Mum-in-law says you are not spending enough time with Baby! What you should do now

By Dr Richard C. Woolfson   — February 24, 2019
  • 1 / 10

    You’re pretty happy that you’ve struck a good balance between your parenting and social lives. But your mother-in-law might not see it that way.

    She doesn’t understand why you often leave your toddler at home with the domestic helper and meet up with your friends or attend yoga classes. As far as she is concerned, you should be a more responsible mum.

    If that’s what you’re facing, here are nine suggestions to help you avoid unnecessary conflicts with her.

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  • Don’t be defensive
    2 / 10 Don’t be defensive

    Of course, your first reaction might be to bristle with indignation, because you are the mum. And you decide how to look after your child.

    But that will only lead to confrontation with your mother-in-law.

    So stay calm, don’t over-react and treat her comments about your social life seriously.

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  • Point out that the breaks are important
    3 / 10 Point out that the breaks are important

    Spending 24/7 without a respite from each other is not usually good for a parent or child. Your mum-in-law should know what it is like to raise a kid.

    When you return home feeling recharged, it is good for your toddler, too. Because then, you can pay better attention to her.

    Related: Meet Chloe Tong: Wife of Grab CEO juggles work, motherhood and is our new #fitspo

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  • Emphasise your helper’s capability
    4 / 10 Emphasise your helper’s capability

    Grandma will be less worried when she knows that the little one is well looked after.

    So, reassure her that your helper is reliable and kind.

    Related: How to choose and train a domestic helper for baby-care

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  • Engage her help
    5 / 10 Engage her help

    Tell your mum-in-law that Baby would love to spend time alone with her. Ask when you can drop her off at her home occasionally.

    Most grandparents respond positively to such requests.

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  • Take an objective look
    6 / 10 Take an objective look

    Perhaps there is some justification for your mother-in-law’s concerns. Step back and look objectively at your social life.

    Maybe you are leaving your child too often with someone else. Think about this possibility and be prepared to look at your commitments objectively.

    You should balance your needs for a social life with your toddler’s needs to have time in your care. You can achieve that if you plan well.

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  • Use your toddler-time positively
    7 / 10 Use your toddler-time positively

    Your mother-in-law possibly doesn’t realise how involved you are with your kid.

    Explain that when you are with her, you give her your full attention. What matters isn’t how much time you spend together, but the quality of what you do together during that time.

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  • Invite her for a family afternoon
    8 / 10 Invite her for a family afternoon

    Let Grandma see how you interact with your little one and stimulate her during a visit to your home.

    She’ll realise that you are a loving and responsible mum who has her kid’s best interests at heart.

    Related: 6 ways to deal with a difficult grandmother

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  • Get your husband involved
    9 / 10 Get your husband involved

    Caring for the kid is his responsibility, too. The more he plays his part looking after the little one, the less you’ll need to rely on your helper.

    So just as you would take care of your kid when Hubby is out with his friends, he should do the same when you want to go out.

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  • Review the situation after a few months
    10 / 10 Review the situation after a few months

    Once you’ve implemented the above strategies, wait a couple of months and then have another chat with your mother-in-law. Chances are, her concerns will have eased.

    This process will also have helped you reach a satisfactory balance of parenting and socialising.


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