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You've given birth to a precious child and are exhausted, as any woman
would be after bringing life into the world. Luckily, your mamá comes to the
rescue. She knows you fell asleep mid-sentence and that you haven't washed your
hair in weeks. So, she rushes your front door. "I want to help you with this
transition," she claims. "You need me!" She hollers, maybe while clutching her
She was once a new mother, after all.
Suddenly, your mamá has basically moved in. She's the chef in your
kitchen and has rearranged your furniture ("The couch looks much better
there!"). She's a proud abuela and is enamored with your child.
But she's not letting you be a mamá. So, how can you accept help from your mami without her taking over? Here are some helpful tips.
Ask Her to Teach You
Most abuelas deem themselves parenting experts. So what if they dropped
you on your head? "You turned out just fine!" Your mamá says with a shrug. And
So, ask your mamá for guidance instead of fighting with her. Whether it's
a lesson in swaddling, or how to make that nutritious pudding you had as a
child, she can help if you let her. Once she instructs you on the how, tell her
she's taught you so well that you want to try it on your own. That way, she'll feel
proud, like she's helped, and that you can handle your new role.
Enlist an Army of Distraction
The more people who stop by for a visit, the less your mamá will take
over. She won't have a choice but to let you change diapers and breastfeed
("She's not eating enough!" Your mamá screams when the baby falls sleeps on
your bosom) because our mamas love to entertain. She's going to be too busy
making cafecitos for your brothers, sisters, and primos to
hover over your breasts.
Buy Her a Collection of Novelas
If your mamá is anything like mine, she's addicted to novelas. I could be
lying on the floor in the fetal position and her eyes remain glued on María
Angela and José Alberto's first kiss.
Distract her with something else that she loves and she may just forget
her overbearing role.
Nod at Her Unsolicited Advice
A quick nod may be all your mamá needs to feel that her opinions on
parenting matter. It may go in your ear and out the other, but she may ease up
because she doesn't feel shut down.
You need to stand up for yourself. Yes, it's terrifying, but you're a
mother now. You created life. You pushed for hours on end, or recovered from
C-section, because you are strong and can handle anything.
Tell your mamá how you feel and what you need... gently.
Present a United Front
You and your partner need to stick together. If the rules and regulaciones
come from both of you, she may conform. She will also realize that her daughter
has a strong, loving partner caring for her daughter and grandchild.