To not want to take my children to Australia?(256 Posts)
I never thought I'd say this, but I really need the views of someone not connected to my situation.
Background: My DH and I are the adoptive parents of his sister's children (DS 9 and DD 5), we took them on after their parents were killed in a accident and the adoption was finalised just over a year ago. I couldn't love them more!
Problem: My in-laws live in Australia and are demanding that we take our DC to visit in the summer holidays, I've said no and now we are heading for war.
DS has a serious phobia of flying; not long before is DP died they were on a flight that had to make an emergency landing, he was bumped around pretty badly and he now has some serious problems. We didn't realise how bad his fear was (I don't think he knew either tbh) until we tried to take a flight to Ireland, the panic attack he had was so bad he had to be taken to hospital by ambulance, sedated until his vital signs stabilized and spent a few days there for observation. DS is now having treatment for his phobia, he is making progress but it's slow going and his therapist agrees that any flight right now would be counter-productive. My in-laws know all this, it has been explained to them in detail and both have acknowledged that over 24h of flight time for a phobic child is, and I quote "less than ideal".
Let battle commence: They have suggested that I should drug DS for the duration of the journey...I just about hit the roof! I have no problem with an adult choosing to take medication in order to travel, but to suggest I do that to a child? I don't even know if a doctor would agree to but in truth I don't care! My DH is in a lousy situation, he really wants to support me but is being emotionally blackmailed by his parents. I feel sorry for him really because his Mother really does know which buttons to press. She had tried everything from 'we haven't seen them since the funeral and we miss them terribly, we might not see them again if you don't bring them over' to 'it's not as if they're her (my) blood family, why should she have any say?' and just about everything in-between. DH is trying to hold strong but his Mother is getting to him and it's causing some heated discussions between us.
Summary: AIBU to refuse to consider drugging my DS in order to take him on a long haul flight?
(sorry for the mammoth post)
I'm very shocked at the suggestion.
Why can't the inlaws visit you rather than you them and make the journey to see their grandchildren?
They should come over.
YANBU, it is an utterly crazy and cruel suggestion. Can DH's parents not fly to the UK?
Could they not come & stay with you instead? It must be awful for them not to see their grandkids but obviously flying is out of the question for now.
Yes - why on earth can't the come here?
Or pay for you to go via a cruise ship and compensate you for the eons of time off work you'd need to do it that way.........
I think they should come to you, would be cheaper for flights for a start as there is only two of them.
Yanbu to keep ds here - he should not be subjected to this.
Why can't they come here ? Less people to fly and no disruption to a child who has gone through enough.
Your dh needs to make his dm see this is his decision too.
What an awful situation your DH is in. Of course YANBU to say no for now, can they not come and visit here instead?
Another one in favour of the Grand parents coming over instead. BTW your DH really needs to pull them up over comments that you get no say as you are not a blood relation. That's not on at all.
'it's not as if they're her (my) blood family, why should she have any say?'
Someone that has said this about the woman who has taken on her bereaved grandchildren really doesn't deserve to be given a seconds thought. What an awful thing to say!
Is there a reason why they can't come here? Sorry if you said and I missed it.
There is no question that you shouldn't go, I think you need to close the subject with your DH. Tell him it is no longer up for discussion, and stick to it. He will have to deal with his mother himself, there is nothing to be gained from the two of you going over and over it and then falling out.
I agree - let them come over. Anything else is not up for discussion with the way your DS is at the moment.
And don't listen to the "blood" bollocks - you are legally his mother, and you and your DH decide where he goes, when and how.
Did the in laws emigrate to Oz? Or is the family from there? Did Sil live in Oz before the accident? I have more sympathy if they are from Australia but yanbu and of course he can't fly until he is ready.
YANBU. They should come to you instead.
YANBU. Far from it. That child has had enough trauma in his life without adding to it.
Even if you were to sedate him (and I agree with you view on this), you wouldn't do so until he was on the plane which would be difficult enough.
Added to the fact it's just common sense not to take him, if his therapist says it will negatively effect his progress you should absolutely follow their professional advice and tell your ILs this.
I do understand that having lost a child and in-law your MIL will desperately want to see her grandchildren but I can't see why she would want him put through this. I'm assuming there are valid reasons why they can't travel here to see them?
I think if the therapist says he is not ready, then they are the ones to be listening to. Can the therapist talk to the il? Strange I know, but if it does the trick?
Do they Skype?
They say it would be too upsetting to come back to the place where their DD died (we live a few minutes away from the accident site).
yanbu at all, your DH needs to firm up on his position here
You are totally right, they should come here and/or set up skype (if that isn't done already).
YANBU. Why on earth can't your parents-in-law come here?
Can you get a doctor's note quoting that he should not fly at present?
Tell them his Doctor says no he must not fly.
Job done. Up to them to visit. Cheeky feckers.
Sorry, cross posts. YA still NBU though.
You clearly have ds's interest at heart. Keep protecting him from this madness.
Cross posts - could you all book a holiday cottage/hotel somewhere nearish the airport that you could drive/get a train to?
Well, they sound very very selfish! These childrens parents died here, have sever flight phobia and are living in a world that has been tirned upside down recently.
They come to you or they miss out on seeing their DGs.
Tell them to come here. Simples.
And whilst they sound completely barmy, I'd try to give them some rope. Their grief must be intense.
It must be awful for them losing a child and having GCs so far away but they need to put the needs of your DS before thier own
It's a bit odd they can't come as it would be too traumatic for them (adults) but they don't think the trauma to your DS (a child) is a good enough reason not to travel
I feel for them, but they are being unreasonable
x post, normally I'd be sympathetic but in this case, no child that distressed by flying trumps not wanting to visit for that reason
could you meet for a holiday in a different part of the uK if they flew over, or ferry to france and holiday with them there? then they wouldn't have to visit the site but would be the ones doing the flying??
You have adopted them: they are your children. Don't let that argument ever be used, it's not only insulting but it would be hurtful and harmful for the DC to hear that view.
Oh and you are so NBU.
Is it even possible to drug someone for the duration of a 24 hour flight?
There does not seem to be any reasonable response to this other than DH man up, tell the inlaws it's not happening and make plans for the GPs to come over, if they want
Holy crap - that's awful! Tell them to come to you, definitely.
So they are putting their own (understandable) upset over the trauma of their Grandson. He is just a child, his needs must come first. He can't get on a plane at the moment. End of.
Wow Andro what a nightmare the blackmail is bullying and I should imagine everything is still very raw after the accident but in another word sod that its their grandsons mental health surely his needs should come first.
If they want to see the Kids then they will have to travel and if its a money problem them perhaps you can contribute something.
Stand your ground speak to your DH and agree to put on a united front if he allows his mother to do this to him it will always happen and its shouldn't be about winning or losing but about whats best for the children all of them.
Believe it or not you are being good parents by trying to find a solution when everyone is still grieving
Hands over a mug of tea and virtual hug
They are being utterly stupid and selfish and not thinking of their grandchildren by saying they won't come
If they don't want to stay near you, email them some links of hotels at the other end of the country that they could pay for you all to stay at for a holiday.
UANBU. In laws are mad! Aside from anything else when is the drugging going to start? It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that he would panic attack at the airport. Or the road when he realises he is getting to the airport. Or when he saw you packing for a holiday.
And what about coming back? If he's in Australia then he'll know he has to fly home so it's not going to be a lovely family holiday.
Can you and your husband talk to the therapist on the psychological impact on your son of drugging him (presumably a complete loss of trust) and your GP on the physiological impact (nothing very good either - must increase the risk of DVT etc).
In the end your husband is going to have to choose between his child's welfare and his parents wishes. It may be easier for him with medical backing.
Why don't the ILs come to the UK. If they are not "fit to fly" then can't they be drugged or something.
If you live near where their dd died then get them to meet you somewhere else in the UK - a holiday cottage in cornwall if you live in london, or wales if you live in the south or scotland... anywhere you can drive to they can fly to.
It's utterly ridiculous to expect a traumatised child of 9 who is phobic of flying to spend 24hrs in planes and airports!!!!!!
Is it even possible to drug someone for the duration of a 24 hour flight?
Oh yes. It's great.
YANBU. You are the mother now and you are putting your DS's needs ahead of adults. Of course there must be so much pain and grief around for everyone but the trauma for your inlaws of seeing the accident site is outweighed by your DS's needs.
Firstly, don't let her get away with any of this shit about the dc not being your blood relations and therefore nothing to do with you. You have adopted them - they are your dc, just the same as they would be if you'd given birth to them. You are legally, physically, emotionally and financially responsible for them. She is not. I would be making that very clear and if she wanted to see them grow up she would not be allowed to spout any of that shite.
Secondly, stand your ground. You are doing the right thing. Their GPs relations are not putting the dc first and are being selfish.
I would tell then that they either come over and visit (not stay in your house, either) or they don't see the children. End of. No discussion or negotiation.
Your dh does need to be more active in this. I know it's hard when his mother knows what buttons to push, but you have made a huge commitment here and he must support you as these children's mother, the same as if you were the biological parent and not allow any tolerance to his mother when she starts with questioning your right to make decisions.
I think they should come to you. they can take some drugs if they feel too traumatized. at least they will understand why they are taking them!
Grief aside (and I'm not indifferent, they must be heartbroken) they sound as bonkers as conkers.
Stand firm. You're his mother, you have his best interests in mind. When his treatment permits, maybe then. Until then drug a child. REALLY?
They'd be less upset than their DGC taking the journey. Why don't you all book a holiday somewhere else in the UK and meet them there?
I would say that it would be great, in the LONG term to have a plan to go to Aus. When your DS is ready. And only then.
It is just all about them, isn't it.
In the nicest possible way your DH needs to basically tell them to suck it up and come to see the children. You are absolutely right to want to stop causing potential permanent damage to their grandson by subjecting him to a flight, drugged or not. Are they really serious that that you should lie to him, drug him to unconsciousness and then expect him to be fine about it when he is a 24hour flight away from home? I would expect the airline to contact the police/SS if you were to try and take a drugged child out of the country and I cannot imagine that your GP would sanction 24 hours of sedation unsupervised either!
You have all of my sympathy, this is a horrible one to deal with but you are not unreasonable in any way at all. And you are now mother to these children, your word goes
Thank you all so much!
StanleyLambchop - DH was very, very clear that the comment was beyond unacceptable, told his DM that I deserve more respect from her both as his wife AND as the legal mother to the children, then insisted that she apologize to me for it.
cakebar - the family is not from OZ. The in-laws have lived there for 10 years, they emigrated whilst my DH was in his last year of university. Before the accident, they used to come over at least once a year, sometimes twice.
Do they not know that planes go both ways?
The selfish fuckers should come to you.
Their comment re you not being blood is disgusting. I wouldn't let that go tbh.
It's clearly not in your DS's best interest to be put on a flight that lasts 24 hours...assuming there are no changes. If there are,he will have to endure not only flying but take off and landing repeatedly.
Why exactly can't they come to see you?
YANBU get a letter from his therapist to give them saying he can't fly yet. He would need to be comfortable with short haul flights before you should consider this huge flight.
I have done the Australian flight many times. It is around 23 hours in the air but 30 hours travel time all up, depending where you go in Oz. Even as a regular flier you get fed up on the flight. You also have to factor in 3 or so days each way of jet lag.
Ask them what you do if he panics midway through the 12 hour leg?
Ask them what you do if he has a panic attack at a transfer airport in Far East or Dubai?
I know adults (we know a lot of people who do the journey) who have taken sleeping tablets on long haul flights and most have said yes you sleep but any airport transfers are a nightmare as you are so sluggish.
I accept they have gone through a huge loss but it is too huge an ask for a young child who has been through so much. Agree with suggestion to meet somewhere else in UK or France.
I was ready to tell you yabu but after reading about your sons fear, no way. yadnbu. Why can't they get on a plane to come and see him?
Peoples ignorance and stupidity never ceases to amaze me.
Andro - they are grown adults, yet they would rather subject their young grandchild to massive trauma and drugging rather then they themselves have to face the emotional pain connected to their daughter's loss? What selfish, childish bastards. I speak as someone who's lost a lot of close relatives, so I know full well how painful grief can be. They are the adults: they can bloody well cope a hell of a lot better than your son can (yes, he is your son if you've adopted him; what a vile and offensive thing to say otherwise).
They sound self-absorbed and frankly, horrible. Poor you and DH. NO WAY should you two cave in. You could offer to help them out with the flight costs as a goodwill gesture, but if they're not willing to show their love for their grandchildren by flying over here in spite of the emotional distress it will cause them, but would rather impose worse on a young child, they don't deserve to see their grandchildren.
You and your DH are amazing for having adopted and thereby doubled the number of kids in your family. They and your vile in-laws are extremely lucky to have such wonderful people in their lives.
Having lost a child myself, I do understand that certain situations / locations are just so so hard to face. Grief is not rational. However, I agree about suggesting meeting them elsewhere in the UK (far away from the accident site). Other posters have suggested a holiday cottage which is a fab idea. Have you suggested this to them?
I am sorry about what they said about not being a blood relation, I truly hope they do apologise. That is shocking.
I don't think you are being unreasonable as far as not going now or drugging your child, but I do think you should be asking your gp for some help in dealing with your sons fear of flying while he is still young. Better to tackle it now than leave it to grow and worsen.
Your MIL sounds a proper cow.
What Maya said. Exactly that.
The child cannot travel at the mo
Of course they are being utterly unreasonable to suggest further traumatising their grandson to satisfy their need to see him. Absurd and cruel.
However, in the interests of getting beyond the impasse, I would try to err on side of sympathy in that possibly they are literally crazed by grief.
They may actually find some closure in visiting the children in their own home and even the crash site, if they are well supported and as prepared as possible. It may be worth writing a kindly letter. But you are quite right to put the interests of the children first, please just stay with that.
Sorry for all the sadness you and your family have experienced. X
Fact facts here op . you .....are being emotionally blackmailed too........if u are being made to feel this upset and guilty
It's bloody ridiculous o them to out this much pressure on u and not to respect ur decision as a parent . Forget the drugs option . That's just a non runner
Oh God! I'm in tears here, you are all being so lovely.
I was reaching the point where the pressure was making me think that my emotions were clouding my judgement...even though I still knew that I was in the right - if that makes any sense at all?
I'll suggest meeting elsewhere, my DP have a large holiday house on the coast and they've offered us the use of it anytime we want.
PumpkinPositive - your comment made me laugh! Thank you!
My DH had read the comments on the thread (over my shoulder!), he has now excused himself and gone to his study...that means he's thinking seriously about what has been said.
Can you suggest as a first step that they fly over here while you provide a cottage somewhere further away from the accident site. Maybe somewhere in France the opposite end of the UK? Although to be honest, the grandparents really need to spend some time seeing their grand kids every day normal life in thier normal home.
Tell them (in your head) to fuck off, then just shrug and say "That won't be possible, I'm afraid". Repeat ad nauseum.
Montybojangles - he's having treatment. After the panic attack (the first any of us really knew about how bad his fear was), he was referred for counseling. That didn't work out (the counselor told him to get a grip, I made a formal complaint!) so he is now under the care of a psychologist who specializes trauma induced phobias. His progress has been slow, but steady and significant. We are very pleased with how his treatment is progressing and DS is increasingly coherent when it comes to explaining what he is feeling (important if hs treatment is to continue progressing).
It's just silly. You've got a child who can't cope with a 30 minute-ish flight to Ireland and they want you to fly them to Australia and back???? Even if you - ignoring the morality, legality and health risks - drugged him up to the eyeballs he would spend the whole time in Australia terrified of the flight back. And you'd have to pay for 4 seats (I didn't see you mention other DC).
All they have to do is pay for 2 seats and come to you.
Sorry to your DH for calling his parents vile, etc, but, y'know. They are behaving objectionably. I wouldn't accept that kind of crap from my own child, and a child should not have to experience it from his parent.
You both sound fab. Bet your SIL and BIL are rooting for you somewhere on a star far, far away...
while i understand that the grandparents are in pain and coping with their loss, i still think they are being selfish. you have 2 very young children who have lost both their parents, are probably totally mixed up because they are still trying to understand and settle into a new life and family, and one that has a serious fear of flying. why are they putting their needs before their grandchildren?
getting them to come to you, to either stay at yours or in another location is the only way they will see them.
and they are your children now
Agree with all the people who have said YANBU. Your children are getting settled into their new life. They have Ben through enough disruption and your DS is not fit to fly. End of.
They emigrated, they knew it was a risk that at some point family wouldn't be able to travel due to time or money.
Enjoy your lovely family - some of us have the enormous privilege of knowing that parenting is nothing to do with biology.
There's some great advice on this thread and Andro, you sound amazing.
NOTHING would induce me to take DS on a plane in those circumstances. I hope that reading the posts persuades your DH to step up to the bar and give you the support you need and deserve. If your in laws won't listen to you because you're not a blood relation , then he should tell them, calmly and rationally, that their stance is selfish and unreasonable, and refuse to discuss it further. He should reiterate that they are welcome to come over and explain the arrangements that can be made to address their concerns, then leave them to
How about a rented place somewhere in a different part of the UK or even France [where you could drive].Your inlaws could join you there and enjoy time with their dgc without being distressed by proximity to the accident site.
They are being utterly unreasonable. Your poor Ds. It's worth making the point that if your ds does freak out again and it's extremely reasonable to expect that he will, the airline most likely will refuse you travel anyway.
Suggest the holiday house to them, I completely understand why they would not want to come to you, but they MUST be the adults here and not put your ds through more trauma.
Don't think I've ever seen an AIBU thread where all the posters agree with the OP!
This is so hard, we just flew to BA with our 2 DC to see family, and it was a nightmare.
Youngest DS has a fear of fying due to severe motion sickness. His motion sickness had improved a bit over the years and so we thought we would go and see family there.
On the way to BA ( 16 hr flight) DS was sick after about one hour. he spent the next 15 hours vomiting, panicking, and screaming in fear and pain ( from retching on an empty tummy). It was the worst 15 hours of our lives, and it has made me doubt me being an accpetable parent for putting him through this. He passed out after 10 hrs. There was no doctor on the plane. We had to carry him to the first aid from the plane when we landed for a stop in Brazil. It was very traumatic. And then we had to figure out how to do the return journey.
I feel like such a bloody fool for doing this to him. I award myself the shit parent of the year award. DS is more forgiving, bless him.
We drugged him up for the return journey, the drugs were an anti- vomit drug that also is a sedative.
Anyway, it is not a decision to be taken lightly, and having a child suffer is worse than suffering yourself.
Yanbu, BUT I would try a positove approach and work with the ILs on a way of getting them to see their GC ( as others have suggested).
drugged him up to the eyeballs he would spend the whole time in Australia terrified of the flight back.
I had that entire first trip abroad I did - I was an adult.
I had physical pain and couldn't sleep in days leading up to return flight - my second flight.
In my case my distress at flying was anxiety about new experience of flying but also I realised subsequently feeling very claustrophobic in flight out jammed in small window seat three seats in. So flight back wasn't as bad as I feared but those last few days away were hell.
YABNU you just cant do it yet - few years after treatment it may well be a different story.
Get them to come over.
Oh my, what a terrible situation. First of all OP you sound a wonderful, caring and sensitive person. Your PIL should grateful that their DGC are being cared for by such a wonderful person.
You are definitely NBU in refusing to travel so far at this stage. I am a nervous flyer at the best of times but I have never been in the same situation as your DS has been.
I can see that grief has perhaps blunted your PIL's sensitivity so I would take that into account. I agree that booking a cottage elsewhere w
Gag, posted too soon! Yes, suggest booking a cottage elsewhere. If even being in the UK is too hard would Eurostar or ferry to France and staying there be a possibility?
((Chandon)) I felt that story deserved a hug, it sounds horrendous.
They say it would be too upsetting to come back to the place where their DD died (we live a few minutes away from the accident site).
Then she can drug herself to get through that!
YANBU she would rather put the grandchild through trauma than be an adult. Silly woman, and the not blood comment is unforgivable.
Thaks. i still feel a bit shaken by it. We will not be flying again for quite a few years.
Ok, so he has lost his parents, he is so afraid of flying, that he ends up hospitalised after a short flight and your inlaws want him to do something that he is terrified of and that traumatises him, for 24 hours!!
Because if their trauma? So they are saying their trauma is worse than his?
Aren't they meant to be the adults? And protect their grandchild?
So glad you have got him such prompt treatment, I'm sure it will take a while as they have had such a lot to deal with.
Hats off to you and DH for being such lovely, caring people.
Holiday cottage scenario sounds the perfect solution to me. I'm glad that the children have someone like you two to put their needs first before others.
If they actually cared about your dc they woudl not expect you to do it or they would pay for you to take a cruise or something.
They can come and visit you in a hotel somewhere in the UK
YOU ARE THEIR MOTHER. and a bloody good Mum by the sounds of it.
I have written and rewritten a number of replies but I can't add to what other posters have said. You are a wonderful mother and keep caring for your son just as you have been
Whilst obviously the GP want to see your children, if the grief is so raw for them you also need to be aware and maybe discuss with the psychologist the possible impact on the children. As others have said MIL sounds somewhat unstable, if she hasn't seen them since the funeral they will have moved on in the ?1-2 years, particularly the 5yr old will only have sparse memories beyond those which I'm sure you keep alive for them.
It could be quite hard to manage a v emotional adult whom she has probably only memories of on skype. They might try to bring the children back to their own unresolved levels of grief. I would agree to go to a neutral place where the children feel safe, but make sure that you have lots of excuses to give the children (and you) some space.
It is great that your ds is making such positive progress, and hopefully he will make the journey one day, but to be fair on him I would try to delay it until he can make a much more informed decision (?14+) then he will feel more in control, short flights are different, but this is over 24hrs. Get dh to tell the GP that so you can close the book on it for 5 years or so, and making no promises even then.
Your poor DS. I hope his therapy goes well. You sound like a wonderful caring empathetic person. I hope your PILs find it in themselves (maybe after counselling themselves) to visit their GCs.
YA definitely absolutely under no circumstances are being the slightest bit U!
The GPs on the other hand... Wow, unbelievable.
Another voice here echoing all everyone has said. If I were your son I would want you on my side!
probably very unreasonable thought flitting through my head. Any chance they could want their DS and his family in Oz to put pressure on you all to move there? Does your DH have other siblings than the DSis he too lost?
YANBU. They should see this thread, I hope they are stupid enough to post on Gransnet and get their arses handed to them.
All the best to you, op. I hope your Ds therapy goes well. He shouldn't travel now but it would be a shame if the phobia stopped you flying longer term.
send for the grandparents but get them a rented house nearby so they don't drive you mad. you've totally bonded with your children and you know what is right for them. trust your own judgement.
Either the grandparents visit you or could your dh and dd visit Australia?
It might help ds with his phobia if little sister comes back raving about everything she has done with dh and dgps.
Then maybe in a year or two ds could make the trip, either with you all as a family or with just one of you.
Assuming you can afford the flights that is.
It is just about possible to get to Australia without flying, but takes about 2 months
I quite fancy the train/bus journey to Singapore myself.
YANBU OP. It is a stupid suggestion and GP probably realises that now.
YANBU. They are BVU and don't seem to have your DS' best interests at heart. If they 'can't stand' to be near the accident site, then could you all go on holiday together somewhere else?
You could go to somewhere like Devon / Cornwall, or even to France via the chunnel or ferry. There are lots of options that don't require flying or going to your home.
I have a huge fear of flying, even reading your post i feel my heart beating faster.
There is many place i would wish to travel to but there is no fucking way anyone is getting me onto a plane.
support your DS because he comes 1st
Your poor ds. No don't go, they will have to visit you. Holiday house sounds like a good idea.
I am amazed that your IL can be so bloody cheeky as to say they are too traumatised to be near the accident site but are willing to traumatise a child who cannot rationalise as an adult can.
I am in Aus and I find the journey a pain. Someone migrated here with a child with autism...he hated the flight over. They decided to return to UK and found they could not get their child on a plane without huge fuss and the plane had to turn back. They eventually had to sail back to UK. You would not want to be in that type of position.
Good luck with telling the IL to take a hike.
Agree YANBU at all... Inlaws should fly over in holiday time and pay for you all to have a break away so she doesn't have to be near the place where her dd died...
The suggestion of the gp's flying over to a neutral place in the UK is the best one,I think.You can all begin to make fresh,happier shared memories.
I personally wouldn't encourage dh to bring dd on his own,not only would it be upsetting for the siblings to be apart but it also puts you in the role of 'babysitter',not parent,and would further alienate you from the family.
I think the GPs are being incredibly selfish,grief or not.Stand your ground on this one and continuing working together as a unit to helping your ds through his trauma.Don't let the selfishness of 2 adults interfere with that.
Wow! A unanimous YANBU. I feel so sorry for your son, I hope his GPs don't try to put pressure on him or make him feel guilty for his phobia. FWIW I think that drugging him sends out unhealthy messages about dealing with difficult situations in his future.
Homebird8 - I have to admit, it has crossed my mind that they want to apply pressure about moving to Oz. The have mentioned it on 1 previous occasion but neither DH nor I want to move there. DH has a DB's in NZ and Scotland and a DSis in NYC.
DH and I had a long talk this morning whilst DC were at their karate lessons (major issues, discussed over a flask of coffee, in the car...it works for us even if it is a bit strange). He realised that he can't finesse his way around the situation and the matter would need to be settled calmly, decisively and with a united front. Whilst the comment about me not being 'blood kin' was dealt with in no uncertain terms, he also realised that this isn't the first time his DM has tried to undermine me - he's also worried that he may have unintentionally helped/appeared to encourage her and is feeling pretty guilty about it.
We have tried to shield DC from all this, but that came to an abrupt halt when DS came to me at lunch time, really upset because his DGM had called me a selfish, unreliable bitch...to a 9yo child! We ended up explaining that his DGM really wants us to go to OZ but we can't at the moment and she's lashing out because she's upset, we also made sure he was rewarded for bringing such a difficult issue to our attention so quickly so we could deal with it (it's part of the system we put in place to deal with any issues that arose as we grew into parent/children family as opposed to Aunt and Uncle with our nephew and niece - all feelings/emotions/concerns are real and okay to have, but Mamá and Papá can't help if you don't tell us what's going on!)
We spoke to DH's parents earlier this afternoon and they were told that we will not be flying to Oz any time in the near future and that DS's health and well being take priority. We have invited them to my family's holiday house but my MiL threw a strop and shut off the connection - what happens now is anybodies guess but at least my DH has made his position clear.
to everyone who has offered support, it is greatly appreciated.
Your MIL told your ds tat you were a selfish, unreliable bitch??!!!!
Well, screw that then. Even if your ds were to make a miraculous recovery and turn into an avid plane-spotter, she could kiss goodbye to any future trips from any of you. Stupid, stupid woman.
Yes, I would be tempted to give them an extended wide berth.
wow, you and your DH and your DCs sounds like a wonderful supportive loving healthy family! more healthy than many 100% "blood" families I know
your MIL must not be allowed to upset your DCs with language like that, FFS they've been through enough, how can a grandparent not see that the GCs come first, and you are putting them first. They are lucky to have you. I hope in time when the acute grief fades, they will see that.
Well done I think you've delt with this as well as possible
Your inlaws are barmy and clearly not used to putting their own needs second to those of the children. Your poor Ds
When did she call him? Your ds I mean. It all sounds very upsetting.
I'm glad you and your DH are united on this one.
When/if your MIL stops being so selfish perhaps you could look at eg renting a large villa in Spain or France during the low season, so that they could stay there for a month, you could join them for a week or two and maybe their other DC could visit too. If it's genuinely too hard for them to face England, there are places that you could reach easily by ferry that should be different enough not to bring back bad memories for them.
Sorry, just realised you might not be in England. If you're in mainland Europe the train opens up even more options.
Mira, they have (up until now at least) had a regular Saturday skype chat - DS and then DD. I have encouraged this so that they maintain contact. The computer used is in a corner of the main family room - so that DH and I can monitor what is being viewed online - and it was just one of things that today I was in the kitchen whilst he was talking to my MiL.
I'm not going to 'lay down the law' and ban contact (for the time being at least - she upsets DS again and all bets are off), but there will be no more chats without me or DH being in the room. DS also doesn't want to talk to her now because she was 'mean about his Mamá', DH and I will have to discuss that issue tonight.
For what it's worth I think you and your DH are amazing people android parents sound bloody idiots.
Yes, hopefully ferries are not a contentious issue- that's a good idea. Are you Spain-based then (from the "Mamá")? There are certainly many many opportunities for a family holiday there that wouldn't involve being near the site of the accident, should you wish to.
(Your English is really excellent btw- I wonder if there's been something lost in translation with the insulting remarks? That's also a possibility.)
Your in laws sound unhinged.
Stay strong. You sound like wonderful parents.
Andro - I am guessing you are not in Europe at all....
I'm Irish/Italian, brought up in England and equally fluent in both English and Italian.
It was DS who asked if he and DD could call us Mamá and Papá, he wanted to clearly state that we're their parents, but didn't want to use Mum and Dad because that what he called his birth parents. He also thought Mamá and Papá sounded nice and added bedded of 'me' into the family and that's how I address my parents.
He also thought Mamá and Papá sounded nice and added bedded of 'me' into the family and that's how I address my parents.
Should have read:
He also thought Mamá and Papá sounded nice and bedded some of 'me' into the family as that's how I address my parents.
Your DS sounds really lovely. It's perfect idea.
Andro, how very upsetting.
Of course your ILs are dreading returning to a scene they must have found impossible to cope with.
And of course your DS is building barriers to flying and transport - he knows that things are really not alright, and that catastrophe can and does ensue on occasion. Poor, poor child.
It's terrible that he must know that he is part of all this upset in the family.
You and your DH sound amazing.
I hipe they will actually come round and accept an invitation to your P's house. Maybe keep offering them kindliness in the invitation while having no truck with their hostility. Though the comments to your DS were really completely unacceptable.
What a horribly unpleasant woman your MIL is.
Well done on being the bigger person.
I couldn't do it.
Glad your OH is on side as a united front is defo what is needed in this situation. I doubt your kids would benefit from spending time with this woman at the moment. Perhaps now is a good time to start limiting contact for a while. It shouldn't be so hard if they are in Oz.
Oh - sorry I assumed you must be in a similar timezone to you PILs. Otherwise you would have called them in the middle of the night - 2am or something...
Goodness your MIL is selfish and unpleasant
I assumed as you were using the Spanish spellings that you were in South America or somewhere.
Drugging a small child? Really? He could die....
Why cant she come to you!!??
Your story is awful - what terrible inlaws. As you're in England, how about meeting them somewhere on mainland Europe? Italy is probably a bit too far to drive, so how about northern France or Belgium? I used to live in Belgium and the coast there is much under rated, in my view. I don't think the Ostend ferry runs any more (which is a shame as I am a big fan of Ostend) but you could go to Zeebrugge, and within a short drive you could be in Ostend or Knokke, with day trips to Ghent and Bruges. Or northern France - there are some lovely places within spitting distance of the chunnel or ferry ports. It might be nice to go somewhere "neutral" - and Flemish Belgium has the advantage of everyone speaking English. And great food!
But I wouldn't blame if you decided to give them a wide berth, as someone else has said here, at least until some sort of apology is forthcoming.
Oh - the Belgian coast is lovely. And no extended flight for your ds!
I could almost understand their attitude if they and their daughter (and your dh) were originally Australian and they wanted the children to keep links with their birth mother's homeland, but as that is not the case they are completely and utterly out of order. Even if they wanted to disregard your son's phobia, it is still a long and expensive journey.
I'm glad the adoption has been legalised, because it means that you and your dh do have equal say in parenting them, legally as well as emotionally, which is very important for children.
If the only reason they have for not coming to the UK is that being where their daughter died is upsetting, then that is pathetic. That they would put their upset above seeing their grandchildren is extraordinary. Of course there may be other reasons they don't want to travel, but they really ought to tell you if there are.
Mira I chat to friends on FB in the evenings and they are usually just getting up or going go to work. So is plausible.
Op you sound great BTW and NU
Mira, at lunchtime today, it was 11 pm in Sydney, only about 8 in WA, so not a bad time for a grandparent/grandchild call.
I appreciate, as obviously so do you, that mil has suffered greatly by losing a dd and sil.
However, she needs to step up to the plate and stop hurting her dgc by calling you names and by putting her dgc in an even more difficult situation.
I am late to this thread but I just wanted to say to the OP that you are right, they are wrong and you sound bloody lovely.
All has been said that I would say but want you to know op that you and your Dhaka are handling this in totally the right way imho. your PIL'S are totally selfish
YANBU. I would also not be providing GPs with documentation from therapists about the problem. If they ask for it out of concern, of course I would share it, but not to back up your argument that he can't come. You are the parents, end of.
I also agree that these people are incredibly traumatized and need sympathy. (I think the OP is being sympathetic, but some of the posters are being a little harsh.) Suggesting an alternative destination is very reasonable.
the GPs are traumatised, of course - but how does forcing a phobic child on a long flight help?
there are no direct flights to Oz as far as I am aware. Even if the child was forced on to the first plane, the likelihood is that they will get stuck in Singapore/Dubai/wherever with someone who cannot fly back. Long walk.
not happening, end of. Phobic people do not fly. Flying is never essential and it will be hell for everyone on the plane; the OP and her children most of all.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
The GPs may well be traumatised (and sustaining such a horrific loss no matter how long ago will never be "gotten over") but I find it difficult to accept that as a valid reason for telling an already distraught 9 year old that his mother is "a selfish, unreliable bitch".
I would have suggested meeting them somewhere else (France, mainland Europe etc) but if they're going to undermine and upset your already vulnerable DC, perhaps it's best to sit it out until they
find a heart see the error of their ways.
Surely OP needs to be a little sensitive to the fact that these are not HER dcs - but her SILs dcs. The GPS will be VERY aware of that fact. I am a bit concerned that OP will do herself no favours trying to blank out the existence of the birth parents. She should be talking of them ALL the time. OP is NOT their mother, and should not be portraying herself as such. I lost my mother young. This sounds like a potential head fuck.
OP needs to be very conscious, as a legal guardian of these children, of what their parents would have wanted for them. I would expect the executor of the estate or someone who controls their trust, if they have one, to ensure that the parents' wishes are adhered to.
It doesn't matter how upset your MIL would be (and no doubt it would be upsetting, as it was her DD at the end of the day) or that she thinks you are selfish (and you're not obviously) what really matters is your childrens well being - which should come first and foremost over the adults feelings. Its really sad that she cant see this or seem to take this on board - all "me, me, me"! Insulting you to your DS is completely wrong and bizarre, I just dont get her reasoning.
I am sorry for your loss but do not really see where the OP suggests she is blanking out the birth parents?
She is now their mother, of sorts, hence mama and not mum. I sense she is very careful to maintain the distinction.
I have enormous sympathy for anyone losing a child and I can understand why they may not want to visit the UK at all. However, their lack of understanding/sympathy for your son is just plain wrong.
I'm so glad your DH has seen the light and that you've both laid down your family boundaries now.
There is another job your DH needs to do, though, and that is to make his mother aware that you both know what she called you and that, not only are you both disgusted by her behaviour, but that she has also upset her grandson.
You sound like fab parents by the way.
Oh my goodness. I have nothing useful to add to this except that your son should definitely not travel none of you should go and your MIL was seriously out of order in what she said to your DS. You suound lovely.
No, OP was very clear on that. She is not going to "lay down the law". My point is that she does not have the right, legally, morally or otherwise to interrupt the children's relationship with their GPs. If that was YOUR children, would you be happy for a brother's wife, say, to dictate these things?
Op needs to manage this in a different way. She cannot cut the GPs off.
I don't think the OP would be insensitive enough to blank out the children's deceased parents, at all. But maybe that impression is coming through this thread because so many posters are talking about their relationship as parent-child as though it were as uncomplicated (relatively) as a from-birth adoption. It really isn't, even if enough time has elapsed since the accident for the OP to actually complete the adoption process, rather than assume legal guardianship. And I agree with Mira that you can't just power through as though the situations are the same.
the OP wanting to supervise the calls while the GPs are using UR language is facilitating the realtionship, just doing it sensibly
I know someone in similar dynamics to the OP and the child bereavement specialist said that actually the child needed to be allowed to call someone else "mum" even though the female guardian thought it'd be wrong and be seen as "replacing" etc.. the specialist assured her that it's not and its actually unhealthy to back away from it too much
YADNBU. Poor DS, they must think of him, not themselves. Your DP's cottage sounds the perfect compromise, as does the suggestion of meeting in France if you go by ferry. Stick to your guns. As a parent I don't think there's a choice, you can't go to Australia just yet. But luckily there are other options. Good luck.
MiraWard - I'm sorry for your loss.
I lost both my parents in my early 20s [medical reasons] - so I was not a child. But I am a mother.
I think you have been very hard on the OP.
I have been very careful to make all possible provisions for my children in case history repeated itself. While I was doing this, I tried to set out wishes/guidelines/rules but after going round and round in circles, I decided in the end that what I wanted most for my DCs was to be loved and to be part of a close family. Preserving their memories of me was very much secondary to their new parents making them as happy as they could. If that meant that my kids hardly remembered me then so be it - their happiness was much more important. DH agreed absolutely.
I wouldn't want my sister and her husband constantly talking about us etc if that made my kids unhappy. I would hope they would take their lead from my kids on this.
They would not be left without advice on this from charities like Winston's Wish etc.
Legally she has every 'right' to cut off the GPs if she so chooses. GPs have no legal 'rights'.
And the OP IS the mother of these children. She adopted them, her husband adopted them. They ARE their parents. They are not 'legal guardians' they are Mama and Papa.
when thinking about who to list in our wills as prefered guardians for DS, we agreed that we had to let go of our individual parenting preferences, we wouldn't want potential guardians living a stifled life trying to "follow our wishes" all the time, all we want is for DS to go somewhere he'll be loved and secure. The people we've listed are SOOOOO very different to us that trying to impose any of our wishes would be like swimming upstream for them and hinder the settling in there for DS IMO as it'ld be unnatural. So we have no requests at all, have given them full rein to do what they think is best.
in other words, we DO want people who would consider them their own.
Oh yes, I'm sure that is all true. I just don't think that psychologically approaching this like a from-birth adoption without being sensitive to the fact that the children have lost their actual parents and have memories of them is going to be for the best. But I think the OP sounds like she is thoughtful and doing what she feels is right.
Mira, I am not trying to blank out the birth parents...I would never do that!
Do you really expect me to do nothing when my adoptive son's Dgm is using abusive language in a conversation with him? He's 9yo, still grieving, still traumatized and doesn't need to be pulled into the disagreements of the adults in his life. We considered that supervision by either myself or my DH would be the best option.
DC have a wonderful relationship with their DF's parents and I encourage it, I've encouraged their continued contact with their Mum's parents, but I'd have to be pretty irresponsible (and in my opinion a lousy parent) not to try and protect my DC from more pain!
How long has it been since the accident, if you dont mind me asking? I'm just wondering how long you have had to avoid the issue of the children actually physically spending time with their grandparents? How did the visits work before their parents died?
"I just don't think that psychologically approaching this like a from-birth adoption without being sensitive to the fact that the children have lost their actual parents and have memories of them is going to be for the best"
of course not, but I don't see any of that going on with the OP
YANBU and regardless as to the circumstances, you are their mother.
I feel your MILs pain as she is probably still grieving and wants to hold onto a part of her daughter but all things considered, unless she is prepared to come and see you, she will just have to wait.
(apologies if 'avoid' isn't quite the right word- maybe 'deal with' is better.)
ILoveSalad- no, me neither. Just that some replies can create the impression, that's what I was trying to say.
Mira of course op is these 2 children mother.
That what happens when you adopt a child regardless of the age of the child.
To suggest otherwise is insulting to the many thousands of adoptive parents.
But children in this situation are NOT adopted - Aunt and Uncle would become their legal guardians and potentially trustees of their estate. OP is saying that they are HER children now. This is potentially extremely damaging to the children who have real memories of their parents. Something is very wrong in this scenario.
The OP says in her first post that she and her DH have adopted the children.
Actually, in this case Mira, the op is saying she and her dh have adopted them.
I'm not sure why they would legally do this, but since they have they are legally their "parents" not guardians.
Mira that's just not at all what the specialist advice given to (non adopting) parent's of a bereaved child similar age to the OPs was!
Having parent's now doesn't belittle the birth parents that are lost, making the new parents calling themselves as much taboo is much more damaging (according to the experts)
The OP and her husband have legally adopted the children. More importantly they are clearly prioritising the children's emotional well-being in a difficult situation. In every way they are the children's parents. This does not dishonour the birth parents but puts the DC's needs first. As a parent, this is what I would want for my DC if I were not around.
Mira read the 2nd paragraph, it clearly states they have adopted thier niece and nephew.
OP you and your family sound absolutely lovely. Your ILs are not. They're putting their own feelings before their grandchildren's, and as for their comments about you .
Can't they see that the children need stability and security and that they need to support your relationship with the children rather than risk undermining it with insulting comments about you? (It doesn't sound like this is the case; it sounds rather like these comments will damage the children's relationship with the GPs instead, which is still hard and unnecessary for the children.)
But she has adopted them.
BOF as far as I can tell, OP stated up until the accident GP's were coming over once/twice a year over here to see family.
I must say, I'm surprised about the adoption. I think if my brother and his wife took my children on after I died they wouldn't actually go through the whole adoption process (which can be intrusive and take a long time). It would involve changing the children's birth certs and surname, as well.
It would be pretty unusual, I would have thought.
Exactly Maryz - this is not normally the way it is done in the UK - hence, that and the spanish made me think OP lived elsewhere.
My first thought when reading the OP was that if DH and I died and our siblings took on care for our DC, I would be very distressed at the idea of them becoming 'Mummy and Daddy'.
I hope that our siblings love them enough as their Aunts and Uncles not not try and become their parents. I don't think it's the same as a normal adoption at all.
Actually, I just asked DH and he was equally horrified by the idea of anyone else being called Mummy and Daddy, but doesn't believe any of our siblings would do that. It's actually really upsetting to imagine my DC being called someone elses children. Is it really not possible to love children as your niece and nephew and raise them but not become their 'parents'?
But I do agree the flight does not sound right at this point. Hopefully the therapy will work and he'll be able to travel to see his GP's at some point in the future, but clearly it's too much for him right now.
It was their adpotive son's choice to call them Mama and Papa.
Your DS has to come first.
You are putting him first but the ILs are not.
I can understand their reluctance to be near the site of their DD's death and I can also imagine there is some resentment on your MIL's behalf. She may have built up the image of you taking her DD's place.
There will be a hell of a lot of emotion and distress behind everything she says and does.
That does not excuse her vile comments but it might help to explain them.
Mira the OP IS the DC's legal mother. She has every right legally to do as she sees fit and has a moral duty to do what is best for them.
The point is, there are alternatives to drugging a young boy and dragging him to the other side of the world.
OP you sound a lovely woman who is trying to do her very best by your children.
Astley, normally in the UK - you would nominate guardians for your children until the age of 18. You can choose if they would also manage the finances, or if you would prefer a 3rd party to do it.
Can I state that I wouldn't want them to be adopted? I do not want their surnames to be changed and if it were DH's sister adoptng it would mean my family were no longer legally related to be children which is totally unacceptable to me!
Your PIL don't really give a shit about seeing your DS &DD or they would snatch your hand off at the compromise of using your parent's holiday home - they want to win. That isn't a caring mentality for the DCs. At best, you could say your MIL is still grieving for her DD and in her grief she isn't seeing what she's asking is making her DGS suffer to slightly reduce her suffering, however understandable that is, it still doesn't mean that her grief is your priority, your DS's mental health is your priority.
I really wouldn't worry about it Astley. They wouldn't be adopted (or at least it would be very, very unlikely) unless they really wanted to. The judge would take that into consideration, once they were old enough.
I guess I'd never really considered it might happen! DH and I have planned for our joint deaths and who would have them. I had, possible naively, assumed they would be happy enough to be their guardians and their Aunt and Uncle and would not actually want to adopt my children and become their Mummy and Daddy. I also hoped that they would have the respect for us, if we were dead, to not legally adopt our children.... But now I wonder if I should make that extra clear to them?
As in if the children wanted to be adopted when they were old enough to express a preference.
astley it is more usual for close relatives to get a Special Guardianship Order for children. Adoption is not that common tbh and as Maryz says, the children's wishes would be taken seriously.
SGOs give more security than previous orders but are not as drastic as adoptions. If SGOs were available 9 years ago it is likely we would have one for our DS (although he was a very little baby when he came to us so adoption may still have been the preferred option).
Thanks Maryz and MrsDeVere. It's such an emotional topic. It's just that feeling that you didn't give them up, you died! Of course I would want my DC to be happy and loved, but I do think our siblings love them already so I hope it could be less final than adoption.
Can I clear a few things up here?
We went through the adoption process because my DH's Dsis and her husband were very clear that if anything ever happened to them, it would be their preference for us to adopt. Her husband's family were in agreement with that because they thought it would give the children a greater sense of security - they did want to maintain regular contact though...understandable and I really wouldn't have expected anything else. This is a subject that had been discussed at length for several reasons (mostly to do with BiL's family) but the wishes were discussed with my PiL before being put into writing.
At no time did I ask, suggest or actively encourage DC to address me as anything other than Auntie. DS came to me, they use a different set of titles than they did with their mum and dad...I did as I was advised and let the children take the lead with what they felt the most comfortable with. I am in no way a replacement.
The accident was over 2 years ago - this is the first time there has been a problem with respect to the children.
Gosh they were lucky children to have you and you were so lucky to get it all sorted so quickly,especially when the DC would have been so traumatised at losing their parents.
FWIW if I died I'd hate my DCs not to have a mummy. I would actively want to be replaced. Especially if they were very young.
OP I think your children have chosen a very clever and sensitive solution in calling you and your DH new names for mother and father.
OP you sound like a good person and an amazing mother.
Unmumsnetty hugs to you
That was a quick adoption. You and they were very lucky to have it all processed so quickly.
Ours took bloody ages. No reason why family adoptions should take a long time but the court system is sooooo slow. <not bitter at all>
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Can we stop with the sarcasm please?
huh EleanorCuntBucket? DH and I set out our wishes for our DCs, both in a will and in a letter to the guardians held at our solicitors, when I was still just pregnant with DC1 in our 20s! we have added amendments since then. We were/are fit and well and have no intention of popping our clogs.
We discussed what we were writing in our wills with family members so they all understand what's in there.
To us its just one of those things you get sorted when expecting a child, will, life insurance, nappies, car seat... tick tick tick tick
everything miraward said.All mothers of a daughter, try and put yourselves in the shoes....
We have formally appointed guardians for our delightful children in the event that we croak before our time. Adoption was never mentioned as being a possibility at any point by the solicitor who drew up the papers, and our guardians are the same relation to our children as you and your DH, OP. I wonder now if this is something we should have asked about, but I think we will just stick with the guardians.
I'm a mother of a daughter... I can only hope the chosen guardian for our child (should something happen to DH and me) is as intelligent, thoughtful, sensitive and frankly amazing as the OP is.
Mira is making a mountain out of her own perceived molehill here.
I think if you choose who will look after your DC in the event of your death, then you are giving those people the right to make the best decisions as they go. If adoption is the best way forward then that is what they will do. There is no suggestion that the OP's DC's birth parents are not loved, mourned and missed. It is clear that the OP is prepared to stand up for her DC's best interests even in the face of family conflict.
I don't think she opened this thread to have her status as an adoptive parent judged and doubted.
EleanorCuntBucket are you for real??
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I think I better update my will. I would rather the person appointed to have DC in the event of a joint death adopted them.
Completely agree Saffron.
I also agree with the other poster re getting it all sorted, in writing & agreed with all family as we did that before we had our first & then checked with all involved when we had no 2 & then again after no 3. We have done our best to try to make it all sorted should the worst happen, although we're not planning on going anywhere
I think you sound like you're doing a great job Op - well done & you are definitely not unreasonable to not go to Australia. All the best with everything.
Andro, I can't see anything in any of your posts which suggests that you have anything but the best interests of your DCs in mind. You have taken professional advice and let the children guide you; you have facilitated good communication between the DCs and all of their extended family; and you have put their needs first above everyone else.
Being in the room during conversations between the children and their GM is a natural family thing to happen and it being on Skype makes no difference to that. A nine year old child doesn't need secrets or private conversations from his parents. Our DSs (10 and 8) have great Skype calls with family overseas but we don't isolate them to do it.
Your DMIL is hurting but it sounds as if lashing out about you, totally inappropriately to your DS, may have a root in her opinion of you before the accident which claimed her DD and DSIL. What were things like before?
gotthemoon - quite. My mother died when I was younger than these children. I have one mother - she died. No-one else is my mother. The Op - who is no blood relation - seems to be minimizing the GPs who have lost their daughter. She needs to deal with this in a more sensitive manner. My GPs were EXTREMELY upset when my mother died. It should NOT be about OPs feelings at all. No laying down the law, and her being upset about GPs views. It should SOLELY be about maintaining the relationship between the dcs and their GPs. And finding a working way of doing so.
notmyproblem - obviously you have NO clue about losing your parents as a child.
So Mira do you think a traumatised little boy with a phobia of flying should be compelled to take a 24 hour flight to meet the needs of his grieving granparents?
No - I don't at all - and never said that. I think that OP should not be getting all angsty and needs to consider the GPs feeling in all this - which she is not.
It is astonishing that people are skeptical that the late parent's wishes are being questioned.
I have a daughter and we have discussed fully with our relatives (who would adopt her) how we would manage this, finances, our wishes for her, which country she would live in etc. I don't plan on dying but feel assured that she would go to someone we trust, if anything should happen to us.
OP- you sound the perfect choice for your relatives to have chosen.
She is not "minimising the GPs who have lost their daughter." The only reason she is objecting to travelling to Australia is because her ds has a phobia of flying. The GM has suggested drugging the child to get around this and the OP (and her husband, don't forget) are not willing to do this. And I can't imagine there are many doctors who'd agree it was a good idea either. So they've suggested an alternative, that the GPs come here (in order to maintain the relationship) but that idea's been refused (for understandable reasons re: the scene of the acident) and also the suggestion of meeting up elsewhere (refusal of this idea not so understandable).
I don't, therefore, see any evidence in what we've been told here, of the OP trying to obstruct relations.
But I too wonder if there's a back story here, from before the accident. There certainly seems to be some deep-seated resentment coming out here from the MIL. But then, grief can do awful things to people.
EleanorCuntBucket we also discussed all this in detail when we had children / did our will. Ours even specifies how my sister could go about extending her house, getting a new car, financing family holidays.
I am not planning to die, but if I do I want it to be easy.
Mira, again I am sorry for your loss, but I think you are seeing problems which are not there. The "no blood relation" comments in particular are very unpleasant.
Mira - as a parent, surely you should be putting the needs of your children above others.
The op has offered to meet hot the pil or meet them for a vacation. What else do you suggests she do?
Arrrg, tried to edit...host the pil
Mira, I'm finding your posts in this thread quite harsh, and you seem to be reading a completely different set of posts from the OP to the rest of us.
Perhaps you are projecting from your own situation, I don't know, but there is nothing in this thread to suggest that OP is minimising the GPs. The GPs moved to the other side of the world and are now expecting their already traumatised grandson to go through something incredibly distressing for no ones benefit except their own.
You are wrong to say that it should not be about OPs feelings. Her feelings are very important here. Not as important as that of the children, but important none the less. And as she is the one who is looking after the children day in day out, her feelings are way more important than those of the grandparents who have behaved very selfishly and very unkindly.
And if it helps, I lost a parent as a child, and agree with notmyproblem's post.
I think you are doing the right thing -
Of course you are! Your ds is scared of flying his gran wants you to drug him on the flight to see him, and some posters think you need to stop putting your feelings above the grieving gran??? Mind boggles.
She would be on a flight straight away if she had any sense instead of putting a small child through such stress.
Mira, of course the gp's feelings need to be considered because of their grief but I don't imagine you or anyone else would suggest that their grief for their daughter trumps that of the children for their parents. They are adults and, as such, it is incumbent on them to put the needs of their grandchildren before their own. That means not insisting on the child flying all that way (which would be an unreasonable position without the phobia, imo) and it also means not undermining the op's role in their lives by saying such nasty and manipulative things as have been said. It is unfair of anyone, grieving or not, to place a burden like that on a child, let alone a grieving child.
MiraWard you are way out of order here. We feel your pain but you ought to be bloody ashamed.
Why shouldn't the children call them parent type names? Bad enough that the dc lost their biological parents but are they supposed to spend the next 15 years explaining to every friend, every passer by, et al that these aren't their real parents but they live with them etc etc? Children want normality. These children are lucky enough to have loving and capable adults ready to step in to their parents shoes when their parents couldn't be with them anymore. It's absolutely right that they are allowed to name them as such.
The OP is not trying to drive a wedge between grandparents and children but I do think that's what MIL thinks is happening. I don't think she's coping very well, understandably, and what she's seeing is the OP stopping the children coming to her home. She probably thinks OP, that you've made up the phobia to keep the children to yourself. As a parent whose lost a child I think she must be pretty desperate to keep up the connection and I think she's hugely over-reacted to this disappointment. So - you are quite right not to fly but do try and keep the communication channels open. MIL must be told that she cannot bad mouth you to the dcs - it hurts the dcs far more than it does you - but otherwise I would try and move past this. If they choose not to come over well that's their loss at this point. Just keep the door open and when ds can cope with it get on the plane.
And Mira - before this thread becomes more about you than the OP - I'd ask you to read my post 20:00:18 and stop projecting.
I'm sorry you lost your parents young but this is not your situation.
OP I don't know why you're getting so much shit. You and your DH have made the right decision for your DS.
I'm sorry - I feel too angry to engage with this further but I think you are doing an excellent job OP in extremely difficult circumstances.
All the very best to you and your family - from what you've written, I'm sure you have the best interests of your children at heart.
Mira - I think you are taking this personally.
You don't know what the parents' wishes were. You don't accept the legal position of the op in relation to the adoption - if you were left with a df your situation is different to these dc.
These aren't your kind doting gps - these are gp who are not considering their dgc at all and being highly unpleasant. The op is helping to maintain contact despite their unpleasantness both to the op and now their own dgc.
Yanbu op - so sorry you're having to deal with this when you need your energy for ds.
I've been lurking on this thread for a while. I know my situation is very very different but my PIL opted to move away; it was MIL dream to retire in this particular location, as she grew up there but now they've moved, they frequently put me under pressure to visit.
I honestly think she had all these dreams of wonderful Christmases surrounded by her GCs, showing them around, treating them there and not forgetting showing them off to her friends and extended family up there. Understandable I suppose. But I am resentful as it wasn't my decision for them to up sticks and move so far away and the pressure I am put under to visit and moreover to stay for extended periods of time, makes me extremely cross. It's not about how inconvenient the journey is for me and the DCs but all about her and she doesn't want to come here or arrange to stay locally of course.
Truthfully I am having great difficulty not imagining the OPs MIL having a similar agenda but I know my experience is causing me to be bias.
Anyway YANBU to not want to take your adopted son on a long and distressing flight that he has a phobia to. The MIL is only thinking about her and not him here. You have offered a good alternative as well, with meeting in a holiday cottage elsewhere.
I have had to read books like Anne Dickson's to help me to become more assertive with my MIL. I do go and visit but even then the visits can be fraught <sigh> I am always in ear shot when she speaks to my DCs as she has form for passively aggressively mentioning how they should come to visit, her amongst other things.
I wish you luck and do come back and tell us what was agreed in the end.
Oops I hadn't refreshed the thread for a while. It seems it's moved on a lot
I am not taking this personally - it is not about me. I am thinking of the children here, not the OP, not the GPs, The OP needs to find a better way to make this work.
Mira - the boy is scared of flying what better way is there if making it work??????
MiraWard the OP has found a fantastic way of making this work. She is not the problem here.
You've said some things on this thread that are pretty offensive to both adoptive parents and children.
Do you have suggestions Mira?
I'm not sure what else the OP could do to facilitate the relationship between the children and their grandparents. She has provided access to Skype, is willing to meet the GPs somewhere that won't involve making her ds fly, what else is there?
Like what, mira? Any suggestions, other than those she's already tried? And that don't involve drugging her ds.
The OP and her dh are the children's primary caregivers NOT the GPs. If the OP had forced the boy on the plane she would in all probability have damaged her relationship with him and frankly he needs her far more than he needs three weeks with grandparents on the other side of the world.
The gandparents need to make some of the running here - by working out how they - fit and able adults - can travel to see their grandchildren and sons in the UK.
Mira - sorry but you ARE taking this personally. I'm very sorry to read of your loss but your bereavement has nothing to do with the OP's situation.
Also, Mira, it should not be solely about maintaining a relationship between the dc's and the gp's. It should be solely about what is best for the dc's, and that goes for all the adults. With all due respect to yourself, you know what it was like for you to lose your mother. This situation is different.
Why not suggest that the Grandparents can stay at your parents' spare home on the coast and they can have the children to themselves, so soften the blow?
I do think the GPs are getting a bit of a roasting here. If someone was calling themselves the mother of my daughter's children just two years after she died, I would be struggling to be nice about it too. Even though, I would realise deep down it was the best for the children, it would hurt my very core.
With respect to myself, I kinow exactly what it is like for the adults to put themselves first in this situation - feelings and all that - and ignore the feelings, rights, future relationships of the children - the ones who should come first.
If that is wrong of me, to feel for these children, whilst the grown ups "lay down the law" and otherwise decide what they will and will not do to facilitate contact etc.
Mira,you seem to be completely ignoring the fact that the childrens birth parents chose op and her husband to raise the children should anything happen to them (and any of us who have made a will,have faced that scenario and put in writing our wishes for our children),they did not chose the grandparents.
The bio parents of this children entrusted OP with their care...and that care involves making decisions that won't please all the people all the time.
Op isn't trying to distance the GPs,they are doing a good enough job of that themselves by demanding a terrified child be drugged up to cross the world to see them.No negotiations,no middle ground...it's their way or nothing.
Op hasn't looked to wipe all traces of bio parents out of the kids lives...she has done all she can so that they are treated as any child should be.Loved,and equal,regardless of circumstance.
What are you suggesting Mira? that she drugs the child and takes it on a traumatic trip? that she doesn't act on inappropriate phone calls?
what exactly should she do differently? and what should she do instead?
TheCat, I totally understand what you are saying, and tbh, I can't even begin to imagine the pain of losing a child so I might well be completely wrong. But I think if my adult child had died and left children, I would be eternally grateful to the person who was unrelated but loving my grandchildren as her own. I think I'd be practically throwing rose petals on her pathway to heaven I'd be so grateful.
Mira,answer the question......what solution do you have to offer to this?Apart from trying to do a Miss Marple on the Op and her timezones...what constructive advice do you have to offer as a solution to this situation?
Oh dear. This is a very emotive subject so I'm not surprised it's splintered.
Mira, might I suggest with the greatest respect, that you step away from the thread? Your comments are deeply offensive. I know where they are coming from and I understand why this upsets you, but your personal experiences seem to be clouding things here.
The OP is not in the wrong at all, the GPs are. One would hope they will come round and understand what they are asking of a phobic child.
Mira you're just sounding daft now. The OP is primarily considering the feelings of the child. The child who is so frightened of flying an ambulance had to be called last time they tried it. Did you miss that?
I don't think Mira is suggesting at all that the boy should be forced to fly, but just that the OP should bear in mind the mindset of the grandparents.mwhich she is, and which is fair enough.
yup she is, and she offered a comprimise of meeting at a holiday home away from the site of the accident. its the GPs that are refusing to see the GCs unless its in Oz, the OP has tried to facilitate it by offering a plan B. There really isn't much more she can do if the GPs would rather fall out than find a solution in the middle ground.
Oh ffs, she IS bearing in mind the mindset of the grandparents! Which is why skype has been set up so they can have weekly video calls. Yet the gm thinks it's appropriate to abuse that by saying dreadful things to the boy about his adoptive mother, with whom he has bonded.
Mira - these are the decisions that all people caring for orphaned children have to take. Yes - as is life some things won't be done right as they don't in "normal" families - to hold those decisions against your caregivers is your perogative but taking a step back and looking at it from the adoptive parents' or caregivers pov you can see that it isn't an easy path to tread either.
Here the op is only considering the dc - she is doing everything right by them. It most definitely the gp's fault - they are extremely unreasonable and the op is still maintaining contact and looking for solutions.
And remember this post? "We have invited them to my family's holiday house but my MiL threw a strop and shut off the connection"
Who's being obstructive here?
Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.
I don't think the idea of adopting rather than simple guardianship is odd either. when my dcs were little they did ask who would look after them if anything happened to their dad and I - we told them who it would be and they did then say things like "X and Y would be our new mummy and daddy" - and we said yes they would be and they would love them and look after them. Even now, as adults, my dcs adore these two people because they grew up knowing that they would be there to care for them if need be.
OP all your instincts to protect your son are definitely maternal I would have been overjoyed if the woman we chose to look after our children was like you.
I wouldn't tolerate my DParents or DILs slagging either of us off like that on skype to DCs either, it's not fair on the DCs
"laying down the law" and providing boundaries is part of the caring role whether you are guardians or birth parents or temporary foster parents or whatever.
To be fair, we have no idea if the GPs are wholly in the wrong, as we only have the OPs side. Just as we have no idea if ECB's verdict that this is the plot for a book is the more accurate opinion (tbh, I thought that too). For all we know, the OP has, whether she meant to or not, given reason for the GM to call her a selfish bitch.
This is one of those threads where I would LOVE to hear both sides of the argument!
she might be a selfish bitch, but still not right for GPs to say so to the child
frogspoon - report if you think the OP is a troll.
I probably should have left this for tonight, but still...
Weekly contact between DC and DGP has been in place since they returned to Oz after the funeral, there has also been extra contact on special occasions (birthdays/exciting results/prizes/etc). This contact has very rarely been missed (I can think of 2 occasions, both unavoidable - one on our side and one on theirs) This is the first time there has been an issue.
Mira, what else can I do? Contact is in place and encouraged. I know MiL is hurting beyond measure and lashing out, but should we (DH and I) accept her cursing about me to a 9yo? A compromise has been offered, with no response. DH is going to talk to his parents tomorrow, but right now I don't know what else I can do to help the situation.
With regard to our relationship prior to the accident, we got on alright in general. There was 1 area of tension I never really understood, when DH and I were married my parents accepted DH as a son - they never use the 'in law' bit...no-one in my extended family does or ever has so far as I can remember (on either side). She really doesn't like that. If there's any other deep seated resentment, I'm not aware of it.
frogspoon - I'm not Mira.
I am new to the forum though and lurked for a while before joining and asking my original question. I have no reason to troll.
I think it is sad that you have been accused of being a troll.
You have come across as very honest in your posts. It' s hardly unusual that people disgree on this part of MN.
You sound like a wonderful Mum OP. I am glad you and your DH are standing your ground.
Mira won't come up with a better solution,because there is none.
The child is too traumatised to fly....they (GPs) are now left with the compromise of a second location to have a family holiday in.If they refuse it,they prove that they are being unreasonable.It really is as simple at that.
I've been thinking about this - and having read lots of threads on MN over the years I know that some GPs (particularly GMs) see the children of their daughter as somehow 'closer' to them than the children of their sons. Lots of daughters -in - law posting about how the GM never babysits for them etc.
This is odd to me - and not my own experience as my totally wonderful MIL treated all her gcs equally and while I am not her daughter we have certainly been very good friends, I love her to bits and I know that I am 'family' to her (even after her DS decided he wanted a divorce). It may be that your dh's mum has this bias and she is feeling totally conflicted by the new relationships as well as devastated by her daughter's death. Somehow she may perceive her GCs as now being taken over as part of "your" family and not hers? so it's a double sense of loss.
Your own family sounds wonderful - and if they have taken your DH to their hearts then she might be picking up on this - and being overseas adds to her sense of loss and distance.
Your priority in all this has to be your children and what is best for them - you and your DH are best placed to make that judgement call - I do think that children are able to understand more than we give them credit for - so talking to your son about his GMs grief and how that is making her angry is probably a good idea. As a family unit you can have compassion for their GM and talk about how to handle it - including talking to your DS about his travel phobia. Honesty within a context of safety seems the right way to proceed. You can be kind in relation to your MIL without bowing to her desires.
Re your last paragraph CatsRUs - I think great care would need to be taken around 'talk about how to handle it-including talking to your DS about his travel phobia'.
The danger in discussing the 2 issues together would be that OP's DS might feel that the difficulties are somehow his fault because of his phobia. This would be most unfair and may also upset the progress of his therapy.
Personally, I would want to keep the two issues as separate as possible but I expect the psychologist who is working with the child would be the best to advise abaout this.
MusicAndDance I think you're right. Grownup problems need to be handled without risking DS feeling responsible in any way. Talking about GM's grief is likely to put his own in context and is in no way dependent on his ability to travel by air.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.