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Question
Posted by: MARTY | 2010/03/05

BABY CALLS HIS MOM '' MA ''- I HATE IT

My mom in law lives with us and goes hm on the weeknds to take care of my baby - who is now 2yrs old. Shes been taking care of her ever since she was 3mnths old. My baby 1st called her '' MA '' and only about 2 mnths later learned to call me that.I think it was wrong of his mother to teach my daughter to call her '' MA''. It affects me to the extent that I won''t ever discipline my child in the fear that my child will love me less. My baby actually prefers his mom more- and wud rather sleep next to her and have her put her to sleep. And If my mom in law leaves - then she wails , but not so much for me.
This is really affecting my parenting skills, as I refuse to discipline my child and actually give in to all her whims and fancies, hoping she will love me more, but it doesnt seem to be happening. I cant even believe I have to fight for my own right as a mother , but this is what I am doing. Am I over reacting - or am I really being robbed of my motherhood. It hurts me alot and I''m actually in a state of depression over this . I have told my husband about this - but he feels I''m over reacting. My worst fear is having my baby in a creche - which I why I tolerate his mom. Please help - how do I work around this ? This is quite serious for me , although it mite sound petty to others.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

You can't have it both ways. Either you say at home and care for your child every day, or you need some help - a creche, a hired nanny, or a family member like mom-in-law. If being in control is so important to you, you'd need to move to the first option. Otherwise mom-in-law sounds like a fair option. And talk between you and choose what name you would all prefer the child to use for the person who it seems does do most of the mothering she receives, as Purple suggests. She has to call the nice lady SOMETHING. By all means limit Ma or Mom to yourself, but also don't over-interpret childish babbling sounds with all the heavier concepts we adults tie to some words.
And don't give up on discipline - the child can lose respect for someone who lets her get away with everything. What is very important is that as a family you draw up the basic rules and consequences of discipline so she meets the same rules and consequences with mom-in-law as with you.
Am I understanding that Mom-in-law looks after the child at your home through the week, and goes to her own home at weekends, leaving the child in your care ? And presumably the child should be in your primary care each evening and night ?
And relax. You're not being "robbed of your motherhood" Why do you so dread a good creche ?


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Our users say:
Posted by: Marty | 2010/03/08

Purple ,

I do appreciate your feed back, Hoewver just to clarify - I m not sherking on my responsibilities, my daughter refuses to sleep next us . Shes now 2years old . I do realise that perhaps I am over reacting. We have told my mom in law wot we prefer her my daughter to call her , however with no success. I then realised I had to ignore it, but it does affect me alot. Anyway , I know I need to consider creche . I suppose its all the scary stories we hear about creches that worries me.

Reply to Marty
Posted by: Nene | 2010/03/08

My child calls me and m mom " mama" , and I dont have problem with that. He is turning 4 and he knows who the real mommy here. And whever she calls my mom, he will specify which mom. At first my mom was enforcing him to call her mom and me by my name and the child diecided to call us both mom and he does not budge. So the child will resolve this by herself,stop stressing

Reply to Nene
Posted by: Liza | 2010/03/08

My kids call their stepmom Ma and I''m called Mommy. I used to mind, but now it doesn''t matter anymore. Their stepmom is very good to them and actually deserves being called Ma. But I''m still Mommy and I know that they love me. Remember that your heart is like a taxi - you can always fit in more people without loving others less.

Good Luck
Liza

Reply to Liza
Posted by: Purple | 2010/03/06

Children bond most with their primary care giver. Whether it is granny, daddy, mommy or the nanny/au-pair. Whoever is around the most will be the one they run to when they cut their knee and so on.

Have you spoken to your mother in law and said you would prefer it if your child called her something else such as granny or gogo or nan or whatever suits you both and refers to you as ma or mama or mom or whatever term you like?

If your child is only just learning to talk then don''t worry too much, the mama and dada sounds they make aren''t actually talking, they are just making sounds. As parents we insist they are saying mom or dad. I read that in most langauges the words children call their mothers are all related to that " ma"  sound they initially make anywhere between about 7 and 18 months.

You and your mother in law need to agree on the rules and boundaries for your daughter and both stick to them so that your daughter is getting consistent treatment from both of you. If you don''t set these limits for your child you are going to have a very troubled relationship as the years go by and one day you will turn around and wonder why your teenager is such a brat (OK, they all are, but some are worse than others).

Why does your child need to sleep at your mother in law as well? plenty of moms use a granny for child care during the day, but they are still the parent in the evenings and on weekends. Aren''t you shirking your responsibility a bit? Your mother in law has had her children already.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Jacqui | 2010/03/06

Honestly, it is wonderful if children could all be taken care of by extended family. However, the reality is very different and so often there is conflict around child rearing issues. The upset and drama that this arrangement is going to cause within your marriage and family, and how this is going to affect your relationship with your child is simply not worth it. The ideal situation is when children can be raised by their mothers, at home but it is very difficult to do that nowadays when you want to provide for your child as best you can.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a good creche. The children are stimulated mentally, they grow emotionally around their peers and are better prepared for school when the time comes. It removes the strain on your relationship with your mother in law, gives you and your husband some common ground and will surely benefit your relationship with your child.
Not disciplining her and not having boundaries is going to drive a wedge between you and your daughter - nothing good will come from this battle of wills.
I wish you all the best.

Reply to Jacqui
Posted by: Maria | 2010/03/06

Children need love and boundaries in order to feel safe. The way you are behaving towards your daughter - giving in to all her whims - is making her feel insecure with you and actually damaging your relationship. Why is your biggest fear having your baby in a creche?

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/03/06

You can't have it both ways. Either you say at home and care for your child every day, or you need some help - a creche, a hired nanny, or a family member like mom-in-law. If being in control is so important to you, you'd need to move to the first option. Otherwise mom-in-law sounds like a fair option. And talk between you and choose what name you would all prefer the child to use for the person who it seems does do most of the mothering she receives, as Purple suggests. She has to call the nice lady SOMETHING. By all means limit Ma or Mom to yourself, but also don't over-interpret childish babbling sounds with all the heavier concepts we adults tie to some words.
And don't give up on discipline - the child can lose respect for someone who lets her get away with everything. What is very important is that as a family you draw up the basic rules and consequences of discipline so she meets the same rules and consequences with mom-in-law as with you.
Am I understanding that Mom-in-law looks after the child at your home through the week, and goes to her own home at weekends, leaving the child in your care ? And presumably the child should be in your primary care each evening and night ?
And relax. You're not being "robbed of your motherhood" Why do you so dread a good creche ?


Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Zee | 2010/03/05

She is only a baby and its because she is good to her my four year lod calls my helper mummy and when she leaves she wants to go with her, I am glad this is happening cause it means she is taking good care of my baby and she loves my baby, my daughter goes to day care so she is not with her the whole day but she is crazy about her. So acept and be happy that your in law is taking good care of your baby

Reply to Zee

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