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MIL treating step son differently..help wanted

(13 Posts)
Clarabumps Wed 23-Sep-09 11:39:26

right be prepared for a long rant..
my partner and I dated for two years when i was 18 then I finished it..(felt as though I was too young to settle down etc) It was a bad break up and he didnt take it well. we then didnt speak for five years till in an odd turn of events i fell pregnant with another mans baby. we then became friends and he supported me through my lone pregnancy and we fell in love again. we got back together when ds1 was 3 months old. because of the hassel we had when we finished before we didnt tell his parents untill we fell pregnant with ds2. so..so big shock to them, not only was their son going back out with the bitch who broke his heart but i was pregnant and had a child with another man which dp has been raising as his own since he was born.

they never really liked me to be honest as i am totally different from them. they are from a very small town in which people work all week and go to the local pub on a saturday night and pretty much never leave unless they REALLY have to. which is fine if thats what you are used to but dp and i are totally different. i have always worked and for the past 8 years have lived in a city and had a good career in recruitment untill ds2 came along. i am now a sahm so i am feeling the pinch when it comes to lack of mental stimulation.

Anyway, back to the point..due to the lack of support i had in the city..( all my family work and are extremely busy socially. dp parents are retired) we decided when ds2 was born to move to his home town. found the perfect house but it was right next door to dps parents. i (naively) thought that it would be ok living next to them but it seems the honeymoon period is truely over.
dp's parent were great with ds1 when they first met him however recently my mil is treating him differently. he's only 2 and is going throught that 'asserting his authority' stage.. he very rarely tantrums and he's a good wee boy but she rarely shows him affection and the other day when i left him with her i came back a few minutes after he thought i'd gone to find him crying for me saying 'granny i'm crying..miss mummy' and she was ignoring him and cuddling the baby( who was fine ) while he was upset.
i was totally shocked..i think its up to each individual if they want to ignore crying but not when a child is genuinely upset and especially not when he doesnt know that he is loved by that person.
plus he has started hitting and kicking dps family.. he doesnt hit anyone else not even me but he wont go to them and is a different boy around them.

i dont know what to do..i'm now stuck lilving next door to them so i'm reluctant to confront them about it as it is dp's parents however i feel the way my son is being treated is really unfair as in later life they will create a divide between the two boys, something that dp and myself have always strived to never let happen.
i feel as though here i am under contant scrutiny over the way i raise the kids and even career choices. for example my mil told me when i had applied for an OU course that i was taking on too much and that i should content myself with housework. its only for five years till the boys are in school..and that my problem is that i sit down too much..if i got stuck into the ironing then i'd not be bored.eh???
i know that shes just old school and that she means well but anyone who has two kids under two knows that trying to keep a house immaculate is nigh on impossible. my house is clean dont get me wrong but rarely sitting perfect unless the kids are in bed.

i just feel the small town mentality is making me want to scream! dp empathises but is in the same boat..dunno what to do. and i feel as if its intensified my the fact we live so close. i'm contemplating moving but i love my house!
HELP PLEASE!

ps sorry for the lack of punctuation and correct spelling and capital letters..i'm rubbish when i'm angry

CarGirl Wed 23-Sep-09 11:43:00

really it's going to have to come from your dp about their attitude to ds1. He needs to point out to them that they are both is dss and they need to accept to it.

Very difficult one and I would consider moving tbh.

Clarabumps Wed 23-Sep-09 15:18:08

thats what i was thinking..its just intensified my the fact they live next door.. really think a weekly visit would do the trick rather than their constant surveillance. thanks

MorrisZapp Wed 23-Sep-09 15:25:14

I've seen loads of threads about MILs who want to cuddle the baby whilst ignoring the energetic toddler they perceive to be 'badly behaved', regardless of who's the daddy. Could this be the case here?

I think it is madness to live next door to anybody you know well, never mind your inlaws! Sorry but surely you must have known this was never going to work out.

There's only one solution - put it down to experience and move out.

diddl Wed 23-Sep-09 15:33:49

This is horrible, but you can´t force them to feel the same about your son as their grandson.

They can only visit when you let them, though, so although you are so close that they can perhaps see you going out, it doesn´t mean that they have to visit more than you want them to.

Harimosmummy Wed 23-Sep-09 15:47:57

I don't really have any advice, but as a mum of two and a step mum of two, I can see where you are coming from.

MorrisZapp is right though - my parents (well, mum) has a natural affinity for my newborn, quiet peaceful daughter, but struggles with my willful DS (15 months old).

She did the same thing with my DSDs - naturally gravitated to my more peaceful DSD2 rather than the more willful DSD1!

I dson't think it's a thing about who the dad is (though it may be and you know the situation better than me!!) more the age of the kids!

2rebecca Wed 23-Sep-09 16:20:05

Agree it's probably a cute baby re stroppy kicking toddler thing not a grandchild re stepgrandchild thing. Maybe 2 kids is too many for them to look after.
I wouldn't live next door to any relative. Visit a bit less for a while until the oldest stops the tantrums and kicking, and make sure you tell him off if he does kick anyone.

meemarsgotabrandnewbump Wed 23-Sep-09 16:22:48

move away. They are too close for comfort.

hanaboo Wed 23-Sep-09 17:19:03

i don't think it sounds right... why would u leave a little boy sobbing for his mum? he wasn't being naughty, he was just upset, poor little thing, its definitely ur dp who's gonna have to say something, although even he will never be able to MAKE her love him as much as her own grandchild..
he'l have to say to her that if she doesn't start treating him the same then she can't have the kids unsupervised. i mean how can u be happy if when u leave ur son with her there's a chance he's being ignored?
have u any more proof of this happening before?

mathanxiety Wed 23-Sep-09 17:28:14

My ex MIL refused to be nice to her DIL's (my ex SILs) 2 children from a previous relationship, even went so far as to correct my children when they were making a list of their cousins in order of age, told my kids adamantly that SIL's children were not cousins, which may have been technically true, but still very hurtful to the children in question to be treated like second class citizens. I would be inclined to move. Even a total stranger might have treated your child better.

Clarabumps Wed 23-Sep-09 19:39:10

i dont have any proof of this happening before but she is distinctly cold with him and he picks up on it. thanks very much for all your help..i'm away to pack. hehe! grin

pranma Wed 23-Sep-09 21:26:41

I am a granny and a step granny and I could never forgive myself if I made any difference between them.Admittedly mine arent in same family but I think your m-i-l is being horrible.However she may not realise it.I doubt any woman would deliberately hurt a small child unless she was mentally ill.I would ask her round for a cup of tea and talk through your/and her feelings and concerns.You both love your dp and ds2 and she must understand that ds1 is part of the package.I'd ask her outright what she feels about him and explain that to your toddler she is granny and there is so much love there waiting for her.

mathanxiety Thu 24-Sep-09 05:54:21

Pranma, thank you for your post. I do think there was something seriously awry with my exMIL smile -- sorry to interrupt, OP.

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