Grandparents Wanting to be Parents

prettybabiesJanuary 15, 2010

This is the issue, although there are many that have led us to this point.

My MIL and FIL want to dictate to my husband and I when they will see the kids, and this is not negotiable.

Now some background: We have three children ages 2.5,3.5 and 5. When my eldest daughter was born my Husband and I worked a lot in a Metropolitan City and commuted several hours a day. She was in childcare for practically 12 hours a day. My Husband was a VP and under extreme stress and I was a Retail Manager working excessive and odd hours. We made 6 figures a year but knew we had no life. Then my second daughter was born and we knew that if things didn't change they would have no quality of life with us. So we took huge paycuts and moved to my Husbands rural hometown and two doors down from my in-laws hoping to attain some kind of balance for our childrens sake. Thats where it all begins. We had the girls stay with my in-laws while we sold our house in the city and packed everything for the move since it all would have to go into storage. This was the longest two weeks of my life since my babies were so young, but it was just not safe for them at home. My in laws let us stay at thier house while we closed on ours and got it ready to move into. This lasted a very long month. Finally after nearly killing eachother my MIL and I were able separate which was good for the both of us. My In laws offered to watch the kids while we went to work although I insisted on part time day care they refused. This went on another few months and then came number three a beautiful boy. Now there would absolutely be part time daycare, but I had to compromise with only the oldest two going part time to keep the peace. My MIL insisted the baby should go to a lady she knew on a drop in basis only if she was not available. While it seems as though we should be greatful for having such helpful parents there are the downsides. My inlaws have insisted my Husband and I take the kids to their house befor daycare so they can eat breakfast and they will take them to school, so they don't have to eat too early since my husband an I leave for work at 7:15. My inlaws pick the kids up from school every day at 3:30 instead of me picking them up at 4:45, not because we ask them to but because they feel that they are at school too long. That means every day I have to get my kids from their home where, my MIL proceeds to tell me (and everyone else for that matter) how difficult it is to watch three toddlers)how exhausting they can be until I get there. Now mind you this was their idea. My two precious daughters are both in Pre-k one in advanced because she has a Sept. 1 birthday. All 3 stay for a long day M,TH and F and my inlaws pick them up after class at 10:30 on Tu. & W. My son goes all day only on M,W,F. and stays with the inlaws all day Tu & W. Now this schedule is extremely hectic and there are times that my husband and I are told to bring pull-ups, milk, juice to either daycare or other items to their house, and we do forget. No to mention dance bags for the girls who have various classes throughout the week. Three toddlers can be overwhelming working full time. Try as we may we are not perfect.

Now to the blow-up: My MIL yells at me in front of my children that I make her feel like S**T! I don't concern myself with what they need. So I put my foot down and say "I appreciate everything you have done and we could never have made it to this point without your help, but it is time that we take our responsibilities back as parents and we will make the necessary arrangements for their care. You are welcome to see them and visit them, but it is no longer necessary for you to be involved daily with our lives, this is our family."

So now here lies the problem, my MIL and FIL have expressed to my Husband that they are dissapointed in him because our youngest does not need to be in daycare everyday for no reason. My MIL feels that I have stolen the children from her. They insist that they get my son on Tu & W. and pick the girls up early from school daily. My problem is where is what I want in all this. I have no say on snacks, candy, nap time, my 5 year old refuses to sleep in her own bed because my MIL takes naps with her in her bed. They don't eat dinner because when I pick them up they have handfuls of candy at 4:45 or chips dipped in ranch dressing (don't get me started). I know their heart is in the right place, but we just need some space to build our family, rules and values. My husband and I need to grow together and make choices for our family whithout the constant fear of dissapointment. I've tried to talk to my MIL and she says she knows its our decision but she doesn't like it and continues to do things her way and demands things be done hers, because she raised hers and her daughters (whom by the way was just a working mom allowing her mother to help with childcare). I have drawn the line in the sand and taken the kids to daycare done, things on our terms and all seems to be going well but its only been a week. My husband is miserable being at odds with his parents, but feels we are doing the right thing. They have too much going on in their own lives and although they feel up to it they aren't. What to I do?

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Well, you've made a good start. Your MIL is waaaaaaaaay out of line, and I am a person who normally would say "cut MIL a little slack". Keep the kiddies in daycare, don't let MIL babysit even in an emergency, or she'll start pushing to resume the regime that was making you so unhappy. Make sure the school knows MIL is NOT to pick up the littlies after school, because I bet that will occur to her sooner or later. Your husband is just going to have to resolve himself to sound like a broken record with his parents: "Thanks Mom, you've been a huge help but we've decided to do it a new way now...thanks Mom, you've been a huge help but we've decided to do it a new way now...thanks Mom," and if your MIL starts up with "This is all DIL's fault!" he needs to back you up and own the decision too. Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 2:53AM
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Right on--colleenoz--my advice exactly and this is from a grandma who dearly loves her grandkids. It is imparitive that your husband stands on your side in this.

Don't cut your in-laws off from contact with the kids but make sure their visits are on your terms with your rules and both you and your husband have to stand firm and take no crap from your MIL. If she starts to yell at you in front of the kids remove both yourself and the kids from her presence. Kids should not have to live with discord from adults who should know better.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 7:49PM
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Three little kids and you go to work? If you want to raise your kids your way, stay home and raise them. That's the best way. Don't say it's not an option. Prioritize!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 10:22AM
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I'd be interested to hear the grandmother's side of the story.

sounds like OP & her husband moved very close indeed to the grandparents, had a 3rd child after they moved there, & availed themselves of grandmother's services as long as grandmother kept her place.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2010 at 5:10PM
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First at a grandma and great grandma I DO NOT baby sit. There are personal reasons and the kids all understand and approve. I had a mother, now gone that did basically what your relatives are doing so I felt that I never got trained and do not have good confidence. All my children and grandkids do understand and they approve. As the kids got older, pre-teens, and teens, we went places and do have fun.
If I were you, I would think about moving further away from the parents. Are you working part time? Can you work part time? You set the rules, I try real hard to follow the rules the kids set and it I really disagree, I will discuss it with them, without the kids around. It works.
Also look at your rules. Are there Parenting clases in your area? Check the YMCA, etc. there are some magazines that do offer good articles, Read and discuss with husband anything you see. Go on vacations. That is very important. Visit other people/relatives/etc. By the way, vacations do not have to be long and/or expensive. Can be a 3 day trip to a local place. Your city should have good ideas.
Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2010 at 4:23PM
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You and your husband need to decide how to raise your children and then stick to your guns. You sound like fine parents to me :) As a grandmother I can say that we should respect what the parents want unless (as in my case) the parents are not acting mature enough to be good examples! It is time for your in-laws to be grands and not care givers. Keep the kids in day care until they agree and can prove they will follow by your rules. The decide if you want to let them take the kids part time. BTW, bad idea to move 2 doors down! I know small town living as my son is a few blocks away but if he thought abut moving next door I'd move! Good luck to you :)

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 11:36PM
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i read every word here because i am having the same problem with my son. again this is an old thread but im hoping it stirs up more attention. i tried to read calmly and not take anything personal because i truly want the situation to improve. and if i look at it honestly, well even tho my son has been kind of difficult i can totally understand feeling this way. when i had him i felt the same way. i didnt even want him to bond with strangers like at the grocery store.

it must be a parental thing, you may have even felt it years ago about someone else and just forgot the feeling.

hormones i think when it comes to these things should also be taken into account. i dont know about you but im headed for menopause. got all the signs anyway. also your daughters hormones can be off after pregnancy.

personally, ive decided to back off and try to encourage their time together rather focusing on the time i want.

thats another thing. how much is the baby being attached to you vs you being attached to the baby. i know because again when i look at it honestly i feel a very strong attachment to this child. and like someone said above i believe it could be unhealthy.

i have always love babies and worked in a nursery at my church so that i could be around them more. maybe that is something to consider doing again. that way you get your baby fix and your daughter has the time to build the confidence she needs in attaining a strong bond with the baby.

i am so fortunate to have stumbled across this site. it really opened my eyes.

thanks to everyone for their honesty. it definitely opened my eyes to some things i needed to hear.

and i bet once you back off a bit you will have the opportunity to share beautiful bonding experiences with both of them at the same time.

peace love and happiness
gezzi girl

Here is a link that might be useful: my blog

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 10:33AM
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First thing came to mind when reading was-It's not about rules-its about the grandparents understanding you need to do the things necessary for the family your hubby and you are building. To get a routine down suitable to build your life as a family. Though you so much appreciated their helping hand in all that they did while moving and for the time after-its time to move on and have an uninteruppted 'sure' routine down.

Being super close really downplays the situation. "Oh its not a problem to do this or that" but I, as a gp certainly would grow tired of it after awhile. The son and dil need to have their space, and the parents to step back until the son & family gets their personal family space situated.

I say, PrettyBabies, continue what you're doing. I think you've done the right thing. After rereading I said What 'You Said already'! Stand firm! With a little time you probably wouldn't mind an occasional GP's hand! But this is about you and hubby's family-first.

God Bless...

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 8:24AM
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