Saturday, March 2, 2013

Somebody Could've Warned Me...

... that some grandmothers think they know it all!! I love my mother dearly & am grateful that she's physically here to help with these darling little boys. But I had no clue that she'd be so negative with regards to how I'm parenting the twins -- she doesn't understand nor has the desire to learn about breastfeeding & why I'm making that choice; if they're fussy, it's because I hold them too much; why don't I bathe them in a tub vs. the kitchen sink; why am I tired all the time...

Bless her heart, she has a cup-half-empty disposition & has always been a good mood killer. But I thought grandmother-hood would sunny her up a bit. She loves her grandbabies & it's wonderful to see her with them. But she'd prefer that I feed them more & more formula (I only give them formula at night) & less breast milk. It's been a daily issue since giving birth.

Since only recent generations of parents fully got the breast-is-best message she is not getting me at all. When I brought the babies home the struggle to nurse them was OUT OF THIS WORLD. (It still is, that's another post!) I wanted to quit every time & still feel insecure about whether they're getting enough. So our constant arguments about why I wouldn't give them more formula damn near wore me down. Since breastfed babies also nurse more often, especially during growth spurts, that was evidence to her that I was starving them. Even though they're gaining weight!  Hell, my siblings & I got formula & we turned out ok so why isn't it good enough for these two. Ugh.

I actually read online that negative grandmother support (& not lack of milk supply) may be the leading reason why many women quit breastfeeding. I damn near did.

I also called them 'beautiful' shortly after they were born & she damn near snapped my head off. Seems that, culturally speaking (my parents are immigrants), you shouldn't encourage vanity. I said, 'lady, from what book of bad parenting did you get that tip?' After I explained that it wasn't about their looks but it was about their spirits, how they made me feel, the awesome gifts from God they are, etc., & that I intend to call them beautiful & more since children need to hear that from their parents, she didn't say another word. (She's never been the praise/complimenting type of parent but I got over that ages ago. However, I refuse to pass that on to my own kids.)

If one of the babies carry on crying & it's because of something I did or didn't do. Never thought that I'd be hearing 'it's always the mother' from my own!

I asked her if my siblings & I were perfect babies who only cooed when we were hungry & changed our own diapers since we didn't want to be any trouble. That actually put her on mute.

I have finally made a conscious choice not to work on not responding to her criticisms because it'll do no good. I respect her & don't want to have all this negative energy flowing from me & my breast milk into these kids. I just say to myself, 'she's an older woman, she ain't gon' change, be grateful you have her, focus energy on your new happiness & these blessings'. Self-talk is what's keeping me sane!

Speaking of breastfeeding, though, if I knew then what I know now I would've taken every single breastfeeding for multiples class there is. I just thought that the kids are slapped on the teat & voila! I'm' breatstfeeding! Man, I wish --

I'm the most bananas-eating, fenugreek-swallowing, Mother's Milk-drinking, More Milk Plus sucking, Kaliber beer-guzzling chick in Chicagoland!

Logging off. Deep breaths. Ready the teat pump. Join granny in the kitchen for the dinner she made us :-)


  1. My mom wasn't supportive of me pumping for my twins either. Good for you for working so hard at it ("breastfeeding is natural," my patootie!) And we had a lot of conflict when she was here helping me them our first two months home. She is back home (1,000 miles away) now and I wish she could be here (but not all of the time).

    I wouldn't have survived those first few months without her help (well it wouldn't have literally killed me, but I think I would have sunk into major depression). But it didn't make never feeling good enough any easier to take. Although it helps to know that she never meant to make me feel that way and she actually thought I was a great mother.

    Good luck! You can do it! Being a single mom of twins got better for me at about 3 months.

  2. I dont have much advice but hope that things get better.

    Like you I too thought that breastfeeding is a natural instinct for babies and its only reading blogs that I realize its so difficult. I did take a breastfeeding class which was informative, but it seems that it is something one cannot really plan or know about until the baby is born.

    You are doing a great job trying to keep up your milk supply and doing what is best for your boys.

  3. Hang in there! I totally get the cultural clash with mom thing--that is why I'm lobbying for my mom to wait to come out here until I'm one month postpartum. But if I were having twins, it would've been different. Of course, she wants to be in the delivery room and live in my 600 square foot condo with me right before and after. Your experience validates what I'm pushing for--waiting. I'm glad you are starting to just let her advice roll off though. You know best--these see your BEAUTIFUL boys!!