How to say no nicely...

Tyrae - posted on 03/20/2011 ( 10 moms have responded )




So since having my daughter my mother has spent a lot more time around my house than usual. This would all be fine but she keeps on trying to get me to parent like she did. She always manages to time her visits right when I get my daughter down for a nap, and she's a light sleeper for the first half hour or so. So my mom always wakes her up and than once she's awake she wants to stay awake and I pretty much need to fight her back to sleep. I don't use the cry-it-out method, and I never will, it just doesn't seem right to me. But my mother will constantly tell me to just go put her in her room and leave her there and let her cry herself to sleep. I keep on telling her that's not what I do but she continues to say it. And, if I can't get her to sleep she will grab her from me tell me I'm doing it all wrong and walk into another room with my daughter (btw I'm 22).

My daughter also has one kidney, so we are watching when we give her food very closely because certain things can screw up her kidney. My mother seems to think that I should be feeding my daughter solid foods now (she is only 4 months tomorrow) and I don't want to feed her food yet till she's at least 6 months. My mother doesn't seem to understand this, and when she's here she tries shoving food in my daughters mouth, she shoved a whole orange slice in there one day and I yelled at her asking her what she was doing and she said "I'm just getting her to try new foods like you should be doing".

I just don't know what to do. It's driving me crazy and soon I'm either going to snap at her, or I'm going to move to a different town so she can't come visit me so often. While I was pregnant she kept on saying that I would never be able to bf my daughter because she couldn't, and that using cloth diapers was a horrible idea (back in her time they were horrible, they aren't anymore). I'm still going strong with both of those 4 months later and I am proud to say it. I just don't know how to get her to back off without hurting her feelings.

Please please help before I go crazy!


[deleted account]

I agree with the other ladies and I have one more suggestion. Take your mother with you next time you take your daughter to the doctor. The doctor can explain to your mother everything you are concerned about (especially the kidney issues) and maybe she'll take the info more seriously from the doc.

Good luck!

Renae - posted on 03/20/2011




Fuel yourself up with information. When she tells you to do something, explain to her why what she is suggesting is no longer recommended and why you have chosen to do what you do. I find that mothers and MIL's, mine and my friends, think that we are just going about things willy nilly. When they hear that we are actually better informed and educated than they ever were, then they shut up and stop interferring.

On the leaving her to cry to sleep thing - google something like "extinction methods and infant stress" and do some reading. With the introduction of food at 4 months, go to the WHO (world health organisation) and search their website for info on starting solids. It is them who keeps changing the recommendation on when to start. Also inform yourself as to why the order of foods we introduce is in the order it is and throw that at her.

People cant argue with you when you know 10 times more than they do and can refute everything they say with evidence to the contrary. Or atleast, that worked with MIL. My baby is now 2 and she wouldn't bother arguing with me any more because I have shot down every dumb thing she has suggested.

I also think you need to be straight up with her. Tell her you are not a stupid young fool, you are old enough and smart enough to make your own decisions for your baby. Also tell her she got to raise her kids in the best way she wanted to and she should allow you the same privilledge.

Think of this as a lesson in standing up for your baby. There comes a time with all of us when we first become a mum that someone (a relative, doctor, teacher etc) will try to do something with your baby that you dont agree with and you will have to stand up, be strong and tell them to back the hell off. Think of this as your first challenge in standing up for your baby.


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JuLeah - posted on 03/21/2011




If you have tried 'nice' and it didn't work, get harsh. Your daughter comes before her feelings.
Ask your mom how her mother was after you were born. That often gets them to back off.
Set a time she can come over and hold that line. It is your house and you don't need the stress the is handing you.

[deleted account]

I really like the idea of taking your Mom to the doctor next visit. Maybe even make a call before you go and explain to the doctor what your issue is. I'm sure he will be able to find the words to help her understand that doctors have made HUGE discoveries in the 20 years since YOUR mom was having HER kids.
I went round and round with my Mom over WATER. She just couldn't understand what water intoxication is...and it took my pediatrician explaining it to her before she quit calling me a BAD MAMA.
Those words cut deep....and they could have been avoided with education.

Renae - posted on 03/21/2011




It might also help you to know that everything your mother is telling you is exactly what she would have been told by health professionals when you were young. So I think she might respond to information once she understands why recommendations have now changed. Maybe she just doesn't realise that things change every decade (sometimes even more often than that) and what she was once told is no longer considered accurate.

Tyrae - posted on 03/20/2011




Thank you all so much. I will try and get as much information together as possible and tell her about it all. I don't want to offend her that's for sure, because I turned out perfect I think, but I do want to do this my way and not hers. Thank you again.

Charissa - posted on 03/20/2011




It is so hard to set boundaries just with our friends let alone family. I would say hay mom these are the best times to visit (grand daught) ...(2:00) or (4:00) which ever one works for you mom!! Then i would have a heart to heart and say just what you it when your heart is right before say say it out of anger say I need you to respect my boundaries because at the moment you are not thank you for all your advise.......I dont want to move or to snap at you but you are driving me crazy!! The truth will set you free!! On the baby food thing, lots of people feed their children early but look at all the allergies a babies digestive system does not need food so early i would wait as long as you can mothering is a selfless job but so worth the energy and time and sacrifice!! My daughter only started eating solids at 10mths my son at about 7months. Good luck all i can say is seek after peace and go with not what everyone is saying but what your 6th sense is saying thats why God gave it to us.

Kate CP - posted on 03/20/2011




I agree with Louise and Renae. You need to stand up for yourself. At the same time, you should also let her know that you don't think she did a bad job raising you...but you're not her and you want to do things differently. A lot of moms take it as a personal affront if you don't take their advice about raising your baby. They actually think you're telling them they were bad parents for doing things the way they did. Just reassure her that's not the case, that you think she did a good job raising HER kids. But this is YOUR child and you want to do things YOUR way. And if you need advice you'll ask for it. :)

Louise - posted on 03/20/2011




You have to stand up for yourself your a mother now and you have to do what is best for your child. Sit your mum down with a cuppa and just say mum I love you very much but I want to bring my daughter up my way. You can offer your opinion but I am going to do things my way so please don't be offended if I don't take your advise. Then when she does start on about what is best for your daughter just remind her of that conversation. Keep reminding her that she is your daughter and you will do what is best. Then take some control of your day by asking your mum to come around after nap time, tell her you are going to have a nap to or something and then tell her you are sorting out a routine for your daughter and you need to do that on your own. Eventually she will realise she is meddling and stop but you need to be firm with her, she is treating you like a child and you are a mother now so mum needs to let you make your own mistakes like she did. It is hard watching a new mum when you can see the pitfalls but at the end of the day the only way you learn is to just get on with raising your child.

Don't be to hard on her she is trying to help, she just can't see that she is sufficating you.

Stifler's - posted on 03/20/2011




Just tell her that times have changed and the dick head ways of the past are just that. I told my mother in law that the other day. Bahahaha. She was going on about some shit and I'm like... OH THAT'S TERRIBLE... WHO WOULD DO THAT. And proceeded to explain reasons why. Sometimes there is no nice way to get people to back off trying to raise your kid.

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