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to ask, if you have DC from a previous relationship, and have remarried, how do your new PIL treat their "step grandchildren" ?

(63 Posts)
MoomieAndFreddie Thu 11-Oct-12 15:57:06

Just wondering, as reading another thread got me thinking. And sorry for long title blush

MIL practically ignores DS (he is 6, and from my previous marriage). I have a 3 YO dd with DH. When we are with her, its glaringly obvious that she is uninterested in him and only interested in DD. If she ever babysits, its only ever for DD, it would be unthinkable to ask her to babysit DS sad

For example, last Christmas, MIL spent about £100 on DD, and asked DH to go out and buy DS a present, from her, for "about £10" hmm and sad ...and its not about the money, I'd rather her spend just £10 on BOTH of them, or even ONE pound, its the glaring discrepancy between them that pisses me off. And the fact she couldn't even be ARSED to choose him a present ffs.

I feel it will only get worse as the DC get older. and become more obvious to them. Have tried to talk to DH about it but he claims he can't see it. and his precious DM can do no wrong in his eyes

I have been with DH since DS was only about 18 months old, so she has known him since he was a baby, which you would think would help form a bond. And DS hates visiting her, and always plays up when we go there, its as if he knows where he is not wanted sad

To contrast, my EX Mil calls both my DC her grandchildren, buys them equal presents and absolutely loves and adores them both. They both call her "Nanna" and I even visit exMIL with just DD sometimes as DD is only in part time nursery.

fuzzywuzzy Thu 11-Oct-12 16:05:26

Could you sit your husband down and just list things his mother has done in a non accusatory way, ie cost of gifts/no gift for your DS, never babysits your children together (actually do you even want the woman near your son in an unsupervised environment?).
Present it as having future detirmental affects on your childrens sibling relationship.
Also point out how ex-MIL is so different and how he would feel if ex-MIL only gifted things to her biological grandchild and only had contact with him? It would hurt him to see his child hurting and confused at the treatment.

Then just disengage, don't take either child to MIL's, dont let her babysit. Set down ground rules a tenner for xmas gifts per child that's it no more no less and if you buy for one child you buy for the other. If there is any discrepency you will not accept the gifts at all in future.

StaceymReadyForNumber3 Thu 11-Oct-12 16:06:31

Oh op I feel for you! That is very hurtful for your ds and you.

Personally my mil is great with my dcs. Im expecting her first biological grandchild in 9 weeks and she's excited but she's happy to babysit the others (who were 6 and 4 when she met them) when I go into labour (or if me and DH can't get a babysitter).

I thank god she's like this and hope she doesn't change when the baby comes.

Have you asked your DH to have a word? It's really not fair on you or ds!

LaCiccolina Thu 11-Oct-12 16:08:40

My mil has my dd as her (I kid u not) her "official grandchild" and my dh half sisters grandchild as "the other one". I know she's great nanna by marriage to it but it grates on me no end. She even used this term at the wedding of both the half sisters daughters! In front of guest like its normal. I nearly died.

She's ok usually just freakin mental when it comes to the grand kids. I have no real useful tips as I haven't found a solution other than murder either and apparently that's not allowed. Just letting you know others have what I lovingly refer to as "batty old ones" in the family too.

Moominsarescary Thu 11-Oct-12 16:08:45

Mine forgets their birthdays and very rarely sees them

FlaminNoraImPregnantPanda Thu 11-Oct-12 16:13:06

Mine is are brilliant. They love her and treat her just as well as her blood grandparents. We've very lucky. I'm sorry your MIL is treating your son so badly OP, there's no excuse for it.

lunar1 Thu 11-Oct-12 16:18:25

My step grandma treated us equally from the start. In face we were so close it was me she lived with at the end and me who was the primary carer in her last few months. She was an amazing woman.

stressedHEmum Thu 11-Oct-12 16:20:44

This is one of the reasons that we broke off contact with Dh's parents. They wouldn't even acknowledge my boys even though they were only 2 1/2yo and 9 weeks old when DH and I got together.

Dh had a son from a previous relationship and they were all over him, the difference was appalling. They actually told Dh that he couldn't marry me because I had kids and always referred to him as having 1 son even though he told them all the time that he had 3.

Now they have another 3 grandchildren whom they have never seen and hopefully never will.

Fairylea Thu 11-Oct-12 16:24:31

Mine are brilliant. All children should be treated exactly the same in my opinion.

I have a dd aged 9 from a previous relationship and dh and I got married pil walked right up to dd and gave her a big hug and said welcome to the family (obviously we had seen them loads before that but I thought that was very sweet).

When ds (now 4 months) was born they brought dd a gift as they didn't want her to feel left out. And they signed it from nanny and granddad.

I am very lucky but that's really how it should be I believe.

KenLeeeeeee Thu 11-Oct-12 16:36:12

One area I absolutely cannot fault my PIL is how they treat all my kids, even though only the youngest two are DH's. They have photos of all the kids on display around the house, treat them all the same for Christmasses and birthdays and act the same towards them when we visit. And that is how it should be.

OP, I suggest talking to your DH and finding how what he feels. It can't have escaped his attention that his mother treats your children so differently from one another, and it's really down to him to stand up to her and point out that her behaviour is unacceptable.

SomebodySaveMe Thu 11-Oct-12 16:40:31

Mines the other way round. I have DSD and my family treat her like my DCs.

Collaborate Thu 11-Oct-12 17:12:18

My sister's new DH has 2 children who stopped coming round for a while as, in my sister's opinion, they were very naughty children and she couldn't stand them any more. I was encouraged by her to spend very little on them at Christmas and Birthdays as I would never be seeing them again. Needless to say I ignored her and carried on treating them the same as my niece and nephew.

Lo and behold they are now visiting her home again, although I'm being ostracised as I have the nerve to send a christmas card every year to her exH.

It's important to welcome children in to a family. When the adults are the ones behaving like spoilt children it can be very sad.

deleted203 Thu 11-Oct-12 17:16:07

That's terrible. My MIL treats all of my DCs the same. Makes no difference between the three from my previous marriage and the two we have together. It's ridiculous to do so. When your DH took you on he took on BOTH of you. I think you and DH need to sit down with MIL and tell her that unless she can treat both of your children the same then you will not be having much contact with her.

SecretCermonials Thu 11-Oct-12 17:28:15

I am in my twenties, and had step parents. My step fathers family treated me like your MIL when my mother died I may as well of my step mums family have always treated me like one of the fold, i call my step mum mum she is who I consider my mum. She is my DS nanny, her mum is my nan, even when my dad died in 04 leaving me orphaned at 17 nothing changed my mums family were there for me more than my bio mums! My mum also didn't desert me despite me being under no obligation to me and despite me being a hell bitch my whole teen years! and treats me the same as my half sisters (her bio kids), whom ive only ever known as my sisters. My mum recently had a baby herself with her new partner - i treat her as my sister same as the other two.

I think the way your MIL is acting is cunty and damaging and I personally would not stand for it.

VodkaJelly Thu 11-Oct-12 17:33:03

My In laws have always been very good to my children. They were 5 and 1 when me and DP met and they have always referred to themselves as nanny and grandad to my kids.
They always get birthday cards and presents and Christmas cards and presents and mil has baby sat for them.

My older DC is 17 and doesnt really see them as much as he is busy with friends and college, DC 2 still sees them.

They do spend more on birthdays and Christmas to DC3 as he is their biological grandson and I dont mind this.

I have not had an easy relationship with the inlaws and there has been some very bad times throughout the years, but I can never knock them as grandparents, they have always been fair to all my children.

Nanny0gg Thu 11-Oct-12 17:43:53

I am a grandma and I think that treating step/'natural' GC differently is appalling.
I know I don't have any 'steps' yet (but I do think I will one day) and I think if your children have children, in whatever shape or form then they are your grandchildren.

I think you need to distance yourself a bit OP, and have a stern word with your DP.

DyeInTheEar Thu 11-Oct-12 17:49:23

My MIL is fantastic with my DS - it just makes me adore her. She sends him money when it's DDs birthday and writes proud things on facebook about him and refers to him as her grandson. He loves getting letters from her and thinks she's great. She's never said something lovely about DD without mentioning something lovely about DS as well. DH's brother was equally brilliant too - a proud bad influence uncle!

I don't know if they really "stepped up" because they knew EXP & his family don't / won't have anything to do with DS. Either way it made marrying DH extra wonderful because DS was overjoyed to get another family as well as a daddy.

You're right OP - it's not right for your DCs to be treated differently.

MissPants Thu 11-Oct-12 17:54:30

How awful for you and your DS sad

When my mother married my step dad he had a son and a step daughter who lived with him as their mother had died. My GM embraced them wholeheartedly and added them to her total of GC without question, she still see's them as that today and always buys birthday and christmas presents even though they are adults and our parents divorced 9 years ago. My Aunt however was 'civil' to them but point blank refused to buy for them at Christmas or acknowledge their birthdays. It was bloody unpleasant and caused quite a falling out. Poor things had lost their DM ffs!

Thankfully my MIL is wonderful with my elder 3 DC and even before her biological GC were born she treated my 3 as her own. In fact she has arrived today with a huge bag full of presents for DD1 and a gorgeous birthday cake, I could never have asked for better!

There really is no excuse for your MIL's behaviour, i would be setting limits for present spending and making it clear to your DH that if this continues unfortunately it may cause resentment between your DS and his sister. Is not upsetting his DM really worth damaging the relationship between your DC?

apprenticeboy Thu 11-Oct-12 17:55:42

I'm not in that postition but my sister is.
She has a son who is now 20.He was 2 when she got together with her DP.
Her DP's parents adolize him!! He is a very much loved child - well man now!.
They took him on holiday, abysat, spoiled him and have been the most fantastic grandparents to him.
Dp's sister's children are treated in the same way as well.

Vagaceratops Thu 11-Oct-12 17:56:58

My Step Grandma was like this. She treated my 2 brothers very differently to how she treated me. It was okay though as my Dads Mum is the loveliest person in the world so I didnt feel like it mattered.

I will never forget when Step-GM's DD had a girl, so our cousin. She said 'Finally a granddaughter' sad. I dont know why it hurt me so much but it did.

wannabedomesticgoddess Thu 11-Oct-12 17:57:40

Your MIL sounds dreadful.

I have DD and I am due my PILs first grandchild in 3 weeks. They almost overcompensate with the whole not-treating-them-different thing.

They have sent out a memo (we didnt tell them to do this Im a bit blush about it tbh) to DPs wider family telling them all that they should buy DD a present when the baby is born aswell as the baby.

They have a special box of toys just for DD when she goes there. They spoil her rotten. They ask about her all the time. They have bought loads of things for her for when the baby is born.

wannabedomesticgoddess Thu 11-Oct-12 17:59:30

Sorry, posted too soon.

I honestly couldnt ask for better treatment of her. It makes me sad that some people would be so nasty to children. Sadly, I think if it had been the other way round, my parents would have been awful to any step kids I had.

DyeInTheEar Thu 11-Oct-12 18:03:57

Wannabe I wouldn't put money on my DM behaving as brilliantly as my MIL has - if the situation had been that DH had a child. sad

No child should be made to feel like a second class citizen. So sad to hear some of these stories. Maybe your DH should say something?

fanoftheinvisibleman Thu 11-Oct-12 18:05:08

My brother has a DSD and my mum (and the rest of us) go to great lengths to treat her exactly the same.

She gets the same amount (too much for the pair of them!) spent on her at christmas and birthdays. She said it wasn't fair that my ds went to grandmas twice a week (whilst I work) so now she goes too. She came on holiday with us in the summer.

I know she's totally accepted us as she is comfortable enough to bicker with ds over who is grandmas favourite...obviously they both think it's the other!

bamboostalks Thu 11-Oct-12 18:09:22

Well I think some people are being a bit unrealistic here. Not all people are able to relate to an in law's previous offspring in the same way they are to a biological grandchild. That is nature I'm afraid. The appearance of a child in one 's life does not immmediately engender adoration. People will favour their own. If they nasty that is a different matter but expecting the same treatment is a route for disappointment. Also presumably, many of these children will have their own bio grandparents too. Are they supposed to favour and focus. On the new grandchildren too. In today's fractured families, the list of grandparents would be endless!

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