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“I Told My Daughter That It’s Her Own Fault No One Wants to Help with Her Baby Because She is Too Overbearing.”

A new grandmother has taken to the internet to ask if she and her family are wrong to step back from helping her daughter look after her baby. Whilst many family members were only to happy to help initially, it seems that they began to feel like the new mum was nit-picking at the way they did things, if it wasn’t the way she wanted them to be done.

My daughter (29) has one child named Sally. We have a large family with a lot of aunts and uncles. At the beginning everyone was super happy to help out and be the village. The problem started when my daughter started having issues with every single thing they did when helping her out. At first it was big things that should be respected ( like respecting nap time) but overtime it started to get smaller and smaller. It got to the point where she was nickpicky just to nickpick.

When ever someone would babysit or help her out she would be texting them constantly or basically be hovering over their shoulder. Some examples, aunt Jen’s basement isn’t safe ( the kid doesn’t go into her basement), washed the dirty baby clothes with the wrong softener, food wasn’t correct ( always too hot or too cold). The list goes on and on. To make it worse she has an attitude that she is the one doing us a favor by letting us near Sally and not that we are helping her out since none of us need to help out. I have talked to her about this before

I understand she is a first time parent but it is very frustrating. It’s all her way and she won’t except anything else.It got to the point where they don’t help her anymore, they were tired of her nickpickying everything they do and where done.

She was complains that no one was helping her, and basically they all suck. I told her the reason she doesn’t have a village anymore is due to big overbearing. She called me a jerk and hasn’t answer my texts.

The question provoked a mixed response, with many people initially agreeing that the new mum wasn’t owed anything, and needed to be told.


Sometimes you just have to tell people the truth without sugar coating it.

Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Don’t be rude to the people that are helping you. (KronkLaSworda)


NTA. The only person who should have obligation is the father. If she didn’t like the help as provided, she isn’t entitled to the help. Yeah it sucks doing the hard work of parenting, but she’s old enough to know what she signed up for. When she complained, you were allowed to explain why. (thewhiterosequeen)

Stop texting your daughter and begging for her time. When you do that, it puts all the power in her hands. Let her stew in her own juice for a while and think about the hard truths you told her. That’s the only thing that may make her see the light. Yes it’s hard not to see your grandchild for a bit but you have to if you want anything to change. (WilliamTindale8)

However, other commenters recognised that the situation could likely be seen differently from the daughter’s point of view. Could the daughter simply be following current child safety guidelines and coming up against older members of the family who refuse to adopt new ways of doing things?

Going to say NAH.

I can’t make a judgement with just your POV on this. There’s too much nuance when it comes to situations like this. And to be honest some of the things you listed as nitpicking I don’t think are nitpicking.

Is Jen’s basement unsafe? Was the detergent you used fragranced and will that irritate the babies skin?

The recommendations for child rearing change from generation to generation. Older relatives often will disregard requests from new parents because “they know better” or “that’s what they did with their kids so it’s fine.”

“It’s all her way and she won’t except anything else.” Well yeah, it’s her baby, she gets to decide how they are raised. Not you. Not her aunts. (O4243G)


Yeah, not saying it’s 1:1 with the case here, but my MIL told her family that I was ridiculously overbearing because I wouldn’t allow her to put a beautiful, handmade blanket in my 3 month old baby’s crib while she napped. From her perspective, I was a paranoid first time mother on an unnecessary power kick. From mine, I was following the basic SIDS guidelines my pediatrician taught me.

If older generations are unaware of—or unwilling to accept—changes in safety (and comfort) for young children, of course new parents are going to come across as overly controlling. (notacartographer)

Totally agree: Grandma wrote that the Mom “wants it her way”. This seemed more like Grandma having trouble realizing she’s not the parent in this situation. The daughter is the parent.

Grandma said her daughter questioned safety, sleep, and food. Like, of course this should be allowed?! Those are 100% things that the daughter should be surveying. If I was doing my daughter’s laundry, 100% I would make sure I was doing it in a way that helped, rather than in a way she’d have to redo it all later.

This whole idea that because someone is doing us a favor we get no say as a parent is very unkind. Kind and caring grandparents let Mom and Dad be the parents. You help for the sake of others, in the way that they need. If not, then you’re helping just to make yourself feel better. (Pastaybasta)

Other commenters questioned whether the new mum was actually displaying signs of  postpartum anxiety rather than being overbearing, in which case she’s likely need more help and understanding from her family, rather than less.

Sounds like your daughter has pretty extreme anxiety manifesting as control issues. Have you talked to her about possible PPA? Or general anxiety disorder?

NTA but as her mom, I would be worried about the source of the behavior.

Control issues are almost always a result of untreated anxiety, and with a new mom, that should be on everyone’s radar regardless.

That’s the problem with anxiety though. It makes you treat others poorly, which pushes people away, which causes more anxiety, and the cycle continues. (Ceecee_soup)


I agree, this sounds very much like post partum anxiety and needs to be seen by a professional. 

NAH. She needs help, not anger. (VirtualMatter2)

What do you think? Should the new grandmother step back from helping her daughter, accept things need to be done her daughter’s way, or suggest her daughter sees a doctor?

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Jolene enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.

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