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To stop MIL from having unsupervised access to dc

(76 Posts)
Steppenwolverine Sun 18-Aug-19 12:32:51

Mil has had a lot of access to my 2 dc (10 and 12) since they were born. They have regularly stayed with her for 2-3 days at a time in the holidays, or on weekends, and MIL has routinely babysat when DH and I have gone away for weekends etc. Mil has a very close relationship with the DC, is very hands-on and generous to them, and the dc love her.

BUT. Mil and I have never got on- she has never really respected my authority as their parent since they were babies and has often undermined me.
She is a toxic gossip (all of her conversational material seems to consist of gossip) generally sharing inappropriately private information or speculating about friends, family members etc.
If taken to account about anything, MIL sulks and acts like a victim.

Without going into details, MIL recently made some remarks/accusations about me to DH which have proven beyond all doubt that she has no respect for me. When I was away, she visited DH and said she believes I had stolen something valuable from her (I hadn’t!). She also told DH not to tell me about her suspicions.

Mil has behaved maliciously towards me many, many times over the years, but this feels like the final straw. DH was also outraged and is v much on my side, although he has previously attempted to defend MIL

The dc’s strong relationships with and obvious love for their DGM does give me pause, but AIBU to feel reluctant to let someone who is a) an inveterate gossip, b)clearly dislikes me and c? regards me as a thief to have unfettered access to my dc?

EffYouSeeKaye Sun 18-Aug-19 12:35:15

Well I’d drastically reduce contact, at the very least. What does dh say?

Coffeeandchocolate9 Sun 18-Aug-19 12:35:24

I think it depends I'd you think she is dripping poison inti their ears.

YANBU for not wanting to see her yourself. But YMBBU to remove children's relationship with their grandparent.

VeThings Sun 18-Aug-19 12:38:11

What was the purpose of your DH telling you and how did he expect you to react? What did he want you to do with this information?

Your DH should have shut down that conversation, told her not to be ridiculous, and not even mentioned it to you. Did he expect a pat on the back for ‘not keeping secrets’ and creating a drama when there didn’t need to be one?

VeThings Sun 18-Aug-19 12:39:41

If you think MIL is saying things to your DC that she should not, then of course you reduce contact. But take a look at your DH actions here and see if he has been happy to use MIL for childcare, weekends away, etc, but hiker pandering to her nonsense. If she has been saying things, I’d have expected DH not to use her for childcare.

Steppenwolverine Sun 18-Aug-19 12:41:11

Coffee, no I don’t think she’s likely to drip poison at the dc, but I wouldn’t put it past her to slyly quiz them for information

Steppenwolverine Sun 18-Aug-19 12:43:12

VeThings, I’m glad DH told me. I’ve always suspected she talks about me behind my back, sometimes it’s nice to have irrefutable proof

StroppyWoman Sun 18-Aug-19 12:46:26

Hard as it is, I'd try separate your feelings for your (mad as a box of frogs) MIL and your DC relationship with their grandma.

My grandmother was horrible to my mum but she adored me and I adored her. Mum took the high road, didn't engage, respected our relationship and kept contact between her and her MIL to a bare minimum. I'm grateful - I know it was hard for her but she did it for her kids. My relationship with my grandmother was very important to me.

Steppenwolverine Sun 18-Aug-19 12:51:09

Stroppywoman that's interesting, thanks. Did the fact that she was so awful to your mother affect your feelings for her at all?

Spudina Sun 18-Aug-19 12:54:23

Have you ever confronted her about her behaviour? I would be confronting her about the theft accusation. It would show at least that your DH won't keep secrets from you. I actually think that it wouldn't be fair on your children to restrict access to their GM. Their relationship is separate to yours. And your children are at an age where if they feel she is being disrespectful to you, they may start to choose to see her less anyway. I wouldn't be having contact with her though. Let DH facilitate that. Life is too short.

WorraLiberty Sun 18-Aug-19 12:58:38

no I don’t think she’s likely to drip poison at the dc, but I wouldn’t put it past her to slyly quiz them for information

In that case YABU. Leave the kids out of this.

Have you spoken to her about this? You say she's told your DH not to say anything to you but how would you explain the sudden no unsupervised access?

HaileySherman Sun 18-Aug-19 13:01:34

She sounds awful! I'd say it's a difficult situation if you think she'd never disparage you to the kids and they really enjoy their time with her. If she's so bold that she'd say things like that to the kids, then I think limiting contact is reasonable. Will your kids miss her terribly? And if she said something bad about you in front of them would they be angry with her, defensive of you? A lot to consider, but as the mum you do what you feel is in your children's best interest.

EWAB Sun 18-Aug-19 13:06:50

I rarely comment on other posts. I often think people respond dramatically e.g. LTB But FFS your MiL has accused you of theft!!! Christ once I had ruled out dementia I would send her a solicitor’s letter. Those kids would be told and no way in hell would she see them again. AND if your husband didn’t support you against this maliciousness that would be the end! Being accused of theft... all right it’ So bizarre it’s laughable but say your boss accused you you would sue ... why is this different? What message does it give to your daughters?

DecomposingComposers Sun 18-Aug-19 13:13:58

Many years after she had died, I found out that my maternal grandmother had treated my dad appallingly. He was never anything but kind and decent towards her - she stayed with us regularly, every Christmas, was included in most things that we did, he did all of the maintenance on her home etc. The reason she hated him was simply because he was alive and her husband wasn't. She was bitter towards all men in this regard.

Anyway, point is that we, as children, had no inkling of this at all and I have very happy memories of the time I spent with her and loved her dearly. I am so grateful that my dad protected us from this side of her and allowed us to have a loving relationship with her.

Ravingstarfish Sun 18-Aug-19 13:15:53

How has it taken 10 years to get to this point?

Steppenwolverine Sun 18-Aug-19 13:17:33

EWAB it's tricky because I keep swinging between the sort of outraged reaction you've expressed there, and some of the more diplomatic views expressed above. My dc's feelings are the problem here really. If it were up to me, I'd personally prefer to be completely NC!

MaryPeary Sun 18-Aug-19 13:21:13

Your children's relationship with her is between them and her, especially as they are 10 and 12. It is separate from your relationship with her. You've said that she treats them well and it sounds like they all love each other. It's a shame that she's a cow to you, but it would be VVU to restrict their contact. Please don't use them to punish her, because it punishes them too.

My dad hated my nan and it sounded like he had grounds for it, going way back. He thought my nan didn't respect him, and was constantly thinking she was slagging him off to me (she never did). He would have quite liked to restrict her access to me, but fortunately my mum ensured we did still see each other. My dad particularly didn't like me seeing my nan without them. Now I look back and see that as a control issue on his part. When I saw nan alone, we developed our own relationship and it was different from how we interacted with mum and dad around. My nan was a wonderful figure in my life and I miss her hugely now.

Perhaps your DH could have a chat with his mum and make it clear she's not to slag you off to them. But your kids are old enough to know if gran is being a nosey old cow. There are lots of families where there's a bit of in - law friction.

People will gossip about you behind your back - it happens. No reason to stop your kids developing a relationship with their gran.

CheerfulMuddler Sun 18-Aug-19 13:24:06

I wouldn't stop your DC seeing her. However, I might stop them seeing her at your house and say your DH has to drop them off at hers because you don't want to have her in your house until she apologises, and you don't want to go over to her place if she thinks you're a thief.
That will probably naturally reduce contact, and if she doesn't like it, she can apologise. But I don't think it's fair to stop your DC seeing their grandmother. They shouldn't need punished for her actions.

jennymanara Sun 18-Aug-19 13:24:31

Sorry bit I think you need to put your children first.
DP had a very close relationship to his GF. But both his parents hated his GF. Thankfully they did not try and stop my DP from seeing his GF. His GF does sound a bit of a bastard, but he was lovely and caring and kind to my OP. If his parents had tried to reduce contact DP would have been really hurt.
It really does not matter what your MIL thinks of you as long as she loves and cares for your DCs well.
And your DP should not have mentioned MIL's accusation to you and instead just told MIL not to be so daft.

InvernessAdventure Sun 18-Aug-19 13:24:51

I think she has to be prepared to defend her accusation if she expects things to carry on as normal. You need to confront her as a couple, so that she knows DH won't keep secrets from you and so that you can get to the bottom of why she thinks it's OK to think or say such a thing, and see what else comes out. You also, as a couple, need to address the fact that she dislikes you and (while she's entitled to her feelings) set some boundaries about what is and isn't acceptable in terms of how she expresses that, including what is said to or in front of the kids. I don't think you can just trust her on that - calling you a thief to your DH's face and then telling him not to tell you is a massive breach of trust that's unlikely to be a one-off imo. I would see how she reacts to all that before taking a view on how to handle her relationship with your children.

Steppenwolverine Sun 18-Aug-19 13:34:27

I wouldn't stop your DC seeing her. However, I might stop them seeing her at your house and say your DH has to drop them off at hers because you don't want to have her in your house until she apologises, and you don't want to go over to her place if she thinks you're a thief.

I've been thinking along these lines. Mil likes babysitting them at our house, but I'm not really comfortable with her being here after this latest episode.

calling you a thief to your DH's face and then telling him not to tell you is a massive breach of trust that's unlikely to be a one-off imo

Yes, I tend to agree!

kateandme Sun 18-Aug-19 13:34:57

do you think she told your dh not to tell yo so that she could insert some control or put something between the two of you

EWAB Sun 18-Aug-19 13:37:07

This isn’t about some woman disrespecting her DiL by giving the kids a sly Mars Bar before dinner or moaning that her son has to iron his own shirts or even about gossiping about her to extended family... eg my aunts moan about their daughters-in-law and I take it with a pinch of salt - it would be disproportionate to stop the kids’ contact in those examples But this is about being accused of Theft-an actual criminal offence. Unless the woman has dementia contact must be stopped and the extended family told the reason. It is outrageous and goes beyond the inappropriate but ‘normal ‘ moaning about in-laws.

jennymanara Sun 18-Aug-19 13:37:18

calling you a thief to your DH's face and then telling him not to tell you is a massive breach of trust that's unlikely to be a one-off imo

A breach of trust wtf
Your MIL does not like you. She does not have to. Sounds like you don't like her either OP.
But focus on your kids. Having a loving relationship with a grandparent is so important to kids. It makes a real difference to their life. As long as she is not saying anything negative to your kids about you, then I would let it go.

flouncyfanny Sun 18-Aug-19 13:38:16

Don't stop them from seeing her, but also don't hide how upset she makes you feel.
Explain to the kids that granny is "as mad as a box of frogs" etc grin
Maybe when she begins to lose their respect she'll belt up!

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