Monday, 29 October 2012

The curse of the mother in law......

Ahh, Mother in laws, that much attacked group, most people seem to have a love hate (or in some cases just hate) relationship with them.  Actually I really like mine, but of course it's never going to be a perfect meeting of minds.  I know we're all different, and when it comes to raising children there
are lots of different ideas about the right way to do things, but I know that with some things, she thinks my way is the wrong way. It's not as though she openly criticises the fact that I'm still
breastfeeding my toddler, or that my four month old hasn't started solids yet, it's more subtle than that: Little digs in unrelated conversations, suggestions based on what other people do, raised eyebrows in subtle disagreement when I mention my ideas.

With two boys of my own, I've often thought that if and when I'm in that situation, I'll be a little more understanding, a little less likely to judge. But, if I'm really honest about it, will I?  Do I honestly think I'd be the "perfect" mother in law. (Whatever that is!)

You see the problem is that with something as important as raising children, we don't like to think that we've got it wrong. Anyone who's witnessed the fireworks that surround any conversation about
the benefits of breastfeeding versus formula, early weaning or extended rear-facing in the car will tell you that people get very passionate about defending their parenting decisions. Imagine what
it would be like, to have another woman doing things very different to the way that YOU think is right and the way that YOU raised your children bringing up someone as important to you as your grandchild. Even if you both think along the same lines, new guidelines and ideas come out all the time, often suggesting that the old ways weren't a good idea.  No one really wants to accept that
what they did wasn't the absolute best for their child.

So of course I can understand why she might suggest things, and why we don't always see eye to eye, but it doesn't stop her from driving me a little bit crazy every so often....