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DEAR CHRISTINE: Caught between mum and mum-in-law


DEAR CHRISTINE: Caught between mum and mum-in-law

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DEAR CHRISTINE: Why do mothers-in-law and generally people who are older than you are think they know what’s best for every situation?

I am 21 and married. I currently live with mother until my husband and I can afford our own place.

We are the parents of a one-year-old child. My husband’s stepfather, his mum and grandparents all live within close proximity.

My problem between my mother and my mother-in-law is that at least three times a week, I get comments of some sort on the way we are raising our daughter. I disagree with many of the techniques they used when they were raising children. What seems like advice or ideas to them seems like criticism to me.

My mother especially is always saying that I should be doing this or that. Both mum and mother-in-law think that because they have been through it, they know what is best for our daughter.

I love our daughter with all my heart and consider myself a good mother. Although my mother-in-law and my mother did very well raising us, now it’s my turn to raise my daughter the way her father and I think is best.

I love mum and my in-laws I have tried to talk to them about constantly giving me advice, but they get defensive and remind me that they have been parents for more than 20 years. Both insist that I should listen to them.

Christine, I know my daughter better than anyone else, so shouldn’t I know the best way to be a parent to her?

– YM

Dear YM:

While I agree with you somewhat, remember that you’re a new parent, so to speak, and your mother and in-laws will question the way they see you raising your daughter. It’s not because they do not love you or think you are a bad mother.  It’s just that age and maturity don’t always go hand in hand and you could probably listen to the advice they give.

You do not have to agree with everything they say or do, but you should listen and see if what they are saying makes sense.

While they are not there to determine or tell you how to raise your daughter, you should accept the fact that they have been there and done that. They can see things from a perspective other than yours.

They mean no harm, so listen and learn a thing or two. I don’t believe they are trying to tell you how to raise your daughter, but at the same time, their love for you and concern will see them trying their best to give you the right and good advice.

You can learn a lot from their experiences.

Your mum raised you well, didn’t she? And I am sure your husband can attest to the fact that his parents raised him well also.