To allow my DIL to leave and take my grandchildren?.

(44 Posts)
1944girl Sun 15-Jun-14 01:06:14

I am very unhappy at the moment.

I have already posted in the sweary thread on this subject because I was in a sweary situation at the time.
My DS2 and his wife decided to split up four days ago.They, and their two children, boy 13 and girl 11, live with me and DH.There is also DS's 17 year old daughter from his previous marriage here with us as well.
DIL said she would stay either at her mother's or a friend's until she could find other accommodation (from the council).Their two children were to stay with their dad here until then.She said she wished to do this, rather than my son to leave.
She left three days ago said she was going to a friend's.Then her mother phoned shouting and yelling down the phone demanding to know where her daughter had gone, I replied to her friend's but did not know where as she did not tell me.Her mother then asked where the children were, I replied here with their dad.She the screamed down the phone that she was coming round with her partner to remove the children from their awful father and her partner was going to bash my son up.I asked her what my son had done and she screamed ''You should b*** know and slammed the phone down.
The two children suddenly appeared carrying their night clothes and my DGD was crying, then I discovered that DIL was in fact at next door neighbours, my DS was no where to be seen.I ran into neighbours to find DIL in tears. To cut a long story short, neighbour had seen her running past in a distressed state, had taken her in and her mother had been contacted.She told me she had decided to go to her mother's and take the children with her as DS had shouted at her, this had occurred unknown to me.
By this time her mother had appeared in the street, still yelling her head off about my son, and her partner was hiding in his car.My DGD was crying and clinging to me her other grandmother continuing to shout and yell at them to get in the car.
DIL has now been given temporary accommodation with the children until a permanent place is found for them.They (the children) have visited us daily and seem happy. I have spoken to DIL on the phone, she is weepy but is still adamant about not coming back. My son is saying very little, I think deep down they are having second thoughts about splitting up.
The problem now is her mother.She has been causing loads of trouble and posting untrue stories on FB stating that my son has thrown his wife and children out on the street.I tried to correct her by stating that this is untrue, DIL took the decision to leave, the children were to remain here etc and it was her(DIL's mother) who demanded that the children were removed from their father- there was reason why father should not have them with him. She responded by calling me a bare faced liar, that DIL would not have left without the children and that my son has made them homeless.
I may now add that DS and his wife and children have lived with me since DGS was born, DH and I have provided childcare when needed and looked after them in school holidays. Her mother has never once offered any assistance or had them to stay.
Now her mother is getting worse.My other granddaughter, aged 17 with MH and addiction problems has to share a bedroom with her younger half sister.All of a sudden DIL's mother has said this is wrong, her DGD having to share a bedroom with a ''druggie'' blah blah.She has been spreading this all over FB and goodness knows where else and her FB friends of course are full of sympathy for her my son is now a social pariah and I am a liar who only cares about her ''druggie'' granddaughter and allows my son to throw out his wife and children on the street.Her latest stunt is sending my granddaughter abusive and threatening messages which has almost tipped her over the edge.One even contained a death wish.Now I have DIL's 22 year old cousin telling me via FB to stop upsetting her aunt, to leave her family alone and control my ''druggie'' granddaughter!.I now have blocked her completely from FB so she can rant on as much as she likes about me and not get my attention.
Wow sorry about this long rant. I am now feeling terrible about my DIL leaving with the children, thinking I should have asked my DS to leave instead.I was quite happy to have the children here with me until DIL got sorted as this is the only home they have known but that woman has completely messed things up with her behaviour.She has never offered her daughter a home since she married my son and now she is acting like a wounded saint. Some mothers do have them.


MiscellaneousAssortment Sun 15-Jun-14 03:20:57

Sorry OP where did I get nightclothes from? A sign that I should be asleep in MY night clothes I think!

OldLadyKnowsSomething Sun 15-Jun-14 03:24:24

In her first post, Op referred to her dgc appearing with their nightclothes packed (not wearing them), that's probably where your idea came from. smile

holidaysarenice Sun 15-Jun-14 03:33:22

Apart from anything else of she is sending death threats to a child with mh issues the police need to be contacted. No Fb messages crap, just police with screenshots. Support your dgc.

WaitMonkey Sun 15-Jun-14 07:41:20

Tough situation, sounds like you are trying your hardest. thanks

HelenHen Sun 15-Jun-14 08:06:03

Op you Sound wonderful. It's brilliant Everett you've done for your family and I hope you've been made to feel appreciated!

I'm so sorry about what is going on. In hindsight perhaps you could have involved the police and not let her take gc as theyd a stable home with you and your ds is certainly entitled to apply for custody. But l

HelenHen Sun 15-Jun-14 08:10:16

Like any mom shed be stupid not to take her kids. Unfortunately it's done now. Either prepare your son for a custody battle or be nice and supportive to dsil and she'll be nice and civil in return. Doesn't sound like she wants to stop contact. Ignore mil as difficult as it may be!

And good luck, I feel for you!

Tryharder Sun 15-Jun-14 08:14:44

I'm sorry you are going through this, OP. You sound very decent and I have seen you post on MN before.

Can you not close your FB account even temporarily. I find it deeply worrying that people over the age of about 25 live out their family scandals on FB. But that cannot be helped and you need to withdraw. If the FB abuse is slanderous, you might want to consider police action but I suspect that would only be pouring petrol on the flames.

Encourage your DS to handle the split graciously and generously and to pursue contact with his DCs through the courts if need be.

I suspect also that a lot of game playing is going on in order to convince the council that your DIL and DGCs are living in an abusive drug den and as such are in desperate need of council housing. You do indeed have to jump through hoops these days to gets council housing but there's nothing you can do about that.

I would document the date and time of any incident/abuse/contact and who witnessed it.

I would also contact a family solicitor and get half an hour of free legal advice on your own position.

Spiritedwolf Sun 15-Jun-14 09:34:17

It doesn't sound like there is a lot you can do in this situation now.

Its clear that you didn't intend to chuck your DIL out onto the streets originally. It could be that her original plan of where to go when they calmly discussed her moving out didn't materialise, or the reality of the breakup of the relationship hit her after she left the house and that combined with DS shouting at her (which you were unaware of) led to her being distressed on the street and taken in by a neighbour. Its not your fault that the situation wasn't as you had originally assumed - that they had calmly decided to split and she had chosen to move out.

So I don't think you were wrong to allow her to leave (what was the alternative, keep her there after the decision was made?). It could be that DS made her feel that her leaving was the only option - which wasn't right of him, but isn't your fault either. And of course once she decided to have the children with her then you were right to let her take them.

It sounds like (from the information available) DIL's mum is revelling in the drama of the situation. In the past you've been supportive of DIL when she has not which may have made her feel inadequate to some extent, so she has leapt on the opportunity to blame you for the situation. In reality, you've done the best you can with the information available to you and have never meant DIL any harm.

It could be that your son has not treated her well and that she has been unhappy about living with DSD with all her associated issues. If so, its understandable that she'll be talking to her family about these grievances after the break up. Its her mum and rest of the family piling in and attacking you and her SD that is your problem.

I think that if you speak to DIL or send her a message then you could say that had you known that your DS had been horrible to her then you would have asked him to leave and allowed her and the children to stay (if that's true). That you are sorry that you didn't realise how upset she was and that she didn't have somewhere to stay. That you hope that she is settled into her new accommodation and you are happy to support her. Hopefully she knows you well enough that she will accept this as genuine.

That said, she's going through a relationship breakdown. She obviously has her own feelings about the relationship, living with extended family for so long and DSD's addiction problems. Its natural that she'll have her own perspective on these things and may not agree with you.

As for her mother and family taking 'her side' and making assumptions and making a huge drama of it. I think you just need to disengage with their sh*t stirring and ignore them trying to hurt you by suggesting that you deliberately threw her out. You know that isn't true, your real friends will listen to your side of the story, and you can't convince her family that you did your best - because they want to see you as the bad MIL. There's no reason for you to be responding to them at all. If they are harassing you or DGD then contact the police.

As for your son... its very possible that he has been in the wrong here. That's not your fault but I'd be reluctant to offer him support. WRT his job situation, does he still have some of his photographic equipment? He could presumably do some work outdoors (lifestyle photography, events, etc) without the overheads of a studio and/or rent some studio space when he needs it. In the meantime he could take photographs and try and sell them either for stock photography, or to magazines, the press, tourists etc. I'm not saying that he could definitely support himself straight away but he could start working to rebuild his career and becoming more financially independent and leaning on you less.

Taking a step back from their relationship problems, definitely from her family and reconsidering how much you support your son in future could be liberating for you. Its not your responsibility to fix this. The world will not end if your DIL or her family don't agree with you or can't see that you did your best.

Do see if there is any more support you can get for your DGD from outside agencies - charities if social services or the NHS won't help. It must feel a huge responsibility on you and your son to manage her going through something that really needs professional help. Have you looked at Talk to Frank ?

riskit4abiskit Sun 15-Jun-14 10:40:51

You sound lovely, very patient and caring.

could you offer a haven for the 17yo shes old enough to make her own choices?

I think you are a bit blinkered with regard to your son. I know it's hard but 4 years is a long time with all those dependents and no job. No adult should be sponging off the parents for such a long time. Emergency support of say six months is reasonable if you are so lucky as to have relatives with the money or room. It would be different if you were all living together in a mutually beneficial way.

Why are they splitting up?

I think you are right to block the mad granny she sounds like one of those drama llamas.when the dust settles she will dissappear from the scene!

You sound lovely to your dil too shes very lucky.

I think whatever you think you should just step back and offer a stable loving sanctuary for the kids where talk of mum or dad is off limits.

Best of luck

paxtecum Sun 15-Jun-14 11:00:43

OP; You sound like a wonderful person.

I think your DS should just get a job, any job. A job that pays an amount of money each month. Being self employed can be a nightmare because of cashflow. Photography could be a sideline.

I think he has taken advantage of your kindness.
Does DIL work?

I'm in a similar living situation only it's my family we are staying with and my DP who has been unemployed for 4 years.

Believe me, there are a lot of issues and arguments that my family don't know about as I have managed to keep them hidden. Believe me when I tell you that I am full of resentment for DP not working and I feel the answer to all this lies in the DIL's mother's comment about how you should know what he did...

There is quite obviously so much more to this than either you know or is written.

Fairylea Sun 15-Jun-14 11:39:30

I think a lot of this must come from resentment that your ds hasn't worked for four years (I mean resentment from his partner about the situation - she has been working, and not to unkind but no one really wants to live with their in laws indefinitely). He can't just sit on the fact he was a photographer and wait for work to come in. What has he done to actively search for a job, any job? I think it's naive to wait for a photography job in this economic climate. Part time bar work even or care or cleaning work would be something. Anything.

You've been very kind in supporting everyone but you need to take a step back. Far back.

Barefootgirl Sun 15-Jun-14 12:30:32

have you suggested to your son that he try looking for a job outside his field? Being a photographer is lovely, but if there is no money and he can't even afford to house his own family, he needs to sacrifice his art and get even a shoddy job so he can support his own kids. Whn he is earning some money he might have more self-esteem and lessa nger and things with him and his wife might improve.

1944girl Sun 15-Jun-14 20:11:25

Thankyou all for your kind and helpful replies.

Today I feel much better. I have not seen DIL but the children have visited their father and DH and myself.They spent time visiting their friends next door as well before returning to their mother.
I have blocked the MIL from FB contacts. I like to keep FB for communicating with friends and family and I am on some special interest groups on there but I realise now that it does indeed have another side to it.
There have been no more threatening messages to my granddaughter since I told DIL that we go to the police if it continues.
I realise that my son has been taking advantage of us since he quit work and have told him so and now he is applying for jobs.
I must say that I am a practising Catholic have been to church this morning and feel I have received comfort from my religion.
I am now quite prepared to stand up and admit my failings and feel sorry that I have played my part in fuelling the fire with the other mother when we should have been putting the needs of our children first.Fighting with each other does not help.As my own mother would have said ''Let her stew in her own juice''.
Thankyou again all of you.

OldLadyKnowsSomething Mon 16-Jun-14 02:40:11

I am glad you have found some sort of solace, in your religion.

And I say that as a former CoS proddy, now atheist.

You are a good person, and a good mother, and you have done the best you could possibly do.

I wish you all the best.

MexicanSpringtime Mon 16-Jun-14 03:21:03

Oh you have all my sympathy, OP.

But the fact that your grandchildren call round everyday must make it so much easier for you and speaks well of the home you have given them.

1944girl Mon 16-Jun-14 12:40:37

Thank you again all xxx

""Either prepare your son for a custody battle ""

There won't be a battle, the children are old enough to decide who they live with and there would be little the other could do about it.

I totally agree that in four years the father could of picked up some work, especially as they don't have rent etc to consider. They have been in an ideal situation to build up work/savings and got there own home.

It's telling that you call your son "my dear son" on your other thread, yet it seems that it is him that won't "live in a crapoy council house", or work.

You also accuse your DIL of "telling sob stories" to the NDN.

I think you need to take a step back from anything except continuing your relationship with your GC.

By the sounds of it life for your DIL hasn't been a bed of roses and it's come to a head, very telling that it's her who has had to flee.

1944girl Mon 16-Jun-14 22:29:10


Thankyou for your comment.

I went on the sweary thread first as I was feeling bad and needed a good rant I never normally swear. All sorts of things were running round my head my grandchildren were taken away in the street by the other grandmother everything was very mixed up she (other mother ) was bawling and shouting.
There have been a lot of bitterness, I have already stated that I am at fault as much as my son. I referred to him as my dear son because that is what you do on mumsnet or am I wrong?
No that a few days have elapsed my thinking is a lot clearer.Yes this is a miserable business for all concerned and I have apologised to all I might have offended or acted badly to.The one person whom I have not yet apologised to is the other mother, she has named me as a bare faced liar on FB which is not true. You are not related to her or know her by any chance are you?. If so I apologise to you for offending your friend.
I have since blocked her on FB.

The swearing now is over.I have spoken to my DIL by phone or text daily.She and I had a good cry together tonight by phone.I am helping her as best as I can and the children are coming to stay with their father and us next weekend.Things are moving forward, she is on the waiting list for a ''crappy council house'' and should get one in an area of her choice within the next few weeks, believe me I do not like this going on.
My son is not my favourite person at the moment I am hoping against hope they will get back together.
I am not perfect, who is? I have admitted my failings in this horrible situation.
Enough for today infact the story will now end on mumsnet.I was in a bad state when I posted on the sweary thread and now bitterly regret it.

As I previously said I apologise to all who have been upset, mostly my son and his wife, also my grandchildren who are the innocent victims in every marriage breakup.


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