Dear Mum, please back off!
Sipho composes a letter on behalf of any dad who had to tell his mother to butt out of her grandchild’s life.
Beloved mum,

Lindiwe and I have been debating whether to write you this letter or not. After much reflection we decided to put our thoughts onto paper.

At first I thought that Lindiwe, as your daughter-in-law, should write the letter and express exactly how she feels about your relationship with our child. Lindiwe convinced me that, as your son, it’s my responsibility to iron out any differences between the two of you.

I’ll get to the point: Lindiwe thinks that you are obsessed with our newborn child. Mum, I’m sorry if this hurt your feelings but that’s how she feels. Do not get us wrong - we appreciate your being there from the time we announced we were expecting our first child. Thank you for volunteering to accompany Lindiwe to most of her doctor’s appointments.

We understand that you love your first ever granddaughter to bits. That’s why you’ve been visiting us almost every day to help Lindiwe with nursing the baby. However we feel like every time you are around you act as if you are the baby’s mother.

It hurts Lindiwe when you come and insist to sit for hours in a rocking chair singing lullabies to the baby. Of course there is nothing wrong with rocking our baby to sleep but Lindiwe feels like you over do it. She’s of the idea that you are robbing her of precious moments she should be sharing with her baby and moments she may never experience again.

Maybe you have not noticed it but you are taking over every aspect of our baby’s life, like when you insist on taking the baby from Lindiwe whenever the baby cries and whispering to our daughter, ‘I’m your big mommy.’  You’ve taken over most of the baby’s feedings and you’re always the one who insists to push the baby in her pram. Lindiwe feels like you are taking over her role as the baby’s and you are competing with her for our baby’s attention.

Much as we appreciate your wisdom I’m kindly asking you not to tell Lindiwe which formula to feed the baby or which doctor we should visit. It is our prerogative as parents to make these and other decisions affecting our child.

We want you to be part of our child’s life as a Grandmother and not as a second mother. In short please respect our right to parent our child in best possible way of our choice. Give us space to grow as parents. Just like you learnt to let go of me when I left home I’m also asking you to let us go to be parents to our child.

 We know you mean well but your constant hovering over Lindiwe and the baby is driving Lindiwe away from you and is starting to strain our marriage. Remember we love you very much and we look forward to your next brief visit.

Your loving son.

Are grandmothers too bossy when it comes to raising grandchildren?

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