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to want a little validation?

(26 Posts)
eekazombie Wed 01-May-13 15:09:35

DS is 6 months old and I'm a first time mum. He was a surprise and I was ill prepared. I expected motherhood to be pretty thankless but I guess I didn't expect all the criticism. I thought I'd get lots of support and encouragement from family.

But I don't. My beautiful little boy is thriving and happy, such a well settled and smiley baby, but I'm doing everything wrong according to all 4 of his grandparents. He's overdressed/underdressed, breastfed too much, not washed enough, needs a haircut because long hair will make him blind, is going to choke from evil BLW, doesn't pray enough, has too big a belly button, will get a flat head/bowed legs/deformed spine from sleeping/standing/sitting positions I put him in, will get squished if we continue to co sleep, will get a deformed spine from cuddling too much... I could go on but you get the idea.

I love my son and I'm not raising him for kudos but I just thought someone might say that I'm doing OK. I feel so hurt that all my family think I'm an inadequate mother, especially as I spent most of my pregnancy worrying that I would be. DH is amazing but biased!

AIBU to just want to be told I'm doing a good job?

bollockstoit Wed 01-May-13 15:11:06

Before I can give an opinion, I need to know how much he does pray

aldiwhore Wed 01-May-13 15:15:01


Your baby is thriving. You are doing a DAMN good job.

Sometimes our children are the easiest part of parenting!

You need to learn another (yes ANOTHER) new skill, and that is to make your skin thick and glossy so these comments slide right off. It takes work, play a game in your head "Bad Mother Bingo", if it helps, say 'ping' everytime somebody starts... oh and at some point, do shout BINGO (usually best saved for when you really HAVE had enough and after a lot of pinging).

Learn to not let this get to you, they are concerned, probably envious, probably think they're helping, probably think this 'modern parenting lark' (whatever you're doing, it's modern!) is crackers... but YOU are doing it, YOU are doing great, YOU do not need to take it to heart.

You can't change them (not instantly anyway) so TRAIN them, ever so slowly, so they don't even know it and along the way, laugh.


eekazombie Wed 01-May-13 15:22:10

Bollocks, as amazing as he is, given his current cognitive and motor skills, not at all!

Oh aldiwhore, you're right. I do need to laugh but I just feel so downtrodden all the time. My husband says I need to be more assertive and sure of myself but it's so hard when I feel so fragile.

PlasticLentilWeaver Wed 01-May-13 15:36:46

You ARE doing ok. In fact, you're probably being completely awesome. Rule 1 of parenting though - in your family's eyes anything you do differently to them is a direct slur on their parenting choices.

It's not, but they perceive it that way. If it worked for them, why can't you see it is the best way?! Nothing could possibly have changed in the last couple of decades (or more) since they were raising babies. Aldi is spot on with the shiny rhinoceros hide.

PS fascinated by long hair making him go blind. Is this gender specific, or will it also affect girls with long hair? Maybe this is why I am so myopic? All I need is to get all my hair cut off.

tillyfernackerpants Wed 01-May-13 15:37:14

You are doing so well! I'm still amazed at how people feel qualified to comment on how mums raise their dcs. I get it even now (they're 7 and 4)!

I find a smile and a 'oh that's interesting, I'll consider that' pacifies them and then you just completely ignore whatever it was they said.

eekazombie Wed 01-May-13 15:50:07

Oh you lovely ladies have made me cry. It's amazing how kind strangers can be when those close have let me down.

I try not to discuss parenting too much with my mum or MIL now but there are times when I'd love an experienced mother's advice and I feel so sad that I can't get it without criticism or judgement.

Plastic, the long hair thing is a MIL classic, bless her! She knows a scary story about something that happened to someone for most things to back up what she says! She is a scary story encyclopaedia. I was only a few days post partum and she asked how my stitches were. I said healing well and she told me a story about someone she knew whose didn't and ended up with a whole in their wotsit! I hadn't pooed yet and didn't dare after that!

eekazombie Wed 01-May-13 15:50:48


Finola1step Wed 01-May-13 15:51:18

Oh eeka. Your post did bring back some memories. I am five years in and remember so clearly not so much the comments but the little looks, the raised eyebrows etc.

You are doing a damn fine job. Your little boy sounds lovely.

But ... You surely must realise that the praying thing had to be sorted. Come on now, he's six months! grin

Finola1step Wed 01-May-13 15:53:54

Oh and the hair.. I got told off by my mum for brushing my ds's hair to the wrong side as everyone would now think he is a girl.

AnythingNotEverything Wed 01-May-13 15:54:30

Nod and smile. Only you and your DP really know what's best, and that experience comes from being around at 3 in the morning.

My mother in law keeps asking why I'm not drinking Guinness. I smile, nod, and gently explain that my iron levels are fine (as tested by my mw!) and a unit of alcohol a day is no longer recommended!

Don't take it personally. My ds was 11 before I heard that my mum was proud of how I'd raised him. And I heard that from her hairdresser

If he's thriving, you're doing great!

L8tlyK8tly Wed 01-May-13 15:59:06

I remember an auld biddy standing at the door of a shop watching me and my month or so old baby walking up the street. She (the baby, not the biddy) was in a well padded all in one suit and in a sling and I had my coat wrapped around us both. It was a sunny day but November so cold. All was right with the world - or so I thought until the cow said in a loud voice as I passed: Can you believe some people would bring a small baby out on a day like this?
I managed a few more steps before I dissolved into a puddle of insecurity and self-doubt and misery and slunk home. That was lesson 1 in Not Caring What Others Think. By the time I had DC#2 I would have laughed at her comment and never given it another thought.

valiumredhead Wed 01-May-13 16:01:55

The ONLY person that has ever said I was doing a great job with my ds was my dad and oddly enough my very unemotional FIL. He gave me a huge hug and thanked me for looking after his grandson so well - made me very teary.

Parenting is bloody hard work and it's a bit of a shock x

eekazombie Wed 01-May-13 16:13:52

Finola, my MIL is the opposite, she's constantly brushing it to the side do he looks more 'like a boy'! I think he looks cuter with it all rock star like so ruffle it back up when she's not looking.

Anything, that must have been so lovely to hear. I wonder if I'll ever get that, I hope so.

L8ly, I have a pretty thick skin not caring what strangers think but I think that getting these comments from those close to me is what hurts. The people who should be cheering me on are just picking fault instead.

eekazombie Wed 01-May-13 16:16:38

Oh valium how lovely! My dad and FIL are both the never-changed-a-nappy-or-made-a-parenting-decision type but they both find things to say too! I adored my FIL in the beginning for just being grandad and then he had to tell us to use cloth nappies instead of disposable!

eekazombie Wed 01-May-13 16:20:21

Ds is awake from his nap so I have to go but thank you all for posting. :-)

RedPencils Wed 01-May-13 16:23:07

grin at DS praying, ya big show off!

Sometimes I think that if I get mine into bed alive then I've done a good job. Smile, say 'mm that's interesting, Ill think about that', and ignore.

EggsMichelle Wed 01-May-13 16:23:33

I don't think I could have got through the first 6wks without my DM telling me I was a good mum, just wasn't enough to come from DH. If your DS is smiling and happy and thriving, you are doing brilliantly. And there is no such thing as too many cuddles, that's just stupid!

Tailtwister Wed 01-May-13 16:24:25

Sounds pretty well cared for to me!

I once had someone tell me that the reason my DS2 (then 3 weeks) had caught viral meningitis at 10 days old was because I took him out in his pram at around a week old. Apparently a newborn should be housebound for the first month.

BrevilleTron Wed 01-May-13 16:28:35

Does my DD sleeping on her knees with her bum in the air count as praying? If so had that nailed by a year!

Seriously you are doing fine
Nod smile, "interesting"
"Yes, however he is my baby and as I'm sure you followed the advice in your day, I'm following it now. I'm sure you mean very well but the constant criticism feels like you don't approve of me as a mother! Are you really saying you don't approve of me as a mother?"

cathpip Wed 01-May-13 16:30:19

The words that jump out at me op are thriving and happy, tell the grandparents to fuck off, you are doing a marvellous job!smile

PrincessScrumpy Wed 01-May-13 17:27:26

The best advice I was ever given came from my dad who said only you and your dh are experts in your child as each one is different and you do what works for you. Everyone had opinions choose the advice you find helpful and ignore the rest. X

greenformica Wed 01-May-13 17:53:07

and respond to them with 'have you got anything nice to say?'

LaurieFairyCake Wed 01-May-13 17:57:03

Respond with "I heard a terrible tale about a grandparent who just DROPPED DEAD when their first grandchild turned 1"

Nod sagely, walk away.

Finola1step Wed 01-May-13 18:05:48

Hi eeka. With the hair thing... My sons hair would just naturally sort of part on one side ... My mum would insist that this was the "girl's side" and try to brush it towards the "boy's side" whatever that is! Trust me, there's been no compliments.. In five years.

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