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to say to MIL - if you want a copy of DD's school photo, you should have a copy of my DS's as well!

(51 Posts)
MoomieAndFreddie Mon 03-Dec-12 15:27:52

am sick of DS not being classed as a family member

he is from a previous relationship and he was only a baby when me and DH got together, he is 6 YO now

i also have now a DD aged 3 with DH

they recently had school photo's taken. MIL has asked for a photo for Christmas - but only of DD. I suppose I should be used to it as her home is covered in photo's of all the "real" grandkids - but not DS

To contrast this, my EX mil (ie DS's grandma) loves and treats both kids exactly the same (despite DD being from my "new" relationship) and has also asked for some school pics - of BOTH dc. And she calls them her grandkids and they both call her nanna.

it fucks me off. if any of my dc ever end up with step kids i will be sure to treat them exactly the same as any bio grand kids i might have.

fairylightsandtinsel Mon 03-Dec-12 15:29:47

that is very sad, but I would strongly recommend that you let your DP tackle it with his mother, not you. I hope you get it sorted.

Yanbu!!! Family is family doesn't matter how they came to be with u !

CuriousMama Mon 03-Dec-12 15:31:36

Awful. I agree get dh to tackle it.

ChocolateCoins Mon 03-Dec-12 15:32:42

Yanbu. That is really sad sad I would never treat a child differently just because they weren't biologically related.

Sokmonsta Mon 03-Dec-12 15:32:43

Are the children at the same school? Joint photos for future if they are.

KenLeeeeeee Mon 03-Dec-12 15:58:14

YANBU, how sad for your ds. Your DH should really raise this with his mother.

Even my MIL, with whom I have had a very difficult and turbulent relationship, manages to treat all my kids the same, even though only the youngest two are biologically related to her. It's the one area I can't fault her. grin

SweetApril Mon 03-Dec-12 16:05:38

Ah, as a kid I had a mean step-grandmother just like your DS. The "real" grandkids were treated very, very differently - lots of love, attention, treats. She gave me none of those things and liked to make sure everyone knew it. My stepdad did his best to confront her but she was basically just an old cow. It drove my mum crazy and created a lot of tension and upset in our house.

Based on my experiences I'd say:

You and your DH should deal with the issue as a "team" and confront her together, if necessary.

Don't expect her to change (although obviously it's a bonus if she does)

Include your DS yourself where possible (eg joint school photos)

Absolutely embrace the love and kindness of your ex MIL

And try really hard not to let it get to you or affect your relationship with your DH. Be determined. In the long run it won't achieve anything. Sounds like your DS and DD have enough good family around to more than make up for the deficiencies of your MIL.

SantaWearsGreen Mon 03-Dec-12 16:10:11

I really fail to understand people like this. It makes no sense at all. They are cold, callous and cruel.

How can you totally disregard a child in this way and still feel able to sleep at night? He is a child, and it doesn't matter if he is 'flesh and blood' or not, he still is a part of the family and has feelings. I feel really sad when I hear stories like this, I just wish I could understand what goes through their heads.

You need to get DH to tackle it before it gets out of hand. Similar situation growing up. I was in your DS situation except SGPs wouldn't even have dreamt of having a picture of me. In fact I recall a few times them taking a 'family photo' together and saying I couldn't be in it so had to sit to one side. Also they would find an unwanted gift like a polar bear calendar for instance to give me as a Christmas pressie, DB who was their bio GC would get some massive £100 gift. Its always stayed with me, its very hurtful. Don't let your DS go through the same, nip it in the bud now.

MrsMerryMeeple Mon 03-Dec-12 16:23:27

Get a nice photo of the two of them together and give her that. Posing so there's no way she can take DS from the picture without spoiling the shot of DD.

YouCanBe Mon 03-Dec-12 16:33:30

That is horrible.
Your DS will notice and it will hurt him. sad

adeucalione Mon 03-Dec-12 16:41:21

My MIL always asks for a copy of DDs school photo, but never asks for one of DS - both the biological offspring of her son btw, she has just always been more interested in DD. It manifests itself in other ways too. I work quite hard to make sure that DS doesn't notice.

I'm in the same situation as Kenleeee, my MIL and I have a very difficult relationship at times, but she has never treated my DS1 any differently to my other DCs. I feel very sorry for your DS. I would also go along with joint photos only and ask your DH to have a word. Does she not realise how difficult she is making things for all of you, not least your DH and your DD?

Journey Mon 03-Dec-12 16:58:28

I think it would be nice if your mil accepted your ds but you can't make someone change their feelings if they don't want to. Go ahead and give her joint photos but it isn't going to change anything. If she hasn't accepted your ds for nearly six years then it is very unlikely she'll change.

Your ds has his own set of biological grandparents. He doesn't need your mil. Of course it would make things so much nicer if she did but if it doesn't come from the heart then it would just be superficial.

McChristmasPants2012 Mon 03-Dec-12 17:06:21

I would have a christening or party specifically for your DS and invite everyone apart from your toxic mother in law. See how she feels left out.

jb198 Mon 03-Dec-12 17:17:31

We are in a similar situation . I had dd when we got together, now also got ds. We picked up on the " first grandchild" comments when I was expecting ds. Pil ring up dh and ask about ds daily, dd mentioned occasionally when they remember. Dh finds this so insulting as he is dds dad in every way.
Show a united front, dh now says oh ds is fine, dds been upto xyz, she's doing this and that at school etc and generally makes them include her. We also only visit as a four.
Dh didn't want to cause a row or offend them, I explained that he might offend them but it wouldent be a touch on what they would be if I had to say something! We now seem to be on the same page, thinking Christmas may be interesting! We are trying to nip anything of this nature in the bud, if dh sees himself as having two children and fathers them equally then the lease pils can do is respect that.

exoticfruits Mon 03-Dec-12 17:20:54

Get joint photos- take one yourself and send it instead. Make sure that DS sees MIL on his own sometimes.
I would confront her, calmly and politely, with DP and tell her that you have two equal children and that has to treat them equally.

diddl Germany Mon 03-Dec-12 17:25:53

Did she see him as family before you had your daughter?

I think I just wouldn´t give her a photo at all tbh.

exoticfruits Mon 03-Dec-12 17:26:59

Does she have the DCs on her own?

Mines the same, luckily ds1&2 are old enough not to be bothered by her anymore. I think it upsets me more than them

MoomieAndFreddie Mon 03-Dec-12 17:59:26

wow was fully expecting to be told i am being U

she babysits - but only for DD. she would never have them both

DH's exwife hates MIL as well - dh xw had 2 kids from a prev relationship as well, wonder if MIL ignored them as well....

Seabird72 Mon 03-Dec-12 18:12:27

awful situation but ex MIL sounds lovely!

Kalisi Mon 03-Dec-12 18:19:36

God that's horrible! I can't believe how many people are coming on here saying they are in the same situation sad
Well obviously your MIL is BVU. I would probably be too shocked to address the situation head on but would do everything in my power to just protect DS and force her to include him. I.e Only send joint photos EVER, only visit with both children, only send cards/presents made by both children etc. You will passive aggressively get your point across eventually.

LemonBreeland Mon 03-Dec-12 18:22:50

She would not be getting a photo from me.

What does your dh say to her?

LemonBreeland Mon 03-Dec-12 18:26:10

She would not be getting a photo from me.

What does your dh say to her?

My DB would completely disown my Mum if she even hinted towards treating his dsd differently to his dd.

phantomnamechanger Mon 03-Dec-12 18:29:09

do what Kalisi said at 18:19
just reinforce at every opportunity that no form of differentiating/favouritism will be tolerated.

thebody Mon 03-Dec-12 18:35:24

She sounds a bitch. Get dh to confront her and tell her she has no right to any pictures unless she acts like a decent human being for gods sake.

And I wouldn't let her babysit at all... Toxic old bag.

HildaOgden Mon 03-Dec-12 18:36:49

I can't believe she only babysits for dd and excludes ds,that's worse than the photo and I wouldn't stand for it sad

I'd tell her that you are worried that dd will see her as being mean to ds if she doesn't include him more,that might work.Although,tbh,I think even if she agrees to put on a front,thats all it will be.A front.

I'd concentrate more on the lovely ex -mil I think,she sounds like a lovely Nana.I think a lot of familes have one nice Nana,one not-so-nice....the kids will figure it out for themselves soon enough.

I agree with only sending joint photos too.

pigletmania Mon 03-Dec-12 18:39:37

She sounds like a nasty toxic woman, just like te mum on the other thread who treated ops biological kids better than her adopted ds. They should all be put on an island together and left to the vultures

DontmindifIdo Mon 03-Dec-12 18:42:29

I wouldn't give her a photo. Say you can't get a copy. Then bit by bit, cut her out. You don't have to make a big scene, just never ask her for babysitting, don't let her have DD alone, don't make arrangements to see her etc.

Your DCs are your priority, not your MIL's feelings. It won't help DS to realise he's been treated as less, and it won't help your DD to be favoured.

ohfunnyface Mon 03-Dec-12 18:46:49

What does your dp say? Or does he see her point?

She sounds vile.

TalkativeJim Mon 03-Dec-12 18:47:56

Think I'd be dropping big hints, in terms of both time spent and comments etc., that it's easier for you as a family to be closer to your DS's gran, and that the children like it - and her more. For obvious reasons...

'Sorry Mum if you think we're favouring (Ex-MIL) and her family over you... but, well, truth of the matter is that the chilren prefer being with her, she treats them as proper brother and sister, and both as her grandchildren, so they obviously enjoy spending time with her more... and therefore so do we, as it feels more proper-family like. We could come and see you maybe after Boxing Day, though...'

Do a bit of obvious favouring, then get your DH to point out the above when she starts to moan that she's not seeing her darling granddaughter enough...

TalkativeJim Mon 03-Dec-12 18:50:26

...and if that doesn't get her thinking, then simply continue to focus your time and attention on the lovely granny on your DS's side that both your children are lucky to have!

Blood isn't thicker than water in things like this. Don't make the mistake of thinking that a blood tie somehow means that your daughter needs to have a relationship with this woman fostered. Not if it's actually going to adversely affect the happiness of both your children, and make for bad feeling within your immediate family.

OddBoots Mon 03-Dec-12 18:52:39

"DH's exwife hates MIL as well - dh xw had 2 kids from a prev relationship as well, wonder if MIL ignored them as well...."

It might be worth finding that out. It wouldn't excuse her but it might make her behaviour a little more understandable if you found that she treated the ex's children as her grandchildren only to be denied contact with them once they spilt. It may be a case of 'once bitten, twice shy'.

Viviennemary Mon 03-Dec-12 18:55:01

She is mean to treat the children differently. But I don't think it will do any good to force things. I'd not bother with her much till she changes her attitude. But sadly this is not that uncommon in this sort of family situation.

diddl Germany Mon 03-Dec-12 19:03:43

She might not think of him as her GS, but he is her GD´s brother & therefore a big part of her life.

I´d be very tempted to not let her have your daughter on her own.

Why are the siblings split up in this way?

CaliforniaSucksSnowballs Mon 03-Dec-12 20:01:10

Get your Dh to sort this out ASAP before your Ds starts to notice, there have been other posters on here who have talked about how this had a profound affect on their lives growing up. It's sad she can't just love them and treat them both equally.

ljny Mon 03-Dec-12 20:44:33

I think you're being U to let her play favorites. She gets joint photos or no photos. She sits for both children, or none.

If this is how she treats your son, an innocent child, it might be best for her to have no contct - or minimal contact - with your family.

Ask yourself if you want this woman influencing your dd if this is how she treats that dd's brother?

Pigletmania is right.

DowntonTrout Mon 03-Dec-12 20:59:13

MIL is like this.

DS is 24 now and she has never regarded him as a grandson. Therefore he has never regarded her as a grandma. Even though I met DH when he was 18 months old. We went on to have 2 DDs together.

DH has brought DS up as his own right from the beginning and they have the most brilliant relationship.

I don't know what the answer is. We never found it. It is her loss.

StuntGirl Mon 03-Dec-12 22:31:59

She sounds vile sad I don't think there can be any excuse for treating the children so differently. Even if that's how she really feels your son is her grandaughters brother, she needs to put aside her own feelings for the sake of the kids.

I would ask your husband to bring it up with her, and if she doesn't improve her behaviour then cut her out. Your children don't need to be exposed to her cruel behaviour.

loubielou31 Mon 03-Dec-12 23:15:57

You know my parents are a bit like this. DH has two DS's from his first marriage and My parents do treat them differently to our DDs.
I think there is a bit of difference in that DSs live with their mum and stay with us in school holidays etc so my DPs just don't see them very often at all so they just don't have the same bond I suppose.
I think I would get your DH to say something to her and see what happens but I think it may be like DowntonTrout's situation.

exoticfruits Tue 04-Dec-12 07:23:03

I think that the answer is that you see her together with DH and you tell her that you have 2equal DCs and,whatever her private thoughts are, she keeps them too herself otherwise you will have to step in and you will not be giving her photos of your DD without her brother and if her present is better than her brother's you will be returning it etc. You are not having a DC who is a second class citizen in their own family.

JeezyOrangePips Tue 04-Dec-12 07:52:45

I have a teeny bit of sympathy for her. It must be harder to regard a child you got to know when they were slightly older in the same way as one you've known since they were born.

But but but - that's no excuse for her behaviour. She needs to treat them equally even if she finds it hard to feel the same way about them. Anything less is at best unacceptable. You can't explain to a young child that 'she's not really your nan, so that's why she doesn't like you so much' - especially when the other is so accepting and treats them the same and ( it seems) feels equally about them both.

You can't have one child growing up feeling that he is somehow 'lesser'.

I just don't know how you can sort it though.

OhTheConfusion Tue 04-Dec-12 08:42:52

Oh you poor soul, what a horrid mil sad

I would not let her babysit any of my dc's in your case and I would need to confront the situation. Would your DH arrange to have a talk with her? What she is doing is hurfull and could leave a lasting complex between your children.

I honestly don't get how mean some people are angry

exoticfruits Tue 04-Dec-12 08:48:10

I haven't the slightest sympathy for her! She has known DS since he was a baby and if she had been abroad and missed DDs first year she isn't going to say 'I don't regard her as a grandchild because she was older when I first saw her!!
My DS was 6 yrs when he met DH's family. He isn't treated differently with nonsense like 'we didn't know him as a baby'! And this woman jolly well did know him as a baby! It gets me so cross that adults can show such favouritism.

Katisha Tue 04-Dec-12 08:51:23

WHy are you even letting her only babysit DD?

LemonBreeland Tue 04-Dec-12 10:01:07

I agree with the comments about not letting her babysit at all. The children are siblings and should be treated the same.

exoticfruits Tue 04-Dec-12 10:29:38

I didn't realise that you were only letting her babysit DD! Stop it now! I would go out for the day and leave DS with her-let her get to know him.
Tell her plainly that you have 2 children and she is grandmother to both, or she needn't bother at all.

MoomieAndFreddie Tue 04-Dec-12 10:29:49

i shouldn't allow just DD to be babysat - you are right

i guess we have asked MIL to babysit when DS has been at his dads, but thats enabling the preferential treatment i suppose, making it normal that she only has DD when DS is "out of the way"


exoticfruits Tue 04-Dec-12 10:32:24

There is no doubt that in the future it would be useful for her to babysit DD-but only once she has accepted that DS is equal. Until she understands it I would put a stop to it-however useful.

MoomieAndFreddie Wed 05-Dec-12 11:51:51

definitely exotic

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