Expecting first child in June. Mother is stressing me out (kind of long, sorry)

I am hoping that someone else out there has had to deal with this at some point in their life and can give me some feedback as to how to deal.

This is a bit long and I apologize but I wanted to give as much detail as I could to give people a clear idea of the kind of person my Mom is and what I’ve been dealing with.

I am currently 5 months pregnant with my first child. I’m almost 28 yrs old. This will be the first grandchild for my mother and father. I have an older brother who’s almost 37. He’s gay and has never had any children,.

Growing up was no picnic for my brother and I. My Mom was too short tempered and could explode at the drop of a dime. She was very critical of every aspect of our lives, especially mine seeing that I was the girl(I’ll touch more on that later). If we said or did something wrong she’d beat us. My Brother really wore the brunt of it though.

When I was 6 and he was 15 he took the car for a joyride. I agree that he definitely deserved to be punished but not to the extent that she took it. I was sitting on the steps balling my eyes out because I seriously thought she was going to kill him. She kicked him in the stomach and pounded her fist repeatedly on the top of his head and in the side of his head and smacked him hard across the face and then slammed his head into the garbage room door. It took all the strength that my Father had to pull her off of him.

As soon as my Brother turned 18 he left home as soon as he could but I was still stuck there. As I got into my teens she took her critical comments up a notch. If I gained weight it wasn’t good. I wouldn’t have any friends. I looked discusting. I would never have a boyfriend. I would die of a heart attack or a stroke. I looked like a two tun tussie, I was a porposs. I was a whale. If my grades weren’t good enough I wasn’t applying myself hard enough. My hair was never right. My teeth were never right. I never smiled properly because I showed too much of my gums. If I spent extra time in my room I was antisocial. All of my friends that I had were fat. Any boy I brought home to meet her there was something wrong with. He was either ugly, not trustworthy, or looked like he was gay.

So what ended up happening to me? I moved out when I was 22 yrs old. However she had a very severely negative impact on my psychological well being and was the primary reason why I suffer from depression and anxiety. I ended up doing therapy for 4 years. I learned that the way that she treated my brother and I was due to her own upbringing and it was learned behavior that she would have to unlearn. Therapy helped me a lot. However I still find her difficult to deal with.Especially now. She tends to take things and twist them and make herself look like the victim. She likes to manipulate and control people.

I forgive her yes. I knew I had to or else I would never live in peace again. However, I don’t like being stressed out while I’m pregnant and this is what is going on.

I am having a boy. She was thrilled when I told her. She wanted me to have a boy because she said she likes boys better.

She will not stop buying clothing. I greatly apprechiate it but I am running out of space in the baby’s bedroom. The closet is very full and I don’t have a dresser yet because my husband is away sailing with the Navy and is supposed to take care of that when he comes back. Meanwhile I can barely move around in that room because she won’t stop buying clothing. It’s every where and is starting to overwhelm me.

CONTINUATION FROM FIRST POST:

The showers. I’m apparently having 2. The first one she is hosting. It is for my friends and my co-workers and is being held at my work. The 2nd one is just for family and is being hosted by my Mom’s older sister at her house. I don’t understand why there has to be two. There are enough large rooms at my work that we could have done one big one in all one shot. I feel that my Mom being my Mom should have told my aunt to back off and let her do what she needs to do as my Mom but she wouldn’t. She claims that my aunt apparently doesn’t like some of my friends. To top it all off my mom apparently invited some of my cousins to the first shower. If the 2nd one is only for family I don’t understand why she’s inviting them to the first one. Doesn’t make sense to me. My Mom had me out shopping with her the other day for decorations. She asked me, what would you like? I asked her, what do you like? Then she tells me, it’s your shower, it’s up to you. I find this hilarious because I offered to pay for the cake so she didn’t have to spend so much money. She was ok with that. I was going to order one from a specific grocery store here and she freaked out hard on me and said no do not go there because she felt that their cakes tasted gross and that I must go elsewhere.

The baby’s name…
This is one of the 2 main things that is really bothering me. Every once in a while she’ll ask me if I picked out any names. Of course I lie to her and say no. Then she tells me various boys names that she likes. I have tried reminding her nicely that it’s up to my husband and I and she says she agrees but keeps on doing this over and over again. The name that my husband and I picked out is “Alexander Daniel Gerard”. We picked Alexander after my husband’s Grandfather. Alexander was his middle name. We picked Daniel after my Mom’s Uncle who was more like a Father to her. Then we picked Gerard after St.Gerard because it was his feast day when I discovered that I was pregnant. About a month ago I told my Mom it wasn’t for sure but we were thinking of Alexander as a possibility. She freaked out hard about how it was too long, too stupid, and too common. She also freaked out over the fact that it was a namesake name and that she didn’t believe in namesakes and that every child should have his or her own unique name. Two weeks later she then told me that she told my aunt(the one hosting the 2nd shower) and that she said the same thing that I should not be naming him after anyone. My husband and I love the name. We’re naming him this regardless. However I am afraid that once my Mom comes to the hospital and learns of it that she will throw one of her classic embarrassing hissy fits right there at the hospital. My dear Father has assured me that he’ll do everything in his power to keep her in line but even he can only do so much.

Mothers Day and Birthdays…
She recently told me that she can’t wait to take my son out with her to shop for presents for Mothers Day and my Birthday that are from him. I told her that these things are up to my husband to take care of. She said she can still do it. I told her my husband might be offended. She said she didn’t care. Like really?

Delivery day…
This is the one thing that is driving me nuts and stressing me out more than everything. She has been whinning and whinning that she wants to be in the delivery room when I give birth. I do not want anyone in there except my husband, the doctor and the nurse. In the beginning she was ok with this but now all of a sudden she’s whinning about it. First of all, I can’t have too many people around me telling me what to do and not to do because my anxiety is so bad that it can lead to an attack. I also don’t like having people I’m close to see me in pain. To me, although she is my Mother, this is a personal and private thing. I realize that a baby being born is a very natural thing, but it’s my body and me pushing it out and I don’t need additional people in there gawking. I know that if I had her in there she would gawk and make critical and innapropriate comments and share those comments with my extended family because that is what she’s like. Also if she felt that I was being too much of a wuss she would tell our extended family that as well. Lastly, this is something very special and heartfelt that I would like to share with my husband and only my husband. I have no problem with her and my Dad coming in afterward but not during. I thought about telling her all of this but she would just argue it and not listen.

I’m at my whits end.It almost feels as though she’s thinking that she’s getting a second chance or something to make up for whatever. To me that’s not fair. Grandchildren are meant to be enjoyed. They aren’t a second chance for one to make up for whatever they feel they didn’t achieve with their actual children. This woman is stressing me out way too much and this is the last thing I need right now. Any suggestions or prayers are greatly welcome. I feel guilty even leaving me house because if I do and she calls me and I’m not here she makes me feel guilty for “running the roads” as she calls it.

That’s a lot.

My only suggestions are tell her to start keeping some of the clothes she buys at her house. I’m sure baby will be over there from time to time, and they certainly go through outfits quickly, so she can start keeping what she buys there.

Also, as far as delivery, most hospitals will enforce a “just one person” or “specifically not this person” if you ask them too ahead of time. Perhaps you could tell your therapist how you feel, and they would recommend that you don’t have her there, so you could tell her that your “doctor says that you should just have your husband there”

What you name your child is between you and your husband.

Don’t argue. When she asks about the name you could say that you want to hold the baby in your arms before you and your husband decide the name.

When she says anything smile, say that you will take it under consideration. Don’t argue make statements than let it be. Don’t argue. If you don’t want her in the delivery room, tell her that you are sorry but it is a moment for you and your husband. Don’t argue. Don’t answer when she tries to draw you into a discussion. Just state the way it is and don’t argue.
When the time comes you say we have named the baby Alexander Daniel Gerard. We love the name. If she says anything negatively, say I am sorry you don’t approve but that is our choice. Don’t say anything more just smile as she rants but don’t argue.

You don’t need her permission.

I have been on both sides.
My mother hated the name we chose she wanted us to name our son after my father who had just died. There was already a grandchild named for him. She made fun of the name we chose until my husband asked me to change it. We did change the name but not to what she wanted.

My daughter was naming her daughter after a musician who is considered a heretic. I wanted a saints name and expressed my opinion.:o I didn’t learn until later that is why she changed her daughters name to a saint but she still used the other name as a middle name. I felt bad that she had done this because of me but I am still glad that my grandchild has a saints name.

With your mother’s history of violence, I am concerned about your son’s safety. I know it is not easy, but I think you should have a talk with your mother before allowing her to be alone with the child. This is something that you and your husband need to talk about, of course. My experience with inter-generational family dysfunction is that it does not go a way on its own. It may be beneficial to talk with a family counselor to help you navigate this situation.

May you be strengthened by the love and peace of Christ, our Lord.

jazzy0710 said:

“The showers. I’m apparently having 2. The first one she is hosting. It is for my friends and my co-workers and is being held at my work. The 2nd one is just for family and is being hosted by my Mom’s older sister at her house. I don’t understand why there has to be two. There are enough large rooms at my work that we could have done one big one in all one shot. I feel that my Mom being my Mom should have told my aunt to back off and let her do what she needs to do as my Mom but she wouldn’t.”

It’s probably too late now, but traditionally relatives of the expectant mother are not supposed to throw showers, as it can be viewed as the family shaking their friends down for gifts. It is traditionally a friend’s role.

I would have tried at all costs to keep your mom away from your place of work and to avoid having her throw a shower (except maybe for relatives), but I suppose it is too late now. Remember for next time how crazy she’s being.

“This is one of the 2 main things that is really bothering me. Every once in a while she’ll ask me if I picked out any names. Of course I lie to her and say no.”

‘I’m still thinking,’ is not a lie. It’s not a done deal until you fill out the paperwork and even then, lots of families wind up using a middle name or a nickname.

“Then she tells me various boys names that she likes. I have tried reminding her nicely that it’s up to my husband and I and she says she agrees but keeps on doing this over and over again.”

Let her talk.

“The name that my husband and I picked out is “Alexander Daniel Gerard”. We picked Alexander after my husband’s Grandfather. Alexander was his middle name. We picked Daniel after my Mom’s Uncle who was more like a Father to her. Then we picked Gerard after St.Gerard because it was his feast day when I discovered that I was pregnant. About a month ago I told my Mom it wasn’t for sure but we were thinking of Alexander as a possibility. She freaked out hard about how it was too long, too stupid, and too common.”

That’s a very pretty name–he should be able to find at least one of those names that he wants to be called by.

“My husband and I love the name. We’re naming him this regardless. However I am afraid that once my Mom comes to the hospital and learns of it that she will throw one of her classic embarrassing hissy fits right there at the hospital.”

You’ll need to figure out in advance a signal for your husband and your dad to indicate that they need to go get a nurse and declare “visiting hours” over. You can’t have your mom holding you hostage in the hospital when you need to rest. In fact, I think it would be a good idea to announce in advance that you will only be seeing visitors two hours a day (or whatever you feel like).

“She recently told me that she can’t wait to take my son out with her to shop for presents for Mothers Day and my Birthday that are from him. I told her that these things are up to my husband to take care of. She said she can still do it. I told her my husband might be offended. She said she didn’t care. Like really?”

I wouldn’t let your mom go anywhere alone with your baby until he is 18 and 200 pounds.

Don’t argue with her. Whenever she brings this up, say something like, “We’ll have to think about that.” You will find this a very helpful phrase in future.

“I do not want anyone in there except my husband, the doctor and the nurse.”

You may find the room unexpectedly fills up with more medical people at delivery time or in case of emergency, but I think you will all have a better time if you keep your mom at arm’s length.

“I know that if I had her in there she would gawk and make critical and innapropriate comments and share those comments with my extended family because that is what she’s like.”

Yep.

“I have no problem with her and my Dad coming in afterward but not during. I thought about telling her all of this but she would just argue it and not listen.”

You should probably tell her a couple weeks before your due date, but don’t expect her to listen. In the meantime, when she’s going on about her plans to be at the delivery, just say, “I’ll think about it,” in a neutral tone.

Hi there,
Thanks for your reply:D
The closet she has at her house is smaller than mine and completely full so that’s why she’s been giving them to me. I stopped therapy in July 2013 after 4 years because my therapist and I both felt I was well enough to. I guess I could say that my OB made the suggestion LOL.

I totally agree. She and my Father are together and live under the same roof and he’ll be retiring next year so he’ll be around often. He would definitely take him from her if she got violent. I would like her to have the opportunity to bond with him on her own as my grandmother did with me. However I give my word that if I suspect anything bad or if I find any strange marks on him I will never let her near him again.

Agree.

I can relate to the unwanted-guests-in-the-delivery-room predicament. My delivery room got turned into a World Series watching party, complete with apetizers that I couldn’t eat. However, when it came time for pushing, they were all put out except for my husband. It actually turned out that I didn’t mind them being there while I was waiting. I had to wait a really long time. I was really worried, however, that my pushy stepmother who is a nurses aide, but thinks she’s a nurse, would try to weasle her way into my delivery. The midwife forsaw this problem when she caught her rearranging the linen closet. She was able to successfully convince her to leave without incident. She only knocked on the door once during the delivery. You have every right to put your mother out as well. The hospital will help with this, if necessary. You could also not call her until the baby is born.

It sounds like you really need to set some boundaries and be clear about them. It also sounds like your mom loves to argue. Not fun for someone who apparently doesn’t like conflict. :frowning:

If it was me, I’d seriously consider whether it’s worth it to continue to allow someone that toxic in my life at all, and would at least consider limiting my contact with them. If you’re going to continue to have contact with her, though, I’d also suggest that maybe some more therapy would be in order to help you set those necessary boundaries. But you would know better than me whether that would be likely to help you or not.

Still, there may be a few other things you can do to help yourself deal with her. If you don’t want her to comment on something, then first of all, don’t tell her about it. That tends to be easier said than done, because we like to defend ourselves and our choices, but remind yourself that you are a grown-up, you don’t need her approval, and she’s on a “need-to-know” basis–and most of the time, she doesn’t need to know! Learn to bite your tongue; just let her talk herself out. If she keeps pushing to know what you are going to do, tell her you don’t feel that it’s any of her business–you’re not being rude by saying this, but she is being rude by continuing to probe, especially when you have already said that a decision is between you and your husband.

Say a short, silent prayer when she’s getting annoying. Walk away (or leave or hang up) when she gets downright disrespectful or demanding–you are not required by anyone to stand there and listen to criticism or disrespect, and remember that you are not helping her or loving her by allowing her to disrespect you or your husband. Talk to her less if necessary. Spend less time with her if necessary. And of course, pray for her.

As for the clothing, I would let her know clearly that you have plenty for now, and that you appreciate the thought, but are running out of room for them. Then if she continues to buy things, start selecting those outfits you want to keep, and return the rest to the stores or sell them or give them away to another soon-to-be-mom or to Birthright or a women’s shelter or another appropriate charity. You don’t even have to tell your mom about it. :wink:

Accept gifts graciously, but be aware that you are not required to keep every baby item you are given (and you will probably get a few doubles, anyway). I am pregnant with our 7th child; believe me, if I’d kept everything we were given with each child, there would be no room for us in the house! :smiley:

I’d simply ignore your mom’s whining about being in the delivery room, without giving in. If it gets too annoying, tell her you don’t want to hear it, and walk away if you need to. But be clear in your “birth plan” and let your doctor(s) and nurses know that you do NOT want anyone else besides your husband (and necessary medical personnel) in the room when you are in labor/delivery. (Be sure your husband knows this, too.) You might warn them that your mother may make a big fuss, but that you do not want her there as it will cause you too much stress. Then let THEM handle it. It is part of their job. Your job is to have a baby, and trust me, you will be busy enough with that! Of course, the other option is not to call her until the baby is born, the birth certificate is signed, and you’re ready for visitors! :smiley:

Here’s the thing, though: your mom is not your problem. As hard as it is, you need to stop trying to take responsibility for her. You cannot control her behavior (or even always plan for it), and it is not your responsibility to do so–I think it would help a lot if you learn to accept that. If she does throw a “hissy fit” at the hospital, then the hospital personnel will deal with her–I’m sure she isn’t the first difficult person they’ve dealt with, nor will she likely be the last.

Let me repeat this because it’s so important: your mom is NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. She’s a grown-up and a mother, not your child nor your dependent. If she gets thrown out of the hospital, then so what? She gets thrown out, and maybe she will learn something from that experience. It’s not your fault (or your father’s) if she chooses to make a fool of herself in public–no sane person is going to blame you for the way she acts–especially when it hasn’t happened yet! :wink: You can only be responsible for your own behavior. It’s also not your responsibility to keep her from the consequences of her behavior or to “protect” others from her. Let her deal with the consequences of her own actions so she learns from them–that is actually the most loving thing you can do for her.

One last suggestion: if your husband defends you to your mom (such as at the hospital about the name), LET HIM. Don’t try to jump in the middle, and definitely don’t defend your mom to your husband. I’ve BTDT. Trust me. It’s not always easy, but it will work out much better for everyone in the end (even your mom) if you stand by your husband! :thumbsup:

You have my prayers, both for your situation, and for a safe and healthy delivery. :gopray2:

Lease don’t leave your son alone with your mother. Good luck with everything. :slight_smile:

No no no no no no no no NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.

With all due respect, this is a terrible idea. Your father would remove your son if she became violent? Great, but he still A) experiences the onset of violence and B) is witness to it.

Waiting until you find strange marks on the baby translates to waiting until it happens, allowing it to happen once, and THEN taking action. Why are you grasping for something that is not there? Why would you want your son to bond with his grandmother if his grandmother is an abusive, manipulative, mean, violent and cruel woman? No no no no no!!

History repeats itself. I can not encourage you enough to NEVER leave your child alone with that woman. EVER.

My words may seem harsh, but my heart and my prayers are fully with you!

“Mom, if you buy any more clothes, I will donate them to a crisis pregnancy center.”

“Mom, we’ve discussed it; after the delivery we’ll call people to visit when we’re ready for company.” (don’t tell her when you’re in labor and go to the hospital)

Seriously, find a couple of non- emotional responses and use them often. Just keep repeating them over and over.

Good luck! :thumbsup:

I wholeheartedly agree.

A dear friend of mine had an abusive mother who had done years of therapy and was “cured”. He allowed her to babysit his son. In a matter of moments she beat his toddler son (2 years old) to the point of near death. The baby survived and is now mentally retarded. Just a few violent moments changed that child’s life forever. And my friend and his wife lost custody of his child due to the fact that he knew his mother had a history of child abuse. According to the state, leaving his child with his mother and step-father was gross negligence. As much as I feel for my friend, I have to agree. Letting a known abuser within reach of a child is grossly negligent. Period. It doesn’t matter if the person is family.

You know your mother is violent and has ruthlessly abused your brother as well as yourself. Your job is to protect your baby. This means your job is to never, ever, ever, give your mother a chance to do to your child what she did to you and your brother. Mentally or physically.

Have you ever read the book ‘Boundaries’ by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend? If you have not, I would encourage you to do so. My parish priest recommended it to me. It is a Christian self help book about how to deal with overbearing relatives, friends or coworkers in a loving but firm way. I got my copy from the public library and I was on a waiting list because it is so popular.

I really think it would be helpful for you, and it even has a section on raising children, so it will even be helpful as a future parent. God bless and good luck!

Exactly what she says!! Especially the bolded part. I know, as I’ve been there with a mother in law. Praying for you.

Jazzy,
You have gotten a lot of great advice in this thread. This stress is not good for you or your precious baby. If possible, perhaps you should revisit counseling to help you and your husband set up some boundaries that are absolutely essential in the situation you describe. You are not obligated to have your mother in the delivery room. In fact, I agree with the posters who have suggested that you not tell your mother about the birth until after the baby’s arrival. Be sure to tell hospital staff about this situation in advance. They will see that you get the “space” you need for a healthy delivery. Also, please, under any circumstances, do not leave your mother alone with your baby. You are not obligated in any way to grant either unsupervised visits, or more visits than you desire. Dropping by without permission is not acceptable. Considering the events you describe I would seriously consider limiting my interaction with my mother if I were you. If she will not respect the boundaries you and your husband put in place, do not give her access to the child. That innocent baby needs to be protected from the instability and violence she brings to your family. You are in my prayers. Take care and God Bless.

jazzy0710 said:

“He would definitely take him from her if she got violent.”

Because he did such a great job protecting you and your brother when you were kids.

“I would like her to have the opportunity to bond with him on her own as my grandmother did with me.”

Your mom is not your grandmother–the mere biological fact of becoming a grandmother does not mean she’s going to turn into a person like your grandmother. From your description, your mom is still volatile, manipulative and a few pancakes short of a short stack. You can’t even handle her, and you’re an adult. Why allow her to be alone with an innocent child?

“However I give my word that if I suspect anything bad or if I find any strange marks on him I will never let her near him again.”

Why give her the chance? She can do all the grandma-ing she wants–while you are in the same room.

I think it’s time to go back to therapy now that you are undergoing such a major life change.

Best wishes!

Thank you very much. You were very helpful and I greatly apprechiate it :slight_smile:

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