Bringing up a new born is never an easy task. All those engaged in this rigorous process get to learn plenty of new stuff.
However, mother in law is yet another entity that has to be dealt with by a new mom along with her infant. Even if a mom enjoys good relations with her mother in law, there is a high probability that she is going to have disagreements with her on a number of things related to parenting and taking care of her bundle of joy.
There is a hell of a generation gap between a new mom and her mother in law. Technology is continuously evolving and trends are always changing. The way a mother in law brought her kids up is massively different from the way moms raise their kids at present. Dr. Benjamin Spocks might have been the one whose advice was adhered to by your mother in law and you might be looking up to the intellect of Dr. William Sears in this regard.
Your mother in law might think that letting the baby cry won’t make much of a difference but you can contradict her and express love and affection to the infant. Different generations tend to have different opinions about parenting and you will have to tackle these variety of opinions while dealing with your mother in law and her primitive points of view.
Dealing with her parenting advice
Here are a few cool tips that will enable you to deal with your mother in law and her undesired advice.
1 – Accept her help
It is important that you realize that your mother in law has good things at heart. She offers her help because she adores your infant and believes that her experience in raising up kids is more valuable than yours. However, newly introduced parenting techniques may be complicated for her to grasp.
2 – Avoid excluding her
More often not, your mother in law will have to hear it from the experts to help her make up her mind so bringing her along to meetings with pediatrician should help in this regard. Discussing the infant’s issues with the physician will give her some much needed peace of mind and she will be more receptive to the doctor’s knowledge.
3 – Discuss with her
Avoiding your mother in law’s phone calls or visits will do you, your kid and husband more harm than good. You will have to accept the fact that she is a part of your family and all love the little bundle of joy. In case of any disagreements with regard to parenting, mutual discussions are the only way to resolve conflicts. Your family is likely to suffer badly if you keep your baby and yourself away from the mother in law.
4 – Let her participate
It is judicious that you let your mother in law assist you in taking care of the new born. Your mother deserves every one bit of your kid’s infancy and it is utterly wrong and immoral to push her away whenever she looks to lend you a hand in bringing him or her up.
5 – No arguing
There is no point in arguing with your mother in law. It is prudent to listen to what she has to say about her days when she brought her babies up but ultimately, the choice is yours whether you want to accept the advice or let go of it. Listen to her intently, make up your mind and then do as you please. You should abstain from interrupting your mother in law when she is sharing with you tips about taking care of the baby. It is rude to tell her that you do not value her suggestions and won’t be following them. It is prudent to thank her for what she has to offer, whether in the shape of advice or in the form of some physical help, and then carry on with your own ways.
The modern research and experts believe that there are certain things that were once considered helpful for raising a baby but in reality, they are bad. Having said that, your mother in law may not be acquainted with the advanced findings and she may insist to stick to the old ways when it comes to your baby’s diet.
Milk constitutes one of the largest disagreements that you can have with your mother in law. In the old days, parents filled their baby’s bottles up with cow’s milk and though that it was all good. There was no concept of lactose intolerance in those days. The sugars in the cow’s milk cannot be digested by babies which can lead to bloating, stomach ache and even diarrhea. Dr. William Sears advises his clients to avoid giving their baby cow’s milk till they are at least one year old.
Sugar is another thing that was thought of highly by the people of the older generations. It was believed that giving a teething baby a sugary cookie could do a lot of good to the infant. Moms, in those days, used to wrap pieces of sugar in cloth and use it soothe their weeping babies in place of pacifiers. There were also instants when the mothers used to dip the bundle of sugar in rum, brandy or some other liquor to soothe their fussy baby.
People of the older generation also thing highly of fruit juice as they used to fill their baby’s bottle up with fruit juice. However, the research conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics reveals that giving fruit juice to an infant before one year of age could lead to future obesity and dental issues.
These are some of the traditional practices that would horrify the modern moms but were considered normal in the old days. There is a high probability that you will have to struggle with your mother in law on issues such as those mentioned above.
Susan Newman, the author of Nobody’s Baby Now: Reinventing Your Adult Relationship with Your Mother and Father, notices that moms can tell their mothers in law that they are thankful for all their help but they would love to make their own mistakes. They could also tell them that the times have changed and they are following their paediatrician’s advice.
Dr. Les Parrott, author of The Parent You Want to Be: Who You Are Matters More Than What You Do, observes that simply listening to your mother in law does not mean that you also have to follow whatever she says. He is of the view that there is no point in spoiling this happy time of yours by resisting everything your mother in law has to say.
Jennifer Hartstein, a psychologist at the Child and Family Institute at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, suggests that babies have the unfathomable ability to unleash the compassion in everyone around the family. People in the family might think that you are struggling with some of the parenting issues and they may raise their hands up to help you out. It could be irritating and outright insulting for a new mother who has been struggling with her parenting techniques and does not get the much needed rest. So, it is judicious to calm down, take a deep breath and enjoy whatever comes your way.
More often than not, the best way to cope with your mother in law and the newborn is to give a big smile and move on. It is important that you realise the fact that your mother in law is full of compassion for you as well as your baby and wants to help you raise your baby up. Try to give her some space and you will find out that all of her undesired advice directed towards you is nothing but an act of selfless love.