Grandmother not treating GKids equally? why?

RaveJune 16, 2002

I have 3 stepdaughters and my DH and I have a son (5) and a daughter (2) together. My MIL doesn't like me, but she never liked DH's first wife either. In fact, she hasn't liked any woman whom he has ever dated.

Anyhow, outwardly, she treats our kids well. We live 1500 miles from her. 2 stepdaughters live in the same town she lives in, 1 lives with us. She has plenty of cash and lives right next to an outlet mall where there are kid's books and toys at really good prices.

Last Christmas, we decided not to exchange gifts with adults, only the kids. My MIL bought my middle stepdaughter (18) a treadmill. She took my youngest stepdaughter (14) who went there to visit, on a shopping spree and bought her a ton of clothes. She sent my husband gifts, even tho we had agreed not to, and didn't even send me a card. But what hurt the worst was that she didn't send our kids anything. She said it was because she wanted to be there when they opened their gifts to see their faces. Well, we just returned from visiting her for a week and spending $1500 in airfare and hotel bills so she could see the kids (as she had been demanding) in her own town, and she didn't give them anything!!! She greeted each of them with a helium balloon at the airport and that was it.

She has bought my stepkids cars, clothes, I mean the list goes on and on. She buys our kids the smallest, most insulting gifts, if she buys them anything at all.

What is up with this? We've been married 8 1/2 years. Why would she treat our kids this way? It pisses me off, but my mother says not to say anything. Our kids can decide if they appreciate her behavior or not as they grow.

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What does your husband say? I'd be too curious, I'd have to have asked when we'd been a day or two at her house. I'd of just said, "This afternoon we'll all be together and you can give the kids their Christmas gifts". Actually, at this point I'd probably think it over, on the best and most tackful way to ask her on the phone, the next time she calls or your husband calls her.To me, the straight foreward way is the best. Not to say where are the presents, but maybe, "I have the feeling that you don't care much for me or my children. Is there something I've done to offend you?" Then be prepared for your back up of examples. Actually, I'm really curious as to your husband's feelings and thoughts on this and why none were mentioned.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2002 at 10:45AM
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Rave, I feel for you! My father's mother was the same way with me and my brother and sister. Nothing to do with stepchildren or anything but our entire family! My dad has two sisters and a brother who all have children. They all have lived out of town since I before I was born. We were the only ones who stayed in the same town as Grandma. From the very beginning my Grandma would always tell us how wonderful her other kids and grandkids were. It never fails, if we are visiting her or even she comes over for our birthdays, all we hear about is her other wonderful grandkids!! Eventhough they rarely call and often years elapse between their visits! If we give her pictures of ourselves they get placed behind all the other grandkids so you can barely see them. For the life of me I will never understand what her problem is or why she doesn't seem to care about us. We always visited her despite her attitude and always helped her out around the house and yard. My parents are always over there fixing stuff for her and they never get any appreciation for it! My mom has always been very angry and upset over this treatment and has often complained to my father but you know how men are when it comes to their mothers!!! My dad is finally starting to get upset by her behavior, but it is kind of late considering I am 24, my brother is 29 and my sister is 34!! The damage is done. We will never have a relationship with this woman!
My advice to you is however you do it, you need to talk to her soon! Your children are young now and they probably don't notice it, but they will grow up and it will hurt their feelings!!!
Oh, when I was 15 or so my grandma bought my cousin sailing lessons for her birthday and my brother and I got $5 beach towels! Sweet eh? When my sister gave birth to her first daughter who was also the first great granddaughter, my grandma didn't come to see her for over 3 months until my uncle told her she should be ashamed of herself! She lives 5 minutes away from them. Thankfully my Grandma on my mom's side is the most wonderful caring woman in the entire world!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2002 at 11:02PM
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I understand everything you write.I to have a MIL who shows a different in her children and grandchildren.I want to say something,but I trully feel it wouldn't help.My husband,is a great man.But she controls her children.And he would never stand up to her.So I very often feel I'm in a know win fight.My FIL sees but can't do antthing with her.He try to make up the differents.But he is in bad heath.I worry mostly about the mental abuse longterm.I understand.My mom and I are not close.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2002 at 11:19AM
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If your husband doesn't say anything, wont, cant his mother, then I guess he doesn't think its important or doesn't care. Then I agree with your mom. Dont say anything to her..and the kids will definitely form their own opinion when they get older.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2002 at 8:20PM
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What would you accomplish by confronting her? Would it make things better? I doubt it. Let it go. You're not going to change her.

Mothers often make a big deal about these situations and the kids could care less. Don't encourage your kids to be materialistic. It's more important for them to care about people, not things.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2002 at 9:28PM
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I disagree with Blueheron, with all due respect of course. I don't think by wanting her children to be treated equally that she is teaching them to be materialistic. I am sure that they do not get the same affection from their grandmother either. The kids may not notice right now but I know from experience that when they get older they will notice how they are being treated differently than the other children and it will affect them. And I don't just mean from the present aspect.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2002 at 9:35PM
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