I have a pandemic related problem that I would like to get your perspective on. I had a baby boy last summer. It was my husband and I’s first baby and we are delighted. As restrictions were starting to ease then, things were a little bit easier to manage with people calling to see him.
However, of late a problem has arisen. Now with this latest lockdown my mother-in-law wants to break travel restrictions to come and see the baby. It’s creating a lot of tension, particularly between my husband and I, because I’m uncomfortable with her doing this.
I’m now back working from home and she says that I need the help
During the October/November lockdown we managed to hold her off a lot easier and she didn’t press it as much. I think this was because Christmas was coming and she knew she would see him then. Also, I’m now back working from home and she says that I need the help. Even though she lives a good 20 minutes away, she’s making out that it’s an essential journey. I don’t see it as such, Miriam.
To be frank, I don’t really need her help. I have my arrangements in place and everything is working perfectly fine. Of course if things were normal I’d love for her to be more involved, but I have to protect my child and I don’t feel it’s safe to see anyone right now.
She is onto my husband constantly and he would do anything for a quiet life
I feel bad at times to honest, because she dotes on her grandson and she is so willing to help. I think she might feel a sense of responsibility because my own family live quite far away. I’m not anti-help at all, but I don’t see any need for breaking restrictions. She is onto my husband constantly and he would do anything for a quiet life.
So what should I do Miriam? Should I let her see him or hold firm? And if I don’t let her see him, how I do avoid damaging our relationship? It feels inevitable to me.
Dear Connacht Reader,
Congratulations on the birth of your baby. Even amid all the uncertainty and sadness of this pandemic, the wonder and joy of new life continues.
I see your conundrum in relation to your mother-in-law, but I have to say, I think your gut reaction is right. I totally understand lockdown is getting harder and harder for people to stick to the longer restrictions go on, and we must be empathic, but where possible we must stick to the plan. Not to mention a €100 fine!
I would suggest contacting her yourself
I think the correct approach to this situation won’t damage your relationship at all. It is great your mother-in-law is willing to help, so let’s harness this for good, while gently declining her offer to come and help at the moment. Firstly, I would suggest contacting her yourself. Cut out the middleman, ie. your husband.
Give your mother-in-law a ring for a chat. Who knows, maybe behind it all she is craving a little social interaction. Say thanks a million for her offer of help, you really appreciate it, but you don’t want to put her in a position where she could get a fine. Also, do make your point and say you don’t feel it is safe with numbers so high at the moment.
What might really help to keep relations strong is to suggest you video call her regularly with the baby
Then tell her when restrictions ease you can’t wait to have her over and you would appreciate some help. What might really help to keep relations strong is to suggest you video call her regularly with the baby – hopefully your mother-in-law is tech savvy or has someone who can help. Also, make sure to send her pictures and videos regularly. I think this will make her feel included.
Restrictions will ease and things will begin to resemble some form of normality, but until then, hold firm.
Wishing you and your family all the best,