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Pregnancy a time to become closer to your mum? Sadly, not for me :-(

(30 Posts)
amandine07 Thu 24-Oct-13 14:13:46

Hi everyone

Don't know if this is the best place to post this, just had to get some things off my chest!
I'm 28 weeks PG, unplanned but both OH and myself are over the moon!

I was hoping it would bring me closer to my parents, especially my mother who I seem to have a 'difficult' relationship with.

Now, I know I am hugely lucky to still have both parents, but the way my mum made me feel last night, I can certainly do without the added stress.

Her main issue is that we live in a rented property a 1-bedroom flat, which she feels is wholly inappropriate for a baby.
We're not currently looking to move as the cost of gaining 1 extra bedroom is huge. We live in London.

She was also implying that my OH should man up and provide for me & the baby ie buy us a house, quite with what I don't know.

We are getting married in July next year- booked & arranged before we knew about the baby. We are going ahead with it still.

I get the impression my mum thinks we should cancel it and buy a house instead- she's not come out & said this but her irritation is obvious.
Obviously I agree that buying a home is important, but equally, we want to get married & have planned to do so.

Finally, my younger twin siblings are now both married, kids & mortgage. It really hurt inside when she made direct comparisons between us (we have totally different situations!) & kept repeating how disappointed she is in me, how I need to grow up & stop acting like I know it all.

Then my dad waded in on the conversation & wouldn't let me off the phone until he'd said similar. I was very close to putting the phone down.

So I had a good cry after, then had a bowl of ice cream for dinner. Luckily OH was working late & got home once I was in bed.

By the way I'm 35, have a professional full time job, as does my OH.

I don't know if I have the energy to put into improving relations with my parents, I love them and I want them to be involved as much as possible. But I don't think they're doing my state of mind any good sad

Apologies for the enormous long post, I had to get it out as I've not spoken to anyone it sad

amandine07 Sat 26-Oct-13 07:16:00

I think it's because I had high hopes that the wedding planning & baby would automatically bring us closer together, it's just bitter disappointment that it hasn't been like that- it makes me feel like a failure.

However, I remind myself that it's a 2-way process, they need to make efforts & act appropriately, not just me & OH!!

amandine07 Sat 26-Oct-13 07:13:27

Thanks wen you're absolutely right, if it was anyone else I'd be a bit like, er, thank you for your opinions, now bugger off you don't really add anything positive to the situation!

The irony is, I first moved out at 18 when I went to university, have bought my own property in the past (not with a partner)...so it's not as if I've emotionally & financially tied to my parents.

By yet they really get to me and have been the only thing upsetting me so far during the pregnancy!

wem Sat 26-Oct-13 06:59:36

That sounds great amandine. Try to remember, they are just people with opinions, who seem to think they have a right to force it on you. If it was anyone else you'd laugh at them. Your parents have conditioned you to need their approval, but you really don't.

amandine07 Sat 26-Oct-13 06:49:32

Just to add- my lovely auntie, her husband & their 3 kids have always rented, they have also struggled financially.

They are in a situation now where they are both unemployed and living in council property.
This is quite sad to see them struggle.

I think my mum is worried that we will end up in a similar situation to them, but this does not excuse the way she has spoken to me.

For almost as long as I can remember she used to always comment how sad it was they were in rented accommodation, she always blamed my uncle who she has never liked.

My parents used to get really wound up about it & go on about my aunt's living situation. They still do.
I personally think they, especially my mum, should just stop and show some appreciation for all the wonderful things happening in their own lives, for their own children, rather than focus on all the negatives and the things they perceive to be 'not right'.

Onwards & upwards!

amandine07 Sat 26-Oct-13 06:40:17

Thank you everyone for all your comments & thoughts!

I was pretty upset & emotional when I posted on Friday, your comments really did help lift me & see the 'bigger picture'. It actually felt a bit like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

Pregnancy is such a roller coaster time, luckily I've been well so far (touch wood) just with a couple of colds making me feel shattered.

My parents have been the thing stressing me out the most!
It's so wonderful to hear from others in 1-bed flats with little ones who all seem to be doing perfectly ok!
And others with similar sounding mothers- yay I am NOT alone!

I just felt that some of the comments were unecessary swipes at my OH and collectively our commitment to/ability to parent our baby- this really hurt.

As if not rushing out to rent a bigger place/buy a (possibly unsuitable) property demonstrates a lack of motivation to provide for our child.

I said to my mum that having a baby and organising a wedding was enough stress for now- she said I'd got my priorities wrong, buying a property should be top of our list.

The sibling comparison went down badly with me- my younger sister was married with mortgage before baby, my younger brother was un-married with mortgage before baby (but quite frankly the sun shines out of his ass, he could get away with anything!).

So, I am the great big disappointment...but do you know what? I really don't give a flying one & will not be pushed into anything or made to feel bad for our decisions! grin

I'd find that very irritating too, my DM sounds very similar to yours. I try and let it wash over me, but it's hard. Make sure you never make the tiniest little complaint about lack of space in front of her, as you'll get 'we told you it wasn't big enough!' wink I know this from bitter experience!

BoysRule Fri 25-Oct-13 19:22:39

I have a very similar situation with my parents. They say that they worry and just don't want things to be difficult for me. They cannot understand why I didn't do things in the 'right' order - good job, save, buy house, get married, have children etc. And they can't understand why we have chosen to live in an expensive part of the country.

Essentially - I suspect they are just worried for you and it comes out as snidy comments and making you feel like you are somehow 'disappointing' them. You have to let it wash over you - I make sure that I never moan about my situation or make them feel in any way that my life is difficult because of the decisions I have made. I also don't talk to them about money.

TeaAndCakeOrDeath Fri 25-Oct-13 19:14:50

Ah amandine, my mum was the same, she hates that we're not married (she even called DS1 a 'sin' in an argument as he'd been born 'out of wedlock'!) and that we live in a rented flat not a bought house

I agree with other posters, either let it wash over you or find a phrase you can repeat that conveys you are not taking any of her nonsense and its not up for discussion, maybe something like "Yes, isn't it great DTs are happy and am I too" or "Aren't you lucky? Three children who are all doing so well in life" etc...

Congratulations btw, sure you'll be fine

And in future, if you feel like putting the phone down because they're having a go, do it, blame the hormones wink

Amibambini Fri 25-Oct-13 18:08:39

One of the many things that I love about London is that it is full of people living their lives without a template saying 'this is right' and 'this is wrong'. People make their own unique spaces and lives work, much to the horror of our suburban dwelling relatives.

I am about to have a baby on a small barge in London. It has one teeny tiny bedroom, a wood burner as our heat source, and our neighbours are geese and swans. My family (suburban Aussies) are dubious but thankfully supportive of me making my own adult decisions.

I know plenty of families on tiny boats, one roomed flats and have friends who grew up in trucks, they are all happy and fine. As long as you provide a warm home, food and love you will be a-ok. Let your mum and dad's moaning wash over you, and stay excited and calm for your big upcoming adventure!

Chocolatemolehill Fri 25-Oct-13 13:20:57

Poor you, it's so difficult having people who are supposed to be close and supportive undermining you and your choices.
As the others said - don't worry about it! It's your life!
Me and my sister grew up in a 2 bedroom flat, in a block of flats (7th floor!) My best friend lived in a one bedroom flat with her parents and brother (they shared a room) until she went to uni. OK, it was not in the UK (Eastern Europe) and the expectations in my home country in terms of housing and material possessions are very different. But my point is - we didn't think we had unhappy childhoods or were in any way deprived. We had loving, close families and were happy.
I am now very lucky to be able to live in a house in London. And I have no intention of moving out of the city once the baby arrives. Most of my friends say London is not a good place to bring up children but I seriously can't see why. When I think of my childhood in a small town I remember very well the feeling of lost opportunities - I couldn't pursue most of my interests as there was just nothing there. I promised myself that when I have my own child I'll live in a big city where they will have all the opportunities that I once didn't.
And about the wedding - it's a day when you celebrate your love and being together. yes, it's expensive but imo totally worth it. I still remember my wedding as the best day of my life. Enjoy it!

brettgirl2 Fri 25-Oct-13 12:36:29

I think you have to tell her straight to stop treating you like a child. You are 35 its none of her business and you will move when the time is right.

SpoonfulOfJam Fri 25-Oct-13 11:50:43

Ah, that is rubbish.

What a bizarre point of view your parents seem to have.

Before I got pregnant I made sure I had a secure job- a career. That way I know that no matter what, me and my baby will be secure. (I have a husband, he works in a fairly low paid job, we rent).

My parents and family are proud of the way that we planned this- they know that we are both old enough, mature enough, and while not particularly well off, we are financially secure (there would be no problem if we were still living in our flat- but as this is Birmingham, not London, we were lucky enough to find a 3 bed house for the same rent as our flat).

Like crazyhead said, this generation is different. Financial security looks different to how it did 30 years ago. You are doing fine. Just stop, and look at your achievements so far (we do this on occasions when we feel a bit skint, or as if we are going nowhere). And enjoy your biggest achievement so far.

crazyhead Fri 25-Oct-13 11:37:08

I would forward your mum some affordability statistics about how easy it was for people to buy when she was younger compared to how it is for you now.

In my London street, the couples in their 60s who 'manned up' to buy a house simply had one partner with any reasonable job. The ones in their 30s are generally in finance/have been given family money/bought and dealt property very early in their 20s. Personally, my OH and I have a combination of the criteria I mention between us (I'm 37) and it was still a push for us.

Unless your mother is herself an uber dynamic high-flier who has fought for her own house by juggling bringing you up with a career in the City, she needs to zip it. That generation were really lucky - fair play, we all get our share of luck. But I don't see why she gets to be sanctimonious as well.

Oh and also, you'll cope. We had our first in fairly central London and everyone in my NCT group was in one-bed flats for quite a while.

TombOfMummyBeerest Thu 24-Oct-13 16:51:27

I've been there OP. My Dh and I do things our own way when it comes to raising DD and our very traditional, conservative family always have an opinion opposed to it. It made me miserable when I was pg.

When it comes down to it, you're the parents, and you'll make the decisions. And once you prove that your baby is growing up happy and healthy, they won't be able to say a word.

Hang in there! smile

Quodlibet Thu 24-Oct-13 16:20:12

Most probably if you were buying a house together first they'd be tutting about you having a baby while unmarried. And quite ironic that she's criticising you for 'having no mind of your own' and 'being led by others' while simultaneously trying hard to influence your decisions!
OP you sound fundamentally happy with your decisions, so I hope you find a way to make your parent's unreasonableness a bit less painful.

Smerlin Thu 24-Oct-13 16:00:31

Don't worry about it- we live in a 1 bed London flat too and aren't worried about it- for the 1st 6mths the baby is supposed to be in with you anyway so why bother paying for an extra bedroom!

My MIL has actually said to me in the past that she wishes DH and I hadn't got married and had spent that money on buying a house!

Plus none of our family understand why we want to stay in London when we could get a lovely house with a conservatory in the suburbs near them!

Just think of all the wonderful opportunities your child will have growing up in London and ignore their comments- our families have kind of given up whinging about it now as we have just ignored over the years!

Lamu Thu 24-Oct-13 15:45:15

Congratulations! Another here that did a one bedroom flat in London with a baby. We finally moved out when Dd was 18 months. As others have said it really isn't a big deal although a lot of people thought we were crazy for doing it. It worked perfectly for us.

And please don't fret about your parents a lot of people aren't close with their parents, I had hoped that my relationship with my mother would improve, if anything it's deteriorated once I realised she wasn't a positive or supportive presence in my life. There's definitely something about motherhood that makes you re-access your own relationship with your parents.

MrTumblesKnickers Thu 24-Oct-13 15:29:50

Oh dear, she (and your dad) do sound like hard work. It sounds like they actually have a problem with you being happy (not reacting to engagement, baby news etc). I agree with those who said don't engage. Have a stock phrase ready. "We're very happy with how we live, Mum." Repeat endlessly.

I had a baby in a one bed London flat. Sure it was cluttered, but it was the happiest year of our lives. There was so much love in our teeny house. Also, London is amazing for stuff to do with babies.

You sound really positive, don't let the bastards grind you down! (sorry to call your parents bastards).

Windywinston Thu 24-Oct-13 15:20:58

Gosh I'm sorry you're not getting the support you need at the moment.
Obviously in an ideal world you would have more than one bedroom with a baby on the way but who lives in an ideal world?
One thing your parents perhaps haven't thought of is that if you stretch yourselves financially now, to get more space, you might not be able to have the time off with your baby that you would like.
With my first pregnancy I gave up any hope of conceiving (long story) and we decided to blow our savings and buy a bigger house in a much nicer area instead (we don't live in London!). Fast forward a few months and I was pregnant with an enormous mortgage to pay. Many of our friends had children at the same time and I was very jealous of their year off work, when I had to go back after a few months so that the mortgage was paid. I longed for my cheap, pokey little terrace in the arse end of town.
Enjoy the rest of your pregnancy and take the time to enjoy your baby, you'll never get that time again. Prioritise the things that are important to you and your OH and let everything else wash over you.
Good luck with the baby and your wedding!

amandine07 Thu 24-Oct-13 15:15:38

Thank you for all your replies- oh god they made me cry! Am having late lunch on my own so luckily no witnesses!

Ok you've all made me feel 100% better- it's so frustrating because if anyone else spoke to me like that did I'd tell them where to go! But I don't want to cut them out if things, but I can't do right for doing wrong.

I'm not going to tell them how I feel or why their comments upset me, I tried that last night but they insisted I was the one with the attitude problem.

My parents are generally lovely people but they frustrate me massively as they never say what they are thinking, they just huff & puff, make snidy comments and then blow up about it all 6 months down the line & I'm like WTF!!

MummyLuce ah another fellow London flat dweller!
We're at peace with our decision not to move into a bigger flat/buy a flat or house in rush of panic.
Yes it's small but it's our home, we're comfortable there, it's new & warm & best of all it's feels totally secure for us and the new baby. Plus the big park down the road.

Those are the most important things at the moment. I tried to tell my mum all this but she told me I was stupid & naive. Then I said I'd spoken with other mothers who lived in a small flat until their babies were toddlers/small kids and they turned out ok, she then told me I have no mind of my own & am simply led by others.

This has been an amazing year for me and the OH. Sadly I wish my parents would feel, or if not just act, as if they are happy.

I have issues with my mum in that she never said congratulations to either myself or OH on our engagement (this was several months ago) or on news of the baby, even once the shock wore off.

She can't seem to bring herself to say it & maybe just enjoy the pleasure of hearing you're going to be a grandmother again, rather than nit-picking at the way we live our lives!

And breathe & relax...

DontmindifIdo Thu 24-Oct-13 15:07:01

I can sympathise, for my mother there are two ways to do something, her way and the wrong way. This came to a head with me at my wedding, she was very vocal about how I was doing things wrong and disapproving of mine and DH's choices (which we were paying for and doing all the work, it's not like they were stumping up the cash or running around organising things so should have an imput, they were just bitching for the sake of it). I was getting really upset trying to justify myself and bring them round to my way of thinking, and hten just suddenly it occurred to me I didn't have to get their approval.

By the time I had DS a couple of years later, I'd got over trying to please them and realised that it's ok that I didn't do things their way. It's ok if they don't approve, it's not their lives. I'm pretty sure if you hadn't had the baby first, you'd be getting the same shit over your wedding unless you gave your mum free hand to plan the day exactly as she wanted (and probably you do all the work for it).

I suggest you stop discussing things with them, remember you no longer need their approval, infact if they want to be part of your child's life, they need your approval. The relationship is switching if you want it too. So any complaints about the flat say "DP and I have decided to stay here, what you think doesn't really matter." or "Mum, dad, I'm a grown up, unless you are prepared to pay for it, you don't really get a say in where I live anymore."

It is tough because yo'ull read on here about people who have great supportive parents who they are so close too, but not everyone does, it's ok to just deal with what you've got. Once yo'uve accepted they have to be 'handled' it's a lot easier to do it. Oh and get your DP on side, you'll need his support when you are further along and vunerable.

JohFlow Thu 24-Oct-13 14:59:07

It's your choice what you do for your new family and yourself. I don't believe that grandparents always know best! There will be some choices that you make from now on which they will not agree with or even understand - but it is your life.

I think it may be a good time to say to them that you want to make your own choices and will ask them for support as and when you need it. The onus is then on you to ask; rather than getting unsolicited 'advice' all the time. There will also be times when you will need an experienced view on best ways to go. There is no definitive rule book after all!

In general, be prepared for all kinds of comments on your childcare etc from other people. I think sometimes they get it right; but more often advice can sound dated or inappropriate to your child. You are the only one that knows best!

I totally understand when you say that you were hoping that a new baby would bring you closer to your own Mum. I wanted that to; but it really didn't work. In fact she emigrated a few weeks before baby was born - what do you think to that? Sometimes any frustration in your relationship previously can be heightened by having a new baby.

It is possible to bring up a child in a one-bedroomed flat and for them to thrive and be happy. It may take careful management initially as there will be no spare room to settle a crying baby in.But it is no where near impossible. So long as their needs are met - that's all that matters.

Comparison with siblings never goes well. You are all your own people. How disappointing of her not to see you as the wonderful, independent individual you are. Big bag of poo that is ! wink

ElizabethBathory Thu 24-Oct-13 14:53:46

Gosh Amandine your situation sounds perfect to me! Your parents are being old fashioned and rather mean - ignore ignore ignore. Enjoy your baby and your wedding - definitely the wedding, it's important and already planned and you will have a lovely day smile

charliezack Thu 24-Oct-13 14:53:07

Hiya hunni,

I can kind of understand what your going through as i'm had similar situations with my and my partners family

What i found to be most useful although it took me ages to get up the courage to be honest is to tell them straight up quoting Disney's Thumper "If you cant say anything nice don't say 'nuthin at all"
It took putting the phone down on them, physically kicking people out of my flat, and telling them i would refuse all access to the baby when born before they got the message

If and when they ask for an explanation as to why you keep hanging up on them say honestly that their negative views are not welcome that you miss and wish they were going to play a part in the child's life but they aren't the most important thing in your life

If they decide to cut contact be assured that once little one turns up they will soon forget and want to be a part of your family

xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Mrspebble Thu 24-Oct-13 14:49:25

Firstly congratulations. I am 35 also hand just had my first baby .. You will be fine.. Babies are so small.. Or in in our room.. You can get great compact changing units that fold down from a wall fitting etc.

I would totally value getting married.. What a lovely day you will have ... Please, please ignore your mother. I also have a difficult relationship with mine.. It hurts... A lot!!! I think a mother daughter relationship is so difficult!! I have to say once the baby got here.. She was a changed woman!!

It sounds to me you have got it all.. And you deserve it. Don't let her get you down. Stand your ground. Tell her marital vows mean more to you than bricks and mortar. I think marriage is so special and I wish you evey happiness.

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