To be upset over this?(37 Posts)
There are a few things that have been upsetting me but I don't want to list it all and be outed. It isn't only this.
I'm married with 2dc. Ds1 is 7 and is from a previous relationship so my dh is his stepdad. Although ds1 hasn't known his real dad and I've been with dh since he was a little baby, so dh is all he's ever known as his dad and we've been together a very long time.
In laws have always been nice enough and welcoming of ds.
Now we have ds2 (dhs). I assumed they'd be treated the same and dh and I discussed it at length before having him, and I was assured he thought of ds1 as his own, so did his family and so on.
Mil asked us to get her a framed photo for her birthday. I thought she wanted a photo of the kids so I did a collage frame, it's not huge, with a few photos of dh and the kids. All well.
Only soon afterwards I went to her house, she's taken a photo of ds2, had it printed off in big, framed it and shoved it in front of the frame I bought.
I'm quite hurt for ds1. I feel as though by doing that she's just completely reinforced that ds2 is her real grandchild.
I completely understand how she must feel about ds2, but it would have been so easy to put a photo of ds1 up, or one of the two of them. Even if she didn't want to she could have just so as not to leave ds1 out.
Ds1 loves them to bits, he noticed the photo straight away but he didn't say anything.
Get your DH to speak to his Mum. That's not on at all.
Is the photo you got her still up and the new one in front of it? Or has she put a new photo in your frame? I can't quite tell from your post, but if the former then it might just be an oversight. Especially if she treats them the same in other ways.
I don't know.
I can't help but feel if someone decided to police the pictures I could put up, I'd feel miffed.
I understand your feelings though.
That's really unfair and insensitive of her, I'm sorry. I think you should ask your dh to say something. doesn't have to be confrontational, he can assume it was an oversight and not meant with malice and ask her nicely to bear in mind s1's feelings.
ask dh what he thinks and explain your a little hurt. Have you thought of dh formally adopting dc1?
'I feel as though by doing that she's just completely reinforced that ds2 is her real grandchild.'
But he is.
YANBU to wish they would treat them the same but YABU not to see why they may not do that.
The reality is ds1 is not their GC, ds2 is, and as lovely as you wish for them to be treated equally, the reality is he is not.
You cannot force a family to accept a child who isn't their biological family.
Um...*mrsjamiefraser*, that is just unbelievable.
I second getting DH to speak to your MIL sensitively about it, hopefully she will realise and not do again
That is mean and out of order. I met DP when my DD was 9. His family totally took her as one of their own!
She recently had a baby and they have all bought presents and sent them for the baby, which has been much appreciated by all of us. I cannot imagine they would do anything like this and DP would be having a word with anyone who did.
He has a role in DGDs life, a name of his own (Grumpy), so it works both ways.
Um...mrsjamiefraser*, that is just unbelievable*
No it's not.
In fairness to msJamieFraser you cant force anyone to accept anyone they may not want to. Dd's blood grandparents won't accept her existance and you cant force them to!
Get your dh to speak to her but without making it a big deal to DS1, i think if he were to know you feel its excluding him ot will make him feel worse!
Your MIL is being unreasonable. And cruel. To a child.
I would tell her the children are treated fairly and even-handedly, or she doesn't see them. End of.
There's no excuse for hurting a child. Unequal treatment would have a long lasting impact on BOTH children: DS1 will feel badly and unloved, and DS2 will eventually realize his grandparents are treating the brother he loves unfairly. Neither will think much of MIL.
Nip it now.
It must be hurtful but as long as your dh treats ds1 as his that's the main thing what does ds1 call you pil does he call them grandma and grandad or whatever names they choose as grandparents I think your dh needs to speak to them.
Hmm.... How is your DH feeling about it?
I think these situations are always hard to navigate.
Yes your dc1 is not her grandchild and isn't your DH child. If you were to divorce (whihc I'm not saying you are), dc1 would never see any of them ever again as they are not family.
On the other side, they are all he has ever known and he doesn't have another set of father/grandparents so in all intend and purposes they are his father and grandparents.
The best you can do is for your DH to have a chat with his mum to reinforce how he sees dc1 to be part of the family and that, in his mind, there is no difference between the 2 dcs.
He can ask her to not treat them differently. Has he done that before if this is something you have discussed at length before hand?
You might struggle to make her change her mind because ... Well he is not her grandchild.
How to deal with that situation, I'm not sure....
Of course you are upset, but she is only the MIL. What really matters is that ds1 is totally accepted and loved by your DH- which you say he is., remember that. Stay strong.
How could someone do that to a child?! Definitely not on and if MIL can't see that I'd be putting some distance between you now before too much damage is done.
You can't force them to treat them equally. It's not the in laws fault that the eldest does not see his biological dad or his side of the family.
As harsh as it might sound, msjamiefraser is totally correct in what she said.
It's the differentiation between biological and non biological family which offends me in MrsJamieFraser's post, a parent is the person who raises the child, is in their life etc, not the donor of biological material. To say that one child is a grandchild and the other isn't, is at the very least dismissive of the incredibly valuable role that non-biological family play (and to me - although I admit it's a situation close to home - bloody upsetting and insulting), and to say that they are not equal / treated equally and just accept this as OK, is fucking awful.
As Beth points out - those with blood ties can just as easily disregard someone.
I can understand if grandchild is precious first born baby, but dad needs to step up and explain why this isn't OK. Adoption might be a positive option?
MrsJamieFraser isn't wrong. You can't force grandparents to treat any two children equally. But it still sucks when they don't.
OP If this is the only way she treats the two differently then forget about it. But you say you're upset about a few things, so I assume those other things are also similar and it adds up to your DS1 being left out a bit. If so I think you and DH need to sit down and talk about it, see if he will talk to his DM, if she changes, great! If not work out a way to rejigger the way you interact so that DS2 doesn't lose his DGM but DS1 understands he is just as special as his brother, even if he doesn't have the same extended family.
Gosh mrsjamie, I'm adopted as is my brother and two cousins. I guess my grandparents and extended family didn't get the memo that we were to be treated differently than the 'real' (bio) members.
OP, that's hurtful and mean of your MiL. I think, too, that your DH needs to speak to his mother if for no other reason than to clarify what she feels her 'role' is in the life of DS1. If she isn't going to treat him the way you and DH wish her to treat them, it's best to know now.
How do you mean "shoved it in front" of the frame you bought? Are both frames on a surface with your one being at the back? That's really not that big a statement.
Across - things like this can really hit you where it hurts can't they?
I have 4 kids, none of them are biologically 'mine', but I am their mum in every sense of the word except biology - the very implication that our family is less equal than someone else's is so hurtful.
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.