Mamabear Knows Child

I recently had a text chat with a friend of mine who is currently expecting her first child.
She lives 3 hours out of the city, her family lives in the city, and so naturally I asked her if she is going to get some help for the first few days.
She mentioned that her mom will be coming for a couple of days.
A couple of days?!?
She said that people had already warned her that it won’t be enough time but then she said something that made a lot of sense.
She said that her and her mom have different ideas as to how to deal with a baby and she may be better off doing it on her own.
This brought up so many thoughts and emotions for me.
I’m already on baby number two and my mom has a heavy hand in helping me with the kids.
She cooks for them on occasion (anytime I ask for that matter), she takes them to her house for sleepovers and she’ll come with me to appointments with the two of them.
These are the things that allow me to have a social life, get my personal needs tended to and still get to date my husband.
As with all great things in life there is always a catch.
My mom comes from a very different place and time.
She’s somewhat extremely neurotic.
She believes in coddling her kids/grandkids.
She believes that she knows best and I should do what she says.
Realistically, I can handle the first two aforementioned things.
I think it’s only natural for a babushka (Russian for grandma) to be neurotic and to be a coddler.
It’s that last point that causes some serious friction.
I know that my mom knows what she’s doing but I don’t necessarily agree with her approach all of the time.
For example, when Nate was learning to eat on his own I was very adamant to let him experiment with food.
I stayed clear of his tray and whatever he would eat would be good enough, especially considering that he was a very good eater.
My mom, on the other hand, would chase him around the room with a meal and feed it to him while he was busy playing or doing whatever a toddler does.
Now let me begin by saying that it is very difficult to tell someone that you want them to do things differently when they are more experienced and when they are so gosh darn helpful.
I would start off by mentioning my approach to eating while we would actually be eating together.
She would get offended but would agree.
I would reply with a sigh of relief at the fact that it didn’t have to be a battle.
Here comes the hurricane.
The next time she saw him she would point out that he seems to have lost weight and would ask me what I am feeding him.
I’ve come to terms with the fact that by default moms take a very passive aggressive approach with their daughters.
It is innate in them.
This uncontrollable urge to stay calm but angry all at once.
These comments would inevitably lead to a verbal war and we would avoid each other for a couple of days until she started missing Nate and came back.
NEVER apologizing, just returning as though nothing had happened.
So, to my good friend who is waiting on that little miracle to arrive and to all women who have moms that are going to be involved with your kids.
Just like in any relationship you need to remember to pick your battles.
Always know that you are here and doing well so your mom must have done something right.
Know that she loves you a lot but she probably loves your kids even more and will guard them with her life.
She means well and she truly wants the best for you and your baby cub.
At the end of the day, she is the original lioness and only means well.
So take a deep breath in and remember that it won’t be perfect but you are lucky to have a mamabear that wants to help you and be there every step of the way.