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Ask Amy: Mother-in-law triggers traumatic experience

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I’m a new mom to a wonderful, healthy and happy baby.

The birth was traumatic. My postpartum period was marred with unbearable pain, physical limitations, and multiple surgeries.

It was a difficult time of my life that I’m trying to move past in order to enjoy the happy times of new parenthood ahead.

I’m having a lot of trouble with some of my mother-in-law’s comments.

During the worst of this painful postpartum time, my active, able-bodied MIL came to visit the baby. I asked her if she’d throw in a load of laundry while she was at the house, since I couldn’t get downstairs easily.

She said no, and her explanation was: “That’s not what I had in mind.”

 

She was only willing to hold the baby.

Her unwillingness to help with everyday practicalities absolutely gutted me.

I now accept that this is the type of person she is.

The problem is that now, whenever she comes over and complains about having to do her own housework (she is able-bodied and lives alone), it brings back these awful memories of feeling completely abandoned by her during my greatest time of need.

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