Overbearing grandmother, what to do?

Jessica - posted on 03/21/2013 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I have three children 9, 7, and 5 and we live less than five minutes away from my biological father and my step-mom. My step-mom is administrative assistant and feels like she has to "micro-manage" my life and my children's schedules. I signed my son up for baseball this year, I did not put her email on the registration form but some how she is on the team email list. My son had a practice game and my biological grandmother ( my mom's mom) was in the hospital and wasn't expected to make very much longer so, my step-mother stepped in for my husband and I while we went out of town. Apparently, while I was out she made sure she was on the email list, without asking my permission. This is not the first incidence. She has gone as far as emailing/calling my children's teacher's and having a meeting with them, using my children's names to extra food from the food pantry at church. I could keep going and going. I just don't know what to do anymore, I have tried to ask her to stop but its like she doesn't want to hear it. I appreciate them being apart of our lives but somethings got to give she needs to let me be the parent, am I right or wrong?

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 03/21/2013

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YOu are right. I would talk with the school, and all extracurricular activities and tell them that you and your husband are the only ones the school is allowed to communicate with. Sit down again with her and be very frank. Tell her how she is stepping over the line, and she needs to stop. That it makes you very uncomfortable, but you want her in the kids lives but you are the mom. Just tell her everything, but nicely and firmly.

Kristi - posted on 03/22/2013

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Yes, a firm talking to is a must. I think it would be good for your dad to be there, as well. Is he aware of her behavior? I would even make some notes with the specifics that you want to make sure to get across in case she tries to side track you.

I am quite surprised the school took a meeting with her without your authorization. That is easily solved, as the other moms said, just make your wishes clear to the school. I would say the same for anything else you sign the kids up for. You don't have to go into details or make it a big issue, just let the coach or whomever know that the only people that should be contacted are listed and if there are any questions please call you.

I'm not sure I understood this part correctly, did you say she used your childrens' names in order to receive more food from a church food pantry? Basically like fraudulently stealing food that is for under privileged people?

Diplomacy will be key with this woman. Maybe try telling her you've got the parenting stuff under control and you just want her to enjoy the perks and joys that come with being a grandparent. Then give her some examples. Tell her that it is comforting to know that if, for some reason, you and your husband do need help, she and your dad are just 5 minutes a way.

My answer would be entirely different if she is stealing food from a church pantry by using your children.

Liz - posted on 03/21/2013

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If you ask them, the school should curtail all communication with anyone who isn't a parent of your children. You would be right to do so. It definitely sounds as if this woman is going beyond what is appropriate.

You could try writing her a letter and sending it in a nice card, as sometimes feelings are easier to express (and then edit before sending) in written format.

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Jessica - posted on 03/23/2013

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Yes, I wish that she would just enjoy being a grandmother instead of trying to assist me with being their mother. She cannot have children so it seems like to me that she is living through me. I mean my biological mom has never overstepped her boundaries with my parenting skills. Once when my son was young and kept biting me, she disciplined him and if they are being disrespectful or getting out of line she will correct them but thats it. I just wish my mother lived closer so she could help me put my step-mo in check. I feel like there is never a good time to bring up how I feel. For instance, I borrowed money from her and because I still haven't paid her back (its only been two weeks) She wouldn't let me borrow their shop-vac to clean up a leak up under my tub so, I got upset and let her know I was upset and then she apologized, but I was waiting to get a response on my question here so I could get the best advice on how to rectify the situation so now I have to wait for a few days or until she oversteps her boundaries to say something to her, but I think it would be best if my dad is present, although, I am not sure if he will come to her defense and get mad at me? I am damned if I do and damned if I don't....sigh

Jessica - posted on 03/23/2013

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Yes, you heard right she used my children's names to get more pantry food and although she has them over one night a week she felt like I wouldn't mind. She told me later that she used them when I asked her where she went to go get pantry. The church knows that they do not live with her, I just don't have transportation to go and receive my own pantry, I just was blown away that she thought it was okay. She is the kind of person that tries to get whatever is free and if my children can help her get more free stuff she will use them.

Her excuse for having a meeting with the teacher and contacting by email was to donate school/office supplies. However, I know what her motives are, this happened two years ago and then she went with me to parent /teacher meeting because my husband was unable to attend so she helped me attend my daughters teachers presentation so I didn't miss it going to my sons teachers presentation and she wrote down notes, emails, and phone numbers (not for me because I got the packet with the information on it) I told her that there was no reason why she needed it and if I caught her making meetings again I would take her off the emergency contact list. Now I have not heard anything but next year she will not be attending.

I have had several conversations about this with her and it has not sunk in nor has she cared to make a better effort to step back. I was a young mom and she still feels as though I am, I guess, even though I am 30 now so, I am not a princess, I don't need saving, I had these kids and I think I am capable of wearing my big girl panties and taking care of business as a parent.

Since I have had several conversations with her about my boundaries, I found this website and thought it would good to see what other mothers thought about my situation. Thank you, your advice was so very helpful and its the same thoughts that I have had.

Jessica - posted on 03/23/2013

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Thank you for you encouraging idea about writing a letter in a nice card. I am not confrontational person, and that is partially why this has gone on too long as well I don't want to hurt my fathers feelings by correcting his wife. I need to be more assertive, this is why I had to post this question for other moms because sometimes she makes me feel like I am being an "ungrateful little girl" as she says. But by the time I hit my limit I blow up and my words don't come out right and then I let it go because I don't want to argue or have my fathers and mine relationship to suffer. She has never had children so, there is no motherly instinct and or parent/other boundaries.

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