Not A Pregnancy Question About My Toddler And Mother In Law

21 Replies
frustrated! - April 5

ok, i know this isn't the right place, but it's really bothering me and i need to get some advice from other preggo's who already have children. OK......... (deep breath), the other day while visiting with my inlaws, i was reading the newspaper and when i looked up my son was GONE (only 19months). I looked all over the house and finally noticed my mother in law had taken him by the hand and was down the street over a block away. I was very upset that she had taken him without my knowledge, but to make matters worse, she is legally blind and doesn't even go for walks on her own (although in her own home is very able to do almost everything from cooking and cleaning to taking care of herself and her own mother in law). Afterwards, she made a point of bragging about how they went to the park, until my husband made her come home. (i might also mention he warned her about him taking off as he usually does, she brushed it off, and on the way back when he actually did take off made NO effort to retrieve him). She also made a point of disobeying our wishes later that day (asked her not to feed him any more french fries and she turned and told my son "mummy and daddy said no, but gramma said it's ok so here you go!"). We do see them on a weekly basis and i don't feel they should spoil him to any amount because of it, and his behavior is different while at their house. My husband usually sets things straight with them because it's his parents, but i don't think they take him seriously (we are only in our early 20's). She has never seemed to approve of me, and i don't know how to approch this without causing problems. I am too angry to have a civil converstation at this point, but something needs to be done. Anyone have any idea's??? My son needs his grandma, but none of us need this!!

 

Nadine - April 5

Don't let your son see you lose to her. That way he'll know the difference from her spoiling him to mommy's right and wrong. Let her say yes before you say no...sounds crazy, but I'm a high school teacher in alternative setting--she sounds like my students! You can't lose the fight in front of your son, so don't! If you start the fight, I think you have to win it. I may be wrong...anyone else?

 

lilmum - April 5

i completely agree, but i find it very hard to say anything at all infront of her, which is why i sort of have my husband do it. (i do back him up when needed) but she seems to find a new way undermine us five minutes later. I am very concerned that she doesn't seem to look out for his safety. There have been quite a few instances where her own wants have come before our son's best interest.

 

Nadine - April 5

And, you need to be more a__sertive--not aggressive, a__sertive. It's a good lesson to teach your child and, maybe she'll back off...hopefully.

 

tiffani - April 5

I would be sure that you keep your eyes on him at all times when you're around Grandma. How unfair of her to go against your wishes where your child is concerned. I would make it a point of addressing the issue as it happens, not waiting for your husband to take care of it. If she gives your son a french fry, after you said no, tell her right then and there that you don't want him to have and and it and you don't appreciate her going against you. You have to stand up for yourself. Maybe grandma is acting out around you because of her disapproval of you. Either way it's not fair. Stand firm and don't be afraid of confrontation, sometimes it's the only way to make things change. Good luck.

 

X - April 5

Just say NO when she does it- even in front of your son. If she does whatever it is you said no to already anyways, just take your son with you and walk away-- polite still but firm when confronted about it.Mommy rules, not Grandma.Once your MIL gets tired of provoking you in any way--she'd know and respect that you're not a pushover. It's VERY IMPORTANT that you get the respect of your son.

 

Nadine - April 5

If you can't say anything in front of her now, practice being a__sertive in other places--like at the grocery store, if someone buts you in line, or...think of a situation when you can practice it. Then, try it out on her! SOunds funny...good luck!

 

lilmum - April 5

i do my best, but she acts like i'm joking, and if i don't forget about it and keep pushing, she brings others into it. (told her no about the fries, she kept saying yes, and then told my father in law to give them to him instead.. making it much worse). Not only that, but she tells others how mean i am to my son for not allowing him to do things, and how horrible it is that they haven't babysat yet (can't blame me, her behavior dictates whether i will allow my son to be unsupervised with her). I don't want my son to hear these things. I don't talk about my frustration with her infront of him, because it's not fair to him, and although i expect the same from her, i feel as though i am playing a childish high school game with a forty something woman who is used to getting her way. This has been going on since my son was born (told me to let my two week old baby cry it out for fifteen minutes before b___stfeeding him. and when i down right refused, she held and "intervention" on my son's behalf stating i was spoiling him and he'd be a brat because of it). I just can't let my son here the badmouthing she does when i protest, and am wondering if our visits should be less often (like once a month rather that once or twice a week) but i'm not sure if this is fair to my son. He loves his grandpa and aunt and uncle who also live there, and would not want to take that away from him. The rest of my husbands family (father and siblings) are on my side and say things when needed, but she just ignores them as well.

 

X - April 5

Do your in-laws have any form of education at all? Values? Doubt it. Keep your son away from them, quick!

 

lilmum - April 5

Sometimes i wonder how my husband survived! LOL. I wouldn't think twice about cutting off visitation if it weren't for his grandpa (whom he loves soooooo much! and is the main reason we go there) as well as his aunt and his uncle.

 

D - April 5

What about cutting the number visits down for now (hoping things will get better in the future after you make your point...) and having a couple extra "boys in the park" trips, or something? Have your husband, son, and grandpa do something together? Its so hard to know what to suggest without knowing you... I'm afraid if my MIL tried something like this, I'd be furious. I admire the restraint you seem to have used so far... but enough is enough! The bottom line is, you are the parent, you decide what is best for your boy! Good luck!

 

Sorry to be Devil's Advocate - April 5

But, if your Mother In Law is legally blind and your child is only 19 months old, it is your responsibility to keep your eyes on him. I agree that she should not take him without your permission, but you have got to pay closer attention. I also believe that Grandparents have a right to spoil your kids. How many times did your grandparents let you have something that your parents said No to? I know mine did!!! That was what was fun about it. Just remember that she was a Mom too and raised your Husband to be such a good guy that you married him. Give her a break, that is what being a grand parent is all about! Now, I do understand that if you honestly see them once a week, then you need to say something. I can see if you see them once a month, to have a little leway. So, you need to be the Mom and tell grandma that you don't think somethings are acceptable. I don't agree with doing it in front of the child. That is undermining her. You are doing to her what you do not appreciate she is doing to you. Take her aside, tell her everything that you typed above... and let her know that you don't appreciate being talked down to in front of your child.

 

sorry - just read your reply - April 5

You are so right for what you are doing! My apologies... I am Devil's Advocate!

 

lilmum - April 5

I understand where your coming from. Please don't think i left my child unattended. That is not the case. She literally waited until i wasn't looking (which was all of three minutes). She does this, where she 'hides' on me and have expressed my utter disapproval before. It's always been in a bedroom before and has never taken him outside on her own before, so i didn't think she would. I would have no problems allowing them to spoil him to some degree (and allow all the other grandparents to do so) but she doesn't have any limits and once i've said yes once, it never stops! If i say he can have one cookie, she will continue feeding him cookies until they're all gone and find him something else sugary instead. It is a weekly thing (every sunday or i don't hear the end of it until the following sunday and things are usually worse because she feels ent_tled to do these things because her visit the week before was taken away from her). I don't want to lose it infront of her, which is why i have a hard time saying much at all. I try to be firm, but the more pregnant i get, the harder it is to keep calm. I am really starting to lose it and am fearing what things will be like once i have my next child.

 

lilmum - April 5

and just a sidenote, she hasn't accepted her blindness (happened over ten years ago, and was almost completely blind then, but is slowly regaining some vision) and she doesn't admit it! She pretends she is fine and can do everything anyone else can do. I have no doubt she can do many things on her own, but when it comes to this, i simply don't feel comfortable.

 

You are so right - April 5

I apologize again! I think that you definitely need to say something! I can't imagine how frustrating that must be for you. I think you should definitely limit your time... do you go to her house, or does she come to yours? You now have the perfect excuse to stay away... you are exhausted and are going to take a week or two off. I know that is easier said than done! Also, please forgive me, I didn't mean to imply that you weren't watching your child.

 

lilmum - April 5

no worries. I'm not angry at all. Thank you (and everyone) for your input. I really really appretiate it. I am so frustrated and so very relieved to know that i'm not crazy and this is unacceptable.

 

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