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Fear that my baby will come to love my parents in law more than she loves me

Community Member

I had a baby 7 months ago and ever since then, my in laws have been very involved in our lives. They had move over from overseas as they wanted to help us look after our baby so that I can rest and recover. Since then we have been living under one roof.

For the first 3 months after I gave birth to my baby girl, I would hide in my room for fear that my in laws would take my baby away from me. I cried for several days in a row. I confided in my husband and my maternal child health nurse. My husband thinks that I should be grateful for their help. While my MCH nurse was compassionate. We did postnatal depression questionnaires and I didn’t appear to have depression.

7 months has gone by and over the months I have been trying to accept that my in laws will be living with us forever. And that this will make my husband happy. Also I should be grateful for their help and I should think positive thoughts.

However, at times I just can’t come to terms with it. I feel suffocated and trapped in my own home. When I go for a walk with my baby I feel lonely and hopeless as I often get out just to run away from the in laws.

They often force their help onto me even though I decline multiple times. At times I feel that they are trying to steal special moments with my baby that was suppose to be mine.

I feel crazy and insecure as I am afraid that my baby will come to love them more than me. The more obsessed they are with my baby the more possessive I became of her. I hate it when they talk like they know my baby better than me. I also hate it when my mom in law tries to be motherly to my daughter.

I have to be honest that I feel jealous, anxious, annoyed, bothered and depressed. It’s a complex feeling. I hate feeling this way. I have many sleepless nights thinking about this.. I don’t see that I have a way out. I don’t think my husband will accept it if I were to tell him that we should live separately from his parents.

I confided in my mom but she thinks that I am selfish and ungrateful... and what she said makes me feel like a really bad person. So I kept forcing myself to be a better person but it doesn’t seems to make me a happier person..

How can I come to terms with living with my in laws and having to share my daughter and husband with them? Am I being selfish?

2 Replies 2

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Jasmine Tea,

I think that anyone would struggle with having a new baby and having their in laws living with them for the entire time! From your post, you seem to want validation from people that you are ok to feel the way you’re feeling, but the reality is that you don’t need anyone else to validate your feelings to make them legitimate - this is how you are feeling and it’s not working for you. It is at this point that your husband needs to step in and have your back - it’s not normal or healthy for your relationship with your husband or your baby that his parents live with you forever??? Rather than criticize his parents, I would say that you have appreciated their help enormously but you are now at a stage where you have got this and need some alone time with your baby and learn to stand in your own two feet. There may be some fallout from the in-laws as they seem ok with overstepping their boundaries but you need to hold firm, this is your life and you are entitled to have it how you see fit.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Jasmine tea, and a warm welcome to the forums.

I know and understand exactly what you are saying, whereas my MIL could have lived with us, as she did, my Mum couldn't, even though we loved her, but their personalities were different.

Both you and your husband need to come to similar views, it won't help if he agrees with his mum and goes against what you believe in, you're the parents and will be far beyond your in laws, and I only mean this in a pleasant way.

I can't tell you what to do, however, there are many decisions that will need to be made as your daughter grows up, such as what to cook everyday, her schooling and picking up and dropping off, a special time for a mother and daughter, where items are kept in the kitchen and the list goes on.

Your own health and relationship with your husband need to be on the same thought, although parents do disagree, but the in laws shouldn't be included unless you want them to.

They are not entitled or to exert their power over you, not unless you ask them for their opinion

Tak care.