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I don't know why I feel like this.

(8 Posts)
CoraBear Sat 17-Sep-11 22:31:04

Hi, I'm hoping this is the right place to post as I have read a lot of the posts on here and I identify with so much of what is written.

I had my son in April and I have a really great bond with him but I cannot bear it when other people pick him up, cuddle him, kiss him etc. It's only certain people I feel this with, specifically my boyfriends family.

When I see them hold him, especially my boyfriends Mum I have this ball of anger building in my stomach. I feel like I can't breathe. I want to tell them to put him down and get away from him, in fact I feel like screaming it at them. My hands feel shaky, my voice sounds strained when I talk, I just want them to get the hell away from him. It is such an intense feeling that it leaves me exhausted after they leave.

Before I fell pregnant I had a great relationship with my MIL, but she got very intense when I was pregnant. For example: we wrote a list of things we would need for the baby and she went out and bought everything on the list. Yes, this was an amazingly generous thing for her to do, but I've never been allowed to forget it. If I mention something about the baby bath, she will pipe up "Is that the bath I bought?". I must also add that we never asked her to buy these things.

I just feel so angry and frustrated and if I know that my boyfriends family is coming to visit I am so anxious for days before. I feel that I just want to run away with my son and lock the bedroom door, I don't want them to touch him. I feel so awful I cry in secret nearly every day.

I know that these aren't normal feelings, should I talk to a professional about this? I can't talk to my boyfriend or my family. I'm afraid this anger will never go away, I don't want to carry this around or have it affect my child.

Fiolondon Sun 18-Sep-11 10:10:09

Blimey. I agree that these feelings aren't normal but I don't know whether they fall into the postnatal depression range - but what do I know? It does sound like you need to talk to someone though. In the first instance probably your boyfriend - maybe not
You probably need to take a deep breath and speak to your boyfriend. You probably don't need to tell him everything but certainly that you are having strange feelings when people pick up the baby. Also have you discussed the MIL purchases with him? If you haven't then maybe this is mixed up in your feelings when she holds the baby? Are you worried about her "taking over" there too? When I became a mum, the first year was really weird - I thought about it and worried about it and whether I would be any good! I don't have a mil but I got really touchy about comments from my mum. I don't now - getting more sleep helps on that too - as I've probably just got used to my new role. Naomi Klein's book what mothers do helped me. It's different for everyone. Anyway if that and talking to your boyfriend (maybe he can tell his mum to back off a bit until you get into the swing of it) doesn't help, maybe then seek out a counsellor but do try not to just get robbed off with a prescription for pills from your gp. Good luck

Fiolondon Sun 18-Sep-11 10:13:57

BTW I would have been seriously pi**ed off if I was in your shoes and my mil had gone off and bought "my" list. It is generous but on the other hand it is interfering and controlling when baby preparations are an important part of a new mum's getting to grips with motherhood. I would have had a strop at the time but it sounds like bottling it up may be has not been such a great idea.

CoraBear Sun 18-Sep-11 15:59:14

Thanks for the replies. I'm definitely going to check out that book. I really don't think I can talk to my boyfriend, his family is... I actually can't even put in to words their oddness. They repress everything. If someone has a problem with someone else, they never address it and the situation builds and builds, it's awful. I come from a very straightforward family where if someone is annoying you, you discuss it / tell them to stop and then move on.

I have really been bottling things up. I was told through my boyfriends sister that MIL thinks my Mum has too much access to my son and that it's not fair. My Mum is dying of a terminal illness and as far as I'm concerned every day my Mum is feeling up to seeing my son I will bring him to see her. You can imagine that that comment drove me to the edge. It took me 2 months to tell my boyfriend this as I didn't know how to. He was shocked but never spoke to his Mum about it, which made me feel a bit crap.

There's no easy answer is there? I'm just glad that I'm not going mad. Thank you so much for the replies.

CoraBear Sun 18-Sep-11 16:01:48

Oh, forgot to say my MIL calls my son her baby. She refers to him constantly as "my baby." Have started snapping at her that her "baby" is 34 and the baby she is holding is my baby.

Fiolondon Sun 18-Sep-11 20:17:45

Wow - you are handling this better than I ever would! I would have lasted about 10 minutes before just letting it out and upsetting everyone! Did boyfriend's sister think that her mum was being reasonable about her comment?

Maybe the thing to do is to let this stuff out (gently) to your boyfriend and make it his problem rather than yours iyswim? Maybe he is not terribly impressed by his mum's antics either - then at least you could vent to each other!

My friend has a similar problem with her DH's family. They leave their front door open and her MIL just walks in. She live 10 minutes away so this happens a lot. There are all sorts of other things too that drive her mad. She offloads on her DH and gets annoyed that he doesn't do a great deal as he always completely defers to both his parents, but she feels better getting it off her chest.

My family tend to be towards the 'sulking' end of the spectrum but my DH just spits everything straight out there. Somewhere in the middle would probably be best! The last time my mum came to visit she started to get a bit sulky with me about something (she thinks I'm a control freak - I probably am) and I decided not to ignore it this time and just try to talk about it in a mature fashion as I could not be bothered with the effort of not talking about it.... At this point I was wondering why I was being the mature one but never mind! Anyway it really cleared the air as we were able to come to an understanding just by talking about it gently and by me acknowleding what she wanted/needed.

You probably can't stop your MIL doing the baby thing (and I can maybe see why she is doing that as now my little boy is growng up I realise that he will always be my baby! - although again if it comes with other baggage her doing this a lot could be considered as quite controlling too) but maybe she can feel that you are different with her compared to before the baby and maybe she is feeling left out as you don't visit her like you do your mum. Maybe you could diffuse the situation by gritting your teeth and going around her house. It might be easier for you as you will be doing it on your terms? Do think she would back off a bit if you "confided" in her when visiting that you are worrying about your mum and being a mum yourself and that you are sure she understands if you don't see her as much at the moment? If she doesn't give you a bit of space after that then your boyfriend is just going to have to man up and get it sorted for you.

Good Luck!

PS - got the author wrong on the book, it's here:
www.amazon.co.uk/What-Mothers-Do-Especially-Nothing/dp/0749926201/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1316372554&sr=8-1

CoraBear Mon 19-Sep-11 08:18:13

I ordered that book last night, it got amazing reviews so I can't wait to see if it can help me. Thanks a mill for the advice, maybe I should go and visit and then I am free to leave when we need to. She tends to stay all day if she visits here so at least I can go when I've had enough.

As for his sister, she knew the comment would hurt me. She has been very jealous since the baby arrived and was attention seeking and doing crazy things when I was pregnant so everyone would be worried about her. She is 26 btw.

I have told my MIL that I'm worried about my Mum and she seemed very concerned and nice about it. But then told everyone she had quit her job to help me mind the baby because she thought I was struggling- when in reality she took voluntary redundancy (and received a massive lump sum) so she could sit on her arse and watch Oprah. I only found out what she told everyone when one of my boyfriends friends broached the subject with me because he was wondering how I was doing!!!

Having read through these last few points I am really astonished at myself that I haven't had it out with her. I have given out to people over smaller things. I think I need to grow a spine and let her have it. I can't believe I have been letting all this fester and it has impacted on my relationship with my son.

Thank you so much for all the help Fiolondon, I think you have given me the perspective I needed.

Fiolondon Mon 19-Sep-11 13:42:10

Glad to be of help - you are helping me pass the time while I wait to start patting my little girl to get her into a 2nd sleep cycle!
It strikes me that your mil is bored having stopped work and this has magnified what is quite common (wanting to come over too much and be too involved) into a much bigger problem for you than most people. In the back of her mind she probably did give up work on some level to "help" you and it must be difficult for her to see you don't really need it - hence the exaggerated stories to others? Sounds like she needs to be needed. Maybe this is where your sil's antics could work in your favour.... suggest to mil that sil seems to be needing a bit tlc! Then that kills 2 birds with one stone if they occupy each other and you can take the credit for caring! Ooooh I sound like peter mandelson the puppet master! But seriously don't give her "both barrels" just take charge in a mature fashion - ie going visiting on your terms absolutely means you can leave when you want - but it also means she has to look after you - I hate it when people come over & stay too long when you have a new baby - doing all the fun stuff and playing with them, but not doing food, naps or nappies while expecting you to play host to them too.... Grr.
Sounds like it will work out fine once you have a plan.
Good luck

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