I'm feeling a lot of frustration today with my mother. I should probably explain (if I hadn't previously) that my mom (Nana) lives with us, so she has a lot of interaction with the kiddos. She is head over heels for Monkey, but is hypercritical of the other kids. I'm not really sure what the problem is, but it is draining. Not a single day goes by that she isn't scolding them for something that really seems trivial to The Hubs and I and then she wants us to punish them for it. She refuses to go by the rules The Hubs and I set, instead choosing to set much more rigid and strict rules for them and getting angry with us when we don't follow those rules. She gets very upset that she isn't in charge and disparages us to the kids. It's very upsetting.
For instance, yesterday she went with us on our errands. I had, at one point, left her and the kids in the van while I tended to some business. While I was doing this, Princess decided to get in the floor and clear up some of the mess the kids had made in the van. Nana got very angry with her and accused her of being disrespectful. Personally, I'm like "Hey! She's cleaning! Yay!" and see no problem with this, but Nana disagreed. Seperately, we have some issues with how she acts towards Prissy. Prissy is a newly 13-year-old and, therefore, acting as teenage girls do. She does push boundaries and try to act older than she is, but Nana has some real issues with this. In a previous placement, Prissy had some problems with the foster family saying things like "You're acting just like your mom. You'll turn out no better than her." This is something we agreed not to do. Frankly, we don't know her birthmom (have never met her) so can't say how she is. Besides, she doesn't need to have things like this said to her. We feel it's bullying. Nana, on the other hand, feels that it's not, that it just "reminds her that how she's acting is trashy". Um....I still see that as bullying and don't want my daughter treated that way. Her problems with The Dude stem from the fact that he has ADHD and is contstantly talking and going 90 to nothing. I know it's difficult behaviour to deal with, but The Hubs and I manage to deal without giving him a complex. Why can't she?
She also has issues with us. She still tries to treat me like I'm a child. I'm not allowed to have an opinion of my own. If I express one, she disparages it and picks it apart before tossing it out as not useful. She constantly criticizes both The Hubs and I to the children and to other people, playing it off as humour. We found a home that she could move into with us because she is not really able health-wise to live on her own. We split the bills on the home with her. She feels this gives her carte blanche to tell the children that this is HER home and SHE pays the bills. I'd like to know how she figures this since we pay a significantly larger portion of the bills than she does. She also feels that because she pays a portion of the bills, this gives her the right to have her furniture in every single room in the house, to change the way I have things decorated to suit her taste rather than mine and to criticize any changes we would like to make. She gets incredibly angry if I don't agree that her way is the ONLY way to have things. I'll also add that I do ALL of the cooking in our home and she never, ever says thank you, instead choosing to make at least one critical remark on the meal at every, single mealtime. It's obvious enough that it's been commented on by the children and, previously, by The Hubs' mum when she visited in March. I find it very frustrating and hurtful.
It really seems an untenable situation, but also see no other solution to the situation. She can't live by herself. None of my siblings are going to step up and let her live with them. I've talked to her about my feelings on her actions, she doesn't feel there is anything wrong with how she acts and refuses to change. She feels I need to change to be exactly like her and that is not going to happen either, so.....we come to an empass. Sorry to unload all this on you, but I really needed to vent. I don't know what is going to happen, but I feel very much at my wits end!