Don't want dads partner involved(87 Posts)
First post and really wanting advice (sorry if I ramble)
Myself and DP due our first baby soon and very excited, however one thing really stressing me, my Dads long term GF.
Never really had a good relationship with her, went through a period of going regularly for weekends (from age 7ish) with my sibling then over time (until about age 11) telling my dad we wouldn't go anymore because of her nasty controlling behaviour and toxic attitude, she did various things which imo were bullying. We still continued to see my Dad for days out etc without her and maintained a good relationship with him, he has always been aware of my feelings throughout.
Fast forward about 15 years to my Dad having a period of ill health and having to go through her to arrange visits to hospital etc and the subsequent loss of my mother, we came to be on speaking terms again and have stayed civil since then, tolerating her more so to make my Dads life easier than anything else. Her past behaviour was never really discussed and has more or less been swept under the carpet and there has always been this elephant in the room. When I informed them I was pregnant this year after a few weeks she put me right on the spot and asked outright so will I be grandma or nana?? I was taken aback and brushed her question off. She will be neither, I don't want her to have any involvement with our baby because of how she was (and how her attitude still is) and think it was presumptuous of her to assume she would have any kind of 'title' and also disrespectful to my mothers memory. I was upset afterwards and I explained my feelings re. 'Grandma/Nana' my dad via phone conversation a day or so later and he said he'd let her know how I felt. He told me that she had a full on tantrum and huff, tears etc lasted for days. Since then though she is still trying to be involved and will not back off. Inviting herself when my dad visits, butting in on phone conversations etc and it's got to the point where I just want to say f**k off out of my life! I only tolerated her to make tensions within the family easier xmas's, birthdays etc but now baby is coming my maternal instincts have kicked in and I want her no where near our baby. What do I do?
I feel your pain OP. I have a stepmother who sounds JUST like yours. Literally felt like I was my reading about my dad's DP.
I don't have any children, but the thought has also crossed my mind about how much involvement I'll want her to have when I do. I think because she is your dad's DP, and for the purpose of everyone staying civil, you'll have to carry on as you are. Just maybe don't spend too much time there and arrange to do things out and about. I don't know about yours but my DSM's behaviour is always 10x worse at home! Also, maybe you could suggest a name that she could be called?
My friend's dad's gf is like this. Her DCs call her Auntie Sandra. It seemed a good compromise at the time. She had a name which stopped her dad getting it in the neck, and my friend was comfortable with her DCs using it. Things have deteriorated so they don't see her anymore.
Refer to them as (eg) Grandpa and Brenda, so she knows were she stands.
My StepDIL ( if there is such a thing but my DSS's wife ) could ve written your post about me. Her very young DS once announced in our house that his half sister shouldn't call me Nana as his mum didn't want him calling me Nana. I once defended my Dsgd ( her step DD) against her smacking her quite hard. She has ignored me and tried to marginalise me from the family ever since. There are two sides to every story and l think the woman is maybe trying hold out an olive branch. If you are now on civil speaking terms she could be forgiven for thinking you have all moved on and so would naturally expect as your dad'said long term DP to be involved along with your dad with his new grandchild.
She had a tantrum that lasted days?!? she sounds like hard work
Bottom line OP is that you don't have to have anyone around your baby if you don't want them there. However, how will your dad react to that? Will it make a relationship with him impossible?
I know how you feel, similar situation here and we compromised with Grandad and "Nana X" but it was really hard for me to say /write on cards. Do what you feel is right
Peachpie congratulations on your baby, and I am sorry about the circumstances around your step mother.
Does "I don't want her to have any involvement with our baby because of how she was (and how her attitude still is)..." literally mean she will have nothing to do with the baby or that she will not get a title like 'Grandma'?
I think in your shoes I would decide how far I wanted to take this and recognize that however you respond there may be issues with your dad.
So for example you can continue as you are or you could arrange to meet your dad, face to face, and A) explain, really explain, what your experience of your step mum was like and how this has influenced your feelings. - or not as you like. And
B) and/or Explain to your dad that you do not want his partner to be involved in your child's life. If you are not willing or able to explain why you feel this way it may be harder, but I think it is still do-able.
Decide what you will accept from your dad's partner and just say this is how it will be. If she is worse at home do not go to their home. Meet them at a neutral location or your place and be ready to exit the room or the house (with baby) if your step mum's behaviour is unacceptable.
I wonder if counselling may help you with the issues from your past, help you to process them and the affect they might have had on you?
I think you do need to be very clear with your dad. He failed you in the past and he now has a choice, he can support you, in relation to this, and he will need to tell his partner this is my daughter's choice. Or he can fail you again.
I think you could risk losing your dad over this but I think he could risk losing his daughter, his son in law (if you have a partner), and grandchild (and maybe any future children); so he really needs to be the one to put in the effort to make things work.
He can ring you when his partner is not around, or ring from another location etc. He can make it clear to his partner that he is visiting his daughter but she is not included, or he can visit in secret or at least with minimum fuss!
Your dad's partner will most likely make this an issue and want him to cut you out of his life. Which he may or may not do. Or he may choose not to discuss it with her and see you when he can. That's probably what I would do if I were him!
You are not asking him to choose between you and his dp (she may do that!). You are asking him to respect your choice not to include his partner in your or your baby's life.
What does your dp think?
Maybe in time you can find a way to meet with him, and she can be around but only if she learns to put others first (which her "full on tantrum and huff, tears etc lasted for days" would suggest is unlikely to say the least!
Just enjoy your baby, and protect him or her from toxicity!
Do you feel strongly enough that you don't want her around your child at all? Enough to risk your Dad having to choose between you - and maybe not choosing you? (As he stood by & did nothing when you were a child and she was upsetting you this is surely quite likely?)
IF you do, then what you do is put on your very best Big Girl Pants & meet with your Dad face to face. Just you & him. You tell him that you are sorry if your efforts to be civil have been misconstrued, that you were simply trying to make his life easier, however, now you have to put your baby first & due to xyz (list some reasons, behaviours or whatever), you will not be having her around your baby. That when you invite him, you are inviting HIM, not them - that she's not welcome in your home & you don't want to meet with her anywhere else. Make it very clear that you don't want to see her at all. Or if there is some compromise then tell him that. But you need to be straight forward about what you do & don't want going forward, then he can make his choices around that.
Get it done ASAP, so you can stop worrying about it.
Get it done ASAP, so you can stop worrying about it
There's never going to be any 'stop worrying' about it. This is a situation thats gone on for years and will continue to go on for years as long as the step mum exists.
OP, I understand how you feel but your dads partner isn't going to be going away anytime soon and I think if you make your father chose between you by using your baby as some kind of bargaining tool you're going to end up without your dad.
There are ways around this situation that don't involve losing your dad, dishonouring your beloved mother, and you constantly being in a pissed of state. Find a way to make a positive experience out of this, one that means you live in , not one that means you live on a war footing. You want your baby to live in love, not bad feeling, so find a name for your step mum that makes it very clear she is 'only' your dads partner and nothing else and accept that she will have minimal contact with your baby and it what you have to put up with in order to have your dad in your life and the wee ones life.
Oh and the name doesn't have to involve aunty or nana, she can continue to be called by what you call her or you can make up some other name out of her name.
Are you being unreasonable? Yes, I think you are for using the baby as a weapon but there's a very hurt wee girl inside of you and i think you can be forgiven for how you are feeling.
You need to understand that how she treated you is not how she's going to treat your kid. Need to be blunt - she will probably love your kid, and as your mum seems to be dead, what's the harm in your kid having a gran who loves it? It should be your child's choice about what they call your stepmum, not yours and you need to stop using your child as a weapon here else you'll lose your dad.
So she's been with your father since you were 7? And you can't see why she now considers herself part of the family? And why she might have thought she would have a relationship with your baby?
I think you are, actually, being very unreasonable here.
Firstly sorry for the loss of your mum. We always imagine that our own mums will be about when we're having our own DC don't we.
However I do agree with BWI. I'm probably jumping the gun but I think counselling may help you here. Your feelings seem OTT and make me feel that there's another root cause and I don't say that lightly. I've lost dear dear people and have experienced the the way that loss can manifest all over the shop.
OP has felt marginalised and abused by this woman. It's entirely up to you who you see - but your decision could well have ramifications down the line. E.g. What if your dad gets ill again?
I very much agree with rhubarbs post
I bitterly regret letting my step mother be called gran.
Dad met her when I was 18 and my mum had died. She was always prickly but like you we got along for dad.
Had ds 17 years ago and she isn't like a gran. Makes snide digs at him and family members have told her off about her behaviour. I've only just found this out.
I bitterly regret allowing her the title and ds has just started calling her by her first name. He realised how she is with him.
Go with how you feel not what you think is polite.
I lost my mum at 21, 6 years before I had DS.
When DS was a baby my Dad met someone, at first I was horrified and didn't want her anywhere near me or my baby, like who does she think she is replacing my mum/wanting to play grandma?
But I did the adult thing and was civil for the sake of my Dad, who without her would be alone (I'm an only child).....
It was only when DS got old enough to start interacting with her that I realised how unreasonable I was being; he loves her unconditionally and doesn't give a shit she's not his biological Nana and she dotes on him as her own DSs are still in their 20s/single/child free. Who am I to deprive the two of them of that loving relationship just because I threw a diva/spoilt brat/only child strop?
Maybe when you were younger she didn't know how to interact with you, especially if she has no other children?
I honestly would give her a chance, although explain to your Dad and ask him to ask her to back off a little, say you don't feel comfortable her getting heavily involved with you during pregnancy (I wouldn't have wanted that, when I was pregnant/in labour I felt like if my own mum couldn't be there then there I wasn't having anyone else, not even my MIL which I think hurt her a little) but tell him you're happy for her to have a relationship with your child when he/she arrives?
You might find she surprises you and that your relationship with her will develop over being brought together by a child.....
FYI - DS calls Dads partner by her first name (he knows his "Grandma" passed away) and I'd be uncomfortable with anything else.... yours is DEFINITELY being unreasonable expecting anything else!!
@flissfloss65 - with all due respect, at least you gave your stepmum a chance. She turned about to be a dick, but you gave her that opportunity. OP doesn't want to & I think that's a shame because the reactions etc suggest OP's stepmum very much wants to be a gran - at the very least effort must be made to see how that relationship develops.
My dad's step-gran was always a dick his mum (my gran) but she adored him. To the point where nothing was too much for him and he has very different memories of his gran than his mum did.
Agree with biwi
She's been in your father's life for years. He has chosen to be with her. He Obv loved her
Don't make him chose between her and you
I don't understand this thing on mn when being called nanny grandma is disrespectful to your dead mum
My mum died 3yrs ago.
I had a baby 4.5mths ago after ttc for 10yrs.
Df mum and dad is dead
My dad is only gp
I would love my dad to meet someone who makes him happy and if she wanted to be called nanny grandma nana etc then fantastic
I would be happy for my baby to have another person in their life loving her.
In the end it's a name and she been with your dad for years this is your step mum and has the right of being nanny etc
I think you sound still very bitter and could use some counselling about your feelings
Thank you for your replies, I appreciate the different perspectives. Will try and answer questions.
My DP is suprised that we are even on speaking terms as she has never apologised for her behaviour towards me and my sibling when we were little (obviously he knows finer details that I'll not go into here) and says he'll support whatever i'd like to do going forward.
I really don't feel like I'm using baby as a weapon, I'm not using baby as something to hurt her with, I am wanting to protect it from her unhealthy attitudes. I think the situation is harder coz I have always been reluctant to see her as an adult but have done so to keep the peace but now that baby is coming I worry that these occasions are going to be more frequent as naturally, I would like my dad to have a relationship with his grandchild.
I realise her and my dad have been together for a long time and she is part of his life but she has never been a step mother to me, she's always just been 'name', so I'm annoyed that she's putting pressure on to be a grandma figure.
Her offering an olive branch, not that I think she has offered one because she still has never acknowledged/apologised for her past behaviour, hasn't been received well because she's now going on like she is entitled despite making no effort to acknowledge the past.
I will need to speak to my dad again because the way he dealt with the situation years ago was inadequate which is why we're in this mess now. I would never ask or expect him to choose as wouldn't want to make his life a nightmare, but I also expect the same in return, as in if I am trying to make his life easier by keeping things civil he should be prepared to respect my wishes to a certain extent.
I think what I'd like to happen is continue to refer to her as 'name' (baby will obviously in time make up its own name for her which I accept), and keep her visits down to a minimum with baby spending time with mainly only my dad rather than them both, but don't know how this will work in practice.
OP what did she do? My gran used to get beaten by her stepmum, burned, had a marriage arranged at 16, but stepgran still adored my dad to the point of spoiling. I think if you minimize her contact with your dc your dc is never going to be able to make up their own mind here and you would have ruined a relationship before it even has a chance. But whatever, it's your life.
My dh step mum is nanny to our dds. Not nana (my mum) or grandma (mil)
Unfortunately/fortunately dh doesn't have a great relationship with them so we hardly see them.
Even though I doubt he would admit I think he misses his dad.
Could you accept it if your dad chose your dsm over you?
Then I have a friend who lived with her dad and dsm after her mum died when she was a teen, her baby is due in a few week, same as you, didn't want to replace her mum, and she would have wanted to be nanan. So dsm understood and is going to be grannie as far away from nanan so when my friend talks to her dd when she's older she knows she had a Nanan too.
If your dsm 'has' to be one of those names, make sure it isn't the one your mum would have wanted.
I hope that made sence, trying to feed baby and type at same time lol.
Sorry I haven't really helped, and congrats on your pregnancy.
Prior to my gandson's birth his parents decided who would be called what. Step grandparents to be called Nanny Name, rather than just Nanny. Yet once he began to talk he very much decided himself who he would call what and almost all names that had been decided were changed. He also loves his step grandparents every bit as much as the others, and I for one am so very glad he is surrounded by so much love.
What a sad situation OP. Is your dad's partner much younger than him? You say you were reluctant to see her as an adult, so I assume that. In which case she was probably clueless at how to parent, and possibly really insecure herself. It also sounds as though she and your dad never had children of their own so maybe she is sad about that and was hoping that she could at least be a grandparent? She might also believe that things are better between you after recent contact, and be hoping to build on that?
FWIW I work with a woman whose DP's son feeels as you do about her (in fact, from her telling he could probably have written the post!). I know she feels very sad about being excluded, and although she is incredibly irritating (!) she would have really loved to have had a relationship with the baby. She loves his dad, has been with him for many years now and has cared for him through long periods of ill health but his son still resents her very existence. It makes her DP sad too, and causes lots of issues at family gatherings, many of which she now avoids as they are so upsetting for her.
So not really any advice, other than maybe to try and be a little kinder to her for your dad's sake? She might be the best non-granny ever even if she was a useless non-step mum.
I'm a step mum too BTW and was very young when I met my ex. I'm sure I was pretty hopeless at times, and I know that when things were bad between us I wasn't always the kindest to my SD. But fast forward a lot of years and we have a lovely relationship, and I am now Nana to her little boy - chosen by her and never asked for by me, but loved, of course! I have said in the past to her that I wasn't always kind, and found some times difficult but she brushed that aside.
it might be worth trying some counselling too, as others have suggested. Not because you are wrong, but because it can give you a different perspective and coping mechanisms - and ultimately make both yours and your dad's life much happier.
Good luck with your new baby, I hope she or he brings you joy.
I could have written flisflos's post above. We let my stepmother adopt the "granny" thing out of politeness and respect for my Dad, but I now wish we'd stuck with her first name only. If/when your SM is unplesant towards you or your child in future, the lack of a granny prefix will help to show the familial distance rather than leaving your child confused about why a close relative would behave that way towards them. We quietly dropped the granny bit in the end.
Sorry I didn't put that in the best way, what i meant was, now I am an adult I am still reluctant to see her. She is only a couple of years younger than my dad. She hadn't had children of her own (sadly wasn't able to) but to me that would be all the more reason to have tried to have good relationships with any step children and she did the opposite. Was bitter, bullied us, was jealous of my dad's closeness to us etc
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