View Full Version : Establishing my ground rules


Fuzzy12
04-08-17, 07:21 PM
I'd posted this in the what's bothering you thread and received a couple of good replies but I think I need more help.

Mil is coming to visit soon. We clashed quite a bit during her last visit when fuzzling was born since she was her pushy and interfering self and I don't like being told what to do.

Anyway s he's messaged me to ask me to lay down some ground rules for her to ensure that this visit will be more peaceful and more stress free.

I think that's really nice and generous of her but it's also making me nervous and worry if I can find a way to convey my thoughts without hurting her feelings or antagonising her. I was very tempted to just say don't worry we'll be fine but I think I should appreciate ajd take her offer. I would like to try to be honest but not rude.

How about something like this:

Don't try to take charge or be in control.

Don't be upset or offended if I don't follow your advice.

Don't feel bad if I need some time alone once in a while to recharge and recoup my energy. It doesn't mean I'm being distant or anything is wrong but I just need to be alone once in a while.

Do let me know your preferences. I'll try to accommodate them but don't be offended if I can't.

Don't try and change plans thst we've agreed on already already this gives me bad anxiety.

What do you guys think? :scratch:


Is it too honest? Brash? Rude? Too vague? Too petty? Too selfish?

It's like I don't want to take advantage of her for making this offer but at the same time I want to be honest and not waste this opportunity. She's trying to build a better relationship so I think it would he counter productive to not take her offer of establishing ground rules.

Fuzzy12
04-08-17, 07:40 PM
HoW about this:

1. I appreciate advice and input and will consider it but please don't expect me to follow it.

(Though to be honest the nonstop suggestions do tire the hell out of me. Just having to listen and consider something every 5 mins especially when I'm in the middle of something else )

2. Please accept if I say no.

3. Please don't feel offended or think that im being cold / rude / distant if I need to retreat for a while or need some time alone.

3a. Please just don't accuse me of being cold / rude / distant because of my face expression

4. Please trust me that I'm not trying to hurt your grand daughter and I don't appreciate being told repeatedly that I am even if that's 'now what you mean'

5. Please accept that I know more about certain issues and that your 'gut feeling' doesn't trump my experience and knowledge

Ok I realise that done of these I might need to drop like 5. It annoys the hell out if me though.

Any idea on how to polish these up? How do I make them sound kinder without losing clarity? Are they clear at all or too vague? I don't don't want to be to specific and give examples and risk arguing about the examples (with mil I mean)

dvdnvwls
04-08-17, 07:46 PM
A few suggestions:

- Do use "please" a lot, unless you know she wouldn't like that.

- DON'T let anyone persuade you to re-word your ground rules into positive statements. These ground rules are stated negatively because that is their meaning. It would be confusing to obscure that fact.

- Instead of "Don't take charge", something like "Please don't decide where we'll go", "Please don't decide what to eat or how to make it", "Please don't plan the visit - let husband and me do that"... Or whatever things are suitable for her situation.

- Instead of "don't be upset or offended...", IMO it would be better to just say "No advice please". But maybe I'm wrong about that. Maybe you do want some advice but not all of it? Your choice, obviously.


EDIT: It seems very clear from your new post that you really mean "No advice about parenting or about my daughter, please." So... Just say that, instead of a bunch of complicated stuff. And definitely the little girl is called "my daughter", NOT "your granddaughter".

Fuzzy12
04-08-17, 07:51 PM
"...how difficult can it be, to not be a jerk?"

Sometimes very difficult, apparently. :(


How does she take charge? What does she take charge OF? I think that's all I was trying to get at.

Eg She wakes me if I sleep in or checks what I'm doing if I spend a bit longer in my room.

She tells me what to eat and what not to eat (especially now that I'm breastfeeding).

She won't let me do the housework I want to do and give me jobs I don't want to do. I don't mind doing the jobs. I'm happy to. I highly resent being told not to do something though (even if it's eith thebest of intentions)

She keeps telling me how to do little unimportant things with Fuzzling even how to apply her freaking nappy rash cream. I do it using my bare finger and she wants me to use a cotton pad because she thinks it's softer. It's something so stupid but you know the thing is I'vealmost akways got a reason why I do things a particular way. In this case it's because I can spply it better with my finger that a thick inflexible pad and my finger is actually softer.

Stupid stuff like this. Half of the things I shut up and do them anyway because I think it's jot worth the effort to argue about them but it wears me out having to constantly l:

1. Stop in my tracks or wgat I'm doing yo consider her suggestion

2. Having to explain myself

3. Having to argue and fight to just continue doing what I'm doing (eg like laundry)

Fuzzy12
04-08-17, 08:06 PM
A few suggestions:

- Do use "please" a lot, unless you know she wouldn't like that.

- DON'T let anyone persuade you to re-word your ground rules into positive statements. These ground rules are stated negatively because that is their meaning. It would be confusing to obscure that fact.

- Instead of "Don't take charge", something like "Please don't decide where we'll go", "Please don't decide what to eat or how to make it", "Please don't plan the visit - let husband and me do that"... Or whatever things are suitable for her situation.

- Instead of "don't be upset or offended...", IMO it would be better to just say "No advice please". But maybe I'm wrong about that. Maybe you do want some advice but not all of it? Your choice, obviously.


EDIT: It seems very clear from your new post that you really mean "No advice about parenting or about my daughter, please." So... Just say that, instead of a bunch of complicated stuff. And definitely the little girl is called "my daughter", NOT "your granddaughter".

1. Please: I'm trying to be polite. No she won't like it even though she has asked for ground rules.

2. I could be specific but how many things csn I list!!!! Honestly it's something ever 10 min. It doesn't matter what I'm doing she's always got setting to suggest on how to do.it better even if she's got no idea. Eg hubby is a walking talking sat nav. He is very good with directions. I'm addition he studies the map. Before we go anywhere and uses his sat nav. She still insists that we follow her hunch to find a route even though most of the time she's wrong.

3. I don't expect her to not advise at all. I m wing to gear her out but not every 10 mins about every tiny little thing. Worst of all she expects me to.respond to.every suggestion she makes and to follow her advice.

4. I don't mind parenting advice though I do think I've got a better handle on it than her. ' grand daughter' was sarcastic because I'm tired and getting more and more annoyed. Last time she was here she acted as if she cared more for fuzzling than we do. She kept telling us that we were hurting fuzzling.

dvdnvwls
04-08-17, 08:09 PM
Right, I get it. (I think.)

So...

"Please don't try to decide what housework should be done, or who should do it."

"Please don't come to check on me if I'm in my room."

Fuzzy12
04-08-17, 08:10 PM
I think I'm just ranting now isn't it?:(

Also I hope sny of this still.still makes sense in spite of the mess that the auto correct on my phone I'd creating. Butter fingers

dvdnvwls
04-08-17, 08:11 PM
About saying please: I meant only leave it out if she was the odd sort of person who didn't like the word "please".

Fuzzy12
04-08-17, 08:15 PM
Right, I get it. (I think.)

So...

"Please don't try to decide what housework should be done, or who should do it."

"Please don't come to check on me if I'm in my room."

I can't be that specific because there are too many things. I've got a bad feeling that this list will be used as a disclaimer (eg 'I've stopped entering your room as you asked me to so.why do you insist on deciding what you should eat now??!!')

dvdnvwls
04-08-17, 08:15 PM
You may feel on here like you're ranting, but IMO the goal is to take your rant and turn it into something sensible and useful.


And...

Ground rule for yourself...

If you're given bad advice repeatedly, please stop responding. Please give yourself permission in that case to be rude, and to silently ignore MIL until she learns her lesson.

dvdnvwls
04-08-17, 08:15 PM
I can't be that specific because there are too many things. I've got a bad feeling that this list will be used as a disclaimer (eg 'I've stopped entering your room as you asked me to so.why do you insist on deciding what you should eat now??!!')
Ugh. You're absolutely right. Sorry.

Fuzzy12
04-08-17, 08:21 PM
I've tried ignoring what she says but she doesn't like it. She complained to hubby about it. I've also tried to briefly acknowledge what she says without engaging her or getting into a discussion but she doesn't like that either.

(He didn't hold it against me though. He knows I can't respond to such frequent suggestions.)

Fuzzy12
04-08-17, 08:33 PM
Uggh .... I can feel myself becoming more petty and nasty by the minute. It was a nice idea of mil and I am sure she meant it well. I shouldn't be so negative about her. :(

dvdnvwls
04-08-17, 09:18 PM
Of course she doesn't like being ignored! Who does??

That's kind of the point. People who continually make unwanted comments, when they've already been politely asked not to, ought to be ignored.

Luvmybully
04-08-17, 11:39 PM
I think it 's a great idea! It is VERY hard when you are a new parent and have an overbearing parent or in law.

And I think being polite, and stating things as what would DO want her to do instead of what you DON'T want her to do is you showing respect for your relationship. She IS your mother in law AND Fuzzling's Grandmother.

I really like your rule of "I NEED alone time to recharge, please allow me some privacy when I go into my bedroom and close the door."

and "Please respect my parenting decisions. If I say No, let it go."

"Please do not expect me to defend my parenting decisions. Again, please let it go."

"Plan changes stress me out. Please stick to original plan."

"Relax and enjoy your visit with your granddaughter! Let hubby and I make the plans and figure out the details."

"Do not tell us we are hurting Fuzzling. This is just not acceptable to either of us."

dvdnvwls
04-09-17, 12:13 AM
Stating negatives (don't do this) as fake positives (please do this instead) is confusing and counterproductive. It leaves you open to innocent misinterpretation, and also leaves you open to jerks who intend to take advantage. Fake positivity is never helpful, unless you're saying something that never needed to be said anyway and just want your page to look pretty.

Luvmybully
04-09-17, 12:30 AM
Stating negatives (don't do this) as fake positives (please do this instead) is confusing and counterproductive. It leaves you open to innocent misinterpretation, and also leaves you open to jerks who intend to take advantage. Fake positivity is never helpful, unless you're saying something that never needed to be said anyway and just want your page to look pretty.

But it isn't always fake. It IS much more conducive to a healthier, long term relationship with someone you WILL have a long term relationship with.

There is nothing confusing about Please respect my privacy when I am in my room vs do not bother me when I am in my room.

Or, Please respect my parenting decisions vs do not question my parenting decisions.

When you WANT to improve your relationship with a family member, you are not being fake by saying I WANT you to do this. ALWAYS stating things in a negative way is antagonistic and not very helpful if you want an already strained relationship to move towards a more peaceful, tolerant place.

Fuzzy12
04-09-17, 01:23 AM
Ideally I'd like to be as gentle and non confrontational as possible while still being clear.

Luvmybully
04-09-17, 01:40 AM
Ideally I'd like to be as gentle and non confrontational as possible while still being clear.

I think that is a very admirable goal, especially since she reached out to you.

You can not control her, her reactions, or actions. You can just control YOU. You only have to OWN, and live with, the responsibility of what YOU do.


You want her to respect you and your husband as CAPABLE, responsible, parents. You NEED alone time to recharge. You are deeply disturbed by being accused of harming your daughter. You want to be able to choose your own parenting style and techniques without having to justify or explain yourself.

It would be great if you and Mr Fuzz could be united about these things.

No matter HOW she actually behaves, YOU will not be lowering yourself to pettiness or petulance by being gentle and non-confrontational.

Lunacie
04-09-17, 11:17 AM
I think it 's a great idea! It is VERY hard when you are a new parent and have an overbearing parent or in law.

And I think being polite, and stating things as what would DO want her to do instead of what you DON'T want her to do is you showing respect for your relationship. She IS your mother in law AND Fuzzling's Grandmother.



"

That's just what I was trying to convey with my list yesterday ... make the
list positive (please do this) instead of negative and passive-aggressive
(please don't do that).

And respect is a two-way street, if she wants to be respected, she needs to
respect that it's your home and your daughter.

dvdnvwls
04-09-17, 03:30 PM
It is never in any way disrespectful to politely make a request that something not be done. In addition, it can be viewed as patronizing to reword obvious negative requests as positive ones, as if the person was not bright enough to know what you were trying to say.

Sunflower009
04-09-17, 04:32 PM
Wow, and I thought MY mom was difficult. My advice would rather be to not have her there at all, or at least not for very long (not more than a few days) until fuzzling is a little older. It's funny how everyone feels the need to chime in on EVERYTHING when it comes to babies.

But I really do respect that you are trying to make things work with her. While I think it's OK to use some "negatives" in your ground rules, definately framing it in a positve way is much better. The thing is that our subconcious kind of tends to ignore the "don't" or "not" part, and only remember the rest of the statement. So for example "don't come into my room" becomes "come into my room". I learned about that in a parenting seminar as it relates to preschoolers, so maybe we adults are a little bit better at hearing the "don't" part... but honestly if you CAN make it positive ("Stay out of my room") then it's way better.

When we say "frame it positively", it doesn't mean that it's fake, it just means you are expressing what you want her to actually DO instead of what you DON'T want her to do. That will definately stick in her brain better.

So for your list, I can imagine this being somthing like:

"Allow us to be in charge (or in control) of our daily routines"
"Let us plan the activities"
"Let us decide which chores we want to do"
"You can OFFER to do a chore for me, but I find telling me not to do it offensive and stressful."
"Let us figure out our own methods of parenting". (Honestly here I WOULD flat out say "no advice about parenting or caring for Fuzzling, since it is much clearer. I know you say it's OK to get some advice, but if you just flat out say NO advice, then she will realize she has to scale back. Then you can choose to conciously ignore some of the suggestions when she makes them, and when it's too much, just remind her of the rule. I really feel that the rules have to be clear, even if you don't choose to always enforce them.)

Fuzzy12
04-09-17, 04:42 PM
Can I really say ' no advice about fuzzling'? Wouldn't that be too harsh? :scratch:
Interesting about people not hearing or remembering 'don't'.

Sunflower009
04-09-17, 05:21 PM
I think she will definitly be offended no matter what you do, even though she requested it. It takes a very rare and less emotional person to not feel offended at stuff like this. But that's OK - it's probably best to just try to soften the blow as much as you can (while still being crystal clear.) and then you can get over it and have a better, happier relationship.

To soften the blow, you can pack in some nice stuff in your message, for example that you are looking forward to her visit, that you enjoy being around her, that you know Fuzzling will love it, (or that Fuzzling loves her very much, etc) and you are lookiing forward to watching her have fun with Fuzzling. Also that you appreciate her help. One other thing which I think we newer moms forget is that our own moms and MILs DO have a lot of experience and they feel invalidated when we don't acknowledge that. That doesn't mean you have to accept advice from her (advice is usually a bad idea no matter who is giving it, even friends) or do everything, or even anything she says. It just means you acknowledge that she is also a mom and put a lot of effort and years of work into it with good results. You could do that by telling her that you love how your husband turned out, and she is his mom after all. Or simply saying "I admire all the years of work you put into your kids, they are such wonderful people." (Disconnected from any discussion related to Fuzzling or your parenting.).

The fact is, there are infinate ways of parenting, and everyone does it differently. You have to find your own style which works for YOU as a couple. A style which you are happy with, which makes you both feel comfortable. And that is also part of bonding as a family unit. So even if she feels like there are "better" ways of doing things, at least maybe she can respect that you and your husband need to bond over finding your own way through the jungle of parenting.

Of course there are different methods now and new research which shows different things, and there are also new trends. But that will probably only make her say "well nobody did that back then and all my kids are fine. So that line of argument probably won't work much, even if it's true.

Sunflower009
04-09-17, 05:24 PM
I know it seems harsh but what do you think would happen if you said "some advice is OK but just not too much"? How much is too much? I guess you could try that though.

When my mom came to visit she told me flat out that she was NOT going to give me any advice because she knew it was problematic. She still gave me advice anyways... but I guess she at least tried not too.

Actually, I think it's really that you don't want unsolicited advice. So maybe you could say "no advice unless we ask for it...?"

Lunacie
04-09-17, 05:31 PM
Wow, and I thought MY mom was difficult. My advice would rather be to not have her there at all, or at least not for very long (not more than a few days) until fuzzling is a little older. It's funny how everyone feels the need to chime in on EVERYTHING when it comes to babies.

But I really do respect that you are trying to make things work with her. While I think it's OK to use some "negatives" in your ground rules, definately framing it in a positve way is much better. The thing is that our subconcious kind of tends to ignore the "don't" or "not" part, and only remember the rest of the statement. So for example "don't come into my room" becomes "come into my room". I learned about that in a parenting seminar as it relates to preschoolers, so maybe we adults are a little bit better at hearing the "don't" part... but honestly if you CAN make it positive ("Stay out of my room") then it's way better.

When we say "frame it positively", it doesn't mean that it's fake, it just means you are expressing what you want her to actually DO instead of what you DON'T want her to do. That will definately stick in her brain better.

So for your list, I can imagine this being somthing like:

"Allow us to be in charge (or in control) of our daily routines"
"Let us plan the activities"
"Let us decide which chores we want to do"
"You can OFFER to do a chore for me, but I find telling me not to do it offensive and stressful."
"Let us figure out our own methods of parenting". (Honestly here I WOULD flat out say "no advice about parenting or caring for Fuzzling, since it is much clearer. I know you say it's OK to get some advice, but if you just flat out say NO advice, then she will realize she has to scale back. Then you can choose to conciously ignore some of the suggestions when she makes them, and when it's too much, just remind her of the rule. I really feel that the rules have to be clear, even if you don't choose to always enforce them.)

Yeah, after reading a couple of great parenting books, that's what I've learned.

If you're at the pool and tell your child "Don't run" what they hear is "run."
If you tell your child "Walk please" they hear "walk" and they're more likely
to walk instead of running and risking slipping on wet cement. Especially if
it's not an order that they are bound to ignore just to show independence.

To me it just makes sense that if this works with kids, it probably works with
adults as well, especially those who are acting selfish and childish. You are
saying "Leave me alone please" instead of "don't bother me." Adults really
don't want to be given orders by someone younger.

Fuzzy12
04-09-17, 05:32 PM
I don't mind the advice so much but the expectation that we will follow it or at least furnish a good reason for not following it. I do have my reasons usually when I say no (and I also try to actually take some of her advice when it really doesn't matter which way I do something) but it's honestly exhausting having to do this constantly ajd for seriously trivial things.

dvdnvwls
04-09-17, 07:13 PM
Example: "Please don't come to my house today."

If I reword that as a fake positive, it comes across as an invitation for a different day. Often, I would not wish to imply a later invitation; in fact, I might be saying what I said to imply "...and the next hundred years aren't looking good either."

Too much can be lost in translation. Adult interactions can't be reduced to the level of swimming-pool rules, and confusion results if we try.

Another classic example: the so-called "golden rule", which has very often been stated as a fake positive, actually only works as the more natural negative - "Don't do to others what you wouldn't want done to yourself". Otherwise, when stated as a fake positive, it means that if I'd like some fish-eyeball soup, then the first thing I'm to do is give YOU some fish-eyeball soup! :)

Fuzzy12
04-09-17, 07:13 PM
So.So.i think I'll just boil it down to the most important points and the ones easiest to understand.

1. I listen to and consider your advice and suggestions but please accept if I choose not to follow a suggestion.

2. Please accept if I say NO.

3. I need more alone time than you may be used to. It doesn't mean I'm upset with you or feeling cold and distant. I will come out of my room in good time.

4. If I have already made plans, please don't try to change my plans.

Johnny Slick
04-09-17, 11:03 PM
So.So.i think I'll just boil it down to the most important points and the ones easiest to understand.

1. I listen to and consider your advice and suggestions but please accept if I choose not to follow a suggestion.

2. Please accept if I say NO.

3. I need more alone time than you may be used to. It doesn't mean I'm upset with you or feeling cold and distant. I will come out of my room in good time.

4. If I have already made plans, please don't try to change my plans.
I think #2 miiiight cross the line a bit, especially when you've already made point #1 clear. I think this person is probably going to be offended that you have the temerity to establish *any* ground rules anyway, and I think she's going to try to buffalo you regardless, so I don't think that #2 is going to actually make her reconsider any more than #1 might already.

Otherwise it's a good list and nice backbone!

Fuzzy12
04-10-17, 01:14 AM
No backbone here. I haven't even sent it and I'm already anxious about it.:lol:

And mil asked for ground rules..

I know 1 and 2 are very similar but not exactly and they are really important to me. Maybe I should drop 4 instead? 4 is really important for the future. Not so much right now. :scratch:

Is there anyway I can make them sound less harsh?

dvdnvwls
04-10-17, 01:22 AM
They don't sound harsh for this purpose. They would be harsh for someone you'd never met, but this is for a person who has been a real jerk in the past and who has now requested rules.

Fuzzy12
04-10-17, 01:24 AM
Slightly revised:

1. I do listen to and consider your advice and suggestions but please accept if I choose not to follow a suggestion. Also please understand that at times I'm too tired to debate every suggestion and trust me that I have heard you, considered the suggestion but have a good reason to do something differently.

2. Please don't feel rejected if I say No to anything. It doesn't mean I don't value you or appreciate you

3. I need more alone time than you may be used to. It doesn't mean I'm upset with you or feeling cold and distant. I will come out of my room as soon as I've recharged my batteries.

4. If I have already made plans, please don't try to change my plans.

I really like 3 but it's not something that has ever come up so might be a bit of a shock to mil. One of the reasons why I get so stressed about her visits Is though that I feel like I can't retreat at all..my room doesn't have a lock and she barges in (sometimes after knocking) all the time.

Fuzzy12
04-10-17, 02:07 AM
I'm thinking of adding:

Don't tell me I'm hurting fuzzling. I have no intention of doing so.

Would that be just petty? I know she just blurts it out without thinking but it annoys the hell out of me. Well her actual words are: 'don't hurt her!'. Am I being too sensitive? Too petty?

Fuzzy12
04-10-17, 02:09 AM
They don't sound harsh for this purpose. They would be harsh for someone you'd never met, but this is for a person who has been a real jerk in the past and who has now requested rules.

Oh no so it does sound harsh? Any idea on how I can sugarcoat them a bit?

Little Missy
04-10-17, 08:28 AM
Instead of handing her the manuscript, perhaps gently but firmly state what you wish at the time the opportunity comes up.

If I walked into a handed set of rules I'd start bawling and go back home.

Just a thought.

Fuzzy12
04-10-17, 08:36 AM
Instead of handing her the manuscript, perhaps gently but firmly state what you wish at the time the opportunity comes up.

If I walked into a handed set of rules I'd start bawling and go back home.

Just a thought.
She's asked for them Missy....

Little Missy
04-10-17, 08:43 AM
She's asked for them Missy....

Oh boy. Well, then give them to her.

Lunacie
04-10-17, 09:49 AM
Example: "Please don't come to my house today."

If I reword that as a fake positive, it comes across as an invitation for a different day. Often, I would not wish to imply a later invitation; in fact, I might be saying what I said to imply "...and the next hundred years aren't looking good either."

Too much can be lost in translation. Adult interactions can't be reduced to the level of swimming-pool rules, and confusion results if we try.

Another classic example: the so-called "golden rule", which has very often been stated as a fake positive, actually only works as the more natural negative - "Don't do to others what you wouldn't want done to yourself". Otherwise, when stated as a fake positive, it means that if I'd like some fish-eyeball soup, then the first thing I'm to do is give YOU some fish-eyeball soup! :)

How is telling someone what you DO want instead of what you DON'T want
a "fake positive?"

To me saying "Please don't come to my house today" is what leaves the other
person open to thinking another day will be fine. So I'm a little confuzzled
about what you mean with that.

Luvmybully
04-10-17, 10:46 AM
It is never in any way disrespectful to politely make a request that something not be done. In addition, it can be viewed as patronizing to reword obvious negative requests as positive ones, as if the person was not bright enough to know what you were trying to say.

If you ask everything in a negative way, that IS passive aggressive.

I do not at all agree that it is patronizing to states things that you DO want. There is no intent to fool anyone into thinking you are trying to say something else.

"I want this" is about as clear as you can possibly make it. That is the goal, to request what you DO want, (as in I want privacy in my room). Saying do not disturb me in my room is NOT more direct or any more clear than I want privacy in my room.

She is trying to have a POSITIVE, healthy, relationship with someone that she will have a LIFELONG relationship with.

Luvmybully
04-10-17, 10:57 AM
Yeah, after reading a couple of great parenting books, that's what I've learned.

If you're at the pool and tell your child "Don't run" what they hear is "run."
If you tell your child "Walk please" they hear "walk" and they're more likely
to walk instead of running and risking slipping on wet cement. Especially if
it's not an order that they are bound to ignore just to show independence.

To me it just makes sense that if this works with kids, it probably works with
adults as well, especially those who are acting selfish and childish. You are
saying "Leave me alone please" instead of "don't bother me." Adults really
don't want to be given orders by someone younger.

With children, it's the mental process that it takes to formulate an alternative.

If they are running and are asked, "Don't run", their brain does not INSTANTLY come up with an alternative. That's why if you tell them what TO do, it's a very clear, direct, non-confusion request.

Walk. Stop.

Simple, clear, and able to be followed instantly.

And yes, it DOES make sense to treat adults in the same, CLEAR, direct manner. No confusion about what you want.

Luvmybully
04-10-17, 11:05 AM
Example: "Please don't come to my house today."

If I reword that as a fake positive, it comes across as an invitation for a different day. Often, I would not wish to imply a later invitation; in fact, I might be saying what I said to imply "...and the next hundred years aren't looking good either."

Too much can be lost in translation. Adult interactions can't be reduced to the level of swimming-pool rules, and confusion results if we try.

Another classic example: the so-called "golden rule", which has very often been stated as a fake positive, actually only works as the more natural negative - "Don't do to others what you wouldn't want done to yourself". Otherwise, when stated as a fake positive, it means that if I'd like some fish-eyeball soup, then the first thing I'm to do is give YOU some fish-eyeball soup! :)

I still don't understand where you are getting "fake" from.

There is nothing fake, or even remotely confusing, about directly stating what you DO want.

In fact, it is FAR more open to interpretation to only say what you do NOT want. You don't want something?? Ok, well, what DO you want instead?

And the golden rule works beautifully. There is NOTHING fake or false about asking yourself how would *I* like to be treated?

Luvmybully
04-10-17, 11:52 AM
1. I do listen to and consider your advice and suggestions but please accept if I choose not to follow a suggestion. Also please understand that at times I'm too tired to debate every suggestion and trust me that I have heard you, considered the suggestion but have a good reason to do something differently.

2. Please don't feel rejected if I say No to anything. It doesn't mean I don't value you or appreciate you

3. I need more alone time than you may be used to. It doesn't mean I'm upset with you or feeling cold and distant. I will come out of my room as soon as I've recharged my batteries.

4. If I have already made plans, please don't try to change my plans.

I really like 3 but it's not something that has ever come up so might be a bit of a shock to mil. One of the reasons why I get so stressed about her visits Is though that I feel like I can't retreat at all..my room doesn't have a lock and she barges in (sometimes after knocking) all the time.



Fuzzy I don't think they are harsh, at all!

I only suggest you add a request for RESPECT of your parenting decisions.

And, absolutely, tell her NOT to even imply you are hurting Fuzzling. That is just crossing a line. This is offensive and completely uncalled for. Of course you are not hurting your own child!


More concise wording:
1. I value your advice and appreciate you wanting to help, but please accept if I choose not to follow it. Please do not expect me to justify all my decisions, it is very exhausting. I want you to TRUST me and hubby, that we are capable, responsible parents.

I think #3 is perfect. She should know this about you, if you expect her to cooperate.

sarahsweets
04-10-17, 12:27 PM
Btw, what does hubby say?
Does he mind these things?

I am of the opinion that ask for what I need instead of what I do not want or need is more clear to the person for whom it is intended.
I know she asked for ground rules but my gut is that this is a formality that she thinks will make her seem reasonable and judging from what you wrote, I cant see her abiding by them, I see her as trying to circumvent them-but I hope I am wrong.
I think being "general" yet sort of specific could work. I know that sounds backwards but I mean:
I need for you to respect my requests/wishes.
I need for you to let me be in charge of my child's routine, eating and sleeping schedule.
I need for you to allow me space when I request it.
I need for you to respect my decisions when it comes to advice you give...

Fuzzy12
04-10-17, 04:13 PM
1. I value your advice and appreciate you wanting to help, but please accept if I choose not to follow it. Please do not expect me to justify all my decisions, it is very exhausting. I want you to trust me and hubby, that we are capable, responsible parents.

2. Please don't feel rejected if I say No. It doesn't mean I don't value you or appreciate you

3. I need more alone time than you may be used to. It doesn't mean I'm upset with you or feeling cold and distant. I will come out of my cave as soon as I've recharged my batteries.

4. If I have already made plans, please don't try to change my plans.

5. Please don't tell me 'don't hurt fuzzling'. I have no intention to hurt her. It's very hurtful to hear.

I'm still in two minds about 5. Actually all of them but especially 3-5. Maybe I'm expecting too much. Maybe I'm making mountains out of molehills. Anyway I really need to send something to mil. She's going to be here in a couple of days.

I think 1 and 2 are the most important for me. I'm used to making my own decisions. I can't suddenly turn into a 5 year old anytime any of the parents visit. Besides, this might sounds haughty but I genuinely trust my own decision making and my knowledge more than mil's. At least when it concerns fuzzling.

Fuzzy12
04-10-17, 04:17 PM
Btw, what does hubby say?
Does he mind these things?

I am of the opinion that ask for what I need instead of what I do not want or need is more clear to the person for whom it is intended.
I know she asked for ground rules but my gut is that this is a formality that she thinks will make her seem reasonable and judging from what you wrote, I cant see her abiding by them, I see her as trying to circumvent them-but I hope I am wrong.
I think being "general" yet sort of specific could work. I know that sounds backwards but I mean:
I need for you to respect my requests/wishes.
I need for you to let me be in charge of my child's routine, eating and sleeping schedule.
I need for you to allow me space when I request it.
I need for you to respect my decisions when it comes to advice you give...

Yes hubby has huge arguments with her during every visit. They argue but then in the end he does what she wants anyway. She guilt trips him really badly. To be honest she's actually quite nice to me compared to hubby.

Anyway, in deliberately not discussing this with him. She's told me that she's asked hubby for ground rules as well but I don't want a common set of rules. This is my opportunity to ask for what is important to just ME.

Fuzzy12
04-10-17, 04:19 PM
1. I value your advice and appreciate you wanting to help, but please accept if I choose not to follow it. Please do not expect me to justify all my decisions, it is very exhausting. I want you to trust me and hubby, that we are capable, responsible parents.

2. Please don't feel rejected if I say No. It doesn't mean I don't value you or appreciate you

3. I need more alone time than you may be used to. It doesn't mean I'm upset with you or feeling cold and distant. I will come out of my cave as soon as I've recharged my batteries.

4. If I have already made plans, please don't try to change my plans.

5. Please don't tell me 'don't hurt fuzzling'. I have no intention to hurt her. It's very hurtful to hear.

I'm still in two minds about 5. Actually all of them but especially 3-5. Maybe I'm expecting too much. Maybe I'm making mountains out of molehills. Anyway I really need to send something to mil. She's going to be here in a couple of days.

I think 1 and 2 are the most important for me. I'm used to making my own decisions. I can't suddenly turn into a 5 year old anytime any of the parents visit. Besides, this might sounds haughty but I genuinely trust my own decision making and my knowledge more than mil's. At least when it concerns fuzzling.

Bumping this in case it gets lost on the previous page. Is there any way to sweeten then up? Like star suggested I think I'll. Preface the points with 'it would be helpful if you could do the following:'

stef
04-10-17, 04:19 PM
just skimming i would say, add on to n 4 re plans: "because its really important to (us /me ) to have structure with fuzzling" or something

5. use another word than " hurtful to hear" , maybe " upsetting to hear"

Johnny Slick
04-10-17, 06:49 PM
Or you could couch that in some other way, like "when you say that it makes me feel as though you are judging my parental skills and finding me wanting". That way it's more about your feelings than her behavior. The downside there is that you're being vulnerable with her and as such giving her an avenue to influence you, but such is the price that you sometimes pay by not being blunt.

Fuzzy12
04-10-17, 06:56 PM
OK I messaged her points 1-4. Took me an hour because I keep falling asleep. I hope I haven't messaged any rubbish.

Lunacie
04-10-17, 08:06 PM
The way you expressed point 1 was brilliant.

Point 5 is really a repeat of point 1, so don't worry about leaving that out of the email.

You may need to have a couple of phrases in mind for when she gets there just
to remind her of the new boundaries.

"I love Fuzzling. Please trust me/us to take good care of her."

"Please leave me alone, I'm still recharging my battery."

Fuzzy12
04-10-17, 10:30 PM
The way you expressed point 1 was brilliant.

Point 5 is really a repeat of point 1, so don't worry about leaving that out of the email.

You may need to have a couple of phrases in mind for when she gets there just
to remind her of the new boundaries.

"I love Fuzzling. Please trust me/us to take good care of her."

"Please leave me alone, I'm still recharging my battery."

Point 1 Luvmybully formulated and point 3 you did!! ;)

Lunacie
04-10-17, 10:48 PM
Point 1 Luvmybully formulated and point 3 you did!! ;)

I really need my alone time too.

It was my gramma-in-law that told me I wasn't doing things right with my
baby. My hubby talked to her, but she couldn't or wouldn't change. I stopped
going to visit her but hubby and daughter still went.

When she was 14 or so my daughter told her great-gramma that she wasn't
going to listen to her trash her mom anymore and she stopped going too.

With luck you're catching this early, setting some boundaries, letting her know that you will make mistakes but you do love your baby, and your family
won't get fractured like mine did.

Fuzzy12
04-11-17, 04:57 AM
Thinking about it....are these really ground rules? Am I not just stating the bleeding obvious? Wouldn't every adult want to be treated like this?

(Even children welcome and thrive I think if you allow them appropriate amounts of self control and determination.)

Fuzzy12
04-11-17, 05:18 AM
Mil has just replied with a pretty nice message accepting what I've said and saying she'll try not to intrude etc.

Phew so relieved now and grateful she's taken it well. She really doesn't mean bad. She's just used to being in charge and taking control and she's surrounded by people who welcome that and worship her for it.

I need to remember this. I feel resentful so easily but it helps if I keep reminding myself of the good things people have done for me. I need to do this for my sake because sometimes the resentment just eats me up. Even with mil there have been moments of extreme kindness and I need to remember those.

Luvmybully
04-11-17, 02:46 PM
Mil has just replied with a pretty nice message accepting what I've said and saying she'll try not to intrude etc.

Phew so relieved now and grateful she's taken it well. She really doesn't mean bad. She's just used to being in charge and taking control and she's surrounded by people who welcome that and worship her for it.

I need to remember this. I feel resentful so easily but it helps if I keep reminding myself of the good things people have done for me. I need to do this for my sake because sometimes the resentment just eats me up. Even with mil there have been moments of extreme kindness and I need to remember those.

Yes to your post above that these ARE just simple courtesies you'd THINK would be obvious.

And SO GLAD you got a positive response! That must be a huge relief!

Good for you for focusing on the good, it really does suck up way too much energy to fester resentment.

Hope you have a better visit this time!

Fuzzy12
04-11-17, 07:06 PM
Thanks so much everyone for helping me figure this out!!! I don't know what I'd do without you. :-)

dvdnvwls
04-11-17, 09:35 PM
I don't know what I'd do without you. :-)
Something else? :)

salleh
04-12-17, 03:26 AM
Fuzzy .....you got it kiddo .....and I'm with the putting things positively crowd .....do this rather than don't do that .....


the thing I want you to remember is this .....the Fuzzling is YOUR child and your's husband child .....when push comes to shove the decisions about her are yours as a couple .....you don't want to hurt your MIL feelings ....but this is the crux of the matter .....you need to feel safe in your own home .....free of constant nagging and criticism .....

....your MIL should not be the one calling the shots and getting her comfort by bossing you around ( which is, after all what she is trying to do) .....you are the new Mom, ( and doing quite well at that job from what I can tell i.e. using your finger for the cream ....)

....you should not have to give up your mental comfort in your own home with your own child so that she is comfortable with your child and your treatment of that child .....and yes you don't want to stomp all over her feelings, for many reasons ....all of which are an indication of the caring person you are ......but you shouldn't let her stomp all over yours either . sorry if I am beating this horse to death .....just not sure if I'm saying this clearly ( it's late and my MIL died before I married my ex ....and that woman scared the cr*p out of me! ).....

...And if you can get this squared away early, you guys will end up having a great relationship and things will go much more smoothly as the years roll by .....you don't want this tug of war to go on endlessly .....it is very smart to deal with it now ......


.....don't forget .....she's liable to slip quite a bit at first, but if you can somehow stop here when she starts to drive you crazy with these behaviors .....without jumping down her throat ....things will get better .....

...perhaps something like raising a finger and giving her the side eye, but smiling at the same time, when she goes off the rails .....it should gently remind her that she's going off the rails ...

...lastly .....get a dam*ed lock for your bedroom door ...or at least a do not disturb sign ....something that will make her stop and think before she barges in ....( I'd take someone's head off for that ! but I'm a witch !)

....Good luck sweetie ......I think you're doing wonderfully in one of the hardest jobs in the world ......

Fuzzy12
04-12-17, 03:42 AM
Hubby by accident woke fuzzling early today morning so I'm feeling tired and resentful. Not as charitable about anything including mil as I did yesterday..

..:lol:

We really need a lock for the bedroom. I don't understand why British houses don't have bedroom door locks. Maybe it's some sort of fire regulation but I've never seen this anywhere else.

She doesn't really barge in. She knocks and then immediately enters rather than waiting for me to call her in or open the door. I could ask her to not do that but in all fairness I don't want her to knock in the first place unless it's something important that can't wait.

The constant nagging is annoying but I don't think she could stop that. At least not easily. It's so ingrained in her to tell people what to do. I don't think she even realises when she's doing it. But not expecting me to listen to her I think that's not too much to expect.

finallyfound10
04-12-17, 04:13 AM
A "Do Not Disturb" sign on the bedroom door would keep her from knocking AND entering but a lock just keeps her from entering.

In the US some bedroom doors have locks and some don't. At my grandma's older house she had beautiful wooden doors with metal doorknobs with a keyhole beneath but at the house I grew up in there were no locks except on the bathroom doors.

Luvmybully
04-12-17, 11:35 AM
I would be absolutely LIVID if someone walked into my bedroom when the door is closed!

Put something heavy in front of it, so she can't push it open.

Little Missy
04-12-17, 12:26 PM
Oh for God's sake, get that fold over thing door locker already.

Fuzzy12
04-12-17, 12:29 PM
I would be absolutely LIVID if someone walked into my bedroom when the door is closed!

Put something heavy in front of it, so she can't push it open.

Well she knocks...and then immediately enters. :scratch:

Sunflower009
04-17-17, 02:47 PM
Hey Fuzzy I was just wondering how the visit went? I think your rules were great and absolutely necessary, I mean yes they should be obvious, but there are so many people out there who just don't see the obvious (myself included....)

I think the do-not-disturb sign is a good idea. My husband has been complaining a lot about us disturbing him when he is recharging, but he never actually tells me that he has shut the door to recharge. I wish he would put up a sign so I know when he really needs it, and when it's not an issue.