Cousinly chaos has wives in conflict over kids

January 1, 2017
in Kids

Metro Detroiters give real-life advice in Campus Martius. Dear Carolyn: My wife and I have two children (whom I carried), ages 5 and 6 months. We spend two or three holidays and other “family vacations” a year with her family, which includes her parents and three sisters and their husbands and nine children ages 1 to 11. We spend anywhere from 3 to 5 days. Her family has always been supportive of our relationship even when mine wasn’t, and I appreciate that. My issue is the lack of respect for our parenting. They all think it’s appropriate for young children to hold, pass around, and carry around infants, and I am adamantly opposed to this. My wife does not appreciate that they do this either, but she will not put a stop to it. She has said a few things to her mom but never follows through. This leaves me to constantly hawk over the baby (as I did my 5-year-old back then) and say, “That’s enough passing her around.” Over Thanksgiving, at least three times, one of my wife’s sisters or her mother handed our baby to one of the young kids to hold IMMEDIATELY after one of us would say no to the child asking to hold her. This made me livid! I had a great deal of trouble keeping from responding in anger. I also have to keep a close watch on our 5-year-old because he is pretty well-behaved and naive about the chaos, poor behavior, and pretty rough playing that the other kids are accustomed to and allowed to do. It’s really overwhelming. If I bring this up to my wife, we will argue, I guarantee it. She says things like, “What’s going to...

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