Author Topic: Unsolicited advice from your parents once you have kids?  (Read 3627 times)

jeromedawg

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Unsolicited advice from your parents once you have kids?
« on: September 11, 2015, 11:49:04 PM »
Hey all,

Have any of you gotten tons of unsolicited advice from your parents after having your first kid? Especially if it's their first grandkid? e.g. my MIL told my wife "you need to get life insurance... if he doesn't buy you life insurance, he doesn't love you" - lol; I do want to get term life probably, but chill out! We just had the kid! Also "You need to go back to work. So you should pump now so that you have a supply and start feeding him the bottle. Put the kid in daycare and he'll make way more friends than staying at home with him all the time and not letting him play with other kids. Isn't seeing him on the nights and weekends enough anyway? He'll turn dumb and won't have any friends" - he's only 3 weeks old right now. She called my wife like 3-4 times today telling her what she should and shouldn't do. Grandparent anxiety? She's more stressed out than we are! In fact, they're driving down right now (over an hour away) just because she's worried about my wife and apparently going crazy over it. Of course, what led up to this is my wife expressing concerns over current feeding challenges...  then when my wife tells her to stop worrying and not to tell her what to do and that she's not going to tell her this stuff anymore because she doesn't want her to worry so much, my MIL gets all defensive and upset: "Why don't you ever listen to us? Why don't you ever want our help? Why do you always have to do things your own way?" etc etc etc.

Another concern we have with her is that she has poor eyesight and general awareness - for example, she thinks she's "cleaning" something but only makes it worse. Or she thinks she turned the gas burner off but leaves the gas on but burner off...! This actually happened in the middle of the night after cooking something for my wife and fortunately my wife caught it and shut the gas off before the whole kitchen exploded. My wife also told me her mom cut herself without even knowing it or noticing that she left blood marks on the fruit she was cutting. She was also dripping blood throughout the house for a bit but didn't notice. At some point she noticed when the wound opened up, but man it's really scary. Having her mom around is almost like having another kid around - needs constant supervision yet wants to "help." And she does help out a lot with cooking and cleaning up around the sink and stuff. But in a lot of cases, they end up kind of making a mess of things and just stressing my wife out more.

Bear in mind, my in-laws are pretty Chinese but Korean-cultured, so my MIL is totally into the old-wives tales that all her Chinese-Korean friends tell her - e.g. the new mom should wear socks around the house the whole time and never take them off... she needs to drink seaweed soup and porridge all the time... she can't shower until a long time.... she can't run the A/C in the house (though our doctor did confirm this one has some merit as it can dry out the baby's sinuses hahaha). But it seems like her preoccupation is building and starting to spill over as the weeks progress. Ironically, she's imposing all this stuff on us when my wife felt neglected as a child growing up (she was always child #2 next to her parents' restaurant, which they still run to this day). We appreciate their concern but it's starting to get a little overbearing. With Asian parents, it's always a challenge knowing where to set boundaries.

Anyway, just venting more than anything :T
« Last Edit: September 11, 2015, 11:51:56 PM by jplee3 »

gooki

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Re: Unsolicited advice from your parents once you have kids?
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2015, 02:42:07 AM »
Sorry, but that's some bat shit crazy stuff. The best thing you could do support your wife in following her path, not that of the MIL.

projekt

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Re: Unsolicited advice from your parents once you have kids?
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2015, 05:44:27 AM »
As I started reading I was sure that your MIL was Chinese, and it turned out I was right. It's very much a cultural thing and you just need to find the good nuggets and point out that you're doing them and make her feel happy. Ignore bad advice, my fortune cookie says.

Letj

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Re: Unsolicited advice from your parents once you have kids?
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2015, 07:39:18 AM »
Its not just Chinese. It's all non Western cultures and more traditional cultures.  My parents are immigrants but not Chinese and it's exactly as the OP described when I had my first child.

Pigeon

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Re: Unsolicited advice from your parents once you have kids?
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2015, 07:50:42 AM »
I would be very selective in what I told her to help keep concerns to a minimum. I agree with the pp to take the truth nuggets and let the rest slide. I don't think you are going to change her.

Given her eyesight I would limit visits to time when mom can be supervised so she doesn't blow up the house. Scary. My MIL was this way.

FLA

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Re: Unsolicited advice from your parents once you have kids?
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2015, 08:17:52 AM »
Does she live alone?  I'd be worried about the things she does and doesn't notice and no one is trailing behind her to fix things.  Maybe she should get a check up?

I am very close to my mom and yet we can argue relentlessly at times.  She gave tons of unsolicited advice, i took what sounded good and tuned out the rest.  But once the kids were older, she started undermining my discipline tactics and would take the child's "side" while they were in the room, not cool. She still does this and they are 16 and 18.

Now my mom has a terminal illness and she can say whatever she wants about child rearing. I don't do what she says often but there are no more arguments coming from me. 

My MIL lived far away, thank God.   

Retire-Canada

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Re: Unsolicited advice from your parents once you have kids?
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2015, 08:28:54 AM »
If the MIL calls 5 times a day stop answering the phone. Let her know you are busy taking care of baby and sleeping. She won't like it, but who cares she isn't going to like it no matter what you do and at least you can have some peace.

Have the wife call her once a day and so she controls when the call takes place and she does get to communicate with her mother. She can also ensure the calls don't last too long because she'll need to feed or change a diaper.

Rosy

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Re: Unsolicited advice from your parents once you have kids?
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2015, 10:04:01 AM »
It's all just family dynamics - I've seen the same with people I know well in Germany, the states, in Turkey and Portugal. Some families are incredibly tight knit and meddle endlessly, they mean well, they care, but they do not know what boundaries are, much less respect them.

I've seen it cause hurt and tears and all sorts of untold trouble on both sides. The best advice I can give you is to be kind and find a way to out- maneuver the grandparents interference. Don't shut them out, but do let them know if they overstepped - which they will continue to do for a few years until one day you have come to an understanding.
 It is a process and this is just the beginning.

 Seeing some of the damage, interfering and shutting out can do was a strong motivation for me to consider how to deal with my own DIL. Believe me I gritted my teeth a time or two, but there were two things in the back of my mind that kept me from overstepping. I want to have access to my son and his family and of course my grandchildren - I've seen DILs who use their children as a weapon - withhold son and grandkid.

It is hard enough as a mother to let go of your kid, but you don't want to become estranged, because you can't stay out of their business. It is a new experience for the parents too to become grandparents, it is a joy. There is an adjustment period - you'll sort it out. 

The second reason not to interfere is how it will effect your children/grandchildren in the years to come. Family dynamics change all the time, don't ever let things escalate beyond repair - it can.

Consider this - one day you will be the grandparent and your son or daughter will let you into their new family - or not. How hurt would you be?

Both my Mom and my MIL were two to five thousand miles away when I had my son and in my case they were both capable women and I would have loved some "interference" from them. Instead I was totally alone with a newborn for six weeks while my husband was on military maneuvers. Perspective baby - perspective:)

Count your blessings - make it work and yes, they all love you, they all have their own plans and expectations for you:) - but it is OK to remind them that your life and your decisions are your own. Don't lose your cool or your perspective and yes, it is smart to supervise a mom who is known to leave on the gas - good luck!:)

PS - I like the 'call once a day' idea  - but will add that my own family is considered cold by many and calling more than once every four weeks would prompt my mother to say, "What's wrong, why do you keep calling me?"
Family - go figure:)

jeromedawg

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Re: Unsolicited advice from your parents once you have kids?
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2015, 10:22:49 AM »
Lol... And I'm not saying my parents are any better either. My mom just texted us and my cousin, basically inviting him and his girlfriend over to "catch up" (more for their sake and not ours obviously, since none of us have met his gf and my parents are always up in his bidness) without asking us or letting us know beforehand. I told them moving forward they need to let us know and ask before inviting anyone over to our place...of course my mom responds acknowledging that and then being all passive: "oh its okay ill tell them not to if you dont want"...I think it's time to move to Europe or something.... :T

Last night after my in-laws got here my wife wanted them to sleep cause it was so late. But also cause she didnt want her parents bothering her all night long while caring for the baby. The plan was for me to sleep out on the couch where my wife normally nurses and sometimes sleeps, so that her parents wouldnt be buzzing around the house. My MIL got all angry and asked [my wife in chinese] why I was out there and said she wouldn't be able to do anything cause I was in the way. Lol. Then she took it to the next level and threatened to leave if she didn't get to hold the baby or "help". I think it turned into a long night probably.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2015, 10:28:39 AM by jplee3 »

purple monkey

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Re: Unsolicited advice from your parents once you have kids?
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2015, 11:12:50 AM »
Hey all,

Have any of you gotten tons of unsolicited advice from your parents after having your first kid? Especially if it's their first grandkid? e.g. my MIL told my wife "you need to get life insurance... if he doesn't buy you life insurance, he doesn't love you" - lol; I do want to get term life probably, but chill out! We just had the kid! Also "You need to go back to work. So you should pump now so that you have a supply and start feeding him the bottle. Put the kid in daycare and he'll make way more friends than staying at home with him all the time and not letting him play with other kids. Isn't seeing him on the nights and weekends enough anyway? He'll turn dumb and won't have any friends" - he's only 3 weeks old right now. She called my wife like 3-4 times today telling her what she should and shouldn't do. Grandparent anxiety? She's more stressed out than we are! In fact, they're driving down right now (over an hour away) just because she's worried about my wife and apparently going crazy over it. Of course, what led up to this is my wife expressing concerns over current feeding challenges...  then when my wife tells her to stop worrying and not to tell her what to do and that she's not going to tell her this stuff anymore because she doesn't want her to worry so much, my MIL gets all defensive and upset: "Why don't you ever listen to us? Why don't you ever want our help? Why do you always have to do things your own way?" etc etc etc.

Another concern we have with her is that she has poor eyesight and general awareness - for example, she thinks she's "cleaning" something but only makes it worse. Or she thinks she turned the gas burner off but leaves the gas on but burner off...! This actually happened in the middle of the night after cooking something for my wife and fortunately my wife caught it and shut the gas off before the whole kitchen exploded. My wife also told me her mom cut herself without even knowing it or noticing that she left blood marks on the fruit she was cutting. She was also dripping blood throughout the house for a bit but didn't notice. At some point she noticed when the wound opened up, but man it's really scary. Having her mom around is almost like having another kid around - needs constant supervision yet wants to "help." And she does help out a lot with cooking and cleaning up around the sink and stuff. But in a lot of cases, they end up kind of making a mess of things and just stressing my wife out more.

Bear in mind, my in-laws are pretty Chinese but Korean-cultured, so my MIL is totally into the old-wives tales that all her Chinese-Korean friends tell her - e.g. the new mom should wear socks around the house the whole time and never take them off... she needs to drink seaweed soup and porridge all the time... she can't shower until a long time.... she can't run the A/C in the house (though our doctor did confirm this one has some merit as it can dry out the baby's sinuses hahaha). But it seems like her preoccupation is building and starting to spill over as the weeks progress. Ironically, she's imposing all this stuff on us when my wife felt neglected as a child growing up (she was always child #2 next to her parents' restaurant, which they still run to this day). We appreciate their concern but it's starting to get a little overbearing. With Asian parents, it's always a challenge knowing where to set boundaries.

Anyway, just venting more than anything :T

Yes, it is frustrating.  How about taking the LEAST objectionable and focus on you all doing that?  That is something that will pay dividends later and I know if you are an MMM fan, you understand dividends.
I too have Asian in-laws and there are some really positive things to listening to your elders, as one day, you will be one too.
Good luck.
On a funny note, I threw up food in front of my MIL when she INSISTED that her food would help with morning sickness.  That kind of slowed down her food demands.
Good luck with all your adventures.

FLA

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Re: Unsolicited advice from your parents once you have kids?
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2015, 11:59:24 PM »
On a funny note, I threw up food in front of my MIL when she INSISTED that her food would help with morning sickness.  That kind of slowed down her food demands.
 

I threw up ON my MIL!  With DD I had hyperemesis (vomiting a lot, a whole lot), I was losing wt and had to get IV nutrition that I carried in a back pack. MIL came from Ohio, she had had a stroke years ago, and everyone tells me how great she was before the stroke, I wish I had those memories to buffer how much of a PITA she was.  She knew I was sick, and sure it was mind over matter, so we had to go to all these restaurants (a total scam, going out to eat was her favorite thing, nothing to do with my situation).  I would order water and  soup, she would order me a prime rib and nag me to keeping taking bites like I was 4 yrs old.  Repeat every night of her two week visit. I would always have to pull over and puke on the way home and she would babble on that some women are just stronger than others.  Really? Well, I am stronger than you, you old bat, so shut it.  Breakfast was fried bologna, chocolate donuts and cigarettes. Day 1 of fried bologna, I smelled it and barfed so fast it was all over her clothes! I kept barfing into the trash as she was screaming at me for ruining her clothes. 

She wanted to make some of her dishes, we drove to 4 stores because none had fat back, three butchers had no idea what she was even talking about. The last one, the first guy had no clue, so she goes loudly, "hey, you can you help me? I don't think this boy is "normal" if you know what I mean (OMG End This Sentence Here), I think he's (loudly whispers) retarded!"  He  brought out what looked like lard, apparently that is fat back. One look and I knew I would not be eating fat back. And by not eating it, that sealed the deal, she really did not like me, lol

we had a fun day out with my 3 yr old- she lost her ativan (nerve pills), shit, if this is her ON nerve pills, there was no way I could handle her without them.  So she tells the pharmacist that she ran out of ativan 5mg 4 times a day.  that dose was 10x higher than the common dose. It had to be 0.5 mgs, she keeps insisting, ex working in ER, friend calls in 5 days of that dose.  She takes one immediately and then wants to shop in CVS, after 15 mins, she was opening the boxes of Russell Stover candy, eating one and putting the box back! Drank some pepsi and put it back, she was staggering and laughing and shit faced. My poor son couldn't be soothed that Grandma was having soda and candy and he wasn't. She opened a pack of depends to see if they would fit her and asked some guy if she could try them on, he did not work there.  So she starts yelling for help, so when employees came running they were not prepared that by "help", she meant she needed the dressing room to try on the Depends.  They tell her CVS does not have dressing rooms and she opened that pack, she had to buy them.  She threw the family-sized package right into this poor girl's face!  As she is walking away, her pants were covered in shit, OMFG.  I beg the manager to let me use the non-public rest room to clean her up, at this point it's pouring our of her.  I bought Imodium and gave her 5!  I clean her up, she has depends on but she would not put back on the shit filled pants.  Well, CVS does not sell pants.  I asked the manager if he could think of anything I can cover her with just to get her to the car?  He takes off his vest, he was a big guy so it sorta covered her tush, I said I would wash it immediately and get it back to him, he said not to bother, I gave him $20 and hugged him, that was a good guy.  I paid for all the crap she ruined, dragged her to the car, shoved her into bed and she slept 14 hrs, lol!