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Controlling Great-Grandmother

(33 Posts)
Vivienne1991 Tue 13-Aug-19 07:05:37

I don't really no where to start, other than I feel completely out of control of all aspects of my life. And not like 'crazy' out of control but out of control because my husband's nan has over the last 2 and a half years slowly taken control of everything I try to do when it comes to home life and my daughter's life.

My husband's nan and grandad have looked after our daughter from the age of 2 and a half whilst we both worked full time and couldn't afford the childcare fees. I was reluctant at first with them both being 82 but they still had their wits about them and well relatively fit and you wouldn't know they were 82. Anyway, things were fine at first and we had no issues - for your first 6 months anyway! Then slowly but surely the nan has becoming overbearing and controlling to the point of telling my daughter's HV that she is more of my daughter's mother than I am. She continually tries to tell me what is right or wrong and how I should do things. She ignores what both me and husband say when it comes to food and gives our daughter food that cause her constipation it's just a never ending list of things.

Last year I had two miscarriages one and after the other and during an unnecessary disagreement she tells me, in front of my daughter that they were my fault cause I am a bad mother and she can talk to me however she likes as she looks after my daughter - that was the final straw but after my husband spoke to her, she apparently 'apologised' so I agreed, out of no choice but to still allow her to look after our little girl.

Fast forward to last week - she's asks me if she can have my daughter over night. I really don't feel comfortable with this. My H's nan and granddad are now almost 85 and not only that I am 6 months pregnant and my DD is extremely clingy so I spoke to my H and we agreed that once I am on maternity leave (in two weeks she can have her over night). My H explained this to his N who said it was 'Thursday or never' - fine her choice but it made me wonder why that day. In the past she has asked to take my DD away but I've said no as they don't have mobiles etc. She then calls me the evening before she's due to look after my D and asks again - I repeat what she has already been told for her to ask why again. Once again I repeat it saying I'm not saying never I'm just saying no this week. To which she says 'well I suggest you find someone else to look after your child then' and hungs up the phone. My H heard all this and he was in just as much shock as I was. So T & F we are left we no child care having to take last minute days off. Not heard a thing all weekend to find out she's been in touch with my H yesterday and wants to arrange a play date with my D and her nursery friend - acting as if nothing has happened. My H won't tell her that what she done was disrespectful nor will he mention the incident to her.

I'm sorry for the long post I'm just at a loss and she is seriously causing such a huge problem with my husband and I and I'm so depressed. She is the cause of our rows and I know it's his N but she constantly over steps boundaries and what you say falls on deaf ears and I just think what's the point any more.

Any advice please from a broken mumma!!

blackcat86 Tue 13-Aug-19 08:56:27

You need to take back control and end the arrangement. Google 'engulfing narcissist' because that is what is happening here. I appreciate people have been quick to criticise you by these sort of people draw you in quite deliberately by appearing to give you what you want but actually it's all what they want and for their benefit. This happens quite slowly and when my PIL did it, it almost felt like being groomed. We are coming out of the other side so hopefully I can offer some insight. PIL are very engulfing and controlling because they want to be central to everything we do but this included our wedding, how our home was decorated, what we bought for DD, even my c section! DD is 1 now and I had been pushed to breaking point by them (and useless DH). Firstly I insisted on couples counselling to start to unravel the issue and get DH onboard. You two need to unite as a couple and family unit. Do things first before they get a change to takeover. We increased our economic power to stop them trying to lord money over us and i went back to work early from mat leave. By changing how we worked and the jobs we had we increased our household income by 150%. It is possible. Next, realise that they are abusive, will spred their toxicity to your DC and likely dont do them any good. MIL is unable to adapt to DD becoming a toddler, trying to cuddle her like a newborn, ignoring what she says (she has a few words and signs) and ignoring the feedback that we get on her development. She doesn't see the need for her to free play or see peers. She just wants DD sat on her lap or in the buggy for hours. This isn't good or ok. Use a nursery or cm. Understand that this gives great nan power and status both of which you're feeding. Why would you let her do the HV apt? Stop allowing this, take leave for the day. Take back control as the mother. We organised DDs birthday party and PIL are furious that we planned our own child's party without them, for her friends with them invited as guests but it's made a point and made us realise how ridiculous our situation is. Weather these storms and hold them accountable to basic standards of decency.

Moomoo1975 Tue 13-Aug-19 08:56:20

I think the great grandmother is showing her age behaving this way. My own mum passed at 82 and dad at 88. No way would they have been able to look after kids at these ages. The energy needed for a young child is exhausting even on a young person. I'd say the mind set is starting to go, sone elderly become unreasonable and nasty as they age with less tolerance.
New child care is a must. I would not focus on your husbands behaviour towards her because if my above assumptions are correct....what would be the point? Remember she has done you a big favour these past 3 yrs.
It think OP your pregnancy hormones are making you a little emotional. From what I have read nobody has been nasty. They have just said "get new child care."
Of course it is hurtful to have someone say you are a bad parent in front of your child. Anyone would be upsert by that.
I think watch the Great grandmother over time beacuse I think she is loosing it and may well need compassion.
Out of interest, how did other family members get on with her having their kids minded? Could you ask them if there were difficulties?

MrsMozartMkII Tue 13-Aug-19 08:27:35

Oil! I object to (us) being called 'nasty' when all I (we) did was say get different childcare.

If you don't want home truths or different pov then don't post on an open forum.

Herocomplex Tue 13-Aug-19 08:26:46

This sounds like a horrible situation, but if you were expecting someone to have a strategy for making the GM change her attitude then you will be disappointed.
Someone who is behaving like that won’t change. I’m afraid the only thing that can change is the situation.
Have you spoken to the other family members who she did child care for? Did they have the same experience?

flappi Tue 13-Aug-19 08:18:26

She’s 2.5 , the first term after her third birthday , with one if you working full time, ( and one of you working at least 16 hours a week ) , she should be entitled to free funded child care at a local nursery of your choice !She may even be entitled to some free hours now though I’m not as sure about that as there are sons special situations when kids are entitled at age 2. So when you get back from maternity leave you should be in a much better position for childcare with ur daughter .

And by the way while you are on maternity leave , you can still have the free childcare hours so long as your child is entitled

Some parents get 15 free hours a week and some get 30 . I am guessing you would be entitled to 30 as both of you are working but of course I might be wrong so you should check your entitlements

Don’t worry about the grandma she will soon calm down thought she IS out of order .

Check your entitlements for free nursery hours ...on the .gov website and also go ask your local health visiting team as they can help you find out about what you are entitled to on this weblink :

www.gov.uk/help-with-childcare-costs/free-childcare-and-education-for-2-to-4-year-olds

I know in my area some children aged two can also get the free child care hours in some situations but I don’t know what the conditions are .

Your local council should be able to help you find out what you can get .

If your struggling for childcare right now , have you considered going on maternity leave early ?

NotSorry Tue 13-Aug-19 08:17:24

I wouldn’t rely on your husband stepping up to challenge them. It’s likely he’s been controlled by these people his whole life and has FOG (see relationships board). As you will be on maternity leave soon, now is the time to make changes that work for your family better.

SummerInTheVillage Tue 13-Aug-19 08:17:23

Pay for childcare. Otherwise suck it up. Your choice.

JustHereWithPopcorn Tue 13-Aug-19 08:13:18

If your 6 months pregnant can you maybe ride it out for another few months until your back on maternity leave? If your daughter is going into school and then new baby in nursery you shouldn't have to deal with that again sounds horrible! You are the mother and that shouldn't be disrespected. I can completely understand taking up the offer of free childcare.. most would in that position! But sounds like it's been taken too far by her now.

BertrandRussell Tue 13-Aug-19 08:01:24

My mum could have- and did- look after a child when she was 85. The age is not the point.
It’s the telling the OP that she is a bad mother, and in front of her child, that would have been the end for me.

Vasya Tue 13-Aug-19 07:59:08

She sounds like a nightmare. If it's true that you you don't rely on them and could afford alternative childcare then that is your solution. At 85 they are really a bit too old for childcare anyway, so you could use that as an excuse if you want one.

CarrieBlu Tue 13-Aug-19 07:56:30

I can’t see that anyone has been particularly rude or nasty OP. They’re just pointing out the obvious - having 80 year old’s looking after your child was never the best idea in the first place and, if you do choose to use them as free childcare, you either have to learn to let things go a little or decide that it’s not working, and then pay someone else properly to do a proper, regulated job of looking after your DC.

Just because people don’t agree with you, doesn’t make them rude or nasty.

AuntieMarys Tue 13-Aug-19 07:56:02

No one has been rude.

CherryBlu Tue 13-Aug-19 07:52:20

God she sounds a nightmare,
Don't use her for the new baby, sort something else out or you will have four more years of this.
The government do a scheme where they pay £2 for every £8 towards child care, I'm currently in the process of setting my account up.
Your husband should grow a pair but doesn't sound like he will and it's not worth the stress and arguments whilst you are pregnant.
It's her loss

Nextphonewontbesamsung Tue 13-Aug-19 07:50:24

Just bring it to an end now. They are too old at 85 to be looking after a young child. You and your DP made a poor decision there.

Vivienne1991 Tue 13-Aug-19 07:50:04

You are all actually rather nasty!

MsTSwift Tue 13-Aug-19 07:49:29

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Vivienne1991 Tue 13-Aug-19 07:49:08

Most of you are so bloody rude! And for someone who has low self-esteem you have been no help!

We don't rely on the 'free child care' it was offered and we accepted.

The clinginess is because I work all day I don't see my child until late and once on maternity leave I'd have her all day so it'll be easier - and quite frankly I am her mum and if I say no then that is my answer. I didn't come on her to be judge and all you 'perfect' mums have done is judge

Vivienne1991 Tue 13-Aug-19 07:44:34

She offered to look after our daughter - we didn't ask. At the time fees were almost £700pm. and I wasn't earning a lot and my husband works 12 hour shifts. She had looked after all the other children in the family and as I said you would think there in their 60s. Grandad is a builder and is still on roofs to this day so my husband thought it would be fine. And then the controlling happened. Yes - she does start school in September and yes I'll be on maternity and in reply to the comment about how can I have two children in this situation we are earning more money now so childcare will be an option in the future. I mainly came on here for advice about my husband not saying anything and letting her get away with all sorts. Not an ear bashing about why am I having children if I can't basically afford them.

cranstonmanor Tue 13-Aug-19 07:44:22

Don't ever rely on free childcare. Arrange your own. Don't have more children if you can't afford them. She will keep controlling you as long as she can.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Tue 13-Aug-19 07:43:06

If she's 5,is she not in school or nursery?

Unfortunately, there is no way to resolve this bar arranging new paid for childcare. What the plan with the new baby?

You can care for your older DD when on mat leave so that gives just a short period of time to sort some temp childcare til then

I don't understand why your DD can't go on a sleepover witg then because she is clingy until you go on mat leave? What difference woukd that make to the clinginess? I'm just pointing this out because, in situations like this, clarity of communication is imperative so you must make sure you are very clear when you tell the grandparents that you have decided to pay for childcare and you won't be changing your mind

Fatted Tue 13-Aug-19 07:41:30

Just echoing what everyone else has said, you need paid childcare!

I'm also questioning allowing a couple in their 80s to look after your DC. My parents are PIL are all late 60s, early 70s and would struggle physically to keep up with our kids.

MeanMrMustardSeed Tue 13-Aug-19 07:38:40

Agree with previous posters. Why on earth are you still using them? I don’t think an 80+ year old was ever a great idea for childcare.

BeanBag7 Tue 13-Aug-19 07:35:00

They started childcare when she was 2.5 and it's been 2.5 years so wont she be starting school in a few weeks and you won't need childcare anyway? Do you qualify for the 30 free hours?

Asking someone to look after your child full time is a huge ask and rarely works out because, yes, they see your child more than you do. It probably wasnt the right choice but you didnt know that at the time. Now you do and can arrange alternative childcare - do not ask them to look after your second one.

notapizzaeater Tue 13-Aug-19 07:33:26

Have you checked how much childcare costs and how much you could claim back. You really need alternative childcare,

whyohwhyflowerdear Tue 13-Aug-19 07:30:33

I don't understand why you've continued to send your daughter there if it is causing all this stress and arguments. Don't use them again! Your on maternity leave soon and when will she be starting full time school?

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