An expectant mum who’s had a pretty fraught relationship with her own mother has taken to Reddit seeking advice over a sticky birthing situation.
Keeping the peace
She writes that her mum has been pretty much at arm’s length for several years, but this baby news has turned that on its head. She’s sharing her story because she’s keen for some advice.
“We don’t have a mother-daughter relationship. We don’t respect each other, and we don’t agree on things. Because of that, and to maintain the peace, I’ve put up boundaries that exclude her from the highly personal aspects of my private life,” the mum-to-be writes.
“I don’t confide in her, or look to her for any type of advice or emotional support. When we do talk, it’s just to get caught up. I tell her how work is going, and she updates me on the rest of the family. Sometimes I borrow money from her. Sometimes she bums rides off of me. We’re just friends.”
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All bets are off?
But now that her daughter is pregnant, this first-time grandmother has decided that the current boundaries that have kept conflict to a minimum should be ignored or renegotiated.
The grandmother’s understandably excited that a new baby is about to arrive and is keen to have a different relationship with her daughter and granddaughter.
Unfortunately she doesn’t appear to have discussed this openly and honestly with her daughter. Instead she’s making assumptions and seems keen to skip over the long and difficult history the pair have had.
The mum-to-be is now feeling disrespected – and possibly a little exposed – at a time when women really seek to feel secure.
“No you’re not!”
To make matters worse, the grandma-to-be seems to be undermining her daughter’s relationship with her husband in her quest to see the baby’s birth.
“She assumed that she’d be in the delivery room when I gave birth,” the mum-to-be writes (and we feel her panic!) “I literally just said ‘no you’re not. It’s just going to be me and (husband)’. She doesn’t respect that decision, and assumes I’m going to want her there.”
“She started questioning whether or not my husband will be able to handle it. I’ve been with him for 10 years, she hardly knows him,” the mum continues asking Reddit users for their thoughts on her dilemma.
“The golden hour”
People were super-supportive of this mum and keen for her wishes to be respected.
“If anything it is ever more important for you to enforce them now,” one commenter wrote. “Otherwise, it will be much harder to stick to them once you have the kid. If she doesn’t respect you as a parent now, she won’t respect your rules later about how to interact with the baby.”
“Who is in that delivery room is 100% up to you,” someone else posted. “And anyone that can’t respect that is a massive a**hole. Even if your mother were a saint and you had a perfect relationship you would still be 100% in the right for insisting she not be present. Childbirth is stressful enough as it is, so it’s important that you do everything you can to be comfortable.”
“Even women who are close to their mothers frequently opt to have just their husbands in the delivery room.” one supporter commented. “There’s something called the golden hour where you have a chance to spend time bonding with your child and doing skin to skin. It’s actually pretty beneficial for kiddo and mom.”