Seconding finding your mama tiger instinct. My mum was similar, dad a bit reclusive. I can't remember what triggered it, mum said something about ds around 6 weeks and I snapped "no you won't, not if you want to see your grandchild again!", grabbed him back saying "MY baby!", and mum looked a bit shocked - and ever since has deferred to me in how I care for my kids, and amazingly, I actually look forward to seeing my parents every few weeks!
Wish Id done it 20 years earlier, but probably wouldn't have worked without the grandchild. By the time ds was 4 months she'd gone from worried about him to evangelising how wonderful bf was and all mothers should do it and not give food until 6 months - I hope she didn't offend other mothers...
You may feel more able to stick up for your baby than for yourself. And more seriously you do need to prioritise your baby over your mother.
She is the one causing trouble, not you. If you give in to her at the expense of your child, what kind of mother does that make you? Infant feeding is a very emotive subject (see ten squillion threads on Mumsnet) and "I stopped bf because my mother didn't like it" isn't likely to do your self-esteem any good.
I am speaking harshly so you can see how serious this could be. Check out the narcissism threads and see how you are enabling her behaviour.
You can do this. You can. When your baby comes you will find your "Mama Tiger" instinct and do what your family needs. Good luck!
I just want some practical advice for my very 'helpful' mother. I am really looking forward to the baby arriving but am dreading the constant criticism that I know is on it's way too.
I cannot avoid my mother - I have tried to - reduce visits etc. but it makes things worse so I know myself it is better to play happy families. I get on great with my father but my mother is always angry/depressed (sometimes hides this with lots of jokes and a big show for visitors etc).
Anyway - everytime I see her the comments start - colour clothes, my eyebrows. My wedding preparation was not a happy time and a lot of this was down to her moods so I did everything myself. Then there was a lot of problems after with her. Finally we are getting somewhere but it is difficult.
Ok - I have started looking into childcare and try and was talking to her. She told me it was ridiculous - the baby is not here yet (not that many weeks away and l live in a rural area so not that many options). I can't tell her anything. I am a special needs teacher and she always tells me to leave it - would I not teach normally again. This really hurts me as I love my job and she knows this. My father supports me in everything and says how proud he is. I studied for over seven years - paid my way since I was 18, paid all wedding, everything (not looking for acknowledgement for this as I know it makes me more organised and committed to things).
How can I tell her that I am going to bring up the baby the way myself and DH want i.e breastfeed etc. She loves spouting her mouth to people 'You panic too much as a mother' etc. She doesn't hold her tongue no matter what. If my brothers wife put on eyelashes she will say she looks like a transvestite.
I can't row with her. She is very difficult. What phrases/means of putting my view across could use? My the way she never does much of this in front of my father but he works long hours. If I stay away from her after baby is born - she will cause hell.