When you become a mother you might be lucky enough to benefit from the support of a mother-in-law (MIL). Whether your MIL is like Jane Fonda in Monster In Law, a kindly, rounded doting grandma or the best friend you'll ever have, she will adhere to Mother-In-Law lore.
Don't judge her, it's in her rule book.
Breastfeeding is WRONG
However liberal you and your friends are and however many cafes and restaurants you can freely whip your bangers out in, the one place you won't be able to breastfeed without utter shame and embarrassment will be your mother-in-law's house. You will be shown to a quiet room
upstairs where you will stay until "the deed" is done. And if you plan to breastfeed beyond six months, beware of the disapproving stares/tuts.
Remember, in your MIL's day anybody who breastfed beyond two months was either (a) a hippy-freak, (b) that woman who lived next-door-but-one and kept goats or (c) a dairy cow.
Rub whisky on your baby's gum to help teething
"We never had any trouble with teething in our day," your mother-in-law will say, which will baffle you if your own baby has been up every night for the last week howling in pain.
Until, that is, she reveals that she rubbed whisky/speed/cocaine on her son's gums up until the age of three.
Pinch the baby to wake it up
It's a good idea to dress your baby in extra-thick layers when MIL comes to visit as you know full well that if the bairn's asleep and you are out of the room there will be tears. This is because mothers-in-law love to pinch. They can't help it.
You pinch a baby to
wake it up. Yeah and you punch it to get it back to sleep....
If the baby cries, put it in another room
"We never had any trouble with screaming babies in our day."
No that's because the MIL mantra is to put a baby in the other room if it's crying. Simple. That's why when you arrive to collect your darling offspring it will ALWAYS have bright red cheeks and tear stains down its cheeks. But it will be quiet and that's the main thing (this is because it's lost its voice).
Weetabix is RIGHT
Just as soon as your baby opens its mouth, for some reason your mother-in-law will be desperate to start feeding it Weetabix. Despite your pleas that it's a bit salty and sugary, the reply will be "well her father had it every day until he was five and it never did him any harm".
"It never did him any harm" is a classic mother-in-law mantra. Being slapped on the legs all
round Asda probably never did me any harm but that doesn't make it right...
(The author would like to assert that her own mother-in-law is blooming great.)
How do you get on with your mother-in-law?