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How to handle my mom (long)

Forum: 2013 Playroom


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  • 1 Post By LABs
  • 1 Post By AmyKC12

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July 1st, 2013, 07:41 AM
AmyKC12's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,565
So, this is probably going to be half a rant and half advice seeking. But it's been weighing on my mind so I wanted to see what you ladies thought.

About a year and a half ago, my awesome mom suffered two strokes. The only physical issue she has is left side weakness where she drags her leg some. However, cognitively, she is a completely different person. She used to be a high energy, hardworking woman. Now she has no attention span, can't be left alone for a long period of time and really has no motivation to do anything. If my Dad or my aunt is not actively doing something with her, she plays games on her computer or knits. She has to be watched doing pretty much everything, including taking her meds.

Sometimes, she is fully aware of her weaknesses and sometimes she is not. When my sister had both of her kids, my mom stayed with her for about a month, cooking, cleaning, doing midnight feedings, etc. Well, now she wants to do the same thing for me. And she believes with her entire being that she is capable of doing so. I know, that she can't even cook a meal at home much less come here and cook (she has to be watched around a stove...she has started small fires, no damage.) She leaves clutter everywhere, not because she means to, but she literally can't "see" the clutter and doesn't understand what we want when we ask her to pick up.

What it boils down to, and it breaks my heart to say this, I don't know if I trust my mom to hold a newborn baby. That statement makes me cry. But its true. What happens if she, God forbid, drops my son? She could do real damage. The only thing I trust her doing is sitting and holding the baby with one of us near by. What if she wants to get up and walk around with him?

I don't know if I can handle taking care of a newborn child and my mom. I have explained all of this to my Dad and he completely understands. I basically lied to my mom and told her that Eric and I wanted to make a stab at caring for the baby on our own. So she and my Dad could come out and visit but not stay and cook and clean, etc.

This whole thing breaks my heart, There is nothing that I want more than for my Mom to be here and "teach" me how to take care of my first child. But I'm scared. What do you all think? Am I handling this correctly? Over thinking things? My mom is aware that she is "handled" a lot of the time. She often says she feels humiliated. I don't want to do that. I want to do what is right for me, my baby and my mom.

Thanks for listening.
Henry Theodore born 11/5/2013 at 8 pds, 11 ozs and 19 3/4 long!
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July 1st, 2013, 08:05 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 274
I'm so sorry you're in such a tough position! I would be worried too! I think you made the right call even though it's a really hard one. It can be very nice to have help after baby's born, but maybe you could hire someone short term? If not, you'll still be ok. Don't apologize to anyone if your house gets messy, you first job will be bonding with baby and taking care of him/her.
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July 1st, 2013, 08:08 AM
mcmarlena's Avatar Pregnant Again!!
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Georgia
Posts: 2,179
I think you are doing what's going to best. Once you guys get settled, etc, maybe you can have them over and let her hold baby, or take baby to visit as much as possible.
Mitch and Marlena, proud parents to Devin, Liam, and Micah.

Team BLUE!! Two precious boys born on October 28th, 2013.
Liam - 6lbs 7oz
Micah - 6lbs 10oz

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July 1st, 2013, 09:25 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 1,200
Wow, that is really tough. I agree with the ladies above. Is she in any sort of physical therapy still? Maybe she (or you) can let her PT know about the situation and have them help her do more strength exercises to hold a baby more safely? I know you will always worry, as we all would, but maybe with some more PT it would help some? Or even just help her recognize the weakness in her arms so she would be more accepting of just cuddling the baby while sitting? Or you can get her a specific wrap or baby carrier to wear if she wanted to get up?

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July 1st, 2013, 10:27 AM
hotpinkheels's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3,994
I'm so sorry you're feeling "stuck" in the middle of deciding what you think is best and what your mom wants. It sounds like you have really thought about it with the best intentions, and I think I would probably make the same decision. You have to keep baby safe, and your mom too, and it might be too much for your to be adjusting to a new born and having your mom around, especially if she requires a lot of attention as it is...
Baby Heels 11.6.13
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July 1st, 2013, 10:49 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 1,070
That's soo tough. Does she get home health OT or outpatient services? They can work on visual activities to help her attend a little more to her left side. Also you can have her sit in front of mirror when she does end up holding baby with you sitting on the left side for safety. It's soo sad as your worries are completely valid and real. Just bAsed on my own experiences working with stroke sufferers, I would do the same thing as you (sorry to be honest). To mask it id put baby on floor and insist this is tummy time and s/he is not to be picked up. Then when they cry, if your nursing there's no reason for mom to pick up because your the feeding provider. When they come over the house can all ready be clean and you can have dinner done so she sees no help is needed there. I'd let her dust of vacuum, there's no harm there except putting away valuable breakables and its actually really therapeutic. I'm going on and on, but I hope you find a way to either be upfront and tell her or mask it. It'll be the best way.

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July 1st, 2013, 11:47 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 32,940
My 90+ year old Grandma has held each of my boys at a young age (<2months old) and it made me nervous! Thankfully she didn't try to stand up with them or anything.

I am sure it is very hard for your mom to admit that she's not the same as she once was. I would definitely just have them come for visits and not stay. Have your mom sit in a nice supportive chair while she holds the baby.
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July 1st, 2013, 12:41 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 3,604
I think you are on the right track! Honestly you will do fine on your own! I've never had anyone step in when I had a baby and it was just fine. I think having an able bodied person hanging around 24/7 would drive me crazy! You are going to be just fine and your mom can visit the baby.
~Kris~ likes this.
Laura, homeschooling mama to Christine 1-02, Nicole 5-03, Everett 4-09, Alister 9-10, Moira and Giselle born October 24, 2013!

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July 1st, 2013, 01:03 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,850
Your "lie" is a good one and it could be sweetened with saying that you welcome her advice.
Shana, mom to DS1 (21), DS2 (18), DD (4) and DS3 (4)
Joining and in November 2013
Twinkies! Theeeeeeey're heeeeeere!

Introducing the Minis

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July 1st, 2013, 06:28 PM
AmyKC12's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,565
Thanks everyone for your feedback! Its helps to know other moms would do the same thing. I know I am doing the right thing in my head. my heart just needs time to catch up. I will just have to watch her closely with the baby.

I wish my mom still had OT and PT but the insurance cut her off. But I like the idea of maybe getting a special wrap or maybe the boppy pillow that will help her support the baby better.
Henry Theodore born 11/5/2013 at 8 pds, 11 ozs and 19 3/4 long!
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July 1st, 2013, 06:35 PM
mindyjean's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 2,195
I wanted to let you know that my dad suffered a stroke 10 years ago, one month before my wedding. Physcially he is great, but suffers from many of the same things your mom is going through. He mixes up words and numbers and pronouns all the time, so we don't understand 80% of what he says, which is sad. He cries a lot because he knows he doesn't make sense.

My sons are 6 and 3 and I have never left them with him. He asks all the time if he can keep them overnight, ect ect but I just can't do it. Your number one responsibility is your child now, not your mom. I hate to sound harsh like that, but coming from someone who has gone through what you are going to experience, I hope it doesn't sound too heartless. He held my boys as newborns, but I sat right by him. I know it hurts his feelings, but I would never be able to live with myself if something happened to my boys in his care.

Best of luck, hon. I know it's hard.
Mindy (35)
DH (37)

DS #1 born in 2006, DS #2 born in 2010, DS #3 born in 2013.
Expecting April 2016!

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July 2nd, 2013, 06:43 AM
AmyKC12's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,565
Thanks Mindy. It doesn't sound harsh. I know its the right way to approach it in my brain. I need to be by my mom's side when she holds the baby. Plain and simple. It just makes me sad.
mindyjean likes this.
Henry Theodore born 11/5/2013 at 8 pds, 11 ozs and 19 3/4 long!
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July 2nd, 2013, 08:49 AM
Nicole B's Avatar Mega Insane Mommy
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 3,292
Awww Amy, my heart goes out to you. What a tough situation. I think you're handling it the best it can be handled and it seems like you've really thought it out. *hugs* your way

Working on baking baby #3!
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July 2nd, 2013, 09:09 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 1,320
I'm so, so sorry. Please don't feel guilty, because none of this is your fault! It's not the same, but my mother has severe mental illness and could never be trusted alone with my kid(s) so I know the sadness of missing out on that relationship.

I do like the idea of a very secure baby wearing device (Beco/ergo style?) when she visits, and in this case, I think that fibbing to her a little sounds like the kind thing to do.
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July 2nd, 2013, 09:25 PM
chelseamb's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 11,391
Awe Amy<3 I'm so sorry that your having to even go through this but I think all I could say has already been said by our web family here. We are all here for you

Thank you to Vicki.. For my amazing Siggy

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July 2nd, 2013, 10:07 PM
FairyDustMom's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 4,471
I think everything you have done so fair is fair and would do same if I was in your shoes. Def would keep watch of mother when with baby. Must be frustrating for her as well but hopefully she knows she can't take care of a baby- I hope this transition will be smooth for you.
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July 3rd, 2013, 12:54 AM
Minilegs's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Kaia's Mommy
Posts: 5,271
Such a heartbreaking thing to go through. I can only imagine the time she is having now that things have changed! I think you're handling it appropriately and being sweet to her feelings at the same time. If you let her "help" in any way, I'm sure she will feel wanted/needed. A baby carrier sounds awesome to let her snuggle with the baby. Good luck with everything!
Melanie, mama to Kaia, Ewan, and Paige
Paige Clementine born October 23, 2013
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July 3rd, 2013, 05:52 AM
AmyKC12's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,565
Thanks for the support and advice! It means a lot! I love my mom and she will be a part of my son's life. We will just have modify somewhat how that happens
Henry Theodore born 11/5/2013 at 8 pds, 11 ozs and 19 3/4 long!
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