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I have a really bad feeling... UPDATE post 34...it was HORRIBLE!

post #1 of 86
Thread Starter 
This weekend we are driving to stay with my IL's for Easter and I am literally having panic attacks about it! My youngest is 3 months (today! ) and my MIL and FIL have seen him once. They came for a day when he was born with my little 9 year old SIL. The rest of the family hasn't met him yet and we are talking a HUGE family. My husband is one of 8, four still at home and then he has seventeen aunts and uncles each with their spouses and multiple children and their children, etc etc! All who will be there for Easter (we spend the day in the gym at the church eating and playing games).

I am really really worried that people are going to want to play "pass the baby" and I am not comfortable with it. DH says I need to remember that most of these people have never seen him and I should be happy that they want to. I told him I know I am being silly, but I just need him to support me. We agreed that people can hold him but if he makes one unhappy peep or if I'm uncomfortable and give DH a "look" he'll say "Looks like he needs some mommy time!" It sounds like a great plan, but he has such anger issues from his abusive childhood that when we are there he often shuts down or turns into a different person.

I think a lot of it too is how mainstream everyone is and the fact that MIL and I have children practically the same age so we have a different dynamic than most IL relationships. Its hard to use any sort of "times have changed" logic when we are raising kids together. It creates questions in my kids as well when we are very GD in our home and these family events are filled with yelling, threats, and belts for their relatives

Sorry I'm rambling and probably not making much sense...I just feel really nervous and I'm probably overreacting, and creating problems in my mind before we even get there for goodness sake! Thanks for listening.
post #2 of 86
Wait, your DH was abused as a child, right? And you know for a fact that other parents there use belts on their children?

It doesn't sound to me like your panic is for nothing. It sounds like you know you're about to take your wee little babe into a veritable nest of known child abusers. I'd be freaking out too!

Honestly? The baby is still so young that it doesn't matter who wants to hold him. Wear him in a sling and just nurse nurse nurse (assuming you're BFing). Don't feel the need to pass him around if you don't feel comfortable with the person who wants to hold him. You're the mama and you get to decide whether he will be held or not.

But seriously, wear him in a sling. He'll probably sleep most of the time and few people have the gall to reach into a sling to manhandle a baby.

If I were in your shoes I'd get very comfortable using lines like, "Thank you, but he's very comfortable in his sling right now" and "No, you can't hold him but let's get a picture together!"

I would definitely NOT let the baby out of my sight, given your DH's family's history. Yikes.
post #3 of 86
When I'm around lots of family, I keep the baby in wrap. Most people assume that its really hard to get him in and out of it and I don't do anything to dispel that belief.
post #4 of 86
Hugs to you, mama.

I know how hard it can be to let others hold your baby. My son was baptised the other week and there were about 40 people there who wanted to hold my ds. Especially my ILs. Ugh. They annoy me on many levels. Mainly because their parenting views differ from mine and they feel the need to buy him lots of junky stuff to make up for the fact that they live 4 hours away and don't see him much. It was so very incredibly difficult to let them hold him. But I did let them...for a very, very short period of time. When I had had enough I took him right back. And if that upset them, too bad. He's my ds. They've raised their kids.

Sorry if I sound a little bitter.
post #5 of 86
Oh, and if you don't feel up to saying no directly, never underestimate the power of blaming your pediatrician (even if you don't have one).

"His doctor says he shouldn't be handled by too many people before he's a little older. His little immune system needs more time to grow!"

Most people will back off immediately if you phrase your parenting preferences as "doctor's orders".
post #6 of 86
uggg, I understand the anxiety, coming from a huge family myself!!! I love the sling idea. You could also make up an excuse any time someone asks. Like "oh, sorry, I was about to feed, change etc...". You could also say that he gets really overstimulated (then fussy) when held by people that are unfamiliar to him... good luck!!!
post #7 of 86
SLING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At all early gatherings I plopped DS into a sling or wrap and that was that. People won't try and take him out. If he was looking like he'd like to be with people, great. But as soon as he needed momma I'd take him back saying he was hungry - plop him right back into the sling. Helped that he couldn't resist a good sling nap at that age.

I never let the "pass the baby" game be played. Not fair to the baby. If it upsets the adults, oh well. You don't see these people often, right?
post #8 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by peainthepod View Post
You're the mama and you get to decide whether he will be held or not.
I love that phrase! It's true though. It's YOUR child and YOU decide who does or does not touch him.

I agree with wearing him in a sling. People are less likely to reach for your torso to "touch the baby"
post #9 of 86
Thread Starter 


Thank you for your kind words. The sling idea is a great one! I will bring my moby since it looks complicated I do breastfeed on demand and I'll bring all my snap CDs so no one can offer to change him

I don't worry about anyone hurting my kids. They know that won't be tolerated in any way. There are plenty of eye rolls and laughing about my beliefs though. I think its just the knowledge of what these families feel about parenting that upsets me. It just makes me feel really alone

I really appreciate your suggestions and support...I'll have to carry you all in my heart for this trip!:
post #10 of 86
Actually, my pedi did tell me that the baby shouldn't be passed around during our visits home because at this point in the year we're still at the tail end of cold/flu season. No reason to expose a LO. If there were special people who I trusted with my child i would find a quiet moment or place to share that experience with them. Not during a huge gathering by any means.

Trust your mama instincts and keep your baby close!
post #11 of 86
When pregnant, the thought of people (outside from a select few) holding my baby kept me up at night. The thought of being at a gathering and baby-passing would have given me hives!

So I get where you are coming from. Just posting to say I understand, you aren't alone.
post #12 of 86
I'm in a similar boat with in laws with kids almost the same age as DS. My BIL is almost 3 years older than DS so I know how hard it can be to explain parenting styles etc. Good news is your DS is only 3 months so that conversation is a long ways away so I wouldn't stress about that just yet.

Everyone holding the baby? I HATED that too and would have anxiety attacks about it. I found that people are a lot more respectful than I gave them credit for. Only really close family (a couple aunts who love my DH and grandparents) wanted to hold DS and as soon as he made any sort of sound I would just say "I need to grab him, new mommy thing" like, I'd made a joke out of it but people knew I was serious even in my joking tone and hand him back over. I second saying "doctors orders" that always works too.

Good Luck this weekend!
post #13 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by karne View Post
Actually, my pedi did tell me that the baby shouldn't be passed around during our visits home because at this point in the year we're still at the tail end of cold/flu season. No reason to expose a LO. If there were special people who I trusted with my child i would find a quiet moment or place to share that experience with them. Not during a huge gathering by any means.

Trust your mama instincts and keep your baby close!
post #14 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tdunahoo View Post
I'm in a similar boat with in laws with kids almost the same age as DS. My BIL is almost 3 years older than DS so I know how hard it can be to explain parenting styles etc. Good news is your DS is only 3 months so that conversation is a long ways away so I wouldn't stress about that just yet.
My 3 month old is my 4th, my oldest is 8 and SIL is 9 so we have the parenting issues there. The AP philosophy is actually easier to defend to everyone now with each child- as they have my older, well behaved, and compassionate children as "evidence" that I'm not ruining the children lol.

I don't know what exactly is bringing out the mama bear in me for this visit. Other than the breech in diet (think heart attack on a plate for every meal) my kids have always been treated well, its just the angry energy that sets me off.

Thank you all for validating my feelings even though I'm not entirely sure what specifically is scaring me so much.
post #15 of 86
sounds like you've got a good plan... i just wanted to send a !
post #16 of 86
I usually like pass-the-baby but I didn't ever hand him off to known child abusers. Why are they holding a family gathering at their house, not in jail? (Rhetorical question, I realize the statute of limitations is past.)
post #17 of 86
I so agree with the sling! That's what I do, anyway, but especially when I don't want anyone else trying to take or touch the baby!

Good luck!
post #18 of 86
I never allow "pass the baby" and I don't care if other people don't like it. (and trust me, they don't like it at all)

I agree with all of the pp's suggestions of the sling. My IL's actually took offense to me putting my preemie baby in a sling at Christmas. Their reaction didn't bother me one bit.

Babies are human beings, they are not born for adult entertainment.
post #19 of 86
The funny thing is, I never understood "pass the baby". I'm not one to reach for other people's babies. I assume they want to hold their children. it freaks me out when people try to force their baby on me, "Don't you want to hold the baby?" Um, no, it isn't mine!

back to the OP, wrap that baby up in the moby and I bet no one will come near him! You'll be all set! And if all else fails, just leave early. That's my solution for dealing with my IL's.
post #20 of 86
The sling is the best deterant.

It's true about the doctor excuse too. I've had an uppper respiratory infection for over a week. DD has it now. It's going around heavy around here. Doctors offices are swamped with this viral infection going around. We made it all winter without getting sick. Now that spring is here, we're all getting sick :

I was at a baby shower a while back--me and my almost 2 year old, getting bigger by the day and slowly losing that babyness. An old friend was there with her itty bitty brand new baby. Itty bitty. I was ecstatic to see her and her baby (for the first time). I wanted to hold that tiny baby soooooo bad.

But I would never in a million years flat out ask someone to hold their baby--not even a good friend. I patiently waited for her to offer me to hold the baby. If she never offered, I wouldn't have asked. I don't understand people who rush up to hold an infant who needs their mother. *shrugs*
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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › I have a really bad feeling... UPDATE post 34...it was HORRIBLE!