So, I'm trying to see if anyone on here has had a similar situation, or maybe has answers that we haven't thought of. I guess I'll start from the beginning to give context. I was raised as an only child by a single mother. Growing up, my mother had no rules. This wasn't a type of thought out philosophy that was borne out of the fact that I was a straight A student that she didn't think I needed as much parenting. She herself is a grown up child (still). Cake, potato chips, soda, and ice cream for meals. No bed times. No wake up time. No work. I handle her bills, and balance her checkbook (she can't, she was tens of thousands of dollars in debt before I took over finances). Thus, she didn't impose any of those rules on me. I could eat whatever, whenever. Go to bed when I wanted. Never asked to do homework. Never got punished. Never had curfew. I got every toy I asked for and never heard no. Somehow became an avid fitness person that graduated second in my class in college. I have my own theories on how that happened, but that's for another day.
Anyway, my wife and I are expecting our first child soon, and my mother has dropped some strong hints that she expects our kids to be raised the same way. She's dropped these hints more to my wife, perhaps testing the water. After witnessing my cousin discipline her child she said, "I can't believe she yelled at him and made him go on time out! That's so mean. I never did that." She's then horrified when my wife takes the side of my cousin. I've strongly rejected my mom's ways in gaining independence, and she knows that. Luckily, my wife and I are really good communicators and on the same page on our parenting approaches. The problem of my mom looms over us though. My mom can be sneaky, I've seen it with other family member's children. If we say, no treats before dinner, she'll give it to the child behind the parent's back and say, "don't tell mommy, it's our secret." Heck, she's done it with our dog. We even had to take the dog to the hospital after she fed the dog something that dogs aren't supposed to eat, and we told her not to. The point is, I have strong indicators that even after I have a sit down with her and lay out the ground work (which I plan to do soon), she'll finally agree (after disagreeing with me/fighting/crying), but then she'll just do it behind our back anyway. Her go to defense when called out on it is always, "Well I did it that way for you, and look how you turned out." We're having severe reservations about ever letting her have unsupervised visits with our child. Oh, and complicating the issue is that she lives only a few blocks away. So she's extremely accessible, and will constantly push to come over all the time. I know I'm partially convicting her of a crime that she hasn't committed yet, but I've known her for 34 years, so I have a reasonable idea how this will play out. Thoughts anyone?
that's how a lot of grand mothers are. they tend to spoil children, out of love for them. when they get to a certain age, its unlikely they will change their ways. it can be difficult to set boundaries. but it should be easier for you as your not living with your mother.
Congratulations on becoming parents to be! Thank you for sharing your dilemma. There are lots of good things that you have shared in your post, one being the fact that you and your wife seem to be united on how you want to raise your child. Thats great - and you must try to be as unified on raising your child as you can be. Keep communication open between you, and encourage your wife to talk to you about how she's feeling towards your mum if things get tense at any time.
At this stage, I think I would advise you to just try and take life one day at a time - focus on your wife and the pregnancy, preparing for parenthood, and looking after your relationship. If you are both feeling secure in yourselves and your relationship, then if difficult situations arise further down the line you will be more mentally prepared to deal with them.
You don't know at this stage how your mum will deal with a new born baby, she may be happy to hand them back when she's had a hug ! Easier said than done, but please try not to worry about what has not yet happened. Children do need boundaries, it helps to make them feel safe and secure, you have to do what is best for your child - they are yours not your mums. Don't let your mums lack of structure take away from the privilege and enjoyment of becoming parents.
Wishing you both the very best, let us know how you're getting on!