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Horrendous Family Situation

(151 Posts)
Hugs05 Tue 14-Dec-10 14:48:19


First post and a very long one sorry. I'm hoping some lovely mums will help me out with some much needed advice as in a complete tiz over a tremendously sad situation.

Our DD is 5 and a few years ago we were in the difficult position with a family member where their older little girl kept openly hurting ours and it being dismissed as typical behaviour. We finally spoke up after trying to just protect our little one for 6 months from bites, scratches, kicks etc after the one incident where blood was finally drawn. We left it too long I'm ashamed to say because we were afraid of rocking the family boat. We met with the parents and started by saying the children weren't getting along and it was causing us stress, however the response was to tell us our DD had a lack of personality and character and should have fought back (she was 1 at the time). We were at loggerheads and sadly we haven't spoken in 3 years and the one time we met at a family event they openly referred to me as "there's that woman" in front of my DD.

However, recently we were floored by the news that their DD was extremely ill. We reached out to them several times and have been rejected as they are entitled to do. My MIL has said how angry they are at us and that they blame us in her words "unrationally" for their daughter's illness but it is apparently "good" that they direct their anger somewhere. Not so good for my hubby who's mum is happy to watch him upset.

We are tremendously sad for them and pray for the family every night for a miracle, however we know we do not have a place by their side at this time.

Now here is my situation which is causing complete indecision. We were approached last week by MIL for our DD and the other little girl to go on a playdate. I don't know why really as they do not know each other and wouldn't recognise eachother, but apparently their little girl would like it, so not wishing to cause upset I said yes. My MIL and FIL would be there to oversee them I was told, however this was not the whole story. The playdate will now be with the little girl's whole family who according to my MIL "despise" us.

So what do I do? Do I cause family uproar again by cancelling the playdate with the ill little girl? Or do I let our DD play with the little girl who she doesn't know surrounded by people who "despise" her parents apart from my MIL & FIL who want to stay out of it?

As a mum my instinct is to protect our daughter having learnt my lesson early on and withdraw her from the date but I know my In Laws will stop talking to us and my hubby will be heartbroken (he is also so thrown by this decision). My heart is bleeding for their little girl as a mum but I don't like the thought of her family being around my DD when there is such animosity.

Help advice pls....

Chil1234 Tue 14-Dec-10 14:51:31

Easy. If they genuinely 'despise' you (and that sounds about right) then don't put your little girl into the situation by herself & defenceless. Say 'thank you but no thank you'. She's only 5 and if anyone takes offence then that's really their problem. Family or no family.

jade80 Tue 14-Dec-10 14:52:57

If I were you, I would say to you MIL that you are happy for them to play together, but only if the rest of the family are not there. I wouldn't want mine surrounded by people who say they despise her. How riduculous of them to claim to blame you for their daughters illness! Hope you can sort it out.

tulpe Tue 14-Dec-10 14:53:02

Not sure I have any advice really other than to ask what your gut reaction is? How do you feel about your DD being surrounded by people who have a very negative view of you?

I would be tempted to say that you would prefer at least one of you to be there. Whilst MiL and FiL are there, DD may become upset due to being with people she barely knows now and will want her mum or dad.

BTW, quite how these people can blame you for their daughter's illness is quite beyond me. What on earth is their rationale?

bubbleOseven Tue 14-Dec-10 14:53:44

are you able to tell us exactly what relative this poor little girl is to you? I'm guessing she's your niece?

OTheHugeManatee Tue 14-Dec-10 14:55:21

They sound mental. I'm sorry their daughter is ill, but why you should have to leave your daughter at their mercy, without even being there to protect her, is completely beyond me.

Run rapidly in the direction of away, I say.

BigChiefOrganiser Tue 14-Dec-10 14:57:16

If you really can't get out of it, I'd insist on you and your DH being there also. Why should you be excluded while your dd is surrounded by people despising you? Be there to protect her, or do not let her go at all.

mamas12 Tue 14-Dec-10 14:58:54

yes let her go with one of you there.

walkinginaWUKTERwonderland Tue 14-Dec-10 14:59:11

What about if your DH would go?
It's you they hate, it seems.
He'd be back up for your DD, it's his family, and it might be the first step towards bridge building.

Normally I'd say F the lot of them if they can't be adults. But their DD is seriously ill. They probably can't spare the emotional energy to admit they were in the wrong. And in that situation anger is NICE it keeps your mind off what's really wrong.

GypsyMoth Tue 14-Dec-10 14:59:30

how old are both children?

i would say no to this i think!

Bloodymary Tue 14-Dec-10 15:00:50

YANBU your poor DD on her own with a family who openly 'despise' you?
What a horrible siuation for her.
You sound a better person than me, I have to say, as I would not even consider it.
Poor child tho. sad

MarniesMummy Tue 14-Dec-10 15:01:05

If your DD goes then I think you need to be there too.

No negotiation on that point.
As Chil1234 said you shouldn't put your DD in that situation.

GlitteryBalls Tue 14-Dec-10 15:02:20

I think you should allow the play dates as it is not the poor childrens' fault that the adults in her family are at loggerheads. The fact that the parents will be there and know about the contact may be a way of them slowly reaching out to your dd - and maybe eventually you - and to pull out would jeopardise that and give them more ammunition against you. Let her go and just hope that they will be grown up enough to just let the children play and not be openly hostile. What harm can one afternoon do in the scheme of things? I'm sure your dd won't come back hating you forever even if they do say things openly in front of her.

I hope things get sorted out eventually. x

Loie159 Tue 14-Dec-10 15:03:31

Dont send your dd.... if you feel uneasy there is a reason. I think that you are entitled to explain years ago that you dont like dd being injured. Am i right in thinking that it was them who said they didnt want to see you anymore? If so that is there overreaction - you were trying to protect your child.... If this invite is a one off and you or DH cant go I would worry about your dd being in an environemtn where people dont like you - not nice for her. Cant you say yes and then call off at the last minute with an illness? If this little girl is seriously ill they wont want her around someone with say chickenpox, sly I know but then MIL doesnt get angry with you, DH can still speak to MIL and no one gets upset. good luck!

crumpet Tue 14-Dec-10 15:03:34

No. You can't do it. Either both sides of the family are there or neither side. Not fair to your daugther otherwise.

(If your ILs were to turn around now and say that in fact the other family would now not be there would you trust that that is the case?)

pollyblue Tue 14-Dec-10 15:05:11

I'm a bit puzzled really - why are the parents of this little girl happy to let their dd and your dd play together, if they still bear you a lot of ill-will?

Your dd is only 5 - in your shoes I would not send her to play in house amongst a group of people who apparently despised me and DH. The ill little girl is not your dd's best friend, so there's no desire on your dd's part to see her.

Sorry, it all sounds a bit odd really, and as much as their dd being ill is awful, I would say no to the playdate and keep well out of it.

MumNWLondon Tue 14-Dec-10 15:08:43

I think say can only have playdate if its either:

a) with your DH there OR

b) with your MIL and FIL only

Otherwise I don't think its fair on your DD to have a playdate with older child she doesn't know.

ChilledChick2 Tue 14-Dec-10 15:11:45

Personally, blaming you and your DD for their DD's illness is totally not on. How do they figure that out anyway is beyond me.

Until they apologise for blaming you for their DD's illness, I would bother with them because there doesn't seem to be any point if you've already tried to make ammends.

Do you know what their DD's illness was?

myleftcrutch Tue 14-Dec-10 15:15:09

It sounds like a set up to me.

Either you refuse and they get to hurl more abuse at you.

Or you send DD to the lions and they make it awful for her.

I am very sorry that their DD is ill but you relationship died with them a long time ago and whilst it is their job to look after their DD it is your job to protect yours.

If they aren't prepared to meet you halfway (your DH going too) then they quite clearly are up to something.

I really sympathise but I have exactly the same relationship with my own SIL and BIL who still thing they are in the right despite behaving in a vile way four years ago (plus PIL spelling out to them how disappointed they were in them).

People like this do not change, sick children or not sad

FullaDoll Tue 14-Dec-10 15:17:18

I would absolutely not let her go. If they were not prepared to police their DD's behaviour when she was well, they sure as hell won't be prepared to now she's sick.

You have to put your DD first.

If the MIL interferes, just get your DH to tell her that it was you that made the decision. I just think it might be easier for you to get the fallout rather than your DH.

santasbluebaubles Tue 14-Dec-10 15:18:48

It seems to me like they have an ulterior motive. Why would their little girl ask to play with someone she doesn't know?

I would say you are happy to have their little girl over to play at your house with her parents 9or your MIL and FIL), but that the rest of the family aren't welcome.

CrapSuzette Tue 14-Dec-10 15:23:29

Completely agree with myleftcrutch - I feel really uneasy about this on your behalf, OP. You sound a lovely, reasonable person. They sound bonkers, angry and irrational. I agree that this looks like a set-up: they'll either get to vent their anger on your defenceless DD, or vent their anger on you for refusing.
I'm also deeply suspicious about this playdate being their DDs idea. Surely she'd be too young to remember your DD?
It all smells deeply nasty to me. Really sorry they've put you in this situation.

bruxeur Tue 14-Dec-10 15:23:44

Christ no. No good will come of this either way but this way your daughter doesn't get hurt.

ChilledChick2 Tue 14-Dec-10 15:24:11

wouldn't blush

TandB Tue 14-Dec-10 15:24:28

I would say absolutely no way to this playdate. There is no rhyme or reason for the request in the first place - your daughter hasn't seen this child for three years and presumably she has made other friends in that time. I can't believe for one minute that the other little girl remembered and asked for your DD specifically. This has been suggested by an adult in which case the options are:

1) Your PIL - trying to build bridges on your behalf.

2) The other child's parents.

If it was your PIL's idea then it is unlikely to go well as the other child's parents are unlikely to be keen on the idea. If it was the other parents' idea then it seems pretty clear there is an ulterior motive and, sadly, that realistically can only be to get at you through your child.

Neither scenario is particularly appealing when considering that you are being asked to put a 5 year-old into the middle of it, alone, without an adult who can be relied upon to consider her best interests alone.

It is desperately sad that this little girl is ill but it is not your fault and it is not, at the risk of sounding uncaring, your responsibility to mitigate the situation for her. That is the job of her parents and other family members who have been permitted to remain involved in her life.

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