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A vent about "Granny Nanny" and advice requested - Page 2

post #21 of 43
Quote:
Shouldn't this say luckily for you because you are the one receiving free childcare from someone who loves your children very much? Honestly, is it possible that your mom senses your frustration which is making her feel unappreciated. She really is doing a huge favor for you, even if you aren't happy with the way she does things. I guess you just need to decide if your differences are deal breakers or not and move on from there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToadJode View Post
I say luckily for her because she gets to stay at home and spend the day with the babies while I'm stuck at work and would much rather be at home raising my kids.
So many people on MDC are always singing the praises of having a village, while not really understanding that the village works both ways. People will complain about not having grandparents around, without realizing the financial/time/physical strain and responsibility it takes to care for these same grandparents as they age. Nothing is for free. OP is not getting 'free' childcare.

honestly.... I understand this dynamic. My MIL expected me to go to work to support her, so she could stay at home with *my* kids-- and thought I should feel grateful to her for the privilege.

It was a huge, angry making, blood boiling type situation. If we hadn't been living with her, we could have made different choices in regards to home size, groceries, even what vacations we could choose. If we didn't have to support her in terms of old age, health care etc, we could make different decisions in terms of how much risk we could live with for our finances. Then she wants me to go to work, and leave my kids with her, not having any say in how they are raised? Uh uh. This was literally the straw that broke the camels back in my story.

Free loving childcare from an live in grandparent can be a huge boon. A win-win-win for all 3 generations, where all 3 should feel lucky.

And it can also be an enormous strain on all 3 generations. I think that all involved have to be flexible, and respectful of boundaries and roles. You are mom. She is grandma. That's it. In this case, it sounds like your mom is not being respectful at all.

Believe me, I now have a ton of nanny woes-- but I still don't think you are wrong or evil for saying that your mom is lucky.

A huge hug for you.
post #22 of 43
That sounds really hard. While I know that frank talks with your mom might help, the truth is you have no control when you are away, and that makes it hard. If you don't trust your care provider, work is so much more stressful! I would suggest talking to your mom, using "I" statements. Like "I don't like feeling like I can't trust you with my children's care.". "I can't handle being at work wondering if my babies are crying when you could be holding them." "I don't like arguing with you about shots for the children." "I feel bad when you question the way I want to raise my children. It makes me sad that you think I am not capable of being a great mom unless I do what you say.".

It is easy to argue about childrearing ideas, like rice cereal, CIO, or shots. But she can't argue about how she is making you feel. These types of conversations work best when both parties are calm, so maybe get a coffee with your mom and have a heart to heart. I hope this helps. Good luck.
post #23 of 43
What a frustrating situation!

I agree with a lot of pp. You have to at least have a conversation with her (or many) where you firmly lay down the law: You are the mom, she is the grandma, you say how things go. And while I think that choosing your battles is appropriate in many situations, with this one I think it should be your call across the board-- they are YOUR babies, you have earned the right to say what goes in them, on them, and goes on around them. If you sense your mom isn't respecting your wishes, you have to find someone who will. Even id you get more firm with her she very well may just say yes and do what she wants behind your back anyways, a scenario which sounds likely. There has to be consequences if she keeps undermining you. Think of what's at stake. They're newbies now but soon enough they'll be toddlers and food and tv will be an issue too. And they'll start to pick up on the power struggle b/n you and your mom too. You love her and are grateful but shes out of line, and you can tell her as much.
post #24 of 43
Grandparent childcare is so lovely and SO HARD.

My in-laws watch my son part time and my partner and I swap childcare/work with each other split shifts to cover the other time. It HAS put a strain on our relationship with them. Because they are not hired help. You can't tell them what to do in the same way as someone who is strictly working for you.

So we have agreed that for us knowing our son is happy and loved with his grandparents outweighs all of the arguments over his care we have had.

For a few examples: he's 19 months old and they still secretly give him a bottle. They have already told me when I wean him off the pacifier they will keep giving him one. They give him juice and we have said no countless times (they even gave him prune juice once. PRUNE JUICE??!!! He was crapping for a week!). They don't give him a nap half the time because they want more time with him. They keep him up way past his bedtime when we work at night. They give him much more sweets than we do. Plastic toys at their house. Toys that make noise at their house.

But overall... I can get over these things. There were a few non-negotiables we were willing to fight over. No CIO (luckily they wouldn't). No interfering with my BFing relationship (luckily she nursed my partner until 3 years so we're ok there). No retracting (this one was a fight, she's an RN). Very limited TV. (as in, 1 time in 19 months when it rained all week)


They are family. We value the small family that we do have and feel him having active, involved grandparents in his life does more to enrich him than having a picture perfect no sweets no juice AP approved life.

Fight her to the death on CIO. But realize that her day is really, really hard (really, really, really hard to be alone with twin infants all day) and not using CIO for twins (while entirely possible) can be really challenging, so if someone believes CIO is ok, they they are going to see not doing it as an enormous amount of needless work. So recognize her point of view, and help her brainstorm ways to make her day not be so stressful, even as you put your foot down. If fact, I have no idea how I'd get 2 infants to sleep without nursing!
post #25 of 43
I haven't read other responses, but boy do I hear your frustration.

I live with my parents (post-divorce) and my mom has done childcare - either all or part of it - for years.

There have been a lot of growing pains, but overall it's been great. It took me quite a while to come to terms with the situation, and for us to work out communication, boundaries, etc.

One thing I had to face is that the idea of "I'm the mom so what I say goes" is not so clear cut when grandmom is LIVING in the house & doing significant childcare. Lines between parenting/babysitting/grandparenting get blurred. And that doesn't have to be a bad thing. Over the past several years, I've let some things go - I've either accepted that my mom's way is just as good, or perhaps even better than mine, or I just let less critical things go. Some things I have made clear to my mom are non-negotiable, stood my ground and stopped all discussions. I've also shifted my perspective to view the family in a more communal way. I'm not explaining it well, but it just doesn't work for me to think of my mom as a "nanny" who hands off the kids when I come home. That's not our situation. We're all a team, and though who's "got the kids" at the moment shifts, no one is a sitter. We eat dinner together, have family outings, etc.

Good luck - you've got your hands full right now, and it's a VERY emotional time! This is ALL so new. You, your BF, your mom, the babies - you're ALL new to this! But give it time, take some deep breaths, try to take an emotional step back, stick it out, and hopefully it will work out well for all involved.
post #26 of 43
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the responses, everyone.

I totally get what you are saying about the mixing of the roles when you live with a grandparent who is watching the children...but I still don't think that should mean I have to give up my autonomy as a parent.

It's proving to be a struggle, but I'm feeling a bit better about putting my foot down about things I want/don't want.
post #27 of 43
Oh no . . . I'm so sorry!



I agree with JudiAU. I hired care provider must follow along with your choices for the kids; they do not have the option of arguing with you about it.

I think it must be very stressful to feel dependent on her for childcare and have to justify your decisions all the while living together.
post #28 of 43

I agree with not making it about the research. Because, truly, it doesn't matter why you have decided something, it just matters THAT you decided it. You very much need to sit down- as hard as it may be- and tell her that you could never get by without her help and advice, but she had her opportunities to be a mom, and this is your chance. She got to do things her way, and you want to do things your way. Maybe even throw in a "I think you'll see our opinions aren't that different overall" or something. Maybe even appealing to her emotions by saying, "It makes me feel sad/hurt/etc. when you say x,y,z or roll your eyes at me. I'm a first time mom like you were once, too. I'm allowed to try different things, even if I don't get it right on the first try."

post #29 of 43
Thread Starter 



Tried this the other night and she STILL took it personally. As much as I hate this saying, it fits perfectly: It is what it is. It's just something I have to deal with.

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by karaann07 View Post

I agree with not making it about the research. Because, truly, it doesn't matter why you have decided something, it just matters THAT you decided it. You very much need to sit down- as hard as it may be- and tell her that you could never get by without her help and advice, but she had her opportunities to be a mom, and this is your chance. She got to do things her way, and you want to do things your way. Maybe even throw in a "I think you'll see our opinions aren't that different overall" or something. Maybe even appealing to her emotions by saying, "It makes me feel sad/hurt/etc. when you say x,y,z or roll your eyes at me. I'm a first time mom like you were once, too. I'm allowed to try different things, even if I don't get it right on the first try."

post #30 of 43

I agree with everything below. Unfortunately your mom has already made it clear to you that she feel she knows best and that she will do what she wants. You need to find another nanny.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lynsage View Post

Get another nanny ASAP and let her be Grandma, not caretaker. If you had a nanny that argued with you, rolled her eyes and openly fought you on your decisions like this, you'd fire her! No amount of money saved on a sitter is worth leaving your kids with someone you can't trust to follow your rules.

If she's willing to go as far as to replace something you threw away because you didn't want it used on your kids, I am willing to bet that her next steps are rice cereal and CIO, if she's not doing one or both of those behind your back already!
post #31 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToadJode View Post

Anyway, I could go on and on and on about the stuff we argue over. I'm so stressed out because I can't find a way to express to her that I appreciate her help, but I will make the decisions in regards to their upbringing and she must abide by those rules. She takes everything so personally, and whenever I bring up something I don't like, she freaks out. I also get the "You can't raise a child by going by things you read on the internet and you should just do what comes naturally to you."

I'm at my wits' end. I don't want to to fight with her about everything in regards to parenting for the rest of my life, but I can't get her to see things my way at all!

Has anyone else dealt with this?? What did you do?? Were you ever able to get any sanity back in your life??

This!!!!  She said it right there...she wants you to do what comes naturally to you, so you just have to turn that back on her.  You don't need to follow her advice or ways and you certainly don't have to listen to what those weirdos (hehe) on the internet think  but you need find what works for you.    Maybe what you see as ideal will change, I know it did for me.  Maybe some of her ideas will be fine with you.  But her telling you the right way to do things goes against her own advice, so tell her that.

post #32 of 43

See, then, in my opinion, TOO BAD FOR HER. Let her take it personally. She is an adult, and she is stepping on your toes, and you are trying to set some boundaries in your OWN home, for your OWN children, and that's ok. If she is going to want to impose her child rearing ideals on you, then she is not an appropriate nanny. Any other nanny would have been fired by now. She either needs to step back into the grandma role only, or accept that she is HELPING to raise SOMEONE ELSE'S children. 

post #33 of 43

Ok, now that I've had my big, bad rant. let me ask you this- have you tried just brushing off her comments and "suggestions" - as pushy as they might be- with a light and breezy air?  Like if a stranger in the grocery store gave you unsolicited advice? Perhaps you can take that approach, just keeping it light and "Oh, yeah, but I want to try this, first, I think it'll give us a good start!" or whatever... and THEN, choose some specific topics you think you can handle her advice on and actually SEEK OUT her advice. That would hopefully make her feel needed still.

post #34 of 43
Thread Starter 

It's hard to do that because she watches them full time while I'm at work and I don't want her to do things that I don't approve, like feeding them rice cereal too early, or parking them in front of the TV.

 

We are starting to communicate a bit better, and I'm learning to compromise. For example, instead of putting vaseline on them during diaper changes, I'm allowing her to use a dab of almond oil which is all natural.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by karaann07 View Post

Ok, now that I've had my big, bad rant. let me ask you this- have you tried just brushing off her comments and "suggestions" - as pushy as they might be- with a light and breezy air?  Like if a stranger in the grocery store gave you unsolicited advice? Perhaps you can take that approach, just keeping it light and "Oh, yeah, but I want to try this, first, I think it'll give us a good start!" or whatever... and THEN, choose some specific topics you think you can handle her advice on and actually SEEK OUT her advice. That would hopefully make her feel needed still.

post #35 of 43

This is a very hard situation.  I went to tend to think what you might need to communicate to her is that she got her turn to raise her very own babies however she well pleased, and now it is your turn.  Do not engage in discussions.  It is not up for negotiation.  At least she is being honest with you and you know what is going on.  I would tell her if she doesn't want to honor your requests, which are very serious to you, then some other arrangements will be made for the girls.  However, it is very hard to know even then if she is or isn't following your requests, since you are not there and your babies are very young.  

post #36 of 43

Double post


Edited by Sol_y_Paz - 11/12/10 at 10:38am
post #37 of 43

Jeeze I'm sorry.  We also do "GrannyNanny"  NOT so much fun sometimes!

post #38 of 43

My Mother and I seem to have a very similar relationship and views on parenting.  Luckily she lives 1400 miles away :).  I say luckily because I mean it for her, me and my daughter! :)

 

Honestly, I just couldn't do it in your position.  I don't co-sleep, extended breast feed, blw, organic foods and products etc etc because it is hip and trendy I do it because I truly believe it is what is best for my daughter.  But my mother takes all of my parenting choices as an insult to hers.  So, while I don't have any real advice I just wanted to say I understand (to some degree of course because she thankfully lives 1400 miles away).

 

Good luck.

post #39 of 43

I would meet her halfway on everything. 

 

 (personally.. just if it were me) I would allow grandma to have some of those things.  TV, lotion, and toys... she could have those.

 

But, I'd win on Cry it out, and vaccinations, and probably the rice in the bottles.  In a month or so, I'd allow the rice in a bowl by spoon, but never in a bottle.

 

Yes, when I started doing daycare, we put rice in the bottle... even six or eight years ago, you put rice in a bottle.  I've never had a kid have problems with it.  Ever.  But, I've also never had a kid sleep longer because of it.  The whole "They will sleep longer" theory is a myth.  It just feels harder for her because there are two of them.  She's working twice as hard as she did when her own kids were little, and she's not as young, so it's really hard.  

 

She's just going to take longer to understand that you are a good mom, and are every bit as capable as she is, even though you don't have her experience.   She will see this soon. Just give her time.

post #40 of 43

I think you've gotten some excellent advice, and I agree that you're probably going to have to compromise.  Everyone else said good stuff, so I won't even go into it :)

 

I read this post earlier today, and for some reason I was thinking about it again this afternoon, and I wondered how your mother's life outside of your kids is doing?  I don't know her or her personality, so I could be off base, but you guys have gotten into a control battle, and I'm wondering if she feels that her life is out of control and so she's going to dig in her heels over something that she can control: your kids.  I don't know how she expected to spend her golden years, but I assume it wasn't single (and if her DH died last November, the anniversary could be particularly hard on her right now) and living with you and working as an unpaid nanny.  And I definitely understand that this is the situation that you both agree is best, and I'm not saying that she's unhappy at all.  But sometimes when you get older, it can be tough to lose independence, and she is living in YOUR house, and not HER own home.

 

Does she have many friends nearby?  How often does she get out of the house?  It can be really tough for mothers of young babies to get out of the house and meet other people... and with twins it's probably twice as hard.  Four month olds aren't exactly the greatest conversationalists, either.  

 

Between work and two babies, you obviously have enough on your plate without being your mother's social secretary, but I'm wondering if she might "let go" a bit if she feels more control over her life.  I would encourage her to find a playgroup (hopefully one for grandparents), and get out as much as possible with other adults.  Classes like Gymboree can be a good way to interact with other adults.

 

Again, perhaps all this advice is off base.  But her situation, moving and being widowed and spending all day taking care of two tiny babies made me wonder if she is lonely, and obsessing over her new "role" in life because she just doesn't have much else to do right now.

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