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#31 of 43 Old 10-20-2012, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OP here.  Sorry I haven't been able to reply in a while. Just to answer some questions:

 

Yes, the issue here is my mother, not my mother-in-law, and while I do agree that DH does get on my case from time to time about his opinion that I'm "too easy" on my mom, deep-down he has a point, and I feel like it puts me in a tough spot.  Mainly because, where my mom is concerned, I tend to feel that trying to get her to respect my ways and accommodate is pretty much pointless (it has never worked), so I've just given up over time, yet I'll complain to him, or he'll see things that he knows bugs me and wonders why I don't do something about it. As I try to explain to him, with my mom, things are not as straightforward as they are with his own mom, who is willing to bend over backwards to respect our wishes.

 

Someone asked about the relationship with my mom and her mom, which is a great question and a good reminder to me that I should also consider this when feeling frustrated. From the little she has told me, my grandmother, though completely invested on an emotional level in my life, apparently did not help my mom with any "stuff" when taking care of my sister and I. So, my mom often tells me that she had to pack so much to bring over to her house because grandma had nothing there for us. Material things are very important to my mom. She has told me on several occasions (out of context from the situations I am posting about) that she wants to keep things at her house and have things handy so that I don't need to feel burdened when I do bring DS over.

 

At her house, that's great...and I do appreciate this and where it comes from (even though, the type of person I am, I'd rather pack up all of my stuff knowing it is the stuff I am comfortable with and it is what I picked out! But that's just me). But at my house, it is irritating because I have his stuff there...so I don't see why she brings wipes, or packs her own food for him, or brings her own outfits for him to wear, other than the fact that it is, as I mentioned in a previous response, her way of making things more of HER OWN experience...doing things the way she wants so she can be happier. That is the only thing I can pinpoint as to why she does this, knowing how she is.

 

I would like to clarify that DH really isn't an issue here. I think the "contention" I mentioned that comes about from him getting on my case and us disagreeing about all this is that, deep-down I agree with what he's saying, but I don't know how to change things, and I get defensive because I feel stuck. Hence, why I'm posting here for suggestions.

 

I do think there is something to be said about not putting my mom's needs first. I do have some level of resentment towards my mom despite my love for her; it is hard to always have to accommodate her needs but not get much of it back. Yes, I am grateful she helps me, is in my son's life, but no matter what, things are and always will be on her terms and everything has to be convenient for her. As I've said, she means well, but the issue at hand is that there are things she does that makes it really difficult for me to feel that I have the authority I want over my son's wellbeing.

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#32 of 43 Old 10-20-2012, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by purplerose View Post

my mom tends to roll her eyes and comment, "it's amazing y'all survived your childhood!" yeah, bc new health/safety info never comes out these days. i try to keep all this in mind for whenever i am a grandmother.

 

 

I wanted to add that, the few times I have attempted to explain my line of thinking to her, for ex., why I didn't want cheap plastic toys in DS's mouth when he was a newborn, or why I don't want his mouth wiped with wipes full of chemicals, the response I've gotten is "I did this stuff with you girls and you turned out fine".

 

My job revolves around children with special needs. I believe there is a nature and a nurture component to everyone's future. My personal belief is that, while I can't really control the nature, I'd like t at least do what I can to make the nurture piece of my son's upbringing as safe and as ideal as I can possibly make it. I try to explain this to her too, but then she still doesn't really understand what I do for a living. Sometimes I think I sound like the teacher from a Peanuts episode to her...and I know she can't really relate to anything I say. My dad told me once something along the lines of "your mom doesn't realize that not everyone in the world isn't just like her".

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#33 of 43 Old 10-20-2012, 01:08 PM
 
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Let it be. Somehow she manage to raise a child before who is good enough  to be loved and who lead green lifestyle.

 

 

She not going to be around forever and when she is gone, what will be more important to you and your child, the memories of time spent together of what wipes she used?

 

 

Lets face it, if you were seriously green, you would not have any kids period.  No among of cloth wipes or organic grapes can competent the amount of damage as far as energy consummated inflicter on the Earth by every new child.

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#34 of 43 Old 10-20-2012, 01:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

Let it be. Somehow she manage to raise a child before who is good enough  to be loved and who lead green lifestyle.

 

 

She not going to be around forever and when she is gone, what will be more important to you and your child, the memories of time spent together of what wipes she used?

 

 

Lets face it, if you were seriously green, you would not have any kids period.  No among of cloth wipes or organic grapes can competent the amount of damage as far as energy consummated inflicter on the Earth by every new child.

 

As far as "letting it be" -- I do agree with the OP's assessment that there probably is no point in trying to express herself to her mom. As she has already explained, her mom has never respected her way of doing things.

 

I do realize that many of us have grown up in environments where we weren't fully respected -- and we have still grown up to be, as you say, "good enough to be loved." I actually think each and every human being is "good enough to be loved" but this doesn't mean the OP needs to accept unacceptable behavior from her mom just because her mom is mortal.

 

With people who don't respect us enough to listen to us, but whom we love enough to want to keep some contact, I feel we just need to determine how much time we and/or our kids can spend around them without things becoming toxic for us or for our kids. Kind of like, you know, we need to limit our exposure to direct sunlight and tuna from polluted waters.

 

Because you can't talk to the sun's uv rays and get them to be less harmful, and it's pretty much the same deal with some relatives. That said, the sun gives us energy and has many wonderful qualities. We certainly couldn't live without it, and I wouldn't be alive without my mom, either. People are never all bad, and should never be dismissed as all bad. But I think there's a way to love and accept others, even those who are toxic to us, without just lying down and allowing our values to be trampled. It's basically called loving ourselves.

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#35 of 43 Old 10-20-2012, 07:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

Let it be. Somehow she manage to raise a child before who is good enough  to be loved and who lead green lifestyle.


She not going to be around forever and when she is gone, what will be more important to you and your child, the memories of time spent together of what wipes she used?


Lets face it, if you were seriously green, you would not have any kids period.  No among of cloth wipes or organic grapes can competent the amount of damage as far as energy consummated inflicter on the Earth by every new child.

This is totally uncalled for! And way off topic!

If you're not going to offer helpful advice, don't post. Wanting her child to be unharmed by chemicals is a good thing. And has nothing to do with 'greenness'. We need members of the next generation to be dedicated to the health and well being of all and the planet. While it is possible to grow up in a household that knows nothing about 'greenness', to grow up in a wishy-washy household is less likely to care about being 'green'. In my opinion.
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#36 of 43 Old 10-20-2012, 08:09 PM
 
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OP: I've tried to respond to this thread several times, and keep deleting it. I wish you luck dealing with this. I'm afraid your post set off so many of my own triggers that it's hard for me to be clear. I will say that my grandmother didn't respect my mom's parental decisions, despite my mom reiterating them multiple times (simple things like, "I really don't like the kids drinking pop, mom - they love juice, and I can't afford it, so why not have some juice in the house for them when they come over?"). My mom maintained contact. After all, "grandparents are important", and "relationships matter more than juice vs. pop". It's her one big parenting regret. It's the one thing I truly wish she'd done differently. And, for all my grandmother's attempts to make sure we loved her most, and she was the imporant one, I greeted the news of her death (when I was 20 or 21) with "oh, good". She's been gone for well over two decades, and the only emotional I've ever managed to summon about her death is relief. Her life was tragic. Her death was a relief for everyone.

 

So, yeah - it's hard for me to tell how much your mom is like my grandmother...but the "mommy said no" (ie. "mommy is the one not letting you have this treat") in front of you, and then disregarding it when you're not around sounds awfully familiar. And, like others, I find the whole bringing grapes over when you have them in your fridge kind of weird.

 

I'm going to leave this post, just so I don't keep coming back to the thread. It's probably not very useful, as your mom may not be anything like my grandmother, but I felt the triggers go off a few times, and felt that the perspective of someone who deeply wishes that my mom had ditched that oh-so-important grandmother relationship might be valuable.


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#37 of 43 Old 10-21-2012, 06:41 AM
 
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I think it can be a tricky dance, between Mom and Grandma. My Mom and I came to an agreement... In MY home? My rules. In HER home? She had more leeway - especially if I wasn't there. If I was? Then it was my call. Some things were important enough for me to put my foot down. But many were not - and I was willing to give on those more often than not. It really should be a give-and-take.

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#38 of 43 Old 10-21-2012, 12:38 PM
 
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I agree with Storm Bride - this story definitely pressed my buttons.  And others who said her behavior is toxic.

 

This really seems to me to be a point where you might want to re-evaluate your relationship with your mother.  We all fall into patterns of accepting certain things about family members as adults that are no longer applicable when we have children.  It's fine for you to risk being stressed out, but it's not ok for your kid to be affected and have his/her parent disrespected, ykwim?

 

If she truly cannot change, I agree limiting exposure is something you may want to do.  I'm currently doing this, and it has been hard - of course, my parents are super hurt, because they really don't understand (despite years of attempts to talk to them about it).  But them not being able to understand is exactly what led to this - the refusal to recognize and alter negative patterns.  But let me tell you - it is like a breath of fresh air!!!!  AND - it makes the time we do spend together that much more valuable, special and enjoyable (or at least...less COMPLETELY frustrating!).

 

It is a huge shift in your relationship that occurs once you have a child.  You need a new level of respect and accommodation, and she either can or can't deal with that.
 

One last thing - I hear you saying things like "I need to remember that" etc.  I gather you've spent alot of time trying to fix things solely on your end by changing your own headspace/feelings/reactions.  It won't work.  It takes two to have a loving, healthy relationship, with give and take, and it takes two to work these things out.  You trying to learn better ways to "deal" without her working on her end is pretty hopeless.

 

I know the title sounds extreme, but you may want to flip through Toxic Parents - it may give you some new insights and validation.  Hugs!


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#39 of 43 Old 10-21-2012, 02:06 PM
 
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I agree both with the sentiment that relationships are (most of the time) more important than being "right", and that you should be able to set some boundaries which will be respected with your Mom. Aspartame foods would definitely be worth a fight, IMO.
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#40 of 43 Old 10-22-2012, 12:00 AM
 
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Imagine grandma dying tomorrow.  Meditate on it for a while. Then imagine what was important, good not good, not important.  That is something my zen teacher told me. It really clarifies things and allows one to act with compassionate boundaries.

 

Compromise is part of life. To only get 100 of what your want is to completely isolate your kids from any member of you family who is not like you. It has its advantages, of course

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#41 of 43 Old 10-22-2012, 12:20 AM
 
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Compromise *is* a part of life, but if only one of the two involved is doing any compromising, then it's call capitulation. Both parties must give a little, for it to be a compromise. Neither has a right to tell the other one 'this is not important enough for you to insist upon it'. It sounds to me like the mother is trying to decide *for* her daughter, what is important and what is not. That is a concern, because she is likely to continue to decide other things, as well.
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#42 of 43 Old 10-22-2012, 03:13 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

Imagine grandma dying tomorrow.  Meditate on it for a while. Then imagine what was important, good not good, not important.  That is something my zen teacher told me. It really clarifies things and allows one to act with compassionate boundaries.

 

Compromise is part of life. To only get 100 of what your want is to completely isolate your kids from any member of you family who is not like you. It has its advantages, of course

 

I don't think the OP wants to idolate her kids from everyone who is not like her. I think she just wants the people whom her kids have close and frequent interactions with, to be people who respect her as a person and as a parent. Whether these people live for another 30 years or die tomorrow seems kind of irrelevant.


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#43 of 43 Old 10-22-2012, 08:46 AM
 
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so I don't see why she brings wipes, or packs her own food for him, or brings her own outfits for him to wear, other than the fact that it is, as I mentioned in a previous response, her way of making things more of HER OWN experience...doing things the way she wants so she can be happier. That is the only thing I can pinpoint as to why she does this, knowing how she is.

 I don't really think it is a big deal if your mom gives him regular grapes or uses wet wipes, or watches sponge bog at her house, or has baby stuff at your house, especially if you live further away and it wold be a hassle or your staying over night, but it really is weird to bring that kind of stuff to your house! How does that even work? she comes over and says, I'm going to change his clothes becuase I brought some of my own? bringing over your own supplies to your grandchild's house is really odd, definatly stepping over the bounds. You might just have to say. my house, my stuff, your house your stuff. put a parent lock on your TV so your dad change the channels to one's you don't like at your house.

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