Chris - posted on 05/18/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )
Firstly, I am not a mother, I am a father of my newborn aged just 6 weeks, why am I posting here? What better source for a womans / mothers perspective than a site dedicated to mummies!
Ok I am currently in the process of migration from UK to Australia, I live with my fiancee who in turn rents with her mother and step father. We live in a moderately sized house and have our own living room and space for peace and quiet. However, it would take a different country to achieve any level of personal space it would seem. As I am establishing myself in this country money is not in abundance, so moving out is not an option for the time being.
Ever since my son was born the grandmother has tried to completely take over, by this I mean she pushes the button in every respect and seems to desire a surrogate mother status.. From birth even in the hospital she attempted and successfully told me I could not hold my own son as I had seen him all day and took liberty to pass my boy around the family who visited.. From the offset I knew this woman would drive me to absolute distraction and would try to involve herself as much as possible even without prompting. Believe me the stress of the past 6 weeks has been breaking point, it has caused issues with my partner it is causing issues with the development of our relationship with bubby.
I will not beat around the bush here, this grandmother has a drinking problem however holds it down pretty well, when she drinks she gets argumentative, her personality is that of a child, its all about her, whats her role, how much better she is a parent and knows all, she even at one stage put my child to sleep on his tummy without a breathe safe mattress to which I did not stand for, this apparently caused a rift as 'I just pick on her'.. Common sense as you would imagine is really not her strongest asset. Arguing her point as gospel is, even if the ears of the recipient are stuffed with cotton wool.. Yes I have resentment and this you will understand in due course, its difficult to pin down all the wrong doings both illogical and immoral because of the sheer volume, and this is in just 6 weeks..
Ill just try to list a few things rather than spiel, you have better things to do no doubt :)
1. Control, she does not respect the fact this is our child, she does not ask to hold my child she demands and if told no she attacks the parent with rather personal comments i.e "Your a s**t dad, you worked all day and didnt see your baby, now you wont let me hold him, everyone else gets to hold him and i do not" < Strictly speaking the only people who hold him are her and rightfully so the mother.
2. Does not like her advice to be ignored, Apparently if we are told one thing by the midwife and go to conduct this we are not following her advice so this is something yet again to argue about i.e prevent SIDS by always placing bubs on his back when sleeping, apparently the child favors his tummy and should sleep in this position always regardless of what health professionals say.
3.Undermining, Both me and my parent find her feeding our son without being asked to, if my partner is holding the child and he is crying she will enter the room and ask for the baby to settle him, as though her hands would provide a better comfort than our own. i.e just today I came home and the baby was crying, I had him for literally 1 minute, in she walks, 'give me a go on the baby', no I am ok thank you, I'll settle him do not worry', ensued by approx 2 hours of her shouting, literally no joke I was told I am a terrible father, to which almost makes me shout back, but whats the use, she is drunk..
4. Drink, she doesnt not understand that if she drinks she isnt to have the child, because she drinks from around 12 noon until late, its just normality for her, her preferred alcoholic beverage is Scotch, she goes through a bottle every 2 days. I do not want my son to learn these addictive habits.
5. Plays one between the other, she seems to stir trouble between me and my partner, makes suggestions and generally bad mouths us to each other. Its difficult, awkward and above all else a terrible trait.
6. Applies pressure where it isnt required, this really accommodates all factors mentioned above, pressure not to offend her because of the consequence, however she is always pushing too far so there is only one way to go, i.e I spend the best part of one hour settling the baby, she comes along and smushes him, pokes him and wakes him, if i tell her to stop she just stands and glares..Its an awful feeling, she is really the bane of my existence at the moment when I should be so joyus over bubba jubbs.. And thats the worst thing of all, I shouldnt have to deal with this nonsense, it really shouldnt be happening but it is, its real and I have to sort it out but how?
I write as almost a means to just put out there this stuff that is happening, to release the tension get it off my chest, maybe some of you will feel inclined to respond, either to tell me "get off our site, YOUR NO MOTHER!" or more preferably offer some little nuggets of advice to help me deal with this absolute shambles. I want what is best for my child but I am dealing with the unstoppable force, if i play the immovable object it will be an everyday affair, so I just suppress it and use the internet to exhaust this frustration, she steps over ever possible line, imagine ever asset of raising a child that is part of you being distorted by static', from bathing as she peers over with comments like 'look at my precious', to each decision as parent becoming a battle, or even seeing your child fed, not by its mother, but by someone who had this experience 3 times yet will not let up and allow her daughter to revel in the responsibility, I literally can not take it anymore..
Here is one to get you if you have read this without an emotional response or empathy (which is not what I'm after I just need someone to tell me the way i am feeling is natural and if any of you have experienced this please give me some advice). My partner had a hard time breastfeeding, she has sensitivity and was very swollen, and in pain, she tried everything from latching techniques to expressing with a breast pump, our baby was gaining weight, and my partner was producing more milk as the days went on until one day she had a few problems, instantly it was enforced that formula was the only answer, guilt trips like 'your child is starving' and without prompting formula was purchased S26 the same one she raised her kids on, the baby was fed formula, my partner had to compete with it eventuating in her breasts drying as he wasnt suckling her and an experience she was almost robbed of, followed by a swift 'now everyone can feed the baby'.. Could you even imagine that.. This actually happened, now its common ground. I feel for my partner, she doesnt know what to do, neither do I. We can't move just yet, its a feeling of utter powerlessness.
Anyway this essay had brought me to 630am, so i need to rest, whats keeping me up is 'your a sh*t father". I just cant let that go for some reason, have coped with everything else, but that is just too far.. What if I punch this woman? Not that I ever had or ever will lay a finger on a lady, just sometimes she feels less than human in her everyday activity.
Your response, thoughts or just general analysis would be appreciated, and thank you for taking the time to read this, even if it makes you feel better about your situation. Believe me, you wouldnt want to be in my shoes!