Son's "special" relationship with Grandma - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 05-19-2015, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Son's "special" relationship with Grandma

This is more or less a rant, not really looking for any advice, maybe just some support.

My three year old son is very attached to his grandma. There's a long history here but basically what happened is his birth was very traumatic and looking back on it i'm pretty sure it interrupted the normal bonding that's supposed to happen. Instead of just loving him and being with him I was constantly paranoid that something was going to harm him. During his birth for 8+ hours they tried to convince me he might die and I guess that got to me in a deep way. So i was really paranoid about everything and maybe not altogether in my right mind those first few precious months. I tried very hard to elimiante all possible threats and this took up most of my energy. The IL's moved here and I guess MIL picked up on my weirdness and took it upon herself to try to rescue my son from me. She basically rejected me as the mother and tried to supplant herself there instead. She did this by refusing to respect any of my wishes. If i said no light up toys, she would find one and give it to him. If we were sleeping over and i said it was time for bed she would bring him for a bath instead. If i said no video games she would look at me, then continue playing them with my son. One very vivid memory that i will never forget is walking through the forest with them and pushing ds in the buggy. FIL insisted on pushing then, before i knew it, MIL was walking alongside (there not being enough room on the path for more than that) and i was pushed to the back to follow along. This is how it always was with them. At Christmas there would be photos with pictures of everyone with my head cut off. But, the thing is, after about 5 or 6 months i started to get better but by then i guess it was too late, grandma already decided i wasn't good enough for her grandson. I tried so so hard to create a strong loving family with all of us participating but eventually i had to give up because she just couldn't accept me as the mother. So now we very rarely hang out all together and my children are in daycare and only see them one day a week. I am very comfortable with one day a week, and being in daycare has been very good for my children so that's all good. But, this past weekend we were renovating part of our house so i took the kids and stayed wiht grandma for the weekend. She still did all those same things as before. My son was napping and i told her to let him sleep because he hadn't napped all day and i said i'd wake him after dinner. She just looked at me and walked to the room where he was sleeping and picked him up and brought him in for dinner. It wasn't a fancy dinner at all, she refused to make a dinner for all of us and i prepared the salad and fries and bought a small pizza. Then, she expressed that she thought he needed a bath and i said i would bathe him the next day, that it was bed time. A couple of minutes later i found him in the tub at bedtime. All of this happens in the context of there being another child, my daughter, who is largely ignored by grandma. When i got my daughter up from her nap and took her into the room where grandma and son were they didn't even say hi or look at her at all. It was so sad. My heart breaks for my poor little girl who can't hold a candle to my son in grandma's eyes. For the entire weekend I barely saw or interacted with my son, it was just him and grandma and their "special" time. Even though we were around each other so much we weren't together and i really missed him and we did a big cuddle when we finally got home Sunday night. Anyway, the point is that grandma's actions in undermining me now fill me with a rage that i can't really explain. It's very intense. It makes me so mad, i have no patience left for it. And the whole dynamic is incredibly unhealthy because basically it pushes me closer to my daughter (who i feel sorry for because she's ignored) and further from my son (who i can't spend time with because i'm pushed out). That's also not good for the brother sister dynamic either. Anyway, i hate to say it but i think i deeply hate this woman. It's weird but i just am through letting things go, letting things slide, and basically being a doormat. And I now fully accept that to her i'll never be good enough as a mother. I no longer try to build a relationship with her, because i've resigned the idea that i will ever be good enough in her eyes. There are so many examples, but as another one, for my daughter's 1st birthday the ILs gave her a photo album of moments in baby's first year - with not a single photo with me in it. At Christmas she asked dh if he could bring the kids to see them without me. There are so many things, and they keep happening. They happen so much it doesn't even hurt that bad anymore. Plus they're rarely around so the opportunities are less often. Anyway, guess that's the end of the rant. Thank you for reading.
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#2 of 4 Old 05-19-2015, 01:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Viola P View Post
Anyway, the point is that grandma's actions in undermining me now fill me with a rage that i can't really explain. It's very intense. It makes me so mad, i have no patience left for it. .... And I now fully accept that to her i'll never be good enough as a mother. I no longer try to build a relationship with her, because i've resigned the idea that i will ever be good enough in her eyes.


Your post really resonated with me and with my relationship with my sister. She has serious, very serious, mental health issues. Yet for years, I just kept trying. I'd try different strategies, different amounts of time away. Every time I saw or spoke to her I would end up filled with rage. Eventually, I was ready to let go of the relationship. Completely.


Your husband is oddly not mentioned in your post, and I think you should talk to him about how you are feeling, and about the fact that using his parents as a support during these kinds of situations doesn't work, and you guys shouldn't repeat it. You tried.
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#3 of 4 Old 05-19-2015, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
Your post really resonated with me and with my relationship with my sister. She has serious, very serious, mental health issues. Yet for years, I just kept trying. I'd try different strategies, different amounts of time away. Every time I saw or spoke to her I would end up filled with rage. Eventually, I was ready to let go of the relationship. Completely.


Your husband is oddly not mentioned in your post, and I think you should talk to him about how you are feeling, and about the fact that using his parents as a support during these kinds of situations doesn't work, and you guys shouldn't repeat it. You tried.
Thanks for replying.

After this attempt i said that when we do the next big project (there's only one left) I'll take the kids to visit my parents. They live very far so we'll go for a week at least. That should work better.

My husband isn't mentioned because i feel at this point he has also done everything he can do. He's not a confrontational person so what he has been able to do in the way of support for me is to stand by me, which is enough for me. So, for example, he told me when his mom asked him to go there for Christmas without me and he agreed that he shouldn't go. That's how he supports me in this and i know he doesn't talk with them about it outright but i'm happy with what he does.
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#4 of 4 Old 05-19-2015, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Also, sorry about your sister and congrats on letting go. That's the hardest part!
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