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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:46 pm 
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Was the "screw you bisque" your paraphrase or an actual quote?

The example you used sounds like something that was all about him, not a partnership thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:52 pm 
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It's a paraphrase, but the tone was so much nastier than it needed to be. And maybe my learning is to just not bring up stuff like this when he is stressed, except that he is always really stressed about work etc, so he doesn't put much time or effort into our family or relationship.

I'm just really tired of having to police stuff that should be a no-brainer, and he is tired of being policed, and we need to figure out how to make it safe for him to agree only to what he wants to agree and then take ownership for it. So no agreeing to limit L's sugar and then giving her 4 cookies at dinner and then getting upset at us because she won't stop acting up. Or saying that he agrees that we shouldn't give Leela screen time, it's absolutely necessary, and then he has her for 5 minutes and I hear him giving her a video instead of feeding her breakfast etc. It's rough because he distracts from any discussion of how we could move forward productively by focussing on one of my past mistakes and trying to make it about that incident (which I can't change andscre always take responsibility for and apologize for) and not about the pattern going forward.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:53 pm 
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Sending love to lobsteriffic! I'm sorry, I didn't see your post last month, but I hope you're doing ok. <3

Tofulish - I'm not sure if this would help, or maybe it's something you're already doing, but it helps me with Mr Spork to be super literal and/or explicit. I will literally say "I'm not asking you to do anything or change anything right now, I just want you to listen and try to understand how I feel." He's very analytical and can listen to my feelings that he might normally get really defensive and start a fight about (his family stressing me out, the way his anxiety affects me, etc) without getting upset if I use this approach. Sometimes this also means me saying something like "I'm really upset/mad at you about XYZ, but I can't really articulate why because I dont understand it myself yet. can we talk about it later?"

Obviously this puts the burden of huge amounts of self awareness, and the self control to NOT respond to/start conversations about charged stuff in the moment, on me, but I don't mind because it gets results: I feel heard, he doesnt get defensive, and then we can have a calm conversation instead of fighting.

I guess the bigger issue is you could do that and then have him continue to not listen. :P You need to get him to share + rebuild trust that he is being honest when he discusses things with you. Admittedly I don't know you both in person but from your examples I'd say obviously limiting sugar and screen time are not important to him. So how can you trust him saying "ok" or "I agree" when his actions say otherwise? That's a loaded/defensive making question. Maybe a better literalist approach is "I truly want to know what you think and why, I'm not just trying to get you to do what I say."

I also sometimes explicitly specify "will you do xyz this afternoon" as a favor to me or just because it's important to me. He's very willing to compromise or do me a favor then; I know both of us hear an unspoken "always/forever/every time/never" even when not intended by the asker and are reluctant to agree to something if it feels like something we dont want to do "always", so we're more likely to refuse, argue, or fight.

Like maybe "please don't give leela cookies" he hears as "please don't give leela cookies, EVER, because I said so" when you meant "please don't give leela cookies with lunch today, because it's important to me."

I don't know, but I'm sorry you're going through that and I hope therapy helps. <3


man, I miss my therapist. I'm doing some soul searching today. I haven't responded to an email from Mr Spork because I'm upset but I'd rather discuss it when he gets home.

Literalist - I don't know what I want/need exactly, I just know I'm upset. I acknowledge that my partner is doing all the right things today.

His stepmom emailed him asking to see us (pfft. not "us", the baby). He told her he'd let her know, AND that we're having a growth spurt so she's really cranky and clingy-to-mom lately so we can't promise a visit necessarily means baby snuggles. He asked me before making any specific suggestions to them (our house vs theirs, and what day) AND he's trying to make it fun for me- they have a pool and I just got cleared for swimming, so if Little S DID stop nursing for more than 10min grandparents could hold her and I could swim)

We went to their house 2 weeks ago. It was mostly fine and nice, but Little S nursed alllll day so they barely got to hold her. Stepmom in particular is pathologically needy and baby crazy so even though nobody said anything to my face I felt guilty. Mr Spork told them in advance what time we wanted to leave, due to baby bedtime (again, kudos. we pre agreed to a time AND to telling them and he did as I asked). Yet when the time rolled around and we started packing to go, stepmom literally looked stricken. "oh no, you have to stay for dessert!" nope, sorry, bye.

So I have mixed feelings about that visit.

She stresses me out in general. she invited us last time by literally saying "it's time for a grandparent nag" (UGH) and the one time I initiated plans without her asking (trying to be nice!) she made some comment about how we "sure are stingy with the pictures" bc she hadnt gotten one by email or text in TWO DAYS. (oooh, horrors)

This past weekend his mom and stepdad were here at our house. They didn't stay late or anything. But. Mr Spork didn't ask me if it was ok, just told me they were coming. They were nice and I mostly enjoyed seeing them, but his mom made a bunch of comments that are making me defensive or grouchy.

mil: what age can you start putting her on a schedule?
me: well from what I've read and what the pediatrician says, between 3 and 4 months*
mil: oh no, I think you can do it earlier than that! you could probably start now.

???? what the fizzle
* little s is 5 weeks old.

Also she was nagging (in my defensive opinion) about getting little s to take a pacifier. bottles got mentioned too.

So in summary, my baby is too clingy, nurses too much, and if I were a good mother my baby would nap and eat at regular times and happily take bottles and pacifiers so grandparents could enjoy her more, and possibly babysit*.

*yes theres a lot of new mom overprotective defensive paranoia here, BUT for the record when little s was about 4 days old mil called mr s and when she asked what the baby was doing (seriously. what is your 4 day old doing. what do you forking think?) and when he said nursing, she said something about how it's a shame I'm nursing because that means nobody else can watch her. whaaaaaaat the forrrrrrk.


that was the last 2 weekends. mil is coming back on Friday.
This is the climate in which I'm being asked if I want to go to FIL's on Saturday. My gut reaction is to cry and scream noooooooooooooooooooooo. Which... these are nice people. They hug us and buy us food. They just want to hold my admittedly super cute baby for 10min. What's my forking problem????

I think I kind of just feel like 3 weekends in a row of his family is too much, regardless of venue. I'm afraid it sets a bad precedent and will never stop. We'll never have a full 2 day weekend with just the 3 of us ever again. We're not really a family just property/an arm of the larger family.

Another part of me says let them get their fix now bc when I go back to work? FORK OFF MY SATURDAYS. Helllllll nawwwww. *MY* baby snuggle time.

I don't know. I have issues and I don't understand them.

I do understand I need waaaaaaaaay more space than anyone in Mr Spork's family needs or thinks is normal, and it's not fair that I always have to feel guilty about that or think something's wrong with me just bc I'm outnumbered.


Sorry for writing a novel. This does help me process; I hope I can have a good, calm chat with Mr Spork tonight, and that just having him hear me out will make me feel better.


At some point we both figured out that I'm always going to get upset/be unhappy and feel stressed while making plans with his family, yet once we're in the moment I almost always enjoy their company. He will sometimes point this out to me when I'm getting anxious and resisting making plans and it both calms me down and stops him fighting with me because he feels defensive that I don't want to see them.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:12 pm 
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I don't want to bust into this thread often because I'm not/won't be a parent, but I wanted to lend my support and sympathy to all you going through difficult times, but especially lobster and mack. Mack, your stepmother-in-law sounds like a nightmare. A nightmare.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 2:28 pm 
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Erika Soyf*cker wrote:
I don't want to bust into this thread often because I'm not/won't be a parent, but I wanted to lend my support and sympathy to all you going through difficult times, but especially lobster and mack. Mack, your stepmother-in-law sounds like a nightmare. A nightmare.


<3 she is fundamentally a kind person, but man I could write a forking BOOK about her lack of boundaries, dear god. believe it or not she was actually worse with my niece. I know. How is that possible? Stories for the book.

final note for the day: when my niece, who is now 5yo, was about 6 months old, my BIL took me aside at a big loud family party (less likely to be overheard + he was maybe 2 beers in), took me firmly by both shoulders (not usually a touchy person), looked deep into my eyes, and said:

"Please reproduce. Please. So dad and [name] will CLIMB DOWN OUT OF MY ASPARAGUS."

it's not funny, because he was super stressed, but at the same time it's forking hilarious. and now it's so much less funny because HERE THEY ARE, up *my* asparagus this time. sigh. but heeee.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 3:49 pm 
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hey Mack, sorry your MIL is driving you crazy. unfortunately it sounds like some really strict boundary lines are going to need to be drawn and possibly some feelings will get hurt but in the long run it will save your sanity.

it's not her place to be saying any of that shiitake. obviously im sure shes excited about the new baby and wants to dote on it like any grandma but they need to respect your space and Shuttest The Forsooth Up!. it's your kid and you do what you want to do. the parenting decisions are yours (and Mr Spork's of course) and not your MILs. your baby doesnt need a schedule or a bottle or a pacifier if YOU dont want to do any of those things. your MIL already parented her babies.

ive been fairly lucky because both my parents and my inlaws have been very respectful about how we want to parent BP and have just dealt with it when she has gone through her pretty bad stranger anxiety and not wanting anything to do with them but i remember at a baby shower or something once one of my aunts made a comment to my mom. i had to go to the bathroom or something and had to take BP with me because she wouldnt stay with my mom without screaming and my aunt was all like taken aback and was like "not even with grammy!" like there was something wrong with BP because she didnt want to stay with her grandmother while i went to the bathroom.

people mean well but some things they say are shitty.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:43 pm 
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Mack I don't have helpful advice but I wanted to say that your situation sounds so frustrating. What's your MIL'S deal. ...saying that breastfeeding is a shame because then she can't hog the baby?! That made me very stabbed on your behalf.

Thanks for all of the well wishes. Things aren't good at home at all. I'm excited to meet my baby but my partner is being awful.
I don't want to get into details as I just don't have the mental energy.

In Canada you need to be separated for a year before you can divorce and i just don't have a way to make that happen during maternity leave when my income is going to be dramatically reduced (rent here is very expensive). So I think I need to make the best out of a shitty situation until I'm back at work. It's not ideal but I think it can work.

</whine>

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:29 pm 
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yeah I don't think she meant it to sound that terrible but I was so annoyed. apparently she was also "taken aback" she didn't get to hold Little S in the hospital the day she was born. (she mentioned it to SIL who told mr spork who told me. ugh, just don't tell me these things.)

When she was 5 hours old. With no immune system. And there were 14 people in my hospital room for 3+ hours.

Next time, if there is one, no one is invited to the hospital until the baby is 24+ hours old and we've slept and fed and I've showered. IF AT ALL. And it will be 15 min visiting time per family (mom, dad, my parents, sil) say hi take a picture then GTFO.


Oh I'm so so sorry things are bad at home. :( I guess if your partner is not willing to... stop being awful he's probably also not willing to work out times where you can have the place to yourself for a few hours, or rearranging rooms so you can have your own space or something. :( I hope you can find a solution for some peace, or at least reduced stress, if he can't start being not-awful.

Don't let it spoil your enjoyment of snuggling that baby when she gets here. <3

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:30 pm 
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Hey lobster, I have only my just seen this thread and had no idea you had so much going on. Everyone on this forum gives great advice and I have nothing good to add. Just *hugs*. I wish I had advice for all of you but sadly my brain is so mushy.

I have a little problem of my own. Little Annie is nearly 11 weeks old. Here in the UK you get a year's parental leave which you can split. It's a new thing. We agree I would do the first six months because of breastfeeding and then my partner would take over and then maybe quit his job or go part time. I earn more money and like my job, my partner hates his, does all the cooking, grows veggies etc. We talked about it a lot and I really questioned him and tried to get him to think about it properly. Guess what. He has changed his mind. He thinks we need both salaries. He has a project due to end in April. I am so angry with him. We agreed we didn't want Annie in nursery. When we talk about it he seems to now think we should. I think he expects me to take the full year. Or he is is denial. I have told him I am angry. He said 'i'll do it I just think it's a bad idea'. I have supported him emotionally for 5 years in jobs that make him stressed out and miserable while he tries to figure it out. I thought we had figured it out and now he does this. I am so tired. It doesn't help that we are now both so exhausted and busy with the baby we don't have time to talk about it properly. I don't know. We are looking at a nursery on weds and I hope he will see the light then.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:55 am 
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Mack, my mother has similar boundary issues. It's hard because it's so many little things that on their own wouldn't be a big deal.

Can you set aside one weekend a month (or whatever) where you have plans and can't see them? The plans being to stay home and relax.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:05 am 
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hugs, lobster <3 I wish I was closer so I could help in any way.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:07 am 
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Quote:
So in summary, my baby is too clingy, nurses too much, and if I were a good mother my baby would nap and eat at regular times and happily take bottles and pacifiers


OMG, are we related? My mom said a similar thing. Why don't I use a pacifier? (Because i don't want to and there's no law saying I have to.) I boobed Beet too much. (So? They're my boobs and I wasn't complaining.) etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 2:21 pm 
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TheCrabbyCrafter wrote:
Quote:
So in summary, my baby is too clingy, nurses too much, and if I were a good mother my baby would nap and eat at regular times and happily take bottles and pacifiers


OMG, are we related? My mom said a similar thing. Why don't I use a pacifier? (Because i don't want to and there's no law saying I have to.) I boobed Beet too much. (So? They're my boobs and I wasn't complaining.) etc.

Spoiler: show
this kind of shiitake never stops. If i were a good mother my kid wouldn't have had to repeat 8th grade, would be well behaved and organized and clean, polite, etc. The bright side is, you get better at dealing with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 6:17 pm 
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OOOH Mack, that would drive me BANANAS! In-laws can be such a challenging part of a relationship. You don't expect to marry someone's whole family, but that's what happens, and when you have a kid, it's all magnified.

Oh lobster, I'm so sorry. On the somewhat silver lining front, the courts have interpreted the one-year separation requirement to still apply to spouses who are emotionally separated despite still living together. If you're living together, even sharing a bed, but only due to economic necessity, you qualify for a divorce one year from that date that the relationship actually ended. Here's a short FAQ about it. http://www.separation.ca/faq/divorce-se ... definition


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:31 pm 
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Thanks Annamal that's super helpful! I will say that to my surprise the co parenting thing seems to be going fairly well. We're doing our best to not let our relationship struggles impact the baby. I don't know how this will work longer term but the first few days make me hopeful.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:02 am 
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That's great to hear!!


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 4:11 am 
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Hurrah lobsterrific! So glad things are going better! I hope it all continues and improves so you don't feel so unsupported any longer!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:06 am 
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torque wrote:
Spoiler: show
this kind of shiitake never stops. If i were a good mother my kid wouldn't have had to repeat 8th grade, would be well behaved and organized and clean, polite, etc. The bright side is, you get better at dealing with it.

So true -- you DO get better at dealing with it after having to deal with it for so many years. ;D

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:56 am 
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Lobster I just wanted to send you hugs also. I hope you can find a way to coexist for the time being.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 5:55 am 
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Yes, thinking of you!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:16 pm 
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We've both been working hard to be considerate even though we are exhausted and we had a good conversation and considered all our options. I feel better that we are back to making a well considered, joint decision, though I'm not sure what the solution will look like yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2015 9:19 am 
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Thanks again everyone for your support. <3 (though to the comments on my mil sounds difficult, i say, which one? sigh. of course theyre both crazy in their ways...)

We did NOT go to dad's last weekend. Yay! Mr Spork is totally on board with me/us needing breaks.
We are going tomorrow though. Eh. We've had an easier/better week with the baby this week. I choose to be optimistic.

I am putting my foot down about keeping visits shorter though. 2-3 hours is reasonable, 6-7 is not.

I did tell Mr Spork what I have been thinking lately, which is that right now the deciding factor in whether we ever have a second child, is for me, how pushy his family is. It's way too soon to be thinking about that, but I can't help thinking "I can't go through this again. no more babies."

Lobstah I'm glad to hear coparenting started off well! I hope things are still going well. <3

rebeccaxx I'm glad youre feeling better. I hope you find a good solution!

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:04 pm 
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so my in laws are coming to visit for a long weekend in a couple weeks.

my in laws are lovely sweet kind wonderful people. they love being grandparents and want nothing more than to hug the ever living crepe out of their grandchildren and love on them as much as humanly possible. they have been great and welcoming to me since i met them a million years ago and are great grandparents to BabyPunk.

here's my issue. My MIL is.....a bit......much.....
like overzealous or something.

we've worked out that she cant just come and grab BP and kiss her and hug her and they need to give her space and let her work up to them slowly. so we've gotten that far but poor BP gets like a verbal tsunami of love thrown at her.

example:

we have a finished basement and they stay down there when they visit. so let's say my mother in law has to go downstairs to get something or whatever.

(walking down the stairs)
BYE CHARLOTTE I LOVE YOU BUBBE JUST NEEDS TO GO DOWNSTAIRS FOR A MINUTE! ILL BE RIGHT BACK! WILL YOU MISS ME? I LOVE YOU! (etc etc etc)

(walking back up the stairs 5 minutes later)

HI CHARLOTTE ITS BUBBE I MISSED YOU! WERE YOU LOOKING FOR ME? I LOVE YOU! HERE I AM! (etc etc)

the poor kid has no idea what to do with all this. she is UNBELIEVABLY sensitive and i dont know if this somehow plays into her sensory issues but last time when they were here it got to the point that BP wanted nothing to do with my MIL and clung to me the entire time.

both my husband and i are very laid back and quiet and sarcastic. so while we absolutely tell her we love her and snuggle and hug her we're not like crazy over the top people. the other person BP spends the most time with is my dad who is INSANELY quiet and laidback.

the good thing is i think if i bring it up she will make an effort. i dont even think she realizes what she's doing. BP's cousin (her other granddaughter) who is 5 weeks younger than her is much more social and is the kid who will go sit in stranger's laps in random places. it took me like 18 months before i could leave BabyPunk with my dad for a few hours to go to work and she still cries every week when i say Papa is coming over (though once he's there she's fine)

i just dont know how to bring it up without sounding rude or like a crasshole.
in an ideal world it would be my husband dealing with it since they are his parents but i know i dont have a chance in hell of that happening and im the one who has to deal with the clingy scared toddler because she will want mama and "boo" (boobs)

i dont know if i should send her an email?
should i wait until they are here in person?

when i told them they needed to give her space and let her come to them that felt less like i was accusing them of something and more like "ive noticed she really does better when people let her come to them on her own terms"

this to me feels like i have to be like "you need to knock off this thing you do"

i just dont know how to approach this one.

i just want them all to have a good visit because they dont live that close to us and now they are moving even further away.

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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 12:37 am 
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Trapped On A Desert Island With A Cow
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Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:23 pm
Posts: 440
Location: UK
Could you try framing it in the terms of how mil can get cuddles/time with bp? She obviously wants to behave how bp needs her too so I think if you come at it from the angle of bp responding best to quiet etc rather than your mil being problematic I think that she will be understanding.


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 Post subject: Re: Relationships and Parenting
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2015 12:57 am 
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Drinks Wild Tofurkey
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Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:13 pm
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I really try to avoid confrontation with my MIL especially when I feel my partner should be the one explaining the issues to his mother so I wouldn't say anything prior to the visit. I would wait until MIL could personally see babypunk's recoil and then I would say something like, "she's going through this really slow-to-warm-up/shy phase. We've noticed x,y,z help (low volume, short and direct sentences, space, etc, whatever you want her to do). That way it is less personal to her but still really explicit what would be better behavior.

In the moment of the loud over the top talking I would let it play out badly or redirect by modeling a calm low volume. Good luck! It's a work in progress for my family.


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