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My mum and sister refuse to look after my baby properly

(7 Posts)
April2013 Thu 18-Apr-13 12:21:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 18-Apr-13 12:36:59

It's normal to be protective and want to get it right. Others should, by and large, respect your wishes. However, there isn't just one 'right way' to bath a baby, dress them or tuck them in a cot and part of the challenge of parenting - especially if you're living with an extended family - is letting go a little and letting others care in their own way. Babies are tough little things and an extra cardigan probably won't do them any harm. Obviously you draw the line at anything dangerous but if you are too possessive, too anxious and you frighten eveyone else off then you and your baby are missing out.

So, in preparation for your night out, how about starting now and letting your husband care for the baby (in his own way) for a few hours while you go out and do something else? It'll be good for you to build your confidence, good for him to have chance to connect with with son and good for the baby... even if Dad gets it a bit wrong.

starfield Thu 18-Apr-13 12:50:29

It's awful when you feel your baby is being taken out of your hands. What a shame that you have to live with your mum and sister for a while - it's clearly more than the family dynamic can cope with at this point. If you're able to grit your teeth a bit, things could be so much better when you've moved into your own place and have your baby to yourself.

Regarding your mum going against NHS advice - I can completely understand why this isn't acceptable and why you can't let it happen. But you aren't letting it happen so that's great - you're not having to watch your baby's care being compromised. However, the issue of your mum overriding you is a different problem altogether, as you've noted. If your mum is anything like mine, she's not being intentionally difficult - she just sees herself a source of experience and has some instinct kicking in, where she feels like she knows best. You're right in thinking that's not going to change, in my opinion. But you could do a lot to bring about a situation in which your mum has to like it or lump it. If you express yourself very calmly and assertively, that's it. If she undermines you, don't rise to it. Just tell her how it is. It sounds like your family are 'helping' quite a lot with the baby's care. If they're not being supportive, do it yourself. Insist on doing it yourself. For goodness sake don't shout at anyone - and you never have to shout at anyone; you're coming across as very self-absorbed and immature in that sentence. Why weren't you bathing baby yourself? Stop shouting, especially in front of your baby. Either take him away from your sister or leave the room.

Go for more walks. Go out by yourself. Get perspective and come back in with a timetable for the day. Break it down into chunks and be pleasant but don't allow yourself to be blown off course. Go to some mums and toddler groups to make friends here.

Where DH is concerned, you have to step back. Show him what to do and leave the room, as you clearly can't stay in the room without micromanaging. You worked out how to do it and so will he. (But not if you're standing over him). Go into the next room and do a relaxation exercise. Anything. And be nice to DH! Encourage him, have faith in him and be appreciative/surprised when it turns out that he's fine with the baby. That's probably the biggest thing you could do to invest in your baby's life. Don't draw him into disputes with in-laws - what's he supposed to do? Support you? It's not a football match.

I'm feeling like you desperately want to be respected, as a mum and as a person. As far as your baby goes, it doesn't matter who respects you as long as you're able to rise above their ability to hurt you.

You sound like a great mum who needs her own space to calm down.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 18-Apr-13 13:21:49

Your DH can do it. He might find it nervous making at first because he's unused to stepping up and taking charge. Let him have a go and get confident handling DS. It's valuable to build up a bond early on.

It is good you stand up for yourself. You are your son's mum and of course you feel protective and want what's best for him. Please don't squander any extra help from your DM or DSis. It gives you a break even when you feel it drives you round the bend. They would never willingly harm or injure DS, you know that don't you. A few baby cuddles and bit of granny or auntie adoration isn't meant to sideline you, they know you're his mum.

While you're staying with them try and view it as temporary, it's never easy adults sharing a space, it's generous on their part to have two extra adults and a baby, quite a bit of upheaval I bet. You are grown up and married and have brought a new life into the world, they probably recognise you are not a child any more, don't undo all that maturity and know-how by rejecting any help or being overly critical.

It will do you good to get out, speak to friends face to face, catch up on their news, relax. Tensions of living back at home plus all those hormones whizzing about, you need to slow down, adjust.

Have you made new friends since having DS, are you going to any mother + baby groups? It is a relief to share experiences with others in the same boat. You may not forge lifelong friendships but it can be a comfort to know how others handle the pressure and excitement of having a new baby.

DontmindifIdo Thu 18-Apr-13 13:34:40

how soon can you and your DH leave? do you have a time frame? This must be a priority.

Alot of grandparents find the move from being the parent to being 'just' the grandparent hard - they have always been the one 'in charge' who got to make the decisions, now they aren't anymore. Except in your case, because you live in her home, you are still in the "parent child" relationship more. Stand your ground on the NHS guidelines, she wo'nt change her views, there's not reason for you to change yours.

More and more, you need to stop asking your mum and sister to do any care for your DS, if you were living elsewhere it would be all down to you and DH, so get back to that. Get him more involved and them less, there is no reason why your DSis should be bathing your DS, so it does'nt matter if she can do it or not, more if you and DH can.

If you really don't feel up to leaving your DS for the day out, then don't go, you'll hate it all day.

For your DH can you start getting him more involved in the weekends? Go out for days together etc.

In the week, I think you need a place to go to get out of the house daily, baby and toddler groups etc.

MumnGran Thu 18-Apr-13 13:37:35

Hi April 2013

my heart went out to you when I read your post. You need support which you can trust.

There has already been good advice about why your Mum may be acting as she is .... and I would concur that its really hard for us grannies to discover that the way we were advised to raise our children is now considered not just wrong, but sometimes dangerous. We have to learn that everything we did is now reversed (houses at least 70 degrees, lie baby on tummy etc etc) and that can feel as though our children think we know nothing .... which can result in us being defensive ...which results in cross words. It becomes a vicious circle. none of that is an excuse for not respecting your choices as the mother of your baby.

The second problem is that as Mums, we have always been the source of wisdom for our children (just as you now are for your new baby smile) and it can be really hard for Mums to learn how to defer to their child.

If I appear to be justifying 'overbearing granny' behaviour.... I am not! I am trying to explain that, in this case, I don't think its coming from a bad place, but from a granny who is mixed up over new methods, and hasn't yet learned to respect you as an adult. Solving it by re-connecting properly is a much better long term solution than solving it with confrontation and hard-line attitudes.

I think you perhaps need to be the grown-up here, and take the lead in changing the way you talk to each other now, and in the future so your mother learns to respect that you are now a Mum and your choices are the right ones for your child.

Can you organise a couple of hours when you and she could go out together on your own for a coffee? neutral ground, and un-stressed !! can you say that you hate the upsets that have been happening and just want to talk to her the way you always could? I am willing to bet that she is hating it too!! Explain that as a new mum you are just following the advice now given on things like temperature. You know that other ways were used, and worked fine, but you don't have the brainpower to handle and sort out all of that advice on top of the current professional advice ....... so you need to stick with how its being done now .... for your own sanity.

Appeal to her as a daughter that needs her support. Be upset if you feel it. Cry on her shoulder if you need to. She loves you.
Equally, listen to her with some understanding of why she is so thrown by things like low temps in the house (I worried about it for ages with DGS).

Essentially, find a way to talk with each other honestly when you are not in the middle of a stressful situation. Trust will follow from there.

Have a bunch of flowers from me flowers ..... I think you need it smile

x x x

ivanapoo Thu 18-Apr-13 17:49:04

Some great advice here already but just to say I sympathise - also felt anxious at first and DH couldn't do anything right, from changing a nappy to carrying him to feeding him a bottle. In the end he withdrew a bit and I realised I was being unreasonable not to give him the space and chance to learn with his own child.

I slowly learned to relax when DS was with him, and figured yes the nappy might leak or DS might get a bit more wind but that wasn't important in the grand scheme of things. What is important is for DH to be able to look after his own son and me to be able to have a bit of time off if I need it for my sanity. Now DH teaches me new techniques for getting our baby to sleep or take a bottle I'm still loads better at the nappies though

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