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Posted on July 5, 2012 by Christine Crosby in 

Parents View: Why I Need to protect My children From My Husband’s Parents

Parents Air Their Feelings, Offer and Request Advice and Enlighten Grandparents (Anonymity Preserved)

Trouble With Grandparents

I have been reading all the articles on your site. I’m horrified at the notion of grandparents rights. I’m sure nothing I say will surprise you and I’m sure you’ve heard stories like this before. Regardless, this is MY story.
I’m a 35 year old mother of 2. My son will be 5 in just 2 weeks and my daughter will be 2 a month later. My husband is 36. We’re mature adults with the best interest in our children. My husband wanted the kids to have a relationship with his parents. The road has always been a bumpy one, but I agreed for their sake. When my son was 8 weeks old, “grandma” decided the formula I sent wasn’t good enough and decided on giving him cold skim milk from the fridge. By the time my husband brought him home, he was in the middle of a severe reaction. HE was rushed to the E.R. and spent 3 days in the hospital. Regardless of the doctor’s reports, to this day she insists she did no harm because it was ok 30 years ago.

Allergies and Peanut Butter

A more recent problem is that of peanut butter. You see, my son has a severe peanut allergy. She was told this several times and on one visit, brought my son into the kitchen and attempted to give him peanut butter crackers. When I saw, I admit, I flipped. I have seen his reactions and they are quite frightful to say the least. She sat there insisting that peanut butter crackers had no peanut butter in them! We argued whether to give them to him or not. My answer of NO was not sufficient enough for her! Then, this past Christmas, she put a tray of cookies out. Of course, some peanut butter ones. He picked the ones he wanted and I was instructed to stay in the living room (their house, their rules is the way it goes). I popped into the kitchen for my diaper bag when I saw peanut butter cookie on his plate. She blamed him saying he took it and it’s not her fault! She was the adult in the room and to me, it was her responsibility to remove/check the plate before offering him a choice. Lastly, a month ago, it happened AGAIN. This time, she tried to give him nuts. I asked what kind and was told cashews. When I looked closer, they were mixed and there was peanuts included! My son has had reactions just to the peanut skins! She then said she wanted to test him to see if he REALLY had a peanut allergy or was I wrong about it! How dare she! She obviously wasn’t putting the best interest of my child first. She was worried about proving me wrong, regardless of his allergy tests, doctor reports and previous reactions.

Court Ordered Visitation

We live over an hour away and we don’t come in to visit as much as she’d like. Also, our trips have been cut back as well as the visiting time with each family (mine included) due to my husband’s promotion. I just got served visitation papers from the courts! They are mainly to force us to come in more often and also to leave my children with them for visitation. My husband and I both agree that she’s not trustworthy to leave our children with. We feel it’s an unsafe environment. It’s unsafe even when we are there. My in-laws are young so it’s not like they are up in age and have problems understanding. I will not drive miles alone with my 2 kids to suit her needs. I have needs and I’m not comfortable driving alone. I can’t expect my husband to take time off work and jeopardize his job over this. His job is our only income.

While I feel some grandparents should be involved, some should not be. I certainly hope this law does not put my children in the arms of danger. It is my job as a parent to make sure my children are safe and it’s mine and my husband’s job to decide who is in their lives and not. These rights can do some good for the grandparents, but there’s always another side to the coin. They can do a lot of harm as well! I feel they have had their time to parent their children as they deemed fit. Now it’s our turn and no one should take that right away from us! With my in-laws, they say they didn’t have the amount of children they wanted and they didn’t parent as long as they wanted to. That’s not my problem. This time it’s my turn to raise my kids. I am a stay at home mom with a husband who works and we have a brand new home. Our kids are well provided for and well taken care of. My son will start Kindgergarten this coming year. He’s so intelligent, we’ve been offered to have him advance to the 1st grade and skip Kindergarten all together. We were told he’s on a 2nd grade level, but they can only promote to the 1st. This is all due to the time I spend with him. We have NEVER had a babysitter and have never been away from the kids. We’re 110% devoted to them. I’m a proud mother who does the best job I can do with my kids. Both my husband and I are college educated and are respectable citizens. I expect rights of my own and I can’t tell you how appalled I am that a grandparent who is so careless with small children can use these rights to get their way. I would love to say more (and I have plenty of other dangerous examples from visits with them), but this email is getting long winded. I’m sure you get my point.
This is something I hope you consider when you’re fighting for your cause

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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