Grandparents...

Melissa - posted on 03/16/2016 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I have a question! I just want to know how to handle my situation without it ending in hate or an argument.. my situation is this: my oldest child will be 10 this summer. When I had her ten years ago I was a single parent at the mere age of 18. I got myself together and finished school and was In the process of moving out of my parents and going to college to better my life and my child's. When I was 8 months pregnant I was struck as a pedestrian crossing the street by a careless driver who switched lanes because someone had stopped to allow me to cross.. I almost died and I was in critical care for the next 3 months of my life. My child survived but was delivered early and in nicu for a month. With that my mom took time off work to help me get better and help me with my child. Which I am so greatful for. She was off work for 6 months after that I raised my daughter. I decided to go to college a few years after and she had helped me pick my daughter up from daycare since I wouldn't make it in time before the daycare closed. She watched my child for a total of 1 hour every week day well I made it home. That was only 2 years of my child's life. Now years later she is constantly telling me what to do and how to raise my children, she also is quick to say how horrible of a mom I am and picks apart everything I do as a parent. When I confront her about it she is quick to defend herself and claim she raised my daughter and I was never there... it's like in her head I wasn't there.. I took my daughter to daycare before my class I was with her when I got home from college she never watched her for me to do homework I had to make it all work by myself. I was with my daughter all weekends and holidays and every chance I could get. I made that my duty. Now I tried not talking to her about my kids I never mention any of the little stuff but everyday I am constantly reminded that she raised my oldest and that I'm a horrible mother. She constantly sends me parenting advice on my email about the struggle of being a young mom and how young parents screw up their children. I am always there for my kids! I LOVE them to pieces and would do ANYTHING for them. I thought about distancing myself from my mother but... she's my mom! I love her... so my question is then how should I address this? Do I confront her about it... I have before and she is quick to the defence... or should I just try and shrug it off like I have been doing for many years now?

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Sarah - posted on 03/17/2016

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Melissa, there must be something that is generating this behavior in your mom. However, it is not your problem nor your problem to fix. You could get into some huge battle about how she wouldn't even change a diaper while you were away etc, but what good would it do? None. Look forward. If this were me, I'd see a therapist for advice on how to start fresh with mom. Some of the trouble may come from the fact that the line between mother and grandmother got blurred for a time. Maybe your mom resents that she could not just dote on her granddaughter for a time? Somehow you need to find a way for you to tell mom to butt the heck out, but you still want her to be in her life. Quite an oxymoron. You stay tough, hold back your sorrow and anger until in a therapeutic environment. Stick with rote answers: 'Thank you, I will consider what you said and decide what is best." Best of luck, keep venting and keep us posted.

Raye - posted on 03/17/2016

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Melissa, you can't control how your mom acts, or what she thinks. You can control how much you allow her in your life. I know you don't want to distance yourself from her, but all the negativity isn't doing your family any good. I agree with Sarah, to keep giving her the same response in a flat, unemotional tone, until she gets the hint. Tell her that you will decide for your children, thank you very much. And tell the rest of the family when they criticize that they don't know the whole story and should keep their mouths shut. Take up for yourself. You don't deserve their attitude.

Melissa - posted on 03/17/2016

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Oh totally I agree! She did HELP me raise her. And I say help not totally raise her like she claims. However even when I was recovering she couldn't feed her since I was breast feeding, she never changed her diaper since that's not a "grandparents job". If I wasn't home and she had pooped in her diaper she would call me and tell me I had to come home quick before she gets a rash. She never bathed her.. dressed her or delt with her well she was fussy since again that's not a "grandparents job" she just was there if I had questions and was quick to point out and rip apart my flaws as a new mom. When my daughter would go there while I was in collage she would park her in front of the TV a fill her full of junk food cause "that's what grandparents do" according to her anyways. She wouldn't feed her that was my responsibility. My mom doesn't give me credit for anything I did for my daughter she takes all the credit for it all. My dad knows she is wrong and doesn't want to get involved since he has to live with her and he doesn't want to start a fight. I get that and that's fine, I wouldn't want to cause problems. My daughters dad was never involved nor never wanted to be however my husband now has been in her life since she was 2 1/2 and he loves her so much that's his little girl. He thinks we should move away and distance ourselves from her since she is causing too many problems both with my stress level and our marriage. Our youngest son has some delays and we are getting him tested for autism. My mom was quick to make it my fault he was born this way. It's gotten so bad that she has run her mouth to other family members and I have them calling me and telling me how horrible of a mother I am and thank goodness that my mom raised my daughter or she would be the same as my son. They also harass me to get my tubes tied since I don't deserve to have anymore kids. I don't know what my mom has said about my parenting to family members. My husband's family praises all I do for my kids and constantly remind me I'm doing a good job they know what my mom says my husband has shared with then my issues and they agree for us to stop contact with her. I really don't want to do that if I can avoid it. Thanks again for your advice and for listening sometimes it helps to talk to someone other then whose in the situation with me.

Sarah - posted on 03/16/2016

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This may be much easier to handle with a third party mediating the discussion. Your mom feels very invested in your child's life, and in reality her did raise her for a time while you recovered. Since you've tried to tell her and she has just gotten defensive, that cycle will probably continue to repeat. You don't want to cut her out of your kids life. But you are the mother, the parent (are you married or co-parenting with anyone?) and so no matter what your choices are, you get to make them. In the meantime, when she makes a comment, suggestion or criticizes you; you can simply say, 'i hear what you say, I am think about it, and I will deiced what is best for my children" Practice without emotion, yelling or crying. Stick to the same response and don't engage. Where is your dad in this picture and the father(s) of the kids?

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