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And the problem with AP in my own house is....UPDATE

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

Warning: Long post

 

Okay I'm really mad and upset and trying not to cry! I'm way beyond pissed off. Here's how it started:

 

I found this awesome book called PET by dr. Gordon. As I read it I thought a lot of it pertains to how we live here. We are very AP so we're always against the norm on EVERYTHING and if you came to my house you'd see that. 

Anyway there's a couple living on our basement (she's pregnant with twins) she's due on the 15th but is opting to have a cesarian thanks to all the mainstream support around here. So yesterday her mother in law came. She is soooo horrible she makes my mil look like a saint lol. So what happened was that they went to get her and stayed the afternoon out sight seeing since they're not from here. They got home at about 8-ish at night. My kids were both awake but about to go to sleep. She held my baby for a while so I went to put my oldest to sleep. Then when I came back my baby was sort of fighting sleep in her arms because we're getting over the flu and because my dh was in the basement making too much noise. Our dog who is a great sleeper was not sleeping very well either because of the noise.

 

So then I took my baby back and my dh left to go get some food for us and the conversation begin. The topic: How kids need eight hours of sleep and I'm not disciplining them well enough. They should go to bed at seven the latest and that's it! Also it's important to let them CIO because they need it and crave it! The more discipline you give kids the better off they'll be. Also they should be on a schedule to be fed otherwise he uses my breast as a pacifier. 

 

When my dh got home I was crying. I told him what happened and he was pretty pissed too. 

Then to make this even better this morning I was feeding my kids breakfast and my oldest is going through this phase that he's a dog (see my earlier post). Now tell me...Where is it written that what he's doing is wrong??? I put a bowl of cereal for him and let him eat it on the floor.  Now I clean my house and my dog gets at least two showers per week. So in walks her and says no then proceeds to tell him as he's crying that he needs to eat on the table. I tell her it's okay it's just a phase and I encourage it. She was like "what"? Then she went on to tell me that it's bad because if I let him do that he'll push all my buttons and he'll become an assassin and end up in jail and all this junk. By then he changed his mind about eating and he's my picky eater. So I was fuming afterwards!

 

Now, I'm a very laid back person so for instance, I let my kids determine the time they want to go to bed and that's usually around nine nine thirtyish sometimes ten. We also eat a lot on the floor. I'm trying to follow the waldorf method of learning in my home. Of course I don't let them walk all over me, but what makes them think that every child including mine are little helians out there to make our lives crazy? Also when my kids are under other people's care all we (my dh and I) hear is how well behaved they're and they also ask if my baby ever cries (he's nine months). 

 

I'm not saying that the AP method is the only one that works and it's either this or the highway but I wouldn't go visit your house and tell you what you're doing wrong with your kids and what you should do. I'm opening my home to these people and that's how they repay. I just wish I had tougher skin lol. I'm also mad at myself for not standing up to them in my own house. Maybe that'll come with age, I'm 28. My dh is traveling for work now and my mom just moved back to her country so I feel so alone. I'm glad my dh is coming after a week but seriously even a calm person like me can only take so much of this crap! More  people are coming and if they're anything like her they'll see another side of me they haven't seen yet. For the love I gave birth to my kids, I suffered so they could be here. I'm THEIR MOTHER not her!!!! 

 

Sorry for the vent and the long post, it's nice to know that I have a place online that I can come for support when I don't really have any irl. If you read this whole post you're an angel.

 

post #2 of 30

Sorry - is this the woman living in your basement or her mil?

 

I don't really understand why they are just walking into your living space? Maybe you need to make clearer boundaries. We lived in my in-laws basement for a year & after my mil letting herself into our space once we had a very firm, clear conversation that it wasn't happening again. Or is this a common-area?

 

Sorry you're having this trouble - I cannot imagine telling someone, in or out of their home, how to parent. Yeesh!

 

post #3 of 30
Thread Starter 

Thanks, this is the woman in my basement's mil. The couple in our basement are more of dh's friends than mine. I definitely need to set more clearer boundaries because they didn't ask to stay in our living room. Our basement is like a different apartment down there, it just doesn't have a separate entrance. However, when they come in the house unfortunately they'll pass the living room to go to the basement. The only thing they need to do is be courteous (which they obviously don't know how to do) and say hi and bye. When we were talking about the  sleep issue last night they (the couple) just kind of agreed with everything she'd say. 

post #4 of 30

Wow, I would be pissed too. I usually tell people, "I am sorry you don't agree but this is the way we parent our child." Repeat as many times as it takes. It stinks that you are being disrespected in your own home. You need to find your voice and stand up for yourself. You can do it!!!

post #5 of 30

I usually respond to criticism with something along the lines of:  "I am doing what works for my family. I respect you as a parent and have no doubt the choices you made/will make for your family were/are made based on what you felt was best for them. Because I respect your role as a parent, I promise I will not criticize the parenting choices you made/make, and trust that you know what works best for your family. I would appreciate the same respect." So far, it's worked pretty well for me. My roommate is so totally mainstream. When it comes to parenting, we're polar opposites. That's the line I used with him once upon a time. We've discussed it a few times, but we very rarely have issues these days when it comes to parenting our kids. I don't criticize his parenting choices, and in return, he doesn't criticize mine. It was tough for him at first, but he's come around wonderfully. Now mind you, we've been close friends for years which makes it a lot easier, but I've taken the same approach with others I didn't know quite as well. 

post #6 of 30

I'm sorry honey; she sounds awful. But your title really should replace "AP" with "randoms crashing" in your house. Fix that and you're good to go!

post #7 of 30

First, I am so sorry that you experienced that unwanted invasion.  I know that feeling of being so upset; but having a hard time saying anything.  Now, at least you know what to expect and you can take some time to prepare for the next time you see her..   I would suggest you try to nip this in the butt; and that when you see her  try to take her aside and speak to her.  I would suggest being polite but firm.  Let her know that you understand that she has obviously had years of parenting experience and is probably  pretty excited about her son and  daughter in law's pregnancy. That people parent differently; and that you seem to have a different way of pareting than she does; and  that you are happy with your way. That if you want her advice you will ask her; and you would appreciate if she would refrain from commenting to you about your parenting.  That parenting is an adventure and you are figuring out what works best for your family.     Having someone like this in one's life; can help a person grow in learning how to speak up for themself.  Good luck!

post #8 of 30

Hugs to you! Really how could you have reacted other than the way you did! One way to stand up to them is to not invite them back to your house.

 

I thought the dog bit was funny. I can see how others would be concerned, mostly because they teach their children rules out of fear they will never learn them. I don't do that with my daughter. If I think something is a concern, I start showing her differently or just set up "rules". Rules change from place to place and I would rather she learn how to adapt to the changes instead of being closed-minded and following one rule.

post #9 of 30

Wait, so, the younger couple are living in your house? Are they your tenants, or are they your house guests? 

 

I'm just trying to figure out how one could think it was OK to come upstairs and criticize you. Either you are the people to whom the younger couple pays rent, who could decide therefore to evict them, or you are hosting them for free. 

 

 

I'm not an especially big fan of Parent Effectiveness Training, because it's one of the books my mom read when I was growing up. Not that there's a problem with the book, mind you. I'm sure it's fine.  I just don't get how it's not mainstream when it's 30-something years old. I'm not even sure that attachment parenting is so far against the mainstream. 

 

It's not mainstream to decide not to enforce bedtimes, and it's certainly not mainstream to allow your picky eater to eat from the floor like a puppy. I'm not sure how I feel about that creative strategy to get the picky eater to eat. I don't think it's going to turn the child into an assassin--unless your dog is also an assassin, but I suppose if the dog is an assassin that you are sworn to secrecy. And if the dog is an assassin, at least he's a good sleeper and very clean! 

 

 

 

 

post #10 of 30

Why are these people in your house?  And when are they leaving? 

post #11 of 30
Thread Starter 

Thank you everyone for the replies.  The couple living in our basement pay us rent so we could technically evict them but they wouldn't have a place to go. However, this is the last time I'm opening my house to them and their family. They're going to stay here for about a month after the babies are born. 

 

I just need to stand up to what I believe in. I know easier said than done. But I'll do it. I called my best friend who is mainstream and does the whole CIO thing and she thought that was the most disrespectful thing ever. What stings the most is how my son is going to turn into some kind of monster because he lacks discipline and eats off his bowl on the floor. Yesterday I was giving my boys a bath by myself. She got home from the store with her son and decided she was going to help me (I never asked for help). She tried to change the routine but I didn't let her. I mean seriously for the love lady!!!

 

So tonight her family is coming. They'll be in the basement with her and her husband. Then his mom who will see her husband will stay at someone else's house. If her family is anything like this then I'll be packing them up for the hotel nearby. I guess this is helpful in the sense that I'm having to stand up for myself and ultimately my kids. This is my home, my sanctuary so I should do as I very well please!  

 

My dh feels horrible that I'm going through this alone and he agrees with me. Never again! As for the pet book, I found it at Savers when I went there last week and was gonna ask here or in the discipline forum who has read that and what they think. The thing that I like about it so far and just from reading some of his articles online is that he basically thinks children should be seen and heard as well. At my house I try to implement these principles like they determine what time they want to sleep and they determine what they want to eat (mostly choices of healthy foods) and where they want to eat, and that's helped my picky eater a lot by the way. Overall at home they have an equal saying on a lot of things. Obviously we step in and discipline them (our way without spanking) when they're doing something they shouldn't do. I guess my kids having a say on things is infuriating them, but I never knew some people had a nerve to change things in other people's homes. Anyway thanks for helping me regroup.

 

ETA: I guess I should clarify that by her family I mean the pregnant girl family who is flying here with the mil's husband. I hope that makes more sense. Thanks again

post #12 of 30

This is my home, my sanctuary so I should do as I very well please!

 

Yeah! That's what I was trying to say!

 

It's her problem not yours. She can choose to be whatever kind of mean old grandma she wants, and that takes nothing from the great job you're doing. But thank God they're leaving soon, and how beautiful it is that you could help them out.

 

And I feared for you, hearing the poor babies cry next week, not being able to help them... no wait! It's your home, you can do as you please ;) You can take that little mama tea and cookies and tell her all about how great it was to learn to communicate with your babies, and how you love your family style, heeheehee. If you want.

 

Good luck tonight!

post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain optimism View Post

I'm not an especially big fan of Parent Effectiveness Training, because it's one of the books my mom read when I was growing up. Not that there's a problem with the book, mind you. I'm sure it's fine.  I just don't get how it's not mainstream when it's 30-something years old. I'm not even sure that attachment parenting is so far against the mainstream. 

 

 


Parent Effectiveness Training was writtenin the 70s, but it is based on nonviolent communication - so it's based along the lines of consensual living - definitely not mainstream. It's one of my favorite books. Another oldie but goodie, written in the 60s, is Haim Ginott's Between Parent and Child - another CL book.
 

 

post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by boheime View Post




Parent Effectiveness Training was writtenin the 70s, but it is based on nonviolent communication - so it's based along the lines of consensual living - definitely not mainstream. It's one of my favorite books. Another oldie but goodie, written in the 60s, is Haim Ginott's Between Parent and Child - another CL book.
 

 

My parents owned this book. Just because something is old doesn't make it mainstream. Shoot....John Holt wrote "How Children Fail" in 1964. Schools pretty much still operate the same way they always have.

 

OP....if kids need 8 hours of sleep and you put yours to bed at 7pm, wouldn't they be getting up at about 3am? The people you are dealing with need to be told to mind their own business. Aside from being rude and bossy, they don't sound too smart.

 

post #15 of 30

Not much time right now, but just wanted to let you know: do it your way, OP, when you're the one that has to do it.  I see no reason to give what she's telling you a lot of weight at all.  You know your kids best, their needs - you're the expert on that cause you're their mom. 

 

People offering you this 'advice' can sometimes go around with really crazy-making reasons, sometimes you should just continually ask 'why' of what they say instead of explaining or justifying yourself and what you're doing (I personally find it never helps me to explain myself to anyone talking to me like that, they're not open to discussion - it's just about telling someone else what to do or being right).  

post #16 of 30
Thread Starter 

Thank you all again. I don't have much time to post but I just feel like I'm being disrespected in my own home. I'm tired. My dh isn't here but yet I did not take the easy way out and left my kids to CIO or put them to bed at 7, or whatever else that they think I should be doing. I don't feel very comfortable in general in MY own home, and that's not right. Anyway today just a lot of little things here and there happened that add up and bother me a lot. I can't wait till they leave! I find that I can't argue with these people. I can even lower my confidence and tell them that I'm at fault or I know.....whatever they want to hear, but and this is a big BUT in the end I'll do what I'll see fit for my kids. Tonight is the last night I'm taking this crap. Tomorrow if anybody persists on how I should do things specially at bedtime then I'll simply say: "my house my rules, this is how I like to do things." No need to mention why or explain/defend my AP parenting ways. Because you (general) should be allowed to do whatever the hell you want in your own home with your own kids. Wish me luck tomorrow, and thanks again 

post #17 of 30

Why do you have to interact with your tenants at all, let alone their guests?!  They are renting your basement - so why don't they stay there?  Why are they in your kitchen?  Does the rental arrangement include kitchen access?  I'm sorry if I'm peppering you with questions but I don't understand how this situation has arisen where you feel disrespected in your own home! 

 

It doesn't even matter what the arguments are about - CIO, AP, discipline, whatever...the issue IMO is that you have these non-related people in your living space who are rude and obnoxious!  Where is your husband in all of this?  They're HIS friends, not yours?  So he goes out of town and leaves you to deal with the whole bunch of them, alone?  Nice. 

 

Whose idea was it to rent space to them? 

 

Is there a reason why these people have not been told to stay out of your living space?  Are you afraid of them? 

 

Also, are you sure that they're leaving in a month?  They sound pretty comfortable and entrenched right where they are.  Have they been given written notice to vacate? 

 

In your position, I would have a serious discussion with your husband when he finally gets home, telling him that you need these people to stay out of your kitchen and living room, and that they need to be gone completely from your property in 30 days at most.  And that if these two things do not happen, then you may need to look into finding a different place for yourself (and the children) to stay, for your own sanity and health.  Sorry if that sounds extreme, but the situation is extreme.  His wife and children are being bullied in their own home.  It's insane. 

post #18 of 30
Wow, I am so livid for you! It's one thing if this MIL of the folks renting your basement made a quick comment in passing on her way through, but to actually try to discipline your child for eating from a bowl on the floor (who cares if the floor is clean, sounds like your floor is way cleaner than mine!) that you are letting them do. I really hate when strangers assume it is ok to discipline your child without checking in with you first. What she should have done is say "Hey OP, do you know your son has his bowl on the floor?" and keep her mouth shut otherwise!

Anyway, I probably would have gotten into it with her and it would not have been pretty, but I also have been there where you are so mad, but just don't know what to say. Take heart that she is being completely rude and out-of-bounds to boot. If my DD was staying in someone's basement who was kind enough to take them in with minimal rent, I would be walking on eggshells to not upset the people kind enough to help.
post #19 of 30

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BRmama View Post

I find that I can't argue with these people. I can even lower my confidence and tell them that I'm at fault or I know.....whatever they want to hear, but and this is a big BUT in the end I'll do what I'll see fit for my kids. Tonight is the last night I'm taking this crap. Tomorrow if anybody persists on how I should do things specially at bedtime then I'll simply say: "my house my rules, this is how I like to do things." No need to mention why or explain/defend my AP parenting ways. Because you (general) should be allowed to do whatever the hell you want in your own home with your own kids. Wish me luck tomorrow, and thanks again 


Your new planned response sounds good. You're right that there's absolutely no need to justify, explain, or defend your parenting with these people -- every time you do, they think that you're open for debate about your parenting choices.

 

Just be blithe and distracted, and say things like, "Hmm, interesting. Well, enjoy your visit with your son and DIL!" and go hold the basement door open with a bland smile on your face, giving them the message to go downstairs. If they remain upstairs, say, "This is my family's private living space. Have fun visiting downstairs, bye now!" 

 

You could also talk with the DIL. Maybe jokingly say something like, "Hey, can you have your DH talk to his mom about staying downstairs with you guys when she visits? She's really critical of me for some reason, and I have my own MIL to deal with, I don't need another one!" 

post #20 of 30

I'm not sure how being AP is against the "norm" or how an individual's decision about a possible c/section has much to do with this issue, but if this is your tenant's family, I would be having a sit down discussion with them about boundaries within the house with the above cited examples of where they have over stepped and that they can not have anymore family staying with them at this time if these types of interactions continue. 

 

I think you as a mom need to be able to shut down those interactions with simple phrases, as "thanks, but that's not how we handle things for MY family" and if interference continues to ask them to leave the room and then talk to your tenants as they need to address this with their FAMILY since they are their guests. 

 

As for the continued comments - put on your thickest skin and shut the conversations down.  This happens with all parenting decisions we make and you should have to defend it, but you also don't have to continue the conversation.  Probably to the MIL's eyes, you are making a zillion mistakes and since she's BTDT she might be trying to offer you some advice.  A simple "thanks but no thanks for us" repeated many times over will be fine.

 

You need to give your tenants the responsibility of dealing with their guests, and communicate their actions are not appropriate (such as disciplining a child) and will not be tolerated in your home. 

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