As we wind down (or gear up, depending on your point of view) for the summer holidays and all that traveling with young children entails, my stress levels are rising. And they have not been helped by the obligatory pre-holiday visit from the in-laws.
We are taking BabyBoy and BabyGirl to visit my parents this summer (woo hoo!). They live overseas so it’s a big deal for us to go. My in-laws, on the other hand, live a few hours drive from us and we see them all too regularly. However, this has not stopped my mother-in-law from acting like we’re emigrating.
‘Grandma’s going to miss you sooo much!’
‘You’re going for such a looong time!’
‘BabyBoy, will you talk to Grandma on the telephone while you’re away?’
Yes, she’s piling on the guilt thick and fast. And those are sentences she has said to my 2 year olds.
But as a final, parting shot she decided to remind us that she still, still, has no respect for us as parents.
My in-laws are good, worthy people. But boy do they rile me up when it comes to my children.
My mother-in-law in particular suffers from (a) a lack of tact, and (b) a lack of boundaries. On a bad day, I can silently (and when she has gone, not-so-silently) wish that she never had to set foot over my threshold again. On a good day, I can take a deep breath and let it go. Continue reading
I have a fraught relationship with my in-laws at the best of times. I’ve attended parent coaching to try and improve things. I’m trying to forgive them for the mess they made around the birth of my children. I’ve let them come and visit four times in the past six weeks.
But now I’ve officially HAD ENOUGH. Continue reading
Another pearl of wisdom came forth from my mother-in-law recently (can you guess she’s been visiting?)
So, here’s the scenario. She came to visit. She played with BabyBoy and BabyGirl. She noticed that my parenting involves teaching my children (shocker). She’s had a son. Continue reading
Adding to the list of ‘did my mother-in-law really mean that’ sayings…
18-month old BabyGirl was being a bit cheeky – she was standing on a battery-operated toy. I told her ‘we use our hands, not our feet’ (something I’m saying on a daily basis right now), and when she just sort of looked at me I went over and gently moved her feet.
Sometimes, I just don’t know whether my mother-in-law says things for the sake of saying them, or she is genuinely surprised by aspects of parenting which I see as common sense. Continue reading
My final Ten Thoughts Tuesday post is addressing respect.
1. Respect is something that come to the forefront of my mind since having children.
2. Regular readers will know that the lack of respect my mother-in-law shows me as a mother (and Multidaddy as a father) is one of the reasons our relationship is somewhat strained.
3. And whether it’s having children, or just getting older, I now also demand respect from people I associate with.
A teacup on a saucer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Now, seriously, you’ve brought up a child. You’ve ‘been there, done that’ in terms of toddlerhood (supposedly). So why why why do you continue to do things which are, lets face it, downright dangerous when you’ve got little people in the house?
I might be being mean here, but it annoys the heck out of me when the grandparents swan in and think their only job is to be entertained by BabyBoy and BabyGirl. Fine, do come and visit, but don’t leave me to clean up the dinner table while you do a runner with a baby to the nursery.
Nothing in life is free. If you come over, expect to at least offer to give me a hand. I’ll probably be polite and refuse, encouraging you to go play with the kids, but offering will stand you in good stead in getting time with my children.
It’s a sad sad fact that we just cannot trust my mother-in-law around BabyBoy and BabyGirl.
I thought we were making progress. She was knocking when she came to our front door instead of barging on with her key (which Multidaddy had foolishly given her, but that’s another story), she was asking me what food she could give to the children when we went out for meals together, she would double-check with me if she thought one of them needed changing.
But now that’s all been shattered by one weekend visit.
Regular readers of this blog will know that we have had problems with sleep, especially when it comes to BabyBoy. So I am very very strict when it comes to sleep – and one cardinal rule is to allow the babies time to resettle themselves rather than going in straight away if they make a noise. Knowing that the grandparents find this very difficult to comprehend, we have always and repeatedly said that Multidaddy or I will decide when naptime is over.
So BabyBoy and BabyGirl went down for their lunchtime nap. They are pretty good nappers – at least an hour and a half at lunchtime so I took the opportunity to take a shower. I had the monitor with me. Mother-in-law was watching tv in the living room. Multidaddy was on a call in the study.
Less than a hour after they’d gone down BabyBoy made a few noises. Brushing my hair in the bathroom I kept an eye on the monitor. It was unusual, but BabyBoy was clearly half-asleep. Then, as I watched, the door to the nursery opened and I see mother-in-law creep in. Continue reading