“She wanted to sleep at home when I returned from maternity ward”: when mothers-in-law get involved (too much)

She wanted to sleep at home when I returned from

Relationships between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law are sometimes complicated. Between unsolicited advice and support, tensions build up when the child is born. Manon and Johanna talk about their feelings, faced with a mother-in-law who wants to help, but who seems intrusive.

Understanding between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law is not always there. This relationship becomes even more complex with the arrival of a child, because unconscious issues come to the surface during pregnancy. Eager to relive motherhood through their daughter-in-law, some mothers-in-law begin to flood them with advice. “You shouldn’t eat this, it’s not good for the baby.” me, during my pregnancy, I did that…”, which, in addition to being irritating, is profoundly infantilizing. Unfortunately, the birth of the child does not end this intrusive behavior.

This is exactly what Manon, mother of little Léonie, aged two, experienced. “During my pregnancy, my mother-in-law asked me not to stay up too late for the health of the baby, told me that I should not take too long car journeys, sent me messages to tell me what I should eat or drink… It was unbearable!“, she confides to us. Her mother-in-law even allowed herself to give her opinion on the first name of the future baby and was already making plans for the future. ” I will look after her every Tuesday, and every other weekendshe told me. I really experienced this as an intrusion. And all the more so because it came from my mother-in-law, not even my own mother!“, remembers Manon.

His mother-in-law’s behavior is partly explained by the fact that her son is her only child. “She had it very young and didn’t take care of it as she would have liked. As a result, she’s trying to make up for it today with my daughter. But she’s not her daughter, but she has too inclined to forget it!“, she gets annoyed. Since the birth of her daughter, relations with her mother-in-law have not calmed down, on the contrary. “She comes to the house without warning and when I agree to leave my daughter with her for a few hours, she does exactly the opposite of what I asked her. For example, she gives her super sweet cakes first thing in the morning, puts her in front of the television, shows her videos on her phone, doesn’t take her to the park because she refuses to leave her dog alone at home for an hour. , smokes in her presence… One day, she even took without my consent the imprint of Léonie’s foot that I had made for her one month. But the straw that broke the camel’s back was when I found her lying on our marital bed, the little one asleep on her stomach. It made me crazy!”. The worst part of all this is that Manon’s husband does not intervene, for fear of hurting his mother. One thing is certain, Manon does not intend to leave her daughter for more than a few hours with her in-laws.

A case which is far from isolated. Some mothers-in-law go so far as to insist on being present during ultrasounds or at the maternity ward so as not to miss anything of the baby’s first hours of life. Johana, mother of little Léon, remembers the days following her return home. Her mother-in-law, wanting to help her, offered to come and sleep at her house for a week. “I needed to get my bearings, to use the sofa on which she wanted to sleep to give the nighttime bottles, but also to cry when I wanted to, to walk around in my pants, to be comfortable.” Today she remains relieved not to have responded favorably to her request, and even escaped the worst: “my mother-in-law also wanted to organize a party at home by inviting around twenty people to my house, a week after the birth of my son!”

However, even if this seems difficult to understand because we are often on edge during pregnancy and when our baby arrives, it is important to take a step back and keep in mind that, in Generally, our mother-in-law’s behavior is not based on bad intentions. She is just very happy to become a grandmother and thinks she is doing well, even if she is probably clumsy. Maybe it would be a good idea to talk to her directly about it?