It’s not too far off my son’s second birthday and that coincides with the arrival of the mother in law, who prior to the birth of my son was a dear, sweet, allbeit slightly fluttery woman who would do anything for me.
Since the child has come along, however, this dear, sweet lovely lady has become rather… ‘judgy’ and slightly… ‘aggravating’.
As a mother who suffers from a rather intense case of obsessive compulsive cleanliness, my house is very tidy on a regular basis (I know, it’s pretty sad) and most people would be hard pressed to find much wrong with the standard of living at our house. Until the mother in law turns up and manages to find an amazing amount of dust with the help of her handy-dandy broom…….
The broom of doom manages to bring up some amazing little finds such as dust, old food and dead flies, all of which I am certain were not there previously, in fact my partner often jokes that she brings these things in a small vial and pours them around the house so she can show me up… It’s a joke but sometimes I wonder?
The other thing that always happens when she stays is there is a sudden infestation of ants. I don’t know where they come from but they always turn up when she moves in. And of course she can’t help but mention how bad our ant problem is, the same ant problem which never exists any other time of the year!!!
And you’d think my partner would turn around and say “no, we never usually have ant problems or I don’t know where all that dust came from?” but no, he will revert back to being the sweet cherub she remembers from yesteryear and he will say something like “yes, we do have an ant problem” or “oh thanks mum, we did need a bit of a spring clean.”
But nothing compares to my mother who truly outdoes the ‘well-meaning grandmother’ stereotype, by undermining my every move. Apparently he don’t have enough breast milk and need to stop breast feeding because it’s not good for my son. “When you were a baby my milk was creamy and I could shoot it across the room” I kid you not, she actually said that…
Or of course there are the moments whenever my child has a great breakthrough, like he might learn how to walk, talk or pick his nose. Every single time, without fail, my mother has already seen him do it.
And then there is the food situation. Apparently, when I was a baby the food that I ate was hand-made by my mother in a loving fashion. She didn’t use an oven or a mixer, instead she milked the cow, hand made the cheese and milled the grains, lovingly cooked the bread and made every sandwich by hand… while I feed my child out of sachets and tins… HEATHEN!
Yet, while I cringe at both of the grandmothers and wonder where I went wrong on a regular basis, I can also see where they are coming from. For years, they were the bosses and they did all the loving and caring and cooking. Now they have to watch on from afar, while the new mother makes mistakes, nothing will ever stand up to their amazingness.
Let’s not forget the fact that one of the mothers managed to drop her child out of a car while driving with him on her lap, without a car seat belt… It was a long time ago and it must be hard to let go of control. I will try my best to bite my tongue this time around, in fact I may end the week with a mouth full of blood but I will try my best to enjoy my son’s second birthday and not say a thing when both of those old birds try to control the party. “they mean well…” according to my dear partner.