Don't judge me, ma

You live with your in-laws and you wanted to have your own home before you had a baby. But now you are pregnant and about to give birth, and your new apartment won't be ready for another year.

Your mum-in-law has strong opinions about everything.

You can barely get along with her now, so you dread the thought of domestic politics once you have your baby in tow. Here are nine ways to live amicably with a difficult mum-in-law:

Think positive

She wants the best for you and your baby, and also wants to maintain a healthy relationship with you in this new phase of your life. Tell yourself that she doesn't deliberately try to upset you, and that she is only trying to help. Look at her as a support, not an obstacle.

Use tact and diplomacy

Positive family relationships are in everyone's best interest. That's why you should do your best to deal sensitively with your in-laws. Stay calm, irrespective of how annoyed you may feel, and speak respectfully to them. Try to avoid inter-generational quarrels where possible.

Share with your husband

Don't be afraid to confide in him when domestic politics get you down. Share your worries, so he knows how you feel. He's probably feeling the pressure, too. You are a team and it's important you understand each other.

Take a break

Just because the three of you will be living with your in-laws doesn't mean you have to do everything together. So, get your relative to care for the new baby (or ask your in-laws), so that you and your husband can have a night out together. Maybe you can have an occasional weekend away, as well. You'll feel refreshed after a short break.

Acknowledge her input

Your mum-in-law wants to feel valued and included. One way to do this is by thanking her for the practical support and advice. This, in turn, takes the heat out of domestic politics. You'll fi nd that she is less challenging when both of you have mutual respect.

Have confidence in yourself

Remember that you are your baby's mother - nobody else - and so you get to make the decisions. By all means, listen to childcare advice from your mum-in-law, but you don't have to follow it. Weigh all the diff erent possibilities and choose the strategy that you think best suits you and your little one.

Recognise the good times

Despite your concerns, there will be periods when there is no domestic stress, when the both of you get on well with each other. When that happens, tell her how pleased you are and that you look forward to having more good times like this.

Understand her perspective

Remember that living with a young baby has stressful moments for everyone, not just you. No matter how well you all get along, there will be times when she also feels under pressure - she needs a hug from you sometimes.

Look ahead

Tell yourself that this is a temporary situation and that, one day soon, you, your husband and your baby will have your own wonderful apartment - all to yourselves. Whenever you have a bad day and domestic politics overwhelm you, focus on the next stage of your life.


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