To ask her to take a small step back from my children?(193 Posts)
I'll try to keep it short!
FIL met his girlfriend two years ago. She's very nice in general, and the children really like her. She's young, the same age as DH actually (late twenties), and FIL doesn't want any more children - which she has accepted and is now very sure that she will never have children. I'm not sure, but I think this may be relevant.
Pretty early on though I started to feel a bit uncomfortable with certain things she'd do/say. Overstepping boundaries. Not long after meeting DS she designated a special nickname for herself that he could call her. There have been lots of little overfamiliar things which have made me cringe a bit, though nothing as weird as recently.
She and FIL asked if they could take DS to Legoland for a birthday treat. It was really lovely of them, DS was really excited as he'd been dying to go. The day came and they arrived to pick him up.
FIL was busy in the kitchen with DH so I went through a list of stuff I needed to pack DS for the day and realised I'd run out of plasters (DS trips over ^a lot^), so I asked her if she had a first aid kit in the car just in case the inevitable happened and he skinned his knee. The look she gave me was scathing. She then said, "do you think I don't know how to look after four year olds?" She is a primary school teacher, so I don't know, maybe me asking whether she carried plasters with her was a slight on her professional ability somehow. I felt she was defensive I just said, "Oh good then" and she changed the subject.
So as they're about to leave I ask FIL to make sure DS gets one of those wristbands put on in case he wanders off somewhere. FIL just nodded, but she did a massive eyeroll at me and said "yes yes we know" - again I got the feeling she was being defensive. Then they left.
They all came back and had had a lovely time, and had taken lots of photos. She was flicking through them on the phone, showing them to me when she stopped on of them all with FIL's arms round them both and said "he really could be ours by looking at him couldn't he?" - Apparently lots of people in queues were mentioning how handsome their son was, and she laughed as she told me she didn't bother correcting them, and just said thank you very much. DS is mixed race, FIL is black and she is white - so an easy assumption to make.
The most recent incident was at DS' birthday party. She started to cry, but shrugged it off quickly saying they were happy tears and told people not to make a fuss. She drove me and the children home and I asked what it was all about and she said "oh, it's just DS looked at me and I just thought 'god I love him so much' and it just set me off, that's all"
Please tell me that this notion I have of her using my children to replace the children she has decided she won't have is nonsense, or, if not nonsense then completely harmless?
She blatantly wants her own child. How old is she compared to you and fil?
Sorry you already said that. So she is pretending her almost step grandson is her son?
You don't need to tell her to step back. Just engineer it.
Sadly, from what you've written I think your fears may be founded. At best, her boundaries are way off and she really ought to know better than to pretend to be a child mum.
You know what, having just written that 'she pretended to be your child's mum' - it just emphasised to me how wrong her actions are. Very very wrong & dam right wierd
Tread carefully, and be calm but make it clear to this woman what the boundaries are. Good luck
You seem to be making a lot of fuss about not very much. She likes your kids and she's (happily or not) decided not to have any of her own. She's a bit emotional about it. I don't think it's a massive deal.
So as they're about to leave I ask FIL to make sure DS gets one of those wristbands put on in case he wanders off somewhere.
Is this a thing now - wristbands?
I might be a bit if someone asked me whether I carried a first aid box in the car.
Apparently lots of people in queues were mentioning how handsome their son was, and she laughed as she told me she didn't bother correcting them, and just said thank you very much.
No biggie. I wouldn't be inclined to get into lengthy explanations with strangers in queues either.
she said "oh, it's just DS looked at me and I just thought 'god I love him so much' and it just set me off, that's all"
That, I grant you, would start ringing some bells in my head.
I suppose it's the cumulative effect. I don't think most of the things you mention are a big deal but all of them together might raise a few flags.
It sounds as if she does want children. Likely the relationship won't last.
Yeah, I think you're right to be suspicious. What does your DH think?
She sounds a nice girl who's made a big effort to fit in with her boyfriend's family. It could be difficult for her to accept that she won't be having any children of her own, but surely that's something that deserves your sympathy rather than your jealousy.
Good God, yes - tears. Manipulative bitch.
Well, up to you of course, but a lot of peoples dc have special relationships with people who don't have their own children - Aunts or Uncles, Godparents maybe. Most of us think this is nice - another positive relationship with an adult in their life who loves them, and has time to spend with them, (and often a little more money than us cash strapped parents). I don't think it's a bad thing.
I don't think it's some kind of evil sign if someone is coming to terms that they might not have dc gets a bit upset on the odd occasion. I don't think it's odd or in any way worrying for someone who is not you, to love your dc.
So yes, I think YABU.
Oh bless her, she's desperate for her own and struggling to come to terms with it.
My post makes me sound as though I hate her but I do think she's nice. It's the strange hostility from her and the weird feeling I get when she does these things that I don't understand.
I don't think I'm jealous
I don't really know to be honest.
I think on the face of things YANBU but on the other hand you might be reading a little bit much into it.
She did sound defensive about the plasters but then again, I might be guilty of a bit of eye rolling if someone decided to go through a list with me, instead of just getting it packed. "Oh I'm really sorry, can you do me a favour and pick up some plasters on the way please?" Might have been better than asking if they had a first aid kit for your child.
The rest might/might not be purely because she's at the honeymoon stage with your FIL, therefore saw it as 'cute' that people assumed he was their son.
With regards to the tears, well some people are more emotional than others. You only have to read MN to know that some people are 'in floods' at Disney films.
Definitely one to watch though.
I've just reread the op and still can't see anything that suggests hostility from her.
Would the things that seem overfamiliar coming from her seem overfamiliar to you if they were from your dc's grandma? Do they just seem overfamiliar coming from a young woman who isn't a blood relation?
It's hard to know somebody's motivation without actually witnessing the situations (and impossible without being a mind reader), but I'm still inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt.
Eek. Yes I'd feel a little uncomfortable with that too. I don't like when people get overly attached to my dd as well because I feel theres certain lines you don't cross. She wants a baby, but she cant have yours, thats what she needs to understand. She needs to talk to your FIL because shes wasting her time with him if he doesn't want children and she obviously does.
Uncomfortable yes, but it sounds to me like she really does want children of her own. And it's a bit mean to say the tears are manipulative, I tear up really easily, and they're definitely not tears of manipulation.
It's a bit creepy, but I also feel very sorry for her. She's met a man she loves, yet knows she won't be able to have children for as long as they're together. I would chat to her and explain why you feel her behaviour was inappropriate. She might simply need a friend in this situation who can be honest with her.
I have friends who have formed very close, family-like bonds with my children so it's not the fact she's not a blood-relation at all.
If her level of familiarity had built over the course of the last two years I think I'd feel less weird about it, but it was a few months in before she was anouncing to her mum that she was now a 'great-granny', for example. Perhaps that's set the tone for me.
I too think the hints are directed at your father and she wants a child with him, rather than trying to be a mother to your child in particular.
I don't think she's going to actually steal your baby!! She loves your son and wants to be involved, surely you should appreciate that?
I can't see the issue really. Doesn't even matter much if she does wish he were her son, he's not. What do you think she's going to do, run off with him and your FIL?!
Just be flattered on his behalf.
She sounds really broody. The claiming parents thing is odd too. Several children belonging to a friend look like they could be mine, and especially at under 8 age were frequently assumed to be mine by others. And while I wouldn't rush in with a lengthy explanation if it was a passing overheard comment, something addressed to me about my (none) child I did used to say oh not mine, my friends. And my friend did likewise with mine.
I wouldn't be happy about her behaviour TBH.
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