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Old 07-23-2010, 07:22 AM   #1
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Need Grandparent advise

I really need some unbiased advise - desparatly.

My mother has always been a character. She has drank my whole life - smoked, too. I would classify her as an alcoholic. She goes to the bar atleast 5 times a week. She drinks at home EVERY single day. I have discovered she has secretly drank before seeing me and my son - she knows I won't bring him around her if she has been drinking so she chugged beer before we got there and forgot to hide the bottles. She curses like a sailor although she is able to curb her tongue around my son (who is 3 by the way). She, obviously, does not think she has a probalem at all and always tells me that smoking and drinking is just "who she is" and gets upset that I try to "make her someone she is not".

My stance: I CANNOT expose my precious innocent baby to alcohol, smoking, cursing. I just can't do it. My husband is behind me 100%. We go out of our way not to watch vulgar TV shows, we choose our company very carefully - just last week we were getting a quote for a new roof and my husband stopped the meeting in the middle and asked the men to leave because they were cursing with my son standing right there. I know he will be exposed to the real world soon enough but I think it is my duty as a parent to protect him from as much evil as possible until it is absolutley necessary.

The delima: My mom and I have been able to coexist peacefully up until now. She agrees not to smoke, curse or drink (expect that one time but who knows how many times she was successful in hiding the bottles) around the baby. We don't talk about her lifestyle - she won't listen to reason so we just leave it out of our conversations.

Her cousin, Eddie, came to visit from TX and is staying with her. Eddie is a male version of my mother and about 3x worse than her in everything he does - curses like you would NOT believe, drinks ALL the time and smokes like a chimney. I have never been rude to Eddie but I have told my mother that I can't let him be around the baby. This really upset her but I cannot waiver. So, Eddie came in last month for a "visit" that ends up being him staying until OCTOBER! In her house - he will be living with her until October. What ever - her house her decision, right? So, I suggest her coming to my house for baby visits while Eddie is in town. She says she can't come to my house because she cannot leave Eddie at home alone - she has to "be a good host". OK - whatever. She went a couple weeks without seeing baby - longest ever. Eddie goes away for a week (he has family in the next town over) - I take baby to see her in his absense - this was about a week ago. She hasn't seen baby since. Last night I inviter her shopping with me and baby one night after work. She REFUSED to go without Eddie!

She has been telling my sister that I am breaking her heart by keeping baby from her. That I am being unreasonable and Eddie is a "good man". That I need to stop being immature and bring baby over to see her. That I will ahve to answer to baby when he is older as to why he doesn't have a relationship with Mamaw.

I am totally at a loss. My husband and sister support my decision. My mom is now "heartbroken" and on her way to drinking herself to death.

what would you mama's do?! Would you shut your mother out if that is the way she chooses to live her life?? My priority HAS to be my son - right? I cannot compromise his upbringing to make her happy - right???

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Old 07-23-2010, 07:33 AM   #2
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Re: Need Grandparent advise

I don't disagree with your decision at all. We limit DD's time around certain people because of their lack of verbal control and others because of the smoking. We have breathing issues in our families and don't want our kids around smoke and having her around drunk people isn't good either. We don't feel AS strong as you do about the cursing, but we don't take DD to the firehouse when certain people are working because they are so bad....we definitely don't like the cursing.

You've made a decision for your family and that's your right, your decision is not wrong at all. And no, you don't have to compromise your values to make someone else happy.

FWIW, you are NOT withholding your child from seeing his grandmother or shutting her out....she's CHOOSING not to see him because she wants to "be a good hostess"...that's her choice. You've invited her to your place, invited her to do things with you, and she's choosing not to. Continue to invite her to lunch/shopping, continue to keep the door open for her.
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Old 07-23-2010, 11:08 AM   #3
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Re: Need Grandparent advise

The thing is, you're not keeping DS from her. She is CHOOSING not to visit. This is very different IMO. I wouldn't feel bad one bit!
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Old 07-23-2010, 01:45 PM   #4
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Re: Need Grandparent advise

Again, she's CHOOSING not to visit, and then boohooing about it saying it is all yoru fault. She has a lot of growing up to do.
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:12 PM   #5
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Re: Need Grandparent advise

Personally, what *I* would do in this situation, is tell her she is more than welcome to see her grandchild when she cleans up her act. Drinking and smoking is not a personality, it is not "who she is". I wouldn't subject my children to that sort of behavior.
That's just what I would do I think you are handling the situation very well and in everyone's best interests!
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Old 07-23-2010, 06:06 PM   #6
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Re: Need Grandparent advise

My mom's mom was an alcoholic & smoked 4 packs a day.

I saw her maybe 3-4 times a year before she died due to her addictions. We had a relationship via mail - I would write her letters, she would write back.

Quite frankly, I'm glad I never had a relationship with her beyond writing letters. It means I only remember the good stuff about her.
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Old 07-23-2010, 06:27 PM   #7
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Re: Need Grandparent advise

Quote:
Originally Posted by OneFishTwoFish View Post
The thing is, you're not keeping DS from her. She is CHOOSING not to visit. This is very different IMO. I wouldn't feel bad one bit!


I could not agree more. There is nothing wrong with the boundaries you have set with her. It's now all up to her.
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:53 PM   #8
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Re: Need Grandparent advise

I never thought of it that way...baby being glad in the long run for not having to put up with her actions. I just assumed he would be missing out on a relationship with her.

Very good advise. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by linzbear View Post
My mom's mom was an alcoholic & smoked 4 packs a day.

I saw her maybe 3-4 times a year before she died due to her addictions. We had a relationship via mail - I would write her letters, she would write back.

Quite frankly, I'm glad I never had a relationship with her beyond writing letters. It means I only remember the good stuff about her.
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:13 PM   #9
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Re: Need Grandparent advise

Your baby shouldn't have an increased risk of SIDS just so your mom can see him at her house. That's crazy.

s for the smoking and drinking and the cousin...keep inviting her to do things at your place, and keep the lines open. You are doing a great job and are very generous to her.
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:13 PM   #10
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Re: Need Grandparent advise

Your baby shouldn't have an increased risk of SIDS just so your mom can see him at her house. That's crazy.

s for the smoking and drinking and the cousin...keep inviting her to do things at your place, and keep the lines open. You are doing a great job and are very generous to her.
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