Jump to content


What's with the ads?

Photo
* * * - - 4 votes

Boundaries with non-home-school-supporting grandparents?


128 replies to this topic

What's with the ads?

#101 Jean in Newcastle

Jean in Newcastle

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 63942 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:23 PM

  
Well, maybe you understand it, but I don't.

Why would anyone visit their parents 4 TIMES A WEEK if those parents were abusive to her? That's ridiculous. And the once-a-week sleepovers are hardly necessary. It's not like her parents are watching the kids while she goes to necessary medical appointments or to a part time job that doesn't pay enough to make it worth hiring a sitter for the kids. And TKD lessons aren't an absolute necessity, either, so there is no actual need to accept money from her parents.

 

Yikes.  I don't think that you realize it but your posts are coming across as someone who wants the best for Moonhawk and her kids but who is trying to control her into doing it your way.  Because that is the subtext of "I don't understand".  It's not a simple "I don't understand the words or concept so please explain it to me."  It's a "I don't understand why anyone would do such a thing that I would never ever consider doing."  Giving her the advice to reconsider the amount of time she is spending with them and the narrative that the kids are hearing is one thing, putting in language that belittles her choices up until now is not ok.  It's not respectful of Moonhawk and the choices she's having to make every day in the trenches where she knows the situation much better than we do from reading posts on a message board. 


  • Jackie in AR, Harriet Vane, I talk to the trees and 6 others like this

#102 texasmom33

texasmom33

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5652 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:24 PM

It sounds like they are a close family, and the grandparents generally keep their "concerns" to themselves, but there have been heated moments, fights, arguments and blow-outs over the years. This creates a backlog of 'things said once in anger' (that are pretty unforgettable, even if apologies are made) and an overtone of knowing that they don't approve. To me it sounds like a bit of a 'cold war'.

In between blow-ups, they probably have perfectly normal times.

She said it comes up occasionally, usually around time to register for school. She never said they snipe at her constantly, and she seems to believe their claim that they don't bring it up with the kids.

 

I don't know about Moonhawk, but you pretty much just summed my situation up in a nutshell! 


  • snowbeltmom and CES2005 like this

#103 Anne in CA

Anne in CA

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5494 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:25 PM

Um, any time your kids spend the night with someone one day a week, you have no secrets AT ALL from that person. Kids ALWAYS know what is really going on, no matter how much you think they don't. I did children's ministry for years and heard kids prayer requests. Believe me, you don't really have the secrets you think you do. Your parents know your dh has issues, and while that may be part of the problem, I agree with Cat, that you probably got used to getting pushed around because your parents sound like they are super controlling.

 

There have been many other women on the board who had the same issues over the last 18 years and all of them had other problems with their parents also, it was never ONLY the home schooling. My dh's uncle had in-laws who did not want their only grandson to go to gifted classes and tried all the tactics you are talking about to keep dh's uncle from being labeled gifted and starting Oregon State at the age of 9. They finally did back out of their life all together because it only got worse. The grandparents thought that labeling a child with a genius IQ as a genius would ruin him. They were wrong. He has had a wonderful life, probably he is so charming and fun because the nutty grandparents didn't get to help raise him. But they really thought that the final say was theirs. They went away completely when they didn't get their way, and only then could everyone understand how dysfunctional they really were and had always been. 


  • unsinkable, Catwoman, DawnM and 1 other like this

#104 Tibbie Dunbar

Tibbie Dunbar

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 6062 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:26 PM

I'm sorry, Tibbie, but at what point did I suggest that Moonhawk should "start with cutting people off?" :glare:

If you read my other posts in this thread, one of the first things I suggested was that Moonhawk should seek counseling so she could try to improve her self-esteem and so she could learn to stand up for herself more effectively.


Well, yes, I read your posts. I'm addressing your inability to comprehend the scenario.

Moonhawk doesn't have other babysitters. If she wants to go to counseling, these grandparents are the people who will watch the kids while she learns how to stop needing them...
  • Jean in Newcastle, I talk to the trees, heatherwith3 and 5 others like this

#105 Tanaqui

Tanaqui

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 7438 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:38 PM

Catwoman, I agree that in the long run, she can't have it both ways. That's why I recommended she pulls back from having her kids spend so much time with her parents, and stops accepting financial assistance for extras like TKD. I also agree that counseling would be a good idea, given the amount of stress in her life - assuming she could get it without relying on her parents either to pay for some or to watch the kids.

 

However, the thing is, human relationships are complicated. On the outside it seems simple: If your partner hits you, you should leave. If your parents are mean, you should distance yourself from them. If your boss is a jerk, you should get another job.

 

But on the inside, it's not so simple. It's all messy and confused - especially when it comes to parents. Even really abusive parents (and it doesn't sound like hers are "really abusive", just controlling and possibly a bit toxic) are usually not abusive every second. It's not 24/7 beatings and insults. Instead it's mostly dinners together and chores and the occasional beating "for your own good" after which Mom or Dad cries ("this hurts me more than it hurts you") and a lot of "we know best, so do what we say". And mixed in with this are fun trips to the beach, and great birthday presents, and hugs, and family memories, and everybody talking about parental love and anyway, blood is thicker than water, right? And if you grow up with this, it's all normal. It can be hard to even see that there's something wrong, or how wrong it is. (Especially if there isn't any physical violence!)

 

It's a much more toxic mess, in its way, than straightforward sadism would be.


  • Lawana, Catwoman, idnib and 3 others like this

#106 Catwoman

Catwoman

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 28406 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:42 PM

Well, yes, I read your posts. I'm addressing your inability to comprehend the scenario.

Moonhawk doesn't have other babysitters. If she wants to go to counseling, these grandparents are the people who will watch the kids while she learns how to stop needing them...


Wow. Condescending much?

I think I comprehend the scenario just fine, thank you. :glare:

Moonhawk is the one who is complaining about her parents. If she wants the benefits they provide for her, she can either quietly accept whatever they say and not argue with them (which will solve nothing and her problems with them will never change because they will continue to complain about the same things and they will make the same disrespectful statements and threats,) or she can learn how to effectively defend herself and her choices and hope her parents will respect her for it.

Doing nothing changes nothing. Obviously, the choice is hers and she should do whatever she thinks is best for her family.

#107 unsinkable

unsinkable

    AD QUEM IBIMUS

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 17109 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:42 PM

There's nothing wrong with the fun sleepovers or the visiting 4 times a week or accepting the money for the TKD lessons, except that Moonhawk seems very unhappy with the relationship -- and if her parents have threatened to sue for custody of her children, it seems odd to have such an otherwise positive relationship with them. I'm not sure how anyone could remain in such an incredibly close relationship with people who threatened to sue for custody of her children. Even if it's possible to overlook negative comments about homeschooling, is it really possible to think Grandma and Grandpa are worth seeing several times a week after they've threatened to take her kids away from her?

As I suggested in an earlier post, I really think Moonhawk needs counseling to deal with this.

I think I know what you mean...

I think you mean that nothing is worth losing your kids and that once someone threatens to involve CPS, or try to take you'd kids away, you'd do anything and everything to protect your kids from that situation.

And that Moonhawk needs to take steps to do that.

It seems like maybe she is starting to do that by beginning this discussion?

Edited by unsinkable, 18 July 2017 - 02:43 PM.

  • Catwoman and Tanaqui like this

#108 Catwoman

Catwoman

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 28406 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:43 PM

Catwoman, I agree that in the long run, she can't have it both ways. That's why I recommended she pulls back from having her kids spend so much time with her parents, and stops accepting financial assistance for extras like TKD. I also agree that counseling would be a good idea, given the amount of stress in her life - assuming she could get it without relying on her parents either to pay for some or to watch the kids.

However, the thing is, human relationships are complicated. On the outside it seems simple: If your partner hits you, you should leave. If your parents are mean, you should distance yourself from them. If your boss is a jerk, you should get another job.

But on the inside, it's not so simple. It's all messy and confused - especially when it comes to parents. Even really abusive parents (and it doesn't sound like hers are "really abusive", just controlling and possibly a bit toxic) are usually not abusive every second. It's not 24/7 beatings and insults. Instead it's mostly dinners together and chores and the occasional beating "for your own good" after which Mom or Dad cries ("this hurts me more than it hurts you") and a lot of "we know best, so do what we say". And mixed in with this are fun trips to the beach, and great birthday presents, and hugs, and family memories, and everybody talking about parental love and anyway, blood is thicker than water, right? And if you grow up with this, it's all normal. It can be hard to even see that there's something wrong, or how wrong it is. (Especially if there isn't any physical violence!)

It's a much more toxic mess, in its way, than straightforward sadism would be.


I agree with everything you posted here. :)

#109 Catwoman

Catwoman

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 28406 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:47 PM

I think I know what you mean...

I think you mean that nothing is worth losing your kids and that once someone threatens to involve CPS, or try to take you'd kids away, you'd do anything and everything to protect your kids from that situation.

And that Moonhawk needs to take steps to do that.

It seems like maybe she is starting to do that by beginning this discussion?


I really hope so!

Moonhawk sounds like she is a great mom to her kids, and with the amount of stress she is already dealing with, it's terrible to think that her parents are saying the things they're saying to her. I hate it that she may be internalizing their comments and that they might be making her feel even worse about her situation. I'm hoping she will get counseling so she will realize that she is not the problem here!

#110 Tibbie Dunbar

Tibbie Dunbar

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 6062 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:55 PM

Wow. Condescending much?
I think I comprehend the scenario just fine, thank you. :glare:

Sigh. Please look back and note how many times you repeated the phrase "I can't understand" about the Op's situation and choices. If you could understand, and you were just saying that for some reason other than that you couldn't understand, then I don't think it's surprising that people misunderstood?

My eyes are glazing over now, so I'm going to be done with this.

Edited by Tibbie Dunbar, 18 July 2017 - 02:55 PM.

  • heatherwith3 and Mimm like this

#111 Catwoman

Catwoman

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 28406 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 02:59 PM

Sigh. Please look back and note how many times you repeated the phrase "I can't understand" about the Op's situation and choices. If you could understand, and you were just saying that for some reason other than that you couldn't understand, then I don't think it's surprising that people misunderstood?

My eyes are glazing over now, so I'm going to be done with this.


That's fine with me, because I honestly have no interest in arguing about this with you.

#112 unsinkable

unsinkable

    AD QUEM IBIMUS

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 17109 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 03:09 PM

Well, yes, I read your posts. I'm addressing your inability to comprehend the scenario.

Moonhawk doesn't have other babysitters. If she wants to go to counseling, these grandparents are the people who will watch the kids while she learns how to stop needing them...


In her situation...

I'd do my darndest to NOT let my parents know I was going to counselling. Her parents could/might/perhaps use that as ammunition against her.
  • Catwoman, idnib, MinivanMom and 4 others like this

#113 Catwoman

Catwoman

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 28406 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 03:40 PM

In her situation...

I'd do my darndest to NOT let my parents know I was going to counselling. Her parents could/might/perhaps use that as ammunition against her.


:iagree:

That's an excellent point. And aside from the obvious concern that her parents might try to use the information against her, can you imagine the barrage of questions she would have to face from them about why she was seeing a counselor? :svengo:

I agree that the less information she shares with her parents, the better.
  • unsinkable and zoobie like this

#114 MommyLiberty5013

MommyLiberty5013

    Don't Let the Lipstick Fool You

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 411 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 04:26 PM

It sounds like they are a close family, and the grandparents generally keep their "concerns" to themselves, but there have been heated moments, fights, arguments and blow-outs over the years. This creates a backlog of 'things said once in anger' (that are pretty unforgettable, even if apologies are made) and an overtone of knowing that they don't approve. To me it sounds like a bit of a 'cold war'.

In between blow-ups, they probably have perfectly normal times.

She said it comes up occasionally, usually around time to register for school. She never said they snipe at her constantly, and she seems to believe their claim that they don't bring it up with the kids.


I agree. These are all things OP said.

#115 unsinkable

unsinkable

    AD QUEM IBIMUS

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 17109 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 04:30 PM

It sounds like they are a close family, and the grandparents generally keep their "concerns" to themselves, but there have been heated moments, fights, arguments and blow-outs over the years. This creates a backlog of 'things said once in anger' (that are pretty unforgettable, even if apologies are made) and an overtone of knowing that they don't approve. To me it sounds like a bit of a 'cold war'.

In between blow-ups, they probably have perfectly normal times.

She said it comes up occasionally, usually around time to register for school. She never said they snipe at her constantly, and she seems to believe their claim that they don't bring it up with the kids.


There are "things said in anger," even once, that would be serious enough for me to drastically change the relationship.
  • Catwoman likes this

#116 Liz CA

Liz CA

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12578 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 05:21 PM

If you have bent over backwards trying to explain and alleviate their fears, I think there comes a time when it's okay to say: "We have had this conversation before. I am not changing my mind on this. Please, let's discuss something else."

 

If they cannot do this, I would leave - not forever and ever but cut the visit short at that time. Following the concept of operant conditioning, they should learn to avoid the subject pretty soon.


Edited by Liz CA, 18 July 2017 - 05:22 PM.

  • Catwoman, heatherwith3 and texasmom33 like this

#117 Moonhawk

Moonhawk

    In need of sleep, or chocolate.

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 329 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 06:50 PM

Hi guys, thanks. Read everything. Wow, lots of theory-crafting going on here. I always feel like I give all the info needed, and explain myself clearly, but I guess not this time. Thank you everyone for your concern and true care about myself and the kids. 

 

I can't remember everything asked/addressed/hypothesized [in the time I have alone at the screen], but to address some concerns:

 

• Somewhere in here there was the caveat of, "of course, if there IS abuse going on..." type of thing. Just to be clear, I DO NOT ABUSE MY KIDS AND DO NOT LET ANYONE ELSE. I HAVE CUT PEOPLE ALREADY BECAUSE OF THIS AND WILL DO SO AGAIN IN A HEARTBEAT, I DON'T CARE WHO IT IS.  Just wanted to get that out there in black and white. Politely, of course. :) 

• Please remember, DH's "erratic behavior" was in the past 4 months, for about 3 months. Threat to take kids away was last year?, year before last?, during one of our home school arguments. Yes, the threat was based totally on the decision to home school and DH has nothing to do with it, other than the fact he wants to home school. 

• The reason I posted on DH's behavior and for support was because it was SO out of character and I had no preconceived notion of how to even deal with it. It is not a pattern of abuse or how he has treated me in the course of our marriage. The past episodes he's had have been mild, much more mild, and with completely different symptoms. You have seen the play by play of the worst part of my marriage, and it didn't involve yelling or screaming or slamming doors. Okay, a few slammed doors, and some raised voices, all while kids weren't around. Yes, the kids know more than I think they do, I'm sure, but no, they were not hearing screaming fights in another room that they could report to grandparents. I was sincere when I said I did everything humanly possible to shield the kids. 

• The shielding, plus then the subsequent illness that happened (and our separating the household into healthy people and sick people), is what led to the current schedule of them seeing kids 4 days a week. Previously it had been 2. Bringing up the idea of going back to 2 + overnight was met with pouting and cajoling to keep as is. 2 days later they brought up the conversation that spurred this post.

• I'm sure my parents don't know about what happened with DH, if for no other reason than if they DID know, they would have brought it up in their last conversation as reason for me to not homeschool and change my life. Their best reason against DH was "he can't make a living in his career". So, yeah, reasonably certain anything the kids have told them has not let on to what has happened.

• DH is completely back to normal, btw, in therapy, we are putting together emergency plans for anything that happens in the future, and this is not something you need to be concerned about currently, in a "maybe I shouldn't home school in this situation" type of thing. 

• "constant" bringing up other schools as I said earlier is perhaps an exaggeration, and meant more in a "there is no never-bring-it-up-safe-zone-I-can-count-on". they bring it up every-so often, at least every 2 months. As I said later, it is centered around certain times of the year. 

 

Bolt's description of my parent relationship (sorry, quote won't work), is fairly on target. We have a discussion/fight/blow out/tears, go to our corners. Take a break from each other for a bit, then things begin to normalize a bit. In an effort to preserve relationships, the subject is pointedly ignored, until eventually it isn't really being ignored as much as in the background of a busy canvas. After the threat to take the kids, we had about a month (parents went on a trip right afterwards) where we had little time to see them. By the time they were back, the heated emotions were down to simmer, and were patched over by time, not medicinal talk/resolution. Obviously we didn't go straight back to them watching the kids and sleepovers, but gradually the kids ask for a "bonus night" and I judge we are on good ground recently, so sure, then so-and-so class is moving to 3pm and it is a 5 minute walk from my parents, so sure we can stop over, etc. The frog is in a pot, so to speak. Yes, I jumped into the pot willingly. I forgot it was on a stove, but the stove looks like the people who nurtured me for more than half my life so maybe that has something to do with it.

 

My parents don't have a lawyer on speed dial and if push came to shove, no I do not believe that they would really do anything other than call family members and bemoan the fate of their grandchildren (like my mom call her sister type of thing). My mom has a volatile temper that says horrible things but -- generally -- does not follow through when she is out of the situation. 

 

All of that being said, I know they're crossing a line and abusing my generally patient nature with this type of stuff, and I am looking for the best option to stop the behavior. Hence, the post. Yeah, any solution is going to be painful short run, but I'm hoping long run to still see my parents. They are in their 70's, are going to need more help as time goes on, and love their grandkids. Dementia runs on my moms side, heart problems for my dad, and he's already had 2 heart attacks. Cutting contact and reassessing in a year isn't what I want (because I may not have a year, iykwim), but I'll do what I need to if thats the only solution.

 

Maybe whats happening is they are growing down while I'm growing up. Maybe they've always been this way but I didn't notice until it threatened someone I love more -- my kids -- than my relationship with them. Regardless, I'm the one that needs to change the trajectory and dynamic. 

 

It would be nice if they would just call me today and say "You know, actually the kids are doing great, they have a lot of friends, and are really excited about what you are doing in school with them this year. We're happy you and they are all fulfilled by this choice and it works for your family, and you have our blessing and support." Obviously, not going to happen. I am looking for a solution that will be the next best thing.  

 

Right now, that looks like stopping TKD and keeping the kids over here for a time until the power dynamic resets and we can start from scratch again. Where I have the ability to easily walk away for any length of time needed, if they try to force/threaten me to do something. Because I want to preserve a long term relationship, we'll probably still see them on Saturdays or something, but me over there as well, and for a shorter period of time -- an hour instead of an afternoon, or something. If the problem persists with even this, then more cutting, I guess. 

 

If you see flaws in my plan, let me know. I've put this together based off the advice here. Maybe I'm forgetting a key component, or overlooking an obvious danger ? Lets take CPS off the table for now. 

 

Pushing post in a rush, may need to come back later to check for incomplete sentences, sorry


  • Jackie in AR, Jean in Newcastle, Lawana and 12 others like this

#118 LMD

LMD

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3126 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 07:06 PM


Well, maybe you understand it, but I don't.

Why would anyone visit their parents 4 TIMES A WEEK if those parents were abusive to her? That's ridiculous. And the once-a-week sleepovers are hardly necessary. It's not like her parents are watching the kids while she goes to necessary medical appointments or to a part time job that doesn't pay enough to make it worth hiring a sitter for the kids. And TKD lessons aren't an absolute necessity, either, so there is no actual need to accept money from her parents.


When you're in it, you can't see it for what it is. You're so clouded. There's guilt and confusion and love and fear and people with power over you. And these people are smart, they hold it together in public and play the perfect grandparent/parent role. It took 10 years of marriage before dh actually saw her true colours, he hadn't thought I was lying exactly, it's just so unbelievable that you can't conceive of it until you see it! He was speechless.

It honestly took me years of no contact to be strong enough to see it and stand up to it.
  • Tanaqui likes this

#119 Jaybee

Jaybee

    Hive Mind Worker Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 876 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 07:06 PM

It's interesting you mentioned dementia. I had an aunt who became increasingly difficult for her family to deal with, who was eventually diagnosed with Alzheimer's. After diagnosis, they could look back and see a pattern of development. I sometimes wonder if a lot of the issues with parents as they get older is not related to their beginning to lose judgment about things; not full-fledged dementia, but an effect of changes as they age. For some reason, earlier in the thread the thought of dementia crossed my mind. Anyway, just some side thoughts that may not really apply. 


  • Jean in Newcastle, Harriet Vane and justasque like this

#120 Moonhawk

Moonhawk

    In need of sleep, or chocolate.

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 329 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 08:00 PM

Coming back to add that, the thread has made me realize that there are micro agressions in other areas, too. Things I address but creep back slowly, that just show that a general ... disrespect?, disregard?, forgetfulness?, rolling-of-eyes-at-young-parent? ... that needed to be addressed regardless. So I'm not going to frame this as a home school issue, it is more of a reminder/reset of who is the parent to my kids. A sudden change of tune on home school wouldn't change my plan, in other words, but it was more the bail of straw that broke the dam and made me notice the state of things.  


  • Jackie in AR, Jean in Newcastle, Harriet Vane and 10 others like this

#121 Spudater

Spudater

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1709 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 08:02 PM

You might already know this, but loss of emotional control is one of the early signs of dementia.
  • justasque, Katy and displace like this

#122 Liz CA

Liz CA

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12578 posts

Posted 18 July 2017 - 09:47 PM

Coming back to add that, the thread has made me realize that there are micro agressions in other areas, too. Things I address but creep back slowly, that just show that a general ... disrespect?, disregard?, forgetfulness?, rolling-of-eyes-at-young-parent? ... that needed to be addressed regardless. So I'm not going to frame this as a home school issue, it is more of a reminder/reset of who is the parent to my kids. A sudden change of tune on home school wouldn't change my plan, in other words, but it was more the bail of straw that broke the dam and made me notice the state of things.  

 

I think the bolded is what I got from your original post. They need to realize at some point that no matter how much they disagree with your parenting, these are your children and you are the parent.

 

Check out the book "Boundaries" by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.
 

ETA: Since I only went by what you posted, I don't know why some posters here speculate that dementia could be a reason for this behavior. I didn't have time to read the entire thread. But you are in the best position to assess this.


Edited by Liz CA, 18 July 2017 - 09:49 PM.

  • Jean in Newcastle, Katy and CES2005 like this

#123 ktgrok

ktgrok

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 19058 posts

Posted 19 July 2017 - 07:19 AM

If you have bent over backwards trying to explain and alleviate their fears, I think there comes a time when it's okay to say: "We have had this conversation before. I am not changing my mind on this. Please, let's discuss something else."

 

If they cannot do this, I would leave - not forever and ever but cut the visit short at that time. Following the concept of operant conditioning, they should learn to avoid the subject pretty soon.

 

This is what I had to do with my parents when I was planning my first homebirth. It just got to nasty to keep hashing out. I told them that I understood their concerns, but it wasn't up for discussion anymore as neither of us were going to change out minds and it was just going to upset us all to keep talking about it. And once when they brought it up again I left. 



#124 Rach

Rach

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3664 posts

Posted 19 July 2017 - 07:49 AM

Moonhawk-- thanks for the latest response.

My opinion is that it is going to be hard but I would not discuss your children's education with your parents at all. The next time it comes up I would say something along the lines of, "I appreciate your opinion and your concerns but you had your chance to raise your children and now it's my chance. I will not discuss this with you further." Then anytime school comes up firmly say, "I will not discuss this topic with you."

I've been there, done that, it's hard but it's the only way to get them to stop talking about it to you. No amount of explaining will help if it hasn't helped in the last 3-4 years.

#125 Jean in Newcastle

Jean in Newcastle

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 63942 posts

Posted 19 July 2017 - 10:03 AM

BTW- my MIL threatened me with CPS once just because I wasn't letting her raise my kids. I told her "go ahead and try " but I 100% knew that it was a manipulative bluff. She dropped it as I thought she would because her intent was to get me upset and I didn't give her that satisfaction.

I don't necessarily advise people to do what I did since everyone's circumstances are different and some might see that as a challenge. I didn't cut off my in laws. I had already set up boundaries (which is what triggered the threat to begin with). I just kept the boundaries nice and tight. In my case no overnights because she didn't respect food allergies and would feed my kids ice cream while claiming it wasn't really milk because it didn't go in a glass and nonsense like that.

Just an aside on the dementia angle- it turned out that MIL was in early dementia at the time and we didn't know it. But it was also true that she had long been the supreme matriarch in a culture that is more matriarchal and she saw me as a threat to her power over her son. She would call me up and tell me that she had dh's dinner ready. I would tell her "what a coincidence. So do I. ". Fortunately for our marriage Dh chose to eat my dinner. ;)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Edited by Jean in Newcastle, 19 July 2017 - 10:03 AM.

  • ScoutTN, heatherwith3, snowbeltmom and 6 others like this

#126 CES2005

CES2005

    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 813 posts

Posted 19 July 2017 - 10:06 AM

I agree with shutting down the conversation if it turns that way.  You could just walk out of the room, or change the subject.  Try not to respond emotionally.  I had to break within myself to get to this point with a relative, and I know they've been doing some work of their own.  But ultimately, realize that yes, they raised you.  Yes they help you out now.  The first they were supposed to do, and the latter should be a gift.  If it's not a gift, then it needs to go away.  We get $$ from my parents every month, and DH and I agreed long ago that if it ever came up even once as some kind of purchased authority, it was gone.  We'd do food stamps or whatever, but that money would no longer be accepted.  I used to do homeschool newsletters for the grandparents, but when that started turning into "you're accountable to us" and "you're doing this wrong" based on the most recent issue, I quit.  The kids are old enough and gabby enough anyway, they can discuss their days if asked.

 

I am a Christian, and I do believe in honoring one's parents.  But at the point (and after a LOT of personal turbulence), I don't think this means I owe them anything.  I don't owe them grand kid time, visits, submission, etc.  The whole point of parenting both biblically and practically is to raise them to be self-sufficient and functional without us.  Then as adults, we are as neighbors.  I think there should be intentions of caring for aging parents, but the relationship part is a gift, and should be freely given, not coerced or shamed into existence.  And vice versa: they don't owe me hosting, babysitting, financial assistance, or problem-solving when we have some SNAFU around the house.  I gratefully accept help that is offered, but I don't expect it or ask for it.  

 

But for what it's worth, our level of involvement with our local parents is: each side gets one dinner per month, one kid day per month, and one overnight per month.  It used to be more when the kids were younger, but to have any sort of life outside of home + grandparents, it had to scale back.  I am not a go-go-go person.

 

Anyway, I don't know if that helps or hurts, or if I'm repeating what others have said (only skimmed a few posts).  Good luck, either way!   :grouphug:


  • Jean in Newcastle, Katy and texasmom33 like this

#127 heartlikealion

heartlikealion

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11279 posts

Posted 19 July 2017 - 01:34 PM

I am not sure if the babysitting is happening while OP and her dh are in counseling of if they are unrelated visits. I would think that some of the visits are "unnecessary" as they are 4x a week and often with a sleepover somewhere in there. As someone with no local support system who is seeking marriage counseling herself I can say that I get the burden of the childcare thing. That is why I'm seeking out a sitter.

 

I don't think Catwoman and I are trying to beat up the OP. Just pointing out that 4x a week + a sleepover seem excessive for a situation where there's a weird dynamic. Yeah, I had to rely on my MIL a few times to get me to a job because I had no one else. I get that sometimes you have to lean on people in ways you don't want to, but I doubt that 4 times a week is how many times the OP has appointments. So what is the OP getting out of this? Are they providing dinner or she just needs the break or what? OP, if you don't want to answer, that's okay. I'm just trying to wrap my mind around this. Maybe you grew up staying at your own grandparents' home often so it's the norm for you. I did not. I didn't do sleepover with grandparents, either. I think I just stayed over night when I was with one of my parents and we were visiting from out of state at that point in time.

 

edit: ok I just saw the explanation about illness in the family. I guess I will have to go back and read some things I missed.


Edited by heartlikealion, 19 July 2017 - 01:37 PM.

  • Catwoman likes this

#128 Moonhawk

Moonhawk

    In need of sleep, or chocolate.

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 329 posts

Posted 19 July 2017 - 03:51 PM

I am not sure if the babysitting is happening while OP and her dh are in counseling of if they are unrelated visits. I would think that some of the visits are "unnecessary" as they are 4x a week and often with a sleepover somewhere in there. As someone with no local support system who is seeking marriage counseling herself I can say that I get the burden of the childcare thing. That is why I'm seeking out a sitter.

 

I don't think Catwoman and I are trying to beat up the OP. Just pointing out that 4x a week + a sleepover seem excessive for a situation where there's a weird dynamic. Yeah, I had to rely on my MIL a few times to get me to a job because I had no one else. I get that sometimes you have to lean on people in ways you don't want to, but I doubt that 4 times a week is how many times the OP has appointments. So what is the OP getting out of this? Are they providing dinner or she just needs the break or what? OP, if you don't want to answer, that's okay. I'm just trying to wrap my mind around this. Maybe you grew up staying at your own grandparents' home often so it's the norm for you. I did not. I didn't do sleepover with grandparents, either. I think I just stayed over night when I was with one of my parents and we were visiting from out of state at that point in time.

 

edit: ok I just saw the explanation about illness in the family. I guess I will have to go back and read some things I missed.

 

Ah, just saw this. We own a business. So any free time when kids are away/asleep during the day I'm working on that type of stuff. The time isn't necessary -- I can work at night or during weekends or after lessons or while the kids are doing an activity that just needs me generally there but without my hands in glue. iow, the work getting done isn't dependent on their watching kids, it simply makes it easier. 

 

In that 4x number I'm also counting when they watch littles while I take older kids to piano/choir. That is going to be the hardest loss, really, because it stinks having to subject the 3yo to all the waiting around. He can do it though, just not as cheerfully as he would watch movies in AC with nana to supply him as much milk as he wants. :)

 

Im my family culture 4x a week is not unusual or excessive, at least for kids 10 and under.



#129 Rach

Rach

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3664 posts

Posted 19 July 2017 - 03:56 PM

[quote name="Moonhawk" post="7703479" timestamp="1500497497

Im my family culture 4x a week is not unusual or excessive, at least for kids 10 and under.[/quote]

That wouldn't be unusual for my friend or her sisters either.

In my family growing up we saw our grandparents daily. Not necessarily because they were watching us but grandma came over every day to help with lunch, grandpa would take us to run errands, us kids would stop by between the swimming pool and home, etc.