I'm finding my mother quite difficult, as she always has to be in charge.
This includes being in charge of my children, even when I'm there, and will discipline them, when I think she should stand back, be the Granny and let me deal with things.
I have avoided days out with her all summer, as I just find it all too stressful.
The situation isn't helped by the fact that she obviously favours DS2. My sister has talked to her about this, and my mother does try to be fair, but she is just so much softer when diciplining DS2, than she is with DS1 and DD.
How do I subtly get through to her I am the parent, and she is the Grannny. She's been the same with all her daughters children.
I was reading and nodding and reading and nodding then I got to the bit where you said "subtly get through to her".
You need to tell her, I am afraid. Sit down and say it. I don't think subtlety will be effective, from what you've said. She should not be undermining or overruling when with you and your kids. They are not her kids.
I'd suggest coming from the angle that it makes you feel unhappy when she makes decisions/calls the shots.
Seriously, how about "I appreciate your help with the children etc etc" - butter her up a bit - then "I do feel unhappy sometimes that you take charge/control over my children. When I am present I will make decisions about discipline and expect you to support me". If she's taken aback just smile and say that she's stood you in good stead and now you're a grown woman you are capable of handling these situations effectively and without her input. Say it firmly, mind, she sounds like a forceful lady
"She obviously fails to see me as an adult even though I'm 36". That line to me speaks volumes (speaking as someone who has toxic inlaws). Think your initial hope re her recognising that you are a grown up is forlorn.
My guess is this goes beyond your children as well; your own relationship with your Mum has perhaps been difficult for many years.
Direct and firm words are the only way forward. However, prepare for her to get all upset, perhaps go on the defensive and attack you verbally and or go all sulky on you as a result (not speaking to you for weeks etc).
If she still does not get the message I would continue to stay away from her. Your children as well don't need her favouritism as that can divide siblings further. BTW did she act like this with you four siblings when you were children?. These people never really say sorry or take any responsibility. Subtlety does not work, these people do not get the concept of subtlety and thus this has no effect.
Would suggest you post your original response on the "Well we took you to Stately Homes" thread. Some women whose Mothers have similar issues re control/wanting to be in charge also post there.
Is it possible that, although you are 36, in the relationship with your mother you are still the small child wanting her approval. You say you 'love her so much', nothing wrong with that of course, but what exactly is it that you 'love' so much? I hope this does not come across as any kind of criticism, just that by changing your own attitude (which is always more possible than changing someone else's attitude) you may get further. Just remind yourself that you do not need anybody's approval and that you are a very good mother. When issues arise between you and your mother, that is the time to stand up for yourself and tell her calmly that, no you didn't want that to happen, thank you mum, and stick to your guns as you would with a stroppy child.
My Mum can be like this. She takes control when with my sisters dc, because she lets her and wont say anything.
Mum wouldn't try it with mine because she knows I would be angry with her. On the rare occassions she has told my dc off in front of me, I have informed her that I am there and capable of dealing with the situation.
I agree with Attila, you need to act the adult more with her. Some parents cant get past seeing their offspring as children. For one thing it will be undermining your authority.
Being subtle wont work. Let her know that when you are present she shouldn't get involved with the parenting of the dc.
Untill a year or so ago, I did want her aproval. I have managed to move on from that.
My siblings are 8,9,10 years older than me, and much more accademic. I've always been seen as the incapable baby by the whole family. Because of this I don't tend to have rational discussions with my mother. She tells me off and I rant back. Mostly I do behave in an adult way, though- even though I end up going home and ranting to DH.
I'm also the only sibling who lives nearbly, the others are at least 2 hours away,so not seeing her is really not an option.