Family Matters
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Mom & her "grandbabies"

Our mother has shaky relationships with all of the older kids in my family. (She's very much self-involved, tries to control everyone & everything, she plays the victim, denies any responsibilities, & will not apologize for anything - ever. No exaggeration) *There's a ton more, but it's very complicated*

Well, because of this behavior, my siblings & their spouses have been reluctant & even had it out because our mom has pushed & pushed to keep the 'grandbabies' for some time (a week or longer). 

Knowing this, I was pretty surprised when I heard that my sister & her hubby are letting my eldest niece stay about a week or so with mom. A few weeks ago, my sister was telling me how emphatic they are about not having mom alone with any of the kids because her behavior is so unpredictable.

I was a bit bothered that my mom is all over the place with this "I <3 my grandbabies!" & "My grandbabies make me smile & my world better!" & the like. It just rubbed me the wrong way because she is all about the 'grandbabies' but it's as though she's overwhelmingly more interested in the grandkids rather than her own kids. (My siblings range from ages 27-13; my nieces & nephews range from ages 10-1). When with the grandkids, she's more about "Give me that pillow.", "Go set the table", & "Pour me a glass of water-only 2 ice cubes this time." & not about the quality time like teaching them tricks, crafts, or other things that their parents can't or don't know. You know, the role a grandparent should be.

I want to approach her on what her deal is & why all of a sudden she went from obsessing with her own death & how we need to all understand she wants to go soon (she's not even 50!) & now it's all about the grandkids. It's like a bad ride on a crumbling rollercoaster & I'm not the only one tired of it, but nobody else is willing to step-up & call her out on her B.S. Any advice on how to approach this one? *tia & sorry for the length of this post*

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Re: Mom &amp;amp; her &amp;quot;grandbabies&amp;quot;

  • Most grandparents treat their grandkids like gold. Most spoil them rotten, being a grandparent and being a parent are 2 completely different things in a lot of ways.

    Maybe she is trying to make up for her lack of interest in her own kids?

    You can give grandkids back.

    Being a lousy parent doesn't necessarily make someone a lousy grandparent.

    Do you have kids? If not it really shouldn't concern you.

    You actually sound a little jealous.



  • I remember previous posts about your mom.  You KNOW this discussion will not go over well.  I don't know why you're so baffled about her sudden change of behavior- hasn't she always shown herself to be unreasonable and irrational?  She's actually being quite predictable.  It's all a ruse to create opportunities for her to be manipulative.  Your calling her out isn't going to make things any better.  It will, however, create more drama.

    In any case, it's not your place to question her motives when it comes to the grandchildren.  Whether you agree with them or not, your siblings have the right to allow their kids to stay with her.

  • "...trying to make up for her lack of interest in her own kids" is a thought that went through my mind, but my take is that it would be one thing if all of her kids were older & out of the house & this were the case, but the fact is: they're not. She still has responsibilities to her children who depend completely on her.

    I was just taken aback by my sister & her hubby's stance & then they went & pulled a 180. I was confused & still am a bit. 

    DH & I are ttc. My family is my priority & their happiness, safety, & well being is my concern.

    If it comes across as slightly jealous, it is not my intent. I am just very, very concerned. My mother has 'episodes' & gets her kicks pulling some really scary 'stunts' (such as OD'ing & having my, at the time, 12 year old sister finding her in bed like that & having to call 911). So, if it's coming across as anything aside from concern, I apologize.

    I just feel like my hands are tied a bit because A) they're not my children, you are correct there, but they are my family & I believe it is the responsibility of any & all who can to protect those who might not be able to do so themselves, & B) we are just beginning to become civil again & I know this isn't the hill I want to die on. But based on her history, something is bound to happen & it doesn't look like it'll be a good thing. My biggest fear is someone will be hurt because of her actions.

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  • image renegade gaucho:

    I remember previous posts about your mom.  You KNOW this discussion will not go over well.  I don't know why you're so baffled about her sudden change of behavior- hasn't she always shown herself to be unreasonable and irrational?  She's actually being quite predictable.  It's all a ruse to create opportunities for her to be manipulative.  Your calling her out isn't going to make things any better.  It will, however, create more drama.

    In any case, it's not your place to question her motives when it comes to the grandchildren.  Whether you agree with them or not, your siblings have the right to allow their kids to stay with her.

    I get that. I'm just frustrated at this whole thing. I can't wrap my head around why, if this is how she is, would the opportunity to man-handle & manipulate others would be given to her on a silver platter? I don't know. I just feel like, aside from the kids having some face time with their grandmother, nothing good can come out of this. I feel like, when it comes to my mom, she's a runaway train. I can't understand why, if my siblings share this sentiment, they would put my their kids in the position to climb aboard? I get that "the cycle continues" ... but when does it stop? What will it take for it to finally be "Enough!"?

    I understand that they, as the parents, have every right to decide who their kids do & don't have contact with. You're right, I don't agree. I don't understand it.

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  • Who knows what happened.  Maybe your niece wanted to spend time with grandma and after giving her many warnings about grandma's behavior, your siblings just gave up and said " Fine, go stay with her "  figuring the niece will have to learn first hand about how grandma really is. 

    How old is the niece, 10 ?  Maybe she just really wants to hang out with her youngest Aunt/ Uncle. 

  • image November3Love:

    You know, the role a grandparent should be.

    That's a big problem. And its all yours. You can't expect your mother to live-up to some expectation you created. She's not that kind of grandmother. She's the kind that gives a lto of lip service to how they complete her life and then tells them to set the table.

    Your not going to get a self-involved lunatic to change. There is no need for anyone to step-up and/or call her out on her BS. She's crazy. Admit it. And she's always going to be like this. Admit that, too. And give yourself permission to not be in charge of worrying about it or her relationships with other people and relatives.

    I think you are disappointed in your mother and that's a hard pill to swallow as an adult. But you have to swallow it and move on. She's not going to change her ways. She may pick a new subject like death or the grandkids, but she'll always be a disappointment and annoyance to you.

  • image November3Love:

    I can't wrap my head around why, if this is how she is, would the opportunity to man-handle & manipulate others would be given to her on a silver platter? I don't know. I just feel like, aside from the kids having some face time with their grandmother, nothing good can come out of this. I feel like, when it comes to my mom, she's a runaway train. I can't understand why, if my siblings share this sentiment, they would put my their kids in the position to climb aboard?

    I understand why you're so concerned, but trying to talk about it with your mom is not going to change her.  It seems like it would be more effective to discuss your sister's decision with your sister, not your mom.  Again, however, it's her right as a parent to decide what to do with her kid, and while your heart is in the right place, it's ultimately none of your business and it's possible that she might be offended if you approach her about it.

  • Your sister can make her own decisions regarding her child and your mother, end of story. MYOB. Your sister is fully aware of how your mother is and if she wants to leave ehr child with her it is 100% her choice. If you want totalk to your siter about it, go ahead but it is her choice.

    When you have your children you will make your own choices as well.

    She is your niece not your child and it isnt up to you at all, no matter how much you love her, try to protect her, and think you are doing the right thing.



  • If you want to understand your sister's reasonings, then you need to ask your sister.  If you don't wish to do the same with your (future) child/ren, then don't.  You won't solve or discover anything new with your mother by having a confrontation over the matter.  Your adult siblings can choose to have whatever and whomever in their lives.  If your younger, dependent siblings are in any danger then you can interfere by getting them out of the house (take them in, for example).  
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • WahooWahoo member
    Ancient Membership 2500 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker

    It's your sister's choice, not yours. 

    I would never in a million years leave my kid wtih dh's alcoholic stepmom (and she offered to watch mine, only b/c she knew that my mom watched my kids, and she didn't want to look bad in comparison). 

    Meanwhile, her bio-daugther had her mom sit all of the time (b/c it was her mother and she was in denial, I guess, or because she wanted to party and have free sitters and didn't really think it could be THAT bad.).  And dh's other sister (stepdaughter of the drunk) was p*ssed that nobody offered to watch HER kids (b/c she wanted the free sitting to go out every once in a while, and also probably felt "left out,").

    The kids weren't safe with step-MIL, in my opinion but I only could control my own choices, not everyone else's.

    Maybe your sister feels like her dd is old enough that she can call 9-1-1 if there is a problem, and the 13 yo will be around to keep her safe, who knows?

    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
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