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AIBU to be having a bit of a wobble about my mothering 'skills'?

(57 Posts)
emeraldgirl1 Sun 07-Jul-13 22:32:44

I have a 17wo DD, I am by my own admission fairly PFB about her blush but you only get the chance once, right?

I'm not a follower of any child-rearing method (at least not deliberately!) - not to in any way denigrate anyone who is (eg a Gina Ford fan etc) but I'm just sort of muddling my way through and relying on (what I thought was acceptable enough) instinct.

I instinctively feel that, at 17w, I should respond to DD's every need (even if half the time I have no clue what that need actually is...) ie if she cries, which she does quite a lot, I try to solve the problem and cheer her up.

This w/e I've started to worry that I'm doing too much in this regard. I've had comments from in-laws and even (though not as a criticism, just an observation) from my very lovely DH, that I am doing 'too much'. In-laws think I shouldn't hurry to her when she cries etc.

She's only 17w, I thought I was doing the right thing and it certainly felt right. But I am not the most confident and I doubt myself a lot and now I am doing just that.

Can any of you offer reassurance that I'm not screwing everything up? That I am not 'spoiling' DD by trying to meet her every need? I'm assuming that once she's getting older and has words etc, I can ease up on trying to give her everything she needs. eg I don't remotely intend to let her just 'have' things, possessions etc, because as a toddler she suddenly wants them. I don't want to spoil her. I just want her to be secure right now.

I feel as if maybe I am making her more clingy and in need of me? That is what my SIL has said implied this w/e. Is she right? AIBU?

I have definitely thought that maybe I am a bit too full-on sometimes in not wanting DD to be bored etc. I do a LOT of playing, chatting, singing, cuddling. Probably too much; but then I am PFB one of those all-or-nothing people with everything in life. I am aware of this and I am very careful to make sure I do give DD proper down-time, I soothe her to sleep as soon as she looks tired rather than (as my mum does!) constantly jangling toys at her and talking until the very moment she drops off.

I sort of feel as if I am doing it all wrong somehow now sad and achieving quite the opposite of what I wanted, which is to make DD self-confident and at ease in the world.

Of course, there is always the chance that I am over-thinking this too much... blush

I've just had a bit of a rotten w/e with critical in-laws and am having a wobble, I suppose.

ThisWayForCrazy Mon 08-Jul-13 09:31:07

And as for rods and backs, I have three, one of whom is 15 and fairly self sufficient. I love my rods, I made them all myself wink

PlainOldVanilla Mon 08-Jul-13 09:40:59

You are doing everything right! Don't let anyone anyone make you doubt yourself. I've done exactly what your doing. The way I see it is my DD is a little baby and I'm her mummy. It's down to me to provide her with whatever she needs and when she cries she needs something. I've had all the comments of leave her to cry it won't hurt her, she's not going to be scarred for life if you let her cry, don't let that child be dependant on you WTF and the rod for your own back. In the end I got fed up and said well if I make a rod for my own back then it's my back I'm making it for not yours and me and DD are quite happy how were doing things thank you, people soon got the message.

FridaKarlov Mon 08-Jul-13 10:01:40

Ignore the stupid comments and listen to your instincts, it sounds like you're doing great. Enjoy the cuddles smile

FishfingersAreOK Mon 08-Jul-13 10:01:46

Noone ever looks back and says "Oh I wish I had cuddled my baby less". People (me included) do look back and wish we had cuddled our babies more. I did a bit too much of the "not creating a rod for your own back". My DC have not suffered for this - wonderful, confident currently bickering over stickers etc etc. But I do wish I had cuddled them more as babies. Just for selfish reasons really - as am not having anymore and cuddles from a 4yo and 7 yo are lovely - they are just not as snuffly and babyish grin

I agree with the poster up thread, muddling through method of parenting is a good one. go with your instincts. If people start questioning you then shrug - and if necessary come on here for some reassurance.

Enjoy your cuddles!

SouthBySouthWest Mon 08-Jul-13 10:11:12

I'm on DS2 and I felt the same as you with DS1. However since then I have come to realise something important.

Babies have needs. And you will never spoil a baby responding to its needs. When they are older they will still have needs, but they will start to develop wants. This is the time when you can start being more selective in what you respond to and how. Still respond to their needs but maybe be a little more circumspect in how you respond to their wants.

You'll start to see this happening when they approach a year old and start asserting their personalities.

It sounds like you are doing a fab job. Just keep trusting your instincts. Ditch any baby books you have. And learn to ignore anyone that thinks along the lines of 'rod for your own back' smile

badguider Mon 08-Jul-13 10:17:14

Sounds like you're doing everything right (and overthinking smile)

So long as you're giving her time/space to discover the world a little on her own - eg. lying on her playmat fiddling with her own feet without you 'helping' - and that you continue to give her more appropriate space to entertain herself as she gets older, then I'm sure you're doing nothing wrong at all.

With the 'going to her as soon as she cries' - I find people have very different definitions of what 'cries' means... going to her if she's upset or wants something is obviously ideal, though some people do 'tend' to every single vocalisation their child makes when some may not be indicating 'needs' but just vocalising/experimenting... and the LO doesn't need or want a response really.

CecilyP Mon 08-Jul-13 10:23:31

Thank you! I have honestly sat here all afternoon getting myself into a stupid state about DD still yelling for me when she is 18 5 or 6 and me dropping everything to go and get her a favourite toy or a glass of water or whatever... that is what my SIL has made me feel I am setting myself up for!

But that is nonsense, isn't it? At 5 or 6 (and definitely at 18) she will be able to do all these things herself. At 17 weeks, while a bit more lively than a new born, she can't actually do anything for herself, so she is dependent on you coming to her and doing it for her. Ignore these other people - you will notice a lot of people very keen to offer advice but it is rarely backed up by practical help and offers to babysit.

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