...to not want my mother's advice

(32 Posts)
Franny1977 Tue 15-Mar-16 00:34:05

I might be overreacting but I've just come to the end of my tether. I recently gave birth to my second child so my Mother has come to spend a week with me helping out. She came from two days the day after DD was born, I had been apprehensive as she has established views on how to manage a baby which I knew had caused some tension when my DS was born a couple of years ago. Anyway during those two days I found her to be very supportive and was surprised when she didn't say anything which I felt was judgemental, patronising or too controversial.

Cut to three weeks later and I have been really struggling to absorb all the remarks she keeps making about how I should do things differently from how often I feed DD to the cot she's sleeping in (she thinks she should be in a much smaller one until she's older) etc

I should say before I continue, for the sake of a balanced argument that she has been incredibly helpful from a practical perspective and has done so much to help around the house.

Anyway, tonight DD was really crying hard and we were contemplating what could be the matter. It seemed to early for another feed however I said I was going to make up a bottle (unfortunately BF was cut short due to a series of unfortunate complications). So I went to get one of the formula bottles from the cupboard and because DD was going berserk by the stage I didn't hear it up. I believe it's fine to give it to get at room temp when necessary.

Well my mum almost lost it. I gave her the bottle to give to DD and went into my room to get myself dressed for bed. The next thing I could hear DD screaming again. Then my mum came storming into my room shouting at me that the bottle I had given her was cold. I calmly told her it was at room temp but she dismissed this and said again that it was cold. I tried to explain to her that the pre made formula bottles can be served at room temperature but she kept interrupting my saying things like "I can't believe you'd give her a freezing bottle" and "how can you expect her to be warm with a cold bottle in her".

This went back and forth for a few minutes with her becoming more and more emphatic then angry. I then told her to go get the hot water so we could warm it up. I was really trying to manage my emotions. When she returned she started saying that I was so pig headed and why couldn't I listen to her advice the way my older sister does.

I just felt like a child again. I told her at the end that she'd upset me accusing me of doing something to hurt DD and that she wouldn't listen to my explanations about room temperature. She then said she was only trying to help and stormed out if the room.

I feel really bad because she's right she has been incredibly helpful but I feel so frustrated that the only way I can keep the peace is to basically follow all her ways of doing things while she's here.

Franny1977 Tue 15-Mar-16 00:36:20

Lots of typos, auto corrects etc sorry! blush

Beefles Tue 15-Mar-16 00:47:56

Feel your pain. My mum is also like this. Will do a lot to help but flies off the handles and can be horrifically mean/spiteful/childish and I've been overruled on so many things with my son. I don't consider my mum a real mum any more. I'm not sure that's really an option for you but I do stay in contact I just don't really think of myself as having a mother. I can't talk to my mother and never have and your mum is risking this with you. Tell her whatever your sister does isn't anyone's business but your sisters and if you judge a cold bottle to be the fastest way to soothe a very upset child then that's your decision. She can help but right now she's making you feel dreadful and that is far from helping. I wouldn't ask for her help any more in case you end up like my mum and me. (Only my opinion and what I wish I had done years ago)

InionEile Tue 15-Mar-16 00:59:34

If you want her help then you're going to have to listen to the 'I know better' stuff. Just the way it goes, unless you have a respectful mature mother who is good at maintaining boundaries. Those are in short supply. My mother talks to me like I am still a child too. I find it very undermining and it annoys me a lot. So I didn't get any help from her with either of my two children. Problem solved!

PennyHasNoSurname Tue 15-Mar-16 01:03:40

Anyone that shouted at me over the way I cared for.my child would be out the door. Formula is great given room temp (whether made hot then cooled or a ready boxed one) as you then have a baby who doesnt need the warm milk.if you are ever in a scenario you cant warm it.

I think for your own sanity she needs to go.

PennyHasNoSurname Tue 15-Mar-16 01:03:58

Home. I mean. Not a "swimming with the fishes" kind of thing.

Alasalas2 Tue 15-Mar-16 01:04:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Alasalas2 Tue 15-Mar-16 01:06:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Franny1977 Tue 15-Mar-16 02:43:52

Thanks everyone, I know she means well but it's hard when you're left feeling guilty and upset.

mathanxiety Tue 15-Mar-16 03:30:28

I don't blame you for feeling so angry about this.

Your mum has clearly forgotten how mothers feel so close to giving birth. She is there to look after you too.

My MIL was boorish with me when she came to help after DD1 was born, and I counted the days until she left. I know she meant well, blah blah blah, and she cooked some nice meals, but the price I paid in terms of sheer shock to the system was too high. She only stayed a few days, which was a blessing.

So I think my advice is to ask your to take on board that you are absolutely not up for having your decisions challenged, and that your contretemps yesterday upset you a lot. Ask her if she meant to be so hurtful. Ask her to please remember that you love your baby too much to ever do anything to hurt her, and to respect you as a mother who does her very best for her children.

Atenco Tue 15-Mar-16 04:25:57

Maybe sometimes us mothers have to take a step backwards, I agree. But feeding a near newborn milk at room temperature instead of at body temperature sounds so wrong to me, sorry, OP. And our grandchildren are not our children I know, but it is awful to see any child being mistreated (even if it is only by our lights) and even harder when it is our grandchild.

Tiredstressed Tue 15-Mar-16 05:01:24

I don't think that feeding a bottle of formula at room temperature can possibly be termed as mistreating a child.

Franny1977 Tue 15-Mar-16 05:28:04

Atenco I agree with Tired isn't mistreated a harsh word given that the product does state it can be given at room temperature? I am willing to accept it's preferable and ordinarily I do heat it but I felt it was more urgent this time.

curren Tue 15-Mar-16 05:43:21

Mistreated? Really that's very dramatic.

OP neither of my kids would take a warm bottle. BF both of them and try hated that too. I was tearing my hair out. Doctors and HV advised that if a cooler bottle was the only way to get it down them, then to do it.

It's a difficult one and I am very lucky that my highly opinionated mother worked extremely hard to give advice that didn't come across as judgment.

But it's part of families to take the rough with the smooth. My mum once told me that it's best to listen to everyone's advice and then make your decision. Even if it means ignoring everyone else's advice. It's a good way to deal with it because sometimes people do offer good advice that helps. She also told me that just because you ask for advice or someone offers it, there is no obligation to follow their advice.

I would listen to her advice, peeps ally. But I absolutely wouldn't put up with being told off like a child. Can you speak to her and tell her it's not what she is saying but how she is giving the advice that is the problem.

Ditsy4 Tue 15-Mar-16 05:52:43

Why don't you ask the Health Visitor to call while she is there?
The HV could put her right on a few things that have changed.
She shouldn't be shouting at you. I never invited/ put up with anyone staying with us. MIL and FIL came after baby 2 but a few weeks after so we were established. Baby 3 I suggested house was too small and told DH that renting a holiday house for a week would be better. It worked brilliantly. Baby 4 FIL had passed away by then and we had moved near MIL so no need for her to stay and she wasn't well and died when baby was 6 mths which was a shame because she had been desperate for a grand daughter. First three we were near my parents and mum offered a bit of advice ( so did most of the women in the village) and I politely told her things had changed and xy and z were now recommended. I would point this out to her.
If she starts shouting again I would calmly and politely say that this isn't being helpful and perhaps it was time she went home.

Littleoakhorn Tue 15-Mar-16 05:58:04

It's possible that your dd's screaming had made your mother a bit frantic and that this made this whole argument more emotional than it needed to be. However, your baby therefore your rules. Stay firm and she'll have to accept that. Maybe divide tasks up such that you do baby related tasks and she does tasks related to the house / your older child. That way her time with your dd can be quality time and nothing to do with any parenting decisions.

I'm sorry that she was so rude and tried to overrule you. Unfortunately being a parent or grandparent doesn't turn a person into a Saint.

Chottie Tue 15-Mar-16 06:16:56

I'm wondering whether your mother is actually finding staying with you too much. She sounds completely over the top shouting at you like that. For both your sanities she needs to go home asap.

BTW you are right about the formula and room temperature. I am a MiL / DGM and I've noticed that times have changed and lots of things are done differently now, your mother needs to go with the flow. Can't your HV have a word with her?

bushtailadventures Tue 15-Mar-16 06:41:20

Maybe you could point out that the hundreds of newborns that are given formula in hospital are given it at room temperature? Not very helpful, probably, but definitely a fact. DGDs bottles came straight out of the cupboard and into her, no warming up. The Perfect Prep machine doesn't warm them either, and loads of babies get milk from that too.

I am a grandmother, and I do feel a bit for your DM, it is very hard sometimes to bite your tongue, but this is your DD and ultimately you make the decisions that are right for you both.

Bambalina Tue 15-Mar-16 06:48:26

I think mums sometimes find it hard to see their little girls (and little boys) as grown up adults who are capable of making their own decisions.
Pretty minor in comparison, but talking to my mum earlier, I mentioned I had been for a run and got the following questions afterwards: have you drank any water since you came in? Do you have good trainers for running in? What surface do you run on?
Sounds nice, like she's taking an interest, and she genuinely comes from a place of caring, but fuck! I'm 38 years old, and have been running for years!! And its incredibly undermining and patronising.

YANBU, your mum is obviously emotionally invested in both her grandchild and yourself, and is probably finding it hard that her ways of babywrangling are not the current ways

Cornishclio Tue 15-Mar-16 06:51:09

Is your mum prone to going off the deep end like that? I think maybe the stress of looking after a young baby has got to her but she was totally wrong to flare up at you.

I have a new granddaughter and have noticed how advice has changed and was also amazed that formula is now given at room temperature rather than warming it as we did in our day. I would never dream of contradicting my daughter about this though as she knows all the uptodate information. I hope your mum sees she was in the wrong and apologises to you.

Sometimes it is difficult living with parents as adults regardless of whether new borns and sleep deprivation are in play too. Maybe try talking to her when she is calmer and explain the above again to her. I am afraid though ultimately you may have to decide whether her helping is better than her reverting to treating you like a child.

toomuchtooold Tue 15-Mar-16 06:59:31

Personally I think anyone who vomes offering help and ends up fightimg with you over how to take care if your child is totally out of order. I think the question you have to ask yourself is whether you can cope without her help. (Hint: yes, totally)

My mother did all this when I had my twins and I booted her out. It was incredibly difficult in the first 10 weeks dealing with double feeds and napping on my own, it was awful. It was still better than sharing a house with someone who couldn't help out without being nasty. (My MIL came for 3 weeks when they were 10 weeks old and I was so grateful for her help I cried when she left).

AlexPKeaton Tue 15-Mar-16 06:59:35

OP I can SO relate to you on the mother stuff. Just remember, all the help in the world (or ££, or anything else) is not enough to justify bad behavior. If she doesn't want to help she doesn't have to come stay. But if she chooses to, even if you are very grateful, that doesn't give her license to be obnoxious, ESPECIALLy when you are at your most vulnerable. Now if only I could figure out how to put this into practice with my own mom...

Also just FYI to OPs who seem confused about the need to heat formula -- my poor neglected children never had a warm bottle of formula in their lives! A wise friend told me to only heat it if the baby seems bothered in some way by a room temp bottle. She said to start as I meant to go on and reminded me that sooner or later we wojkd be somewhere without access to a way to warm formula, and if I had gotten the baby used to having it warm she wouldn't take it at room temp. For the sake of my sanity we spent a lot of time out of the house when my kids were tiny, so if I couldn't give them room temp formula we'd have had a big problem. Fortunately they were fine, and they went easily from breast to bottle and back again (for as long as my supply lasted which wasn't long.) I have to say they were two of the happiest, healthiest babies you will ever meet. Staying warm wasn't an issue as they were always dressed appropriately and cuddled often. There are so many "rules" about caring for babies that are nothing more than old wives' tales!

TheCrumpettyTree Tue 15-Mar-16 07:16:19

Mistreatment really? hmm

It's perfectly fine to give room temperature bottles. One of mine prefers it.

YoJesse Tue 15-Mar-16 07:27:09

The 'correct' parenting advice changes all the time and she was once, probably told off by an older female relative for doing something 'wrong'.

My Mum is very lovely and non judgy but still, unsolicited parenting advice came my way. The grief i got for not weaning on to solids till 6 m!! I think it's par for the course. Maybe keep it light hearted and tell her you know that advice is always changing and what you are doing now will be wrong in a few years but you are going to stick with it.

LaContessaDiPlump Tue 15-Mar-16 07:32:58

I think you're very lucky having a baby that will accept room temp milk!!

Your mum is wrong, both factually and in how she treated you. Don't expect an apology, but also don't give one yourself.

Congratulations on your new little on flowers

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