Monday, March 11, 2013

Family Ties

My mom is in town.  And my in-laws are home after being in Hawaii for 2 months (I know, rough, lol!). So it's basically been an explosion of family after 2 months of relative (har har!) peace.I keep trying to remind myself that it's all good.  But living with a whole bunch of other people, in their house, where they make the rules, can be...challenging. Particularly when there are very few boundaries, both physically and emotionally. Part of our living space (and LG's bedroom) is also my father-in-law's office.  WG's room is right over my in-laws' bedroom, and sometimes she wakes up in the middle of the night and plays.  Which does NOT make them happy, lol!
But the hardest part is the continuous "advice."  About our kids, how they behave, and what we "should" be doing.  Needless to say, I do not take kindly to it, and I've started to let them know that.  Politely, of course. Hubby tells me not to take it personally, but how can I not?  If anyone implies that I'm doing something "wrong" as a mom, simply because it's different from what they would do, my hackles immediately rise. None of them, after all, have raised a child with autism (let alone 2). None of them have been stay-at-home parents. None of them have faced the same kind of challenges Hubby and I face.  Not that they were challenge-free, theirs were just different.
My kids are not lazy, not "too stubborn" to learn, etc.  They have definite difficulties.  The fact is, WG may never speak.  Ever.  And trying to force more and more programs on her without proper screenings first, or bombarding her when she's at home with "Say "Mama!'" is NOT going to help!  Telling MY son that he can't take Elmo with him on the car ride to school is NOT OK.  He's MY SON, not yours.  I get to say whether or not Elmo comes with us, NOT YOU.

I understand that they have raised/are raising kids.  Kids I happen to like.  I like one of them so much that I married him and had kids of my own with him.  But times and circumstances have changed drastically since my husband was a child, and it's vital that others understand that, as our kids' parents, Hubby and I have the final say.  Sometimes, as hard as it is, stepping back and staying quiet is the best thing to do. If they misbehave or they do something they shouldn't, their parents will deal with it.

I appreciate it very much when they babysit. I appreciate that they keep an eye on them.  It's a big house, and I can only be in one place at a time. I DON'T appreciate the guilt trips that go along with it, or the assumption that they can then take over my role, or tell me how to be a mom.

I grew up feeling as if I were under surveillance, knowing that anything I said or did could either be ruthlessly criticized or end up in a newspaper column or book, without any say so from me.  I had very little control over my life.  I refuse to live that way again.  I will obey the rules of the house as best I can (it's not always easy when they are continuously changing), but I will not walk around on eggshells or shut myself up in my bedroom for fear of doing something "wrong."  Not anymore.  Not ever again.

Yesterday I went to an open house around the corner.  It's a lovely place, reasonably priced, and would be PERFECT for us.  If only we had credit good enough to get a decent loan.  After the short-sale of our townhouse, it's going to be a while before that happens. But a girl can dream, right?
And I WAS dreaming.  About having our own place again. About both kids having their own rooms, that are THEIRS, without other people going in and out to get stuff out of storage or work on the computer (or trying to take their room away after they've been in it for months, which happened with WG). As they move into their teenage years, privacy is going to become more and more important.  I hope we can get a place sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, we will get along as best we can, and save some money.

And I'll keep going to yoga class, which is the main thing saving my sanity right now, lol!


Geosomin said...

sounds like a bit of a crazy space...I'm glad you're able to stand your ground with your in-laws. I don't have kids yet so I don't know how I'd respond, but I see my in-laws do that very thing to my sister in law over her kids and it gets my hackles up just watching it, so I can only imagine being the parent. It's one thing to offer suggestions, but another thing entirely to step in and take over.
Courage :)

Crabby McSlacker said...

Wow, that sounds SO frustrating. Sounds like a temporary situation that you are making the best of, and hopefully with the money saved you'll be back in your own space again.

Sounds like you are handling things as well as anyone could under trying conditions! Good luck!