Should I have stopped my MIL from stopping my daughter from climbing the window grill?

Background: Since the virus started, my wife, my maid and my 2 daughters (19mo and 3mo) have been staying with in-laws. My relationship with my in-laws is not very good. Not bad but just not good. Yesterday I was at my in-laws place to visit my wife and kids. In-laws house has dad, mum, sis and sis's son(4yo) Incident: My daughter was climbing the window grill, don't know why. Maybe to look at the cat downstairs. Then my MIL took a cane and started smacking her gently, asking her to come down. I did nothing but I really wanted to tell MIL to stop. Throughout the incident, I have been beside my daughter. If she were to lose strength and fall, I will be there to catch her. After incident: My wife approached me saying that I did not take care what happen to our children because I did not do anything to stop my daughter from doing something dangerous. She told me that she hate me and very tired because I'm always making her angry/worry. I did not say anything. I know she has been very tired and weary. I can see the tiredness in her eyes. I told her that I was just beside and will be there if kid were to fall. She rebutted with, "What would happen if nobody was here to take care of her?" Which I answered, "Why would she be alone on the window grill in the first place?" My wife just walked away angrily. My thoughts: When MIL started smacking my daughter's butt with the cane, I really wanted to snap at her. She couldn't even control that 4yo. What right does she have to teach my daughter anything. When my wife approached me, I thought to myself; I was there protecting my daughter, how can you say that I am not taking care of her? I don't want to stress my wife more than what I already have, by not getting along with her family. But sometimes, somethings just can't be tolerated anymore. Ranting, I just want someone to talk to regarding my feelings. I feel like everytime I want to talk to my wife, she will be too tired to listen and understand what I want to put across. Maybe I am just overly sensitive? *sigh* I'm doing my best (in my own way) to keep this marriage. I'm sure my wife is too. In-laws..... Am i right?

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Super Mum

Hi, thank you for sharing. First of all, thank you for understanding that your wife is very tired. Your kids are only 16 months apart, and both are under 2 years old. That takes a huge toll on any caregiver. I’ll be honest with you. When my younger daughter was 3mo, my mind and body were so exhausted that I was also very emotional and easily frustrated with my husband. Looking back, there are times I could definitely communicate better with him. My LO’s 5 months+ now, and things are much better, but I’m still tired. What I’m saying is, during this time, I hope you will continue being patient with your wife, even if she says hurtful things to you. I believe she’s trying her best too, and she probably doesn’t have any emotional capacity to deal with extra stress at this point, or to consider deeply the impact of her words sometimes. If you can, find a way to give your wife a good break. She probably has not taken care of her own health and needs in a very long time, and she needs you to help her maintain some sanity, as well as to get some affirmation. Secondly, from my own experience, my husband’s experience, and the experiences of many people in this community, a lot of us have great differences in opinion with our in laws. The simple reason is that we were not raised by them, and yet after marriage are suddenly grafted into the family. No matter how nice they are (my in laws are really nice people), there will be things that you cannot understand, or even tolerate. So don’t let it surprise you, and don’t let it affect you. Accept that there are differences, and I think that in this case, you made a wise and magnanimous decision not to get into a quarrel with your MIL, as this may have led to an argument with your wife too. My MIL is scared of everything. I knew early that this would be a concern because for one, my husband wasn’t allowed to do many things eg. Ride a bicycle, when he was young. It was deemed too dangerous. When my elder daughter started walking, any walking speed greater than 1km/hr within the house was deemed dangerous, and you can imagine how she reacted when my daughter started to run. I learned to respond gently towards her shouts of fear for my daughter to stop moving, and just look at my husband when I felt that she was being overly protective, so that he could be the one telling her to relax. My husband and I would have private discussions as well, where we could share our thoughts and feelings about each of our in laws, so that we could communicate with our own parents whenever the other party was upset about something (Yes, my mum has upset my husband multiple times too). As for climbing the window grill, sorry that my opinion differs from yours but I would never allow my kids to climb them too. Have read about too many kids falling to their deaths, and I believe that telling them from a young age not to climb the grill is quite important. Perhaps your wife was also shocked to hear about your little girl climbing the grill and you being okay with it. As mothers, I guess we get really worried about anything that could potentially pose a danger to our childrens’ lives. And we would feel so guilty if something were to happen. Again let me be honest. Sometimes I’m there with my kid. But I get distracted for a second, looking at my phone or something else that’s happening. And my kid has fallen, right before my very eyes, because of that one moment of distraction. Because it’s happened to me, I can tell you that it’s not an irrational fear. Things really do happen sometimes, especially when we think we’re in control. Whether you agree with what your MIL did is one thing, but it’s more important that you and your wife agree on how to parent your children together. So I hope you can give your wife lots of hugs, affirm her, take leave sometimes and give her a break. Then when she’s mentally rested, have good and honest conversations with her, asking her to share her needs/wants and how she wants to raise the kids, and you do the same. Parenting is one of the hardest projects a couple can do together, but when you have a good partner, it’s also one of the most rewarding... and years down the road, both of you will look back at this time fondly. I know the children are important, but keep building on your marriage. It’s totally worth it, and your children will also watch and learn what a loving relationship looks like, which will guide them in the kind of relationships they look for in the future:)

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Super Mum

Sounds like you're both trying your best but life can be tough with a child and it's easy to cause tension between the couple. It's understandable. Maybe try to have a heart to heart talk with your wife and tell her your honest feeling, and try to put yourself in her shoes and understand her feelings too. From reading your story, sounds like your wife didn't witness the scene but only heard about it so she doesn't know if it was safe or not and a mother's nature is to worry. I'm always over worrying and always imagine the worst possible scenario so I understand. I do agree with you that your mil is out of line and doesn't have a right to discipline your child. I would never cane my child much less let someone do it. But the most important thing is still the relationship between you and your wife, mil is not always around so you can focus on making peace with the wife first. Best of luck!

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Maybe they just don't want that to become a habit and it's good to correct children's mistake right away on the spot. Your wife could be very naggy during this period of time due to tiredness/frustration. Her mum may not able to help her much while taking care of another sis son plus she might be lonely mentally. Try to spend some sweet time alone her. Let her speak out all her concerns and you listen without interrupting and vice versa. Cheer up daddy, this is marriage life. We can do it💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻

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VIP Member

no, I think women have a longer thought, they already think if not stop her, it will be worse if she falls. It's good if u think u will catch her, but how if u failed to catch her? not everything works just like what we think, and there is no rewind button, better precaution then regrets, that is my thoughts.

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Yes. Kids can get confused with different ways of discipline