Does My Mother Have The Right To Take Away My Baby?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I have a serious problem that is really starting to get me under and I truly hope that you will be able to help me with it!!!

I`m a 29 – single mom of a little baby girl of 1year and 4months.The problem starts – I`m currently living with my parents (my mom and her friend-his house) and don’t have my baby for myself I understand the fact that it is her grandma but still I do not get a chance to act as a mother to my baby. While I was pregnant I could not enjoy everything as a “Pregnant Fairy” as what I ever thought it would be due to a lot of difficulties and issues with them towards the father of my baby!!When she was born I could only breast feed her until the age of 3 months `cause we find out that the stress I was under she started to get Colic so I had to start giving her formula milk, so I lost my first step to become close to my baby. Until the age of 5months I was unemployed and started at a new company the maid where looking after her until 9 months and had to take her to crèche.

Well to get to the point: She’s starting to grow and develop emotional feelings and its not towards me its toward my mom. To summary were everything is coming from , my moms friend is 40years of age and doesn’t have any children I cant say that my mom is using my baby towards him but sometimes it does feel like it!!There where times when I buy her new and cute things they will put no interest into it and when he buys her something then all the attention and effort is on that. Sometimes it would comes when she maybe hurt herself and I want to pick her up ,then my mom will take her out of my arms and comfort her instead of me .It is really hurting me because things is already so that when she’s sick or doesn`t feel well she will rather go to my mom and I feel that it is wrong because she need to know that I`m her mommy and she must trust me.

My mom`s friend only return home on weekends on Friday`s he fetch her at school `cause my mom and myself working until 5.Over the week-ends I don`t get a time to play with her due to the fact that my mom is always giving her to him. When I want to take her to her dad they always have such an attitude. When she started to bath in the big bath I even didn`t had the opportunity to let her bath with me my mom started to bath with her until this day still!!!

Please I don`t know how to handle the situation I really just want to be a great mom to her but with my mom giving all the pleasure to her friend and taking so much from me, is really starting to killing me slowly.

Regards
Cindy

A. Dear Cindy I understand your concern. You seem like a loving and caring mother who only wants the best for her child. It’s nice that your mother and her boyfriend are so interested in the health and well-being of your baby. Yes, it is good that they are there to support you and help you raise your new child but as you’ve noted it is problematic that they seem to be overtaking your role as mother. They may be doing this because they think they’re helping you. They may see that you are busy and have a job and that you need the extra help. My point is that they may be doing this out of love and care for the baby without realizing that they’re help is overbearing.

I am wondering whether you’ve talked about your feelings with them. If you have spoken to them about how they are behaving around your baby I wonder what they said. I suspect that you have not brought it up to them. If this is the case I would encourage you to talk to them about how you’re feeling. Tell them what you wrote in this letter. What you wrote in this letter is very informative and I think that it expresses how you’re currently feeling. You may talk to them and find out that they thought they were simply trying to help you.

There is also another possibility. Perhaps for whatever reason they have come to believe that the child needs their care and needs them to be engaging in this type of behavior. It’s possible that they have the wrong idea about you, what type of help you need to raise your child or raising children in general.

You have the right to be concerned about their behavior. As you mentioned the baby now goes running to your mother when she has an accident. Your mother insists on bathing her even though it seems that you would enjoy this activity. They also have a problem with you taking the baby to her father’s house on the weekend. They may have a legitimate reason to be worried about you taking your child to her father’s but it is not their place to dictate whether or not she can or cannot go.

It’s not clear from this letter why your mother and her boyfriend act in a particular manner around your baby. I would recommend that you talk to your mother and her boyfriend about how you feel. I do not know what your relationship is like with your mother’s boyfriend or whether or not it would be easier to only bring this up to your mother. Talk to your mother alone if it’s easier but the point is that you should have a conversation with one or the both of them pertaining to what you wrote in this letter. Your goal is to tell them how you have been feeling. They may have no idea that their behavior has any impact on how you feel. If you talk to them and they are defensive or insist on continuing the behavior then I would suggest the possibility of moving. Before you consider moving however you should consider counseling. Counseling could help you figure out the best way to handle the situation. A counselor could assist you in knowing the best way to handle the talk with your mother and her boyfriend.

It could be that this is all a big misunderstanding and talking to them will “clear the air” and help solve this problem. Thank you Cindy for your question. I wish you luck.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Apr 2009

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2009). Does My Mother Have The Right To Take Away My Baby?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/04/27/does-my-mother-have-the-right-to-take-away-my-baby/