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To feel judged by some other mums who have been there and done it

(42 Posts)
CantThinkOfAGoodUserName Wed 30-Jul-14 11:04:45

Some friends were telling me how I don't want to let my 8 mo be too clingy or she will be a clingy child always, asking my why I still sterilise as there is no need, other little things that made me feel like I'm being perceived by them as 'doing it wrong'
I know I'm sensitive (hormones been all over place since pregnancy began!) but for me it's a little upsetting when other mums (and these are friends!) make me feel like I'm doing the wrong things.
I got a bit upset although didn't show that I just went a bit quiet and kind of killed the mood I think.
AIBU to feel this way? Maybe it matters or not I don't know but I haven't had any help/guidance once from parents or inlaws or anyone except one close friend who has really supported me and DP but he is as clueless as me. I been working out how to care and look after baby and be a mother in my own way and today I'm left feeling judged.
I know it's a running theme about being pfb and maybe I am but isn't that normal? This is my time to learn, I don't mind advice but they way this friend was saying it was like I was being so stupid!
Ok ready for you lot to tell me I'm overreacting and too sensitive smile

SenatusPopulusqueRomanorum Wed 30-Jul-14 11:11:17

I have 3 children and I still "let" them be clingy. ATM I am not allowed not to be in the same room as 21mo DD2! grin
It doesn't matter how many children you have, there will always be people who give you well-meaning or not-so-well-meaning advice and who, of course, know better than you.
Just smile and nod, then do whatever you want.

WhatsGoingOnEh Wed 30-Jul-14 11:14:35

Oh, you poor thing! I remember this feeling VERY well. I don't think you are being judged. I think new mums just feel that they are being judged everywhere, by everyone.

I remember being very, very sensitive and "raw" in the beginning. I worried what everyone thought of my mothering skills, even casual passers-by in the shops! I would justify every decision I'd made, even explaining to check-out staff why DS1 wasn't wearing socks with his sandals, or something equally unimportant. blush

I think I sterilised everything till about last week (he's 11 years old now). I know you're meant to stop at a certain age, but I thought it was 9 months, or a year maybe? I don't think that matters. Stopping later had got yo be better than earlier.

It's a horrible feeling. I know exactly what you mean. I don't think your friends are being mean or judgey, I just think you feel that they are because new mums are a pretty anxious, nervy bunch. It's such a massive responsibility. You naturally can't believe anyone would entrust you with the job!

It gets better. By the time I had DS2, I was so much less worried what anyone else thought.

WhyOWhyWouldYou Wed 30-Jul-14 11:15:36

YANBU - you should raise your child however you feel best.

I think the clingy thing is bull - well cuddled, not forced into independance babies become the most secure older children.

Bar milk bottles no you dont have to sterilise past 6months but what does it matter if you do?

Tell your "friends" you'll raise your dc how you feel best, just like they do theirs.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Wed 30-Jul-14 11:16:18

Just ignore them and continue to do things your way

I continued to sterilise until 12 months with ds1then didn't bother with my next two.

Our first child is our learning curve.

You're not stupid or over sensitive.

jacks365 Wed 30-Jul-14 11:17:34

I got told I was spoiling my dd and making her clingy because she was normally in a sling or arms instead at 2.9 she is very confident and independent, has no issues dealing with new situations and is very sociable. Do what is right for the two of you not anyone else. I kept sterilising until she started crawling but know other people who never bothered, if someone comments on what you do it is probably more about their own doubts and trying to validate their choices.

ViviPru Wed 30-Jul-14 11:18:39

Killed what mood? The one in which you were being made to feel judged and criticised? If so then good. The fact you went quietly was hopefully a subtle indication that you didn't take kindly to the lecturing.

Regardless of your parenting choices or style, you shouldn't have to listen to any unsolicited advice, let alone that which is delivered patronisingly. if they'd engaged you in an equal discussion about the differing things you do and the things they do and the positives/negatives of each approach then fine, but to tell you point blank what you do is wrong is not on, PFB or not.

CantThinkOfAGoodUserName Wed 30-Jul-14 11:33:21

Thank you for your thoughts, that's made me feel better, I really don't mind advice but it was almost like I'm stupid for doing what I do the way I do it. Almost mocked for it. It is very hard feeling doubt all the time. I think the mood between myself and friend is frosty now, should I say anything or explain why I was quiet? I honestly think they think I overreacted and again am being over the top mum

Goldenbear Wed 30-Jul-14 11:53:44

I still pick my DD up if I am in a rush to get DS from school- she is 3.3! There are two mums that always remark on it but I honestly don't care. It is better to demonstrate to your child that you have courage in your convictions IMO than doing as you are told by another adult!!

WhyOWhyWouldYou Wed 30-Jul-14 12:01:44

OP - if it makes you feel better explain but you do not have to justify yourself. They were BU not you.

Plus if ever you feel like an over the top mom just remember its better to be over the top than too laid back.

fairylightsintheloft Wed 30-Jul-14 12:10:08

Its hard to distinguish between advice and judgement sometimes (for both the receiver and the giver). It is true that once you have been there and done that or are on your 2nd or 3rd you can look at first-timers and think, "they'd be finding so much easier if they did x". If they are genuine friends, its likely that they really are just trying to be helpful but it is a minefield. My SIL asks me for advice quite a lot but our approaches are quite different and anything I suggest she usually rejects on the basis that it doesn't fit with her view of how to do things - I have to make a conscious effort to not take umbrage at what could be deemed an implied criticism of how I have done things. I think if there is an "atmosphere" you might have to be bold and next time you see her and something comes up, just say "look, I know you have been there and done it, but I'm happy finding my own way. I know you are only trying to help but I'm finding it a bit hard not to take it as criticism so can we maybe just change the subject". I don't actually agree with what is often said on here that the parent ALWAYS knows best (while at the same time judging parents who feed their kids the "wrong" food or whatever) but most areas of parenting are grey - not black and white and there are plenty of "right" approaches that are wildly different.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 30-Jul-14 12:13:19

My clingy baby is now a 7yo and still loves her cuddles, I wouldn't have her any other way. Smile and ignore smile

Staryyeyedsurprise Wed 30-Jul-14 12:15:48


A baby is a baby, not a master manipulator (as my mum would have had me believe).

I found the first 6 weeks of motherhood incredibly tough as I was trying to balance what I wanted to do against what I thought I should do based on the advice from well meaning others. Once I made the conscious decsion to pick and choose what advice to follow, me and baby were so much happier.

All a new mum needs is support and if she asks questions then yes, I'll say well I did this, I did that. The only unsolicited advice I ever offer is "do what feels right".

HibiscusIsland Wed 30-Jul-14 12:20:11

I think that babies who are allowed to be clingy and not forced to be independent before they are ready grow up more secure and happy. Your way isn't wrong just because it is different from their way

BlackeyedSusan Wed 30-Jul-14 12:25:02

my daughter was terribly clingy from whenever this phase is supposed to start. (can't remember when that is supposed to be) until nearly three. would not even stay with her dad. (though did with grandad confused presumably because she had spent hours sleeping on his chest when small as she was collicky) I was anticipating her being peeled off a leg when starting nursery at just three. Oh no. wandered in on the first day without so much as a goodbye.

I also read somewhere that if you respond to the crying when young, then they learn needs are met and cry less as a toddler... now I have no idea where I read it... not sure if it si current advice, but sometimes finding advice that fits your style helps you gain confidence that you are not the only one who does it when all you friends are different.

I knew a lot of parents who did the gina ford routine.. felt odd to be different at the time. helped to find abook that was more like us.

TheTerribleBaroness Wed 30-Jul-14 12:28:04

I think it says more about your friend than you. Why does she feel the need to comment?
And I totally agree with the other posters comments about cuddles and attention. At 8 months old they need love and cuddles. They'll shove you off when they're good and ready. smile

BlackeyedSusan Wed 30-Jul-14 12:31:40

oh and there is a big difference between:

"have you though about trying... would that work for you?"

"You ought to... "

BlackeyedSusan Wed 30-Jul-14 12:33:08

and is it not a developmental phase designed to keep them safe? (if so it failed with my bolters who would head straight for the road if let go)

PickleMyster Wed 30-Jul-14 12:38:58

This sort of thing really pissed me off when DS was little. It's got nothing to do with anyone how you choose to do things (as long as you are not putting your child at risk) You don't have to justify your choices.
I think you are right, people do like to judge, it makes them feel better about themselves. These are people who will judge you on anything - why did you decorate your house like that, why do you drive that car, why are you going there on holiday - yes I don't mind answering people genuine interest but not when it's asked in such a judgy tone of voice. It doesn't affect them but because their lives are so unfulfilled I guess it's a self-esteem boost.

DS is now 5 and we've done alright. I am currently pregnant with DC2 and tbh I'm dreading people questioning me and telling me what to do again (I think my hormones are making me feel quite stabby about it)

My mantra is help/advice is something that I ask for and I don't need to justify myself to anyone!! (Just gotta keep reminding myself of that smile)

burgatroyd Wed 30-Jul-14 12:42:33

I'm still given advice! Its irritating, esp the anti co sleeping brigade.
There are so many different ways to raise a child. There are so many different types of personalities!
Must say I felt all tingly when I had dd2 and did lots of baby classes with first time mums. I wanted to tell them all don't worry about all the stuff you're worrying about when I heard them talk. I didn't though.

Kitsmummy Wed 30-Jul-14 12:43:21

ref the sterilising comment.......i suspect they're just trying to save you some hard work! At the age when they sit on floors, put stuff in their mouth etc, that's the time when it become pointless to sterilise and that will often be around the six month mark.

parallax80 Wed 30-Jul-14 12:46:08

Whats do you mean 11 months? Surely you can't have sterilised everything for 11 years?

SacreBlue Wed 30-Jul-14 12:50:31

Even more annoying I found was a single, childless, late 30's friend proselytising on how young people shouldn't be allowed to have children as they aren't experienced enough to do a good job.

I would have been offended (having had my son relatively young) had I not been to busy wetting myself laughing at how ridiculous he was being.

There is no such thing as a perfect parent, and, as susan says, a world of difference between suggestions & directions

Roundedbuttocks90 Wed 30-Jul-14 12:52:41

I must admit, I haven't allowed my DD to be particularly clingy. I worded that badly, she just isn't a particularly clingy child. She's 1 on Friday.

I'm very laid back with her and let her explore inside and out and try not to be of much of a safety fanatic.

She's a very sociable, happy, content little girl. Just keep doing what you are doing. It's so easy to get blinded by science and put off by others who are seemingly 'older, wiser, been there done that got the t shirt' etc. just ignore!!

Babies and children are all different!

rattyboombatty Wed 30-Jul-14 12:56:46

Oh honey, hugs coming your way x ignore them, they're talking shite. I suspect that having survived the phase you're in they consider themselves experts. It sounds like you're a lovely mum!!

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