Need help with drawing a big boundary with my mom, please!
My trip is still a ways away, but since this realm of boundaries to protect my DD is new, I feel like I need to figure some things out in advance so when the time comes to implement the boundaries, I am well-versed and confident.
I need to tell a short story about some cousins of mine, because I feel it relates and is telling with how my mom will feel/take my boundary.
I have cousins; one is male (we'll call him Mark) and one is female (we'll call her Andrea). Andrea is bi-polar and, frankly, falls WAY off her rocker frequently and is very, very cruel. She lives with their mother, my aunt. Mark married with two children. Ever since his wife entered the picture, Andrea has made it a point to actively hate her and be hateful toward her whenever she can. Mark and his wife invited Andrea to their wedding despite her nasty behavior, and since Andrea was irate that she wasn't walking her brother down the aisle (don't ask), she caused a huge scene at their wedding.
Because of her behavior, Mark and his wife decided that Andrea wouldn't be allowed around their children, and she wouldn't hold them. They just didn't trust her to not fall off her rocker. They communicated clearly to my aunt that Andrea was not to hold or be around their son (he is their first born). Mark went to my aunt's house to help her paint one day and had to bring their son, who at the time was an infant. My aunt was watching the baby while Mark painted, and decided to break the agreement and went to Andrea and allowed her to hold the baby. My aunt took photos of Andrea holding him, which Andrea posted on FB, which is how Mark and his wife found out that this happened. Now, the only time my aunt sees her grandchildren is at Mark and his wife's home or at large family functions (like our annual family reunion). The babies aren't allowed at her home, period.
When all of this went down, my mom was upset and said that my aunt was "put in the middle by Mark and his wife." I don't see it this way; I see it that my aunt put herself in the middle by disregarding her son and DIL's wishes. I can remember my mom bitching about how wrong it was of Mark and his wife to do this.
I spoke with Mark and his wife to get some pointers on how they navigated the new territory that came with having kids and the crazies. His wife suggested I be very, very clear with my wishes and expectations. I want to do that with my mom and dad, but I'm not sure of WHEN and HOW to communicate this to them.
My DH suggested waiting until I arrive in the states, but had no suggestions on how to say it to them. I was thinking of saying something like, "We do not want either of my brothers nor my SIL to hold or play with DD. We know that although you both may not understand or agree with this, that you will respect it. Thank you in advance for respecting our wishes."
My BFF told me that if we are at a family function (which we will be; there are a few family parties at which my entire family will be) and one of my brothers or my SIL magically ends up with my DD, to just go up to them and say, "It's time for DD to eat," or "She's due for a new diaper," and just take her away.
I am not sure if I want to clearly spell out that I don't want them to play with or hold her, though. My mom is the type where she twists everything and fabricates stories to make me look like the most demonic person to ever have existed when it comes to my brothers, and since I'd be communicating this verbally (unless I choose to do it via email before we arrive), she would undoubtedly twist my words and tell everyone how sad it is that her only granddaughter can't be held or played with by DD's uncles and aunt. When I think of this, my BFF's approach seems best. But then I second guess that and think it is better to be clear, and that I don't need to defend myself to anyone.