First, a little background:
DH became a widower in 2007, with children who were 4 and 9. Their BM's family has been very involved in the kids' lives, and for some of the past few years have essentially raised them. Since I started dating my now-husband, I've been getting nonstop feedback on ways in which to "fix" him. Everything from career advice to insisting he gets his dog neutered to ... well, everything.
Lately, my stepkids have been coming home with stories about how their family (grandparents, an aunt, and most notably a great-aunt) will explain to them basically everything wrong with their father. It's typically the same things they say to me, but I really don't want the kids to get into the middle of this crap. Is there any polite way to confront these people an explain that they don't have anything to do with how often my husband works (vs staying home and helping with the kids, house, yard), how much or little we choose to spend on toys, the way we're apparently starving the children because we limit their junk food consumption, etc.? I know that they're worried that, now that we're married, they'll be less involved with the kids' lives, so I don't want to push these people away completely. And honestly, I'm enough of a grown-up most days to be able to handle them encouraging me to improve my husband. What I can't stand is them telling our kids that there's something wrong with their dad. I just won't accept that, but I'm at a loss for how to handle it. Any advice?