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Touchy subject about Grandma and toddler...(supporT only please, sorry so long) - Page 2

post #21 of 93
Go with your gut. Even if it means cutting off contact with her. You're a MOM first, daughter second.
post #22 of 93
I agree with alegna- it's best to go with your gut feeling. You're having that reaction for a reason, and you're doing well not to ignore it.

My mother has a lot of control issues and little as I like to I've had to tell her that she is going to need to 'back off' more than once, that she is the grandparent and DH and I are the parents and we make the decisions on how to raise our child.

However thankfully those battles are mostly over sugar consumption, media and (now that I'm pregnant with #2) cloth diapers and baby names. If it were over something as serious as body issues, I'd be much more firm with her.
post #23 of 93
Thread Starter 
Yeah that's kind of what I did yesterday. He was off from work, but she had to work so I took him over there and spent a little bit with him before she came home from work.

I was totally ok with taking him over there as long a s I'm there too......until she showed me the potty she purchased for him. She just seemed to overly excited about it and wanted to try it out on him and it just kind of weirded me into saying goodnight for the evening.

It doesn't help that the consistently overstep my authority with my kid. I'm not ok with him doing something, the step in and babble over how I need to let him be, and so, when I'm there, he doesn't want me to touch him, he wants grandma to help him with everything.

I find it extremely annoying try to "take charge" of my kid in the presence of my mom and my toddler is falling over himself in a tantrum because he didn't want "me" to do it, he wanted "grandma" to do it.

And of course whenever he tantrums they ooh and ahh and babble over him and cater to what he wants in such a way that takes my charge away from me. Because they can't stand for him to be upset. So, he learns that, as long as he gets really worked over something (like "I'M going to change your diaper right now, not grandma!") that grandma is going to come to the rescue and try to take over the situation. It's like, I'm trying to protect my kiddo, and HE is against me with them. And it makes me second guess my deep dark feelings I have about the situation.

It's very hard to describe but it's crazymaking. And my husband validates (seeing the occurrences) that I"m not crazy on this, it's a very frustrating situation that's sat up when I'm there.

So it's kind of settled down now that he only sees them ever so often. But this potty thing she proudly purchased is like throwing a nice new rock into a pond that's finally stilled itself and cause a whole bunch of new ripples to iron out, and I just can';t handle it right now since i'm pregnant.

No matter what I do I'll encounter crap. If I just don't bring him over, I'll have to hear about it from both of them and from my kiddo. If I bring him over to visit occassionally and not leave him and operate the pottying myself in the house, I'll hear crap about how "she wanted to do it". And I'll say "No, I got it." And she'll be all pissy for weeks. (She just got out of the pissyness she had going when she found out I was pregnant again.) If I just try to let him go and not worry about it, I'll be stressed because I'd be so uncomfortable with that. Or, I could start WWIII by addressing the little unspoken of exchanges and annoyances we have with each other outright.

I just have to figure out which way I'll deal with it at this point, I guess.


ETA:
I guess I after reading my options written out, I'd be more ok with taking the road of taking him over to visit (as frequently as when she's not there and Grandad is, as possible) and operating the potty thing myself and firmly putting her in her place if she tries to step in, and being a hawk and firmly putting her in her place if she goes overboard with the potty-related hovering. And then, if she get's pissy and this pissyness gets too much out of control for me, I'm going to start WWIII.
post #24 of 93
I wanted to say more.


First of all, read the book Protecting the Gift.


Without going into too many personal details, there is a relative in my life about whom I feel this way. (just the "weird, uncomfortable" way.) And this relative has NEVER babysat my children, for that very reason. (And a counselor backed me up that I shouldn't leave my children with this person because of my feelings, however vague they may be.)


Sometimes it is possible to simultaneously know, and not know, a thing.
Meaning--it's there in your subconscious, not your conscious thought processes. Our brains don't want to overwhelm us, even if something did happen to us as children. So our brains will give us (as adults) JUST ENOUGH information to protect our children. (Not enough information that we get overwhelmed and despondent.)

Your subconscious is whispering to you. Don't dismiss it.

Since you have let your mom into your life so much now (too much, in my opinion, based on the feelings you've had since childhood), it will be difficult to pull away. BUT YOU HAVE TO. YOU REALLY HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE if you want to protect your ds.

Again, I'll say: Read Protecting the Gift.
post #25 of 93
Thread Starter 
Ok, I'll check that book out. Thanks.
post #26 of 93
HOnestly I think your mom needs to get some hobbies but i don't think there is anything wrong witht he way she is acting.

But if you are uncomfortable with it i would just hold off on unsupervised visits for a while.

if your mom says anything I would just shrug your shoulders and tell her that you want to work really consistantly on potty training (including one place, one set of expectations and one person who can consostantly help him - you!) until he is able to take care of his business independantly.
post #27 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
I wanted to say more.


First of all, read the book Protecting the Gift.


Without going into too many personal details, there is a relative in my life about whom I feel this way. (just the "weird, uncomfortable" way.) And this relative has NEVER babysat my children, for that very reason. (And a counselor backed me up that I shouldn't leave my children with this person because of my feelings, however vague they may be.)


Sometimes it is possible to simultaneously know, and not know, a thing.
Meaning--it's there in your subconscious, not your conscious thought processes. Our brains don't want to overwhelm us, even if something did happen to us as children. So our brains will give us (as adults) JUST ENOUGH information to protect our children. (Not enough information that we get overwhelmed and despondent.)

Your subconscious is whispering to you. Don't dismiss it.

Since you have let your mom into your life so much now (too much, in my opinion, based on the feelings you've had since childhood), it will be difficult to pull away. BUT YOU HAVE TO. YOU REALLY HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE if you want to protect your ds.

Again, I'll say: Read Protecting the Gift.
I completely agree with this and just wanted to add another voice of support and encouragement- trust your gut Mama! Set strong boundaries and keep them. The buck stops with you.
post #28 of 93
The things your mom does, for the most part, doesn't seem that out of the ordinary by themselves. But put together, yeah, I'd have some big issues, too.

While she's your mom don't be afraid to put your foot down. If he's wearing a diaper around her and she goes to stick her finger in, firmly stop her and say, "No, this is how we check." If she gives you problems, just say this is the way you're going to do it and that's that.

You have mother's intuition and these feelings for a reason. If she weren't your mother would you let someone else that you have these feelings about anywhere near your child? Probably not. Yes, not causing family problems is important, but protecting your child is the most important thing. Do whatever you feel is necessary to protect your son.
post #29 of 93
The gut feeling is more important than the individual actions. I have someone in my family about whom I feel this way. I've struggled with the same concern. It's not something I can put into words, and if I told someone my concerns, there's no way they'd take them seriously. The individual actions don't *seem* legitimate; it's the way they're handled that make me uncomfortable. Luckily for me, it's not someone we see very often. DH feels the same way, and our firm rule is that the children are not ever to be left without one of us or one other designated family member when we're on the same property as this person. I'd cut off contact, but it would mean eliminating my relationship with a slew of other people to do so. Still I absolutely could not live with it if this person hurt one of my children.
post #30 of 93
i think what your mom is doing *is* weird. i don't think it's generational. my mom is 61 and raised 4 kids. she's more than happy to sit back and let me handle toilet training. she's quite content to interact by pushing DD on a swing and reading her a book. period. *not* interested in changing diapers. at all. been there, done that. had enough.
definitely read protecting the gift and also "the gift of fear" by the same author. buy them used on amazon for a few bucks. well worth it. i just read this entire thread and you said over and over, maybe 50-100 times that you feel suspicious and uneasy and have reasons to be "weirded out" and yet you are continuing to "justify" and need to rationalize. there is no need to justify or rationalize your feelings. read the books, and learn that these feelings are *survival* mechanisms built into ourselves. you don't have to go through life "looking for trouble" but by the same token, when you get a bad feeling, by all means, validate it by believing in your own intuition.
what normal person sticks fingers in a child's disposable diaper? i never wipe down the child for pee only. my mom says for potty training you need to be home all the time (in your own house), certainly not going to grandmas.
oh, and if you have been a "weak" daughter compared to your sisters, now's a great time to firm up your own backbone. you'll be glad you did. good luck!
post #31 of 93
Gabysmom,

I would trust your instinct.....to be honest when I read your reasons it made me cringe also. I have 2 girls and am potty training one of them and we certainly dont have to do any "touching" except for wiping ( with pooping). We also dont keep bugging her in public...more a whisper in her ear ever 2 hours or so. We use one of those rinse bottles they give you after baby is born to rinse private areas. I asked a friend of mine who has a boy she is potty training and she said it really isnt any different with boys.
I understand your situation with regards to being alone and not having family (we also dont have family) but I would not leave my daughters alone with anyone I got a hinky feeling with unsupervised even for a minute. Please look into a babysitter or something. What is to stop her from inappropriate touching at anytime? I understand she is your mother but your and your husband first responsibility is to protect your son. And you dont want to hurt your father either. Personally, I think if I were in your situation (my father was physically abusive to us so I am trying to put down how I deal/work with him) I would do certain things:
1. I would never leave my kids alone or even turn my back for a minute if I did visit her.
2. If I didnt want to cause a problem with my dad wondering why I dont leave them alone, I would make some excuse...maybe a joke about me having separation anxiety/dont want to be away etc. and be stubborn about it.
3. I would physically (but gently so not to cause a problem) push her away if she tried to take over changing the diaper or anything that got her near his privates. If she tried to put her hand in his area, I would look her right in the eye, block her hand, and tell her firmly that we have adopted a no touch training.
4. Or better still, I would have a little talk with gramma that it is mothers/fathers responsibility with the potty training and she is NOT to interfere and if she does visits will be made in a public place only (for your dads sake).

I know you dont want to rock the boat (especially for your fathers sake) but you need to protect your son..and if that means talking to gramma/visiting in public place etc then please do it. I was physically (not sexually) abused by my dad and it has never left me. I am very careful with my kids and would never ever let anyone around them unsupervised if I had any sort of a feeling about them. Please both you and your husband listen to your instincts here ok?
post #32 of 93
i know its the same answer over and over, but I agree with everyone that you should trust your intuition. I think as a mother you can just know some things.... and knowing when a situation may be unsafe is one of them.
post #33 of 93
I highly suspect that you have visceral memories of your mother's treatment of you when you were potty training.

When you think of her potty training you can literaly FEEL in your body what that means. And you do not like it for good reason.
post #34 of 93
I think you should trust your gut, and find alternative childcare arrangements. I wouldn't leave my child alone with her if I had any other options. I think it' so strange that she can't even step back while you're there! My Mom changed diapers as needed when she was watching the kids, but was quite happy to let me do the diapers and toileting if I was available.
post #35 of 93
Thread Starter 
Wow, this thread revived itself while I was away doing my gestational diabetes test.

Actually, last night (because we had to go a small distance to do my test, and it lasted one hour) I had a slight argument with my husband about this.

He is just...so...UGH...when it comes to (God forbid!!!) entertaining the baby for a while as I need to go to the doctor! : So, out of sheer laziness, once again, he asked me if (or basically "when") I was going to call my mom to let her keep him today.

I asked him if all the things we discuss that we feel really yucky about around her meant anything?

He started feeling guilty over his laziness, and we just took the monster with us. They played Shrek in the waiting room. When he got sick of that, he took him outside to play.

Before, he had kept saying to me, (when I suggested taking outside at the doctors if he got antsy) 'But it's parking lots out there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Where is he going to play?????????????'

I"m like, "THE BOY DOESN'T CARE ABOUT PARKING LOTS! THERE ARE SIDEWALKS OUT THERE, AND FLOWERS. AS LONG AS YOU WATCH HIM TO MAKE SURE HE STAYS ON THE SIDEWALK WHEN A CAR COMES, HE'S IN HEAVEN OUTSIDE!!!"

He just keeps on putting up the LAMEST reasons to justify his laziness.

Well, anyhow, he ended up taking the monster outside, and it was TOTALLY no big deal.
I think the ease of this trip opened the way for my husband to see that it's no big deal for him to join us on future doctor's appointments.

(They midwife's office where I ususally go has a whole area designated for kids with toys and tables and and stuff, and we had to drag him out of there the last time...)

Meanwhile, my dad is asking for his weekly visit. I plan to do the same thing last time, take him while my mom is working, stay there instead of leaving him, and watching him like a hawk. When I do this, the visits are usually uneventful, and I can catch any "hokey" diaper things before they happen.

Oh, and A A, as soon as you mentioned that book, while I even still had this thread opened, I ordered the book. It should be here soon. I'll look into the other one as well.

Thanks for all the suggestions and encouragement to listen to my gut wispers.
post #36 of 93
I think the perspective you gain from that book will be immensely helpful to you
post #37 of 93

Pounce.

Be bold, assertive and firm. I've been there, done that. Your mom is probably not perverted, but from your own observations, she ain't right, either.

My mother also tried from day one to assert some kind of primacy as the mother of MY daughter, so I know that story, too. It's a real pi$$er.

And in my view, the unthinkable is already happening with your mom. She's already blurring boundaries with your son. His self-esteem is your number one job nowadays, and hers just have to be her problem.

It doesn't matter if her actions are somehow "innocent" or just ignorant... or if therapy would help her, or what. What matters is she is MESSING with people's heads and it must be stopped.

Pounce. Make it crystal clear: you are the one and only MOM, and if gma crosses the line, gma become a penpal.

Draw the line clearly, because even then, you will still find yourself having to remind your mother harshly what the deal is, because she won't likely just stop doing what she wants, so to speak. Don't let her get you in a dance about it: set the stage yourself. Make a list for her: "You will NOT xxx, you will NOT yyy, you WILL zzz," etc. (note: no need to say why she is or isn't to do such and such.) Get it clear on paper for yourself what the rules are, like how you might ask a judge to word an order of protection.

You must be brave, and you will LOVE yourself and your life all the more if you DO IT. I did. It does feel good. Relationships were altered, but, people adapted to it, either by being removed from my life, or by accepting my rules for engagement, and that feels WAAY better than always wondering, fearing, doubting your own mind, even.

Good luck.

VF
post #38 of 93
My mom does something similar with my nephew, like she thinks she's the mom. It's very creepy. We call it "Hand that Rocks the Cradle" -- like the movie.

She has to do everything for the kid, even when both of his parents are right there. If anyone dares say anything to her, she gets very pouty and stomps off.

Then there's the shaming and taunting.

It's why she never spends any time with my DD alone.
post #39 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeBeans View Post
I think the perspective you gain from that book will be immensely helpful to you
:

Come back and talk about it any time (or feel free to PM me.)
post #40 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apricot View Post
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.
I agree with Apricot. And I get the feeling your mom doesn't respect your competence as a parent.

My MIL also is more the kind who takes charge of the kid's body. It shows in anything related to food and drink too. I am big on him having say over his body and choice over what he wants to experience and how. (She also thinks I am doing things wrong, and never fails to tell me "you are going to do X when Y happens", etc, as if there is no question that I will do as she says.)

But I don't have any bad feelings. It is more just that I can feel DS's tension when MIL helps him with things like that, because he feels uncomfortable that she isn't respecting his boundaries. He is only not even 10 months old yet, but if she "helicopters" too much for him, he won't hesitate to start screaming and refusing to cooperate. But he is an unusually willful child, and you can't expect most children to defend themselves like that. DS has had, from birth, firm ideas of what is right and what is wrong. Most people learn right and wrong from trusted authority figures, like Grandma.

I agree with the idea that you should simply announce that you are using an unusual potty training technique designed specifically for your child based on his current skill level. So, for the technique to work, it is important that only you and DH are involved for the time being. So, temporarily, no more watching him while you go do something for a few hours.

I agree with those who suggested that if she leaves it at that, it is just a difference of opinion/technique, but if she isn't satisfied with that then that would suggest that something IS going on. Hopefully this will tell you for sure.

Also, could your assertive sister go to bat for you? Perhaps you can talk to her about this and see if you can come up with some kind of plan together.
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