Discussions with Your Spouse: The Mother-in-Law
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.
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.