Sick of Negative Comments From Grandparents - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 12-22-2010, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Since I have a 2 1/2 week break off for Christmas and live 5 hours from my son's grandparents & 10 hours from his aunts, I decided that we would spend most of our break other than about 3 days visiting where I grew up (9 days where I grew up & 3 days where we used live for the past 7 years until we moved).  We're only to our 4th day in and my dad & his wife driving me up the wall already.  Next year I'm considering only coming for like the 23rd through the 26th or so, but then there goes my son's time with his aunt and grandparents.


Every since my son was born I've been dealing with negative comments regarding the way I parent.  It used to be things like I'll sufficate my son if we co-sleep, my boob will sufficate my son if we co-sleep & nurse, I need to cover if we are going to nurse in public or leave if I don't want to cover, he needs to be fed solids, he needs to take a bottle when we had tried many times and he just wouldn't, he needs to be circumsized, he can't self-feed, etc. Now it's changed into the following dad's wife gives me a dirty look and walks away if my son needs to nurse (she hasn't said anything yet, but I don't think she realized he still nurses until now), just put him in the highchair and let him cry it out so he'll get used to the highchair, he doesn't have any socks on .... so he's going to be cold, he's going  to get ear infection if he doesn't have a hat on, he needs to eat his food, he needs to drink cow's milk not rice milk, he needs to be quiet when he wakes up in the morning 


I never here any positives such as ... he's good at sharing, good at feeling himself even with utensils, he's cute, he has so many words, he's advanced in his development, he's so healthy, he's good at telling me when it's bedtime (he leads me to the bed when he's tired), he's a good helper.  There's tons of positives, but all I get told are negative comments, and it gets old.


I'm seriously considering only visiting for 3-4 days for Christmas, and maybe even saving money to stay at a hotel versus staying at my dad's during tha time.  Maybe visiting for a few hours a day would help to balance things out so it isn't such a negative experience.  Then I worry that my son will miss out on essential time with his aunt though because his aunt stays at my dad's also.  Finding balance is hard, but I guess if it's a negative visit then that's not doing any good anyway.  My oldest sister has a 6 year old daughter and 3 foster children.  They've stopped traveling to my dad's to visit because my dad treats them like crap too.


What would you do?  Would you consider a 3-4 day visit next year will possibly staying in a hotel?  Any other suggestions?  How do you deal with all these negative comments because you parent different than your parernts did?  In my case my dad didn't really do much parenting of us because he worked full-time as a teacher and then would have to farm in the evenings/weekends.  So he really wasn't around a lot when we were infants/toddlers.



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#2 of 10 Old 12-22-2010, 07:20 PM
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I would DEFINITELY curtail the visit next  year. Yes, he'll miss out on his relationship with grandpa -- but if grandpa can only see the negative, what kind of relationship is that? I think the fact that your sister has stopped coming is very telling. He ain't gonna change. Stay in a hotel. Get one with a decent swimming pool. Go visit your dad for a few hours each day and then enjoy yourself at the hotel. Invite the aunts over to join you at the hotel if you really want to see them.


My parents are very positive, and so is my MIL. I find that a 9 day trip to visit them is exhausting. I love them all, but we've stopped traveling over the holidays.

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#3 of 10 Old 12-22-2010, 11:56 PM
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Oh, my goodness!  I am just reading your post and I am sick of their comments.  Way too negative!  You need encouragement and support;   not  criticism and dirty looks. In my opinion, it's not good for you and if they continue with that attitude not good for their relationship with their grandchild.  I agree, stay somewhere else, see them for a few hours. Perhaps that will alleviate some of their unpleasantness.    When they start getting critical - you can choose to leave and go back to your own little sanctuary. I am sorry that they seem to have difficulty enjoying watching you with your child.

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#4 of 10 Old 12-23-2010, 02:10 AM
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I'm going to assume that you've communicated w/ your parents that they are coming across negatively and never give compliments to you about your parenting or to your son. If you've not discussed this w/ them, then you can't expect them to ever change what they're not aware of. 


One thing to carefully consider is, your son will parent differently than you. I was a breastfeeding, co-sleeping (still am w/ one), cloth diapering, homeschooling mama. My oldest daughter is about to leave for college, and she told me that she would never home-school, and would never consider cloth diapering or breastfeeding (it's all too much work). Well, she is going to be my grandchild's mother, and I'll have to keep my opinions to myself. I love and respect her, and it will be her time to parent. Just like, when your son has children, he might let his kids cry it out. 


My advice is to communicate and then communicate again. Explain your parenting style to them and let them know that they probably parented differently than their parents. They need to learn to just enjoy you and your son instead of giving their input.

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#5 of 10 Old 12-23-2010, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by sublimeliving View Post

I'm going to assume that you've communicated w/ your parents that they are coming across negatively and never give compliments to you about your parenting or to your son. If you've not discussed this w/ them, then you can't expect them to ever change what they're not aware of. 


Heh. My parents didn't realize how much they were critizing me for my parenting style (babywearing, co-sleeping, AP etc) until I pointed it out (well, I started crying, but then I was rather short on sleep). Turns out they were telling everyone what a great job I was doing, but forgetting I wasn't there to hear it.

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#6 of 10 Old 12-29-2010, 02:05 PM
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Honestly, I'd just say it like it is. Next time they start shooting you eye daggers and mean words, speak up. Tell them that if they continue to treat you rudely you will leave and/or not visit any more. Spend Christmas with people who treat you decent.

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#7 of 10 Old 01-03-2011, 07:40 PM
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I agree with PPs who said you should talk to the grandparents about how you feel. My dad has this really annoying habit of stepping in to "save" my son when he is in timeout. He'll either take him out of the time out before I have had a chance to talk to him about why he's there, or he will talk to him while he's crying in timeout...which makes the drama much more intense. It's really irritating. Tonight, for example, I put my son in timeout and my dad started talking to him because he was crying and he started crying louder. So I said to my dad, "Please don't talk to him while he's in timeout, it just makes it worse." My dad stopped and the drama stopped. 


My dad would have freaked out if anyone made negative comments about his parenting when I was a kid and especially if anyone tried to interfere. Therefore, it's really important that you let Grandma and Grandpa know how their comments make you feel. If you haven't communicated with them how hurtful they are being, I don't really think it's fair to cut a visit short. If, on the other hand, you tell them how you feel and they continue to make comments, you have every right in the world to cut your visit short.

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#8 of 10 Old 01-04-2011, 10:34 AM
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I haven't had time to read all the comments but wanted to reply.  I had a similar situation with my parents last Christmas.  I felt so bad after we left that I wrote my dad a letter.  I basically said that I got the idea that he didn't enjoy the time with us and would be prefer that next time we came, that we stayed in a hotel.  Now, I knew that he would NEVER want that but I wanted to lay it out for him in a nice, calm way.  I also chose a letter to give him time to absorb what I said before we spoke.  We talked later and things have been great ever since.  I do think that a lot of the critisizm can potentially come from a place of love, but just not come out right.  As strongly as we feel about the way we were parented they learned things differently and feel as strongly.  feed that baby solids or they will starve! Let them cry or they will never be independent! These are all things that THEY were taught and it can be hard to learn a new way of doing things.


Good luck with whatever you do.

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#9 of 10 Old 01-04-2011, 10:42 AM
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I'm taking from your post that this is your first child?  People just can't seem to resist giving unwanted advice to first-time moms.  I was exhausted from all of it with my first and got pretty defensive from time to time "I'm his mom and I'll handle it my way!"  If it's any consolation, once you have the 2nd, people seem to cut down on the advice...or at least your too busy to hear it.:)


On the other side of the coin..I'm a mom of 4 and have lots of tricks up my sleeve.  It's really hard not to share "You know, a sling would be so much easier on you than toting that baby in a bucket."  I have to bite my tongue and remember that she'll find her own way, even if my back aches watching her carry the bucket. 

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#10 of 10 Old 01-04-2011, 10:42 AM
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Three days seems like a long time imo. I would probably do three hours a day for a couples days.

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