Post # 1
My husband and I are expecting our first child. I enjoy my current job very much and both my husband and I are satisfied with our plan for us to both continue to work after our child is born. However, my mom feels differently.
My mom was a stay-at-home mom and she opened a day care so that she could stay at home with me. My entire life she would always say viscious things about the women whose children she cared for (behind their backs). She would often say that it is wrong for “mommies” to work, and that women belong at home. She said that it was a shame for all those babies to grow up without their mommies and that working women are greedy and selfish and care more about money than their families. So, clearly, she expects me to be a stay-at-home mom. One time several years ago, the subject came up and she said that if I ever went back to work, then she was going to move in with us and raise our children (her exact words).
I have no judgement about women who either work or who stay at home, I think each family has to figure out what works best for them. The problem is that I am afraid to even tell my mom that we are expecting because she is going to be so mean about me working. I am afraid she is really going to move to our town and insist on caring for our child (which I do NOT want). It is going to be very hard to argue with her that having a grandmother with 40 years of childcare experience watch our baby for free is really not as good as using some random daycare that we choose on our own. But I really don’t want her telling our children that I am a terrible mom for working.
I am so upset about how she is going to react to me being a working mom that I am having nightmares about it. What should I do?
Post # 3
Ugh that’s so frustrating. My parents both worked and I had enough love and attention and I grew up fine. I really think that you need to tell her to butt out, it’s your life and your child.
Post # 4
Oh geez. I’m so sorry you’re in this situation! I’m afraid I would be as stuck as you are. It’s not going to be fun but I think the only thing you can do is draw your line and dig your heels in. Setting boundaries in the beginning will help a lot in the long run. Not fun. I’m sorry. 🙁
Post # 5
Wow that’s awful! Your mom owns a daycare yet is judgemental towards the women who bring their babies in?! Boooo.
I hate the implication that working women only work for the money (and hence are greedy/selfish/money hungry). Big sad face here.
At some point, you’ll probably have to be very firm with your mom and tell her not to give you her personal opinion; you already know it, and if she can’t be a supportive mother, she won’t be a supportive grandmother and you dont’ want your kids to hear you’re a bad mommy from her.
You know you have to do what’s right for you. I’d do my best to truncate her when she gets on your case. Basically, tell her to STFU in a firm way that lets her know her opinion isn’t going to be entertained.
Post # 6
Oh wow, I’m so sorry you have to deal with this at what should be a happy time! I think you’re right not to let your mom be the primary day care person for your child (occasional babysitting is something else). Who knows what she would be saying about you behind your back? I also grew up in a home where my mom did daycare, and what I remember best was the fact that I loved having all those other kids around to play with. I think it made me more social. Could you tell your mom that the reason you don’t want her to watch your child is because you prefer a setting where the child can have lots of other kids to interact with? That way it isn’t about the quality of care she would give (which I’m sure would be great) but about preferring a type of setting that she can’t really create (one with lots of kids).
Sorry you’re stuck with this, good luck!
Post # 7
@greenleaf I think that’s a great idea! Tell her that you prefer having your child around many other children…
Sorry you are so worried to tell her this…could you say something along the lines of, “This is what we want, I understand you feel differently, but we don’t feel that working mom’s are a bad thing..for us it’s the best decision and we’re very excited about it. I understand your opinion, but please respect our decision because we’re happy about it…” Good luck! What does your hubby think you should do/say?
Post # 8
Ooh poor you, lousy situation. Just dig your heels in, and after that refuse to talk to her about it. Just say NO six hundred times a minute until she gets it!
Post # 9
Oh how horrible! This should be such a happy time for you and ur SO. I would deff stick to your guns and change the locks if needed 😉 By The Way CONGRATS!!!
Post # 10
My mom and I have had this argument over and over. In fact, she’s so adamant that I do stay home with my girls, that she refused to help out with daycare when I recently lost my after school care for my older daughter (she has special needs). So, I wound up quitting my job, which I had planned to do when the new baby comes anyway. My mom has never expressed this with my other sisters and she workd off and on when I was growing up, so I know her issue is that she thinks I should be the exclusive caregiver for my oldest daughter. We’ve had fights for years about this. Um, mom, are you going to pay my student loans and medical bills?? She even fought me on this when I was single. She actually said my kids would be better off going on welfare bc at least I would be home when they were out of school. I told her that I refuse to have these coversations with her anymore, and she needed to let me do what was right for my family and butt out. She’s a little smug about it now that I am a Stay-At-Home Mom and it makes me nuts.
It’s not really fair for your mother to be so judgemental bc she worked! Granted, she was home, but she still netted an income. I don’t see how she can say she’s a better mother than so and so when she was kind of doing the same thing. Not every mother can open a daycare! I agree that money isn’t the only issue involved, but it does makes things easier. I like the idea of knowing that bc I worked, we can afford dance lessons and T-ball and family getaways. I think you are going to have to administer some tough love on your mom and tell her that it’s your life, your baby and your decision. Good luck with that!
Post # 11
- Wedding: November 2007 - Radisson Hotel
No offense to your mom, but I don’t think I’d want my kids watched by people who judged my parenting! I’d tell your mom that you prefer socialization with other children over staying home (if she asks). And if she brings up moving to be closer to watch your kids for free could you be blunt and be like, “I’d rather not, I remember how often you spoke badly about the working moms who would bring in their children, and I don’t want our child exposed to that.” If you can’t be blunt, just say that it’s easier for all if you have the baby with a non-familial daycare, as you don’t want there to be any prejudice against other children in favor of yours.
It sucks to be judged (even if it’s not to your face) by family, I’m sorry.
Post # 12
I couldn’t possibly deal with someone like that :(. I’d tell her
“Mom, I found it so stiffling and terrible to have a stay at home mom I decided when I was a young child to never do that to my own children.”
“From the things you said when I was a child I grew up thinking Dad was so selfish and a bad father and didn’t love me. :(“
It is not not not okay for her to tell you you are a bad person or will damage your kids, especially since those are obvious factual lies! To me that kind of rudeness, ignorance, meaness and lack of respect would call for return fire. 🙁 But you’re probably a better person than I am.
Remember you are in control of your life and your children. If your mother makes interactions so difficult for you – you can choose to stop interacting with her – chances are high that she will learn to keep her opinions to herself. You can set boundaries. You don’t even have to be as mean as I am :), just be firm. Firm, firm, firm.
Post # 13
I agree with what everyone else is saying. And I think it’s ironic that if it wasn’t for the “working mothers” your mom would not have had a daycare in her house nor the income that allowed her to stay at home. It’s quite possible that she would have had to go outside of her home to get a job if it wasn’t for that. You may want to gently remind her of that. Be honest with her and put your foot down.
You have to do what is best for you and your family and trust me, there are many children that come from mothers who worked outside of the home who have come out just fine. Myself included. I don’t think I am any worse for it.
Post # 14
I agree that not every mom can stay home via running a daycare! I’m glad that worked for her. However, it is getting harder and harder for American families to live off of ONE income (regardless of if it is the man’s or woman’s!) Also, I realize during breastfeeding it makes more sense for the woman to stay home, but why aren’t the men selfish? My husband is actually doing “month 4” of our child’s care, after FMLA runs out and I go back…then we’ll have to look into nanny/daycare. I think there are other ways to get quality time in with your kids, and sometimes the break from the house can do you both some good!
I’m hoping when I go back to work, we can afford to get our house cleaned often, for example…so the fewer hours I see LO are all quality time instead of cleaning…with my salary, we could afford it.
Post # 15
This is totally NOT your mother’s business, A few things
- both of my parents worked when I was little. I had unconditional love from both of them and never yearned for more.
- I was more social (I stayed at my great-aunt’s with my brother and a neighborhood kid) and it caused me to be more independent. I didnt have to run to mommy for every little thing
- Your mom has ZERO right to claim she will move in with you to raise your children. That is way out of line. She is implying that you’ll be a terrible mother for having a job? Not so,
- My husband and I could probably live off of one income, but it would be tough. Thats a reality almost everywhere
- As harsh as this sounds…you need some space too. Imagine being around your husband 24 hours a day. You’d go nuts after awhile. EVERYONE needs some alone time. My best friend is a 99% Stay-At-Home Mom (she works one day a week as a stylist) and she BEGS for adult interaction and just a break from being stuck in teh house with the kids ALL DAY LONG. And thats ok!
Your mom has her POV, which for her works. you jsut need to let her know times have changed and that is not how YOU view your role. You are an adult with your own life, she will have to deal with it. Do NOT let her watch (or as she says, raise) your child. It will only end badly.
Congratulations on the miracle!
Post # 16
I think that you should tell her you’re expecting first and see how she reacts. She may surprise you! And if she reacts as you expect her to, then I would just make sure that you have the boundaries clear in your mind of how much help (if any) you would be ok with. Once you’ve defined those for yourself, share them with your mom.