I won't let mother-in-law take care of my kids

By Thuy Dung   July 3, 2023 | 04:02 pm PT
I have always said that I will take care of my own children, so I will not ask for help from my mother-in-law.

I’m 35, married with two kids, with the smaller one being only 11 months old. After our marriage, my husband and I lived in the same house with my parents for three years. However, they moved to a new house nearby and we are currently living in their old one.

I had my first child when we were living with my parents, so they helped me a lot in taking care of my child, as they were running their own business and had a lot of spare time. So I want them to assist in taking care of our second child, despite not living together anymore.

Over the past six months, I feed my second child every morning before bringing the kid to my parents’ house and then leaving for work.

I then return home during my lunch break to feed the child, but there have been days when my mother has already done that. After work, I drop by to pick my kid up before coming home.

My parents-in-law and I do not get on well with one another. I feel that they have never considered me a family member. They call my husband occasionally to check up on my children and rarely call me. Despite that, I told myself not to expect anything.

There was an unforeseen problem last month when my mother-in-law unexpectedly asked to visit us to check up on the children. She only informed my husband without telling me anything. However, I still welcomed her with all of my heart. After staying with my family for two days, she returned to her hometown and told my husband that I was terrible at taking care of household tasks.

She said I didn’t take care of my own children and relied wholly on my parents, my second kid was incompetent for not being able to walk yet, and many other things. My husband then shouted at me for that, leaving me in shock. He has always been a considerate person, so I didn’t think he would shout at me just because of my mother-in-law’s words.

My mother-in-law said she would stay with my family to take care of my children, which I turned down directly. I explained to her how each child had a different pace of development throughout their infancy and childhood, and still she insisted on comparing my younger kid to the children and grandchildren of her neighbors.

There was another thing that made me not want her to stay, which I didn’t say out loud: I don’t believe she will take good care of my children. She didn’t know how to prepare porridge for my second child or how to play games with the children.

I have always believed that I will take care of my own children, so there is no way I will ask for her help. My parents help me to take care of the kids because they live nearby, but I still join them instead of being completely uninvolved, like what my mother-in-law said. And our relationship cannot be considered positive, if she stays with us, there will be even more problems.

My husband then said I was selfish. We have been distant since then, making the relationship between me and my in-laws even worse.

What should I do to improve things?

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