My in-laws won’t stop telling me how to parent, I feel so trapped, is there a way out?
The way in to this is through your husband, so naturally one would assume the way to deal with it is to take it to your husband for a way out (solution). But, no, that rarely works because those are his parents, they have rights over him and of course – those are his parents. Just as we would hope our child does not scold us on behalf of our spouse, we would also not want our husband to be that person. Of course the inlaws are not out to get you, to them it is their blood they are looking out for, their grandchild, their love, their interest, and your child. So the way around it?
Well, you’d have to develop thick skin – so much easier said than done, but it’s possible. Keep telling yourself they care, they’re bored, and that you’re the mother and it is your right to parent your child the way you and your husband decide. Also, try tucking some headphones in your ears with Quran playing and drown out as much of the noise as you can. There’s not much to be done about their complaining, but if your husband has to hear it and bring it to you then gently tell him that you’re trying your hardest; resist all temptation to vent to him about. He knows his parents well, and he will love you even more for not making it an issue for him (even if they are). Eventually older people will move on to something else but if you’re able to find them a hobby, then that would be wonderful. Distract their attention, often times their nit-picking is boredom and a need for attention and has nothing to do with how you parent. One more thing, every time their remarks get to you, then make dua for them. Make it out loud, there’s nothing wrong with that. You may find yourself making dua the entire day, but that’s a good thing right? Dua will protect your heart from getting hard in any way, and also from the whispering of shaytaan, InshaAllah.