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Mama drama

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

As I get closer to the birth of my babies I am starting to stress on the logisitics. I was hoping to delay the visit of my mother because she can cause a bit of stress with her never ending "helpful" suggestions. But I am also starting to realize with twins and a 3 year old my husband and I may need more help than I think. I know she wants to help and is well intentioned but when I recently expressed to her my concerns about if the babies come early and managing breastfeeding two premature babies etc. and she is like just put them in the hospital nursery - which of course she knows I don't want to do. ( My DD was born at 36 weeks and had minor feeding issues, I feel like these babies will be here anyday I am almost 36 weeeks) But anyway thats just one example. She and I recently had a falling out about a month ago so our relationship is in a fragile state already and she can be very sensitive to any suggestions. If I say mom I appreciate your suggestion but I am not comfortable putting the babies in the nursery she would get angry and annoyed so I just have to smile and say okay then ignore her. She also likes to jab at my husband, imply he doesn't help enough, which may or may not be true winky.gif but he and I need to not have a 3rd party creating problems. I don't want to sound ungrateful at her willingness to come here, she lives across the country, but when she is here there is going to be stress which I am just not sure is better or worse then the stress without her here. With my 3 year old my mom also is annoying, I don't want to get into it but she just parents much differently then us and that will stress me to. I am admittedly a bit of a control freak and I have very specific things that are important to me as a parent. I feel like I make a lot of informed decisions regarding what I want for my kids and when she questions all that it makes me a little batty. Anyway sorry for the long post but does anyone have ideas? I really think i will need help. I really think she will drive me nuts. But perhaps there is always some comfort knowing we have an extra hand and she is one hell of a cleaner, will do laundry etc. I should add she helped after the birth of my DD and was great but she has recently become not as emotionally stable and can really escalate a minor disagreement and say very very hurtful things (like abusive things) , so I am very afraid of having to deal with that post-pardom when I am less stable. But she can also be wonderful, loving, and helpful. I just don't know what to do.

post #2 of 16

I suggest keep it simple, and no houseguests until you are emotionally ready to deal with drama. The things your mother will contribute are live-without-able, and the harmful aspects are not able to be controlled by you.

post #3 of 16

I would agree with Mole, and delay the visit until you are more emotionally stable.  Do you have anyone local who will be able to help you postpartum?  Friends that will bring meals, or can help with your 3 year old, or the like?  It seems like that might be more helpful.

post #4 of 16
I would rather have to do it alone than have that kind of stress at such a sensitive time.

Additionally, if she has had a recent change of personality, including increasing violence or even just negativity, she should go get a full work-up from her doctor. If she won't do that on your suggestion, you can always call her doctor and inform him/her of the recent changes. The doctor can't discuss any of this stuff with you for privacy reasons, but you can still inform the doctor of what you see going on.
post #5 of 16

ColoradoMama, i am sorry you are facing this. I have my own Mama drama and have been wondering how many Mama's on here are going through the same. I would have to agree with a PP that it's not worth the stress at such a sensitive time. If you have anyone else close by who can come by to help out at times, that might be a better alternative. I don't want anyone coming by who could potentially create any sort of stress or havoc during such a special time. I wish you all the best. I know how hard it can be first hand so I really feel for you.

post #6 of 16
Count me in the mama drama club. Mine has caused a major disturbance with the birth of each of my kids ( except this last one because she isn't here). It's taken me awhile to realize that piles of laundry are much preferable to my mother upsetting everyone. The healthiest thing for you is to keep your stress levels down while you recover from birth. I have 5 littles, my house looks like a tornado went through it. But i know I can get that all cleaned back up in a few weeks when I feel up to it.

Don't feel bad at all if you have to keep your distance from your mom to stay sane. I'm sorry you're going through this. It's not easy, I know.
post #7 of 16

Oh my. I have my own mama drama as well! I'm so sorry you're going through this. 


If it were me, I'd tell her to come much later because I know I am a basket case after having babies and my emotional state could not handle a "helpful" mom around. I am also a control freak so it would make me extra crazy.


My mom has been out of my life for the past year or so and we just recently reconnected over the summer. She did something awful to our entire family so our relationship is strained to say the least. And she's acting like she has done nothing wrong. Asking us for favours which is driving us all crazy since the audacity for her to even think like she has the right to ask us for anything is disgusting. 


At first she was very apologetic about what she had done. Then as the weeks past, she started blaming other people and making excuses. Ugh. I can't stand her right now. So she's calling me asking how I'm feeling, if the baby is coming and I just want to punch her in the face. I don't want her NEAR me when I'm in labor and I'll freakin' call her to see the baby when I feel like it. 


Yesterday she text me something like "tell mommy what's wrong". I was like WTF? First of all she is no longer my "mommy" - she's ruined that relationship. And second, she is the last person I would confide in. Yuck. 

post #8 of 16

Hello mama drama club, I'd like to submit my application!  I get along really well with my mom but having her visit is SO DIFFICULT. 


ColoradoMama, I completely agree with everyone here that it's better to let your house get messy than have the nice family atmosphere disrupted.  Family, and I think especially moms, have a way of pushing buttons that no one else can! I end up letting my mom get on my nerves and then snapping at her or just speaking to her disrespectfully (like correcting how she is putting food into tupperware - so lame of me) and then of course crying because I feel guilty about it - especially since she's traveled so far and spent the money to come visit, and I'm her only daughter and live so far away, on and on. It's vicious, exhausting, and I really can't imagine doing it while trying to get settled in with a new baby. 

Can you suggest your mom come out around Xmas (if you celebrate)?  Then the baby will be a bit older and easier to hand off to her for Grandma snuggles, and you'll be in your groove and better able to put up with her! ;) Does she have any other family or friends in your area?  Maybe she can break up her visit a bit by visiting other people too?  My in-laws are coming for almost a month in Oct, but they're taking a few 1-3 day trips to nearby places, and 5 days to visit old friends in another country while they're here.  I think the people who have it the sweetest are those who have family living nearby - close enough to visit for an hour or two each day and then go on home!

post #9 of 16

Yeah, mama drama...I hear that. Sigh.


Would you consider hiring a post-partum doula? I didn't even know these existed, until I met someone who does this as her job. She comes in daily for as long as the parents want her, and cooks, does light cleaning, keeps the laundry moving, holds the baby if the mom needs to take a shower or a nap, and is a licensed lactation consultant. It's pretty neat. I don't know what she costs, but if I were having twins and already had a 3-year-old, I'd work pretty hard at finding the resources to hire someone like that for the first month!

post #10 of 16

nilatti, that sounds amazing. Unfortunately, we wouldn't be able to afford something like that. Wondering... do you know if there is something like that at zero or minimal cost for those who need the help but can't afford to pay the big bucks?

post #11 of 16

There might be.  All you need to do is ask.  :)

post #12 of 16
Originally Posted by Mittens View Post

nilatti, that sounds amazing. Unfortunately, we wouldn't be able to afford something like that. Wondering... do you know if there is something like that at zero or minimal cost for those who need the help but can't afford to pay the big bucks?

I think that sounds like "friends". :).

post #13 of 16
Originally Posted by mole View Post

I think that sounds like "friends". :).


Well, yes.


I'm honestly not sure at all if anyone other than friends or church people would do this for free. I also don't know if there's a formal certification for post-partum doulas, as there is for labor doulas. If so, they might need to get a certain amount of time in, for free or very cheap, in order to get certified. I have lots of friends who had free or cheap doulas at their births because the doula needed to attend a certain number of births in order to get licensed. So, that might be worth looking into.


Do you have any family other than your mom, people who might be more...sane? My sister came and stayed with us for a week when DH went back to work after our son was born. She didn't even DO that much, but just having someone there to walk the dog and do a few dishes really made a difference. We get along very well, though, and she's super-low-maintenance.

post #14 of 16

Post partum doulas do also get DONA certified, so there is always the option Nilatti mentioned - finding one who needs hours for certification.  Otherwise they typically run a few hundred bucks and up.  Upon hiring one, I would be sure to be very specific about what you want done.  A lot of friends have hired one or been gifted one and all they seemed to want to do was hold the baby, which was the exact opposite of what they wanted done. I know some that are top-notch, but just be clear on your expectations, just as you would with your OB, midwife or birth doula.  :-)

post #15 of 16

I'm sorry you're having such a rough time.  Personally?  My MIL came for 10 days after my son's birth and I seriously wanted to hurt myself - I think it contributed to my PPD.  No stress is worth that, even from family (second time she came for 2 short days - much better!).  I basically put my foot down and said I woudlnt' have it this time.  As hard as it is to do (I had to do this at length with my mother when she was still alive) you need to create boundaries and just be very clear.  If she gets upset at you simply for not taking her suggestions it just doesn't seem conducive to an already difficult period when you'll be welcoming (TWO!) new babies, managing that transition for your child, night wakings, nursing, etc.  I like the suggestion of having her come later.  I personally think the first week or 2 is a time when it really should just be the immediate family (but with some exceptions - if someone has an incredibly supportive mother or MIL then that works).  But def not a time to make things harder than they are.  Dig deep for your inner mama bear and just make your wishes/boundaries/etc known.  

post #16 of 16

I am facing a similar scenario. We recently moved closer to our parents to be back in California, but being closer to my mom is often driving me nuts. We have a very similar relationship to you. I am a control freak and she is always giving me "helpful" suggestions, or boosting about how she has things worse or things are not good enough. Case and point my son just had his first b-day and she kept insisting she have it at her house because I didnt "need the stress" of having to deal with his bday. My son has been through a lot of medical problems and we always had a big goal of making it to his first b-day. Plus, my parents live an hour away, so none of our friends or other family would probably want to go and it would be a group of my mom's friends. I kept insisting we are going to have it at our house... end of story. She sulked. She gave me silent treatment for a while, then she started telling me which decorations I should get for the party and when I should send out invitation and which of her 50 friends I HAVE to send invitations to along with a guilt trip about how she already told them about the party and they would be offended if I didnt invite them! I was 38.5 weeks pregnant on the day of the party... I didnt want it to be huge, just a small gathering of a few neighbors, family and friends!


Now she is under the impression she is going to be there for the home birth. My mom can only relate or sympathize in how it relates to her. So she will talk about how she was able to give birth naturally and how it only took "x" number of hours and how she was able to do EVERYTHING right after the delivery. After my traumatic c-section and impending complicated surgery for my son 5 days after he was born, in addition to the down syndrome diagnosis we recieved at 32 weeks. She just kept relating how it was so much harder for her to recover from her hysterectomy and my c-section is not so bad and how the day after she delivered me she was home and able to do everything.


I could go on and on. I know there is a lot riding on my home birth, so I want to make sure Im comfortable. My only option is a repeat c-section since vbacs are banned at every hospital within 100 miles so I flat out told her she couldnt be here, even though we could probably use the help with a 1 year old at home, but our nanny will most likely be able to fill in, even though it will be probably hard for her to be at home with me in labor, Id still prefer it over my mom!


I dont have much advice, other than to tell you Im in the same boat. Go with your heart and it will work out in the end, or at least that is what I am holding on to.

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