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MIL acts oddly about my younger son

(227 Posts)
singwhenyoureswimming Thu 28-Feb-19 23:21:30

DH and I have two sons aged 8 and 5. Both nice boys and pretty normal kids.

I’m not even sure how to word this but my MIL will sometimes ask for my elder son to stay overnight for movie nights or to take him out for the day. She never asks to include younger son and if I suggest it she just seems to cloud over. When the boys were younger this was ok in the sense that my elder son was easier work at say 5 or so than my then 2 year old.

However, now my younger son notices that his nan doesn’t really want to include him. I have put a stop to her doing one on one things with elder son because I am not happy about the disparity in the way they’re treated.

Anyway, my own mum will have both boys round and look after them from time to time and they’re both close to her as am I. I have asked her if my younger son is perhaps difficult if other people’s care but she’s said he isn’t and his primary 1 reports have been glowing so I don’t think he’s a demon child.

I guess the straw that broke the camel’s back was a couple of weeks ago, quite by chance, my husband won a slap up meal through work and we asked my MiL to keep the boys for a few hours. She said she’d just keep my elder son but not younger. I refused as my younger son didn’t want to be parted from his older brother and they do enjoy each other’s company. My own mum was on holiday so the meal was cancelled. She won’t be pushed on why she treats them differently. My DH is also one of two boys and he insists that they were treated the same.

Perhaps I’m over reacting or expecting too much from MIL but, as I said, we don’t ask her for much and the occasion of the meal was perhaps the first time in over a year we’d asked her for help with childcare as she is the one asking for elder son.

OP’s posts: |
jcmayj Thu 28-Feb-19 23:22:40

YANBU, how strange of her confused

I would ask why she always seems to want to exclude younger DC.

PersonaNonGarter Thu 28-Feb-19 23:23:15

You are right.

And she is spiteful. What does DH think?

Singlenotsingle Thu 28-Feb-19 23:24:01

Idk but it's not uncommon. The oldest child is the Golden child.

singwhenyoureswimming Thu 28-Feb-19 23:24:45

Tbh I haven’t said much because I’ve left my DH to deal with it but he’s getting no where.

She knew that by only agreeing to keep one son we couldn’t go for dinner confused but insisted we find alternative childcare for DS2.

OP’s posts: |
BusySnipingOnCallOfDuty Thu 28-Feb-19 23:25:33

That is really weird. I can't think of any potential reasons for it either, if he isn't difficult

ohfourfoxache Thu 28-Feb-19 23:26:16

You’re doing the right thing. Ultimately it’ll be MIL missing out and BOTH your sons will thank you for taking a stand.

FWIW I was the favoured granddaughter by my Dad’s “mother” (my sister and I were the only GC on either side) and it affects me to this day. I’m now facing a similar situation with my ds’s and MIL [angry{

Notcontent Thu 28-Feb-19 23:26:27

That’s very odd... you are right to insist they should not be treated differently.

singwhenyoureswimming Thu 28-Feb-19 23:26:46

DH thinks perhaps she feels like she can’t handle two children which might be right but I feel if that’s the case then why has she never bothered to ask DS2 to stay over on his own.

She’ll whisper conspiratorially to DS1 about treats and movie nights and it drives me crackers

OP’s posts: |
ohfourfoxache Thu 28-Feb-19 23:27:23

Don’t even bother asking her again, just reduce her access as much as you can

GummyGoddess Thu 28-Feb-19 23:28:28

Does DS1 look very much like your DH or BIL?

MustShowDH Thu 28-Feb-19 23:28:37

Would she look after the younger but not the older? Is it that she doesn't want to look after TWO children and it just more used to the older one?

MustShowDH Thu 28-Feb-19 23:29:14

Sorry, cross post

singwhenyoureswimming Thu 28-Feb-19 23:32:10


You have reminded me that I did ask her to keep DS2 one day while he was still at nursery and she said no. It’s somethjng to do with him and I can’t figure it out.

DS1 is my image but she’ll insist he’s like my husband. DS2 is far more like my husband and if you bring that up she shuts it down. I am only just thinking of these things.

OP’s posts: |
Rtmhwales Thu 28-Feb-19 23:36:04

Can't you just ask her flat out?

I'd suggest to her that she takes each boy out individually, on an alternating basis. So DS2 one weekend, and DS1 two weekends after that. But it must start with DS2. If she can't explain why this isn't acceptable, she gets no one on one time with either kid.

Cornishclio Thu 28-Feb-19 23:40:15

That is not acceptable and you should call her out on it. Point out how damaging this is to your DS2 to constantly be ignored in favour of his older brother. Either she treats them the same or doesn't have access to either of them.

GummyGoddess Thu 28-Feb-19 23:40:41

Until she tells you and stops treating them differently she can't have DS1. It is already upsetting your youngest, and he may start to resent his brother. Their relationship together is more important to preserve than a grandparent relationship.

Hopefully she will get over it and start behaving normally.

Sarcelle Thu 28-Feb-19 23:40:57

Ask her why there is such a disparity in treatment.

ohfourfoxache Thu 28-Feb-19 23:41:13

Be very careful about letting her have ds2 unsupervised, you don’t know what she’ll be like with him. She might be bloody horrible to him.

mummyof2boys30 Thu 28-Feb-19 23:41:59

We have the exact same here and almost same ages 8 and 6. 8 year old is definately the golden child. I've basically had to start choosing their presents from her to ensure same value spent, don't let ds1 go on his own any more so none go. Even how she responsds in their school work. Youngest barely gets a well done. Other one gets a song and dance about it

greenflamingo Thu 28-Feb-19 23:42:51

So I think your MIL is insane. But this doesn’t help you much...

Whatsnewpussyhat Thu 28-Feb-19 23:44:18

I'd ask her to her face.
Tell her that DS2 notices that she only likes his big brother and that if the shitty behaviour doesn't stop then she won't see either of them.

NWQM Thu 28-Feb-19 23:44:59

How is she with presents at birthday's and Christmas?

Muddysnowdrop Thu 28-Feb-19 23:45:24

Well you may say she won’t be pushed on why but I think that’s what both you and your dh need to do. Your comments on appearance seem to imply it’s connected to that - either there’s something that upsets her about how he looks (a resemblance perhaps) or there’s the suggestion that he is not dh’s son. I couldn’t live without knowing and I don’t think she can be allowed to have a relationship with one child with this hanging over you. Obviously she never has to babysit at all, but she shouldn’t speak to them so differently. I’m sure some grandparents have favourites but you can’t let it show.

MollysLips Thu 28-Feb-19 23:45:34

I've heard that grandparents often favour the oldest grandchild. It happened to me - my grandmother adored my older brother. My parents have all the time in the world for my oldest DC, and (it seems to me) less for my younger child.

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