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to resent the attention my son gives to my parents?

(33 Posts)
Gargula Mon 13-Jul-09 12:11:55

My son (19 months) and my parents have a great relationship - but we've just been on holiday for a week with them and they have driven me nuts!
They are always after my son's attention and feel like they have to play with him and muck around with him 100% of the time. Sounds okay but it was really beginning to grate on me. It's like they can't act or talk like adults when he is around.
I know this may sound good but it's driven me bonkers as: my son can't concentrate on anything, like eating food, when they are around as they are always distracting him, his behaviour gets worse as they give him anything and everything and never say no; and, worse of all, it makes me and my husband feel totally unloved!
It's like we're not in the room when my parents are there. My dad in particular is always interrupting when myself or my husband are speaking to my son, he is always wanting to me the focus of my son's attention. My dad also calls ds "my boy" which drives me nuts.
It got so bad that I'm considering cutting down the amount of time my parents see my son (currently once a fortnight) and I've said so my husband that if I ever suggest going on holiday with them again that he can SHOOT ME IN THE HEAD!! phew.
Rant over.

edam Mon 13-Jul-09 12:14:42

Sounds very, very irritating. OK, it's great that they are so keen but there is a balance to be struck and constant interruptions and attention-seeking is not nice. I get a tiny dose of that from dh's family sometimes (usually over photos) and it winds me up, hate to think what it would be like if it were even more sustained.

GeorgeTheSlitheen Mon 13-Jul-09 12:17:23

I have the same problem with Mil & Fil and My dd is almost 5 not so if i were you i'd knock it on the head now.

My DD alwats played really well by herself and had a fantastic imagination untill she had to spend the best part of 3 months at the ILs all the time (i was ill) now she refuses to do anything for herself, wont even go to the toilet herself because they mothered her far to much while she was there. If she sits to do a puzzle mil pokes her oar in and takes over, if there is a colouring book out Mil is 'helping', she is never left to just be quiet on her own.

It drives me mad, i stopped going over there as much to be honest.

RealityIsMyOnlyDelusion Mon 13-Jul-09 12:17:40

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RealityIsMyOnlyDelusion Mon 13-Jul-09 12:18:53

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Rubyrubyrubyislosing7lbs Mon 13-Jul-09 12:19:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

blinder Mon 13-Jul-09 12:20:52

Are you seriously feeling excluded because your 19 month old son is getting all the attention?

That is extreme competitiveness.

Nancy66 Mon 13-Jul-09 12:21:33

it makes you and your husband feel unloved? that just sounds plain weird.

There are loads of posts on MN where the grandparents don't give a damn about their grandkids - be grateful.

I think your dad calling his grandson 'my boy' is lovely.

Lulumama Mon 13-Jul-09 12:25:42

a 19 month old is going to be easily distracted , and to be distracted by loving grandparents is a nice distraction

how wonderful that they dote on him so mcuh that you all go on holiday together and they spend time with him so you can take a break

wonderful tehy feel close to him

you sound totally unreasonable and jealous

you make the holiday sound look some near death experience

unless there is a back story we dpn't know, shame on you and your horrible attitude

Lulumama Mon 13-Jul-09 12:26:35

if you usually see them only once a fortnight, no wonder tehy were piling on teh attention

you feel unloved??

what do you want them to do? ignore your DS and tell you how great you are

MamaG Mon 13-Jul-09 12:29:21

very well said lulu, I wholeheartedly agree

LovingtheSilverFox Mon 13-Jul-09 12:29:34

Unreasonable - yes. I have the same situation with my parents. After DD I had PND, and my Dad, in particular gave me a lot of help. Have since had DTs and again lots of help. DD dotes on my Dad, will follow him around, ask me to phone him so she can say good night, and if she is told off will say "I want Dongle(pet name) not you". It is irritating, but it's the price for them having a wonderful relationship. I have asked my parents to back off slightly, reagrding certain things, and they have been very good about trying to back up our disciplining.

Could you speak to your parents? Let them know that at certain times you do things certain ways, and that things need to be consistent?

Don't reduce the amount of time you spend with them, be grateful they care.

Pyrocanthus Mon 13-Jul-09 12:31:47

They're a bit OTT perhaps and it might be best to avoid sharing holidays, but on shorter visits, can't you just sit back and have a rest?

I couldn't go on holiday with my MIL, but I quite like it when she takes my DDs over for a few hours. It's not a competition, he knows who his parents are.

Gargula Mon 13-Jul-09 12:33:12

thanks for the responses.
Just to clarify, and make myself sound even crazier, when I said "unloved" I meant by our son, not by my parents.
I kinda figured lots of people would find me unreasonable, and it is lovely how well my son gets on with them. It's just that it's so overwhelming, and all the time.
My husband doesn't get a lot of time with my son and I felt that this hols was a missed opportunity for them to spend more time together.
Thanks to Edam and George, I think if you experience it you know how irritating it can be!

blinder Mon 13-Jul-09 12:44:27

Gargula, you really should be focussing more on how loved your son feels, rather than how much he loves you.

May be your husband could just spend more time with his son? Or maybe you could both have taken your boy out for the day, while on the holiday. It's really not up to everyone around you to make you feel loved. It's up to you to demonstrate love to the people you care about. Did you express any of these feelings to your parents, or ask them for a bit of quite time with your son? Or did you just expect them to work it out for themselves?

If you feel unloved, you are probably the one creating the distance.

blinder Mon 13-Jul-09 12:45:26

quiet time not quite time (slaps forehead)

RealityIsMyOnlyDelusion Mon 13-Jul-09 12:45:30

Message withdrawn

Pyrocanthus Mon 13-Jul-09 12:46:23

Well knock the holidays on the head then, you must have time together as a family.

Can you get your parents to take him out on his own sometimes? Then they can indulge themselves and him and you can turn a blind eye and spend some time with your DH.

It'll probably settle down in time (is he the first grandchild?), your family relations will become more balanced and your parents will remember to talk to you and your DH as well.

Don't for a moment feel jealous of your son's love for his grandparents - like parents with several children, he has enough love to go round, but the bond between you and him is extra special.

OrmIrian Mon 13-Jul-09 12:55:02


But cut out the holidays. At least for a few years - when DS is older they want be so full on.

But don't cut down on once a fortnight. Pehaps if they saw him more often they would be less intense when they do get to spend time with him. Could he see them without you sometimes - give them a chance to focus on him without it winding you up?

Gargula Mon 13-Jul-09 12:59:55

You all speak a lot of sense.
I must try and calm down (breathessssss...)
Pyro - my brother has a little boy of about the same age but due to geography they see a lot less of him, so that may have something to do with it.
My MIL and FIL have 11 grandchildren, and, oddly enough, they aren't quite so excitable and OTT.
Thanks for your post SilverFox, that rang a few bells with my situation as my lad was prem and my parents helped out quite a bit at the start.
I think you're all right that cutting down the amount of time they see him is a bit mean - and probably just the fallout from a stressful week.

OrmIrian Mon 13-Jul-09 13:00:06

Which is more or less what pyrocanthus said grin

Devongirl Mon 13-Jul-09 13:16:33

Gargula talk to your parents! Easy for people to say YABU if they have perfectly reasonable parents, but if yours are getting on your nerves it'll only get worse unless you sort it out.

I went through this when I had a holiday with my parents last year. My problem is my mum, who treated my DS like her own, constantly faffing around trying to take care of his needs, over-ruling me any time I said I needed to do something like (sharp intake of breath) feed him, she'd say 'oh he'll be fine', and telling me to stop it if I tried to tell him off or get him to concentrate on feeding etc, which got to epic proportions by the end of the week and was really winding me up. We then had a few weeks of prickly phone calls then I thought I have to say something so it all came to a head, I told her she was *his NANA* not his mum, and she was *my mum*, so help me and be a grandparent to him. So there. She bristled but realised what I meant so things have got a lot better since that conversation.

My brother on the other hand, has never said anything to my Mum about it and has had 3 kids which he's had the same problem with her. I am so glad I nipped it in the bud and our relationship hasn't suffered, it's just laid the groundrules a bit clearer. Having a baby shifts things and makes relationships different but just keep talking and it'll be fine. But I agree, give the holiday a miss for a while!

MayorNaze Mon 13-Jul-09 13:19:59

do not go on holiday with inlaws


recipe for disaster


troutpout Mon 13-Jul-09 13:33:41

it was the op's parents MayorNaze
but yep...also difficult unless you really get on

I think it was just the holiday which probably tipped you over the edge gargula.

They sound like lovely grandparents tbh...i would love my dc's to have grandparents so interested in them. Once every 2 weeks is fine ...but can totally see how this behaviour every day on holiday would get on your nerves.

The comment about feeling unloved was a bit odd tbh...and agree that if that is true then the problem has nothing to do with your parents.It does sound like your dp perhaps needs to spend more time with him.

pranma Mon 13-Jul-09 14:01:42

Oh dear I am always saying things like,'Where's my lovely boy?'I never thought of it as irritating and dd doesnt seem to mind.Its just love and pride,nothing sinister and their love for you is partly expressed through your child.Don't say anything,they sound lovely and once a fortnight isnt much.[I see mine at least twice a week].

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