Parental interference rant thread - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-05-2008, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So after something that happened yesterday and the Olive/Olivia thread, I thought maybe it'd be good to have a thread where we can all rant/comiserate about how other people are constantly trying to butt in and complain about or change our parenting choices.

So, all pregnancy my parents have been complaining about ALL of our parenting choices, from cosleeping to the gear we're buying for them. I literally do not think there is a parenting choice we've made that they have not complained and nagged us about. Not a one. So we've sort of just learned to tune them out, because no matter how logical and well thought out our reasons are for parenting the way we want to, they find fault with it. So two big bones of contention have been the twins' names and the fact that we're cloth diapering. They *hate* our names and insist that they WILL NOT call our kids by their names when they're born. We've heard every excuse in the book about our names: Lucius sounds too much like Lucifer, Tesla is a stupid name, they'll never get jobs with those names, kids will make fun of them, on and on and on. They were also refusing to cloth diaper the twins, saying they won't change a cloth diaper. Okay, then you won't change them. Now yesterday, they tell me that cloth diapers "gross them out" and that my kids will not even be allowed IN THEIR HOUSE wearing cloth diapers! EXCUSE ME??? WTF? Are you f*cking kidding me??? They honestly expect me to buy disposable diapers to put on the twins just to go over to their house. I told them it makes no sense for me buy cloth diapers, and then turn around and have to buy disposable diapers just for them to wear over to their house. They don't care. They will not let the kids come into their house wearing cloth diapers. Then they told me to discuss it with DH and get back to them. When i got off the phone, dh and I just looked at each other and said not no, but hell no! I am sick and tired of them overstepping their bounds and this was just the last straw. Besides the fact that these are our kids and we will parent them anyway we want, it is ridiculous to honestly expect us to buy diapers just to take them over to their house. We're cloth diapering because it's more convienent for us. It saves us money, it saves us from having to run out at 2 am to find diapers (which also saves us gas), we don't like all of the chemicals that are in disposable diapers, we don't like their environmental impact, cloth diapers hold in exclusively bf poo better, and imho cloth diapers are cuter. So we're just supposed to let go of all of those reasons and incure the added expense of buying diapers every week/month just because cloth diapers gross them out? I don't think so, and i think it's disrespectful to expect us to. So i guess the kids just won't be going over there then. Which is sad, but i've got to say not unexpected. Dh and I had already planned to use a nanny/babysitter when necessary rather than dropping the kids off at my parents because they don't agree with our parenting choices and wouldn't abide by them. I mean, am i wrong to be pissed off about this? It just seems very disrespectful to me as a parent. And then there's the question of where does it end? I don't want my kids spanked, but it's okay if they spank them? : I know others have to be having issues like these, right? Does it irk you? How do you deal with it?

SAHM to 2 year olds Tesla and Lucius. twins.gif
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:43 PM
 
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Well, I'm not in exactly the same situation because I already have two kids but you have to do what's right for you. I think that often grandparents soften a bit when the baby or babies arrive and they see that you are not totally incompetent. At this point, they feel that you know nothing and they are superior because they have already been parents. I'm sure it's different in every family and may be difficult but you need to stand up for your beliefs. I just wouldn't bring my kids over if they felt they could dictate the type of diaper my child should wear. I would not ask them to change them though.

I have great differences of opinion with my mother over child rearing but luckily for the first few years we didn't live close together at all. I still think she is too harsh in discipline and have differences of opinion but she loves her grandkids and will pretty much do what I ask because she knows I am strong enough to not bring them if she doesn't treat them in a manner I am comfortable with (ie no spanking and other things).
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:47 PM
 
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You must be my long-lost sister, because your story is so familiar, except that in my case it wasn't only my mother, but her sisters, too. And sadly, three years later, even though my son is thriving, bright and well-adjusted (most of the time), it hasn't completely stopped. Just set firm boundaries, and stop talking about your choices with them. I know it is harder than it sounds, but some parents think that talking to them about your parenting choices means that you are seeking their approval. It is much easier simply not to talk about such things. When my family realized that they could either shut up or never see my son, they eventually learned to hold their tongues as much as possible. You need your peace in the final weeks of pregnancy; the best thing to do is not have these discussions, even if it means having less contact for a while.
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:48 PM
 
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It is time to set boundaries! You are not out of line--if your children won't be allowed into their house then just tell them they are welcome to come to your house to visit. It is their choice to be stinky (pardon the pun.) And it sounds like if you don't start setting boundaries now, there will be continuous issues.
I know my ILs don't agree with many of our choices but they haven't pushed it this far. Although, today, my FIL asked (again) if we have chosen a name. When I said no, he asked if we are open to hearing any more suggestions. I just said "No." My MIL also completely disregards our wishes about food choices but I have just decided that it isn't putting my child in danger for the limited times when she is there. I also know it isn't intentional, just not educated, and she isn't willing/interested/able to relearn her ways. In our case, I would rather DD have the relationship with gramma than make a stink over food. But, I would over an issue like not allowing cloth diapers in the house. Silly.

Good luck, momma.
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Old 06-05-2008, 10:31 PM
 
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When I had my first child 16 years ago my parents thought I was nuts for cloth diapering and nursing. As the children kept coming I stopped immunizing, started co sleeping and baby wearing and began homeschooling and (gasp) had homebirths. My dad still asks when I'm going to see a "real" doctor.....Alas - they do agree with most of my parenting choices now and chastize other, more mainstream choices. My parents wouldn't even let me nurse in open areas of their house. I had to be in a bedroom. They have softened, though. Just stick to your guns and try to be patient. I have found that many parents find it to be a slap in the face if you choose different parenting styles than what they did with you. I would just tell your parents that you're sorry they feel that way but you will respect their house rules and not bring your babies there. I guarentee their opinions will change when they see your beautiful children!

Amy - Blessed wife to Jesse (the best dad in the world), mother of 10 on earth plus 8 in heaven.   PROUD to be a Catholic! : winner.jpg familybed2.gifhomeschool.gif

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Old 06-05-2008, 10:32 PM
 
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I totally understand the problems you are having with the folks. My parents had issues with my parenting choices too. They were adamant that I could not nurse in front of them. They told me that it was primitive, gross, and low-class. I figured if they showed up at feeding time I would compromise and go into the other room.
How about a compromise. Buy one pack of g-diapers and bring them over to your folks and leave them there for when you visit. Explain that they can buy the next pack and that the chemicals in every other diaper are unnacceptable to you. Or, show them the all in ones. Otherwise, explain that they won't be able to see you for a while unless they come to your house.
Good luck!
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Old 06-05-2008, 10:37 PM
 
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I don't know your parents but I know if it were mine and they said that i would say - "fine, I guess we aren't frequenting your house at all. Just remember it is YOUR fault that your grandchildren are deprived of their grandparents" and see what response that gets? After they are born I would guess their tune will change once they see how awesome cloth diapers are nowadays (are they just picturing the metal pins in the white cloth and sagging off the butt?)

My argument with family is the whole circ thing. This is our first boy so I am getting lots of opinions and saying how gross it would be to not circ (this is from my parents). When they have done all the current research like I have then they may be enititled to an opinion only, but I am the parent and will decide what's best for my children (not circing).

There was some advice I got from my mom when i was pg with my first - you will get lots of advice from people that know what they're talking about and some that know nothing. "File" the info in your head and either save it for later or ignore it, but it can't be avoided.

Jenn (36), wife to DH for 13 years, DD1(13) , DD2(10) and DS(4)

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Old 06-05-2008, 10:38 PM
 
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And I thought my ILs were bad! All I can say is *hugs* sorry your parents are being so irrational. I've done the whole nod and smile thing in regards to where I'm birthing this babe with my ILs, (and I am pretty sure they still don't have a clue we are doing it at home) but you can't really do that with the cloth diapers. I would just never let them change the baby's diaper then, because I would assume that most of the time the babies will have clothes over the diaper when you go over there and seriously, are they going to do a diaper check? It's their loss if they don't want to be a part of their grandchildren's life over something that easily rectified.

That being said, most people looked at me crazy when I said we were cloth diapering, but I showed them the BumGenius' 3.0 we have and how close it was to a disposable and they changed their minds. I'm doing prefolds and covers at home, though - don't know what CDs you are using but it might be worth it to show them how far cloth diapers have evolved since the 80s - I know my sister (born in 89) was cloth diapered in prefolds and those crackly plastic gerber covers, it may be that your parents have some preconceived notions about cloth diapers.

As to the whole name thing - you should tell them that they had their chance to name their children and now it is you and your DH's chance. You could also start calling them different names to prove your point - instead of mom and dad just start calling them random names (Fred and Ethel, Lucy and Ricky to name a few). I'm really sorry your parents are acting like this.

Btw, what does Tesla mean? I've never heard it before and it's cool!

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Old 06-06-2008, 12:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the hugs. I really needed them.

I've tried not talking about this with them, but they constantly bring it up out of nowhere. Other relatives have said things, but once i tell them that this is what we've decided, they drop it. Then again, all other relatives live states and states away... my parents are 20 min from us. I think the next time they bring it up, i'll simply tell them that it's not up for discussion, though i doubt it will deter them. As for the diapers, I've shown them the diapers we're getting. We're getting the mum's bums AIOs. They said they don't care that they go on just like disposables, they're not changing them. So we said "ok, we don't expect you to change their diapers then." I guess it's frustrating because it seems like its less about the diapers and more about control and brow-beating us into submission. It seems like if it was about the diapers, a simple "don't change them" would suffice. But it's not enough unless we're doing what THEY want us to do. Now they don't even want the diapers in their house at all. They think it's gross to poop in something and then wash it and wear it again. I don't see any difference between wearing cloth diapers and wearing underwear (i mean, s**t happens ). If they aren't changing them or having to wash them, i don't see what the deal is.

Ekblad- i guess maybe it's like you said and they find it a slap in the face that we're doing things differently. I don't understand it, but maybe they feel that way.

HulaJenn- us not circ'ing has been another big bone (no pun intended) of contention. They're still expecting us to change our mind (we're not) but as of now there are no "sanctions" for us deciding to not circ. Lots of other people have given us advice, and we've taken some and left the rest, but my parents get really offended and mad and want to "punish" us when we don't take their advice and do things their way.

kalamos- yeah, they weren't happy with the homebirth either, therefore they're not invited to the birth. not like it's stopped them from constantly commenting that my midwives are "quacks" (GA doesn't recognize any midwives other than CNM's) even though between the two of them they have 35+ years of experience : As for the name, we'd heard of it because Nikola Tesla invented the Tesla coil, discovered A/C current, wireless communication and a few other things. None of that mattered though, we just liked the name alot. It was later brought to our attention that it was also an 80s metal band! lol.

As stupid as i think it is, i guess i'm just not going to take the kids over there when they're born if they refuse to allow cloth diapers to even enter their house. *sigh* Other than refusing to buy new diapers just to take the babies over to their house, how do i set boundaries with them? How did you guys set boundaries with your relatives?

SAHM to 2 year olds Tesla and Lucius. twins.gif
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Old 06-06-2008, 12:28 AM
 
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Well, it's a good thing they aren't changing any diapers, as it'll avoid the whole "oops, I retracted him! Now you have to FIX his penis!" scenario... EEK!!!

Once the babes get here, they'll either get over it, or they'll get over it.

Sunny coolshine.gif: gun toting, retired breastfeeding, car seat loving, guitar playing, home birthing and schooling mama to Jakob (10.06), Mikah (07.08) and Korah (07.11). uc.jpg 

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Old 06-06-2008, 12:29 AM
 
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Oh yeah, we're all supposed to rant and commiserate...

"If she's not going to have a midwife there, then I just can't be there to be her support during labor. If something happened to the baby, I'd never forgive myself."

Because it's all about YOU, lemme tell ya.

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Old 06-06-2008, 01:13 AM
 
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Oh man! Sorry you have to deal with that! It sounds like a manipulative technique to me. I'd ignore it. If that's how they want to play it (and yes, it does sound like they're trying to play games), I guess they won't get to see the babies very much!
For what it's worth, when I was cloth-diapering my other children, I never expected anybody else to change their diapers. To the uninitiated, it is more complicated than changing a disposable. I can respect that. It's never been an issue for us, though, since we almost never get an offer to babysit. Also, with my breastfeeding, I always stayed close to my "nurslings", so even when MIL did watch my toddler for a brief period of time, I'd just make sure she was in a fresh cloth diaper right before I left, and then I'd change her as soon as I got back. So MIL never had to change a cloth diaper.
Kids screaming, must go.

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Old 06-06-2008, 04:57 AM
 
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I think I figured out my mother's subconcious reason for being so anti all my choices - she feels like my choices are a criticism of hers, as if I'm judging the choices she made as bad. She didn't breastfeed and was doing her damndest to put me off it ("It's like being burned by a candle all day every day, your whole nipples will peel off" etc ) until I dug a little deeper and found out she'd had supply problems, plus pointed out that we all probably had a really bad latch and there weren't any LC to help in those days. Immediately she felt better and less like me wanting to bf was a judgement of her, so she backed off.

She hates that I want the birth to be as intervention free as possible, as again she feels like it's me judging her for having an epidural. So of course, all I hear is how I'll go through one contraction and be screaming for an epi. Because of course, if I manage to go through a birth without pain relief, it'll make her seem like a worse mom, right? So again I point out that we know more these days about the risks involved with epis, and that there's also benefits to going without pain relief that I'm anxious to access, but that they didn't know about those benefits when I was born. This reassures her again that I'm not trying to judge her and that "things were just different in those days".

It's really all a big defensive thing with her. She also hates that I want to CD and is convinced that DH won't be able to figure out how to work a sling (as he's just that stupid), but since realising it is a defensive thing I've been less defensive myself with her and have managed to bring her around to many of my views with gentle, reasoned discussion that respects her views and doesn't reject them completely.

But if she gave me an ultimatum like that, she wouldn't see the baby. I do not react well to ultimatums!
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Old 06-06-2008, 07:40 AM
 
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Both my dad and my MIL have had short talks to me about how 3 kids is enough. As if they get any say in how many children DH and I decide to fill our lives with. They were both quite polite and short about it htough, so that was nice. Just a quick statement of their opinion (dad: one to replace you and Dh and an extra to expand the population; MIL more than 3 and the middle children don't get enough time from mom and dad (she was the middle of 6 kids and of course how her parents raised them is not how we may choose to raise our children) and then changed the subject.

But still, it's irritating to me to have to hear it from them. I guess because it feels they will not accept further grandchildren from us? *sigh* Maybe because we just don't have any support system here and so it feels like further support is being ripped out from under us... i dunno.

Mum to DS (8yrs), DD (6yrs), and DS(3.5yrs). kid.gif

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Old 06-06-2008, 11:13 AM
 
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parents ca be so frustrating. I'm pretty lucky about having my mom and mil don't really butt in on anything - they know we're both very strong minded and wouldn't put up with anything and will happily tell them to shut up. I am also extremely thankful that dh is on the same page with me for everything.

But when talking to my mom about babywearing and ap parenting (somehow it worked itself into a totally unrelated conversation) -- my mom went on and on about how unfair that will be to dd (12) because I didn't do that with her and she'll notice and feel bad. Guess I should just keep making all the same mistakes I did with her this time just to not make her feel bad? She really kept insisting that I not do any of that because dd will think we love her less. Yeah, I won't be surprised if dd notices difference in how her younger sibling is raised, but I'm also sure she can understand the difference of learning experience on my part (was 15 when I had dd) and our life circumstances have changed greatly too.

Karen happily partnered mother of 3 beautiful girls (teen/toddler/newborn).
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Old 06-06-2008, 11:22 AM
 
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I think setting boundaries with our parents is an ultra hard thing to do. They are OUR parents and sometimes it does make them defensive if we are suddenly telling them what to do or like PP's said, doing something they never did so it feels like a judgement of their "supposed" bad parenting. I know from experience that they get over it and enjoy how different it is to be the grandparent and trust that what values they instilled in us will make us great parents.
I told my family before my first dd was born that i would not be bringing their first grandchild over until everyone stopped smoking in the house (even when we were not there). It was an issue before she was born (especially me telling them what to do -or not to do- in their own house), but after, it became so irrelevant in the scheme of things.

They will come to appreciate how parenting has evolved and how they don't have to worry about that part of it. They just get to feed the kids candy and send them home! LOL

Jenn (36), wife to DH for 13 years, DD1(13) , DD2(10) and DS(4)

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