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I'm a New Mom and My Mother-in-Law is Driving Me Crazy!

Becoming a new mom is already a stressful and exhausting experience, but when you add in a meddling mother-in-law it can become downright crazy! If you’re in this situation, you’re not alone. Many new moms struggle to handle their mother-in-law’s unsolicited opinions and advice. In this blog post, we’ll explore the common challenges associated with having a mother-in-law and offer helpful advice for managing the situation.

Establish boundaries
It’s important to communicate with your partner and your mother-in-law to establish boundaries, as it will help prevent feelings of being overwhelmed. There are a few strategies that you can use to establish boundaries:
1. Speak up: Don't be afraid to express your needs and limits. If your mother-in-law is driving you crazy, don't be afraid to say so. Speak up and let her know what she can do and cannot do in order to make sure that both of your needs are respected.
2. Take time for yourself: Make sure you have time for yourself. Ask your mother-in-law to help with the baby, but make sure to take some time for yourself each day to relax and recharge.
3. Set limits on visits: Let your mother-in-law know how often you'd like her to visit and then stick to it. You don't need to feel guilty about setting limits on her visits if it's getting overwhelming.
4. Respect each other's roles: Explain that while you understand that she has valuable advice, you are the one who makes decisions when it comes to raising the baby. Let her know that while her advice may be appreciated, it should not be taken as a directive.
By following these strategies, you can help to ensure that your relationship with your mother-in-law remains positive and healthy. This will help prevent any feelings of being overwhelmed or “driven crazy” from developing over time.

Set expectations
When it comes to dealing with your mother-in-law, setting clear expectations can be the key to avoiding the stress and anxiety of her driving you crazy. Talk to your partner about how you want her to interact with you and your baby. If you want her to visit and spend time with you, establish rules that everyone can agree upon, such as no hovering over the baby when they are sleeping or coming into your home without prior notification.
If your mother-in-law has certain behaviors that are driving you crazy, it's important to communicate them to your partner. It's important that they are aware of your feelings, and that they know what boundaries need to be put in place. Letting your partner know that you need their support to help set the expectations with their mother can be a big help. If needed, suggest coming up with a family plan of action that everyone can adhere to. It's also helpful to talk about what your mother-in-law should not do in order to create a comfortable atmosphere for everyone.

Define your role as a parent
It is important to define your role as a parent in order to set boundaries and expectations with your mother-in-law. You are the primary caretaker of your child and, as such, it is up to you to decide what is best for them. Make sure that your mother-in-law understands your role as the parent and respects your decisions. Explain to her how you want to raise your child and let her know that her input should be considered but ultimately your decisions will take precedence. It is important to be assertive and clear in this situation, as this will make it easier to set boundaries and expectations.

Take a break
One of the most important things you can do when your mother-in-law is driving you crazy is to take a break from her. This doesn’t necessarily mean cutting off all contact, but it could be helpful to limit your exposure to her. Even if you don’t want to completely remove yourself from the situation, it can be beneficial to create some distance by avoiding certain topics or conversations.
If possible, find a space where you can be alone and just decompress. Whether it’s a few moments outside in the garden, a relaxing bubble bath, or a calming yoga session, taking time for yourself can help clear your mind and restore your energy. Make sure that during this time you are doing something that brings you joy and peace and allows you to relax.
If your mother-in-law lives with you or visits frequently, it might be helpful to create a “do not disturb” policy while you’re on your break. Let your family know that you need time alone and have them respect this boundary. Additionally, if you need to have a conversation with your mother-in-law, plan it in advance and keep it as short as possible.
It can also be beneficial to share with your partner how you are feeling and ask them for support. You don’t have to go through this alone and having an ally who can help set boundaries with your mother-in-law can be very helpful.
Taking a break from your mother-in-law doesn’t have to mean complete avoidance, but rather using healthy coping strategies that allow you to manage the stress she may bring into your life. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries and take time for yourself.

Seek professional help
No matter how much effort you put into setting boundaries and expectations with your mother-in-law, it can still be difficult to cope with her behavior. In this case, seeking professional help can be beneficial. Talking to a counselor or therapist can help you learn how to communicate more effectively with your mother-in-law and cope with any stress or anxiety she may cause. Additionally, having a professional to talk to can provide a safe space for you to express your feelings without fear of judgement or repercussion.
If you're feeling overwhelmed and exhausted by the situation with your mother-in-law, it may be time to consider therapy. A therapist can help you to understand the root of the issue and provide coping strategies for dealing with difficult situations. They can also help you to address any underlying issues that may be contributing to the tension between you and your mother-in-law.
No matter how strained the relationship between you and your mother-in-law may be, there is always hope for improvement. By taking the time to seek professional help, you can work towards developing a healthier and more harmonious relationship with your mother-in-law.

You will get through this

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