Living with parents - how do I stop myself from killing my dad?!

Discussion in 'Baby Club' started by whoops, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. whoops

    whoops Just me and my LO

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    I moved back in with my parents when I found out I was pregnant with Lily and we'll probably be here until she starts school and I can afford a place of our own.

    Moving back home was a culture shock but because I was working full-time, it wasn't too bad. Now that I'm home all day, I'm slowly losing it.

    My dad retired a couple of years ago and so he's around the house all the time. And it's driving me insane - I feel like I never get to spend time alone with my daughter. It's his house so I can't say anything to him though. He's started to go out during the day now but the damage has already been done - I'm so irritated with him that even a morning of him being around has me on edge.

    Lily's his first grandchild and he dotes on her which is great. But not so great when he stands over us watching me give her a bottle or keeps coming out to the kitchen when I'm giving her a bath so he can see. The first few weeks, I tried to compromise and I'd ask him to mind her while I had a shower and expressed etc. But every time I did, he'd tell everyone about it which annoyed me - he had her once for about two hours while I grabbed a nap and all the neighbours were told about it. I know I'm being paranoid and petty, but I don't want them thinking I'm palming my daughter off on my parents for hours every day. And now that myself and Lily are more used to each other, I prefer to leave her sleeping in her Moses basket while I grab a shower - it makes me feel more confident in my parenting ability not to have to ask someone to look after her. And giving him that time to look after her just seemed to encourage him to bother us even more.

    He sulks and makes comments when he doesn't get enough time with her - but I prefer that she sleeps in her pram or Moses basket as much as possible and I prefer to give her bottles because she spits up and throws up when they're not done right. Which leaves the active periods - and she's so young now that there's only a couple of them a day. Call me selfish but those active periods, when she's grinning and playing make the other 20+ hours worth it and as I look after her full-time (and I grew her!), I think I'm entitled to enjoy them. And even during them, he'll sometimes come over to us and call her name and try and get her attention away from me. It really bothers me - there's so few periods where she's happy to look at me and interact with me and he tries to take those away.

    I know I should just speak to him about it, but he's not the easiest person to speak to. I just wish he was more like my mother - she steps back and lets me do things my way and because she does, I find it much easier to let her take Lily for a while in the evenings after she's home from work and I make an effort to ensure that happens. I'm also more confident that she knows what she's doing - my dad will take Lily when she's nearly asleep and sit her up to try and make her smile at him. Of course, she starts crying because she's tired. I don't understand why he can't just make an effort to read her cues (and seriously, half-closed eyes and a droopy head are not hard to read).

    Argh.

    Not quite sure what I'm looking for here. And if you've made your way through all that, then well done and apologies for boring you. I think I just needed a rant.

    Because part of me feels like I'm being a bitch but the other part just wants some space and some peace with my daughter.

    If anyone else is living with their parents, please tell me you can relate to this...
     
  2. Vinushka

    Vinushka Well-Known Member

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    I stayed with my parents just after my Daughter was born as she had a few medical problems and I wasn't coping well on my own, my Dad was exactly like yours, and I'm afraid to say I lost. She only spends one day a week with him but he spends the time undermining me as much as he can and basically treating me as if I have no right to her.

    He's always been like that with me though, and she's very fond of him so I allow it.

    When I had Vin I went there because mum was looking after my daughter while I was in hospital and it was a help, but my parents are so controlling over her that one night she had a meltdown because I hadn't let her have a whole pot of applesauce... My parents have actually got her in the habit of eating sugary crap as a snack at night. My mum insisted on dealing with her, and sat ignoring her in her bedroom while she cried and I felt totally excluded and unable to comfort her. I just packed up and left the next morning and we were all calmer.

    I guess what I'm getting at is, you should insist on those playtimes being yours, my daughter is autistic so it's a bit harder, but grandparents have had their turn.

    When I heard my mum telling Vin "we'll have you on weekends just like your sister!" I actually thought to myself, 'no you aren't.' They don't make any effort with him at all and if DD wasn't so used to going there, she wouldn't either...
     
  3. amygwen

    amygwen Mom to Kenny & Gwendoline

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    I can relate. :hugs:
    I live w/ my parents, have never lived on my own as I'm only 20 years old but my parents are exactly the same. It can be frustrating especially because I work during the day and than I go to university at night so the time I do get to spend with him is little and sometimes my parents like to 'take that away from me'. Although I'm extremely fortunate because I pay little rent and they help me out A LOT so I can get school work done, so I try and look at the positives of living with them. I'm sure you know that your dad is only trying to help and doing what he feels is best, but it's wrong that he has a moan afterwards about it. Since your mom understands you more, could you explain to her how you feel about your dad and maybe she can chat with him about it? If he's not a good listener to you, he may be a good listener to your mom? Other than that, you can only just be stern with him if he tries to take her when she's about to nap, or if he's hovering over you while you're feeding or bathing her. Tell him that it's your time, not his.. he can have his time later on. Sorry you feel that way hun, I hope things eventually get better for you :hugs:
     
  4. whoops

    whoops Just me and my LO

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    Thank you both - makes me feel so much better that I'm not the only one to have felt like this.

    I know he is just trying to help - which makes me feel worse when I get snappy with him. And both my parents are being great - they're not even asking for rent so I can save up as much money as possible. It's just an awkward situation because his idea of where the boundaries are is completely different to mine.

    I think I'll just have to put my foot down about certain things - like set one or two bathtimes aside for me, along with playtimes, and then relax about other times. I just have to learn to be more assertive with him, I guess - it's just hard not to revert back to feeling like a teenager when I'm back living here. No offence to teenagers, I was just a particularly stroppy one.
     

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