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Dear MIL... response post 18 - Page 4

post #61 of 118
I am 100 percent with KIDSAPLENTY Well said and I do know life is too short. Watch your dear babies as accidents happen and love the inlaws as life is oh so short. and peace
post #62 of 118
I just asked my mil who is a strict city woman who said that she would absolutely install the cupboard locks and the door handles to protect the children. She also stated that several years ago when DH was small she put locks on where the meds and chemicals were. We are talking about 1957. But the rest thats on your mind, just vent, don't send.
post #63 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by editmom View Post
I am 100 percent with KIDSAPLENTY Well said and I do know life is too short. Watch your dear babies as accidents happen and love the inlaws as life is oh so short. and peace
Excellently put in one simple sentence!!!
post #64 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by l_olive View Post
It's too much work for you for your son to have a relationship with his grandparents inside their home? Couldn't you just take your son to the bathroom with you? How does your partner feel about never being in his parent's home?
Yes, in fact it is. Not everyone has a great relationship with their family/extended family. My parents went out of their way to bring me to my grandparents, but I knew even as a young child that my grandparents did not put much effort into their relationship with me. They never came to visit and it wasn't because they were housebound. They were world travelers, but their time with me was on their schedule and at their convience and as an adult I still resent that. My MIL is much the same way. She is active, she travels, but the only time she bothers to come visit us is if it happens to be on the way to somewhere else and she expects us to be available at a moments notice.

As for Dh, when we were visiting at MIL's house he would frequently "check-out" and spend most of his time on the computer. We all spend more time actually interacting with each other when we're out somewhere. It works for us, ds gets to spend time with his grandmother doing something fun and I'm not a crazy nervous cranky wreck for an entire weekend. And of course they're always welcome to visit us, though they rarely do.
post #65 of 118
So... your DH is out of the country, you don't really like your in-laws that much... and you visit them 3x a week, for 1 to 5 hours at a time? Why?

I LIKE my inlaws, and I could never spend that much time with them. They're nice people, but they drive me batty after awhile.

I don't think you need to create an issue about this, (door latches or otherwise), just don't go over there so much if you don't like it. What's the big deal?

Sure, grandparents are important, but I don't think 3x a week visits are necessary, especially not if they make you uncomfortable, and clearly they do.
post #66 of 118
What I don't understand is, why is it so important for the OP to take her child to the grandparents house? (Arguments on grandchildren HAVING to spend time with less than stellar grandparents aside...) She is willing to stretch out her hand and engage them with the grandchild in various other activities in other locations...is this so wrong?

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the OP say she's willing to arrange visits for the grandparents at her own house where she feels more comfortable and other locations?

Personally I don't think the park (if it's anything like my local park) is "less safe" than at a house. We have a wide open park, no little nick nacks to knock over, fresh air, and wide open spaces. I often let my child run there because he can run and run and run for long distances where I can still clearly see him. Zoos and so forth usually have spaces away from roads where kiddie can run and climb and be ok. To my, wide outside open spaces away from roads always seem safer than inside of the house, nooks and crannies where my child can hide, and stuff and bric-a-brac to knock over and get into.

I can totally understand how the op can feel more comfortable meeting the grandparents at a different location.

It's not like she's trying to find excuses to cut out the grandparents (and if there were justifiable reasons for that, I wouldn't be against that either.) She's trying to meet them halfway. Why is everyone down her throat?


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.........or did I read something wrong? (Going back over the previous posts again.........this thread is confusing to me...: )
post #67 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by treqi View Post
<snip>
I guess when we were playing Scrabble I got a score of 50 and SIL, BIL and MIL got way over 100 I think that would probably have to do with the fact that I was always more focused on dd and J than the game, because normally I'm pretty good at Scrabble
Girl... who plays Scrabble in a place where they are worried about safety issues?

I gotta go with the pp who queried your reasoning when you stated you don't wanna have to be on constant vigil in their home, but you'd go to a park (where you have to be on watch even more so), dragging MIL off to a place she might not be comfortable, just so she can have some time with her grandbaby... Either way, whether it's the park, or the IL's place, you're on-the-clock mama. The job doesn't stop just cuz other grown ups are around... sometimes that actually makes it harder, because (especially with ADHD, speaking as a mama with ADHD...) it's easy to slip into that "Oh-So-and-So-will-watch-her" trance... I can sympathize...

But it seems like you're making mountains out of issues you could treat as mole-hills...

Sounds like there are a variety of issues making the IL's place undesirable, (not the least being the possibility of running into the ex-friend on drugs... which, if you did, couldn't you just walk away? What's the fear of running into the ex-friend?) and yet you spend 1-5 hours there as many as 3-4 days a week? Do I have that right? Why do you go over there so much? You don't seem to care much for them, is it to give dd time with the grands? Are you looking for social-time with grown-ups?

treqi, I think maybe some of this is part in parcel with being a 1st-time mom of a toddler... and less about your IL's. I mean they are who they are, and your having a child won't change who they are. You are just more acutely aware of their idiosyncratic faults than you may have been before... but what the situation really calls for is (IMO... and it's a wacky one...):
  1. CHILL OUT. We have a lot less control than we'd like... work with what you've got.
  2. Weigh out the pro's and cons of frequent visits to IL's.
  3. Get CREATIVE. Come up with, or be open to new and alternative solutions to the issues you find fault with.

Would you consider opening up a dialogue with IL's to brainstorm ideas that are mutually agreeable, in order to resolve the safety issues?

Someone said a chair infront of the door... I have seen folks put a bell on the door so that when the run-about-child opened it, all folks could be alerted... what about a note that says "Please remember to lock the door on your way in after smoking" so folks do the deadbolt back up...

There are solutions.

You're holding on really tightly to the "either-or" solutions; "either put the locks on, or we don't come over" and you are sure that will work...? What if you got the locks on, you got your way, and then a NEW safety concern revealed itself... would the battle be back on?

What would happen if you released the "either-or" solution you're hangin onto, a little, and tried some other options?
post #68 of 118
Visiting family is not easy, at least it has never been for me. I understand your issues with smoking but honestly, I think the ex-boyfriend and friend add to the equation.

If you can forget about the "other" people near your ILs, then maybe just go there for a shorter period of time and stay with your kids (so you can supervise that there is no smoking around them) and share an activity together (pre-school type of activity). The park sounds like a good idea to me, contact with nature is always important!

Gigi
post #69 of 118
I can totally relate to the OP. I find it exhausting to visit other people's homes when I'm constantly chasing after the kids, protecting them from the unchildproofed dangers of other peoples homes and protecting the homes and things of the people we're visiting. Of course as a parent it is my responsibility to care for my children (it's my most important job), and to foster certain relationships within the family. It's a hard thing to juggle.

I am lucky. We visit both my parents and my MIL a lot (once a week or so) and they both, w/o me even asking, childproofed their homes. I'm talking door locks, cabinent locks, gates, the whole nine yards. They wanted their homes to be comfortable and relaxing for our family. They wanted to make it so we wanted to come over and spend time with them.

Let me just throw out some child proofing suggestions that aren't permenant. Tension gates are great. They can be put up when needed, taken down when unused and easily stored. Removeable cabinent locks can be found at Target. Just buy a handful, put them on the dangerous drawers or cabinents when you get there and take them off when you leave. Throw them in a drawer for next time. Sometimes, my mom even uses ponytail holders to wrap around cabinent knobs. Lastly, the doors. These can be tricky. My parents have a pool and I insist the toddler gate around the pool be up. They have levers on all of their doors and even my 1 yo knows how to unlock and open the doors to the pool. But we also bought these alarm things at Walgreens. They just stick on the top of the door and when the door is opened, an alarm or beep sounds. They're about 3 inches long and barely noticeable. They can also be turned off so there is no alarm or beep for the times the kids are not there.

I see no reason why a compromise can't be made. Sure, they watch your kid when they have him (sorry, can't remember if you have a girl or boy) but we all know what can happen in an instant with your back turned. Hell, it happens all the time to responsible, attentive parents. If they are unwilling to help keep your kid safe, then I agree. Visits at your home or a public place are the way to go. I would hope they would want you to feel that your child is safe in their home.

Good luck.
post #70 of 118
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrennaMama View Post
Sounds like there are a variety of issues making the IL's place undesirable, (not the least being the possibility of running into the ex-friend on drugs... which, if you did, couldn't you just walk away? What's the fear of running into the ex-friend?) and yet you spend 1-5 hours there as many as 3-4 days a week? Do I have that right? Why do you go over there so much? You don't seem to care much for them, is it to give dd time with the grands? Are you looking for social-time with grown-ups?
With he friend I'd rather not ever see her I don't want her to know I'm back into town and I don't want her to start trying to contact me through other people (I just found out about this coke and meth issue and was actually planning on hanging out with this friend)..................

My parents push me to go over there (I'm staying with my parents and will see them A LOT even when I move in April) even with all the issues (smoking cigs and pot, lack of child proofing). I don't want my husband to get mad at me for neglecting to see his parents and I think they expect me to come over a lot because SIL used to come over every day. I like to see SIL and BIL but would much rather hang out with my other friends or just see them by themselves but would like to at least be able to feel safe in their home especially in this transition period from Japan (time change, altitude change, eating schedule change)
post #71 of 118
Well, kinda the same situation but its my mom. Her house is pristine and covered in glass breakables. We had Merry Maids come over and so we went to her house while she was at work for a few hours. When we got there I was horrified. We've only been there a few times (last time her dog bit my son and then he spilled WATER on her couch and she freaked out). First he pulled everything off the fridge and threw it on the ground, so while I was picking that up he came over to show me that he had some of that beach glass stuff in his mouth, oh about the size of a nickel. Then he ran from me while I tried to catch him and get it out. Then he picked up a big marble ball and threw it at her tv. Luckily it didn't make it. While I was running around picking everything up and putting it out of his way he brought me a big bottle of thyroid medication. With the lid half off. So I put that up and we went to the zoo. I'm almost 9 months pregnant and it was a lot of stress for me. She also has two knife drawers at his eye level.

I put everything up and then came back over two days later for Easter and she'd put it all back, so we went through it again.

Honestly, its too much work for me. She says that she'd baby proof if we were there more, but we're not there because its too hard. She's very spacey and I can't ever trust her alone with him in that house. So we don't go anymore. She's more than welcomed to see us here at our house or at the park. As long as one of us is there to supervise (me or DH).
post #72 of 118
I'm beginning to get a better idea of your situation.

It sounds like you are really commited to your husband, and really committed to family. That's admirable.

You have made it a priority, and you have been flexible where you can be, in regards to time with them.

I bet it isn't too far off the mark to suggest that an array of solutions (temporary ones that MIL doesn't have to fret about, but dependable enough that you can feel secure) is just around the corner.

I had some similar issues with my own mom, recently, and had to have a heart to heart with her about how my feelings are important, and I really wanted to enlist her help in resolving my concerns... What if you were to pose it to her like that? Something like (my conversation with my mom was very similar to this):
"I am committed to cultivating a strong relationship with you and continuing to visit and spend time with you guys in order that dd gets as much grandma time as possible. I am at a loss as to what we can do about the safety concerns I have. (making sure to use "I" to own your concerns, and "WE" to reflect that you want her help) The lever locks were the best idea I could come up with. But I can understand why you would be reluctant. I have been given a few other ideas from some friends, too, that are more temporary, might be more appropriate for our situation. (again using "OUR" to reflect that it is something you want to work with her on). Would you consider talking with me about something we can both feel comfortable with? My concerns are real, based on what happened last year (that was scary) as well as just being a new mommy... so I would really like your help in coming up with a plan that won't put you out but will allow me to totally relax with you when I'm at your place withh dd. What do you think?"
post #73 of 118
I am shocked that your ILs wont put 2 stinkin guards on those doors. It smells like a power game to me; like when my MIL refused to put DD's car seat in properly b/c she didn't want me telling her how do it (she lost babysitting privliges immediately)
When my niece and 2 nephews were little my parents, who have a pool, installed a special alarm on the door to the pool...a special adult reach only latch, an alarm at night for things that would fall into the pool, and some other kind door guard b/c my youngest nephew was /is WILD and takes crazy risks.

they never said, "oh watch your kids better" A child needs to protected fro the street (maybe not orange play Doh so much ) but the street , "yes"
post #74 of 118
i only skimmed the thread, but from what i've read of your description of the circumstances, i don't think your request is that out of line. it's not like you're demanding that they childproof their entire home. you've identified a hazard (as evidenced by the other little one that had opened the door...thank goodness everything was ok!!) and imo a door to the outdoors that can be opened by a toddler is pretty high up in my book of things that need to be dealt with for safety reasons. you haven't asked them to make a major or permanent change to their home...they can even put the latches on only when your child is there and take them off at all other times, and that shouldn't be a big deal to them. their reply to your email, though superficially civil, is pretty rude if you think about it. you're trying to facilitate a safe environment for your child and they "decline", then rub it in your face that other children are there without a problem, and that's pretty emotionally manipulative and immature. instead of suggesting a mutually satisfactory solution (as well as SAFETY!!!), they throw a guilt trip at you.

ugh.
post #75 of 118
Thread Starter 
Thats one of my biggest problems.... if dd had walked out the front door my dad would have immediately gone and gotten a childproofing device, even when we are no longer living here all of my parents chemicals will stay out of reach, the banister in the front room will still have an ugly white child proofing net, th ere will always be outlet covers and there will always be a gate at the top of the stairs.... so asking my MIL who is in her FORTIES (I don't think I made that clear before) and will not be confused or not have the strength to unlock this device Here it is on Amazon and this is the one I bought immediately following the J incident..... the one I'm getting this time is uglier but easier to install and the one I got last time is harder to install but is less noticeable
post #76 of 118
Thread Starter 
oh thank you kidspiration you saw it too!!!!!! some others in this thread said her reply was kind and polite to my rude message (the message in the OP was never sent)
post #77 of 118
i can't read the whole thread but iv'e read a few posts in their entirety and skimmed the rest.

what if you just bought a couple "baby gates" and brought them with you when you went over for a visit. it doesn't sound like the whole house is just terrible. it's just a few places right? your ILS will no doubt think it's nutty but you could show up with something to block the "problem doors" and a bike lock for the cabinet doors. just pop em on and say it's to help you b/c your ADD.

it is completely unreasonable to insist that other people do things to their home for your child, however mot family will make allowances as far as etiquette is concerned for a first time mom with "high standards". they baby gate thing might get an eye roll but at least the problem will be solved and nobody will have to talk about/argue over/resent anything anymore. also, i think it might work better than informing someone via e-mail that you have purchased a large, unsightly semi permanent when installed product for their house and plant to set it up on your schedule.
post #78 of 118
I see that Im in the minority, but Im coming down on the op's side. I dont get the attitude that grandparents are soooooooooo important that its somehow the parents job to ensure that relationship even if the grandparents dont and wont.

I almost never, never, never go to my mothers home. Yes, she has stated her position absolutely clearly that she has raised her kids, done her tour of duty so to speak and now its her god given right to have a house full of breakables, above, at and below eye level to a toddler. Shiny, pretty ones that attract. And shes a total neat freak. And thats all ok, and she IS entitled to that. BUT......... I have three, count them THREE under four and it is not even remotely possible for me to sit on top of all three every single second. So....as they say, shit happens. When it does, when a plant gets knocked over or milk spilled on the table, my mother wails and screams and cries and carries on like someone has died while my children stand by with wide eyes looking guiltily confused.

So while she has the total right to a pristinely clean, sterile house with more knick knacks that the pottery barn.........I have an equal right to choose not to visit with my children because yes, it is too much work! She could child proof her home for her grandkids, she doesnt have to, but she could if that were what was important to her. It isnt. Maybe I was spoiled by my ex's parents who not only babyproofed but devoted an entire room to the grandkids and put treehouses and trampolines and swimming pools in the yard for them. Their grandkids were their first priority and I have never doubted, even through divorcing my ex, how much they love my oldest son. Heck, they even kinda dote on the three I have with dh! But I digress....

You see, its a simple matter of choices. My mother chooses her house the way she has it now over us coming over more often. I have flat out told her, politely, thats its just too much work. If Im nursing the baby and the three year old spills milk, I cant jump up right that moment to clean it up. And thats when she says "You shouldnt have had more than you can take care of" just as, when shes givng them the milk, she says, "you have to sit at the table at MY house, you cant just do whatever you want like mommy lets you" so I also dont appreciate the digs at my parenting skills much less insulting me to my own childrne who happen to love me and not because they are let to do whatever they want (this is based on cosleeping and ebf, which my mom thinks I should "just be the parent and tell them no, the word no wont kill them") Oh, arrrgh. anyway. But it really IS ok for me to say no, to her!

She wont come here. We live 15min apart and she says she'd come over if we "didnt live so far away". Huh? She ALWAYS wants me to come there, so yes, she wants to enjoy them at her convienance and my expense. I cannot relax over there, its more work than gong to walmart with all three of them and I just wont do it anymore. She never comes here. Never. She cant handle the mess (read: house with three under four and three over 15 plus the adults!)

I invite her places all the time. "We are on our way to Mcondalds, want me to stop and pick you up?", "We are on our way to the park that is two blocks from your house, want to come join us?" etc. and etc. She almost always says no. Her reasons? Laundry, house cleaning, hair washing (not kidding), bathing, changing the litter box. Because God forbid she stop cleaning for two freaking seconds. Although, she does spend hours everyday out shopping at thrift stores or the mall.

She quit work several years ago, so she has time, she doesnt choose to spend it with us.

So....to recap, she wont come to my house, never meets us anywhere else, turns down my invitations to pick her up and wont modify her house an inch. Now tell me why its my job to bend over backwards and jump through hoops to create and maintain HER relationship with my kids? Not feeling it. Grandparents CAN be important, but the simple fact of DNA doesnt mean Im obligated to do all the work. A litte give and take would be nice.
post #79 of 118
No offence, but i think you're being a tad overprotective and a little rude. They are grandparents and have raised children themselves, i think they know what they are doing. I think it depends on how much your child is over there. and if you feel like she might run out the door, then don't give her enough time to run out the door.
post #80 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrennaMama View Post
treqi, I think maybe some of this is part in parcel with being a 1st-time mom of a toddler... and less about your IL's. I mean they are who they are, and your having a child won't change who they are. You are just more acutely aware of their idiosyncratic faults than you may have been before... but what the situation really calls for is (IMO... and it's a wacky one...):
  1. CHILL OUT. We have a lot less control than we'd like... work with what you've got.
  2. Weigh out the pro's and cons of frequent visits to IL's.
  3. Get CREATIVE. Come up with, or be open to new and alternative solutions to the issues you find fault with.

Would you consider opening up a dialogue with IL's to brainstorm ideas that are mutually agreeable, in order to resolve the safety issues?

....
What would happen if you released the "either-or" solution you're hangin onto, a little, and tried some other options?
Not "wacky" at all. I think this makes perfect sense. Treqi, I agree you should try to find some grey areas, instead of seeing only black and white. Instead of insisting on changing your ILs, work with what you have. You made your own good suggestions - go there less often and instead invite them to your place or to a play ground.... Good luck.
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