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Overbearing parents

(80 Posts)
ILoveChristmas01 Thu 01-Nov-12 12:42:53


I need some advice (and I don't mind you being honest if you think I'm in the wrong!).

I am a mum of a 2 1/2 year old little boy, and I work full time and have a very responsible / stressful job (Accountant) and so does my husband. LO goes to a nursery 5 days per week.

We live about and hours drive away from my parents and my MIL. Every weekend we are expected to drive an hour to my parents, then drive 30mins to MIL then drive another hour back home. When you take this travelling and time we actually spend at other peoples houses we are out all day and end up having to take packed lunches to eat in the car etc as we are rushing around all day.

Now, my MIL is quite laid back and understands that we may not visit every week, however my mum is terrible, and expects us every saturday. It got to the point that I was making myself ill always rushing around and I was getting so angry that I had this demand every Saturday.

Working full time with a toddler is hard, at weekends I have shopping to do, housework, washing etc. and visitng one day out of every weekend means that we don't really get much quality time as a family just the 3 of us.

It came to a head a few weeks ago and we ended up having a bit of a row. I got uspet and told my parents it was just too much for me to visit each week, and it just got shrugged it off and said "well your dad and I work full time too!"

Occasionally they come to us instead but as my MIL can't drive we end up going there anyway (hubby is funny about favouring one set of parents so if we see one set we try and see the other....)

Since the argument thngs have been strained between me and my mum and I only hear from her on a sat morning via text where she asks if we are visiting.

She hates it if we do anything with LO, and goes funny with us about that too. We took him to Disneyworld Florida this year (we asked if my parents if they wanted to come and they said no as they like their beach holidays) but since we've been back my mum has not even aknowedged we've been, has not seen any photo's etc. It's mad.

She is totally obssessed with my son and has said many times that weekends are her time to spend with him. I think she feels I should give up my job so I have more time to spend with her on a weekend.

I do feel guilty and hate leaving LO in a nursery 5 days per week, but we live in a great area with fab schools and have a lovely home, and my job pays for this, and I know as he grows up he will have the benefit. My mum does not see this though and it's like she begrudges us.

Do you think I'm fair to ask for some weekends to ourselves?

So sorry for the huge thread but I'm interested to see what others views are?


diddl Thu 01-Nov-12 12:47:34

Of course you should have some weekends to yourselves!

How often do you see MIL?

Just see all parents then?

UsedToBeAContender Thu 01-Nov-12 12:48:20

It's lovely when GPs want to be involved and it's great that she loves him so much but it sounds like your mum is being very selfish in my opinion. You work hard and deserve some weekends to yourself! And weekends are not exclusively "her time" to spend with him.

I would start gently reducing the number of weekends you visit and say very firmly that you are exhausted. Plus once he starts school and has a birthday party every fecking weekend you won't be able to travel every Saturday anyway!! wink

FredFredGeorge Thu 01-Nov-12 12:49:38

No, you don't ask for some weekends to yourselves. Your adults, you take them as and when you want, you need to get your mum to understand you're not a child any more, but and adult to have a relationship with.

And you certainly need to help her with that by being an adult and not a child.

Bearandcub Thu 01-Nov-12 12:51:06

Tricky, if your DP is insistent you see both set of GPs in a day I'd suggest your parents either pick up your DS from your house and drop over to MIL where you and DH meet your child later on. Only one journey, you and DH get some down time and your so sees everyone.

However, I would suggest you try alternate weekends between GPs with your family coming to you if they are that insistent.

Personally, if any of this was having a detrimental effect on my child and tell them both to shove it.

7to25 Thu 01-Nov-12 12:51:34

Why does she not drop a day at work and look after him for a day?
Four days nursery.
I'm pretty sure that she is less needy of the money at her stage in life. I am a granny and one of my granny friends does this. She is a professional woman and her daughter is a lawyer. the other grandparents have the wee man another day.

Bearandcub Thu 01-Nov-12 12:52:36

*I'd rather than and

Paiviaso Thu 01-Nov-12 12:53:20

Your mother is being very unreasonable. You do not need to visit every Saturday.

LadyEvilBeagle Thu 01-Nov-12 12:54:03

Good Lord, you need to nip this in the bud right away.
You have your own family now.
I can't believe you asked them to go on holiday with you, too.
Why do you feel so beholden to them?

FunnysInLaJardin Thu 01-Nov-12 12:54:26

That sounds awful. We both work FT too and our weekends with our DC are almost untouchable 'family time'.

I would say you will visit once a month and that is it. If they want to come and see you at other times then that is fine too

ILoveChristmas01 Thu 01-Nov-12 12:55:45

We tend to see MIL and my parents most weekends, and we've tried getting both families to mix but they have nothing in common and it's very, very awkward, plus MIL is on her own (my FIL died a few years back) and she can be a bit overpowered by parents / siblings and thier partners.

It is so difficult as she just keeps telling me that so and so see's their grandchildren every day etc. and because we live an hour away it's not like I can pop in for a cuppa after work.

The fact that she goes really funny with me just makes me more angry, I feel like she is saying I don't care how knackered you are / what else you have to do I want to see my grandson!

DH also said that about parties as he gets older - she will bloody hate that too!

I can just tell there is a massive argument on the horizon!

EldritchCleavage Thu 01-Nov-12 12:56:55

Crikey! Time to stop dancing to your mother's tune, I think. She doesn't sound very considerate towards you.

Even alternate weekends is too much. You need time together at home as a nuclear family. I think the default should be that you are at home on Saturday and your parents can visit you say 1 weekend in 3, or on an ad hoc basis, with you doing the occasional visit to them.
Strict parity between the grandparents is a bit silly too. It can all even out. If MIL is 30 mins away, she can sometimes come for family dinner on a weeknight, no?

FunnysInLaJardin Thu 01-Nov-12 13:00:14

ILove I have had all sorts of issues with my family and boundaries over the years which has got worse since the DC have arrived. The only way to deal with it is to face it head on and set the ground rules which suit your circumstances. It will most likely lead to a row but at least you won't be spending your life trying to please your mother

KellyElly Thu 01-Nov-12 13:00:44

Your mother is being very unreasonable. I would limit the visits where you go to her to one weekend per month and they can drive to you one weekend a month - perhaps that weekend you DH could pick up his mother and she could stay for the weekend. this would mean both sets of grandparents would get to see LO every other weekend and you would have two weekends per month to yourself. Don't be controlled by your parents, you are an adult and you do not have to put up with it.

PinkFairyDust Thu 01-Nov-12 13:01:27

Can she look after him one day?
Seriously the weekend is not her time...she had her time when she had kids, it's your turn now

Just tell her this weekend is for your family partner, child and you don't let her tell you otherwise because your stuck with this for years to come!

KellyElly Thu 01-Nov-12 13:02:20

We tend to see MIL and my parents most weekends, and we've tried getting both families to mix but they have nothing in common and it's very, very awkward tough I'm afraid. Everyone's an adult and everyone will just have to get on with it.

WinkyWinkola Thu 01-Nov-12 13:04:08

Wow. Your mother sounds really spoiled and demanding and petulant.

I would be so angry if someone started making demands on my time like that.

Does she have no life of her own to be getting in with?

It sounds like you, your dh and your ds have very little time together as a family unit. And you must be so weary with working f/t and travelling every weekend. Madness. Not to mention petrol costs.

We sees the gps on average every six weeks. We have our own lives to lead. I imagine they do too. One GP bitches about it but that's really tough because I'm not prepared to fill the void in her life by travelling loads. We do enough.

I'd just start visiting less and less until you are at a level where you are happy. You are not responsible for making your mother happy however sulky a d moody she may get about it.

DontmindifIdo Thu 01-Nov-12 13:04:12

OK OP - you are a grown up with husband, a child, a home of your own and a responsible job. You are not a child. You don't have to do what your mum wants if it doesn't fit with what's best for your family.

you say Do you think I'm fair to ask for some weekends to ourselves? - do you not see that you do'nt have to ask anyone? It doesn't matter what your mum wants just what you and DH want.

So inform your mum that the travelling is too much and you will not do it anymore every weekend. You will visit one Saturday a month for the whole day. One Saturday a month you will visit your MIL and spend the whole day there (not driving between the two getting lunch on the hoof, make the most of the time). The weekends in between are family time.

If they want to see your DS more, tough, you aren't a SAHM with spare days, and even if you were, it's not like you could visit them in the week because they wouldn't be there either.

Parents who live round the corner who are retired with DDs/DILs who are SAHM (or even working parttime) will see their DGC more often, but that's not your life, so you shouldn't have to compromise your family time in order to try to compensate for not living this way.

It is hard if you have demanding parents to stop pandering to them, but you can.

make sure you agree this stance with your DH too.

ILoveChristmas01 Thu 01-Nov-12 13:04:23

7to25 she wouldn't drop a day at work, and she won't drive over to us as she hates driving, and for us to drop LO before work would be a nightmare as I'd have to travel an hour to her house, and then 45 mins back to work and do the same when we picked him up.

My mum also has never really had anything to do with my dads family so she has only had to ever concentrate on her own mum and dad, whereas I have to families to keep happy.

And yes, I can't believe I asked them to come on holiday with us - I felt guilty as we went away with them the previous year and I think my mum was expecting to holiday with her grandson every year after that.

I just can't wait for Christmas - that will be the next thing!

financialwizard Thu 01-Nov-12 13:06:01

I would be tempted to cut down to seeing both sets of parents every other weekend instead of every weekend.

I do feel for you, my Mum is similar. Although I am learning to tell her to give me some space now.

DontmindifIdo Thu 01-Nov-12 13:06:45

oh BTW - she will kick off, if she does, just stop talking to her. If she wants to see her grandson, she'll have to do so on your terms. She doesn't get to be the one who makes the decisions anymore, she's "only" the granny, not the parent. You and your DH get to pick what lifestyle is best for your DS, she can fit in with that or not be part of her DGS's life. She doesn't get to arrange everything and expect her adult child and her grandchild to just fit in with that.

EldritchCleavage Thu 01-Nov-12 13:07:59

she won't drive over to us as she hates driving
Well, she isn't that desperate to see him then, is she?

This is only partly about being obsessed with her grandchild, I think. It is also about controlling you. You do get, don't you OP, that feeling you should give up work to enable her to have the weekends she wants is a very extreme position, don't you? The more you write, the more it seems to me that time away from your domineering mother would do you the world of good.

Bearandcub Thu 01-Nov-12 13:09:55

Christmas seems like perfect opportunity to say we're staying at home, if you want to see your grandson we will be in on Boxing Day or whenever. Make the break and then set boundaries for the new year.

ILoveChristmas01 Thu 01-Nov-12 13:11:49

I'm so glad you agree and it's not just me.

My mum never worked when we were young so she doesn't understand.

I need to be stronger, I know. My DH is very good and will stick with me whatever decision I make.

Kellyelly - My MIL is also about an hours drive, and as she can't drive we would have to pick her up and drop her back which would be al lot after being at work all day.

I did think about 1 weekend each month and spending the whole day with them, but she wouldn't be happy with that

travailtotravel Thu 01-Nov-12 13:13:03

Your life, your child, your choice about what happens.

The weekend is not her time to see her DGC, it is a priviledge that she has so far been allowed to.

Give her some choices abotu wha happens, but to be honest, it is exhausting for you and 1 weekend a month sounds reasonable. One with them, one with the other and two for you.

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