Am I not the parent??

United States
February 20, 2008 1:30am CST
So, we went to in law's house tonight to have diner. No big deal. We were all talking about school or something, and my MIL said "Oh yeah we'll be sending Dadoren to Catholic school"... and I said "Oh no I don't want him to go to Catholic School" ... (I am Catholic, but I just don't want to send my son to a catholic school). She like jumped down my case about it!! I just simply said, "I don't want my son to go to Catholic school". I really wanted to empathize *MY* son. She did the same thing when I started talking about his birthday. My husband and I have picked out his theme and she said "No we need to do this one." She also bought him a Halloween costume for NEXT year, which neither of us (my husband and I) like. It's winnie-the-pooh, which we like Pooh, it's his nursery room theme, but everyone knows we want him to be a ninja or knight or something like that. Then the straw that broke the camels back: they told us that they'll be taking him to Orlando next year to go to Disney and my husband and I can have a nice weekend at home. I need to point out that my son is only 10 months old right now, so at this time next year he wont even be 2 and they didn't even ASK us they just said they'll be taking him. I said that people from all over the world come to Disney so if my son is there I will be there too. I mean, what- we're supposed to miss out on his 1st trip to a theme park?? And, we don't even get asked?? I'm sorry this has turned into a rant. I just feel less and less important every time we talk to them. It's like my ideas and thoughts and goals for my son don't matter!
13 people like this
44 responses
@lynnchua (3416)
• Singapore
20 Feb 08
Most MIL do behave that way. I think you do need to voice out. We should respect them as an elder but I think they should respect you in the way that you are their grandson's mother. Sometime when I don't agree with my IL, I will not just keep quiet. I will tell them what's on my mind.
2 people like this
• United States
20 Feb 08
Thanks for the response! See, I have kept my mouth shut on so much... but they just act a bit odd for me. I don't ever remember my grandparents telling me that I'm their child, they're my parent, or making big decisions for me instead of my parents. This is the only reason I am now starting to open my mouth is because I want everyone to know that my husband and I make the decisions, no one else.
2 people like this
@lynnchua (3416)
• Singapore
20 Feb 08
I understan that. Sometime I don't mean to be rude, but there is once when I tell my IL that I will take their 'advise' and make my own decision later and that's my kid and I know what better for him. If they like it they can have another kid of their own.
2 people like this
@crazynurse (7510)
• United States
23 Feb 08
Oh my goodness! Sounds like you are going to have a constant battle on your hands in letting your MIL know (nicely but firmly) that you are the child's mother and that decisions as important as schooling will be decided by you and your husband! It is a positive that she wants to be involved in his life and is a loving grandparent, but it seems like she has some role confusion as to the differences in being mother to a child versus being the child's grandmother! Is this her first grandchild by any chance? My advice ....stand firm and be assertive!
2 people like this
• United States
24 Feb 08
Yep it's the 1st grandkid, but they're not the only grandparents!! My parents wouldn't DARE to TELL me where MY son is going, or refer to him as THEIR kid. There's a lot of competition on my IL's part to be the 1st, or the best in this and that concerning my son
2 people like this
@Modestah (11195)
• United States
27 Feb 08
I see it like this: they are so excited about their grandbaby - his he the first? they thought you would be thrilled with their ideas and offers. They assumed you would be sending him to Catholic School as that is required by the Church if one is available to you - and they were offering to pay... then you rejected their generosity - feelings were hurt on both sides. You have a precious and fairly new baby (your first?) and you are full of dreams and ideas for his life - the inlaws seem a little over bearing and are planning things which you have not had the time to think out quite yet. I can see how this is intimidating and perhaps insulting. deep breaths histechnoangel. There are a few years before any of this transpires - plans change and things will calm down. I was where you are at - and I reacted as did you... but looking back these many years later I see how I could have handled it different. How does your husband feel about all this? does he also feel they were pushy? will he be able to speak with them? I would hate to see misunderstandings damage such an important relationship in both yours and your child's life. Best Wishes to you.
2 people like this
@jennysp8 (855)
• United States
24 Feb 08
Another thing I was thinking after I read that you mentioned that they are trying to be the 1st on everything - instead of your parents. Maybe this is not about battleing you or your husband - or this incredible deep and passionate love towards the grandchild....but it could be just totally trying to "one up" the other grandparents. You don't have to answer this on here but it is somethign to think about..does your husbands parents have more money then yours? There is nothing wrong with that if thats the case but that could have alot to do with it. Maybe they are trying to be the "better grandparents" knowing what they can afford versus your parents. OR vice versus...maybe they have less monhey then your parents and they are trying to go to extremes to feel like they are "juast as good." Just a thought. Either way, I really hope that you can get this taken care of and before you speak with your in laws - make sure that you speak with your husband. He should be sticking up for you and for his family as a whole. Good luck!!
2 people like this
@vanities (11351)
• Davao, Philippines
23 Feb 08
I understand what you feel about it ...its just that maybe your in-laws had assumed so much that you will agree to all their wishes about their grandson since they think that it is good and for the best..not knowing that the child has a parent...and have plans of their own..maybe they will realize it if properly explain by your husband...
@crazylady (471)
• United States
22 Feb 08
OMG Your MIL might be related to mine. Mine tries to take over. She needs to ask..not tell. My MIL thinks she runs my house too!
2 people like this
• United States
20 Feb 08
Boy, and I thought I had it rough with my mother! At least she pretends to care about my place as my son's mother. I'm not really sure what you can do to stop your MIL. I do have a question though...what is your husband's opinion on how she acts? Does he stand up to her? From what you've written, I kind of get the impression he just let's her do whatever and leaves you to play the "bad guy". (I apologize if that's not a correct assumption.) If he's not strong enough to stand up to her, you have an even harder battle ahead of you. Once you take a stand and she sees you won't be bowled over, she may move to manipulating your husband to her side and using him against you. (My mom does that to me with my husband...sometimes I just want to choke both of them! LOL!) I would certainly stand up for yourself, but be prepared for what may come next. He is YOUR son and it's time for Grandmother to start recognizing that.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Feb 08
Yeah, it's funny- she can be so great and then BAM! I'm like WTH?!?! My husband agrees with me about Disney & Catholic school, but when she call our son her son, her child.. he is just like- oh well my mom is crazy. He just makes a joke of it and I will laugh and feel like I'm overreacting on that part. But it's my 1st child- MY child. ***** We stood up to them on Disney, by the way, and know we're apparently going too(and we always have been according to them)..... LOL :P
1 person likes this
@mansha (6301)
• India
20 Feb 08
My hubby is like that too, he is all loving and caring but when it comes to backing me up on any issue in front of his family he will play a dud man. I don't know what happens to all the morality talk and straight backs when it comes to wife vs mother. Why can;t they take sides when its a clear cut issue of a right thing or wrong thing. I am again ranting about my problem ther may be its time to shut up now sorry for butting in.
• United Arab Emirates
20 Feb 08
I feel that a mother has all the right to be there with her son. It is really sad on their part if they behave like this. They need to understand that they alone cannot make a decision where your son is concerned. You have to be asked. Of course, you need to accompany him everywhere. It's what a mother feels. I have never send my son alone with anyone. I take him everywhere. I see to that I am with him to take care of him. It's a feeling from the mother's heart that she be there for his child. Take care of your child.
• United Arab Emirates
20 Feb 08
I would also like to add that you have to talk to your MIL about your feelings and make her understand what you really mean. Take care..
1 person likes this
@Ravenladyj (22992)
• United States
20 Feb 08
Ok ya knwo what?! You NEED to put her in her place RIGHT NOW....becuase if you don't the older your little one gets the MORE she will undermine you and the BIGGER your problems will become...YOU ARE THE MOTHER! END OF STORY....I dont care if its his parents, your parents or whatever...YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND are the ONLY two to make the decisions for YOUR CHILD....Put her in her place histechno! and stand your ground! IMO if you DON'T you'll regret it later on...She sounds VERY manipulative and demanding and that is just unacceptable as far as I'm concerned.... quick question though...how does your husband feel about it? Have you talked to him?
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Feb 08
Yeah, that's why I started to say something. I wasn't before and then the whole Disney thing came out and I though- OKKKKKKK.... gotta put an end to that idea NOW. My husband is on the same page with me concerning Disney and Catholic school. We haven't even left our son alone with them longer than 20 minutes, but it wasnt even alone, cuz my husband was there!
1 person likes this
• Canada
6 Mar 08
You are the child's parents, and these decisions should be left up to you, not up to your in-laws. You need to put your foot down and tell them to butt out, no matter how hard it may seem. These things are not up to them to decide, they are up to you!
1 person likes this
@sid556 (31018)
• United States
20 Feb 08
I think your husband needs to put his foot down to his mother. She needs some boundarys. It is not her place to make such major decisions in your son's life without consulting you.
1 person likes this
@rsa101 (13337)
• Philippines
20 Feb 08
Oh well inlaws do sometimes are that intrusive as if they feel they still have influence over their children. I guess that is just it. They do want to have their influence over their grandchildren. I guess you and your husband should try to be as nice as possible with them. Try to understand that sometimes being a parent is hard to forego especially when they too are feeling that they are being left behind in their ages.
1 person likes this
@mansha (6301)
• India
20 Feb 08
Its okay till its only talk but get infuriating when it becomes intrusive and interfering. I am so disgusted with my in laws right now that I have not spoken to them since last May except during their five day visit to my place while my hubby was not there with me. Then also my talk was limited and reserved. So I will not try and give you any advice for now because I might project my problems in your situation still would like to say that I do understand what you are going through with them. May be you should put your foot down and tell them they have raised their own kid now its your turn to raise your own.
• United States
20 Feb 08
Well it is ridiculous! Like, for instance I was talking one time that when the time comes, I might like to send my son to pre-school. He's an only child and he doesn't have much interaction with other kids... besides I could get a part time job during those hours. It would be really hard for me to let him go away from me but I think it would be a great idea. But both my in laws were like "Oh no, sorry- he's not going to pre-school, I won't let him!". And, no they weren't being funny! So, then my husband I think picked up on my feelings and quickly said that we'll discuss it when we get him and we're alone (I was like woooooo). I just don't get it because my parents NEVER interfere!! So it's not like I am playing favorites or whatnot. :(
1 person likes this
@mansha (6301)
• India
22 Feb 08
My God No! but you must send him to one. Now days it has almost become a necessity. I didn't put my son soon enough then school refused to let him go straight to Nursery so he had to sit with younger students for a whole year. But when I changed schools, I simply had to make him jump LKG to make him get on with his own age group of kids. I think at least in my country they kind of expect the kid to attend the pre-nursery first.
• United States
24 Feb 08
Yeah... besides, I think if *I* want him to go to pre-school, then *I* should be able to make that decision... after all, I am a stay at home mom, and his primary care-giver.
@chertsy (3817)
• United States
21 Feb 08
Dang, talk about a mil from hell. I think I would have been rude but polite at the same time by saying uh, who gave birth to this kid, you or me? That it will be a cold day in hell before you tell me again what YOUR going to do with my child. Stupid question, is your son her 1st grand child, and is your husband an only child? This could explain a lot. I would take the Pooh costume and give it back to her and say Thank you, but I think I will be making the decision on what he will be for Halloween. As for Disney World, I think we will be taking him when he can remember even going. What is the point of taking him when he won't even be able to ride on the rides or even really know who are those people walking around in those costumes. Any more of this from you and you will be lucky if you see him for 20 minutes at a time. Or you can shock the crap out of everyone, hubby, mil, fil, by saying the way your acting, why don't you and your fil go and adopt or have another child, and leave mine alone, lol. Also tell hubby, thank you but have a talk to your mom and knick this in the bud now. That she's his mom, so it's his responsibility.
• United States
24 Feb 08
yeah this is the 1st grandkid, but no husband has an older brother who lives with them still.
1 person likes this
@chertsy (3817)
• United States
24 Feb 08
This explains a lot. My oldest was my in laws 1st grand child so she got spoiled. We were lucky though, we lived in VA, while they lived in CA. My inlaws had 2 sons at home at the time. Get the other son married or at least get him to be a dad, so it would take the slack off you, lol. I like that your going to put him in preschool. I give anything that I put both of mine in it. Honestly though, your husband needs to put his foot down with them, it can get a lot worse. If he still thinks his mom is just crazy and doesn't mean a lot of it. Tell him, well then I'm not crazy and I mean when I say do something or you will learn to regret it.
• United States
21 Feb 08
I get that from my grandmother and aunt as well, though not as badly from my aunt. Being a young single mom, it's as if they believe I'm incapable of making a rational decision concerning my child. Even little things - for instance I was feeding my one year old son very soft eggs that were cut into manageable pieces, and I was directly told not to allow him to eat eggs. No reason, just an order. I calmly replied, saying his physician and I both agreed that my son can manage eggs. But with a mother in law like that, I'd directly tell her that my son would be attending the school his father and I agreed upon, thank her kindly for the costume and promptly stow it in the back of a closet, and let her know in no uncertain terms that I did not appreciate her planning of my son's first trip without my knowledge or consent, and that I believed a child should be taken to Disneyland first by his parents, especially at so young an age. All in all, they need to stop speaking of your son as if he were theirs - they raised a son, a fine one, but now it's your turn. And then limit your time with them and remain a constant presence when your son is with them, just to reinforce your parenthood.
• United States
24 Feb 08
yeah they wanted to put him in the car seat facing forward.. I told them NO NO after a few minutes calm discussion on why, they finally consented and turned it rear facing. So, see? I don't even know if I can trust their decisions!
• United States
24 Feb 08
Wow. That could've turned out really badly. With something like that, it's best to lay out your expectations for your son beforehand so they don't end up putting him in a front-facing carseat or laying him on his stomach to sleep. Yeah I understand things were done very differently back then, but I suggest sitting down with them and explaining step by step how you treat your son and how you expect them to treat him. General safety rules, rewards, toys, foods, everything. IMO, your mom-in-law feels she's more of an influence than she really is, and that could get messy, especially since it could start affecting your marriage. Nip it in the bud!!!!!
@leselle (17)
• Philippines
18 Mar 08
all i can say is... i feel the same...
• United States
21 Mar 08
:/..... shame we have to think such about people we should be close to... ya know?
@kimbers867 (2541)
• United States
21 Feb 08
Did you see this side of her before your son was born? I'm just curious how did she handle your plans for your wedding?
• United States
24 Feb 08
Since at that time I was estranged from my parents, she had a lot to say & do with the wedding. Luckily, I managed to have little-few complaints about how that went. I started to get pissed when she was demanding I choose this name or that name when I was pregnant and then when we were choosing the nursery theme she had an opinion on EVERYTHING.
@pumpkinjam (5750)
• United Kingdom
21 Feb 08
Some grandparents are like that. Is he their only grandchild? I think you get some who want to do everything and others who do nothing and there's no balance! I remember when my older son was little, before he started school, his dad had decided he was going to try and get custody of him (he never tried) and when I mentioned the little fact that I had been and would continue to be a full time parent and he would not be able to look after our son while he was at work, I was informed that his mum had offered to pay for our son to go to a private school! If she had even tried, I would not have been happy. It wasn't even a good school! So I kind of know how you feel. You just have to put your foot down. I know some grandparents worry about being left out so they need to feel useful! You should see if you can make a compromise. If she wants to take your son on holiday then you all go together or you offer her one day where she can have him all to herself. She does need to realise that he is your son but she also needs to know that her suggestions are appreciated!
• United States
24 Feb 08
Yeah he's the only grandkid.. the thing is, they aren't the only grandparents, but they try to monopolize all the time and be the 1st to do this and that. It's just getting so aggravating.
1 person likes this
@wisedragon (2331)
• Philippines
21 Feb 08
You're right I think they are not being fair and are being too manipulative. Grandparents can make suggestions, but the final decision is up to the parents. And I also agree that 2 years old is too young to appreciate Disneyworld. I think you only surrender control to the grandparents when you have absolutely no money, are too dependent on them and they're paying for everything. In that case they have a right to make the decisions. Otherwise they should respect you as the parents of the child.
• United States
21 Feb 08
I agree.. though I couldn't see letting them have control over my son's future. They are not all there. I mean, really- I don't like the things they do... I don't like what my husband has told me about his childhood.
@Lindalinda (4116)
• Canada
20 Feb 08
Hi there, To take a two year old to Disney World is a lot of trouble and a waste of time and money, unless of course there is a lot of money. Besides, a child that young should be with the parents. Also, it should be up to the parents to decide which school a child attends. You have to set some ground rules with your in laws. Discuss it with your husband and the next time they want to make decisions for you let him set them straight or you will be labelled as the "bad daughter in law". It is so sad most of my friends don't talk favourably about their daughter in law. I am a mother in law myself but would not in my wildest imagination interfere like that. We visit each other by invitation. I want to be in the life of my grand daughter and phone to see when it is convenient to come over. My daughter in law sets the time and day. It works both ways though. I am not at their beck and call either. They hire a sitter when they go out or take the baby with them. They phone me if they want to come over. I am really happy we have a good relationship.
• United States
24 Feb 08
She's talked bad about me behind my back (to people I know, even!)... she doesn't know I know this though. I don't understand why. I am respectful.. I love my husband.. I don't dress or act like a ho.. I'm in online courses to become an interior designer.. now I'm not perfect, Im very unorganized and a bit on the lazy side but I believe I have been doing a great job raising my son!!About Disney, now they're saying that they're going to take us, too. So.. I guess I "won" on that one.. but why does it have to be a competition?