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Thread: Personal space....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Kaslo BC Canada
    Posts
    21

    Unhappy Personal space....

    Hmm this is probably more of a rant than a request for help.. But seriously personal space!! My MIL is head over heals for her first and only grandson - she is a loving wonderful woman who really wants to help out....... When she comes over and I'm breast feeding she is all over me and the baby - leaning down to kiss his head while he's eating , constantly touching him and "chatting" him up. Not only is it tooooo close she's distracting him from eating. Just because it looks easy doesn't mean it is... At first I was just too exhausted and depressed to deal with it - now I am getting better and it seems like it is getting worse I am a very friendly outgoing huggable person but this... She is a very 'touchy' person (ie. constant kisses and hugs) so I know that she is just being very loving. Grrrrr my space - mine mine mine! I am already having a hard enough time with my space with lo never wanting to be put down (my back is killing me). LIt would also help if she stopped talking about how small my breasts are and how big hers are (wtf??). Especially since my breast aren't small - my hubby is loving my quadrupled in size breasts since I got pregnant... Believe it or not I know she's not being spiteful - its not said in a mean way (more matter of fact - we are also not shy talking about just about any bodily function together.. huh), in fact she often compliments me on BF and how good it is for baby and how great I do at it, even if there is a lot she was taught about it that was wrong (still talks about him needing water) Sorry - just needed to get this off my chest, its hard to find someone out here who understands about BF and also has the time to talk.... But still my space! Mine! Mine mine mine! Grrrrrrrrr......

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,925

    Default Re: Personal space....

    I hear ya! Who needs someone hanging over your shoulder while you figure out breastfeeding!
    A term I love is "babymoon" to describe the days, weeks or months (as long as you like) after baby is born, that special time for mom and dad to bond with baby and start figuring out their new life together as a family or with the latest edition. Excess visits by other family members can feel very intrusive during this time.

    It can be quite hard to balance being kind and loving with well meaning family members and respecting your natural feelings and desires for privacy.

    Hopefully grandmother will be as enthusiastic and involved when you want a date night or need a mommy break when your child is older!

    As far as the breast comparisons-it makes me wonder if your MIL nursed her children or not? If she tried and could not, or for some reason nursing was an unhappy experience, she may think her breast size had something to do with her struggles?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,368

    Default Re: Personal space....

    If you don't like the invasion of your personal space, say something. It doesn't have to be mean. Just tell her that baby needs less distraction while nursing, and that grandma can cuddle him all she wants when you're ready to hand him over.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    534

    Default Re: Personal space....

    Awwww sorry you're dealing with this. First know that my baby (now almost 9 months) was a hold all the time nurse all the time baby for all of the first three to four months. What a challenge. I felt like a full time milk cow and I struggled to get to the bathroom! Regarding the boobs if you can assure yourself that she has some insecurity and that this isn't really about you, I'd just ignore it. I'm assuming that you have no issues w/your boobs and this isn't causing you anguish. If its hurting you obviously you need to tell her. Last topic, her hovering. I'm going to first say the grass is always greener. My husband and I have no family closer than 700 miles and I've longed to have relatives nearby as our baby grows. My sister has met the baby twice, my parents just once and my MIL who lives much further - never. I'm sure your MIL truly loves you and is excited, That said, this needs to be dealt with in a way that's firm but nice. Read the section entitled Positive Reinforcement in this post http://www.education.com/magazine/ar...-grandparents/ Hope you can get some space!
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Kaslo BC Canada
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Personal space....

    Awe thanks - the grandparents post is well worth the read. As I said, I know she's just being loving, its just hard to adjust to having someone kiss babies cheek while he's suckling away..... I will admit I have had a hard time adjusting to lo's needing to be with me 24/7. My first son slept more and would at least let me put him down if he was sleeping I love my lo and most of the time its just sweet how he snuggles into me, and its getting better - sometimes he will now have a nap in the bed ( we cosleep) and I can sit and just have me space... Then I feel guilty for wanting it I do get breaks when mom, mil, or hubby can help as well as my first son (he's 16) I know it won't last for long and that one day I will be missing the snuggles! Thanks for letting me rant - I know I have to set some boundaries, I just have to decide which ones are the important ones and which ones are just due to me needing either a strong cup of coffee or a solid chunk of sleep.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    205

    Default Re: Personal space....

    Totally understand your need for space! Sometimes my mom, who comes over all the time (very grateful for her help), would kiss my LO while he was nursing. Sounds like she is just an overly-excited grandma like my mom is. Next time she is hovering while you are nursing, I would just say "Now that baby is X weeks/months old, he is noticing things a lot more and becomes distracted easily. I'll let you hold him as soon as we're done here. If he sees his grandma, he'll never finish!" Smile and speak in a friendly, joking manner; you can even pretend you are having a hard time getting him to nurse when she's really close. I think in this situation, a white lie does more good than harm.

    That said, you are lucky to have a MIL who is supportive of BFing and wants to be helpful. I've read other posts on this forum about family members who said outright mean things about BFing, or mamas who wish they lived close to family.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    464

    Default Re: Personal space....

    My LO will pop off if he so much as SEES another person in his peripheral vision while nursing. There's no way he would ever finish a feeding if someone was in our space or actively touching his body! If I were in your shoes, and especially since it sounds like you have a good relationship with your MIL and can have honest communication with her, I would just communicate to her that nursing time for baby has to be quiet and calm, and without verbal, visual, or physical distraction. You can even frame it as a health issue for baby so that he gets his full feedings. If she's happy about and supportive of your BF efforts, she might not realize that she's interfering with it. Good luck!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,475

    Default Re: Personal space....

    I would probably say something as you're setting up to nurse. "He's getting more distractible these days. So I'm going to have to ask that you give us some space while we nurse. His getting full feedings is important. Don't worry, I'll let you know when he's done." with a big smile on your face.

    Also mention it to your DH and have him reinforce it with his Mom. Have him run 'block' for you. Plant stories, chat about it. "Oh yeah, he was nursing and I said something and he started looking around. I try to keep my voice down and leave them to it when they're nursing." His reinforcing it and reminding her will help her "remember".

    There's nothing wrong with needing personal space. It's easy to get 'touched out' when you have a baby. An adults face that close to my breast while I'm breast feeding would push me over the edge. Enthusiasm aside, it's odd. :/
    Mommy to our DD1 early bird (34 weeks, 2 days, 7lbs, 14oz)! Oct. 2nd, 2008 Emergency C-Section, Frank Breech, HEALTHY Girl!
    Weaned @ 17 months
    Our DD2 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 12oz) Aug. 10th, 2010 Our Successful VBAC, growing like a bad weed!
    Weaned @ 15 months
    Our DD3 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 6oz) Feb. 16th, 2012 Our 2nd VBAC and lightening speedy birth!

    Loving being a Mom of 3, 40 months apart!!
    and

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Personal space....

    I can't believe you have tolerated it for so long I would have broken down in tears alrready.i always go upstairs to feed when people are round as baby is so fussy and it takes a while to get her feeding well , I don't care what they think its all about me and baby getting feeding sorted time for cuddles is later on. Just tell her she can put the washing out etc while you go up to feed because you're so tired, got a headache whatever, but give her a job while you do so she doesn't feel left out.soldier on.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Salt Lake City
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Personal space....

    I would have a really hard time with this! I'm so sorry she doesn't see how upsetting that can be. Perhaps covering up to nurse would create a helpful barrier? I know it's annoying to have to use a blanket or another covering while feeding, but it could show her that you'd prefer she left the baby alone while he was feeding. Handing him to her and asking her to burp him as soon as he's done eating might help her feel a little better about having to give the two of you more space during breastfeeding.

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