Will I Regret Keeping Mom Away from Baby?

posted 2 years ago in Family
Post # 2
Member
9229 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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ambeevalent :  there is nothing wrong with giving yourselves a little adjustment period before having your mom over after you give birth, so don’t feel guilty if you need that. My mother and I have always had a great relationship and I even had to say “mom, I love you, but please don’t come over again for a few days – I need some time alone with my baby”. 

I will say though that the hospital has nurses who can kick your mom out for you! At home you two will have to be the ones to ask her to leave. Post-partum nurses are fiercely protective of new mommas and won’t hesitate to throw someone out for you. 

Post # 3
Member
9880 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Maybe invite her to the hospital for a specific period of time, i.e. one hour. The nurses are pretty good about kicking people out if they need to.

You are not obligated to share your child with anyone though. Do you really think she will be any nicer once the baby is here? I’m sure she’ll have an opinion on everything you do by the sounds of it.

Post # 4
Member
5264 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2017

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ambeevalent :  your job is to protect your baby. Go with your gut on this one.

I have what I call conditional contact with my mother. If she’s stable, I come around and she can see my daughter (now three and a half) if she’s off the rails, I don’t come around

I get the guilt. I feel pangs of sadness and guilt when I say that my mother will NEVER be alone with my daughter. My mother isn’t a bad person, she’s just sick and it makes it very damaging to be around her.

You can also navigate this as you go along. When my daughter came, I realized that I didn’t want her to be around my mother when I wasn’t there, no matter who else was there. We went out of town for a weekend and I stressed to my sister to not take my daughter to see my mother, that I have to be there if she’s around my mother. I didn’t start out that way, it’s just how I ended up feeling.

I get sadness when my daughter asks for her, which surprises me because she’s only seen her three or four times in the span of a year… I speak positively of my mother to her, when my daughter is old enough to ask questions, I’ll explain to her that her Grammy is sick and that sometimes we can’t see her.

While I occasionally get the pangs of guilt, my mother reminds me of why I protect my daughter from her. My mother just took off to another state and hasn’t asked about how my daughter is doing, or what she’s been up to etc. she left over a month ago and as far as I know, she probably has no idea that i know that she left. She only bothers with me if it benefits her somehow, so she rarely does.

So if my mother had a regular presence in my daughters life, my daughter would be hurt and confused as to where Grammy went and why we don’t see her anymore.

I actually have it pretty easy, she rarely shows interest in my daughter so I don’t have to fight to protect her. You’re in a tougher position, I just want you to know that you need to go with your instincts on this, and that is ok to do that

Post # 5
Member
114 posts
Blushing bee

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ambeevalent :  I have a strained relationship with my mother as well, so I totally understand your feeling of wanting solid boundaries but then also feeling guilty. We had our first a little over a year ago. Both of our families live over 1500 mile away (and neither of us have especially close relationships with them), and we decided not to let anyone come visit for the first month. We felt like it was one of the best decisions either of us has ever made, and I don’t regret it for one second. If we have another, I think we might even make it 6 weeks until anyone visits. That first month with our baby was one of the happiest months of my life. It was seriously bliss. I can’t even describe to you how incredibly thankful I am that we had the foresight to set boundaries and not let our families invade that precious time. 

Do what’s best for you and your partner. Your new little family needs to bond. Do whatever will optimize that process. And don’t feel guilty. You’re doing what’s best for your family. Your mother can meet your baby when he or she is a bit older. 

And congratulations! I hope you have an amazing transition into motherhood. 

Post # 6
Member
755 posts
Busy bee

if You check out DWIL on Baby Centre and give some insight on your relationship the people there are really helpful. They have lots of great advice for people struggling with their family of origin. 

Post # 7
Member
781 posts
Busy bee

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ambeevalent :  I feel that I may be the same when I have a child. I am not the closest with my older sister, and even my parents. I grew up with a ‘unique’ childhood, and I get very anxious in thinking of my past so much so that I end up resenting my family. I often think about limiting time to see my future children. I have considered completely detaching from my family before I even have kids. However, as of now, I am trying not to be as intense, and I show up to their major life events, and when I have a child, I may just limit the time they see them. 

 

Best of luck, bee

Post # 8
Member
1637 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

I can’t fathom the pain if my daughters prevented me from seeing my grandkids. 

That said, it should be on your terms and for the amount of time and duration of your choosing. 

I personally would let her come to the hospital… but you don’t have to tell her until the baby is born or almost born. Then keep it short and have the nurses kick her out after an hour. Then take as much time as you want or need before she visits again. 

Post # 9
Member
664 posts
Busy bee

My mom and I have a very close but intense relationship. We’ve had moments where my dad had to mediate, where we stopped talking to each other and where I almost cut her out of my life. Once I had the baby, my mother and I bonded immensely and she is now what i consider to be a best friend. Of course, we still have stressful moments and fights that my husband has to break up but even with the stress I couldn’t imagine life with a baby without her. Since the babyMy grandma was an amazing support to my mom when she had me and so now my mom strives to follow in her foot steps. Of course, this is not the case for everyone. You’re not obligated to have her over or accept her help and you shouldn’t feel guilty for it. Your mom does sound like she’s trying to do everything she can to be there for you and meet you half way. So while your not obligated, if you do what want to keep the lines open, it’s probably good to consider how you can reciprocate – even if it is planning for a recurring, small visit every week. 

Post # 10
Member
746 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2016

I 100% regret allowing family to visit while I was in the hospital (we stayed for a week). It was so stressful and just stupid and unnecessary. I don’t get along with my mother at all. She lives a mile or so away and when my son got older I started letting my parents come over for a few hours each day to play with him. I hang out in a different part of the house and relax or get chores done. I don’t mind my son having his grandparents around, but I’m uninterested in getting close with them.

Post # 11
Member
7194 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

Becoming a mother can be a really vulnerable time and experience- even moreso when you have some significant mother wounds. My mother and I have a great relationship, but her relationship with her mother was strained and traumatic and she said she was scared that our relationship would be toxic as well when she found out she was having a girl.

It’s hard to know how your own transition to motherhood will impact you so I don’t think you need to make any final choices right now. Play it by ear and see how you feel. Some of the people I thought would be really triggering to me were pretty inconsequential and other people I was used to casually ignoring were suddenly really upsetting. A lot changes when you have a baby and it’s hard to know what that will be until you are in it.

I would write myself a letter or a list and put it all on paper- as you feel right now. And then revisit after the baby comes. There may be days where you feel capable of dealing with your mother without being triggered and then other days where you’re feeling raw and uncomfortable and the slightest breeze is too much, not to mention a mother who is already like sandpaper to your nerves!

If your mother can’t be supportive and the most she can do is be silent, maybe that can be a starting place. Her being silent and holding her new grandbaby for one hour and then departing before things go back to old unhealthy habits and patterns. If she is truly wanting to change- it’s going to take a lot of those little awkward moments to change decades of poor habits and reroute brain chemistry.

Finally- babies don’t fix everything, but I have found that they can facilitate a lot of healing in families where there’s desire for improvement on both sides. Your child may not ever have the kind of traditional “grandma” relationship that we are shown, but kids think whatever is happening in their lives is the norm, so your kid will have their own relationship with grandma (if you feel comfortable allowing it) and it will feel like what is regular and expected for them.

Post # 13
Member
291 posts
Helper bee

Yes you will regret it. Figure out the details before you have the chance to regrett it. 

Post # 14
Member
156 posts
Blushing bee

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ambeevalent :  Bee to be completely honest I have only regreted the visits I allowed not the time we chose to bond as a new family. Can you just tell people you will let them know when you are ready depending on how you are feeling? You may want far more or less time than you think. 

Post # 15
Member
1492 posts
Bumble bee

I’m not close to my mother in law but I want to give her the chance to develop a strong relationship with her grandchildren. I am so close to my grandparents and even though they don’t always see eye to eye with my mum, she never got in the way of my relationship with them. And I’m so grateful for that.

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