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2 Bumps

Mother in law issues?????

I have been with my husband for 9 years and when we got together he had a 3 year old daughter who he was raising by himself. Her biological mother has been out of the picture completely and I have raised my step daughter as my own since my husband and I got together. Since then my husband and I have had 2 children together. I have always asked my family to treat all of the children the same. My family has done GREAT with this and outside looking in you would think that my family really feels that my step daughter is a blood relative.

Now my mother-in-law on the other hand treats my step-daughter and my 2 children completely different. Even though all of the children are my husbands she obviously feels that the two he birthed with me are different. My two daughters never get birthday gifts, cards, or even calls, but my step daughter gets mounds and mounds of gifts. For Christmas my step daughter got 15 presents and my children got 4 presents a piece and 2 of them they can't even use until they are an adult. The gifts really didn't bother me until my 4 year old started to notice that her NaNa got her sister all these presents and she didn't get near as many. She didn't seem upset by it but she noticed it and it broke my heart that one day she is going to understand completely and not understand why her grandmother doesn't treat her the same. Now my youngest doesn't understand or care yet and hopefully this problem will be resolved before she gets old enough.

My husband says that he has talked to his mother about treating all the girls fairly but each holiday or birthday rolls around and its still the same. When do I say enough is enough and discuss this with her myself?

Answer Question
 
Jenn052402

Asked by Jenn052402 at 12:20 PM on Jan. 20, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 4 (54 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • you can never really control a person, only your reaction to them.
    continue to do what you need and want to do to have a healthy and happy family life.
    Ignore what the MIL does and stop making it an issue with DH.
    When the children come of age to notice the differences they will be able to discern as to whether or not they will make the decisions abour their relationship with their grandmother.
    The relationship with them and the grandmother is not the same as you and your MIL.
    IMO-let them decides as they grow how they want to handle their relationships and you continue to do whatever you need to, to insure a happy family unit in your house. GL!!
    jewjewbee

    Answer by jewjewbee at 12:23 PM on Jan. 20, 2011

  • I believe I would ask that my husband join me in having a face-to-face with his mother. Does mil live near and give the gifts personally, or do they come in the mail? If they come in the mail, I would give sd the 4 or 5 presents that your other daughters would get, to unwrap in front of everyone. Then I would unwrap the rest of them and just put them away like they were always there in your home. That way, sd still gets what was intended for her (because you wouldn't want her not to have what was given) but it isn't so obviously unbalanced.
    misses_nick

    Answer by misses_nick at 12:25 PM on Jan. 20, 2011

  • I do think you and your husband should sit her down and let her know that her overcompensating and favoritism is NOT ok, and it is hurtful to all 3 girls. I would let her know that she needs to treat all 3 fairly. You may also tell her that if she keeps giving SD 15 presents and your DD's 4- you will take 9 of SD's presents (from grandma) and put them up, donate them, or divide them between ALL the girls.
    MizLee

    Answer by MizLee at 12:27 PM on Jan. 20, 2011

  • I think I would ask my DH to sit down and talk with me and MIL. I wonder if she give more to you SD because she feels that she is missing out on something because her Bio mother is not around. I know it sounds crazy because you have taken on the role of mother and it sounds like you are doing a great job, although sometimes people think weird things.
    Good Luck!
    cornflakegirl3

    Answer by cornflakegirl3 at 12:32 PM on Jan. 20, 2011

  • ~*Hugs*~... you cannot control the actions of others, and unfortunately some people are just clueless or not capable of the role that they were blessed to be given!!! Hang in there and limit the exposure, and play damage control since you do have to remember she is "grandma"? And remember things can be a lot worse!!!
    MommaClark3

    Answer by MommaClark3 at 12:54 PM on Jan. 20, 2011

  • I think "Misses nick" had good advice along with everybodies just keep trying to get through to mil if not tell her you are going to limit her exposer to all the kids so as to not cause then to be treated differantly..
    peace013

    Answer by peace013 at 1:00 PM on Jan. 20, 2011

  • She might be trying to make up for your step-daughter not having a biological mother, even though you sound like a peachy step-mom :) You and you hubby need to sit TOGETHER and agree on what you are going to say to the MIL, then you both need to sit and say it to her TOGETHER. Not him just sitting there in uncomfortable silence while you talk, but he needs to tell her how it is too. You need to present a united front, and if you have to tell her she isn't allowed to give gifts to any of your children, then do it.
    Robbiesmommy83

    Answer by Robbiesmommy83 at 3:04 PM on Jan. 20, 2011

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