What would you do?

Nikita - posted on 03/22/2011 ( 2 moms have responded )

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Hi there. My name is Nikki and I'm a 23 year old single mom with a 7 month old baby. I live with my grandparents and mother which is good in a way since I started attending school again. But there are problems. It seems ever since I've been pregnant and had my son, my mom and my grandmother would make snide remarks to me. And lately they have become more recent. Don't get me wrong they absolutely adore my son and love him to death but certain comments really get to me sometimes. For example, with my mother if I say I'm tired she thinks I don't have a right to say that nor be tired yet she does because she works and does all this stuff. Now I'm not comparing my load to hers but with going to school AND taking care of my child, wouldn't I have a right to be tired?

With my grandmother, it's more frequent. Like today, we were talking about my 13 yr old cousin and how she acts and I commented saying she's 13 she's still immature and my grandmother commented saying well I know a 23 year old who's still immature(talking about me). Another thing she constantly does is feed my son things I tell her not to do and constantly undermines me as a mother. If I say oh it's better to feed him in a chair so he can get used to it rather than hold him she'll get an attitude and say something like, Oh I don't know anything even though I had 4 kids. And just constantly bringing that up and I have to constantly tell her times have changed since then.

Lately though they have been getting on my case to the point of me taking time out for myself is becoming a problem too. At this point I feel like no matter what I do and say it's not good enough and they don't respect me as a mother, especially my grandmother. I am saving up to get an apartment and move out but things just really get to me and I feel like I don't have any positive support. I don't hear 'Oh you're doing a good job as a mother. I don't hear anything like that. All I hear is just snide and snarky comments. Thankfully I have a best friend and her family who has their door open to me and my son whenever I need to get away but I can only do that so much. So if you were in my position what would you do? I honestly need all the help and advice I can get. I don't know what to do. No matter what I say it doesn't matter to them....what can I do?

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Louise - posted on 03/22/2011

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You will always have this problem if you stay in their house. The reason is we all think that our way of raising kids is the best way and you are trying to raise your son with three mums in the house. I think because you are so close to your grandma and mum that they forget about your feelings and just come out and say things or do things that they would not do to anybody elses baby. I am afraid the only way to stop this is to break away from them.

You are going to need some financial assistance to move away so contact the father of your baby and see if he will help. Also go to the student welfare office and see if there are any grants you could have for being a single parent and living independantly. You still need childcare from your grandma and mother so try not to rock the boat to much, but I think attitudes will change when you move out and you will get the respect you deserve.

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Heather - posted on 03/22/2011

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Hi Nikki,
The problem is if it is your Grandmother/mothers house, you will have extreme difficulties setting the ground rules

It sounds like you need to move out from your family with your son and be independent and not reliant on them in any form. This is for your own confidence and it can't be good for your son to be in that environment if you are not happy.
It is extremely disrespectful for your grandmother to contradict you all the time, and go against your wishes for the rules you want to set for your own child. Things have certainly changed since your mother and grandmother raised children. I got comments like "well it was alright when you were a child", but promptly reminded them that "well it was alright to smoke and spend hours in the sun tanning as well, but it is proving to be a problem now". There are some things like wearing seat-belts that are law now, so times have changed!

You haven't mentioned if they look after your son while you are at school?. If so it might be a good idea to look for some day-care to cut any dependence you have on them. Being a student you should be entitled to subsidized child care, or many universities have on campus child care.

I shared with a friend who was a single mum and this was no problem at all. So perhaps you could look for someone in a similar situation to share with?

Also have a look in your local area for a playgroup or support group. You will find that everyone gets the occasional comments from the mothers, grans, inlaws and you might not feel so isolated.

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