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Free range parenting in someone else's house (update, my mom cut dd's hair) - Page 2

post #21 of 71
We have slightly different issues. My parents tend to discipline our kids even when we are there, which makes us batty. They also have different ideas about what is acceptable - they fret more, especially my dad. We were worried when my parents volunteered to be our childcare providers for a month this past summer. In a foreign country, no less.

It ended up working out much better than expected. When we were not around, it was up to them to figure things out. They didn't always make the choices we would have made - the kids ate an awful lot of ice cream - but the choices weren't terrible. I was especially worried about the frequent conflict b/t my father and DS. They ended up working this out and even finding a mutual sense of humor on some things.

So, take heart. You will probably need to make some compromises, but so will they. Your mom will really get a sense of the complications of two children.
post #22 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Girlprof View Post
We have slightly different issues. My parents tend to discipline our kids even when we are there, which makes us batty. They also have different ideas about what is acceptable - they fret more, especially my dad.
yeah that is the type of issue I had when I stayed with them before. I would give ds a fork, she would take it from him calling it dangerous and give him a spoon, I would tell her he is allowed to use a fork and would give it back to him, and she would continue to take it away. or else sulk the entire meal. even when i was RIGHT THERE.
post #23 of 71
I think she is going to get desensitized to it after awhile. I mean if you are fine with letting him go out in the yard, and she feels like he needs to be supervised, she can go out and supervise him. But I think after awhile she'll realize that it's unnecessary. Now if she's like my mom, she won't go out and supervise him, she'll just nag and nag until you absolutely can't hear the own thoughts in your own head Amy, do you think that's a good idea? Oh, well I see we have different ideas how to raise a child, I would never have done that, when I had my babies, they were all swaddled and asleep in their cribs by 6 pm...are there any big dogs around here? Dogs can jump the fence and kill him so fast, you wouldn't know what hit you...did you hear about that child that was killed in his backyard from a falling roof tile? Amy, this *really* makes me nervous, you need to go get him. What? What was that? That was lightning, wasn't it? Oh, go out with him, for heaven's sake!!!
post #24 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viola View Post
\Amy, do you think that's a good idea? Oh, well I see we have different ideas how to raise a child, I would never have done that, when I had my babies, they were all swaddled and asleep in their cribs by 6 pm...are there any big dogs around here? Dogs can jump the fence and kill him so fast, you wouldn't know what hit you...did you hear about that child that was killed in his backyard from a falling roof tile? Amy, this *really* makes me nervous, you need to go get him. What? What was that? That was lightning, wasn't it? Oh, go out with him, for heaven's sake!!!
clearly we have the same mother. You've got her down to a tee
post #25 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by pregnant@40 View Post
Could you discuss ground rules w/ your mom prior to moving in? So that you're both on the same page?
I agree, some pre-move-in ground rules would help in the future if you have to refer back to the agreement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post
I totally agree with your partner on this. It is fine if she wants to follow him around and baby him and SHE is free to do that. But you are only one person and you can only do so much. So long as he is behaving I would let her do her thing while you do yours and not worry about the amount of work she is creating for herself.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Viola View Post
I think she is going to get desensitized to it after awhile.
I agree. She hasn't lived with him, plus your other child, plus you, all at the same time, 24/7. Gramma work is fun when it's just a couple hours. It's exhausting to continue around the clock and she will change, if nothing else, she'll be more stressed out trying to do more than she has to.
post #26 of 71
MY MIL is extremely overprotective like your mom. She cuts up his food off of plates that I give him, runs across the room in a panic if he trips, etc. At the same time, she lets him do whatever he wants as long as she's watching him like a hawk. It drives me nuts, but I try to choose my battles with it.

It seems to work out the best for us for DH and I to only ask her to not do things that result in behaviors we don't want repeated in our home. So, I bite my tongue about some things. If she wants to run around after him like a chicken with her head cut off all day, fine by me. For other behaviors DH will say, "Hey mom, we're trying to get DS to stop standing on the kitchen table while throwing his entire lunch to the dogs. Why don't you try to get him to stop doing that here too." That's not something he actually does at home, but it is something I don't want him to think is okay either. (Apparently this is okay as long as she has a white knuckled fist hold on his t-shirt.) This approach has worked so far and hasn't resulted in any hurt feelings or overstepping on either side.

I mean who knows how I'll act as a grandma.
post #27 of 71
I agree with Viola - do you think she'll be able to keep it up for 6 months? I would imagine after a while that she'll realise that he's not a baby and that she needs to let him be a three year old. If she really as Viola described - loved it by the way, then do you not think she'll move onto something else?

I'm sure that the time will pass quickly, maybe you could introduce doing yoga together with her and the kids - it make a difference! Good luck - I don't envy your position!!

PS I just wanted to let you know about my dad who also keeps out of things where my mother is concerned although she lets the kids do what they want to the extreme - doesn't see the danger anyway - this summer she took my kids out to do the garden and gave our dd hedge shears to cut the hedge with and left the kids to their own devices - needless to say that shortly after dd cut ds's finger to the bone with the hedge shears, mother was saying it's nothing don't worry about it, my dad on the other hand just stepped in and called her name in a voice I have never heard him use and we left for the hospital - so he may come to his senses and take a hold of a situation and then things change from thereon - or at least that's what happened with us! Anyway i just wanted to let you know that there is hope that you dad could help you!
post #28 of 71
Thread Starter 
ok so I just had to update with this gem: my mother cut dd's hair without asking while I was at work. When I got dd back, not only had she cut about an inch off dd's adorable, sideswept bangs (and crookedly/jaggedly too) but all the hair that had grown out past the nape of of her neck in the back, was gone too. I seriously wanted to cry...the haircut lookes horrible. dd's dad was FURIOUS and said that no matter what we will be rearranging work schedules so that dd isn't being watched by my mom much or at all (not just because of the hair cutting, but more because of her laissez faire attitude when we spoke up, as if WE were the crazy overreacting ones.). She also "accidentally on purpose" broke our stroller. So we are off to a bit of a rocky start.

However I am really proud of myself because I have not been engaging her one bit. When we were starting to head that direction, I got my guts up and said, "mom, we're two grown women, let's please skip the cattiness and just act like it." I know that it is driving her crazy because I haven't so far gotten into an argument or blown up, but....I think maybe I am maturing or going to counseling has worked or something because I really am not interested, at all, in eliciting any reactions from my mom, or in engaging her in any drama. This is a first for me.

I'm just doing me, and my family
post #29 of 71
I think when you are at someone else's house, you give on some things. She does not want him helping himself to the fridge, fine, he does not need to do that. If putting a bib on him thrills her and doesn't upset him, then whatever. The haircut thing would really get to me, but I have big hang ups over that.

Is there any way you and SO can make things work to live together? Can he move in with you? Is there any place you all can afford to live together?

It sounds miserable. (((hugs))) But I am afraid that much of it, you need to just deal with because of the living situation. Now, if you were paying half the bills and asking for nothing free, like food or babysitting, it would be a little different. I hope the wedding is as soon as possible.

Do you mind sharing why you two are separated yet still plan to marry in the future?
post #30 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post
I think when you are at someone else's house, you give on some things. She does not want him helping himself to the fridge, fine, he does not need to do that. If putting a bib on him thrills her and doesn't upset him, then whatever. The haircut thing would really get to me, but I have big hang ups over that.

Is there any way you and SO can make things work to live together? Can he move in with you? Is there any place you all can afford to live together?

It sounds miserable. (((hugs))) But I am afraid that much of it, you need to just deal with because of the living situation. Now, if you were paying half the bills and asking for nothing free, like food or babysitting, it would be a little different. I hope the wedding is as soon as possible.

Do you mind sharing why you two are separated yet still plan to marry in the future?
I'm not paying rent but I am doing the cooking and cleaning and providing the food. As of right now, she isn't doing any alone babysitting of dd at all, and very little for ds (only maybe to drive him to school or something). We are still reeling from the haircut thing (and also the fact that she gave dd food we told her not to give, and so on). I lved with them before when I was just getting on my feet when ds was a baby and I DID pay rent, utilities, etc and it was actually worse. Go figure.

We are getting married in april. We were living together but for religious/spiritual reasons we are trying to get our lives on track and felt it would be better if we stopped living together until we are married. There are legal loose ends that I have to tie up before we can get married and it is finances that prevent me from doing that right now. so that is the plan. we are still together and very much in love i'm looking into subsidized housing for me and the kids though, just until April. The goal here is to save money, get back on track with our religious principles, and earnng money while still beign available as parents. Tryng to find the right balance.
post #31 of 71

I would be extremely angry at someone cutting my child's hair without permission.  You have a sticky situation there OP.

post #32 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post

for those of you who have read any past threads of mine, you know that my mom and I have a fairly toxic/difficult reationship although it has improved a little over the last year or so.
 

I just went back and read some of those threads to try to get a good grasp of the situation before commenting and I came across this: "AND my mom has done things like call the police on me over made-up or grossly exaggerated stories she gave about me and my ds".

 

GET OUT OF THERE, NOW. There is no religious or spiritual reason to have your kids in a situation where they are alone with this person for one SECOND and you've already said that your mother is going to do whatever she wants even if you're sitting right there telling her not to. Stay with friends, stay with your fiance's friends and don't sleep in the same room as him, whatever, there are ways to live according to whatever you've decided is morally right without continuing to expose yourself and your children to this extremely dangerous situation.

 

We have tons of threads on here about the famous formula-and-other-forbidden-items-feeding, hair-cutting-behind-parents'-backs', CPS/police-calling grandmas. The common thread is always that these people are TOXIC, usually not mentally well, NEVER emotionally well, and when they are confronted or challenged in any kind of meaningful way, they go nuts and escalate the situation. Your mom might get better one day, but what she just did is solid proof that she's NOT getting better right now, and you need to do whatever it takes to protect your kids from her right now.

 

Years from now, if not sooner, you are going to look back on this situation and regret the decision you made to go back into that toxic mess. Believe me. The only way to make this better is to decide to put a stop to it RIGHT NOW even if it means going to a motel with your kids until you and your fiance can figure out where you're going next. No amount of saving up money is worth what could happen if you stay in this situation with your children.

 

post #33 of 71

"SO said that I should tell my mom that beyond normal age appropriate supervision, the onus is on her to follow him around and micromanage, that I shouldn't be expected to do it"

 

Does she expect you to do it?

post #34 of 71

We live with my inlaws.  The best advice I can give you is to sit down asap, and discuss your living situation and make some very concise boundaries and "rules"-both on your end and your moms, and then stick to them like glue.  I know with my inlaws, any time we let boundary lines blur, it becomes increasingly hard to maintain them, which causes a lot of unnecessary stress and tension.  Just a for instance...we don't allow the kids to have any kind of artificial sweeteners, my inlaws use nothing but.  When there was a big deal being made over a dessert my MIL was making one day and the kids were super excited for it.  Turns out my MIL made it with Splenda.  I decided that a single serving wouldn't hurt anything, and allowed it.  Next thing I know my MIL was giving them all sorts of foods with Splenda.  When I tried to talk to her about it, she said that she figured since I let them have it the one time, it was now ok.  I have learned that although it can sometimes get tiring to always be on guard maintaining certain standards about what is and isn't allowed when there are grandparents in the home, it's easier than trying to return to them when exceptions are made.

 

 

ETA:  I completely understand your not wanting to live together for religious/spiritual reasons BUT I would also look at the bigger picture, and the health and wellbeing (especially mentally/emotionally) of all involved staying with your mom.  Just a thought...could you possibly get a place now, but keep separate bedrooms until the wedding?  My MIL and FIL are super religious and very much about "keeping up appearances".  They were divorced for a few years, and when they were working things out toward getting remarried, they bought a house together, and kept separate bedrooms until they were married again.  While I totally understand your situation and know what it is to do what you have to do for a while, I just wanted to throw that out as a possibility you may not have thought of yet.  {{{{hugs}}}}  At the very least, you know there's light at the end of the tunnel, and you only have to deal a few more months at your moms.

post #35 of 71

Oh my gosh.  I do not care as a general rule if someone takes my kids to get their hair cut but they are 8 to 14 years old.  If someone chopped of my 8 month olds hair though....I am about to cry for you. Oh.  my. goodness.   Ok following him around and babying him so long as he does not mind is one thing but cutting your kids hair is such a trespass.  I think this is only going to deteriorate. 

post #36 of 71
Thread Starter 

Yup, ds stayed with his dad last night and after dropping him at school this morning, he came over to get his lunchbox and pic up dd and I. Except that I was still asleep when he got there....lol. So he putzed around outside while he waited for me to get ready, cleaning out the car, shining up the tires (he loves to do this stuff). My mom came home in the middle of this and went compeltely beserk that we were alone together in her house. Mind you we were not holed up together alone in a bedroom and he wasn't even in the house although apparently she parekd around the corner before coming in and was watching, to "catch" him in the act of going in her house while she wasn't there.

 

It was greed on before I moved in that he wouldn't be hanging out here with me unless there was someone else here; that is her rule and we understand that. at the same time he tried to point out that he has a child living in this house and that gives him the right to drop by unannounced to see hsi child or pick her up and take her somewhere as was the plan. We ended up staying out until evening and when I got back my mom had rooted through all my boxes and pulled out every piece of his clothing, most of which needed washing, and stuffed them, dirty, into a garbage bag. She met me at the door with ti and told me that his clothes are not welcome in her house. rotfl. eyesroll.gif

 

I would be hurt/offended by it but "his clothes are not welcome in my home" just sounds so ridiculous that I ended up laughing right in front of her. oops.

post #37 of 71

You need to get out of there, mama. Your mother has no respect for your boundaries or your partnership and will never, ever, ever be fully trustworthy with your children. Cutting your baby's hair? Rooting through your things? No. Unacceptable on every level--and it's only going to get worse the longer you stay. You are teaching her how to treat you. She's learning that you'll put up with her bad behavior and subject your children to it as well. greensad.gif

 

This is one of those situations that you're going to look back on in a few years and wonder why you put up with it for as long as you did.

post #38 of 71

Oh my gosh - this is just going to get worse - i can't imagine this improving - she isn't going to respect you, ITA withthe other posters who are suggesting other ways of saving money etc, this is just too toxic to continue on with - are you really sure that you can do this until APRIL?  Thats a long time when faced with provocation every day, the more you don't react to her the more she's going to continue to do things to provoke a reaction, I'm sorry that you are in the situation but I'd have to change something about this if I were you.  Big big hugs to you

post #39 of 71

Yea, you guys need to move into your own place.  You are adults, you are parents, you need to be able to sit in the same room without supervision.  It's ridiculous that you're being treated like 13 year olds when you already have a family.  Debt sucks, but so do ridiculous rules and a lack of autonomy for your family and your life.  

post #40 of 71

I concur. Get out. You have two kids. You're not a child. That ship has sailed. Buying a house is NOT worth the damage that could be done to your relationship with each other or with your children, or TO your children. While I don't think these isolated parenting differences are huge(your son wearing a bib or being followed in the backyard) I think the overall attitude and atmosphere is a bad thing. Get out. Rent a place. Your fiance can keep staying with friends, or stay with you, or.... something. 

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