Our lovely first daughter, Flora, was born a month ago. My husband and I are having some difficulties relating to both our in-laws. What bothers me is that, although I used to like my mother-in-law a lot, I dislike her attitudes towards me and the baby now.
She rarely offers help and yesterday, when we visited her, she wanted to hold the baby all the time - without washing her hands after holding her dog... I had to ask her twice to wash her hands before holding the baby.
In my view, she behaves like a little girl wanting to play with a doll. She doesn't seem to respect our choices and always tells us how she used to do things. I get upset just thinking about an upcoming visit with her. I don't want to feel like that!! I know how wonderful grandmas are for children, help me overcome this...
Concerned New Mom
Dear Concerned New Mom,
I know just how you feel about your new sweet baby. As for your mother-in-law, you must lay down some rules. You must say your doctor stressed the fact that before anyone picks up the baby --- wash your hands --- more germs are spread from people wanting to play with the new baby without washing their hands, breathing over the tiny one and kissing too much. This little one has yet to build up immunity to such things and adults should understand this.
When she reaches a few months there is plenty of time. She is not going anywhere. As she gets older she will start to smile and will enjoy being played with. Now your baby is best off lying in her crib and receiving the attention she deserves. Your mother-in-law should know this but it doesn't hurt to talk about it in a nice way.
I know, since I am not only a grandmother but also a great grandmother and neither my babies nor I have missed loving. And don't forget babies love to hear songs.
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