Advice on dealing with a Grandma? - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-22-2006, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My mom lives close by and DS is her first grandchild and she is VERY excited and eager to be involved. Given the choice I wouldn't live so close to my mother (she moved here after I did to be near me), so I'm still figuring out how to have her be involved without losing my sanity. But right now I'm struggling with one issue in particular which is her driving. She gets into car accidents a lot -- she had her license taken away a few years ago for too many speeding tickets in one year. When I was in the car with her and pregnant she went right through a stop sign because she didn't even notice it. And now she keeps asking me when she should get a carseat for her car. I'm scared to let DS in the car with her (I'm scared to get in her car myself!). But given that she lives here and will be doing some babysitting when I get back to work I don't know that it's feasible for me to tell her not to drive my son around ever. Not to mention that bringing up this subject at all with her is going to be a nighhtmare. She has boundary issues and whenever I call her on them she pulls this whole guilt trip/martyr routine.
Has anyone had any sort of similar sticky family situations and figured out any good solutions?
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Old 12-22-2006, 07:12 PM
 
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Yikes! That's a tough one but in my opinion, your baby's safety is the most important thing in the world. I have a similar issue with my husband's stepmom. She's an alcoholic and is quite often either drunk or has taken too many "painkillers" or whatever else she is on and is somewhat spacy. I would never EVER let my daughter in a car with her even though she has driven around other family members. As well, one of my husband's sisters babysits for his other sister's son. And there is no way that I would let that happen on a regular basis either for a number of reasons.

I'm lucky though b/c we're moving in 6 weeks and I won't have to even deal with these issues. But if I did have to, I would have no problem laying down the law. I know it might be tougher since it is your mom, but I would just be open and honest with her. It's not just your opinion - she has a history of bad driving! She has to know it especially since she has had her liscense taken away in the past and has had car accidents & tickets. She'll understand your concern even though it might hurt her.

But could you really live with yourself if God forbid something were to happen to your son while in the car with her?

Good luck to you though....its tough when its a family member!!!
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Old 12-22-2006, 07:49 PM
 
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oh my yes, i am right there with you. except my mom doesn't drive anymore. our issue was that during my pregnancy she kept saying how excited she was to babysit, eventhough i already knew that would never happen. my mom has severe depression and a congitive disorder that makes her very high needs. she falls alot, forgets almost everything and baiscally can't function on her own. she too lives down the street, much to my dismay.

i finally just got the courage to tell her the truth one day. she did not take it well. i got the whole victim marytr story for a week or 2, then she got over it. i know deep down she knew the truth and i'll bet your mom does too. i think it is just hard to accept. I totally feel for you! my best advice would be to not wait too much longer. it is only hurting you with the anxitey of it all.

so i know it's not what you want to hear, but the truth..sooner than later is really the only option. i think with mom's like ours nothing is "easy". by the way... this may sound harsh, but you ABSOLUTLY CAN tell her not to drive your sweet little man around. You are his mother and as mom's our first job is to keep our babe out of harms way and sounds like your mom's car is harms way. there are always solutions to every problem and although you may not see one right now it is still important you trust your intuition, and that is you not feeling right about your mom driving your son around.

i hope you figure this all out. i totally feel your pain, it sucks to have issues like this with our mom's. don't we all just want the "perfect mom"? i don't think she exists, but we just have to do the best with the one's we have and love em.
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Old 12-28-2006, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for your support! It's nice to hear that there are other folks who know what I'm talking about (of course I wish none of us had to deal with such things!). I'm still trying to decide if I am going to make the decision to not allow her to drive him ever, so I'm still putting off the conversation. But I know I need to have it soon. I almost wish my mom were an alcoholic because then it would be much more of a black and white issue. My mother knows that I think she's a bad driver, but I don't think that SHE thinks she's a bad driver. She just thinks I'm overly critical. She's actually in the process of giving us her beaten up car so that my husband and I will each have a car -- that will actually make it a lot easier for me to not allow her to drive the baby, because it will be much easier for me to drop him off & pick him up at her house. Anyway, just wanted to thank you for commiserating!
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Old 12-28-2006, 09:07 PM
 
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You've just got to face a very difficult conversation with your mom. You are a mom now and your baby's safety is your primary concern. Just think of this as the first of many situations in which you will have to speak and act for your child because your child can't do it for herself yet.
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Old 12-29-2006, 05:48 PM
 
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I was in a similar situation. My mom was diagnosed with schitzophrenia a few years back, but she really wanted to be involved in DD's life. She is also a poor driver. She is, however, an awesome lady, so I don't want to begrudge her a grandchild.

When I had DD, I told my mom that this was my child, so what I thought was best goes. She agreed. So, now she watches her for about 3 hours a week while my BF and I go on "date night". We always stay close by, so if she starts freaking out, or something happens to Keagan, we are just a couple of minutes away, and we always have our cells on us. It helps us both out. She gets a grandchild, and I get some "adult time" with DD's dad.
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