No boundaries with in-laws - considering no contact
#1
Now, I know that we're supposed to be charitable in all things but I have a bit of a dilemma here that goes beyond charity, I think. 

At what point do you say no more contact with in-laws for the good of the children? 

That sounds extreme so let me back up here. Ever since I met my in-laws, I knew we were going to have problems, but I didn't know it would go this far. I'm a stay at home mom and we were pretty clear that that was what the situation would be from the start. Now my son is almost two and the pressure hasn't stopped. I'm constantly made to feel that I cannot raise him at home and the great grandmother staged an intervention with me today saying I must throw him into daycare five days a week or he will never learn anything.

I said 'no, that's not happening' in a polite manner and went home. It doesn't matter what the parenting issue is (discipline, rules, babysitting) but they are constantly undermining us. 'Let him out of his highchair' 'don't breastfeed the next one' 'don't you want a job?' 'let us take him out all day' etc. 

The lack of morality is concerning too as they make fun of us for going to church every Sunday. It's a large extended family with mainly very old people with very strong opinions because my husband was born in high school for the mom. It's very stressful to be constantly debating about things I have already made a decision about. 

Another grandmother told me this weekend that she and everyone else was convinced I was starving my son by breastfeeding him until he was one, laughed and then quickly changed the subject to when are we visiting? 

Really?!

When he gets a little older, won't he see that nobody respects his parents? Won't that be damaging for him? 

I'm seriously considering going no contact with a lot of them. I don't see a solution because no one wants to hear what we have to say.
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#2
The great-great-great grandmother is 100 and still living by the way so you can imagine the layers of grandmothers there are in total from both sides including divorce. My son has 7 grandmothers just from my husband's side. Very woman dominated.
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#3
(06-08-2018, 05:40 PM)Cecilia9 Wrote: The great-great-great grandmother is 100 and still living by the way so you can imagine the layers of grandmothers there are in total from both sides including divorce. My son has 7 grandmothers just from my husband's side. Very woman dominated.

Wow.  You have a lot to deal with.
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Question.  Not an excuse for their behavior, just a question.  Is it possible they are pushing you to do all the things you don't want to do because they feel it is too hard on your husband to work and support the family?  Are they feeling sorry that he has to work so hard (as if staying home with a child is easy!)?
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OK, more questions.
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Or are they really old feminists who insist that a woman cannot possibly be happy at home?  
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Did they have a hard time in life and were unable to stay home with their children (the Great Depression was a bad time for many families) so they are projecting their resentment on to you?
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And no, you don't have to put your child in daycare.  I did my best to keep my child out of daycare, very glad I did, and now am keeping my grandchildren out of daycare.  Daycare used to be undesirable for the child, remember.  Noone can love your child like you do.  Noone can meet your child's needs like you can.  What can a two-year old need to learn that you cannot teach him?
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What do you and your husband want to do?  Then do it.  Ignore them, if possible, but it sounds like you are at the end of ignoring the interference.   Tell your husband to handle his family or you will handle them for him.  Tell him this nicely and kindly, but tell him.  You two need to be a team on this.   Busy-bodies need to mind their own business.  If your husband cannot handle this, and if you then speak very plainly and clearly to the busy-bodies and they don't keep their opinions to themselves, then, yes, restrict contact.  Your immediate family must come first and sadly, sometimes that means less extended family contact.  Keep repeating to yourself:  "boundaries".
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#4
No to all questions - they all could have stayed home if they wanted to and they aren't even slightly concerned about husband. They're all very obsessed with extroversion and consider socializing to be the highest and most important activity there is. Never mind that I take him to playdates and storytime. Must be in a large group of children.

My husband is introverted so they dismiss him as a failure. They tell me all the time that it was such a disappointment. My son is naturally extroverted however and they want to make him into the success their children did not turn out to be (a lot of introverted adults who didn't have lasting marriages and don't keep in contact with them now).

Some of them seem to be introverted themselves but still think it's the worst thing in the world. Some feminist reasons as well. Just a basic belief that children must be raised by institutions and I will screw him up if he stays home.

My husband does say no often but nobody listens. They generally brush him off.

I'm just amazed that so many women from different backgrounds (step grandmothers too) all believe the same things. Breastfeeding is stupid, introverts are failures, mass socialization is a good thing, cooking is for losers etc.
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#5
(06-08-2018, 09:50 PM)Cecilia9 Wrote: No to all questions - they all could have stayed home if they wanted to and they aren't even slightly concerned about husband. They're all very obsessed with extroversion and consider socializing to be the highest and most important activity there is. Never mind that I take him to playdates and storytime. Must be in a large group of children.

My husband is introverted so they dismiss him as a failure. They tell me all the time that it was such a disappointment. My son is naturally extroverted however and they want to make him into the success their children did not turn out to be (a lot of introverted adults who didn't have lasting marriages and don't keep in contact with them now).

Some of them seem to be introverted themselves but still think it's the worst thing in the world. Some feminist reasons as well. Just a basic belief that children must be raised by institutions and I will screw him up if he stays home.

My husband does say no often but nobody listens. They generally brush him off.  

I'm just amazed that so many women from different backgrounds (step grandmothers too) all believe the same things. Breastfeeding is stupid, introverts are failures, mass socialization is a good thing, cooking is for losers etc.
My late husband and all of his family were/are extroverts.  REALLY extroverts.  My business involved dealing with extroverts all day, every day.  I am an introvert.
Extroverts are nice to be around but they wear me out.  They are often fun and interesting, but, for me, in small doses.
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And, my experience is that while I understand extroverts and their social/battery charging needs, they don't get introverts at all.  Again, everything I say is my own experience.  They do dismiss introverts.   They think we are snotty.  They think we are stupid.  They think we will never amount to anything.  They think we are no fun.   They don't try to understand our need to quiet time, for alone time, and they often don't understand our career choices.  They think something is wrong with the introvert.  This is not just from my husband's family, but also from the people I worked with for my entire career.  Is this a problem with every extrovert in the world, or did I just luck out to find every extrovert with no boundaries?
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Everything in our marriage was pretty good until his ENTIRE family moved from one part of the country to our town.  Yes, all of them.  None of them saw this as a problem.   Then they wanted us to give them all jobs, yes, all of them.  None of them understood why this would be problematic.  It was.  It had a terrible impact on my late husband.  Interfering.  Small comments.  Little things that undermined how we had worked things out together.  Expecting us, after many years of marriage together, to suddenly conform to their way of doing things.  Dropping in for a visit early Saturday mornings (we were all still asleep).  I was willing to stand up to them and say what needed to be said, but my late husband did not want me to say anything, to deal with the issues, and things just kept spiraling...….
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So, yeah, I get what you are saying.  Yeah, protect yourself, your husband, your child, your marriage.  They are not going to change because they see nothing wrong - except you, your husband, your childrearing, etc.  Do what you need to do, kindly if possible, but do what needs to be done.  You will all be happier.  You owe your child peace and you need to teach your child boundaries.  Don't criticize these people in front of the child, just keep loving and caring for him as you and your husband see fit.  Do not let anyone force your child to conform to their version of a child.  Yes, an extroverted child will benefit from more social contact, but you are already providing that with playdates  and such.    It is OK to keep family gatherings for holidays (and only 1/2 day visits then).  Try to arrange those visits to be held at their house so you are not trapped and can leave when you need to.  Offer to bring several dishes so the burden does not fall on an elderly aunt to cook for everyone.  Offer to come over the night before the gathering to help clean, cook, set the table, etc.    Have your husband (or you) mow grandma's lawn during the summer so she doesn't complain about being neglected.  Birthdays and Mothers Days, flowers, regular phone calls, cards, take someone out to dinner.  But take care of you and your family - they are your first responsibility.  Boundaries.
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And if you are ever looking to buy a new house, move farther away from them.  Even an extra 15 minute drive-time makes a big difference.  You are not being mean. You are not being cruel.  You are protecting yourself and what is most important.
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#6
If they're undermining you as a parent, cut 'em off. At least for a while. Don't make a big deal or drama, just don't make time to get together. Why are they budding in so much? They had their chance to parent their own children. Now it's YOUR turn, you and your husband's turn.
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