In-law Conflict???

Posted on March 12, 2017. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

It can be difficult when in-laws continually (inadvertently?) step in with unwanted and/or negative advice and comments.  Anxiety levels can quickly go up and resentment set in. There are ways to handle things in a bridge-building manner and not having to blow your top and perhaps say things you, and they, can never take back.  In-laws are around for a long time so learning about boundaries and keeping the peace ensures that the relationship can be worked out.

One Mom reported that her mother-in-law (MIL), who moved in for 3 weeks after the babies were born, would bottle feed formula in the night even though MIL knew that Mom was trying to build her supply and needed to either feed and/or pump for her babies in order to do so.  This is sabotage, upsetting and negatively affects the plan the parents had for breastfeeding their babies.  Rather than let things fester and affect breastmilk supply, it was necessary to deal with this situation. (MIL’s explanation was:  “Well you need your sleep too and I didn’t want to wake you.”)

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Firstly, work out and agree upon with your partner a system that works for you and your family.  This way, when having the talk, both partners on the same page with no second guessing.

Check out my App Jumelle Twin, Triplet and Baby Tracking App at http://www.jumelle.ca and/or on the App Store.  With using this App, parents can easily fill out the notes, details and comments as well as keep track of breast/bottle feedings, diapers contents and sleep habits.  Having it there in black and white leaves no room for error or forgetfulness.

Secondly, I firmly believe that each parent needs to speak to their own side of the family so that tensions may not run as high or if things do get out of hand, the same side of the family may be more forgiving for the future.   So, each parent will do the majority of the talking to their own side of the family during the discussion.

Have the discussion on a day when things are going well.  Having a deep discussion on a day when things are not going well, will only add fuel to the fire.

Use a lot of “Is” in your sentences:  “I know you are trying to help, but I would really appreciate if you could come on board with working within the schedule we have found works best for our family,” or any variation of this wording/content that works for your needs.  Presented with being part of the solution and not being part of the problem is very defusing and will hopefully bring the “offender” to a better understanding of your side of the situation.

If the negativity, sabotage or judgments continue, stick to your guns and repeat the above statement.  Consistency and a united front, even if the other parent is minimally verbally involved, should eventually get the message through.

 

 

 

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