My ds is just over 3 weeks and my confidence is at an all time low due to visit from my mother.

(83 Posts)
Pinkflipflop Sat 23-Feb-13 18:17:59

I thought I was coping quite well with my ds; mother hadn't spent time here as she was ill but came to stay for the last 2 nights. As a result my confidence at is gone looking after my ds.

1 Mother is obsessed that I am not winding ds properly, I spend ages doing it and usually manage to get a burp up but she kept on saying "give him to granny" and such comments

2 She is obsessed with giving the baby water, I checked it out and said the baby didn't need water, she gave it to him anyway sad. I told her this was not acceptable as I felt she had done it behind my back and she huffed with me

3 She told me I looked very awkward holding the baby and that my dh was much more of a natural sad

4 She kept on saying the baby was going to choke and kept shouting at me to run to his pram.

I just feel that my relationship with my mother has changed so much since my baby arrived a few weeks ago and I don't know why.

Mother is away home now and I'm left crying as I feel I'm such an unnatural mother. He just over 3 weeks, what can I do better?

Dh is at work and I'm a state right now.

oneortwoorthree Sat 23-Feb-13 22:25:56

Perhaps you need to tell her that SHE is a bad mum for not supporting her daughter and encouraging her just when she needs it the most?

Don't worry, as everyone else has said, you are a great mum, try your best to ignore the comments & believe in yourself.

Also, I just wanted to share with you that I find my MIL and other members of my DP's family quite hard work when I have just had a baby, partly because we have different views on things, but also, I have to admit with hindsight, because it is an especially emotional & sensitive time for me.

Pinkflipflop Sat 23-Feb-13 22:46:59

It is a very difficult time and I really appreciate the support that I can get on here. Thee funny thing is I feel as though I have been disloyal to my mum by criticising her on here as before my ds I honestly thought she could do no wrong. My dh thinks I'm doing a great job, for those of you who asked.

Dh has just come home and he is so positive about me and my first few weeks as a mum, it helps to hear good things from him. He finds my mum a bit much sometimes and quite persistent, but is more an.e to ignore it.

As I said to my dh it would mean so much if my mum had said to me, pink, you are doing a good job, I'm proud of you. However it's not to be.

You grew your son for the best part of a year under your heart. Listening to your heart beat, sharing your body. When he was born he knew your sound and smell and voice as home and the whole world. Lying in your arms hearing you and feeling you is everything to him. He knows your husband's voice too and has learned who his daddy is. You two are his whole life and you especially know him by heart and by instinct because you have felt his first movements and held him so close for so long. How could you be anything other than natural with him? Trust your instincts; he is your child and you are his mother and your own babyhood which your mother remembers is far away now. This is a different time and your little family, your boy and your man are the most important thing. If your mother can't respect and cherish you as you gently care for this new life and step into your new roles as parents, then it's sad but not something you need to have draining you. You sound like what you are: a lovely mother of a beautiful brand new child. Let everything else drop away; this time is about you and your man and your child and nobody has the right to try to chip and snip away at you three; if they do it says something about them but never anything about you.

twinklyfingers Sun 24-Feb-13 00:49:25

Grans are obsessed by wind! It's their answer to every little squeak in my experience. It must have been the "in" complaint with babies when we were babies. My mil often talks about wind when my dd cries and I think, no, she would actually rather be held by her mummy just now, instead of you! My mum and dad also kept insisting dd must be thirsty and i should give her sterilised water when she was a newborn - no breast milk is enough thank you. It's hard though, people don't believe or want to hear that the things they did are no longer considered necessary or even good practice. We are lucky to live in a time where we can look at research and decide for ourselves.

You sound a little bit like me. I like reassurance and like to think that those close to me approve of what I am doing. But everyone has such different ideas about parenting and no one knows your child like you do. When i was in hospital with dd different midwives kept coming in and raising or lowering the head of dd's cot. A midwife told me that different midwives would have different views on this and lots of other things too. I was a bit hmm that there wasn't agreed upon best practice. But this midwife told me that everyone would have their opinions on the best thing to do but I'm the mummy here, and only I get to decide what's best for dd. I've had to remind myself of this over many issues again and again since dd was born... DH gets a say too of course!

HalleLouja Sun 24-Feb-13 09:14:36

My mil was obsessed with wind. It drove me crazy. You are doing a fab job. I would keep away from your mum for a little while. Until you feel more confident and able to bat her comments away.

Your DH seems lovely.

Pinkflipflop Sun 24-Feb-13 10:18:36

Thanks for all the lovely and supportive comments, it means a lot.

Just out of interest, how long do other people spend winding a new born after a feed? If there are no burps after say 10 minutes, is this long enough?

Flisspaps Sun 24-Feb-13 10:26:24

I don't think I really bothered winding my two at all.

It's not supposed to make a huge difference to how long it takes for wind to come up so it seemed like an unecessary faff.

I think in a way when we have our first, it in a small way takes us back to being a child and really needing our parents' approval. Seeing as you're not swinging your DS round by his ankles and bouncing his head off the wall, your Mum had no reason not to give it to you!

You sound like you're doing a great job, which at three weeks means everyone is alive and fed. It's great your DH is being so supportive, and perhaps at a later point someone can make it clear to your DM she does have a role, and it's supporting and encouraging you. If it's possible, try to keep her at arms length for a while, or only have her round when your DH is there.

On burping, not sure- DS was the least windy baby going, and was mainly bf, but I think they let you know if there's wind there that needs bringing up...if they don't seem uncomfy, I wouldn't bother after a minute or so!

QuickLookBusy Sun 24-Feb-13 11:07:40

Agree not to worry winding after a few minutes.

I know what you mean about wanting your mum to say you're doing a good job. Mine never said anything very positive and it was very hurtful, but I just got used to it. I wish sometimes that I'd actually said to her like "I'm new to this and trying my best, please don't critise me because it really upsets me. I'd really like it if you could tell me you think I'm doing a good job." I think something like that would have made her think more carefully about what she said to me.

I'd also like to day I love TrucksAndDinosaurs post.

A lovely, special and very true post.thanks

HalleLouja Sun 24-Feb-13 11:14:10

Maybe if you are having problems winding put your DC in a sling to keep them upright and the jiggling about might help. Also give you a chance to give them cuddles whilst having hands free to eat chocolate etc to do things you need to do.

I used to get bored winding and gave up after a while.....

Grumpla Sun 24-Feb-13 11:23:05

Not much to add except that three weeks in is definitely the low point! Hormones, sleep deprivation and self-doubt are a killer combo. You need to surround yourself with people who love and support you - and you need to be kind to yourself. I bet you are doing a brilliant job - and I promise you it gets easier! winebrewwine

You are a natural mother. You're not made of plastic, are you? You are the perfect mother for your baby. Do you think your mum might be jealous? She sounds like she is trying to treat you like a child, rather than adjust to her new, backseat, role as grandma (the one who doesn't know best about the baby!).

Mil is just concerned stay her son has to work and might not be getting enough sleep - please remember that you have to work too, and your work is every bit as important as his. If your baby is bottlefed, you don't have to do all the night feeds. Obviously if you get to sleep a lot in the day then its fair that you do most of the nights (but not all - broken sleep is nothing like as good). But you may not get to sleep in the day - I don't know how well/long your ds naps. Guard your sleep - you'll feel so much more able to cope with all this if you've slept. You don't have to discuss that with MIL, of course, none of her business!

Hattifattner Sun 24-Feb-13 11:27:25

pinkflipflops, you sound like a normal new mum, full of insecurities and hormones.

Its important that you remember that you know this baby better than anyone else in the world. You knew him before he was born. You need to trust that your instincts have kicked in and therefore YOU, not your mum, are best placed to know if your baby needs burping. Your mum radar is so perfectly attuned to YOUR baby, that if your baby is choking, you will know. Likewise, you will know if he needs water (BF in winter? I very much doubt it).

You just have to trust yourself. You are his mummy, and you will do whatever is best for him.

Your mum is being insensitive, but relax - on the subject of YOUR baby, You are the worlds undisputed expert!

Pinkflipflop Sun 24-Feb-13 12:25:31

Dh and I had a good chat this morning and we both agree that we are surprised at the way my dm is acting when what I and we really need is for her to encourage and support us. It's nice to have my dh affirm that he thinks we are doing a good job; he says that our house is a relaxed house and if people are going to come in and make it a stressed out home then that is not acceptable.

I'm going to talk to my dm and explain how I feel if there are any further issues.

It's so lovely to have people on here let me know that I am normal, not an incapable person, who has no clue about looking after her baby. I have been very honest about my lack of experience with babies but I always thought you don't really know what it's like with someone else's baby anyway! confused

Pinkflipflop Sun 24-Feb-13 12:26:21

I love the idea that I have a mum radar! That makes me feel good grin

Startail Sun 24-Feb-13 12:33:58

I'm not sure I ever winded BF DD2, I was very half hearted with mix fed DD1. Neither ever had water as babies. They had a front facing buggy from birth, so I couldn't see if they were 'choking'.

Both seem to have done fine with my neglectful parenting!

cloudhands Sun 24-Feb-13 12:42:53

agree with other posters, you are doing absoultely fine. Your mum's comments were very thoughtless. She should have had more empathy, it can be very nervewracking as a first time mum, but all those worries, have absoultely no relation to what a good mum you actually are. Enjoy your newborn and try to ignore.

idshagphilspencer Sun 24-Feb-13 13:32:16

My mother did this to me when DS1 was born , when DS2 was born I realised quite how crap she was being. SHe just wouldn't listen. When DS3 and DD were born I managed without her "help" and really I have kept her at arms length ever since. She always thinks she knows best and I really find her overbearing. It has really damaged our relationship. OP I am sure you will be fine being the mum YOU are to YOUR DS. x

SquidgersMummy Sun 24-Feb-13 14:39:10

My mum did this to me a bit too...it was all 'you're holding her too much' and 'she can't be hungry again'. I wonder if they feel threatened somehow?? You're doing a great job. Just don't have her back till you can engineer it better - an outing or when your partner home or visit her that way you can leave and she'll be busy cooking. It's your baby and from what you've said you really do know best. X

Wishiwasanheiress Sun 24-Feb-13 14:47:57

Pink,

I had no experience of babies with dd1. I'd never held a nappy. (Blush but had no reason to!) I made it up completely as I went along. Some people made me feel good with comments and some bad. I learnt very quickly to ignore those that made me feel inadequate simply because I could do that pretty well on my own without input off anyone else! I found mn and learnt most valuable piece of advice, trust yourself. You will be careful and you will do your best. That's all you can do. Oh and don't read books! Guarranteed to make you feel bad!!!!

It does get easier month by month. Promise. Congrats on pfb!!!!

I'm trying to put myself in the shoes of a woman seeing her GS and her DD and imagine how it must feel. I expect you get lots of very strong emotions...

A huge rush if protectiveness at how TINY new babies are
A sense of amazement that your own child is now grown and made that and is a mother herself when you remember her as a helpless child.
A sense of displacement that you are not the main mummy figure now and must defer and stand aside a bit
Perhaps even jealousy, or sadness at the natural ageing process and things changing.

Maybe that's why grannies sometimes say things that come out all wrong and upset everyone: hopefully it will settle in time as everyone gets used to new roles and grows in self confidence

CatsRule Mon 25-Feb-13 19:36:28

Don't let anyone make you doubt your ability to care for your baby....you are his mother and you know him better than anyone. He needs only you, and his Dad, right now and you will instinctively know what's best.

Dh and I muddled through, both our instincts were to protect our tiny baby and we did just that...despite worrying about everything! Especially about the unhelpful things "experienced" people say! If they were that experienced they wouldn't say half the crap nor pick your nearly 1 yr old up by the arm nearly dislocating it!!

Trust yourself and have confidence in your own ability. A good old cry works wonders smile

DewDr0p Mon 25-Feb-13 19:51:31

OP you sound like you are doing a grand job.

Agree with trucks about displacement etc. I also think sometimes Grannies take it a bit personally that things have changed since their day, like it's some kind of slight on the way they did things. I found it quite helpful with my Mum to quote Health Visitors and research as she's quite into that kind of thing. And to be fair she was trying to be helpful. That approach didn't work at all with MIL though - smile and ignore was MUCH better lol.

Perhaps pick your battles - it maybe doesn't matter if Granny spends ages trying to get wind up but I would stand firm on the water thing. Etc.

MiaowTheCat Tue 26-Feb-13 13:56:41

I regard wind as the way to keep 'em out of mischief - if they want to sit there for an hour making their arm ache doing a back rub - it shuts 'em up and stops them annoying me with more suggestions... although in general (she has her moments dismissing anything I'm trying to be careful with - like food and not creating some chocolate cake coveting monster - as "paranoia" and "you being neurotic") my mum's been very supportive and goes on about how good a job I'm doing (which is totally unlike her - she doesn't normally "do" praise).

I have a 10 minute policy on burps btw - if it ain't come up by then it's not going to and it's probably headed to appear out the other end in an embarrassingly loud trump at some point.

SayCoolNowSayWhip Tue 26-Feb-13 14:11:51

Not excusing your DM at all, but she possibly didn't realise quite how much you found her interference hurtful and patronising. Are you able to tell her, or get your DH to have a word?

I found both DM and MIL overbearing in their own ways when DD was born - but not in a malicious way; they were genuinely trying to help, but it was in a very 'I've been there before so I know everything' way.

What you and they have to remember is that while they do have experience, it's not with YOUR child. You know your baby the best. They don't.

Also 3 weeks? Crikey. DH and I refer to the first month or so as 'the dark times'. You sound like you're doing fine. Good luck!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now