AIBU to be having a bit of a wobble about my mothering 'skills'?

(57 Posts)
emeraldgirl1 Sun 07-Jul-13 22:32:44

I have a 17wo DD, I am by my own admission fairly PFB about her blush but you only get the chance once, right?

I'm not a follower of any child-rearing method (at least not deliberately!) - not to in any way denigrate anyone who is (eg a Gina Ford fan etc) but I'm just sort of muddling my way through and relying on (what I thought was acceptable enough) instinct.

I instinctively feel that, at 17w, I should respond to DD's every need (even if half the time I have no clue what that need actually is...) ie if she cries, which she does quite a lot, I try to solve the problem and cheer her up.

This w/e I've started to worry that I'm doing too much in this regard. I've had comments from in-laws and even (though not as a criticism, just an observation) from my very lovely DH, that I am doing 'too much'. In-laws think I shouldn't hurry to her when she cries etc.

She's only 17w, I thought I was doing the right thing and it certainly felt right. But I am not the most confident and I doubt myself a lot and now I am doing just that.

Can any of you offer reassurance that I'm not screwing everything up? That I am not 'spoiling' DD by trying to meet her every need? I'm assuming that once she's getting older and has words etc, I can ease up on trying to give her everything she needs. eg I don't remotely intend to let her just 'have' things, possessions etc, because as a toddler she suddenly wants them. I don't want to spoil her. I just want her to be secure right now.

I feel as if maybe I am making her more clingy and in need of me? That is what my SIL has said implied this w/e. Is she right? AIBU?

I have definitely thought that maybe I am a bit too full-on sometimes in not wanting DD to be bored etc. I do a LOT of playing, chatting, singing, cuddling. Probably too much; but then I am PFB one of those all-or-nothing people with everything in life. I am aware of this and I am very careful to make sure I do give DD proper down-time, I soothe her to sleep as soon as she looks tired rather than (as my mum does!) constantly jangling toys at her and talking until the very moment she drops off.

I sort of feel as if I am doing it all wrong somehow now sad and achieving quite the opposite of what I wanted, which is to make DD self-confident and at ease in the world.

Of course, there is always the chance that I am over-thinking this too much... blush

I've just had a bit of a rotten w/e with critical in-laws and am having a wobble, I suppose.

nethunsreject Sun 07-Jul-13 22:36:07

My goodness you are doing it all RIGHT! You sound like a fabulous mum. You can't spoil a baby. Responding to her quickly now will make her more secure. Parenting - you're doing it right wink

TarkaTheOtter Sun 07-Jul-13 22:36:21

Ignore, ignore, ignore.

You can't spoil a baby.

TarkaTheOtter Sun 07-Jul-13 22:36:55

X-post grin

DearlyDepartedMrsFinch Sun 07-Jul-13 22:37:06

You are NOT doing it wrong. You know her best and it sounds like you are an absolutely great job and perhaps overthinking somewhat smile

mrsjay Sun 07-Jul-13 22:37:16

she is a teeny tiny baby she needs you go to her but try and not panic when you lift her IYSWIM some babies just cry because they can , I am sure she is ok and you are doing a grand job and Id be cranky if somebody was jangling something infront of me when I was trying to sleep

emeraldgirl1 Sun 07-Jul-13 22:39:42

Thank you! I have honestly sat here all afternoon getting myself into a stupid state about DD still yelling for me when she is 18 5 or 6 and me dropping everything to go and get her a favourite toy or a glass of water or whatever... that is what my SIL has made me feel I am setting myself up for!

Hassled Sun 07-Jul-13 22:40:08

You sound like a lovely mother who will end up with a secure, confident child who knows that her needs will be taken seriously and that she is loved. Keep doing what you're doing.

My general rule of parenting is that you're doing the right thing if you're mostly happy and your children are mostly happy. That's all you can hope for, isn't it?

You cannot spoil a baby. You sound lovely. I had the same wobble when DD2 was tiny, shes 8 months and I am still ignoring people telling me about rods for my back.

If she needs you, go to her. Follow your instincts, they are there for a reason!

Wigeon Sun 07-Jul-13 22:41:04

Google 'Dr Sears' and 'attachment parenting'. Think that will help you put into words what you are doing. Also has lots of explanation about why your approach isn't 'creating a rod fir your back', spoiling your baby etc etc smile

tobytoes Sun 07-Jul-13 22:41:16

My baby is 11 months and I still tend to her every cry and whimper and she is a very happy secure little girl. I wouldnt say she is spoilt or clingy or anything bad because of the way Ive been with her. Enjoy every second and dont listen to anyone telling you your doing wrong,if it feels right and natural then do it.

queenofthepirates Sun 07-Jul-13 22:41:20

No such things as too much cuddling and kissing. Any concerns, talk to the HV. You're doing a super job xxx

emeraldgirl1 Sun 07-Jul-13 22:41:53

Yes, rods for backs!!!! That's exactly what I've been told!!!

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sun 07-Jul-13 22:42:01

Ignore, sounds like you are doing really well smile

There will, obviously, be times when you can't go to her right away though and you shouldn't beat yourself up about that either.

emeraldgirl1 Sun 07-Jul-13 22:42:34

Thanks Wigeon will look that up smile

WilsonFrickett Sun 07-Jul-13 22:43:45

You are doing absolutely the right things. The only skill you have yet to master is called 'the smile and ignore'. Use it at will for everyone who tries to tell you what to do!

The only slight note of caution from your post is that DH has some concerns too - be careful your 'all or nothing' approach doesn't freeze him out, and make sure he has enough opportunities to sing and play (and indeed change and burp) the baby too.

TarkaTheOtter Sun 07-Jul-13 22:44:55

Tell them where to stick the rod.

formicadinosaur Sun 07-Jul-13 22:49:52

Can't spoil a baby. They just need love and attention And sleep. She will feel secure and well loved and eventually she will develop her own space away from you quite happily without it being forced and stressful.

ILs sound quite old fashioned 1970's in their approach.

steppemum Sun 07-Jul-13 22:49:54

you can't spoil a baby!

At the moment she needs to learn that she is secure and safe, and responding to her cries does that.

She will turn into a happy secure toddler who is able to be adventurous because she feels secure.

On the other hand, if you are on the loo and she does cry for a minute, it really isn't going to damage her.

I found that there came a time when I knew my babies we more aware of what was going on, and I responded a bit differently, but that evolved as baby grew, and was certainly not at 17 weeks!

GoldiChops Sun 07-Jul-13 22:50:44

Doing it right! Trust me, I know these things. I'm a nanny with many years experience, cared for lots of newborns. Children change, and so does your parenting and how you react to them- one day you'll be deciding whether curfew is 9pm or 10pm, amounts of pocket money etc. All things you wouldn't need to look at now! Worrying that how you react now will not change over the years is unnecessary. When your DD is a toddler she'll behave differently, communicate differently, have different needs- and you will adapt to meet them.

You're raising your baby in a secure, loving environment while at the same time meeting your own need to do what feels right. Ignore the comments and do your own thing, everyone is an 'expert'. Do what feels right, 99% of the time that is right.

littleginger Sun 07-Jul-13 23:00:20

I had the exact same advice and it is all crap. Its very hard to realise this at the time because the people giving the advice seem so much more experienced. I had the same wobble but i couldnt change what i was doing as it just wasnt me. These are babies not dogs.

Youre doing a great job. My dd is 7 months old almost and i still get told to do silly things which i ignore. I know that my ddis likely to want her own independence and lose any clinginess once she is more mobile. If that doesnt happen then ill encourage it when the time is right and in my own way. You just cant spoil a baby so dont worry about it. What a lucky baby x

apatchylass Sun 07-Jul-13 23:02:16

OP, you're doing what comes naturally to you as a parent, so it's right. (IMHO, it's right anyway. You can't spoil a baby. If they cry and you meet their needs then they will trust you and grow contented. It's a natural response from someone with a strong mothering instinct.

Throughout their lives, but especially during the baby and pre-school years, people from everywhere will tell you you're doing it wrong and that they only mean well when they tell you to do everything completely differently from the way that you have discovered works for you and your baby. Ignore, ignore, ignore. You know best. So long as you and your child are happy with the way you are caring for her, then you are 100% on track, whatever anyone else thinks.

mumofweeboys Sun 07-Jul-13 23:08:17

Have a chat with your dh and find out what he means by too much, perhaps he needs to be more involved ect

Drhamsterstortoise Sun 07-Jul-13 23:22:20

You are doing what feels right for you and your baby.I was exactly like this with my first and am the same with my second.The only difference is that this time people know they can keep their advice to themselves.I've heard the rod for your own back thing too and it's a load of bull.My older dd is very secure,happy,confident and independent.I grew up in a family where no affection was shown and am very insecure.You cannot spoil a child with love and affection.It doesn't make sense.Its what comes naturally-why go against it.You sound like a lovely mum.Its not to do with you being a first time mum either although peoples comments may make you feel this way .Enjoy all the cuddles and kisses.Its such a wonderful time!

Lutrine Sun 07-Jul-13 23:35:13

Emeraldgirl, I could have written your post myself about my 9 week old DD, I feel the same, I also constantly get relatives questioning whether I do know what's wrong if she cries ("no, she's not tired, look at her eyes", "oh, I'll rock her for you, I'll get her to sleep, she can't be hungry so soon") and end up really doubting myself. One relative even told us we were spoiling her by letting her sleep on our chests when she was 2 days old!! I know I'm probably being pathetic but I'm in tears reading all the lovely responses on here. Sorry, least helpful post ever!!

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