Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Why do some new mothers assume that everyone wants to hold the baby?

Asked by Dutchess_III (45313points) December 27th, 2011
33 responses
“Great Question” (6points)

?? I was rushing around like crazy putting the finishing touches on Christmas dinner. My son’s girlfriend came up with their one month old baby in her arms and says, “Gramma hasn’t had a chance to hold you!” and started to hand her to me.
I said, “I’m sorry Shell, I’m REALLY busy right now. Maybe later.”

Later, as I was sitting, exhausted she said, “Gramma can hold you now!” and stuck her in my arms…

She’s not the only woman to have done this to me over the years. I never stuck my babies in other people’s arms unless they asked, or unless I needed my hands free for a moment, and then I would ASK them to hold the baby for a moment.

I don’t get it….

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Ayesha's avatar

Such a good question. I’m totally with you on this one, I don’t get it either.

Dutchess_III's avatar

So it happens to you too @Ayesha? We should get T-shirts that read “I do NOT want to Hold The Baby!”

Ayesha's avatar

Oh yes, many times. I share the exact same feelings. I like the T-shirt idea :)

HungryGuy's avatar

Nobody has ever shoved a baby in my arms. I’d be terrified to hold someone else’s baby.

Brian1946's avatar

That’s just preliminary training for your future job as an unpaid babysitter. ;-)

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I never thought about it… probably because I always want to hold the baby.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Not happening! I don’t do kids until they’re potty trained.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf I don’t. I think when my kids were little I was more like you, but not now and I don’t know why.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Dutchess_III I believe that it would bother me if I didn’t want to hold the baby. I just don’t think it ever occurred to me until you brought it up, because I am usually the one waiting (im)patiently for mama to hand over the baby. :)
Maybe it is their way of giving their arms a break. Or, maybe they really think everyone wants to revel in their adorable little human. Hard to say.

Blackberry's avatar

I’ve seen some mothers that didn’t want a bunch of people holding their baby because of germs, so maybe it’s even lol.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf In her case, it’s the latter. She believes everyone wants to revel in their adorable little human.

figbash's avatar

It’s such an odd interaction. I am always afraid I’m not going to do it right, etc. and wind up freezing up. Then, if I don’t want to hold the baby I feel like I’m rejecting it/the parents. I also have had bad experiences where the parents feel insulted. It’s like a bad Larry David moment.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Maybe they’re not assuming you want to hold the baby. Maybe they’re just tired and asking for help.

Aethelwine's avatar

I can understand you being put off by holding a child not related to you, but your own grandchild? I’m confused. Maybe she thought grandma wanted to hold her grandchild. I don’t think that’s so strange.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I know a girl who does this to her dad and stepmom. At first we thought she was just a frustrated mom who needed a break but it turns out she feels this will help bond her dad closer to the baby. She told her husband who told the stepmom who told the baby’s grandpa and grandpa thinks his daughter is insecure and thinks grandpa should be baby ga-ga.

Soupy's avatar

I think a lot of mothers assume that everyone else finds their baby as amazing as they do. This is why those people will assume you want to hold the baby, assume you want to hear about the poop changing when baby went from milk to solids, that you want to hear about the super-cute way he moved his head last week, and about that time he blew a bubble.

Ela's avatar

I never just handed my babies over to anyone. My sister and best friend would just pick them up or ask for them. I would ask their grandma if she wanted to hold them (if it looked like she wanted to). Guess I was a pretty stingy mom. I always held them.
I love babies and love to talk to them but would I dislike having them pushed on me.

Sunny2's avatar

You really had quite a Christmas celebration, didn’t you?
My impression is that enough women “ask” to hold the baby that new mothers think every woman must want to. If you look at a small group of women around a new mother and offspring, you can tell in the women’s eyes if they long to hold that child. A lot of women really feel having a baby was the best thing that ever happened to them and they long to re-live a moment when they felt that special warm feeling.
I’m with you in not needing that, thank you.

DaphneT's avatar

My niece is complaining that she doesn’t get to hold her own baby because everyone takes the child… :) Just a different perspective. And then there’s my niece-in-law that doesn’t plan to let her child’s grandfather hold him, ever, because she doesn’t like the step-grandmama. So go figure.

YARNLADY's avatar

I always had the opposite problem. Everyone wanted to take mine and hold them even when I didn’t want to give them up. I had the same issue with the grandchildren when they were little. I couldn’t get enough of holding them.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I wanna hold the baby.

augustlan's avatar

I love to hold babies, so I’ve never thought about this. I think I’ve only known one person who just hands the baby over to everyone, though. As far as I know, we all really do want to hold her, so it works out ok in our case. :)

JLeslie's avatar

That only happened to me once that I can think of, and I in a fairly short time gave the baby back.

Usually a mom asks me if I want to hold the baby, or if I mind taking the baby. Forceably putting a baby in someone’s arms, no matter what the relation, is odd to me.

whitetigress's avatar

I was kinda thinking, “Why do people always want to hold others babies” because I think I’m kind of going to be hesitant when my first child comes April! I’d love to hang around you in this case @Dutchess_III :P

rooeytoo's avatar

I think @Soupy nailed it up there ^ I find babies to be a bit on the sticky, smelly side and no I don’t want to hold them. I always did prefer puppies! But unless they have just eaten (when it is a dangerous business to hold them) I always take them and make the appropriate remarks, oh how beautiful, so sweet, etc. etc. ad nauseum. heheheh

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jonsblond It’s not like I never want to hold the baby (in fact I spent two hours today holding her and feeding her and gazing into her eyes which are starting to focus :) but for her to just walk up and pretty much try to shove the baby in my arms, no matter what I’m doing…it’s just rude, IMO.

@Lightlyseared No..the room was full of people who wanted to Hold The Baby, including my son, her dad. She didn’t need any help!

@rooeytoo Aww! The sweet little thing threw up on me today! It was sooo cute! And…I couldn’t believe I couldn’t find a cloth diaper or a dish-towel shoulder-protector anywhere nearby. I had to go to the kitchen to get one. I don’t mind baby frow up in the least. And I’m serious about that. I do prefer to be able to clean it up quickly, though.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Dutchess_III Of course you know her better than we do. I would get the impression that she thinks her baby’s grandma wouldn’t mind holding the baby whenever. I don’t think she’s trying to be rude. but again, I don’t know the girl

rooeytoo's avatar

@Dutchess_III – you have a stronger stomach than I! I am not particularly fond of any kind of frow up.

Pandora's avatar

Maybe she feels your not bonding with the baby and wants to make that happen. I didn’t shove my kids at anyone but I didn’t feel the need too. All to often people wanted to hold them so I guess I always felt they were surrounded by a large family that loved them on both sides. I think if I would’ve encountered the opposite than I may think that maybe they are either just to shy to straight up ask, or nervous around babies or maybe no like my baby. Remember new mothers are hormonal and have a strong desire for everyone to be fond of their little baby. This helps reassure mom that someone will always keep care around their baby. If someone is withdrawn, you start to feel a bit like a tiger mom. Why are your withdrawn? Do you dislike the baby? Can I trust you to ever be alone with my baby? She can be sizing you up to see if you can be trusted with the baby.
It can also be that she grew up with loving doting grandparents and she wishes the same for her baby, or that she didn’t grow up with a loving or close relationship with her grandparents and feels jealous of others who have had that experience and she doesn’t want her kid to miss out like she did.
Maybe she simply doesn’t feel you consider her tyke a welcome addition to the family because you two aren’t particularly close.
I’ve seen grandmoms sometimes favor one childs kids over another child kid. Especially if the grandparents have a favorite sibling.
She simply may feel hurt and may not be seeing things clearly. You won’t know till you sit and talk to her. Tell her its nothing personal but you never felt comfortable with infants and you don’t want the kid picking up on it. Assure her you love your grandbaby but you need time to bond in a way that would be a good experience for the both of you.

JLeslie's avatar

I was thinking about this question, and what came to mind was I remember once someone telling me or reading somewhere that the grandmoms job when they come to help out aftwr the birth of a grandchild is to help cook, clean, and do laundry, so the new mommy can be with her baby. That made sense to me, although I do not have children so my view might be off. I also, of course, understand that a new mother may not want to be with the baby all the time, some are post pardum, and some just want help with the feeding, and the holding, and the rocking. So, I was just thinking that each person has their own view of the various roles each person should play. This new mom has some sort of assumption of what a grandma should do or want. We have no idea if she is handing over the baby because she wants to, or because she feels she is supposed to so you don’t feel insulted or some other thing she has in her head. My SIL would not let anyone near the baby, and her mother and I felt insulted.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wow @Pandora! Sorry…but that’s way out there! I love my grandkids. And this is my only son’s first baby so this one is going to be especially favored, just because everyone, including his sisters, especially favor their ‘little’ (6’ 5”) brother. Plus, she’s only the 2nd girl out of 6 kids (4 boys.). Nobody’s going to get NEAR the girl when she hits Middle School!

I hardly think that holding a baby on demand is a precursor to how I feel about her, or am going to feel about her. I didn’t feel the need to hold my other grandkids 24/7 when I had the chance. They’re 16, 11, 8 and 6 now…and everyone knows gramma’s house is “magic.” The home of Magic Cinnamon Sugar Toast. The home of the Magic Toy Box. The home of books and adventures, mud pies, hugs and lovins.

@JLeslie Well, in her case, she wants me to hold the baby because she is concerned that we don’t like or approve of her…and we don’t. Just a few months after they started dating she went off her birth control…and didn’t tell my son. She did it because she could tell he was having second thoughts about her and she assumed getting pregnante would “keep” him….he said she just screams, all the time. Screams at him, screams her her other two boys (which my son has taken on as his own.) She’s lazy. Her house is filthy. She quit work 3 months into her pregnancy, refuses to find work even now, even though she has been physically able to for over a month. The financial strain on my son is unbelievable, and she doesn’t care. She still thinks that she can control everyone with this baby. No. We do not like her, Sam I Am

But, that has absolutely nothing to do with how I feel about HIS baby. Shoot. All my grandkids were born out of wedlock.

Anyway, that’s her motivation, but other women have done it too, and I just don’t understand it.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III I see. Well that does add more information to the picture. She is hoping to get acceptance because she is the mother of your grandchild. She became pregnant to trap him, amd birthed the baby to trap you. Or, something like that. Ugh.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But she’s not the only one who’s done it. I love babies but I just don’t feel the need or desire to hold them every chance I get. Maybe it’s because I’ve held hundreds of babies over the years. Or maybe it’s because I’ll never be able to relive the feeling of holding my own babies ever again. : (

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