I will be the first to admit that in general, I'm pretty neurotic. But I have to say, I think I've been fairly relaxed as a new mom. With regard to people who want to see the baby, we have said that we don't want visitors to our house who are sick. We ask every person who is going to hold the baby to wash their hands before they do so. We've kept the baby away from crowds, and also away from little kids. That's pretty much it. We had a winter baby, and these just seemed like prudent steps.
Although I think these requests are pretty reasonable, we're getting resistance from T's family. Every time I ask someone to wash their hands, they give me a hard time, along the lines of "I never did this with my kids and they're fine." I've been holding my tongue, but I'm starting to lose it. It peaked last weekend, when I caught my MIL with her finger in the baby's mouth. I was horrified. I don't stick my fingers in the baby's mouth--why would my MIL? Needless to say, I wasn't tactful in how I handled it, and it was in front of T's sisters. I pretty much ordered my MIL to remove her hands from Miss M's mouth. Who knows what was lurking under her fingernails? She is still visiting the hospital almost every day for physical therapy, and she could have picked up anything there. It would be one thing if I wanted to put my own fingers in my own baby's mouth (but yuck, I wouldn't, because I'm neurotic like that). But who puts their fingers in someone else's baby's mouth? I just thought it was so weird.
I keep having the same conversation with her over and over again, about how the childhood illnesses are not the same today as they were when her kids were born, that antibiotic resistance is a much bigger problem, and that the world is just a different place so that different rules are appropriate. Yet, though she knows about H1N1 and myriad other diseases like RSV that seem so much more prevalent today, she seems to have a hard time grasping this concept. Moreover, she seems completely disinterested in listening to me. All I ever hear about is how she did things with her own kids.
Yesterday, she was kissing the baby's hands, and I had to have the conversation with her again. The baby puts her own hands in her mouth--I don't want anyone else's saliva anywhere near her hands. Is this really so hard to understand?
I'm not sure how to express to her my point of view without having her be dismissive. I understand that she has raised her own children, and she may have made different choices. However, I feel like I should be free to make my own choices for my daughter, regardless of whether she feels like my choices are ridiculous. Particuarly given that my husband, her son, actually agrees with me. It's maddening.