Can someone help me? Why is it so important to throw us out?? We're just Mothers.
My DIl wouldn't throw me out. She would go through rain sleet and hail to be at my side if I needed her and she'd beat everybody there! Right beside her would be my ex DIL! Lets not give all DILs a bad rap. The exceptions are horrible but they are the exceptions in my view. The road to acceptance isn't about figuring it out. It's about accepting "what is" and going on.
Sending love and Pings and all good things!
My exceptions have been horrible....both of them. Hard to accept but I guess that's all I'm left with.
Getting two is doubly horrible! Pox on 'em!!! >:(
I don't know why either Chicky...some just want to be #1 ?
I know it hurts more if you feel that all hope is gone. Nothing you can do? I just don't know.
nothing more I can do....I have given my "all"...period.
Then it is up to them, the ball is in their corner. Sometimes we need to accept things we cannot change.
Good for you for closing the door and moving on with your life. Pings to you!
I don't know if this will make any sense. I never wanted to throw my MIL out. I also had never invited her in. It's a weird thing to meet your boyfriend's mother/DH's mother. You're meeting someone for the first time, but there's the expectation that you'll relate like old pals. I think in some ways I needed a few more months of "weather talk" to get comfortable before we moved on to the more serious stuff.
I guess when I meet someone new, I have a guard up. I'll chat about the weather, what's growing in my garden, and other surface stuff. If we get along, I'll begin to let you into the layers underneath. If you come on too strong, then I clam up more. For example, there's a woman at our church who is very well meaning, but she has no problem discussing any topic (and I do mean any....she asked me if DH and I were having sex again after the birth of our DD and whether or not I was using birth control and how that was effecting my breast feeding) with people who she barely knows. I had maybe had 9 conversations with this woman before this was the topic. Every time I see her I get nervous even though I know she's not doing it to be mean to me. If my best friend said the same thing to me, it wouldn't phase me. But we also went through a two year journey from surface talk to best friend status before we went to those types of conversations. For some reason, I don't think MILs and DILs get the same time frame to "get to know" each other. In some ways, I think a courtship period for the MIL and DIL where a trusting relationship can be built would help a lot. I think this used to happen more when people stayed close to home so you already knew your MIL, but with things the way they are today, we're moving further and further away from that.
I don't know if that perspective helps at all. I guess I'm just trying to say that for some DILs, it may just take some time and space for her to let her guard down and get to know you better. You gals are great, so maybe some of your DILs (yes, only some, the truly nutzos cannot be helped) just need time to warm up a bit.
Clover, it's nice to have you here. In my case, DIL was the one who came on strong and was almost overly friendly too soon. DH and I didn't have much time to get to know her before the wedding, but we thought she liked us and we liked her even though we didn't have many shared interests other than DS. She was on her best behavior, it turns out, because things changed soon after. It turns out she hates us, disrespects us, thinks we're stupid losers (her words.) She barely tolerates us on the rare occasions when we see her and DS, which has affected our relationship with him. He used to defend us to her and her parents, but I don't know if he still does. We recently went out with DS & DIL and felt like they were critical, self-absorbed, snooty and rude to us (they let us buy dinner, however.)
I feel that my DIL wouldn't shed a tear if we were to disappear one day and never return. She has absolutely no use for us anymore. She's made it very clear that we are not going to be involved in future grandchildren's lives. DS used to assure us that he would never allow that to happen, but I'm not sure about that now.
I'm always heartened to hear of DILs who are trying to get along with their ILs. When my MIL was alive we had a good relationship - not too intimate with personal stuff, but focused on interests we shared in common such as gardening, natural foods, crafts, nature and our family. I respected her and she respected me, although she probably was hoping for a DIL who belonged to her church.
Anna, your DIL confuses the bejeezes out of me. I really don't get her at all. She wants you to babysit, but she doesn't really want you to interacct with the kids. The things that confuse me....
The car seat thing...Let's start with the worst assumption....that you're a bad driver. I know you're not, I'm just using hypotheticals to prove a point. Even if you were, it makes more sense to leave the car seats and just ask for you not to take them anywhere than to leave them with someone and give them no safe way of transporting your kids in an emergency. But you established before that you are a safe driver.
Ok, so maybe there are locations that she doesn't want her kids to go. I can understand that...I have some myself (a mall that according to the Megan's Law website has 6 RSO's working there and any liqour store for example). But I would just tell the sitter that I don't feel comfortable with my kids going those places, not put everyone on total lockdown. I'd like to think that my sitter and I would have a good enough relationship that she'd say what she planned to do during the day (in the sense of Me: I'm off to x,y,z and plan to be home at b time. Her: Ok, I thought we might do c,d,and e. To which I could say sounds great or let them know if there was a concern I have (think along the lines of "I heard on the news that place is having a rat problem" not "Oh no, but you might have fun.")).
The way it sounds to me, she's letting you babysit because she needs you to and she knows on some level that you are the best choice, but she's scared of losing her "mommy" role to you. Just like MILs don't want to be on the outside with their kids, she's feeling a bit on the outside, too. It doesn't make what she's doing right, but it's my take on why she may be doing it. Before her child, you weren't a threat to her mommy status, After the birth, a "bad" mother isn't a threat to her mommy status. But you are a good mother, so she does see you as more of a threat.
The same mommy wars happen between moms my age...the moms who feed their kids junk food and don't watch them make you feel better about the job you're doing and the moms who have everything put together and the smiling baby who hits all the milestones early make you feel like a failure. The cures for this, I've been told, are experience and self confidence. I don't know how to give your DIL those.
Anna, the love you have for your grandchildren and the wants you have are so pure and wonderful. Gosh I wish you could take my daughter and just smother her with kisses. But I had a really great mom and feel like I'm going to do a decent job myself since I had a good role model.
But she didn't have a good role model and she sounds like she doubts her abilities. And I know you don't want to take her "mommy" role. But it doesn't matter what I can see and what I know, it matters what she sees. And if she sees and great grandmother who the kids love and who can make them happy and then she feels like they don't love her as much and that she's not as good at making them happy, then she's going to panic. Not outwardly, maybe not even consciously, but that's why I think she restricts the "fun" things and keeps enforcing her mommy role. And by doing what she's doing, she has people questioning her actions (which is totally justifiable, her actions in many cases are a bit off to put it nicely) which makes her more uncertain, which makes her reassert herself again, and so on...
In my opinon, she's not comfortable enough that she'll always be the mommy to let you be the grandma. And by forcing you out, she's sort of reaffirming her fears that a mother can be pushed out. It's a cycle. Sadly though, all I can do is tell you what I see. I can't tell you how it can be fixed or even if my perception is right.
One of the toughest things that sometimes becomes reality is that mothers aren't "always in their childrens lives." We can't reassure anyone that will be true. We have a lot of evidence on our site to the contrary. We have children, do our best and then some stay connected and some don't. Losing them is a real possibility. The sad thing is that a young mother who lives in fear of loss in the future...can't help but lessen her experience of joy in the present, it seems to me.
Seriously, Luise, that's true. As Ram Dass and others say, "Be Here Now." The poor mom is missing out on the fun and joy of raising children. If I didn't have those memories I'd be done for now.
But there's the rub....you gals know what to do and know Anna's DIL doesn't need to be worried about losing her mommy title to Anna because you have experience. If only someone could find a way to transfer that knowledge to us when we're born, imagine how much better the world might be.
I've even had to talk myself back from the edge a few times with one of my friends. She has
5 kids. When I had my DD, she came over one day. I couldn't get my daughter to like her sling. She put my DD in the sling, and my DD went right to sleep. Boy did I feel like a terrible mom. But I had to remind myself not to take it personally. My friend knew how to handle a baby better and get her in there because she'd done it 5 times. And if I had five kids I'd be able to do it, too. And she showed me how to do it, and more importantly, she told me a story about when she had her first how she had her sling backwards for a week before someone told her how to use it. Which made me feel like I stood a chance of becoming as adept as she is (or at least more adept than I was).
It's like my mom said when I was planning my wedding. You'll go through the planning and finally figure out how to do it just after the wedding is over. All you can hope is that the thing you throw together while you're learning turns out OK and have the grace to take the advice of others. As a mother now for a whopping 4 months, I think that advice applies to motherhood, too. There's just the added pressure of this being a child you're turning out instead of a glorified party.
Yup...we're all a work in progress because life is. I am way out on the other end of the limb of life...watching my 98 year-old DH leave me one brain cell at a time...and I hope I can ace this one.
Still, like the to-be-bride, I have no prior experience and have no idea, really how to do it. In retrospect, I expect...
that I will look back and see where I could have done better if I'd only know what I was doing. Of course I will.
Luise - my Mom always says:
"We did the best we could, with what we knew at the time. When we knew better, we did better."
I think that's a good way of looking at things.
She's a Wise Woman, Scoop. As we learn and grow our resources change and so do we. I don't think it ever stops unless we get stuck someplace. I also think it's our job to get unstuck when that happens. I have hit the hypothetical concrete, face-first, so many times. The trick is to not lie there too long and to get up, dust yourself and get back on the bike of life.
Another very wise saying..(I don't recall the source,) is that, "It isn't what happens to us be how we respond to it that defines us." That's probably not quite right but it's close.