Last week I went to a parents group meeting. It’s the first one I’ve been to and made me wonder if I’m a good mum.
See the other mothers are all breastfeeding and as a bottle feeding mum I had to keep explaining why I wasn’t breastfeeding (I’m on meds that are bad for baby). So already I’m marked out as being “different”.
Then I’ve gone back to work already (bub is 3 months old). The other mums were all horrified and couldn’t bear the thought of leaving their baby for even a couple of hours let alone a whole day. Then I admited to letting my baby stay overnight at my mother-in-laws every Thursday, she loves it, baby loves it, we get a night off - all good I thought. The looks they gave me, it was one of those momements when you wished the floor would swallow you up.
I love my baby dearly and I do miss her when I’m at work, but I’m also much happier going to work than spending all day at home. Being a stay at home mum drives me batty, I need the interaction and challenges that a work environment presents me with. I know that other people love being stay at home mums and relish the interactions and challenges that their role presents but it’s just not for me. But is there something wrong with me because I’d rather be at work than at home?
Then the other mum’s started comparing notes on how their partners interact with the baby. Most of the dad’s had apparently not bonded with their baby yet and were not expected to until the baby was 1-2 years old. When asked how my husband coped with bubs, I was honest and said - better than me, he is going to be the stay at home parent now I’ve gone back to work. Once again strange looks and I’m feeling like I’ve done something wrong.
On the other hand at that point I’m also very proud that I seem to be the only mum who has a partner to help her that is very hands on.
The other mums talked about how when their partner changes a nappy they wait until he’s not looking and then fix it. Partners that are scared to hold the baby or not very interested in the baby.
So maybe I’m not a great “by the book” mum but in my case I think maybe it helped let Leechboy be an involved dad. And he assures me that he has bonded with bubs, so that means he has an extra 1-2years of quality time with his child that those other men might not get.
So… let’s see. You’re NOT giving your baby harmful drugs through your breast milk, you are doing something non-baby-related with PART of your day, you don’t flip out at the possibility of your baby being WATCHED by such DANGEROUS FREAKS as your IN-LAWS, who are clearly unfit for such a duty despite having raised your husband…
All right, I’m calling CPS!
leechy, those “1-2 years of quality time” will translate into a whole lot more than that. The security that your child will feel, regardless of which parent is providing the caregiving cannot be replaced in any other way. You should be rather proud of your man.
Tell all of those snooties at the meeting to stuff a sock in it. You’re doing just fine. I’ll also wager that those Thursday night breaks have done wonders for your “evening recreation” sessions. Gotta practice up for the next one, right?
Naah you’re not a bad mom You’ve already figured out what those other moms haven’t!
1 - you need to take care of yourself as well as the baby. A happier mom is a better mom! Also it really is best if mom and dad have a good relationship and baby sees that.
2 - daddy is important too and he shouldn’t wait until the kid is grown to try and bond.
Sounds like a group of mommy martyrs to me! What did they want you to do? Poison the kid with meds in breastmilk?
I say do what works for your family and you will all be happier for it!
What elfbabe said (what is it with all the babes in this babe thread?).
leechie, my friend. F**k 'em. You’d walk over coals for your bub. We all know that, and you know that. Don’t be slave to what the professional parents say (a group I have absolutely no time for). You’re a good mum. Never forget that.
another vote for good mum. i think it is wonderful when lil ones can turn to either parent and feel comforted and secure. as i told new parent friends, parenting isn’t 50-50, it is 100-100. both of you should know how to care for the tyke, how to call the doc., and what bub’s fav. security (blanket, plushie, etc) is.
i think it is great that bub has a gran. night. by the time i came along only 1 gran was alive. how lucky is bub?! that not only are the grans around, they want bub with them!
Thank-you all. I’m sure we all have these moments of self doubt when other people all seem to be doing things bigger and better than we are.
I’m not sure I want to go back to the parents group, there are some interesting guest speakers coming up (baby massage etc) but I’m taking time off work to go and then being made to feel very small indeed. Wonder is it worth it. Bub’s has heaps of interaction with other children (there is 10 cousins, plus 3 more on the way) and I have other people I can turn to when I have questions.
Yes, leechbabe I think you need to find a different parenting group, if any at all. Yer doing fine.
What a horrible horrible mom you are! Sheesh! Bottle feeding? (Hey, we did that…) Not sharing with Leechboy for a good two years? (This coming from a stay-at-home.) Letting someone else watch your squalling brat EVERY WEEK? (Can your mom watch my kids too?) (No, I think the plane fare might be a little too steep.)
It sounds like those OTHER moms are worried THEY might be doing something wrong. I mean, lookit it. Your kid’s doing OK, and your not as crazy about it as they are. Maybe they’re wrong… no! They’re a mom-clique and you’re doing it wrong! It must be you! It couldn’t be all of them, now could it?
Bolding mine. Our species has done fine for millennia without “parenting groups”. You’ll do fine. You’ll make the occasional mistake, but you’ll get feedback from those other parents you interact with in the community (such as here). You don’t need a formalised meeting to be able to know how to look after your child. It comes from your heart. Heck, even animals do it unassisted. As an intelligent human, you’re home and hosed. leechbub has been born to good parents. She will reach the stars without the help of suburban know-it-all SUV driving uber-mums.
You don’t need those wankers. Honestly.
If continuing with this group means being made to feel inferior and incompetent (when it sounds like you’re doing just great!) then ditch them. I never could do the stay-at-home-mom thing and most of the women in the church I used to go to looked down on me because of it. I decided to make my stressful life much less stressful by ditching the “superior” moms and doing what felt right for my babies and me–best decision I made as a new mom. Good luck leechbabe!
Don’t subject yourself to any more meetings!
Seriously as a new parent the last thing you need is to be exposed to anything that makes you doubt yourself.
It seems to me you three are doing fine.
Support groups are meant to do just that, support you, not undermine you. Find one that meshes more with your lifestyle and leave the ninnys behind…
leechbabe, quit going to the group. If it’s causing that much anxiety, it’s not worth it. Seriously.
I myself had to toss most of my parenting books for the same reasons. Some of the things they espoused made me feel so inadequate as a parent that I began to feel that maybe I wasn’t doing right by Aaron. Turns out that as long as I listen to my instincts and do what works for our family, Aaron will turn out just as well as a baby raised “by the book”, so to speak.
It sounds like you’ve got a tremendous support system in place. Take advantage of it, and you’ve got it made.
That isn’t a parents’ group, it’s The Perfect Mommy Club.
You aren’t doing anything wrong. I did most of what you are doing and think it is what kept me sane while my friends were bouncing off the walls. My son was breastfed, but he got at least one bottle of formula a week from the time he was 4 weeks old.
(Gasp!) That made the bi-weekly overnighters at grandma’s house possible starting at 8 weeks.
As to the notion dad won’t bond with the baby until a year or two has passed - Yikes! They all should have bought puppies. My son now has a daughter and was involved with her care from day one. As he should be. What galaxy are these women from?
My wife went through a very similar experience leechbabe. She couldn’t breast feed because of antibiotics she was on, then she went back to work. Many women she tried to “network” with for some mommy related activities were shocked to hear this. She was very upset by the whole ordeal. I can tell you that almost five years later, our son is just fine! Mrs. moejuck realizes that she didn’t need the approval of those mothers to feel good about what she gives to our children. I agree with peri’s comment about this being the Perfect Mommy Club. Some mothers will go to no end to make themselves feel more righteous about their parenting abilities.
I am sure you are a great mom because of the concern you show in your post. Congrats on the (pretty much) newborn, and enjoy ever minute with him.
I’ll talk to Leechboy about it tonight, but I don’t think I’ll be going to the parents group anymore. I’ve got heaps of family and friends that can answer my questions and that includes the doper community.
I’m going to give bubbaleechie an extra big hug when I get home.
Tell those bitches to stuff it where the sun don’t shine. You sound like yer doing fine.
leechbabe, Another Big Vote for ditching the group. These are people you don’t need in your life. They will continue to make you feel needlessly awkward because your choices are not their choices. My personal choices have been much closer to what they espouse, however, that is what felt right to me. But I’ve never judged anyone for making different choices that are right for themselves and their family. And that’s just what it comes down to. Only you know yourself, your baby and your husband. And if all three of you are happy, then clearly you’re doing what’s right for you. Run away now, because it doens’t stop here. There will be endless discussions about the latest books and videos and music that will make bub an instant genius. Then it will be the “my baby’s better than your baby” route. “Oh, my princess is sitting up while reciting the Encyclopedia backwards. Can you believe she’s only 4 months old? Your baby is 4 months too? And not reading yet? Ooooh. I’m so sorry to hear that.”
There are so many times that a parent feels inadequate without anyone else needing to add to it. Kids don’t come with instructions and we just have to muddle along and do what we feel is right for our children at the time and then pray that the therapy bills won’t be too high in 30 years. There are lots of experienced parents here who are willing to help, won’t judge and criticize your choices and are willing to listen. Ditch the bitches.
And remember one really important thing I’ve learned over the last 15 years of parenting: **The only perfect parents are the ones without kids. **
leechy, say the word and I’ll be happy to post some baby massage pointers for you. I’ve been massaging babes for years!
The best thing that you personally can give to your baby is a happy mommie! You are doing just fine!