Today’s problem comes from a mum who’s feeling a bit bogged down by the views and opinions of a family member – have you any advice?
I’m sure the mother in law is a frequent source of frustration for all parents.
I’ve encountered problems with my mother in law ever since my daughter was placed. She had opinions on *everything*. You name it, she knew about it.
Except back in those days, there was no appreciation day, and our parents learnt what they did through us. We passed on as much information as we could but, without the preparation courses, materials, social workers, and chats with other adopters, there was really only so much they could take in. We bought that BAAF book, the one about adoption for family and friends, and passed it around our immediate family – the one’s who’d have an active part in our daughter’s life.
Right from the word go, they didn’t understand the need for it to just be the three of us. But we did quite a good job at deflecting their requests for visits.
After a few months it all began getting worse. She wasn’t physically interfering – she didn’t try to feed little one, or take over doing her nappy. But she had an opinion on everything, and she wasn’t afraid to tell us when she thought we were doing the wrong thing, which was most of the time! I held the bottle wrong, I winded her wrong, I dressed her in clothes that mother in law didn’t like, I gave her the wrong food, I expected her to do too much, oh the list goes on.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased she wants to be involved – I lost my own mum some years ago, so of course I want my daughter to have a relationship with her granny but…over the years I’ve felt so unsure of what I’m doing anyway, so unconfident, that hearing those negative opinions just knocked me down. It’s hard enough being under the scrutiny of a social worker, let alone those around you too.
The thing is, she’s not a bad person. She’s just insensitive, and truth be told, so set in her ways that she just can’t comprehend WHY we do things the way we do.
I’m not sure what more we can do to get things across to her, without sitting down and having a really full on frank discussion. But because of the person she is, with the temperament she has, sitting her down would result in her walking away and feeling blamed. I can’t see a good way out of this, so should we just grin and bear it for now?
If you have had a similar experience or have any helpful advice for this parent, please comment below.
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