To say that my mother-in-law and I have a "tense" relationship is sort of putting things mildly. We didn’t get along when my husband and I were dating, and once we eloped, things got even worse. I honestly think she got scared — worried that her relationship with her son and grandkids would change. When we had a baby, I thought it might improve our relationship, but sadly no, it actually made things really weird, you guys. Profoundly awk. The creepy things my mother-in-law actually said to me while I was recovering from childbirth need to be experienced to be believed. Shudders.
My mother-in-law is kind of an awkward person to begin with, and apparently me giving birth did something to the filter that she normal has in place to prevent her from sticking her foot in her mouth. My mother-in-law had a fresh stock of bizarre and inappropriate things to say to my face, over the phone, on social media, and even passive aggressively via other people throughout my postpartum period. She commented about my postpartum body, asked about when our baby was conceived, and asked about whether or not I was breastfeeding, when she knew I wasn't.
I realize it can be hard to know exactly what to say to a brand-new mom who is devoting 99 percent of her mental capacity to the new baby (you could try "he's so cute!" or "you're doing great!"), but it is not hard to avoid making a vulnerable woman who literally just gave birth feel like crap. Just avoid any or all of the things my mother-in-law said to me after the arrival of her grandchild.
Seriously, there are just things that you don’t say to someone who is recovering from childbirth, especially not the person who just grew your grand child in their freaking body and absolutely deserves a break.
We invited my in-laws to come and visit, after my baby was born, but my mother-in-law decided not to come. She claimed that she didn't want to be a burden, which she wouldn't have been. She actually may have made my postpartum life easier. That, of course, conveniently turned her into "the victim" when people asked her why she wasn't here. Ugh.
To me, she said nothing.
"I Saw You Were Online, Why Didn't You Reply To My Message?"
For me one of the best parts of maternity leave was the ability to hang out with my friends on social media. The trouble was, every time my mother-in-law saw me online, she would message me. If I didn't respond right away, she would text my husband asking if something was wrong with my Facebook or if I had "blocked her." Which, honestly, I wish I had.
Tagging Me In Random Pics That She Posted Online
As a general rule, I don't post pictures of my kids publicly on social media. While my mother-in-law didn't say anything to me after the birth of my baby, she did retrieve images of us from my Facebook timeline, and post them publicly on hers, tagging me, so I would see them. Creepy.
"Why Don’t You Like Me?"
She even sent her daughter — my sister-in-law who I barely know — to my house while I was recovering to conduct an intervention of sorts to "find out what my problem with her was." It was so intrusive and creepy, because I didn't have a problem with my mother-in-law, other than her apparent disdain for me. It was one of the most awkward moments of my adult life, and couldn't have come at a worse time. I was couch-bound for two months after delivery, due to an injury. The last thing I needed was my meddling sister-in-law making me feel like crap. Needless to say, it didn’t go so well.
"So, You Aren't Breastfeeding?"
My mother-in-law knew I wasn't able to breastfeed. I had posted regularly about my son's food allergies and our struggles finding the right formula for him. So, I found it inappropriate and creepy when she asked me about it. Besides, please don't ask me about my boobs.
"You Didn't Post Any Pictures Today?"
My mother-in-law passive-aggressively reminded me if I didn't post pictures of my baby on a daily basis. Stalker much? The worst, though, was when she texted to request that I send her “a picture of her biological grandchild to put on her wall," deliberately excluding my two children from my previous marriage as “non-biological." Luckily, my husband handled the response to this one, because it made me so angry that I cried for hours.
"So, He Must Have Been Conceived In Hawaii?"
When someone asks their daughter-in-law a question like this, do they they not realize that they are literally asking about their child's sex life? It's awkward AF. There's no way am I answering that question if my in-laws (or pretty much anyone) asks. It's none of their business, and downright creepy.
"Where Is The Random Thing I Bought You Months Ago?"
I can't remember sh*t when I am postpartum. Mommy brain is real, you guys. It's passive-aggressive, and a little creepy, for my mother-in-law to look around my house for every random thing she's ever bought us, expecting them to be displayed, and then ask me where they are. I have no freaking clue.
"You Look Sexy"
No. Just no. Now, don't get me wrong, I am proud to be a sexy mom. And honestly, I would love to receive a sincere compliment from my mother-in-law. As it is, her compliments are always underhanded insults like saying, "you are so brave to wear your hair that way," or "that is an interesting choice." I don't, however, want my mother-in-law to comment about my level of sexiness, like, ever. It's creepy. So creepy.
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