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Thread: Not sure where to post this...

  1. #1

    Default Not sure where to post this...

    I need some good advice on helping my MIL learn that she can bond with DS even though she can't give him a bottle. The situation is turning ugly and I've always loved her. I feel like this is turning into a real problem and I want to talk to her about it but I'm not sure how to help her understand. She thinks she can't hold him b/c I'm "always holding him." I only hold him when I'm nursing. Otherwise, he's sleeping, in the swing, or playing on his mat. I wear him when he's fussy if I don't have time to sit and hold him. There are plenty of opportunities for her to hold him but I think she has a deeper problem that she hasn't directly expressed to me (concerning breastfeeding). When I pregnant with DD she expressed a real concern that her son wouldn't be able to bond with Grace (DD) if I was BFing. Now, she makes comments like last night, "How long are you going to BF him?" I said, "Until he's ready to wean, at least a year." She said, "OHHHH!!! I'll NEVER get to hold him!!" Comments like that are said too often and it makes me mad but I also want to try to understand where she is comming from. I know I need to talk to her about it but I don't know what to say and how to bring it up since she has never directly expressed her problem to me. Thanks for your advice. Melissa
    LLL Leader Cabarrus County, North Carolina

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    NoVA
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    1,535

    Default Re: Not sure where to post this...

    This can be really hard - but you've got the right idea that now is the time to talk to her!

    Here is a good article with starting points and ideas
    How do I respond to and avoid criticism about breastfeeding?


    If you start the conversation with echoing what she's telling you "you feel like you'll never get a chance to hold him" "You seem concerned that you won't get a chance to bond with him" she can then feel understood. She might then say, yes I feel like I won't get a chance to bond with him because when I fed my babies that's how we bonded. So then you can get to the root of the problem.

    Then you can let her know how you feel "I feel hurt when you question how I parent" or "I feel that this is such an important time for my baby and I to bond, and breastfeeding is very important to me"

    It's ok to set limits and say that no you do not feel comfortable giving bottles, but that you would be happy if she would wear him, give him a bath when she is over, maybe even take a stroll with him around the block. Whatever you are comfortable with.

    HTH
    Jessica
    LLL Leader

    Breastfeeding is an instinctual and natural act, but it is also an art that is learned day by day.

    Visit LLL of Ashburn PM's Blog!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Not around here as much :(
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    12,132

    Default Re: Not sure where to post this...

    Great suggestions given above. Another way, if you are unsure of confronting her would be to just hand the baby to he when you're done nusring him or something and saying, "I know you want to hold him more often and this is a good chance for you two to bond " and walk away ... You, or at least your DH, knows her best so do what you think will work best for everyone. I would hope she is reasonable enough to understand your parenting choices without having to "explain" them, but since that's not the case, try the methods above or something in between that works for you all

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  4. #4

    Default Re: Not sure where to post this...

    I think that's a great idea to hand him to her when I'm done. I guess I hadn't thought of that b/c I didn't have to do that with DD. She automatically picked her up and held her while she slept and changed her diaper. I never had to "invite" her to hole DD. Oh well, I'll try that next time I'm around her. Thanks.
    LLL Leader Cabarrus County, North Carolina

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    212

    Default Re: Not sure where to post this...

    I try to be proactive about handing over my little guy so my parents/in laws know that I want to share him. Also, it might help if your husband could say in your presence to his mom how glad he is that you are doing what you both think is best for your baby. We joke that there's just one thing I can do that they can't and encourage them to help out with everything else.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    53

    Default Re: Not sure where to post this...

    Another way is to have her burp him. When my stepmom visited about a week after my son was born I would nurse him and then hand him right over, she would burp him and then pat him till he fell asleep on her.

    I think giving family and friends who want to help/ bond specific things they can do can really help. Feeding seems like the big and best one at first because it almost always makes the baby so happy. But it is by no way the only one. My aunt breatfed her boys till they were like 3 and she was the only one feeding them, but now that they are kids and teenagers they are still well bonded to their grandparents, they just found other ways and there is plenty of time in their life beyond the first year of feeding to bond

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Kentucky
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    Default Re: Not sure where to post this...

    With my MIL I get the same type of comments. What I have done is when I am done BF I usually will hand over my LO for her to hold or burp... I try to be good about letting her have time with my LO when she is down! It is hard when the MIL don't understand BF... I know that my MIL thinks I'm a little nutty... making comments like "You need to start feeding that baby" I would second the idea of sitting down and just talking with her and making an effort to let her really help out with your LO when she is over... its worked well for us!
    : breastfeeding mamma to our second daughter Gwendolyn Rose born 3/26/10 and to my 31 month old sweetie Alayna.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Not sure where to post this...

    ok, so I'm going to be proactive in just always handing him to her. It seems like she is always busy playing with DD or doing other things around here to help (which I love!) and I feel bad interrupting her to do this but I'm going to try it anyway. I think my feelings are also hurt that she wasn't this way with DD who was BF for 4 months. When I was pregnant with DS she made the comment that DD has her heart and she wasnt sure how she was going to love DS as much. I wondered with each new pregnancy how I could love another child as much as the ones I already had but of course as soon as I saw that sweet baby I absolutely DO love him as much as the others. I feel like she treats him different and it hurts my feelings. I wish she would just speak up and say what's bothering her! Anyway, thanks for the advice.
    LLL Leader Cabarrus County, North Carolina

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    307

    Default Re: Not sure where to post this...

    I just have to vent...

    why do our parents and in-laws do this to us? why can't they understand that they got their chance to raise their children and now it is our turn. My parents and in-laws sometimes seem to think that it's all about them and their experience as grandparents. They want to be the first ones to do this or that with the kids, but they don't consider that maybe my husband and I want to be the first ones to do this or that with OUR kids like they got to do with theirs. And if I hear one more opinion about nursing my baby, I'm gonna pull my hair out!! why wouldn't they want the best nutrition for their grandbaby???

    Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. I'm pregnant, so I'm hormonal and tired. Plus, I went to bed late and both of my kids woke up at the butt crack of dawn, so now I'm really tired, which makes me irritable
    Jillian
    Mommy to ...
    Ella (11/03/04)
    Owen (03/29/07)
    Cate (11/17/08)

  10. #10

    Default Re: Not sure where to post this...

    Quote Originally Posted by zookeeper View Post
    I just have to vent...

    why do our parents and in-laws do this to us? why can't they understand that they got their chance to raise their children and now it is our turn. My parents and in-laws sometimes seem to think that it's all about them and their experience as grandparents. They want to be the first ones to do this or that with the kids, but they don't consider that maybe my husband and I want to be the first ones to do this or that with OUR kids like they got to do with theirs. And if I hear one more opinion about nursing my baby, I'm gonna pull my hair out!! why wouldn't they want the best nutrition for their grandbaby???

    Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. I'm pregnant, so I'm hormonal and tired. Plus, I went to bed late and both of my kids woke up at the butt crack of dawn, so now I'm really tired, which makes me irritable
    LOL!!!!! Thanks for the early morning LAUGH OUT LOUD!!! I'm still laughing while typing. Sorry you're pregnant and tired and the kids got up at the buttcrack of dawn but that was too funny and I SO AGREE!!!! I told my husband she should just be happy that her grandson is getting the VERY best he can GET and that we care enough to give him that!! She obviously doesn't understand the benefits of BFing. I also had the same thought as you about why she has to do this to me! She's causing me extra stress that I absolutely do NOT need right now. I work from 3:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. when DD wakes up. I clean house and play with the kids, run errands, etc. all day and then sit back down to work when DD takes her nbap from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 or 4:00 p.m. Then it's time for homework with oldest DS, dinner, bath, bedtime routines, pack lunches, etc. and I get to bed finally around 9:30 - 10:00 p.m.! I'm KILLING myself to do what's best for my family - she should be happy HER DS has a hot dinner every night and a nice packed lunch for him everyday as well as clean clothes to wear and a half way clean house to live in. OH yeah, I also take online classes fulltime. Anyway, I feel ya. Thanks again for the laugh.
    LLL Leader Cabarrus County, North Carolina

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