help! Darn meddling grandparents - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-07-2004, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am having some pretty big problems with my mother and step father concerning my daughter. They have made some assumptions about the kind of care that our dd gets, and say that they have a "plan" and that I won't be involved in it. I have no idea what that is but it makes me very nervous! Anything that has to do with my dd I should be involved in.

They are worried because DD has been having breathing problems and they think we have been ignoring it, which is not true we have been to the doc 5 times since Feb. They also think that I am away too much, which is also not true. But does any of this matter?? Do I really have to report to them? This all started when I tried to set some boundries because of some of the same stuff and my mother didn't like it, and would not respect the boundries. So I told her that she would not be in my life at all if she couldn't back off like I asked her to. She still didn't listen so I cut most communication with her. I still talked to her a little, but tried to put some distance between us so she wouldn't feel so comfortable probing into all of our business. What a nice month that was! But it all ended 2 days ago when I found out about the "plan". So it seems she is trying to force things. I thought that I was doing the "healthy" thing by setting these boundries, but I am obviously not good at it. We have tried to get into mediation with them because we are obviously not communicating well but my step dad is refusing to go. The way I would like to approach this is to cut out any overnight visits and allow day visits to my mom only until we can all get on the same page.

I am at a loss. I feel like I am losing control or lost it already and need to fight to get it back. This is my family darnet! So tell me, is there a better way to deal with all this?
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Old 05-07-2004, 02:16 PM
 
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don't know the whole situation, but s!

You don't have to let them have overnight visits, you don't even have to allow any visits. If you say so, they can visit every 3rd Thursday from 7 to 8 am and not use the bathroom while they are at your home. As for a mysterious "plan", I would tell them where this "plan" could be stuck!

My children are almost 5 years and 9 months and they DO NOT go anywhere over night, EVER.

Take control, and don't apologize.
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Old 05-07-2004, 02:17 PM
 
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You need to keep standing up for your dd. Tell them unless you know what the plan is, they are not allowed to visit with her outside of your home.

STAY STRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Solo Mum to 4 and loving every minute of it!!!!
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Old 05-07-2004, 02:24 PM
 
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You ARE doing the healthy thing by setting boundaries. And if your mom can't respect them, then too bad, so sad, no visits for her. Grandparents don't have rights, they have priveledges. Priveledges that can be revoked if they can't respect the boundaries set by the parents.

If my parents or IL's had a "plan" for my child that I wasn't involved in, or even informed of, you better believe they would NOT get said child alone for any period of time.
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Old 05-07-2004, 02:33 PM
 
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Them having a secret plan freaks me out. Obviously I don't know your parents but no one has any right to have a secret with or about your child. If they won't talk to a 3rd party to help get things straightened out, then maybe you have to cut off contact sompletely.

If they are saying these things out of genuine concern, maybe you just need to give them a little more info. "Yes, we've been to the dr, we're looking into it." Maybe they really think you aren't taking care of her health because they don't know any details and are just worried about their grandbaby.
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Old 05-07-2004, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The same conversation that I told her to back off is the one that I told her about all the visits to the doc, she just doesn't think that I am doing enough (she wants tests run) and 2 days ago seemed to have forgotten me telling her about all the visits!

We have to go out of town for the weekend and decided that it would be better for dd to stay with them because it is business and she would not get enough attention. This decision was made before all this wierdness happened so I backed out of the plan for them to keep her, but when my mom got the message she was so upset. She called crying and was really hurt that she wasn't going to be seeing dd so we changed the plans back because we didn't want it to be about us striking out in anger. I know that they would never do anything to hurt her. Maybe I will tell them before she comes for the weekend they need to share the "plan" or she won't be coming.
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Old 05-07-2004, 02:51 PM
 
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They have a plan? I would let them know that I had a plan, too, and that plan was they they could kiss my grass. They seem to be very much mistaken as to who the parents are. I hope you are not beholden to them in any way, like for money or babysitting, because it sounds like they wouldn't be above emotionally blackmailing you. Honestly, if my family tried that with me, they would never see us at all.

Do you think their "plan" might have something to do with calling CPS on you? That's the only thing about your post that worried me--they sound like they are up to no good.
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Old 05-07-2004, 02:52 PM
 
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You know.......I really wouldn't leave your child with her for the weekend. Maybe I'm paranoid, but I suspect that that "plan" may involve having those tests that she wants run done. Or at least attempting to.

Not to be harsh, but the fact that you gave in to her crying may indicate WHY she has a boundary problem. If you don't make the boundaries stick, what's to prevent her from trying to cross them again and again and again?
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Old 05-07-2004, 03:10 PM
 
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Sounds to me like the plan is to at least get custody. Who's to say they don't claim you abandoned dd this weekend? I wouldn't be leaving my child with them at all, and would have cut ALL contact a long time ago, family or not.

Good luck!
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Old 05-07-2004, 04:51 PM
 
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There is a good book out there called 'Toxic Parents' by Susan Forward, PhD. (She also has ones called Toxic In-laws and Emotional Blackmail.)

I have been to hell and back with my parents, so this is a big issue for me.

I agree you need to set boundaries *now.* If only I had listened to the first 100 people that told me that, instead of trying to be 'nice,' and hoping things got better. They sure as heck never tried to be nice to us, but I kept hanging in there, trying to be a good child and make them happy.

They have the ability to make your life very difficult, like it has been mentioned, thru CPS, wanting custody, or forced visitation. Think very cafefully about what you do, and seriously consider protecting your family.

Maybe a good place to start is not leaving DD alone with them. You don't need to find out the hard way what their plan is. If you cave in to them over it, they will know they still have all the power.

Remember who the parent is!
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Old 05-07-2004, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DH and I have talked about it again and have decided to tell my mom that before dd comes for the weekend she must tell us what the plan is. It has to be at that moment so she doesn't have time to think up a story and she can't say that there isn't one. If she is willing to expose the "plan" then we will allow dd to go depending on what the plan is. I also just had the mediator call my step dad and re-explain what mediation is and he has agreed to go. So next monday right after their weekend with her we will go to mediation.

These plans were made before all of this terrible stuff happened and were not part of the boundrys I set. We have never had problems this bad with them, so hopefully I am overreacting and it will all be settled in mediation, but believe me this is the only chance they will ever get.
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Old 05-07-2004, 05:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smarmie
DH and I have talked about it again and have decided to tell my mom that before dd comes for the weekend she must tell us what the plan is. It has to be at that moment so she doesn't have time to think up a story and she can't say that there isn't one.[/b]
Excuse me while I play the cynic: Do you really think this is going to work? I mean, she's obviously no stranger to hiding things from you (considering she's entirely comfortable going behind your back about some "plan" she's cooked up regarding your child). I wouldn't put it past her to cook up a spur of the moment lie and deliver it straight-faced.

I agree with Irishmommy - it sounds to me like they might be thinking about trying to get custody from you. There is no WAY my child would be spending the weekend with a grandparent like that. I'd be afraid they would report me for abandonment as part of their "plan."

Quote:
These plans were made before all of this terrible stuff happened and were not part of the boundrys I set. We have never had problems this bad with them, so hopefully I am overreacting and it will all be settled in mediation, but believe me this is the only chance they will ever get.


Does that really matter? Part of setting the boundaries means that you don't have to roll over and submit regardless of when the plans were made.

Personally, I wouldn't put any stock in an agreement to go to mediation after their weekend with your daughter. They may be counting on having temporary custody by then and they could easily change their minds about mediation.

Good luck. I hope it all works out for you...
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Old 05-07-2004, 05:21 PM
 
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ITA with the above posters - I would NOT NOT NOT be leaving my dd with these people for the weekend. There is NO good plan she can have for your child that doesn't involve you. If it were good, she would have told you about it already.

Please, this is setting off HUGE warning bells and red flags, either cancel your plans or take dd with you! What if her plan is to take dd for medical treatment? Or call CPS? Or kidnap her??? What the hell could it possibly be that would be OK with you that she won't tell you about?

DON'T LEAVE YOUR DD WITH THEM. It's not worth the risk.

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Old 05-07-2004, 06:01 PM
 
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If you are going to be leaving her with them, which for the record I think is a realy, realy, realy, bad idea, I would make damn sure someone you trust knows you are leaving her with them and not abandoning her AND that her pediatrician is aware that she is not to have any tests run without your consent. Leave medical authority with someone you trust who is close by, not them.

I can't help it though, this gives me the heebie geebies. I have heard a lot of horror stories about stuff like this and I would not leave her with them until after you have gone through the mediation and your mom has shown she is willing to respect your limits. Is there a friend or other family member you could leave her with this weekend who you trust more?

So sorry you have to deal with this, know it all parental units realy suck!
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Old 05-07-2004, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok we have talked again and now decided to tell them that she won't be there for the weekend. And that we want to do the mediation first.

I already worked out alternative plans and canceled but can remake them just as easily.

Thank you guys for all your help, I know I sound like a fruit cake right now and believe me I feel like one! I can't believe this is happening to us, just can't believe it. This is my mom for goodness sake!!
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Old 05-07-2004, 07:12 PM
 
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smarmie,

You did the right thing! It can be so hard to stand up to your own mom, I know. It was SO hard for me to finally accept that my own mother never had cared about my well-being, and definitely did not care about the well-being of my DC. I think it is even harder to accept after you have DC of your own, because you love them so much- and it really hurt to realize my mom did not feel that way about me.

I hope the mediation works out for you. Some grandparents have a terrible time realizing they are no longer the parents and cannot control everything.
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Old 05-10-2004, 02:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Update: Dh called my mom and told her that we changed the plans again and that they would not be keeping dd for the weekend. She tried to deny the "plan" and then told him that we were blowing things way out of proportion and hung up on him.

I will let you guys know how the mediation next monday goes.
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Old 05-10-2004, 03:35 AM
 
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Laura -

Stay firm. Do not allow your dc to be alone with them. Not at this time. Maybe after mediation, and maybe not.

The only way that boundaries work is for you to enforce them, and KEEP enforcing them...every single time they put so much as a little toe over the line. Eventually they do learn that they can't push you around, can't manipulate you into doing what they want.

I second the recommendation of Toxic Parents. I would also suggest that you check out some online sites regarding protecting your family against "grandparents' rights". (I totally agree with the other poster - grandparents have privileges, NOT rights.) Also a site that is primarily about mothers-in-law stories has a "mothers" board as well.

Tell your husband that you need his support and backing to keep the boundaries strong. Since he has less history with your mother and step-father, he may be able to withstand their emotional, uh, junk than you are right now.

Good luck! Know that you are doing what is best for your child, and that them trying to manipulate you and your family is NOT what is best for your child!

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Old 05-10-2004, 10:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smarmie
DH and I have talked about it again and have decided to tell my mom that before dd comes for the weekend she must tell us what the plan is. It has to be at that moment so she doesn't have time to think up a story and she can't say that there isn't one. If she is willing to expose the "plan" then we will allow dd to go depending on what the plan is. I also just had the mediator call my step dad and re-explain what mediation is and he has agreed to go. So next monday right after their weekend with her we will go to mediation.

These plans were made before all of this terrible stuff happened and were not part of the boundrys I set. We have never had problems this bad with them, so hopefully I am overreacting and it will all be settled in mediation, but believe me this is the only chance they will ever get.
You sound really naive, so I am going to spell it out in all the bluntness I can muster to get it through your head. You will not get any cute smilies or hugs from me.

Stop putting your work/business above your child. PERIOD.

I would put money on it, that the plan involves taking your child to the doctor and having additional tests run and/or filing a temporary custody order to get your daughter. Because you leave your daughter in their care, and they are next of kin at the time, they can seek medical care for her under this guise. If this doctor finds something your doctor has not or they can show that you have medically neglected your child they can go down and file an emergency temprory custody order with the court. While it may be a long shot, the fact they can do this will lead to investigation even if they are not granted the TSO.

You would be really stupid and naive to leave your child with them for a weekend, over night, or have unspervised visitation. Grow some ovaries and stop trying to take the easy way out. Stop letting your mother manipulate you. So what if she cries, whines or bitches. Tell her NO. Define some boundaries and stick to them. So what if caring for your own child interferes with your trip -- she is your child.

You mentioned you were away alot from your child and she is having health problems. Well, in this case I seem to believe where there is smoke their is fire. I am betting your parents have legitimate concerns about your child's health and probably feel you are too involved elsewhere. Take your child to a different doctor, an allergist, an ENT, do something different -- if she has breathing difficulties, well that could be serious! Also, maybe they are concerned that you are away all the time and they are "parenting" this child more than they should because of your job. Maybe this a WAKE UP call for you to re-evaluate your priorities.

If your parents have valid concerns, and I am betting they do, and you do not take action even if you do cut them off, well they will take you to court and its very possible the courts will listen.

It is possible your mom wants you to start being a more responsible mother and make your child more of a prioirity. It seems that by your post alone and your lack of being a stand-up kind of girl with firm beliefs, that you waiver in the simplest decisions. If I see this on a message board, imagine what people think in person. If you have allowed your parents the relationship with your daughter and put a heavier burden of care on them than just being grandparents, only you are to blame for this unhealthy relationship.
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Old 05-10-2004, 11:37 AM
 
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Because you leave your daughter in their care, and they are next of kin at the time, they can seek medical care for her under this guise


uh, wrong. I am not sure where you live smarmie, but unless it is a trip to the emergency room, without written consent of the parents, noone has the authority to take your child for testing. Noone.

I know this firsthand, as my ex took our kids to the pediatrician without my consent(I have primary custody). The pediatrician would not see the children without my written consent...not even my mother can take them. I am NOT speaking about emergency care..but testing or a check up is off limits absolutely.

As far as letting them have your dd, I agree, bad idea. I do not know why you are attending mediation.. my gut tells me there is a custody issue going on..maybe they want more visitation? Have they taken you to court for this before? Is that why you are all planning mediation?

When I went out of town and left my children with my mom, I had a notarized written agreement spelling out what could and could not be done. It outligned the drop off/pick up schedule of their visitation with their dad, and I did give her written consent for medical care, etc.. but WITHOUT that written, notarized consent, they cannot do anything for your dd.
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Old 05-10-2004, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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On the fence,

Yes I am naive, it is a part of me. I have never been good at boundries either but I am trying. I did not say that I am away a lot, I said that my mother thinks that I am.

I just want to let you know that they have not had to carry any burdens as far as my dd goes. They ask for her maybe one weekend a month sometimes not even that often, and we never ask them to babysit. A weekend for them is picking her up at lunch time on Saturday and dropping her back on Sunday. My father who lives 5 hours away has seen dd more than my mom and step dad who live 30 minutes away just to give you an idea, and he has only had her overnight 3 times.

As far as her health concerns go we have been to the doc many times already, and I already have another appointment to order some tests for her. Yes I know that the breathing problems are a big deal. I was not trying to downplay that, just trying to get the major issue at hand out there.

I am partially to blame for this unhealthy relationship, I know this. I am horrible at speaking up and also boundry setting. I have been treated like a child by them and allowed it because I wasn't quite sure how to stop it. And I feel like a child much of the time because of this. I know it needs to stop and this is another big part of why I have been trying set some boundries and put some space between us.

I am trying to move on and grow. I came looking for help from those with more experience. I feel horrible that I let this go on for so long but things are changing now. It feels so right and at the same time so bad and maybe a little wrong and it is really hard to tell my mom where to stick it. I AM trying to grow those ovaries!!
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Old 05-10-2004, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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*I do not know why you are attending mediation.. my gut tells me there is a custody issue going on..maybe they want more visitation? Have they taken you to court for this before? Is that why you are all planning mediation?*

We are going to mediation because I requested it and set it up. There has been a breakdown in communication between us all. My mother is very hard to deal with anyway and now it is impossible. She is mad and won't hear anything we have to say she just wants to yell. Dh says she is a communication blocker and that would be pretty accurate!
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Old 05-10-2004, 12:03 PM
 
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Mediation can be a very positive experience.. it is what got my ex and I through the separation. Some things said by others are easier to take than trying to get your point across on your own. It is great that you have decided to do this, smarmie.

In mediation, you can draw up an agreement outlining boundaries such as healthcare, etc. This issue can be a main one if you choose it to be, and will let your mother know officially that there ARE absolutely boundaries to her involvement in your parenting and that she needs to respect them.

Good luck!
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Old 05-10-2004, 12:06 PM
 
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Smarmie,

I will give you some of my ovaries if you like.

I saw the other day they are doing ovary transplants....
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Old 05-10-2004, 12:36 PM
 
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WOW Kim..

Your post was SOOOO offensive.. I am offended and I am NOT the OP! I have a mother who has made veiled threats about CPS.. She was told in no uncertain terms that she and her "friend" who made the statment were no longer welcome in my house.. I have a MIL who I love as a mother, but she has boundaryissues too THE ONLY WAY to deal with it, is to never budge on the issue.. My IL's have HA-UGE entitlement issues when it comes to our kids.. We have to constantly remind them that these are OUR children, and WE get to make the RULES! They don't have to like them, they just have to follow them..

As for the breathing problems.. I too have a son with breathing issues.. We have a very good ped.. We have been to an ENT.. They will not do anything until they get older.. DS1 had tubes put in for ear infections, but that was it.. HE has an irritable air passageway.. Which is basically asthma anytime he gets anything.. Most kids get a sniffle.. Maybe a cough.. They won't even call it "situational" asthma until he gets older and he is 5 now for crying out loud.. He gets put on breathing treatments, and steroids.. I am not a neglectful parent.. We haven't done any invasive tests or procedures.. I may be projecting, but I imagine the OP is in the same area.. Ds1 is now 5.. We don't even take him in anymore for his coughing/wheezing unless the treatments aren't helping, or it's been more than 7 days.. And you know what.. Our dr is totally cool with that..

As for the working too much. : She states she doesn't feel she is.. There is also her dh as well.. I don't see you berating him for being away to often.. One parent has to work unless you are a trust fund baby.. In a lot of familys BOTH parents HAVE to work... Not a choice you would make.. Cool beans for you... HER job requires her to travel.. She is comfortable with it.. Her DH is comfortable with it.. GRANDMA is not.. Grandma doesn't get to have a vote..

Your tone is sooo condescending it's not even funny..

It is hard to stand up to your parents.. Especially if you have had boundary issues with them.. Some parents have a hard time of relinquishing control over their children regardless of their age.. The can and DO push boundaries.. And it is NOT uncommon for grandparents to feel like the do have "rights" to their children's children.. The fact is they do NOT.. Grandparents visitation are a privilege based soley on the PARENTS decision as to whether or not it is appropriate..

YOu are not in the wrong Laura.. You do what is right for your family.. It is HARD to stand up to your parents.. Especially when it isn't something you've been taught to do.. If it was me I also wouldn't agree to let your parents keep your child without you.. They are feeling HUGE amounts of entitlement.. That is a scary thing.. If you feel entitled to something you are more likely to take and not even feel you are in the wrong.. It's yours to take.. That's the thinking..

I wish you luck in this journey.. Stay strong.. Place you boundaries in concrete 6 ft deep if you need to.. Just keep them firm..

Warm Squishy Feelings

Dyan

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