Strained In-law Relationship Since Pregnant


New Member
Im a new member. This is my first time participating in a forum as I needed a platform to shout out.

I was married since 2016 and was living with my in-laws since then as my new house was still in the making.

Back then everything was peaceful. No conflict or whatsoever. But things started to change ever since I got pregnant and gave birth in 2018.

Before I got pregnant, living with my pil was tolerable.
My mil is someone who is rather inpatient and dislikes noise and a little paranoid. For example, food bought have to be eaten within 3 days, and in freezer (1week) else she deems the food had spoiled and will throw it away. Bowls must be washed immediately after use and clothes must be folded and kept the moment the clothes had dried (can you imagine her monitoring laundry she had hanged every hour and keep 1 or 2 pieces of the clothes that had dried every hour? LOL). She is a very light sleeper, and making any little noise (e.g. the sound of water dripping when bathing or flushing toilet) would wake her up and she wouldnt able to fall back to slp. Due to her thyroid illness, not slping well gives her headache. Sometimes, whether she realise it or not, I find that she can quite rude or disrespectful to people, not with the way she talks, but being insistent and forcing people to do the way she do or thinks is right. For example, she and her side of family are most english educated and all of them have english name. Once she asked me to think of an english name for myself as she feels that she and her family do not know how to pronounce chinese name especially my grandma in law (her mum) (but hello, my grandma in law always struggles with both english and chinese names except teochew. And i think she struggles more with english actually). I told her I dont need english name as my chinese name was given by family(particularly my grandparents) and I am proud of my name. Its not difficult to pronounce also. After a few days she would come back to me and said she had thought of a few english names for me and asked me which one I liked.

Having said that, I do not have much hard feelings with my in laws back then, and I appreciate that they still treat me pretty well. Well, all in all, the first 2.5years living with them was bearable. We did not have conflict, I tried to conform to the rules and culture they have in the house. But we never had close relationship. At the start I wanted to be closer to them, but my pil are people of few words, they would each retreat to their own rooms and do their stuffs when they came back from work, and they dont like to go out with their children, its very difficult to become closer to them.

Then things started to change when I got pregnant. I felt that my mil is more controlling than ever and ever since I was always feels very stressed. Whenever she sees me wash my head at night she would insists that I shouldnt as next time old will get "tou feng". Throughout my pregnancy, when we talked abt confinement, she would insists that I shouldnt bathed at all even when I told her I am bathing herbal water. My husband and I only got 1 room in the house, and there is a space constraint. Putting a cot in the room means we have to squeeze to access cupboards and stuffs and thus I prefer to get a mattress on the floor for my husband to sleep on. My husband is not keen to that idea as he had never slept on floor (mayb except in army) before and my mil insists that baby should sleep in cot. So I relented which later really creates a space problem. She also insists that we shouldnt on aircon because her sister last time on aircon and thus her son (my husband cousin) now keep having leg pain at such young age. If on fan, have to blow the wall.
Some of the things I tried to comply but some of the things such as not bathing even with herbal water, I rejected the idea. When we gather at my grandma in law house, she went to ask everyone if they agree and that day I was bombarded with all the rules of do and donts that all of them, my mil and her 3 other sisters, think i should follow. That day my husband wasnt around with me as he is a self employed and had an appt that night. I always try to follow my pil to my grandma in law hse every saturday even when my husband is not free but I totally regret that night. I truly felt cornered.

When I gave birth, I did my own confinement, takkng care of everything myself while still living with my pil. Why I did myself? Because my pil dont know how to take care of babies (my pil didnt dare to carry the baby until she was at least 3 mths old) . They are working parents and my husband and his brother were taken care of by their grandmothers.
I never get a confinement lady because there are no spare room and I believe engaging a confinement would cause more problems for me as I do not have the confident that the cf lady and my mil would not have conflict and I am also scared both would gang up to restrict me.

As if things is not at its worse already, my baby kept crying throughout day and most importantly at night. As a new parent I am trying to adapt and understand my baby. It doesnt help to have my mil keep forcing me to give my baby pacifier (she always spit it out anyway) and even commented that "babies dont cry so much" as if telling me that there is a problem with my child and that she is not good. That sentence had 4ever stucked in my head.
Every morning, without fail, even after my child had grew and she slps more at night with night time crying cutting down to just 1 or 2, the first thing she will ask me is "she woke up last time at xxx time right? To drink milk?". I appreciate that she is concern I do understand but this makes me feel damn irritated and stress and every night I pray my child would not wake up and cry.
When I got back to work, at night they tried to help to play with thr baby so that I can bathe and settle my stuffs first which I appreciate. But that appreciation will always turn into frustration and stress because by time they come back from work and I get to bathe its about baby sleeping time. And as they do not how to play or care for baby, the moment the baby start crying, they will keep asking me to hurry up the baby is crying. I told them before I can bathe and settle my stuffs after I had put the baby to sleep but they insists they can care for her and its bad for me to bathe late. They want to care then care properly. If the baby cry just bring her go walk walk and distract and coax her happy not come rushing me to quickly bathe. They even bring the baby to wait for me outside bathroom then when i come out follow me to my room to blow dry my hair then follow me to kitchen see me make milk etc. In fact, there were twice when I had to go out to meet my friends and they offered to take care. I left my child with them, but my mil kept msging every 30mins to update me whether my baby cry, what thry did etc. Then after 2 hours they will keep msging me to ask me when will I be back and the baby wasnt even misbehaving!

After a year, the cries of my child is getting better. She dont cry that much and not as often. For awhile I felt slightly relieved. Then August this year, Ive finally got my keys to my new house and waiting to move. I did consider using my new house as a weekend house since my child infant care is just below my pil house. So continue staying might be more convenient and my child would be exposed to last dust.

Just a week before we moved, in october, one of the night, my child woke up suddenly at about 10pm, and started crying. I tried my best to calm her down and perioically she did calm down and fall back to slp for awhile only to suddenly burst into tears again. As my pil had history of coming into the room to try to "help". And their way of helping is just telling u and insists that u give the child a bottle of milk. They even scolded me for nt carrying my child just because at the moment they came rushing in I wasnt carrying her because she wriggled her way out of me. They also say I kept forcing her to sleep when she does not want and asked me to bring her out. (hello, who is the one who rush me to put baby to slp? And if i bring her out to the living room to let them play at such late hours, who is gg to put her to slp? They dont want to slp i want.) Scared that history repeats, also because I wanted some space and time to calm my child, and she doesnt seem like she is hungry(she just had 300ml of milk at 8pm before she slept) and seems like she will calm down when i pat her, i didnt want them to come rushing in again to instruct me on non constructive stuffs when they dont know a thing. So I locked the door. I know its not right but at that time, I needed that peace.
When they found out, they kept banging the door and asked me to open. I told them I am trying to calm the baby down but they did not listen. And started shouting through the door angrily saying that I should feed her. I told them again the baby is not hungry that I just fed her and am trying to calm the baby. They then shouted that I am unfilial, not listening to the adults (I am alrdy 30+,an adult too!), nv do as they ask me to. They even said the baby everyday cry until the whole block could hear, I not embarassed they are embarassed! What did I hear? They are embarassed of babies cry?

Thats it. Im done with them. I moved out totally the next day, staying temporarily with my own parents before I moved into my new house.