Decoding The Secret Code of Dealing With MILs
I recently had a chat with a friend who is a new mum and she sounded upset. “My mum-in-law although lovely, tends to constantly give me feedback on how I am taking care of the baby. Unfortunately, that sometimes makes me doubt myself and my innate instincts.” my friend said. I nodded. While my relationship with my MIL is great, there are times when I too think that I don’t need her incessant suggestions about how I should be raising my boys.
Well, this is not the case with only few mums. According to the Baby Dove’s Real Mother’s Heard Survey, 70% Indian mothers sometimes feel annoyed by the opinions and advice given by family and friends on how to look after their child. And, this is even more unsettling when you receive conflicting advice, especially from those at home. 66% of Indian mothers feel that they receive conflicting advice from their mothers and mothers-in-law. In today’s day and age when parenting has reformed so much, contradictory advice from elderly relatives can confuse new mums. Mums who just cannot seem to shoot down the MIL argument which is: “humare zamane mein aisa hota tha.”
This often adds to the huge pressure and self-doubt that mums already go through. So, it’s not surprising that 73% of Indian mothers sometimes wonder if what they are doing as a mother is good enough, as found in the Real Mom Heard Survey by Baby Dove.
When I floated a question about handling overbearing in-laws among our Momstars, pretty interesting answers cropped up.
One Momstar shared that her mother-in-law often argued to no end to prove her point. For her, walking away from the uncomfortable situation helps as this avoids the possibility of fueling the argument further.
Another Momstar stated that she tells herself to ignore minor annoyances most of the time, but if her MIL insists for something to be done, she asks her to do it herself. This way, the tense air eases itself. Most Momstars agreed that interference from in-laws is unavoidable, irrespective of whether one lived in a joint or nuclear family.
However, a couple of wise Momstars had an interesting titbit to share. A Momstar said that listening to her mum-in-law actually helps her. She mentioned how her mum’s in law advice to make her baby fall asleep was super helpful as he fell asleep much faster than he normally did. And, this gave her the much needed me -time.
Thus, many Momstars feel that however nosey MILs may seem, they are after all, concerned grandmas, and have the little ones' best interests at heart. So, they suggested that their advice must be considered before shooting it down as after all, they're experienced.
So, if you’re getting stifled by overpowering advice from your in-laws (particularly MIL) here are few tips that could help you maintain sanity. These are all from experienced moms themselves.
Talk the talk: Talking it out is very important to set boundaries in your relationship with your MIL. If you feel your parents or in-laws have crossed the line, it’s best to clear the air by talking things out. Try to use a diplomatic tone to avoid matters from turning sour, as your child might be watching you.
Trust your instincts: This tip goes a long way. A mum’s instincts work best. So, if you don’t trust your own, you will just get sucked into a black hole of misery. Suck in all the advice, but do what you feel is right.
Rope in the doctor: Take your mother/MIL along whenever you visit the pediatrician. This way, most of the baby-raising doubts will get cleared!
Don’t puncture your confidence: Parenthood is all about learning so don’t let anyone’s judgment make you feel inadequate. Most of the time, elderly relatives behave the way they do as they do not understand change and sometimes cannot help themselves. Just have confidence in your abilities as a mum.
Remember, she's grandma: Remind yourself that your mother-in-law is your child’s grandma, and probably means well. So, try not to reject her opinions openly. Rejecting her thoughts straight off will only put you in her bad books and we do not want the child to be affected.
Managing relationships in an Indian marriage is like perpetually walking on eggshells. Being zen all the time while being bombarded by advice is tough, but like Baby Dove says – believe in yourself and trust your instincts for you know what is best for your child. The brand believes that there is no right or wrong way of being a mother and I completely agree. In fact, there is no single ‘right way’ of parenting either. So just be confident of the decisions you make and #trustyourway!
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Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by: Baby Dove
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