OBSESSED future grandma

posted 1 month ago in Pregnancy
Post # 2
2470 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

It seems like you’re seeing the forest of red flags which are waving.  You and your baby are not responsible for her mental and emotional wellbeing – don’t put that burden on yourself or your child.  To be clear is to be kind – tell her ASAP that you don’t want visitors for the first however many weeks; after that she’s welcome to visit for no more than two hours however many times a week you’re comfortable with, and that you won’t need help holding the baby, you’ll need help with the housework.  Otherwise she will sit on your couch holding your baby while telling you your house is filthy and asking you to get her a cup of tea or some lunch, while you’re leaking from every orifice, hurting, wanting nothing except to snuggle with your newborn and dealing with the hormonal roller coaster that is the first few weeks post partum.  You need to lay down clear boundaries now, before you’re in the newborn haze.  When I had my baby, we had three weeks with no visitors (mostly due to Covid lockdowns, to be fair) and then my Mother-In-Law came to stay for two nights.  She cleaned our house from top to bottom, cooked for us, held the baby when I asked her to so I could shower or nap, and generally was amazing.  If your mother isn’t going to do that, she shouldn’t be visiting.

You might like the DWIL group on the Baby Center forums, or if you’re on Reddit, r/justnomil (which is not just for MILs, it’s for mothers too).

Post # 3
1535 posts
Bumble bee

The most concerning part of this is why she is trying to develop a close relationship with you now when she didn’t show interest when you were growing up.  It all seems to be coming together as your mom all of a sudden having a motherly instinct, whether with you or her soon to be born grandchild.  If she was this much into the bond she was going to have with this grandchild but had a very tight relationship with you, it would make more sense.

You are entitled to make your own decisions, and you need to communicate to your mom that any decisions you make that go against her are about what you need for yourself.  It helps if you can tell her that it isn’t about depriving her of what she wants, but honestly, in this case you may not always be able to truthfully say that.  I personally find it hurtful to not allow at least parents and siblings (grandparents and aunts/uncles of the baby) time with the baby for weeks after the birth, but you have the right to do what you want.  If you did have a close familial relationship (I realize you don’t), I would strongly consider whether relocating for a job is in your best interests.  My parents moved back near my family specifically so I could have a relationship with my relatives.

I’m sorry to say, you’re just going to have to deal with your mom becoming unhinged, if that does happen.  It will give you the comfort in knowing you were right to not allow her to do things the way she wants.

Post # 4
4723 posts
Honey bee

You need to get on DWIL asap. 

Post # 5
2186 posts
Buzzing bee

It sounds as if she is maybe trying to relive the past and have the relationship with her grandchild that she should have had with you.

Tough.  That ship has sailed.  She can’t have a mother & baby ‘do over’ because she realises she messed up first time round.

It is 100% acceptable to tell your mother that you & your OH need time together alone to bond with your new baby.  Set limits on how often she can come and how long she can stay – and as other bees have said, make it clear that if she is visiting for more than a few minutes, she needs to be helping with stuff round the house, not cuddling the baby while you do the work. 

As this is (presumably?) her first grandchild, it seems a little harsh not to allow her to see the child at all for the first few weeks – if you can, I would let her see the baby briefly as a newborn.  If you have a hospital birth, the nurses are usually very good at limiting contact with over-excited relatives anyway!

Post # 6
1162 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 1996

Yes, very clear boundaries are needed here, now and in the future.  She won’t like it but we cannot please all people all the time.  Also, I agree with another that your mom’s mental health is not your responsibility.

You and your husband are at the center of your soon-to-be-enlarged family.  What the two of you say GOES and your mom is just going to have to learn to deal with it.

This is a tough situation, but if you don’t set boundaries and stick to them, sorry to say you’ll pay the price.

Post # 7
3636 posts
Sugar bee

Becoming a parent has a way of bringing issues we have with our own parents to the surface. I think it also triggers grandparents about their own parenting history, things they wish they’d done differently, etc., and can just create a whole shit storm of angst.

anyway, I started therapy a few months before my 2nd baby was born to unpack a lot of the mommy issues I have and it was really helpful. Highly highly recommend. I also recommend checking out this book: Nedra Glover, Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself. Her Instagram account is good too, as is the account @raising_yourself. 

Finally…moving across the country might not be the worst idea LOL. Srsly though. 

Post # 8
9341 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
@rgrforever:  start now with setting boundaries. Tell her that she can come meet the baby, but beyond one visit the first couple of weeks you want to plan for yourselves. My Mother-In-Law wasn’t super crazy leading up to the birth but once my daughter was here she was over the top. To the point that it was impacting my mental health and I couldn’t cope. My husband noticed (I didn’t even have the energy to really complain which is def out of character for me) and he went full papa bear protective husband mode (also not his usual character) and flat out forbade her from even texting or calling us until we reached out to her again when we were ready. We were no contact for about a week. 

Also I had a great relationship with my mom and for awhile she was so focused on the baby that I felt abandoned and ignored. And I was struggling. I had to call her out and when it didn’t change I took a big step back from her for awhile too. Being a new mama is freaking hard – don’t be afraid or ashamed to protect yourself. 

Post # 9
6023 posts
Bee Keeper

Oy. Your mother has lost her mind. If I ever acted like that I hope someone would slap me. By the same token, I think you should talk to her and tell her to cut out this overdone grandmother stuff immediately or you won’t be able to be around her. Then do so.

Post # 10
2909 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

Yikes OP this is definitely not normal behaviour.  I would not under any circumstances allow her to make a nursery in her house, maybe let her get a pack n play (for naps) and a high chair.  That is all.  You are going to need to be very firm with her, definitely start the ground work with “no visitors” during xx time for bonding, then when you are open for company it sounds like you’ll need to be very clear with your expectations or she is going to walk all over you 

Post # 11
668 posts
Busy bee

She is way over the top, babies are great and their arrival in a family is a great cause for celebration but your mother is off the charts with this. Time for a conversation and also let her know of the possibility of you moving with your husbands job. Good luck I hope she calms down.

Post # 12
7935 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

I guess it depends on how much leeway you want to give her. Establishing boundaries is much needed, as is curbing her expectations. Tell her you and Dh will need two weeks ALONE with baby, but then invite her to meet baby at the hospital. Then, maybe at somewhere shy of two weeks, allow her to bring dinner over one night and spend a short amount of time with you and the baby.

If you can control the situation and get her to expect next to nothing, she will be gratful for whatever she DOES get. I am not advocating being cruel unless you want her out of your life entirely, but do be firm. 

FWIW, my mum was as good a parent as she was able to be, and she always said that she wouldn’t be the “baby-sitting grandma” type. But I didn’t have my first until I was almost 30, and she was SO excited. She gave me distance, but would offer to babysit for anything, anytime. She followed our rules to a T because she wanted to be invited back. She even slipped and said something about “my baby” once and I let it slide. Grandparents ARE often obsessed; to a certain extent it is natural. Just make sure she knows you won’t let her control the situation and she may tone things down.

Post # 13
861 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I don’t understand why you’re so worried about this. You do realize that YOU have all the power, right? If Mom makes demands and you give in to them, well, that was YOUR choice — because you’re the one with the power. You can give in or not give in. Make the choice that suits you best. 

Post # 14
861 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

Oh, and it’s fine if she wants to set up a nursery even though yours isn’t done yet. It’s her home, so she can do what she wants with it. Again, it’s up to YOU how often that nursery is used. 

Post # 15
10651 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

View original reply

 Don’t waste energy worrying about her setting up a nursery at her house. You are the one who decides how much time your child does or doesn’t spend at her house and whether sleepovers happen etc. l think planning a total ban on seeing the baby for weeks after the birth is guaranteed to cause ongoing trouble and is , l would think, pretty unusual. But if that’s what it takes l guess you will have to do it.

Basically , if you can not get panicky and anxious ( though it’s totally understandable ) and just keep reiterating that you will play it by ear after the  birth in terms of visits etc. l would pull the son in law card too and say how your husband is very keen to have the early bonding period with just him and you and the baby apart from some daytime visits . 

Breathe breathe dear OP, you are in charge here . 

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