yes mama you have to stand up.
that is the only way.
you just have to.
there is no other way.
i have a v. intense, sensitive 9 year old who needs 'breaks' for bad behaviour. and i let her have it within means. she understands her boundaries. but to the outsider she looks like a badly behaved child. i have my own friends go off on her. they do have their own issue but i immediately stand up for my dd to cut the crap. i tell her just coz she is like this now at 9 doesnt mean she is going to be the same later on in life (both my friends deal with troubled high school kids and college kids and they see the worst side of them and so their action is kinda coming from a place of love and concern for my child, but neither of them are parents). i tell them they can voice their opinion, but that dd is v. sensitive and it matters a HUGE deal with how you say it, not WHAT you say.
and i just the parent you are. yeah i've had my 'dog' crawl out of the grocery store happily at the end of a pretend leash rather than a screaming child.
to be honest with you mama i am actually 'happy' that they are there. you are being challenged to stand up for yourself. nothing else will force you to do it. you are going thru unneccesary pain just coz you cant stand up for yourself. once you do this will be like water off the ducks back. i dont know how the visiting dilaw feels about her mil. i am sure she will learn a lot from you standing up for yourself.
i know its not easy living with people - even though you just have to share an entrance.
i also notice the hardliners who give me and my child the hardest time - can come from a place of jealousy and envy. they themselves had a hard childhood and seeing your style of parenting takes them back and lost in that pity party of why couldnt i have a mom like you - it comes out all bad.
one of the great things about turning 40 is that you can actually see where most of these 'attackers' are coming from and instead of anger you feel a lot of compassion for them, so that when you put up the 'hands off lady' stance it comes across kindly to them rather than aggressive which a lot of times takes the wind out of their sail.