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aibu to let these comments grate on me?

(53 Posts)
spillyobeans Sat 06-Jun-15 01:00:52

Im 38wks pregnant with 1st baby, and really happy and excited and generally looking forward to the new experience. I know people make the usual comments like 'oh you wont know whats hit you' and 'you'll be exhausted' etc and thats cool heard it a few times from different people and not bothered me at all as i know its just what people say!

However tonight we popped round to see pil and mil kept going on and on saying how i will find it so hard and will need to give baby to her to babysit atleast once a week as i will need to get away from baby. (Ok maybe genuine suggestion of help there so doesnt read too bad) but she then said: i know you will be very protective and not want to let anyone look after them, but you will just have to get over that and get away from them.

I know shes trying to be supportive and i will happily take her up on the offer if im struggling etc...but im not worried at all and looking forward to my newborn! And they might not be that much of a handful? I dont want to come across as ungrateful but if i am coping and enjoying my newborn why should i have to hand baby over to have free time to myself when i just want to enjoy being a mum?

Aibu or just hormonal?!

spillyobeans Sat 06-Jun-15 01:02:58

I think that if i say no thanks to offer of help, she will think im too proud to accept help and must be struggling...even though i genuinely am coping and just want to spend time with my baby!

GymBum Sat 06-Jun-15 01:14:46

Hi Op. I had something similar with MIL. But I think this is more about what they want more so than helping you out. I am sure she also geniuenly wants to help. They want time alone with their GC but my MIL disguised it as helping me out.

I had a CS and coped perfectly well with DD. I didn't need to hand her over. 18 months on MIL/FIL have DD once a week and I am happy with the arrangement. But, I did it on my terms/timetable.

If I were you I would simply thank them for their kind offer and say "Oh I will definitely take you up on that offer if and when I need it. Thank you so much". Smile and walk away. Keep giving the same response. You never know you may well need her one day but until that day arrives just enjoy your time with your baby.

Congratulations Op flowers

Anomaly Sat 06-Jun-15 01:17:25

She just wants time with the baby without you and is trying to get it by doing you a 'favour'. Wait and see how you feel. I never left mine for long until they were a good few months old and then only with their dad and it still felt weird walking out the house without them like I'd forgotten something really important. There is no right or wrong here just be guided by your feelings and wishes.

ShatnersBassoon Sat 06-Jun-15 01:25:52

She could be speaking from her own experience. She might have needed some help in the early days, and thinks that's typical.

Just tell her you're going to play it by ear, that you're glad she's there should you need her but that you're feeling confident and aren't worried at the moment. It's not a direct rejection (you may need to take her up on her offer sooner than you anticipate), but not a firm arrangement either.

GymBum Sat 06-Jun-15 01:31:51

I didn't take up the offer for nearly four months grin

CosmicForce Sat 06-Jun-15 01:37:26

I never handed my little one over to anyone for about a year...I never felt the need, even though he was not a sleeper and cried every time I put him down. I would have been more distressed at the thought of leaving him with anyone than I was at the thought of no sleep or no 'breaks' from him. Everyone is different, but don't feel you have to hand the baby over. As someone said further up - do it totally on your terms. If you need a break, let them look after baby for an hour or two, but if the thought of handing her/him over distresses you, then simply don't be pressured into it.

SorchaN Sat 06-Jun-15 01:37:40

Lots of new mothers don't want to be parted from their baby until he/she's a bit older. If your mother-in-law is pressuring you to hand over the baby, then your partner needs to step in and set boundaries. If, on the other hand, you find you want time away from the baby, there's no shame at all in asking your mother-in-law to look after him/her. But it absolutely has to be on your terms.

I was quite happy to let my mother-in-law look after my first baby (and the other babies) from quite a young age. It helped that my relationship with my mother-in-law was very good and I trusted her completely. Also, she offered, but she never pressured me.

Trust your instincts.

spillyobeans Sat 06-Jun-15 01:38:37

Shatnersbasson (great name btw) - yeah thats pretty much how i responded saying i wasnt worried but knew she was there if i needed help etc as you never know i could well need a break. Everytime she sees me though she keeps saying 'are you worried yet' or ' i cant wait to see you try and put on a nappy'. Feels like shes assuming i will fail before babys even here and its really annoying me angry

spillyobeans Sat 06-Jun-15 01:46:11

And (this is probably going to sound mega bitchy) its not that i dont trust her...we just havd totally different ways of doing things/are polar oposites in terms of opinions etc (even though we get on fine). I just dont think i could count on her doing things the way id like it done, is that bad confused.

Plus shes made comments recently about it 'not being fair' that my mums coming to stay for a week when babys born. My mum has to fly up as she lives so far away so will be only opportunity to see us and baby for god knows how long, whereas mil lives down street and i fear i will have to baracade my doors to stop her from being round everyday !

GymBum Sat 06-Jun-15 02:18:24

Another thing to accept is, no one but one one will ever look after your baby or do things the way you do. But trust your instincts because no one will know your baby better than you to. To this day I still bite my tongue wit MIL.

MiscellaneousAssortment Sat 06-Jun-15 03:04:55

Wow she sounds like she's jostling for power already and getting herself all prepared to be a selfish bloody nightmare!

I would say that you need to set up some boundaries now, to avoid having this battle when you're potentially more vulnerable and easier for her to try and manipulate.

Nb I said 'potentially' not definitely smile but from my experience and many hours mumsnetting, when the baby arrives, and you have so many new things going on, it's very difficult to deal with this kind of thing.

One thing I didn't anticipate was the overwhelming visceral reaction I had to bring separated from my baby. It was like someone was pulling my heart out of my chest and stretching it away from me when Ds was out of sight or if he cried and someone tried to comfort him and wouldn't give him back. I found it hard to deal with and I was very vulnerable to people being selfish about DS, in my case my mother so not a mil hater here! I had done the 'oh it will work itself out' approach which in retrospect was actually the 'head in sand' approach and I wouldn't advise it!

Actually it was like my heart filled with pure fierce love being pulled out of my stomach to be truthful though I know that makes no biological sense!!!

Anyway I digress...
1. Be firm but nice now, and reap rewards later
2. and absolutely critically, get your DP onside and prepped to be dealing with it if and when he needs to.
3. Give a little ground in some ways strategically to avoid it becoming a battle with a winner and a loser.
4. And get yourself in a position where you have nothing to feel guilty about. Guilt becomes this massive force and it's so easy to get guilted into doing stuff you really shouldn't be doing for you or the baby.

I read on here over and over again about situations where the Dp basically checks out and let's the partner be treated very badly. It makes me so angry that these men stand by and watch their partner and mother of their child be so hurt and distressed and not give a shit. Grrrrr!

So, start talking to him and getting him to understand that it's NoT ok for certain thjngs to happen, even once, and why. I think some of it is ignorance about what a new mother goes through and that can be cured by getting him inforned And more than that, really empathising.

He doesn't have to be rude or mean to his mother, and maybe discussing it will help him see it's not a 'her or me' thing where he can stand back and say oooh poor me caught in the middle. It's about changing roles and renegotiating practical arrangements when everyone is a bit sensitive and worried.

Setting boundaries now with DP agreeing will help so much, and doing it in a nice way so thinking about a special role you'd like mil to do, or invite her to do x thing, or chose x to buy or arrange etc. this can help and be positive way of managing her expectations and fears, and by agreeing on thjngs you'll be happy for her to do means you won't feel guilty about sticking to your guns about thjngs you just won't do. Don't be guilted into anything!!!

BettyCatKitten Sat 06-Jun-15 05:04:29

Sounds like mil is jealous that your mum is staying with you and baby and might feel sidelined.
She may want you to fail so she feels needed, explains the put downs.
This will probably be ongoing, especially as she lives so close.
Firm boundaries, your baby your decisions. Good luck flowers

ollieplimsoles Sat 06-Jun-15 07:23:40

Set some boundaries now!! We are expecting our first this year too and mil has already doing what yours is doing- little comments about us coping, and planning things she's going to do alone with the baby.

We told her she wont be alone with the baby till we are ready.

She lives close to you, you need to get this under control before the baby arrives, or ill expect to see plenty more posts about her in the coming months!

Good luck and congratulations op!

QuiteLikely5 Sat 06-Jun-15 07:29:37

All the woman wants to do is spend time with her grand child.

Granted you've got people here saying 'oh don't let her if you don't want to blah blah' seriously extended family relationships are super important for child development as they help development and create stability for the child.

Imo any decent people do want their child to develop close relationships with those who love them most.

None of you on here have said oh it would have been good for baby you'd have said oh it's not what I want.

Interesting because it's not about you! It's about baby developing close and loving relationships with others because it benefits them.

Obviously exceptions are if the MiL poses a risk..........

BlackeyedSusan Sat 06-Jun-15 07:44:18

it may be really hard and you may not know what hit you, but does not mean that you are incapable of looling after baby and need mil to have the child regularly form an early stage.

I would be very wary of the way she insists and make sure that you are not forced into anything you do not want. I don't think mil is going about it in the right way for a start. I also think she is jostling for powere and you definitely need to be firm wiith boundaries for her. she is insulting your capabilities for a start. that is rude.

MakeItRain Sat 06-Jun-15 07:47:39

Your baby can develop a bond even if he/she isn't handed over! Some of the things you've said ring alarm bells, "I can't wait to see YOU change a nappy". What's that all about? Why is she trying to undermine you? Changing nappies isn't exactly rocket science anyway!
FWIW my mil was also desperate to have my babies, and sometimes made comments. But she was utterly respectful of my feelings and didn't have dd overnight til she was 3. It never became a problem. She certainly never said things like "I'd have to get over it".
Not much help, except that it sounds like you're right to be a bit concerned. You'll just have to keep smiling and keep saying you're not ready.
My dc have an incredible bond with my MIL by the way. It doesn't need alone time for that to happen.

ToastyFingers Sat 06-Jun-15 07:50:00

I think little babies should be with their main caregiver/s at all times really.

If you need a break (and you might not, 22mo DD has never stayed overnight away from me or her dad) then fair enough, but don't do it just to appease mil.
She'll have years to bond yet.

TheCatCupIsMine Sat 06-Jun-15 08:00:01

It's lovely that she wants to help. She can be in charge of laundry grin

Seriously, you do not have to hand your baby over if you don't want to. Early days bonding is important, but tiny babies can really only bond with one or two people at a time. There will be time later for others to get involved, but you won't be affecting the future relationship between baby and MIL by not leaving them together in the early days.

Of course, you may find you're glad of a break, but you may not. I didn't leave DS with anyone (except DH) until he was about 6 months, and then it was only briefly - just didn't have any need up to then, and didn't want to. Some times my parents would come and play with him downstairs while I napped upstairs, and that was nice. Or they'd take him out in the pram for half an hour. They would also clean the kitchen floor, do the dishes, iron etc.

MIL, though, has a very different style of parenting, and I feel less happy leaving him with her. She started feeding him chocolate at 4 months, would fill him with junk food if she could, and generally just for a few things that I'm not totally happy with at this stage. When he's older it'll be ok, but not now. She very much wants baby time, not things like ironing etc. She still sees him twice a week, but she doesn't whisk him away to her house as she'd like to (not that I sit and monitor her, but I keep an eye, especially on what she tries to feed him).

GayByrne Sat 06-Jun-15 08:01:02

OP next time she directly attacks you (eg the nappy comment) stop what you are doing, look her straight in the eye and say seriously, without a smile, "why, what do you think I am lacking?". She'll back track and start to learn you're not a door mat to be worn down and belittled.

I do dislike the whole outright dismissal of the MIL that happens here. In your case, OP, she does sound like she's setting the scene for a battle. But generally they are just excited and want to help - as a PP said she may remember the horror of her first born (I do). And she'll certainly be jealous of your mother, but MILs simply aren't mums and she needs to remember that.

Finding some middle ground all the while setting and enforcing boundaries to ensure she doesn't take a mile is the kindest way.

Good luck. I absolutely hated my first experience as a mother, but I am in the minority and admittedly wouldn't have wanted my MIL to see and help out, she's a gossip and would have revelled in explaining to others how I wasn't coping esp as I am usually so switched on and composed. She'd have been happy to see that I was human after all and I knew it.

Really good luck x

bakingaddict Sat 06-Jun-15 08:02:55

It is nice though to get a few hours to yourself when the baby is quite young, just to do all the mundane stuff which is way more difficult to do when you have the baby around. Apart from weekends I had nobody to help with my kids as MIL worked F/T and my family is in a different part of the country.

It does sound like your MIL is not going about it in a supportive way so rather than her calling the shots let her have the baby for a couple of hours on a set day/s. That way it will hopefully keep her from dropping by impromptu and has you more in control of when she sees your child

Pyjamaramadrama Sat 06-Jun-15 08:07:29

Yanbu, I hate the way people constantly give their unwanted advice to mums to be.

Sometimes mums to be can be adamant that they will/won't do this or that. You might think 'yeah right'. Sometimes people constantly tell pregnant women how hard it's going to be, how they'll never sleep again, and the person goes on to have a dream baby.

Fact is noone knows, some women have a really easy time if it, content baby, take to parenting really well, some struggle a bit more, nobody knows.

It's really presumptuous and patronising to make comments. I'd never changed a nappy or anything else before my first and still managed fine.

I think it would be right if people offered help in way of 'oh if you need anything or need a break I'm on hand', rather than setting you up to fail.

CactusAnnie Sat 06-Jun-15 08:07:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gozitan Sat 06-Jun-15 08:16:54

I wouldn't piss her off too much- she may be helpful.

I would never have let anyone take my baby away so young ( I was breastfeeding on demand anyway so a perfect excuse)

What was helpful though was someone coming around to tidy the kitchen, do a load of washing, or look after baby for 15 minutes while I had a shower.
It's your baby OP- don't be afraid to be firm.

Booboostoo Sat 06-Jun-15 08:33:52

She sounds like she wants to undermine you rather than help you.

If she truly wanted to help she could offer to cook or prepare a meal. If she really thought, perhaps from her own experience, that new mothers need a break, she should have said "I know you will be a great mother. If you ever feel you need a break feel free to call on me, that's what families are for."

What's he has actually said sounds critical and controlling. Don't let her affect you in any way, you don't need this stress.

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