To not meet the Mother of DH's "surprise dd"?

(72 Posts)
MrsCantSayAnything Tue 20-Nov-12 07:35:36

It's a long story so I'll condense it. It sounds horribly Jerry Springer too....DH is from another engish speaking one which is a long way away.

We met 12 years ago and now have 2 children aged 8 and 4. We live in the UK.

WHen our DD1 was only 3, we had a phonecall from his MOther to tell us that an old girlfriend of his back in his country had called her and wanted DHs number.

She called DH and broke the news that she had his child and she was at the time nearly 10 years old.

DH had known this woman since school and when they were in their early 20s she had left the city they grew up in and one day she came back for a visit, DH and she had a one week fling.

She was at this time engaged to another man. She left to go back to her city and her fiancee and DH thought no more of this and never heard from her again. He knew she was engaged.

It turns out, she got pregnant and passed DHs child off as her fiancee's.

The time she rang us when DD was 3, it was to tell DH that he had a child. She had split with her by then, husband who asked for a DNA it all came out.

He had been raising DHs child.

DH had a DNA test which we did via postal services but when we saw a picture of the little girl we knew she was his anyway. The DNA test was positive.

Since then, DH has struggled to maintain contact with them, the MOther is not a secure person, ...he's signed an agreement thing so the woman gets her child payments from the government over there, which DH pays to them...and he has been over to visit. We used all our savings for this because the main thing was that his poor DD could meet him

Contact is not great because his DD is now 15 and not that keen,...she barely knows DH... her Mum isn't a lot of help and moves around a lot...sometimes forgetting to update us with numbers etc. His DD wont keep in touch herself but if DH can call and get her MUm, she usually chats.

We're going back there this Christmas to stay wth DHs mum and DHs Mum has invited them to her home for lunch. I' am a bit unhappy about it....I want to meet DHs child but not her MOther over lunch!

It's going to feel very awkward! AIBU? I genuinely do not know. The woman is not known for her pleasant behaviour....she's spiky and when I talked to her on Skype at the start of all this, she asked me what dress size I am! shock

What do I do? Go out when they come? That means I won't get to meet DHs DD in the flesh so to speak... which I want to!

firefliesinjune Tue 20-Nov-12 07:40:45

Tough situation. If it were me I would meet them. The DDs Mum as you describe her sounds a bit hmm so your DH probably would like some support and its a good idea that you meet his DD. It may be awkward and its unpredictable but you sound clued up so I am sure you can handle whatever the day brings!

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 20-Nov-12 07:40:47

Sorry it's epic.

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 20-Nov-12 07:42:30

I'm really, really shy which I think is a problem. I find any social gathering hard plus I am ashamed to say that I feel animosity to the woman. SHe lied horribly and DH has had a really hard time accepting that he missed his little girl's childhood.

ZillionChocolate Tue 20-Nov-12 07:43:38

YANBU to not want to meet the mother but I think you might have to. It sounds to me like DH's surprise daughter is quite vulnerable. If she wants her mum there for support then that trumps your discomfort IMO.

InNeedOfBrandy Tue 20-Nov-12 07:45:12

What a situation! With regards to feeling awkward I expect she will feel the most awkward being the outsider if that makes sense? Keep a stock of all the MN favourites like did you mean to be so rude if she starts on dress size and the like. What country is it?

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 20-Nov-12 07:46:22

Really? Im not sure it's because DHs DD is needing support, more that her Mum won't let her DO anything on her own.

When DH went over there, he was there for 2 weeks in a hotel and not once, did he get to take his DD out shopping or anything. He had to go over to their house and sit around there...with the woman's new boyfriend and his DD and the woman.

BeeBawBabbity Tue 20-Nov-12 07:48:28

Sounds like a difficult situation all right, but for the sake of his daughter I think you should keep your feelings to yourself. Or I guess there's nothing stopping you going out for a few hours while they're over? The daughter is probably feeling all weird about it too.

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 20-Nov-12 07:48:29

Brandy she's very rude. I can understand DHs mum inviting them though. She's a terribly sociable woman and probably has a dream of it all being happy famiiles. hmm

Can't I just leave a nice gift for the DD and go to see an old friend of mine in another city? Everyone will be more comfy without me anyway! DH isn't bothered either way but I can tell he's nervous about me meeting this woman because she's a bit "Alpha" is his way of describing her.

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 20-Nov-12 07:49:18

I don't want to be conspicuous either way! Gah. It's a shitty thing.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 20-Nov-12 07:52:46

Um, did the woman actually know all along that the DD's father was you DH, or did she believe her fiancé was the most likely father.

Do you know if the DD still has contact with her mum's ex?

So your DH's mum has invited them both - I guess she felt that was for the best and I don't think it's unreasonable, leaving aside any question of personality, does DH's mum see the DD much?

InNeedOfBrandy Tue 20-Nov-12 07:53:36

No especially if she's quite alpha you have to be there to mark your place

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Tue 20-Nov-12 07:54:18

I think you have to be there and meet her. I'm assuming this will be the first time your dc meet their half sister? In which case, you should be there to support them, and your DH, in making the whole thing as positive an experience as possible.

If you make it obvious that you don't want to meet, it is likely to cause problems, especially if the Mum isn't the nicest of people. I think you have to focus on the relationships that are most important here, your DHs with his dd, and your dcs with their sister. Unfortunately, your needs are not the priority in this situation so your role has to be a supportive one.

deXavia Tue 20-Nov-12 07:54:43

I think this is one situation where whatever you do will be wrong. Present and leave looks like you didn't want to meet her (and rude IMHO). Staying and suffering means you'll be miserable and so might others.

Personally I would stay but make sure I was busy, as naff as it sounds bake a cake in the kitchen or the equivalent so you are there but a step removed. You have excuses to step out, but at least you are there. The alternative is can you all go out somewhere so you're not confounded to the house? Again you're there but chances for everyone to step back.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Tue 20-Nov-12 07:55:49

I don't think you should drop a gift and run. I think you should stay and get and meet the child and support your family as best you can, even though it will no doubt be quite a trial for you! I would feel the same as you do in the circumstances.

TroublesomeEx Tue 20-Nov-12 07:55:59

If I were you, I'd go. I wouldn't want to go either, but I think you should partly to support your husband and partly to make your presence felt. IYKWIM.

She sounds a bit odd and is someone your husband had a week long fling with 15 years ago, but she might decide to get a bit territorial given that she was there 'first'. Some people are a bit strange. If you're not there, you've no idea how she might interpret it.

I think it's perfectly reasonable that the girl would want her mum there - it's a massive deal for her to be meeting you all (I take it she'll meet your children too?)

PropositionJoe Tue 20-Nov-12 07:56:04

Is the other country warm enough for you to meet them both and then after an hour or so go out for a walk? I don't think that woukd look rude, I'm sure everyone would understand.

MrsBucketxx Tue 20-Nov-12 07:58:00

go along, big smiles, be friendly, very freindly. it will throw her as sh is probably expecting you to be frosty. kill her with kindness

its one day after all. dd is 15 and can make her own decisions about contact.

she sounds like a vile woman btw.

TroublesomeEx Tue 20-Nov-12 07:58:29

x post - if she's a bit 'alpha' then I think you definitely need to make your presence felt.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 20-Nov-12 08:05:47

Can you think of your role as looking after your own DCs to give your DH most time with his DD? The other woman is incidental to your "job" that day.

ENormaSnob Tue 20-Nov-12 08:06:55

I wouldn't be happy either mrs.

Overcooked Tue 20-Nov-12 08:07:32

United front are the first words that came to me, you need to be there, show you are a unit.

Well, the other woman is completely irrelevant - it's just someone he used to bonk 15 years ago - I'm sure if she's in any way sniffy with you it would be noticed by the others.

The important thing is for you to be there for the daughter and be welcoming, particularly if the mum's flakey - she might end up studying over here with you wink

mrskeithrichards Tue 20-Nov-12 08:11:15

She does sound awful but you need to be there.

What do your children know and think about it all?

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 20-Nov-12 08:21:14

I see what you're all saying but I feel no need to mark my territory. It IS question.

I do see that it might be hard on my DDs though if Im not there.

pingu2209 Tue 20-Nov-12 08:22:19

I can fully understand your totally rational and normal feelings over this. However, the child's and your children's feelings are more important than yours.

His surprise daughter may well need her own mother there for support. But more importantly (for you) your own children will need their mother there for their support.

Your own children have a sister. A half sister, but a sister none the less. The child may not be your flesh and blood, but it is your children's flesh and blood. They need to see you in a positive light over their sister. It will be confusing and upsetting for them if they see their own mother struggling with the situation.

If the other mother is a cow and is insinuating that you are larger than her or ugly or anything horrible; rise above it for your own children. In years to come you will get pay back in terms of being able to look yourself in the mirror and your own children in their eyes and be able to honestly say that you supported them through this.

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 20-Nov-12 08:32:17

I don't know if she was insinuating that I am larger....I'm obviously not! But it was rude either way.

I do have nothing but positive feelings for the DD she is my DDs blood and that's enough for me....I'd welcome her with open arms. Truth be told, I am afraid of the woman. SHe's had a hard life and has been involved in some very iffy scenes.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 20-Nov-12 08:34:47

Stay, smile, suck it up. You have nothing to be embarrassed about and you're part of DH's life. If you are worried about being shy and feeling awkward focus on your DDs and meeting their half sister. Your MIL has done a nice thing inviting the mother and daughter over.

x2boys Tue 20-Nov-12 08:37:49

I have some knowledge of what your going through although ours is an entirely different scenario DH had aDD nearly 12 who lives not to far fropm us but ever since I met dh nearly 8 yrs ago his dd mother has done everything in her power to keep him away [despite the fact although they did have a relationship it was more off than on when she got pregnant and most definatley over when he met me].DH pays csa and always sends birthday and xmas cards usually without a word of thanks but our theory is as she gets older DH ,DD might want to meet him and have a relationship with him on her own terms so we always keep the lines of communication open , i by the way have never met the dd although our children have albeit briefly.

ajandjjmum Tue 20-Nov-12 08:39:41

You need to be there because your children will see their Dad being 'claimed' by someone else, and at whatever age, that has to be a tricky situation.

I don't envy you, but you need to pull out your inner actress for the day. You might be shy really, but you'll be the most welcoming, confident woman ever on this occasion! grin

I can understand why you feel like you do, but I don't think staying away is the right way to handle it. Be at the lunch, meet her in person, then be happy as you fly back home knowing you did the right thing.

If she's snippy or rude, rise above it and show yourself to be the better person. Staying away would make you look like the unreasonable / unpleasant one.

DownTheRabidHole Tue 20-Nov-12 08:52:29

YABVU, as much as you don't like it, these two women are part of your family.

There was an article about this in the daily mail a few weeks ago which brought tears to my eyes, a thought-provoking and heart-warming article by a woman whose husband got that phonecall. Please look it up, it was a lovely story.

OwedToAutumn Tue 20-Nov-12 08:52:59

YANBU to want to get out or this. It sounds bloody awful.

The way I see it, you, your DC, and your DH's DD are the innocents in all this.

The girl will have lots of support - her DM and DGM (and DGF?). Your DC will have you and DH, as well as DGP. You will only have your DH, and he needs to realise that.

You have supported him in financial terms. Money that you should reasonably expect to give security to your family has been sent to her and used to visit her and to maintain a relationship with her (obviously rightly). I am sure you have supported him emotionally, when he found out he had a DD on the other side of the world.

Now it's his turn to support you.

He should speak to his DM (and DF?) to put your position across to them, ie that MrsCant is the innocent in all this, and to be understanding toward you.

I think you probably should "do the right thing" and go, but a conversation between DH and his parents is necessary, as is his care and attention to you on the day.

AThingInYourLife Tue 20-Nov-12 08:59:54

You need to stay.

AThingInYourLife Tue 20-Nov-12 09:07:10

You need to stay.

AmberSocks Tue 20-Nov-12 09:09:39

ell your dh how you feel,and his mil too if you feel comfortable talking to her about that.We have a similar situation here and i wouldnt want to meet the mother and no one would or should expect me too!

AmberSocks Tue 20-Nov-12 09:09:56

sorry i meant your mil.

AmberSocks Tue 20-Nov-12 09:11:12

I also dont see why she needs to be there at all,if the dd is 15!

OwedToAutumn Tue 20-Nov-12 09:13:40

Well, maybe the girl won't go without her. Maybe the mother won't let her go unless she is present. The presence of the mother is probably out of the OP's control, I would've thought.

AmberSocks Tue 20-Nov-12 09:20:14

its not out of the ops husbands control though.

I also went through this as a child and i didnt have my parents there holding my hand,i was the same age.

Nancy66 Tue 20-Nov-12 09:37:55

I also think you need to be there.

However, once you arrive your husband needs to tell his mum that from now on she backs off. It's not on that she made this arrangment without clearing it with you first.

I don't blame you for not wanting to meet the other woman, her selfish lies have caused a lot of problems. But forget her and be there for your new step daughter.

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 20-Nov-12 10:21:58

Autumn the Mum says the DD needs her. She's very involved and won't let the DD catch a bus or anyting without her....she wouldn't let DH even take her out for a day without her being there too when he went.

So if MIL asked the DD to come without her Mum, the Mum would not let her come.

DH was going to ask his Mum to arrange something different...he felt that I'd be uncomfortable but I said not to ask as she'd already done the inviting. MIL is nice but a bit ike an elephant in a tea shop. She wouldn't think about it in real terms.

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 20-Nov-12 10:23:20

She's terribly sociable (MIL) and probably has dreams of us all being a big loving extended family (er...right) and it's innocent I'm sure.

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 20-Nov-12 10:25:30

If I think I can cope then i will, but otherwise, I may just take my DDs out for the day....and then tell DH that he and his DD and her Mum, can come and meet us all for after lunch drinks in town....we could go to a nice cafe near the beach that I know.

That way, my DDs will get to meet their sister in neutral territory and MIL and FIL can have DH and his DD and the MOther for lunch without it being weird.

DowntonTrout Tue 20-Nov-12 10:27:00

I have been through something similar. DHs DD turned up when she was 12. Our DD1 was 8 and I was pregnant with DD2.

It was a very difficult time. It has had long lasting effect on DD1. The mother was a nightmare, completely unstable and would ring up late at night threatening suicide. She was convinced dH and she were still in love and going to get back together. DH tried to do the right thing, trying to find her somewhere to live when her DP threw her out, trying to support his DD. but she too had been damaged by her mother. In the end it nearly destroyed our marriage.

DH has some contact with his DD now, I have very little. Sadly it seems she will never be a real part of our family. She was indoctrinated from a young age about how I was the evil woman who stole her father. Not true in any way! Even now, 10 years on, I could not be in a room with the mother.

It is easy for people to say you should put your own feelings aside. It is less easy to do. The only advice I can give is to try and be there, as your DDs will need you. It will be awkward. Try not to give this woman any impression of your discomfort and present a united front. I really wish you luck and hope that in the future it will get easier.

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 20-Nov-12 10:29:45

I feel really uncomfortable about my DDs even being around this woman Trout. I haven't given all the details on here as it's not on to share other people's lives to much but she is very unstable.

She's got a vendetta against men and says negative things about them when we "Oh you'll learn DD....all men are shit"

And they both swear.

Blu Tue 20-Nov-12 10:33:16

It's just one lunch time, and your only chance, maybe, ever, to meet this girl. Also maybe the only chance for your DC to meet her.

Look at it from her pov. First her father, who brought her up, goes to great lengths to prove that she is not his, and is gone. Now if she sees another family apparantly reject or disassociate she may well feel very rejected. Of course she will suspect if you and the DC are not there.

It will be awkward, but she is a child and you are the grown up. I would just do it. Be friendly and welcoming, talk with her, not the mother.

It will send very strong signals of all kinds if you duck out of this.

AnyFucker Tue 20-Nov-12 10:38:24

I feel badly for you, but I do think this is one of those times you need to pull on your Big Girl pants and do this thing.

You will be glad you did (afterwards)

YANBU to want to avoid meetng this woman but I think you need to for the girls sake if no-one else's. Looking to the not so distant future, she will be a young adult who may want to spend time with her father away from her mother and if you have avoided meeting her it will make it even harder for her. I think I'd go and meet them both and then suggest another meeting without her mother being there where you can be a bit more relaxed but for this occassion concentrate on making her feel wanted by all of you.

SoggySummer Tue 20-Nov-12 10:45:28

It was very presumptious of your MIL to arrange this with no prior consultation.

I think you do need to be there but I think the whole meeting should be on neutral territory. Get MIL to book a local restaurant - somewhere large and busy so at least there is alot of other stuff going on and its not too intmate for others to overhear too much.

This way all parties have the option to remove themselves from the situation easily if the daughters mum kicks off.

It will be easy to arrange - get MIL to phone up the woman a few weeks beforehand to "confirm" details and just say as there is going to be so many of us we have booked a table at X, to save me all that washing up..... etc etc. I would say it would be polite ensure that the mum and daughter dont need to cover this cost though.

Also just be polite and smiley. If the woman is rude or abrupt just be nice and smiley back or ignore. Dont retaliate. She will make herself look a complete tit and others will see this for themselves. You can walk away head held high knowing you did your best for the situation - whatever the outcome. Its just a few hours.

Good luck.

DowntonTrout Tue 20-Nov-12 11:03:32

Yes I understand.

You must be with your DDs when you all meet. Then there is no room for manipulation and if there is anything you feel uncomfortable with you are in control. It is going to be very confusing for your DDS as it may not turn out as they imagine. My DD would look at me when DHsDD did things or said things that she knew were unacceptable. They were brought up differently, had different boundaries.

It sounds like a mine field and I completely understand where you are coming from. These situations are often much more complex than they appear from the outside. Add the reluctant teen and the unstable mother, your DH trying to do the right thing, your MIL discovering a grandchild she didn't know about and your DDs being excited but then having their whole lives shifted by having to share their Dad. Plus for you, the relationship you have with your DH, having your children, that is special and private between the two of you, to suddenly not be the only woman to have had his child, it's a huge adjustment. You are bound to find it difficult- even if everything was rosy. It's not like Cilla on Surprise Surprise reuniting long lost relatives is it?

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 20-Nov-12 11:05:26

Soggy I'm going to do as you suggest. It's a good idea thanks. I'll keep smiling and concentrate on the girls. All of them. If she IS rude, then I will be blankly polite back.

lljkk Tue 20-Nov-12 11:05:44

I would meet her at least once. Try to establish a friendly rapport which would improve chances of my DH having a friendly relationship with his bio-DD.

I can see why you don't want to, but there's something about face-to-face meetings that can improve many relationships.

Xiaoxiong Tue 20-Nov-12 11:09:58

I have no additional advice to add to the excellent advice you've already had on this thread. Just wanted to say I really feel for you; you've been thrust into a very difficult situation through no fault of your own, but I think you are a lovely person for this alone:

I do have nothing but positive feelings for the DD she is my DDs blood and that's enough for me....I'd welcome her with open arms.

BlingLoving Tue 20-Nov-12 11:10:14

I have not read all the thread but you absolutely cannot choose not to meet your Dh's 15 year old simply because her mother is going to be there. I am shocked you are even considering it. And how would your step daughter feel? You need to suck it up and a) support your dh and b) help him make sure that his dd understands she is a welcome part of the family.

LulaPalooza Tue 20-Nov-12 11:14:23

MrsCant I empathise with you... DH has a similar situation with DSS, except that DSS lives with DH's parents now so I have never had to meet DSS's Mother. I will have to in January and am dreading it.

DH/ DSS are from SA and there's a massive cultural difference. Several of his friends have also found out some years down the line that they are Fathers. But things just don't get discussed/ talked about.

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 20-Nov-12 11:41:32

Xiaoxiong When I saw her photo all those years ago, she looked just like DH when he was a kid and now my older DD is getting a proper face with a bone structure, she looks SO like her's weird. They share a parent but don't even known one another. Heartbreaking really.

If we had lived in DHs home country, I doubt things would have been easier re... access though. It's sad but we hope that his DD can form her own opions about men in the future.

quoteunquote Tue 20-Nov-12 11:51:05

The mother sounds controlling,

You need to be there for all of the children, who will need your lead to follow, your husband will need support, your MiL will appreciate you being the sensible non difficult person and this child will need to feel secure that you are not antagonistic towards her,

If the mum is a difficult person, at some point that child is going to want to bust out, you may well end up with her living with you in the future as she spreads her wings, so make the best effort to start off a good relationship between her and yourself, don't get cast as the bad guy.

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 20-Nov-12 12:00:30

I have thought this * Quote* because she is a creative child and it's very common for kids from DH's country to want to come to the UK for a while....I would be more than happy to have her right now tbh though that would never happen. Her Mother does love her. She's just a very damaged woman.

AnyFucker Tue 20-Nov-12 12:06:13

Soggy has good advice. take that.

Viviennemary Tue 20-Nov-12 12:10:05

From my own point of view I wouldn't want to meet his ex. I can't see the point especially if she isn't a very nice person anyway. I'd leave them all to get on with it and meet the DD at a later date. They sound a load of trouble and I would tend to want to keep clear.

honeytea Tue 20-Nov-12 12:17:49

I think you need to remember that you are one of the grown ups in the situation, your dds and your dp's dd are probably all feeling much more worried about the situation than you are. I think you need to put your own feelings aside and be there to support the 3 of them.

This woman has done wrong by your DP by keeping his child away from him, but your DP is not entirely innicent is he, he had (I assume) unprotected sex with someone who he knew was engaged, he doesn't sound blameless in this situation.

honeytea Tue 20-Nov-12 12:18:35

innocent not innicent

rogersmellyonthetelly Tue 20-Nov-12 12:18:51

I wouldn't want to meet her either, but for the sake of your dds and her dd you need to be there really. Be very warm and friendly, and do try to give the mum the benefit of the doubt, she was probably doing what she thought was best at the time.

MammaTJ Tue 20-Nov-12 12:22:52

Honestly, I think you need to be there to support your DC!! They will all be fussing over their big sister, who they have never met, she will be a stranger to them and they do need to get to know her.

No get out for you, I'm afraid!!

MrsCantSayAnything Tue 20-Nov-12 12:40:18

No I've decided to follow SOggy's advice as I mentioned earlier. She's got a good idea imo.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 20-Nov-12 12:49:01

Good luck mrs!

YellowTulips Tue 20-Nov-12 12:53:22

This is obviously a very difficult situation for all involved, however, its not going to get any better by running away from it.

Whatever the past rights and wrongs are here, the priority has to be the welfare of your children and your DSD and this more than anythign else needs to shape your actions.

I can understand why you wouldn't want to meet the mother, but it's not unreasonable for her to want to offer support to her daughter whilst she meets your DH's family (if its hard for you, think how hard it is for a 15 year old girl to deal with all this, finding out her Dad isnt her Dad, that her real Dad lives in another country and she has half siblings and a step-mum she never knew existed).

Equally, its going to be difficult for your children so I think its important for them to have their mother there to support them and "show" them that its all going to be ok by being as relaxed and open as you possibly can (easier said than done I know).

I would look at it this way, perhaps an informal lunch (remember food can be a big ice breaker - if nothing else you can bond over a mutual hatred of mice pies!) is not the worst way to meet your DSD and her mother face to face for the first time. It might actually be less intense and in that regard and easier than a few hours just with you and DH - people tend to be on better behaviour the more people there are around.

Personally I think the best thing to do is to go and be as open and welcoming as you can to both the mother and DSD, keeping conversation "light" and deflecting any negative comments by having a few "distraction" topics/activies prepared in advance.

Whilst it is difficult to maintan a "blue peter smile" in front of a woman who has impacted your life so dramatically, the alternative could be far worse in the long run by being perceived as alienating/dis-interested in DSD by not over comming (an albeit understandable) reluctance to engage with her mother.

Best of luck xxxx

justmyview Tue 20-Nov-12 12:55:12

I think you should be there, even though it's likely to be an awkward meeting

whizmum Tue 20-Nov-12 14:03:04

Yes you have to be there - talk to MIL and make sure you have plenty of things to do - make a cake that requires last minute decorating which would be a contribution,and also a distraction for you.

Make sure DH's daughter has photos of her dad to look at and this will be something her mother can look at too. It would be good to have something around that she might be interested in too - has MIL any photos of her? Just give her plenty of distraction

Find something for the children to do that she can join in with or watch if she pleases. It will be good to have small children around, as they are always a distraction. It will be good for them to spend some time with them, if she is to learn about her father.

Ask m-i-l if there are things you can do to help whilst they are there, to free her up and give her more time with this grand child (and the mother). Good for brownie points and good for getting away.

It will be a hard day, but if you manage to help MIL, DH and children have a good time with this girl, you will have won. Smile and brush away any comments. If she is nasty, it is because she is nasty, not because of you. If it doesn't go well, you will have tried!

Fairyegg Tue 20-Nov-12 14:39:52

I can understand why you don't want to be there, but I think you have to be. Even if your really shy just smile a lot, hopefully mil and your dh will do most of the talking anyway. It's bound to be really awkward for everyone, probably mainly for the dd and her mum though.

Cahooots Wed 21-Nov-12 00:28:46

Good idea to follow soggys advice. Very sensible.

I hope it goes well.

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