Q – My mother-in-law is driving me crazy!  She has an opinion about Everything, and I feel like I can’t do anything right.  I am a new mother of a 6 month old baby girl, and I’m having trouble finding confidence in myself with her around all the time.  Avoiding her phone calls is only making it worse.  Help!

A – Oh dear, you are not alone!  We hear from new mothers all the time with the same concern.  As a new mother you deserve the space and support you need to grow into motherhood.  Remember that she was once a new mother too, and may even have experienced the same from her own mother or mother-in-law!  One of the best ways to respond is to not argue or defend your choices.  Instead, engage her by asking about her experience with a newborn.  Sometimes as they watch you making so many different choices than they did, there can be an unspoken feeling of judgment, and they might not feel as helpful as they had hoped.   By allowing the space to share her experience, she might be more open to hearing yours – you might even discover a new bond of friendship as mothers!

Sarah Juliusson offers expert support to growing families from pregnancy through motherhood, with special interest in identity, self-care and life balance for mothers.