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AIBU to think Mil is a very shallow women?

(65 Posts)
DreamBeaver Sat 21-Sep-19 15:08:46

My Mil is upset her daughter is dating a man who has 2 children from a previous marriage. She is always bringing it up. Saying things like "he is nice but there is no chance it can work out long term because he has children". And gleefully saying "she isn't mentioning him much so hopefully it will be over for them soon".
I know it's none of my business but AIBU to think my Mil is very shallow. She also hated another one of her daughters boyfriends because he was in her words "just a taxi driver".
Would it bother you if your son or daughter was dating someone with children?

Windydaysuponus Sat 21-Sep-19 15:11:08

My adult ds is currently dating a woman with a dc.
Issue being she is demanding he parent her dc after only 4 months...
I was a lp when I met my first dh. His dm was nothing less than welcoming to us both.
Depends on circumstances ime..

Twooter Sat 21-Sep-19 15:11:46

I would prefer they didn’t tbh. I thinks it adds an extra level of complication. However if that person was lovely and they were a good match then I’d be fine with it.

Moominfan Sat 21-Sep-19 15:14:01

I'd just want my child to be happy.

Itsnotmesothere Sat 21-Sep-19 15:15:38

Well "just a taxi driver" is certainly snobby but I'm not sure her feelings about her daughter's new boyfriend are shallow. I don't have a daughter but I'm not sure it's what I'd want for my daughter. I'd just hope that they really loved each other and that she had a brilliant relationship with the children because while parenting is hard, step-parenting is probably harder. Have you seen the threads on here?

HirplesWithHaggis Sat 21-Sep-19 15:17:56

Ds1 is currently seeing a mum of three. He has one himself. It complicates things, but they're all grown ups and they all cope.

ISmellBabies Sat 21-Sep-19 15:20:30

It would make things so much harder. She can never be the man's top priority (if he's any kind of decent dad). Their time and their money can never be all their own. Their children together cannot be their top priority, they can only be equal with his existing children. That's all really serious, complicated and difficult stuff to navigate in a relationship, you see it in threads on here all the time. It may all just fall into place and work for them, but mil is not U to worry that it might not.

FaFoutis Sat 21-Sep-19 15:23:31

I wouldn't be keen. And nor would I date a man with children myself.

Oldraver Sat 21-Sep-19 15:23:49

My MIL was cow like this. Three of her sons married woman who already had children and treated them as their own, one even adopted his step-child. MIL never treated them the same as her 'real' GC's. Was ok to take cards and presents off them but never reciprocated (well a small selection box). She would actually buy one child a present but not their step siblings. My niece was always mortified.

I once mentioned her becoming a Great Grandparent and she snapped x wasn't her grandchild. The irony was she was married twice herself so her first three sons were step-children of her second DH and this was sold as some fairy story of' Dad' rescuing them all, and she (and the boys) considered him to be their Dad

Personally it wouldn't bother me in the slightest

DreamBeaver Sat 21-Sep-19 15:27:55

It's more her gleefully wanting the relationship to finish than voicing her worries over it. She is a very controlling women and very judgemental and tends to catastrophize everything.

dowehaveastalker Sat 21-Sep-19 15:28:17

If both have children it could work. My sister dated a guy with a daughter - it didn’t work out as sister always came second (as she should) but also, she was single and selfish and didn’t like being second. I see both sides. If only one has a child - it can become complicated.

dollydaydream114 Sat 21-Sep-19 15:30:25

It would depend on the age of my child, the age of their partner’s children, the nature of their relationship with the partner’s ex and a million other things. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. It will always inevitably complicate things.

DreamBeaver Sat 21-Sep-19 15:30:33

Mil has also been married 3 times and her third husband is step father to her 3 kids. So it's okay for husband but not for her daughter. It's a bit hypocritical also

DreamBeaver Sat 21-Sep-19 15:34:13

Oldraver your Mil sounds quite like my Mil

MaybeitsMaybelline Sat 21-Sep-19 15:41:01

Would it bother me? DD is 22, if he was 38 with two teens yes. If she was 28 and he was 28 and he had a toddler, no, not at all.

For me it would be whether she was sacrificing her own family opportunities when he has had all his.

Durgasarrow Sat 21-Sep-19 15:42:02

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Crystal87 Sat 21-Sep-19 15:45:19

It depends entirely on the individual relationship. I had 3 kids when I got with my DH and the youngest was only 7 months old. We've got a child together now too.
My 3 older children see him as their father and he doesn't treat them any different to his biological child with me. I think it's fine if he's happy to do it and there's no resentment, or she's not expecting things that he is unable to do.
Part of joining a "ready made family" is that at some point you play a role in the children's life that's not just mum's boyfriend. You would naturally take on a parenting role if you're living with someone's children because that's what you've willingly gone into.

MrsNotNice Sat 21-Sep-19 15:46:00

I don’t blame her to be honest I would personally find it difficult to accept, as being a step mum is very very hard. It will have to be special circumstances for me to be happy for them. If he was widowed or something or if he was such an amazing man and proved things with behaviour. and If I knew my daughter was a strong personality who doesn’t jump into things without thinking.

Also about the taxi driver, yes maybe she has no tact, but yes if my daughter was educated and intellectual and he was not ambitious... I would have an issue with it. I do think it’s a compatibility issue. The decision would be up to her but ... I don’t think I will be happy for her and I would probably advise her not to in the early days.

Gosh I sound horrid

MrsNotNice Sat 21-Sep-19 15:47:43

With all due respect I think you have other personal issues with your MIL and choosing to fixate on this. You need to address the real issue.

gostiwooz Sat 21-Sep-19 15:52:11

Makes me wonder what your MIL is saying about you when your back is turned.

Teddybear45 Sat 21-Sep-19 16:01:17

I wouldn’t want my child to date someone with a child either and especially not a daughter as women are often pushed into parenting roles by men too quickly - I presume your mil telling you this in confidence and hasn’t actually said anything directly to her dd. You need to calm down and mind your business

aprilanne Sat 21-Sep-19 16:03:48

I can never understand these people who make a difference between children .Your son daughter meets a girl she has a child things get serious another baby is born .that's it a family of 4 granny of 2 Ok I get it would work better if it was your son because child most likely with mum but still .I just don't get why you would make a difference
I adore my grandchildren never even think that some technically share my blood and some don't.

Teddybear45 Sat 21-Sep-19 16:03:57

Also do you know how hard taxi drivers have to work to earn their money? My uncle was one and even he didn’t want that for any of his daughters or neices - he used to say it all the time that we needed to choose partners who were in secure, permanent employment that allowed them family time. It was very sensible advice tbh.

DreamBeaver Sat 21-Sep-19 16:04:43

gostiwooz makes me wonder. She talks alot behind people's back. She is very judgemental and quite shallow

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 21-Sep-19 16:13:59

Mil has also been married 3 times and her third husband is step father to her 3 kids. So it's okay for husband but not for her daughter. It's a bit hypocritical also

Or maybe she has seen first hand just how bloody difficult it is to be a step-parent and doesn't want that for her DC.?

IdiotInDisguise Sat 21-Sep-19 16:14:20

She will mellow down, nobody was enough for my mum, nobody. But at some point they realise their children are not perfect either and that the current man can always be much better than the next one grin

Oliversmumsarmy Sat 21-Sep-19 16:14:22

I wouldn’t mind who Dd dated as long as they were hard working and had ambition

dottiedodah Sat 21-Sep-19 16:17:41

I think She is right to be concerned TBH. Children can be difficult if their parents are divorced ,and a new partner comes on the scene.I think it is not easy to meet someone without a bit of "Baggage " though.If SIL is quite young she is not unreasonable to have some doubts .I think her remarks about only being a Taxi Driver are rather snobby and unkind though.

Rachelle11 Sat 21-Sep-19 16:30:24

She's been through it, and it's not ideal. You simply don't like her.

BertrandRussell Sat 21-Sep-19 16:31:05

In an ideal world, i wouldn't want my child to date someone with children, no. I don’t think that makes someone shallow.

31RueCambon75001 Sat 21-Sep-19 16:35:01

How hypocritical of her! I'd call her on that aspect of her reaction precisely. Are her husband's family still alive? YOu could say ''is this hard for you because your husband's family judged you?'' {head tilt}
and if she says ''they didn't judge me!'' take it from there! Say ''they sound like they saw what was really important'' or if she says they did judge her, say ''so this is a bit triggering for you?''.

BertrandRussell Sat 21-Sep-19 16:37:07

It may not be hypocritical. She may just know how incredibly hard it can be and not want that for her child. No need to “call her out” on it.

pandapickle Sat 21-Sep-19 16:37:43

I personally wouldn't want that for a woman in my family. I've seen the stress of having to divide resources (money and dad's time) once women have their own children. It can turn nice people very bitter.

My best friend is in a relationship with a man who has children and she thinks it all sunshine and roses. Minor complaints about the money he gives to his ex wife. I'm worried this is going to be a huge stress for her once she had her own child...

31RueCambon75001 Sat 21-Sep-19 16:37:52

I agree with maybeitsmaybelline though too, Mothers-in-law ASIDE, it depends on couple's ages and the ages of the children and if she's expected to forego family of her own, or take on too much responsibility for somebody else's.

MrsNotNice Sat 21-Sep-19 16:38:09


Absolutely not. I think she should stay out of it. how Passive aggressive

BasiliskStare Sat 21-Sep-19 16:38:15

If I am going to be completely honest I would rather my Ds has children of his own. If , however he meets someone he loves and the children are partner's / wife's - well all good - It is his choice , not mine

MereDintofPandiculation Sat 21-Sep-19 16:42:28

She is very judgemental and quite shallow If you've already decided that, why are you asking MN?

She wants her daughter not to have money worries and not to have the complications of being a step mother. She possibly also fears that if the man has left one woman he's quite likely to leave another. These may be unrealistic fears, but it doesn't make her shallow.

IdiotInDisguise Sat 21-Sep-19 16:50:40

In an ideal world, i wouldn't want my child to date someone with children, no. I don’t think that makes someone shallow.

What if the person with children turns to be your child? Would you like people to avoid her/him as she/him has children?

BertrandRussell Sat 21-Sep-19 16:51:54

“What if the person with children turns to be your child? Would you like people to avoid her/him as she/him has children?”

I would absolutely understand why they might-of course I would.

MrsNotNice Sat 21-Sep-19 16:52:50

What if the person with children turns to be your child? Would you like people to avoid her/him as she/him has children?

Yeh if my child has children of their own I would rather they get with someone who also has kids.. so they understand the responsibility of it all.


But it’s not up to me however that would be my preference

Corneliawildthing Sat 21-Sep-19 16:52:51

She sounds like a dreadful woman and reminds me of my grandmother. My auntie was dating a bank manager who used to drop her home and then go out philandering with other women - small town so everybody knew about it. In the end she married a man who'd been married before and was absolutely lovely. My gran would rather she stuck with the philandering bank manager because he was somebody important in the town, rather than caring if her daughter was happy or not.

kenandbarbie Sat 21-Sep-19 16:56:26

I'd prefer my dc not to date anyone who already had children. As others have said, there are just added complications and the partner can never be the priority if they are dating a good parent.

charlestonchaplin Sat 21-Sep-19 16:56:36

My mother told me she’d support me whoever I married, unless he already had children. She’d experienced (and is still experiencing) the trauma of stepmotherhood and I don’t think she’d wish it on anyone, even people she really doesn’t like.

Riojasmoothy Sat 21-Sep-19 16:58:08

The only thing that matters to me is that my daughter's partner makes her happy and treats her well.
If he had children I would welcome them into my family.
I had my daughter in a previous relationship and my mil has always treated her as family. It never occurred to me that so many people felt otherwise.

Tonnerre Sat 21-Sep-19 17:00:22

Both my siblings married people with children from previous marriages, both of their marriages have been very successful and they are still together many years later.

StroppyWoman Sat 21-Sep-19 17:05:43

I agree with your MIL - I'd far rather my children were in relationships with people with less emotional baggage, complications, and potential conflict. I love them and I'd like their lives to be simpler if possible.

Our family has blended families, with relationships with other blended families. The effort to keep everyone happy - especially around important life events and annual celebrations - is considerable. It's worth it, but it would be so nice and easy if it were not needed.

And yes, biological links are also a thing. It's understandable to feel more of a connection to the child of your child than the child of your child's girlfriend.

Oysterbabe Sat 21-Sep-19 17:05:44

I wouldn't like it but would certainly keep my mouth shut.

Teensruletheroost Sat 21-Sep-19 17:07:22

Honest answer is that I would prefer my DC to marry someone without children. For their children to be first children for both of them. Not to have to deal with financial pressures of split families/ maintenance and the intricacies of dealing with an ex even if they get on well.

I speak as a second wife and stepmum where the relationships with ex and SDC have always been very good over the decades. Even knowing we have had it as good as it can be I would rather my children had it simpler.

Phuquocdreams Sat 21-Sep-19 17:11:42

Having dated someone with children, I would much rather my daughter did not date someone with children (obviously not my choice!) it’s a choice that makes a woman’s life much harder. You only have to see the shit and aggression SMs get on here to know that.

Rachelover60 Sat 21-Sep-19 17:24:02

It depends how old her daughter is. I think it is unwise for a young person to be involved with a man who has children, she would have more fun with someone who doesn't have ties. Past a certain age, most people have a child or children so there is less choice.

I wouldn't have wanted a boyfriend with kids.

FunderAnna Sat 21-Sep-19 17:33:51

I went out with a bloke who had/has two children. We married and had another child together and have been together twenty-four years. I'm very found of my stepson and stepdaughter.

AcrossthePond55 Sat 21-Sep-19 17:34:53

I'd just want my child to be happy. I'd hope and pray that if they married someone with children that they would be able to have an amicable relationship with the ex and a balanced relationship with the children. As far as personally, I'd be over the moon! My DS1 has decided he doesn't want children so if DS2 married someone with DC I'd be just be happy to be an instant grandparent, no matter how those DGC came into my life! And I can't see that I'd feel any differently if he later had DC 'of his own'. They'd all be equally precious.

Your MiL can think what she likes. But she needs to learn to keep her pie hole shut. She has more to lose than she realizes. If her DD marries this man she just might lose her DD if she realizes how her mother feels!

Metempsychosis Sat 21-Sep-19 17:42:03

I wouldn’t want my DD to get seriously involved with a man with children while she was a young woman with no children of her own, no. I’ve read too many horror stories on the Step-parenting board and heard too many bad experiences from friends.

And yes there are a lot of structural differences between the male and female experiences. The nice young men I know who’ve married single mothers have both had a relatively smooth ride (tiny sample, obvs).

Rachelover60 Sat 21-Sep-19 17:47:31

Though I would prefer a daughter of mine not to be involved with someone who had children, it would be preferable to him being a taxi driver :-).

Oliversmumsarmy Sun 22-Sep-19 08:39:34

All these people not wanting a relationship with someone who has children. It is a wonder that divorcees or those that have lost a partner ever have a 2nd relationship if they already have children.

Lovetoread84 Sun 22-Sep-19 09:00:04

For me personally I would like my son or daughter to have a relationship with someone who doesn't have kids because I would like them to enjoy each other first, maybe travel, go out lots etc, before their lives become complicated by having children.
But if my son or daughter were older and had already done alot in their lives, then it wouldn't bother me too much because it's highly likely that their new partner already has children.

Lovetoread84 Sun 22-Sep-19 09:02:25

Just to add, my sister married a man who had 2 kids. The kids lived with them full time.
My parents never accepted the kids. They were perfectly pleasant with them, but they didn't feel anything for them. Didn't even buy them Xmas or birthday presents. They've been seperated for 8 years now so we've not ever seen those children again and my parents never mention them.
I have always felt sorry for those kids

theWarOnPeace Sun 22-Sep-19 09:23:08

All I hope for at any rate is that I’ve taught my children enough to make good decisions for themselves.

I have had a boyfriend with children, he was a super dad. Very responsible, took them out and invested in them emotionally, financially, and with his time and energy. Their mum was still a SAHM because he gave her enough money to do so. He was wealthy enough for money not to be an issue. There was never any question of me taking responsibility for those children. Never. Although that also meant that sadly I really didn’t bond with them, although maybe would have after more years down the line. In that circumstance, it wouldn’t bother me at all if I had a daughter dating a man with children.

I have another ex with a child. Mum not around really. He was useless and never had much money, gave her very little time or energy. I ended up taking on a parenting role of sorts, which looking back was really unacceptable on many levels. I have no regrets though. That child wouldn’t have been able to do half the things she did if I hadn’t paid/facilitated them. We still have a great relationship today though. The bond we have has not been altered by time, me marrying my DH, her dad bringing various new women around. Her dad is still a total cunt, but she’s old enough now to look after herself. If I saw my daughter in that situation I don’t think I’d be able to hold my tongue. Women shouldn’t be dragged into step mother roles so that the dad can doss about.

Each situation is different. Without tonnes of detail we can’t know if your MIL is being fair or not.

Nonnymum Sun 22-Sep-19 09:27:40

My main concern would be that my child was happy the relationship but I would be more concerned if the partner had children just because it adds complications. Children can be the greatest strain on a relationship even if both partners are the parents. So I would want y DC to know what they are getting into and to understand that the children must always come first.

MaidenMotherCrone Sun 22-Sep-19 09:47:47

I hope none of my children end up raising someone else's children. They would not be my grandchildren. Im not shallow.

user1487194234 Sun 22-Sep-19 09:56:08

I want my DC to be happy and will support them whatever they do
But if I am honest I would prefer them not to end up with a partner who already had kids just because it adds complications
I always knew I was to selfish to bring up someone else 's kids

Novembersbean Sun 22-Sep-19 10:11:31

I know my dad wishes my partner didn't have a kid, though he would never say it. I do find the whole situation a bit awkward tbh because people aren't sure whether to mention it to me because they're not sure if it's a positive part of my life. That's very telling of the fact that a lot of the time, it's not.

This thread has been quite refreshing to read in all honesty, because it's usually the step parent being vilified for not being thrilled about the situation but the reality is having kids does make you a less attractive partner with a whole host of complications and you ought to be mindful of that when approaching a new partner, rather than just considering them blessed to have the chance to deal with any of the crap that comes along with you bringing kids and an ever present ex to the table. It's a huge sacrifice for most people, not a privilege. People can be very arrogant about their treatment of anyone that has the slightest bit of reservation around their kids.

I think the MIL does sound an unpleasant person to be so open about hoping they break up, but her concern is very reasonable.

Poppyfields21 Sun 22-Sep-19 10:18:42

She talks alot behind people's back. She is very judgemental and quite shallow

Aren’t you doing exactly that right now with this post?!

Whyisshedoingit Mon 30-Sep-19 00:38:19

@Durgasarrow There isn't always "already two parents" as in my case. I'm a totally single parent doing it totally alone. If I met someone they would NEVER be third wheel, how dare you?!

Durgasarrow Mon 30-Sep-19 06:18:26

@Whyisshe . .. That's right, in your case, your future spouse would not be the third wheel. The child could conceivably look upon your new husband, if that's what you would have, as a new father. But if your child already had a father, then the stepfather, or, less convincingly, mother's boyfriend aka dp, would not have the same authority in the child's eyes. This boyfriend would always be in the awkward position of having responsibility without authority. Of being blamed for all the bad things and not appreciated for any of the good things. Of not being REAL and not having any official role. Of having no permanent standing in the child's life. That's what makes a DP or even a stepfather a third wheel. Unless they officially adopt the child as their own.

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