My mom refers to my unborn baby as "our baby"

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catta

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My mom refers to my unborn baby as "our baby"
« on: June 17, 2020, 08:00:39 PM »
The subject says it all. My mom rarely asks me how I am or how my pregnancy is going except to demand that I take care of myself because, to paraphrase a few instances, "the most important thing is taking care of our baby."

 :no:

(I mean yes, taking care of myself and the baby is important but no, it's not her baby.) My dad has cancer and she always couches these statements amidst updates about his treatment so that I never feel right setting her straight.

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Bloomie

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Re: My mom refers to my unborn baby as "our baby"
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2020, 08:24:46 PM »
The subject says it all. My mom rarely asks me how I am or how my pregnancy is going except to demand that I take care of myself because, to paraphrase a few instances, "the most important thing is taking care of our baby."

 :no:

(I mean yes, taking care of myself and the baby is important but no, it's not her baby.) My dad has cancer and she always couches these statements amidst updates about his treatment so that I never feel right setting her straight.

How about in a playful tone..."Nice try grandma. I know you are excited, but this my baby. You already had your turn. Of course I'm taking good care of both of us." then change the subject.
"You can understand and have compassion for someone and still not want a relationship with them."
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p123

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Re: My mom refers to my unborn baby as "our baby"
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2020, 08:36:03 AM »
hmmm yeh that is a bit weird I'll be honest....


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Starboard Song

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Re: My mom refers to my unborn baby as "our baby"
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2020, 05:01:01 PM »
Gahh!

Maybe it is no big deal, but I would gently nip that in the bud.

I like Bloomie's comment. A friendly, light-hearted counter is a good idea. To a fault, I live by a rule perhaps inspired by my small male stature: I always seek to de-escalate. Even when I shouldn't. Here's another potential angle along those lines.

"Nice try grandma. I'm taking care of my baby, your grandbaby. I'm so glad you're around to share advice and wisdom."
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

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lotusblume

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Re: My mom refers to my unborn baby as "our baby"
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2020, 06:44:31 PM »
My mother used to do this as well. About my cat. She would call it my baby. It freaked me out. One time, when we were on the phone, she asked if she could talk to the cat, and started baby talking to it, calling it her little baby.

I said, she’s not your baby. She’s my cat. I am going to hang up the phone if you continue.

She stopped.

I would say, call it out, immediately. It bothers you, and it makes sense that it does. “Mom, she’s not your baby, and if I hear you say that again, I am going to X (hang up, walk away, put limits on how much time you spend with me, and my baby).

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Amadahy

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Re: My mom refers to my unborn baby as "our baby"
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2020, 07:38:08 PM »
Yuck!

With my oldest, whom my parents babysat, my Nmom would go a step further. ”I'm his second mommy. He has two mommies." I was foggy then and didn't address, but I *hated* that!  It stopped when her attention went to other things, but I felt violated and demeaned while it lasted.

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Andeza

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Re: My mom refers to my unborn baby as "our baby"
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2020, 11:58:25 PM »
This is a major red flag... It's actually something I was worried my uBPDm would start with my DS. She never did, but then I didn't give her much opportunity to try. This harks back to the idea that in the eyes of disordered individuals we're nothing more than possessions.

I agree, a boundary is needed here. I know it's not great timing. You're pregnant and this added stress is the last thing you need, but I think the boundary is important to have before it begins to escalate.

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treesgrowslowly

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Re: My mom refers to my unborn baby as "our baby"
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2020, 10:36:50 AM »
Those sorts of "comments" are so emotionally manipulative. Mine did this exact thing as well.

When I learned about how people with NPD don't see others as separate people with our own needs and identity, it was like ding ding ding!!! That's what my NPDm did constantly with me.

When the Narcissists in my FOO say "we" and "ours" they don't mean "me and the people I love and care about". They mean "me and the people I control and manipulate" .


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Wilderhearts

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Re: My mom refers to my unborn baby as "our baby"
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2020, 08:16:04 PM »
Oh. Come. On.  :roll:

My best friend has a baby now, and I can just see the flash of anger that would rip across her face if someone else tried to claim her baby as "theirs." 

People who respect other parents' boundaries know not to claim Parenthood without it first being bestowed by the parent.  I've helped raised a friend's dog since puppyhood, and we all live together.  I never claimed I was the dog's second mom until her rightful mom labelled me that, because I wouldn't even overstep that boundary with an animal, let alone a human child.

I think all of the examples and suggestions for responses given are great options, and suitable even if she is couching it within your dad's illness.  That's extremely manipulative of her - good on you for recognizing what it is.

I hope you get to enjoy your pregnancy and planning for baby's arrival despite gradma's nonsense.  Also, you, your health, and your happiness during pregnancy matter a great deal too.  And not just for baby's sake.

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catta

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Re: My mom refers to my unborn baby as "our baby"
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2020, 05:35:41 PM »
Thanks everyone-- I knew I couldn't be the only one with this experience!! I'm definitely going to say something next time it comes up.

It bothers me especially because I don't trust either of my parents to ever be alone with my children. I'd feel safer with a teen babysitter. My mom has already claimed that safety rules for reducing SIDS risk are things I made up just to be difficult. So yeah I'm not leaving her alone with an infant.

Lotusblume, my mom does something similar to my cat. She actually behaves so bizarrely around cats that I don't even want to post specifics here because I'm afraid they'd be identifying  :doh:

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lotusblume

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Re: My mom refers to my unborn baby as "our baby"
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2020, 10:20:52 PM »
Thanks everyone-- I knew I couldn't be the only one with this experience!! I'm definitely going to say something next time it comes up.

It bothers me especially because I don't trust either of my parents to ever be alone with my children. I'd feel safer with a teen babysitter. My mom has already claimed that safety rules for reducing SIDS risk are things I made up just to be difficult. So yeah I'm not leaving her alone with an infant.

Lotusblume, my mom does something similar to my cat. She actually behaves so bizarrely around cats that I don't even want to post specifics here because I'm afraid they'd be identifying  :doh:

Man... It’s an inter generational thing on the maternal side. My grandmother is a major infantalizing engulfer, and my mother is better in some ways, but doesn’t realize she does some of the same stuff.

It is strange because I’m in a kind of contact limbo with her. I guess you would call it VLC. I’m trying to figure her out still, to see if we can actually have a relationship with boundaries eventually. But it makes me cringe thinking about her knowing I was pregnant, as in your situation. I feel for you. Have you ever seen the TLC show “smothered”? She’s like the lady who thinks her daughter is her twin and takes her to a Lamaze class., gets jealous when she is not included in every single thing going on in her life, and tries to supercede her husband.


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p123

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Re: My mom refers to my unborn baby as "our baby"
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2020, 06:51:38 AM »
Thanks everyone-- I knew I couldn't be the only one with this experience!! I'm definitely going to say something next time it comes up.

It bothers me especially because I don't trust either of my parents to ever be alone with my children. I'd feel safer with a teen babysitter. My mom has already claimed that safety rules for reducing SIDS risk are things I made up just to be difficult. So yeah I'm not leaving her alone with an infant.

Lotusblume, my mom does something similar to my cat. She actually behaves so bizarrely around cats that I don't even want to post specifics here because I'm afraid they'd be identifying  :doh:

Oh I remember my MIL with things like sterilising. Her attitude was "well it was ok in my day to do that". Jeez.....

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daughterofbpd

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Re: My mom refers to my unborn baby as "our baby"
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2020, 06:45:00 PM »
My mom does this and it drove me nuts. I talked with my therapist and she suggested something along the lines of what Starboard Song suggests. My mom typically used "my baby" when texting, like "How's my baby?" I didn't want to respond to her because I felt like to respond I was showing I was in agreement. Instead, I would respond "My daughter/Your granddaughter is..." or some variation of that. It helped me to feel better when I was too tired to deal with confrontation. Unfortunately, 5 years later and she's started doing it again! I correct her "My daughter..." or say she isn't a baby anymore but it is super annoying. My sis is pregnant now and it's already started with her too.
“How starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your ego”
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Rose1

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Re: My mom refers to my unborn baby as "our baby"
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2020, 02:54:39 AM »
My pdm was very like that too. Unfortunately I was fogged but it still really upset me. She tried to push me into giving up breast feeding (I assume because she had issues) etc and take over. Just recently she told my 34 year old "I brought you up well'. Twilight zone music here. We lived a long way away. Don't start down this track. Pdm was always in my face over the kids.

When exbpdh left her only comment to me was "what have you done with the children?"


And she firmly believes she's mother of the millennium and no one else is fit especially me.

Don't start the rot imo

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Poppy

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Re: My mom refers to my unborn baby as "our baby"
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2020, 07:15:22 PM »
Oh my god that must feel terrible.

I rememeber when I was pregnant, my mother told me on the phone (while also rarely asking about how I was doing myself) that she had named my unborn baby. And that way she talked to him, naming him made that easier for her. And no, no! she wasn't telling me the name! It was between her and her baby. I didn't ask mind you.

I felt so violated, just physically ill. It actually felt like she tried to take him away from me. Which in a way is precisely what she meant to do- claim the most important thing to me, something that can never be more MINE than anyone else's, for herself.

I cried for ages after I hung up and I spiralled into a triggered mess which took me weeks to get out off. What a waste in such a beautiful period of my life!

After that, I started distancing myself little by little. It was the wake up call I needed to put (emotional and physical) distance between my old FOO and the new family I was creating. We have the right and the power to do that.

It took me years to learn how set healthy boundaries but I got there eventually. And my kids will grow up without ever having to feel the way I did as a child. I had no choice back then, but I can make the choice now for my children. It's my responsibility and I take that very seriously. There is such freedom and power and even joy in that.

Good luck to you in navigating (grand)parenthood with a mom like ours. It can be tough.
I can recommend talking to your husband about forming a united front in what will be acceptable behaviour, how much access grandma gets etc. Don't let her (or anyone else for that matter) tell you how to raise your child. Or put too much of a claim on them. Forget about peer pressure, what is 'normal' (our FOO isn't normal) etc.

YOU are their mom. The only one. Back up, lady  ;D
« Last Edit: June 23, 2020, 07:22:28 PM by Poppy »
It's never too late to be who you might have been (George Eliot)

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Kiki81

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Re: My mom refers to my unborn baby as "our baby"
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2020, 01:12:58 AM »
Boundaries.

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blacksheep7

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Re: My mom refers to my unborn baby as "our baby"
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2020, 11:09:42 AM »
Too close for comfort.  :evil2:

I just remembered, in 1982 I was expecting my dd mid February. I already had a ds and back then we didn't know the gender.  Well  NM went ahead and bought a Pink pouch  with the hood (for a baby in winter) which was popular back then.   

Anyway,  what the hell, she didn't know I was having a girl!!   She decided I was having a girl.  :doh:

Can I tell you how proud it made her feel, she won that round.  :sly:
Wondered what it would have been if I a had another boy.  ;D
I may be the black sheep of the family, but some of the white sheep are not as white as they try to appear.

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lemondifficult

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Re: My mom refers to my unborn baby as "our baby"
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2020, 11:22:50 AM »
Sorry to hear you've had this happen Catta. It's such a bizarre and head spinning thing for her to do!

I could imagine that because she does it in a surface caring sort of way it is very easy to feel you can't challenge her on it but I think you have every right to. I like the other suggestions made about trying to do it in a jokey way but I suspect it'll be a boundary you have to reassert fairly regularly.

I hope she takes the hint when you address it with her and that you enjoy the rest of your pregnancy!

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all4peace

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Re: My mom refers to my unborn baby as "our baby"
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2020, 11:56:08 AM »
DH's M did this, once our kids were born. Before birth, she couldn't even acknowledge my pregnancy except to give me disgusting advice on how to prepare for breastfeeding (if "that's" what I intended to do). But after birth, she would often slip and refer to herself as mommy to our son. I can't remember if she did so for our daughter. Regardless, once our DD was born, DS was relegated to non-existence and she developed an intense sense of focus on and entitlement to our DD that continues obsessively and creepily to this day. That doesn't mean this is how your M will behave, but I would get very clear on boundaries right up front and spend time listening to yourself when something bothers you.

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Cassandra T

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Re: My mom refers to my unborn baby as "our baby"
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2020, 04:54:55 AM »
I never had kids, but back when I was hoping to, I vowed that NO ONE was coming into the delivery room with me, especially my mother. It just seemed too violating and it didn't need to be a family affair. I knew that it was the only way I could keep her out of there, to say I didn't even want my husband in there. Because if I let him in and not her, I would never hear the end of it. So I was willing to give up the idea of having him in there, just to keep her out. Because back when I was much younger, it was harder to stand up to her guilt trip manipulation. If I upset her, there were all the flying monkeys to deal with too.