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How to cope with my mum/parents when the baby arrives?

(8 Posts)
Boswell Tue 29-Jul-08 18:19:01

My mum is a very negative person and my parents together are very hard work. Whenever I see them they spend the whole time bickering, sniping and scoring points off each other. It brings me down and I always takes me a few days to recover from a visit.

They live 200 miles away and I normally see them 3/4 times a year, though talk to mum on the phone often. However they have hatched a plan to rent somewhere local (20mins away) so they can be around more when I have my baby. Everyone seems to think it's a brilliant idea but my heart just sinks whenever I think about it.

I know logically I will appreciate the help, but I'm very worried that I will be feeling very vulnerable as a new mum and that my mum being around could be the difference between being scared but positive and confident or feeling like I can't cope and I'm just not good enough.

Can I spell it out to her and say "you have to tell me 10 times a day how well I'm doing"? Thing is, she might well think it, but she would never ever say it.

bohemianbint Tue 29-Jul-08 18:20:37

Actually, you might not appreciate the "help", unless they really are helpful! Do you really think it would be awful? Could you put them off for a few weeks?

Boswell Tue 29-Jul-08 18:28:32

It's a gut reaction more than anything. I know mum is very excited about it and is always itching to help with cooking/washing up/cleaning etc, so practically she could be brilliant help. I just know how I feel when I spend too long with them, and it's not good.

One positive point is that because they're so far away we tend to see them for days at a time, so maybe little and often will be easier?

Boswell Tue 29-Jul-08 18:29:51

Oh, and they're set to get the keys to their rental place in the next couple of weeks - I'm not due til October!

CrushedRaspberryDungarees Tue 29-Jul-08 21:06:55

You could be talking about my parents!

My mum and dad came to stay in our flat for 3 weeks when I had my first dd! They helped a lot in a practical way (dh went to work away after the first week) but mentally it wasn't great. I snapped at my mum at one point, which I have never done before or since.

Do you feel you could confront them about this? I was not able to, so I know about those kind of parent/child relationships!

I have to say that because I was so nervous and knackered with dd I was kind of tuned out from it all. It was handy to give dd to someone else when she wouldn't stop crying. With ds and dd2 I would not have wanted/needed them around.

I have long since been trying to work out what is better - an intense week with the parents or them coming round every couple of days!

angel1976 Tue 29-Jul-08 21:15:20

Do what you can to put them off. Even the idea of it is stressing you out, so that can't be good. My parents live thousands of miles away and my mum wanted to be here while DS was born. I told her no and said we wanted the time to ourselves first BUT if I really needed her help, I will tell her and she will be on the first flight here. She understood that. I love my mum but we don't get on and do fight a lot and I am glad she wasn't here during the first few weeks (though it was very, very tough!).

CrushedRaspberryDungarees Tue 29-Jul-08 21:21:44

angel1976, you are lucky you can say these things to your mum! Unfortunately not everyone has that kind of open relationship and instead the parents think they know what the child wants without actually asking.

angel1976 Tue 29-Jul-08 22:40:24

I'm not saying it was easy! But the idea of her being there trying to tell me what to do etc (I was often driven to tears by her when I was visiting them at 20 weeks pregnant and she didn't even mean any harm, we just have a serious personality clash!) while I had a baby for the first time ever was just going to be too much hard work. It took me ages but I pluck up the courage in the end... Funnily enough, since having DS, my mum has been really good about everything while my MIL (whom I expected to be my ally in this!) has proven to be the more difficult one to deal with. Which goes to show you never know... But Boswell, I just want to wish you luck whatever you do! smile

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