View Full Version : MIL thinks we are spoiling 7 1/2 month DD

07-03-2003, 05:44 PM
My MIL has been pretty supportive of our parenting style, with the exception of a few things. First it was, "Is she STILL sleeping in your room?" which we hear every week. I mean really, if we're happy with it what does she care.

So last night they came over at 7 (an hour before her bedtime). DD was pretty good until about 7:30. She started fussing and so DH handed her a toy. She kept fussing (by this time, she's just plain tired) so DH picked her up and started swaying her. My MIL makes a comment that she's "Not going to always get what she wants, you know?" I didn't know what to say. I was so mad that I just acted like I didn't hear it. She's made comments about spoiling her before, and that babies need to cry, and that her children cried and turned out just fine and on and on. Our parenting style is not one to let her just sit there and cry. We also don't give her everything she wants, but we always respond to her cries which bothers MIL.

What would you say? I don't want to go into the whole shpeel about our parenting style, just something simple that says "back off" in a gentle way. Any ideas?


07-03-2003, 07:52 PM
"This works for us". :D Or to her silly suggestions, we say, "Oh that's an idea" and inside think, "Like he!! I will...."

07-04-2003, 01:30 AM
Ignoring seems like a good idea. How did it work?

If you'd prefer take the bull by the horns, so to speak, I would say something like, "I am sure you have her best interests in mind, but that is not how WE parent."

You could go on with all the details as to why your way is best..blah..blah..blah...but I'm sure that'd just get the "well my kids turned out fine response."

If you want to really want to make a point, you could say, "if our parenting style bothers you so much, then perhaps you should visit less." }>

07-04-2003, 03:59 AM
hee hee, i like that last one about not coming around so often. sometimes ignoring doesn't work, and you just want to say "ya know, i heard you the first time, and i was doing you a favor by not responding to it. parenting decisions are ours to make, and when we want your advice we'll ask for it." heh heh. that would make for some fun subsequent family gatherings :)

i like going with your true feelings "it's working for us and we're happy" and just gritting your teeth while thinking, "...so what do you care?" or what about gently mentioning that ideas about parenting now are somewhat different from when MIL raised kids and that she sure raised great kids, but you'd appreciate it if she'd quietly respect your decisions, even if it isn't exactly how she'd do things.

07-04-2003, 10:43 AM
I love it!! I could only imagine the look on her face if I told her they should visit less. :-)

When I ignored her it worked for the time, but I'm just getting sick of hearing it.

I like the "That's how we parent." We're going over tonight for a BBQ, so I'm arming myself with comebacks!!!!! If she dare make any sassy remarks in front of everyone, she'll be sorry :-)


07-04-2003, 11:35 AM

You could always try something like "you know, a lot of research has been done since you raised your kids.... for now we're going to listen to the pros."

Just a thought. :)

Mommyt o Matt

07-04-2003, 12:22 PM
Whenever I am with my dd and her ds people, friends and others are always saying let him cry it is good for them or it is good for his lungs blah blah .
I always say if you feel that way you should DEFINITELY let your baby,or grandbaby cry and then I do whatever I was doing holding or swinging or whatever.
It catches them off guard.
You should tell your MIL that if she has another baby she should definitely let them cry since she feels so strongly about it.She should get the picture since I am assuming she is not having a baby in this lifetime.

07-04-2003, 12:24 PM
Also Tell her that it is the privelege of every generation to make their own choices or mistakes however she wants to look at it.

07-04-2003, 12:44 PM
Hee-hee!! I couldn't stop laughing at "If she has another baby..." Thanks for the suggestions! I don't think she could have a comeback for those ;-)


07-06-2003, 04:01 AM
What works best for me is to just leave the room. If we're away from home, we just pack our things and go home, if they're at our house, I take the baby and head into the bedroom and let DH deal with the comments! It's HIS side of the family, after all. :)

I also make it clear how long we are staying before we leave the house. i.e. "We're staying for lunch, then an hour and we're out of there!" I always pack my stroller and a sling for quick walks outside, no matter what the weather. I've taken the little ones out in the rain, snow, summer heat, you name it. I just offer "We love to go out for walks and get some fresh air!" as an explanation.

For me, it got more difficult when the baby got older and was into everything. DH's folks' house is far from kid-proof and it's very difficult to control those busy hands all the time. That "fresh air" gets more and more important as the visits get longer.....

gina, mom to 3

Board Baby
07-07-2003, 01:09 AM
Board Baby

I loved the comment my SIL made when she was caring for our DD and my MIL made a comment she said " Oh better bring in the professionals!!!" My SIL has children of her own. My MIL for the most part is fine and I ignore the advice that I am not interested in. Some of it I think is a confidence thing- 2 great books that you might be interested in are: The Baby Book by William and Martha Sears and the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg. These will reinforce your parenting style, give you good common sense advice and if nothing else at least let you quote from experts against MIL. One line that one of my DH's friends at work used with his MIL was " Oh yeah, and you never used to buckle your kids in cars either-just let them fly into the windshield!"

Good luck.

07-07-2003, 01:30 PM
I LOVE the buckling into the car saying... got to use that one! I've tried the "well nowadays, things are different" but that doesn't stop my MIL, she just says I'm wrong. She actually called up the pediatrician (I had used the old blame the doctor when your parenting practices are in question), and told him he was wrong, too. I was sooo embarrassed! Ignoring can really only get you so far. I know, for me, it just drives me crazy to ALWAYS bite my tongue. I hope your DH is supportive. My DH gets tired of my complaining, and he could go a long way towards keeping her in line, but he's more the avoiding conflict type. He will step up to the plate once in a while. I wish you luck and patience!!

Mommy to Kiki 4/18/03

07-08-2003, 12:56 PM
Gosh, your MIL sounds like a NIGHTMARE, Jeannie! Yikes!!!

I hope you didn't interpret my "leaving the room" as ignoring the situation. That's not how I generally handle things! My main issues have been extended breastfeeding and crying it out. My responses have been:

"We'll stop nursing when DD is ready. We take one day at a time, and today, she's not ready!"


"I don't have what it takes to let her 'cry it out' right now."

Several of my family members don't think babies should nurse past 6 months. Instead of making others uncomfortable while I nurse my 7 month old or 2.5 yr old, I go to another room. I nurse to comfort and provide nourishment to my children, not to annoy my family.

I have a hard enough time listening to the little ones scream at home, and certainly don't want to make our relatives listen to my children scream at their house! Leaving to get some fresh air helps me to calm down and regroup. I'm better able to tolerate rude comments when I'm relaxed. Often I ask my MIL to come with us!

Have you noticed that people make comments like "He's a good baby" or "you should have him sleeping through the night by now...I did!"? That drives me nuts! It's as if they base our parenting skills on whether the baby is happy or sleeping all night long! There's just so much more; it's rewarding, but challenging on a daily basis! :)

gina, mom to 3

07-08-2003, 01:25 PM
Your situation sounds a lot like mine. My mother was shocked when I said I would be BFIng past 6 months. I don't know what she's going to think when DD is still nursing past a year. I, too, just go to a bedroom and nurse her. I actually like going to a nice quiet room where I can get away from them for a while.

For the 4th of July we went to the in laws, and things were better (I guess just ignoring her comments worked!) Although, right before we were getting ready to leave because DD was getting tired, my FIL decides to finally hold her (he has this fear of making her upset). So of course she starts crying and he says "I'm not going to let you go until you stop crying." I snapped right back, "She's tired and needs to get to bed." and then I took her out of his arms. Come on people, have some respect.

And yes, I always get the "Is she sleeping through the night?" Even strangers ask and then kind of give me this look like I'm not doing a good job parenting. I would do anything to get her to sleep - heck we are trying so many things. We don't need those nasty looks to go along with the frustration we are already feeling.

Thanks for letting me vent!!!

07-08-2003, 02:41 PM
Oh boy, why do people think they can give their uninvited opinions on things like bf-ing and sleep habits?! My MIL has strong opinions on both, and I've had to listen to them all. I think she doesn't like bf-ing because she likes to be able to "do it all" with her grandbabies. MIL would watch my nephew and my SIL would leave bm for him, and emergency formula- just in case she hadn't pumped enough for him. MIL would give him formula FIRST, even though she wasn't supposed to. THEN she told my SIL that he preferred the formula to her bm, and she should just stop bf-ing already. Of all the nerve!! When you go to the trouble of pumping---that already precious bm is like liquid gold especially to any mom who's ever had to pump!! We've told MIL that bm is soo much better, but she just says, "It was good enough for your husbands." She is also a big advocate of crying it out. She says I'm spoiling DD, by not letting her cry it out. SIL is no help as she used BabyWise. But like Gina says, "I just don't have it in me to let her cry like that."

Thanks so much for letting me vent... DH is going to wonder why I'm not complaining so much to him!! :)

mommy to Kiki 4/18/03

07-08-2003, 03:56 PM
The trouble with my comment is that I really DON'T have what it takes to let them cry it out! :)

I literally have to leave the house to tolerate the crying. Probably why I've nursed DD so long. After every nap she cries and cries and cries. The only way to stop her is to nurse and let her slowly wake up. Sometimes the new baby looks over and crawls to me crying because HE'S jealous of me rocking his older sister! Crazy kids!!! :)

Glad to know we are here to vent and help each other. Vent away gals, it really helps! The only way I make it through some weeks is by looking forward to Friday morning playgroup. Supposed to be the for kids? Hah! It's so the Moms can get together, eat coffe cake and vent. If you haven't started one yet, DO IT! It's a lifesaver for me!

gina, mom to 3