I’ve been making a real effort to try and understand my mother-in-law recently. Trying to get to the bottom of why she acts in certain ways. We’ll analyse that another day. In the meantime, here’s another anecdote from my life-with-new-grandparents stories.
Regular readers will know that my mother-in-law is fond of making me feel inadequate by questioning everything I do. I get the impression that she thinks I’m too rigid and strict.
I admit I am a little militant when it comes to routines and consistent rules, but hey, I’ve got twins, and it works for me – the person who is on duty 99% of the time.
One day, I was not feeling well, so we tipped into the 1%. I let MIL and Multidaddy look after BabyBoy and BabyGirl on their own for outings in the morning and afternoon on the same day. I just checked in for naps and meals.
By all accounts it was day of hard work. The children (who were about 14 months at the time) cried in the car and in the stroller. They ‘needed’ to be carried. They were ‘hungry’, ‘tired’, ‘grumpy’.
At the end of the day MIL turned to me and said ‘two children is just so tiring’. I smiled weakly (Multidaddy is an only child). And then she asked – do the kids behave better when I’m on my own with them?
The answer is a resounding ‘YES’!! BabyBoy and BabyGirl are actually (despite what I might think at 4am) pretty wonderful babies most of the time. And why? Because they know what to expect with mummy (e.g. mummy’s cell is NOT a toy, you DO have to stay in the stroller, you DO have to sit down while you eat) whereas MIL changes her mind about what’s acceptable on an hourly basis. She thinks she’s giving them ‘what they want’, but she’s actually confusing them.
That evening she couldn’t leave our house quick enough….most probably to have a nice lie-down!