I moved last year, and I am living in the same city as my mother for the first time in a decade. We got along fantastic before I had kids. Since the children – and even more so since we’ve lived in the same city – our relationship seems to have devolved into a bicker-fest. I feel like she’s constantly trying to one-up me. I know this sounds ridiculous, just bear with me.
My mother has this way of turning everything about my kids into a competition. It’s like she’s on a constant quest to prove how much better of a mother she is than me. It’s so annoying, and I’m at a loss for how to make it stop.
My son is three-years-old. He can throw an epic tantrum – and does on occasion. It happens at random times. Whenever I pick him up from her house, she makes a point of saying, “He was so good! He didn’t act up at all! He never acts up over here. He’s always so gooooood.” The thing is – no he isn’t. His tantrums are random, and he’s definitely had them around her. I don’t understand her need to make it seem like he only acts up around me. She also has this crazy habit of saying things like, “Oh. He doesn’t want to go home with you. He’s crying. He gets so sad when he has to go home.” What?
She also micromanages absolutely every parenting move I make; Don’t you think you should put a sweater on him? Are you sure he’s ready for milk? I don’t think he wants to nap. Are you sure he should be eating that? He needs to start daycare. He’s ready to go outside. It’s too cold for him to go outside, isn’t it? The list goes on and on and on.
I guess I could have more patience and justify every decision I make with an explanation – but why? Why can’t she just trust that I know what I am doing? Why question every, single thing I do regarding my child? I’m a good mother. My kids are happy and healthy. This makes absolutely no sense.
I tried to ignore it for a while, but honestly it’s negatively affecting our relationship. I try to explain it to her – but she stops for a little while and then just starts up the behavior again. Is this just how grandmothers are? When “mom” becomes “grandma,” does she naturally evolve into a total pain in the ass?
Oh, and God forbid I ever admit to having my hands full. If I ever dare mention this, it’s always Well, when you all were kids – there were five of you! Can you imagine that? It’s always a competition of hardship. I guess sometimes I just want my mother to acknowledge that I work hard and I’m doing a good job. I want her to trust my decisions instead of second guessing every, single one. I want her to be the supportive mom she was before I had kids. Problem is, I just don’t see that woman returning anytime soon.
(photo: Getty Images)