Advice on responding to Critical Grandparents

LuLu - posted on 01/24/2014 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I am very fortunate to have parents and in-laws who are very doting grandparents. They are crazy about my 2 year old and 6 month old. My parents live 20 minutes away from me and my in-laws live 40 minutes away. We see both sets of parents at least once a week. Some weeks, my parents see the kids more than my in-laws. When that happens, my in-laws express how much they miss this kids. They have said on several occasions that they would love to have them overnight. We have had our 2 year old overnight with them a few times. I'm not ready for my 6 month old to overnight yet. On the occasions that my 2 year old overnights, my mother gets very critical. She can't understand why he needs to overnight. The other day he overnighted with my in-laws and it snowed, so he stayed 2 nights. My mother kept criticizing and guilt-tripping me by saying "I wouldn't have let him overnight with them knowing that it was going to snow." Don't you miss him. I responded by saying that my in-laws keep asking for him to spend the night and I can't keep turning them down. They miss him and want to spend time with him. Any advice on how I can respond to my mother? I am tired of having to justify why my son spends the night with my in-laws. I love my son to death, but sometimes it's nice for my husband and I to have a break, especially with my son being in the terrible 2 phase.

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Amanda - posted on 03/21/2014

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My mom is very critical of how I raise my daughter and the fact I let her stay over at my in laws but not at her house. My answer to my mom (which has pretty much stopped her criticisms) is She is my child and I will raise her how I choose, you had your chance raising me let me raise her. Reason why she is allowed to stay at my in-laws and not my mothers is because she has a very specific bed routine and my mother refuses to follow it resulting in my daughter staying up until 10pm when her bed time is 7. Your parents should respect what your choices are and trust that you have your children's best interest at heart.

Chet - posted on 01/24/2014

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If I understand your situation correctly, you are comfortable with your 2 year old staying overnight with your in-laws, the only issue is that your mom gripes about it to you.

Honestly, I would quickly acknowledge what your mom is saying (yes, i miss him) and then I would focus on the positives (it's good to have a break, he's happy to be there, I feel rested and like a can be a better mom when he gets home, he's well taken care of, etc). And then I would change the subject.

To some extent too, you just need to let people have their opinions and not feel criticized. Your mom can think what she wants, you don't need to agree. She can offer advice, you don't need to take it.

I've always felt that we would know what was right for our kids by observing and listening to our kids, not by listening to what other people thought. Family and friends can be a great resource for ideas, but ultimately, you figure out what your family needs by listening to your family.

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