My MIL Is Trying to Be My Baby’s Mother and Exerting Control Over Me
Being a parent is a life-changing experience for which most of us are unprepared, as it constantly throws new challenges our way. All of this entails not only looking after the baby, but also forging new relationships with your in-laws. The relationship between a mother-in-law and her daughter is frequently heavy-laden and tense, and it’s tough to cope with.
Kate, a new mother, is having trouble dealing with her mother-in-law who attempts to exert control over her child, so she sought help from Bright Side to find some relief.
Kate, thank you for sharing your story with us. We at Bright Side always strive to see the positive aspect of things, and we hope that with the advice we’ve compiled for you, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the arrival of your baby boy.
- Stand up for yourself and your choices. You’re the baby’s mother, and you’ll always be there for him, no matter what. When you are more at ease in your role, you will feel more comfortable taking over with your mother-in-law in case she becomes too controlling. Hold firm to your convictions and what you and your partner believe is best for your child; if she truly cares about her grandson, she will eventually follow your lead.
- Discuss the situation with your husband. Every personal relationship requires communication, and being open about your problems and what bothers you the most can only benefit you and your family.
Decide together what role your mother-in-law should play. Maybe she could help for an hour or 2 in the afternoons, then you can take the baby home. Inquire with your husband about how he would handle this. He might talk to your mother-in-law and diplomatically defuse the situation; he can lead the conversation, but make sure you’re involved as well.
- Establish open and honest communication with your mother-in-law. Regardless of the situation, everyone has an opinion, and yours is just as valid as someone else’s. If you don’t talk to your mother-in-law about something that bothers you, she won’t notice. Of course, you both should talk about it pleasantly.
Try to have an open dialogue about what irritates you and devise a strategy for resolving the issue and making advances for the sake of the family. If she continues to complain or criticize, hold a positive attitude and kindly say, “Thanks for the advice,” before going about your business.
- Set boundaries. If the fact that she’s always around your house irritates you, simply start setting boundaries, regardless of whether she agrees — it’s your home, your rules. Decide where you want to draw the line and stick to it.
There are some specific situations where you may want to set limits, such as when she comes to visit, activities to do with the grandchild, and family decisions. It’s essential to commit to your limits and communicate with your in-law once you’ve established them. If a boundary is crossed, you may need to set more stringent ones.
- Ask for advice from your own family. No one understands you better than your family, so having them by your side is essential. Your MIL’s actions have outraged your brother and his family, but they will understand how upsetting the situation is for you.
Try to communicate openly with him and your parents, expressing your feelings and concerns, asking for their support, and seeing what decisions suit you the best. More importantly, avoid causing friction between your own family and your husband’s; it’s always a joy to see 2 families coming together and getting along.
- Create family routines. Setting up a regular time for your family to catch up with your in-laws is a good idea. A regular get-together, whether it’s a weekly Sunday lunch or something else that aligns with your time schedule, can be a special occasion for you and your in-laws to strengthen your relationship. Family routines facilitate people involved in understanding their roles within the family. These routines can also facilitate your child in comprehending his belongings and ties.
We wish Kate and her family all the best, hoping that our suggestions will assist her in resolving this difficult situation.
Have you ever had a similar experience with your in-laws? If you were in Kate’s shoes, what would you do?