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Grandparents think we're playing at parenting

(96 Posts)
aidanmf Sat 02-Jan-16 18:04:35

Looking for a little advice on how to deal with a potentially messy situation...

My wife and I have a son less than 2 months old and we took a picture of him sitting in a chair (wife was just out of shot ready to catch him if he fell). It got back to my mother and she called up my wife to admonish her and then went on to say "I know you see him as a toy".

It may be me being oversensitive but we're both in our 30s, have built up reasonably decent careers (which we've put on hold for our son) and manage to run a household on our own as we're both some distance from our families. All throughout the pregnancy, my mum acted as if we were doing this as a joke.

Should I let it go? I know she's not malicious but to my recollection she's never apologised either and this is extremely hurtful to me and the wife. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Sat 02-Jan-16 18:07:18

On the phone: Just hang up.

In person: Do the hmm face.

She'll get bored.

afreshstartplease Sat 02-Jan-16 18:08:55

Why would you sit your baby in a chair though?

What was the purpose?

AmysTiara Sat 02-Jan-16 18:11:18

How odd. It's a funny thing to say to someone. Is there any back story here?

Viviennemary Sat 02-Jan-16 18:14:47

If you mean a chair without support then yes I see why your parents are concerned. It could have caused an accident and isn't really advisable. I'd have thought mature parents in their thirties would have had more sense. Still.

Ohfourfoxache Sat 02-Jan-16 18:24:44

Sorry but I don't think it's acceptable for your mother to say that to your wife - or to you for that matter. If it isn't malicious then she'll have no problem in stopping the attitude, especially if you tell her how hurtful it is.

If she is being malicious (and please god she isn't being sad ) that's quite another matter.

Tiggeryoubastard Sat 02-Jan-16 18:31:29

She seems to have a point. Why on earth would you 'sit' a two month old in a chair? Bloody irresponsible and unnecessary thing to do. I wouldn't word it in that way but I would say something if I saw my oldest being so irresponsible with their child.

Smartiepants79 Sat 02-Jan-16 18:32:29

It seems a very odd attitude to take to your adult son and his wife.
Depending on the type of chair we're talking about it is perhaps not the safest place to leave an unsupported 2 months old BUT to extrapolate from that that you consider him to be a toy is a very big leap.
If it is upsetting you and keep happening then you need a quiet but heartfelt chat.
Is there any reason she believes you to be having a baby as a 'joke', very strange considering your age and circumstances.

lougle Sat 02-Jan-16 18:34:23

Tricky. I think she was rude, but she had a point about this one -it was an irresponsible thing to do.

nooka Sat 02-Jan-16 18:37:54

Under three months babies heads should be supported, so propping them up on a chair so you can take pictures for Facebook doesn't seem like a particularly grown up or responsible thing to do. I can see why that would worry your mother enough to want to talk to you about it.

Your mother does seem to have a strange attitude though, having a child in your thirties is very mainstream, hardly worthy of comment. Have there been other specific incidents?

enderwoman Sat 02-Jan-16 18:39:35

Hard to say without knowing more about the chair. I've seen photos of babies at that age on sofas (which are chairs) and they are kind of leaning against the arm diagonally.

sleeponeday Sat 02-Jan-16 18:42:18

When you say "a chair" are you talking armchair, or hard wooden dining/kitchen?

If the latter, then that sounds dangerous, I'm sorry. Babies that age need support, and "ready to catch him if he fell" doesn't sound ideal, given how fast that can happen, and how horrible the experience for the baby. She shouldn't have said it, especially not to her DIL instead of her son, but she sounds motivated by genuine concern. It would be quite odd IMO to do that to a newborn, just for the photo op.

It doesn't excuse her attitude during the pregnancy at all though.

And if it was an armchair, and the baby propped in a corner, she is absolutely bonkers.

CPtart Sat 02-Jan-16 18:48:13

Why did your mum only admonish your wife?

Floggingmolly Sat 02-Jan-16 18:50:42

If your wife was "just out of the shot"; she really wasn't ready to catch him if he fell. Ridiculous thing to do to a two month old, tbh.
Why did you think a tiny baby looks amusing sitting on a chair?

Sparklingbrook Sat 02-Jan-16 18:52:26

When you say 'it got back to my mother' was it via Facebook? Can you stop her seeing pictures in future? Why did your Mum tell your wife off and not you?

Your DM sounds a bit strange WRT her attitude all round.

Please don't feel pressured into showing us a chair picture BTW. grin

RideEmCowgirl Sat 02-Jan-16 18:55:16

I need more info about the chair before I can comment on whether that seemed a wise move or not - if not then you have just added to your parents (correct it seems) opinion that you think of him as a toy.

BUT... it is your mother and so you should be sticking up for your wife and not letting her speak to her in this way

lougle Sat 02-Jan-16 18:55:17

The trouble is that infant and children's heads are two thirds of their body weight. So you were making the baby balance two thirds of its body weight on a very weak neck. If the baby toppled it would go down like a stone. Secondly, the only way to make a baby sit on a chair at that age is to let them crumple in the middle. That compresses their lungs and diaphragm.

Taylor22 Sat 02-Jan-16 18:58:07

She sounds like a nightmare. She went to your wife to basically bully her. If she had a problem why didn't she come to you? Her son.

I'd tackle the fact that she went for your wife first and that if she has a problem she comes to you.
Secondly I assume as grown ups that you did the appropriate risk assessment and your son was infant safe. Tell her that your son who is not viewed as a toy is perfectly safe with you and that she can keep her opinion to herself.

Tinseleverywhere Sat 02-Jan-16 18:58:45

Maybe this was a bit dangerous, without seeing the photos it's hard to say. I would say you might need to think that over, you can't take any risks with a baby.
However your mother has made a nasty, critical generalisation about your parenting, over this one incident. She could have spoken much more nicely if she was concerned about the safety aspect. I take it she wants a good relationship with you, your wife and her grandchildren?

Floggingmolly Sat 02-Jan-16 19:03:42

Risk assessment for plonking an 8 week on a chair, Taylor? The alarm bells should have been deafening.

Taylor22 Sat 02-Jan-16 19:07:15

We haven't seen it. I put my newborn on a couch for pictures.
I'm not going to pass judgement when I haven't seen the pictures.

lougle Sat 02-Jan-16 19:08:31

A couch isn't the same as a chair, though.

PiglettWithAttitude Sat 02-Jan-16 19:09:19

Oh for goodness sake, people! OP - was it an arm chair or something with sides and support? I'm sure it was, and it looks like your mum may be a mumsnetter in various guises!

Floggingmolly Sat 02-Jan-16 19:10:23

There was apparently a risk of the baby falling off, though, as op's wife was (she thought) poised to catch him.

thisismypassword Sat 02-Jan-16 19:10:36

"*If you mean a chair without support then yes I see why your parents are concerned*"

But why is it their place to be if the OP and his wife are inept. TbH it's offensive and I'd get pissed off too. I don't understand who some grandparents think they are!!

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