Being in control is everyone’s desire. We tend to believe our suggestions, our methods and experience are better than others. We impose our ideas, either manipulatively or directly onto others. Call me a close-minded person, but I have come to realize I just need my own space and it is my right to how I want to raise my children.
I love grandparents. I love that the children love being with their grandparents, probably because they get spoiled rotten. Children are smart. I’m not saying they are not dumb. They are intelligent little ones who, in their midst of figuring how this whole world works, will succumb to their desires for treats and gifts. Having seen how my mother-in-law gave in to my daughter when she is throwing a tantrum, misbehaving or just asking for something she doesn’t really need … has firmed up my decision even more that we cannot … live together under the same roof.
Living with my parents has been a blessing. There is help from my mother’s domestic helper to do the household chores. Dinner meals are always prepared on the table. Laundry is always folded and ready to be put back into the closet every night. Who could ask for more? All I have to do is sit back, watch the kids play, play with the kids, feed them, watch a movie with them, feed them again, bathe them and then put them to sleep. My job seems simple.
But it is not.
Because I do not have control over the kitchen, I am not able to prepare meals outside of my other’s comfort zone. Meals that are more child-friendly. Meals that are new and fresh. Because I do not have control over the laundry I cannot teach my child to share the workload in household chores. My child is spoiled with TV and playtime. Because I am not busy with household chores I cannot teach my child to learn to play alone. I’m not neglecting the time I spend with her. Truth is, she is so dependent on someone to play with, which I believe is unhealthy.
The list goes on. I could fathom every single rant here, but I don’t have the time. The culture here is such that children are gems and should be treated like queens and kings. But what the older generation doesn’t understand is immense love brings harm to their grandchildren’s upbringing. When I say immense love, I don’t mean the emotion itself. Of course, I have immense love for my child. But because of this immense love, I want them to grow up to be self-sufficient, responsible and grateful children. The intensity of love from the grandparents comes out differently reason being they hardly see their grandchildren. But that doesn’t mean you should spoil the child rotten!
The other day, my mother in law allowed Emma to choose something to buy at the stationery shop. She was into coloring so I guess she may have been looking for markers or coloring pencils, which to me was not necessary because she just received a gift of Faber Castell’s 24 color pencils. I was not there to witness what happen so when we came home, I saw Emma with a new item and asked her where did she get it. She said at the shop. Mother-in-law walks in and said proudly, “She chose it herself!” What Emma chose were four ink pens. Four ink pens that were suppose to be used for writing not coloring. Four ink pens that are for adult use, not suitable for children. This is how the grandparents will ruin my children if we were to live together. No reason to how to spend money properly. No discipline on having no screen time during mealtimes.
Oh, but they say it is the parents job to discipline and the grandparents to spoil. All the more we should not live together! How can a family function when no one is on the same page?
Hubby says I am stressed over this issue. Yes, I am. I don’t know why. Maybe because the relief that we are moving back to Canada and having our own place was short-lived when my in-laws said they plan to retire in Canada, and offered to help us with looking after the children. I am bitter yes, I am selfish. But I feel I have a right to be selfish for now. Just a little bit selfish. Because I have not had the chance to have my own home. I have not had the chance to raise my children the way I like it to be. Currently, living with my parents … there are a lot of double standards. When I reprimand my kid, they say I’m being too harsh. They can’t stand how my daughter cries. Such bullshit, so then when they disciplined me last time when I was younger did they care about how harsh it was? When I don’t discipline my kid, they say I’m too lenient. When I care for my child because she hasn’t been getting much sleep by letting her continue her nap in the car while we wait for her to awake, we get bludgeoned with a scolding for attending to my child’s whim and fancies. But who is really attending to the child’s whims and fancy’s by giving in with toys, candy, and iPads?
I’m done. I’m exhausted trying to figure out what’s right and wrong. I’m done trying to please the grandparents. It is my child. It will be my home. It will be my way or the highway. I don’t care if it was how they lived in the past, where it was the norm for everyone to live together or that where the most senior in the family is the leader … this is my generation. Not theirs.