DEAR ABBY: I have read your column every day for a long time, and I need an honest and objective opinion, which I'm sure you will give me.
I am almost 20 and have been married to "Todd" for nearly a year. We have a beautiful 9-month-old daughter named "Claire." We are living with my parents until we can get on our feet.
Todd's mother, stepfather and grandparents all live close by.
My problem: Between my mother and my mother-in-law, at least three times a week, I get comments of some sort on the way we are raising our daughter. I disagree with many of the techniques they used when they were raising children. What seems like advice or ideas to them seems like criticism to me. My mother especially is always saying that I should be doing this or that. Both Mom and my mother-in-law think that because they have been through it, they know what is best for our daughter.
I love our daughter with all my heart and consider myself a good mother. Although Todd's mother and mine did very well raising us, now it's my turn to raise my daughter the way her father and I think is best.
I love Mom and Todd's mother very much, and I have tried to talk to them about constantly giving me advice, but they get defensive and remind me that they have been parents for more than 20 years. Both insist that I should listen to them.
Abby, I know Claire better than anyone else, so shouldn't I know the best way to be a parent to her? -- YOUNG MOTHER IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR YOUNG MOTHER: Yes. Now all you need is the courage of your convictions. Stick to your guns and don't be pressured by all the unsolicited advice you're getting. You need not apologize for doing things your way.