My parents don't support my parenting style...at ALL!

Discussion in 'Natural Parenting' started by SammieGrace, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. SammieGrace

    SammieGrace Well-Known Member

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    So usually I enjoy chatting with my folks and they adore my son, but we got into it a bit this week and now I feel awkward about going to visit them for a week over thanksgiving with my LO, DH is coming too, but only for the holiday weekend. Anyway, it just seems like they don't get anything that I do with my son, and think that I just have no clue! Maybe I am over reacting, but I felt very criticized, and didn't really know how to respond to them.

    They were going on about how my LO has a lovely crib in his nursery and why doesn't he sleep in there?? We cosleep and I am happy with that for now, he will have plenty of time to sleep in his own bed. But they seem to think I am overly soft and coddling him, when he should be, as they put it, "able to sleep by himself and learning how to be alone!"? They seem to disregard that he has reflux and barely slept at all his first two months. they went on to tell me that when we are at their house we ought to put him to sleep in another room and that he would sleep better that way. They think he should only wake once or twice maximum per night and think that somehow by sleeping in bed with him, I am waking him up and disturbing his sleep. However, I know that he wakes me up, not the other way around! They think I should let him cry, and say that they did that with me and I turned out fine.

    They also don't understand why I don't give him formula or why I use cloth diapers (which I don't at their house bc my mom doesn't like them and wouldn't want me to wash them in her nice new washing machine). Even though I am more comfortable BF and cloth diapering.

    They also don't seem to understand that my baby has reflux and small, frequent meals are better on his tummy. They think I hold him too much, feed him to much and generally coddle him. They say he has me trained. He is only 3 months old!

    I love my parents, but think that they are just wrong about these things, and wish they would leave me alone about it. I feel like they just want me to do things to make my son more "convenient" but he is a high needs baby and I recognize that. I am not ok with letting him cry, forcing him to space out his meals, making him sleep alone in another room when I know he can't resettle himself, ect.

    Anyone else have unsupportive family? What did you do?

    They make me feel like they think I am an idiot and have no clue about parenting and just do things the way I do because I am not educated about "better" ways of caring for a baby. In reality, I have read parenting books and chose to use AP because I think that is most natural and better for my son.

    Please tell me I am not crazy or a bad mother for being gentle with my son...?
     
  2. Rachel_C

    Rachel_C Well-Known Member

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    Do you have a supportive health care professional? I'm not sure whether you have the equivalent of health visitors over there or if you have a doctor. If they do support your choices, maybe you could just say to your parents that you are confident in your choices and don't want to discuss any of it with them any more, but that if they want to talk to your doctor/HV about it, they're welcome to come along to your next appointment and discuss why they think they know better. I doubt they'd actually go but it might get your point across that they're old fashioned!
     
  3. Sam292

    Sam292 Well-Known Member

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    My parents think a lot of the things i do are crazy, they are both most bothered that he should be in his own room and trained to sleep. I'm not sure why co-sleeping bothers them so much but they just don't get that i love it.

    My mum told me i was making a mistake always feeding him to sleep as he would never sleep without it. Now at a year old he has started occasionally going to sleep after, not during his feed - he just plays a bit then lays down next to me and goes to sleep. No tears, no training. I told my mum and she didn't know what to say. Just stick with what you are doing, try not to get into a discussion about it and time will prove you right xxx
     
  4. lozzy21

    lozzy21 Mummy to Niamh

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    My mum tryed to tell me I held her too much and was making a rod for my own back. I just told her she was my daughter and if I wanted to hold her I will.

    You need to start being firm but polite with them. If they try to say anything you need to be saying that while it may have not done you any harm you don't want to do the same.


    The sleeping on there own argument pisses me off, if they try to sat something about it ask them if they can name one adult who sleeps on there own through choice? Chances are they can't.
     
  5. SammieGrace

    SammieGrace Well-Known Member

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    My doctor is supportive, she said not to even worry about trying to put him down to sleep by himself (I would like him to be able to nap on his own sometimes), for at least another month, with his reflux.

    I would invite them to the drs appointment if they lived near by. I will try to be more confident about my choices with them. Thanks for the input!
     
  6. SammieGrace

    SammieGrace Well-Known Member

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    Sam292 and lozzy21 -- not sure why the cosleeping is so bothersome to other people! I love the comment about adults not choosing to sleep alone!
     
  7. chichestermum

    chichestermum mummy of 2 :)

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    your his mummy and you know what works for you both so stick to it.
    My mum thinks the stuff i do is crazy but i moved 4 hours drive away so she doesnt stick her rod in too much! MIL thinks im crazy, why would anyone want to use cloth nappies when disposables have been invented...erm maybe because i know they will be kinder to her bottom and after what eldest went through you would think you would get over the cloth by now! and she thinks BF is wrong, at first i just ignored her told her it was best etc, now shes turned it around and says your just still breastfeeding because you dont want to share her with anybody i just turn around and say i just dont want to share her with you, iv expressed bottles for OH haha! shuts her up usually, you just need to stand your ground and be confident in your choices xxx
     
  8. fifi-folle

    fifi-folle C (7/11) & C (10/12)

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    I totally understand,my Mum keeps making comments and I just bite my tongue but if it carries on I plan to say that he's my son and they're my choices to make.
    I remember you from when you were going back to bf'ing, so glad it has worked out. My son didn't latch to begin with so know how hard it is x
     
  9. smatheson

    smatheson Well-Known Member

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    I know exactly how you feel. My LO had a really bad protein sensitivity to cows milk and it was really stressful with breastfeeding and my mom pushed and pushed to give me formula. Finally I gave into her thinking it might be right but looking back at it I really wish I would have stood my ground and was stronger about the situation:cry: I still feel like I have failed. Now that I am switching to part cloth diapers my mom feels like she gets to put her two cents into that too and it really irritates me:wacko: If I confront her she will just say I am attacking her:nope:
     
  10. cheese lover

    cheese lover Happy mom of 1

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    My IL's are the same. FIL actually got DH second guessing our decision not to sleep train. We sometimes co-sleep and I know FIL thinks its crazy. He also asks when I'm going to stop BFing.

    I did my research. I read the research and made my decisions. I just get frustrated when I have to explain it to DH again. I'm not looking forward to Christmas at their house. I'll probably use cloth depending on how long we're going to be there. I can't stand the smell of disposables!
     
  11. lepaskilf

    lepaskilf Guest

    It's a good job you're his mummy and not your parents!
     
  12. aliss

    aliss Well-Known Member

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    Have you ever told them point blank - Look, you did what you wanted with me. I do what I want with him. Stop it with your comments, I'm not going to change what I do so you can just cut it out now.

    As another reflux mom, I can honestly say, people without reflux babies will never understand. Sorry. So just do what you know is right.
     
  13. SammieGrace

    SammieGrace Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much for the validation about the reflux, it is just plain difficult and I know my parents don't understand that. I have a sneaking suspicion that I too, was a reflux baby as my mom said I cried constantly for the first four months. If they are critical while I am with them, I will have to put my foot down. I am not great at doing that, but need to get better.
     
  14. SammieGrace

    SammieGrace Well-Known Member

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    I am glad that you can understand what it is like, those comments are really bothersome to me because as much as I don't like to admit it, it does kind of hurt that my parents think I am doing a piss poor job as a mother! I love my son and really want what is best for him...thanks for the encouragement with the breastfeeding, it is still hard sometimes, but I am so glad I stuck with it. Now I am having like no luck getting him to take expressed milk from a bottle. He used to take bottles fine in the beginning since I exclusively pumped for a few weeks. I mentioned to my mom that he wasn't interested in the bottle now, and her response: he'll drink it if he is hungry enough! To which I think...wtf mom, so I am supposed to starve him until he drinks the bottle...never gonna happen!
     
  15. SammieGrace

    SammieGrace Well-Known Member

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    I am so sorry to hear a out what a difficult time you had with bf and how much pressure you were under to give formula! I know how overwhelmingly intense that pressure can be when you are struggling and just want your child tube comfortable. I did give in to the pressure to give formula and in my son's case I didn't notice any improvement. He was still just as fussy and I felt guilty and miserable for not breastfeeding him when it was what I wanted to do. It was heartbreaking to see him rooting about looking for me, and trying to give him a bottle instead. So I kept on breastfeeding him and actually didn't tell my parents for a while that I stopped giving the formula because I didn't want to deal with their judgement. Eventually I had to tell them though, as it's not really something you can hide, and I didn't see any reason to.

    I understand what you mean about any confrontation leaving your mother feeling you attacked her. My mom is very sensitive to those kind of things, which just makes it more difficult to deal with, because I will bite my tongue until I am really annoyed and then just feel like letting her have it, which I know wouldn't go well.... Oh the joys of being a parent while still being someones child!
     
  16. Jellyt

    Jellyt Evelyn's mummy!

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    My MIL was a pain when it came to breast feeding. She was trying to pressure me into formula when LO was 9 days old because I was struggling. I'm just glad I had a good support system. I also kept getting told to let her cry, not nurse her to sleep etc and it drove me to tears sometimes so I can definitely sympathise! Trying to politely put them in their place only resulted in arguments so i've just learnt to ignore them really. MIL won't wash our cloth nappies either! We do ERF too and my parents keep saying I need to turn her round and will not let it go. *grits teeth*
     
  17. fifi-folle

    fifi-folle C (7/11) & C (10/12)

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    hugs
    I actually had a go at my Mum yesterday about bf'ing. I had had to give ds some bottles recently as my supply seemed to have dipped, was really upset about this. I spoke to Mum about it and she got it into her head I had stopped bfing, she made some comment about how hemust be better now he's on the bottle last night, and how I had been starving him, I told her if she was going to keep making these comments I would stop speaking to her on the phone and that he's my child. FFS. I am still angry.
     
  18. punk_pig

    punk_pig Guest

    My parents are in the most part supportive but I think once you start a conversation they aren't going to lie and say they understand if they don't. My parents had to use cloth as there was nothing else but my Dad thinks new cloth nappies are too complicated and keeps going on about how Terry squares were great!! no win!
     
  19. SammieGrace

    SammieGrace Well-Known Member

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    UPDATE: The visit has been nice, but they are really after me for cosleeping! Mom watched DS and he managed a forty minute nap, so one sleep cycle on his own. Which I think she takes as proof that he ought to be sleeping by himself! She tells me that her friend who is a preemie nurse says it is time for him to start sleeping on his own. Ggggrr...he is my baby!
     
  20. Palestrina

    Palestrina Well-Known Member

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    My mother sleeps with a glass of water on her nightstand. When she wakes at night she takes a sip. I always remind her of that when she tries to make me ignore my LO's cries at night.

    You're not alone in having family that doesn't understand your parenting ways. I'm willing to venture that most new mothers face the same dilemma regardless of how they choose to parent, someone is always going to object to what you do. The key is learning how to let it roll off your back, you can't change how everybody else thinks, you can only change how you deal with things.

    I get criticism as well and sometimes it bothers me more than others. When my mother questioned some of my choices I tried to explain to her that I had researched these things and read a lot before I made my decisions. Her response was "oh you read a book!" in a sarcastic tone. Can't win. I know she means well though, most people do.

    I hate to say it but I had to do this, had no choice. I was so stressed out that LO wouldn't take a bottle while I was at work that I would riddle myself with worry. After a while I just accepted that if he was hungry he'd eat, and if he wanted to drink from the tap he'd have to wait until I got home. Sounds awful I know but my job only keeps me away for 4-5hrs at a time so it's not the end of the world. As soon as I released myself from the bondage of worry LO came around and drinks from the bottle.
     

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