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#1 of 43 Old 10-17-2012, 08:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DH and I try our best to keep our lives as "green" and natural as possible, especially for the sake of DS, who will soon be 2. .

 

My mother, who I love dearly, lives relatively nearby and sees DS once a week, and no matter how I try, I have not been able to get her to accommodate even some of our choices. I value her help w/ DS, and truly believe that my relationship with her, and her relationship with DS, is not worth being jeopardized over this, but at the same time, there is no happy medium and I feel like I'm just passively watching her do things her way, every time (and cringing inside).  For ex., we buy DS organic grapes, yet she brings her own every time she comes (conventional) even though I've told her she doesn't need to bring her own food for him...we have a fridge. I tell her we don't really give DS juice...I've found juice in his sippy cup several times now, and it is the stuff she buys which is "diet", i.e., has fake sugar in it which really freaks me out thinking how that may affect him. I tell her we use cloth wipes, yet she continuously wipes his mouth with chemically-laden wet wipes, even in front of me.

 

My mom takes no criticism and becomes VERY defensive if corrected or even shown any sort of disapproval. The whole family has struggled with her in this area, especially because she tends to put herself first in all areas and is not willing to bend much for others. I've tried being gentle so as not to hurt her feelings but the point is not coming across. Then, even if she seems to get it in the moment, a week later the same things come up again.

 

This has been a topic of contention between DH and me for some time now- his mother is the opposite type of person and finds her happiness in pleasing others, so she is quick to adapt to whatever we do for DS, no questions asked. He doesn't understand how much of a struggle it is with my own mom.

 

From the years I've spent as my mother's daughter, I know that my mom experiences love through material things. I get that she feels included in DS's life by buying her own wipes, her own clothes for him to wear when she watches him, her own food to bring him, I just wish, as his parent with his best interest in mind, that I could have more control over what is going on his body/in his mouth while I can (because once he starts school, it's a whole different battle!)

 

I know I can't change someone nor their lifestyle, especially when it is someone who cooks from a box every night and thinks DS should have candy every time she sees him. I don't want to sound ungrateful; as I said, I don't want these issues to impact our relationship and her presence in DS's life. She loves DS very much. But small gains would be great! I'm wondering if anyone has dealt with this before, and what they did that was successful in getting family members to accommodate your lifestyle a bit more.

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#2 of 43 Old 10-17-2012, 09:19 AM
 
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This is probably an unpopular opinion--but I wouldn't force her to be more accommodating of your lifestyle.  Family relationships are extremely important, and I wouldn't drive any wedges--with your husband or your mother.  In my opinion, it's more important to have harmonious family relationships than it is to ensure that your child is exposed to less chemicals.  How often is she coming over and for how long?  If she's there for several hours every day, then I would push the issue more.  If she's just there for an afternoon a few times a month, I'd let it go.  As long as she's not abusing your child (and no, I don't see conventional grapes or baby wipes as abusive) then I'd let her be a grandparent in her own way.

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#3 of 43 Old 10-17-2012, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your response. That is exactly what I'm toying with- maintaining the relationship, which is important to me, vs. pushing the issue a bit more and possibly causing friction or making her feel inadequate, which I don't want to do. She typically is with him alone on a weekly basis for about 5-6 hours and then sometimes on the weekends if I go down to visit with DS.

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#4 of 43 Old 10-17-2012, 09:39 AM
 
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We are dealing with this with my parents as well.  Their behavior is well-intentioned, but I find the persistence and resistance deeply disrespectful.  I don't want to constantly fight these battles - I want them on our team!  I truly think that will lead to alot less antagonism and stress, and a better relationship with DS.  We recently had a blow up about this (and other respect issues - there is a history there, control issues and narcissism).

 

I just feel like I'm not even being listened to - like what I think, as his mother, is totally irrelevant.  Like your mother, my parents (especially my dad) live a super material life - they not only express love by buying things, but I think they define themselves by their things to a large extent.  So, if I try to explain that we do things differently, that is often met with a deaf ear, instead of an eager one.  They are the immovable object.  

 

If, for example, I ask them to only put on PBS Kids (as a compromise - my dad cannot function with the TV on, plus an iPhone/iPad at allllll times eyesroll.gif) my dad acts like I'm a horrible person because he wants DS to watch SpongeBob (why????).  He seriously just stared at me, and then changed the channel back to SpongeBob.  I don't get it.  When DS plays with toys, my dad insists he know all the commercial characters (like this is an important educational opportunity) and play with those, rather than more open-ended toys.  To the point he will take toys away from DS, and put others right in his face. 


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#5 of 43 Old 10-17-2012, 09:48 AM
 
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I think family harmony is very important - but to me, that rests on cooperation, respect and give/take.  Not giving grandparents a free license to ignore your parenting and lifestyle.  I'm totally willing to have a conversation about why they feel the way they do (or why your mom feels compelled to bring her own grapes) so I can understand and we can compromise.  But if one person is just steamrolling the other and disregarding their requests...that's a problem, IMO.

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#6 of 43 Old 10-17-2012, 10:02 AM
 
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Your mom sounds like my mom - almost.  I have to say that through perseverence and gentle teaching, my mom is coming around a bit.  What doesn't work is me telling her that I don't want DS to have it or that it's not how we do things.  What does work is giving her third party information when possible "Health Canada doesn't think that toddlers should have juice because it is bad for their teeth and because it fills them up with sugar instead of nutrients and fiber, so we are trying not to give DS juice".  She is much more open to things that someone else (an "expert") believes.  Could you try to approach it gently that way?

 

My relationship with my mom is really important to me, and I love how much she loves DS.  Like your mom, she shows affection though material things.  Like your mom, she is sensitive to criticism and is "always right".

 

Example: DS does not get anything to drink at home besides almond milk, mamas milk or water.  She knows this, but bought "Organic juice" for him and soy chocolate milk (Our exchange last Sunday - Mom: "But it doesn't have sugar in it"...Me:"Mom, it does.  It says cane sugar right on the ingredients"...Mom: "Well that is better for him than processed sugar.  When you were a kid I would have chosen cane sugar over regular sugar."  Sigh.)

 

So, at her house he has tons of obnoxious battery operated toys.  That's fine.  It's her house and it's not going to "damage" him to have those toys.  At our house, she knows I don't want DS to have those types of things.  Sometimes she accepts this, sometimes she doesn't.  When she doesn't, sometimes I let it slide and other times say "We really don't have room for that, but it's a special toy.  Could he keep it at your house so that he looks forward to playing with it there?" or something of the like.

 

Same goes with food.  It's not going to hurt him to have soy chocolate milk or a cookie or juice from time to time at her house.  But my house, my rules.  (and I have to say she's been really good since we had DS tested for sensitivities.  I appreciate that she purposely went to buy things that were wheat, dairy and egg free.  It's too bad they were also full of "organic cane sugar" lol).

 

So, in summary, I let the little things slide and we've sort of got an unsigned territorial treaty  wherein in my home, we follow my rules and in her home she knows what my preferences are but likes to stretch the boundaries of those rules.  He also isn't over at her house daily, more like once every week or two.  If it was everyday then the boundaries would have to be made more clear.
 


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#7 of 43 Old 10-17-2012, 10:07 AM
 
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Thanks for your response. That is exactly what I'm toying with- maintaining the relationship, which is important to me, vs. pushing the issue a bit more and possibly causing friction or making her feel inadequate, which I don't want to do. She typically is with him alone on a weekly basis for about 5-6 hours and then sometimes on the weekends if I go down to visit with DS.

 

As it stands, she has taken over the role of parenting, and she's showing your child that what you say isn't important.  While I understand that grapes and wet-wipes might not be worth having a fight about, the level of disrespect she shows you is worth doing something about, even if all you do is quietly reduce her contact to a more grandmotherly level. 

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#8 of 43 Old 10-17-2012, 10:56 AM
 
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As it stands, she has taken over the role of parenting, and she's showing your child that what you say isn't important.  While I understand that grapes and wet-wipes might not be worth having a fight about, the level of disrespect she shows you is worth doing something about, even if all you do is quietly reduce her contact to a more grandmotherly level. 

 

I don't think she's taken over the role of parenting at all.  She's filling the role of grandmothering, in her own way.  They are distinctly separate roles.

 

I was fortunate enough to grow up in close proximity to both sets of grandparents and frequently spent time with them.  Both my grandparents had philosophies about children that were fundamentally different both from my parents and from each other.  We always knew that mom and dad's rules reigned supreme; but, that didn't mean that our grandparents had to enforce them 100%.

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#9 of 43 Old 10-17-2012, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Pickle18- Your situation sounds much more extreme than mine...I imagine things would be much more heated with my mother if she so blatantly disregarded what I said immediately after I said it. 

 

With my mom, she WILL listen in the moment if I'm there and happen to say no...and she will look at my son and say "Mommy said no..." so I don't necessarily feel that she is showing my son that my authority doesn't matter. It is not so much those individual instances as it is the big picture. I've sent her emails with the list of the Dirty Dozen foods highest in pesticides saying "Please don't feed DS any of these unless they're organic!" but that never caught on...I've tried to talk to her about juice b/c of the sugar but when he's with her alone she gives it to him.

 

I have done what you do, nstewart, re: the toys and having her keep them at her house. We have a small home anyway, so it helps keep the clutter down. I also donated a ton of stuff she has bought him over the past year that I didn't like...DS is too young to notice, and that way I didn't have to hurt her feelings. She is a huge quantity-over-quality type of shopper so I didn't feel too bad about it. 

 

DH gets annoyed with me because his mother lived with us all last year and took care of DS while I worked and I was pretty picky about the things I saw her doing that I wasn't thrilled about, but my argument is a) DS was an infant and I was much more paranoid about everything than I am now, plus I carried a lot of guilt and wanted to make sure things were still being done how I would want them to be done while I was not there b) it was an everyday thing, c) I lived with her so I saw nearly everything and it was hard to ignore/let go what I didn't approve of and d) she was very amenable to our ideals and respected how we wanted to raise our DS, so I felt like bringing up things would be productive.  My mom is a very different person!

 

These responses have put things into perspective though. My mom does ask my approval on things more so than she used to, so maybe that is a small gain right there. She is really well-intentioned; I think things are more due to her being so set in her own ways, being deeply rooted in her own lifestyle (and why should I expect different?) and just not questioning things in the same way I do. I would love to be able to teach her more about WHY I choose the ways that I do, but she kind of just hears what she wants to hear and I doubt it would make a difference...and I'd probably just exhaust myself even more, lol.

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#10 of 43 Old 10-17-2012, 11:20 AM
 
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I don't think she's taken over the role of parenting at all.  She's filling the role of grandmothering, in her own way.  They are distinctly separate roles.

 

When the OP's mother is around, she's not simply being a doting grandmother, she's stopping OP from making any parenting decisions.  She's not just neglecting to enforce OP's rules, she's arriving equipped to blatantly over-ride them.  It's the scale of the disrespect combined with the large amounts of unsupervised contact that sounds worrisome. 

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#11 of 43 Old 10-17-2012, 11:22 AM
 
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 My mom does ask my approval on things more so than she used to, so maybe that is a small gain right there.

That's encouraging!

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#12 of 43 Old 10-17-2012, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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As it stands, she has taken over the role of parenting, and she's showing your child that what you say isn't important.  While I understand that grapes and wet-wipes might not be worth having a fight about, the level of disrespect she shows you is worth doing something about, even if all you do is quietly reduce her contact to a more grandmotherly level. 

 

I don't think she's taken over the role of parenting at all.  She's filling the role of grandmothering, in her own way.  They are distinctly separate roles.

 

I was fortunate enough to grow up in close proximity to both sets of grandparents and frequently spent time with them.  Both my grandparents had philosophies about children that were fundamentally different both from my parents and from each other.  We always knew that mom and dad's rules reigned supreme; but, that didn't mean that our grandparents had to enforce them 100%.

 

I definitely think she is just being a grandmother in the way she wants to be, and that is why I hesitate making an issue out of the situation. I feel that if I keep harping on everything I disagree with that she does, I'll be making her first-time grandma experience much less fun for her. One thing I've learned: she has to make each event HERS in some way in order to experience it to the fullest (don't even get me started on my wedding...), which ultimately means doing what she wants to do, at least as much as I let her get away with it. It drives me crazy, but I do feel a sense of guilt for taking that away from her, because I know deep-down, that is how she is experiencing her joy. I just wish I could get more of a middle ground...her being happy, me being happier about things, and letting the little things slide more easily...

 

I put together a small "wish list" type of thing for DS's bday/holiday gifts because they fall within 3 days of each other, just to give an idea of what he needs and would like...but it was mainly compiled with her in mind. She bought him a tricycle and helmet from the list, one I picked out, which I'm thrilled about...and yet I get an email several times a week with other suggestions that she wants to get him. It is sweet and at the same time cringe-worthy because it is nothing I would pick.  I turn down the ones I know are a bad idea, but other things I've said OK to even though I would not have ever chosen it, but I just feel that the more I turn everything down, the more I'm ruining the grandma experience for her...hope that makes sense. I am happy she asks me though, instead of just buying stuff, which she did last year and he ended up with quadruple the amount of gifts we got him and a lot went to goodwill...sigh.

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#13 of 43 Old 10-17-2012, 12:48 PM
 
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I definitely think she is just being a grandmother in the way she wants to be, and that is why I hesitate making an issue out of the situation. I feel that if I keep harping on everything I disagree with that she does, I'll be making her first-time grandma experience much less fun for her. One thing I've learned: she has to make each event HERS in some way in order to experience it to the fullest (don't even get me started on my wedding...), which ultimately means doing what she wants to do, at least as much as I let her get away with it. It drives me crazy, but I do feel a sense of guilt for taking that away from her, because I know deep-down, that is how she is experiencing her joy. I just wish I could get more of a middle ground...her being happy, me being happier about things, and letting the little things slide more easily...

 

I put together a small "wish list" type of thing for DS's bday/holiday gifts because they fall within 3 days of each other, just to give an idea of what he needs and would like...but it was mainly compiled with her in mind. She bought him a tricycle and helmet from the list, one I picked out, which I'm thrilled about...and yet I get an email several times a week with other suggestions that she wants to get him. It is sweet and at the same time cringe-worthy because it is nothing I would pick.  I turn down the ones I know are a bad idea, but other things I've said OK to even though I would not have ever chosen it, but I just feel that the more I turn everything down, the more I'm ruining the grandma experience for her...hope that makes sense. I am happy she asks me though, instead of just buying stuff, which she did last year and he ended up with quadruple the amount of gifts we got him and a lot went to goodwill...sigh.

OP - Are you secretly my sister?  Does my mom have another family I don't know about! 

 

I think you have to decide what you can't live with and deal with what you can't live with and let the rest go.  Maybe that's extreme.  Decide what is worth making an issue out of, and what isn't  .  Focus on the bigger picture.  (Says she who is still trying to work on this daily.  I think I'm getting better though.) 


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#14 of 43 Old 10-17-2012, 12:58 PM
 
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 I feel that if I keep harping on everything I disagree with that she does, I'll be making her first-time grandma experience much less fun for her. 

 

Mama, this can't be your prime concern. Right now you are worrying about your son's health, and it doesn't matter if other people think your worries aren't valid. The fact is that you ARE worrying. You are compromising your own contentment for your mother's. You shouldn't have to let your well-researched and deeply-held parenting ideals go out the window because your mom might have a less-gratifying grandma experience.

 

I'm not saying that it's not kind and good of you to worry about her experience, but there needs to be compromise so that both of you can be happy. If providing material goods is essential to her fun grandma experience, can she do something alternative, like buy classes for him? You are already compromising on the toy issue, so she gets to spoil him materially that way as well. Personally, I think you shouldn't have to compromise so much on the food (and the chemical wipes). For what it's worth, I'm 100% on your side about the sugar and the chemicals, but that's not even what matters. For you, this is a health issue, and you--the mom--get to make the decision about what enters your son's body.

 

I understand about not wanting to make waves, but I think a gentle, non-accusatory conversation needs to happen where you express your gratitude for everything your mom does for you, talk about how wonderful her relationship with your son is, but really put your foot down about the food. You can offer her other options for showing her affection through material means, but I agree with PPs that her disregard for your wishes is disrespectful. 

 

I can sense your love for your mom in your words, and I'm not trying to insult her. I also feel a tremendous amount of guilt when I have to challenge my mom on something. But I think she IS parenting over you, and since you are willing to make compromises, she needs to make some as well. Best of luck. 

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#15 of 43 Old 10-17-2012, 01:11 PM
 
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I'm all for grandparents having their own relationship with their grandkids, and I totally don't mind that my mom and MIL let the kids do and have stuff that I wouldn't. But the whole health issue aside, if someone brought grapes to my house when they knew I already had grapes in my fridge, I'd be annoyed. That's weird. 


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#16 of 43 Old 10-17-2012, 03:32 PM
 
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My oldest three are at their grandma's house right now, probably eating junk food and watching Spongebob on a huge TV.


I don't even care. Their grandparents adore them. The love is more important than anything else.
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#17 of 43 Old 10-18-2012, 06:57 AM
 
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Your comfort level in your relationship with your mom is a big factor, IMO.  My parental relationships are historically less-than-stellar, so these power struggles are symptomatic of bigger issues.  If your relationship is mostly healthy and nurturing, then it may seem like less of an issue.  But I agree wholeheartedly with PPs that said your feelings are valid, and there should be a non-accusatory way to discuss this and provide her with alternatives (where she still has an element of choice, to make it her own).  

 

You providing her with info seems ideal, because then she's armed to completely operate on her own - but it may be being disregarded because it's overwhelming.  You may need to provide something closer to a toddler approach - you know, some semblance of choice so they feel in control, but not too many options? thumb.gif  It sounds like you've had some success with the list.  I like the idea of also using activities for this - paying for experiences instead of stuff (that she could even share in!) - memberships to museums, trips to the zoo, art classes, whatever.

 

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...She's not just neglecting to enforce OP's rules, she's arriving equipped to blatantly over-ride them.  It's the scale of the disrespect combined with the large amounts of unsupervised contact that sounds worrisome. 

I agree - this is very strange!  It's not like she's just refusing to enforce your rules, she's going out of her way to do something else...

 

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One thing I've learned: she has to make each event HERS in some way in order to experience it to the fullest (don't even get me started on my wedding...), which ultimately means doing what she wants to do, at least as much as I let her get away with it. It drives me crazy, but I do feel a sense of guilt for taking that away from her, because I know deep-down, that is how she is experiencing her joy. I just wish I could get more of a middle ground...her being happy, me being happier about things, and letting the little things slide more easily...

 

Again, if you are truly comfortable with this balance in your relationship, that's cool.  But it sounds pretty troublesome and stressful to me.  You should by no means feel guilty for trying to get her on board with your decisions as a parent.  Also, she is YOUR parent, and while you have a two-way relationship of give and take, it is not your primary responsibility to cater to her needs, at your expense...you have a child to make those sacrifices for!

 

It seems a bit like you are considering your mother's needs and your child's needs, but yours as a parent (to be cooperated with and respected) are getting short shrift.  You matter, too, mama! smile.gif

 

eta - Can you talk to your mom about this...about wanting her on your team, and the trust that would build?  Is it too much of a hot button to mention that you know she loves the ability to act independently, to make her mark and contribute - but that you just have a sphere in which she should target her efforts?  Maybe something specific, yet open-ended, like "any toy made of wood" - with a few places to start her off?  It would at least reduce the amount of plastic junk she's wasting her money on (and maybe gently point her toward bigger items, that will last and provide years of play, and cost enough that she won't buy ten of them?).  We've had some luck with this with both sets of grandparents, especially toys that DS could pass on to his kids, etc.


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#18 of 43 Old 10-18-2012, 07:37 AM
 
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First, I want to say I haven't read all the posts.

Harmony in music is when two notes sound good together. Harmony in relationships is when two people are good together. It is *not* harmonious if one person sacrifices her values, morals, or ethics to get along with another.

A grandmother who buys clothes so she can see the child wearing them when she visits has serious control issues. That's just off base. A grandmother who buys clothes because she loves the child will probably get to see the clothing being worn *because* she loves the child enough to find out what the child will want to wear. There is a difference. The first is controlling, the second is caring.

If you are concerned about ruining her first grandmother experience, why isn't she equally concerned about ruining your first mothering experience.

I see this from the perspective of trying to get along with my parents, only to have to watch as they treated my child differently from their other grandchildren, and then traumatize my child. So, in the end, I tried hard to get along with people who hurt my child.

Maybe your mother won't hurt your child(ren), but she has done things that indicate the kind of personality that makes it possible.

Edited to add that an example of her controling behavior is that she brings food and drinks to your house. That is off base. Your house, your food. It's that simple. If she brings items that fit in your guidelines, that would be different. Grandmas like to give treats. But they should fit within the parental rules.
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#19 of 43 Old 10-18-2012, 08:59 PM
 
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It sounds like the problem may be your husband not your mom since you are mostly fine with these little things but your husband is pressuring you not to be. I would make it very clear that you are never dropping your mother from your life over things as insignificant as grapes and wet wipes and you he values your family and you enough to accept that without trying to drive a wedge between you and your mother. I am divorced and have little patience for talk against my family though so that may or may not be good advice.
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#20 of 43 Old 10-18-2012, 09:43 PM
 
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It sounds like the problem may be your husband not your mom since you are mostly fine with these little things but your husband is pressuring you not to be. I would make it very clear that you are never dropping your mother from your life over things as insignificant as grapes and wet wipes and you he values your family and you enough to accept that without trying to drive a wedge between you and your mother. I am divorced and have little patience for talk against my family though so that may or may not be good advice.

Maybe you're confusing the mom and mother-in-law.
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#21 of 43 Old 10-19-2012, 07:19 AM
 
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In our family, it has helped me greatly to think about which problems with either of our parents are actually priorities for my kids/keeping our life happy and which are the weird things I should just roll my eyes about and complain to dh about later.  

 

 

I've also heaped lots of praise/thanks/compliments on both our mothers for the things I know they've found or done for the kids that have been really great or are more along the lines of what I really love most for our family.  And that has really helped in the long run - because they remember it more themselves.  And the other, questionable stuff I do disappear, and have used as a bit of teaching lesson for the kids about some of our standards ('I don't know why grandma got you these super-short shorts dd, but I think she must not have realized they'd be so small on you.  I know the longer ones are much more comfortable for tree climbing, maybe we'll pass these on to someone else, etc. . .') 

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#22 of 43 Old 10-19-2012, 07:45 AM
 
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It sounds like the problem may be your husband not your mom since you are mostly fine with these little things but your husband is pressuring you not to be. I would make it very clear that you are never dropping your mother from your life over things as insignificant as grapes and wet wipes and you he values your family and you enough to accept that without trying to drive a wedge between you and your mother. I am divorced and have little patience for talk against my family though so that may or may not be good advice.


The OP's husband is a parent to the child, he has a right to express his opinion about things affecting his child.  The OP isn't completely happy with the situation, and her husband isn't entirely happy with the situation, sounds like a good reason to change the situation.

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#23 of 43 Old 10-19-2012, 09:52 AM
 
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To me, the problem here is less the actual decisions--I don't think having conventional grapes once a week or getting wiped occasionally with a wet wipe will harm your son--than the fact that grandma seems to making a deliberate, concerted effort to undermine the OP's values. If the grandson was at grandma's house and he gave her the grapes or juice she had in the fridge, that wouldn't seem like a big deal to me. But going out of her way to bring the product she KNOWS mom doesn't like, when mom has the preferred product right in her home? Why on earth would anyone do this? 

 

I also have a mom who takes the slightest criticism as an excuse to go loco, but I still think it might be worth having a conversation. I would try not to frame it in terms of grapes or wipes or whatever. Grandma can easily dismiss each individual concern as minor. I'd be more interested in whatever underlying issues are making grandma act the way she is acting. 

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#24 of 43 Old 10-19-2012, 10:21 AM
 
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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.

 

something i have thought about...how was your mom and her mom's relationship? if your mom parented you in ways her own mother didn't agree with, she may feel you are saying she made mistakes? i raise my kids in ways my mom totally disapproves of, and if mine do the same i'm sure i will worry my kids think i was a failure...i will feel that way bc i know *why* i won't follow my mom's parenting.

 

it's so complicated LOL


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#25 of 43 Old 10-19-2012, 08:17 PM
 
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Maybe you're confusing the mom and mother-in-law.

What does this mean? The op clearly states it is her mother she loves dearly at the beginning of the op. Maybe you should read the op.

Rachelamama: the husband is a parent with a right to express his opinion but in a later post the op talks about being willing to ignore the little things and that makes it sound like the pressure to ignore her instinct is coming from her husband. I.believe a husband or wife should love and respect their spouse enough to let go of little things that annoy them about their inlaws and not try to create conflict that makes a loved ime unhappy.

As I said though, I am divorced and value my family more than I would a spouse so I can't speak to the respect or lack thereof that should actually happen in a marriage.
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#26 of 43 Old 10-19-2012, 08:51 PM
 
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I think OP also mentioned that part of the issue had to due with her concerns when her DC was an infant and MIL was helping care for her DC, and that her DH is resentful that she's more forgiving (in his eyes) of her own mom than her MIL.


N, wife to my goofball K partners.gif and mamma to my EC grad D (July 2010) and my new little love S (May 2013).  Exploring the uncharted territory of tandem nursing with my two boys.

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#27 of 43 Old 10-20-2012, 07:49 AM
 
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One_Girl, I think one of us is confused by the original post. What I recall is, while she said she loved her mother, it was her mother-in-law that was more supportive of her parenting choices, and the complaints were all about her mother. Maybe the OP would clear this up for us.

Whichever mother is the problem, I am concerned by the deliberate bringing of food and drink to the op's house, when what is brought is *not* what the op wants. This seems controling to me.
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#28 of 43 Old 10-20-2012, 09:59 AM
 
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Yes, I think it went like this...

 

OP's Mother:  currently the problem, OP is trying to figure out boundaries, but is also reluctant to make a fuss/upset her mother

 

OP's MIL:  has historically been much more supportive of OP's choices, although OP admits that when MIL was caring daily for DC, the OP would correct her on a variety of little things (and MIL would accommodate)

 

Basically, OP said her DH feels like she was much more critical of his mother (and more vocal about it) than she is willing to be of her own.  OP said that she was more nitpicky with MIL because DC was an infant, she felt guilty for not being there, MIL was caring for DC on a daily basis, etc. 


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#29 of 43 Old 10-20-2012, 10:06 AM
 
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One_Girl, I think one of us is confused by the original post. What I recall is, while she said she loved her mother, it was her mother-in-law that was more supportive of her parenting choices, and the complaints were all about her mother. Maybe the OP would clear this up for us.
Whichever mother is the problem, I am concerned by the deliberate bringing of food and drink to the op's house, when what is brought is *not* what the op wants. This seems controling to me.

The complaints are all about her mother and some of the pressure to not let the little things go comes from her husband and that it is a big area of contention between them which is why I saw he should back off a bit and respect her relationship with her mother. I really have nooi idea what you are talking about or where the mother in law comes in at all.

If it was the op being critical of her mil I would say she should back off. I don't think what happened in the past is relevant and her dh should have taken a stand then when it mattered imo. Maybe a sit down to talk about how they will deal with little things from now on would be good.
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#30 of 43 Old 10-20-2012, 11:50 AM
 
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My main concern about all this is that I think not being able or willing to listen to other people and really hear and respect what they are saying is extremely toxic. You know, on at least one occastion, I've heard someone refer to a rape as "just a misunderstanding."

 

So to me, the total disregard of what a parent is saying, irregardless of whether that disregard results in severe physical or mental harm befalling the child, is just plain toxic. There's really no room for consistently ignoring the other person in a healthy relationship. Sure, we may sometimes be overwhelmed by a busy day and not pay complete attention to the story that our husband, child, or friend is telling us -- but those of us who really want to do a better job of loving the people in their lives are going to be always trying to do a better job of listening and understanding.

 

Someone who consistently just doesn't listen to me, doesn't love me. And they're just as likely not to listen to my child.

 

I should add that this is coming from someone who doesn't have a good relationship with her relatives. I do still have some contact with my mom; I take my girls to see her a few times a year, but I don't trust her to spend time alone with them. I did trust her to spend one-on-one time with dd1 several years ago; it started when dd was turning 4 and only lasted for a few months. She was saying things to dd1 to undermine my parenting, and I found out because dd1 came to me very upset about what she was saying. She also disregarded my rules about car safety, and allowed dd1 to ride on her cousin's lap in the front seat of her car one time because "it was only for a short trip."

 

And, yes, my own children will (and already have) undoubtedly found me deficient in many ways. I know there's no absolute guarantee that I'll have the close relationships I yearn to have with my children when they are grown, and with their spouses and children. I'm just doing my best to be a good and responsive listener now, because I suspect that Grandmas who can't listen to their adult children probably never learned to listen to them when they were children. So I'm doing my best to create relationships that just get better and stronger with time...but if I fail and end up alone, there are a whole lot of books I've never had the chance to read....

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Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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