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Why is our son treated differently?

(23 Posts)
SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Sun 17-Feb-13 07:53:51

Me and my DP have been together for 3 and a half years, arms very happy. We have a 2 year old DS together with another boy due early March, and he has a 7 year old daughter from a previous relationship.

We are a very good family unit. His daughter is here every week for half of the week and she adores her little brother as he adores her. There has never been any problems with DP's ex and everything is completely amicable.

In fact the problems lie with DP's family and their constant favouritism towards DP's daughter instead of treating them the same.

As soon as my DP has his daughter here, his mum phones to see if she can have her for the weekend without fail. He has always been soft and said yes as he gets called "tight" if he says no. He also asks if DS can go along too as he would have lots of fun but she says no as "she doesn't know him". So, my son sees his sister going off and gets very upset and worked up as he wants to go as well. She also has two other grandchildren aged 6 and 8 who she has no problems in having at hers. Also, which really grates on me, is the fact that she has two nephews aged 2 same as my DS and she will have them over at the drop of a hat.

She takes the kids out to fun places such a play areas, the park, and the zoo, but has never once been willing to take her grandson along with her. He would absolutely love it. I don't mind when she takes the kids to somewhere like the cinema or bowling as DS wouldn't enjoy it, but other places where he COULD go she only rings up to take DP's daughter and not our son. If he asks she refuses.

DS is as demanding as any toddler is. He wants to play, run around, has a paddy when he doesn't get his own way, always wants attention, etc... He is a typical 2 year old. But he is the most loving, affectionate, funny and clever little boy who if given the time of day she would see the good qualities in him, her own grandson. She has no excuse about his age; like I mentioned before she has her nephews who are the same age, but comes up with some lame excuse that she doesn't know him. If that is the case then it is her own doing as she has made a very poor effort to get to know him.

So, when DP's daughter has been there all weekend she comes home with heaps of new toys, nice new clothes, and is hyper as anything at 9 o'clock on a Sunday night. No little gifts for DS. I'm not too bothered about the material, I just want her to give her grandson some attention. One or two little things for him wouldn't go amiss so that he doesn't feel left out. Well, it doesn't surprise me anyway as she leaves him out in all ways.

Now, what makes this even more difficult for me to deal with is that me and my family have been totally by the books step parenting wise, making sure that DP's daughter never ever feels left out and is very much part of our family. My dad is practically like a grandad towards her, he loves her to bits. Every time he phones he asks how she is, and if he wants to have DS he always without fail asks to have DP's daughter too. He is decorating my old bedroom for all of the children, just in case he ever has her over night.

If my dad ever took DS out without his sister DP's family found out, they would go ballistic saying that we are leaving her out and it's not fair.

I don't know what it is. My FIL hates the way MIL is with DS but he keeps his mouth shut to keep the peace. Is it because DP's daughter is from a broken family and MIL is trying to overcompensate? Me and MIL have never ever had any problems at all.

This whole thing has really started to get to me, seeing my DS's heartbroken little face is not something I like to see. My DP has started to put his foot down, saying they come as a package and if DS misses out then so does his daughter. So with that MIL has got in touch with DP's ex after about 3 years to try and arrange things behind DP's back regarding his daughter.

His ex agrees with us.

I just want them both to be treated equally, and for MIL to acknowledge her 2 year old grandson. She will regret it in the future when he is older and he suddenly becomes a convenience as her older grandchildren will want to be with their friends and not her every weekend.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Sun 17-Feb-13 08:02:12

I'm sorry for the long post.

BoundandRebound Sun 17-Feb-13 08:08:51

Invite mil round when stepdaughter is not there a lot. Help them build a relationship.

Invite her to some fun stuff you're doing

Always refer to her as lovely granny, encourage them to be together

It'll come

ComradeJing Sun 17-Feb-13 08:10:10

Oh that's nasty.

Time for tough love. The kids come as a package or they don't come at all. If dp's called names ignore them. Choose a message (ie you're welcome to take both children but jut taking dsd is not on) and repeat this to her and any one else who sticks their beak in over and over again. Don't get into a fight or name calling, just repeat and repeat.

Don't worry if dp's ex sends dsd to granny or not. If exp wants to arrange that then fine - at least your Ds won't see it first hand. It sounds like the relationship is good enough that you could explain the situation and ask her not to send dsd at the moment due to the situation with your Ds.

Focus on your time with dsd. Just refuse to send her unless DM takes both kids.

birdsnotbees Sun 17-Feb-13 08:10:23

If everyone is united in feeling that your MIL is wrong, then it's time to put your foot down completely (or your DH - it shouldn't come from you).

Quite simply: it's both or none. No exceptions.

And set out, perhaps in a letter, keeping it very neutral and with no accusation or emotion, why it needs to be like that.

Your son is now old enough to pick up on it, and your MIL will drive a wedge between your DS and your DD, and undo all the hard work you have so clearly put in - in fact, which everyone looks to have put in, in order to create a happy, harmonious family. So it is time you acted to put a stop to this before it is too late.

If she tries to go behind your back to DP's ex, well let her try. Tell DP's ex what you are planning, involve her in the plan. Tell your parents too and anyone else involved so that the message that MIL hears from EVERYONE is the same - which is simple: both or none.

And I would also involve your children in this, partic. your DD, so that she understands why it is not fair (as there may be a period when MIL tries not seeing either of them). Again, keep it neutral and not apportioning blame, but just explain that "we are a family and we do things together; we don't want to see DS sad anymore, as he'd love to see his granny too". This so that DD doesn't feel like it's her fault and that she too understands what's going on - your MIL may well try manipulating her so it's important that a) she can tell MIL that it's not fair on her brother and b) is able to come and talk to you about it, heading off any "granny's little secret" nonsense that may well arise. You don't want DD to feel like she's being punished, so involve her too, in an appropriate way.

You and DP need to stand up not just for your DS but for your family as a whole. Don't let your MIL dictate what happens to your family.

ComradeJing Sun 17-Feb-13 08:11:36

Sorry - my message makes bugger all sense in parts. My multi tasking skills are lacking hmm

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Sun 17-Feb-13 08:28:23

Thankyou for your messages everyone.

I have always maintained this thought that they come as a package, particularly now DS is at an age where he is aware. He's not a baby anymore so isn't blissfully unaware. The only reasons she has given is that he doesn't know her, but that is a load of nonsense because when he sees her he gives her cuddles and is not shy at all. When we go round to hers with the kids she doesn't play with him at all, so she isn't making any effort to make that social interaction with him that she so clearly thinks she doesn't have with him, hence why he "doesn't know her." it's ridiculous.

I'm glad my DP is finally putting his foot down as he loves all of his children and for one of them to be left out he doesn't like to see.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Sun 24-Feb-13 08:42:36

Well they've been at it again this weekend. Feel so sad for my little boy sad

They went to Knowsley Safari Park yesterday and didn't invite DS to go along with them. Their excuse was that there was no room in the car, however BIL who is 28 years old went and didn't need to go. When my
DP confronted his brother on this, he said to my DP, "Well even if I hadn't have gone he wouldn't have been invited anyway so stfu about it."

I just started crying at that point.

RandomMess Sun 24-Feb-13 08:47:42

It really is time for your dp to put his foot down properly. Make the weekend visits only occasional and tell MIL she is welcome at yours instead.

Your MIL is being a cow but only your dp can sort it out and I suggest he does as it's not good for your SD anymore it is your DS.

FiveGoMadInDorset Sun 24-Feb-13 08:51:53

Your DP needs to know that No is a complete sentence.

What you also need to do is organise family time for the four of you on the weekends that you have your DSD to pre-empt your MIL, as actually it doesn't sound as if you have any time at the weekends together when you have her.

Possiblyoutedled Sun 24-Feb-13 08:52:15

That is absolutely disgusting behaviour.
Put your foot down now. I have a step parent situation and we are very careful how we do things. Mil is being deliberately nasty to your ds.
Don't pussy foot around. Dh needs to tell her that this int happening any more. If she takes dd then she needs to take ds unless there is a good reason and that from now on if she buys dd stuff then she is to keep itat hers or buy something for ds too.
Sorry but this is simply rude. I wouldn't buy a gift for one child and leave the other one out, you just don't do it.
She sounds vile.

Possiblyoutedled Sun 24-Feb-13 08:53:30

Remember too that dp and his exp have PR not granny. They get to decide where dd goes or does.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Sun 24-Feb-13 09:19:43

Well my DP told them that his children come as a package iykwim and they thought it was ridiculous. I don't get their thinking at all. They say that because of DS's age (2), he can't look after himself like the older children can and this translates back to me that they basically cannot be arsed putting in a little bit of effort. We're not expecting him to stay overnight or anything, just a few hours on a Saturday afternoon of his family's time on his dad's side so that he can have fun and spend time with them. We have limited means to go to these fun places as a family sad as well as not having a car, so it is a fantastic opportunity for the children to have some fun... Only our DS doesn't actually get that opportunity.

He is basically being alienated, and when he's 5 and wants to spend time with his grandad (my dad, who absolutely dotes on my DS and SD and my DS is completely attached to him as he makes an effort), instead of her when he's "easier to look after", if she gets all up in arms about it then it's her own stupid fault.

allnewtaketwo Sun 24-Feb-13 16:14:41

Do t let them alienate him. Simply get your DH to say that now they've refused to treat your son properly, he is now not letting them spend time with the other children. All or nothing, no ifs or buts.

Your DH cannot change their behaviour, but he has complete control over whether they have the opportunity to do it again

iluvsummer Sun 24-Feb-13 16:16:45

I could have written your post myself! My dh has an 8 year old son and we have a 2 year old together. His parents do not bother with our son at all but they are obsessed and unhealthily so with ss, dh has contact 2 nights a week but ss doesn't stay here, within 10 mins of ss being picked up by dh his parents are on the phone wanting to know when ss will be with them! Dh is so pathetic that he takes ss up to his parents house for the 2 contact days!! It's an absolutely bonkers and unhealthy situation for all involved so much so that I have washed my hands of it all.

Yes, it's hurtful when my ds is rejected, doesn't get asked about, gets £10 of nasty clothes for his birthday when ss has an Xbox, new bike etc etc but looking at the bigger picture at least my ds won't grow up to be spoilt and self entitled and the most important thing he has all the love and affection he needs from me, dh and my parents!

My PIL are incredibly toxic and wicked people to the extent they have involved social services with ss and his mother when there was no need to, infact social services actually investigated mil when everything she had been doing involving emotional abuse towards ss came out BUT dh is in the fear, obligation and guilt thing with his parents and doesn't want to accept what they are and what they're doing!

My advice to you would be smile and enjoy the time with your child, at least he is out of their toxic clutches! Like you my ds loves spending time with my parents and they love having him and that is fab! Like I say to dh when ds is old enough he'll see pil for what they are and yes he'll see that he is being rejected but at the end of the day it's their loss and 100% not ds'!

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Sun 24-Feb-13 18:45:55

DP has told his mum that she's not having SD again until she starts making an effort with DS. He's also asked his ex not to allow this as well and she agrees and doesn't want to be hassled and mithered by MIL when she's planning her own things with her own family.

It's also DS's 2nd birthday next Sunday, and I can bet you by bottom dollar that MIL will ring DP up and ask to have SD all weekend. We want her here with us to spend it celebrating her brother's birthday. I'll always remember his 1st birthday last year, and they spoke all the way through singing happy birthday to him and were totally ignorant. It was just me, DP and the children singing whilst the in laws had a good old chin wag. Not expecting any better this year.

allnewtaketwo Sun 24-Feb-13 18:47:52

What do you mean "not expecting any better this year"

Why on earth would you let her in to "celebrate" your child's birthday when she treats him like shit?

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Sun 24-Feb-13 18:54:07

iluvsummer, it's horrible isn't it? But you made a very good point when you said that your son will realise in time what these people are like and will not be spoilt and self entitled. SD is nothing like that when she's been here or at her mum's, but by god when she's been with MIL she has literally been smothered with materialistic crap and answers back like there's no tomorrow. A day later she is lovely again. Like you say, it can be very toxic.

BIL said today as well, they don't want to have DS as he needs his nappy changing and needs feeding as well as watching all the time. This is coming from the very person that left SD's nappy to burst when he was "babysitting" her as a baby, so DP tells me. He left it to burst as apparently it wasn't his responsibility to change her nappy, despite being in his care. Arsehole.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Sun 24-Feb-13 18:55:59

Allnewtaketwo, very good point there. We are going to my dad's anyway and going to the local park, so we'll be out all day.

allnewtaketwo Sun 24-Feb-13 18:56:53

Why do you spend so much time with them all?

iluvsummer Sun 24-Feb-13 19:36:09

What happened with my pil was dreadful, there's a massive back story but basically dh and ss mother were quite happy for them to have maximum involvement in ss upbringing and the result is pil think they are ss parents! This all blew up in July when ss mother went to pick ss up from pil house and pil refused to let her take ss and they rung social services...result? Mil being investigated by social services, not the outcome she wanted, she wanted social services to say that ss should be living with her! Ss mother now refuses them contact with ss, the only contact they have with him is when dh has his contact days and he is so manipulated by his parents that he forefits his time with his son. If he doesn't take ss up to them then he is bombarded with texts and phonecalls. I and my ds can go for weeks not seeing ss.

When this all happened we hadn't long booked our wedding for the August, pil did not come to the wedding as dh told them that if they couldn't behave properly they weren't welcome. Dh didn't actually speak to his parents for 2 months because of what they had done and the only time he sees them now is when he drops his son there.

For me they're behaviour was quite frankly disgusting from the announcement of my pregnancy, there was no interest etc during the pregnancy, all we had were comments about ss and when he was born. When he was born and since it has been horrendous. They would offer to look after ds for a few hours and when we'd drop him off they'd say they couldn't as they were looking after ss or had to take him somewhere and didn't want to put his nose out of joint! Ss is lavished with presents and toys constantly by them, they think nothing of buying a new xbox/bike/scooter/car etc if he asks for it yet they have not so much as bought a pack of wipes for ds, they allow him to run riot, shout and swear! When ss is ill there's a blind panic but when ds has chicken pox for the second time or has norovirus not even a text.

I cut ALL contact with them in August the day before the wedding after weeks of abusive phonecalls to the house from her. The last words I said to her were leave me alone or I will contact my solicitor and I have not heard from her since. She walks past me and ds (her grandson) in the street and blanks him!!

My problem is my dh doesn't confront them about their behaviour. For me it is too late now, it is too far gone even for an apology from them. All I wanted was for ALL the grandchildren to be treated the same, but that will never happen. From my friends experience too the children that follow the children from the first relationship are the ones that suffer as everyone is so worried about how they will react so they are compensated for.

You need to hold your head up high always keep at the forefront of your mind that they are the ones losing out!

NippyDrips Sun 24-Feb-13 22:02:09

My Mil is the same so far too although ds is only 7 months. I am not optimistic about the future following this thread.

flurp Tue 26-Feb-13 11:55:13

My ex MIL was like this with my sons after ex and I broke up when DS2 was born.
When I had DS2 she got into the habit of taking DS1 out on his own for a while as I was breastfeeding and to give me a break, which was lovely of her, but she then refused to have them both when DS2 got older because she "didn't do babies" shock even though she was an expert on all things baby related when DS1 was born!
When DS2 was a year old I put my foot down and said both of them or neither of them. She chose neither.
They haven't seen her for years sad
However they both absolutely adore my Mum who has unconditionally loved all her grandchildren from birth and she has an amazing relationship with them.
It's no loss to them - but it would have been so damaging to see her spoiling DS1 and leaving out DS2

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