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GB 09-26-2005 02:40 PM

I need advice
I had a real horrible situation come up this weekend that is making me sick to me stomach. I got into a huge fight with my mother. Here is the background.

My mother babysits for us about 2 days a week. We are very fortunate and thankful to have her for that. My wife leaves notes each day for everything from feeding times, to what Rachel should eat, to rules we have put in place, and just about anything else you could think of. Well one of the notes last week said something along the lines of not giving Rachel any foods that we have not specifically said we OK. My wife stressed about how to word it to make sure it did not sound out of line or pushy or anything.

Mom babysat for us this Saturday. When we got home she told us about how she gave Rach some sort of cereal thing. She told this to my wife when I was in the other room. This was something that was not on our approved food list. My wife told me about this the next day.

So I call mom to tell her something and I mention the note and ask if she read it. She said yes. I ask her about the part about not feeding her stuff we have not OK'ed. She said the note didnt say anything about that. I had the note right in front of me so I read it and sure enough she was right, so I said sorry and hung up. I called my wife and found out she meant a note from a few days ago, not the one I was looking at. I called mom back and told her so. Then she floored me. Her response to that was "So sue me". I could not believe she just said that. It was like she was telling me that I don't care what is in the notes, I am going to do as I please. Well we got into a screaming match. She was mad at me for yelling at her. i was mad at her for disregarding what we told her and thinking she can do whatever she wants with our daughter with no regard for our wishes. I felt I had ever right in the world to yell at her.

A side note is that this is not the first time she has pulled something like that. there was something else that mom was doing that greatly bothered my wife, but she was too nervous to tell my mom, so I spoke to her. I talked to her multiple times, but she kept doing what I asked to not to do. It was only when my wife finally said something to her that she stopped doing it.

I told me brother this story and he thinks I should apologize for hurting her even if I do not feel I should. He think I am completely right in this case, but both mom and I are extremely stubborn people and he thinks I should be the bigger person and say sorry. I am having a VERY hard time with this as I feel like if I say sorry then she will think I did not have a right to get upset and that is the last thing I want to convey. I also feel she should be the one to come to me and ask for forgiveness. In all fairness, she did apologize on the phone, but it was not a sincere apology. It was more of a yelling apology, something like "FINE I am SORRY, What else do you want me to say???"

So what do you guys think? I need advice!

licia 09-26-2005 02:49 PM

I'm a grandmother and wouldn't go against the wishes of my children. I admit you are in quite a spot. If it was something that wasn't good for my child (didn't see the age of your child), I would definitely have a problem, but if it is something minimal, I would give her some latitude. After all, she raised you and your brother and hopefully, you both turned out well. Sounds to me like you either need to have a heart to heart talk with your mother, or get another babysitter.

GB 09-26-2005 02:55 PM

Thanks licia. What she gave the baby (she is 8 months old) was nothing bad. It was a cheerio type of food and Rachel does eat Cheerios. The issue we had is we gave her specific rules to not do it and she decided to do it anyway. She told me she knew there was nothing wrong with what she gave her. I asked her what would have happened if she had an allergic reaction. Our doctor wanted us to introduce new foods one at a time and to give the new food 5 days before trying something new in case there was an allergy. My mom did not know what we had tried or hadn't tried so if Rachel did have an allergy we would not know what it was from necessarily.

She brought up the fact that she raised two children who turned out fine, but I pointed out that this is not her child. She had her turn to raise her kids. this is my child and my wife and I should be the ones to make the decisions.

jennyema 09-26-2005 03:07 PM

Ugh. I am sorry you are in a pickle like this.

How badly do you need her as a babysitter? Because, even though the cheerios-type thing may have been ok, that's not the point. She should not be disregarding your rules about what the baby eats. Under any circumstances. What might seem innocuous to your mom may be dangerous or have future repurcussions.

It might be a case where your mother forgot about the note, did something wrong, was called on it and has now become defensive about it. Maybe you could apologize for any confusion the various notes caused and then stress the importance of following the pediatrician's orders. Maybe say "I know you didn't feed her the forbidden cereal on purpose ..." Exonerate her for her mistake. If she argues that it wasn't a mistake. That she knows that it was ok for your daughter, etc., then this suggests that she would do it again. In that case, I would not let her sit anymore, sorry to say.

htc 09-26-2005 03:08 PM

Hi GB, bear in mind when you are reading this that I have no biological children of my own to raise, but my 8 year old step son lives with us full time.

First, my vote is for the apologize to your Mom, just because she's your Mom. But at the same time, you should turn around and explain more of the whys behind your choice. Maybe if you can somehow make her feel like a part of the process, she will be more willing to abide by your wishes. Just a thought.

Do you know if the type of cherrios she gave baby was just because she didn't have the approved kind in her house? Maybe she ran out?? Just wanted to give baby something to snack on.

Anyways, I think you will run into these small types of parent/grandparent confrontations for a while. Calvin (my stepson) used to go to Granny's house all the time, but she never abided by our rules (i.e. decent bed time, not too much sweets--she let him have 3 krispy kreme donuts in 1 sitting, too much TV, letting him talk back to her, etc.) It got to the point that DH just decided to put his foot down and talked to her. It got better, but by just a little. Now, Calvin doesn't get to go overnight as often, mostly for the day to hang out. We've realized that though it won't be to our exact liking, we've learned what is w/in our comfort level.

tancowgirl2000 09-26-2005 03:13 PM

wow what a bag of worms!!! I have been fighting this "Im the grandmother and I know whats good" crap for a long time! I have no tolerance for it. When I first read the post my first thoguth was the "allergies", and as your mother so kindly put it she raised 2 quite fine! Well what if Rachel had a deathly reaction to an ingredient in what ever she gave ehr. Does your mom realize how deadly some foods can be? ASK her if she would want that hanging on her shoulders for the rest of her life! Its not to be mean but your right there are reasons for RULES! If she cant abide by them perhaps you could hide the "uncertain" foods till you know for sure. I know it sounds bad but if you get another sitter whats to say this sitter will regard you with respect? I wouldnt apologize to your mother because this is something you firmly believe in! If it was something little than ok, but come on! Dont give in, if you do the next time it will be the same thing. Your daughter comes first and she should realize that!

GB 09-26-2005 03:14 PM

Thanks for your thoughts HTC. She was at a friends house with her grandchildren as well. The other kids were eating these cheerios so mom gave then to Rachel as well. We send her with plenty of food so there would not have been a reason for her to need to eat the cheerio, only that mom wanted to give it to her, because it is very cute to watch :smile:

Earlzach 09-26-2005 03:16 PM

GB, Let me first say I feel your are some what controlled by your wife. I am not trying to be harsh please hear me out. You wife has you to the point you will contest your parents because you wont win with your wife. It is easier for you to deal with your folks on a level you might never have before. They wont fight you back and it hurts you some to hurt them. If your mom is helping out with your child in a monor your wife dont see fit then ask your wife what she really likes in you, because I dont feel your mom is doing anything different now then when you were being raised. I hear some controlling in your statements, you aim to satisfy your wifes ideas of "being a perfect parent" and only your wifes rules will do with anyone she is around. It isnt about weather what your mom gave was bad but yet that your wife didnt pre-approve. This is a form of being controlling. It has you defencive with your folks and That is not good. You need to take a stand to your wife just a little and remind her where you came from. I see it some in my bride to some extent but we can talk about it. I live here too and it is not always going to be her way. Please best of luck, And I really hope I am wrong if you know what I meen. (pardon all spelling)

GB 09-26-2005 03:21 PM

Thanks Tanis. I brought up the allergy thing to her and that was one of the few times (if not the only time) that mom actually conceded that I had a point.

I agree with what you are saying about other babysitters and I would trust my mom over a stranger ANY day. I also know that she would never do anything to put my babys life in danger and that she would lay down her own life to protect her. It comes down to respect though and my wife and I feel she is not respecting our right as parents to raise our child how we see fit. On the babysitter issue, my MIL is our other babysitter (they each have two days each week). She would never do anything that we said she could not do. She is always checking with us and double checking to make sure we are comfortable with what she is doing. She has offered (not related to this situation) to retire from her job and babysit every day we need her if we ever wanted that, so we do have an option if it were to come to that. I would not want to do that to my mom as she treasures every second with Rachel and she would be very hurt if it came to that, but is she leaves us no other option then at least we have other possibilities. I do not anticipate it coming to that, but like you said Tanis, my daughter comes first!

htc 09-26-2005 03:24 PM

GB, I guess I'm not surprised then that she gave the snacks to baby when she wasn't supposed to. When you do talk to her about this again, maybe you can tell her when she's out and about in a social setting, she can pin the blame on you.

She can just shrug and say, oh well, the parents don't want baby eating this or that, so I'm just following the rules. This way you can accept any and all critisism that she may get for being strict on the diet. Putting it back on yourself might make it easier for her to follow the rules.

Dang, I HATE these grandparent confrontations. GB, get ready for the day that you hear this "I'm Grandma, I can spoil or do whatever I want, I've earned that right." or something like that!

BTW, I didn't know you could only give a baby 5 foods at a time! Man, that makes for a REALLY boring menu!! :ohmy:

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