Sunday, January 31, 2010


It started when I asked her to pick up the pretzel fish she spilled, on purpose. She stuck her tongue out at me and I told her if she did it again, she will have a time out for being sassy. That led to another sass and a complete down slide of behavior....

This is my daughter. And some days are better than others. It's been okay lately, but yesterday we had a blow up and my mom was over. After Ari was sent to her room and told not to come out until she was ready to do her time out, my mother decided to share her thoughts with me about how the Supernanny helped a family with a child that had an issue such as this. Granted, this was the first time my mom has ever witnessed Ariana have a full blown "episode" (as we call them). However at that exact moment, in the heat of your child screaming she hates you and is slamming her door and kicking it, the last thing a parent wants to hear is how to be a better parent. The timing of that sucks and I didn't let it slide. I just couldn't. So, as politely and as restrained as I could, I said "mom, we've watched Supernanny and own two of her books, this is not our first time dealing with her like this." And apparently, I hurt my mother's feelings. Or something did, although I'm sure I didn't help.

So I watched her get ready to leave our home and could see how she was trying to hold herself together. Ari was still in her room and refusing to come out to even say goodbye to grandma. As I'm trying to keep my cool from losing it completely over my child's behavior and now having pissed off my mom unintentionally, I can feel my body tighten. My stress level has officially gone through the rough and I start beating myself up that I hurt my mother's feelings.

Ari is fine within 10 minutes of grandma leaving after her dad talks her down from her "episode." But the rest of the night, this sticks with me. I call my mother this morning to chat and she apologizes for being upset last night. She said Ari had been working diligently on a craft that she wanted to give me and couldn't wait for me to see it...and then she went off after I asked her to pick up her snacks. I popped off some reply about "that's normal at our house and it's not the first time it's happened." She asked about something else and then said she had to get off the phone. Now, that NEVER happens...usually one is trying to get off the phone with her as she likes to chat.

At this point, it's obvious I've pissed her off. And it pisses me off. Why do I have to pay for this? And why do I end up being the one to fix it. Because that's what I do. It's just so goddamn tiring though. I vent to J that in the middle of a freak out from my child that I don't want to hear about parenting techniques and whatnot. Save that for later on after things are calmed down. She knows this is an ongoing issue off and on for us and we are seeing the pedi this week to discuss some possibly causes. I check my voice mail on my cell phone this evening after I get a text and see my mom called me this morning. She wanted to apologize for interfering and is very tearful.

I hate that I feel like an ass for doing what is right for my family. For standing up and saying "no, please don't discuss this with me right now." She rarely interferes with anything like this and I don't recall a time that I've had to step up and say back off, although a few times it's come close. My mom is not one of those overbearing grandmas who tell me how to parent my kids. But I just couldn't take listening to her words yesterday. And I said something.

I'm upset that this is an issue that I'm obviously going to have to resolve. I don't feel like I should have to resolve anything and that it's crazy this happened.

I'll be posting about Ari later this week....that's a whole post in itself


Chrissi said...

It's not your job to apologize for establishing an appropriate boundary with your mom. The problem is hers. Let her work it out on her own and come to you.

I had a MIL with this same problem several years ago - only occasionally overstepping her place. At the worst possible moment. She came around. ;)

~ Chrissi

Jamie said...

Boundaries are such a hard thing. It sucks that to establish them makes you feel bad, it shouldn't. I am not "downing" your mom but it should have been obvious to anyone that was not the time or place to discuss parenting styles. We are struggling with the same type isues with DD1 and will also be visiting the doctor later this week to explore medication options. Therapy did nothing for her. It is such a hard thing to be doing your damndest(sp?) to help your kid and nothing you say or do seems to make it any better. I will be thinking of you tons this week and hope you can find some answers. (((HUGS)))

Anonymous said...

Is there some kind of mom handbook that states that daughters will forever piss off their mothers and then feel guilty about it? I always feel guilty when my mom is upset with me, whether it was something I did intentionally or not. I hate how she has that power over me!

Anonymous said...

I don't think you have anything to apologize for. It may have been a bad time for her to mention something, and you blew up because it was an already heated moment. It's done. If your mom is still harnessing feelings about it, you can't NOT control that. You CAN control how you react to it. If you allow yourself to get dragged in by other people's emotions, you're letting everyone else control how you act...and react to everything. It's not up to you. Don't make it your issue. It is your choice how (or IF) you handle this. Set a boundary, be strong and let it go.