Discussions with Your Spouse: The Mother-in-Law

grandmother with grandbaby

Bringing a baby into the world creates a new set of relationships. Your mother-in-law will not just be your partner’s mother, but also your child’s grandparent. This new relationship can be wonderful, but it can also cause tension within the family. It is important to consider how involved you want your mother-in-law to be in your child’s life. This includes the birth, babysitting, and discipline.


Discuss with your partner whether or not you want your mother-in-law in the room while you are giving birth. Giving birth is a beautiful experience, but it can be very exposing. Your “private parts” will be open for all to see, and you may not be on your best behavior. Who do you want to experience the birth? Many hospitals have a limit on the amount of people allowed in the room during the birth. If your partner is an only child, or your mother-in-law only has boys, she may not get to experience the birth of any of her grandchildren if you do not allow her in the room.

If you decide not to let your mother-in-law in the room during childbirth, make your wishes known to her well in advance. Have a calm discussion with her beforehand, making sure she understands why you do not want her in the room.

{ MORE: 5 Conversations To Have With Your Partner Before You Have Your Baby }

If your mother-in-law is likely to disregard your wishes, inform the hospital beforehand who you want in the room, let them handle your mother-in-law in the event she shows up at the hospital. Consider some compromise, such as allowing your mother-in-law to wait in the waiting room. Inviting her into the room shortly after the birth may soften any hurt feeling from not being present for the actual event.


What do you think?

Discussions with Your Spouse: The Mother-in-Law

Tell us what you think!


  1. LIZ says:

    tnx good i got very good relationship with my mother in law she support me a lot

  2. mommy nhoj says:

    I have a good relationship with my mother in law. We left the country when my baby’s 5months and she misses her terribly. She got the chance to baby sit her until she’s 5months

    • mommy nhoj says:

      By the way, no one in my family was around, not even my husband when I gave birth via csection – hospital’s policy. Husband was just outside the ob-gyne complex and baby was brought to him few minutes after mother-baby moments 🙂

  3. JessiLoveday says:

    Why would any mother in law think she’s entitled to be present at the actual birth? I wouldn’t even let my own mom in the room. They don’t need to see my lady parts

  4. lauren says:

    I am afraid of advice from my mother in law.. I am VERY willing to listen to advice, but that does not mean I will follow it. And when I do not follow her advice, she becomes confrontational.. Any advice on how to avoid the confrontation. Ive explained this to her when it came to our wedding, and she continues to be offended when I didn’t do what SHE wanted…

  5. lauren says:

    Opposite is true for me!

  6. lauren says:

    I had a great relationship with my husbands mother BEFORE we got married.. Wedding planning put a HUGE strain on our relationship, and she crossed so many boundaries and said things that I am still having a hard time forgiving. Now that we are having a baby, I am petrified she will continue to cross boundaries with my child. Further, english is not my husbands first language (he speaks both italian and spanish), and his family does not speak English around me often although they all can. I find it rude, making it hard for me to be ok with them speaking to my child in a language i do not understand because then I will not know what she is saying to him. and she says some rude and disrespectful things. At first I thought it was a cultural barrier, but now I see she is just selfish and if she doesn’t get her way, she can be a TERRIBLE person. I will not be leaving my baby with her because I do not like her style of discipline, nor so I think she will know what to do with a newborn. This is going to be a problem, and speaking to my husband about it gets me no where cuz he is a mamas boy and brushes it off.. any suggestions on what to do about this?

  7. We are currently living with my mother-in-law and it is very stressful at times and its hard for her to understand some boundaries.

  8. KaelinRae says:

    This topic has been very worrying to me. Even though my fiance’s mom has raised three kids, I’m not sure if I would trust her completely watching my child. There are a lot of opinions and actions of hers that I don’t agree with, but sometimes its really hard to sit down and have a conversation with her.

  9. Well in my case im alrite with my boyfriends mom. She trys doing what she wants with our son just because shes his grandson. She gets me so mad she does not respect anything i say about how to raise him and hes only 6 months. She thinks just because she had 5 kids she knows everything. Truth is no one does every mom can learn somthing new. Hes my first but i want to learn on my own on what i like and what i dont like to do with my son

  10. MamaCat says:

    I was very clear with everyone that only my husband and my doctor/nurses would be in the room when I delivered. The same is true of my second child due in June. No one save for my own mother had an issue with it. I get along much better with my MIL then my Mom. My mom is the type described in the article who gets her feelings hurt no matter what I do. Great advice in the article though for how to deal with it.

  11. Already worried about my wife’s big family and their opinions on raising a baby…my family is much less involved, which is nice.

  12. Janice says:

    Explain your motives to your relatives and babies father so they can understand what you are attempting to do. In that way, they will be able to express themselves freely and give advice and share experiences with you to help you and the whole family in rearing the new comer.

  13. ErinF says:

    I love my MIL and she’ll be great with the grandkids, but I’m nervous about the idea of having her babysit. She’s a heavy smoker, and smokes inside her house; I can’t even be inside without getting sick. If she were to come to our house to care for the baby, I’d want to make sure that she refrained from smoking for the entire visit. Even then, her hands and clothes would still smell of smoke, and bringing a change of clothes wouldn’t do any good since everything in the house is saturated with the smell. I love her to death but have no idea how to approach the issue. My husband is an even heavier smoker and refuses to believe that smoke reside on clothes/hair/skin can harm the baby (despite confirmation from my doctor), so I can’t count on any support from him on this.


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