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  • Grandparents

    The short version: Please let me know if any of you have trouble with your families wanted to be more involved and how you deal with that? What do you do about criticism? Up until now I've been brushing it off for the sake of the relationship but it keeps resurfacing.

    The long version: My daughter is nearly 16 mo and from the time she was born my mother has questioned my AP style of parenting. My mother returned to work when I was a month old and looked down on SAHM. We never had a real attachment. She never breastfed. My mother is afraid of emotions and says things like "you're okay" or tries to distract my daughter when she is upset.
    I am a SAHM now and my mother comes over once a week to visit. I feel that she really longs to be alone with my daughter and she will take her into the other room just to get away. I have not left her with my daughter because I simply do not trust her to tell me if she was upset while I was gone. I also worry about my mother's ability to keep my daughter safe. (I don't know where to begin in this area except to say that my mom smokes cigarettes and on ocassion pot. She also lacks basic common sense and does not wash her hands before feeding my daughter. These are two examples but I could go on)
    My husband suspects my mom is jealous of my relationship with my daughter. Up until now she prefers me to all other caregivers and is comforted by me when she cries.
    Tonight we went out to eat with my parents. My daughter was fussing while my mom was holding her. I reached out for her to put her on my lap. She leaned into my mom. Obviously she didn't want to sit and wanted to play and I was fine with that. What really hurt was what came next. My mom looked at me with this smug grin and said, "oh you don't need mommy" and took my daughter outside to play. It was the moment she was waiting for all these months and I felt like she was being vengeful. After a while my husband started to worry about what it was my mother was doing and I went out to check on her. My mother was letting my daughter run around the parking lot. She was not letting her run out into the road or where the cars were driving but she was allowing her to play near empty parking spaces and between cars. This was a little more than I was comfortable with and so I gently said to my daughter "that's too far. let's play over here". When I told my husband he was horrified and angry and I haven't been able to sleep. THere was another point in the evening when my mom walked back with my daughter and her eyes were red. I said, "she looks like she was crying" and my husband agreed. My mom denied it. He thinks she's lying. I'm sick over it.
    My mom is very difficult to approach. She is so uncomfortable with emotion that she becomes defensive if you try to talk to her. We never really have authentic discussions and my mom is still very much a mystery to me. I don't know if I should speak up or just brush it off again.

  • #2
    I'm so sorry mama! I understand where you are coming from. My parents are on the cry it out train and while they do question my style of parenting, they don't usually say much. Mostly safety concerns about co-sleeping and babywearing. I honestly would sit your mother down, no matter how difficult it is, and have a chat. Tell her that while you appreciate her input and that she wants to have a relationship with her granddaughter, she is YOUR daughter first and YOUR wishes concerning her upbringing need to be followed in order for that relationship to be allowed to progress and flourish. Explain to her that it confuses your daughter and is unfair to her to be allowed to do things one way with Grandma and another with Mom and Dad. I agree with your husband, it does sound like your mother may be a wee bit jealous and might possibly be regretting some of her own choices. I, personally, would probably not allow her to be alone with my daughter unless I was nearby (such as at home in another room) where I could hear them. HTH mama!