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Touchy subject about Grandma and toddler...(supporT only please, sorry so long)

post #1 of 93
Thread Starter 
I'm trying to find a way to delicately pass the hint that I'd rather my mom not have a hand in potty training my kid, that it's something I'd prefer to handle on my own. It's such a hard subject.

My kid will be three in June, and he's trained at home as long as he's naked from the bottom down. Right now, we are working on adding clothing to our little arrangment, on getting him to ask me when he has to go (he just drops everything, runs to his potty and sits down to pee right now..) when he we are in public.

I am working on sewing him boxers so that he can have a measure of "freedom" naked feeling to get him to learn to hold it in clothing and pull his clothing up and down when he goes. (Anything remotely like a diaper or a cloth diaper he thinks it's ok to pee in. somebody told me some little boxers may alllow him to feel naked enough want to pee in the potty.)

This is difficult for me to describe. But ever since I was very young and my mom ever babysat some one's baby, I got a .....feeling....that I didn't like. It's so difficult to describe. Maybe it's all in my mind. For a long time after I had my kid, I hoped it was. she just seems to.......eager(?) about diaper changes. It makes me extremely uncomfortable. She's kinda touchy-feely. Not in a touching kind of way but....i don't know.

I tried to ignore it, and I have to admit that my unrelenting bad feelings about her keeping my child is a main reason why I quite my job a couple months ago and am now a sahm again.

I don't let her keep him often anymore, like maybe, once every two weeks, or so. I thought this was something I could feel comfortable with.

But now, she bought a potty for my kid. All those awful vague, unspecific feelings I have come back. I just don't want her to be involved at all in potty training. My husand and I allow my kiddo to be as "in charge" of his on privates as is possible for his age. They are his, and whatever he can handle, we allow him to do himself in as much privacy as possible. (Adjust himself on his potty chair "tuck himself" down there so he won't pee all over the floor, etc...)

And it's very hard and almost ridiculous for me to talk about the things that my mom does...but let's just say she's extremely (nicely, not demanding) dictating and "in charge" of the child's body. Like...overly "helpful"? To the point where it's just weird.


And my husband feels just as uncomfortable about it as I do, it's very difficult for both of us to put into words.

But..I'll try.

We talked about it, one of the things that bothers us
1) when she holds the kids, she puts her hand in their crotches a lot.
2) our kid does spend some time in disposibles. (: I'm pregnant, and working hard on sewing his diapers..) when it disposables, you can feel the gel in the diaper if the kid has wet. My mom knows this. But she always like to check inside of the diaper, putting her finger near the privates to check for wetness. It's completely unecessary and makes me cringe.
3) to me, i try to reserve my kids privacy. i don't like asking my kid if he's wet right there in front of everyone. she does this (even when I'm there with him) and seems kind of obsessed with the subject. She'll ask, and 5 mins later, she'll ask again. Until I'm like, "i got it, ma!"
4)She likes to take over the "diaper operations" even when me or my husband is there. I always thought this was inappropriate. I mean, sure play with the kid, but don't assume our parental duties upon yourself in our presence.
5) one time she did something that made me EXTREMELY UPSET. (this was when i decided to quit my job and stay at home) she is always harping on me about wiping my kid when changing him...it's not something I always do, usually but not always. So i'm changing him, and before I could even blink an eye good, she just came over there and wiped his privates, like she was GOING to do it whether I wanted her to or not. She was about to change his diaper, I told her, that's ok, I got it. And that's when she does this with the cloth. I'm like I GOT IT!! That one made me furious.


I don't know, it would tear my family apart if I voiced any of these things, and I want to keep quiet about it. and I think, maybe I'm being petty and overly sensitive.

But (with the exception of my mil) i would feel no such hesitation with anyone else in my family keeping my little one. Including my dad. But, my dad is so dependant on my mom to help him whent he grandkids come over. He'd want her help if I asked him specifically to be "in charge" of my little one whenever he visits. and he also would take strong offense at my hesitations about my mom.

I feel like i can't say anything.
but I don't want my mom involved with potty training.

sometimes i need some one to keep my little one for a little while when i have a doctor's appointment. I don't know what i'm going to do when I go into labor. (I have placenta previa right now, so i don't know if i'll end up having to have a c-section or not.)

I have no other family living in town. Maybe i should start looking for a babysitter just for the days when i have a doctor's appointment.

but on the other hand, my kid does love my mom a lot, and asks for her. he sometimes seems more attached to her than to me. but i have also read up on how "people" operate, and how they get kids (my kid is only almost 3) to really fall in love with them, and often times people like that are well liked by young kids who don't know any better yet.

I'm not sure what to do...
post #2 of 93
- you've got to find the place that feels right - don't ignore the feeling.
post #3 of 93
It is clear your feelings on this are very strong. I don't think you should ignore them or allow yourself to minimize them.

Honestly, reading how uncomfortable her actions make you, it sounds to me like the only solution *for NOW* is that she doesn't keep him. Period.

If it were anyone but your mom that made you feel that creepy you wouldn't hesitate. You will never forgive yourself if something ever happened. Listen to the small voices.



-Angela
post #4 of 93


Your feelings are very legitimate. As moms, we have these feelings for a reason.

Only you know the best response to this situation because you grew up with her. Was your mom the same way with you when you were a kid or is this new behavior? My mom can be a bit like this too at times so I wonder if it is a generational thing. Actually, there are a lot of things that you have stated that sound very similar to my mom. A lot of people from older generations seem to want to be in control of everything and simply do not understand the concept of boundaries and giving kids the ability to set their own boundaries. You have to figure out whether or not you feel safe leaving your kid with her. Do you really think that she could/would do something like that? If there is any doubt at all, then you owe it to yourself to figure out a way to keep her out of the potty training loop and minimize your son's time with her. If your mom is anything like mine, telling her that she creeps you out would be the end of the world. You have to figure out a way to let her off nicely (if that is even possible). I don't know what kind of relationship you have with your mom so it is hard to give any advice on what approach to take. Just know that you are not crazy for having these feelings and it is perfectly okay to tell other people to keep their hands off of your child even if that perso is your mom.
post #5 of 93
Don't ignore your intuition, but don't alienate your mom either. I'd do the baby sitter thing, or maybe do a mothers day out thing and make the excuse be that you think he needs exposure to other kids. It could just be that you are being extremely sensitive because of the PG hormones (I know I for sure had many strange thoughts) or just stressed from the impending delivery.
I know you must be stressed, and I'm so sorry you are in this position!:confuse:
Hang in there!
post #6 of 93
Thread Starter 
I remember something else kind of petty...

my kid is having a language explosion, sometimes he pops up with sentences from out of nowhere (sometimes I can guage where he got his ideas from, sometimes I can't...)

So he did #2 in his diaper, and I'm cleaning him up, and out of the blue, clear as day, out of his usually muddled toddler speech, he says, "Are you washing my body mommy?"

I was taken aback. He'd spent a day with my mom about a day or two earlier, and he never EVER calls it that. It's not BAD or anything...but that's not something my husband or i have ever said to him. Nor is it something he learned from tv.

How do I KNOW this is from my mom?
Because, I try to call my kids parts what they are. He learned to say "penis". Then in migrated to "my nugget" ( which later more distinctly became "my naked". This came from me telling him (at home) yikes! you're naked!!! So he usually chats about "his naked" when he is naked.

I know my mom, she doesn't like "real words". She is a prude, and doesn't like the words stupid, or butt, or would lay over a die if anyone said penis or vulva to her. She replaces ALL those words with "body". So that's how I know he got that from her.

It just makes me...ponder....over how?....where?...under what circumstances was she "taking care" of him in which she had to correct him saying "my naked" into "my body".

And I also dont like her shaming him of the real words, or his own play words for his body. we don't shame over such things in this house, and i don't like him getting that idea.

but i still have that little voice in the back of my head screaming, "YOU'RE NITPICKING!" at me, so i don't know.
post #7 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by library lady
Was your mom the same way with you when you were a kid or is this new behavior?
Good question.
post #8 of 93
Thread Starter 
wow, i had lots of responses when i was writing that second response.

But i've ALWAYS had those feelings with my mom even before i was pregnant. i wasn't pregnant when i decided that i was uncomfortable enough to be a sahm again.

i've had nieces and nephews from the time when i was 12 years old on up, and i've felt uncomfortable since then whenever she babysits. so i don't really think it's one of those pregnant things...i don't think.

but my husband is and has been as squigged out about it as i have been, but it's just so subtle that it's not something that you really "get" until something happens....like her buying a potty for him to keep at her house...before you kind of start to feel that "i don't like this" feeling...

it sickens me to even have to feel this way about my mom. We don't get along mainly because...

well, she seems to "need" my kid from what I gather. She has some extreme self esteem issues, and gets depressed when no one needs her. me and her fought constantly as i was a teenager and becoming more independant. i think she feels she needs to have little ones around her a lot to feel important. she needs to be mom. and she's not, I AM MOM. so we conflict over that a lot. so my relationship with her is not the greatest...
post #9 of 93
So, it's not that you're afraid she'll molest your DC. You think it's more of a control/familiarity issue?
post #10 of 93
Thread Starter 
I don't know/don't think she'd molest him. I just want her to stop touching him and stop stressing over his body so much. I Just want her to back off a lot, and stop being such a helicopter. Ease up and chill out.

she starts being secretive and stuff when we are there, and i don't like it. why does she feel the need to take my kid in the bathroom and shut the door? I always go in there after her, and she's always doing something i don't really care for (and she knows it)..but never really anything in the realms of molestation. she sprays this chemical crap on his hair because she's very much anti-afro and my kid has a beautiful one that she's always trying to "control".

in general she tries to take over and do things her way especially in things we don't see eye to eye about. All of that adds to our not getting along very well.

but..i mean. i feel it's a seperate issue from the whole potty/diaper thing.

Even when I was 12 years old, and I didn't feel this whole "contest" with her over who's the real mom of my kid, I've ALWAYS felt weird when she kept other kids. Like she was so obsessed with diaper thing, cleaning them, and touching their crotch or something. I felt it with my first nephew. When I was REALLY young I had a baby cousin she kept sometimes. I think I vaguely remember feeling weird even back then, but my memories could be inaccurate on how I felt back when I was, say, 5.

but I definitely remember always feeling kind of weirded out when I was older and she kept my neice and my nephew. Especially my nephew.

So, while, I'm still trying to figure out if i'm justified feeling what I feel, this is not something new that just popped out of nowhere. It's just something that's magnified now that it's my own child. I feel even weirder about the potty training thing than just diapering. I think that's because I am really protective over whether or not she'd shame him for not using the potty, and I think she would. Control and shaming. It's a combination I don't like.
post #11 of 93
Please read your quotes below that I've selected from your posts, bolding mine:

Quote:
Originally Posted by gabysmom617 View Post
But ever since I was very young and my mom ever babysat some one's baby, I got a .....feeling....that I didn't like.
Quote:
To the point where it's just weird.

Quote:
And my husband feels just as uncomfortable about it as I do, it's very difficult for both of us to put into words.
Quote:
It's completely unecessary and makes me cringe.

Quote:
5) one time she did something that made me EXTREMELY UPSET. (this was when i decided to quit my job and stay at home) she is always harping on me about wiping my kid when changing him...it's not something I always do, usually but not always. So i'm changing him, and before I could even blink an eye good, she just came over there and wiped his privates, like she was GOING to do it whether I wanted her to or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gabysmom617 View Post
But i've ALWAYS had those feelings with my mom even before i was pregnant. i wasn't pregnant when i decided that i was uncomfortable enough to be a sahm again.

Quote:
i've had nieces and nephews from the time when i was 12 years old on up, and i've felt uncomfortable since then whenever she babysits.

Quote:
but my husband is and has been as squigged out about it as i have been,
Having had those thoughts and written them down, could you forgive yourself if the unthinkable happened?

Until/unless something changes to make you feel more comfortable, I think there is no choice but to not leave your child alone with her. Perhaps you'd feel better about it when he's older and more self sufficient and more verbal. But right now, it is very clear that you feel that this is an UNSAFE situation for your child.

To put him in a situation that you feel is unsafe to keep family peace would be irresponsible at best.



Don't be afraid to listen to your feelings.

-Angela
post #12 of 93
At minimum, you and she have very different ideas about bodily integrity and the rights of other little humans. I'm not trying to trivialize this complaint, but did you read the thread here about if feet are private and gross? Otherwise sane people can have very different ideas about what's private and public, profane and sacred.
If that's the case, you could tell her that you have different ideas about potty training and diapers, and that all diapers and potty training are to be left to you, no holds barred, in order not to confuse the child.
If it's just a difference of opinion, that will work. If she's fufilling some desire of hers, it's not going to work.
post #13 of 93
Thread Starter 
Yes, I agree. Of course I have to hear crap because I never bring him over enough. Today I went over there with him to visit, I didn't leave. I feel more comfortable doing that. It won't be long before she'd be asking me to let him keep her. I just have to figure out a way to graciously handle that.

I think I'd once again be ok after he's reliably potty trained and completely self sufficient in that department. but just the whole potty-training time is something i'd rather not have her deal with.

you guys have given me much to think about, and I'll sleep on what i've worked out so far....
post #14 of 93
I just wanted to mention the generational thing again, cause in many ways your mom sounds like my MIL. MIL wants to constantly change clothes and diapers. I hadn't thought of it as creepy, but more as annoying. When she's with ds I go through twice as many diapers and have tons of laundry. I thought it was cause she likes to have that interaction with him and to see him naked. (the whole cute naked baby bum thing). I have limited this by not sending changes of clothes, or very limited changes and only a limited number of diapers. But when she's at our house, it's like a fashion show. I also showed her how to test the diaper from the outside, but she still insists on putting her hand inside. My little guys is really spirited and screams at her (he is awesome at saying 'No') when she does this, and I remind her it's not necessary. However, that said, I know my MIL would never hurt my LO. If I ever had a 'feeling' that something could happen, I would not be so relaxed and would definitely limit alone time. I think you need to trust your intuition, but be open to generational and cultural differences. Telling the difference is the hard part. Good luck. You made me think about what I'm going to do when my little one starts to toilet train.
post #15 of 93
Wow, your mother has some serious boundary and control issues. You need to set some boundaries, and enforce them.

And if that can't happen, then you need to never leave him alone with her. Never.

I think your feelings are completely valid. Her behavior is creepy and extreemly disrespectful of both you and your DS.
post #16 of 93
Thread Starter 
Ok, I've got a little sleep and updated on responses and I think I've pinpointed exactly why I don't want her potty training him...

First Apricot, I think you hit on something when you say she'd get upset if she fulfills some sort of internal need from him. Well, I already know she feels her own little mental needs from my child, and that's why we already butt heads as much as we do. Exactlyl what needs she feeds from him in the diaper department, I can exactly say. I know that instead of enjoying a relationship with her grandkids (such as the way my dad does) she feels a need to mother them. And closely be on them like white on rice in regards to everything they do. I think my mom feels like she's not really good at anything else. And she feels she's good with kids and a good mother (which, I'd have to say, is her own opinion. ) And she needs to do what she's good at. Even if she's stepping on boundaries, stepping on the "real" mom's toes, and mothering and hovering far beyond what the child needs. I think this plays a major role in why she had trouble with her children when they are teens. Teenagers need mother in a totally different kind of way than a small child does, and this seems to be difficult for her to wrap her head around, and seems to be starting show itself now that my neice is a preteen. Backing off a bit (even now when I ask her to in reference to my child) is extremely difficult for her.

Which is another reason why we seem to butt heads. I'm the youngest and she treats me and my child totally different than she treats my two older sisters. She respects them far more and backs off (at least when they are present with their children) much more than she does with me. My oldest sister is very quiet and shy (moreso than me, I'd say...) and cured her issues with my parents by moving about an hour away from them on only seeing them and bringing her litle one around them occassionally.

My other sister is extremely assertive with herself. I've heard her firmly put my mom in her place on a few occassions so my mom has learned over the years to back the heck off where this sister is concerned.

I try to be more like my second sister, but she gets all huffy with me in a different way because she feels like she "can" because I'm only the baby. I've shown myself not to be nearly as independant as my other sisters over the past years, and I think she thinks it gives her right to "do what she's GONNA do!!" where me and my kid are concerned. I have to say that if it weren't for my relationship with my father, I probably wane my dealings with her down a lot more. I've had conversations with her and she's toned it down but still not quite enough. Any conversation I have with her is met with basically in the end "I"m going to do what I"m going to do, and I don't really care what you say. I"m a mother!"

I guess I don't want her potty training because she's not going to give him his space and his privacy if she does so. I find diaper changes disturbing enough with her as it is. But a few minutes later for a while at least, it's over. She does do the annoying thing with checking his diaper, even if she feels he's wet, she feels the need to guage whether he's "wet enough" to be changed. Personally, I don't want my kid sitting in ANY urine. If he's wet, and you know it, change him. She likes to "save diapers" (she's overly frugal) by letting him really soak one before she changes it. It's like she gets some kind of kick out of changing a really soaked diaper....(Well, you don't really have to wipe the kid's privates if you change him before he gets really soaked, I guess...maybe that's got something to do with it?) So, in all honestly, I probably actually use more diapers than she does. But she seems to find a need to do the little "checking" thing often. (I also guess you check the kid once and he's wet, change him and that's it. You don't have to keep sticking her fingers into his diaper every 10 mins if you do it that way, so maybe that's another reason...)

But...more or less I feel diaper changes is, you do it, you forget bout the kids privates for a while.
And I can do the same thing with pottying at home. I take the kid's diaper off, and I can forget about his privates for an even longer while. (Except for the occassional moments where he wants to have a chat with me abut "his naked" ...and, er...when he brings me his little bucket of pee to dump in the toilet.) I even have his little potty set up behind a chair in a little private corner. As long as he's naked, he carries on his little functions completely in privacy.

But this arrangement wouldn't work in her house right now because she's too much of a prude and she'd never go for him running her house naked. I also wouldn't be comfortable with that because she's not very "hands off" about his body. I think she'd "accidentally" touch him or something, or be more apt to (?) if he spent a lot of time naked at her house.

So the other option would be to put him on some underpants and offer to let him use the potty very often. She'd be hovering around him, not giving him his space and every 15 mins she'd be asking him (in front of the house and whoever is there) if he has to go. She'd be "accessing" his privates much more often than she would if it was just diapering, and it's just not something I feel comfortable with at all. I guess this is the main reason I can now put into words about why I don't really like this whole getting a new potty thing that she's got...

And I think she knows this, she gets all extra excited about it and stuff. But I guess the good news is, I have another nephew that spends time with her, he's 2 weeks older than my kid, and he's also potty learning. So if she doesn't use the new potty with my kid, I think she'd at least be ok with having it "just in case", you know? I won't hesitate to put her little potty to use when i'm there with my kid, if he wants to use it.
post #17 of 93
Thread Starter 
*Just a quick note! Please excuse my MANY typos. my kid sprayed my computer down the other day with green works that my husband (! : ) left out for him to get to, and my computer has been doing strange phantom things ever since, and I can't go back and correct typos without the malfunctioning select/backspace (or delete maybe?) button eating my entire post. *
post #18 of 93
From what I'm reading you are massively uncomfortable and with good reason. I think that part of the situation is generational in that children were not granted "privacy" earlier in history the way we try to now. That said, it sounds like you have two primary choices at this point. You can simply limit your child's contact with her right now and hope that there isn't another "creepy" thing down the line or you can get massively firm with her on boundaries and stick to them like glue forever. I'm personally a boundary girl. My mother has been told in no uncertain terms that she may be a mom, she may even be my mom, but she is not the mom to my kids. She either plays by my rules with my children or she is not allowed to play. But I have an odd family and I have proven that I am ok with not seeing her more than once a year and only talking on the phone every six months. My mother rather desperately wants a relationship with my children so she is willing to accept the rules as I set them down.

(Uhm... just for the record I have pretty reasonable rules with my mom. She's not good at keeping an eye on kids; she has a habit of neglecting them and I'm not ok with her doing that with my children.)
post #19 of 93
Okay, the stuff your mom does isn't all that out of the ordinary. The first 3 things I've done with my own kids. Checking inside the diaper of a disposable is quite common, especially among people in thier 50's-60's. I think it's because when they first came out with disposables they weren't super absorbant as they are now & they seemed to all put liners inside of them & it's probably just leftover habit.

The 2nd 2 things are things my mother would do or comment on continuously until I gave in & did it her way.

The things in your other posts are things my mother would absolutly do. Some things I"ve learned to let go, like the hair or her deciding they needed to be bathed. If she thinks they need a bath & they aren't dirty, fine but she's the one who has to do it.

Other things I don't let go. At Christmas we were at my brothers & my youngest was sick. She was running a fever & not feeling well. She did throw up once but it was all mucous & she'd been laying down when she got sick so I think it may have been post nasal drip. Christmas Day mom wanted me to go & give her meds, I refused. We got into an argument over it & so I went up stairs with my dd & opened the windows to cool her off. It was so hot in my brothers house even without cooking a turkey. Somehow she conned DH & my other brother to driving around to find a pharmacy that was open on Christmas Day. I stayed upstairs with my dd for 3 hours packing their stuff they got. We left as soon as possible the next day. I told DH that if we had been closer to home(we were 6hours away) that we would have left the day before.

Quote:
Which is another reason why we seem to butt heads. I'm the youngest and she treats me and my child totally different than she treats my two older sisters. She respects them far more and backs off
This is unbelievably true with me & my sister. She the oldest, I"m the 2nd oldest but the youngest girl. My sister's kids are both younger than all of mine. Things were good between me & my mom & her letting me be the mother around them until my sister had her kids. It's been 4 of years of me basically being an horrible mother who knows nothing, can't do anything right & my mom tries to take over being their mom when I"m there. My sister OTOH can do no wrong, her boys are extremly active & run that fine line of getting away with everything yet I'm the one who doesn't parent good enough.

We live 6 hours from my parents. When we get into times like this where my mom has overstepped her boundries I drop contact for weeks. If she calls I don't pick the phone up.
post #20 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by gabysmom617 View Post
I have to say that if it weren't for my relationship with my father, I probably wane my dealings with her down a lot more
Is there any way you could see your father alone sometimes (away fron her house), thus reducing the contact with her a bit.....? Maybe meet him for lunch somewhere or at the playground or whatever....?

I don't know if that would work, but it would be a chance to escape those problems while at the same time keeping up the relationship with your Dad.....

Besides that, I'd say go with your instincts....if something feels so wrong and uncomfortable, there probably IS something not quite right
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