Congrats on your pregnancy hun.... It sounds like you really have your head screwed on right, and you will make a fantastic mum.
About your husbands family... Is there any way you could talk to him about it..? What does he think about all of their "advice.."....??
I know this sounds horrible, and sooo hard to do, but you really need to stand up for yourself. If you do it while you're still pregnant you can blame it on hormones.. :P
No but seriously... If you let this continue, they will always think they can control you and tell you how to raise your child. THEY ARE NOT YOUR CHILDS PARENTS!!!!! You and your husband are the parents...!!!
The next time they come with some condescending "advice" I would just say something like - LOOK, I am going to be a fantastic mum, and if I want anymore of your ridiculous advice, I will ask for it!!! But until then, ENOUGH!!!!"
You can do it, I am quiet a shy person, but I did it to my MIL who was pretty much saying I need to get my DD watching these "your baby can read" DVD's for 2 hours a day.... She's only 10 weeks old..! I'm not ever going to just sit her in front of the tv for 2 hours a day!!!!! I pretty much told her Leila is my daughter, and I will manage her education when and how I want......
Good luck for the next few weeks... I can feel that your family in laws are going to be a bit of a handful. HUGE massive big squishy hugs. xo
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18-05-2012 07:32 #11
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18-05-2012 07:38 #12
I think lululu has given some good tips. I wouldn't rely on hubby because it's not really at the stage where he needs to outright defend you. Just be ready to defend yourself and try to be confident in the face of their criticism. You sound like you've got your head screwed on right but in those first few months people like that can break you down no matter how confident you are. I would meet their advice with close ended type sentences like "Thanks for the tips, *change subject*" or "that's really good advice, thanks, but hubby and I have decided to do it this way".
E.g. They may say "you're not breastfeeding right, baby is hungry" (very hurtful thing relatives often say!) and you could perhaps say casually "oh I've seen the GP about it, he's gaining weight, hubby and I are happy with how things are going" and change the subject. I wouldn't dwell on it or let them see how their comments get to you. Even if you don't feel confident, act that way hahaha.
Just keep shutting them down, if you stand up for yourself enough they should eventually stop. Good luck!!
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18-05-2012 10:32 #13
First off, thank you everyone for their amazing advice, I know from now on I will HAVE to be more assertive and somewhat rude to them when they give me their "much needed advice" as I really don't know how I'm gonna handle it once bubbas born, I've heard from a few people that once they're here, you become this whole new person and just outright, a crazy dragon lady because you won't let anyone stop you from doing the best you can for that child .. if I'm making sense? Haha
Me and DH .. I'm hoping that means husband haha, live up in the pilbara and for the last 2 months of this pregnancy, i've been down here, alone, in Perth to live with his aunty as they thought it was best for me to give birth here, in case anything were to happen.. I'm pretty sure the pilbara has capable hospitals, but oh well :/
My DH has grown up with these people, so to him, their 'advice' seems normal. I don't really tell him everything they tell me, just to not stress him out but when I eventually do it's over a crying fit .. Now that's when he goes mental! He's the type to never really disagree with his elders, or go off at them but when he sees me cry, he does stand up for me. Buuuuuuuut, when he does tell them off, it always ends up with a "He never used to be like this before he met you" kind of thing. So either way, its a lose-lose kinda situation. I have tried a couple of times to be like "oh, I don't think I'm gonna do that as we've already got something else planned for the baby", always to get a response of :O :O NO WAY ARE YOU DOING THAT TO MY GRANDCHILD! Oh because to all of his aunties, this kid will all be their grandchild .. But I guess Ill have to keep on pushing until I somehow get through to them that I'll know what's best for my child. Or just nod and agree with what they say, just to hush em up.
I have amazing in-laws, they're supportive and let us do our own thing because they know that, being a parent is a learning process and that even though were young, well manage I just didn't expect that when I married hubby, I'd marry his WHOLE family .. "my big fat Greek wedding", a movie that is almost spot on how his family's like, except for the being Greek part haha
Oh and thanks for congratulating me on this pregnancy, me and hubbs are so sooo excited! Other than his family, this pregnancy has been amazing, now were just gonna have to wait a couple more weeks to see if it's a boy or a girl
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18-05-2012 10:42 #14
I agree with the PPs.
You and your DH really need to be more assertive after all, it's your child, not theirs.
I've had the same issues with my DFs parents, they are very old school and outdated. To the point where I dont like leaving Cohen there for too long. DF is very soft.. When I need him to be assertive. He has been getting better and I've learned to just say no too.
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18-05-2012 10:55 #15
Wow - I can't believe you are 19!! At 19 I wasn't nearly as mature or down to earth as you, sounds like you are going to be a great Mum!!
I think once you are back with your hubby things will be much easier. My family is like his - pushy & meddling - but my parents aren't, so it seems we're in a similar situation. DP & I simply don't see a lot of my family because of how judgemental they are. To them, we are crazy hippies. To us, we are going to be loving attachment parents who don't feed their kids junk food or use the TV as a babysitter.
If you can, stand up for yourself. Respectfully tell them you are happy with the way you & DH have chosen to proceed as parents but if you do have questions you'll be sure to contact them. If you feel funny because you are living there etc, just let it wash over you but know in your own mind that you will chart your own path anyway. Advice is just that - words, nothing more. Now if they were doing things their way with your bub & without your consent, I'd be saying bare those Mumma Bear teeth!! But families like his & mine can get so hard to deal with so easily that I think it's easier & less stressful for them to think they are being heard & listened to.
Honestly, I think you're going to be a great Mummy! If they can't see that then it's their problem that they'll miss out on seeing what a beautiful mother & child relationship looks like.
ETA: I didn't mention your DH saying anything because you said they blame you for any criticism they get from him. In an ideal world, he would be able to calmly tell them to back off. However it sounds like less than ideal personalities you are dealing with so I think it's best to be prepared to not be able to please them either way, & not be bothered by them not being pleased! Hope that makes sense!
Last edited by becandabub; 18-05-2012 at 11:00.
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18-05-2012 11:37 #16
Personally, I think you're in a bit of a lose / lose situation here. It's a fine line between standing up for yourself and offending all of his family - which you probably want to avoid too.
I don't know. Personally, I would back my partner and cheer you on as you told them to eff themselves, but that's just me! Lol. If you feel you can't confront them and DH won't, you don't have much more choice than to just ignore them.
Grrr, family hey? Can't live with them and can't kell 'em either. Dammit.
Oh, and congratulations! Don't let them bring you down!
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18-05-2012 11:46 #17Senior Member
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Just wanted to add, your dh (dear husband) has never "been like this" before he met you because he never had someone he loved and cared about and wanted to protect as much as he loves and cares for you and wants to protect you and his unborn child. So the aunts may see that he is "suddenly disrespectful" but in fact he is the same as he always has been, just now he has a reason to stand up to them. I'm sure he loves them as much as he always did, but he can't respect the way they are treating you. If I were you, I'd be inclined to open up more with dh, and tell him how they treat you and how you feel. As important as it is to keep the waters calm in the family, your relationship with your husband is much more important, and it is about to be tested and strained like you wouldn't believe. Communicating well is the only way couples survive the newborn phase, in my opinion. I know you're wanting to protect him from stress, but I'll bet he can handle it. Just take it at a pace that feels right for you.
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18-05-2012 12:22 #18
I know a few things about people playing the 'culture card' and in most instances its BS. Some aunties like to use it as an excuse to bully or to be bossy. It puts shame on the rest of the culture. Tradition is different and you can (as a mum and as a strong independant woman) choose traditions for your children when negotiating with your dh. For example, you may like to bury your babies placenta beside a tree. Traditional, yes. Not eating ice during pregnancy? Ahh, traditionally and culturally there were no freezers. So, no this is neither traditional nor cultural. It's a made up thing born out of fear.
It may help to practice this line: 'oh, really. Thanks for the advice' -then mentally throw the advice out the window. You don't even have to engage with them about how you are going to do things. I know if I responded to all the unhelpful advice or wants of others regarding my child I could have wasted days in various battles. Another one to practice is 'ooh wait. I want to get dh so he can hear this too. It sounds really important'. Worked well with my MIL when she was aiming her venom at me. It works for unwanted advice too .
I'm not sure what culture you come from/dh comes from but I do know this: in most cultures, pregnant women and new mums are respected and supported. Upsetting mums can upset the baby. Let them know, calmly and graciously,that you are not at the bottom of their pecking order. Yes you're young and new to the family but you are not to be picked on, bullied or walked over. If they were keeping with their cultural/traditional values then they should be treating you like a queen and waiting on you hand and foot.
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18-05-2012 12:52 #19
I would be having a long hard talk with your DH and getting him on board! If he is willing to stand up and put them back in their place then great! If not, there are really two options.... One is listen to what they say, do alot of nodding and 'ah' 'yes' 'that sounds like a good idea' - then go home and do whatever the feck you want to do with your baby The second option is to go back at them in a non-aggressive manner eg. "thank you for that suggestion however we have decided to try x, y, z first. If that isn't working out I'll be sure to try your advice etc'. if they are being rude I'd just say 'I feel upset when you say things like x, y, z because it makes me feel like you aren't respecting my rights as a parent. I'd really like it I'd you could accept the decisions that I make with my baby and only offer me advice when I ask you for it'
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18-05-2012 13:39 #20wishes she was a glow worm. A glow worm's never glum, 'cos how can you be grumpy when the sun shines out of your bum?
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I no you won't want to hurt their feelings to much and some people are saying you don't wanna offend them. But what about your feelings? It's your pregnancy your baby not theirs. They arnt even from your family. I no they are from your DH but seriously they need to back off. Ild get so angry if that happened to me.
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