parents insist on feeding my 21 month old stage 3 baby food. - Mothering Forums
Life with a Toddler > parents insist on feeding my 21 month old stage 3 baby food.
vulnerable's Avatar vulnerable 09:04 AM 05-26-2011

I need advice on how I can get my parents to listen to me and realize I am mom, not them.  I am having spinal surgery at the end of June and my parents are going to be watching my daughter reluctantly (Dr had to explain I will be paralyzed if i don't have surgery so they feel forced). Anyway I am not close with them at all so each weekend I have been going to their house so my daughter is comfortable with staying there for awhile.  They love her and she loves them so that is not an issue however they insist on spoon feeding her baby food.  She has been eating table food for a year now.  I try to stay calm and explain to them but they refuse to listen almost seems i am not even speaking to them.  Last weekend I put a few pieces of ham on my daughters highchair.  My mom ran over grabbed it off and said what are you doing!!  she will throw that on the floor and make a mess and she doesn't have a bib on.  (i stopped using bibs months ago)  I said she eats ham all the time and if she drops it on floor i will clean it.  She ignored me and pushed me out of the way for her to spoon feed her stage 3 food.  This is an on going fight and I have no choice but for them to watch her while I have surgery.

 

Aside from the baby food they are totally against co sleeping.  I actually stopped co sleeping so I could transition her to a floor bed she has in her own room.  They actually went out and bought a crib because she needs one.  I said she has a toddler bed she sleeps in every night and is fine, she does not need a crib. well she is sleeping in a crib at our house and thats final.  she is too young for a bed and you let her do whatever she wants.  they wont listen to me at all over anything.

 

I don't use a playpen, my house is baby proofed.  They went and got a playpen so she could learn boundaries because I don't discipline her.Which is totally not the case, she knows what no means and most of the time she listens.  She is 2 she will test peoples boundaries that does not mean she needs to spend time in a playpen most of the time.

 

over dressing, last weekend it was in the 80's.  i fought for almost 20 minutes with my mom over the fact she does not need a jacket.  its too hot and she is outside playing and sweating just in a tshirt and shorts.  her reasoning was she was going to sweat and the breeze will make her sick?!  Her logic makes no sense.

 

I honestly do not know what I can say to them anymore so they will listen to me.  Anyone with advice you can offer?  I am not comfortable with her staying there, i know they will take good care of her but I have certain issues they do not respect.  thanks in advance guys!



KempsMama's Avatar KempsMama 09:44 AM 05-26-2011

I would find someone else to watch her, honestly.  I would tell them firmly either do things our way, or you won't get to watch her. 


SilverFish's Avatar SilverFish 09:47 AM 05-26-2011

well, to be honest, nothing you mentioned would really be something i'd bother fighting over for such a temporary and extraordinary circumstance. if they were going to be caring for her every day while you worked, it would be different. people have different ideas of how to care for babies and toddlers, and as long as they are not unsafe or damaging, then i think it's important to allow other important family members to choose their own style and form their own relationship with the child. they don't have to do everything mom's way to be loving and attached caregivers to the child. 

 

HOWEVER, i do think that they sound very disrespectful of you. that i would NOT be ok with, because i don't want my kids spending time with someone who doesn't respect me as a person and as their parent. i would hesitate to let them spend such a huge amount of time with her, not because they want to use a crib or feed her jarred food, but because they aren't respecting you. 

 

so, you have two options. one is to use them as caregivers while you are recovering, let them do things their own way, and be happy that your child is with people who care about her, then work on fostering a respectful relationship with good boundaries with them so that they can see their granddaughter without disrespecting or disparaging you. 

 

or, you can look into whether your health insurance or disability coverage will cover the child care costs associated with your surgery, and hire your own baby sitter.

 

i wouldn't try and change their minds about baby food or cribs or playpens. they're older now, what seems like no big deal to you (food on the floor, babyproofing) may seem like a lot of work to them...


vulnerable's Avatar vulnerable 09:57 AM 05-26-2011


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverFish View Post

well, to be honest, nothing you mentioned would really be something i'd bother fighting over for such a temporary and extraordinary circumstance. if they were going to be caring for her every day while you worked, it would be different. people have different ideas of how to care for babies and toddlers, and as long as they are not unsafe or damaging, then i think it's important to allow other important family members to choose their own style and form their own relationship with the child. they don't have to do everything mom's way to be loving and attached caregivers to the child. 

 

HOWEVER, i do think that they sound very disrespectful of you. that i would NOT be ok with, because i don't want my kids spending time with someone who doesn't respect me as a person and as their parent. i would hesitate to let them spend such a huge amount of time with her, not because they want to use a crib or feed her jarred food, but because they aren't respecting you. 

 

so, you have two options. one is to use them as caregivers while you are recovering, let them do things their own way, and be happy that your child is with people who care about her, then work on fostering a respectful relationship with good boundaries with them so that they can see their granddaughter without disrespecting or disparaging you. 

 

or, you can look into whether your health insurance or disability coverage will cover the child care costs associated with your surgery, and hire your own baby sitter.

 

i wouldn't try and change their minds about baby food or cribs or playpens. they're older now, what seems like no big deal to you (food on the floor, babyproofing) may seem like a lot of work to them...



I think that is my main issue.  They do disrespect me in many ways which is why I think these trivial issues really bother me.  I have no other person to watch her as I have sole custody and her father has supervised visitation.  I didn't know insurance could cover the cost of child care, I will look into that.  thanks.


sapphire_chan's Avatar sapphire_chan 10:45 AM 05-26-2011

I'd treat your parents as a last-resort back-up option. With that level of disrespect and lack of understanding and acceptance of normal toddler development, there's a huge risk of them punishing excessively out of impatience and anger at "defiance".

 

And the jacket in 80 degree weather is a health issue and could get your dd seriously ill. And is another huge sign that they have no respect for  your dd's needs and wants.

 


tzs's Avatar tzs 11:15 AM 05-26-2011

honestly...they just sound like old-fashioned grandparents ( i was going to say "old people" but then i realized they could still be quite young.)

 

maybe it's not that they are disrespecting you but that they are just plain uptight (no mess, no running around, "oh my gosh she'll catch cold!!!!")

 

if it were me and taking emotions out of the equation (which is easier done as an outsider, i know), i would say that nothing that they are doing would traumatize my kid permanently. if my parents were to spoon feed my 20 month old she would get such a kick out of all the attention! 

 

and i would think that running out and buying (albeit unecessary) equipment might be a sign that they are a little bit excited for the visit, no?  


McGucks's Avatar McGucks 11:23 AM 05-26-2011

Ug, I feel for you.  The only upside to stage 3 food is that at least they are not trying to feed her popsicles and candy and other garbage that my DS2 has been offered.  No, baby food is not right for your child, but it's better than junk food.  I have conflicted quite a bit with MIL over things and she is not allowed to babysit for those and other reasons, including how I've observed her treat our nephews.  However, since it sounds like you don't really have other options, you are kind of stuck.  I would be really scared if I were you.  Between the surgery and worrying about how things will go with your daughter, you are in a spooky place.  As far as your folks realizing you are the mom, not them?  Good luck with that one.  I noticed on your avatar that you look like a younger mom--thought you might like to know that I am a much older mom and my MIL still thinks I am a fool for some of the choices we've made...it's not your age, it's the relationship.  Ug.  I hope it all goes well.


syn_ack89's Avatar syn_ack89 11:41 AM 05-26-2011
How long will they need to watch her? A weekend? A week? Six months? I have no idea how long it would put you out of commission...and I would let it slide for a short time, but not too long.

And my parents are old-fashioned that way and I deal for short visits. Long term...another story.
JamieCatheryn's Avatar JamieCatheryn 12:12 PM 05-26-2011

This stuff might set her back in development a little but she'd catch up again later. The only part I'd worry about is undermining your authority and possibly heat exhaustion from bundling up when it's hot out. Maybe they're babying her because they just really got access to her and didn't watch her growing up to be this little kid who is more independent than they realize? If you don't have other options I'd say pick your battles when they only inconvienance themselves. The overheating her thing I would seriously put my foot down about though as the summer is only going to get hotter.


Katico's Avatar Katico 01:15 PM 05-26-2011

I would have a *really* big issue with someone confining DD to a playpen at this age,  or overdressing her in the heat.  One is so disrespectful and the other could really make her sick!

 

I would have issues with everything else you mentioned, too - but those two would be dealbreakers for me.

 

Also, as a PP pointed out - this all sounds to me like people who have rather unreasonable expectations of small children and could potentionally punish in inappropriate ways for normal toddler behavior.  

 

I totally get how hard it is when your childcare options are limited.  But if there was ANY other way to get around it, I wouldn't leave my child with someone when I had so many examples of disrespectful and potentially harmful behaviour on their part.

 

That said.......if you really have no other option.....children are resilient.....and she will bounce back from whatever they do....and it is important that she have a healthy Mama in the end!

 

ETA: I assume you will be there also while you recover?  Or will you be in hospital?  If I were physically there, able to comfort her and ask them not to do certain things, I would feel more comfortable


vulnerable's Avatar vulnerable 02:47 PM 05-26-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by tzs View Post

honestly...they just sound like old-fashioned grandparents ( i was going to say "old people" but then i realized they could still be quite young.)

 

maybe it's not that they are disrespecting you but that they are just plain uptight (no mess, no running around, "oh my gosh she'll catch cold!!!!")

 

if it were me and taking emotions out of the equation (which is easier done as an outsider, i know), i would say that nothing that they are doing would traumatize my kid permanently. if my parents were to spoon feed my 20 month old she would get such a kick out of all the attention! 

 

and i would think that running out and buying (albeit unecessary) equipment might be a sign that they are a little bit excited for the visit, no?  



they are old fashioned.  they are actually my aunt and uncle and adopted me when i was a lot older.  never had children of their own because of fertility problems so i think that has a lot to do with it.  my daugher lets my mom feed her, however if that was me trying to do that at home she would never comply! 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by caedenmomma View Post

Ug, I feel for you.  The only upside to stage 3 food is that at least they are not trying to feed her popsicles and candy and other garbage that my DS2 has been offered.  No, baby food is not right for your child, but it's better than junk food.  I have conflicted quite a bit with MIL over things and she is not allowed to babysit for those and other reasons, including how I've observed her treat our nephews.  However, since it sounds like you don't really have other options, you are kind of stuck.  I would be really scared if I were you.  Between the surgery and worrying about how things will go with your daughter, you are in a spooky place.  As far as your folks realizing you are the mom, not them?  Good luck with that one.  I noticed on your avatar that you look like a younger mom--thought you might like to know that I am a much older mom and my MIL still thinks I am a fool for some of the choices we've made...it's not your age, it's the relationship.  Ug.  I hope it all goes well.


thanks for the kind words.  i am actually 30 so i am not that young lol.  my parents do respect no junk candy ect.  they are health nuts and both run marathons in their early 60's so that is not a concern with me.  I cant stand they think she still needs stage 3 foods and baby oatmeal.  my daughter eats it but not something i do.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by syn_ack89 View Post

How long will they need to watch her? A weekend? A week? Six months? I have no idea how long it would put you out of commission...and I would let it slide for a short time, but not too long.

And my parents are old-fashioned that way and I deal for short visits. Long term...another story.


they are going to take her for 12 weeks.  mon through fri they will have her.  on the weekends she will be staying with my and her father will be coming over to help me.  Yeah the short visits arent a problem but this is kinda making me uncomfortable.  however this is very important that i have the surgery so its something i will have to deal with.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katico View Post

I would have a *really* big issue with someone confining DD to a playpen at this age,  or overdressing her in the heat.  One is so disrespectful and the other could really make her sick!

 

I would have issues with everything else you mentioned, too - but those two would be dealbreakers for me.

 

Also, as a PP pointed out - this all sounds to me like people who have rather unreasonable expectations of small children and could potentionally punish in inappropriate ways for normal toddler behavior.  

 

I totally get how hard it is when your childcare options are limited.  But if there was ANY other way to get around it, I wouldn't leave my child with someone when I had so many examples of disrespectful and potentially harmful behaviour on their part.

 

That said.......if you really have no other option.....children are resilient.....and she will bounce back from whatever they do....and it is important that she have a healthy Mama in the end!

 

ETA: I assume you will be there also while you recover?  Or will you be in hospital?  If I were physically there, able to comfort her and ask them not to do certain things, I would feel more comfortable


No for the first 4 weeks i will be staying in a rehab center and confined to the bed.  After that I may stay down with my parents although it is up in the air.  I spoke with them today regarding the overheating and my dad totally understands and he will stand up to my mother is she trys that.  they plan to spend a lot of time at the beach with her so hopefully the follow thru with not putting her in a snow suit at the beach lol.  (not that bad but seems that way).

 

I am highly against playpens> i lt my daughter roam freely through the house.  She doesnt watch tv, loves to read books and help me with chores.  I told them I m not comfortable with her in a playpen watching tv all day.  in fact my daughter will just scream because she loves to be active and outside.  we are going to sit down and talk about all these things this weekend.  all the advice i got from everyone is going to help.  I thought I was being picky.  thank you to all who responded.

 


sapphire_chan's Avatar sapphire_chan 05:24 PM 05-26-2011

If they are willing to work with you, and since it's for such a long time, how about helping them set up a toddler-proofed play room?


crunchy_mommy's Avatar crunchy_mommy 07:04 PM 05-26-2011
This is much easier when I think of it as 'someone else's baby' than my own. At first glance, those just don't sound like big issues to me, but if I think about leaving my DS with my parents for 12 weeks (which would never happen anyway for other reasons) and them doing those things your parents are doing, it makes me feel kind of ill. For such a long time, I think you really need them to be on the same page with you.

I'd figure out what things you are willing to concede on. Maybe you could allow them to occasionally feed her some baby food (kind of the grandparents' version of spoiling her, only minus the cookies and other junk!!) as long as they also offer her plenty of 'real' food too. Or maybe she can sleep in the crib but no to the playpen. Or maybe you're not willing to compromise on any of these things, and that's fine too. And I'd definitely find out what they consider effective discipline, so you can be sure she won't be spanked or ridiculed.

I think you're in a tough position since they are your only option... so they need a little leeway to do things their way, as long as it doesn't cause any real harm, but they also REALLY need to respect that you are the parent & what you say, goes. You don't have any friends or extended family that would be willing to help??
tzs's Avatar tzs 07:51 PM 05-26-2011

ohhhhhh....it's a little more clear now. 

12 weeks might be a little long to overlook everything. but from what you've said maybe it IS just ignorance and not knowing really what a toddler is and isn't able to handle. so yeah, the playpen thing and the food thing i might see if you could work on it WITH them....like pp said. maybe help them set up some gates or something to an agreed upon room. that way dd is confined and they are not running themselves crazy chasing her but she's not in a playpen.

and you could write up a list of easy, non-messy or favorite foods for them. or send any mealtime essentials/equipment that would make them think that it would go more smoothly.

there has to be a way to do it where it's not a conflict but rather you helping them out in setting things up so everything runs smoothly for THEM, yk?


vulnerable's Avatar vulnerable 10:40 PM 05-26-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post

If they are willing to work with you, and since it's for such a long time, how about helping them set up a toddler-proofed play room?

she actually already has her own room that is totally baby proof.  in fact their house is pretty much baby proof.  they think she needs their 100 percent attention at.all.times.  i mean i watch her when she is with me but i can go into my kitchen and clean while she is in her bedroom playing with toys and know she is ok.
 

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

This is much easier when I think of it as 'someone else's baby' than my own. At first glance, those just don't sound like big issues to me, but if I think about leaving my DS with my parents for 12 weeks (which would never happen anyway for other reasons) and them doing those things your parents are doing, it makes me feel kind of ill. For such a long time, I think you really need them to be on the same page with you.

I'd figure out what things you are willing to concede on. Maybe you could allow them to occasionally feed her some baby food (kind of the grandparents' version of spoiling her, only minus the cookies and other junk!!) as long as they also offer her plenty of 'real' food too. Or maybe she can sleep in the crib but no to the playpen. Or maybe you're not willing to compromise on any of these things, and that's fine too. And I'd definitely find out what they consider effective discipline, so you can be sure she won't be spanked or ridiculed.

I think you're in a tough position since they are your only option... so they need a little leeway to do things their way, as long as it doesn't cause any real harm, but they also REALLY need to respect that you are the parent & what you say, goes. You don't have any friends or extended family that would be willing to help??


i spoke with them tonight and they agreed on giving her fruits and veggies for a snack.  maybe french toast and eggs for breakfast.  i explained she has all her teeth will not choke and can use a fork and spoon herself.  if they ever listened to me when i am over there they would have know that.

 

i know they would never disciplin her in anyway such as hitting.  they redirect her which is what i do.

 

they actually purchased a crib that converts into a toddler bed and they are going to give it to me once i am recovered.  its actually a lot nicer then mine.  i agreed to letting her sleep in crib, thats not really an issue as much as the food was to me,
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tzs View Post

ohhhhhh....it's a little more clear now. 

12 weeks might be a little long to overlook everything. but from what you've said maybe it IS just ignorance and not knowing really what a toddler is and isn't able to handle. so yeah, the playpen thing and the food thing i might see if you could work on it WITH them....like pp said. maybe help them set up some gates or something to an agreed upon room. that way dd is confined and they are not running themselves crazy chasing her but she's not in a playpen.

and you could write up a list of easy, non-messy or favorite foods for them. or send any mealtime essentials/equipment that would make them think that it would go more smoothly.

there has to be a way to do it where it's not a conflict but rather you helping them out in setting things up so everything runs smoothly for THEM, yk?


yes that was the problem.  they have no idea where she is in milestones and what she can and cant do.  she already has her own room at their house that now includes a crib that will convert into a toddler bed that also has a lot of toys and books to occupy her.

 

they said they will only use play pen for when they need to use the bathroom if only one of them is home.  i can deal with that as i often stick her in pack and play while i shower.

 

thanks for all the advice, it made my talk with them go easier.

 


JudiAU's Avatar JudiAU 01:03 PM 05-27-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by tzs View Post

honestly...they just sound like old-fashioned grandparents ( i was going to say "old people" but then i realized they could still be quite young.)

 

maybe it's not that they are disrespecting you but that they are just plain uptight (no mess, no running around, "oh my gosh she'll catch cold!!!!")

 

if it were me and taking emotions out of the equation (which is easier done as an outsider, i know), i would say that nothing that they are doing would traumatize my kid permanently. if my parents were to spoon feed my 20 month old she would get such a kick out of all the attention! 

 

and i would think that running out and buying (albeit unecessary) equipment might be a sign that they are a little bit excited for the visit, no?  



Yeah, this. I think it is probably a mixture of lack of respect for your parenting choices and also, well, just old fashioned grandparents. They may also be simply overwhelmed by 1) concern for your health and not knowing how to show it and 2) the awesome responsibility of caring for their grandaughter while their mother has life threatening surgery. This is probably hard for them too and trying to control the situation might be their reaction to it. Either way, I would find it super annoying but (emotions aside) not going to harm your daughter in the short term. If you need them, and it sounds like you do, try and relax as much as possible about how they approach it and concentrate on the positives. They love her and they are willing to care for her.

 

I hope your surgery goes well.

 


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