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Grandma who oversteps boundaries.

(15 Posts)
TropicalHorse Wed 11-Feb-15 06:24:18

Oh, I'm in a pickle. My DD is 19months and a treasure. I'm reluctantly back at work 2 days per week and my mum comes to ours and looks after DD. I am very grateful for this - childcare is very expensive and varies in quality where we live so it's really the only way we can manage. Unfortunately, my mum is the interfering type - gives tonnes of unsolicited 'helpful' advice (criticism) and pulls the wide-eyed innocent face when called on any of it. None of what she does is overt, she would never openly question our parenting decisions, she just quietly undermines and it's getting hard to bear. For example, my DD was sick last week and I took the day off work to take her to the doctor. Mum decided to come to ours for the day anyway to "take the pressure off me" but instead spent the whole day second-guessing how I was looking after DD. Including bodily lifting my feverish, sad toddler off me and taking her into another room to read stories to her. After I'd asked her to leave us be for a while until the paracetamol kicked in. I have even come home to the furniture rearranged in DD's room "to make it more convenient."
It's not just me! My husband also gets infuriated by her criticism, and over Christmas she went to stay with my sister who reported the same sort of behaviour and sent mum packing a week early! Unfortunately I feel a bit like I've got to 'wear' it as we do rely on mum for childcare. She's also bailed us out financially recently so there's layers of obligation going on.
Does anyone have any tips or insight that might help me deal with this, day to day? I'm fantasizing about moving far away but that's 1-2 years away right now!

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 11-Feb-15 06:48:17

Sorry, but the only answer is to stop using your mum for childcare.

HoggleHoggle Wed 11-Feb-15 06:54:46

I have a bit of this and it drives me mad. My mum even keeps referring to herself to my ds as 'mama'. A mistake a few times, yes, but after a year it just cheeses me off.

I think it's quite hard to say much though while she's doing the childcare and it sounds as though she'll deny it anyway. Is there any alternative at all?

For what it's worth, it's for this type of reason that my mum isn't doing any formal childcare. She generously offered but I know our relationship well enough to know it just won't work. It affected my back to work plans but ultimately it was the right decision for us.

donnie Wed 11-Feb-15 07:02:27

I agree with Unexpected; if you take her money and you use her as a childcare substitute then carry on as you are. 'Layers of obligation' is a two way street and you simply cannot expect her to have no input.

Why don't you start paying for childcare and see how that pans out?

CadmiumRed Wed 11-Feb-15 07:13:41

Have you tried talking to her about it directly?
'Mum, I love it that you and DD are so close but can you see that I need to find my own way with her too.? I'm so eased that you look after her but at the same time it's hard to feel undermined. I feel undermined when you say things like that'.

How did she react to your sister chucking her out?

PixelFloyd Wed 11-Feb-15 07:39:03

Yes my DM is similar - only solution unfortunatly has been to see her less frequently so she has less opportunity to constantly criticise "advise" me. Attempting to address it with her only means she gets even more opportunity to criticise by telling me I'm "too sensitive"/take things the wrong way (or I also get wide-eyed innocence).

My sympathies to you - it's so aggravating (and a shame from both sides if it means your DM can't do the regular childcare for you any more).

NickyEds Wed 11-Feb-15 09:58:38

Sorry op but I think you've just got to think of the money, grin and bear it. Two days a week amounts to around £90 per week in our area so it's a big favour she's doing you. How do you think she'd react if you openly told her to stop?

Pastmyduedate0208 Wed 11-Feb-15 10:49:13

Your poor mum being made to leave 1 week early! I bet she thinks it's just being helpful.
I don't think moving a few chairs around is that bad. From what u have posted she really does not seem that terrible seeing as she helps so much.
Aree you as gently as possible, being a bit precious? Could you suck it up and view it as endearing?

SASASI Thu 12-Feb-15 00:02:38

My mum is a bit like this & it's genuinely all done with best of heart but that doesn't mean it's not annoying.

I do a mixture of :
A) completely ignore her
B) shush her
C) tell her I am the mother & I make the decisions
D) tell her to fuck off - rare but does happen when I've reached the end of my tether

Depends on my mood / patience levels that day!

She will also be providing Childcare. I view this as her spending time with DS without me being there being driven batty at the same time!

ch1134 Thu 12-Feb-15 06:55:16

Why were you off work with your daughter if you had childcare? Speak to your mum about the furniture rearranging. Apart from that she sounds loving and proactive. You are very lucky, as is your daughter.

Optimist1 Thu 12-Feb-15 08:03:34

She sees your need for financial assistance as "My daughter needs help". Ditto your need for childcare. Her behaviour reflects someone who is trying help.

Only1scoop Thu 12-Feb-15 08:08:19

Either have a chat with her re your feelings....especially moving furniture etc....or find a nursery or similar for the 2 days.

NickyEds Thu 12-Feb-15 10:08:41

I think you need to be very careful about ignoring, sshhing and correcting someone who providing free childcare. What would you do if, having been told to "fuck off" they do!!

rosedavo Tue 17-Feb-15 10:04:07

Try talking to her away from child just her and u and tell her that you appreciate the help but shes upsetting you. If she says you are being sensative say im sorry but this is how i feel and if you cant see that then we will have to spend less time together

Jinglebells99 Tue 17-Feb-15 10:14:39

Gosh you are incredibly lucky to have a mum willing to provide free childcare snd support you financially. I think as others say if you are not happy with the way it is working out, you need to look at paid childcare. She is treating you as a dependent as you are acting as one.

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