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To loathe the phrase 'Happy Mummy, Happy Baby'?

(45 Posts)
HolidayArmadillo Thu 04-Apr-13 14:00:40

I probably am being unreasonable but it makes my toes curl every time I see it, and on here that is a lot! I agree with sentiment in some ways but in many others I think it's just used as justification for doing something you (the royal you) want to do, that maybe isn't in the best interests of the child.

Flame away. As I said I appreciate I probably ABU.

pomdereplay Thu 04-Apr-13 14:19:55

Meh, you won't get a flaming from me. Lots of things that would make me happy wouldn't necessarily be great for my baby, so I don't do em. I am as a general rule happy if my baby is happy, and that has certainly meant a fair bit of sacrifice these past 13 months. I intend to make up for the alcohol abstinence, sleepless nights, no quiet time with DH etc etc etc when DD is a little older and doesn't need me so acutely.

BackforGood Thu 04-Apr-13 14:20:49

I think there's a lot of good sense in it although I don't like the word "Mummy" and would use "Mum".
However, although I don't agree with you, I don't think YABU to hold a different opinion from me smile

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 04-Apr-13 14:22:29

IMO it's the other way round. If you are lucky enough to get a content and happy baby, happy you. I did plenty of stuff that didn't make me happy, works for DD though. You could use it to do any number of stupid things. Shall I drink lots of wine in pregnancy because it makes me happy?

piprabbit Thu 04-Apr-13 14:32:02

In RL, I have come across very few genuine examples of mother's who regularly put their own needs ahead of their baby's needs.

I have met an awful lot of mums who are putting themselves under huge pressure. They are trying to do their very best for their babies, they are putting their own needs for sleep, affection, food, support and friendship on the back burner. If reassuring them that having a happy, healthy mum is massively beneficial to their children too and helps them to relax and enjoy their all too brief time with their babies - then great!

ShirazSavedMySanity Thu 04-Apr-13 14:35:42

Its utter tosh. Some Mums would be happy with a crack pipe in one hand and a bottle of cider in the other. I can't see the baby would be particularly happy with this.

Happy baby not screaming his head off due to reflux always ensured I was happy

AngelinaCongleton Thu 04-Apr-13 14:35:45

I use this phrase (not mummy though)' in relation to stopping breast feeding. If it's driving you mental (as did me first time round) then I think the phrase is appropriate to remove some of the guilt associated with stopping. Is that what you mean?

LauraSmurf Thu 04-Apr-13 14:39:25

My version is 'what's best for family'. Everyone has equal rights and equal say (as far as common sense allows!)

neunundneunzigluftballons Thu 04-Apr-13 14:41:27

I got it when I was struggling to bf. Drove me mad. I needed support to get over very difficult humps not some pointless cliche. It took 3 kids before I finally found the appropriate support so the cliche was definitely a more efficient way of handling the situation.

Squarepebbles Thu 04-Apr-13 14:52:03

Yabu re bfing,sleeping,working and many other things.

An utterly miserable mum along with a toxic atmosphere of dread and resentment simply isn't worth not turning to formula,sleep training or a return to work when a mother has had enough.

You don't cease to exist as a human being when you have a child and my 3 were feeding off my misery utterly cranky before I reached for the formula and Gina book.Once we'd got some routine going and ditched the utter torture that is bfing I really began to enjoy my babies and they thrived turning pdq into contended,happy bundles of joy.

I am a sahm and could never have left my babies in childcare however I would be the first one to say it is pointless for a mother to be a sahp if they hate it.

Lilipaddle Thu 04-Apr-13 14:56:27

I think the phrase "unhappy mum, unhappy baby" would be more fitting. A mum being down or depressed isn't going to have a positive affect for a baby, whereas a happy mum doesn't guarantee a happy baby.

TheFallenMadonna Thu 04-Apr-13 14:59:03

I have never, ever seen it used with respect to drug taking, or any of the other extreme examples. I have only ever seen it used to reassure parents who have agonized over issues like formula feeding. Taking it literally and out of context is BU.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 04-Apr-13 15:03:00

But I agree with neunundneunzigluftballons. OK no one is going to say that about crack smoking (although I work with some mothers who might). However, I don't want someone, even when I'm on the bones of my arse, as I was, saying it. DD didn't sleep and BFing was very tough. I had a friend who constantly said, "just give her formula and put her in another room, happy mummy, happy baby". I wanted support, I got smug cliche.

dreamingbohemian Thu 04-Apr-13 15:05:22

YABU for taking it literally. I think usually it's just a corrective to the idea that the mum's needs don't matter at all.

BackforGood Thu 04-Apr-13 15:08:30

Good post by TheFallenMadonna

Squarepebbles Thu 04-Apr-13 15:09:34

Perhaps Mrs you looked utterly miserable.

Sorry but I don't get the bfing obsession if you're on your knees,have hit rock bottom etc.Just isn't worth it,there are waaaasy bigger parenting issues to agonise over.

9 years on I utterly regret the wasted time of misery I spent doing it,could have been enjoying my babies. Quite frankly if somebody I cared about was utterly miserable,with a miserable baby not enjoying those precious first months I'd say the same.<so shoot me>

If you don't like it you could always keep away from people who care,they're only trying to help and probably have an awful lot more perspective on the issue.

TryDrawing Thu 04-Apr-13 15:11:06

I remember seeing some research that showed bf babies brainwaves were largely the same, regardless of whether their mother had depression or not. In ff babies, they started to show patterns similar to those of depressed adults if their mother was depressed.

Can't remember the details but it came out around the time that a friend was constantly bombarding me with the annoying "Happy mummy, happy baby" thing. Made me want to throttle her and say "Er no. Im my house, it's happy baby, happy mummy."

Squarepebbles Thu 04-Apr-13 15:13:27

Cortisol is Cortisol and sorry there is no way the shite atmosphere looking into my exhausted, sobbing face full of resentment every time my boobs were shredded was good for any baby brain waves.hmm

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 04-Apr-13 15:14:47

Possibly Squarepebbles but more likely she was trying to justify her own choices that she felt very guilty about. However, even though I think putting a baby in another room from birth and FFing wasn't the greatest choice, I supported her and was a cheerleader. I didn't tell her my way was the right way, like she did to me.

Yes, I was tired but I made the right choices for DH, DD and I. BTW, she still didn't sleep two years later on three six square meals a day and bottles of milk.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 04-Apr-13 15:15:10

x-posted. That was about the post to me.

Squarepebbles Thu 04-Apr-13 15:18:16

I doubt it,most mums couldn't give a shit what other mothers do.Waaaay too many bigger issues to contend with like going back to work,weaning foods,terrible 2s,screen time,sleep,exercise,school,homework etc.

It's only on MN that mums give a shit re feeding choices.wink

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 04-Apr-13 15:23:03

Nope, I know she felt guilty because she talked about it ALL THE TIME. And how many people made her feel that way. I live in hippy central so people here are obsessed with BFing.

alwayslateforwork Thu 04-Apr-13 15:27:02

Yup. BU to take it out of context.

I don't use it, but I am in favour of the message - and even as a passionate bfer, would have given a friend suffering and on their knees the option of formula feeding if trying to continue to bf was making their life miserable and they were unable to cope. I'm not advocating chucking formula at someone whining about being up all night, but if a friend was on her knees after no sleep for months with a high needs baby who fed all the time, I'd be discussing with her what was best for them. And letting her know that it was okay - she doesn't need society's permission to ff. or mixed feed.

I'm definitely pro bf. I bfed the first 2 exclusively (and did ten mos on my knees with ds who fed 24/7 and couldn't take even a bottle of ebm as he was plastic averse due to hospitalization and weeks spent on a nebuliser at 3 mos). But if you can see it's destroying someone, then the maxim stands. If formula is what the mother needs to be able to function, then she deserves support, and enough trite comments to make her feel it is okay.

Dc3 was no born with no suck or gag reflex, and was tube fed and had to be regularly suctioned so that she didn't suffocate on regurgitated milk or her own saliva. I expressed for as long as possible. In my case it was more sane mummy, alive baby. It definitely cured me of my bf at all costs stance. Despite of course, the theoretical position that this vulnerable baby was the one who would benefit most of all from BM. grin

Mental health issues in mothers of small babies and children are massive. You might not like the phrase (I don't either) but I fully support the maxim. Who cares if the baby is exclusively breast fed if the mother is on her knees weeping for most the day. In an ideal world, there would be enough support to make breast feeding a positive and enriching experience for all, but in rl that support is often limited to a few manly pats on the back and a 'this too shall pass'. No one is seriously offering to fetch up six times a night to hold her hand through the darkness and try and soothe the screaming baby. Every night for months on end. And if getting the dh to proffer an occasional bottle of formula gives a mother even half an hour respite, I'm all for it. And I might even break out the phrase.

On a slightly different note - my old manager used to say 'happy wife, happy life'.

Which made me want to kill her.

Squarepebbles Thu 04-Apr-13 15:28:40

Good post

exoticfruits Thu 04-Apr-13 15:43:46

It's only on MN that mums give a shit re feeding choices.

Very true.

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