Author Topic: Can't seem to get it into my parent's head that we cannot simply 'pop over'.  (Read 12709 times)

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TootsNYC

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I guess I"m stuck at the 3 hour total time frame.  We used to go after lunch when baby either went down for a nap in the car, or after the baby got up from the nap and then were leaving for home at 730. 

Yes, but for the OP, that's not possible because it's the workweek--all her examples involved evening and bedtime.

Secret

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Ah missed that, I was thinking weekend.

blarg314

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Even with an older child, I don't think I'd be keen on finishing work, picking up the kids from daycare, driving an hour, spending an hour eating dinner, and driving back for an hour.

For a baby it's the bedtime/eating time issues. For young kids, bedtime is still an issue - leaving at 6 still means getting home at 9, after which you've got baths and bedtime routine, etc. A nap in the car with a sleepy kid can make things worse, depending on the child - you have to get them out of the car and into bed after they get home. With older kids you run into extracurricular activities, the need to do homework, etc.

From the OP's posting, it sounds like the grandparents prefer short visits in general, even when they're doing the driving - half an hour or an hour for photos, until the baby gets cranky or stops performing, then it's over.


Syrse

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OP here, thanks for the many responses and stories :) It helps a lot.

A few people asked about weekends; at the moment I am working saturdays, and my husband is working sundays. It'll be like that until the end of the year, which I have already explained to my mother. Which she then forgets.
I do send them pictures when they ask.
As for meeting them at another place, restaurant etc., it's been tried, and it gets about the same result, with an added 'look at my grandbaby everybody!'

Before she had surgery, the visits were about once a month, at our place, and I can live with that, as long as I can keep hope alive that it will get less and less over time  ::)

The main thing that irks me is the repetition of it all. I do ask them to put the camera away, and to just play with her instead. It works for 5 minutes, and then they grab the camera again. Or dad will play with her in such a way that he is always dangling stuff in front of her or talking to her or poking her, without giving her any time to respond, which simply confuses her and upsets her. They have absolutely no idea how to handle a baby.

To be perfectly honest, if we went back to the once every year bit, I would be perfectly fine with that. I have no connection with my parents. They tell us every single time that they're not here for us, they're here for the baby only. They run right up to baby without even talking to us when they get here. When they do try to strike up conversation, they will lose interest halfway our answer, or they will repeat the same question two minutes later because they forgot they asked.

All in all, it's just very stressful. We are firm, but we are already telling baby 'no' every two minutes (she's in the everything-is-mine phase), I really don't feel like taking on two extra kids, if that makes sense.

I love the jumping up and down bit. I am so going to try that ;D

Emmy

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I'm sorry you have this type of relationship with your parents.  Their visit sounds like a charade.  You should send them plenty of baby pictures.  That way, you don't have to visit, baby doesn't have to suffer through a visit, they get their all important baby pictures, and everybody will be happy.  Working full time and caring for a baby is very demanding so it sounds like you have precious little time and you shouldn't have to spend it doing something that makes you and the baby unhappy.  Definitely don't take a chunk of your precious weekend for a visit to appease them.

I would let your mother know it won't be possible to visit, but you'll be happy to send pictures of that baby (which is all they seem to want anyway) and you will see them when they can make the trip.  If she tries to argue, end the call and avoid her calls for a period of time.


Promise

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Honestly, it's normal for family to want to get together once a month, especially with a new grandchild. That this is a problem, says that there are deeper issues that you don't want this. My family - cousins, aunts, parents, grandparents - all got together once a WEEK with some of living an hour away from each other. An hour isn't a long distance. Perhaps you've made it crystal clear that they are not welcome and they take so many pictures just in case you cut off contact with their grandchild. Perhaps your parents don't know how to relate to you well and are giving an effort through your baby. There is an attitude that comes across in your writing that seems to say that you don't want them to be a part of your lives. Perhaps I'm wrong, but everything about your post says, "Stay away from my family, we just don't want to bother."


Kariachi

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Honestly, it's normal for family to want to get together once a month, especially with a new grandchild. That this is a problem, says that there are deeper issues that you don't want this. My family - cousins, aunts, parents, grandparents - all got together once a WEEK with some of living an hour away from each other. An hour isn't a long distance. Perhaps you've made it crystal clear that they are not welcome and they take so many pictures just in case you cut off contact with their grandchild. Perhaps your parents don't know how to relate to you well and are giving an effort through your baby. There is an attitude that comes across in your writing that seems to say that you don't want them to be a part of your lives. Perhaps I'm wrong, but everything about your post says, "Stay away from my family, we just don't want to bother."

I'm sorry but, given these are her parents making it clear when they visit that they don't care to see her, but would much rather hassle the baby? And yes, it is hassling. Play involves some actual interaction, not just dangling random stuff in front of the baby real quick, or poking and prodding her for a reaction. I don't blame her for not wanting them around.

And given that the OP has already noted that, before they started the "let's hassle the grandbaby" thing they were around even less, it's pretty safe to say that there's some background here that the OP doesn't feel is necessary to understand the situation.

You're post seems to imply that there's something wrong with the OP for not wanting people who openly don't care about her and seem to view her child as a prop hanging around her house, or wanting to drive two hours to see them on their own turf. There isn't. Chances are your family is close and cares about each other. I see nothing to say that this family is close, or that OPs parents really care.
"Heh. Forgive our manners, little creature that we may well kill and eat you is no excuse for rudeness."

Julsie

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Kariachi, if this forum had a "Like" button, I would be clicking it right now.

RubyCat

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OP here, thanks for the many responses and stories :) It helps a lot.

A few people asked about weekends; at the moment I am working saturdays, and my husband is working sundays. It'll be like that until the end of the year, which I have already explained to my mother. Which she then forgets.
I do send them pictures when they ask.
As for meeting them at another place, restaurant etc., it's been tried, and it gets about the same result, with an added 'look at my grandbaby everybody!'

Before she had surgery, the visits were about once a month, at our place, and I can live with that, as long as I can keep hope alive that it will get less and less over time  ::)

The main thing that irks me is the repetition of it all. I do ask them to put the camera away, and to just play with her instead. It works for 5 minutes, and then they grab the camera again. Or dad will play with her in such a way that he is always dangling stuff in front of her or talking to her or poking her, without giving her any time to respond, which simply confuses her and upsets her. They have absolutely no idea how to handle a baby.

To be perfectly honest, if we went back to the once every year bit, I would be perfectly fine with that. I have no connection with my parents. They tell us every single time that they're not here for us, they're here for the baby only. They run right up to baby without even talking to us when they get here. When they do try to strike up conversation, they will lose interest halfway our answer, or they will repeat the same question two minutes later because they forgot they asked.

All in all, it's just very stressful. We are firm, but we are already telling baby 'no' every two minutes (she's in the everything-is-mine phase), I really don't feel like taking on two extra kids, if that makes sense.

I love the jumping up and down bit. I am so going to try that ;D

I agree.  In light of the bolded and the other information you mentioned, your parents sound incredibly self absorbed.  Maybe you should go back to seeing them once a year. From the way they're behaving, it doesn't seem like baby will get any benefit out of a relationship with them. In fact, it doesn't sound like they treat these visits as a way of building a relationship with your baby. The behavior you describe sounds more like the way people act on a trip to the zoo, treating baby as an object and not a person.

They've already made it clear that they're not interested in a relationship with you, which is hurtful. I'm not so sure they deserve to have a relationship with baby. It sounds as though they are not capable of forming healthy bonds and baby deserves better.  I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. They don't sound like nice people.

Promise

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Apologies for my previous post. I made assumptions based off of personal experience in other ways.

*inviteseller

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they actually don't deserve to be around the baby.  This isn't a relationship..all they want is for the baby to entertain them the way they want.  My MIL was like this.  The women detested me (yes, she made sure to tell me this) but when older DD came along, well she was so far up my butt so she could be the doting grandma.  The problem was she still made no attempt to get along with me.  I was just  a walking womb to her and I had to cut back on her interactions because I didn't want my child to ever pick up on this.  I did try, after my husband and I split, to maintain a relationship for the sake of faaaaamily, but she was no longer interested in either of us so I dropped the rope.  I don't care if they are grandparents..no one is allowed to disrespect me in my home (and ignoring you and treating you like you weren't even there or ignoring your instructions on how to best interact with your child is disrespectful) and that is not something you need your child to see and possibly emulate.  I would bluntly tell them that the visits stress the baby out because they treat her as a toy and your busy schedule doesn't mesh with their wants so YOU will decide when and where the visits will be.

Pen^2

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Syrse, after jumping up and down, may I politely suggest being stricter when it comes to your baby's comfort with your parents? You're already being firm, which is good. They put away their cameras when you ask, and that's great, but they're taking them out again after a few minutes, so it's not working and something needs to be changed. If it were me, I'd first buy a big bottle of spine polish, and then implement something like a "2 warnings" rule. They are only told not to harass/annoy/poke/distress/etc. the baby two times, and after that, no matter what, it's oh my goodness look at the time baby has an urgent appointment I'll just take her from you okay let me help you get your coats see you next visit goodbye.

Seriously, if they show that they are going to continue distressing your child, then they can't be allowed to continue having her. And as you've pointed out, the last thing you need is two extra infants.

mspallaton

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OP - after reading your update - you owe your parents NOTHING.  That they actually made it clear they aren't interested in you, but only the baby is disgraceful and unforgivable behavior.

I would be wondering just how long it will be before they abandon that small child for their next shiny object - except this time, instead of a grown up, well adjusted adult - they'll be harming a young child with their neglect.

I'm sorry to be so blunt, but what your parents have said and how they are acting is not reasonable and you have no obligation to them at this point.

Corvid

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Honestly, it's normal for family to want to get together once a month, especially with a new grandchild. That this is a problem, says that there are deeper issues that you don't want this. My family - cousins, aunts, parents, grandparents - all got together once a WEEK with some of living an hour away from each other. An hour isn't a long distance.

I think you mean it's normal for your family.  My family is close and loves each other to pieces, but we're all very busy.  We don't physically get together every month and there aren't any "deeper issues".

artk2002

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Some advice that I repeat in similar threads: No child was permanently damaged because of little or no contact with their grandparents. Many children, though, are damaged by contact with uncaring, toxic people. Your baby doesn't deserve to be treated like a prop or a toy. You deserve to be treated like a person, not a prop or toy factory.

Reduce contact to the absolute minimum that you are comfortable with. If your parents are upset, that's their issue, not yours. They can either play nice or not play at all. It stinks to have to parent your own parents, but that's the hand you've been dealt.

Edited to add: Some thoughts on dealing with unreasonable people.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2013, 02:45:05 PM by artk2002 »
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