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Update/Clarification on my last post

emma5678's picture

Since there was a lot of confusion with my last post, I wanted to clarify some things. My SO's parents did not come back because they were tired of watching the kids. They were planning on staying here for the entire 2 weeks until school started. They constantly hovered around the kids while they were outside, herding the kids around while they were outside. They got irritated that the kids wanted to stay inside and play with their own toys that they haven't been able to play with for the 5 weeks that they were gone. SO's dad usually doesn't have an exact date, but has never left without at least a 24 hour notice first. Getting a 24 hour notice before leaving would have been a lot better for everyone, including and especially the kids.

It was a huge help that they took the kids for the summer and we are grateful that they kept them for as long as they did. However, they also feel "entitled" to have the kids during the summer. Before they even came to get them, they were complaing that if the kid's mother got them for the first 6 weeks of the summer, that their time would be cut short. There is a 99% chance that they would be really irriated if my SO told them that they couldn't take them next summer.

There also weren't that many rules, and some of them were only supposed to be for a couple days. We wanted to waterproof seal the new back steps as soon as possible because they are in the sun all day long, some of them already started to crack slightly. GM couldn't seem to understand this. She also doesn't know how to show by example, and was trying to get the kids to do things their father asked them not to do. On Thursday, she sat on the steps and said to the kids out of nowhere "I know I'm not supposed to be sitting here, but I am clean. I can't do anything around here." She was not told she couldn't do anything around here, she was just asked not to do 3 simple things (don't tap on their window for them to come outside, not to tell them to go get the mail, and not tell the kids they could do something that their father told them not to). Since they left thursday, we were finally able to get the steps clean and dry without the kids even trying to go near them, and we didn't even have to tell them again. The kids can listen about not doing some stuff if it is something that they don't really care to do to begin with.

As for the rules that were "too strict" for the kids, ever since the GP's left, none of those rules have been an issue. They haven't been wanting to go outside even when they were told that they could. When they go outside, they actually like using their reusable bottles.

As for my SO not wanting them to take their piggy banks/money in their room. There was a few reasons for that. Their money wasn't in their piggy banks at the time. The one that got moved was the one that the lid wasn't sealed on. They had no idea if that change was theirs or not, and which bin belonged to whom. We have our air vents in the floor, and there are no screens or anything to prevent things from falling down in them to where we wouldn't be able to get them back. We still need to get screens for the vents so that they don't have to worry about losing their small toys in the vents as well. We really don't want $40 or $80 worth of change sitting inside the air vents if they aren't careful with their change. The kids have also talked about wanting to save up for more expensive items, but then other times they just want to spend their money on random things that kids like. My SO wanted to sit them both down and talk to them about money, ask them if they wanted him to put some of their money up so that it is safe from getting lost. Start trying to teach them the value of a dollar and all that fun stuff. 

As for GM, she was not pleasant to me the entire time, even though I never said anything mean to her, and I let her have her space. SO and GF know that she can be a handful and sometimes ignore her when she gets in one of her moods. She was saying things in front of the kids that they didn't need to hear. She was telling the kids how awful I am, even though the kids have no issue with me when she is not around (and also when their mother isn't lying to them about me). She was making rude comments to me and in front of me just to get under my nerves. On Thursday, she had a lot of comments. Also, as soon as the kids went outside she sent them over to me to ask if I would be watching them in the pool, that neither of them would be watching the kids today. I was outside at the time, she could have came over and asked me herself. After that, she kept sending the kids inside about 4 more times to ask if they could get in the pool. She knew that I wouldn't want to be outside watching them as long as she was outside constantly making rude comments to me/about me. She hurt the kids by reminding them/telling them to ask me. She knows I work from home and I can't just watch the kids in the pool whenever she feels it is the right time. If she was that worried about the kids getting in the pool, she could have watched them. If she doesn't want to watch them in the pool, that is fine too; just don't keep reminding the kids about it/have them come ask me every 30 minutes. Since they left, the kids haven't been asking me as much because they know that I have work I need to do, and that when I can take a break, I will let them know I will watch them in the pool. Even my SO was irritated about a lot of her comments.

I have never been mean to her, I have never said anything mean to her. I have been pleasant to her while she was here. The only thing I have done that she thought was wrong was turning on our front lamp post without coming out to ask them if it was okay. I have tried being nice to her even though I don't like her for the kids. If she has an issue with me, she should come to me with those issues, not go to the kids and complain. As soon as they got here, the younger son asked me why me and her don't like each other. he never would have known anything about the issues if it wasn't for her talking about it/saying things to them. She was purposely crossing SO's rules and boundaries because she thought they were my rules, and was doing everything she could to break what she thought were my rules and to try to irriate me even more.

Meanwhile, the kids are having trouble adjusting to being back home with their father. The younger son keeps having accidents in his pants. Something that he had no issues with months before they left, except for when he was sick. When he gets stressed out, or feels pulled between the adults in his life, or just getting used to changes, he has more accidents. But nothing like the amount and times that he has been having this past week. We were trying to slowly get them back onto their schedules while the grandparents were still here so that they didn't have to deal with a changing schedule, the grandparents leaving, and the unnecessary drama from GM all at the same time. SO asked her to follow some things because he knows what the kids need to be able to adjust. It didn't help that she then told them to do the exact opposite, being torn between who they should be listening to and which rules to follow. It doesn't matter if she doesn't agree with some of the things, but she should still respect what their father said. If she had an issue with it, she should have talked to SO at the time instead of just doing what she wanted after he left. The older son is having problems adjusting as well.


twoviewpoints's picture

meh. you're too high strung and high maintenance for this grandma. 

You'de be told to watch the kids next summer yourself or hire it done. You don't 'pay' enough to put up with all your drama. If you decide to 'punish' me by withholding the grands? Well, I will survive. 

I can assure you that five weeks with the little darlings was no picnic nor was packing two kids up and hauling their buns all the way back home. Two kids in a vehicle , let alone a motorhome is no treat. 

And if I'm such a terrible influene on the kids that it takes you weeks an weeks if not months to settle back into routine, why in the world would you be asking me to ever babysit the kids agin. Trust me, while I love my grands, I have much other things I could do with my summer than come get your kids, be your free sitter and deliver them back when you finally say I can bring them. (*rolls eyes*)




Livingoutloud's picture

She is trying to say that if she was grandma in your situation she would not put up with this and would stop watching the kids all together and you’d had to hire someone for the next summer 

emma5678's picture

You are the one who created drama. Not following your stepsons couple things that he asked of you while here. He was even irriated with you while you were here. But he wasn't going to say anything to you, because he didn't want his father to have to deal with it on the ride home.

If it was no picnic taking the kids for 5 weeks and traveling in an RV, take that up with your husband. He is the one who was upset that your guy's time with the kids would be cut short if BM took them for her 6 weeks of the summer. If you are tired of watching the kids, then let your husband take care of them more while they are with you. Also, it wouldn't have been as rough of a trip if you would have traveled during the middle of the week. Your husband decided to leave on a friday afternoon and traveling on a weekend, the same weekend that a lot of people go on their last trips for the summer before kids go back to school.

SO is the one who let you take the kids for the summer. Your husband is the one who jumped at the chance to take them for the summer, before your stepson even asked you guys to take them. He wasn't going to say no to his dad because he wants your husband to spend time with the kids. He had no idea that you would treat them differently this year compared to how you have in the past. I have no problem watching them for longer in the summer, but SO knows I have to work and wouldn't be able to spend more time with the kids and interact with them all day. So when your husband offered to take them, he wasn't going to say no. If you have more important things to do, even though you don't work, then let your husband take care of the kids more while they are with you guys. Your husband talks to your stepson, and your husband has told him that he gets irritated that you don't help more around the house, and that you are usually sitting and playing on your phone most of the day. While your husband is busting his butt to take care of the house, and the other property that you own, and making sure all of the bills get paid.


While I wish I could say all of this to you, I know that doing so would cause issues. I try to avoid issues while you are here by staying in the house, but even that isn't good enough for you. You like it when I come outside so that you can say mean things to me and about me(right in front of the kids) that are unwarranted because you want me to get angry. I have never said one mean thing to you or in front of you. I've never said anything in front of the kids either, and I try my hardest to keep the drama away from them. When you were here in July you were talking about how everyone was different and we all need to just accept people for who they are. Well I have accepted you for who you are, why can't you do the same for me? Respect that I need alone time, that I avoid confrontation, that I avoid drama by staying away from you (just like your husband and stepson do when they are annoyed with you).

Harry's picture

if anyone bad mouth me in my own home !!! No matter who it is !!!  Just disengage from MIL and FIL.  You might have to paid for some summer care for the kids.  Like camps ,  sport camp, computer camp ?  Space camp ?  Or sleep a way camp.  That might be better for all.  

You basically have a year to figure out what to do.  You can look at local web sites ,  Now it’s the time to ask questions of friends about what there kids did, how they liked it.  

emma5678's picture

Thanks for that. I was beginning to think I was the crazy one. Just because the GP took them for the summer does not mean that I (or even SO) should have to deal with their disrepect and feel trapped in my own home. They wanted to take the kids for the summer. Don't use that as a reason to step all over the boundaries once you get back.

I also don't see how asking for a heads up that they are on the way back is wrong. What if SO and I had went on a weekend getaway, thinking that they weren't going to be back until later? We were actually talking about painting the living room before they got back, and we would have started that Saturday if we chose to do it. If we would have done that, all of the stuff from the living room would probably have been in their rooms out of the way. That would have been a huge mess to deal with once they showed up. Do we need to ask their permission and when they would be heading back every couple hours to make sure they didn't just hop on the road without saying a single word?

ESMOD's picture

You don't think there are that many rules... but based on GM's reaction... she clearly felt you were putting a lot of rules out there.  You say you "do nothing" to her.. but I have a feeling that you aren't as good at hiding your feelings to her.. and that is probably part of the problem you do have with her.  Honestly, from an outside observer you do seem to have a lot of rules and preferences and I don't think you are a very flexible person.  I am not saying that you are a BAD person... but you do seem to need to control a lot of what goes on. 

So, that being said, you really do only have a couple of choices.. either stop the summers with grandparents and deal with the kids yourself... learn how to zen out a little bit on this stuff and not get too tied up in knots over what the grandparents are doing with relation to the kids. 

Honestly, if the grandparents were there watching the kids I would be like "don't burn the house down... and I will be working in my office".. I wouldn't give them rules at all really....They watch the kids.. they set the rules.  If you don't trust them to make reasonable judgements with the kids then there is NO WAY these kids should be sent to their house.  Seriously.. either these people are competent enough to watch them or not.  I think that they feel micromanaged by you... and I think the kids do a bit too... the grands pick up on your negative feelings and it makes for an unhappy 2 weeks for you.  If you still do the visit with them next year.. maybe it would be better to curtail their time at your home to only a week?  or... maybe that would be a good time for you to plan a

emma5678's picture

I'm not always the best at hiding my feelings/facial expressions.

A little bit of background though... GM and GF get into arguments a lot, and sometimes he will just go up to their other property alone just to get away from her for a week. He can't stand her moods a lot, and will just ignore her. My SO has ignored her at times in the past too when she is in one of her moods. Everyone knows how she can be, and I was warned that sometimes the smallest thing will set her off.... When they were here is July, she did a lot of weeding and everything because she wanted to. My SO asked her were the black pieces were that were in the planter boxes and she just went off being pissed off and irritated.

The first time they were here, everything was fine for days. Then one day, I decided to stay inside all day, i'm an introvert and like time to myself, and she had an issue with it and took it personally. I didn't think I had to explain my every action to her. That night, she had an issue with me turning the front post light on, because I didn't ask her if it was okay first. First, I didn't know they were sitting out there in the dark, and I don't believe I should have to ask to do certain things in my own home, especially that noone else would have had an issue with.

When they came back down, the first night, I was trying to turn the front porch light on so that I could see to dump the grass I swept up from inside the house, and accidently turned the side light on that shines right where they park. My dad was sitting out there at the time, and when i walked out of the door, I said "sorry about that" and got a reply from her "its okay." Apparently It shined right in my dad's face, but he didn't say anything. The whole time since then, all I have heard from her was negative remarks. She could have weeded again, did whatever she wanted to do outside, etc. But she was asked to not tell the kids to do something that their father didn't want them doing. Yes, their father. I just reminded them.

I can be flexible, but I am not even the one who made the rules that actually got passed along to everyone else. I didn't even say anything to the kids or the GP's when they broke the rules, just passed the information along to their father. The first time she was here, she borrowed my dads hand clippers and then lost them. I was irritated, but I didn't let her know that. I just said that its fine, we will find them. Even helped her look for them. Made a comment that we all lose things and sometimes they turn up in the most unusual places later. 

>>but you do seem to need to control a lot of what goes on. 

Thats kind of funny that you say that. When the kids BM took the kids to visit GP's a few summers back, GM was upset that BM was not following their house rules, not rinsing her feet off before getting in the pool, etc. But then she comes here, and she needs to make the rules here too? If she expects people to follow her rules, then why can't she respect other people's rules? Even the first time she was here, she had to control when the kids eat and what they could have. SO told the kids what they would have for lunch in front of her, and then not too long after "i'm making them sandwiches for lunch."

The other part was, once the kids got back, I was supposed to be watching the kids. I wasn't going to stop them from going outside and hanging out with the grandparents or anything. But as soon as the kids go outside, she has to herd them around like sheep. Why don't you come with me and do this, why don't you go get a book to read, better put that book back before she gets irritated.. right after she said that last one, I told the son that he could continue reading it outside if he really wanted to, because I never said he couldn't take books outside and neither did his father. It seems like no matter what I do (or don't do), she has an issue with it. She had an issue that I stayed inside that one day last time, then the next time its like she had an issue that I came outside at all while they were here. I am not bending to her rules and her comments in my own home to appease her.

The kids have had no issues with me since the GP's left. They listened to the couple rules, they come to show me things and talk to me.

ESMOD's picture

I guess you will need to weigh the benefit of a step kid free summer against long visits with a woman that is difficult to deal with...I would have my dh relay all rules or requests...only have interactions that are positive...if she is in a mood giving e ber space and plan out of the house escapes for yourself

emma5678's picture

That is essentially what we did this time. I also didn’t want to just leave everyday though because I was supposed to be the one watching them (giving GP’s a break) and helping them get back onto their schedules.  Ok Sunday night she even made a comment about being off duty, they weren’t going to open their door until t least 12pm. And made it seem like that is how it was going to be for the entire time that they were here. But then had an issue that they were inside until 2:30 and had to have them with her at all times when they were outside. 

Livingoutloud's picture

I think it’s up to SO to “remind” grandma what rules he set up for her.

You just moved in and you already alienated his mother. It would be much better if you refrain from reminding his parents what they aren’t allowed to do. These aren’t your kids. And they aren’t your parents or even parents in law.

I am very particular about how I run our house (my DH is laud back) but I can’t imagine DH going around reminding my parents what they aren’t allowed to do. That’s a sure way successfully alienate everyone.

I think your role of rule enforcer with his kids and parents is a tricky one. Do you get paid for babysittung? Did SO told you to be his messenger and rule enforcer? This arrangement isn’t working for you as as soon as you moved in there are ton of complains and issues.

Why don’t you get a job outside of house? Why work at home if it creates issues? 

emma5678's picture

I didn't remind the GM at all. I reminded the kids when they got up/before they go outside. They often forget about things from the night before. This hasn't been an issue since the GP's left. The few rules were spelled out to both GP's and both kids earlier in the week/the nights before. I just reminded the kids alone before they went outside. When they eventually broke those rules later in the day, I just let it be at the time and told SO when he got home. Just like I do when the GP's aren't here.

We never expected that the GP's (Especially GM) wouldn't listen to the couple rules when SO told them (I wasn't even outside with them at the time). From what SO said, they seemed fine with it and understood at the time. But then later after they let the kids do it anyway, and SO confronted them, they were all like "yea, we let them do it. we told them they could."

The GP's were only here for 6 days in July and 6 days in August. The other 50 weeks out of the year, things are fine and there are no issues because they aren't around. I could go to the library to work while the GP's visit, but I honestly don't feel comfortable leaving them free reign in the house with noone here. If they can't respect my SO's couple rules, why would I think that they would respect my stuff in the house? I am not going to lock it all up in a storage unit just so that it is safe when they are here. Some of the stuff is very special from my childhood that cannot be replaced.

Also, GM seems to have a problem with everything that I do. If I remind the kids of Dad's rules and kids say something to her about me reminding them (i'm not sure if they did this or not TBH), they become my rules even though SO told them first. If I were to not care about SO's rules and let them do the opposite, they would complain about that too "you know she doesn't follow your rules while you are at work, why do you even let her watch them."

After the GP's left, my SO finally told me how irritated he was with GM and a lot of her comments. He was even irritated that his dad left/showed up without a little bit more warning. This was the first time he has done this.

Livingoutloud's picture

Some stuff I am just awfully confused about. You didn’t do stairs the entire time but they had to be done exactly during those two weeks grandma was visiting? Why is it a big deal to wait two weeks. It was no rush to do them all summer for the past two months you two moved there, what’s the rush now? 


emma5678's picture

It was raining almost every day while they were gone. The rain finally disappeared the weekend right before they showed up. We got it put up that weekend when we finally were able to. A few days later we noticed a couple of the steps cracking around the screws. We were going to seal it a couple days later on Saturday (the day they showed up) or Sunday depending on how long it took to dry after cleaning it. Now it is supposed to start raining again starting Thursday for the next week again. It needs to be rain free for 24-48 hours after sealing them.