32 answers

Mother in Law, and "Step" grandchild---HELP

My husband and I have two children. We lost our home in April and have been living with his parents.
Our oldest is 5. He is not my husband biological child. Our 1 year old daughter is. My husband, myself, and the rest of both families treat my children exactly the same, regardless of who their father is.

Here is my problem. My mother in law does not treat my children the same. She spoils my daughter, but treats my son so badly that I have sent him to live with MY mother. She talks down to him, puts him in time out for being "too loud", or banging a toy too loud, or saying the wrong thing. She will find any way she can to catch him in trouble. She has even gone as far as pointing out to my husband that he is the "step" grandchild, and my husband is NOT that boys father. Now the result is my son hates her, and asks me "Mommy, why do we have to live with Mimi, she hates me and is mean to me?" So I have sent him to live with my mother until my husband and I get back on our feet and find a new home. The whole family agreed this was the right thing to do for now.
She is FAR from a child abuser! She has never hit him, spanked him, or anything like that.
She is going through menopause (VERY ROUGHLY), and refuses to see a doctor.
I think it is her hormones. She has apologized and tells me she wants a chance to change, but I am not bringing my son back into her home. It is not fair to him.

Does anyone have any idea of what we can say/do to get her to see a doctor and deal with her menopause and depression?? It has gotten worse over the last year, and she is a completely different person now.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

We are trying to move and looking for the first place we can so we can bring our son home.

Featured Answers

Oh Dear.... It sounds horrible. I must say that in sending the step child to live with the good grandma... You have in a sence, punished the child. He is no longer alowed to live with mom, dad, and sister, because of the bad grandma. So the bad grandma is happy now and the step child is far away from his mom. I would have chosen to punish the bad grandma... and move the whole family far out of her house... especially her own son. You see, she is pleased to have her "baby" back even if it means she has to tolerate his new family. She is not keeping you all there because she loves all of you, she only loves her son, and perhaps the baby grandchild. If you want to test her... send dad to live with the good grandma and stepson, and see what treatment you get then. She wouldnt get any better...not even with hapy pills... she would be horrid to you then. It is hard when money is tight, and jobs are scarce. No matter what the situation, I would keep the NEW FAMILY TOGETHER in a happy place, even if it meant that all 4 of you had to sleep on the floor in the good grandma's tiny happy home.

1 mom found this helpful

Bueno la verdad creo que tu deberias irte con tus dos hijos a casa de tu mama y tu esposo que se quede con su mama hasta que consigan una casa para que esten juntos de nuevo pero priara tu hijo de 5 aÑos de s¡estra con su madre (tu) por tu suegra no es justo no sabes lo que le estas haciendo a el por quererlo protejer el daÑo es muy grande el solo es un niÑo el no va a entender porque lo separastes de ti y te quedastes con su otra hermanita y tu esposo ya tiene suficiente que su verdadero padre no este con el es doble abandono asi que mi recomendacion es que lo pienses mejor y busca a tu hijo o reunete con tu 2 hijos pero nunca te separes de ellos y menos a esta edad lo estas castigando y no es asi y se que lo haces por protejerlo pero le estas haciendo un daÑo el solo tiene 5 aÑos piensa en tus hijos se madre antres y vete con tu madre y tus hijos hasta que se acomoden lo de tu suegra sea o no sea menopaucia eso no justifica el maltrato porque eso es maltrato hacia un niÑo asi que abre los ojos proteje a tus 2 hijos...Ç

suerte y que dios te ilumine y bendiga

More Answers

I would set a specific date and time when your MIL has your 1 yr old and you and your husband go somewhere and have a serious discussion about your living situation. Something has to change ASAP so all 4 of you can live together away from the MIL. Sell a car, somebody get a 2nd job, file bankruptcy, get WIC, foodstamps or public assistance, worse case scenario sell your jewelry to get money.... Literally whatever it takes. Are you getting support for your son from his father? If not, now is not the time to say that you dont want hrlp from him. Go to the courthouse and get a courtdate and file for support, its easy. Your son has already had one parent leave, I'm sure he's devastated and confused. His self esteem must be crumbling. There is NO way I would live more than a week or two away from my own child, even in poor cicumstances. It must be heartbreaking to know that he recognizes and that he is treated terribly by your MIL and now separated from his
family. Sad. Can't you be at your mothers house with your other child every weekday afternoon and evening after school until he goes to bed? Or stay the night and be gone during school hours? Can't you live there with the kids?

Your MIL has an issue and it's not menopause. She can't be nice to dome people and mean to others and blame her emotions. Get out and side with your innocent child. Get involved with a church a ask for prayer.... You and your family need to seek true help right now. I wish you the best in resolving your situation immediately. There is no time to wait....

2 moms found this helpful

GET OUT!
GET OUT!

GET OUT!

This is a huge mess. Your son is going to or already does feel like he is not apart of the family. He thinks that he was the problem and all of you got rid of him.

That is not how you all feel, but that is what he feels.

Why can't you all move into your mothers house with him?

YOUR SON COMES FIRST!!!!!!! BEFORE YOUR MOTHER IN LAW!!!!!

You all had something happen to you that made you all need to live with family, but your son had no part of it and he did not cause this to happen and he is getting the raw end of the deal. It is all falling on him right now and that is WRONG WRONG WRONG.

IF YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND DO NOT TAKE CARE OF THIS RIGHT AWAY YOU MIGHT SEE PROBLEMS WITH YOUR SON SOON.

HE WILL TREAT YOUR DAUGHTER NASTY BECAUSE, YOU ALL KEPT HER AND GOT RID OF HIM............AND SO ON.

I HAVE LOTS OF EXPERENCE WITH ALL OF THIS, STARTING FROM MY CHILDHOOD INTO ADULTHOOD. THE STORY IS WAY TO LONG FOR ME TO TYPE UP AND I DON'T THINK THAT ANYONE WANTS TO FEEL SAID TODAY.

TRUST ME, GET BACK WITH YOUR SON.

YOU are MOMMY, take care of your children.

............................................

I would stand up to my mother in law infront of everyone.
I would make it clear that no one wants to be in this situation and that it is wrong and that he is a child that needs to be loved not hated. NO MATTER WHAT.

I know that it is easier said than done, but you need to stand up for your son.

God Bless YOU ALL.

P.S. If you look about 8 messages down from mine you will see a message From: Barbara G Date: Sat. Nov. 07, 20.
I completely agree with her 100%

2 moms found this helpful

You need to take your other kid and go back to your moms too and leave your husband there to grow up some more.

It's his mother, he should be handling this, not you. I'd live in a homeless shelter before I'd let my mother split up my family.

2 moms found this helpful

this breaks my heart. when my oldest son was born he became the favorite!! when my second son was born he was the underdog...
this was only in the eyes of my husband's mother....i told my husband he either had to make it very clear to his mother or i would that both children were to be treated the same...sounds like your son living with your mother for now is the best thing for your son...
just make sure you spend lots of time with him and show him how much you love him and assure him that you want him treated with love and respect and the reason he is not living with you is because you understand how he was being treated was not right and he deserved much better and lots of love and kindness....keep talking to him
and letting him know all of this is not his fault and your love and your husbands love will be the healing factor in all of this.......
i do not believe his mothers menopause is the problem...she is just taking it out on your son that he is not her sons child.........
good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

You shouldnt have sent your son away. To him it looks as if you have chosen them over him. Either the whole family stays with your Mom, or you & your dghtr go & leav hubby with his Mom. This happened to me as a young child & to this day at 37 I have abandonment issues. Please dont do this to your son. I hope everything works out for you & your famiy.

1 mom found this helpful

Oh Dear.... It sounds horrible. I must say that in sending the step child to live with the good grandma... You have in a sence, punished the child. He is no longer alowed to live with mom, dad, and sister, because of the bad grandma. So the bad grandma is happy now and the step child is far away from his mom. I would have chosen to punish the bad grandma... and move the whole family far out of her house... especially her own son. You see, she is pleased to have her "baby" back even if it means she has to tolerate his new family. She is not keeping you all there because she loves all of you, she only loves her son, and perhaps the baby grandchild. If you want to test her... send dad to live with the good grandma and stepson, and see what treatment you get then. She wouldnt get any better...not even with hapy pills... she would be horrid to you then. It is hard when money is tight, and jobs are scarce. No matter what the situation, I would keep the NEW FAMILY TOGETHER in a happy place, even if it meant that all 4 of you had to sleep on the floor in the good grandma's tiny happy home.

1 mom found this helpful

Are you seriously asking advice for your MIL??? The problem here is that she mentally abused your son to the point that he had to be sent away and you are making excuses for her. I don't know about other mothers, but for me my children come first before anybody...including my husband. My only advise to you is for you to move in with your mother to be with your son. If your husband doesn't want to do that, then he could stay with his mother until you can move on your own. By the way, screw the MIL... anybody who would treat my innocent 5 year old like garbage can go to hell.

1 mom found this helpful

As a grandmother to 2 beautiful biological and step-grandmother to 3 from my husbands step son and 3 from my daughter-in-law's mother (she was tragically killed and my son is raising his sister-in-laws)talk about yours mine and ours, I can tell you that it is totally unacceptable for her to treat your son any differently then her biological grandchildren. You did the correct thing for your son by removing him from the situation and putting him into a more loving environment. However, he must feel isolated from the family and if your mother-in-law truly wants to make amends, recommend that you all go for family counseling and then perhaps the counselor would be able to get to the bottom of the problem. I doubt it is Menopause -she couldn't have selective symptoms towards your son and not your daughter!! She is just using that as an excuses. If she doesn't agree to go to counseling, get out and get the family back together. Your son needs to be with his mother and not feel as if he did something wrong.

G.
Grandmother, professional guardian and accountant.

If it were me I would stop trying to help and/or change her and - instead - go be with my son (along with daughter & husband).

The only person you can change is yourself.

I don’t have any advise but I can tell you you’re not alone. My step mother used to be so patient and get along with my son very well and he is NOT the perfect angel. We are a very close family but once she started menopause things changed and they have not changed back. I know she loves him but she has no patients for him anymore I think they have reached a level of mutual dislike at this point and just stay out of each other’s way. I try to be the buffer and if it is getting out of hand we leave. I hope you figure it out it must be horrible to be away from your son and I hope your able to get on your feet quickly and be a family again.

Menopause is a natural state of being it usually starts around 35 years of age but most women do not know that. It become a problem for some when they do start messing around with hormones etc. Doctors can not fix menopause. It would be like finding the Fountain of Youth. It is going to take place very slowly. Hormones start diminishings around 35 yrs of age. So even though most do not feel it till we hit our 50's it is going on. I can tell you that there is more to this than you are facing. Most women that age can not stand the constant motion and rushing about of a five year old without letting off some steam. A child that age can drive me bonkers if all they were doing was looking at a book. Their usually talking and rushing here and there. My goodness where did they go to now? Generally people that age do not have child proof homes. Also have some things that are dear to them they wish to keep in good state of repair.
I feel it is unrealistic for you to think she should have the same response to stimuli that you do.
I think your little boy needs you on a daily basis. Your Mother-in-Law has good intentions or she would never had agreed to having a family of four move in on her. She cares. Do you think you have giving enough attention to her. By taking your son outside or to playgrounds to run etc. Is their enough room for you and yours to have a setting area too? Like in a nice basement or sun room etc. Let her catch her breath once in a while and do you do things to help her out. Even if you work do you and your husband give her some space. By going out to the parks or for walks etc. If she has white carpet do you mind her carpet as if it were yours. Do you and your husband do for her? Think about it! This woman should not be put on a guilt trip. Give her a break. Befriend her, and know this: there is a reason why God allows younger women to birth the babies. In the meantime cut her some slack. Be thankful that she is willing to help. What if you were in a shelter or something. You are right about one thing that I read and that is her response is different than yours or anyone else in the family. But there is a reason for that now find out what it is? Do you help out in the kitchen. With the cleaning. Keeping things picked up. It can all be so overwhelming for a woman past 50+/-. Yet someone in their youth can do in about 30 minutes what it would take them a day's time of cleaning. They are not all that slow but are possible more thorough than the younger set. If this was her son's child she would feel more like correcting him and be more comfortable about it. That is all the difference.
I'm sure you will see what I mean in years to come.
Just put yourself in her place. Walk a mile in her shoes.
I can not believe how non-chalant most parents have become in disciplining their children. They turn out rather well yet most children have never heard the words NO or DON"T.

People have to team up in this kind of situation. Try to adapt to her needs somewhat. Work as hard to help rather than finding fault you will experience a different woman!

Oh, boy! Our oldest is my biological son, and our youngest is both of ours. That is where our similarities end: My husband will not stand for preferential treatment of our young one when we are at his mother's home. It happened just once, we abruptly packed up and left the holiday festivities. Your little guy needs both of you to stand up for him, and to be there. It's true that in staying with MIL, you've sent a message of old family/new family to your son. As untrue as it may be, that's the perception. Consider staying with your Mom, or wherever you can live comfortably with your son. Wishing you all the strength you'll need to navigate this rocky situation, and reminding you that kids can do without a lot when they are with loving parents.

Wow. I hardly know where to begin. You sent your son to live with someone else????????? I understand it may be your mother, but you are HIS mother!!!!!! It's your job to stand up for him, protect him, take care of him, nurture him, etc....And when your husband chose to marry you with a child it became his job also. If he was not ready to be a father who would do the same, he should have not married you. I understand tough times more than you could imagine, and NEVER have I sent my children off to live with someone else. Why would you stay somewhere your son can't??? Why would your husband who supposedly loves you and your children have you in such a place??? Do you have any income??? Even a one bedroom apartment where the kids have a room and you sleep in the living room would be better than where you are now. I can't imagine being your son, sent off to live with someone else because mommy wouldn't stand up for him, take care of him, protect him.

BTW, who cares about your MIL? Trust me, she knows she is going through the change, if she chooses not to deal with it there is nothing you can do.

S.,

I saw your update, but in the meantime you and both of your children should stay with your mother. If your husband can stay there also, great but if there isn't room or if he can't because it isn't close enough to his job, then you need to be there for your 5 year old. Your baby will NOT remember this time in her life but a 5year old will remember for the REST of his life.

C.

First off she has to admit something is wrong and then ask for help or it's a waste of time. There are several places that deal with menopuause, also books, Churchs, etc. that can help. But it's not fair to your son to have live somewhere else. You should move in with your Mother too.

Why are you all still stay with his parents? it has been a year. Your son is going to end up hating you too, you need to try to find a place to live and get your son back, before he start feeling as if he is not a part of the family.Where is his father? try to make him a part of his father family, how about his father mother? is she a part of this child life?

hi there, i couldn't handle that if it were me. We're all created by god came from the same source and will go to the same one who gives life and death. Anyway If i were you id use against her what she loves most..if it is your daughter she loves most say "you're not seeing her again until you see a doctor if not then im taking my daughter to my mothers as well" and stand firm. maybe she just needs someone to push her to do it. best wishes take care.

Dear S.,
Your MIL is verbally abusing your son, so please keep him away until she fully comprehends what she is doing! If she doesn't see a doctor and truly change her words & heart, keep him away, until she does! Tell her exactly how he now feels and that it will take some work to change what she created! Let her know that you love her and do not intend to hurt her feelings, but she needs to know what she has done to an innocent little child. Then have a family meeting with her & your son; and hopefully God will bless you all with a solution and a happy reunion! You are all in my prayers! May God bless you all..
Love,
Kathy N.

For me, it's not menapause, it's PMS, but my hormones are making me cry reading all of these responses!! At first, I totally agreed with all of the women who said you need to drop everything and take your daughter and go live with your son, with or without your husband... I still do beleive that... but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I have NOT walked a mile in your shoes. All we know is the snapshot of what you have told us, with no details of why you lost your home, how much income you and your husband are currently bringing in, how far away your own mother lives, and what exactly the reason is why you can not all go live with your mom. I'm sure it was not an easy decision for you to send your son away and you must miss him dearly. My hope is not only that you can get back on your own soon, but that your family can be reunited. I have no idea what you and your husband's careers are and what kind of jobs you are looking for, but I hope you can find good jobs closer to your own mom... assuming she cares enough about BOTH of your children to assist all of you and be there for you in times of need. If you are staying where you are based on your husband's current job, leave him behind and go with your daughter to your mom's home, no matter how small it is. If you are staying because of your own job, immediately look for one closer to where your mom lives or commute to her if you can.

S., first of all, I really don't know how to say this without hurting your feelings, but why on earth would you send your child away? Why can't you move out of the in-laws house no matter what the sacrifice may be, I would never send my child away. I believe this sends a very negative message that your child is the problem. He already feels that his grandmother "hates" him. He should feel loved by you and your husband and I don't see how he is feeling that love if he is living with your mom.

Secondly, if your MIL doesn't want to see a doctor, you can't force her to go. You could perhaps do some research online and get her to take herbal supplements but without a proper diagnosis to rule out any other condition she may have, supplements may be out of the question.

I hope your living conditions change very soon but if things look grim, I would strongly suggest that you move out of that house so that your son can live with you and his father the way a family should live.

S.
I think leaving your son with your mother was the best thing you could do. As for your mother-in-law tell her if she really wants a chance to change she needs to go see a doctor.Let her know its not only hurting your son but its hurting your family. good luck

It's not your problem. Let her deal with her medical issues and you deal with your firstborn, that is to keep him away from her, because if you don't and bring him back into that kind of environment, he will never forget it.

Does your mom have room for the rest of you at her house? Maybe if you told your MIL that you were going to move in with her unless she gets help, she may take you serious.

I have a mother in law who tries to treat my children the same as her own grand children and always falls short.

In this case you did the right thing. I would have to agree a little tough love must come into play. You can't enable her because of the depression etc... You must insist she see her doctor. I feel your husband needs to put his foot down.

Your son and your daughter are your primary concern.

I am glad you sent him to live with your Mom but he needs his Mommy- so I would encourage you to force this situation a little more.

She has to do a lot more than just apologize to you - she needs to get help and apologize to your son.

Keep your head up.

I am a phone call away if you need to vent girlfriend!

A.
###-###-####

Well first of all you did the best thing for your son, I was in the same position years ago and my m-i-l treated my son like that and it did leave a emotional scar. So at all costs spare his feelings.

And to your Mother-in-law. Listen I am 52 and went to the dr some years ago about mood swings. I take prozac and boy does it make life so much easier. Now not saying this one product will work for you but it is sure great to look at life with whole new eyes. I use to get mad at things and go around and mumble to myself for a good while later but now I don't do that nor do I get mad at little things. Life is too short to be going thru so many mood swings and ups and downs. Check it out with a Dr and don't go on anything you don't want to but try something. trust me you will be so glad you did in the end. Enjoy your life for everyday you have left and love all the people in your life. Be able to laugh at the silly ones. Good Luck. Remember it is all your call. Try something out and if you don't like it stop.

first of all, take your daughter and go be with your son. that's not fair to him that he has to loose staying with his mom. your husband should understand that. maybe if you did that, your husband can talk to his mother and advise her to see a doctor, that she is splitting his family apart. maybe he should also tell her, that even though your son isn't his biological son, he still feels as though he is and she should treat him that way.

Hi S.:

I know that yor are asking for advice on how to get your mother in law to go to the Dr, but I have to tell you that when you mentioned that your son went to live with your mom it broke my heart. I could NOT be with out any of my kids. I wonder how your son feels inside that he got sent away for something he did not do. How soon can you and your husband get your own place? I dont find it fair that he has to be with out his mommy and daddy, because grandma is a grouch. Please do not be offended. I know you mean well for him, I just think that he has to be missing you guys so much and its all due to this "menopausal" woman. Sit down with your husband and figure out a strategy to get your own place and put your family back together again.

Hi, S.. You are in a tough situation, and I'm sorry you have to live with someone who seems to hate your little boy. I know I would have a hard time with someone like that, and I commend you for being able to forgive her for how she has treated him.

As for your question...apparently she is embarassed by menopause (some women just can't accept it or deal with it). The best popular, easy to understand information I have seen about dealing with menopause is on the Dr. Phil website. Basically, his wife (I forgot her name) is very frank and positive about it, and if you can get your mother in law to look at what Dr. Phil's wife has to say about this transition, maybe your motherinlaw will see that it's OK to need a little help with this process and do something about it. If she's worried about having to take pills, which a lot of doctors will push on a woman at this stage of life, she can also take stuff called bio-active hormone preparations, which are healthier for the body. Some of these medicines are actually not pills at all, but lotions that can be applied to the body. Sometimes it's a matter of altering the diet to relieve the problems with menopause... but she needs to know that it's OK for her to get help.

See if you can get her to watch Dr. Phil and to see what a lively, beautiful woman his wife is...and she's fully menopausal! Then see if you can get Mimi to read the advice on the website. Mimi does have alternatives that will not do her any harm.

And if she's still in denial about the fact that she has a problem, you might remind her that she has done others harm with her disturbances...alienating your son!
She has hurt his tender little heart and separated you from him. That's not a small thing. Maybe if she sees that her changes are causing other people pain, she wwill be more motivated to do something about it.

I hope that the whole family can come together again in peace and love.

Peace,
Syl

I understand your special situation as we have a "blended family too." Try not to make excuses for your mother-in-law's poor behavior. Find free counseling for both you and your husband where both of you can learn to set up boundries. Blended families take lots of hard work to make everyone in the situation feel good about themselves. Do not judge yourselves too harshly and do not compare your family dynamics to your family/friends.

She may seem nastier or not herself from going through her changes and may need help in that department, but using her menopause is just an excuse, this is how she really feels towards your child that is not her real grandson. I would tell your husband to grow some balls and stand up to his mother, her behavior is unacceptable. I cannot believe you just sent you son to live with your mother, I would have taken both children to go live with my mother, if your husband cant see how hurtful this situation really is, he can stay with his mommy.

Great that you got your son out of a bad situation but like someone else said, carting him off to be with your mom while the rest of you live with your mil has to emotionally scar him too. It's sending very mixed messages to your son "you are being treated badly so I get you out of there but we stay" is bad. I hope he doesn't start to feel that it's somehow his fault. It must be very straining to your entire family with a relocation and all but your son must come first. I could NEVER let my child live somewhere else for that long. Unless I was in the hospital dying or something like that. Ask your mom if you could live there, rent a small apartment something but do it asap and just hold your little boy till you both fall asleep.

Bueno la verdad creo que tu deberias irte con tus dos hijos a casa de tu mama y tu esposo que se quede con su mama hasta que consigan una casa para que esten juntos de nuevo pero priara tu hijo de 5 aÑos de s¡estra con su madre (tu) por tu suegra no es justo no sabes lo que le estas haciendo a el por quererlo protejer el daÑo es muy grande el solo es un niÑo el no va a entender porque lo separastes de ti y te quedastes con su otra hermanita y tu esposo ya tiene suficiente que su verdadero padre no este con el es doble abandono asi que mi recomendacion es que lo pienses mejor y busca a tu hijo o reunete con tu 2 hijos pero nunca te separes de ellos y menos a esta edad lo estas castigando y no es asi y se que lo haces por protejerlo pero le estas haciendo un daÑo el solo tiene 5 aÑos piensa en tus hijos se madre antres y vete con tu madre y tus hijos hasta que se acomoden lo de tu suegra sea o no sea menopaucia eso no justifica el maltrato porque eso es maltrato hacia un niÑo asi que abre los ojos proteje a tus 2 hijos...Ç

suerte y que dios te ilumine y bendiga

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