How can I deal with a pushy mother-in-law?

Q: My mother-in-law has been very pushy and controlling since our new baby arrived. How can I get her to back off?

A: Honestly, I always tell moms in this situation to just smile and nod -- and not listen. But if that's not going to cut it, try asking her opinion on things that aren't as important to you, like how to decorate the baby's room or which stroller to get. She clearly cares about him and wants to help -- and this is a way to let her have a say and feel like her two cents matter. She'll be happier and you will be, too. It's also fine to nicely call her out on certain issues. Outdated medical advice is a biggie I hear about. Back in her day, for example, moms were commonly told to put cereal in their baby's bottle starting at 2 weeks. But now we know that doing this can put the baby at risk for a food allergy -- and solids aren't recommended until at least 4 months. In a case like this, you can say "Well, this is the way my doctor says you're supposed to do it now" and educate her on the new medical thinking. Once she sees how in-the-know you are about these types of parenting issues, she might ease off as well.

Copyright 2009

Comments

Add a comment