Aaargh! My biological mother wants to be "near" me now that we are expecting our baby soon. Sad truth is, that I do not want her anywhere near my family. I don't want her at the birth. I don't want her to visit afterwards. Only, I don't know how to be diplomatic in keeping her at bay. Is this a time to be diplomatic? Or should I just put my foot down and tell her to stay away? My experience with her has not been a favorable one. She did not raise me, but likes to mislead everyone into thinking that she did. I've gone through eight months of this pregnancy without her, though she knew I was pregnant she never once tried to contact me, even though she lives across the street. I feel as though I'm walking on eggshells here, and lately I've been unable to filter what comes out of my mouth. It has not been nasty, but I have been speaking my mind without polishing the words. (Quite liberating and scary!) I have a reputation for being brutally critical. (I'm an architect.) I don't want any family drama. I just want to live in peace with my new family!
Anyway, in my opinion, this is a time when we should, within reason, be able to have exactly the peace we need, and worrying about meeting anyone's needs but our own immediate families is just unnecessary. Everyone else can see the baby when we're ready, and they'll love it just as much then as they would immediately after birth. So we are telling MIL that we need some time alone, that we will let her know when the baby is born, and then we'll let her know when we are ready for visitors (probably a few days later). And I'm fully prepared to tell her to go away if she comes poking around before then.
Maybe a similar plan will work for you? Let your mother meet your baby, but on your own time. Good luck!
I was not raised by my biological mother, either, so I can absolutely relate to your situation. Mine used to occasionally pop up in my late teens/20's and try to be maternal, but that has ended, fortunately. I see no reason to let my children have a relationship with someone simply because they are biologically related to me - especially someone for whom I have very little respect and who would definitely not be a healthy influence on my children. (Of course, not all my family members are particularly healthy influences, but at least those are people with whom I have an actual relationship.) It sounds (to me) like you don't particularly want your mother around, especially since she hasn't been around for your pregnancy. My advice is to be direct and firm and don't let feelings of social obligation or guilt or whatever hold you back from making your family life what you want it to be. Imagine if you didn't raise your daughter and then proceeded to treat her in the same ways your mom is treating you. Would you expect diplomacy or understanding or a part in her new family? I would not!
I know it's hard, though. Good luck!
Serene, happily married to my DH
Dahlia Bluebelle born 8/09, Pearl Whimsy born 12/11
If you want to live in peace, you'll have to find a way to make peace with your mother. If you're feeling that triggered by her request, it means there are so very hurt feelings under the surface. Resolving those feelings in your mom's presence probably won't ever happen.....it sounds like there is too much pain right now to do that. My suggestion would be to be very clear with yourself about what kind of relationship you want with your mother and just say it to her. If you don't want her to meet your baby right away, say so. If you don't want her to meet him/her ever, say so. We can't change the past nor can we change another person but you can change your reaction to them and find peace within yourself, regardless of their response. The key is to know what you want to happen and just say/do it. Hugs! Mother relationships can be so painful!
I have had these problems with MIL, she kind of thinks that she has a right to be with her grandchildren just because she is the grandma. I am just very clear about my boundaries and I don´t really care if she minds.
In the beginning I tried to be diplomatic, but they (my inlaws) just would not get it. Since they are intelligent people I do believe that they intentionally did not get it, because they can manipulate their son so well that they managed to get what they wanted quite a few times.
Than I changed my ways and just told them that they cannot come before a certain time after birth, and that they cannot stay longer than a given time, and no - they can´t come for christmas.
It is a long story, but I believe firmly that my first duty is to care for my family and keep them happy and balanced.
Good luck to you!
Trin with DH , DD(7) and DS(5) , DD(2) , , (due 5/14)
I am not regularly online at the moment due to the above ...
MamaTangerine, you got it right! There is so much social pressure from my family to have a relationship with my mother. They just don't get it. They might as well try to force a relationship between me and a stranger off the street. I have no particular feelings towards this woman who happened to give birth to me. That part is easy, any mammal can do that. Eight months inutero does not form a bond. That is bad mothering propaganda.
Kindermama, there are no feelings other than the fact that she, her character, the person she is, irks me. Just think how would most people feel if a complete stranger started telling them how to live their life. I'm not hurt because my "mother" was not there for me when I was growing up. I did not miss her presence. I had a mother, a very great one. She did not give birth to me, but she was there every time I was sick, or needed someone to talk to. She raised me, she was my Mom. She molded me into the woman I am now. And for that I will always thank and honor her.
Thank you all for your comments. As always, Mothering has proved a valuable resource.