to be fed with my mum(21 Posts)
I've been feeling a bit flat today, 30 weeks pregnant and just starting to feel a bit anxious and needing to get everything organised. Have been trying to overcome this by calling friends and seeing if anyone's up for being back up for looking after our DS. My mum is 1st in line to look after him when the time comes - she has him quite often when I work.
Today she turned up at mine and told me she's decided she wants to go away to do her hobby 2 days after I'm due, for 5 days. This added a bit to my anxiety but I said if she can tell me exactly what she's able to do I'll have to plan around it, just in case baby is late. I asked her if I went into labour the day before she's planning to go, would she still go, or would she stay. She said 'I'd still go. She [the new baby] will be here when I get back'. I was quite hurt by this.
Anyway, at this point, I was feeling worse than ever, mum was telling me to stop worrying - the baby will probably be early and anyway I can just go to the hospital alone and DH can look after DS, toddler had a momentary meltdown (probably felt the tension), I handed him over to DH while I exited for a wee and a 30 second breather.
When I got downstairs, she had gone. No goodbye, no 'are you OK?' no continuation, nothing.
I was tearful and frustrated. Without going into it, my mum can be intractable, tactless and unreliable at times.
Later she called while I was putting DS to bed to say she had decided she would only go away if baby had arrived. I called back to thank her and tell her she'd alleviated my worries, when she went off the handle telling me I should stop stressing about everything, that she shouldn't be the only person to able to make me feel better (?!) and I should have thought more carefully about what I was saying when I asked whether she wanted to see the baby. I def didn't say that!! And would never. I tried to tell her that, but she escalated the tone of the conversation saying 'I can hear in your voice that you're stressing again'. For the first time ever, and having bit my tongue about many things over the years, I just hung up. I couldn't see a positive way out of the conversation.
She called back and left a message saying she'd had enough of me taking things out on her and that I was acting like a baby.
She's supposed to be looking after DS tomorrow pm when I go to work, but I can't bear to see her. I'm sick of being dependent on her.
I may be completely wrong here, OP, but do you think she might be trying to tell you that your DH should be doing more?
I would say, based on nothing but what is in your op, that your mum isn't entirely comfortable about her choice to go away on her hobby thing and is taking out her guilty feelings on you. What she wanted was for you to say "Go on mum, that is entirely fine, you go away, of course the baby might be born while you're away but that's fine too, you'll see her when you get back".
You didn't do that, you didn't alleviate her guilt, so now she's feeling shirty about it because YOU didn't make HER feel better.
I would say if you can find an alternative first line help with DS1, do it. Then your mum becomes less necessary and you are no longer dependent on her being around, which will remove the stress of the situation completely.
I would find someone else that could have your ds instead and not bother asking your mum do you have a good neighbour or close friend?
Just realised it might look as though I'm suggesting you should have made her feel better - I'm definitely NOT saying that!!
Gosh, just what you need! What an odd thing to plan when she's promised to look after DC1 when you're in labour, surely she could have gone any other two weeks of the year?!
I'd ask a friend to look after DC1 and then you know where you stand. If you can organise other childcare going forward then I would as it sounds as though she is using this offer of help as a stick to beat you with. No one needs that kind of help! Remember, offers of help with conditions attached are not help at all...
I have relatives like this. They continue to astound me as to how awful they are. Tell your mum, from me, that she sounds like a manipulative witch with all the sensitivity of a toaster.
Thanks Thumbwitch, I think you may be right. LineRunner it's possible she was grinding that axe, but DH is pretty good, and really wants to be my birth partner again.
I have an interview lined up to change my job slightly so I can work set days every week. Then I won't have to rely on her for childcare as I do now. She doesn't work herself and both loves and complains about having DS.
I'd delete the annoying message she left on your phone and don't call her back.
I'm assuming that when you go into labour you want your DH to come to the hospital with you, and you need to know who will be looking after your DS while you are both there?
So you definitely need to arrange someone who can do this if you are overdue. Unless your mum really is now going to be there in case. This isn't about "making you feel better"!
I'd have a think about who can step into the role of looking after DS if you are 40 weeks plus.
Tomorrow is a tricky one, I can't see how you can change the arrangement, you have to go to work.
Maybe just say nothing before your work, just handover DS and go to work, then when you come back say you want her to go on her 5 day trip and you will find someone else who can look after DS during those 5 days. (After all, I was 2 full weeks late, if you are she will be BACK from her trip by that point!)
In general I agree, she doesn't seem to be very sympathetic or helpful on this point.
How did you get on with getting back up plans with your friends? I had a couple of friends on standby to look after my ds who was 2.5yrs when i went into labour with my dd. I had to call my friend at 7am and drop ds round to her while we went to hospital. My dd arrived two weeks early, but as my ds had been two weeks late and induced I wasn't really expecting her! My mil travelled 200 miles to come and look after ds. My parents came from an hour and a quarter away but didn't bother to go and get my son until my mil arrived!!! She left my ds with my friend because she couldn't be bothered to be responsible for my toddler but wanted to be at my house?! I don't really understand it but my mother has never babysat or looked after my children, but moans if I don't phone her, and probably wonders why I am closer to my mil.
I think you've hit the nail on the head in your OP - you're dependent on her. Perhaps she's feeling the pressure of this and wants to be free to go away knowing that you will cope without her, or perhaps she just hadn't really thought through the dates of her trip, but either way it demonstrates that she is not someone you want to be relying on at the moment. That might suit her better than it suits you, but if you want to relieve your stress then making other arrangements might be for the best.
Wibbly your advise is very similar to my DH's point of view!
Anyone who tells a pregnant woman off for "stressing" is wrong in so many ways i cannot be bothered to mention them all. It's the pg equivalent of "calm down dear". Fucking patronising.
Yes, Lily I need someone to look after DS while we're both at hospital/mat unit. I have two friends who have said will do what they can around work and their own kids - very kind of them, but not great for potential middle of the night job. Though saying that , they'd be very excited, and it's a one off event!
I just want to have bases covered so I'm not burdening anyone at the last minute.
I'll have to speak to her tomorrow, but I don't know how to relieve the tension without her misunderstanding my need to get a balance between assistance and dependence.
I'm not your DH, honest! Good luck!
My mum is similar to this in some ways - although she is very polite and reserved so she wouldn't have a go at me it is more evident in the way she does a look or gets quite defensive quite quickly and makes me feel like I am the one being unreasonable. By withdrawing she makes me more confrontational and it means we can't resolve anything
TBH I have now got to the stage where the conversations are too difficult. I have now twice successfully managed difficulties (funny enough both relating to childcare issues with the birth of a subsequent child!) through not pursuing the conversation with her. Once DH spoke to her about it and once I spoke to my dad and he spoke to to her about it. Can you get someone else to act on your behalf?
I do also minimise what I ask her for as I do think she likes to grandparent on her own terms even though she can be really helpful when the time is right!!
Just an update if anyone's interested...
I arranged cover for work on Monday, thankfully it was only a couple of hours on this occasion. I texted my mum saying I hoped she was OK, I was sorry for hanging up but didn't want a fight. Said I'd only called to thank her and hoped she could go on her trip, and that she didn't need to look after DS on Monday as I'd covered it.
Nothing at all in response.
So it appears she's waiting for me to call, and ask whether or not she can still look after him as planned for the other days I'm working this week.
I can't let it drag on, but I'm hesitant and feeling a bit forced into saying 'I need you'.
Otherwise, I'm feeling back to normal and not anxious or flat at all!
Thank you all for your insights, this is the first time I've called on MNers for advice and it has been useful x
I would arrange cover for the other days you're working, I think. If you DON'T phone and grovel, there's a good chance she will suddenly be unable to do it for you, leaving you high and dry. Time to break the dependency links.
good luck OP, I hope it all goes OK the rest of this week
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.