Somebody Please Help!! My In Laws Are Driving Me Insane!!!

[name]Hi[/name], Berries,

I just want to know if my in laws’ behavior is completely normal or if they’re being pushy and creepy like I perceive them to be. [name]Ever[/name] since my baby was born (even before we left the hospital) they’ve been crossing boundaries and repeatedly telling me that they’d be more than happy to take the baby for a few hours. As far I as I know, parents of newborns just don’t make a habit of dropping their babies off at other people’s houses. My in laws have seen the baby at least once a week since she was born, but that isn’t enough face time with the baby for them. My mother in law evidentally cried to other relatives about not getting to see the baby enough and the fact that I haven’t let her babysit my baby. [name]Little[/name] [name]Penelope[/name] is only six weeks old!!! She’s acting like I had this baby for her and I’m just supposed to hand her over to her on a weekly basis. Honestly we didn’t have a great relationship before the baby was born, but this is making me not want to be around her at all. I’m completely creeped out and resentful of all the hints that keep getting dropped about letting her take [name]Penelope[/name]. I can’t nicely tell her anything because she only hears what she wants to hear and doesn’t seem to understand or care how I feel about other issues. Any time my husband or I have talked to her about some issue in the past, she pulled the “my feelings are hurt” card and held a grudge for weeks or months. So anyway, before there’s a huge showdown over this (which it seems like there will inevidentally be), am I just being overprotective or are they being a little crazy?

[name]Hi[/name] simplelife,

I can see both sides of this situation so hopefully my insight will help you to understand where your in laws are coming from.

My mother has two grandsons, one each from her two sons. Their wives are quick to allow their own families to watch the boys and often my mom feels left out. I feel that the reason for it is that their wives are more comfortable to leave the children with the families that they grew up with, often leaving the in laws as a last resort. If the relationship is already a little shaky to begin with I can see why your mother in law’s feelings are hurt over it. I think she just wants you to trust her enough to care for the child, even in a small capacity. [name]Every[/name] grandparent needs alone time with their grandchild and vice versa. It’s so important for them to build a relationship outside of your relationship with each of them. My advice would be to allow her to care for the child during appointments or other situations where you can be close by but your mother in law can care for the child. This way you can fullfill her need to be needed and give her some private time with the child. Also, it may be a good idea to reassure her that when you feel your child is old enough she will be able to take her out on day trips and such - if that is your choice.

I hope this helps!

Wow. You have a problem here and it will probably not just be about this issue. [name]How[/name] you handle this situation may set the stage for future interactions so I would be very careful and consider future relationships and worry less about being right and them being a little crazy. For the record, they do sound a little crazy but that does not change the fact that they are and forever will be the grandparents of your children. Does that mean that you should leave your 6 week old with them? Not necessarily. but perhaps you and your husband can decide on some consessions to make them feel special as grandparents that you feel comfortable with. send them lots and lots of photos electronically. Take pictures of them with the baby often. Find positive things to say about them as grandparents. Make sure whent hey visit they get lots of chances to hold little [name]Penelope[/name] while she is still so tiny (and why you can supervise as needed).

You may not realize how lucky you are to have inlaws living close by (a little crazy or not). Babysitting is something you will eventually want and it is expensive ($17 an hour in my neighborhood). If you think it is appropriate, you may want to let them know that you and your husband love them very much and will love their help as sitters when your dayghter is a little older (maybe 10 weeks? thats when I first left mine for a couple hours I think). Tell your mother-in-law why you want to wait to be separated from [name]Penelope[/name] sos she does notthink it is about her. Reframe when ever possible - this is not about her - it is about the baby being so young (and your first?). You are bing cautious and need time to adjust yourself to motherhood and all the immense responsibilities and emotions that come with the job.

Best of luck!

I totally agree with the poster above! You need to tread carefully with how you approach this. If things go badly, it can set things up that way for the entire babies life! On the other hand, if you don’t deal with this now it will forever be a problem and grow into a greater resentment between you and your [name]MIL[/name]. So you need to deal with it now, but be careful. I would really practice what you are going to stay and practice not becoming emotional in the conversation despite how your [name]MIL[/name] reacts.

If you are letting your parents watch the baby, but not your [name]MIL[/name] then she should be hurt by it. If you aren’t letting anyone watch the baby yet, then let her know that! I would let her know that you are glad that she wants to be so involved in the babies life. I would say that you aren’t ready to leave the baby with anyone yet since she is only 6 weeks old, but say taht at ____ age you should be ready and that she is definately on the list of babysitters. Pick an age you think this will happen so that your [name]MIL[/name] can back off and look forward to that time. I would remind your [name]MIL[/name] that there will be many years ahead of spending time with her as well. You need to discuss all ahead with your husband and agree on everything so that he supports you.

If you are already letting other people watch her, then I would do as other said to slowly let your [name]MIL[/name] watch her for short periods like appointments for you or getting a haircut, etc. I would decide with your husband how often you [name]MIL[/name] can watch her for and for how long. [name]Set[/name] this up as a schedule, like you would a play date when she is older. Let your [name]MIL[/name] know that she can spend time with her, but also give her some limits. No matter what you do your [name]MIL[/name] is going to have her feelings hurt since she sounds like that type of person, but you need to set boundaries now. Often parents have to set bounaries for grandparents and let them know that this is your child and you are going to make the decisions and do things your way as they did with their children. Grandparents will forever have their options on how you should be doing things and can’t stand to see new parents learn and make mistakes as all parents do!

Are you nursing? If so, that can be the perfect “excuse” not to leave the baby yet. [name]Just[/name] say that you feed [name]Penelope[/name] on demand and can’t be away from her in case you miss a feeding. Everyone feels differently of course, but I would never leave my baby with anyone at 6 weeks. I don’t think you are crazy at all and your [name]MIL[/name] should back off a bit. That is a hard thing to communicate though. In-laws are tricky. I’ve stood my ground with mine and I know they think I’m an overprotective helicopter mom, but I don’t really care. I have to do what I feel is best for me and my kids.

Everyone gave such great and wise advice that I can only add more from a distant perspective. I didn’t have parents or in-laws close when my kids were small and so didn’t face this problem; my feelings are more that I wish I had had more help and support from older family members at that time. But your life and relationship with your in-laws is a long one and your daughter’s even longer, and so it’s important to manage things sensitively now.

Can you see a time in the future when you might want to drop your daughter off once a week or even longer? Maybe there’s a morning you might want to sign up for a class or get together with friends for coffee, plus an evening you can plan date night with your husband. Then they’ll have guaranteed time with their darling grandchild and you’ll have guaranteed time for yourself and your marriage. It seems that if you work this right, it can be a win-win for everyone.

I don’t think you’re being crazy, or unreasonable, but I do think your mil is just trying to be helping. I would take a little time to explain that you genuinely appreciate her offers, and that you do intend to take her up on them…some day. Maybe she just needs to know that you’re not ready yet. It might also be helpful to have your hubby there, to back you up. Good luck!

(Also, just a little side note…You are lucky to have family so close and eager to help. My hubby and I are in our city, and our families are elsewhere. It’s about 12 hrs of flights and connections for us to make it to our families, who live in different places, so we can’t even see everyone when we make the long trip!)

[name]Happy[/name] Holidays!

I agree with labmama

[name]MIL[/name] just wants to love and cherish your baby as you do and she probably doesn’t realise she is coming on a little stronger than you can cope with so don’t fret any more just have gentle chat, but promise her a future with her gdaughter, and I am sure with a gentle approach you will be able to work it out so that you both feel happy.

(I am a [name]MIL[/name] too).


I don’t think this situation is too unusual. [name]Do[/name] you think you’d be comfortable leaving your baby with her when she’s a little older? If so, just tell your [name]MIL[/name] this. Or have your husband tell her - if this makes more sense for your situation and relationship. I completely understand not wanting to leave your baby with anyone when she is still so little. With my first I think I waited a couple of months before I left her with my parents. And some parents aren’t comfortable leaving their babies with anyone until they are even older. It’s fine. I’m guessing your [name]MIL[/name] is just excited about her granddaughter, but I understand why you would feel uncomfortable from all of the pressure too.

I see that your [name]MIL[/name] might not react well to having a conversation about this and have hurt feelings about it. If that’s the case, then just let her. All you can do is bring it up in a tactful and sensitive way. You are your daughter’s mother and get to make these decisions. It sounds like your [name]MIL[/name] would eventually recover from her hurt feelings anyway.

I would allow my in laws to “babysit” while I was home at this age. Ie invite her over to watch the baby while you do house work, or catch up on sleep or just have some time to yourself. Your mother in law loves her grand daughter and just wants to share this precious time. Her reaction is annoying but her wants are natural.

I live out of state from our families and I would take a needy [name]MiL[/name] over no one any day. Good luck!

i love the idea of letting her ‘babysit’ in your home while you work out/clean or cook/take a nice long bath or whatever. i think that all in-laws are psychotic, or i guess all families are, but we’re used to the type of crazy that our own families are! i’m still pregnant and i know my own mom is just waiting to snatch my baby! the key is to assert yourself in the nicest possible way because you might really want a free and reliable babysitter a few months from now.