Apr 04, 2024

Mum wants advice on how to handle grandma who feeds grandaughter sweets

Mum wants advice on how to handle grandma who feeds grandaughter sweets
A woman seeks advice regarding the way that her mother babysits her 18 month old granddaughter. [Source: Shutterstock.]

My husband and I moved in with my parents while we saved for a house. In the space of two years, we managed to save enough to buy a house, had a baby and then my parents (both in their 70s) actually decided to separate after 50 years of marriage because of my father’s infidelity.

Due to the separation, my mother and father were going to sell the family home to go their separate ways, but my husband and I decided to purchase half of the house to allow my father to be paid and move on and make it so my mum didn’t have to leave or go anywhere.

When we decided to purchase half the value of the family home to support my mother and facilitate my father’s departure, we understood that sacrifices would be necessary and that there would be both negatives and positives to this decision.

Living with my mother has undoubtedly brought about positive outcomes. Her assistance with childcare and household tasks has been invaluable, allowing my husband and me to pursue our careers and maintain a semblance of normalcy in our lives.

It is also beautiful seeing our daughter grow up in the house with a grandmother who loves her more than anything. 

My husband and I are grateful for the immense support my mother provides. But lately, a recurring issue has been causing tension.

Despite my repeated requests, my mother disregards my wishes regarding my daughter’s diet.

While I appreciate her gestures of kindness, her habit of sneaking sweets and processed foods to my 18-month-old daughter behind my back concerns me deeply.

In all honesty, things like this might happen every fortnight but recently there have been a number of incidents of her sneakily feeding my daughter sweets in quick succession. And to make matters worse, she tries to hide it from me.

Unhealthy habits that I have struggled with in my life – which is why I try so hard to ensure my daughter eats well.

At the same time, I’m acutely aware of the sacrifices my mother has made for our family. Yet, as a parent, I feel a responsibility to make decisions that align with what I feel is right for my daughter.

I’m torn between gratitude for all she does and frustration over her refusal to abide by my simple requests. Recently, I confronted Mum about this issue for at least the fifth  time, but she still just doesn’t get it. 

She thinks that I’m making a big deal out of nothing, and creates even more conflict between us.

As I grapple with this dynamic, I ask anyone with experience with a similar situation if you could please share your thoughts or advice.

Am I overreacting? Or do I have a right to feel hurt by my mum’s contempt for my wishes regarding my daughter’s diet?

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