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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all! I'm new to the forums. From what I've seen, this is the best place to tap into for advice on what I'm experiencing:


My husband and I are considering moving closer (e.g. to a new state) to my mother (the only grand we have left to help) to give our son (3 mos in Nov) a better support system as we're working, going back to school, etc.

My mother and I do not get along, however. And this raises the question of whether this is a good move, because:
I have decided to EBF my little one. No solids (YET). No formula. NO.

But every other phone conversation, she brings up a new formula to try. Literally EVERY other conversation. She's even called at 7am to recommend a new formula, as if I haven't already told her no and given research and named the doctor I spoke to about it. To pour oil onto the situation, she retorts with "IF YOU LOVE YOUR CHILD, YOU WILL GIVE HIM XYZ FORMULA" at which point I now say, "Oh. Let me call you back. I have to go." -- because, WHO says that to their daughter?

Anyway,

Even so, my mother seems to be the last resort for affordable & loving childcare as my husband and I work & save money to make a good living foundation for our little family. Rock and a hard place. Maybe I'm making a big deal out of it, but this is my child. My decisions.

I actually had a dream about drafting a binding legal contract with a $3,000 fine for every offense (e.g. giving my baby formula).

With the situation explained above--HELP!--any ideas on how to establish boundaries?

Should we even consider the move at this point, seeing as how I'm unsure if I can trust her to make our lives any easier (like, if I'd have to argue every parenting decision).

Also, I hope this is in the right forum!
 

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No, a thousand times no! Thank your deity of choice that you already live far away, and stay put. Formula is just one of a thousand parenting decisions in your future that she'll belittle/argue about/undermine behind your back.

Grandparents are great for kids, but only if they are non-toxic! Get involved in your neighborhood and larger community and find some chosen family. No amount of cheap babysitting is worth "If you love your child you'll buy brand X formula" at 7am; there are other ways to meet your financial goals for your growing family.

Edited to add~
Sorry to sound so dramatic, but yikes! I was furious on your behalf just reading your post. I do understand the childcare dilemma. My MIL sounds just like your Mom in that regard and while she would happily babysit for free, she's never been left alone with my children. The price is too high for us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Um.. based on what you posted.. NO. I would not move or give her unsupervised access to my child. Sounds like you already know this?
Aside from having to break down and tell my mother this, my husband is excited to move for the new opportunities. He has 6 sisters and adores his mother; he does not understand my position and generally hopes for the best.

There are other circumstances regarding why we'd move, like I'm the sole driver for now and am not sure if I'm ready to go back to work full-time and leave baby with anyone else. Not until he's at least a year.

No, a thousand times no! Thank your deity of choice that you already live far away, and stay put. Formula is just one of a thousand parenting decisions in your future that she'll belittle/argue about/undermine behind your back.

Grandparents are great for kids, but only if they are non-toxic! Get involved in your neighborhood and larger community and find some chosen family. No amount of cheap babysitting is worth "If you love your child you'll buy brand X formula" at 7am; there are other ways to meet your financial goals for your growing family.

Edited to add~
Sorry to sound so dramatic, but yikes! I was furious on your behalf just reading your post. I do understand the childcare dilemma. My MIL sounds just like your Mom in that regard and while she would happily babysit for free, she's never been left alone with my children. The price is too high for us.
Haha, I appreciate it. See what I wrote in the prev. quote. Rock & a hard place, I tell ya!
 

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I would not use your mother as childcare if I were you. I think you will regret it.

I had intended to return to work when my first child turned 6 months. I planned to have her cared for by my mother in law And my mother as they both live very close to us. Both of the grandmothers breastfed their children and are loving people but as I spent more and more time with my mother in law (to ease the transition of me returning to work) it became clear that she is very strong minded. She would never argue with me but she had her own ideas about what babies should eat and how they should be fed etc. That were very different from mine. I am very sure that she would have done whatever she wanted if I had left my daughter with her. I tried very hard to explain the things that were important and healthy for my daughter but it was like talking to a wall.
So in the long run we decided it would be best if I simply stay home and raise our children instead. It has been the best decision of my life. I know that being a stay at home mom is not possible or desirable for everyone but it has made our lives so much better. Wow did my priorities shift once I had children. We live a very simple life to afford living off only my husband's salary but I wouldn't change a thing.

Your mother seems very strong minded like my mil. Having her watch your daughter will likely cause you a lot of stress. I hope that whatever decision you make your family is happy.
 

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I'll echo the others, not a good idea! If she can not respect your parenting decisions now then she is certainly not going to respect them when she is left alone with your child. And there is no way you can make her. No legal document is going to be able to actually enforce that. "Free" child care comes with a massive amount of strings attached. I'm not saying that is right but usually that is the way it works. When you pay someone, like a nanny, there is a different relationship involved and they are more likely to listen to your requests because you are the one paying them.
 

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No! Dont move specifically so you can be near her, and don't use her as anything but major emergency childcare. If you're sitting in the hospital with a child who needs a kidney transplant, whether she feeds the baby formula will be the least of your worries. For situations short of that, you will be very unhappy with the care she provides.

I understand wanting to be near family, but I think you'd be better off looking into places near one of your husband's sisters, maybe? They won't provide free child care, but sharing car-pooling, weekends and after-school care can still be a lifesaver.

(Also - childcare is never free. Either it costs money, or it has huge emotional costs. Sometimes both.)
 

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I guess I feel that when you leave your child you can never fully control what happens while they aren't with you and therefore you have to let go of some things. To me the worse situation would be my child getting neglected and left to cry if I left her at a childcare facility or with someone I don't know and therefore I would much prefer to leave her with my mother as I know she is really loved even if my mother sometimes lets her do things I would not allow at home such as watch tv or skip naps, I still think that is better than being ignored. I would be curious to know why your mother is so pro formulae especially when there is a lot of research about how wonderful breast milk is. What does your gut feeling say to you about the care she will provide your child? Is the feeling that this is just one is many issues you will be arguing about? While it is wonderful to have a support system you don't want it to end up costing you and your child your relationship with your mother. Maybe it would be better if you did move that you use your mother as a baby sitter for short periods of time and have an alternative child care provider if you feel more comfortable with that? I have left my child once with my MIL and she was screaming when I came to pick her up and my MIL was all stressed out as she could not soothe her so I decided then she was not cut out for any extended baby sitting and instead she only has short stints of watching my baby when I really have no other options as I while I still want my child to have a relationship with her grandmother my level of comfort with leaving my baby with her is not very high while my child is still a baby.
 

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I don't think moving to your mom would be a good choice..Unless she has a specific reason for recommending formula, she seems to have pretty strong opinions on raising your child.
Why is she favoring formula so much?
 

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I think the economic realties of your situation have to drive the choice. What's the use of say, going into major debt, or having your car repossessed, in the name of avoiding a tough situation with your family? the cheaper the daycare, the more likely they will be a hassle to work with too... Only you know if it's really that serious as to require you work with your mom in order to make financial sense for your family. Not everyone understands real financial distress, but I do! So I hear you!

Having said that, I think you need to really dig deep into what is causing this obsession with formula, and also ask yourself if there are other weird issues your mom has. Is this is just one in a whole mountain of trouble? Or was this no big deal until you freaked her out by treating formula as poison, and now she feels she has to justify why she fed it to you so as to not feel guilty? Maybe she doesn't understand pumping?

Can you get through to her if you really make it clear? You NEED to take control and lay down the law on some issues. I cringe thinking she might toss away pumped breastmilk or something. A contract with fines is probably a good way to ruing your relationship (i know! it was just a dream!) but you do need to stress to her some things are non-negotiable, and see how she responds.

She might be hurt at first, since she will feel her own parenting choices are being judged, and that is totally normal. She'll probably say "you turned out ok, and I fed you X and X formula!" and it won't be helpful to bring up your bad grades in high school at this point (or whatever). Reassure her she was a good mom (you do love her right? :) ) but that you are also a good mom, and are now the one calling the shots.

My cousin is in a similar position, where she really doesn't have much choice because she and her husband are cops, and there's no reasonable childcare out there with such a schedule. Her mom, who watches their toddler, is sort of nuts-- very OCD about different wipes for tush vs. nose (like different brands) and has weird ideas about all kinds of stuff, like what foods she feeds and whatever. But she LOVES that baby, and she is now almost 2 and very happy and well adjusted. Yeah, her grandma is neurotic, YES, there are parenting disagreements and compromises made on all sides, but we love and accept our crazy auntie despite her flaws, and I fully believe that as long as there is LOVE LOVE LOVE in the house, everything else will be OK.
 
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I would not move. Your entire time will be spent with her wanting to watch baby and doing her own thing and if she is so pro formula there may be battle about premade baby food and many more as baby ages. If she can not respect your wish to drop formula then I doubt she will be easier on much else down road

Does she even know the cost of formula when you have "free" on tap???

Personally I would tell her at next call if she mentions it in any way you will end the call on the spot. And continue to hang up on her and not take calls rest of day until she stops. There is no reason for that and personally as a very pro BF unless I can not produce milk FTM I would be very angry that she keeps swinging it to that.
 

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I really must agree with everyone and say don't move. You are the parent and it just does not sound like she respects you as a parent at all. Have you looked into hiring a stay at home mother? I know many moms in my area looking to nanny and only charge a small amount. But from the sounds of things, it doesn't sound like a good idea to move for your mother. Good luck.
 

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I agree with the other posters that it's a bit risky. It kind of depends on whether she's only fixated on formula, or is formula just the tip of the iceberg and she would try to control a ton of other things.

If it's just formula she's fixated on then it's no problem as you said you won't leave your baby alone till 1 year, and by that age I believe even FF stop giving their children formula.

If the formula obsession is just the tip of the iceberg then you're going to have a stressful time of it probably.

However you mentioned your in laws live there too so maybe you could get help from them as another poster mentioned. In that case it might be worth it.
 
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