A bittersweet change

microscope
Under the microscope/ Image from phys.org

I went apartment hunting yesterday.

Well, I looked at one, and really liked it. It was when filling out the application and putting down the names of the family members whom Patience and I currently live with that it dawned on me: they should be aware of my moving out.

How do you explain to a family that you are going to take their granddaughter from their home?

In my case, I walked in their room nervously and rambled on about how the decision wasn’t based on a disliking of them but my need for personal growth and a closer proximity to downtown Oshawa.

Truth is, it kind of is them, not that the above statements aren’t true and the majority factors of the push.

There are many pros to living with your child’s grandparents. We’re talking free babysitting, extra supervision, food, shelter. Luxuries!

But the cons are undeniably existent too. Two big issues for me: A lack of respect for my parenting skills, resulting in issue number two, feelings of mothering inadequacy.

In my case it is especially hard because their daughter has a son just a year younger than P and a parenting technique reminiscent of her parents’. She has their same values, such as being an active member of the church. I love who she is, she is a sister to me, and her parenting works for her and her own child. Why can’t this open mindedness be applied to me instead of a constant comparaison?

I don’t appreciate being told that I deserve a smack when letting her use my cell phone because of incomplete studies on the damage they may cause nor am I OK with her being played church songs all day without so much as consenting me.

And quotes such as, “Mommy is wrong,” or “Mommy had a bad idea,” are sending her a message that her mother is a downright moron. Not to mention I receive that message loud and clear while sitting in the next room.

How am I supposed to grow and parent her efficiently when I live under a microscope?

I do not mean to paint a poor picture. This family literally took me in from the streets and saved my life. However, there needs to be a line drawn on who her actual parent is.

An article by Ellen Gibson was on parentcentral.com Dec. 6 called When Granny is Nanny.

These issues seem to be common and I suggest for anyone in similar situations to create clear ground rules now before areas become to gray. This will eliminate resentment from either party down the road.

I appreciate what they have given me and they are my family. They were there in a time where I needed to get back on my feet from a messy separation. But now I’m standing pretty.

I am excited to have my own space again. I’m thinking Hello Kitty … everywhere. And I will visit them always.

I write other stuff too! Check out HillaryDiMenna.com

2 thoughts on “A bittersweet change”

  1. Tee hee, Hello Kitty mansion <3 Perhaps a mini two bedroom affordable mansion :p
    Kim, you are such a wonderful wise woman <3 Your words mean the world to me as I'm sure they do any reader who faces the same issues.
    Thanks so much for the support in everything my dear.

    xoxo

  2. I think many parents face at least one person that has a problem with their parenting. Even now, as I’m 22 and my brother is 19, I still hear critiquing of both of my parents (some agreeable, other’s debatable). Everyone thinks they have a “better way” to parent someone else’s child when the truth is, who knows better than the actual parent?
    Clearly, as you and I both know, there are instances where the genetically-related parent does not have the best interest at heart for their child, but in your case, Patience’s best interest is always at heart for you. There is no official parenting handbook to tell you exactly what to do to give your child the best chances in the world, but you take chances knowing your own experiences and witnessing the little doll of amazement growing in front of you every day. It is your responsibility to set guidelines for her and to choose what she should and shouldn’t be exposed to, especially at her age. It’s a very impressionable age. But don’t worry about being an inadequate mother, there’s no one better than you. I wish you were my mom! Oh the wonders of a Hello Kitty mansion!
    I hope you’re able to find a comfortable arrangement and grow as a person and as a parent. Even your experiences as a mother are still in their infancy, maybe one day you’ll be critiquing poor Patience on how she raises her children! But until then, good luck on the apartment hunt!

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