May 8, 2008

She drives me crazy

I really feel bad complaining about my MIL but I can't help it sometimes, just need to vent! I have a new name for her, am gonna call her Mildred, derived from MIL-dread i.e. the dreaded mother-in-law.

Anyways, Mildred was over yesterday and as usual made a fuss over the baby and the fussing continued when I got home from work. Nat was asleep and had apparently been asleep for 3-4 hrs and Mildred was trying to wake her up. I commented that Nat was probably tired from playing with her all afternoon but Mildred insisted on waking her up.

She proudly told me she carried the baby for a whole hour while she was asleep and said I was a bully when I said Nat could fall asleep on her own and didn't need me to carry her all the time. She also teasingly (or maybe she meant it) said I was mean when I didn't want to bring Nat for a car ride when Nick sent her home.

Personally I was too lazy to pack the diaper bag for the 20 min car ride, plus we had no more sterilised would have been too troublesome. Nick himself tries to minimise the time Nat spends in the car as A) she doesn't use a carseat, and B) he doesn't feel the car is safe enough.

Mildred also hates making Nat sleep in her crib, preferring to lay her on ma's bed or mine. She thinks the mattress is too hard, I say nonsense! And when the baby so much as waves an arm or wriggles her fingers after being put down, she will immediately pick her up and say, "Oh poor thing, you want to be carried ah?". Any reason to carry her!

And, I knew she would ask me about the nursery rhyme CDs. When I said I only burned one out of the 3 she brought, she questioned why. I told her I didn't like the singing and she said I was fussy! But when I said Nick didn't like them either, she kept quiet. Yesterday she kept telling Nat, "Oh, your mummy bullies you," or "Oh, your mummy is so mean."

I wish she would respect the methods we are applying when it comes to babycare and not impose her way of doing things. She probably doesn't agree with half the things we do and blatantly undermines our efforts to not spoil Nat. We don't want to inculcate any bad habits and the 'training' starts now but it's not like we're some military regime. We still play and have fun with our child, but we want her to be independent and not needy. Otherwise all sorts of sleep, separation and feeding issues will crop up later, we want to minimise those!

Oh, and she keeps checking on whether I am still feeding Nat booby milk...saying that breast milk is best and comparing quantities with her friend who just gave birth and asking how come I claimed I had no supply in the early days when her friend was nursing immediately after birth. I had to tell her that was the colostrum bit her friend was feeding the newborn. Anyway, if I choose not to exclusively breastfeed Nat, that's my choice. She herself didn't nurse her two sons and I pointed out to her they turned out fine.

And another thing. Ata's 16-day prayer is taking place tomorrow at the Sri Srivan temple. I know Mildred's a staunch Catholic but she has been reminding one and all that Nick and Kevin are not supposed to participate in the prayers as it goes against their religion.

No one said they had to perform any rituals in the first place, they are just entering the temple, not worshipping the deities for God's sake! Pun intended!

On Sunday she reminded me, yesterday she brought it up with Swana, she also told my mum and alerted Nick. And this morning, she reminded Nick again and asked if Nat was going to the temple. She's getting her knickers in a knot over a non-event. She even offered to babysit, I think she secretly doesn't want Nat to enter the temple but I am bringing my daughter by hook or by crook. After all she is half-Indian, I still want to expose her to her other roots.

Again, I have to put in a disclaimer. Mildred is very nice and caring who wants the best for her children and grandchildren...she just doesn't know when to back off!


Kiki said...

Hi Babe,
I am doing very well here in NL.
Well as I read your blog each time, I think my situation is directly opposite from yours. I used to be too overcaring/protective of Kirsten, and my MIL told me to relax and enjoy Motherhood with her. Heheheheee... so I changed. In Sgp, my friends and family said I am too laid back in Motherhood. (Jeesh...)
You are right, baby should always stop any stimulations an hour before bedtime, or else he/she will never sleep well through the nite. It works on every kid. And u may like to raise it gently to your MIL. I agree with u, it's a good way to put Nat to sleep on her own in her crib. Every kid has to start a habit @ a very young age, or else it will be hard to work on changes in the later stage. Your MIL's method may be traditional, u may slowly bring it up to her why u do this way & that every parent has his/her parenting method that no one can change . Try to introduce her into the outlook of modern care nowadays. Breastfeeding is always the best recommended food for babies, however quantity doesnt always count. Breastmilk gives alot of exclusive nutrients which powdermilk doesnt, that's all. But kids still grow up good and healthy no matter what food they take. It's all about individuals.
I understand fully how you feel and u are in a difficult position now. Try a little more patience, communicate slowly and gently with her, and the situations will fly by. E.g."I understand your point of view MIL, and that is a good method. I will use it somedays, but still I think in general Nat will do better if she learns ...blah blah blah...". MILs are always too overconcerned over minor things, and sometimes if things do not go their way, they will feel offended. Generatin gap lar... Still in the end of the day, I believe she loves you all dearly.
Cheer up, babe!

hotpinkchick said...

Hi Shef,

Thanks for the advice...i guess I should really be more patient with her and try to explain our rationale for doing things the way we do so that she understands better...Grandparents will be grandparents!


Kiki said...

Hey Sus,
You both still are the best. I am impressed with the immense work u done for Nat, the family and the house.
Amazing mommy & wife u are.