Childrearing

Anonymous Mom: I Hate That Everyone Demands To Hold My Baby

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holding babyAnonymous Mom is a weekly column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity.

I cherish weekends. I leave our apartment for work before the rest of my family. We only have three hours each weekday as a family and a bunch of that time is spent dressing, undressing, feeding, and bathing our daughter. Bottom-line: I miss my kid a lot during the week.

I was a self-admitted Type A before my daughter came along. I liked to be busy, to have my home in order, to be on top of things at work. Since she’s arrived we spend much of our time off cuddling in bed or taking pictures of our chubby baby girl trying to eat snow (of course the control freak in me still has to be talked off the snow-is-dirty-put-your-tongue-back-in-your-mouth ledge, but we make it through).

All of this is pretty normal: woman has baby, woman wants to be with her baby. Nothing extraordinary here. The thing is so many people seem to feel entitled to TAKE — that’s right not visit with but TAKE my not-even-1-year-old daughter from her Dad and I. This isn’t a case where we are abusive and need to be relieved of our parenting duties I assure you. Nope, my in-laws and even one of my sisters constantly ask, cajole, and even demand that we GIVE them our baby.

My mother-in-law asks for our daughter to sleep over her house WITHOUT HER PARENTS every time we see her. Did I mention that she has two other infant granddaughters? For some reason our baby is so interesting that we now have a tug-o-war over her at family functions. It seems the more I say “no” the more vigorously women in our family want our baby. I hear phrases like these, in annoying Southern accents, every time we’re together:

“Don’t worry I’ll just hold her until you all leave.”

“Wouldn’t you like to go away for the weekend and leave her with us?”
“Oh, you get her all the time, I’ll keep her now.”
“You are such a baby hog aren’t you?”*

*Can someone even hog their OWN child?

The very best was a recent comment about how my breastfeeding is getting in the way of my infant’s potential sleepovers:

“You know formula won’t hurt her. I could give her some while she’s at our house since you don’t pump enough for her to stay overnight.”

Right, let’s just change my parenting style to meet your needs. No problem. And while I’m mixing the formula for you I’ll also sign away my parental rights.

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