I had a, shall we say, contentious relationship with my mother-in-law. I felt judged the moment I came into her son's life. I assumed giving her a grandchild would fix things, but my pregnancy opened the flood gates for a lot of unsolicited advice. It's not that I didn't want help learning how to be a good mom. I just didn't want her advice. After all, my mother-in-law's advice is some of the worst parenting advice I've heard in my over 10 years of parenting.
For example, I was told I had to stop breastfeeding in the living room at Thanksgiving, because nursing "should be done in private." And when I gave my baby a bottle of formula, she asked why I couldn't "just make more milk." She recommended spanking my toddler when she hit me to "teach her a lesson," (I don't understand how you can teach a child that hitting is bad... by hitting them), and when I told her I was feeding my kids a vegetarian diet, she said I had to at least feed my son meat, because "growing boys need meat."
In my many conversations with other moms, I’ve learned that the trope of the overbearing mother-in-law exists for a very good reason. It seems that everyone I know has received the worst parenting advice from their mother-in-law, including the following terrible suggestions: