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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
No, not labour. My mother. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br><br>
She's been great this pregnancy, really. I mean, yesterday she came over for about eight hours and helped me sew stuff for the baby's room! She's given me hand-me-downs and advice... all good stuff. My only concern was that she'd want to be... how can I put this delicately?... <i>too</i> involved. You know. But to my surprise, she said (before I had to lay down the law!) that she didn't even want to be at the birth, because she wouldn't like seeing me in pain. Whew, I thought, bullet dodged.<br><br>
Well, last night out of the blue, as we were sewing, she said 'Now listen, I don't want to butt in or anything, but you just tell your midwives that if they can't get hold of a third midwife and they need an extra pair of hands, they should call me'. I said 'Um, Mum, they're not even sure they want a third midwife there; they'd only call her if it was an emergency. We'll be fine. Besides, you're not a registered midwife any more... DH can take care of things if they need an extra pair of hands'. She pooh-poohed the idea of DH doing anything useful (why does everyone do this? I don't think he'd fall apart in a crisis, if he had to dial 111 or help lift me out of the pool or something--he's a grown man with a good head on his shoulders!), and kept repeating 'Just let them know'.<br><br>
D'you think this is the beginning of a change of heart, wherein she decides she wants to be at the birth after all? Because as dearly as I love my mother, I do not want her at my birth. And she knows that! I'm just a little scared it's going to get worse from here on in... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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I don't know.... it could be she's just feeling antsy about it all now that things are close. It could be she's changing her mind. Just keep your clearly defined boundaries! Maybe giving her a specific job for after birth would direct her energies somewhere more desirable? I asked my MIL to be our post-partum support person: come make us dinner, watch ds so we can rest, etc. It seems to have helped her have a clearer picture of how things would work. (Now I have to make sure she understands that it will not be <i>her</i> babymooning time with the newest gran! But honest to goodness work while I honest to goodness rest!)<br><br>
I hope it works out for you.
 

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I don't know if it's a change of heart, but I would suggest next time she says, "Just mention it. . ." reply with "Thanks Mom, I'll be sure to do that." Then, obviously don't call if you don't want her there. Or if you do call, let her know that everything is under control.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Smokering</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10691378"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">DH can take care of things if they need an extra pair of hands'. She pooh-poohed the idea of DH doing anything useful (why does everyone do this? I don't think he'd fall apart in a crisis, if he had to dial 111 or help lift me out of the pool or something--he's a grown man with a good head on his shoulders!), and kept repeating 'Just let them know'.</div>
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Not really the point of your post, but people do this about my DH all the time too. Drives me nuts. My DH is a very laid back guy. In public he's fun and a bit of a clown. He's also a bit. . .eccentric about some stuff. Lots of people joke about me having a kid already (meaning DH)<br><br>
Yes, he's a goof. Yes he can always make me laugh. Yea he's a bit off kilter sometimes and yes, he plays video games. He's also a grown man, fully capable of being a wonderful husband and father and supporting me in whatever way I need. I wish people could see that. The lack a respect bothers me sometimes, even if it's not meant to be malicious.
 

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Trying to see it from her perspective, it SOUNDS (and I could be wrong) like she really just wants to be available if you need help...she's your mama & wants to save you! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> She seemed to make it pretty clear she wouldn't attend (YAY, I'd never want my mom there...just a preference...) so I think, from how I read it, she is being genuine with just offering to help should the need arise. I'd just say "thanks!" and not call! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
That's my assessment anyhow...<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
MonP'titBoudain: Yes, Mum's offered to come over and help after the baby's born. Actually, 'offered' isn't quite the word. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> She lives very close--ten minutes away--which is a Good Thing in the sense that she won't be staying over nights or anything, but sort of a bad thing in that she will probably want to 'pop over' two or three times a day. And again, I don't want to be ungrateful, but I'm not entirely sure what she's planning to do. The midwives will be visiting every day for the first week at least, and DH has two weeks off work. He's more than capable of heating up the many frozen meals I've put in the freezer, doing loads of laundry, and whatever other housework we deem necessary for the duration of his absence! Not to mention that my mother HATES housework and cooking...<br><br>
I dunno; I guess I'm just a little worried that she's going to take over the 'mother' role and make me feel like a child again, at a time when DH and I are supposed to be starting out on our own journey as new parents. You know? We're comparatively young (I'm 21, he's 24) and I've always been fairly close to my mother, who is indeed much more savvy than I am in many areas, as you'd expect. She's helped me with learning to sew, lent me equipment for painting the house, and she's always sending me helpful email links she thinks I'd be interested in, and so on. Which is great, you know, but it does feel sometimes like she hasn't accepted that I've grown up. Despite being happily married, having worked my way through a degree, having a small but fun home business and so on. It's hard to shake the feeling that deep down, she thinks I must be incompetent. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br><br>
So I guess I'm looking at this whole baby thing as my time to be the mother, and Mum's looking at it as a time to 'help little Smokering out'--you know? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> Plus, despite early assurances during my pregnancy that she was going to be a wonderful grandmother and never interfere (seriously, she made sure to tell me this every week!), I think the cracks are starting to show. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> She knows we're not giving out our chosen baby names, but she was asking the other day how many letters they had, for some craft project she wanted to make for the baby. She's already become convinced that I'm going to let the baby become too cold (??)--I think because when we went through the hand-me down clothes I rejected some of the bonnets. (I don't like bonnets... it doesn't mean I'm gonna leave the baby's ears to flap in a hurricane!). So she keeps making comments about not forgetting to put singlets on the baby, wrapping it up in a bunny rug, etc. And when I mentioned the concept of a babymoon to her, she said 'Well, that's just silly' and for the next few days, kept panicking and saying plaintively 'You are going to let me SEE the baby after it's born, aren't you?' (Well of course, although not ten minutes after... I haven't told her a specific time, because I don't know when the baby will be born, or how much time I'll want alone with it. I don't want to get pinned down).<br><br>
Gah, what a rant! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> Sorry. I really shouldn't be complaining--I know so many mothers on MDC who have HUGE grandparent issues, and my mother's great, really. She just has that usual mother-capacity to get on my nerves, and it's wearing me a tad thin right now. And she's been so helpful I don't want to seem churlish and ungrateful by refusing her anything--but neither do I want her taking over my baby! So there may be some tricky lines to walk over the next few months.<br><br>
KristyDi: Your DH sounds like a sweetie. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Yeah, I do wish people gave my husband a bit more credit sometimes. I don't know if it's about him so much; I think it's more a combo of the American sitcom 'clueless Dad' mentality, and the rather cloying (IMHO) 'birth is all about Women' thing a lot of women have going on. For me, our baby's birth isn't some sacred feminine rite, invoking the mysterious womanly wisdom of the ages, and attended by fluttering females. I'm not that sort of person! Our baby is OUR baby--mine and DH's--and he knows the baby as well as any midwife, female friend or mother I possess. You know? I hate to see him sidelined or made to feel irrelevant--I want the baby's birth to be about <i>our</i> little family, not a bunch of women and the husband. Anyone else share my peeve on this issue? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
rmzbm: You're probably right. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> Maybe my suspicions are going into overdrive... I just can't shake this feeling that if I were to ring to tell her I was in labour (or if she suspected I was, like if I didn't answer the phone), she might just turn up on an 'errand' and kinda... hang about... to get a little piece of the action. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> But if it should come to that, I'm sure I can enlist DH as a moderately tactful bouncer. Right?
 

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She doesn't have a key right?<br><br>
My mother thankfully lives 7 hrs away but she has called my inlaws to tell them that she gets to come first this time because I'm birthing the grandchild instead of my wife like last time.<br><br>
Mothers can be like that. I told Mom she was not welcome until after a full week had gone by.<br><br>
It's a good idea not to call her to let her know you're in labour. Lock your door once the midwives are there and put a note on the door to please NOT ring the bell or knock.<br><br>
You don't have to have her at your birth. Hold firm to what you want. I'm sure a simple 'thanks for the offer Mom' and then not telling the midwives to call will suffice.<br><br>
It sounds to me like she WANTS to respect your wishes but also wants to be there and is conflicted. I think it's probably a good thing that she is trying...<br><br>
Maybe you can work out a code for the door with her (like if there's a ribbon tied to the door knob we're all napping with the baby Mom, come back later.) and then use the signal when you want time as a family. You can also post a list of things that you would find useful for her to do on the fridge and tell her that if she's there she needs to help out by doing one of those things.<br><br>
And your husband won't be useless. I was NOT useless during my daughter's birth. I have never understood why people think partners will be useless during births...
 

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Sheesh, if I could get my mom to heat up a bowl of soup for us I would be thrilled, but boundaries are so important and now is a great time for her to begin to understand and respect that.<br><br>
I do however think you have a somewhat unique situation given that your mom was a midwife at some point (at least that's what I think I'm reading in your post). This is likely something she worked hard at, was very skilled at and is proud of and here is a perfect situation where she could use her skills to benefit her daughter and she is not being asked to do so. Not that I am saying she should get to be there because she is capable, just trying to explain some of what you may be seeing/hearing.<br><br>
You need to have whoever there at whatever time that makes you most comfortable - period. As a pp suggested, I think she's likely very conflicted right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah, she was a midwife (20 years ago, but still). I do get how it'd make sense for her to be at the birth, from a pragmatic point of view--and a lot of people have assumed that she would be, just because of her midwifery experience. It's just that, having had both of us on the same page about her not being there, it's a bit worrying to think <i>she</i> might be changing her mind, when <i>I'm</i> not!<br><br>
Jes'sBeth: No, she doesn't have a key. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Thanks for the reminder to keep the door locked, though; I tend to leave it unlocked, and she's been known to just wander on in.<br><br>
FTR, I did respond as you all suggested. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I basically said 'Sure, I'll let them know', without getting into the issue of whether or not I'd actually let them call her even if they <i>did</i> want her there! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> I'm not really sure why they would, though. Wouldn't it be a legal liability or something to have her there in midwife capacity, when she's unregistered and hasn't been practicing for decades? And if they 'needed' someone in an emergency, wouldn't they call an actual midwife from their own practice, or transfer me to the hospital or something? I don't quite get what Mum's thinking... oh well!
 

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Any way you could just not let her know when your in labor? It sounds like you'd be happier that way by your posting, I apologize if I am misreading. I dont think there'd be a thing wrong with calling her up after and telling her you just had a fast birth! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> Whatever makes you feel more at ease...and, again, I'm reading it as someone who wouldn't want her own mom there so I hope I'm not putting too much of my own feelings into it...
 

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I think you've definitely got some fine lines to walk for the next few weeks/month. To a degree, I think this is true for every daughter becoming a mother. I also have a very close relationship with my mom and she also lives near us. I was your age when I got married and I had to work very hard with both families to establish clear ground rules as far as expectations and boundaries go. It helped our transition into parenthood, too. BUT, we still had some weirdness. I think a lot of the AP stuff was hard for my mom. She worried constantly that I was spoiling ds, etc. It was hard because even though she never <i>said</i> anything to undermine our parenting decisions it was obvious she was anxious about it and even disapproving.<br><br>
Just stick to your guns and be sure to enlist your dh's support. And if it comes down to it, a gentle conversation with your mom is totally in order. It sounds like you all have the kind of relationship where you can say something like, "I'm wondering what your expectations of our post-partum period are? Do you see yourself coming over every day or every few days?" etc. And go from there. In my experience, sometimes just talking about the stuff will help reinforce boundaries.<br><br>
Someone earlier had a good suggestion to work out a door-code for when it's ok to come in and when she just needs to leave you in peace. Maybe just suggesting something like that will alert her to the fact that <i>your</i> expectations of the newborn time do not include an excess of grandma time. I also like the idea of having a list of things that could be done around the house or for you. And when anyone asks you what they can do to be helpful, hand them the list. These sorts of actions gently reinforce that this is your house and your babymoon time. It doesn't have to be a big confrontation sort of thing, just look for little moments to establish and reinforce that this is your house & family. I've found that goes a long way towards maintaining a healthy boundary.<br><br>
Oh and as far as worrying that she'll barge in on the birth, maybe tell dh & your mw that no one else is welcome. And you mean <b>no one!</b> And lock the door and turn off the phone! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> Good luck. I think you are well on your way to creating a good grandma relationship with your mom!<br><br>
wow, that ended up long! sorry <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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I think she is planning to come in any open window. She was a midwife and is your mama!Of any birth, she would want to see this!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> No matter what she <i>says</i><br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> But seriously, watch the windows...watch the windows....
 

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I think that she actually wants to be at your birth and is hoping that you'll invite her to come.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Smokering</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10693372"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">KristyDi: Your DH sounds like a sweetie. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Yeah, I do wish people gave my husband a bit more credit sometimes. I don't know if it's about him so much; I think it's more a combo of the American sitcom 'clueless Dad' mentality, and the rather cloying (IMHO) 'birth is all about Women' thing a lot of women have going on. For me, our baby's birth isn't some sacred feminine rite, invoking the mysterious womanly wisdom of the ages, and attended by fluttering females. I'm not that sort of person! Our baby is OUR baby--mine and DH's--and he knows the baby as well as any midwife, female friend or mother I possess. You know? I hate to see him sidelined or made to feel irrelevant--I want the baby's birth to be about <i>our</i> little family, not a bunch of women and the husband. <b>Anyone else share my peeve on this issue? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></b></div>
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I wouldn't go so far as to call it a pet peeve, but I totally hear you. This baby is a combination of DH and I that makes him more vital than any woman in my life. Though I value the wisdom and experience of the women I love this is mainly an event in mine and DH's lives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, I obediently told my midwife what my mother said about being 'willing to help out'. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> She laughed and agreed with me that if they needed someone else on hand, they'd call in an official , registered medical person. So that's a relief. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> She does seem to think it's kind of odd I don't want my mother there for the birth, though. <i>She</i> wanted hers there for her births, and she made some comment today which implied Mum would be visiting within an hour or two of the baby's birth, at least. (Which she ain't! Possibly the same day, if I have the baby early on; but if it's an evening/night or even afternoon birth, I strongly doubt I'll be up to it until the next day!).<br><br>
In other news, Mum hasn't been too bad since I last posted, although she did ring up for no reason yesterday and pause suggestively in a 'Have I interrupted labour?' kind of way which I found rather hilarious. And she made a reference to 'How's our baby doing?', which I let slide... this once... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">
 
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