Sunday , May 28 2023

Ask AMY: New parents are locked in a power struggle with siblings


Dear Amy: I am 36 years old and recently had my first and (most likely) only baby.

My baby means the world to me. For now, we've opted for his dad to take a year off work to take care of our little one.

My mother-in-law complains that my husband does not "share" our son with her. She seems to think she can send us away from our own son so she can spend her time alone with him, but several times when we actually needed someone to take care of the little man, she wasn't available.

She even came in to say that she sends us her schedule weekly so we can coordinate, based on what suits her. Amy, she's retired!

We don't need someone to keep him on a routine basis; after all, my husband is at home with him.

When we have her watch him, she refuses to put him back only in bed to sleep, and the females have many misconceptions about nutrition. They seem to completely ignore the fact that I am raising him. Because of my career in health care, safety is my primary concern.

I can't have her child if she refuses to be safe. We tried to politely ask her not to hold him while he clicked, and she didn't talk to us anymore.

I don't want to keep my son away from his grandmother, but she refuses to respect our wishes. Besides, she won't take him when we need her, nor include us as a family in her otherwise busy plans. It hurts that she just wants my son and apparently doesn't want to have anything to do with us.

– A frustrated mom

Dear mom: Your letter reminds me of the old joke about a restaurant: "The food was terrible, and in such small portions!"

My point is that when it comes to unpaid babies, you take it (more or less) under the conditions it's offered, or you don't take it.

Conversely, if your siblings do not respect your disposables, they will not baby your child. Your standards seem on the rigid side (to me), but it is your right to set them and wait for them to be respected.

However, you should not cast your father-in-law as disrespectful and / or incompetent – and then complain that she is not available according to your schedule. (Even retired people have lives, by the way.)

Looks like you and her are locked in a powerful fight. If your mother-in-law wants access to your child, she will have to adapt to your parenting style. One of your actions is that you want to be included (as a family) in her life, but you don't seem to have invited and included her, or provided much incentive for her to want to spend time with the adults.

Dear Amy: I enjoy the new "pick up" option at my local grocery store where I can order the goods I need and bring them to my car. Being a mother of two boys (ages 5 and 6), this makes it a breeze to buy food.

My question is, should I advise the people who bring and load my groceries in the vehicle? I know they don't work for advice, but is it okay to give them advice, or are you waiting?

– Am I a Tip?

Dear Me: Several well-known stores I have researched say they do not allow associates to receive tips for bringing orders to your car. However, if you are satisfied with the service, you are encouraged to leave a positive review.

If you are delivering goods to your home through a third party delivery service, yes, you should advise the driver (except the US Postal Service). I don't advise UPS or FedEx workers, but – depending on the situation, I understand that some people do, and it seems likely to be allowed.

Check with the store where you shop to see what their policy is.

Dear Amy: Thank you for your response to "Cowardly Ex," who was curious about attending her ex-husband's funeral. Not long ago I faced this situation myself.

I asked several dear friends who also knew my ex to sit with me at his service.

The family booked a row toward the back of the church.

I felt very supported and comforted by this group, and it solved my problem of feeling alone.

– M

Dear M: All participants behaved appropriately, which made this easier for everyone.

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