The test comes out positive and we finally get to tell our mothers that they are going to be grandmothers soon! How wonderful! How exciting! They could not be happier for their own little girl, and no doubt, they have plenty of advice and experience to share with their loving and grateful daughters. Whether it is pregnancy, labor and delivery, or taking care of baby, Grandma to be is usually over the moon. And quite often, she's over the top with her level of helpful hints.
Don’t get me wrong; we want to hear what she has to say since we don’t have any real life experience of our own as a first time mom. But during this exciting time, we are also a bit hormonal, stressed, tired, and hungry (or maybe nauseous) and may not be the most open to all of her well -intended “advice.”
Of course each mother/daughter relationship is unique, and the dynamic that has played out over one’s lifetime will surely be magnified during this transitional period. For some, it may be all warm and fuzzy with little to no hurt feelings on either side. For others, it may be a heated battle of smarts and wits from day one. Still others may find themselves somewhere in the middle.
The important thing to remember is that our mothers usually mean well. So even if we are pissing her off left and right with our choices, she is only getting upset out of love for her own baby and grand baby.
15 "What The Heck Is In The Baby Bottle?"
Everybody has opinions on breast feeding. Some are all for it, and some think it is just a terrible idea. Grandma could be on either side. Uh oh. Didn’t think of that, huh? Hopefully, you have already discussed some of this with your mother before your beautiful little bundle makes their appearance. But if you haven’t, be ready to hear mom’s opinion no matter which side you are on.
Maybe because you are a product of your mother, you will hold similar beliefs on this issue. But that is certainly not always the case. A lot depends on what your mom’s generation did with their babies. If you were breast fed, chances are she will want you to do the same. If you were not, she may be more open minded to both sides.
Mothers that have successfully nursed seem to have stronger opinions than those that did not. So if you have Grandma over and you’re ready to feed the baby, you may want to have all your ducks in a row.
14 "Has The Doctor Been Screened?"
When it comes to your choice of pediatricians, there is no doubt that your mom (Grandma) will have a list of questions for you to ask - not to mention the questions that Grandma will surely have for you. Who is this guy? How old is she? Where did he get his degree? Is she too old? Is he too young? What are her feelings on this or that?
Remember, your mama means well. But answer any of these questions incorrectly and there may be hell to pay. Grandma has an honorary degree in everything motherhood. She raised you, and in her mind, she will always know best. This may or not be accurate information, but depending on your relationship with your mom, it may certainly present a potentially volatile situation.
My best advice? Listen to her. Give her the floor for a minute, and let her say her piece. Whether you follow every direction or not, her information is still worth hearing. Try not to jump into quick arguments because you think you know everything. You don’t. But in reality, neither does she.
13 "The Baby Is Crying For A Reason, Dear"
Telling your mom that you know what you’re doing, when she clearly believes that you do not, could potentially piss her off. When your mom explains to you the reasoning behind any of her “suggestions,” and you act like you know better, it may not sit very well with her.
For example, Grandma comes over to see the baby. The baby is fussy and won’t settle down. Now, even though you may have just fed, burped, and changed the baby before your mom came over, she will likely suggest that you try all three of those things again. When you say that you just did them, she may grab the baby and start to feed, burp and change him or her again anyway. Guess what? Mom may have been right.
Having a baby is a multifaceted event in any new mom’s life. There is always a lot going on, and all of it often accompanied by lack of sleep. If Grandma is willing to comfort baby, it is my advice to let her go for it, while you go take a nap!
12 "Is THAT How The Baby Sleeps?"
A baby’s sleep position is most likely a generational disagreement, depending on when your mom raised her babies. Until the late 1990’s, babies were always put to bed on their tummies. It was just a no brainer. It was to make them feel secure, allow them to strengthen their neck muscles by learning to lift their heads, and encourage them to roll over at a younger age.
Well, at some point, SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) came into existence, and tummy sleeping became the number one suspect. This is also around the time that many grandmas got up in arms over the sleep position of their precious little grand babies.
There are certainly valid points on both sides of this argument, and Grandma is not completely off her rocker for suggesting that you give your baby some tummy time. If you are completely against any tummy time, however, you may just be in for a bit of a fight.
11 "I Would Never Let Someone Else Raise My Kids"
Again, most of the things that the new grandmas get pissed off about come from a place of love and concern. Daycare is another one of those subjects that people generally have strong opinions about. Whether it is a daycare center, or somebody's home, if your mom is not big on the idea, it may be the setup for yet another argument.
Even if your mom comes off like a know it all, my best advice would still be to let her say her piece. She comes to the table with thoughts and opinions, mostly based on raising you and your siblings. She has, after all, known you your entire life.
Grandma may have some suggestions that you never thought of. Or she might just be a crotchety old woman who is way off her rocker. Either way, if you give her the floor to state her case, you may just calm her frazzled nerves (and yours).
10 "The Baby Should Never Leave The House"
Sometimes we just need to get away from the daily grind. Whether Grandma understands or not, occasionally a new mama just needs to go on vacation with her little family. Sure, airplanes can be full of germs, and parks and playgrounds can be a bit hectic for a tiny baby too, but staying inside and going stir crazy with your new little bundle of joy doesn’t do anyone any good. Not even Grandma.
After her initial reaction to the stories you tell, hopefully Mom will chill out enough to see that you are better off having had the fun experience with your little one. Back in the days when Grandma was raising her kids, it was not uncommon for new babies to be kept in the house for the first few months.
We have certainly come a long way. Perhaps Mom would like to join you on the next trip so you and the hubby can get out for a bit?
9 "Going Back To Work Already?"
Oh my goodness, this one can be a doozy. Grandma is NOT happy that her precious little bean (the new baby, not you anymore) is going to be all alone in this cold world when they are only a few months old! Poor baby! Ok, Grams. Give it a rest.
Moms of all different generations have tried to have it all. Some have done it without missing a beat, and some have regrets. Some decided to stay at home, and others tried to balance everything. Depending on where your mom falls on this very wide spectrum, you may indeed be facing some very strong opinions on your decision to go back to work “so soon.”
Again, give your mom a break. Let her say what she has to say. Who knows…maybe you’ll end up with unlimited free babysitting out of the deal.
8 "That Pantry Needs To Be Burned Down"
When you are a new mom, chances are that you spend most of your time making sure that your little one is well taken care of, and not nearly enough time taking care of yourself. Again, if the new grandma is pissed off that you are not taking care of yourself, tell her to feel free to cook, or order you a healthy meal or two.
Cooking is way far down on the list when you are just trying to get through the day on two hours of sleep. Easy snack foods have a way of creeping in and becoming our best friends. Grandma needs to back the heck off on this one if you ask me.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with making your life just a little bit easier for a while after baby is born. We all need a chance to recharge, and sometimes a recharge may come in the form of a very large bag of Nacho Cheese Flavored Doritos.
7 "Why Is There No Ring On Your Finger?"
Oh boy…this one may really get mom’s goat. What do you mean you’re not getting married? You BROKE UP? You two are seriously just friends? How are you going to raise this baby as a single mom? These are only a few of the panicked questions that may cross your mother’s lips once she realizes that you are taking on this adventure of motherhood by yourself or without an official husband.
Again, depending on her own background, mom may or may not be against this modern path to motherhood. If she was happily married while raising her children, this may be a hard pill for her to swallow. If, however, she was divorced with young children, or was married to a real jerk, she may just support you one hundred percent.
Whatever her reaction, chances are that she means well, and her crazy opinions are coming from a place of love and caring. Hopefully she’ll get over it, and soon.
6 "Kids These Days And Their Damn Cellphones"
Most new grandmas don’t understand the many things we do on our cell phones. So when Mom starts crabbing at you for having your nose in your phone for a minute, just remind her that she is the one that taught you to follow a schedule. She is the one that taught you to make lists to keep things organized. She is the one that taught you to cherish every day, and to take pictures of those precious moments.
So there, Mom! I have a million good reasons for picking up my phone on occasion. Not to mention that many times it is to answer a text from you! Also, my baby happens to love a few classic episodes of Sesame Street, which you are responsible for as well. Ha!
Seriously though, Grandma may have a valid point about too much time on your phone. She just doesn’t want you to miss the moments because you are more concerned with sharing them with others.
5 "Staying Home... Forever?"
If your own mama was a working mom, she may not be on board with her daughter being a stay at home mom. Particularly if she was very successful and happy in her chosen line of work, and always tried to bestow that love onto you, she might not understand your decision to stay home.
Mom may just not get it. Why did she spend tens of thousands of dollars on your college education for you to be “just a stay at home mom?” Those there are fighting words if you ask me. But nonetheless, if Grandma is pissed that you are not meeting “your potential,” you may indeed have a big fight on your hands.
Don’t let Grandma bully you though. Follow your heart when it comes to taking care of your baby. They are only young for a little while, and there is no “more important” job on the planet.
4 "What Is This Thing Called Girl Time?"
Let’s face it, new moms are not usually able to go out with their girlfriends. Sometimes a girl just needs a night out with her besties! However, if your mom was never one to partake in a little postpartum party time, she may not understand your need for girl time.
Just because you went out for one night to a party that was actually a fundraiser for your best friend's home business, your mom thinks that you were out closing the bars with your crazy friends. Chill out, Grandma! You had one glass of wine and got so silly and sweaty that you switched to bottled water right away.
Everyone needs an outlet from time to time. As long as baby is cared for and happy, your mom can keep her mouth shut on this one. Maybe Grandma could use a glass of wine herself!
3 "How Much Does All This Pampering Cost?"
Sometimes new moms just need to pamper themselves a little bit. If Grandma frowns on the fact that you just spent too much on your fabulous new hair, she may have a thing or two to learn about raising happy children.
Seriously, when you feel better about yourself, you have more to give to your new beautiful baby. Mom really needs to understand where you’re coming from on this one. Whether it’s a new outfit, pair of shoes, manicure, or a day at the hair salon, there is just something about that feeling of being taken care of that every new mom needs from time to time.
So as long as you’re not unable to buy diapers due to your salon habits, I say go for it! If mom is so worried about your finances, maybe you could casually suggest that she buy you a nice gift card.
2 "ANOTHER Babysitter?"
As much as our moms want us to have a happy life, sometimes it just looks too different from theirs for them to fully grasp what we need to do to make ourselves happy. Don’t get me wrong, Grandma can get her party on with the best of them. But her patience with you, on the off chance that you may come across as putting yourself before her grand baby? That’s when she gets pissed off.
Again, take her unsolicited opinion for what it is. She’s probably not really upset with you, she just wants to make sure that you are going to be a good mom. She hopes you think that she was a good mom to you, as well. I think that this may be where a lot of her feelings about baby stem from.
Grandma wants everybody she loves to be happy, including you of course. But with the new kid in town, it may just take her a little while to adjust.
1 "Dad Did What?"
As much as we all love our husbands, as new dads sometimes they don’t really make the best decisions. Some of these decisions are probably best left unsaid to the new grandma. If you tell your mom every little thing that your husband does that is either dumb, annoying, or dangerous, she may not forgive him quite as quickly as you did.
Give the guy a break. He’s new to this game too. He doesn’t mean to screw up like he does, and he certainly would prefer not to have his mother in law on his case about it either.
Honestly, all in all, Grandma is just one of the many players that is going to have to get used to this new life you have mapped out for yourself. The bottom line is that if she’s coming from a place of love and genuine concern, you should do what you can to make her feel that she is an important piece of your puzzle.