You had her favourite and only grandchild and so your mother-in-law couldn't be any more excited! Technically, you should be her favourite person, and for a while there, you were. She called and texted you constantly and couldn't wait to hear more about how the baby was doing. She even asked how you felt after labour (or a C-section) and brought you a little postbirth present. You two were sort of like BFFs. Well, as close as you can be with someone who's not your own mum and as close as she can be with someone who, well, took her son away. Sniff.
But now? Oh, it's a whole different ball game. Before you could do no wrong, as the bearer of the greatest of all: the grandbaby. But now? Now you are doing everything wrong, according to your dear old mother-in-law. Here are three signs your MIL kind of hates you after having her grandchild.
First She Says: "Don't Do That!"
She questions your every parenting move, from the type of nappies you use to your nursing or feeding process/schedule or what have you. She reminds you of what she did as a young mother, in a way to validate her own parenting, but also to tell you that "Hey lady: you are doing it all wrong!"
You've started telling her less, simply out of fear that you will get her angry or worse, get yourself entangled in a fight.
Then: She Gets In Her Son's Ear
Even if your hubby ignores her, she starts to bother him about what it is that she believes you're doing wrong. This way, she believes, she will have her son on her side and can get you to stop whatever supposedly offensive behaviour you're doing. It's not that she hates you exactly, but more that as she sees you with the new baby, a part of her longs for those days back herself. A part of her is envious. Another part of her believes that she truly knows what is best for her grandchild and doesn't want to give up on her opinions.
Mostly, her son is tired of being in the middle and probably is on your side.
The best approach? Simply validate her feelings by saying, "I appreciate how much you care for the baby and that you may have done things differently than I am, but things always change with time and I am doing my best."
In other words? Don't engage the beast!
Lastly: She Admonishes You Publicly
She doesn't hold back from sharing her feelings about you and your parenting in public because most likely, you're following your own maternal instincts and not hers so therefore, she has "had enough." Whether it's at a family gathering or you have invited her to lunch or the park, you'll know she really dislikes you by how she picks you apart, whether it's for the dress you decided to wear, how you dressed your baby, how you breathe, where you bought your groceries, or where you plan on having your child's first birthday party.
Basically, you're doomed. How do you manage this situation?
You can't change her, but you can manage how you respond to her.
- First: Don't feed the fighting. Ignore her catty comments.
- Second: Acknowledge her care for her grandchild and that you're sure she was a great parent who raised great kids and that you're learning your own parenting style much how she did.
- Third: If she starts to be nasty, end the visit or tell your hubby, "It's time to leave now."
- Fourth: Kill her with kindness and include her. Yes, include her! Ask her for her input on other matters. Invite her to special events she might like and when she is nasty, always be kind. Will this stink for a while? Yes, but it may be that she's feeling threatened by you or perhaps just lonely or uninvolved. Making her feel needed may be the trick!
- Fifth and final: Avoid spending time with her alone if it's that bad and none of the other steps work.
It's not always easy getting along with your MIL but hopefully, this little angry stage will pass in time. In the meantime, take the high road and turn the other cheek!