cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
Lucy ([personal profile] cereta) wrote in [community profile] agonyaunt2017-03-29 08:07 am
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Dear Abby: In-Laws' Criticism Wearing New Mother Down

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I recently had a baby girl, our first. We both work full-time, but my husband is gone nights and weekends and I'm the primary parent at home with our daughter.

Something has been bothering me since my daughter came along. My in-laws have never once told me I'm doing a good job as a mother. I'm critiqued every time they come over, whether it be that her hands are too cold, her room is too warm or her nails are too "sharp."

They compliment my husband repeatedly, and he's the first to give all the credit to me, but I feel like they don't think I'm doing a good job and it makes me feel bad. Am I being too sensitive? -- CRITICIZED ALL THE TIME

DEAR CRITICIZED: It is possible that in making these comments, your in-laws are simply trying to be helpful. Instead of regarding them as criticism, take them under consideration.

However, if your hurt feelings persist, you -- or your husband -- should point out to his parents that in trying to be helpful, they have forgotten to be supportive, and mention some of the things you are doing right.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)

[personal profile] kaberett 2017-03-29 01:23 pm (UTC)(link)
... almost everything about this answer is wrong. Wow. Wow.
jadelennox: Judith Martin/Miss Manners looking ladylike: it's not about forks  (judith martin:forks)

[personal profile] jadelennox 2017-03-29 10:40 pm (UTC)(link)
Abby is made of wrong in this one. It's not even the old-skoolness of Abby's column; Miss Manners would hang here out to dry for this one.
xenacryst: Opus from Bloom County saying "NO NO..." (Bloom County: Opus NO NO)

[personal profile] xenacryst 2017-03-31 04:07 pm (UTC)(link)

Look, in-laws, I don't care if you think you're being helpful, you've stepped into a huge cultural slime pit of Dad Is Awesome/Mom Needs Help. You may not realize that's where you are, or just how deep and slimy the pit is, but once LW (or anyone else, for that matter) tells you where you are, it's on you to climb back out. LW already has put a whole lot of emotional work into just HAVING the child, she doesn't need the extra emotional work of having to deflect your criticisms. So stop. Tell her that she's being wonderful, because you know who's listening? YOUR GRANDKID, and she needs to have a chance to grow up without this cultural baggage, ok?
fox: my left eye.  "ceci n'est pas une fox." (Default)

[personal profile] fox 2017-03-29 01:33 pm (UTC)(link)
Instead of regarding them as criticism, take them under consideration.


Does the present Abby have children? Criticizing a new parent is never a good look. Criticizing a new mom and praising a new dad is worse. Having anything but effusive praise for your daughter-in-law w/r/t her parenting of your grandchild ought to be a felony. (It's possible that as a relatively new parent myself I have strong feelings on this topic. Though in my case it's my own mother who gets under my skin; my husband's mother is fine.)
the_rck: (Default)

[personal profile] the_rck 2017-03-29 03:05 pm (UTC)(link)
I think I was lucky. My daughter was my in-laws third local-to-them grandchild, and my parents live on the other side of the country. We depended on my MIL a lot for transportation to and from medical appointments in the first year or two.

My step-father tried very hard, however, to convince me not to have a child because he thought disabled people can't be good parents (and that has never quite healed. He's told my mother that he was wrong, but he hasn't told me).
tielan: (don't make me shoot you)

[personal profile] tielan 2017-03-29 10:00 pm (UTC)(link)
No, the parents are just being critical and she is under zero requirement to take their stuff under consideration.

Who, exactly, is the parent of this baby?

*flames coming off the side of my face*