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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.


Mrsandmrbear Fri 26-Apr-19 23:59:02

OP- really sorry for you. I don’t have much advice to give you except that you have to keep calm, hold your head up, go LC with your ILs and let karma do it’s work. Give it a some time, a few years?

I know how hurt you must feel, but time is a healer. All the best x

SandyY2K Fri 26-Apr-19 23:54:28

Sorry to hear you're not so close with your siblings.

It looks like she's jealous of the siblings being close and her being ousted. Your OH needs to firmly let her know he can speak to his Dsis whenever he wants.

I love my DC having a good relationship and I like it when they're close.

To me siblings should have each other's back in a normal family, but every family has it's own dynamics and half siblings can affect the closeness relationships.

Your MIL sounds like a bit of a lunatic tbh. She seems paranoid about the siblings and about the other granny.

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 23:52:12

Yes we will. Right I'm knackered & DS will no doubt wake me at the crack of dawn so best go to bed. Night all thanks for replying & calming me down. x

Lisette1940 Fri 26-Apr-19 23:49:18

Have a great Christmas and create your own traditions.

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 23:45:15

Or replied with a thumbs up when I said she didn't have to have him any more. shock

Unbelievable! No words used just a thumbs up emoji. Clearly bothered (NOT)

Dieu Fri 26-Apr-19 23:40:51

Really bad form on her part, OP. She shouldn't have let you down on those final childcare days in particular thanks

midsummabreak Fri 26-Apr-19 23:40:19

Passtheroja has the right idea, and she is correct that holding onto resentment for MIL and her f¥<*€d up behaviour only feeds back into the drama. Smile & wave, also takes away MIL power, to hurt by f¥<£d up behaviour towards her son's family. MIL loses and you win your positive energy reigns as you treat your little one, and yourself and hisband and give your love and time to your own family and friends.

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 23:36:35

That's the thing you do try & suck it up to keep the peace & not upset OH but I just can't see how the relationship with us & DS will be the same again now. MIL is too fixated on the daughter & new GC.

If I hope it will improve, then I'm inevitably setting myself up to be disappointed so best to just try to forget it. Still quite raw at the minute.

I'll turn up to the various functions & do my duty but leave it at that.

Incidentally we have booked to go away for Xmas this year. Having a no family Xmas with mates for 2 weeks in the sun!! We knew that PIL's would want to see SIL & SIL had already said she wasn't travelling for Xmas so put 2 + 2 together. She has repeatedly said she doesn't have room for everyone in her house so we kinda knew we'd get shafted & be left alone.

(Despite them being more than happy to have us host every year because no one else would).

Good call on our part I would say! wine

ProfYaffle Fri 26-Apr-19 23:26:57

Agree with Passtherioja. We have similar-but-different in law issues, favoured other sibling, lack of support for us, favoured grandchildren etc etc over many years and many serious and upsetting life issues.

I'm way down the line, my eldest dc is 15 I'm now in the 'smile and wave' phase, any feelings towards pil are dead. I support dh but make no effort myself. His circus, his monkeys.

I just wish I'd got here years ago and had the courage of my conviction that they were nasty bastards so I didn't put up with so much from them.

They're elderly now, looking tentatively to us for support. It's not there. Their circus, their monkeys.

Lisette1940 Fri 26-Apr-19 23:24:34

CL240 Sil has a habit of 'speaking her mind and telling it as it is', as she sees it and seems to rub people up the wrong way in life in general. DH challenged her over the letter and she couldn't defend her stance. Then mil started to wade in and NC ensued.

The thing is the letter was so unhinged we actually started to laugh reading it.

Try very low contact.

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 23:17:11

Passtherioja smile so right!

DS & I had a great time tonight when he got back from nursery. He's been getting absolutely glowing reports re: behaviour, his capacity for learning & he's cracked the potty training. He really is becoming a beautiful little chap so their loss. Now I'm off work on Monday, we'll have a nice Mum & son day & I'm going to take him to a theme park.

He's never going to feel unloved from us that's for sure.

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

Smile and wave hunny! Turn up when needed/requested/required and get on with your own family unit. Leave them to it-support your DH and if his family want to be part of your child's life let them...but don't let your child feel pushed out. Bow out and use that energy that currently feels cross to treat your little boy x

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 23:06:06

Lisette that is awful. So cruel. Have you gone NC now & how did DH deal with that?

I can't ever imagine OH going NC with them. I can see a point where I will personally remove myself as much as possible & keep them at arms length.

All depends how the next few months pan out. If she calms down & starts behaving fairly again, then obviously there is a way back as no family is perfect. What I won't have is her flip flopping in/out of DS's life. You're either in it or not as the lack of consistency will hurt DS & I'm not going to allow it.

Lisette1940 Fri 26-Apr-19 23:00:55

OP we had something similar with mil and sil. Sil wrote a Christmas letter to us telling us that her parents had finally become real grandparents with the birth of her child - our son was 5 at that time and was the first grandchild. We live an hours' flight away and according to her you could only be a real grandparents if you lived close to your grandchildren 🤔. We'd had endless problems with both mil and sil and for DH and me it was the final straw!

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 22:51:29

FIL would have been told to keep schtum by MIL. MIL did at least tell us face to face eventually but that was 3 weeks after they had listed it & after 7 weeks of NC. Clearly, she had already decided she wanted to sell up a few months prior but completely avoided telling us.

Wouldn't dream of doing that to my children. I'd TELL my kids if I was friggin moving!!! (before putting it on the market) Regardless of what we think of it, show a bit of respect. That really upset me actually. But things have gotten progressively worse since.....

At present FIL & MIL are arguing about moving. She wants to, he doesn't. But she got her way as the house has been listed.

RogersVideo - Exactly. Why isn't there room for 2 for goodness sake? Is it really hard to want 1-2 hours of GP's time a week?? I just cannot understand it & I never will.

RogersVideo Fri 26-Apr-19 22:42:39

OP I've read this scenario so many times on Mumsnet. Grandparents fairly disintested in their grandchildren, until their favourite daughter/golden child has kids- then they're over at hers every afternoon and have the kids 3 days a week. Your situation has the additional hurt of PIL developing a relationship with the first GC before the golden GC showed up. I don't understand why some GPs do this but it's clearly a phenomenon and you aren't alone.

Also just wanted to say that my mother has 50(!) first cousins, but her grandparents still made her and her cousins feel special. There can be lots of room in a grandparent's heart!

SchrodingersBrexit Fri 26-Apr-19 22:39:57

Has FIL said why he didn't inform you of their move?

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 22:37:19

Is hard as I come from quite a straight talking family. We have an issue, we thrash it out - we don't bottle things up & you're not constantly second guessing people.

Completely different dynamic on OH's side although I will say FIL is pretty direct.

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 22:33:08

FrenchBoule - I am sorry to hear that. At least your DH woke up & smelt the coffee.

My OH is not even grasping that MIL is being manipulative....this is why I shall take a step back & let it unfold & hope that he realises in time.

DeeCee - she definitely is gameplaying but you're spot on, it's up to the siblings to push through that & maintain the relationship without her. Perhaps they aren't that close like many have said.

She certainly hasn't played an active part on DS's life thus far. She last saw him in November & didn't go near him. Didn't even cuddle him or play with him ...nothing & they visited our house.

DeeCeeCherry Fri 26-Apr-19 22:28:12

OP as hurtful as it is you need to leave MIL out if the equation and do what it takes to maintain relationship with your SIL - and in fact it's your partner as her brother who should be mostly responsible for that.

If of course SIL wants a relationship. Your MIL is just a manipulator - but that only works when people comply. My mum is same re me and younger brother but it doesn't work as we both take no notice of her games. I remember occasions when my DCs would let slip my brother had popped to see me and they'd get the third degree in offended tones. Got to the point they stopped mentioning.

It's stupid gameplaying and will wind you up if you focus on it. Hopefully your SIL will be amenable but if she's not, the best you can do is concentrate on your own family unit.

Your SIL will get fed up soon enough, people like your MIL are claustrophobic. Until that time, at least you have your OH and children. They are the priority.

FrenchBoule Fri 26-Apr-19 22:26:04

OP, drop your MIL and her manipulations
What they’ve done is absolutely appalling. Continue relationship with SIL if you want to without MIL’s involvement.

We’re NC with FIL and his wife for the same reason. DH is a scapegoat, his sibling golden child.

StepMIL’s GC got all the attention, our DC got barely a look. We tried to sustain a relationship but everytime stepMIL’ s relatives appeared on the scene we were dropped like hot potatoes.

We went NC eventually, DH has seen them for who they were.
It’s bliss. After initial shitstorm we’re not bothered and our DC are not treated as an after afterthoughts.

Sorry OP, it hurts like hell.

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 22:12:32

The relationship with the daughter is very intense. She completely worships her & drops everything for her. She doesn't really have any adult friends herself so her daughter is her only friend in some ways.

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 22:10:36

Constance - I have no blooming idea. It's so very very bizarre. To be fair to SIL, I think she asked the Mum why is Bro saying we won't see him at Xmas.

She did actually say she would see us Xmas Eve for couple of hours as she was going for a meal with the parents. (We hadn't been invited). Then MIL was on the phone saying leave her alone she needs to relax & that was that.

Obviously DS would have been with us but so what? Before anyone says it, I'm not in denial about having some kind of demon child that stresses everyone out haha. He's a very well behaved polite little boy & would have been no bother at all seeing them for a quick pub lunch to exchange gifts etc.

So weird. I don't get why she is putting a barrier up in the relationship at all. Part of me thinks she wants to keep SIL all to herself & doesn't want to share her. SIL probably likes that most of the time as it massages her ego I guess, but probably not to the extent where she is damaging a sibling relationship.

CL240 Fri 26-Apr-19 22:05:07

Sandy - Not that I want to make excuses for her but she does seem to have lost the plot of late. FIL let slip last week she isn't sleeping well. What is weird is that SIL is genuinely doing fine. She has settled into motherhood very nicely, has a good social network & is getting out & about.

I think other GP's moving there is what might have rattled her cage. So she is desperate to be front & centre of the daughter's life. If that means abandoning us to prove her worth, then it looks like she is prepared to do that.

Is just so fkd up it's hard trying to rationalise it!

Constance1234 Fri 26-Apr-19 22:02:53

Within minutes & I mean minutes, his Mum was on the phone telling him to leave the sister alone Why is she so against the brother and sister having any kind of independent relationship? Is she worried they will start to compare notes and realise what a loon she is?

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