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How can I be more positive & less stressed about inlaws

My fiancees parents are...well we will call them special. They do things entirely different than anyone I have ever seen and I see the way they are with my son and it scares me to know they raised 2 kids. I have to be in super control mode when they are around as they have dropped my son, they have put him to nap on a queen sized high off the ground bed thinking he wouldnt roll off, fed him nuts and fruit snacks when he doesnt even have teeth, etc! Basically when they are around I have to work harder at being a mom than I do when they arent around because they are just clueless. My finacee is aware of this and he helps me out with this too. He has even tried to talk to them about the way they are with our son compared to the way we want them to be and they still dont get it. Keeping them away is NOT an option, or threatning to keep them away if they dont follow our lead is also NOT an option. I have built up so much anger towards them because of this that even when they do something right I still feel like I hate them. They try so hard to be the dominant grandparents in our sons life when in reality he has several other sets of grandparents who also want to see him and who are better with him than they are. They find ways to show up at our house or to buy tickets to an event anything they can to keep us with them and nobody else. My finacee has become better about this and turns them away at times and tells them bluntly how it is at times but they are still his parents who he adores soooo much that he wont cut them out. If it were me, and those were my parents doing those things I wouldnt want that kind of behavior in my childs life and I would cut them loose until things improved. That however unfortunately isnt an option. Has anyone had any simialr experiences and how have you dealt with it? They want to be the grandparents that hold him against his will and make him cry until I go get him and take him over to my lap and hold him, they want to hold him all day long and not let him go to be fed, changed, or to nap so I have to always go intervene and take him away from them to do these things and they get all bent out of shape. They make rude comments to me when my fiancee isnt around about not seeing me bond with my son and I have commented back that it is hard to bond with him when someone is manipulating his every move and holding him against his will and I have commented that we do bond and it shows very clearly when I have to go pick him out of their lap and he clings to me and hugs and kisses me and is finally happy when hes away from them. That however unfortunately isnt an option. Has anyone had any simialr experiences and how have you dealt with it? Basically what a typical day looks like with them is me sitting feet away from them taking my son as he cries and or needs something and stopping them from feeding him random things or putting him random places. A friend of mine is going through an exact same situation and both of us are looking for advice beyond the standard communication and cutting the grandparents loose because those two things arent going to happen. The communication is ongoing but our financees love their parents and their parents are both numb so nothing sinks in.


Asked by mitchellb at 10:36 AM on Feb. 3, 2011 in Relationships

Level 17 (4,346 Credits)
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Answers (8)
  • I should also point out that cutting them out of our lives is not an option, either, nor do I want it to be. I do, however, refuse to be over ridden or flat out ignored by them in front of my children, two of which are old enough to see when that is happening. I know that they love my children but are having a hard time realizing that my way of parenting is not wrong, it is just different from how they did it. They forget that I was raised by my parents and and different life experiences than they have. My children are my life: I quit work to stay home with them and I want them to be well balanced, happy people. I know that they do, too. They just have to let go and realize that they are not the parents and it is hard for them not to be in control. We see them when they call, which is not often, and it is always at their house. I guess that is just how it will be. Good luck to you!

    Answer by khedy at 11:27 AM on Feb. 3, 2011

  • Your husband needs to let them know he loves them, and that you both want them to be part of your lives, but that they need to call before coming over, and they need to call before purchasing tickets for events.

    He also needs to firmly let them know that you two are the parents, and that he knows that they raised two kids, but that now it's your turn, and they need to respect your rules and follow them, and to not criticize you, but support you as a mother. He may have to firmly repeat this many times. If they get their feelings hurt and don't come around for awhile, that's okay. I think they will try again when they calm down, and he may even have to do the same thing again.

    Try to remain warm and welcoming, and he needs to be a man and handle them, no matter how difficult it is for him.

    Good Luck, and congratulations on your baby, you sound like a great mom.

    Answer by ohwrite at 10:50 AM on Feb. 3, 2011

  • Thank you, that too is also what Im looking for, a little insite on that point of view. I have a coworker who is a grandmother and she all day long makes comments about how its not fair that she cant just go take her grandson anytime she wants and that really gets to me. I feel like with my fiancees parents that they rasied their kids and need to let us raise ours, they can come along for the ride, but we are the ones that need to be in the drivers seat.

    Comment by mitchellb (original poster) at 10:51 AM on Feb. 3, 2011

  • Grandparents are so important in a child's life, and your son is lucky enough to have grandparents who love him and want to be part of his life. My boys are the only grandchildren on both sides, you'd think they would be spoiled rotten, but my parents got divorced right before I had kids....and my mom has "sort of " been part of their dad doesn't even know them. My in-laws also got divorced right when my husband and I met, and my father in law was "sort of" a grandfather, but my mother in law....who lives minutes from us, had nothing to do with them because I had been married before, and was divorced. They are her only grandchildren, all are grown, and they've met her once. It's very sad, I thought eventually she'd come around. We've been married 22 years now &she never has.

    So, I know it's difficult to deal with the problems, but it's worth trying to work it out. And, you're right, you ARE in the driver's seat.

    Answer by ohwrite at 11:00 AM on Feb. 3, 2011

  • I have to agree that I am envious of kids who have grandparents, because my parents both passed away (and my mom was the most wonderful grandparent there could ever be)...but that left my in-laws and my kids only grandparents. Well, father in law is good, but he is married to my mother-in-law. She was first disappointed because I had a daugher (that was 19 yrs ago), and she has never shown an interest in my daughter. Then 4 years later my son came, and she was very happy. She has bought him things here and there - yet not my daughter. I don't believe she EVER even help either one when they were a baby. We would see her only 10 or so times a year (and they live like 20 minutes from us). My husband understands....but feels it's still his mother. I don't argue with her or anything. The kids are now 19 and 15...yet they never did get to experience good grandparents and I am sad for that!

    Answer by lfseashark at 11:13 AM on Feb. 3, 2011

  • I used to be in this situation. My husband would not say anything so I was forced to do it myself. I just started speaking up for myself and in defense of my son. If he cries when they try to hold him and they call him a "mamas boy", I respond with "Well I hope he is, I care for him all day, every day!" They are welcome to stop by our house, yet don't because when there are here they have to go by our house rules and they don't like that. As a result, they are not as close to our children as they could be but I am not going to leave my children there and then feel worried that they are not being watched very carefully. They lost track of my two year old for an unknown amount of time, outside, and didn't tell me about it at all until a few weeks later. They presented it at a dinner as a funny story... I was not laughing. Stand your ground, follow that gut feeling you have and keep your eyes open when they are around.

    Answer by khedy at 11:15 AM on Feb. 3, 2011

  • These r fantastic point of views & I appreciate them all. I grew up w/a good set of grandparents & an okay to not so good set so personally I have experienced both & so my point of view is if a grandparent isnt going to be there and be there in a way that is approved of by the childs parents than that grandparent shouldnt even be there period. I would much rather be w/o or have my son be w/o a grandparent that wasnt going to be a good one. I say this with such force because of my fiancees parents and their questionable intentions & mental capacity. As I originally said they arent normal, at all, & they want to focus on making sure they are the only grandparents in my sons life, & they want him to be into "manly" stuff & sports no matter what he wants, & I disagree, he is going to be into whatever he wants to be interested in, & what makes him happy. They once lost their own son on vakay @ crowded beach, that scares me.

    Comment by mitchellb (original poster) at 11:24 AM on Feb. 3, 2011

  • I'm glad cutting them out isn't an option, because overall it sounds like they love your son....and their son, and want to be a part of their lives. It sounds like they are intrusive, and don't remember what you need to do to take care of a baby or small child.

    First, remember that someday, you will be the in-laws, and your son will have a wife that may or may not adore you. Imagine spending the next 18 years raising their son, how you will feel, and that you will want to be a part of your sons life, and part of his family. Even if his wife is very different from you. (I'm not defending their behavior, I just want you to try to understand them a little.) My boys are 19, 21 & 28, and I hope never to be an overbearing or intrusive mother in law, but of course I love my sons and want to be part of their lives.


    Answer by ohwrite at 10:47 AM on Feb. 3, 2011