This could go under "What an interesting assumption" but I didn't have my cool about me to say that at the time. I was quite upset by this whole thing and not sure if I handled it well by addressing it head on, or not. Also not sure if I should pretend it never happened, or address it again.
My mother, who is a very nurturing person, and lives thousands of miles away from me, called to chat and ask how I am etc. That bit was nice. I mentioned that I'm a little tired from moving house, but apart from that good, pregnancy going well etc. After awhile the conversation started to take an odd turn. First, mum suggested that perhaps I should consider only working 4 days a week. I said that I had actually just told my boss that I would start working from home 1 day per week soon on busy weeks (not unusual, I get a lot of my planning and strategy work done at home so it's good use of time, and with how tired I've been lately it just makes sense). So that was all fine. However, next mum said I really should think about halving
my working hours now. I made the obvious comment that this would mean halving my income, and she said (in a semi joking tone) "Oh well, if the money's more important than your baby". I was a bit annoyed and said that obviously that's not the case, but it's simply unnecessary - most of my weekends I spend at home already, and I honestly have more time than I know what to do with. Why give less time to a job I LOVE just to sit around the house by myself? Anyway, at this point the conversation was remaining civil. And I didn't think she was going to push it further. She asked about my plans for next year and I reminded her that I'm lucky enough to have a boss who is hugely flexible and is happy to accommodate whatever I need, be it time off, flexible hours, or whatever works for me at the time. I don't have to decide now. (This is a huge advantage of working for a privately owned company - my boss can make those decisions!) I commented that if the baby is a peaceful, sleepy kind then I can take him into work some of the time in his early months and finished with "so we'll just see how things go and decide what we need to do". Just trying to close off the topic.
She then interjected with: "And then you'll just shove the baby into daycare and forget about it" . I can't even begin to describe the amount of venom in her voice when she said this, and the emphasis on "shove" and "forget". Honestly, it was as if she was suggesting I was going to feed my baby poison, throw it out the window and disappear off to my money grubbing lifestyle. I decided she'd crossed a line, and said "That's not a very nice thing to say and I won't talk to you anymore if you're going to talk to me like that." and then I started crying.
She immediately started backtracking, said she didn't mean it, and we ended up continuing our conversation on unrelated topics partly because I didn't want her to feel bad. She's always been a judgmental person, partly because of her own sheltered life, but I've never known her to be so pushy before. All of my siblings are very different and live their lives differently, so she's used to having her preconceptions challenged. I just don't know what's triggered this, and if I should expect more to come! Does anybody have any suggestions on handling this kind of meddling? She also has offered to come to stay next year but now I'm seriously questioning whether I'll want her around. She's wonderful with babies and helping out with housework etc, but based on this conversation I'm concerned that she'd just be judging me the whole time regardless of what decisions DH and I make.