I'm really struggling with what to do atm and was hoping for some opinions.
A bit of back story, I have a 6 year old DS, 2 year old DD1 and 6 month old DD2. DD2 was born with breathing issues, she coded at 22 hours old and was in NICU for the first week and in hospital for 7 weeks after that. I was hospitalised a few weeks after she was born for a nasty uterine infection that they couldn't find the cause of and shortly before she was due to be discharged ( on oxygen at home) we found out she couldn't come home to our rental house because the back room ceiling had grown mouldy due to disrepair in the roof. MIL invited us to stay with her until we found a new place or the repairs were finished. During the three months we stayed with her DD2 was hospitalised a further three times for RSV and bronchilitis, I had several recurrent uterine infections, my DS was also hospitalised for a throat infection (having two kids in the same hospital was not fun), and I was diagnosed with PND and anxiety. Simply put, it's been a ROUGH six months for this family and as grateful as we are to MIL for opening up her home to us, she did not make it an easy experience to go through.
We moved back home after the house was repaired a few weeks ago. Last week MIL asked of she could have the girls overnight. I was a little anxious about it as MIL doesn't often follow SIDS guidelines when putting DD2 to sleep, but DP assured me SIL would be the to keep an eye on things so I agreed. She ended up posting pictures of both the girls asleep on FB, she even sent one specifically of DD2 to my phone. In the photo I noticed that she had put her to sleep on a pillow. I saw the pic about an hour after she posted it so assumed she would be asleep. I msged SIL and asked her to take the pillow as it made me nervous. She agreed. She msged back almost immediately that MIL was still awake and had told her to leave it there and to just tell me that she had taken it out. I was FURIOUS and rang her immediately and asked her nicely to take it out and explained that her doctors had to,d us several times before they discharged her that we were to follow SIDS guidelines to the letter as her breathing was already compromised. She assured me she had already and told me over and over that everything was fine and for me to enjoy my night of freedom. I sent me a text shortly after again saying the pillow was gone and to sleep well. I msged her on FB explaining that I knew she thought I was over reacting but after everything we had been through with DD2 I really needed to be sure that we were doing everything possible to keep her safe. She replied that she didn't think I was over reacting at all. Soon after SIL let me know that MIL hadnt removed the pillow and had gone to bed, leaving DD2 asleep on it, without monitoring, in the living room so even if there had been an issue there would have been no way she would have woken to her I was beyond livid at this point and was ready to drive round thee and smother MIL in her sleep, but SIL assured me she had taken the pillow out now and would keep an eye on things until the girls got dropped home tomorrow. I got very little sleep that night.
MIL dropped the girls off the next afternoon. I confronted her when we were both unloading her car and told I knew she had lied to me, I was beyond upset and angry at her and did not want to talk about it right then as I was tired and emotional and very, very busy. She didn't deny it, just rolled her eyes at me and launched into an explanation about it being such a tiny, tiny pillow that it shouldn't even count as one. I shut her down completely and she drove off in a huff. DP and I received gushing apologies a few hours later via text. Mine included two separate references to how thin the pillow was and how it didn't really even constitute a pillow. Even this is an outright lie, it's an adults pillow, SIL's in fact and I've slept on it myself. I posted about it on FB, at first blocking MIL from seeing it but as my friends comments started to pour in I decided that it would be a really good thing for her to see their thoughts and feelings on the matter. I responded a day later with this:
MIL, I appreciate your apology. But whilst I think you do understand that lying to me, ignoring my request and asking SIL to lie to me are all disrespectful in the extreme and just plain wrong, I don't think you've fully comprehended the risk you took by ignoring me and leaving DD2 to sleep like that. If you haven't yet seen the post I made on FB regarding this I urge you to look at it and read some of the comments so you might be able to grasp the magnitude of what you did.
DP and I are still talking about what this all means to us and what we ultimately want to do about it. We think it best to let things rest for awhile and hopefully let cooler heads prevail in the future. But I will tell you right now that this has caused a LOT of damage to our relationship and the respect I had for you. Ive been aware of you not respecting my wishes with the kids in the past, but this is the last straw.
I have little interest in keeping my children from having contact with you, for their sakes. But there will need to be a lot of changes in how you deal with all of us because things CANNOT continue as they are.
I've received no reply back as of yet. Shortly after posting on FB about it, my older SIL, who has a baby a month or two older than DD2, msged me and asked what was going on. I let her know and she asked if she could get involved as it was an issue that would effect her and her DD soon enough. I said that was fine and she sent MIL a quite nice msg explaining that although her behaviour was very poor we all loved her (slight stretching of the truth on my part there) and wanted her to be a part of the kids lives, she was just making it really hard by doing these things. She's now just let me know that GMIL, MIL's mum, is putting her two cents in and is NOT being nice about....or making much sense. She keeps going on about how a mother has instincts with her own child and 'if you mess with a lion cub you'd better make sure the mumma isn't around' (meaning, that's why she's getting involved, because we messed with her fifty something year old 'cub') but doesn't seem to extend that to me and my instincts for my baby, or that fact that someone messed with my cub and now I'm being all lioness on their bum.
Now, the thing I'm really struggling with is where to go from here. I don't want to see MIL at all, I don't want her seeing DD2 at all, or DD1 and DS for that matter. But I do recognise that we just lived with her for three months and the kids saw her on a daily basis during that time. Cutting her out of their lives would be cruel to them as, despite her passive aggressive attitude towards me, she does have a good relationship with each of the kids for the most part, DD1 especially. The best I can think of is to offer to have her around here once a f/ n for dinner so she can see the kids. It would be on my turf and she would be out of her comfort zone, which I would enjoy *evil grin*. That is the absolute best I can come up with and quite frankly, the idea of her so much as holding DD2 makes my blood turn cold. She risked her life for nothing more than stupidity or arrogance or both.
What would you do?