I have read every article there is on dealing with the unwanted advice from grandparents and they would work if it weren't for one thing...grandma lives with us. My husband and I had her move in with us because she is 69 years old with many health problems and it wouldn't be safe for her to live alone. She does not have the option to leave, and we do not want her to leave anyway but that means she is more involved in raising our 4 month old son than perhaps she should be.
My husband and I both work full time but we do not have the money for a babysitter or daycare and no other close relatives to help so my mom takes care of our son while we work.
From day one it has been a struggle to keep the peace. My mom is from a much older generation and even though we explain our parenting ideas so they make sense, tell her the pediatrician recommended it, tell her it's a new safety standard, or whatever the issue she still doesn't believe us. I have asked and begged her to read some baby/parenting books but she outright refuses to do that because she says she knows how to raise a baby, she had 5.
We invite her to come to our sons appointments so she can talk to the pediatrician but she declines.
She says she can't stand to see him cry because it makes her cry so she spends all day holding him even though we tell her to put him down to sleep in his crib or mamaroo. "But he doesn't like it!" She would say.
He recently got over having reflux-which prevented him from being able to sleep flat so he sleeps in his rock and play at night. Now we want to start getting him used to his crib but she won't help us break the bad habit of only wanting to sleep on grandma during the day.
I could go on and on about specific situations but for sake of time and my sanity I'll wrap this up.
Basically, she is making her physical pain worse by not listening to us, as well as teaching our son bad habits and on top of it all she makes me feel like she thinks I don't know what I'm doing. But when I confront her we both get into an argument and nothing gets settled.
And her way of giving advice is "you need to.....or else......" Not "have you tried.....?" Or "something that worked when you were little was......"
I hate arguing with her, we haven't been in a fight in 11 years and I feel guilty that I get angry but I just want to tell her "look, he is my child and I will raise him my way!"
Anyone have a similar situation? Tips? Kind words to comfort me? I'll take anything at this point...
Re: Frustrated with grandma
You have two options at this point. It sounds like you've been as nice as you can be, and it hasn't gotten you anywhere.
1. Tell her like it is and say it's your child, your rules. Period.
2. Find other childcare.
That probably isn't the answer you were hoping for, but I don't see any other way, especially if you've tried being nice about it.
The only things that worked were:
1. Telling my mom that several of the ways she is treating my son and myself are selfish. Provide two or three specific examples right away to avoid a he said she said convo. Let her know that those behaviors (talking back to you, insulting your parenting decisions, undermining your responsibility) are against the rules. Remove emotion from what you say to her. She will hear the sincerity in your voice. Let her know you respect her and that is why you are being honest and upfront - because you know she really does love and care for all of you. Don't get too emotional though! That's what she will try to do - get emotion out of you.
2. When she pulls stunts, think of it like practicing for the terrible twos with your little one: do not react emotionally. You are the parent - communicate the rules and do not budge. Throw in "because I said so" if you have to but aim for more respectful ways of communicating such as "I previously stated that --- will go to bed in his crib at this time. There is no room for further discussion."
3. Stop explaining your parenting decisions to her - its like as a teen coming up with reasons to make it sound like a good idea for your mom to let you go to the big party. Or at least she seems to be looking at it that way. When she asks you why you are doing something a certain way - say because you know it's what's best for your child. Again - no room for discussion.
Don't worry - you won't have to be "cold" towards her forever or even that long. By stepping up and putting your foot down, she will quickly adjust. No one likes to be miserable by themselves, and by being confident and assertive, you're not joining her whiny bossy negative party.
Good luck, believe in yourself and stay strong!!!