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Family problems

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ok, first off i just need to vent this to get it off my chest, and second I'm hoping maybe someone will have some good advice for me. To say the least, I'm having family problems.

As background you need to know that for years , as long as I can remember my mom has been very controlling. she likes to have input on my life in all areas- how my marriage is run, who watches my kids, how I spend my money and what I do in my social life. Now, I love my mom- don't get me wrong. But she has always driven me crazy with this obsessive need to control me.

So the way I have it worked out, she watches my kids on tuesdays and Fridays while hubby and I work. So this week she cancelled today, Tuesday at the last minute and I had to call in sick to work for lack of someone to watch the kids. So she called me a little while ago and I asked her if Friday was still on. Hubby has his only vacation time for the year this weekend and hes going camping with a friend Friday day and night- so once she heard that she said she wouldn't babysit. She said it was his duty (even though he spends a lot of time with his kids and watches them all the time) and that she wouldn't do it. I told her fine, and that I'd find a sitter for them and we ended the call.

So a few minutes ago my dad called me, saying mom was in tears and told me that he didn't want me calling anymore for them to watch the kids and to leave them the F*** out of their lives.

I am beoynd hurt- I was trying to take care of my own affairs and arrange care for my kids for one night and he accused me of never being home with them.

I feel like I want to just cut them out of my life, and end this insane control game- but they are my parents and in the end my kids lose to by not seeing their grandparents.

Someone help..
post #2 of 14
I'm so sorry you are having this problem Melissa. It's hard when you can't depend on family. They are the people that you should be able to depend on.

All I can say is that people say things that they later regret when they are angry. I'm sure your father does not want you out of their lives. Unfortunately, you have learned that you cannot trust your mother's word and that is a hard thing to deal with. I would not trust her to babysit for you anymore. It sounds like your mother controls your father by her emotions too.

Well I can see have not been a great help, but know that I empathize with you. We are here if you need a shoulder.
post #3 of 14
How frustrating! All parents needs some time to themselves to do things they want - for the sake of their marriage & their children!

I would imagine the comment about staying out of their lives was out of frustration because her manipulation attempt didn't succeed as planned. It sounds like it's not a good idea to depend on them for babysitting in the future, but I'm sure once they calm down they'll decide they do want to see the kids again.

Just an idea...wait a while until you are in a better mood, then try writing them a short letter - just send a pretty note card, and tell them that you appreciate all they've done for you, and the time & effort they've spent with your children. Let them know that you don't want to burden them with babysitting anymore since it's caused difficulties between you, but that you would still enjoy having them in you & your childrens lives. Perhaps let them volunteer a date to take the kids, so they'll feel it's at their convenience and not yours. Plus then you won't be depending on having them take the kids at a time when you need someone more reliable. Sometimes it's easier to communicate in a letter, so you have time to sort out your thoughts and can say your piece without being run over - plus they can read it and think it through.

Hope this helps
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well, we have another issue now

My hubby came home from work and saw me crying and he wrote a not so nice (nothing nasty, just very blunt) letter to them about being tired of their tyring to control us and that he didn't want them to call here in case they might upset me again, but that they know where we live if they want to talk. Hes on his way there now to stick it to the door for them to find when they get home- i assume they've gone out since they didn't pick up the phone when he tried to call.

I'm just so tired of all the fighting going on amoung the people in my life in the last little bit. Hubbys best friend isn't speaking to us at the moment because of a misunderstanding and it happens that his girlfriend is my best friend- so I haven't seen her in over a week.

I just feel so powerless to stop all this , and so alone.
post #5 of 14

I hope it gets better for you soon.
post #6 of 14

I'm sorry to hear of your family strife.
It's never easy with family. My ex-husband's parents were extremely controlling and always brought out the worst in me (I'm generally a very easy going individual).

You and your husband do need quality time away from the children. You are not being selfish and should not feel guilty.

It's stressful to find babysitters at the last minute. Perhaps you could start looking (through neighbors, co-workers, acquaintances, etc) for some good standbys.

Hopefully you'll work things out with your folks.

Maybe a counselor could offer some help? - advice on how to handle the situation with your difficult parents better without making matters worse. . .

Good luck.

post #7 of 14
I am so sorry to hear this. I don't have any advice, but my thoughts are with you.
post #8 of 14
Deffinatly get a new sitter! You are now an adult and they should treat you as such.

As for the children needing their grandparents...are they going to pick up on the controling behavior and mimic it as they get older? I would suggest that you all get counceling and that would be the condition of visiting the grandchildren.
post #9 of 14
I agree Nora, she seems to control your father with her emotions. Best advice is to let things cool down and explain to your mother that:

--Your husband works hard and needs some vacation time and that you were just asking for some help with the kids from someone you trust completely.

My Mom gets emotional like that too. Best thing I've learned it never try to be right with your parents, it just pushes the issue deeper into a hole you don't want nor be in. Just try a talk, an understanding talk.
post #10 of 14
Hello Melissa.

I'm so sorry to hear about your situation, I agree with the others that a sitter might be an option - That's a really nasty thing your father said it's like the other day my Nana said to me

" Do I only hear from you when you wont something, I feel like I'm being used" and then she laughed I found this offensive I had homework that day and couldn't be bothered to talk about it.

I don't really have any advice, I just hope things get better for you.

Keep us posted.


post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help guys. I found another sitter- she watched my kids a few times last school year. Shes great and lives just down the street from their school, so she can pick them up when they're done and watch them until I get home at 5:30. I'm going to get a few back ups in case she can't watch them for some reason.
post #12 of 14
Melissa, I'm sorry, but I'm going to say this straight out. How DARE they behave that way to you! If that's their idea of correct and loving family behavior then your kids really don't need them in their lives. They'll just teach the kids to lie and disrespect other people. If they don't want to be involved, then don't involve them. Find someone who's willing to work with you on the child care issue (you may find a stay-at-home Mom that would be willing to work things out for you--I have a friend who can't wait for us to have babies so she can babysit regularly). If your hubby has parents who treat you right then focus on them instead. You don't that kind of treatment as a working Mom.

I see that others have commented on your Mom controlling your Dad with emotions. It appears that your Mother is just controlling (that's what she's trying to do to you and your husband through this behavior), but your Dad should have protected you from that selfishness on her part. My Mom tries to control through emotions too and I no longer react when she cries (neither does my Dad). You may have to steel yourself to be able to deal with both of them in the future. Right now I'd recommend staying away from them. What they did was wrong, both of them.
post #13 of 14
Melissa -- I'm so sorry! I know what it's like having "Family Feud" happening right in your own life. Just tell everybody that look, this is how you feel, this is what you need. If they can't do that, then it's their problem. Just make sure you and your hubby and your kids are OK. That's what I've had to do with Alex. I put us and our well-being first, and then working things out with our dads (who hate each other and hate the fact that they are going to be related through us, once we're married) comes after that.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for the replies. I'm still dealing with guilt feelings- my parents are infamous for guilt-tripping- even though I don't think I'm in the wrong here.

I'm backing off and staying away completely until I decide what the best course is for this.
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