Sunday, May 25, 2008

Am I asking too much?

Every single time my Mother gets any of my children it kills her to stay put at home with them. Instead she wants to put them in the car and drive around here and there. She claims this is because she needs something, wants to get something and then tells me I need to chill out.

This is starting to cause a rift between my husband and I. He’s fed up with it. Each time Mom gets the kids (namely Arwen) I tell her beforehand to get her shopping done so Arwen won’t be out traveling the roads. Yet each and every time my Mom is out riding around with my child in tow, completely ignoring my requests.

I just called to check on my daughter and guess what? They were in the car, on the way to the store.

Maybe it’s not a big thing. Maybe I’m being too strict. But it’s the simple fact my Mom refuses to listen to my wishes when it comes to my children. She just says she’ll do what I ask and then the moment the kids are in her car she does whatever she wants to do. I told her this is a dangerous holiday weekend to be on the roads. Each time she places my daughter into the car to make the long trip into town she increases the chances of placing her in harms way. But she ignores me and does whatever she wants to, who am I but Arwen’s Mother anyway.

I have to do something about this. If only for the problems it is causing in my marriage. My husband is one of the most passive people you will ever meet but he hates my Mother with a passion. When she pulls this crap he turns to me to control the situation and when I can’t he lashes out.

Maybe I should say to hell with it and let him have a go at her. That might provide the desired result. But I worry it might also cause severe damage and it’s the only reason I’ve tried to mediate for so long.

I’ve always known my Mom is manic. She gets so pissed when I tell her this but it’s true. For years I’ve watched as she went from severe high’s and would get ideas into her head that she wouldn’t rest until she completed to her severe lows when she would turn on a dime and lash out at you, sometimes physically. She is always unstable. Everything is about her and her needs and wants.

She loves to repeat things over and over to people, as if it might make her believe them herself.

“My grandbabies love me so much!” she tells people repeatedly. “They just LOVE me.”

Maybe it’s petty but each time she says this now my skin begins to crawl. She loves to place an unnecessary competition for the love of my children between her and I. She seems to achieve perverse pleasure on drilling it into my head that they love her so much more than anyone else, including me. And as I sit there in silence she just repeats the same thing over and over and over again.

I don’t know what to do. I just don’t.


Lawfrog said...

It's a frustrating situation - while you want your children to have a good relationship with their grandmother, it cannot come at the expense of your authority as their parent.

Unfortunately, the only way to deal with situations like this is to deny visitation with your mother until she can be respectful of your wishes.

Some would say that hurts the children because they are denied their grandmother. Yes, that might hurt them a bit, but it is more important for your boundaries to be respected as the parent right now especially since the children are young.

As they grow up and she continues this behavior, you may find your kids hanging out in taverns, clubs, or who knows what other inappropriate place for them to be.

One of the most difficult things in life is to draw boundary lines and stick with them. However, it's also the most empowering because by doing so, you are saying to your mother that you demand respect for your role as the parent and you will accept nothing less.

If she refuses to acquiesce and respect that role, so be it. It will be her loss, but one she caused herself. She will of course blame you for it, but you stand strong and know that you have to do what is best for your children.

You are no longer solely the daughter of your mother, you are the mother of your children and that role comes first. Always.

Jaime said...


As always, your advice is so right on and honest and I know it's the right thing to do.

I plan on having the talk with my Mom. I've had it before without success, even going so far to stop allowing my daughter to visit. Only to watch her revert to her old ways.

Hopefully this time will work. Thank you for always giving me support and much needed advice. You have no idea how much I appreciate it.