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How do you deal with a "grandma" who acts/thinks she's the "mother" of you child?

I have a 5 year old son who's dads mother has been trying to control & take over my role as mother since day ONE! I know grandparents are always going to be the "favorite" but what do you do when the "mawmaw" does everything opposite of you? I mean EVERYTING. I feel like I am in a consitant competion with her. I can't stop him from seeing her because his dad lives with her. It truly makes my job as mother very difficult. A few months ago I finally got fed up and told her off...well do you think that did any good? Nope. Nothing has changed. I can't get him to eat healthy foods, or get him to sleep in his own bed ALL the time. Because once he goes there he sleeps in bed with her. he does have his own room there w/ a bed. The list goes on & on. Im so fed up & dont know what 2 do.

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Asked by Anonymous at 10:58 AM on Jan. 7, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (13)
  • Telling off the grandma is never a good idea.

    Just stick to your guns in your own house - that is where he spends the majority of the time, right? Also try to get his father involved in the positive aspects of rules - maybe if the two of you can sit down together and make up a list, he would buy into making the rules stick at grandma's house.

    Be cool and don't take it personally, even if it is. It's not worth the drama.


    Answer by Wimsey at 11:02 AM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • Remind the grandma of her place.

    Answer by Autumn22 at 11:20 AM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • First, accept the fact that mawmaw IS his mother figure when he is with his dad. Then, realize that he is going to adapt to both households if you work with him at yours and don't focus on what happens there as much as what happens when he is with you. It will be hard on you but not impossible. He will eat less healthy food and have less healthy sleeping habits when he is with dad, but that is the reality of going to different households. You can't change that unless dad and/or grandma are willing to get on the same page. That sounds more frustrating than it's worth. Stick to your areas of influence and you will both be less stressed.

    Answer by happi-ladi at 11:32 AM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • I have the same problem with my mother.. I ended up telling her up front that she is not the mother and because of her interference I was having problems when it came to the kids listening to me. Tell her that you appreciate what she does but at the same time she is making ur job more stressful than what it already is.. Good luck... It work for me.

    Answer by claudia10 at 11:42 AM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • I learned not to say anything. My grandkids are basically spoiled nd their parents let them stay up too late on school nights and show disrespect. BUT there is no way they will listen to anyone else so I just keep my mouth shut! LOL.

    Answer by Lindalu2 at 11:44 AM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • Well, at least she is taking really good care of him, and not just throwing him to the side..but with that said he is your child, so I can see why you would feel this way. My daughter is the same way with my own mother, we both have gotten into it about it before..But really I dont see a answer to the problem. They will continue to do that stuff because she is the grandma...

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:03 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • I would say if you were married you might have a leg to stand on but, if you aren't grandma's gonna do what she wants and I am not sure if you could ever get her to see things your way without your husbands/ex-husbands help.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:05 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • Im the 1 who posted that question. The thing about this situation is shes not doin what grandmas do If that makes any sense. My sons father has agreed w/ me in the past about this. The only thing is he could carless until he wants somethin from me! He was even talkin of signin over his rights a few yrs back, but he mom filled him with "threats" if he did so. my own mom has done things against my will but NOTHING compared to his mom. She even thinks that 1 day she'll be able 2 take him from me b/c grandparents so called "have rights". Shes even threatened 2 take him from her own son. Now her other sons kids shes nothin like this2. She obeys his rules & guidelines that he sets for his kids. Thats even more frustrating. Itd be a lil more diff if she treated all the grandkids the same way but its only my son she does this2.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:01 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • CONT'D....Like for example there is a monster truck show this wkend & I REALLY wanted 2 take my son this yr for my bday, but she has him conveniced that shes the only 1 who can take him cuz no 1 else knows where it is etc, etc. The ONLY event out of the entire year Im able 2 take him 2 w/o her bein there is Carowinds( I get free tickets evry yr) & she even tried to invade that trip. The ONLY reason she didnt attempt 2 go this yr was b/c (in her own words)"she HAS 2 go 2 her other sons 2nd babys Baby Shower" or else they wont have anything 2 do w/ her, she was borderline of sayin so what & going anyway"! Thats how serious this is. I kno sum of yall might not think so but she had made my life a living hell, even some of my moms life hell b/c of the things she does..

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:02 PM on Jan. 7, 2009

  • My mil insists her grandkids call her 'mama'. Wha????? No,,,I'm the mama, you $&@^ broad! She even said that she wished her grandkids could come live with her, (along with some other words, meaning she was a better mother than i was). I have always said to my kids that I am mama, and she is grandma, and they just naturally don't call her mama (THank you, Lord!). But I am able to limit the time she spends with my kids. If she learns I told my kids no, she says yes, If I say yes, she would turn around and tell my kids how stupid I was. The real person you need to speak with his your ex-he really needs to help you with this. If I were you, I would find something with your ex, and make a compromise. I hope that he is a kind enough guy who would help you with this.

    Answer by McGregor at 2:46 PM on Jan. 8, 2009

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