Made to feel like an inadequate parent(16 Posts)
Feel like shit and need to rant about the Inlaws. Sorry about long post
Just to note, love them to bits and it's just because they care but when it comes to DS and health they drive me up the wall.
DS fine and healthy 19 month old. In the past when he has had a cold I get questioned about why I haven't taken him to doctor and I shouldn't take any chances. I generally follow NHS guidelines, eg if cough/cold lasts more that a week to get them checked out etc.
So last Thursday he had a fever that lasted a day. First ever fever. Followed NHS guidelines to visit doctor if lasts more that 5 days, otherwise perfectly happy energetic and eating well. Friday noticed a spot on his bum and some on face and hands and I suspected chickenpox or hand foot and mouth. Again NHS advice to visit doctor if spots become infected.
Saturday I crumbled to the pressure of taking him to docs. DH also a worrier and said I am not qualified to make judgement on DS symptoms. Took DS out to doc, receptionist said no emergency appointments on Saturdays and if CP or HF&M there is nothing doc can do anyway. Suggested to see pharmacist or walk in clinic. Pharmacist recommended camoline lotion as he thought it probably CP.
When MIL came around she said she would have demanded to see the doctor as DS is young, said her doctor always saw DH straight away when he was little and you mustn't take risks with children. She also saw her pharmacist who recommended other sprays. She said he is old as has been visiting him for years. She said its best to see the old ones as they know what they are talking about. I still though it might be HF&M but she had never heard of it so didn't really listen to me, I told her not the same as Foot and Mouth that animals get. FIL also made a comment about having to listen to MIL moan all the way home that DS should see doctor.
I wanted a confirmation of either CP or HF&M so took him to docs today, I wasn't overly worried but just wanted to know what one to still expect in the future. They said there's no treatment just to return if spots are infected. It is HF&M. I told MIL over the phone.
They just came around with more supplies as advised by their pharmacist. Disinfectant to sterilise all DS toys. Barcarbinate of Soda for DS bath??? And also pharmacist said that all children's cows milk should be boiled to get rid of germs (something I haven't done since DS turned 1, I just warm it up now). MIL keeps telling me she does this for DS milk. They also brought over a very good old family health book for me to keep. They pointed out this page, I had to blow away the dust, FOOT AND MOUTH disease FFS. Outlining this fatal disease from animals contaminated milk. It Recommended Barcarbonate of Soda for bath. This book was reprinted in 1948, it doesn't even have hand, foot and mouth disease it it. I let them take it back home with them.
OMG first time I ever felt like crying, I actually just did after they left. They must think I am a really shit mother but they are just unwilling to accept that things have changed in the past 35 years.
Is it me, am I too laid back? I believe I can use my common sense and trust my judgement, I have taken DS to a&e once when he was struggling to breath with bronchioloiiis (something the doc misdiagnosed as chest infection).
Is anyone demanding to see a doctor for an emergency appointment for every cough, cold, fever or other common childhood viruses?
Uh no I don't take my DS to doctors unless it's something I'm not sure of or if he seems really unwell. HFM, colds or a brief fever, no, just monitor and treat at home.
Smile and nod with ILs, I'm afraid.
This is one of those great dividers with kids I'm afraid. Lots of people (often but not always older ones) are obsessed with the doctor. I know mums who want antibiotics at every little sniffle, disinfect like crazy and run away from anyone who sneezes.
I am very laid back about illness though. I only go to the GP when unavoidable and really try to minimise my kids use of antibiotics. I believe kids need to build up immunity and I don't want to make myself anxious about their health.
I guess you could lie to your in laws and say you have seen the doctor? Or you could say that you've spoken to the doctor and they've diagnosed over the phone? It will only carry on and I suppose it depends if you feel you could say "at the end of the day, he's my son and I obviously want the best for him. He's fine and I'll take him to the doctor if it's necessary. But please stop pressurising me"
It's not you, it's them - they are being absurd, and your DH is not helping matters by feeding into their health hang ups.
Try not to let it upset you, listen, nod and make non-committal comments until they stop or go away. Then thoroughly ignore them. Tell your DH that you need his support on deciding when to go to the GPs. He shouldn't be undermining you by saying you aren't able to judge what's a medical problem or not.
And fwiw my mum thinks I'm a terrible mum for not bathing my kids every day. But I am adamant they don't need it and it's better for their skin to not have daily baths.
And I really, really don't remember having daily baths myself as a child but my mum has a very, very different recollection of my childhood to me
With some things you just have to let them think what they want. He's your child.
Whilst your mil is clearly acting completely over the top and you appear to have a sensible attitude towards mild illnesses, bicarb in the bath really helps with CP spots, I used it when dd1 had it, so I imagine that it's worth a try for hf&m too. Calamine lotion isn't recommended anymore, calamine cream is better as it doesn't dry out the skin as dries. I hope your ds feels better soon
Christ, I'm useless and paranoid about illness
and would prefer my own private on-call doctor sometimes but your MIL is quite impressive!
HF&M is a massive divider too. My parents, who are wonderful and normally completely supportive of us, were not impressed with our "home-made" diagnosis of HF&M. Because it's new, because it's not a standard childhood illness to them as it is to us. They got very grumpy that I hadn't taken DD to the doctors when she caught it.
Smile through gritted teeth and say it's nice that they are concerned about DS but HF&M really is a very standard illness that doesn't respond to antibiotics.
Oh, and bicarb did work amazingly for us with CP so I can't see it would hurt for HF&M!
Your post struck a chord with me as we are adopters and just had a sw visit today. I over analyse every single thing said and feel like every single thing we do is wrong and judged. I am similarly relaxed about germs and illness and our son's sw made a comment today about how she didn't think we should have let him crawl on the floor in the hospital waiting room recently (there were toys on the floor as it was a kids department and personally I think there are far more likely to be germs on the things people touch and in the air). I just felt like such an idiot!
As for my inlaws I can only thank my stars that they live overseas. They know EVERYTHING. When my husband was a child he was diagnosed with asthma but they knew best: it was rubbish and he didn't need medication. My husband's cousin is diabetic but apparently all she needs is some beef stew (she is a vegan). They told me on FaceTime the other day that I should not let the baby chew electrical wires (thanks for that, will have to write that down!)
I think what everyone has said is right: you and your husband need to be a team and if your MIL needs to be told to step back then your husband should support you in that.
My 2y8mo has never been to the doctors apart from imms and 14mo only once but it was a rash that appeared from nowhere and covered her from head to foot, turned out to be hives!
DS has only ever had one emergency app and that was because my friend
who takes her kids every time they sneeze for anti biotics freaked me out about a mark that looked like a rash on DS's back which failed the glass test I was pretty sure it was a bruise not rash but she convinced me to phone GP who said come just incase (even though I said I was fairly sure it was nothing) who confirmed it was just a funny bruise caused by being bounced about in a tin bowl at the park.
However DN has had a few emergency app and a few visits to A & E while in my care she's prone to very very high tempts so i've taken her which kind of proves to me that I can trust my instincts and judgement on each kid i'm not to laid back or over react. You may have another kid who you spend half your life taking to the GP but your son is healthy so no need to.
Trust yourself smile, nod and ignore.
Could you get them a nice big modern family health encyclopaedia that does contain radical things like HF&M and has sensible advice on when to see the doctor in it? Explain that you're terribly concerned that they are acting on outdated advice and you knew they'd want to have the latest information for DS's sake.
For extra points, make it their Christmas present...
MY 5 month old had hand foot and mouth. He was totally refusing to breastfed (would only drink water from a cup) so I spoke to GP on phone and they STILL didn't want to see him.
I just gave him calpol because he had a bit of a temp.
My mum had never heard of it either, but she's fairly open to the fact that things change. Your PIL sound bonkers.
I think when i am asked in the future I will say that I will monitor him and use my motherly instinct to decide if and when he needs to see a doctor. If DH wants to waste his Saturday mornings demanding non urgent doctors appointments for DS he is more than welcome!
Thecolddoesbotherme - it was actually aqueous and calomine cream but MIL visited her chemist because DH had a pink lotion when he had CP!
Thanks everyone, I will try the bicarbonate of soda tomorrow, can't do any harm!
Calmed down now. It was just the implication that DS had caught 'Foot and Mouth' disease from me not boiling his milk that got to me. Spoke to DH when he got home. He said he got a text from FIL asking how did DS catch a disease from animals, DH text back saying its 'Hand Foot and Mouth' is a completely different thing and he is confusing it with something else. Even after this I can't believe they still showed me that book. Then again what would 2 kids in their 30s know about raising a child!
FWIW my family not overly anxious about germs and I, touch wood, have a stomach of steel and rarely get ill. DH on the other hand is always getting bugs!
In addition to the new family health book I'd be tempted to throw in a self-help book for managing anxiety.
I don't have any in-laws as my husband's parents died before I met him, but I can see this is very difficult for you. For reassurance - Our DD (age 4) recently had a virus (we were told it was this, but she had no other viral symptoms, no fever, no cold symptoms, nothing) and had an awful rash all over, inc. hands and feet for 3 weeks. DD's nursery expelled her and said we must go to Walk in clinic (we had already booked a GP appointment but it takes a week). Nursery made me feel terrible for not panicking about it more, but as she wasn’t bothered by it and did not have any symptoms of illness we felt she could not be seriously ill. Went to walk in clinic where we were told to buy calamine lotion for rash and give Calpol for virus although DD had no other symptoms of a virus and has not been ill for 6 months. Nursery then accepted DD back as the rash was confirmed by the doctor to be linked to virus and not to chickenpox/other highly contagious illness. Our GP appointment two days later also confirmed it was a viral rash though we were prescribed a hydrocortisone cream and different medicine.
Virus related rashes are common in children and often not accompanied by any other symptoms. DD wasn’t itchy or sore and was not at all bothered by her rash, but it did take 3 weeks from initial redness, though a stage of hives and then to the individual raised spots stage to get to the now faded and disappearing stage.
Viral rashes are common. Even if it is chicken pox, chicken pox is only a mild virus for most young children who do not have any underlying health problems and often does not cause any itching, soreness or distress to the child - it is usually worse for older kids and adults. Just use common sense. Dont Google it though - photographs on the internet of various rashes all look the same. If no symptoms of illness there is no need to panic but you may wish to ask your GP for treatment/advice to prevent spots getting scratched and infected.
Join the discussion
Please login first.