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"Welcome to WiseWomenUnite.com -- When adult children marry and leave home, life can sometimes get more complex instead of simpler.  Being a mother-in-law or daughter-in-law can be tough.  How do we extend love and support to our mothers-in-law, adult children, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, and grandchildren without interfering?  What do we do when there are communication problems?  How can we ask for help when we need it without being a burden?  And how do our family members feel about these issues?  We invite you to join our free forum, read some posts... and when you're ready...share your challenges and wisdom."

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Messages - Begonia

BT: I have not read your post because the title is too violent for me.  Even if we mean no harm by this, it sends the wrong message in my opinion. I think it is a good reminder that what we write goes out to the world and the world may make an opinion based solely on that message, like I have.  With all due respect, I felt I had to speak out on this.  I love this forum because it is non-violent and I hope it stays that way.
Grab Bag / Re: New year, new start
January 05, 2013, 03:33:02 pm
Love that Miracle List tradition!!

Something a friend of mine does is to select a color for the year, then she makes sure it appears in her life and notices the healing energy about that color.  I picked a stone this year because it showed up to me. So it is the quartz aventurine, which has a beautiful green color and is a heart chakra stone.  My sis sent me a gift certificate and wouldn't ya know there was a ring with an aventurine stone on sale for just that amount!!  So I am reminded of healing now all the time because I am wearing the ring.  Also reminds me of my great sister. 
I was really lost about the acronyms too and never did find them, I just figured them out.  I like F's suggestions.  Also, it would be simple to include in the description under Open Me First something like....Here you will find subjects on How To Post, Forum Rules, Acronyms...."  (this would show up without clicking). That would have helped me to start out.  A great job on this website, it is really user friendly...thanks K and L and Mods.
Grandchildren / Re: Happy Holidays
January 03, 2013, 10:25:28 am
Wow, Pooh, you are really in the sandwich situation with a darling little one and then your DS and besides all that your precious dad going through all this.  So much responsibility for you right now...sending lots of good wishes to you and your family for strength and good health in 2013. 
Nik: Sending the best of wishes for you and your DS to work this out even if it means you work it out by disengaging for awhile.  Always remember you are not responsible for anybody's happiness but your own.  I have made the mistake over a lot of years (and still slip up) by thinking what I do or say or do not say will make or break the relationship I have with DS and DD.  The truth is the relationships are broken  and it is in DS and DD corner to reestablish or not.  I will continue to love both my AC but am free of being an "addictive" mom...meaning being addicted to what they think of me.  And the worst was FB, so glad to be done with that "addiction."   8)

My New Year's goal is to live my best life and try my best to do no harm.  But that does not mean I watch every word or when to text or when to reply....that can drive a person nutz. (When in doubt don't reach out."  ha my new motto). I am just going to be me, enough already of changing who I am and subsequently thinking that a "different" mom will be a better mom.  Nah.  I have done my parenting, now they both need to interact with me like the adults they are.  If not, well, my life is great and I am so happy to say I am not overwhelmed by guilt and questions and all that garbage that I let wreck my life for so long. 

Thanks to WWU and my own perseverance on these issues I am in a great place of my own power in 2013.  Best to all for the new year!
HP:  Defriending on FB is a HUGE step, congrats to you!  I deleted my FB account over a year ago because it was horrible to see my AC communicating with others and not with me.  Now I could give a rip what any of that gossip on FB is all about, and it was a huge time waster besides.  Now MY DD and DSis send me an email or text with photos.  That means SO much more. 

Keep on keeping on, I can hear the strength in your post~~!!
HP: When I really think hard about it, the greatest gift an AC can give us is to stay out of trouble.  You say your DD is  "not doing anything bad, no drugs, or drinking,"  My feelings echo yours and it's only through lots of support here and posting and reading that I've come to this disengagement from my DD and DS lives.  It feels really good, believe me, not to expect all this attention or return calls.  When I demand less I expect less from my AC.  Hard lessons for loving moms to learn.  My AC are in their 40s and I am STILL learning.  Be good to yourself, it sounds as if she really loves you and does stay in contact somewhat.  For some of us that sounds heavenly because there is no contact at all.  Mostly I think your log in name says it best for all of us here: heartpain...yup, we have all been there. 

I think when you read posts here you will see that this pulling away is a common theme and a common way we moms have to learn to deal with it is to give our AC space.  Give yourself credit for bringing her up right...no drugs, no drinking, etc. and when you feel really down because she is out there living her independent life, remind yourself that she could be quite troublesome and on your doorstep every minute. There are no answers for some of this as some moms are the best in the world and the AC still behave badly.  My DS has behaved this way since he was in middle school, blowing the family off, as you put it.  We have all coddled him and forgiven him and made excuses for him (he was the youngest and the cutest and and and).  Until last May when I said, "no more."   Our whole family made it easy for him to get away with bad behavior because he could charm a cat out of a culvert.   ;D

Keep posting, and like Luise says, take what you need and leave the rest.  None of us have all the answers, but collectively we sure learn a lot from each other. 

Wishing you a lot less heart pain in 2013, we are here for you!!   
Grandchildren / Re: Happy Holidays
December 30, 2012, 06:25:05 am
Pooh: Always great to see your posts, your wisdom helps many of us hang in there.  Admire your strength.

LL: Sending you all the best wishes for getting over the bumps in the road and for a great 2013
MFL: The BD deal has to be your decision and yours alone.  If you are like me you would want to tuck in a little bit of money or a gift card or expect that she would call which starts the cycle all over again.  How much angst will each decision cost you?  Remember, lots of parents never send a single card and they are not bad parents. On the other hand, sending the card and only the card to say I Love You, if that makes your heart warm, might be the way to go.  You will know. 

And yes, stopping the contact is harder than quitting smoking, so be prepared to substitute other things: exercise, going out for coffee, walking aimlessly in the mall, not making yourself vulnerable.  I took down all photos and put away all triggers like special gifts, etc.  I treated it like stopping an addiction. Most of all, I kept reminding myself of the wonderful mother I had been to DD and DS and that they were never going to treat me badly again.  That gave me strength...and reading here at WWU.  What you will gain is way more than what you feel you are losing, so every day does get better.  Sending the best to you.
I agree with TMB and Elsie:  Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries.  You are the parents, you make the decisions in your own house.  Yes, you might not want to "make them feel bad." but you say that your toddler is feeling bad and you and your partner are feeling bad.  You are in control.  Show a loving but united front.  And this will be taken more seriously if your partner talks to them first, alone.  Because we all know how easy it is for the "other" to be blamed.  Maybe your partner could say, "Dad, we are just starting out in our family and we really aren't up to having company for more than _____nights, can you work with us on this?"   Rather than to have both of you bring up a list of things that are wrong (this will usually be blamed on the "other" not the DS or DD but the IL and then it takes years to fix. (Read tons of evidence on this forum).  Then be prepared to do some clean up for those couple of days because that probably is how they are. 

One other thing.  Is your partner the one who cleans up things or you?  You say, "I run a tight ship,"  so that seems to me as if you are the one most bothered by the messes.  This might be a partner issue.  Partner's parents, partner does the cleaning?  That would work for me. 

If you want a long relationship with these GP then compromise will need to be in there someplace.  If you think they are completely a bad influence than limit the interactions. 

In all kindness, I would like if you read over what you have written about rules.  You say that the FIL has all these rules about things, and yet you obviously have a big set of rules about your house and raising your child.  When I pictured the scene with you feeding the darling little one and FIL coming with the pie, I had to smile.  As new parents I think this is so often how it goes with GP.  I had to lighten up with my toddler for the same reasons.  FIL was not going to change and I could choose to have a sense of humor about it or get stressed. Everyone knows the toddler is the boss, no matter!! :)   Congrats to you for being good parents and for the GP and all others to be in your little one's life!
MFL:  Welcome to WWU and please keep posting.  I'm sure when you keep reading you will realize that there are so many of us who share your pain and your struggle to connect with our AC.  I wish you the best with all of your journey.

My DD and DS have both treated me badly and I never left them for any reason, so I would suggest that you work hard to stop the guilt about that because there are a zillion reasons. 

One thing that I have realized is that as a mom I have been willing to take a "beating" as in accepting the bad treatment from DD and DS.  I had to stop being a doormat and stop being so needy for their love, while still letting them know I loved them. 

I went through a time when I blamed my DM for a lot of things--because I was frantic to find a scapegoat besides myself.  Now that DM is gone I wish I could take some of my behavior back.  As a result, I think I have tried way too hard to make my AC love me.  In the process I lost my own self-respect.  When I came here to WWU, I realized that the worst thing had already happened: I had lost the relationship with my AC that I had so prized.  But I was still alive, and I still had a life to live.  I laid down the boundary with my DD, I told her she could never be disrespectful to me again and did not contact her for any reason

When you go through this it seems at first that you have lost your own life.  But I needed to be strong, send a strong message, because I was never going to be subjected to her anger, rejection, or bad attitude again.  I stopped sending money or gifts.  I just stopped.  Period.  It's been hard but today DD and I have rebuilt things.  I have also changed.  I no longer get impatient if she does not call me back right away.  I don't take that personally; and I don't jump on the phone to bother her. Lo and behold in a day or two she will call or text. 

My DS and I are in the "no contact" stage now.  But he does communicate with his DSis, which is good.  Again, no calls, no Christmas wishes.  I did send the two GC books for Christmas and did not expect to hear back and I didn't.  Good enough as it is.  I'm giving him space like I gave my DD.  They have to figure out it's up to them to be respectful.  For the first time since college I told my DS no more lies.  So it is going to take awhile before he can clean up his act, practice not lying, and when/if that happens I am sure he will reach out to me. Calling him out on this probably was quite a wake-up call for him, so it may take quite awhile for him to treat me differently. I can wait; I still love him.  But I deserve respect and I am doing just fine without his lies or without the drama of trying to make sense of his lies.

Something I wonder about is that this seems to be such a prevalent situation for moms who have at one time or another been single parents who have left bad relationships.  In view of how children maybe view "leaving" I wonder sometimes if my AC just do not trust that I will always be there, if I will leave them like I left their dad and their step-dad.  So my deal is that I always keep communication open from their side to me, and when they do contact me I never bring up stuff from the past, I just go ahead with today.  A person could hash this stuff over--whodunit to who--a million times.  In my experience that only makes things worse.  Love them, leave the past alone, but set very strong boundaries for the present. 

And as the weeks go by, you can look at your progress through your writing here, get support when things fall apart (they will always fall apart at some time) and know there are a great bunch of WW here who listen and send love. 
Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws / Re: Christmas
December 25, 2012, 03:47:10 pm
WW:  We are strong and we are worthy of being treated with respect.  And if that means we are alone on these 1 1/2 days then that is not the worst thing....like my Dear 90 Year YOUNG (yes, Luise,,,90 is young anymore!!) aunt said, "no clean up." 

Well, I made it through without any news from DS and family.  Heard from DD and family a couple times and from D Sis and family.  But I don't know about the rest of you but when they send their family photos and everything is supposedly so perfect I got to feeling low down wo is me here alone (nevermind that I turned down invites from Sis and from friends...alone is all my doing).  I started missing my mom and you know how it can go then.  The absolute last thing I would ever think to do is go to a CASINO, but my dear aunt had planted the seed on the phone by saying, "Let those family people do their thing, etc.).  So I got up this morning and spent a few hours today at the Casino on Christmas Day--omgoodness...it felt great!  The place was packed...there is no holiday at a casino!  And the buffet was amazing for $9.95 and NO CLEAN UP!    ;)  I came home all happy and excited (no, didn't win anything...those penny machines make a lot of noise for $1.25!!) but I made a positive day out of it and now that's done and over. 

Love having this forum to help me navigate this holiday stuff.  Bless you all and a great year in store for all! 
Jane: That is just a lovely story!  I am so happy you got to see your DS and family.  Best wishes for a happy new year too!
Daughter in Laws and/or Son in Laws / Re: Christmas
December 23, 2012, 11:46:27 am
I just spoke to my 90 yr old aunt who has always been my role model.  She said, "oh, I am taking two other women friends to the casino for dinner on Christmas Eve and then on Christmas Day we will go back to go gambling"  Then she said, "Gads, I never want to do a holiday clean up again!"   I had to chuckle, but I completely agree.  Last year several women here did something similar.  This year I am looking forward to having time off from doing anything except reading, walking, looking at the lights and enjoying the peacefulness of my good life.  And no clean up.  8)   Good wishes and peace to all. 
My apologies Elise, I always get my fingers tangled up when I type your name!!