Post # 1
Okay, so a little background here. I’ve been with my fiance for over 2 years now, and when we got together he was still living with his parents, a really awesome father and a completely over-attached mother. He also has a three (going on 4) year old boy. I convinced him to move in with me about 6 months after we started dating and his mother has been mad at me ever since. She sees me as taking away her “little boy” even though he is 22 years old. Nothing really big has ever come out of it, until last weekend.
We have been battling co bedding with the little guy and have been trying to use small toys as a reward system. Every night spent all night in bed results in a toy when he gets up. And it has been working wonders! But we have been fighting tooth and nail about it with my fiance’s parents. (when I say we I mean him, I try not to interfere since they are his parents) They say that the child should be able to co sleep because it was good enough for him. They co slept with both of their children until they were 10 (my fiance) and 16 (his sister, still co sleeping) They are taking it as a personal attack on their parenting skills. So instead of rolling with our plan and not buying him toys unless he sleeps in his bed they are buying him more than ever. Of course we see this as blatant disrespect for our parenting skills. And it isn’t just that. Anytime that we lay down the law they do the opposite. Give him pop and candy all day long and because we use them as the babysitters they see a lot of him.
Anyway we got into a spat while at lunch and I was keeping my mouth shut, but the fiance was starting to yell at his mother while in public so I calmly went to put in my two-cents by saying they were making us feel guilty about “forcing” the little dude to sleep in his own bed and ripping away his security blanket. She turns to me and says booming across the restraunt a I quote “YOU ARE NOTHING TO HIM, YOU ARE NOT HIS MOTHER AND NOT HIS BLOOD, I AM.” I at this point started to cry because I love this child more than anything in this universe. We get up to leave and she tells us to give back the keys to the car (we were borrowing hers for a trip) trying to leave us stranded with a three year old 40 minutes from our home. I cant do anything but cry and she is yelling that she is cutting him off completely.
Sorry for the long post, this really got to me and I really needed to get it out. I don’t know what is happening with the situation after this, but I want nothing to do with her anymore. I don’t understand how she could claim to care about my wedding and me and then say something so hurtful.
Post # 3
Oh my goodness. I am so sorry, that sounds terrible! I have to ask: Did she leave you guys stranded? It sounds like you are trying to do what’s best for the little guy and I’m sorry they aren’t being supportive of that. 🙁
Post # 5
Whoa whoa whoa, the daughter slept in the same bed until she was 16?!? That’s messed! Perhaps this blowout will allow you to put some distance between you and a woman with obvious control and attachment issues. Hopefully your Fiance can deal with her; sorry you are going through this
Post # 6
Regardless of what happened at lunch, it’s time to find new babysitters. She is undermining you and your FI’s authority with his own child, and she is wrecking any progress you are making with his son. If she cannot play by the parents’ rules, she doesn’t get to play. That’s how I see it. I hope that you have other options.
Her behaviour and the things she said to you are deal breakers to me. I would no longer be on speaking terms with someone who not only said something so hurtful, but embarrassed me in public.
Post # 7
@lia22: +1 everything said here.
@AdrenalineSunshine: I will look at the positive side, however, and say I’m happy your Fi is on the same page as you! and it’s amazing of you to love that child as your own knowing how important that is in a blended family (having grown up with my dad and step mom or ‘smom’ as I call her!).
Overall, I think you and your soon-to-be (pretty much already) family will be happier and more confident being completely on your own.
good luck! I hope the best for you and the boys (:
Post # 8
Sleeping with mom and dad at 16 is weird. This does not sound like someone who should be giving parenting advise.
Grandma sounds like a big manipulative bully. I get you need her for child care but grandma is taking advantage of this situation to push her idea of parenting on you and your Fiance. I suggest you find an alternative child care provided. I know it’s crazy expensive but as long as grandma thinks she can control you and Fiance because you have no other child care options, she is going to undermind your parenting. I think after a few weeks grandma will figure out you are serious.
I think that grandma is just testing the waters to see what she can get away with in order to be in control of the kid. What’s next,? She will insist on being the one to decide what he eats, who he plays with, what school he will attend etc.
Show her you don’t need her and if she wants to see the kid she needs to get with the program. If you continue to let grandma manipulate you and the kid you are going to end up with a messed up kid because of the toxic environment grandma is creating.
RED FLAG- She screamed at you in public in front of the kid. This bahavior is manipulative, shows what a bully she is and sets the example for the kid that if you don’t get what you want you get to scream at people until you get your way. This is the perfect scenario for the kid to develop social and behavioral problems.
Fiance needs to break it grandma that he is the dad and thanks for the help with the babysitting but that it just isn’t working out because she is making you the bad guys in this mess.
Post # 9
Soooo as someone who was personally co-bedded till I finished high school, it isn’t the oddest thing to do but it does have its own issues. My parents are loving and yes majorly controlling so I can understand how they will take your (FI and yourself) teaching your FI’s son to sleep on his own as you personally not understanding their own family culture. My parents didn’t seem to need privacy alone but very much valued family closeness and unity. So I think the best way to deal with it is have your Fiance explain that while this was something their family has done in the past and while he values their expertise, this isn’t something he wants his family to continue.
If his parents are anything like mine, I feel like they’re very controlling and tempermental and can seem vidictive if they don’t get their way. I can definitely be an understanding ear 🙂 Feel free to PM if you need more specifics
Post # 10
- Wedding: October 2014 - UK
I’m on your side here, in that I think co-bedding up to that age is weird. Hell, except in exceptional circumstances I feel that a kid should be sleeping in their own bed as soon as possible.
Not to sound odd, but have you ever watched or read anything by Jo Frost? She’s known best for ‘Supernanny’, but she has some really good techniques for teaching children to sleep in their own beds which don’t utilise a reward-system. The reward system is working, and that’s great, but as it’s something that can be a) undermined by Grandma (lucky you guys!) and b) difficult to wean off, it might be worthwhile checking her stuff out. She’s really really good.
I hope it all works out! I’m sorry you’re stuck in the middle of this.
Post # 11
Whatta giant bitch, sorry that happened to you! What did you fiance do?!
Post # 12
No she didn’t leave us stranded, thankfully and we returned her car ASAP, but she is cutting off FI’s cell phone and cancelling his insurance.
The daugther doesn’t sleep in the same bed, she sleeps in front of the couch (that her mother sleeps on) on the floor. She is terrified of her own room, and only goes in there to get clothes.
Thanks everybody for the support, I’m trying to conving the Fiance to find another babysitter but he doesn’t see how that will help.
Post # 13
@chronicwhimsy: I’ll be sure to check out the Supernanny techniques! Thanks for the tip. Another reason for trying to nip the cosleeping in the butt is the blended families.
Post # 14
@AdrenalineSunshine: I’m glad she didn’t leave you stranded! It seems very petty of her to not be willing to follow your Fiance and yours parenting strategies and even more petty to start demanding things back from you guys. I agree with everyone though, maybe it’s time to look for another babysitter.