Mother's Intuition?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Mother's Intuition?
7
Mon, 05-12-2003 - 11:26am
Hello. My husband and I had this huge fight last night about grandparents. We have a 4-yo and an 8-mo. The grandparents, ever since the 4-yo was 3 months old, wanted to have him overnight all of the time. I thought that was really weird. I let him spend the night once and for the rest of the his years they continually want him overnight. They never want to just spend the day with him or come over and visit, they just want him overnight! These grandparents (my husband's mom and dad) raised their kids horribly with no attention and all kids were into drugs and depressed and one shot and killed himself and now they are trying to make up for it with the grandkids. I feel like they are butting in and trying to be too controlling and wanting to "raise" them. The first son's child they practically raised him and had him for 2-3 nights a week. Then my son came along and they expected to have him over like that and I did not think that was right. I love to spend time with my kids, too. Am I being too selfish (I think I am sounding like it). The way I was raised, I would visit my grandparents all the time and maybe spend the night with them once every 4-5 months or during a special occasion when parents were going away! My husband was raised that the grandparents had them every weekend and the whole summer! We came at a clash about this last night and it was awful! He thought nobody else was raised like me and that I was weird and that grandparents are supposed to be like that! I have no clue and I'm doubting myself about how I am feeling. I feel like once in a while spending the night is okay, but not all of the time! We cannot come to a compromise on this at all. There have been incidences in the past where they have done incompetent things (like extra-dosing medicines and feeding milk when should not have)that make me weary of stuff. And whenever they talk about having him overnight, they say stuff to rub it in my face that he did stuff with them that he never had done with us! That just bugs me! I cannot seem to get past this stuff they have done and said to me over the past few years with my son. I have no idea what to do. I feel they can spoil him just as well spending the day with him, but for some reason I am so scared of him spending the night. I was sexually molested as a child and I have no idea if that is what this is stemming from and my insecurities about that! I am so confused. If anyone can help, please go ahead! Thanks! Sorry this is soo long!
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Mon, 05-12-2003 - 2:06pm
hi and welcome...if I understand you - its not *just* the overnight that you are unhappy with, its their whole *grandparenting style* that you are afraid of. is that true? I don't think there are *rules* about what grandparents do or don't do, regarding having the grandchildren over. I don't rememeber ever sleeping at my grandparents alone - when we were growing up it was more staying at my aunts and uncles houses if my parents needed a break. maybe because both of my grandmothers lived in small apartments? I never really thought about. My own son - has slept over alone numerous times at his grandparents from both sides. he liked it - the grandparents liked it - and it gave me a break, much as I love him... I think that it would make sense if he were spending the day there, and then slept over, rather than just bringing him over to sleep.

IF you are unhappy about safety issues, such as over doses of meds, or giving unsuitable food -and these people will not listen to you - then you are right about not sending him.

I don't know if the fact that they are dysfunctional in other ways, means that they will sexually molest him. since you were molested as a child, you need to find some middle ground of not being too fearful - and yet holding on to your intuition. sorry for prying - but have you been thru therapy? since you had your children?

look - they are your husband's parents, so this is tricky but i would use the safety issues as a card for now. bring the kids over during daytime, but take them home to sleep.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Mon, 05-12-2003 - 2:56pm
I completely understand what you are saying. Yep, I have had very good counseling and now that I have had some time to think about it, I know that that is not the issue I am worried about--they would never lay a hand on their grandkids-ha! But anyways, I think what it is is that I am having problems with separation anxiety. I love, love, love spending time with my son and enjoy having him around and going to parks and stuff with him and my little girl. There are sometimes when I feel like I need a break, but they aren't that too often like the grandparents think I need! I know I must be sounding so selfish, but I wouldn't really mind if they came and took him for the day or maybe once every 4 months overnight, but really not all of the time like they want to and believe they should. I would love it if they would come and get him in the evenings for supper or something and just let me relax after work and being around him all day--that would help the most--but they really don't like coming over and visiting us (jealous of where we live--for a fact!!). I'm just someone who really loves my kids and I am enjoying every minute I can spend with them. Is this odd.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 05-14-2003 - 6:09pm
Makes no difference whether anyone thinks you are "odd." You sound like a loving, caring mother, and you have to make your own life, fashion it the way that you would like it.

We all have to make compromises with family. If we love each other, then we want everyone to receive at least some of what they desire. I think it could possibly be good for you (learn to trust, learn to be generous, learn to allow your children to eventually build their own lives and relationships), good for your 4 y o (fun, and closeness with others besides Mom), and good for the Grandparents if you would try to slowly phase in some overnights. You don't have to go overboard. What if you told them you would like to try just one per month? Offer only as many as you can stomach.

Your 4 y o is practically still a babe, still so snuggly and tender. All your protective instincts are screaming that you have to keep an eye on them every second. But children grow so quickly! Before you know it you'll be packing them off to college, LOL! Learn to let the little birds fly free, just a little. And building a close relationship with the Grandparents could repay you infinitely when/if the child becomes a headstrong teenager. More people to back you up in the tough times.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 05-14-2003 - 9:20pm
Unless they're a danger to the kids let them keep them overnight and enjoy the vacation. They're just revisiting the best part of being "parents" so don't make such a big deal about it...and since they're not "raising" your kids, then you also don't really have to be worried about what terrible parents they were...but apparently they couldn't have been that bad since they raised the man you chose to marry.

Mac

Avatar for wishfulkittn
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 05-14-2003 - 9:53pm
I don't think it's odd at all. We are talking about tiny children here. Personally, I wouldn't let my baby spend the night because of his age, and especially not at 3 mos old! You sound like a great mother, and if you don't want your children spending the night with them, don't let them spend the night! They can spend the day with them or have dinner with them. You are the mother, and you make the rules- period. BTW, children are this little only once, and as you already know, they grow up so fast! Don't feel guilty because you want to spend so much time with them, I am the same way!
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-27-2000
Wed, 05-14-2003 - 11:30pm
You can't come to a compromise? About what? These are YOUR kids, what you say is what goes. Are you and your spouse arguing about this? Or is the grandparents you can't compromise with?

 


~~joannaran~~

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Thu, 05-15-2003 - 8:17pm
I don't think it's odd at all. I have a 3 month old also, and I love being around him. But I am a SAHM, so I love being able to have a break, too. Are you SAH, or do you work? It could be part of the reason you have such a problem with it...if you spend all day away from your kids, I can see how you would want them at home with you at night. Also, could the reason that your dh wants you to have the kids spend the night with the grandparents be that he needs some time with you, too? I know my dh feels a little left out sometimes, but unlike you, we have left the baby at my in-laws house overnight. It is just what we need to keep our marriage healthy. I don't think it's a bad idea to do it every once in a while, but if you do not feel comfortable with it as often as they want to have them over, your wishes supercede anyone else's. Even your dh's. They are your babies, and you are responsible for their well-being. Still, I urge you to do it once every few months, if only for the sake of your marriage. If you are breastfeeding, pump some extra to send along for the baby, or pack extra formula so they aren't tempted to give milk, and don't send them if they are on any medicines, and give specific instructions not to medicate them while they are there. If they know that you will not let them come over again if they go against your wishes, they are likely to abide by them. Maybe you could sit down with your dh and the two of you could go over some ground rules that you will write down and give to his parents. The more you let them go over, the more comfortable you may become with them going more often. Good luck!

April