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The Grandma Guise

Aug. 22, 2017
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Dear Ruthie,

My 77-year-old mother has moved in with my husband, two kids and me. We are thrilled to share these years with her, and my children are closer to their grandma than ever. It’s a win on all counts, but one. 

We all know that rules are bent at grandma’s house, and grandkids get away with a lot under grandma’s care. The problem is that grandma’s house is my house. My mom keeps bending the rules behind my back, and she’s disrespecting our parental authority.

I want her to be happy here, and I want the relationship she has with my kids to grow, but she can’t keep this up. Any ideas of how to get our household back on track?

Thanks!
Mommy Dearest

Dearest Dear,

Congratulations on your new live-in maid/babysitter/personal chef! Send that old gal to cosmetology school, and you’ll have a nail girl/colorist at your beck and call. Does she garden? Mow the lawn? Can she change the oil in your car? You’ve got it made, sister!

You do need to tell her, however, that she must respect your rules where the kids are concerned. Start the conversation by letting her know how wonderful it is to have her as part of your home. (After she’s painted the kitchen, of course.) Acknowledge how valuable it is for her to make memories with the kids, but tell her that you and your hubby need to call the shots as parents. Keep an example or two in your back pocket and only bring them to the table if needed. 

Stick to your guns no matter what. If she continues to disrespect your rules under the “Grandma guise,” call her out on it…calmly and in private. Another strategy is to ask her advice on parenting. If she feels she has input on raising the kids, she’s more likely to stick to the rules. Have your hubby in on all conversations, too, so that all of the adults in the house are on the same page. Now, ask your mom to put the kids to bed and shake up a few martinis.

Ruthie’s Social Calendar:

Aug. 23: Refashion for Life at Callen (S63W13131 Janesville Road, Muskego): Fashion is the passion during this incredible show that mixes autumn apparel with top home goods. Try your luck at both silent and live auctions and enjoy cash bars, catered food and more. A portion of the proceeds benefits CommonGround Ministry/Elena’s House, supporting those infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. See refashionforlife.com for $40 tickets to the 5:30-10 p.m. evening. 

Aug. 24: Tapping for Pride! at Rock Bottom Brewery (740 N. Plankinton Ave.): Bottoms up! Haven’t been to Rock Bottom lately? This fundraiser is a great time to check it out. Swing by 5:30-7:30 p.m., and you’ll enjoy two beers and small-plate appetizers for $5. Best of all, a portion of the proceeds go to Milwaukee Pride, the parent organization of PrideFest! 

Aug. 25: Margarita Festival at Catalano Square (147 N. Broadway): You’ll be shouting, “tequila” when 15 of the city’s best margarita makers compete for the golden sombrero and the title of top margarita mixologist. Your $20 ticket gives you the chance to sample all and vote for your favorites. The 5-8 p.m. fest carries on rain or shine, so hurry and get your tickets at shepherdtickets.com today! 

Aug. 25: Marvel Comix Night at D.I.X. (739 S. First St.): It’s cosplay a go-go as the team at D.I.X. offers up another night of fun. Malaiya Marval hosts the night as your personal Sailor Moon, so be sure to dress as your favorite character, too. Enjoy drink specials, a DJ, drag performances and more during the 10 p.m. cosplay craziness. 

Aug. 27: Transgender Family Support Party at Milwaukee LGBT Community Center (1110 N. Market St.): Make new friends, meet families like yours and help teach Trans kids that they’re not alone…while having a great time! Join this noon to 3 p.m. get-together where you’ll enjoy food, activities for kids, lots of smiles and all the support Cream City families have to offer! 

Aug. 27: Miss Wisconsin Continental Plus Elite Pageant at FIVE Nightclub (5 Applegate Court, Madison): Our state’s capital hosts another battle of the beauties with this 9 p.m. competition. Someone will go home with a crystal crown, but not before performances by some of Wisconsin’s favorite entertainers. The evening involves a $10 cover and is open to everyone 21 and older.

Email Ruthie with your queries at DearRuthie@Shepex.com. Don’t miss Dear Ruthie in the parody Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? at Off the Wall Theatre through Aug. 26. Call the box office 414-484-8874 for tickets. 

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