Monster In Law 2 (not really SF related, but kinda) LONG though

imamommyJuly 10, 2010

I posted this in the marriage forum but then thought this forum is more active & my situation is better known here. (so forgive that it was written to give brief background info)

I read the other thread because I am having a similar problem, but I didn't want to hijack that thread. My MIL issues involve my stepdaughter... and yes, my DH is also very guilty of having no backbone with his mother.... so is divorce really an option???

My MIL & I used to get along great.... well, there were a few red flag events. When she bought her dress to wear to our wedding, she refused to let me "the bride" see it beforehand. She went on and on about how custom made it was & how expensive but when I asked to see it, she said "nope, not until the wedding!" That is my first memory of thinking she was being competitive with me, instead of genuinely happy for us. At the wedding, after DH & I had our first dance, he twirled me at the end. Now, I have to tell you that we are not great dancers... especially my DH. But, his parents on the other hand, dance competitively, so when they did the Mother/Son dance... she was ALL twirls. Then her & my FIL took the floor & did one of their competition routines... maybe I am being presumptuous, but it felt like she was trying to steal the spotlight. Especially after the unveiling of her 'dress'. && on top of that, they (MIL & FIL) spent a good 30-45 minutes after the ceremony (after we got done with our portraits) with our photographer taking formal pictures of them, holding up our entering the reception... all in the middle of August on one of the hottest days & our guests had to wait until we got there for dinner to be served. It annoyed me but I didn't let it ruin my day.

Anyways, she has always tried to appear helpful & kind. I say appear because the more I get to know her, the less sincere she even tries to act. We have had custody issues with my Stepdaughter & MIL has come to hearings. At first, I thought it was great that she was being supportive. But, I have since realized that she loves the drama & wants to stick her nose in it. We thought it was a blessing when she offered to help out with SD when we have to work. As things have gotten difficult & tense between me & SD (I've written lots about it in the stepfamily forum), MIL has taken an interest in 'fixing' SD. For the last year or longer, there has been a tension between us and she makes snarky comments, uses a condescending tone with me, and lately, she has been downright confrontational.

examples: DH told SD10 she cannot wear a certain type of jean that teen girls like to wear. She went to MIL for a day & came home with said jeans. DH told his mother she can't have those type of jeans, MIL went & got her two pair of shorts.. the same type of pant, except shorts~not jeans. He made her take them back & we asked her not to buy SD anymore clothes. SD wants to wear sexy clothes, we say no. SD tries to get grandma to buy them. I gave MIL the benefit of the doubt that she might just be clueless to buying clothes for girls ~ she raised two boys and her only other grandchild is a grandson.

Then she bought SD nail polish after DH told SD she can't have it. She has also bought her lip gloss & gangster shoes. It's almost as if SD goes to her & tells her what we won't let her have so grandma buys it. (interestingly a lot like she was doing with her mom before.. but her mom stopped playing along when she had the new baby) Other things MIL does that irritate me... she talks about SD's weight to her, which flip flops between helpful hints & making her feel bad... but then she takes her out for ice cream & feeds her junk. In my opinion, she does more harm than good. But, she is grandma... I am just stepmom. Dad does not want to say anything to her because "that's just how she is" and he enjoys the free babysitting when we have to work. He really doesn't see it as a big deal & that is one of OUR problems.. a HUGE one.

another incident: I have my DGS1 living with me. Last school year, SD admitted she was failing school on purpose to get attention. She said she thought she could go live with her mom (which isn't going to happen) if she failed. So, when my DGS was there all the time & SD wanted to come in the room when I was playing with him. (there's a lot more history to this, but briefly~ SD likes to ignore me & treat me as if I am not there a lot....) so, she wants to come in the room with me only when I am playing with the baby. Well, I told her that until her grades improved, she can't come play with the baby. She was not doing her work & yet wanted to go play with baby instead of doing homework & I said no. So, it was my DGS first birthday party & SD was to go to her mom's for the weekend. She didn't want to miss the party so DH switched weekends (at my urging because I knew she really wanted to go). MIL was at the party & after, when everyone is leaving ~ I spot MIL & SD huddled in a booth. SD is crying & eyes all puffy. I ask if she's okay, what's wrong. SD says nothing, she is fine. On the way home, DH tells me that MIL wants to know why SD can't play with baby DGS. Apparently, MIL had taken DH aside & told him that SD complained to her about it & wanted him to do something about it. I flat out told SD that if she has a problem with our rules, she needs to talk to us... going to grandma (or mom or anyone else) won't work. So, for the last few times MIL has been over... she will pick up the baby & ask "SD can play with him, can't she?" and almost sounds like she's confronting me or challenging me to say no.

Well, the final straw was the 4th of July. I had a luau at my dad's house & while I have stopped issuing invites to MIL & FIL , they still show up to parties if they hear about them, which they do because SD tells them.. or they call DH and ask him if we are doing anything & just assume they are invited. He won't tell them they are not welcome so they show up. This time, they called to offer help in setting up. I said I had it under control, but if they wanted to come take SD to the park for a while... they could spend some time with her & keep her out of our hair while we set up the party. So, they did. Then they showed up at the party.

They started out walking in & announcing that I am working their son too hard.. it's hot & he hasn't had lunch yet & he can pass out at any minute! I jokingly said if he passes out, he will get plenty of rest. (now you have to know my husband works fast & refuses to stop for anything, even lunch when he gets started on something... that's HIS choice, he's 41 years old & knows where the kitchen is) So, I go out to the BBQ & MIL follows me out with SD in tow. She makes a few comments about meat I left on the counter in the house (I tell her I'm about to grill it) and then goes on & on about how messy the grill is getting (um, it's a BBQ!)... did I mention she is anal about clean? So, I am about annoyed already & my daughter gets back with the baby. SD says "the baby is so cute!" and MIL turns to me & says "Can SD play with the baby?" with an almost sarcastic challenging tone. I ask why couldn't she? She says "well you wouldn't let her when her grades were bad." and I say "she's been out of school for a month, so I don't care." They go off & I'm still setting up. Then MIL stops me.. "can SD have a mountain dew? The high sugar in it will be good for her ADHD!" (and to be honest, I don't believe she has ADHD & I don't know if high sugar is good for it but SD has gained 20+ lbs this summer at her moms.. in like 5 weeks. So, I tell MIL to ask DH because it's not up to me.

This goes on for the rest of the party... she spends the whole day constantly pushing my buttons & badgering me. At the end of the party, she even wanted to give SD some of her Pina Colada.. for which I said NO WAY, it has alcohol. When I tried to talk to DH about it, he defended her & said she has some points.

It's about to get ugly... any ideas?

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Ima, I'm sorry!!! You have my sympathy. What points could she possibly have?? Maybe, it's a party, so having a soda is ok? Or that children in Europe drink alcohol and have a lower rate of alcoholism than American children?

In that case, his kid, his choice. But if you aren't 100% a team (when in front of others) then he needs to be willing to parent his daughter by himself. It's not fair to put you in the middle.

It sounds like MIL is gunning for you. She needs to feel important and the only way she can do that is by making you out to be the bad guy. Pity the people who make others look bad in order to make themselves look good. What a shallow person she must be.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 1:35AM
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For me, I learned early on not to let my MIL get to me. I swear the woman was happiest when she made those around her miserable. When I came to realize it was not just me she did this to, it was easier to not take personally.

In your case, you have to see MIL more often than I had to tolerate mine, so of course ignoring the old busybody is not the answer for you...she's in your daily life.

I have no advice, but I'll toss out a few things that may or may not help a bit.

20 pounds in a summer? What are these people in your SD's life thinking? Nobody is being kind to this child by letting SD do this. Skinny jeans on a child who is way over weight? Not attractive at all. But let her try on clothes that do fit and that make her look good. Put her infront of a mirror, let her see how crappy she looks in one and how the other makes her look 'pretty'.

If Gma goes shopping, have Dad request that Gma take SD along and that Gma and child both see what child looks like in the outfit. It's not a matter of letting Gma buy the SD something Dad forbids, turn it into "Gma do you REALLY want your granddaughter to wear THAT".

I remember the posting a while back about SD's hair and glasses. I thought then, why are all these people (not you) encouraging the child to look bad/goofy?

You'd be surprised at how often when my daughter's Gma and aunt take daughter shopping and head off to the fitting room with items only to actually end up purchasing a fraction of it because the rest looked terrible on, was not near as 'cool' as they'd thought it would be, or daughter decided herself 'what was I thinking with that'.

I get MIL wanting to get SD the things her friends and classmates are wearing. I get SD whining to Gma that Dad and Ima won't let her have what everybody else has and I get that SD is using Gma against Dad and Ima.

Maybe some compromises? Nope, no flashy make-up for SD, but she can wear a light colored nail polish and a simple clear or shear pink lip gloss. The make-up won't be near so much 'fun' when it's not an issue to fight about. If I think right, SD is going into Jr. High? Once she gets regurally in with the 6th-8th graders, you've a better chance of 'correct make-up' than fighting about no make-up at all.

Play an hour of beauty shop with her. Let her see how to apply it in a simple natural manner that is understatedly pretty over gaudy and flashy. The idea of 'make-up' is to enhance ones natural beauty, not bury it.

Soda. Yep, having a party and everybody is helping theirselves and having a good time. Take the fight out of it. Provide a cooler of diet soda (a pitcher of Crystal Lite blah blah) that SD can just help herself to. She wants to appear as everybody else there, let her be able to do so without all the Gma drama she gets by being denied a soda.

Have DH speak to his mother about providing snacks that are fun to eat yet are not as packed in calories. Gma is not being kind by puffing the kids weight yet wants to treat. As a diabetic I have an ice cream treat, but I buy no sugar added , reduced fat and sugarfree topping for a daughter does not notice that I use certain small bowls for treats like this, no idea I've controlled the portion cause the bowl is full and looks yummy.

Sure, SD wants to play with baby. Sure, right after your homework is done. Baby will still be here right after you're finished.

I get what and why with the 'not till the grades are up', but SD thinks like a child, she likely heard 'Stay away from the baby, kid, this one likes me, you don't'. Then she gets to run off to Gma and say 'Gma, Evil Ima won't let me play with the baby, she won't even let me near it'.

Take Sd's whine to Gma away. She can play with baby all she wants, right after she does her studies. What Gma could then say 'but Ima studies are not important she does not need to do them'.

You're being manipulated by a child and spit at from the other adults in her life, find way to cut her off at the chase so to say. I'd bet the child would really deep down like to mend the stress between you and her. Yeah, she created it all by herself, but I don't think she knows how to 'fix' it and it certainly does not help that you're got a nutty BM and a interferring Gma on top of it all.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 10:03AM
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Busybody is an understatement. It's worse now, I think because she lost her job (the company she worked for closed) so now she has too much free time on her hands & gets bored.

"Have DH speak to his mother about providing snacks that are fun to eat yet are not as packed in calories. Gma is not being kind by puffing the kids weight yet wants to treat."

I think she may be clueless. She came back one day & proudly told me how she fed SD yogurt for lunch... nothing else, just yogurt! She had taken her to TCBY and got her a frozen yogurt with toppings... to me, that's not much better than an ice cream sundae... made with frozen yogurt. and she thought it was a "healthy" lunch.

The point my DH says she has... that he wasn't in favor of me throwing the party to begin with. I told him to go do something off on his own & I would do everything, but he can't do that. He insists on helping because he thinks it won't get done right. So, I let him. I didn't give him a list. I didn't tell him it had to be done by a certain time. I didn't tell him he can't eat. but when his mommy comes over, she talked to him first before jumping on me about how hard he's working & how he's going to pass out. He told me they see how hard I make him work & they have a point. That's what got her started & the stuff with SD was just part of it. She had it in for me that day & it felt like SD said things when they went to the park & then she came back & saw DH working in the yard~ maybe he told them he hadn't eaten... and they might have been offended that I declined 'their' help.

But, I know the big problem is DH & the other problem is SD manipulating. MIL's interference is probably because she's bored & loves drama. I've thought that if MIL is going to allow SD to manipulate her, then I am going to be 'too busy with the baby & working' this school year to do anything for SD... she can call grandma to do it. Grandma isn't working... let her pick her up everyday & keep her until DH gets out of work. That may not go over well with DH or his mother, but I really am tired of being spit on.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 11:17AM
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Oh my, Evil Ima who does not feed her crew and works them to the point of dropping (rolling eyes along with heavy snark)...wonder how well it would have went over if you'd have said 'MIL, didn't you teach your son the importance of breakfast (lunch?) and taking care of his health, he's insisted on being out here and doing all this work on an empty stomach going nonstop without breaks?'...and then tossed a lovely smile at her.

For Pete's sake, MIL needs to find something to do during her idle time other than play grown man's advocate. By chance is she of the generation of wives that cater to their husbands as if they are helpless children? My daughter has been watching old reruns of "Everybody Loves Raymond" recently. I can't help to think if I were Deborah, I'd cheerfully choke Marie...ever watch that show?

I, myself, when I have something to do like the set-up for a gathering such as you just had, find myself being pretty much like your husband inthat I gotta get this done and I'm not stopping until it is. I know me. If it's hot and I stopped to take breaks or filled my stomach with food, I would not want to begin again and would feel icky working hard on a full stomach in the heat. So I would have got it done and continued on till it was done. If I fell on my face due to my habit, I'd have nobody to blame but myself. I'm a big girl now and make my own decisions even if dumb ones.

Can you suggest volunteer time for MIL? It'd give her something to do and she'd be helping people and getting a sense of being truly useful... maybe a halfway house or home for abused women, she'd find lots of drama there. My mom can't stand retirement if it means having nothing to fill her time in a manner that she thinks is productive and useful. She gardens, runs the food pantry for her church, does all the 'community' stuff of the congregation such as funeral lunches, visiting in hopsital/nursing homes, runs people around to appointments, helps them process medical claims blah blah blah. When she gets freetime, she spend it with the grandkids and greatgrandkids...oh, and informing me on how and what I don't do things 'right'. I love her dearly, but if she had too much time to oversee my life and mettle in it, I'm sure it'd cause lots of stress and hard feelings. And she's my mother, not my MIL.

I'm afriad if MIL gets even more time with SD (after school during the school year ect) that you'll have a 200 pound child with no rules and guidence.

You're not doing anything 'wrong', Ima, you just have way too many people pulling this little girl in so many different directions. And your husband? Pfft...he's a big boy now, at his age mommy does not need to tell him how to walk and talk.

Kinda sucks that your DH is being so dense in this. You've had a lot handed to you this last year and made lots of new adjustments all the while working fulltime and running your household. Instead of siding with mommy when she is being a horse's behind, perhaps he needs to have a chat with mommy and politely and tactfully inform her he's a big boy now, his family is under a lot of stress due to many different things and that she is not being helpful with her lack of respect and constant interferring.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 12:49PM
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Your MIL sounds like she needs to be in the middle of everything!! My MIL in law used to be the same way. Telling me things like "If it were me I would do that this way". My breaking point was when she wanted ss to sleepover at her house and I said no because his asthma had been acting up a few days prior and he was just starting to get better. She insisted and it got to the point where he was in tears because he wanted to go and I was saying no. She told me he would be fine and could come home with her. We were at a restaurant and did not have his nebulizer, she insisted he would not need it. (I think she has mold in her home somewhere because whenever he is over there his asthma goes nuts! So what could I do? I gave in and then got a call from her a few hours later that "maybe he needed his medicine". She also used to find it cute to feed the kids till sd actually got stomach aches and once vomited! Whenever we would go there right away she was trying to feed the kids even after we would tell her many times that they just ate a meal.

DH would not say anything to his mom because she was "just being a grandma".

So I just continued to stand my ground. Now it has gotton to the point where she asks me if they can have a snack when they are there and she asks me to bring ss's medicine when he is going to sleep there. At first I took her comments as you take your MIL's, as her testing you. But after I got over caring if she was testing me or not things started to improve. So I would just continue doing what you do and standing your ground.

As for your dh tell him you understand that mil is just being a concerned grandma and mother, but that you do things for sd out of concern as well.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 9:19AM
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All I want is quiet evenings at home with my husband & the baby. Things with SD are getting a little better (this week anyway) and my son moved out so the baby has his old room. My daughter has a boyfriend & two jobs so she's not home too much... but then there is my MIL. I decided to update this thread rather than start a new one to save time in explaining the past issues with MIL.

Well, DH tells me that MIL's parents are flying in for a week, they want to take everyone out to dinner. I found a sitter for DGS because the last time she was around him, she got pissy with me about why I don't let SD play with him. Well, not that I need a reason to allow or disallow SD to play with the baby, but this year SD is doing worse in school & she still isn't 'playing' with the baby. Since we are going to a restaurant plus MIL & SD are both going to be there, I decided a babysitter would be best. DGS is 18 months old & he can get loud, wants to do everything for himself, can be disruptive & I want the focus of dinner to be on MIL's parents, not the baby. (and I want to avoid MIL making a big deal with SD there) Personally, I don't even want to go but I don't want to be rude. So, I told DH & he said it makes sense. When he told his mom, she decided to plan ANOTHER evening at her house and insisted we bring the baby. I DO NOT WANT TO GO! i get the feeling she is trying to create drama & I am not putting the baby in the middle of her BS, nor do I want to step into the lion's den. She came into my office a couple of weeks ago to wait for FIL to work on my son's car in our shop... and she spent the time here trying to draw me into drama about SD & even criticized my office, including my dad's desk & how we file our contracts, etc. She absolutely drives me crazy with her attempts to provoke. I was even thinking of changing my normal Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday plans, where I cook a big meal & they come over... Denny's was looking good to me! The last thing I want/need is TWO evenings with her in one week & to include my DGS in the mix.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 4:25PM
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Several things I can think of you might consider.

GS is 18 months old. Already had a busy and active day. Just too much for him. Needs to be home, get his bath have dinner, play a bit and get to sleep. Tots want to roam and explore, then get tired and cranky...the visit will be better for the grown-ups (their special guest) if A) you and baby stay home. Afterall you went out last night , work fulltime and could use some quiet time yourself; B) hire a sitter a second night; or C) if the goal is for her to show GS off a bit, swing by for a short visit with him before you either excuse GS and yourself and/or leave to run GS to sitter and come back.

Meals out with tots is really just no 'fun', usually for anyone. Sure I took mine out, but usually very family friendly casual places and we never usually lingered. I found my kids when very small did better early in the day out than evenings. I remember well the times one of them would do something 'cute' and than squeal very loudly at how 'clever' their action was. Kids are adorable, they make noise, they make messes and we love them to pieces...but sometimes it's just best to force our enjoyments unto others KWIM?

And if all else fails and you do get stuck with MIL two nights in a row, never give her an inkling that she 'got to you'...she'll be insufferable for ever after.LOL

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 5:14PM
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I really think the only way to get MIL to stop this petty behavior is to get DH to tell her. And for that to happen he needs to understand and have your back.

I've had similar issues with my MIL, and what got to me most was the fact that FDH made excuses for her. Trying to tell me that it wasn't that bad or that I was probably reading too much into it. Grrrrr...

A few things happened:
-MIL finally took it too far.
-We had our first real fight over her (FDH defended her)
-When we finally sat down with MIL and FIL to 'talk about it' FDH didn't have my back and I came very close to walking out when MIL said some pretty awful things about me, and FDH just sat there.
-In that moment I chose to suck it up and not create more drama, we needed to put it past us and I decided to have a talk to FHD about it later.
-MIL loved it of course, sitting there all smug with her victory, umpfh..
-Afterwards I got upset with FDH, explained to him that I felt like he just let her hang me out to dry. That is not ok! I knew he agreed with my point of view, not hers, yet he just sat there and let me have it.
-FDH did not have a reply so I gave him time to think about it.
-And he did! He realised why he did what he did. There were 2 reasons:
1. He has never disagreed with his parents and was scared to do so.
2. He thinks that his mom is not able to back down or compromise, so he saw the solution where I was going to be the bigger person and let it go.
-He did realise that it wasn't very nice towards me, and apologised.
-I was very relieved to know that FDH did get it, and that we were on the same page.
-MIL kept pushing the buttons after, but only in a petty way, nothing too major. For me the knowledge that FDH understood what was going on made me calm and collected. Not taking the bait lady!
-So then MIL had to step it up because she didn't get a reaction.
-But this time FDH put her in her place. He calmly said that he didn't agree with her, he understood my point of view.
-He felt weird doing it, but MIL accepted it and sucked it up.

For us the problem was solved once FDH and I got on the same page about MIL. Once I understood where he was coming from I dealt better, and he realised he needed to be 'brave' and give his mom the message. His mom got the message and has backed off. We will probably never have a good relationship but I'm past caring. We all make an effort to be civil, also MIL!, and that is a good outcome.

Do u think that your hubby will be able to get it one day?

Or would it be possible to have a one on one with MIL yourself? I've tried to bond with her like that in the past, didn't really happen for us, but it was worth a try I thought. Just to create some understanding for what u are doing, and why you are doin it. If MIL feels that she's IN ON IT she might change her tune a bit. The desire for drama will not change if that's how she is.

If you are beyond talking to her (understandable) and your DH is not going to have your back, I'm not sure what I would do. But I'll have a think about it.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 11:33PM
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I'm sure this thought has already crossed your mind, but SD's interest in the baby worries me.

Sure, it's normal for girls that age to loooove babies--heck, I know I did---but then I also got pg at 21. :) Kind of proves that point, eh?

I just worry for your SD that her self esteem is so poor, so low, and she might view getting pregnant as a way to have someone to love her.

Just something to be mindful of---I'm sure you already are, though. It's her MOM and GRANDMA that are contributing to her demise.

As far as MIL and dinner out---I would maybe go to the dinner, like you said, without DGS. but as for the gathering at the house---just say it's too much, DGS needs to get to sleep, you've gotta work early the next day, whatever.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 10:15AM
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I think it's both odd and great that your MIL is so "involved" with DGS.

Odd - DGS isn't related to her in any way, except by marriage. Why is she instistant he be at the dinner?

Great - She treats DGS as one of her own grandkids which will avoid him feeling left out later on.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 12:36PM
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"Why is she instistant he be at the dinner?"

That's the thing, she doesn't treat him like one of her own grandkids... she only sees him when I have a party & they come. Well, she's really not that involved with SD, she hardly sees SD unless there is drama involved. She would come to court for hearings & for a while, she was taking SD during the day (on weekends) when DH was working... but there was always some drama attached to it. She would 'talk' to SD and always has something to say about this or that. She used to want to know the drama details about BM... but since BM had the baby, there has been less drama (lol, because she's avoiding us..)

In the meantime, I have tried to disengage more from SD & a few times, told DH I can't pick up SD for him.. why don't you send your mom, she's not working. I think that annoyed her because she doesn't want to do the meat & potatoes work of helping SD... she wants the gravy *drama*. So, now MIL has focused on what I'm doing wrong (in her eyes)... working her son too much, not feeding him when he's working, not letting SD play with the baby, etc. She even makes snarky comments about our finances & implies that it's MY fault when money is tight between DH & I. ~before anyone says it's none of her business, she does feel it's her business because DH (and me) borrowed to pay off credit cards two years ago. We paid off mostly DH's credit cards & one that we used for our wedding with their money. Since then, DH wanted a motorcycle & I said no, we can't afford it. He talked to his parents and they took his side, saying that he would save on gas since he commutes. I don't agree he is saving THAT much (as much as his payment? NO WAY!) But, I let it go... he got his motorcycle.... and therefore, I really don't care what they think. They gave him 'permission' to buy something & it has affected his ability to pay them back on time, so when he's late with his payment to them, they like to blame it on me being self employed because they think I am not contributing enough... IT REALLY IS NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS, but she still says something. She feels entitled to. (and it makes no difference to them, that everything SD needs comes out of MY separate money... otherwise DH would tell her he can't afford it, like her school pictures & yearbook or a new outfit/haircut/etc.) I also pay all SD's doctor bills & take her to appointments, not that I should have to defend myself.... but it pisses me off!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 2:39PM
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Oh yeah, I think she's insistent because she wants to confront me on not letting SD play with him. Instead of focusing on the REAL problems with SD, she wants to focus on the drama of me keeping SD from playing with the baby.... I'm the mean ol' stepmom!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 2:46PM
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I thought of a solution for the 'playing with the baby' battle that MIL has taken on. How about changing your rule to:
SD can not play with baby when she has homework and if there is the opportunity to do homework, so when you are at home this applies. But, when you are out, at a party, in the park, visiting MIL etc etc SD cannot do homework can she? So if the situation doesn't allow her to do it, she can play with baby. They can knock themselves out!

I know this potentially only solves one problem, MIL will find something else, but hey, one at a time right?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 4:05AM
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I think it is entirely up to you to bring baby to dinner or party or anywhere else or not, MIl can ask you to bring him but you do not have to do that, tell her he is too young and gets loud at the table. you don't have to defend yourself. she can't possibly insist you drag babies to a party! she is nuts and clearly wants some drama. so are you taking him or not?

    Bookmark   September 25, 2010 at 6:53PM
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I stole this from another thread on professional manipulator...

Parent_of_1 said:

"that's what SD does, orders the most expensive meals and asks for most expensive gifts. She likes designer clothes and gourmet meals and it is fine, but it is not fine when someone else requires to pay for it. My SO started avoiding certain activities as well such as dinners out"

Wonder if this would work with MIL? They are having us out to (restaurant) dinner tonight to visit with her parents (DH's grandparents) and originally wanted us to bring baby... but noisy baby in a restaurant is a built in excuse to get a sitter so THEN she planned the second night at her house, which I've already told DH I may not be able to go to since I happen to have plans that evening (really! I didn't have to make it up!)... but wondering how it would go over if I choose the most expensive items (steak & lobster?) on the menu? Then get "stuffed" by appetizer & not eat main course? They are notoriously cheap, but I assume they are buying tonight since it's to entertain HER parents. lol, it's a nice 'fantasy' though I probably would never do that.... hmmmm (of course, they may ask for separate tickets... so that may not work)

    Bookmark   September 26, 2010 at 7:59PM
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WAIT - did I read that right?? YOU pay for SD's doctors bills, hair cuts, school pictures, etc., but your DH went out and bought a motorcycle AFTER you both discussed it and you said "no"?? He got permission from his parents and he borrowed the $ from them to buy the motorcycle????? But he doesn't pay for the costs associated with his own daughter????? Isn't that classic manipulation (you say no so he goes to his parents)? Isn't that classic irresponsibility (let's buy something we can't afford)??? Isn't that something SD's BM would do (let's buy something fun for myself (in the guise of lower gas costs) but I'm not going to help provide for my own daughter - let's let IMA do it all)????? Please PLEASE tell me I read that wrong.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2010 at 8:09PM
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that's one way to look at it. It sounds worse the way you describe it...

He/we borrowed money to pay off credit cards... which consolidated everything to one lower payment a month so then he figured he could afford a motorcycle payment. After I said we can't afford it, he got together with his parents & they discussed how it would save money on gas and all the pluses... he could get to work & home faster. Then his parents made me feel like a heel for wanting to deprive their son of having his own motorcycle... after all, he works so hard. His brother has one & soon after DH got his, FIL bought one... they said to go riding together, which hasn't happened yet. He justifies it because he works 40+ hours at his job, works at our business on his days off & in the evening, maintains the 6 acres during Spring & Summer. He does work hard, but I disagreed, his parents butted in (with his invitation of course) so when they complain he hasn't made his payment (on the debt consolidation), I ignore it or tell them how much he loves riding his bike... when it's not raining or cold. He doesn't miss the motorcycle payment though.

No, it doesn't escape me that he is willing to buy what he wants & tell his daughter we can't afford it when she WANTS something. He does pay for the health insurance but I pay all the co-pays and other things because he puts his entire check toward the bills, including paying his parents back for the debt consolidation loan... and it was mostly HIS pre-me debt. He did sell his truck because it was only driven a few times a year & we wanted to get rid of that payment when the economy tanked. If she needs something, he will make sure she gets it. But, he'll take it out of our bill paying account & then tell me he needs me to cover some of the bills that he usually covers. It still comes out of my pocket... but it is really OUR pocket.

I buy those things because it was what I did as a mother for my own kids... he thinks some of it is unnecessary ~ the extra's like school pictures, yearbooks & fundraisers, not the health care. He also doesn't like shopping & doesn't have patience... he used to go into the store knowing her current size & buy a few cheap outfits at a department store... sometimes the SAME outfit in different colors. That was when she was 5-6. She's now 11 & he would do the same.. he took her shopping for school clothes & dragged me along. It was a nightmare for me because he is so impatient & they argued over what she could get. (wanting low rise skinny jeans) plus she was upset that nothing fit her. Then he about had a heart attack at the register... until I told him that the last time I took her shopping, it was at least twice that much.

AS for the update on MIL:

We went to dinner at the restaurant last night & left baby at home with my DD. MIL sat furthest away from her parents (across from me) & SD between us at the end of the table. She interrogated... er, conversed with SD about life at our house & life at her mother's house.... anything to avoid her own parents, who seemed miserable. Then, MIL had planned us to come to her house tomorrow evening but I had plans so she moved it up to tonight. DH went straight from work. I took SD & my DS stayed at my house with the baby. By the time I got there, they actually had tried to cancel the whole thing... DH was upset that I didn't bring the baby because THEY WANT TO SEE THE BABY! So, I asked him WHO is making such a big deal about the baby being there? HIS MOM of course. I told him that first of all, the baby is not really related to anyone... he's a step-great great grandson at best. I doubt they really want to spend the night fawning over him as much as MIL wanted to see if I let SD play with him at HER house. Secondly, he wants the attention of the room. When people are talking, he tries to get in on it & gets noisy. I asked hi do we really want the evening to be about DGS or DH's grandparents & Aunt? So, since SD is having trouble in school (all F's & D's), I had her bring her homework. She took it out & MIL spent the entire time (along with MIL's sister) helping SD with her homework... focusing the entire evening on SD. I think that's the way it should be... SD is their granddaughter & SHE is the one that needs attention & help, not DGS ~ who would have demanded the attention & SD would have been ignored. MIL hardly said two words to me.. trying to remain pleasant for show but she was probably pissed at me. Oh well, I told DH that after what MIL did at the luau & the way she has been on me about SD playing with the baby, I am not putting the baby in the middle of that mess. He was sleeping at home anyways.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 1:42AM
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What a circus. Can I ask, how the heck old are these people?

If DGS is your grandson, MIL is great-grandma... so these people are great-great grandparents?

Sorry, I'm just a bit flabbergasted, but my parents were old when they had me, I guess.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 9:53AM
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DH & I are 41. His parents are 63-64ish. His grandparents are 89 & 91.

To say they are grandparents is a stretch. DGS is from my son who was 18 & out of my house a year when DH & I got married. My son has no father/son relationship with DH & has only met his parents a couple of times... once at our wedding & maybe at Christmas. DH is step-grandpa but actively being grandpa since DGS lives with us. His parents only see us on holidays & if I throw a party, they come over. I don't consider his parents as being any relationship to DGS... step great grandparents at best? MIL's parents are step great great... and in my opinion, it is more important for SD & DH to visit with them, than for them to see the baby or even me.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 12:47PM
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Thanks ;) I didn't want to be nosy... but couldn't help myself!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 1:46PM
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