Butting heads with my mother on some issues...

Kristi - posted on 02/04/2010 ( 20 moms have responded )




I would sure love some help. My mom and I are very close, but we also are very different in many ways in how we have raised/are raising our children. I think really it just has to do with the times/generational issues, and different focuses that we have had while raising our kids. I was born in 1971, and was a formula, Wonderbread and McDonald's kid. My mom stayed home with us until we were older and then went back to school. She did a great job raising us the best way she knew how, but I am constantly frustrated that she becomes defensive and dismissive about things I do that are not the same as the way she did them. My kids were both born in unmedicated births, one born at home. She told her friends that she thought I must not have insurance or something because it was so embarrassing to her. She didn't know what to think of it! It just goes on from there. She refused to attend a car seat installation class, but frets about me avoiding having her drive the kids around. She hates my cloth diapers and totes around Huggies in her purse for when she comes over. I am more of a whole foods, humanely raised meats and organic grocery shopper. This is not to say that I do not allow the kids the occasional French fries... Whenever she comes over she brings her own food and tries to be sneaky about bringing it for the kids or putting it into my pantry and fridge. If it was just an occasional treat or something I wouldn't mind, but she prepares entire meals with ingredients I'm not keen on and feeds them to my kids right in front of me without even asking. If I confront her about it she is horrible! Today she watched the kids for me and later, while I was preparing dinner I noticed all of this food stuff... cans, leftovers and packaging from groceries that weren't mine. She hates to recycle and doesn't pay attention to my containers so I was trying to put them back in order when I found it. I went out of my way last night to go to the store and make sure the fridge was well stocked with good food and beverages because I knew she was coming over to watch them for me for 5 hours. The kids have been sick and I feel it is really important to feed them nutritious, whole food to get them back on track. I phoned her to thank her for watching the kids and mentioned the stuff. She hung up on me when she realized what I was asking about. I phoned her back and said I was just trying to understand why she kept bringing over so much food, because I tried hard to have what she needed and to show her what I wanted the kids to have. She said I was "bitching" and that I was "hateful and hurtful and ungrateful". I don't want to be any of those things, and I certainly am not a doormat, nor do I take advantage of her. I fully appreciate that she is taking time out of her day to help me out, but she is also spending time with her grandkids, which is what she tells me she wants to do. She recently told me that she and her friends call this "granding" now and do not think of it as babysitting. They have a friend or two that they feel let the kids take advantage of childcare. I do not consider myself one of those kids. I am ripping my hair out over the frustration factor. I want my kids to spend time with their grandparents. I enjoy and appreciate the convenience of having her come to my house (a 30 minute drive) from time to time so that I can attend school meetings, appointments or run errands. I do not think it is appropriate for her to walk into my house and do whatever she wants with my kids without checking with me first. I don't expect her to ask permission for every little thing, and I don't consider our relationship the same as a babysitter. Please tell me ladies, what is a reasonable middle ground? Am I out of my tree? I was thinking that it is reasonable to ask her to leave her food at home. I don't bring my food to her house unless we are contributing to a family potluck, and I am fine with most things she offers my kids when they visit. What about the diapers? I don't know what is a good fit there. I feel strongly about it, but I also want her to have an easy job when she is here. I think disposable diapers are terrible for the environment, and not good for my kids bodies. I would really like to know what other moms think! This power struggle leaves me flat. Thanks for your input.


Jane - posted on 02/08/2010




you should count your lucky stars that your mom is so close and (wants to be so) involved with your kids. i have never asked and never will ask my parents to change a diaper for our kids. they had 7 kids of their own, there were no disposable diapers and there was no diaper service and it wasn't about the environment. there were always 3 meals on the table every day, shoes on our feet, clothes on our back and endless amounts of love, hugs and kisses to go around for all of us. as well as my grandmother (my father's mother) living with us who was in a deep depression as a result of my grandfather's passing. she was not easy or fun to live with. and my mother has never said a mean thing about her ever.
grandparents are a very important part of a child's upbringing. so she doesn't want to change a cloth diaper, who cares? she's not their mother, she's their grandmother. she's supposed to spoil them, she's supposed to sneak things to them and she's supposed to hand them back over to you when they smell funny. we have two kids and i've never attended a car seat class. i don't know anyone who has.
you're very lucky she hasn't abandoned them yet with having to put up w/your specifications on everything.
grandparents raised us, they're done doing the raising, but they raised us well enough so we should be respectful and trustful enough to believe that they will take great care of our kids, their grand-kids who i can't even imagine how much they love.
you are blessed. let your mom enjoy her grandkids. there are plenty of other things to worry about as a parent other than how much your mom is loving your kids. one day she will not be around anymore and you'll why you wasted your time on these things. she's not harming your children, she's loving them to pieces! i wish i had 5 hours to myself. my husband would love to have someone come watch them for 15 minutes once a week while we run upstairs for some private time! i can't even get to the bathroom alone and barely get time to take a shower.

Tara - posted on 02/08/2010




As a mother AND a grandmother I can tell you how very blessed you are to have your mother AND to have a mother who enjoys 'granding.' Not long ago as I was walking one of my grandsons an older gentleman stopped to tell me that he and his wife 'escaped' to this part of the country to live because his wife did NOT want to live close to their grandkids. I was saddened for all this statement represented.

I know you love your mother and she seems to be very sensitive about the fact that you are choosing ways which are different from what she knows and what she had to share with you. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. You may not be able to insist on these issues without severely damaging your relationship with you mother and/or her heart.

While I love healthy things I also have to acknowledge that lots of kiddos out there are fed pure junk day in a day out and they seem pretty healthy and happy. I argued with my own mother about certain things similar to what you are mentioning here but in the end I trusted my children to God and watched them blossom under my mother's love and watched HER blossom under theirs!

The choice is yours to make but my advice is to relax and enjoy the good things about your mother because you will not likely change her, but you could damage her heart and her feelings and she means well.

Sitting here now, 28 years later, I cannot even remember the things I argued that my mother was doing which I considered unhealthy...and my kids are health conscious and eat responsibly and feed their children thusly.

Have a great day, Hon!


Bethany - posted on 02/07/2010




this is a hard one because these people are not strangers or aquaintences who you can tell that you've made your decisions and please mind your own business.

Grands consider their kid's kids their business. I find I have to constantly harp on about WHY I have made these choices, each time. This gives me some credibility. Baffle them with science.

I have also noticed that people sometimes back down about things if they can get something out of the situation. Like you are happy because you get to go out without your kids, even though you know that they will not be treated how you wish. I think you should decide once and for all whether your M and MIL are suitable carers and move forward from there. Seek alternate carers, or take them with you or don't go.

Make Grand time WITH YOU at a park or at their home or out somewhere. Make it special, that's what they probably want. I see spending time with grandkids as the carer is not what they want, but what they get, so they'll take it.

Erica - posted on 02/06/2010




You need to remember that these are your kids! What you say goes. My dad thought he could do as he pleased with my 3 month old son, like give him chocolate pudding! I flipped when i saw this. you need to lay down the law because if you don't do something now it could get worse. I ended up doing a more drastic thing by not bringing my son over to visit, and until i can trust my dad i don't leave my son alone with him because what if he has an allergic reaction to something. When a child gets used to a certain way foods are prepared especially if their going from healthy to greasy, salty foods or lots of sweets it can make them really sick to their stomach. You need to tell your mom that you love her and appreciate her and all she does for you, but these are your children, and times have changed and we know more about how harsh canned foods can be with all that crap in them. And tell her you want your kids to grow up happy and HEALTHY!

Tara - posted on 02/06/2010




Okay, I'm just going to add my two cents here. From your post it sounds as though you and your mom are on opposite ends of the parenting spectrum idealogically. I'm going to try to address each issue separately.

1) Carseat installation class:
It doesn't sound like your mom is trying to drive your children around without their carseats, just that she didn't want to take the installation class. You could explain to her that you suggested the class because carseats and the laws regarding their installation have changed considerably since you were little and you wanted to make sure that she didn't have any unexpected problems with the installation of the seats. If she is trying to drive the kids around without the carseats at all, then I could see you avoiding having her drive them, but if she just hasn't attended an installation class she could see your avoidance of letting her drive your kids around as saying "I don't think you are capable of installing the seats properly using the included installation manual, and are therefore not safe to drive my children around."

2) Cloth versus disposable:
Since your mom used disposable diapers it is quite likely she is not familiar with cloth diapering. If that is the case you might want to try an all-in-one diapering system like Bum Genius or Kooshies, etc. Otherwise you could look at some of the more environmentally friendly disposables like Huggies natural.

3) Organic food:
What I would suggest here is that you have what you want your kids to eat ready for your mom to feed them, and just state that you would prefer that she feed them the items you have already made. Also state that you do not want her to bring her own food into your house as you feel that it is a waste of the food you have already purchased (as it may go bad because it is not used).

Those things being said, it seems that she may feel that, because you are making choices in parenting your children that are the absolute opposite of choices she made raising you, and are objecting so strenuously to ALL of the things she is doing around your children, she may feel that you are thinking that her choices and knowledge as a parent were completely wrong. It sounds like you are primarily disagreeing with her on an idealogical/philosophical point of view - if she is doing something dangerous around your children, yes, definitely put your foot down, but if it is strictly philosophical I would think that the most important thing is not "is she feeding my kids exactly everything I want them to be fed, using cloth diapers, etc" but "is she feeding my kids, is she changing them, and is she wanting to be part of their lives?" because honestly, if you really think about it, if she were to drop dead tomorrow, would you really care about whether or not she agreed with organic food and cloth diapering?


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Heather - posted on 02/12/2010




If it was me I would probally let her use the diapers she wants as long as they are not giving your kids any rashes. However as far as the food goes....well they are your children and if you do not want them to have certain things that is your right. Have you tried having meals already made up so when she came over everything was already done and all she would do is warm up the food?

You are within your rights to be mad I would be if I were you, when talking to her I would remind her that you love haivng her be part of the kids lives but you are not forcing her to do it. And that you appreciate everything she does but you believe in parenting your own way and you would apprecicate if she would respect your descions.

Tara - posted on 02/12/2010




I agree with Bethany. The last four lines said it all and said it well. I know it isn't easy to use less words when you are so close to a situation. I hope that this situation can be smoothed in the near future and that healing can begin.

Bethany - posted on 02/10/2010




with regards to your email to your mum, I would have only sent the last four lines

Natalie - posted on 02/08/2010




These are your children ,you are raising them and your Mother should respect that. Tell her that you love her, that you like to hear what she's thinking but in the end it's your decision and not hers how you raise your children.

Thankfully i have a Mother who gives me advice when i need it but i do not follow her every advice and she knows i find something that will work for us.
I was born in 84 and my cousins are born in the 70s but i don't know anyone who doesn't use car seats the way they're supposed to be be used. They went with the time.
Is she like that in other ways too? Maybe she doesn't like change? You can always sit down with her and explain to her why those things you do are so important to you. Maybe she just doesn't see it the way you do but if you tell her it will open her eyes?!
Good luck!

Maura - posted on 02/08/2010




Gonna cut to the chase here...Let's face it, you ARE saying that you want to do some things BETTER than your mother. Some mothers get it; some are hurt by it. Sometimes it's about how the daughter has handled it; sometimes it's the mother's ego; sometimes just genuine disagreement about what is "better." You believe organic and fresh food is healthier (ie. than the food your mom brings/gave you); you believe cloth diapers are better (for the environment and for the kids). Not only does your mother disagree (likely a generational thing) but she feels like you are saying she did/is doing a bad job and then you throw it in her face (from her point of view). The real issue is not "my house/kids, my rules" it is how your mother has responded negatively to what you see as improvements to how you are raising your kids. Every generation of mother/daughters have struggled with this.

I see four possibilities for you here: 1) continue to alienate your mother, live with a never-ending battle, everybody loses, kids notice strained relationship 2) reduce her time spent alone in a care role -- I see this as the least desirable, everybody loses, including the kids 3) lay down the law, hope she obeys (tho' so far unlikely) 4) have a heart-to-heart talk about the generational differences in mothering, include telling her ALL the things she got RIGHT that you are copying/or will be and the rotten stuff your friends' mothers do/did, ask her how her mother parented and if she did anything differently/better, and finally explain that it isn't personal but generational -- mothers today are very concerned about the environment and nutrition that her generation could not have been because they didn't even know about these things (even the scientist hadn't figured it out). Can you see the difference between this and your combative/critical approach so far?

Finally, try to compromise. The annoying things she is doing is primarily that, but ultimately not harmful to your kids. I couldn't leave my daughter with either set of grandparents (dad's second wife is the worst) because they literally don't believe that she is allergic to nuts, despite the fact that I am also and have gone into anaphalyxic shock 18x in my life (hello?!!) But I watched my sister handle these issues with grace and meet my mother (before she died) half way. I would give anything to have my mother alive and be a part of my daughter's life.

Good luck finding a liveable relationship with your mom. I hope that this helps.

Kelly - posted on 02/07/2010




Not to make this a light situation but it seems to me your mother is needing to feel needed and important still, as when she raised you. I am a grandmother but I still have kids at home so I do not feel this need but I do know plenty of grandmothers that do feel the need. As it has been suggested I would get a bag of the diapers that are 80% recycled and let her bring food after she leaves put it away somewhere and before she comes over again either donate it or put it back in your pantry and let her just feel needed. Yes I think she should respect your thoughts on this but it is hard sometimes for a grand mother to see anything wrong with what they are doing unless a child is allergic or has an illness (sorry Renae I would never do that to my grand baby). Slowly just say things like mom I saw you brought over something you really do not like them having and I really don't mind the other food but next time could you not bring that. Then wait a few more times and say it about another item. This is probably the best way so she doesn't get defensive and it doesn't interfere with your relationship or the relationship with the kids. Have her over for meals and let her start enjoying the great foods you buy and enjoy. Other then this I am lost my mother quit watching my kids cause even when I told her no to cutting my kids hair she would do it anyways. I think you are trying to do the best with your kids and I think she will see that also I just think it is sometimes harder to accept our kids and grand kids do not need us. I have vowed to my kids to never do these things and they said I had no choice cause they want me to cook and feed all of them lol Of course that is why I told them I wasn't going to do it lol! Good luck you are doing a great job keep it up!!!

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Wow. That's a really tough situation. You and I have a lot in common as far as how our kids were born, and how we raise them. I kind of wish I could lend you my parents for a while. They own an organic farm, and my mom's kind of a hippie... she was always into natural births, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, organic foods, car seat safety, and all that other good stuff we hold so near and dear. The only issue I had with her was that she fed my daughter meat without my consent (we were vegetarians at the time), but later confessed because she felt bad about it, and never did it again. I wasn't really mad because other than that, she has always, without exception, asked if a certain food is ok for our kids before giving it to them. I've got to say, I was really surprised by how good she is about this since she knows more about kids than I do (she has worked in the education field for over 20 years, and teaches classes for early childhood education majors at a college in our hometown).

Anyhow, I'm really trying to think of an easy solution for the problems you're facing, but nothing's coming to mind. I'd be so pissed if someone fed my kids something junky, or put my son in disposable diapers. I guess with the diapers, there is a little bit of a solution. What kind do you use? Now, my mom doesn't mind prefolds, since that's what she used on me and my sister and to her, prefolds = "normal diapers", but for other people, they really seem to do better with the Bum Genius dipes. Any pocket or all-in-one diaper is just as simple as disposables, as you know. You've probably already tried getting her comfortable with using those, but on the off chance that you haven't tried it yet, maybe that would be workable for her. The other thing, and I hate this as much as you do, is to maybe try to find some 7th Generation disposables. They do not have the nasty chemicals that all the major brands do, so even though it's still horrible for the environment, it's at least not too bad for the babies. A cloth diapering friend of mine stayed with her in-laws while her husband was deployed, and they did not allow her to wash cloth diapers in their home, so she used the 7th Generation disposables, and she said they weren't bad. I've never used them, but I trust her opinion.

The food, I don't think there is a compromise for, and there is CERTAINLY not a compromise on the car seat issue. Would she be willing to watch some car seat safety videos on Youtube if you sat down with her (maybe went over to her house, even) and showed them to her? My mom initially did not understand extended rear-facing (didn't question our decision to do it, but did not really understand the benefits of it), but after I explained it to her along with some related statistics, she's 100% on board, and even tells other people about it. I think a lot of the unsafe car seat practices that people do stem from a lack of understanding of what is safe, and that if they come to understand it, they will do the right thing. Maybe going to a class with a CPST was not something your mom was willing to do, but maybe she would be willing to spend 15 minutes on Youtube to get the key points of that information. Only you know the answer to that.

I guess all I can really say is good luck. I'm sure it is very difficult to deal with this situation, because what I see is a massive misunderstanding, and that maybe she thinks you are questioning her ability to care for kids, and has gotten offended. That's a hard thing to fix. Come to think of it, is there another relative or family friend who may see your point on this stuff, who could talk to her WITH you as sort of an outside third party? That could help.

Kristi - posted on 02/05/2010




Thanks so much for the great input everyone! To bring you up to date. Today she emailed me (which she never does - so she must be very hacked off at me) to say she had made other plans and would not be coming over to be with my youngest on Tuesday. Please tell me what you think of this email I sent her back.

"We did not need a babysitter and we have never treated you like one. You said you wanted to spend time with the kids. Unless there is a family function at your house, it seems like most times having you come over while I go somewhere is the only reason you will come over. Dad says now you have made other plans. It seems like you are doing this on short notice to demonstrate your hurt feelings. You are the one who said I was "hurtful, hateful, ungrateful" and "b*tching." I did not say any of those things about you, even though you keep ignoring and brushing off any sort of attempt I make to ask you to please stop bringing food over to our house for the kids. I am not a food zealot, I just want them to eat what I have for them. Unlike you, I do not come over to your house with my own food and start fixing it for them in front of you. Who is hurtful? I would not make up a new word (granding) for spending time with my grandchildren that was meant to imply that I was too good for babysitting. If my daughter wanted my grandchildren to wear fruit leather for diapers I would ask "which flavor do you think they like best?" I would stop fighting her on every little thing and act like forty years had passed since my children were little. I would support her in most everything she did for her children because I would know that all of her efforts were made out of complete love for them. I would not complain bitterly and constantly about things she asked me to do "her way" or say she had "too many rules" - I would just do my best to follow them because that would lift her up and make her feel confident that she was doing a great job with her kids. I will know that this does not mean I didn't do a wonderful job of raising my kids my way, but that my daughter is her own person and has a right to raise her children any way she sees fit so long as the end product is a happy, compassionate, well-adjusted child. I think mine are far beyond that criteria. I will know that it is not my right to criticize my daughter for asking others, including me, to respect her ways in her own home. I don't think that any of the things that I have just said characterize the way you described me. I believe I have a right to stand my ground without you going to pieces as if I have done it to hurt you. Your grandchildren love you dearly. I love you dearly. I know that I would not be the mother that I am without having been raised by you. I hope you will stop acting like everything I do is a criticism of you. It is not. I just want to be myself and set guidelines for my kids and have that be okay with you."

Nichole - posted on 02/05/2010




this is easy. tell her like it is. grow a backbone and explain to her that these are YOUR kids and you will do things YOUR way, otherwise... she can no longer babysit or come over. tell her to butt out and mind her business already!

Jamie - posted on 02/05/2010




I have mixed feelings on this. I have been very blessed to have both a fantastic mother, and a fantastic mother-in-law. That being said, I am somewhat of a control freak when it comes to what my son eats, and what goes on his body. I try to feed my son organic as much as I can afford(which isn't as much as I'd like), and I usually try homeopathic or natural remedies before I resort to the typical medicines. I also do not like the typical diapers, but did not find the cloth diapers very feasible for other people to watch my son (with chemo treatments and several hospital stays I had to allow for this) so I compromised and buy the huggies natural diapers (they use organic, non chlorine bleached cotton, and no odor killing fillers). As far as food goes, I pretty much prepare tv dinners for whoever is watching him to make things easier for them, and so I know he is eating the things I approve of. I put all his food on one of those separated baby plates, and put it all in the fridge. I feed him what I want him to eat, but I feel I have to allow for slightly different things when he goes to either grandparents house. While it might not be organic, I know they won't give him anything that will hurt him in the long run. I feed my son organic because I believe its a build up of toxins that causes prIoblems, so I feel its okay if he doesn't get organic at the grandparents per se, but I do make sure that he gets a protien, a carb and a fruit and/or veggie every meal. I know the grandparents do enjoy the time with my son, but on the other hand, they have to take time out of thier schedules to do so, so I do not feel I can force them to do things exactly the way I do it. I feel like the more rules I enforce on them, the more it becomes a chore, not something fun for them. Eventually, they will probably stop asking to watch the child(ren), and then my child misses out on that time. My mother in law raised 3 wonderful children, and my mom successfully raised me, so I don't worry about it too much. Essentially, I pick my battles. I know my mom thinks I am being overly protective sometimes, because there are some things I ask her to do differently than she did with me, but as far as I know she respects my parenting decisions. I agree that in this situation, a compromise on both parts is needed, but you can also try to ensure that she at least feeds them what you want them to eat by preparing thier meals ahead of time.

Sarah - posted on 02/05/2010




In my opinion it is perfectly ok to tell your mother exactly what you expect from her while she is watching your children, but I do think that you should let up a little and let her enjoy her grandkids and them enjoy her as long as she isn't doing them any harm. I really don't think that it is right to treat her as a babysitter with a list of do's and do nots she did at the end of the day successfully bring you up and I think that it is disrespectful in a way to treat her in anyway other than the grandmother that she now is. I also think that her bringing all of her own food is not right and if she wants to bring them one small treat that you have allowed that is ok and as for the disposable nappies if the issue is environmental I think that is her own choice....if it is that you think that is is bad for your children in someway then that is a different matter. I hope that you manage to sort out the differences with your mother maybe a compromise on both sides is what is needed =)

Elizabeth - posted on 02/05/2010




Wow, there's a whole myriad of stuff going on for you girl! For what it's worth: Let's start with the easy one. Nappies - Nature Babycare developed in Sweden are 80% biodegradable and breathable. Perhaps have a pack on hand for your mum when she is sitting. Keep things easy there! From what I can tell, the choices you have made in regard to food are for the nutritional benefit of your children, which is a number one priority in their growth and development. And, seems like you're not completely anal about the odd chip here and there! From your mum's point of view - it seems every choice you have made is landing as a judgement call in how she raised you. I don't believe that any part of that situation actually has anything to do with the kids. So! Though I believe grandparents should be allowed to indulge their grandkids on occasion, when it comes to regular meals, NOBODY messes whith the choices i make. I can't tell from your post if you have food made up and ready for your mum to be able to feed the kids, or she needs to prepare it herself from the ingredients you have bought. So, just take all the guesswork out and have their meals ready to go. As I said though, I don't think that the situation is about your kids. I think possibly there could be a few unresolved issues with your mum and she is letting you know she is unhappy (feeling unappreciated, judged and under valued) through her actions. Someone once said to me that people speak the truth through what they do, not what they say. And as justified or unjustified as those feelings are: that is her reality. What is your ideal outcome here for your mum, kids and yourself?

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I wonder if we will annoy our kids as much as our mothers annoy us. In twenty years time will our daughters or daughter in laws be saying look it just isnt done like that anymore just butt out and let me raise my baby my way. I think they will. I do feel sorry for you and your mothers im sure she just wants to help and cant understand why what she thinks is well meaning behaviour is upsetting you so much. My mother died before my sons were born so i never had to experience what your going through, my mother in law didnt have any interest in my kids at all so no problems there either. Its a difficult situation but the world isnt going to end if she puts a disposable nappy on your child or feeds them a bit of trashy food. Talk to her and tell her why you are upset and the reasons you want to use cloth nappies and organic food.

Medic - posted on 02/05/2010




I am with Renae on this. I lay down the rules with my children and I fully expect my parents to follow them. Thankfully they follow my rules to a T with the exception of my dad letting my 3 year old get away with things(which is ok because they are the grandparents) but they feed him what I say is ok and everything and when he was an infant they stuck to his schedule like glue and they do now with our daughter. I personally would not stand for MY decisions on how to raise MY kids to be underminded.

Renae - posted on 02/05/2010




Honestly, I dont know that there is a middle ground. This will sound harsh but my mother and MIL are BABYSITTERS and I expect from them what I would expect from any other babysitter. They have no right to an opinion or say in anything. Neither are allowed to give my baby anything but the food I prepare for him (this comes from MIL wanting to give orange juice to a reflux baby), they are not allowed to do his exercises (from the physio) with him - this comes from MIL asking me what the physio said to do, I showed her a few things the physio had said, obviously I didn't sit there and explain every last thing, and then I found out that she spent 3 whole hours putting my poor baby on his hands and knees and trying to push him to crawl even though he kept falling over from exhaustion! MIL no longer babysits until she can behave like a normal babysitter and just look after and play with him, feed him what I tell her to, put him to bed when I tell her to and the way I tell her to. Every time he is left with her he is SO distressed when I get home it takes me hours to calm him and get him to bed.

Grandparents are not parents. If I want their opinion I will ask for it. I have plenty of other mums and resources at my disposal to ask things. My mother and MIL have no idea. MIL keeps telling me its ok for a baby's temp to be a few degrees higher than an adults, now that is just downright dangerous. My mother wants me to give him walnut tincture (which has a very high concentration of alcohol) to "kill the bacteria in his stomach causing the reflux". Oh and it just gets worse from there. If I ever find out either of them has given him anything other than the food I leave for him they will never sit for him again and I have clearly told them that on more than one occasion, along with a stern "and dont think I wont know! I know my baby!".

I guess I am lucky, I am a SAHM so I take my baby with me everywhere, even to work. I dont NEED anyone to look after him, if they have him it is out of convenience not necessity. They are the ones that want to have him; MIL in particular - who bought a cot for him for her house and is very hurt he has not spent the night with her - he is only 11mo. She has proven time and time again she cant be trusted with him for a few hours during the day so why on god's earth would I leave him with her all night?! I know she has raised 2 kids but clearly they survived out of pure and utter luck!

It's hard for you because your mum has taken offense to you excerising your right to be their mother and make your own decisions. MIL did try to argue at first but she has given up. Your mum got to make her own decisions with you, be they right or wrong, and you should have that same priviledge. Or maybe I'm just a b*tch myself!

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