Should I just let this go for now? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 01-16-2011, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I finally seem to have things on a working level with MIL. One thing that is still there I have been avoiding is the name thing. She wants DS to call her Mom-mom.

 

I'm not comfortable about this for many reasons, I know that it is common in many families, but today was a perfect example as to WHY I'm not comfortable.

 

She was playing with DS and when I 'wasn't' looking (but I'm always looking) she would call her self 'Mom' and then when I was looking she would say Mom-mom.

 

Also I got a great glare for saying DS calls me Ma Ma (as if I was taking her name)

 

DS is only 15 months...He doesn't call her anything. I think so far we've been hoping to just wait until he picks a name for her...but after seeing her...um sneakiness today I don't know if I should let it go or have Dh talk to her.

 

I know it won't go well...but the door is open for conversation now.

 

I don't know what would you do? should I just stick with the original plan?


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#2 of 27 Old 01-16-2011, 05:46 PM
 
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Oh boy... not even sure I should answer this, cause I am probably not going to be able to be unbiased. I have a low tolerance for grandmothers who view their time as a grandparent as a second chance to be a mom. Unless they are the primary care giver of the grandchild, they are the grandmother. They get no say in how to raise the child. They had their chance. 

 

 I have never heard of the term "Mom-mom" for Grandma. Is that a cultural/regional thing?

 

The entire "Call me 'Mom'" when she thinks you aren't listening and 'Mom-mom' when you are would really creep me out and bug me. 

 

I think that it would be totally acceptable and reasonable for your DH to explain to her that her choice of "Mom-mom" is too close in pronunciation to "Mama" and that it could be confusing to your LO and ask her to pick a new name. Then offer her some choices.

 

Once your LO starts talking, he'll probably come up with his own version of a name and that'll be what she is called. 

 

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#3 of 27 Old 01-16-2011, 05:55 PM
 
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OP, if it makes you uncomfortable do not allow it. I've never heard of grandmothers being called mom-mom and her doing it in sneak is just ashame especially after the talk you and DH had with her.  I thought it had gone well. If you hear her say it, I personally would say something and it wouldn't hurt for your DH to reiterate this to her. Be firm and honestly, if she can't do something that simple don't bring DS around her and when she asks why tell her.

 

Why can't she just be called grandma or nana?

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#4 of 27 Old 01-16-2011, 07:16 PM
 
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I've heard Mee-Maw and Maw-Maw (both while living in the south) but I've never heard of a grandma wanting to be called Mom-Mom.  To me that wouldn't be allowed.  I wouldn't be comfortable with it because it is too close to Mom or Mama.  Explain to dh your issue and then both of you should talk to MIL about the fact that this it is too uncomfortable for her to be called Mom mom.

 

I have known one grandma who decided to teach her grandchild to call her mom and then went on to try and teach the child to fear his parents.  The end goal was for her to raise the child.  Mind you, she is extreme, but that scenario is what went through my head when I read your post.  Oh the parents (my husband and his ex, it was her mom) realized almost too late what was happening and cut her off as much as possible, completely until dss was about 9 and then he was allowed minimum access to her. 

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#5 of 27 Old 01-16-2011, 08:29 PM
 
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I would not like it either, and I've never heard of a grandmother being called that.  I have heard of grandmothers being called "mom", and if everyone's comfortable with it, then I see no harm in it.  I think I heard that when I lived in the south and there'd be a sort of matriarch that *everyone* called mom, kwim?  But if she's being weird and sneaky about it, not okay.  I am not a big one for grandparents' rights.  lol  Like previous poster said, they had their turn...


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#6 of 27 Old 01-16-2011, 09:58 PM
 
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Um, no.  Mom and Mom-Mom, Momma, Ma-Ma, Ma.... They all sound the same and they for the MOM.  It is not a disposable, all-inclusive title!

 

I really don't get it.  To me, they are the same.  I have heard so many toddlers name things twice anyway, like saying, "Look!  Kitty-Kitty!"  or "Bear-Bear"....

I think it would be WAY to confusing for a child. 

 

How is it even supposed to be different?  I have known parents who call their kids by their given name twice, like "Jo-Jo" for Jo, and it is understood it is the same thing, even by little toddlers.

 

I hate to say it, I haven't read any of the back story yet, but just from this it sounds like you are going to have some major grandmother boundary-issues on your hands. 

I think it's clear that people do this because they want to really *be* the mom.

 

I also hate to say this, but I have only known one other grandmother IRL that tried to do this.  She was my own mom, and it got so bad we decided it would be easier to move.  She progressed from telling my little DS to call her 'mom' to trying to legally get 'rights' to him in court.  (She had no reason to do this, other than she is truly a control-freak.)

 

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#7 of 27 Old 01-16-2011, 10:49 PM
 
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Well, the Swedish word for 'grandmother is 'mormor' aka 'mother-mother, or 'farmor' aka 'father-mother' so I could easily see some cultures having Mom-mom. In fact, I think I've heard Mom-mom, and Pop-pop somewhere.

 

However, if you're uncomfortable, then just say no. This might be a good time to say "You know MIL, ds is going to start speaking soon, and I'd like to know what name you'd like him to call you so we can use it with him." Then she gets to pick one, and if it's "Mom-Mom" then you might have to say "you know, I don't know if I can do that as it's too close to mom. Can we find something else?" But if you don't have it out in the open, it's going to fester. If it's going to be a problem, better now before he's talking.

 

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#8 of 27 Old 01-16-2011, 11:07 PM
 
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Mom-mom is a real and acceptable term for grandma.  My grandma is "Mom-mom" :D  You can even, rarely, find Hallmark cards to "Mom-mom."  This is my mother's mother.  Her father was Pop-pop.  So, Mom-mom and Pop-pop.  Again, you can rarely find cards for Pop-pop, too.  I am not sure where Mom-mom or Pop-pop originates from, but she is Italian from a Philadelphia suburb.  There are lots and lots of choices, here is a small sampling: http://www.janbrett.com/piggybacks/grandma.htm  As you can see, Mom-mom made it to this list.  I never confused her w/ my own mother, nor did she try and steal me away.  If these are valid fears of yours, then they need to be addressed w/ her.  I am only here to vouch that it is a "real" name for grandmother.


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#9 of 27 Old 01-17-2011, 03:11 AM
 
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I might have the answer for you! Tell her wow, you think mom mom is so cute, it is very scandinavian. And call her "dad-mom". Let me explain. She is your DH's mom, so that does not make her mom-mom but dad-mom. Your mom is mom-mom. This is correct. Here my parents are mormor and morfar (literally mom-mom and mom-dad), DH's parents are farmor and farfar (literally dad-mom and dad-dad). Actually, this system really makes sense, because as opposed to grandma, you know exactly who the relative is. But hey, if she wants to play by the rules, then she needs to stick to them, and that means she is "dad-mom". Congrats to her.

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#10 of 27 Old 01-17-2011, 05:25 AM
 
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Just come up with your own term.  She is not his mom, you are.  If you are uncomfortable with it just don't use it.

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....

 

Once your LO starts talking, he'll probably come up with his own version of a name and that'll be what she is called. 

 



So true!  My inlaws insisted on being called "Grammy" and "Grampy"  - which, for some reason, made our skin crawl.  They tried, DS wouldn't say it, life went on.  Of course, maybe if they had seen him more than about 6 times in his life they might have had more luck...

 

My Grandmother was trying to get him to say "Great Granny" I think and it came out "Old Neenee"   ---  ROFL!  Not what she was going for but it stuck and she loved it.

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#11 of 27 Old 01-17-2011, 06:45 AM
 
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We have this same issue in my family. My Mom-Mom was the most wonderful person, we were very close, and I adored her, and she died when DD was 11 days old. Then my horrible, evil MIL started calling herself my baby 's Mom-Mom. It made me ill to hear this person who had been so awful and cruel to me throughout my pregnancy call herself by that beloved name. I made DH tell her she COULD NOT use that name and had to pick another. She complained and ranted and raved, and eventually did pick another name, but to this day (and DD is 9) signs all her cards "Mom-Mom" and "slips" all the time, calling herself Mom-Mom. But DD has NEVER called her that, not even once, which makes it bearable. I hope you have better luck with yours!

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#12 of 27 Old 01-17-2011, 07:21 AM
 
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Do you know WHY she wants to be called Mom-Mom? Is that what she always called her own, beloved grandma? Or maybe the opposite -- maybe it's the only name she found that she didn't already have negative associations with? I think it's important to find out why. Maybe she is just trying to take over your role (especially given that she tries to call herself just "Mom" blush.gif) but you never know, there could be some real, deeply emotional reasons for her insisting on using that name. Have you let her know how it makes you feel?


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#13 of 27 Old 01-17-2011, 08:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dakotablue View Post

She was playing with DS and when I 'wasn't' looking (but I'm always looking) she would call her self 'Mom' and then when I was looking she would say Mom-mom.

 

Also I got a great glare for saying DS calls me Ma Ma (as if I was taking her name)


Under normal circumstances I don't think I'd have a problem with Mom-Mom, since I've heard it before as a term for grandmother. But in light of the two things posted above, I'd have a problem with it. I wouldn't let it slide if I ever heard someone refer to themselves as "Mom" to my kids. I'd probably be genuinely shocked and blurt out, "Whoa, you just called yourself Mom!" and see what she said -- she'd at least know that you noticed. I might even say, "If it's too hard for you to keep 'Mom' and 'Mom-Mom' straight think how confusing it must be for DS!" 

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#14 of 27 Old 01-17-2011, 08:12 AM
 
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Yeah I wouldn't be comfortable with that either.

 

Mil will "slip" and call herself Mom to my kids.  Dh always corrects her and we make sure the kids know her as Grandma First Name. 

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#15 of 27 Old 01-17-2011, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

Do you know WHY she wants to be called Mom-Mom? Is that what she always called her own, beloved grandma? Or maybe the opposite -- maybe it's the only name she found that she didn't already have negative associations with? I think it's important to find out why. Maybe she is just trying to take over your role (especially given that she tries to call herself just "Mom" blush.gif) but you never know, there could be some real, deeply emotional reasons for her insisting on using that name. Have you let her know how it makes you feel?

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Mom-mom is a real and acceptable term for grandma.  My grandma is "Mom-mom" :D  You can even, rarely, find Hallmark cards to "Mom-mom."  This is my mother's mother.  Her father was Pop-pop.  So, Mom-mom and Pop-pop.  Again, you can rarely find cards for Pop-pop, too.  I am not sure where Mom-mom or Pop-pop originates from, but she is Italian from a Philadelphia suburb.  There are lots and lots of choices, here is a small sampling: http://www.janbrett.com/piggybacks/grandma.htm  As you can see, Mom-mom made it to this list.  I never confused her w/ my own mother, nor did she try and steal me away.  If these are valid fears of yours, then they need to be addressed w/ her.  I am only here to vouch that it is a "real" name for grandmother.


She is an Italian from Philly. I know others that have the name as well...it is real, but I think along with the name comes an idea of what a grandmother is, a second MOM.

 

 

We talked with her about other issues and that went very well, though I know she will need reminding about all of them (they were more safety issues). I haven't addressed the Mom-mom issue because I think the idea of being Mom-mom and Pop-pop are innocent for all of her friends, BUT we've had issues with her already seeing herself (which is what we talked about) as being the trump card over Dh and I as she is Grandma or the bigger MOM. She in all reality Does want DS to be hers, she may give him back but she wants full control.

 

That being said we did talk to her about that and she gets now she won't get control...but this is still left over.

 

Dh kinda wants to just let it go for now until DS picks a name, and I was on board with that...until I caught her calling herself Mom. Dh still doesn't think she had any intent, but so far every step of the way she HAS and did admit to it during our convo.

 

I guess I'm afraid of ruining what we've started to have... She will be insulted. I like dad-mom, but I know she won't go for that wink1.gif

 

Any suggestions of how to go about this? I really want things to work, but I'm not giving up my role to anyone.


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#16 of 27 Old 01-17-2011, 09:22 AM
 
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Grandmother means main/chief/highest ranking mother. She obviously has this ranking in your husband's eyes, and I wouldn't rock the boat. I would let her be called whatever she wants to be called. It's her special time too; she's a grandmother for the first time. It's not worth upsetting your marriage or your relationship w/ your husband's mom. She will have a unique relationship w/ your son that will develop over time, to be something completely different than a parent. Your MIL won't take your role away...ever.

 

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#17 of 27 Old 01-17-2011, 09:25 AM
 
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Well as I see it, you have 3 choices:

 

-Confront her, explain your position, and let her know that from now on you will be referring to her as "Grandma" (or whatever) unless she has a better alternative. She may still continue to do the Mom/Mom-mom thing, but you can't control what she says, only how you guys & DS refer to her...

 

-Wait & see what DS comes up with....which will likely be a variation of what he hears everyone calling her (my nephew calls his Grandpa "Bumpa" and DS calls his Nana "Banana" lol) -- It's possible he'll come up with something totally random but I wouldn't depend on it.

 

-Ignore the whole issue & tell yourself it's "just a name" and overall actions/intent are more important and she's already working on that. That will obviously require a lot more work/acceptance on your part and could lead to lasting resentment if you're not able to let it go (and I wouldn't blame you!)

 

I guess I'd lean toward option one or three... probably 3 because I hate confrontation & I don't really care what someone calls themselves...


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#18 of 27 Old 01-17-2011, 10:11 AM
 
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Hm, I'm going to go against most previous posters and say let it go.  No one will ever replace you as mom, no matter what they are called.  My DD called her daycare provider Mami for a while and rest assured, she always knew I was mom!  Given that you've just reached a decent place with your MIL, just let it go.


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#19 of 27 Old 01-17-2011, 12:12 PM
 
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Yeah, this might be a regional thing. My dad's mom was "mom mom" to me, and both of my grandfathers were pop-pop. DH's maternal grandmother was mom-mom, too, and his grandfather was pap-pap, as is his dad now. We're from the Philly area. 
 

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Originally Posted by dogretro View Post

Mom-mom is a real and acceptable term for grandma.  My grandma is "Mom-mom" :D  You can even, rarely, find Hallmark cards to "Mom-mom."  This is my mother's mother.  Her father was Pop-pop.  So, Mom-mom and Pop-pop.  Again, you can rarely find cards for Pop-pop, too.  I am not sure where Mom-mom or Pop-pop originates from, but she is Italian from a Philadelphia suburb.  There are lots and lots of choices, here is a small sampling: http://www.janbrett.com/piggybacks/grandma.htm  As you can see, Mom-mom made it to this list.  I never confused her w/ my own mother, nor did she try and steal me away.  If these are valid fears of yours, then they need to be addressed w/ her.  I am only here to vouch that it is a "real" name for grandmother.




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#20 of 27 Old 01-17-2011, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Grandmother means main/chief/highest ranking mother. She obviously has this ranking in your husband's eyes, and I wouldn't rock the boat. I would let her be called whatever she wants to be called. It's her special time too; she's a grandmother for the first time. It's not worth upsetting your marriage or your relationship w/ your husband's mom. She will have a unique relationship w/ your son that will develop over time, to be something completely different than a parent. Your MIL won't take your role away...ever.

 

Wow, sorry if I gave that impression. She does not have this ranking in my Dh's eyes at all. He has never chosen her over me and the talk we had had was because he was at his last straw with her wanting to cut off contact  if she didn't change her behavior. He has, though, as still tends to be non confrontational, but not because he has ever thought what she was doing was ok.

 

 

It is a regional thing. I don't think it would bother me so much if it wasn't for the fact she wants to take my place. That is not in my head rather what she had pretty much admitted (that she is in charge of him and the most important person in his life when she is around him) I know in my head she won't take my role, but I don't trust her...I guess that's what it comes down to. If I give her this inch she very well may take the mile...

 

In case anyone is curious this was my summary post of the previous talk...

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1280680/mil-update-i-think-success

 

 


 


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#21 of 27 Old 01-17-2011, 02:09 PM
 
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Quote:
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Grandmother means main/chief/highest ranking mother. She obviously has this ranking in your husband's eyes, and I wouldn't rock the boat. I would let her be called whatever she wants to be called. It's her special time too; she's a grandmother for the first time. It's not worth upsetting your marriage or your relationship w/ your husband's mom. She will have a unique relationship w/ your son that will develop over time, to be something completely different than a parent. Your MIL won't take your role away...ever.

 

Wow, sorry if I gave that impression. She does not have this ranking in my Dh's eyes at all. He has never chosen her over me and the talk we had had was because he was at his last straw with her wanting to cut off contact  if she didn't change her behavior. He has, though, as still tends to be non confrontational, but not because he has ever thought what she was doing was ok.

 

 

It is a regional thing. I don't think it would bother me so much if it wasn't for the fact she wants to take my place. That is not in my head rather what she had pretty much admitted (that she is in charge of him and the most important person in his life when she is around him) I know in my head she won't take my role, but I don't trust her...I guess that's what it comes down to. If I give her this inch she very well may take the mile...

 

In case anyone is curious this was my summary post of the previous talk...

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1280680/mil-update-i-think-success

 

 


 


After reading your previous post, yeah it would really bother me to see her sneaking to teach ds to call her mom.  She seems to have trouble understanding boundaries and since the other boundaries were laid out clearly, she may be looking for a loophole in which to gain a bit of control over the situation.
 


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#22 of 27 Old 01-17-2011, 04:40 PM
 
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sublimeliving View Post


Grandmother means main/chief/highest ranking mother. She obviously has this ranking in your husband's eyes, and I wouldn't rock the boat. I would let her be called whatever she wants to be called. It's her special time too; she's a grandmother for the first time. It's not worth upsetting your marriage or your relationship w/ your husband's mom. She will have a unique relationship w/ your son that will develop over time, to be something completely different than a parent. Your MIL won't take your role away...ever.

 

Wow, sorry if I gave that impression. She does not have this ranking in my Dh's eyes at all. He has never chosen her over me and the talk we had had was because he was at his last straw with her wanting to cut off contact  if she didn't change her behavior. He has, though, as still tends to be non confrontational, but not because he has ever thought what she was doing was ok.

 

 

It is a regional thing. I don't think it would bother me so much if it wasn't for the fact she wants to take my place. That is not in my head rather what she had pretty much admitted (that she is in charge of him and the most important person in his life when she is around him) I know in my head she won't take my role, but I don't trust her...I guess that's what it comes down to. If I give her this inch she very well may take the mile...

 

In case anyone is curious this was my summary post of the previous talk...

 

http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1280680/mil-update-i-think-success

 

 


 


After reading your previous post, yeah it would really bother me to see her sneaking to teach ds to call her mom.  She seems to have trouble understanding boundaries and since the other boundaries were laid out clearly, she may be looking for a loophole in which to gain a bit of control over the situation.
 



 First of all, all I can say is...uh, WOW. Seriously, WOW. That just boggles my mind that she would act that way....

 

Second, I agree with Petie, it sounds like she's trying to find a loophole to gain control, esp since she was doing it sneakily. Personally, given what I was able to gather about the background, I think it is something that needs to be brought up with her and discussed. Having your DS call her mom when you aren't around just raises warning flags. What else off of the list of things you discussed with her is also going on when you aren't there?

 

I also thought that it could be some sort of passive-aggressive way to get at you.

 

Goodness, I hope this gets cleared up soon for you!! Good luck!!


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#23 of 27 Old 01-18-2011, 04:45 AM
 
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I wouldn't let it go. Between her history and the fact that she's calling herself "Mom" behind your back, it's pretty darn clear what her intentions are with the whole name thing. Heck, I trust my MIL, and I still wouldn't be ok with her being "Mom-Mom". 

 

You said in your earlier post that you were trying to establish healthy boundaries (which is great!) and that she knows you won't put up with any more nonsense. Now she's testing to see how far she can push it, and it's up to you to let her know that you're not going to cave. She sounds like the kind of person who will try anything & everything to get her way. Be prepared for more tantrums, pouting, playing the victim, etc, and do your best to disengage. Don't give her that inch.


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#24 of 27 Old 01-18-2011, 06:20 AM
 
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Generally I'd let this kind of thing go, but in your case there does seem to be a very unhealthy boundary, so your situation is an exception to my usual "relax about it" attitude.  I'd just lay down the law and let her know you're serious and set up that boundary.  I have unhealthy people in  my life and I've had to physically separate and not see them for a period of time to establish more healthy boundaries.  It's worth it.  Good luck!

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#25 of 27 Old 01-18-2011, 12:23 PM
 
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I'm from the Philadelphia area, too and I called my grandparents Mom Mom and Pop Pop (never saw them with the hyphen in the middle.) And my kids (and my nephews) call my mom, stepfather, and father Mom Mom and Pop Pop. 

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#26 of 27 Old 01-18-2011, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowflake777 View Post


I wouldn't let it go. Between her history and the fact that she's calling herself "Mom" behind your back, it's pretty darn clear what her intentions are with the whole name thing. Heck, I trust my MIL, and I still wouldn't be ok with her being "Mom-Mom". 



 



You said in your earlier post that you were trying to establish healthy boundaries (which is great!) and that she knows you won't put up with any more nonsense. Now she's testing to see how far she can push it, and it's up to you to let her know that you're not going to cave. She sounds like the kind of person who will try anything & everything to get her way. Be prepared for more tantrums, pouting, playing the victim, etc, and do your best to disengage. Don't give her that inch.




 



Ita. You said in your other post that she didn't understand why there needed to be boundaries and that is a huge red flag to me. We cut off contact with dh's parents almost four years ago because of their unwillingness to see their son as a separate individual- in their eyes he was merely an extension of them and because of that his life was to solely revolve around them and what they wanted. We tried for four years prior to cutting them out to instill boundaries as we went. We were consistent ( very key, they sense a loophole, they will milk it and make you out to be the bad guy while they are purely manipulating any situation to their advantage), firm, even- keeled, NOTHING worked.

Mil is relying on your desire to not rock the boat and the uncomfortable feelings you get by doing so to continue to keep you in the grasps of her emotional blackmail. Don't care, remember you're modeling for your child how to have healthy boundaries and healthy relationships. I don't think it was coincidence that we cut off contact right before my dd was born- I feel pretty strongly as a woman who never had proper boundaries modeled for me growing up and all the serious consequences that come along with that, that my daughter was not going to be in an environment where one's worth as a person was conditional on what you can do for someone else.


Good luck! (and I think your dh should be the one to address the issue, ESP based on her initial reaction the last time you all confronted her)

 

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#27 of 27 Old 01-18-2011, 06:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dogretro View Post


I am not sure where Mom-mom or Pop-pop originates from, but she is Italian from a Philadelphia suburb.  




 


Sorry for the mini-hijack, but I had to respond to this. My dad is from an Italian neighborhood in Philly (where his mother also grew up), and they always referred to my grandfather (his dad) as Pop-Pop, which is what DD now calls my dad (and sometimes just Pop, DH is Daddy, so there's no conflict there). Back to your regularly scheduled thread...

OP, this isn't even about how close the name sounds to Mom. From quickly reading through the thread, it sounds like you have explicitly discussed with your MIL that you do not want her using the name and she still does it. If I were you, next time you are with her I would correct her every single time she said it. If she still insists on using it, I would absolutely limit or even cut contact. It's not about the name, it's that she doesn't sound like she has any respect for you as parents, or just people in general.

 

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