Others' comments about my baby care--rant - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 16 Old 10-11-2007, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sort of a spin-off on my thread about other people interfering when my baby is crying (he hates it).

I've noticed a lot of folks from the older (now grandparent) generation, especially men, who like to assume your baby is uncomfortable or sick when they are not, and then question your judgment with what you are doing. Especially my dad and FIL (62 y/o) will do this, but it's not just a commentary on relatives but people in general.

Example--our lactation consultant told us to nurse DS naked (diaper only) to keep him awake and skin-to-skin. One time he was having an especially rough feeding time while learning to latch, so I walked around with him naked (me covered) to try to calm him and myself down. It was 88 degrees out and the A/C not on, but FIL saw me and said, "Well of course he's crying--he's catching a cold. Get some clothes and a blanket on that kid. You're making him cry. I don't like this crying." (Actually he was burning up from the heat and loved being naked--he was screaming because he'd choked down some air bubbles and was mad. He later settled down and finished nursing--naked.).

DS also got a stretch-and-yawn habit from his dad where he will start stretching and doing a little squeak when he is super-comfortable and ready to sleep. Does it during the end of feeding, while doing a good poop, or while falling asleep. I know he's comfortable because he never cries when he does it, and he always sleeps like an angel afterward unless he's passing gas.

But I get comments from older folks (and FIL) about how terrible the stretch sounds, how uncomfortable he must be in his bouncer, or the way I'm holding him, or how he must not like the TV/our talking/whatever, because he's "hurting." Sometimes FIL will pick him up or reposition him on his back because he thinks the stretching is "painful." Thanks a lot--the repositioning him wakes him and makes him cry, and I'm the one who gets to handle the crying.

Then there are those who try to interpret the crying, and wrongly--especially men. i know a hungry cry when I see it, esp with rooting, but some folks will say, "I think he has gas, and it's from the "X" you ate. Stop eating "X." or "I think he's upset by the thunderstorm. Don't take him downstairs during a thunderstorm." I'll say, "Uh no, he's just hungry and hasn't eaten since 2 hours ago, so he wants to eat." Then they argue with that!!!

And my dad is big on "He sneezed--call his doctor." Every pain or stress needs a doctor--gosh, my ped would love me if I called every time he cried. And it sounds like he thinks I'm letting my son get sick and that I wouldn't know when to call a doctor, so it's offensive.

FIL's and dad's behavior especially pisses me off because they were NOT that involved with their own kids 30+ years ago. They considered it "women's work" and MIL and mom did most of the child care. So now all of a sudden they are doctors and experts on baby care?? And FIL has a huge hangup on babies crying and will say, "He's crying and I hate crying. Make him stop," but then won't let me do what I need to to stop it!! But comments from other relatives or folks in public about DS's crying, positioning, etc are in general annoying and it feels like they are questioning my judgment as a mother. I have the closest bond with my baby and know how to calm him, and I don't need comments esp from older men who never did any baby care at any point and left it all to their wives.

I am NOT letting my son cry or torturing him, and it's insulting to be made to feel that way. What do they expect? My LO to say, "May I have some more milk please??" Babies are not to be seen and not heard--THEY FUSS so deal with it and let me handle the fussing as I see fit!!!

MIL is also doing a great job helping me, and I think she's saved our nursing relationship and my sanity by doing so because it's been such a rough road, but her husband keeps questioning her judgment too--telling her she's handling the baby wrong or that he needs to lie flat and be left alone, or that he cries too much, and that's way out of line IMHO.

Anyone else?
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#2 of 16 Old 10-11-2007, 02:00 PM
 
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ok, maybe i'm a smart a$$, but i'd say, "he grew in me for nine months, came out of my vagina- i've spent A LOT of time with him, therefore i think i'm the best judge of whether or not he's ______" (comfortable, hungry, tired, etc.). or say in a sarcastic tone "wow, you must have really good women's intuition"

i just can't put up with comments like that from those who aren't equipped with the parts to give birth. i'm a bi#$% like that...
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#3 of 16 Old 10-11-2007, 02:14 PM
 
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I understand hun. It so horrible isnt it - it makes you just want to turn the air blue!!
When dd was 3 weeks old, and you know when they are that young, sometimes in thier seat thier little head hangs over to the side if it escapes the snuggly for a second? well we were in the store and the cashier said 'oh look at her - you shouldnt let her head go over like that' I completely ignored her as I was afraid if I opened my mouth...well lets just say blue air again!
I mean what did the woman want to see? DD in a neck brace? It really made my blood boil.
And my DH's uncle (yeah what is it with old men?) said to me - get this.... that I kiss the baby too much!!! :
Can you believe that? I laughed right in his face. If this is the kind of advice they wish to dispense, they can keep it.
You sound like a wonderful Mother who knows whats best for her son, you're the one with him 24/7 and know all his little ways.
Everyone will dish advice, from FIL to mailman, to old lady in the park, to your best friend..it goes on and on.
best to just let it filter out and carry on doing what you know is best for your little man. HUGS
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#4 of 16 Old 10-11-2007, 02:30 PM
 
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Hi and Hugs!

I agree w/the pps but also wanted to add that it gets easier! I remember everyone giving me advice w/my 1st child. Some good, some bad. I was very unsure and insecure as a first time mom and spent most of the time trying to keep everyone happy. I was in my early 30's. W/my third and last child I was close to 40, much more sure of my parenting decisions and much more able to stick to my own "guns". YOU know your baby. You know when he is happy and comfortable. Be open minded...some advice might be worth listening to....but that's your choice. It really gets easier as you grow into motherhood and realize that you are doing a GREAT job !

mum to 3, 8 yo dd: 6yo ds and 4yo dd
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#5 of 16 Old 10-11-2007, 04:14 PM
 
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Oh yes, I know how you feel. It has definitely gotten easier, but for a bit there I thought I was surely going to have a breakdown and start screaming at someone, most likely my mother-in-law. She would pick at every. little. thing. when it came to my son.
He is too hot/cold. I'm breaking his arm/neck/whatever else. He looks uncomfortable in that carrier/lying like that/sitting there/in those pants. He is probably thirsty. You should give him some water (my in-laws have been trying to give him water since he was born). And let's not even talk about when she discovered we were co-sleeping!
Breastfeeding was the biggest issue because she was definitely all for it and had an easy time with it (good for her) and thought I was doing something wrong because my son had a hard time latching on. She was also sure that every time I forgot my nipple shield when going over to their house it was a sign from God that my son could now nurse without that thing. Or maybe it was a good excuse to go home early? Oops!
Okay, now I am rambling. I guess I am still bothered by it, though it is a lot easier now.
Hopefully it will become easier for you too. I think my attitude changed a little as he got older since I no longer felt so stressed and miserable and their (her) attitude changed since they saw he was growing as a healthy and happy baby (though they are still on my butt about co-sleeping, haha). Good luck!
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#6 of 16 Old 10-11-2007, 08:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by babylove2007 View Post
And FIL has a huge hangup on babies crying and will say, "He's crying and I hate crying. Make him stop,"
THEN GO AWAY. Babies cry sometimes, they just do. Great thing about being a grandparent is you DON'T have to deal with that. But you don't get to b-tch about babies' inherent nature. That's just ridiculous.

jillian+1 loves Miss MoJo (July 2007) and misses Henri (May 1970 - August 2009)
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#7 of 16 Old 10-11-2007, 08:29 PM
 
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Since your DH and FIL are such *experts* in the field of babies and all things Woman...then why not give THEM some suggestions about "Man" things? Like stuff about their anatomy, or their prostate, or other 'guy' things? Then if they say anything, tell them "Well since you are such an expert on babies, I figure I was an expert on your (insert anatomy part here).

Circ doesn't work! Stop the violence of circumcison. Had another UP/UC/HB in August!
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#8 of 16 Old 10-11-2007, 08:35 PM
 
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This is my theory on the older male generation. They didn't have much say with their kids and now that it is more acceptable for men to be part of child rearing AND they've 'done it before', they see this as their chance to be more involved. (that is my theory, I have NO way of knowing its validity)
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#9 of 16 Old 10-11-2007, 09:02 PM
 
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i would smile, give a little laugh and say, "well, that's one way of looking at it/doing it." persist in doing it your own way, and if they persist, say, "well, when it's your baby, you can do it your way."

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#10 of 16 Old 10-12-2007, 12:22 AM
 
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Yeah, I got a ton of that when my dd was under 4 months and fussy. People were always claiming she had gas (she didn't), refusing to believe she was tired (she was), insisting she was hungry (she wasn't), etc, etc, etc.

It was hard on me as a first time mom and single parent. I think I just got more emphatic about what I needed to do for her (swaddle her, leave the party, put her to bed, decrease the noise in the room, etc.).

Once she wasn't as fussy, I noticed people's second guessing about what she needed in the moment decreased. I think people truly are distressed by the crying but just don't know your baby (or babies at all).

It was hard. My advice; Take it with a grain of salt. Get rude a couple times, if that what it takes. Trust yourself and go with what you believe to be true.
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#11 of 16 Old 10-12-2007, 12:59 AM
 
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Are you a first time mom? People have this chronic problem of assuming FTM's are totally clueless and giving them unsolicited advice. Granted you are a new mom but people will give you NO credit. After awhile I just nodded and tried to change the subject. Interestingly enough I still have a lot of struggles and questions with DS but no one bosses me around with my second kid.
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#12 of 16 Old 10-12-2007, 04:51 AM
 
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I am a FTM and get this crap CONSTANTLY, to the point where I dread family gatherings because I don't want to listen to all of the ridiculous "advice" and worse, the judgement.

Thanksgiving (Canadian Thanksgiving) went by without much commentary because I handed DS to DH and went into a different room so I didn't have to hear the BS. DH can handle it way better than I can. I guess he takes it less personally and gets less angry. He is also able to convey his intentions and our intentions as parents without making anyone angry, whereas when I do it, I tend to get angry. I also feel that as a WOMAN, I am being judged way more than he is. The fact he's even HOLDING DS and not playing video games or drinking with the other guys makes him saintly to some of the older women.
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#13 of 16 Old 10-12-2007, 04:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tammyswanson View Post
Since your DH and FIL are such *experts* in the field of babies and all things Woman...then why not give THEM some suggestions about "Man" things? Like stuff about their anatomy, or their prostate, or other 'guy' things? Then if they say anything, tell them "Well since you are such an expert on babies, I figure I was an expert on your (insert anatomy part here).
Hehe, that's funny.

This reminds me of something I was brooding about in my head. MIL has been bugging me about the tags in DS's clothes. Now that she is over his "he's so cold!" kick, she has moved onto the important safety precautions to be taken with clothing tags. The first time she commented, I told her (nicely) that she was welcome to cut out DS's tag, but she didn't take the hint. Her last comment was, "MilkTrance, I HATE these clothing tags! You MUST pick out these tags!"

I actually find that very rude. I was tempted to say to her, "MIL, you MUST clean that floor! I hate the dirt!"

Seriously, why are people so rude?
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#14 of 16 Old 10-12-2007, 12:20 PM
 
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When I was feeling very vulnerable leaving the hospital w/DD, a very kind RN noticed I was upset after the #$%$#@ ped left (who had told me bad advice which I thank goddess knew to ignore but still upset me). She said, "first time parents? everyone wants to be the boss of you."

I get a warm fuzzy each time I think about it. It helped get me through the OTHER bad advice I got from others.

Crunchy mama to my beans (11/06 and 6/04): and with DH since '02. Expected a May flower and got a June bug!
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#15 of 16 Old 10-12-2007, 07:23 PM
 
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Hehe, that's funny.

This reminds me of something I was brooding about in my head. MIL has been bugging me about the tags in DS's clothes. Now that she is over his "he's so cold!" kick, she has moved onto the important safety precautions to be taken with clothing tags. The first time she commented, I told her (nicely) that she was welcome to cut out DS's tag, but she didn't take the hint. Her last comment was, "MilkTrance, I HATE these clothing tags! You MUST pick out these tags!"

I actually find that very rude. I was tempted to say to her, "MIL, you MUST clean that floor! I hate the dirt!"

Seriously, why are people so rude?
I think some people think they know it all, or just want to 'be the boss'. What a nutjob! You should tell her that your DS LIKES the tags, say that he likes the way they feel on him. Or tell her that the aliens specifically advised you to leave the tags on him for space travel.

Circ doesn't work! Stop the violence of circumcison. Had another UP/UC/HB in August!
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#16 of 16 Old 10-12-2007, 10:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MsLondon View Post
I understand hun. It so horrible isnt it - it makes you just want to turn the air blue!!
When dd was 3 weeks old, and you know when they are that young, sometimes in thier seat thier little head hangs over to the side if it escapes the snuggly for a second? well we were in the store and the cashier said 'oh look at her - you shouldnt let her head go over like that' I completely ignored her as I was afraid if I opened my mouth...well lets just say blue air again!
I mean what did the woman want to see? DD in a neck brace? It really made my blood boil.
Yep, I get that comment about DS's head too, in the car. Also with the baby carrier because he doesn't support his head yet so they assume it hurts him.

Quote:
Since your DH and FIL are such *experts* in the field of babies and all things Woman...then why not give THEM some suggestions about "Man" things? Like stuff about their anatomy, or their prostate, or other 'guy' things? Then if they say anything, tell them "Well since you are such an expert on babies, I figure I was an expert on your (insert anatomy part here).
Hehe, not my DH--my dad. DH is a bit clueless too but that's just because he's a first time parent. As far as knowledge about babies though, he almost knows more than me. :

But yes, it's amazing how they think they are experts on things they never really participated in before.

What I love is when FIL says, "You're making him cry." Yes right, I made him hungry, wet, whatever. I find that so rude because why would I "make" a little baby cry? It's how they communicate their needs, not because I am abusing or mistreating him!! :
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