View Full Version : Constantly torn between parents' and my needs


Fuzzy12
07-13-16, 05:55 PM
It's that time of the year again. Parents season. I think I always make a thread at this time.of the year. I.apologise in advance for.my pig headed Ness and if it seems that I never take any9ne's advice.

It's really hard for me. I'm constantly torn between the knowledge that my parents won't be around for much longer and trying to make them happy and the fact that for the sake of my mental health and peace of mind I want to stay as far away as possible.

My parents will die in the next 10 years. .at the most 10 years probably sooner. Thankfully they are both relatively healthy but my dad is almost 80. It freaks the hell out of me to even think about it. So I try not to. I don't even want to write it lest I jinx it. Uggh. It makes me panic and it makes me want to be a better daughter and fulfil their needs. Give them a bit of happiness in their last few years.

Truth be told they don't need much from me. All they need is to talk to me regularly, be their sounding board, and to be welcome in my home to stay with us for however long they want...this is usually a few months. Months in which I slowly but surely go crazy, hubby and my relationship deteriorates and depression kicks in. The anxiety usually starts before their visit usually.

It wouldn't be a problem if I wasn't such an introvert and didn't need so much space or if I was a bit more generous with my time or a bit more patient.

I'm trying to be a bit more easy going and to laugh off things but I'm dreading the next few months as I usually do and I hate myself for it. The guilt eats me up. I cant afford to be stressed now.

Lunacie
07-13-16, 06:18 PM
A few months? :faint:

I didn't realize they stayed so long.

The rest of it is fine but I wouldn't cope well with house guests for even one month.

When you have house guests it's hard to just live your own life. Don't you feel like you have to entertain them all the time? When do you get "you" time?

Fuzzy12
07-13-16, 06:25 PM
A few months? :faint:

I didn't realize they stayed so long.

The rest of it is fine but I wouldn't cope well with house guests for even one month.

When you have house guests it's hard to just live your own life. Don't you feel like you have to entertain them all the time? When do you get "you" time?

With my parents not so much. My in laws yes. My parents don't mind me doing my own thing. It's just the physical. Presence that disturbs me though I'm. Not sure why. I do try to.spend as much time. With them as possible though.

they also don't act like house guests. They do all the cooking when they are here and try to help out as much as possible. It's just the constant stress of having someone live with me. They are also very negative and not really the most easy going..I wonder where I get it from... :rolleyes: and I'm always worried about them not getting along with hubsy.

acdc01
07-13-16, 11:23 PM
My coworkers aunt just turned 100. You never know.

Music. I think i told you that before but that's my automatic thought sometimes when I used to hear my parents screaming at each other.

Big sound blocking headphones music.

stef
07-14-16, 01:10 AM
I couldnt stand my mom in my apt for even 2 weeks! but it was so nice to come home from work and sell my mom reading in the armchair. but it was so stressful.
i would feel so guilty bringing her to the airport because i would'feel,this'massive sense of relief once she was checked in and waiting to go thru the passport line.

Fuzzy you will so appreciate someone doing the cooking! the thing is to be sure to carve out some time for yourself and not feel bad about it.

AddAnxiousMe
07-14-16, 02:19 AM
This post sent me way back to my "younger" days when the thought of losing my parents made me so depressed and anxious that I actually used to dream of moving far away, where no one knew I was, that way I wouldn't have to hear of their passing! Can you imagine that? As it turned out, I lost my dad in 2003, after an extended 14 month illness, at the age of 81. We brought him home and cared for him, and I was there with him when he breathed his last. My mom is now 80 yeas old and I naturally worry about losing her. But it was my mom who gave me my first Bible (I know, I know, no religious talk allowed) and the comfort I received in knowing that this life isn't the end. That assurance is indescribable. I think that, along with the many things I've suffered over the years (both mentally and physically) has given me a true perspective about life. Life here at it's best is very transient. I can't believe my dad is already gone 13 years. It seems like before we have time enough to grieve, it will be our turn to leave this earth. Yet I still think about my mom at 80. I remind myself that her mom lived to just shy of 100, so maybe she'll live that old, or older. I guess I'm as prepared as one could possibly be, but who is really ready, at any age, to lose a loved one? Just take things one day at a time and enjoy the happy times together, all the while knowing that we're all headed to that land called forever, where we'll all be reunited. I always try to remind myself whenever I am happy or suffering on this earth, "this won't last forever."

TheFitFatty
07-14-16, 02:22 AM
I would just have this on repeat in my head,
"I will be glad I did this when they are gone" deep breath "I will be glad I did this when they are gone" deep breath "I will be glad I did this when they are gone"

KarmanMonkey
07-14-16, 10:33 AM
Would your folks be receptive to a gentle suggestion that they find something to do one or two nights a week that removes them from your home and gives you a bit of a rest?

Alternately, maybe find something that takes you away from human beings one night a week (though I know it's not the same as being able to just relax at home)

sarahsweets
07-17-16, 05:58 AM
It's that time of the year again. Parents season. I think I always make a thread at this time.of the year. I.apologise in advance for.my pig headed Ness and if it seems that I never take any9ne's advice.

It's really hard for me. I'm constantly torn between the knowledge that my parents won't be around for much longer and trying to make them happy and the fact that for the sake of my mental health and peace of mind I want to stay as far away as possible.

My parents will die in the next 10 years. .at the most 10 years probably sooner. Thankfully they are both relatively healthy but my dad is almost 80. It freaks the hell out of me to even think about it. So I try not to. I don't even want to write it lest I jinx it. Uggh. It makes me panic and it makes me want to be a better daughter and fulfil their needs. Give them a bit of happiness in their last few years.

Truth be told they don't need much from me. All they need is to talk to me regularly, be their sounding board, and to be welcome in my home to stay with us for however long they want...this is usually a few months. Months in which I slowly but surely go crazy, hubby and my relationship deteriorates and depression kicks in. The anxiety usually starts before their visit usually.

It wouldn't be a problem if I wasn't such an introvert and didn't need so much space or if I was a bit more generous with my time or a bit more patient.

I'm trying to be a bit more easy going and to laugh off things but I'm dreading the next few months as I usually do and I hate myself for it. The guilt eats me up. I cant afford to be stressed now.

I wish I could jump into your body and take the lead on this one for you. I just dont know what to tell you unless you like literally lock them out or something which no one would do.

aeon
07-17-16, 06:31 AM
OK, Fuzzy, first I will give you :grouphug:.

Now, the critical bit.

trying to make them happy

Not your job.

fulfil their needs.

Definitely not your job!

this is usually a few months.

Is this cultural? I couldn’t stand that, and I wouldn’t stand that.

That said, my father is dead, and my mother is not welcome here anyway, so no matter.


Well-Wishes,
Ian

Little Missy
07-17-16, 09:33 AM
Ha-Ha, before my parents bought their own place Right By Me they'd come for a visit and somehow I'd wake up to an entirely different house.

Their pills all lined up across my countertops. Daddy's own Travelling Coffee Pot, the Sunbeam Superfast, percolating away on my countertop. I had the exact same coffee pot but he used his because "it was broken in correctly." My mum's bras hanging on the doorknobs. Cigarettes, ashtrays-good looking ones at that-plus they each had their glass to drink out of on My Countertop. And coffee mugs always at the ready. Theirs, of course.

Then dad began bringing his own chair. A big leather one on casters with a matching footstool that they had when I was a child. They drove this old Town and Country van with the fake wood on the sides and the thing was FULL, right up to the ceiling with all of their stuff.

The big old leather chair wasn't enough, then they added a leather rocking chair complete with a leather skirt on it for the kitchen so daddy could drink coffee and smoke while gazing out the bay window because the new/old chair made it "just the right height." They bought that at "the best used furniture store ever!"

All of their own bath towels and sheets in case mine weren't soft enough. All of their shampoos, hair tonics, shaving creams, toothpastes, etc. all over the bathrooms. Yes, bathROOMS because they needed everything handy wherever they happened to be at the moment. Every room in the house was completely invaded and taken over.

I'd walk in and there would be my mum, hands on her hips with a pointing outstretched finger showing my dad where to place the furniture. My furniture.

Then came the new mattresses because mine weren't "just right." Mum took to the couch-nothing new there- pronounced it the "best reading couch ever!" and read and slept there with the Doberman and the Whippet because they were the "best dogs to nap with." She even had them all tucked in.

I'd come home and the entire stove would be filled with saucepans and soup pots all burbling away with daddy in an apron-one of my mum's which made no sense since she never cooked a thing in her life-with a dish towel tucked into the ties. He'd begin telling me the story of how he was the cook on the hospital ship in WWII...

How far would you like me to go with this? It gets even better...

stef
07-17-16, 09:38 AM
missy :grouphug:

Little Missy
07-17-16, 09:47 AM
missy :grouphug:

It all makes me laugh now! Honestly, it is pretty damn funny.

Fuzzy12
07-17-16, 01:47 PM
Ha-Ha, before my parents bought their own place Right By Me they'd come for a visit and somehow I'd wake up to an entirely different house.

Their pills all lined up across my countertops. Daddy's own Travelling Coffee Pot, the Sunbeam Superfast, percolating away on my countertop. I had the exact same coffee pot but he used his because "it was broken in correctly." My mum's bras hanging on the doorknobs. Cigarettes, ashtrays-good looking ones at that-plus they each had their glass to drink out of on My Countertop. And coffee mugs always at the ready. Theirs, of course.

Then dad began bringing his own chair. A big leather one on casters with a matching footstool that they had when I was a child. They drove this old Town and Country van with the fake wood on the sides and the thing was FULL, right up to the ceiling with all of their stuff.

The big old leather chair wasn't enough, then they added a leather rocking chair complete with a leather skirt on it for the kitchen so daddy could drink coffee and smoke while gazing out the bay window because the new/old chair made it "just the right height." They bought that at "the best used furniture store ever!"

All of their own bath towels and sheets in case mine weren't soft enough. All of their shampoos, hair tonics, shaving creams, toothpastes, etc. all over the bathrooms. Yes, bathROOMS because they needed everything handy wherever they happened to be at the moment. Every room in the house was completely invaded and taken over.

I'd walk in and there would be my mum, hands on her hips with a pointing outstretched finger showing my dad where to place the furniture. My furniture.

Then came the new mattresses because mine weren't "just right." Mum took to the couch-nothing new there- pronounced it the "best reading couch ever!" and read and slept there with the Doberman and the Whippet because they were the "best dogs to nap with." She even had them all tucked in.

I'd come home and the entire stove would be filled with saucepans and soup pots all burbling away with daddy in an apron-one of my mum's which made no sense since she never cooked a thing in her life-with a dish towel tucked into the ties. He'd begin telling me the story of how he was the cook on the hospital ship in WWII...

How far would you like me to go with this? It gets even better...

Um. ...sis??? :eek:

anonymouslyadd
07-17-16, 02:40 PM
I'm not really sure what you're looking for Fuzzy. I moved 1500 miles away from my mom. The reality is that my dad can be as harmful to me as she is.

Do your parents know about the toll this process takes on you? Do they know how it makes you feel? It would be nice if they could consider your feelings over their needs. They're adults and can do it.

Little Missy
07-17-16, 02:47 PM
I'm not really sure what you're looking for Fuzzy. I moved 1500 miles away from my mom. The reality is that my dad can be as harmful to me as she is.

Do your parents know about the toll this process takes on you? Do they know how it makes you feel? It would be nice if they could consider your feelings over their needs. They're adults and can do it.

You know what non, I truly believe that old people and babies can get away with anything, are absolutely impervious to any type of behavioural change, and you either let 'em rip or...go will you may.

Parents at that age are like a moot point.

Little Missy
07-17-16, 02:49 PM
Um. ...sis??? :eek:

Yes, strangely enough, we are related. :lol:

Little Missy
07-17-16, 03:00 PM
My husband worked out of town and state and country even and when I'd tell him they were coming he'd quip. "Ah...boy, oh geez, sorry that I'm going to have to miss them again..."

Their only needs are to be with their children on their terms. They love it. They live for it.

If anyone has found a way to endure parentals happily, I'd like to know the trick even though my own parentals are long gone.

They would be yelling, the house was big, mum from the couch and dad in the chair, and dad would say to me on the side, "Whenever your mother starts in, I just turn the radio up." That was when he began to festoon my entire home with radios everywhere.

Fuzzy, surely yours are funny...

kilted_scotsman
07-17-16, 05:18 PM
There are types of culture where there's a "gerontocracy".......where the oldest generation holds the key to resources and uses that power to ensure the younger generations care for them.

While we live in 21st century environments our parents/grandparents often lived in gerontocracies and still try to behave that way. Everyone gets anxious, irritated confused and angry when this happens. The parents/grandparents get confused when younger generations don't treat them with "respect" and run around after them.... the younger ones when their parents/grandparents "expect" to be indulged without question and waited on hand and foot.

I think I remember reading a section in a book/treatise about how this affected land distribution in rural Ireland.. however I recall the bulk of the book was about the indian subcontinent.

What I came away with was the sense that parental love in gerontocracies has a much higher "conditionality" than in other cultures......

Strong messages were given to children/grandchildren that they would be loved , and most importantly rewarded through gifts and inheritance if they behaved in particular ways. Failure to behave in these ways would result in withdrawal of "love" and exclusion from the circles of family, with complete ostracism and "death" in the eyes of the family a possibility.

This "conditionailty" of love seeped into every corner of the relationship.... so the children feel powerless.... even though to people from other cultures or backgrounds the children would appear to hold all the cards, and the parents be dependant on them.

The process is cultural and begins in childhood..... so it's very powerful and pervasive.

I get a slight feeling that there is a shadow of something along these lines happening here.

Fuzzy12
07-17-16, 06:34 PM
There are types of culture where there's a "gerontocracy".......where the oldest generation holds the key to resources and uses that power to ensure the younger generations care for them.

While we live in 21st century environments our parents/grandparents often lived in gerontocracies and still try to behave that way. Everyone gets anxious, irritated confused and angry when this happens. The parents/grandparents get confused when younger generations don't treat them with "respect" and run around after them.... the younger ones when their parents/grandparents "expect" to be indulged without question and waited on hand and foot.

I think I remember reading a section in a book/treatise about how this affected land distribution in rural Ireland.. however I recall the bulk of the book was about the indian subcontinent.

What I came away with was the sense that parental love in gerontocracies has a much higher "conditionality" than in other cultures......

Strong messages were given to children/grandchildren that they would be loved , and most importantly rewarded through gifts and inheritance if they behaved in particular ways. Failure to behave in these ways would result in withdrawal of "love" and exclusion from the circles of family, with complete ostracism and "death" in the eyes of the family a possibility.

This "conditionailty" of love seeped into every corner of the relationship.... so the children feel powerless.... even though to people from other cultures or backgrounds the children would appear to hold all the cards, and the parents be dependant on them.

The process is cultural and begins in childhood..... so it's very powerful and pervasive.

I get a slight feeling that there is a shadow of something along these lines happening here.

Yes, except that it's not their love that is conditional (it's not) but their happiness. I could deal with a withdrawal of love. Sometimes I yearn for that withdrawal.

kilted_scotsman
07-19-16, 08:19 AM
This is linked.....

you as a child desire their happiness..... to the extent that your own wellbeing suffers

why is this?

In a gerontocracy there is a subliminal message that one MUST keep one's parents/elders happy at almost any cost.

Looking at this through a psychotherapeutic lens I would imagine that doing something that you feel would upset them wold produce a significant bodily sensation in you.... a "gut reaction".

If this is the case it implies a message implanted early in childhood..... possibly not by parents... by grandparents, other caregivers and the "cultural parent" can do this.

similar bodily messaging can come from parents not being willing to let their children "differentiate", the child is still seen as being "of the body" of the parent.... the parent feels "not whole" when separated from the child. Unfortunately this puts all the burden on the child to initiate the differentiation and take responsibility for the process...... which is opposite to how we're wired..... as kids we want to fly the nest, and parents encourage/facilitate this process in some way. This way is painful for the parent, who knows it's part of a familiar process they went through...... but less painful for the child who has a world full of opportunity to explore.

"Attachment" is a very interesting area of psychology.

Fuzzy12
07-19-16, 08:58 AM
I'm not really sure what you're looking for Fuzzy. I moved 1500 miles away from my mom. The reality is that my dad can be as harmful to me as she is.

Do your parents know about the toll this process takes on you? Do they know how it makes you feel? It would be nice if they could consider your feelings over their needs. They're adults and can do it.

I'm pretty sure they don't. I've tried telling them, first by vaguely hinting at it and then telling them.in no uncertain terms.

The problem is I'm not sure what exactly 'the process' is that is taking such a big toll on me. I'm not exactly sure what they are doing wrong. There are little things, like their extreme negativity or my dad always needing to have his way and not being able to adjust to anyone else's needs or wants or my mom's overprotectiveNess and constant fussing but on the whole they are good people who just want to see me happy..while I just want to see the back of them mostly. :(

They cannot conceive that they are doing anything wrong and a lot of that is cultural and learnt like kilted said. In their culture individuality and more than anything privacy and autonomy always come second to the family unit. Everything comes second to the family unit. They can't imagine that I might want some space or alone time just for the sake of being alone.

And well, my dad just wants what he wants. He's used to having his way and people bending over backwards for fear of his short temper. If you don't comply he sees it as a personal.insult to him rather than the other person just wanting something different. Maybe because he can't imagine that anyone might want something different to him.

I think most parents lack theory of mind but especially those from my country of origin.

Fuzzy12
07-19-16, 09:04 AM
This is linked.....

you as a child desire their happiness..... to the extent that your own wellbeing suffers

why is this?

In a gerontocracy there is a subliminal message that one MUST keep one's parents/elders happy at almost any cost.

Looking at this through a psychotherapeutic lens I would imagine that doing something that you feel would upset them wold produce a significant bodily sensation in you.... a "gut reaction".

If this is the case it implies a message implanted early in childhood..... possibly not by parents... by grandparents, other caregivers and the "cultural parent" can do this.

similar bodily messaging can come from parents not being willing to let their children "differentiate", the child is still seen as being "of the body" of the parent.... the parent feels "not whole" when separated from the child. Unfortunately this puts all the burden on the child to initiate the differentiation and take responsibility for the process...... which is opposite to how we're wired..... as kids we want to fly the nest, and parents encourage/facilitate this process in some way. This way is painful for the parent, who knows it's part of a familiar process they went through...... but less painful for the child who has a world full of opportunity to explore.

"Attachment" is a very interesting area of psychology.

Everything you say is true but how do I deal with this? I fear that the steps I need to take are steps I don't want to take because they will hurt my parents.

Well, I try. I've tried over the last year telling hem in no uncertain terms that I don't want them to stay that long, that I can deal with a month or so but then I need a break. I don't think it registers. At all..it's like.someone telling them the earth is flat or if a small child tells you it wants to eat 5kg of ice cream. Kid's babble from a kid that doesn't know or understand what's best for her.:umm1:

aeon
07-19-16, 09:52 AM
So gerontocracy is like narcissistic parents “lite.”

I’m saying this because of my own childhood experience, so excuse me, but...

...I’d rather die than have to live with that.


**** that,
Ian

Fuzzy12
07-19-16, 10:26 AM
So gerontocracy is like narcissistic parents “lite.”

I’m saying this because of my own childhood experience, so excuse me, but...

...I’d rather die than have to live with that.


**** that,
Ian

I'm not sure it's that simple. It isn't just that parents or elders insist on you doing what they want because it's best for them. It's more that they insist on you doing what they want because they genuinely believe it's in your own best interest as well.

The road to hell is lined with good intentions. :umm1:

aeon
07-19-16, 11:28 AM
I'm not sure it's that simple.

Oh, surely, it is not. I could not help but notice the similarities, though.

It isn't just that parents or elders insist on you doing what they want because it's best for them. It's more that they insist on you doing what they want because they genuinely believe it's in your own best interest as well.

They can believe what they like, genuinely ten times over, and then there is the truth, which may or may not be the same.

Any time someone thinks they know what is best for someone else, I am immediately wary, because there is no way to know that for someone else, and to assert as such is at best ignorance, leading to malfeasance, and finally, abuse.

The road to hell is lined with good intentions. :umm1:

And an uncountable number died building that road.


Hugs,
Ian

TheFitFatty
07-20-16, 12:07 AM
Everything you say is true but how do I deal with this? I fear that the steps I need to take are steps I don't want to take because they will hurt my parents.

Well, I try. I've tried over the last year telling hem in no uncertain terms that I don't want them to stay that long, that I can deal with a month or so but then I need a break. I don't think it registers. At all..it's like.someone telling them the earth is flat or if a small child tells you it wants to eat 5kg of ice cream. Kid's babble from a kid that doesn't know or understand what's best for her.:umm1:

I get where you're coming from.

I suppose I'm lucky in that, I guess I don't really get bothered in changes too routine and I'm very like "whatever, do what you want" so I have no problems adjusting to my parents routines, my husbands parents routines or anyone elses. I just let it all wash over me.

However, there is no way I could stand months living with my parents. My parents are so rigid in their routines that if I do mess up and don't follow it, or suggest I want to do something else, it's world war three.

I keep telling myself that their happiness is not my responsibility, and that I'm doing the best I can. But it's really hard. No advise, just :grouphug:

Chicky75
07-20-16, 10:22 PM
You know the crawly feeling you get when you see insects and then think they're crawling on you? (That's not just me, is it?) I'm getting that feeling reading Fuzzy & Missy's parent visit stories. Like, mine aren't outside with their suitcases, right?

In their culture individuality and more than anything privacy and autonomy always come second to the family unit. Everything comes second to the family unit. They can't imagine that I might want some space or alone time just for the sake of being alone.


Luckily, I've never had my parents come stay with me anywhere I've lived. But this quote really resonated with me. That's exactly how my family, my mother especially, is too. It was a total revelation when I started seeing a new therapist a few years ago who told me that that's not the way all families are. And that I have the right to decide if that's not what I believe. And that if it isn't what I believe, that I have the right to communicate that to my parents and set boundaries on how they interact with me.

For example, my parents right now live about 20 minutes away from me. Yet whenever Christmas comes around, they always push to have me come stay overnight at their house Christmas Eve. No matter that their guest room bed is horrible, I don't want to have to bring all my crap just for one night, and no matter what the occasion, I would much rather drive the 20 minutes back home to be in my own space. Also, that I'm now in my 40s and am not going to be running downstairs on Christmas morning to see what Santa brought me as I did when I was a kid.

Barring that, they push for going out to dinner on Christmas Eve and spending most of the day together on Christmas Day. I've said no to sleeping at their house before, but this year was the first year that I said no to dinner on Christmas Eve. It seems like such a simple thing, but it was hard and I still feel guilty about how hurt my mother seemed.

I'm told it gets easier, though, and that if she does really love me and want what's best for me, she'll start to be okay with things like this.

Basically, that's my long winded way of saying you do have the right to say no to your parents, and it doesn't make you a bad person or daughter.

In this case, it might take something extreme to get them to not stay as long, like planning a vacation yourself for a couple of weeks after they show up and making it clear that they're not going to stay there without you. Or if you can afford it, getting them a hotel room for at least part of the time.

Or, again if you can afford it, even planning for all of you to go somewhere together for a week or two. I'm a total introvert too and need a lot of alone time. But having people in my space for long periods of time is a LOT more stressful for me than being with people in a more neutral environment. And if what they really want is time with you, you could sell it that doing that would actually give them more time since you wouldn't be distracted with work and the rest of your life. You'd be able to just relax and enjoy being together (hopefully!)

sarahsweets
07-21-16, 03:11 AM
Think of it this way....if you cant tell them how you feel and what you want now, how do you think things will be after the baby? When they start telling you what to do to take care of your child or do things with the baby that you dont want done. If you arent used to sticking up for yourself now, you should at least consider what it will be like trying to be a parent of your own child.
My inlaws used to be this way before I nipped it in the bud. When my son was little and wanted chocolate milk right before dinner, I would say no because then he wouldnt want to eat. There were times where they would tell me it wasnt a big deal and make it for him anyway. Yes,it was only milk but the principle behind it was a big deal.

It took practice but my and my husband's word has weight now because they are not the parents of my kids.
Its hard trying to be a grown up around our parents. It makes us feel like kids again when there is discontent.

Fuzzy12
07-21-16, 03:15 AM
Yes, I worry about that hugely. If I'll be able to make choices that are in the best interest of lil fuzzling even against the parents' wishes. I'd like to think so because the alternative is too horrible but I really don't know.

stef
07-21-16, 03:26 AM
Yes, I worry about that hugely. If I'll be able to make choices that are in the best interest of lil fuzzling even against the parents' wishes. I'd like to think so because the alternative is too horrible but I really don't know.

You will see things from like a third perspective when Fuzzling is born and gives you an idea of how your parents may have become the people they are. (this is hard to explain). but it will give you more insight and well there are various opinions on how to take care of a baby and in the end what they mostly need, is much love. If there is something you feel very strongly about you might have a new type of "power" to stick to that one thing.

I had been told by the pediatrican "nothing but breast milk for 4 months". At 3 months MIL kept saying, so when are you going to start giving the baby some solid foods (nicely, she was always kind) and I was just like, NOT YET.

And it is quite strange, to be a parent and a child at the same time!

TheFitFatty
07-21-16, 03:32 AM
Sarahsweets, can you tell my mom to stop hassling me about potty training by daughter please??? :D

aeon
07-21-16, 10:56 AM
When my son was little and wanted chocolate milk right before dinner, I would say no because then he wouldnt want to eat. There were times where they would tell me it wasnt a big deal and make it for him anyway. Yes,it was only milk but the principle behind it was a big deal.

I had been told by the pediatrican "nothing but breast milk for 4 months". At 3 months MIL kept saying, so when are you going to start giving the baby some solid foods (nicely, she was always kind) and I was just like, NOT YET.

To the both of you:

Hell yes! :yes:

And what is it with people telling moms to stop breastfeeding? :doh:

The mother-child relationship is inviolable and sacrosanct. Those who would seek to violate it should perish in an unholy fire of green flame.


Cackling,
Ian

KarmanMonkey
07-21-16, 11:18 AM
So, my mom has a theory; that every person has a rite of passage as an adult: Telling off their parents. In her case, it was when my big brother was born and her mom was full of all sorts of helpful "suggestions". I've fallen short of outright yelling at my parents so far, but I have been rather firm in setting boundaries with them a few times. Sometimes they even listen! :-)

I feel that it's natural for there to be friction once we have lives of our own. We'll always be children in our parent's eyes, so it's natural for them to want to step in and "help". I feel it's also part of our responsibility as the adult children to set boundaries with them; teach them that they are welcome to visit, but it is OUR home that they are VISITING. That we will ask for help and suggestions if we need it, and that they need to be okay with us making decisions differently than they did. Or making the same mistakes as they did even.

Without being told point blank, they're free to carry on as they have your whole life. Some people need to be told more than others, but learning and change can happen at any age (it's just slower as we get older).

A good formula is: "When you X, I feel Y. Instead, please try to Z."

If that fails, then telling them off works too. Just try to avoid phrases like "You ALWAYS ____" or "You NEVER ____". Citing an example is far more likely to be effective, and is less likely to put the person on the defensive.

And Fuzzy, if you're going to be having kids, you'll find that it'll be easier to set boundaries with your folks because you'll be doing it as a champion for your child's wellbeing, and not just your own.

kilted_scotsman
07-22-16, 07:35 AM
It means having to go through the discomfort and anxiety of saying No to your parents.... no matter how much they weep, wail and try to psychologically blackmail you......

Having a strong partner helps... a good therapist helps too..... not one of those NHS CBT types.... but one that you have chosen yourself and build up a good relationship with.

Your doing it for the Fuzzling.... if you and your partner don't put your foot down your early parental experiences will be impacted by anxiety around your parents and this will feed into the bonding process..... so going into "retreat" and letting your partner be your gatekeeper is one solution.

Saying you are tired, need peace and the house to yourself to nestbuild are all legitimate ways to keep parents and other stress inducing people at bay...... Pregnancy is a good time to redraw boundaries..... and if it's not done now it'll be more difficult later.

Resist all entreaties of "We just want to help", by saying your partner is perfectly capable of organising the help that will be required so please keep in touch with him.... them switch the phone off and put your feet up.

If your partner says... "Your parents, your problem" it doesn't bode well..... because creating a reduced stress environment for you is one of his key duties for the next couple of years.

I've had experience of the pushy parent.... wrote a pre-nup with one clause.....we wouldn't let parents dictate our marriage. Just its existence helped us support the other in battles with parents.... mainly my mother it has to be said!