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Old 11-19-2012, 06:24 AM   #31
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Re: Is there such a thing as a nice way to...

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Originally Posted by luvsviola View Post
I think you were fine. However, I think this is something that needs to be talked about in person or on the phone. Tone is hard to read in an email sometimes, and gets misunderstood. If she writes back, I would call her to respond.
See below...

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I saw her tonight and tried to bring it up and she said, "oh don't worry about it, its no big deal!" despite the email she sent me earlier today about how I must consider her a "substandard" caregiver and how offended she was. Talking in person doesn't work with us...she just retreats or blames it on someone else (she did that too - finger-pointed at FIL and then changed the subject quickly into a conversation about the Hostess doughnuts she fed DD and how they were the last ones on the shelf at the store...).

She takes everything as a direct personal attack but she will never - EVER - say anything to your face, just in email and gossiping with other family members. In front of you she is all sunshine and rainbows. That makes this issue even harder and why I took it in to emails instead...she obviously has no problem being candid there.
This is my MIL as well. I don't do anything through email because she misunderstands every, single one. My MIL would have reacted exactly as yours did.

So, yes, I would force her to talk about it in person. If she says, "Oh, it's fine," I would say, "No. It's not fine. I did not say you are a bad grandparent. I asked you to please stop feeding her so much sugar. Period. Can we talk about it, please?"

We lived with MIL for a time, and I thought I would help out by cleaning. Instead of saying, "Thank you," she said, to several of her friends in front of me that she didn't keep a clean enough house for us, so I had to clean up after her. Some women just cannot be mature and talk about things.

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Old 11-19-2012, 08:04 AM   #32
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Re: Is there such a thing as a nice way to...

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Yeah, the way I phrased it wasn't very nice...I was just summarizing because I was lazy . This was my actual email to her:

"I was worried you would be upset by my email and please know that was not my intention at all. I know that you mean them no harm, and that you have been a tremendous amount of help to us. Truth be told, I'm a little hurt that you took this as a personal attack instead of an open conversation. Yes, I am their mom, but I very much trust you and consider you guys part of the "team" in caring for them and I thought that we were close enough to have a mature discussion about things related to their care. The entire reason why I wrote that was so that we can have a mutual understanding about what the kids are eating and develop a plan so we are on the same page.

To be fair, the only thing on the list that you said she did not get was the muffin - the rest she did have per your email (doughnuts, cookies, fruit snacks,juice, soda, etc) so my request is not totally off base. Had I been wrong though, I still would have wanted to know because then I could address Lainey lying to me. I never implied that those were the *only* things she got, but I feel that this is too many sweets for one day and I wanted to bring it to your attention. You are grammie and grampie and I know you love your grandchildren and you love to treat them, and it is more than ok for her to get a treat once in a while. Conversely, there is no reason why, if Lainey finishes her lunch, she can't have strawberries as a dessert. It sounds like today she wanted carrot sticks for a snack, which is awesome! Lainey has developed a distaste for all things healthy (as many kids do) and I don't want to further alienate the healthy food by giving in to every sweet tooth, that was all I was trying to point out. Again, I am very sorry that you took my email personally. If my request comes as a hardship to you though, I would understand if you would rather I bring her lunch and/or find other arrangements (though of course I would rather they would be with you guys because they adore spending time there). Let me know."

Was that out of line?
I think your email was great--it validated both of you. :good vibes:

Perhaps she blew it off later because she realized she overreacted? Maybe wait and see what next week brings before you decide what to do next? Something that works great in our house is a snack box. It is full of many snack options--yogurt, fresh fruit and veg, gold fish, cheese and something sweet, like cookies. The kids can pick whatever they want from the box at snack time , but it does not get refilled until it is empty. This allows them to choose a cookie sometimes, but the box is weighted more favorably to healthier snacks.
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:09 AM   #33
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Re: Is there such a thing as a nice way to...

I think your email was fine although I can see how she may be upset with the delivery of the message. My MIL and I went through some of these kinds of issues when ds was little and I know that the way I handled the issues made her feel hurt. A lot of that was because of the "formal" and "factual" approach I took to things when it didn't have to be so complicated. I think instead of getting so upset and writting letters I could have just said "we really don't want ds to have a lot of sugar". maybe, "should I bring snacks for him?"

IDK if that's anything like how she feels, but a possibility I guess.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:01 PM   #34
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I think your email was fine although I can see how she may be upset with the delivery of the message. My MIL and I went through some of these kinds of issues when ds was little and I know that the way I handled the issues made her feel hurt. A lot of that was because of the "formal" and "factual" approach I took to things when it didn't have to be so complicated. I think instead of getting so upset and writting letters I could have just said "we really don't want ds to have a lot of sugar". maybe, "should I bring snacks for him?"

IDK if that's anything like how she feels, but a possibility I guess.
Yeah, I understand that. I have asked them numerous times to be mindful of how much junk DD eats, and a couple times at their house I have had to be the bad guy and tell DD no when they are offering her crap right in front of me. I don't know what else to do, hence the email.

In response, she wrote me back and said "Yes, your request presents quite a hardship for me. I am seriously working on a solution. I will keep you informed." Ok? Thanksgiving at their house is going to be oodles of fun, I can tell.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:45 PM   #35
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Re: Is there such a thing as a nice way to...

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Yeah, I understand that. I have asked them numerous times to be mindful of how much junk DD eats, and a couple times at their house I have had to be the bad guy and tell DD no when they are offering her crap right in front of me. I don't know what else to do, hence the email.

In response, she wrote me back and said "Yes, your request presents quite a hardship for me. I am seriously working on a solution. I will keep you informed." Ok? Thanksgiving at their house is going to be oodles of fun, I can tell.
As I said before, I don't have a stellar relationship with my own MIL, but I do try to be real with her because I don't want to play the game. So, in this situation, what would happen if you owned it. Because (even though we all know grandparents will feed their kids crap sometimes, kids should not eat that much junk) it is your problem; she is happy to feed your child whatever she wants, obviously. So, what would happen, if you said, "Hey, I didn't mean to cause a hardship for you. How can I help make this easier? Can I pack some snacks? Can we talk about which and how many treats? Can we come to a compromise that we can all be happy with because this is not worth tension between us."
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:36 PM   #36
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I kind of think it comes with the territory of free child care from family. If you want everything your way, you may just be better off sucking it up and paying for care. Free family care is not an employer/employee relationship where you get to call all of the shots.
Is this really how most people feel/think about family members watching their kids?!! Goodness.
You are the parent, you make the rules. Period. Other people, even family members who aren't getting paid, should respect and follow those rules with your children.

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She takes everything as a direct personal attack but she will never - EVER - say anything to your face, just in email and gossiping with other family members. In front of you she is all sunshine and rainbows. That makes this issue even harder and why I took it in to emails instead...she obviously has no problem being candid there.
I hate passive-aggressive BS.

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In response, she wrote me back and said "Yes, your request presents quite a hardship for me. I am seriously working on a solution. I will keep you informed."
How in the hell is it a hardship to NOT feed the kid junk food?! Oy.

And a solution? Don't buy the crap food in the first place!
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:14 PM   #37
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Re: Is there such a thing as a nice way to...

Ok, so first of all. I wouldn't have said anything to my husband's mother, my husband would And it wouldn't have been through email. My husband would have called and said something like, "Hey Charlotte, said she only had XY&Z to eat at your house last time you had her and I wanted you to let us know what she really ate." And let her explain what happened. If it turned out she ONLY ate junk all day then my husband would have said something like, "Would it be easier for you if we pack her lunch and snacks? We don't want to cause you any undue stress." I feel for your situation. Fortunately our parents aren't big junk food people. But this situation is EXACTLY why we keep a "your parents, your problem" rule in this house
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:59 PM   #38
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Ok, so first of all. I wouldn't have said anything to my husband's mother, my husband would And it wouldn't have been through email. My husband would have called and said something like, "Hey Charlotte, said she only had XY&Z to eat at your house last time you had her and I wanted you to let us know what she really ate." And let her explain what happened. If it turned out she ONLY ate junk all day then my husband would have said something like, "Would it be easier for you if we pack her lunch and snacks? We don't want to cause you any undue stress." I feel for your situation. Fortunately our parents aren't big junk food people. But this situation is EXACTLY why we keep a "your parents, your problem" rule in this house
This^^^
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:03 PM   #39
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Re: Is there such a thing as a nice way to...

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Ok, so first of all. I wouldn't have said anything to my husband's mother, my husband would And it wouldn't have been through email. My husband would have called and said something like, "Hey Charlotte, said she only had XY&Z to eat at your house last time you had her and I wanted you to let us know what she really ate." And let her explain what happened. If it turned out she ONLY ate junk all day then my husband would have said something like, "Would it be easier for you if we pack her lunch and snacks? We don't want to cause you any undue stress." I feel for your situation. Fortunately our parents aren't big junk food people. But this situation is EXACTLY why we keep a "your parents, your problem" rule in this house
Agree.
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