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?
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24-06-2012 21:31 #1
Would you cut a grandparent out of your children's lives?
24-06-2012 21:36 #2
My daughter has 4 living grandparents, yet only knows 2 of them. She has regular access to one, more limited access to the other but no access to the paternal set. So yes, if it was in the best interest of the child, yes I would.
24-06-2012 21:38 #3Senior Member
- Join Date
- May 2012
Oh I remember when you posted about this past week.
Personally I think that the other people should butt out this is between your family and her.
In response to your question, I wouldn't cut her out but I would not leave my children alone with her ... I would leave it to rest for a couple of weeks and then invite her for dinner. I would just have little visits with her your place abd hers.
She obviously cares for your kids a lot, I'm sure they love her too. Sounds like she has also given your family some wonderful support in the past, she sounds misguided and old fashioned with her parenting theories.
24-06-2012 21:43 #4
Sorry but I think you are over reacting, I agree the pillow was stupid and she should listen to you, so don't let the kids sleep over until they are older, not letting them see their grandmother I think is taking it too far, especially if you say she had a great relationship with them, you are hurting your children by doing that, set your guidelines as parents and ask her to respect them , plus the whole *****ing openly on Facebook I really really don't understand and find quite childish, sorry if that sounds harsh but that's what I think
24-06-2012 21:45 #5
I would if I were you! Or at least restrict it to times where you can supervise.
My exs mother (the kids grandmother) has no contact what so ever with the children. Up until last year she had a lot of contact. It is now also part of a court order that she has no contact whatsoever with the children (age 5 and 8). This is indefinite no end date, no supervised visits nothing. Where as their Aunty can have time with them just not unsupervised (my ex must always be there), also part of the court order.
Do what is best of the children. Not anyone else.
24-06-2012 21:50 #6
Agree with the others. I would be very angry that she has not only disrespected your wishes but outright lied about it, but, I wouldn't see it as a reason to cut a grandparent out of a child's life. It's punishing the kids too as she obviously does care a great deal. I also think you did the wrong thing posting on facebook and bringing other people into it. I think you should keep contact but not allow them to be babysat. Hopefully it all works out
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24-06-2012 21:59 #7
I agree with why you are angry and think you have every right to be - you nearly lost your DD, she is on oxygen and still has breathing difficulties and your MIL doesn't seem to take that seriously, lied to you, tried to get SIL to lie, all of that, I'm with you totally, she is in the wrong
BUT I think putting it on FB is childish and only adding to the problem! I cannot stand people airing their family business all over FB! And asking your MIL to read it with all your friends comments no doubt bagging her is even worse!!!
The mature thing to do (and from memory I suggested it in your other thread) would have been to sit down you, her and your DH and calmly explain, using the Drs advice, why it's so important to follow these guidelines and exactly what it means to your DDs health and that lying breaks trust and she needs to earn that trust before you can leave DD2 with her again!
So sorry I think you are just as bad by airing it all over FB and have not handled yourself well in this situation!!
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24-06-2012 22:03 #8
Tbh, I don't agree with airing dirty laundry on FB either, but at that point I was so angry and upset I no longer cared. I wanted her to know that it's not just me, I'm not the only one who feels that she was way out of line.
This has been a running theme in our interactions. I've posted before about her refusal to keep her dog, who regularly snaps at the children away from them, citing that he never makes contact, and when he did, that it wasn't on skin. DP and I were both told loudly that if we wanted to dictate what she did with the kids in her house then we could both get ****ed and she no longer wanted to see the kids. That blew over within a few months and here we are again, her outright ignoring what I have to say about my child's safety for whatever reason. But this time around I just don't have the energy to go through all this again. If she can't listen to a child's, especially a sick child's, parents about their care than she can have no care of the child. Like I said, I won't cut her out of their life for the kids sake, but there's no love lost with me now.
24-06-2012 22:10 #9
I would not have the children sleep over for a long time and just be honest if she asked why. But cutting her out of their lives over this is cruel to your kids. Unless theres more to the story??
TBH I really don't understand why you needed to air your private family business on Facebook, or invite others to get involved. You complain about her not being respectful, but this act is also very disrespectful IMO.
We have a grandmother who is not allowed to see DS (or any of her g/kids) & I'm comfortable with that. However there are very valid reasons for this that are way more serious than your situation above.
I think there's no excuse for what she did though, particularly with your DD history. It's very irresponsible.
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24-06-2012 22:20 #10Senior Member
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- Jun 2012
I have to agree with some previous posts, this has really escalated badly. I do think the facebook aspect has really exacerbated the problem. By posting about all of this on facebook (involving anyone on your friends list I assume) you've almost given permission for her to rope in people on her side too. What should have been a problem between your MIL, your partner and yourself has now expanded to include a lot of other punters.
I have experience with a very broken family. My husbands family is so messed up it's not even funny. It's sad, and heartbreaking and the real losers in broken families are always children, including my husband as a child of his weirdo parents .
There is no question what she did was foolish and dangerous. Lying to you was a terrible thing to do. However if she has a good relationship with her grandchildren then I doubt it was done out of any malice. As someone else posted, it was probably more to do with her being old-fashioned and ignorant of the current SIDS guidelines, specifically with your childs history. Plus MILs often think they know better than DILs. It's in the genes or something.
You should probably give yourself time to calm down if you need it. Then you and your partner should arrange to sit down with his mother, just the three of you (no facebook, no sister-in-laws and no children) and both explain why what she did was so upsetting to you. Explain to her how traumatic your childs history is for you and how important it is that people in her life understand things like safe-sleeping guidelines.
If you think you'll lose your cool then prepare some dot points to read when you meet. Explain to her that while she may feel you were overreacting, you are terrified of what may happen. And as a mother that's your perogative. Explain that it's going to take time to build up the trust again, but that if she's willing to work on it then so are you.
Unless you believe she actually wants to harm your children then I don't think you should deny your kids a relationship with someone they love over what could just be a foolish mistake on her part.
I hope it works out because I can honestly tell you that being involved in a fractured family is exhausting and it's sad to watch your children miss out on what other kids have.
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