I am having a very difficult time with my mother-in-law. She is very over protective. She does not let me take my daughter out anywhere with me, its either too cold, too hot, too windy, and so on. She doesn’t let me bathe my daughter when I want due to the temperature not being right! And even if I do bathe her, I have to take my daughter's temperature before and after! I have to wash my hands several times, especially when preparing food. I am not allowed to feed her certain foods.
The health visitor and doctor tell me what food she is allowed to eat, but my mother-in-law tells me to ignore them as she knows best. Even dressing my daughter to my choice is difficult. I am not able to take her to anyone’s house, she worries that she will get nazar. I know she only means well and is generally concerned, but it's driving me crazy. My husband and I moved out because of all of this (and other issues). But although she doesn’t live with us, she is at our house every day.
She phones me several times every day and makes sure we don’t take her out anywhere. If we have shopping to do, I have to take my daughter to my mother-in-law or call her over to my house to babysit. If we are not home when she calls, she constantly calls my mobile and worries if we don’t answer. When I do answer, she tells me to go home as soon as possible as I shouldn’t be out too long with my baby. If we do take her out, my mother-in-law comes to the house and checks to see if the child is okay and hasn’t caught a cold or anything.
Sometimes she will say my baby doesn’t look right, she's ill, or she must have got nazar and tells me not to take her again, although she is clearly well. I have never answered my mother-in-law back or told her how I feel, my husband feels I should, but I don’t want to hurt her feelings as I know she will get very upset.
How can I handle her without being rude or upsetting her?
In this counseling answer:
•Select the best time when both of you are in a good mood and in a relaxed environment, maybe in a coffee shop or a restaurant, and discuss the issue.
•Address the problem from the point of view of your concern about her well-being.
•Tell her how continuous worrying can negatively affect her health both physically and psychologically.
•Assure her that you are doing your best to take her advice into consideration, and she can relax and rely on Allah to protect her granddaughter.
As-salamu `alaykum, sister.
I think your mother-in-law is really testing your patience. Allah will reward you for your patience and kindness.
It is so nice of you that you care more about hurting her feelings than your convenience. I agree with you that it is a difficult situation. Her excuse is her good intention and her extra love and care for her granddaughter.
I suggest you address the issue with her by the following:
1-Select the best time when both of you are in a good mood and in a relaxed environment, maybe in a coffee shop or a restaurant, and discuss the issue.
2-Address the problem from the point of view of your concern about her well-being.
3-Tell her how continuous worrying can negatively affect her health both physically and psychologically.
4-Assure her that you are doing your best to take her advice into consideration, and she can relax and rely on Allah to protect her granddaughter.
5-You also might try to find a volunteer job for both of you, so both of you can enjoy babysitting your daughter while you are doing something useful and enjoyable.
In all of this, make sure to use your best words and assure her how much you love her as a second mother and value her help and care, so she will be more open to listen to what you need to say.
If she, for some odd reason, gets angry or misunderstands you, do not react with anger too. Be calm and reply with a smile and nice words. If you cannot find the right word to calm her, it is better to stay quiet.
May Allah guide you.
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