Parents doing my nut in(13 Posts)
I live in the UK, my parents don't. They have always constantly asked me to move to where they are, even though I'm happily married with a great job and will have zero to no prospects there, as well as DH not being able to come with me. I understand why they want that, but after having DD ten months ago I feel like they're slowly driving me insane.
The "why don't you move here" argument has been reeled off as a response to everything I tell them: "DD's not settling at nursery", "I'm nervous about going back to work", "DD's got a cold". Am I wrong or is the UK not the only country where you can get a cold?! They constantly tell me how much they miss her but have not come to visit us since the birth. They want us to go to them instead (which we did when DD was three months old for three weeks). They are self-employed and well off whereas DH and I tend to struggle for money and leave. When I asked my dad about it his only rationale was "the UK's not my favourite country. I don't like the immigration officers at border control." ???!?!!!?!!! They have also suggested several times (jokingly, I hope) that I just send DD over there to them and they'll raise her.
What's really doing my head in, though, is the way they make me feel like an incompetent parent. DD is a perfectly healthy and happy child. My mum, though, second guesses my decisions at every turn. I was practically raised by an au pair as my parents had very demanding jobs, and I didn't want that for DD, so have gone part time (DH has too) and have decided to send her into nursery for just a day a week. She's not settling too well, and my mum's chalked that up to her either "needing to go in full time" or "needing a nanny instead of nursery". When she got a cold it was because "nurseries are full of germs". They also say blatantly obvious things like "make sure she doesn't fall out of her cot" or "make sure she doesn't choke" (baby is BLWed). Today I sent them a video of her eating in a restaurant, being lovely and smiley and well behaved, and my dad actually sent back: "is the table clean?"
I replied, as a joke: "No, it's crawling in E. coli and salmonella." He got cross with me for being cavalier but I just didn't know what else to say. Yes?
AIB totally U? Is this normal GP behaviour or am I right to think that they're crossing some sort of line? I love my parents and am genuinely grateful for the sacrifices they've made for me but I want a different life for DD. I have spoken to them before about our different parenting decisions and that they need to respect that and my mum fervently agreed but doesn't seem to have changed at all!
Sorry, that was long.
Not normal for me. I would find it annoying, off-putting and overbearing.
Just keep them at arm's length though. Have less contact than currently. If they ask why then tell them. Don't give them so much information. Then they will have far less ammunition to throw back at you.
Thry have raised their children. They need to give you the space you need in order to raise yours
A couple of things your Mum is right about, it is hard for a baby to settle into nursery if they only go one day a week, and there are loads of bugs there. I'd up her time at nursery until she settles in or try a childminder or nanny. Bugs...well, it helps build their immune system, if you have the patience with it all. It's not the nicest way to spend a year, but it's first year of nursery or first year of school pretty much.
Most of the rest of it's general 'GP' stuff. Fucking frustrating but 'normal' for many. No matter how old you are, or competent you are, or more hands on they were or weren't, they still see you as a child! Not just their child, but a child. Fucking frustrating, I know.
Tell your Dad that's tough about border control and not liking the uk, it's about seeing his dgd, not the countryside. They either want to see DD & make the effort or stfu. It's much easier for them to do it so tell them to 'suck it up & cone over or stop complaining' (though I can imagine how thread inspiring they'd be once here!!).
As for wanting you to go there to live, without DH, unless he's an abusive/controlling/nasty bastard that's really not on and I'd be very firm about that.
Don't rise to it. Smile, nod and ignore. If really pressed stick with saying 'really' in a non committal way. There is no point in explaining and justifying- you have done and they don't listen.
I would take Chipping's approach above. Your dad is being pathetic about not liking the UK and border control. I would start making 'jokes' about it (but this is a bit passive aggressive!).
Be straight and tell them whilst your DD is so young and your circumstances are as they are, they will have to come to you for the foreseeable future. I would also point out that it can't be that important as they haven't troubled themselves to make the effort.
I also concur with the point that your DD would find it easier to settle in to nursery if she goes more frequently. She'll start to make her own little friends and enjoy it.
Sounds like that are trying to make right their absent patenting (of you) by being overbearing and over involved with the parenting of their GC...
So they're basically asking you to leave your husband? Why haven't you been very firm about putting them straight on that one?
As to the nursery comments - she's right. If you want/need to use a nursery 1 day isn't ideal. Would two half-days work? (Did for my DGD).
Other things, not unusual for a GM to have an opinion on.
Then suggest they visit (stay in a hotel or B&B) if they miss their DGD so much.
They want you to move there and leave your husband?! Do they have a reason to have such a problem with him?
I get it's all totally annoying, and what they say feels critical rather than supportive.
A lot of it probably comes from them being far away but yet wanting to help/be involved. (without wanting to make the effort themselves to visit).
If they did make the effort then they would see how happy you all are, and what a good parent you are. They would probably do it anyway, though, but it's exacerbated by distance and less easy to knock on the head.
There may be some grain of truth in some of their advice, especially re nursery - not full time, but ime they need more regularity than one day to settle - two would be better. Also though 10 months is peak separation anxiety time.
Just stop telling them the details.
From experience, two half days would be easier on your DD than one full day. Not always possible, obviously, but in hindsight I wish I'd done it that way.
Yes, stop telling them things. This worked with MIL. I vented about things to her and then I got her advice back, some of it useful, some of it I took as a personal slight on my (and DH's) parenting choices. I just stopped telling her the bad bits, always said everything was fine. Basically I realised I was asking for her comments/advice by telling her our 'problems'.
DD is now 5yo and I'm still a little cautious about what I share, but on the whole, I take it better now or just ignore. PIL are lovely though, just had different ideas about doing things and MIL wasn't able to BF so it kinda came out with me (produced first GC and BF), I think MIL found that hard and wanted to push FF because she'd had to give up BFing.
Thanks everyone - looks like some of what they're doing is typical grandparent stuff so maybe I'm being over sensitive.
Unfortunately the one day a week at nursery is out of necessity (I could only go down to a three day work week and so could DH, and neither of our workplaces do half days). So if we wanted to increase nursery days I guess one of us would have to work more days? It seemed to me like having her parents around for more days made more sense than having her in childcare?
To clarify, they're not asking me to leave DH. They were very opposed to us getting married at first, and that caused a big rift in our relationship, but have since come around (it was a long time ago) and now really do love him. They just seem to trivialise the fact that he would have to spend years and a lot of money trying to get residency, a new job paying next to nothing etc., basically saying: "well you can come and he can follow" like it's not a big deal. It comes from a good (?) place but it just seems inherently quite selfish to me. He wouldn't be able to go over/work straightaway. We'd essentially be homeless and jobless and in debt, and potentially violating some immigration laws.
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