or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Talk Amongst Ourselves › Personal Growth › my judgement of mainstream parenting, codependency, and my SILs who are doing it
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

my judgement of mainstream parenting, codependency, and my SILs who are doing it - Page 2

post #21 of 70

I was the first grandchild on either side of my family, born into a network of grandparents, aunts, and uncles.   From the time I was small, my grandparents on both sides, as well as my uncles and their then-girlfriends, would "take me off my mom's hands."

 

Far from this being "icky,"  it was amazing.   I spent my infancy, toddlerhood, preschoolerhood, and young-childhood surrounded by a close group of adults who loved the hell out of me, knew me in more than a "Oh, we come over to coo at the baby now and then" kind of way.   I felt safe, and well-loved, and I had access to all kinds of different experiences and social situations, all from the safety of family arms.  If grandparents and extended family are available, I think it is AWESOME when they are so ready to contribute to childcare so actively. 

 

Honestly, THAT kind of upbringing?  Is probably more natural than this idealized martyrdom where Mom-and-Only-Mom have to deal with all the needs of a completely helpless and dependent baby for 3-5 years -- only to start again when the next baby is born.

 

As for "go on as if life hasn't changed?"   It seems to me that if we look at the idealized "Natural mothers" that AP claims to base its practices on (and I could go on at length about how non-AP many truly-natural mothering practices are) -- women in more "natural" cultures?   Have babies, and then go about their busienss.  Yes, now there is a baby tied to their back and they are breastfeeding it -- but after a short break (often marked by isolation and a very limited diet, by the way) they're generally doing the same food-gathering, household-maintaining, community-participating things they did before. 

post #22 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

The OPer didn't go into detail, so I assume that the things that are pushing her buttons are pretty valid. I'm wondering if the responses would be different if she had gone into detail and everyone agreed that the parenting she is witnessing isn't even close to ideal.

 

I don't see the point in beating her up for being critical. She already knows that it isn't helpful to her, what she doesn't know is how to pivot from it.

 


I agree.  I think that the OP's choice to avoid going into details was good and indicates that she was trying to avoid being petty or overly critical.  It is likely that if she had given examples, people would have responded in a more understanding fashion (perhaps me, too).  If she had just wanted a rallying cry against her SIL to make herself feel better, she could've easily done it.  Instead, she described the feelings she's having around the differences in parenting...and I think we've all been there, right?

 

OP stated:  "ILs help them too much because they "need" it.  I believe SIL1 is codependent with them.  SIL2 could handle it on her own if she had too, but the dynamic of ILs offering alot and her taking advantage of it is still there.  I think that adds to the problem of life still being all about them and not their babies."   End of quote.  Now, just as a point of thought, if she had written something like:  "My ILs babysit three times a week overnight so my SIL can go out and party and get drunk," we'd all be feeling differently, right?  We would not think she was being judgmental of her SIL's parenting then.  We would think that the SIL was, indeed, overly reliant on IL help and not a responsibly, caring parent.  That may or may not be the case.  We just don't know, and that's okay...we don't have to know the details...but let's not assume that SIL is just getting help once a week so she can get coffee or whatever.

 

There is a big difference between lousy parenting and abusive parenting.  I think OP gets that, too.  She's not saying they are abusive.

 

post #23 of 70
When my DS was a baby, I put him in group daycare at 10 weeks. My parents took care of him for most of a day nearly every weekend so that I could study. I earned an MBA by the time he was 15 months old, and got my CPA shortly after he turned two. Maybe I could have done it alone, but thank heavens I didn't have to.

When DS was about 2.5, I was hospitalized for pregnancy complications, then sent home on bed rest, and finally delivered DD very prematurely. For about 3 months, I was available to DS on only a limited basis. Fortunately, because I'd been icky and lazy at earlier stages, DS spent that time in the care of familiar people, who loved him and were able to provide continuity and stability for him at this very difficult time.

I don't think there's anything wrong with leaving a child in the care of a loving, willing, capable friend, relative or employee. I don't even really care why you do it. I think OP could maybe stand to reevaluate the basis for her judgment and ask herself why this bothers her so much that she's willing to sacrifice her potential relationships with her nieces and nephews (and her children's relationships with their cousins) over it.
post #24 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by caedenmomma View Post



I agree.  I think that the OP's choice to avoid going into details was good and indicates that she was trying to avoid being petty or overly critical.  It is likely that if she had given examples, people would have responded in a more understanding fashion (perhaps me, too).  If she had just wanted a rallying cry against her SIL to make herself feel better, she could've easily done it.  Instead, she described the feelings she's having around the differences in parenting...and I think we've all been there, right?

OP stated:  "ILs help them too much because they "need" it.  I believe SIL1 is codependent with them.  SIL2 could handle it on her own if she had too, but the dynamic of ILs offering alot and her taking advantage of it is still there.  I think that adds to the problem of life still being all about them and not their babies."   End of quote.  Now, just as a point of thought, if she had written something like:  "My ILs babysit three times a week overnight so my SIL can go out and party and get drunk," we'd all be feeling differently, right?  We would not think she was being judgmental of her SIL's parenting then.  We would think that the SIL was, indeed, overly reliant on IL help and not a responsibly, caring parent.  That may or may not be the case.  We just don't know, and that's okay...we don't have to know the details...but let's not assume that SIL is just getting help once a week so she can get coffee or whatever.

There is a big difference between lousy parenting and abusive parenting.  I think OP gets that, too.  She's not saying they are abusive.

yeahthat.gif

That's how I read the OP's post. She wasn't coming her to vent about it, she was coming here to say she's really having trouble with learning how to think about this and handle it differently than she has been. I think posters coming in to tell her to stop worrying about it or stop being judgmental is really unhelpful, because she came here to say that she already wants those things but doesn't know how.

And sure, CIO and spanking are mainstream and not considered abusive, but that doesn't always mean they're not harmful. Especially with some kids who have a harder time with that, and you can see their need for a gentler approach that the parent is unwilling to take. You wouldn't call CPS, but to see your own niece or nephew being emotionally hurt or rejected can be truly heartbreaking. Posters are coming in here making a bunch of assumptions about what's going on, but the OP came here for support in figuring out ways to deal with this, which is valid regardless of the situation with the SILs.
post #25 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spring Lily View Post


yeahthat.gif
That's how I read the OP's post. She wasn't coming her to vent about it, she was coming here to say she's really having trouble with learning how to think about this and handle it differently than she has been. I think posters coming in to tell her to stop worrying about it or stop being judgmental is really unhelpful, because she came here to say that she already wants those things but doesn't know how.
 


That's why I asked up thread if OP could pause and identify what is really eating at her:  the parenting practices, or the so-called co-dependency?  I ask this because my thought is that the co-dependency part is probably what is really eating at OP (and the differing parenting practices just probably adds fuel to the fire).

 

I say all this because it is an issue that I have struggled with myself with my own SIL.  I had to deal with (and perhaps am still dealing with) a lot of resentment toward my SIL because she expects my parents to be available for everything.  She even moved to the same freaking state and town in the hope that my parents would assist in her a variety of things from cooking dinners for her family when she was pregnant to assisting with homeschooling (she told my parents this).  I'm normally not a bitter, resentful type, but this was a real problem for me.  Why?  Because often I have felt superior for never, ever burdening my parents during my adult life for anything.  I'm bitter because she gives a song and dance to them all the time about how hard her daily life is and how much she needs help.  I'm bitter because she's a good salesperson in rallying up many people to help her.  I guess I just feel a lot of jealousy more than anything.  Jealousy that DH and I have had to do a lot on our own but SIL has co-opted my parents' time and resources even though I don't think she deserves them.  So I know a little bit about how OP is feeling (not saying that OP is jealous, etc., but in my own case - when I dug deeper - there were tinges of jealously).  Much of my problem revolves around my own issues with not getting patted on the back and being told I'm doing a good job (I admit it - I wish my parents would acknowledge my parenting) and me feeling that SIL is loser on a lot of fronts but still getting constant attention and acknowledgment from my parents.  It has been a real struggle for me to come to terms with these feelings, because I know they are unhealthy and negative.

 

For me, I had to really identify what was really bugging me before I could start to mend my thoughts and attitudes.  

 

post #26 of 70
Are the fathers of these babies involved? I'm going to go with the assumption that they are not (because it would be pretty sexist of you to be condemning your Sisters-in-law without also condemning the babies' fathers and I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt by assuming that you're not a sexist). Since I'm going to assume that they are single parents with uninvolved fathers, I would then assume that they probably need more help than two parents who are co-parenting, right? And even if they weren't single parents, it's still not your business.
post #27 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by llwr View Post

I think this is a little off-topic, but I'd also like some reassurance that being connected with my kids now doesn't mean they'll be codependent.  I know that's the opposite of what AP is supposed to accomplish.  I guess the biggest similarity that I see is that AP believes children will (sleep all night, potty train, learn to read.....) when they are ready.  It seems like ILs are still thinking SIL will (pay her own bills, take care of her baby...) when she's ready.


Before I go on my soapbox Im going to say that I can see how it is upsetting when people just go on with their lives like nothing has changed. I once babysat for someone with a 4 day old baby so that she and her husband could go to a football game. She had me stay overnight so that she could drink and party downstairs with their friends and celebrate her husbands birthday. She taped her boobs and took the pill that keeps your milk from coming in because she was afraid she would get stretch marks if her milk came in and then she didnt breastfeed. Kiddo was at daycare 3 days a week starting at two weeks and she didnt go back to work for the first 6 months. He went to daycare so she could sleep in, go out to eat with friends, go shopping, go to her tanning bed appointment, ect. Her behavior left me wondering why she even chose to have a baby.

Soapbox:

I am really confused and irritated with people assuming that AP means that kids will sleep, potty, and read when they are "ready". I just dont get it. IMO, there is nothing "AP" about that idea, its just an idea about how to raise children that has nothing to do with attachment. Why in the world would kids reading when they are ready have anything to do with attachment? From what I get a lot here, there a lot of kids who dont read "until they are ready" who play lots of video games and do other things that require very little work and quite a lot of ass-sitting. Kids will learn to read when you start teaching them to read. Kids will more than likely start learning to potty in the potty when you start teaching them to go in the potty. They will sleep all night when they are ready, but if you arent encouraging it, why the hell should they? I just dont understand this rampant mentality that AP means that you arent allowed to give your kid that nudge they need to be more independent and do things on their own. i'm not saying its ok to just schedule everything, and try to get them to grow up as fast as possible, but there is a huge part of me that wonders if people subconsciously dont want their kids to potty train, sleep without their help, read, or be able to do things on their own because they just cant stand to watch them grow up and not be the A #1 person/thing in their life anymore and they use the AP label to justify it.
post #28 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

Soapbox:
I am really confused and irritated with people assuming that AP means that kids will sleep, potty, and read when they are "ready". I just dont get it. IMO, there is nothing "AP" about that idea, its just an idea about how to raise children that has nothing to do with attachment. Why in the world would kids reading when they are ready have anything to do with attachment? From what I get a lot here, there a lot of kids who dont read "until they are ready" who play lots of video games and do other things that require very little work and quite a lot of ass-sitting. Kids will learn to read when you start teaching them to read. Kids will more than likely start learning to potty in the potty when you start teaching them to go in the potty. They will sleep all night when they are ready, but if you arent encouraging it, why the hell should they? I just dont understand this rampant mentality that AP means that you arent allowed to give your kid that nudge they need to be more independent and do things on their own. i'm not saying its ok to just schedule everything, and try to get them to grow up as fast as possible, but there is a huge part of me that wonders if people subconsciously dont want their kids to potty train, sleep without their help, read, or be able to do things on their own because they just cant stand to watch them grow up and not be the A #1 person/thing in their life anymore and they use the AP label to justify it.



Interesting post on a thread about trying not to be judgemental.

 

post #29 of 70

honestly, i'm okay with someone being a little judgy, as long as they are honest with themselves about what they are doing. you see someone parenting a way you think is less than ideal, fine, judge away. as long as you don't say anything to them (about non-abusive, legal practices), aren't rude, racist, classist, or sexist when you do bitch, then whatever. this is a pretty big board, there's lots of places to kvetch about other people. and then we'd be free to judge you right back for being so dogmatic.

 

but trying to make it sound like you're "really trying to change"...? that's pretty obviously not true. if you were truly deeply sorry about how awfully you've been judging your family, you wouldn't be breadcrumbing us with tiny details like "codependency" and so forth, you'd just say "hey, i've been having really negative thoughts about my SILs' parenting styles that aren't really any of my business and it's gotten so bad that it's actually affecting our relationships because i can't handle being around them. how do i change?" and that would be it.

 

 

i quoted you, AM, because i don't think this is even close to the situation the OP is talking about. i'd be pretty squicked out by that behavior too, and i would definitely have my judgy pants on, but even the extreme that you're describing isn't abusive or neglectful (provided she's leaving the baby with qualified caregivers). it's sure not how i'd parent, but it's still their decision to do things differently. i'd bet big bucks that there isn't anything close to that going on in the OPs situation. i don't understand what the obsession is with some MDCers trying to make parenting the most painful, unpleasant, exhausting thing any person could possibly experience. are you jealous, OP, that your SILs have been utilizing this great resource and you haven't? cause otherwise i just don't get the level of bitterness being expressed. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post


Before I go on my soapbox Im going to say that I can see how it is upsetting when people just go on with their lives like nothing has changed. I once babysat for someone with a 4 day old baby so that she and her husband could go to a football game. She had me stay overnight so that she could drink and party downstairs with their friends and celebrate her husbands birthday. She taped her boobs and took the pill that keeps your milk from coming in because she was afraid she would get stretch marks if her milk came in and then she didnt breastfeed. Kiddo was at daycare 3 days a week starting at two weeks and she didnt go back to work for the first 6 months. He went to daycare so she could sleep in, go out to eat with friends, go shopping, go to her tanning bed appointment, ect. Her behavior left me wondering why she even chose to have a baby.

 

post #30 of 70

I think it's wonderful to be acknowledging this judgement, and trying to move past it. It sounds like this judgement is coming between familial relationships that really might be incredibly fulfilling...you all have kids, so wouldn't be great if you all could relate on that level, if not on the actual parenting choices?

 

There's been a lot of sound advice in this thread, and I think that it's always important to consider the perspective and situations of the other people involved. Do you know that your SILs really do have it easy? Emotionally, do they have it easy? There could be so much more here than meets the eye. And is it just their parenting style that you are judging? Or is there more that is upsetting you? What if you confided in your MIL and talked more about how you're personally feeling.

 

This isn't about your SILs changing their parenting style or you ILs becoming less involved with their grandkids. This is about you moving past these feelings. It sounds like you need to get to a place of letting go, and then do just that.

post #31 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

Kids will learn to read when you start teaching them to read. Kids will more than likely start learning to potty in the potty when you start teaching them to go in the potty. They will sleep all night when they are ready, but if you arent encouraging it, why the hell should they? I just dont understand this rampant mentality that AP means that you arent allowed to give your kid that nudge they need to be more independent and do things on their own. i'm not saying its ok to just schedule everything, and try to get them to grow up as fast as possible, but there is a huge part of me that wonders if people subconsciously dont want their kids to potty train, sleep without their help, read, or be able to do things on their own because they just cant stand to watch them grow up and not be the A #1 person/thing in their life anymore and they use the AP label to justify it.


Er...your oldest is not even 2.  Is she reading because you started teaching her?  Isn't stubborn like a typical toddler?  Then congratulations.  I started "teaching" my son to read years before he took off and did it on his own.  Tried to teach him how to use the toilet years before he actually did.  AP had NOTHING to do with it, and you are naive if you think that parents have all the control in those situations.

 

And honestly, I've never seen a parent use AP as a reason for not teaching and encouraging their child.  Ever.

post #32 of 70
Thread Starter 

OP here.

 

I feel like we may be getting a little off track. 

 

This is my problem:  I am quite upset over things which I have no control over.  I don't know how to get out of that rut. 

 

Yes, it's SILs behaviors that I'm upset about, but that's not the point.  I'm not trying to figure out if their parenting is truly lousy, or if I just don't like it.  I'm not trying to figure out if ILs should or shouldn't be this involved.  What I need is to be free from their decisions draining my energy, taking my time, or affecting my relationships with them.  If we were just friends, we would probably grow apart now, but since they're family, I need to deal with it. 
 

Yes, I know I'm the one letting their decisions bother me.  That's why I'm here.  I already know this is only harming me, what I need to know is HOW to go about that.  I'm not being nasty to them.  Cool and indifferent, maybe, but not getting involved has been the way I've tried to deal with it.  DH gets to hear me vent and I'm wasting all of my own creative energy, that's all.

 

I hope this makes sense. 

 

Thanks especially to Linda on the Move, Caedenmomma, and Spring Lily.  I feel like you get my intention. 

post #33 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post



Er...your oldest is not even 2.  Is she reading because you started teaching her?  Isn't stubborn like a typical toddler?  Then congratulations.  I started "teaching" my son to read years before he took off and did it on his own.  Tried to teach him how to use the toilet years before he actually did.  AP had NOTHING to do with it, and you are naive if you think that parents have all the control in those situations.

 

And honestly, I've never seen a parent use AP as a reason for not teaching and encouraging their child.  Ever.

 

Not to derail the main thread about judgement and how long "real AP moms" can go without personal time....

 

But not all that long ago there were a bunch of threads about all the "Non-AP things you do?" and "Non-AP moms showing up here at MDC," and "Shouldn't this site be ONLY for AP issues?" 

 

And it sure seemed like for many people, "AP" is not just about responsiveness, not-CIO, and BF -- to be "AP" for many of the respondents, you had to practice not just gentle discipline but consensual living.  It wasn't enough to "Potty learn" gently -- you have to either do EC (preferable) or say absolutely nothing about the potty until they bring it up on their own.   Even homeschooling wasn't "real AP," it had to be *un*schooling -- preferably the radical kind.  

 

People posted apologetic lists of all the "Un-AP things" they did, which included things like limiting computer time, sending their kids to public school, and telling their kids what they could and could not eat.  

 

So I totally see where Adaline'sMama might well be seeing people saying AP seems to tell people not to teach their children thigns.  Because it is clear that for a significant subset of people, "Attachment parenting" has been conflated with a lot of other non-mainstream parenting ideas and has been merged into one big "MDC Checklist."    

 

 

post #34 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post





Er...your oldest is not even 2.  Is she reading because you started teaching her?  Isn't stubborn like a typical toddler?  Then congratulations.  I started "teaching" my son to read years before he took off and did it on his own.  Tried to teach him how to use the toilet years before he actually did.  AP had NOTHING to do with it, and you are naive if you think that parents have all the control in those situations.

 

And honestly, I've never seen a parent use AP as a reason for not teaching and encouraging their child.  Ever.


Er...yes my child isnt event two, but I am the oldest of a grand total of 6 children, two that are still young enough to live at home and have watched many, many children learn to read when I worked with a reading recovery program for elementary children. I guess not having a child of reading age yet means Im not allowed to have opinions about how people choose to (or in this case, usually NOT to, teach a child.) And here on MDC I bite my tounge quite a bit about all the folks who are worried that their 7-10 year olds cant read yet because they "arent ready" but they sure can play a crapload of video games. There is a thread every couple of weeks about this. Im not making it up.......


Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post



 

Not to derail the main thread about judgement and how long "real AP moms" can go without personal time....

 

But not all that long ago there were a bunch of threads about all the "Non-AP things you do?" and "Non-AP moms showing up here at MDC," and "Shouldn't this site be ONLY for AP issues?" 

 

And it sure seemed like for many people, "AP" is not just about responsiveness, not-CIO, and BF -- to be "AP" for many of the respondents, you had to practice not just gentle discipline but consensual living.  It wasn't enough to "Potty learn" gently -- you have to either do EC (preferable) or say absolutely nothing about the potty until they bring it up on their own.   Even homeschooling wasn't "real AP," it had to be *un*schooling -- preferably the radical kind.  

 

People posted apologetic lists of all the "Un-AP things" they did, which included things like limiting computer time, sending their kids to public school, and telling their kids what they could and could not eat.  

 

So I totally see where Adaline'sMama might well be seeing people saying AP seems to tell people not to teach their children thigns.  Because it is clear that for a significant subset of people, "Attachment parenting" has been conflated with a lot of other non-mainstream parenting ideas and has been merged into one big "MDC Checklist."    

/p>

 


nod.gif Exactly.

And the entire reason I even decided to say anything about it is because on a thread where someone is actively not wanting to be judgmental, they have decided what AP is for all the rest of us too. In a few years, is the OP going to be judging me because I stopped putting diapers on my kid at 2 and pushed her towards the potty and started trying to get her to focus on learning to read and write at 4 or 5? These are obviously hypothetical, but my point is that if the OP wants to stop being judgmental, then maybe the first step is letting go of her ideals about what is or isnt "good parenting" or what is or isnt "AP". I, on the other hand, am not claiming to have any interest in being less judgmental.
post #35 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverFish View Post

 i don't understand what the obsession is with some MDCers trying to make parenting the most painful, unpleasant, exhausting thing any person could possibly experience. are you jealous, OP, that your SILs have been utilizing this great resource and you haven't? cause otherwise i just don't get the level of bitterness being expressed. 


Yes, I've often noticed that attitude that if you aren't suffering enough, you don't love your kids enough.

 

When asked for advice by new parents, I ALWAYS advise to accept all offers of help, especially at the beginning. So often, it takes so long for a new parent to come to the point of realising that it is OK to accept help that the offers have dried up from having been turned down in the past.

 

post #36 of 70


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by llwr View Post

OP here.

 

I feel like we may be getting a little off track. 

 

This is my problem:  I am quite upset over things which I have no control over.  I don't know how to get out of that rut. 

 

Yes, it's SILs behaviors that I'm upset about, but that's not the point.  I'm not trying to figure out if their parenting is truly lousy, or if I just don't like it.  I'm not trying to figure out if ILs should or shouldn't be this involved.  What I need is to be free from their decisions draining my energy, taking my time, or affecting my relationships with them.


 

I agree the thread is off track.

 

Back to your problem (which I relate to because my sister's parenting of my nieces and nephews has slide over the years from just being more main stream than mine, to truly being emotionally abusive). It's all legal, nothing CPS would get excited about, but I don't see my nieces and nephew, who are now 10-17, growing into functional adults without a lot of therapy.

 

Anyway, I think you have made three really important steps already:

 

1. Identified the problem that you want to change --- namely, being judgmental and critical of your SILs

2. Owned the problem as your own, not theirs. You are taking full responsibility for your thoughts and feelings. clap.gif

 

3. Realized that the problem is hurting YOU. Taking your time and energy. You want to change for yourself, not to live up to someone else's idea of what is "good."  It's so much easier to change when we are doing so for selfish reasons. This is one of the forms of "healthy selfishness."

 

So, I think the next question is what to do when you recognize these feeling raising their ugly little heads once again. There are a lot of options, and some might work better for you than others, and some might work better in different situations than others. For example, what to do when you are home alone and this pops in your head is different than when you are with them and this comes up.

 

Some ideas:

 

repeat a prayer or an affirmation. The serenity prayer is nice, or something like "I am love. I see others with love."

 

connect with the present moment (esp. good for when you are NOT with them). Be totally when and where you are -- focus all your thoughts on the task at hand, or enjoying the person you are with (if you get into conversations with your spouse about this, change the subject to something POSITIVE about your own lives, or do something fun together) Or do a Sudoku Puzzle, or go paint your nails, anything that helps you pivot back to YOUR life.

 

Journal about how your parent's constant criticism of others (and most likely also of you) has affected you, and why you wish to be different than them. May be write up something about criticism and burn it with the intention of releasing this family pattern. Although this sounds like the opposite of the the idea just listed, I think there is a difference in how setting aside to look honestly at something about ourself is playing out, and just having our mind go in a little circle like a broken record effects us and effects how our brains work later.

 

Practice non-violent communication with your MIL and SILs when you do see them. There is a wonderful book (which I'm currently re-reading!)  call Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Rosenberg that has been truly transformative for me in my interactions with my people who see and do things differently than the way I see and do things. It's so completely different than the way I was raised that learning to implement these ideas has been a long project with me. I would love to get a whole conversation going on mothering about this book, if others are interested. It's about how to take the ideals of gentleness and respect, which most of us find so important in our interactions with our children, and apply them to our interactions with others in our life.

 

Pull on any religious/spiritual teachings or practices that work for you. I'm a yogi, and yoga has the idea of "namaste" which means seeing the divinity in every person, even when they are really out of touch with that part of themself. My favorite translation is:

 

I can see that place in you that is of love, of light, and of truth

And when you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, then we are the same.

 

The hardest people for me to think of this way are in my family of origin, but I find that thinking about this at other times (such as waiting in line at a store, I'll remind myself that all the people around me, all the strangers, have a core that is also of the divine, that every person is sacred) and it helps soften my interactions with all others, even the people I know well enough to see exactly how out of touch they are with the wonderfulness that is inside them.  Spiritual/religious stuff is so personal, and rather than advocate that you do what works for me in this respect, I'm just trying to get your creative juices flowing about what would work for you.

 

Release criticism of yourself. Even though you don't mention this in your thread, going on my own experience, it all was part of the same problem.

 

I hope that some of this is helpful. I know all to well what it is like to grow up with criticism and judgment, and then realizing it is growing in your own life like weed with long roots. Ironically, being critical of ourselves over anything, even the fact that we are critical, only continues the pattern rather than letting us move forward.

 

 

 

 

post #37 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by llwr View Post

OP here.

 

I feel like we may be getting a little off track. 

 

This is my problem:  I am quite upset over things which I have no control over.  I don't know how to get out of that rut. 

 

Yes, it's SILs behaviors that I'm upset about, but that's not the point.  I'm not trying to figure out if their parenting is truly lousy, or if I just don't like it.  I'm not trying to figure out if ILs should or shouldn't be this involved.  What I need is to be free from their decisions draining my energy, taking my time, or affecting my relationships with them.  If we were just friends, we would probably grow apart now, but since they're family, I need to deal with it. 
 

Yes, I know I'm the one letting their decisions bother me.  That's why I'm here.  I already know this is only harming me, what I need to know is HOW to go about that.  I'm not being nasty to them.  Cool and indifferent, maybe, but not getting involved has been the way I've tried to deal with it.  DH gets to hear me vent and I'm wasting all of my own creative energy, that's all.

 

I hope this makes sense. 

 

I think it makes some sense. I'll say it again- if you recognize that your feelings about your SiLs are judgmental (and not in the good way!), and they are just a reflection of your own disappointments and insecurities, you may be more apt to be able to reject these feelings. Does that make sense? And that's not dissing you personally. It's like that with most of us. Sounds like you already have some self-awareness of this or you wouldn't be posting.
 

 

post #38 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffeegirl View Post

 if you recognize that your feelings about your SiLs are judgmental (and not in the good way!), and they are just a reflection of your own disappointments and insecurities, you may be more apt to be able to reject these feelings.


 

but that's not always the case. It assumes that the parenting practices in question fail into the very board group of "acceptable, but not a choice I personally would make" rather than "truly not in the best interest of any child."

 

Some things are really not desirable, and rather than sidetracking into exactly which things fall into the category for each of us, I think it is more profitable to discuss what to do with our emotions when we see those things being done to children we love and care about, children in our extended family.

 

When I see my sister practicing *bad parenting* and it gets under my skin, owning my own insecurities really does nothing. I'm not hung up on myself, I'm sad for her kids and sad that I have no power.

post #39 of 70

I think, if you visit the OP's post history, you'll see that the practices she seems most upset about definitely fall into the category of "acceptable, but different."    

 

Heck, I'm kind of jealous of her SILs now that I've read about it.   I had my babies while living 8 hours from my mom, with no "mom friends" around because we were the first couple to have kids in our group of friends, and I often wished MY Mom could have been with me more in the early days.   I have coworkers whose mothers have flown in from other countries for months to do what the OPs MIL did -- definitely its something that is not just done, but done OFTEN in many cultures.

post #40 of 70

I think you're doing great just acknowledging this is something you have to work through.  Most people fester and don't look to the root of the problem or even try to sort out their feelings. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by llwr View Post

OP here.

 

I feel like we may be getting a little off track. 

 

This is my problem:  I am quite upset over things which I have no control over.  I don't know how to get out of that rut. 

 

Yes, it's SILs behaviors that I'm upset about, but that's not the point.  I'm not trying to figure out if their parenting is truly lousy, or if I just don't like it.  I'm not trying to figure out if ILs should or shouldn't be this involved.  What I need is to be free from their decisions draining my energy, taking my time, or affecting my relationships with them.  If we were just friends, we would probably grow apart now, but since they're family, I need to deal with it. 
 

Yes, I know I'm the one letting their decisions bother me.  That's why I'm here.  I already know this is only harming me, what I need to know is HOW to go about that.  I'm not being nasty to them.  Cool and indifferent, maybe, but not getting involved has been the way I've tried to deal with it.  DH gets to hear me vent and I'm wasting all of my own creative energy, that's all.

 

I hope this makes sense. 

 

Thanks especially to Linda on the Move, Caedenmomma, and Spring Lily.  I feel like you get my intention. 



 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Personal Growth
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Talk Amongst Ourselves › Personal Growth › my judgement of mainstream parenting, codependency, and my SILs who are doing it