Dear Snarky – My Mom and Mother-In-Law Have Turned Grandparenting Into a Competitive Sport

Dear Snarky,

 My mom and mother-in-law are driving me crazy. They’re both very competitive and my kids are always in the middle of their tug-of-wars as they try to one up each other.

 For example, they both just had to buy my daughters’ first day of school outfits when I had already told them that my girls had picked out their own clothes. I then had to send separate photos with my daughters in the outfits each grandma had bought pretending that it’s what they wore to school.

 I knew I finally had to do something when my oldest daughter told her little sister we had to take all these pictures because mommy lies to grandma and nana. How do I put a stop to each grandmother wanting to be my kids’ favorite because juggling all of this is setting a bad example for my girls?

 Signed, Exhausted

Dear Exhausted,

 You’re not going to like this answer because the problem isn’t just the grandmothers fault you also are too blame. Girl you should have shut this down a long time ago like when your firstborn was an infant. The fact that you’ve enabled them and let this continue and escalate for years is not cool and is going to make stopping it even harder.

 I would begin by having a frank talk with your mother and telling her that all this competitive nonsense has to stop and that it’s having an adverse effect on her granddaughters and stressing you the hell out because of all the subterfuge required to keep both grandmothers happy. I would also include the very important fact that your own daughter called you a liar.

 Next up, is your mother-in-law and I would include your husband in that conversation for back up. This is because the last thing you want is your mother-in-law telling your husband that you criticized her grandparenting skills or called her a “bad Nana.”  You need to emphasize how the competitiveness is hurting her precious granddaughters and has the potential for harming the wonderful relationship she has with them.

 Of course, for any real change to happen you are going to have to put your big girl britches on and stand up to your mother and mother-in-law by having a zero tolerance policy for their competitive foolishness. And if you feel yourself wavering just remember the four letter word your daughter called you.

If you have a question for Dear Snarky – advice with an attitude – email me at snarkyinthesuburbs@gmail.com. 😉

5 thoughts on “Dear Snarky – My Mom and Mother-In-Law Have Turned Grandparenting Into a Competitive Sport

  1. De De says:

    Right on, Snarky. having only one grandchild, I learne d the 1st year, that NOTHING in the clothes department worked, so I just don’t get anything there. And that’s ok. There are always drums, cymbals, etc.

  2. Babs S. says:

    Spot on Snarky! I think the mom enjoyed that the grandmothers were competitive until her kids got older and it started biting her in the ass.

  3. Jeanine says:

    I totally agree with your analysis! It’s possible that the grandmother’s don’t even know that Exhausted is playing their game.

    I would suggest a way shorter conversation, as in: “I know you love your granddaughters, but this Grandma/Nana competition has gone too far. WE need to stop, because it’s unhealthy for the kids.” Maximum two examples, if necessary.

    And then Exhausted needs to stop enabling with lies and subterfuges.

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