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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been trying to figure out how to put the dynamics between my parents, myself, and my 2.5 year old son into words for several weeks now.<br><br>
My mom has always had a very close connection with my son. I had to live with them for several weeks, and just recently moved into our own place last week. This has been hard on my child, even though it's about 10 mins away. When I lived with my parents, I disliked how they just pretty much took over raising my son without my sayso and approval. My mom just kind of pretended like he was her kid, and just took over feeding him and changing him and bathing him without asking me, or letting me know, or anything. She just pretended like he was her long lost kid or something, and that I was some side sister. It was ok, at first, I got a break, but then I got lazy. There was never anything for me to "do" because she always had done it already. It was really nerve wracking.<br><br>
Add to this that she doesn't parent the way I would like to have my son raised. She fusses at him for having temper tantrums, something that I have been reading in the GD forum about how to handle differently (and my methods have been working better for us.) It's a bunch of little things. She harps on him for closing doors because "he might close them on his fingers", and is always on pins and needles when he runs through the house or spins around and exhibits any (what I consider) normal 2 year old behavior because she's afraid he'll hurt himself. She's always talking to him in this loud sing-song voice that gets annoying, and generally micromanages everything he does. And he's an extremely picky eater, and not up to par in her size category. She would sit him in this high chair and put food in front of him. And when he would ask to get down, she would tell him to finish his food first. I would ALWAYS go ahead and get him and put him on the floor if he didn't want anything else to eat. If I was taking care of him and he fussed and threw a temper tantrum, she would try to jump in from across the room and fuss at him for tantruming.<br><br>
My dad is not much better. My child has this thing recently where he ignores you blatantly and purposely (with a huge grin on his face) when you tell him to do something. I always tried to jump in when he did this to my parents talk to him about listenining to grandma and grandaddy, and one day my dad just blatantly underminded my authority with my own child by telling me to stop talking to him when I was having a conversation with him about listening to Grandaddy. He told me that "He had already handled it" and that "I can't teach him how to respect HIM. He would have to do that." I sat down and had a talk with my dad about this and told him I totally disagree and that I had SOMETHING to do with teaching him how to respect other adults. He agreed with this. We also had an argument about discipline one day when my son disobeyed my mom while I was watching him, and she tapped him extremely lightly on the bottom while I was talking to him about listening to her and it hurt it's feelings really bad. And it was this huge thing because "So now we have to call you every time we need to discipline him???"<br><br>
Their approach to tantruming is really a problem. I prefer to face the impending tantrum head on and deal with it, and walk my child through his feelings that he can't handle. "I know you wanted it, I know. I understand you're mad about it." They, on the other hand, prefer use trickery, bribery, lying, misleading, and any other means that they can to avoid a tantrum. I can't always do this with my child. I can't always walk him a mile around the playground just to distract him while grandma leaves. I"m not going to tell him that grandma "is coming right back" if she isn't. It just doesn't seem right.<br><br><br>
But moving away from them last week was really hard on him. Since she had basically taken over everything, he was really confused. He wanted HER instead of me. He cried for an hour because she wasn't around. Whenever he sees her it starts all over again. He's fine when he's with us but he scream, kick, and scratch to get down when he glimpses her. (We live in the same small town, go to the same church, etc...)<br><br>
They were out of town this weekend and I spent time with my little one connected with him, with fingerpaints, visits to the park, etc and we were doing extremely well.<br><br>
But it all came to a head today when I ran into my mom in the grocery store. He kept reaching for her since we were shopping on the same aisle. So I let him go to her. Then we were going in seperate directions so I told him it was time for him to sit back down in the basket. She tried to ignore me. I said it again, "Look, you can sit in the big part at the bottom" (he likes that) she tried to put him down, he hung onto her for dear life. So she tried to laugh it off and kept shopping with him on her hip. I was like, Look ma, I gotta go. She was like, "ain't yall coming over to the house anyway today?" (Implying that I needed to just leave him with her and let her take him home with her and come and get him later...) I was like, "I don't know if i'm coming all the way out there today, we need to go, we might be out there later". And she was like, "he's going to get mad!" I was like, "I know he will, he'll get mad and get his frustrations out and then he will be ok." So she put him in the basket and he threw a tantrum and then she grabs my waste, starts hiding behind me and going through some hysteric motion of pretending she was coming right behind me, and my child is getting frantic looking for her. So I take him screaming and hollering over to see the monster truck toys (all the way on the other side of the store) and he screamed and screamed and kicked all the way over there until he got to the trucks and promptly shut up and started talking about them.<br><br>
I'm pretty sure my aunt flo hormones have me rambling at this point, but the whole thing has gotten me bummed out. I have NEVER seen a child act this way about a grandmother. It seems to be less than "I love grandma I want to be with her..." type thing and more of a confusion type thing. It's almost as if he thinks she is his mother or something. It's extremely difficult to explain.<br><br>
I'm pretty sure I'm going to get a lot of "Aw gee, all kids love their grandma's" responses. I get that a lot. I have seen it. But I have never seen it to this extent. FWIW it got worse when I got a job and she had to take care of him some on a regular basis. I think that the way they undermind me and my parenting wishes and just totally overstep me and do whatever they think needs to be done without uttering a word to me is what has him confused.<br><br>
Once I asked my dad why he (my child) runs to her when he hurts himself instead of to me. He told me that my mom raised more kids than I have (he is my only) and therefore she is more experienced at raising children than I am. Does that sound right? I mean, I have never ran to my grandma or some other woman I knew because they were "more experienced" at raising kids than my mom. My mom was MY MOM.<br><br>
This whole thing has me confused and totally bummed out. I don't know. It just doesn't seem right to me.
 

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My friend is a single mom to 2 boys, and now a full time teacher, who lives with her parents, She desperately wants to move out of their house (and I'm sitting in the wings wondering WHY? since her parents live in a great neighborhood, a huge house, and can help her parent). But she wants to exactly for the reasons you listed, which is basically that living in your parents house automatically makes you into the child again, even if you are a parent. This is the main problem you are facing.<br><br>
It sounds like your mom adored being the needed mom again, and just jumped into that role. I completely understand why you would allow her to help, even to a point of doing the majority of the work at first, because parenting is SO hard and a break just feels wonderful. Also, there's no way you could have known that gma wasn't going to "give your son back". <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
The problem NOW is that gma and gpa aren't on YOUR side. They seem to still see you as their child, and your child ALSO as their child. So, when you try to exert your authority, they are resisting. It also sounds like your parents are bigger pushovers than you are, and honestly, toddlers prefer that (even if they don't really, and even though it's not good for them....they just like feeling that they are in control). So, it makes sense that your ds is yearning for gma right now.<br><br>
What needs to happen is that you need to tell your parents that YOU are your ds' mother, and THEY are the grandparents. Tell them that you are eternally grateful to them for their support, and that you are ecstatic that your ds has such loving and caring grandparents. However!! YOU are the mom, and their behavior has been undermining your authority. You need them to work with you to help your ds to see that he lives with mama and visits gma and gpa. Tell them that if they can't assist you in easing this transition for your ds, then you will have no choice but to temporarily cut off contact with them in order to reestablish yourself as the primary care giver. I bet THAT would get their attention! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Don't beat yourself up. You didn't do anything wrong, and I think this is the general pattern that occurs when children live with their parents, even when they are parents themselves. You need to get your parents to help you, and if they won't help you and continue to undermine you, you need to make it clear to them that you will limit their contact with your son.<br><br>
And FWIW, it sounds like the parenting choices you are making are really awesome!
 

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It sounds like your mom was a really big part of his life. It sounds like he spent more time with her than with you. Even you said you got lazy and let her do everything. It is going to be a time of transitioning. but each day will get a little easier. Dont' try to squash what they have. It doesn't sound like anything his grandma has done has hurt his relationship with her so I wouldn't worry too much about how she interacts with him. It all sounds different from you but harmless. in the mean time keep encouraging their relationship while letting him and your parents know that you are his mom and that you call the shots. again it will take some time but now that there is space between you and you are able to be more in charge things should start leveling out more. in the mean time be glad your parents were willing to be so helpful and they have such a close relationship with your son. things really could be a lot worse.
 

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It sounds like you need to set some boundaries with your parents. I agree with the PP that your parents aren't on your side and they're pushovers. That's fine when you see your parents every few weeks, but it sounds like you see them most days. Since your parents are so involved in the life of your son, you're going to have to make them understand that they have to enforce the rules that you set. They also must support the fact that you are the child's mother. When it is time to go, they should give a quick hug and kiss and be happy about your son leaving. It's kind of like leaving a child at a sitters, you have to be positive about the departure. If the children see that you're sad and distressed, then they cling. Your parents may be acting sad that he's leaving, so he clings to them.<br><br>
This won't last forever, even if you do nothing to change it. The real issue is your parents respecting you as a parent.<br>
Lisa
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's all really good suggestions. But I'm still drawing a blank. (Sorry, I get fuzzy in the brain when aunt flo visits. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch"> <--that's me. )<br><br>
They will ask me exactly what they did wrong, and I won't have a specific answer for them. They won't "get it" unless you give them specific examples and tell them what they should have done instead. What are they supposed to do when my child basically jumps into their arms as if he is trying to be saved from death everytime he sees them? When we are in church, I would prefer for my child to sit with me. I try to understand his energy needs, let him bring a small toy, and gd him. But he doesn't want to stay with me, as soon as he catches a glimpse of them, he is headed over there with a quickness. They shush him, take his little toy away (they think toys at church is a no-no, even for a 2.5 year old, even if it's just one itty bitty monster truck he can roll around quietly <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch">), and make him sit down. If we try to take him away from them, and he doesn't want to go, then they don't give him back to us and take him and go and sit down with him. (He NEVER wants to come back to us...)<br><br>
I have issues because they are very much not opposed to spanking. They have very very lightly tapped and I don't like it. And my child can be extremely oppositional to them. How can I teach him to respect them in a gentle way if he is always with them and they take him away and I don't know about it till after the fact?<br><br>
And I didn't want to mention it. I really didn't. But I have been struggling with this "bad feeling" about my mom. She always seems so eager to change him or bathe him. And she has to do this behind closed doors all the time. Before she tells me anything about it. I mean, one morning a couple weeks ago, we were getting up and getting ready to go somewhere, and my child runs out of her bathroom door naked. And she's like, "I went ahead and gave him his wash up for you." And I'm like,............how did you know we hadn't already done it? She's like...oh. Well, I just did it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
She does that A LOT. I grew up with this general vague "bad feeling" about her when it came to my nieces and nephews. I don't have any vivid memories, and it really squigs me out when it comes to my child. I wouldn't dare blame her for anything though, because I think she means the best. She just seems to have a slight vague obsessions with my child's private parts. My husband noticed it too, but he is also reluctant to asign any wrongdoing. It's just weird, and he notices it. And I know she's not hurting him or anything like that. I do notice that he got a lot of diaper rash with her and now that we moved away it cleared up and we haven't had any more trouble. But that doesn't mean anything.<br><br>
Wow my ramblings took a turn down a road that I didn't particularly want to go down, but what can I say? It's bothered me for a very very long time, ever since my very first nephew when I was 12 years old. I just knew I didn't want her to change him. It made me feel bad inside. I could never tell them any of this. Ever. It just bothers me that she does this without saying anything at all whatsoever to me. Even after I tell her repeatedly to tell me before she bathes him because I may already have done it, and she NEVER tells me. EVER.<br><br>
But anyhow, they are never wrong. I always am. I have had several conversations about them undermining me. Once my dad yelled at me in front of him, and I made him promise to never yell at me in front of him ever again. And he was ok with it. In their day, grandparents disciplined the kids with the parents right there like it wasn't nothing. But that is not ok with me. It really irks me how I have to ask my mom repeatedly to give me my chlid back and she won't do it at first.<br><br>
I get across to my dad a little bit better than to my mom. My mom has told me before that she thinks I dont' know what I'm doing. She justifies her behavior by stating that she had a very close relationship with her grandmother. that I "know how she is" etc etc etc. My mom won't listen to reason.<br><br><br><br>
I dunno, just rambling again. Fuzzy brain, so sorry. I'm thinking about switching to a job that works around my husband's schedule so that me and him can take turns keeping him and keep his visits to my parents narrowed down a bit. I would never stop him from going over there and seeing them at all, but I do need to reestablish my authority.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>gabysmom617</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9825250"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
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What are they supposed to do when my child basically jumps into their arms as if he is trying to be saved from death every time he sees them?</div>
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Is this really such a big deal? I mean you have to feel a little rejected but really. he is just a boy who loves his grandma. My kids pitch a big hissy fit every time I show up to grandmas to pick them up. It sucks but I am glad they have such a close relationship with their grandparents.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>gabysmom617</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9825250"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">When we are in church, I would prefer for my child to sit with me. I try to understand his energy needs, let him bring a small toy, and gd him. But he doesn't want to stay with me, as soon as he catches a glimpse of them, he is headed over there with a quickness. They shush him, take his little toy away (they think toys at church is a no-no, even for a 2.5 year old, even if it's just one itty bitty monster truck he can roll around quietly <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch">), and make him sit down.</div>
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why not sit by them? Then he doesn't ave to choose. Let them help. At our church the grandkids, parents and grandparents all sit together. There is generally no toys, no snacks, no coloring and a 3 hour service. People take all the help with the littles that they can get. does he protest when they take the toy away? if not what is the problem with that? Toys are fine if you need them but no reason to have them if your child can make it through the service without them. I say let them help. if they are not creating a distraction for him and can get him to participate accept their help at church and save your battles for the important things (you know like the nekkid stuff).<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>gabysmom617</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9825250"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If we try to take him away from them, and he doesn't want to go, then they don't give him back to us and take him and go and sit down with him. (He NEVER wants to come back to us...)<br></div>
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Well I don't know how this would work with GD but in our house you obey mommy and daddy. and failure to obey is the issue (not so much whatever it is they want to do - such as stay with grandma) and refusing to do what we say is not a way to get what you want. even if you don't want to make obedience an issue with your child perhaps you could let your parents believe this is something you are working on. "mom dad, you are not helping him learn to obey. please help me out here and let him know you expect him to come to me when I tell him it is time to come." just be careful what you ask of him in front of them. and let them know that you will handle any disobedience your way. They sound like the sort of people who might respect that.<br><br>
as for the bathing and diaper changing . . . .i don't know if you have any reason to worry but you don't need one. This is the spot i would save my battles for. I would put my foot down and exert my authority starting here. Let her shop with him, let her be his church buddy, parade him around to her friends whatever; but no more diapers or baths or anything without clothes. Tell her whatever you want. tell her you are not comfortable with anyone besides you doing that, he is getting older, want that job whatever just tell her no more. You don't need a good reason. Just tell her you are not comfortable with all this naked stuff and you are a little squicked out by her obsession with it. If she protests all you have to say is "see! Thats what I am talking about!!"
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lilyka</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9826440"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Is this really such a big deal? I mean you have to feel a little rejected but really. he is just a boy who loves his grandma. My kids pitch a big hissy fit every time I show up to grandmas to pick them up. It sucks but I am glad they have such a close relationship with their grandparents.</div>
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No, *I* don't think it's a big deal at all when he jumps into their arms, I just meant that that's just the question that they will pose to me when I ask them to cool it a bit.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lilyka</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9826440"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">why not sit by them? Then he doesn't ave to choose. Let them help. At our church the grandkids, parents and grandparents all sit together. There is generally no toys, no snacks, no coloring and a 3 hour service. People take all the help with the littles that they can get. does he protest when they take the toy away? if not what is the problem with that? Toys are fine if you need them but no reason to have them if your child can make it through the service without them. I say let them help. if they are not creating a distraction for him and can get him to participate accept their help at church and save your battles for the important things (you know like the nekkid stuff).</div>
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I would be inclined to agree with you IF we were talking about normal grandparents who respected my way of disciplining and so forth. If he cries and I take him to the back I have to give them an explaination as to what was wrong. If he gets mad because they take a toy away from him, and I give it back, I get a dirty look. Their whole "taking over" thing spills over in church, and we get into minor scuffles right there where we are hissing at each other, and their telling me how to do something with him and I feel it should be done a different way. I totally get what you're saying, and if this was a normal relationship, I'd agree. But I have already tried that and it just don't work with them cause I'm beginning to realize that the relationship I have with them is definetely not normal.<br><br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lilyka</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9826440"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Well I don't know how this would work with GD but in our house you obey mommy and daddy. and failure to obey is the issue (not so much whatever it is they want to do - such as stay with grandma) and refusing to do what we say is not a way to get what you want. even if you don't want to make obedience an issue with your child perhaps you could let your parents believe this is something you are working on. "mom dad, you are not helping him learn to obey. please help me out here and let him know you expect him to come to me when I tell him it is time to come." just be careful what you ask of him in front of them. and let them know that you will handle any disobedience your way. They sound like the sort of people who might respect that.</div>
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You know, I tried that once with my dad. He fussed at me and told me "I know how to take care of a baby too! I took care of you didn't I?" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: It always turns into an argument with my dad saying, "I got him!" with me being the one to back down and let the baby go with them if he wants, even if that causes an inconvenience. Everytime I try to take my child and do something different, they take it as an attack on their parenting of myself.<br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lilyka</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9826440"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">as for the bathing and diaper changing . . . .i don't know if you have any reason to worry but you don't need one. This is the spot i would save my battles for. I would put my foot down and exert my authority starting here. Let her shop with him, let her be his church buddy, parade him around to her friends whatever; but no more diapers or baths or anything without clothes. Tell her whatever you want. tell her you are not comfortable with anyone besides you doing that, he is getting older, want that job whatever just tell her no more. You don't need a good reason. Just tell her you are not comfortable with all this naked stuff and you are a little squicked out by her obsession with it. If she protests all you have to say is "see! Thats what I am talking about!!"</div>
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Wow. That's going to be a whole lot easier said than done. But thanks for the suggestions. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Good luck <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
If you are going to draw battle lines though i would start with the diaper changes and baths.<br><br>
perhaps if you can just win that battle they will see you are serious and other things will start faling into place. (a girl can hope <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> )
 

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I feel like there are two issues here for you to handle. One is there seems to be some jealousy you feel with the relationship between your parents and your child. Totally understandable.<br><br>
I moved back into my parents home to help my dad care for my mom, right before dd was born. I remember the first time my dd told me that she liked my dad better than me. She wasn't being rude, she was making a statement. It hurt all the same.<br><br>
Issue two is that your parents don't respect your boundaries. You have allowed this to happen, just as much as they have. Don't take that as a judgement, in reality it means that you can also change the situation. You have power in this situation, it's not something that you can't do anything about.<br><br>
My dad doesn't discipline or take a "parenting" role in my dd's life. Of course we live in the same home and he looks out for her safety when they are together, so there are times he says no, or guides dd. But I'm the mom.<br><br>
I think now that your in your own home there will be a period of transition for your son. In time you will be able to have a different schedule, and many of these issues will work out on their own.<br><br>
BUT you also might need to stand up and proclaim, HEY I'm the mom here, for both of your parents. When you mention them "taking over" you need to use that moment to say "Hey I'm the parent, and when I am here, you don't need to instruct my child". If your dad says "I know how to take care of a baby too! I took care of you didn't I?" You look him straight in the eye and you say calmly "Yes I know, AND now it's my turn". If he says "I've got him" you reply with "No, I don't think you are hearing me, hand me my son".<br><br>
I don't believe that you should try to hurt the relationship between your son and your parents. That's not what I'm advocating. But for you to feel in control of your parenting you need to speak up. You need to stand your ground. If you don't, it's not your parents fault, it's your own. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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I'd have to say that there is 99% chance that you will not experience peace of mind and totaly healthy reconnection with your son until you get him out of their sphere, you parents'. They sound completely out of line to me; I would be livid almost constantly.<br><br>
Start paring down every activity that you do with them, including church. Go to the later or earlier service, or maybe this is a good time to give another church a look-see.<br><br>
I don't like the yelling at you, I don't like the undermining of your authority, I don't like the possessive, territorial way they are with you son, the presumptions, the dismissal of your stated desires, and I absolutely would shut down immediately and completely ANY more unsupervised encounters that may be interpreted (by your mother and you son--sorry to say) as your invitation for your mom to service her obsession to change his diaper or wash his naked body. Plenty of pervy moms out there, not to put it too indelicately.<br><br>
For me, my "jealousy" of if my mother gets too close with my dd, it's as simple as the fact that on the changing table, and in a bath, are two of the most wonderful, bonding experiences a mother gets to have with her baby, including a working mom, who comes home and has to do the "chore" of changing and bathing... turns out, those times can be relaxing and a winding-down time for HER, too. Your mom is stealing those moments from you, AND your son, and you are the only one who is going to stop her from continuing to do it.<br><br>
I personally recommend making a good strong break for a while, basically until you feel like it. Habits have to break, have to be forgotten, and there is this message that you need to send to them, which is that "I decide what, when, where, why, who, with my ds."<br><br>
Here's a thought for you. Imagine the conversation with your mom that would follow you confronting her about how icky you feel about her apparent obsession with naked little boys in her hands; like in her "secretive" and "gluttonous" way of changing ds's diapers; and giving him a bath because SHE wants to, not because you asked or want her to.<br><br>
What can you imagine her replying? And, if you added that you have ALWAYS felt weird about her and getting access to boys' nakedness, what might she say? Or would there be a kitchen knife flying through the air in your direction? Not to make a wierd situation sound wierder. To me, they sound controlling, she sounds a little on the mentally "interesting" side and not a good pick for childcare, really. He's not much help.<br><br>
You sound like someone with a good head on her shoulders, and who has taken advantage of something that may have seemed like your only option on affordable childcare: your parents, and now it's biting you in the butt.<br><br>
It IS interesting to face that same wierd vibe your mom gave you earlier in your life, though. What's that all about? I'd want to know more about that, be a little more sure of what's what there. Maybe you're supposed to be remembering that right now, for your own growth, and for the protection of your children, as well. I am not suggesting she sounds like a major pervert who does terrible things, but, she's doing something that makes you feel wierded out, pissed off, dismissed, undermined, discouraged and wronged.<br><br>
Say no more! Shoot first (figuratively); ask questions later. Circle the wagons; do what you need to do to reestablish your authority and your primary bond with ds--go extreme for a bit at first, and you retake the controls anytime you notice they might have slipped. It's an ongoing job in such cases.<br><br>
When you've dealt with a parent who is too grabby about YOUR children, it is just pure hell, because of the guilt trip that comes with enforcing your rules. It's just not a case of "oh, she's just a really loving granny with a ruffled apron on, and you shoud be happy... blah, blah." It does not feel that way; it feels, and it IS, about your parents erasing the layer of evolution where YOU are the center; YOU are the "current" generation, the parent of children, the child of GRANDparents. It's annoying and imo, it ROBS you of a huge part of LIFE.<br><br>
If you think there's a snowball's chance in Tahiti, write out your feelings and observations as if you believe that your relationships CAN grow to accommodate different frames around things, new boundaries. Articulate, on paper, those boundaries as exactly and precisely as you can, so that these folks can hear it and see it and feel it in their hands and hopefully their gut. Say, 'this is what you do, this is how it feels to me, and this is how I would like you to do it, and this is how it would make me feel if you did."<br><br>
If you need to postpone a frontal assault on the baths and such, say that you are claiming all bathtimes with your son, and changings as well, because you realized that this was important bonding time for you and your son and you really miss it and need it, and it's a rule, and if it's breached, you'll stop coming around. "crash! bang! boom! clatter!" Have your car keys handy when you start that convo. And let THEM get their butts in line, and call you when they can behave and fully accept your new rules.<br><br>
Oops, late, late for bed. Good luck.<br><br>
VF
 

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Yes, you need to work your schedule so that they are not caregivers of your child.<br><br>
About the diapers. I realize that your son is intact. Do you think she might be trying to clean under his foreskin? That's a huge "no no" but so many older people think that it's necessary.<br><br>
If you don't know how to be a mother to your child, it's because you're not trusting your instincts and other people are demeaning and undermining your efforts. Take your child back. It sounds like you're scared of them and not really willing to do what it takes. It'll be hard, but sooo worth it. Even if you must pay for childcare, it's still better than being treated like a child in your efforts to parent your own child.<br><br>
If you rationalize that it's better for him to be with them, then let me remind you that it's best for the whole family if you take back control of parenting your child.<br><br>
Your parents are undermining you, condescending you, disrespecting you and you DO have the ability to control this.<br><br>
Who cares if they don't listen....it's not their choice not to listen is it? If you set the rules and control their interaction with your child, then they must listen or lose the privelige of spending time with the child.<br><br>
What are you afraid of? Are you afraid to lose some kind of support from them? If you're accepting support from them and remaining dependant on them for money or favors or whatever, then you're doing this to yourself. Cut the strings. You can't act like a child and expect them to treat you like an adult. If you act like an adult, be independant of them and set boundaries, then they have no choice but to treat you like an adult.<br><br>
Lisa
 

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and I completely agree with Viewfinder. Listen to her when she tells you that your parents are "robbing" you of your life as a mother. Something is being stolen from you and you're feeling guilty about it.<br><br>
What you're feeling is violation.
 

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I completely agree that this is a boundary and respect issue. No one is going to make any changes except YOU. I have had difficult moments with in-laws and my own mother but luckily these were never complicated by living with them.<br><br>
This is what I would do.<br>
Firstly - remember that you hold all the cards. You have the child they want to see. They will come around to your way if you are strong, consistant and clear.<br><br>
Secondly - stop going over there.<br>
Invite them out to a park, kids play centre or other little event. Then they have a run around together for a half hour or so and you and ds leave to go shopping, lunch nap time, whatever. This establishes the 'I go my way, you go your way' lifestyle you want to continue. Of course they won't want to go to any of these places. Just say 'what a shame, never mind, maybe next time'. In the meantime don't go over for visits to their house. They will eventually turn up at your request because they want to see your ds.<br><br>
Thirdly - avoid any opportunity where you may meet up unexpectedly. Go to a different shopping area, church, social gatherings etc. It may be more inconvenient to drive that bit further, but oh the peace of mind and freedom it will bring.<br><br>
Fourthly - do not use them for child care. You can say that ds is now at the age where he needs to interact with other children. If you are working, look into day care or preschool of some sort. Heck - look into it anyway, it will fill up your schedule! Is there another family you trust who might be happy to look after him for you? Pay - it's the best money you will spend.<br><br>
Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lisa49</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9831505"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">About the diapers. I realize that your son is intact. Do you think she might be trying to clean under his foreskin? That's a huge "no no" but so many older people think that it's necessary.</div>
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Yeah, I thought about that. I don't think she had ever dealt with an intact penis before. (Not sure bout my uncle, her little brother...) But before I ever let her care for him, I discussed with her how to [not] care for his foreskin, much to her chagrin, and through her protests of the subject topic. (She's such a prude.) I told her never EVER to push it back EVER and she agreed. I don't think that she's doing anything like that.<br><br>
I think you guys hit the nail on the head when you say that I feel robbed. That's exactly how I feel.<br><br>
As for the solution, I have to ponder over my next step. I want to go back to being a sahm, therefore I won't be relying on anyone for childcare. I want to stop relying on them for anything. That's where it gets complicated.<br><br>
This is where my problems with my husband come into play. It's because of him that we must rely on outside help. I would have to write a book to explain, but to sum it up, I am giving him one last chance to hand over the financial reigns to me (COMPLETELY!!! no more lying or not telling he spent money that I didn't know about!). This is his. LAST. chance. And he knows it. So far he's doing well. (I don't expect it to last, though...) He's worked his way back up to a job where I can be a sahm if I want to be, but I don't trust him enough not have my own job.<br><br>
To me being independant of my parents means also being independant of him. But it means I must work.<br><br>
So right now, what I was doing was working toward becoming a wahm, trying to work on my crafts and baby carriers and stuff. But that's going to take some time.<br><br>
What I"m getting is that I need to either find other childcare. Or find another job. I was thinking about working 3rd shift somewhere. That way I can leave my baby with my husband when I work and I won't have to rely on my parents for childcare. (My husband sucks at finances amongst other things, but I must say, he's a really good daddy, I rest easier when my child is with him than with my parents.)<br><br>
The sooner I can find other arrangements for childcare the sooner I can deal with control issues with my parents and my child.<br><br>
That means I have to leave my current job, as they don't have 3rd shift. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> And I would have to find 3rd shift because that's the only time my husband consistently doesn't work.<br><br>
Sometimes I wonder if I should throw my whole trust on him again and just become a sahm again. But he has shaken my trust, and hasn't quite earned it back yet.<br><br>
Sorry, rambling. Just brainstorming again about what I should do...
 

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Children are pretty smart, and good at understanding that different people will care for them in different ways. I would think your DS is not so much confused as grieving due to the separation from his loved-one. She is probably too. I think it would probably be for the best for him to feel like what is familiar and comfortable still exists and can be visited sometimes. So, I would say that it is good to let your parents interact with him the way that they always did before.<br><br>
But, on new things, like issues about seeing each other in passing and parting at the end of visits, there needs to be a new dynamic. Why don't you explain to them that they did nothing wrong, but this is a difficult new situation for DS that needs to be handled delicately. So, you need their help to teach him his new role and where he belongs (with you, not them). So, at church he needs to stay with you. He needs to understand that he is part of YOUR family unit. If you cross paths in stores, hellos and hugs and kisses are great, but parting should go something like "It was so nice to see you. I love you. I will see you soon. Bye." Any situations where you haven't given them instructions, they should follow your lead. They need to support your rulings and do so with positivity and not argue about those rulings.
 

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ITA with Viewfinder and Lisa49.<br>
You need boundaries!<br>
And I think that a period of time where your child doesn't see your parents would be beneficial. It would give you the opportunity to firm up your role as the mother, and your child wouldn't get such mixed messages.<br>
Good luck!
 

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I agree that you need boundaries and things.<br><br>
I do want to just put in a word for continuing to recognize the <i>attachment</i> your child has to his grandparents. I hope that you can find a way to set up some boundaries while respecting that.
 

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If DH is no good at managing money, could you not just become a SAHM and take over the finances?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>gabysmom617</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9824131"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I<br>
Once I asked my dad why he (my child) runs to her when he hurts himself instead of to me. He told me that my mom raised more kids than I have (he is my only) and therefore she is more experienced at raising children than I am. Does that sound right? I mean, I have never ran to my grandma or some other woman I knew because they were "more experienced" at raising kids than my mom. My mom was MY MOM.<br><br>
This whole thing has me confused and totally bummed out. I don't know. It just doesn't seem right to me.</div>
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It isn't right. YOU are the parent and they should be respecting that but they aren't.
 

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Might I offer the perspective of your DS? I lived off and on with my grandparents. They were much like your parents, and I often went to them for my needs (heh, still do). What I see as an adult is that I understood (even if not in those terms) that my grandparents were far more stable and predictable than my parents. Every time my mom wrenched me from their house because we were yet again going to move out on our own, it was devastating to me. Given the choice, I always went with my grandparents because I felt more secure there. You should consider that when dealing with your son. Taking him away completely like some posters have suggested would be devastating to him. Why do it?<br><br>
Many things you've said are not things I find offensive. We don't allow toys in church, for instance. It's just not appropriate for a sacred space in my opinion. While you're the mom and it's ultimately your call, those types of battles between you and your parents just aren't that important in the grand scheme of things. Save the battles for the biggies.<br><br>
While the boundary issue has been addressed, your jealousy has not so much. Your son is clinging to your parents as much as they're clinging to him. I don't think you should try to change that he runs to Grandma when he gets hurt or that he and Grandpa can deal with their communication issues on his own. (FWIW, I would be annoyed by a kid who ignored me while smiling. That's just rude, so if your dad's not getting really upset with your son, he's better than I am!)
 
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