Family Matters
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mom problems...

I'll try to make this short...

Back story:
My brother lives across the other side of the country. My mother and I live in the same state and see him rarely because flights/hotels are expensive. He has an 18 month old son which has made this distance even more unbearable. Mom and I visited them in October and she has been very sensitive about the fact that she got no "alone" time with her grandson. I got a little bit because she suggested I stay at their place on the couch, but she was always there within an hour of the parents leaving for work. My mom preferred to stay at a B&B because at that point he was not sleeping through the night and had been through an ordeal with she visiting earlier last year (without me).

Fast forward to today:
Sis in law and nephew is coming for a very short visit. She nicely offered to drop nephew off for the afternoon at my mother's. So I was excited for her and I to get some quality with him. Sunday we are invited to an "open house" affair at sis in law's mom's house but it won't allow for much quality time with nephew. Because of this, my mom is asking that I do not come over to her place for a couple of hours so she can have some one on one time with him. I understand why she wants the alone time but I feel that this is incredibly selfish considering the very short time we have to see him. I'm quite saddened by this and told her so. She told me this via text, I responded via text, she has not responded.

WWYD? Let it go? Be happy to at least get like...2 hours of time with him? Am I being dramatic? FWIW, most of my aunts and uncles were absent in my life and I do not want the same thing happening in my generation. Also, FWIW, I am not a mother. I am not a grandmother. I'm not sure if I'm just *missing* something, but my mom is trying to say that grandmother trumps aunt and I don't think there is a trump card. I just want to spend time with my nephew like a normal person. I don't care if I'm alone with him......Sigh.

Re: mom problems...

  • I have 8 nieces and nephews age 22 years to 2 years. I can't imagine my mom or myself wanting "alone time" and trying to exclude the other. It seems like a weird dynamic to me, but I'm also not a grandmother, so who knows. 

    If I were you I would respect your moms wishes. Your relationship with your nephew isn't going to hinge on how many hours you spent with him at 18 months old. 

    One thing I've learned with all the kids in my life is you can't put your expectations on them. At 18 months he may cry for his mom the whole time. He may be fine. You just never know. Enjoy the time you have with him and don't put too much pressure on how you want him to feel about you in the future. Don't focus on the hours you are spending together. Enjoy the time you have.

    My nieces and nephews range from 22 years to 16 months. It's nice to be able to talk to the older ones now and see what I did right and what I did wrong. The biggest thing they've told me is just knowing I'm always there to talk to, but not being pushy.

    Honestly, this whole "quality time" sounds a little silly to me. He's 18 months. He isn't going to remember it. This sounds like the adults making a big deal out of nothing.
  • P.S. I don't think you're being/doing anything strange. You just want to spend time with your nephew. No one trumps another in my opinion. But, I obviously have a different point of view than your mother does. :)
  • Thanks I appreciate the feed back. I guess maybe we are both a little sensitive because he's the only grandson and we have a small and scattered family. Just a bummer. You would think she would understand since we both feel the same way.
  • I also think it's weird that she needs it to be "alone" time. My brother had kids 8 years before I did, so I was ready to be as involved as they wanted. I never got alone time with his kids, but I took what I could get! My parents or my sister were usually also there. And really, an 18 month old isn't going to sit in your mom's lap and stare into her eyes the whole time, he'll probably be playing and getting into mischief, so I don't understand why you couldn't be there too. I guess if your mom is determined, there isn't much you can do, but I think she's being silly. Maybe he'll wear her out after two hours and then you can jump in there!
  • You know what - let her have her alone time.  And then perhaps when she realizes it's not quite all that she thought it would be, she won't push for that the next time you all see them! 

    But yes, this need to have ALONE time... whether she realizes it or not, the kid isn't going to care.  Probably at any point in his young life, he isn't going to care.  What kids respond to are people who pay attention to them, who are interested in what they are doing and who - both literally and figuratively - get down and play w/ them on their level. 

    If your mom does that, it doesn't matter if she's the only one in the room or if there are 10 people there. 

    Good luck.

    "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
    ~Benjamin Franklin

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  • Seriously, you are fighting over SOMEONE ELSES CHILD.  

    Look, I get where the desire for ALONE TIME comes from.  Children, especially babies and toddlers, never really give the non-parent their full focus when Mommy and/or Daddy are in the room.  But what in god's green earth EXTRA does the non-parent get when they are the SOLE focus anyway?  

    Unless the non-parent is expecting to do something that the parent doesn't want them to do, this NEED to be alone is moot.  

    So the fact that your mother was WHINING about it months ago and you are fighting each other over it now just seems off to me. 

  • I'm not sure why you are so bothered by this - why are you fighting with your mother over this child?

    It sounds to me that perhaps you are pretty good with kids and kiddo likes you - to the point that grandma feels excluded. Let her have some alone time - this isn't a big deal.

    Chronically hilarious - you'll split your stitches!
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  • I'm bothered by it because I think it is an unreasonable request and I just want to spend time with my nephew who I don't get to see often and enjoy his baby years while I can. I don't quite understand what is wrong with this..?

    I'm really not trying to fight over it. She's already won the argument because I let it go. I just think her need to have alone time during this very short window is ridiculous. It's more of HER need and really has nothing to do with the child or what he would get out of it.  Family should spend time together. She said she wants to be able to sing to him and "be herself" which she feel she can't do if others are around. Whatever. She's romanticizing the whole thing. He's going to be running around like a madman, not giving her his complete attention...thanks again. I'll just let it go.
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