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Grandparents have dumped my son in favour of new grandchild

(188 Posts)
CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 13:49:56

Hi all,

First ever post here so go easy on me!! Apologies if I have posted in wrong area. I'll try not to make this an essay. Just wanted some advice on next course of action.

So my husband & I have been together 15 years & we have a 3 yr old boy. We moved to the same town as PIL's to be nearer when we started a family. Up til December, they have been very involved in DS's life & had him every Monday & then he went to nursery the other 4 days as we both work. They were more than happy to do it & we did not force the issue as we never wanted him to be a burden.

Anyhow, they have a daughter who is 2 yrs younger than OH. She became pregnant & was due end of Jan. She has always been a bit of a Mummy's girl & they are close but no issue with that at all as I get mums and daughters often have a special bond & I am the DIL. I hasten to add I have always involved her & treated her like my own Mum.

Anyway she said in January, she didn't want to commit to having our son on Mondays as she wanted to be available for the daughter if needed.
We just swallowed it & said fine fair enough no problem. This then carried on into Feb way after the baby had been born & every Monday she kept letting us down at the last minute with varying excuses. She actually went completely NC with us & DS for 7 weeks in this time & didn't so much as pop over for a cuppa. Just nothing.

More often than not, the nursery couldn't take him at last minute meaning OH & I have been using a lot of annual leave to cover. Her main excuse is that she is paranoid that our son might have germs & she doesn't want to get sick if she is seeing the other baby girl. Utterly bizarre.

Anyway, we decided enough was enough & got our son booked in full time wef June. There was no point doing it earlier as we are on hol in May & with bank holidays there would only be 1 Monday in May to cover.

We said we don't want DS to be a burden (in a nice way) so we have now arranged full time nursery. Could you please however do 2 more Mondays - 29 Apr & 20 May that's it. She said she would.

My OH then gets a text today saying sorry I can't have DS on Monday. No reason given. Nursery can't have him so I've got to take another day off. At this point, I am raging (!) but call the nursery & ensure 20 May booked in with them as she will inevitably let us down again for that one.

So as at now, she is not having him any more. Me & OH both agree this for the best as MIL being so flaky. However, when I text her to say we have made alternative arrangements for 20 MAy as we can tell you dont want to have him any more, she replied with a thumbs up!!

No apology, no sorry to mess you about for 4 months continually nothing.

If she had just said pre new baby, I can't commit to having him any more, fine, but she hasn't she's just let us down at every opportunity.

In addition to that, she is keeping our DS away from his new cousin as she doesn't want him near her. I find this quite unnerving TBH & when I met the baby for the first time last week, she insisted on having our son. This is the only time she has insisted on it as she is clearly desperate to keep him away from her. I've no idea if this is some kind of germ thing or what, but her behaviour is getting increasingly erratic & I'm about to blow my lid.

On top of all that, she had secretly decided to sell the house & move to the town where the daughter lives (65 miles away). Not only did the daughter & SIL know, his parents knew & his mother let the cat out of the bag at the baby shower. MIL then gestured her to sssshhh as she hadn't told us at that point. At the time, I thought the conversation was very odd.

They then told us 3 weeks after it had gone on the market they were selling up to be near the daughter. To say I'm gutted is an understatement & I've shed a lot of tears over this. They've completely abandoned both us & DS & I never, ever expected this from them.

Anyone experienced this & what advice can you give? Seriously considering going NC now. Just to reiterate, I dont care about the Mondays, we can afford FT childcare it was more about them being part of DS's life. They've just dropped him, almost like a switch has been flicked & I am disgusted, angry, bitter, upset & all those things.


Easterbunnyhashoppedoff Fri 26-Apr-19 13:55:57

When I was married to exh we had the first dgc. Gps only semi interested tbh. Sil had a dc a year later and hell were we all dumped. The Lord had re-arrisen it seemed!
Bitter pill tbh but less people I had to please regarding the dc!
Have a last moan to dh then agree just never mention them again. Let dh keep in touch if he wants but Yanbu to back off imo.

CaptainJaneway12 Fri 26-Apr-19 13:56:49

Goodness I can understand you feeling hurt. Once she is moved I would stay low contact with her. It's sad for your son but she obviously isn't bothered about having an ongoing relationship with him.
Does new baby have any immune issues or was she premature? Just trying to think why she is so worried about germs.
My child at 3 was very heavy handed and jumped around, could she be worried your son might accidentally hurt the baby?
You should have let your son meet his new cousin, why on earth did you let her have him and not take him anyway?

If you want any real answers you will need to get DH to speak to her, but honestly, she has made her position clear so I would just walk away.

AfterLaughter Fri 26-Apr-19 13:59:15

OP shock She is an absolute thunder cunt! What an awful thing to do to a 3 year old boy sad angry

Sunshine1235 Fri 26-Apr-19 13:59:23

I got to the end but don’t know if I have any advice. I can totally understand why you’re so upset this is completely out of order and weird towards your son. The only thing I can say is at least this has happened while your son is relatively young and can’t fully realise what’s happened. If I were you I probably would just go NC as far as possible in order to protect him because even if she shows renewed interest in him who knows how long it’ll last. How is your relationship with your SIL? can you go ahead and forge a relationship with her and the baby separate from your MIL.

What is your husbands take on all this? Is he thinking of saying something?

ourkidmolly Fri 26-Apr-19 14:00:09

That's truly terrible especially for your dh. He must be really feeling his parents' rejection. What appalling behaviour. I think you just have to distance yourself as much as you can. The 👍🏼 is really awful.

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:00:27

New baby is fit & well & Mum had a normal delivery so no issues there at all. What she had originally said is there are 3 Mondays in Jan I can't do & gave us the dates. We were absolutely fine with that.

She then proceeded to keep letting us down at the last minute giving us no time to find alternative childcare. Sadly my Mum is not local & doesn't drive so she couldn't help either.

I'm just horrified at how our DS has just become obsolete overnight. Is so upsetting

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:02:13

Mu husband is complete denial about this & won't hear a bad word said about her. He just makes excuses.

But on a serious note, I think his Mum has mental health issues as she is just being so weird. Xmas for example, she told us not to contact or attempt to visit the daughter as she needs to relax. Subsequently, it was the first Xmas we didn't see her.

MrJollyLivesNextDoor Fri 26-Apr-19 14:02:42

I agree with PP that best for this to happen now while your son is young enough nitvto realise and be upset

I would be very very wary about building any kind of relationship between your DS and his GPs in the future, keep them at arms length

Do you/DH have any kind of relationship with SIL? I'm guessing not as the children would have met

It's utterly bizarre tbh, so hurtful that she would treat her grandson like this

Some people are just plain bloody odd!

DBML Fri 26-Apr-19 14:02:50

I understand how you feel, I’ve dealt with similar, but what can you do? You can force your MIL to behave differently, so I suggest you do your own thing as a family with DH and DS, leave her to get on with it and in the future you’ll never have to feel obligated to return any favours - if you know what I mean.
I’m sorry it’s like this for you. It is hurtful and especially when she doesn’t seem to want to spend time with your son, but it really is her loss and one day she will realise.
Just to add, I have no problem with family members not wanting to commit to regular babysitting duties...they’ve done their time and fair enough, it’s the letting you down and separating the grandchildren I’m referring to.
Good luck op.

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:04:07

Thanks for replying everyone it is really appreciated that you have taken time to do so!

I'm just at a total loss & in shock. Didn't even sleep last night because I couldn't stop thinking about it all. I am so so upset, like I said, I have genuinely treated them as I would my own parents.

IamPickleRick Fri 26-Apr-19 14:04:32

My PIL are similar. Have their other GC everyday, our DC never see them on their own only with SILs kids there, go on holidays with them, take them on days out and give them treats, if something is on the tv that SILs DD doesn’t want to you watch but my kids are enjoying, it’ll get switched over to her preference, mine get told off for things they are allowed to do etc

We never ask anything of them ever and if we did, they wouldn’t say no but they’d check if it fit in with SILs plans first. Christmas Day this year we sat there for ages watching the other kids open their presents while ours had just one thing each (there were more but there was no hurry to hand them out, they were at the bottom of the pile and SILs kids ones were being handed out as a priority)

I engage less and less.

NoUsernamesILike Fri 26-Apr-19 14:05:34

I would just go NC OP (with all of them, but that's my opinion) , does SIL ever mention the fact that her mother never takes her DN as she had been before her DD being born

whitesoxx Fri 26-Apr-19 14:07:48

Can't you just arrange for him to see his cousin without involving mil? I don't understand why you left him with her and went to see the baby without him.

I realise you moved to be nearer to her but maybe she wasn't expecting that and her long term plan had always been to move closer to her daughter. She is just avoiding you as she doesn't know how to say that?

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:08:41

Relationship with SIL is ok. She hasn't made much effort to be part of DS's life despite pretending to act all excited when I got pregnant. She hasn't once offered to take him out, babysit him or go out with us. She's seen him 3 times in last 2 years. But when we see her it's fine.

I think you're right in engaging less & less. I think I'm going to let OH deal with MIL from now on. I'm too proud to chase them to have a relationship with him.

What is so hurtful is the fact they were involved & then just vanished. It's so so sad for my little boy & my heart breaks for him.

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:11:22

whitesoxx - MIL insisted she have my son & wouldn't take no for an answer. But youre absoutely right, next time we see her, I will insist my DS goes with us & will say can you just leave your 2 children to sort it out please , there's no need for you to be involved in this.

Is almost like she has become obsessed with this baby. Is just utterly weird. Have spoken to a few mates & they are all in agreement its disgraceful behaviour....

MIA12 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:13:35

My god, it’s no wonder you are hurt and upset. I can’t help wondering if, as you say, this is a manifestation of a mental health problem with irrational fears of germs and contamination. That doesn’t make it any less confusing for your little boy though. The secretly moving away is such a horrible way to behave too.

whitesoxx Fri 26-Apr-19 14:15:20

She doesn't need to know you are going. Can't your husband speak to his sister about it?

All sounds very strange. Doesn't help if he's in denial though

Sunshine1235 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:17:30

Also if she ever does offer to have him again I would refuse, whatever this weird behaviour is it would surprise me if it manifests in other ways as the children get older with comparisons etc and you don’t want him to be exposed to that

WeepingWillowWeepingWino Fri 26-Apr-19 14:22:11

With regard to your DS that sounds horrible and upsetting.

But - the bottom line is you moved nearer your ILs only when you had your DS - because you wanted the support? Help with childcare? Not because you actually wanted to live near them.

And now she is moving to support her DD and probably provide childcare. It's not actually any different.

She's messed you around for sure. But, hand on heart, are you annoyed because your free childcare has disappeared? I don't blame you but I think it's important to be honest with yourself.

diddl Fri 26-Apr-19 14:23:00

Will her daughter be wanting full time childcare?

Why did you move to be nearer your ILs?

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:23:54

Oh I actually sent a message to MIL to say I hope you will continue to see DS as it feels as though he has been completely dumped now the other babt has arrived. I hope that's not your intention but thats how it feels.

Her response was "We love our gorgeous DS & he brightens up our lives it's just silly Nanny hang ups". WTH does that even mean?? Why isnt she hung up on getting ill from the baby she is seeing every other day.

When she went NC with us she put the house on the market. She kept avoiding us popping over & obviously we then knew we'd have seen a bloody for sale sign in the front garden?

Do you not think it would be courteous to tell the people it affects the most before you list it at the very least? The whole thing stinks. See I'm getting mad again now!!

Incidentally SIL's OH's parents have decided to move to be closer to the baby too. I think my MIL is now proper panicked that the other Nanny will see the baby girl more than her & she has major FOMO.

All the while, we've just been kicked to the kerb.

Chilledout11 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:24:38

She is showing her true colours. I would be really deeply hurt but I would just play it cool and keep a massive distance. I don't understand why she favours one grandchild over another. My mother shows favouritism to the first grandchild (happens to be mine) but she really tries to cover it up. This is plain awful and horrendous to your little boy and you.

justasking111 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:24:48

I just do not get it that if the grandchild is born of a daughter rather than a daughter in law, it is more important. My granny had three sons, one daughter, twelve grandchildren. We were all equally loved.

Your in laws are barking, the stamp duty will cost them a bundle, plus, estate agents fees, solicitors fees, moving fees, loss of friends and an established social all to be near a child who will be at school in a few years....

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:26:34

WeepingWillowWeepingWino - Absolutely not bothered about free childcare in slightest. We can afford FT. They offered to do Mondays & said they very much wanted to. We never asked.

We now get 30 hrs free anyhow so it's really not an issue. We moved closer to them so we could see them more simple as. Nowt to do with childcare.Our first house was not in as nice area & we had to wait until salaries etc improved before we could make the last move to be near them.

MitziK Fri 26-Apr-19 14:29:03

One person I knew who was like that actually admitted later that they were terrified that the eldest's child would attack the baby, as the eldest had done repeatedly when their sibling was small (and to an extent, throughout childhood).

Obviously, it's all dependent upon the perspective of the person you ask, but were there issues between your DH and his sister - it sounds as though there might have been?

lmusic87 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:29:12

Ouch, no wonder you feel hurt.

I agree, very sneaky.

Jellybeansincognito Fri 26-Apr-19 14:29:21

‘she insisted and we couldn’t say no’ - he’s your son, if you say no that means no. You don’t have to pander to her requests and you can’t blame her for that one.

Everything else, what planet is she on? Your poor little boy!

wizzywig Fri 26-Apr-19 14:29:37

It sounds very hurtful. Itll get easier when you start accepting the situation. They are the ones with the problem, not you. We too have been dumped when the sil had her babys.

kbPOW Fri 26-Apr-19 14:29:53

That's terrible behaviour. No wonder you're shocked. Please keep in mind that there is no harm to your son here - on the contrary and as others have said, it's much better to know this now while he's so young. The hurt is to you (such a horrible feeling when your child is rejected) and to your husband, who seems to be completely in denial. I would guess that your SIL is the golden child and your H is the scapegoat and he's used to sucking up poor treatment. I would take a giant step back and make zero effort to contact them and see what happens
I'm guessing the challenge will be to get your husband on board with this.

WeirdPatient Fri 26-Apr-19 14:30:03

I think you need to let your DH take the lead on this one and decide what he wants to do. Don't go out of your way to facilitate him or them. It has to be his choice. Don't contact them and see what happens.

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:30:44

diddl - No SIL won't want FT childcare. She has organised a childminder already.

I should also had my husband had quite a bad nervous breakdown in 2016 & was in a really bad way after we had our son, so it would be nice for her to think about him in the decision to move but she isn't. She has sadly always favoured the daughter & doesn't really hide it. I just hoped it wouldn't manifest in the grandchildren but sadly it has.

absolutelyknackeredcow Fri 26-Apr-19 14:31:29

This is horrendous and I really feel for you OP. Would be definitely asking what are these 'nanny hang ups'.
My in-laws - who frankly are not the easiest of people- have always treated their grandchildren from my husband and his sister equally.
I think their favourite thing now is to watch them play as a gang. Gives them a huge amount of pleasure

EvaHarknessRose Fri 26-Apr-19 14:32:31

She sounds like she has some kind of worry about the baby getting contaminated - OCD isn't rational and it doesn't mean she doesn't love your son. DH should talk to his sis about whether Mum is unwell.

However she is being v unreasonable to you.

ReganSomerset Fri 26-Apr-19 14:33:24

Made it to the end. Your MIL is being totally out of order, but let your DH see that in his own time or you'll end up the bad guy. Just try and be as supportive as you can, particularly for your little boy.

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:33:27

MitziK - no. OH & SIL get on well & are reasonably close. OH is like a Buddha one of the most chilled people I know!

Clutterbugsmum Fri 26-Apr-19 14:34:25

I'm sorry this has happen, but I think the best thing you can so is sort your life around what you can guarantee what you can control.

You done the right thing by getting you DS in to nursery and if MIL decides that she want's to baby sit, keep it simple that he not available. Don't get into an argument about it, DS is now at nursery FT.

Leave any contact down to your DH, it's his family.

Starlive23 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:34:36

God OP I'm gobsmacked! No wonder you feel abandoned. I've got no advice sadly but I'd be beyond livid if I were you.

There is something odd going on with the germs etc too, not sure if it's her or the daughter but someone seems to have a real phobia.

I suppose you have managed to sort the situation out in practical terms,but id be pissed off and hurt to say the least.

WeepingWillowWeepingWino Fri 26-Apr-19 14:34:43

well - 2 things.

Why is you wanting to be near them good, but MIL wanting to be near her own DD bad? You can't have expected that MIL would have stayed put just because you moved?

And 'Nanny's silly hangups' suggests that perhaps there is some medical issue with your SIL that you don't know about that has made her more fearful?

Out of interest, where are your parents in all this?

Starlive23 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:35:50

@AfterLaughter ...Thunder cunt is my new favourite phrase!

Innernutshell Fri 26-Apr-19 14:36:01

Such a strange way for your MIL to behave op especially when you are obviously thoughtful and understanding.

It makes me wonder if her behaviour is connected to something that she thought had happened in the past. ie when your DH and SIL were children.

Is there a same age gap as there is between your DS and the new baby?

ElsieMc Fri 26-Apr-19 14:37:58

Oh dear op. My MIL continually played people off against each other and when I had dd, she made an enormous fuss. She was often unkind to me and it was sometimes hard to let her have dd by herself. I was always mindful she may start to be critical of dd and lo and behold she began comparing her unfavourably with a niece's son. But I was looking in the wrong place and it was when I had my dd2 that she really cranked it up.

We never even received a card nor small gift for her. They would ask to see dd1 but not my other dd. I came to realise that I did not want the girls subjected to what I had tolerated and felt a strong urge to protect them. They even wanted to take one daughter on holiday and not the other. Our dd's came as a pair, not to be separated up on the grounds of favouritism. I knew once her own dd had children, then we would be dumped and chose not to wait around for this.

Do not let her have any influence on your life and do not let her bring you down and cause you grief. It is her loss, not yours and you are well rid. She would not bring your lovely son any happiness, believe me. There is too much emphasis upon maintaining relationships "for the sake of the children". Let your ds spend time with those you love and care for him. I assume your own parents see him. You sound a loving, caring mum and I don't know how you have been so patient in the circumstances.

goodforbrian Fri 26-Apr-19 14:38:01

Op this sounds terrible for you but in a completely selfish way I will be watching and taking notes on the advice given. I am in a very similar situation with my MIL. MIL has two sons, one she ridiculously favours... the other is my DP. We have our beautiful baby boy and the 2nd Grandchild (DH brothers baby) is due soon. Already I am seeing my son being 'dropped' so to speak. My heart is breaking as I can't bare the thought of him being subjected to a lifetime of being second best. It's hard. I am contemplating going NC. Good luck, I hope it gets better for you x

diddl Fri 26-Apr-19 14:38:29

I do think that she has gone about things in an odd way, but I'm not sure why you think she should have consulted you about the move.

bigKiteFlying Fri 26-Apr-19 14:39:02

I just hoped it wouldn't manifest in the grandchildren but sadly it has.

It's been worse with the GC in my own family - slightly there as children but DN is massively favored even by sibling. Though it was as obvious and sudden as here.

It almost seemed like a relief for everyone when we moved further away - suddenly a reason to tell everyone why we were seen much less. I also don't have to try and explain why DP can go to DN school things but never my children's - though my chidlren are mostly past that stage now anyway.

mcmooberry Fri 26-Apr-19 14:39:11

This is appalling and I totally understand why you are fuming and hurt about this. Just so awful I can't find the words. Just be glad they are moving 65 miles away so they are off your radar. You wouldn't care about yourself, it's your DS you are hurt for and no wonder!! I wouldn't be able to help myself, I would tell her what I thought about her - although sounds like you tried and she came back with "Silly Nanny hang ups". Doubt there is any getting through to her so just back off and have zero expectations of her.

Beeziekn33ze Fri 26-Apr-19 14:39:38

I wonder how MiL will cope when her daughter”s PiLs move nearer. Battle of the Nanny’s?!

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:40:11

WeepingWillowWeepingWino - MIL wanting to be near her daughter is not bad no. I didn't say that.

But to keep it secret & be the last to know when it affects us the most is extremely hurtful & could have been avoided by just being honest.

There is no medical issue with the daughter none whatsoever. I think its more MIL has gotten extremely protective of her to the point of some weird crazy paranoia. I've actually asked OH do you think your Mum is unwell because her behaviour is just getting weirder & weirder.

I also think she is consumed with jealousy at the thought of other GP's seeing the baby more than her. She never mentioned moving but as soon as she found out SIL's parents were going she had to get in there so to speak.

My parents are about 75 min away. Help when they can but both work. OH's parents are both retired so frankly have time in their lives for both grandkids.

Lavellan Fri 26-Apr-19 14:41:06

I wonder if SIL might be the one starting the germ thing and your MIL is covering for her a little bit? Just a thought with the questions over her mental wellbeing.

WeepingWillowWeepingWino Fri 26-Apr-19 14:42:13

errr - wow. Your last sentence is very telling OH's parents are both retired so frankly have time in their lives for both grandkids.. And no, MIL moving doesn't affect you the most.

Sympathy is ebbing fast...

BookwormMe2 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:42:14

I'd be so hurt too, OP. That's an awful way to treat your DS. I'd be inclined to go NC and let your DH deal with his mum going forward. I'm amazed he doesn't think there's anything wrong with what she's doing.

Handsoffmysweets Fri 26-Apr-19 14:44:31

Your MIL is an utter tit. Drop her like a hot brick and go NC.

HavelockVetinari Fri 26-Apr-19 14:45:12

Oh how hurtful. I'm sorry your PIL are such cunts. flowers

It's sad for your DS, presumably he's wondering why he never sees his Nanny any more sad

It's very odd that your DH doesn't see how bonkers it all is, how is he rationalising it?

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:45:37

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

justasking111 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:46:18

There is a difference between being retired and having time in their lives to being tied to one day a week childcare. If a nursery has a member of staff off sick that is their problem. If family are ill that is your problem.

SVRT19674 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:46:54

Weeeell, I got to the end. This reminded me of my hairdresser who told me years ago that "the grandchild through your daughter is your real grandchild, the grandchild through your son is the other grandmother's grandchild". I am afraid your MIL agrees with her.
As to moving all around the country to be "near people" sod that. Hubby and I are alone and our daughter in full time childcare. There is nothing stopping other people from moving away. I would just cool it and make mental note and move on. Their position is clear.

AryaStarkWolf Fri 26-Apr-19 14:48:12

That's awful, it must affect your Dh too, he's probably trying to wall those feelings off though to protect himself. That's such a cruel way to behave

AnnaMagnani Fri 26-Apr-19 14:48:56

I think the clue is she has always favoured the daughter

Your DH isn't bothered by her behaviour as he has never known her any other way.

Let her go. She is going to be a crap nanna. Luckily your son is 3 so he will forget all this and you can get into a routine of her turning up for Christmas and birthdays with rubbish gifts having given the fatted calf over at SIL's.

The sooner you massively lower your expectations the better. Let your DH be responsible for relations with her.

WeirdPatient Fri 26-Apr-19 14:49:32

^ I just hoped it wouldn't manifest in the grandchildren but sadly it has.^

It's dealable with when it's you, but it hurts so much more when it affects your DC. Take a step back and support your DH. Pretty much all you can do.

justasking111 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:50:18

The germ phobia is real. My friend got really weird over this with her baby, one sneeze and you were thrown out. If you thought you might be harbouring a bug/germ you knew to stay away. Once she had her second and third child she did not worry anymore was just glad of the company.

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:51:23

justasking111 - absolutely. If you read my posts, they offered it. We never asked. We never expected free childcare. MIL has said she wants to do it & then kept letting us down.

Don't offer if you don't mean it would by my view. I'm not unreasonable.

I never ask them to do evening sitting either perhaps 1-2 a year for our birthdays but we always go out separately because we deliberately try not to be a burden & don't want to take the p!$$ if they have him in the day too.

I always host them at Xmas, prep all the dinner make them feel at home & include them in everything. I'm just not used to this behaviour its just come from nowhere.

Wholetthekidsout Fri 26-Apr-19 14:51:42

Sorry your mil is so wierd and hurtful
I thought I had in law issues but yours sound super erratic
Id drop her and let her take the lead with contacting DH and grandkid if she wants to.
I'm surprised with some comments, OP is not expecting childcare just want some honest communication. Imagine what that is like for her DH to suddenly be cut off

Loopytiles Fri 26-Apr-19 14:52:23

First, DS will be fine. If over time the GPs continue to favour their younger GC, you and DH can do things to minimise negative impact on DS. DC with complicated (at best) GPs don’t necessarily miss out, I didn’t, I had fairly low contact with mine and got a good education on dysfunctional families grin

Suggest detaching from the in laws, and just seeing them when DH arranges it, being polite but not initiating contact. And seeing SIL and her family occasionally as before, without involving MIL.

If the PIL have always favoured SIL over your H, he could have some deep issues, and you mention he has had MH problems. Suggest continuing to support him and perhaps both of you looking at some of the reading recommended on the Stately Homes threads.

LisaSimpsonsbff Fri 26-Apr-19 14:53:19

Love the way weepingwillow is trying to make you sound like the bad guy, but it's literally impossible to do that here. Ignore.

I'm so sorry, OP. This is terrible. As you say, it does sound like there might be some sort of mental health issue. Is there anyway you could see her - just you, without DS - and try and ask her as neutrally as you can (I know this will be hard as you, completely understandably, furious) what the hell is going on? Ideally your DH would do this, but as you say he won't confront the problem it may need to be you.

sillysmiles Fri 26-Apr-19 14:53:36

She feels that her daughter's child is more "her" than your child. She doesn't really see your DS has your OH's DS but as yours and therefore - not hers.

That's my thoughts on it.

MarieIVanArkleStinks Fri 26-Apr-19 14:54:13

Dear OP, please have an internet hug from a sympathetic stranger, if you'd like one. These situations suck, and I'm so sorry.

Sadly, I can see no solution. You've behaved with dignity throughout, and responded in the only possible way as far as childcare goes. Likewise my MiL was around me like a rash throughout my maternity leave - I barely knew her before - but as soon as DC's babyhood was past she was back to contacting us only about 3X a year. Still wants front and centre stage during birthdays and Christmas though; but those events rightfully belong to the friends and relatives who are actually there for our DC.

I caught on this sentence:

*However, when I text her to say we have made alternative arrangements for 20 MAy as we can tell you dont want to have him any more, she replied with a thumbs up!!'

What. A. Bitch.

flowers flowers

AvengersAssemble Fri 26-Apr-19 14:55:55

So your bitching about your MIL saying she has Mental Health Issues just because she stopped looking after your DS?

Clearly more to this than your prepared to say, especially regarding her daughter and the baby.

Windinmyhair Fri 26-Apr-19 14:57:08

I'd probably have replied to MIL "What do you mean silly nanny hangups". I find the only way to deal with this PA/half statement behaviours is ask. What does she mean? What is going on? Direct questions and don't let her get away with not giving a direct answer.

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 14:57:46

Thanks all for your replies. Is nice to vent!

loopytiles - OH definitely has issues e.g. self esteem & confidence & was bullied at school. I have tried to build him up as much as I can & teach him to not take $h1t from people but ultimately he is a very placid guy & avoids confrontation. Fantastic Dad & husband I must add!

I guess we'll be ok - just need to get used to the new norm & let her do the running. It really bloody hurts though. Feels like I am grieving as dramatic as that sounds. Lots of tears so far & still flowing but what can you do. Families absolutely suck at times.

MitziK Fri 26-Apr-19 14:58:09

I wonder whether SIL is actually looking forward to her mother charging over to 'help'? There must be a reason why she moved so far away in the first place, after all, and the ILs knowing might be due to it not being taken so well in private/it being announced to them, rather than planning it as a group.

And she has sorted out FT childcare without including either set of GPs...

I'm just imagining a MN post of

'I've just had my baby, my mother has looked after my DN for the last three years, but she's got a bit weird since the birth, not letting DN see DD/me and constantly cancelling on SIL at the last moment. Anyway, I've sorted out FT childcare for DD, but at the Christening, my mother announced that she's put her house on the market and is moving to where we live. I couldn't say anything at the time because it was so public. Moreover, she wanted to keep it a secret from my DB and SIL when they're lovely, as is their DS. It's all a bit overwhelming and I know she's my mother, but I don't need her for childcare, I've already got the ILs nearby and, quite frankly, I rather like being about an hour's drive away from her. I'm worried that she's going to try and take over and push my DB and his family out. What should I do?'

Parsley65 Fri 26-Apr-19 15:01:13

I think you should be grateful that your MIL is moving so far away!
If it was me I would keep contact between myself, my kids and her minimal and allow her son to carry the load - if he wants to.
Focus on your own family and spend some extra time doing fun stuff together or building a closer relationship between your DS and your DP's... flowers

Thesearmsofmine Fri 26-Apr-19 15:01:32

This is similar to what happened to us and it is really shit tbh. Ds1 was 5.6 when it all changed and it has been hardest for him as he remembers the fun stuff they used to do and asks if he can go to theirs for the day and we are left to try and explain as nicely as we can that he can’t.

Clutterbugsmum Fri 26-Apr-19 15:02:12

I always host them at Xmas, prep all the dinner make them feel at home & include them in everything. Well now they are moving time for this to slow down and or stop completely.

Kez200 Fri 26-Apr-19 15:02:19

This is so bizarre.

Our two have suffered with us living away. The GPs live next door to their two cousins and they do everything for them and they can do no wrong. Our two are definitely treated like second class citizens and they would even go home early when staying with us, to catch the cousins doing something which they would be doing weekly and not stay to see our two doing something of equal importance which they would only have the chance to see once in a blue moon.

This is despite their children having been treated in a similar way by GGPs and them moaning about it!!

I have huge sympathy and I cannot see it will get any better for you as she is even more bizarre than ours! Just do your very best for your children as they will understand when they grow older - my two do and, now they work, they treat the different sets of GPs differently simply because they are far closer to the other set.

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 15:02:52

MitziK that has made me giggle. I would like to think SIL sees it this way.

SIL moved away because of work. Her OH works a long way away from where she does, so they picked a location in the middle to ease both of their commutes. They have no ties to that area & moved there 2 years ago.

LisaSimpsonsbff Fri 26-Apr-19 15:03:12

She feels that her daughter's child is more "her" than your child. She doesn't really see your DS has your OH's DS but as yours and therefore - not hers.

It might also be about preferring little babies. Lots of people lose interest in babies once their 'newness' wears off, and are big fans of the 'sitting there holding them' stage and not much else (I think they're idiots, not least because newborns are boring and toddlers are fun, but they definitely exist)

ourkidmolly Fri 26-Apr-19 15:05:01

I find it so weird they didn't mention house move. Of course they don't need to 'consult' but most normal people do mention it to their children when they're planning to move several miles away from them!

justasking111 Fri 26-Apr-19 15:05:40

I do wonder why some mothers treat their sons like second class citizens when they marry and favour their daughters.

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy Fri 26-Apr-19 15:06:37

Anyway she said in January, she didn't want to commit to having our son on Mondays as she wanted to be available for the daughter if needed.

So she told you this at the beginning of the year, yet you still expected her to look after him every week? confused

Constance1234 Fri 26-Apr-19 15:06:56

What a horrible situation, I'm not surprised you feel like you are grieving - the extended family you thought you had has suddenly disappeared and your day to day life has changed thanks to you MiL's strange antics. The whole selling their house without telling you despite you moving there to be closer to them is utterly bizarre. She sounds a bit deranged, and I wonder how your SiL really feels about the move!

ShinyShoe Fri 26-Apr-19 15:07:10

She sounds mentally ill to be honest. My MIL has never acted like that! It’s very bizarre but to be honest, some women don’t invest in DIL or DS relationships in preference to DD. It’s future proofing. She’s more likely to get help/consideration/looked after by her DD and granddaughter than she is by you or your DH. There’s that saying something like “a daughter is yours for life, a sin is yours until he gets a wife” there’s no benefit to investing time/effort in sons/grandson but there is in a daughter/granddaughter. Sorry but that’s the truth of how a lot of people feel and I’ve seen my MIL dumped by one of her own sons in favour of the DILs mother so I think there’s probably some truth in it. Her daughter will always come before you so she gets the preferential treatment. There’s no downside (to her) of dumping you. It’s very very sad but I’m guessing that’s why she’s done it.

InionEile Fri 26-Apr-19 15:08:04

I would say it is jealousy of the other grandmother. She is probably paranoid about the ILs getting more time with the baby. My DM lost her marbles a bit after I had DS, their first grandchild, because she was paranoid that we were favouring MIL in letting her see DS first after he was born and other things. It was utterly insane how she behaved - came to visit after the birth and had an absolute meltdown because her congratulations card was upstairs in my room while MIL’s was ‘displayed proudly’ as she put it hmm in the living room. Honestly nothing to it at all, I was in a sleep deprived haze but she literally cried about it!

To this day I have to be careful about mentioning the ILs to her. The crazy thing is that when DS was born we lived in the same country as the ILs whereas DM was a 2 hour flight away but this didn’t compute with her at all. It was nuts. I honestly think some women go a little bit loopy about baby gc. Once the gc are older or there are more of them maybe it’ll calm down a bit. I hope she sees sense soon. In the meantime try to focus on other issues and keep it in perspective. At least your DS isn’t upset about it so far.

Ratatatouille Fri 26-Apr-19 15:09:03

Xmas for example, she told us not to contact or attempt to visit the daughter as she needs to relax.

This is quite revealing I think. Especially in addition to her insisting she had your son when you visited the baby so that she could keep him away. It’s like she has set herself up as the gatekeeper between your DH and his sister, between her baby and your son, between you and the baby. Basically, she wants to be in control of everybody’s interactions with each other. If it were me, I'd deal with this by just shutting her down. When she says "you mustn't contact SIL" I'd breezily say "honestly MIL, you are a worrier. We're all adults. We'll make our own arrangements directly with her and she will tell us herself if she doesn't feel up to getting together". And then immediately and pointedly change the subject. If she brings it up again say "MIL, we've already said we will deal with it ourselves". No further explanation and change subject. Just don't discuss with her.

The biggest problem you've got really is that your DH "won't hear a bad word" and thinks there's no issue. You have to tread the line between supporting him and not forcing a change in his family, but also protecting yourself and your son. Very tricky. My personal tactic would be just step back, stop hosting and let it develop into an extremely low contact situation which is where it seems to be headed without you driving things.

diddl Fri 26-Apr-19 15:09:12

How much did you see of her/them outside of the Mon childcare & who usually instigated it?

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 15:10:10

GreenFingers - I will clarify. She gave us 3 Monday dates she couldn't do but said she wanted to continue having him again after baby was born. We made alternative arrangements for those dates as she gave us plenty of notice.

Once those dates were done & baby born, she's made excuses ever since & let us down at the 11th hour despite saying she would have him.

cliquewhyohwhy Fri 26-Apr-19 15:12:12

Let your OH deal with his parents from now on and let them do the running. I wouldn't be hosting them at Christmas again.

LillithsFamiliar Fri 26-Apr-19 15:12:23

I feel like I'm missing something. MIL told you in Jan she didn't want to commit to having your DS yet instead of making alternative arrangements from Jan, you've continued to ask her to watch him . . .I don't think she has messed you about. I think she told you in Jan and you either ignored or misinterpreted what 'I can't commit to watching DS' means.
As for dropping DS for the new baby, that may wear off. The new baby is still tiny. But I do understand why that hurts.
Your OP does read as though you're fixated on childcare rather than having a relationship with your PILs. Perhaps it seems like that to them too.

MzHz Fri 26-Apr-19 15:14:20

Another hug from me too OP.

My mother sold her house and told everyone about the move except me.

Sure I knew she wanted to move, on the market, exchanged and all that but not that she’d found somewhere. She actively avoided telling me that that they’d offered, it was accepted and they were just doing the paperwork

I only found out by overhearing someone ask her about it at a family gathering.

Nothing ever hurt me like that before or since. We’re NC now, a big reason is because of this.

When the truth hits home with your dh, he’s going to need a lot of support. Thank god he has you.

Small silver lining? If you never see her again, it won’t hurt your ds. He won’t remember any of this.

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy Fri 26-Apr-19 15:15:00

Ah thank you.

Not fair to promise childcare then constantly let you down. Shame, but maybe she was finding him more difficult to look after as an active toddler rather than a tiny baby.

But the rest of it sounds batshit bonkers.

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 15:15:39

Ratatatouille - you are bang on the money there. That's what I feel about her being the gatekeeper & controlling everything.

Is funny as you would never have thought it before. She's usually fairly placid & was generally a very kind & thoughtful MIL. That's why I think she might be a bit unwell.

Diddl - we see a fair bit of them actually outside of the Monday or we used to. Not every weekend, but 1-2 times a month at least. Often had them for dinner, had BBQ's would make a big effort on birthdays mothers days etc. Always used to text & send her pics 3-4 times a week. Was often in more contact with MIL than my own Mum. That's what is so perplexing. We would do anything for them.

TixieLix Fri 26-Apr-19 15:15:43

I'd look on the bright side - you're well rid of her. SIL on the other hand is going to soon be having to deal with two gets of GPs fighting over the baby. I can't imagine it's going to be fun for her if they should both want to be the primary source of child care/baby sitting when her DD is not with the childminder.

LisaSimpsonsbff Fri 26-Apr-19 15:16:49

I feel like I'm missing something. MIL told you in Jan she didn't want to commit to having your DS yet instead of making alternative arrangements from Jan, you've continued to ask her to watch him . . .I don't think she has messed you about. I think she told you in Jan and you either ignored or misinterpreted what 'I can't commit to watching DS' means.

I feel like people are being quite obtuse about this. OP has clarified that MIL said it about January in particular, not in general. Since it was before the due date presumably the concern was that she didn't want to have him in case her DD went into labour (personally I think this is a bit over the top in itself, but whatever). She never said it as a 'I can't do it now, or indeed ever again' thing.

Overmaars Fri 26-Apr-19 15:18:37

I just don't get this kind of PIL behaviour at all.

I just can't wait to have DGC and I hope both of my boys will have children. If anything I'm worried about being excluded as the mother of sons but I'm just keeping my fingers crossed.

I don't want to be the children's nanny but visiting, being visited and helping out would just be great. And why would you choose to prioritise one child's DC over another'? I just don't get it.

Of course your children are different from each other but that's the joy of it. They both surprise you as they're their own people.

So sorry for this OP. But as a scapegoated child of narcissistic parents I'm not surprised. It's lovely that you boost up your DH. Being around his mother bugging up his sister and her DC will probably do him no good. I doubt if he's really laid back about it but really has chosen to be in denial to protect himself.

phonehomephone Fri 26-Apr-19 15:19:43

The girls are all favoured in my big family. Out of all the cousins that have children I have the only boy. He is totally left out, he is not the oldest or the youngest. No one asks for photos of him at Easter they they do for the girls or asks after his football, like they ask about the girls ballet or dancing. I guess it's a girl thing.

My thought is that maybe your DS was getting too lively for your MIL and she's used this as an excuse. They aren't babies anymore at 3 years old, they are all go.

My MIL did visit weekly when I had DS, but now comes about once every 3 weeks now he's 3. There are no other babies in the picture here. hmm

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 26-Apr-19 15:20:52

What Ratatatouille wrote earlier.

I would stay well away from his mother altogether going forward; she has shown you by both word and deed that she clearly cannot be at all relied upon here. She is showing you who she really is.

I also think that her behaviour is part of a very long standing familial dynamic that she herself created re gatekeeping behaviour. Her daughter and therefore her child remain more favoured with her son i.e. your H being less favoured.

This is what happens in narcissistic family structures. Therefore you all get scapegoated by her as a result. Your man has been conditioned really not to say anything derogatory here because he is far more afraid of his mother than he ever is or would be of you. He cannot or equally therefore will not deal with her. He seems mired in his own fear, obligation and guilt re his mother.

You do not mention FIL by name in all this, where is he?.

Lllot5 Fri 26-Apr-19 15:21:03

This is very odd. I wonder if there’s something your not being told about your husband’s and your SIL childhood.
Your husband struggled mentally when your son was born I think you said and now this I not sure what’s going on but it’s almost like she wants to keep the two children apart.
Sorry if I’m not making sense but it’s all I can think of.

TatianaLarina Fri 26-Apr-19 15:21:30

I feel like I'm missing something. MIL told you in Jan she didn't want to commit to having your DS yet instead of making alternative arrangements from Jan, you've continued to ask her to watch him . . .I don't think she has messed you about. I think she told you in Jan and you either ignored or misinterpreted what 'I can't commit to watching DS' means.

I agree, that was my thought too.

I wonder if perhaps you’ve been too close OP, and combined with your DH’s nervous breakdown - it was a bit overwhelming for them. You said you treated them like your own parents, but maybe they didn’t want to be.

Doesn’t explain the weirdness over SIL’s baby but it would explain the move.

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 15:21:34

Thank you Lisa

I wish people wouldn't fixate on the childcare. I don't care if he is FT at nursery I really don't but she is making no effort to see him or even ask after him now. She's just dropped him like a stone with no real explanation. Mondays was great as it was their quality time together & they used to have a great time. It's just so very very sad how this has come about & will take a while to get over it.

But I guess I have to be strong & not fall out with OH. I think removing myself from it all is best option.... will just see what transpires & if she finally decides she wants a relationship with him again.

TatianaLarina Fri 26-Apr-19 15:24:38

She never said it as a 'I can't do it now, or indeed ever again' thing.

No but that’s what she was getting at, and it sounds like the cues were missed.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 26-Apr-19 15:24:54


re your comment:-

"The girls are all favoured in my big family. Out of all the cousins that have children I have the only boy. He is totally left out, he is not the oldest or the youngest. No one asks for photos of him at Easter they they do for the girls or asks after his football, like they ask about the girls ballet or dancing. I guess it's a girl thing"

Do not excuse this as merely a girl thing. It's a behaviour that narcissists do as part of their dysfunctional family set up; if you are the scapegoat in your family of origin your whole family becomes scapegoated as well. My advice to you is to stay away from all these people who use you as the scapegoat for all their inherent ills.

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