't take my breast at all. MIL truly never did a thing, but for some reason with her I am struggling the most. She is helpful and wonderful. She loves our son Very well. but shes killing my nerves. She and my bf are close because she pretty much raised him and his sis alone. He tells her every detail about our life with baby. Which I dont mind to an extent. I don't think she or anyone need to know every time we go to the dr, or what his weight is, how much he poops, if our nursing session just went well. I feel like that's just on a need to know basis. Like if he had a condition everyone needed or be aware of then we would tell everyone. Otherwise, I think a general he's doing great and is healthy should suffice. Right? 

She bought him a ton of clothes, books and toys. Bought him his first Easter basket, which broke my heart because I wanted to do that, and decided to wait another year so he would understand more. She bought all these toys, books, a Boppy, changing pad etc. for her house. We have only been over once. She doesn't live at home full time (living with and taking care of ailing father.) And every time she holds baby I just want him back. I get jealous when I feel like she's sitting there talking about him as if she knows everything about his temperament. It's almost like I'm internally rolling my eyes whenever she's around. I hear her constantly saying "ohhhhhh he's so cute, ohhh omg." "Look at that hair." "Look at those feet, toes, ears, eyes and mouth." I hate it when she fawns all over him. I hate it.  He was even screaming and didn't offer to give him back. I wasn't cringing wanted to pick him up, but felt awful taking him away. 

Idk what's wrong with me! I love this woman with all my heart. She is very easy to talk and relate to. Her ex and so are very similar in their butthole ways, so she has helped a lot in giving me perspective. She is so kind and loving toward me. I don't want my horomones to affect my relationship with her. I want to be able to feel comfortable being around her and letting her play with my boy, and just be happy watching them interact, but right now it makes my skin crawl. Does anyone have any suggestions or stories that could help me with this situation in the future? Trying to grow and be a better person and mama. 

Re: Struggling to like in-laws

  • lb1028lb1028 member
    I have found the times she gets on my nerves most is when there is no personal space. I don't really like to be touched by people. The only beings who touch me, and I don't get annoyed are my boyfriend, child and dog. My child is always with me. So my personal bubble extends to him. If I'm not wanting to hold him, or I need a break I will hand him off. It irks me when even family constantly comes up to him and have to grab his feet or get right up in his face. Ergggg. 

     Sadly we had a memorial service for bfs grandad the other day and the whole time MIL seemed angry with me because I was wearing him in the ergo. (Easier than leaving him In his car seat where everyone would have to take a peak. we were operating with a very sleepy baby who at the time wasn't enjoying people in his face. Then I literally had no hand work to do. Could still hug relatives and say hello all while holding my love.) I know and understand everyone wants to hold him, but I'm not a fan of pass the baby especially at a memorial service that isn't about baby. But I digress... she just wouldn't leave us alone the whole time. Kept coming up getting in his face saying "oooo I love yoooo. You're so cuteee" and touching him while I was trying to get him to sleep. Again personal bubble. Literally followed us around the room to every corner. I wanted to tell her to please leave us be until he fell asleep but my bf would have been upset with me. 

    She also kind kind of threw a backhanded comment my way. While introducing us to her co worker she got upset because I had him covered in his ergo napping and she said "this is my DIL and Ehhh.. the little guy.. I guess his sleeping." Rolled her eyes, shrugged her shoulders and walked away. 

     Boyfriend does not understand or try to. He wants to do whatever his mom wants him to do to please her rather than trying to work with me to find balance in this new season. I want everyone to get there time with him but I shouldn't be forced to do something I don't feel comfortable with just so my mil is pleased with herself. He wants to be with his family multiple times a week. Barely see mine and barely have time as a family of three. 
  • I really don't see what the problem is. You have an amazing family that loves and supports you, loves your child, and wants the best for all of you. I think you need to chill out and realize that you have a good thing.
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  • lb1028lb1028 member
    edited May 2017
    I do realize I have a good thing. My issue is navigating the emotion that I have towards the situation whether it's horomones or something else I don't understand. I just want to better myself and that's why I "ranted" and need some advice. I am 100% grateful for every member of my family.  That doesn't mean you can can so easily "chill out" when something bothers you, but you don't understand why it bothers you in the first place. 

    I've found it's hard not to be territorial or put a wall up with my family because they are all pretty judgmental. The majority of my side of the family except my parents alienated me when I was pregnant because I am not married. My siblings are religious and controlling and didn't approve until after the baby came. So its just weird to me when they all want to be around me and my son now when no one called or checked on me while I was pregnant. In regards to MIL I love her to death. We are both new at being a mom and grandparents. I feel crappy to myself  for getting upset sometimes but I also shouldn't hold it against myself for not knowing how to process some new experiences. 
  • Unfortunately I don't really have any advice because I am also navigating the same feelings towards my MIL & SIL. There is nobody else among family I have a hard time with.. I have found the only way to "get over it" is to distract myself when DD is with either of them. Though I do get small joys when she is fussy with them and i triumphantly take her back (; Just know you're not alone and it's all perfectly normal.
    JennyColadamadamerwin
  • I really don't see what the problem is. You have an amazing family that loves and supports you, loves your child, and wants the best for all of you. I think you need to chill out and realize that you have a good thing.

    I feel like this is kind of a judgmental reply, and if you didn't mean for it that way then I apologize.

    People have emotions, and those emotions aren't always logical or rational. Her feeling these negative emotions certainly IS a problem: it is a problem because it is affecting her ability to accept help, it is a problem because it is making her feel badly, and it is a problem because it is affecting her from fully appreciating what she has (which also in turn probably makes her feel worse and more guilty). Telling her to "chill out" is just as helpful as telling someone with depression to "be happy".

    @lb1028, I'm sorry that you're feeling this way and going through this.  You clearly have a lot of feelings that are totally valid (perhaps fear that they will abandon you like your family did, and part of this could be defensive to avoid further hurt). I think with most negative emotions, it really just "training" yourself to think differently. @glitterandgold came up with a good suggestion to distract yourself when these feelings come up, and I agree that that could be helpful. Something you could also try to do is that when these feelings come up try to remind yourself of the positive and helpful things about your MIL. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by negative emotions if that's all we're thinking about. So if you practice turning these situations into a positive then that may be helpful as well.

    glitterandgold
  • lb1028lb1028 member
    edited June 2017
    I really don't see what the problem is. You have an amazing family that loves and supports you, loves your child, and wants the best for all of you. I think you need to chill out and realize that you have a good thing.

    I feel like this is kind of a judgmental reply, and if you didn't mean for it that way then I apologize.

    People have emotions, and those emotions aren't always logical or rational. Her feeling these negative emotions certainly IS a problem: it is a problem because it is affecting her ability to accept help, it is a problem because it is making her feel badly, and it is a problem because it is affecting her from fully appreciating what she has (which also in turn probably makes her feel worse and more guilty). Telling her to "chill out" is just as helpful as telling someone with depression to "be happy".

    @lb1028, I'm sorry that you're feeling this way and going through this.  You clearly have a lot of feelings that are totally valid (perhaps fear that they will abandon you like your family did, and part of this could be defensive to avoid further hurt). I think with most negative emotions, it really just "training" yourself to think differently. @glitterandgold came up with a good suggestion to distract yourself when these feelings come up, and I agree that that could be helpful. Something you could also try to do is that when these feelings come up try to remind yourself of the positive and helpful things about your MIL. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by negative emotions if that's all we're thinking about. So if you practice turning these situations into a positive then that may be helpful as well.

    Thank you so so much for this reply. My partner and I are having some really rough relationship issues and those are also a factor for me too. It was a relief to read this after a few challenging days. Being a new mom your focus is solely baby. All the time. It can be overwhelming welcoming people into new experiences with you. You're perspective was truly eye opening. I can't thank you enough!
    JennyColada
  • Well I'm happy that I had good timing! Part of me also worries that I'll feel the same way about my MIL when I get KU. She's very sweet and caring, but I can also see it feeling overwhelming. I hope that things work out for you soon so that you can fully enjoy this period of motherhood. :) Congrats on your LO and your awesome family!
  • I will just say that I believe this is biological...as in women who then have children have some sort of resentment towards their MIL. Not all women of course, but I have discussed this with multiple ladies and we don't have any reason to not like our MIL. Mine is very helpful, not intrusive really, etc. and yet I struggle with these bizarre feelings towards her. At first I thought it was because she's not my mom and I miss my mom (lives far away), or that she loves the baby "too much" or some BS like that. But I think it is some weird biological trait.

    Just my two cents. I'm sure that sounds stupid to somebody else. I just try and ignore those feelings.
    *****Losses Mentioned*****BFP MENTIONED*****ALL WELCOME******ALL ABOARD!!

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    JennyColada
  • I know this post is a couple of weeks old, but I just wanted to say I understand how you feel. I don't experience it quite to the same extent as you, but I get what you're feeling and think that it might be hormonal - and somewhat normal. I also love my MIL - she is a kind, generous woman, and I am close to her. She is very experienced with babies (and she's a nurse!), and she definitely has a grandma's touch with our LO. She loves him to pieces and is so proud to be his grandma. She buys clothes, toys, books, diapers, etc. for him, and groceries/meals for us - and she flies up at the drop of the hat if we need her help. But sometimes, when baby is fussy, she will come over to me and just scoop him up to comfort him without really asking. I know she is trying to be helpful, but it can come across as overbearing and a little invasive, and frankly, annoying. She really isn't doing anything wrong, but it rubs me the wrong way and makes me feel possessive of my baby.

    I also understand the feeling of guilt you might have for feeling the way you do, and I think it's good that you recognize that they way you feel might not always be rational. In all likelihood this phase will pass, but in the meantime try to distract yourself when she visits and know that YOU'RE the baby's mama, the one he prefers to all others, and the one that gets to keep him :) 
    BabyFruit Ticker
    JennyColada
  • The only advice I can give you is to sit down with your boyfriend and have a real talk with him about how uncomfortable you are. Make sure he knows that you love his mother, but make it clear that there need to be some firm boundaries set up (such as give you space when you're trying to get the baby to sleep). And maybe let him go see his family by himself on occasion. I know that that's easier said than done (my fiance gets really butthurt if I don't want to go see his family with him), but he and his family need to realize that sometimes you and the baby just aren't up for visits.

    You're not being unreasonable. You are a mother. You're hardwired to make sure that your baby is happy and healthy, and you can't do that as easily when everyone else is holding your baby. 
    JennyColada
  • I know this is a bit old but I totally feel like you do with my ILs and my own parents and anyone besides DH really. I don't want to share my baby and it makes it hard bc I know everyone wants to hold him and "give me a break". Sometimes I just want to scream at the top of my lungs "I don't need a break!" I do love my ILs too, and they are awesome ppl who love their grandson so it does make it so hard to feel this way. 

    It also really erks me when they jokingly say things like "we'll just keep him here tonight" and stuff bc even though logically I know they are joking it makes my heart race and makes me never want to leave him with them or anyone. DH is supportive now but I know his patience is coming to an end on my refusal to leave DS but he can't say much now since we EBF and he won't take a bottle. 

    For me its even worse with my parents bc my mom has said some truly awful things to me and I honestly don't let her see us that often plus they live 8hrs away. Yet she tries to act like she's this amazing adoring grandmother. She probably does adore him but I'm sorry you have to have a good relationship with his mother to have any relationship with him so I find her pretending to be obnoxious. 

    Idk if you breastfeed but for me it helps to have them visit or visit them in a time where I'm going to need to breastfeed in the middle. Then I can take my baby and retreat to a private place just the 2 of us and we can relax together. I basically spend the first half of the visit anxiously waiting for that time and the 2nd half thinking about how great it was to have that alone time and that gets me through. Even if you do bottle feed you could make up an excuse like "sorry baby gets distracted when eating lately so we're going to a different room to feed" and then stay strong and don't let anyone interrupt you! 

    Good luck, idk what the cause of these emotions are either but you aren't alone in them!
    Me: 30 | DH: 31
    Married: October, 19, 2015
    EDD 2/22/17 <3 DS1 born on 3/2/17
    EDD 3/8/20 <3 DS2
    (Formerly Marriedhamstermom Feb ‘17)


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