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#1 of 14 Old 12-20-2011, 06:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So I've read lots here about grandparents that are mostly harmless but are just a bit too, idk, overzealous. but something really bothered me yesterday...

so my mom is a first time Gma, I am an only child (she always wanted 4 kids), and it shows. we've been struggling with how much she buys for DS, she's a thrift store junkie so she feels justified. we are in the process of dealing with that obsession, and I'm not too worried - YET.

my real concern is the way she talks to DS... I don't really know how to explain it. she says things to him, like, "MY baby", as in your MY baby. well, no your not, Mom, I'm your baby and he's mine. but I am trying to understand and give her the benifit of the doubt that she's being a little... weird. I feel like she's some person I've never met before! my own mom! what a strange feeling... eyesroll.gif

anyway, I digress.

the thing that has me bothered right now is that when she came into the house yesterday for a visit the first thing she said to DS was, "look! your favorite person is here!"

I'm worried that this will, ultimately, be a problem much later in DS life when I don't want him to play favorites with GPs. I'm really worried, especially, because DPs parents have 7 other grand kids so I fear that he will mistakenly think my parents are "better" because of the aforementioned gifts and such. so I really don't want words like favorite thrown around to reinforce what could already be unfair "advantage". plus, I worry she really does think she's better than the othere Gma... probably not but, ugh, what if?!

am I overreacting here??

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#2 of 14 Old 12-20-2011, 09:05 AM
 
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First off, keep in mind that my entire family is completely nuts and my situation probably isn't typical, BUT...

 

I don't think you are overreacting at all. In your shoes I'd talk to her about it immediately rather than let it continue and turn into something ugly. I ended up cutting off my family, mother included (for many very good reasons), but before I got to that point, my mother had tried to completely take over with my daughter. By the end, she was completely disregarding ALL of my parenting decisions, including my decision not use physical punishment. I actually found bruises on my toddler from that woman pinching her. When I first cut her off, I sent my daughter to stay with someone else briefly because I didn't want her in the middle of the drama I knew was sure to happen. My mother flipped and the police had to be called when she attacked the friend that was helping me move. When the police officers arrived, she told them that I kidnapped her baby. She also started calling CPS on me. At one point she reported us missing (in Orlando, right after Caylee Anthony's body was found) and told the police that she feared I might have killed my toddler to get back at my mother for stealing her affection. Finally she tried to legally take her from me and told everyone who would listen that up until I "kidnapped" her, she had raised my daughter as her own. Everyone realized she was nuts (though some didn't realize in the beginning), but she caused some serious trouble, and my daughter had to deal with a lot of crap that she shouldn't have.

 

Though my mother and I had our share of crap before all this, this sort of behavior wasn't exactly typical of her before as far as I know. In the end, I probably would have ended our relationship regardless for numerous other reasons, but I have a feeling things wouldn't have turned out quite so crazy if I'd nipped it in the bud when she first started deluding herself into thinking my daughter was hers, and maybe at the very least, she'd still be able to have some sort of relationship with my children.

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#3 of 14 Old 12-20-2011, 01:01 PM
 
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My mother is a reasonably sane woman but with our first.. her first grandbaby.. she did weird things like slipping her m and m's and sweet tea.. saying " I want her to love me best" . WTH!

I did have to nip that in the bud.
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#4 of 14 Old 12-20-2011, 03:19 PM
 
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My mom calls my kids "her babies" but it does not really bother me. She often states "I know you're the mama." etc. It's just a term of endearment to her. But if she really had the attitude that my kids were hers, I would have to have a talk with her. 

 

I would worry about the competitive attitude towards the other grandparents though. My IL's pulled this starting from the first day they met DS. They were out of town when he was born and he had a complicated birth and was in the NICU for a long time. They called us after a few days of being back in town and said they were going to come to the hospital to meet ds. My folks had just gotten there and there were really strict rules about how many people could be in the room at once, so we asked them to wait an hour before leaving for the hospital. They flipped out on us- "They've seen him already! We need to see him right now!" It was just the beginning of a long road of odd competition between them and my folks. Every time they heard my parents had seen my son, they needed an equal event.(though my folks would come and pick up ds so I could get a break etc- IL's wanted us to drive and hour each way to them and leave ds and come back and get him... a big pain in the butt for us) We also had not really had much of a relationship with them before ds was born, we would see them maybe once every other month. When he was born, they wanted to see him weekly or more. They referred to themselves as "his favorite" and just generally were really strange with their competitive relationship with my parents. They were really confrontational over it all, making family events stressful for us. We no longer have a relationship with them for a variety of reasons, but I am really glad to have that behind us.  


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#5 of 14 Old 12-20-2011, 03:21 PM
 
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I'd say go with your Mommy gut. My MIL is a bit nuts, she wanted DS1 to only be with her, her baby, his first word to be her, ect ect.

 

Major problem was underminding our parenting. Especially when it came to safety, she even said our rules don't apply to her and she can do whatever she wants. So we put a stop to that.

 

Some thoughts, I think MIL was/ is going through change of life. I don't think she means to be a bad person (though the way she treated/ threats me is terrible) BUT its hard if hormonally your all over the place and psychologically the whole growing old thing.

 

Anyway, Love her, but make it clear this is your child not hers. Your choices. It doesn't have to be ugly and I think needs to be delt with before something ugly happens (cutting hair/ taking out/ allowing something you didn't want)

 

Good luck!


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#6 of 14 Old 12-20-2011, 04:22 PM
 
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I say you are overreacting a little.. she just wants to be loved :)

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#7 of 14 Old 12-21-2011, 06:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the replies, everyone! she's usually pretty good, really... she follows our rules on safety, food, etc. it's just her weird "need" of him. she is going trough a big life change in growing older (she's 50 years old) plus she just lost her job of 18 years a couple of weeks ago. she was telling DS that he was her "salvation" and she needed him to get her through this tough time. I snapped at her about this. I think that's an awfully lot to put on a child... he probably doesn't understand yet but I don't want her to continually put pressure on him to keep her happy. I want him to concentrate on making himself happy (as we all should). she's really not too bad, I guess. I do worry about the GP being fair though... DS is not biologically linked to DP or her 'rents so it makes me extra sensitive, I think. I fear that my 'rents will be able to "spoil" him more because he's their only GC and ILs will feel like it's because they're his "real" GPs.

keep the advice/experiences coming. redface.gif

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#8 of 14 Old 12-21-2011, 08:09 AM
 
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As someone with a pretty healthy relationship with both sets of GPs, I'd agree with the pp who said to listen to your mommy instinct. It is there for a reason. If the situation feels awkward, off, weird... to you, then you should listen to that feeling. Figure out why. And address it now, not later. As in ASAP, next time it happens. Be short, clear, to the point. "My baby". "No, he is your grand child, not your child. Please stop saying that right now." If she respects you, she might be a little hurt, but she will stop it. If she does not respect you, she might come back with some excuse like "Oh, but he is my baby in a way. Or "You're taking it all wrong. You're being sensitive...." If you hear crap like that, then the red flags should go up. And you will have to be a bit more harsh, and put a clear line in the sand. Hopefully it won't go that way. But if it does, you need to rethink your child's relationship with her.

 

As pp's said, you should down the rules now. Really, it is a lot easier now than later, once habits are entrenced. And then it will get uglier. Now it is only minor. My sister, who has no kids, tried the giving unwanted advice a few times. I stopped it with "I've got it covered" and continueing doing exactly what I was doing. When that hint did not work, I went to "When you have a 4 yo and a 2 yo, then feel free to give me advice." Maybe a bit harsh, but to the point, and she learned to keep her absurd opinions to herself. Things were much smoother after that. 

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#9 of 14 Old 12-21-2011, 09:18 AM
 
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I'm not sure why everything is funny to me today.  I was just thinking of how weird my mom was with DD1 when she was born.  I live far away from all family so they can't pull that crap but my sister and her husband are close to both parents and my mother has already started in with "she should have more right to my sisters kids when she has them because she's the most important grandparent"  she actually said that.  Absolutely hilarious!!!

 

Though yesterday she said she wanted to move to San Antonio so she could be near us... since she doesn't think my sister will every have kids.  I think I made a Lucille Ball cry face when she said that.  

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#10 of 14 Old 12-21-2011, 01:50 PM
 
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First.  I say all those things too... even to my daycare kids.  I tell the babies they are my baby.  But, I say it only to them and nobody else is around.  I also say "Aww who's my favorite baby?"    I sometimes talk to the infants as if they are a new puppy... or Elmo.

 

I will absolutely buy everything I like for my grand kids.  I window shop for imaginary grand kids all the time.    I fully intend to be their favorite person in all the world.  My grand kids will always be surrounded by people who truly love and adore them.  

 

My Dad's parents bought us a lot of things.  They showered us with gifts and money all the time.  But, my Mom's mom loved us all the same, and made us all feel like we were her favorite grand child.  (I had more cousins than I can count...but, we were all her favorite)  She bragged about us in front of us, she always told us "It's OK that you did that, but don't do it again".  And, with the exception of my brother, we always obeyed and adored her.  

 

She never, ever bought any of us a single thing in our whole lives.  But, she loved us, and made us feel extremely important.  She cried when we left after a visit, she made us sandwiches for the road, and she'd never let us leave without saying "I love you all so much".

 

Grandparents are the only people in the world who love you almost as much as your own parents.   They are the ones who would fly across the country to stay with the kids while Mom has surgery.  They are the first ones to find a way to send the kids that money they need for braces, even if it means selling that antique car they love.   

 

So, personally, I say, let it all go, and be happy that she loves your son so much that she thinks of him no matter where she's shopping, and that she can make him light up just by coming over to visit.  It's never going to be worth hurting her feelings.  Let him have an adoring grandma, as long as she isn't trying to make him cry when she leaves, then she's doing something right.

 

 

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#11 of 14 Old 12-21-2011, 03:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post

First.  I say all those things too... even to my daycare kids.  I tell the babies they are my baby.  But, I say it only to them and nobody else is around.  I also say "Aww who's my favorite baby?"    I sometimes talk to the infants as if they are a new puppy... or Elmo.

 

I will absolutely buy everything I like for my grand kids.  I window shop for imaginary grand kids all the time.    I fully intend to be their favorite person in all the world.  My grand kids will always be surrounded by people who truly love and adore them.  

 

My Dad's parents bought us a lot of things.  They showered us with gifts and money all the time.  But, my Mom's mom loved us all the same, and made us all feel like we were her favorite grand child.  (I had more cousins than I can count...but, we were all her favorite)  She bragged about us in front of us, she always told us "It's OK that you did that, but don't do it again".  And, with the exception of my brother, we always obeyed and adored her.  

 

She never, ever bought any of us a single thing in our whole lives.  But, she loved us, and made us feel extremely important.  She cried when we left after a visit, she made us sandwiches for the road, and she'd never let us leave without saying "I love you all so much".

 

Grandparents are the only people in the world who love you almost as much as your own parents.   They are the ones who would fly across the country to stay with the kids while Mom has surgery.  They are the first ones to find a way to send the kids that money they need for braces, even if it means selling that antique car they love.   

 

So, personally, I say, let it all go, and be happy that she loves your son so much that she thinks of him no matter where she's shopping, and that she can make him light up just by coming over to visit.  It's never going to be worth hurting her feelings.  Let him have an adoring grandma, as long as she isn't trying to make him cry when she leaves, then she's doing something right.

 

 


I love your post...I just wish it were true for all of us.

 


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#12 of 14 Old 12-21-2011, 05:52 PM
 
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#13 of 14 Old 12-22-2011, 02:47 AM
 
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Forums! gotta love em. ::VENT::

I thought I was the only one with this problem.  Not nearly as extreme as Tooraloora's mom, but it's pretty rough.

My mother loves my son.  I love that my mother loves my son.  but sometimes it gets creepy, and other times it's really frustrating.

My mother moved to California to go halvesies on a house with me a month before DS was born.  I understand how much she was looking forward to having a grandchild, especially when she (and me) thought I would never have kids.  I get how excited she is.  but there are two problems.  1)DEFINITELY the undermining of my parenting.  My mom is my complete opposite and we clash on every issue.  One issue was that my mother is a clean freak.  a chemically scented, obsessively washing clean freak.  For a while she would come to give me a break when she got home and i'd take a nap to find she bathed my son.  Awesome, right? bonding with his grammy and i have a clean baby to snuggle with! awesome until she started to do it every day, and sometimes twice a day.  it's a dry winter and my son has eczema, and she just DOESN'T get it... she's harming him!  his skin started to peel it was so dry.  he was just a little baby! it's not like he was outside working the fields under the hot sun! he doesn't need a bath everyday.  she'd actually wait until i was pooped to offer me some uninterrupted nap time so she can bathe him without my objection.  little things like that were driving me nuts.  she would push formula all the time.  she seemed very jealous of our nursing time.  And every time he whimpered in his sleep or cried out she'd try to take him from me.  She's even slipped up a few times referring to herself as "mommy".  I've been trying to rationalize her behavior by taking into consideration how excited and happy she was about my son, but she's really weird sometimes!  And that's problem number 2... total weirdness.  My mother has been in California from Texas since August, and she hates her job because she has to do actual work.  She's been looking for jobs in other states and she makes jokes about taking DS with her when she moves.  Cute, but also really, really creepy.  Sometimes she makes up these little scenarios about who and how my son will be when he's older.  this creeps me out.  I get this weird feeling she's planning his future without me sometimes.  She also goes seriously overboard with buying him things that he doesn't need.  My mother has always had issues managing her money and a couple weeks ago she came home with some sort of vibrating chair thing to strap him in to.  anyway it put her over her limit and our rent check bounced.  I tried talking to her about it and she said that I'm being controlling of him and got very offended.  I tried to be as soft about it as possible but my mother seems to have stopped maturing at around 16 and now she makes snide comments to my baby about his 'controlling mother'.  i hope she knocks this off before he understands her.
:sigh:

 

i had to get that out. 

 

it's really a terrible thing, but i'm kind of glad i'm not the only one with this problem.  if anyone can figure out how to promote a healthy gp-gc relationship, i'm totally open to suggestions.


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#14 of 14 Old 12-22-2011, 12:49 PM
 
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My grandma was like this, bless her heart.  I was my mother's first and only, she wasn't supposed to be able to have children.  I was spoiled rotten.  I may still have fungi growing on me.  She meant well.  It didn't ruin me, or my relationship with my mother.  I knew who my real mother was.  When I was 13 and she was still calling me her baby, I do admit to rolling my eyes....

 

 


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