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rattlesnake July 25th, 2018 08:07 PM

Re: Here we go again with the step mother to be
And so the latest update...she is too strict with the children and for the most part I just shut up and stay out of it, but secretly cry for my grandbabies, who are by no means perfectly behaved little angels, but they are not the terrors that she claims they are on Facebook and elsewhere, either! I am very annoyed she puts her one -sided rants on there but of course I never respond. The rants are about the kids (she was upset they did not "get her anything" for mother's day). But more of the rants (like today) are about the children's mother, my DS's ex. I wish she would realize that there are MANY mutual friends of his ex that would see her posts and wonder if there is "another side" and maybe even tell xDIL about the rants.

My DS just seems to flatly support her as a mother figure, allowed to make rules, allowed to use her "social work degree" as some badge of knowing what is best for children, knowing what behavior should be expected and more.

One weekend, I was going to be allowed to take the kids for the weekend as she and DS had something planned. But the kids were "bad" so she cancelled it. They are not allowed to go to Grandma's, watch TV or do fun things when they have been "Bad" and the grounding is usually for more than a week.

So on that weekend, my H and I accepted what I considered a consolation prize. They invited us over to have s'mores with them by a fire outside so H and I went, just happy to spend time with them and the grand kids. The problem is that GD (who is 8) took too long eating her potatoes and said she "didn't like them." She eventually did eat all on her plate, since DIL stood over her making it happen. When she was finally done, DIL said she could not have any S'mores because she took too long eating! DIL is overweight and I do think she has issues with food and should not be so obsessed with what these kids eat and don't eat.

I've been around kids a lot and raised three of my own and I absolutely believe these two have BETTER eating habits than most American kids their age. I recently picked them up at "summer rec" and was watching the kids eat their provided lunch. All the kids had broccoli on their plates. I only saw two actually eat the two grandkids! I didn't "make them" I just observed, they ate theirs and the other kids threw theirs away. They eat veggies at my house regularly with no fuss, but if there was something in particular they did not like, I would not make them eat more than a tiny bit of it.

So another recent episode was once again I was to have these kids for a weekend while DS and DIL did something fun together. This time she did not cancel but wanted me to ground them because once again they'd been bad. It had been worked out in advance with their mother that on Sunday she would get them to go to their step-father's (not married, but to them he is their step-father) work picnic at an amusement park (normally DS's time with them, but just an exception to agree to that).

I was told that GD could not go to the amusement park after all because she'd been bad! This was apparently over DIL once again forcing her to eat a sandwich for lunch and GD said she didn't like it. I was not there and know it went from bad to worse to the point I'm sure GD did get mad and disrespectful, which resulted in the severe grounding.

Well as could be predicted (IMO) xDIL was livid. I would have been too. I can't imagine my XH and his wife doing something like that when we had kids together! He or she would not be making decisions about whether I could take my kids on a planned outing to an amusement park! Well, to try to shorten the drama that ensued, DIL grudgingly conceded to allow them to go to the amusement park, but managed to send a group text that included me that stated xDIL was guilty of "bad parenting." I have to give the step-father-person credit for writing a well written text back, stating he would think a social worker might know better than to use such terminology in a text to them.

Well, now we are up to today. Once again, I see the vague rant on FB about how my DIL is sick of being so compassionate and understanding with his X and there will be NO MORE! So I felt sick to my stomaching wondering what this time....

So then later tonight I get a call with DS and DIL on speakerphone, and DS starts off with "so I understand you took GS to a doctor's appointment? I said no, where did you get that idea? And he seemed confused...I said didn't you both get a text from xDIL saying SHE took him to an appointment and the doctor said it was allergies? Somehow, the queen of group texts (see my above posts if you need to review why I say that) misunderstood xDIL to be me! It was pretty clear our names are not similar and that text originated from her! But DIL thought I took him to the dr. at the request of xDIL, and of course all behind her back. So DS is having issues with his phone and he never did get the text but was going by what his wife said!

So now I am fairly certain her vague rant on FB was all about this situation that probably wouldn't make a normal person that angry even if it was true (just my opinion of course) but the fact is she had it completely wrong. I know she won't go on FB and say she misunderstood something, and there is no need to since she didn't really include any details but I sure hope she is feeling embarrassed right now, home with DS. Once again, how do I even put into words? I want my DS to be happy. There is much to like about my DIL. I want them all to be happy and healthy together. But I do think that DIL has some issues. I wish I knew how to help; I know she needs to see a counselor or something to help her realize that she has to mellow out with these kids a bit, and stop trying to control things out of her control. But I am the last one on earth who could ever suggest anything to her for reasons that should be obvious from my posts so far. I want to get along with her. I have to. I walk on egg shells and try to play everything her way, knowing full well she has the power to keep my grandkids from me.

Well actually she does not have that power and maybe deep down she knows their mother will not keep them from me. But if it ever comes down to her telling me that I can't see my grandkids, it will put a horrible strain on my relationship with DS and I sure don't want that! DS does not seem to have what I'd call natural parenting instincts or the desire to protect his kids that I wish he had. He just sees this as she knows best and that is the end of it.

Well, thanks for listening.

LucyVanPelt July 26th, 2018 04:40 AM

Re: Here we go again with the step mother to be
I'm very sorry, rattlesnake. :(

KayKay July 26th, 2018 03:03 PM

Re: Here we go again with the step mother to be
When I was a kid, I was pretty good about being in the clean plate club. But once my SM made mashed sweet potatoes and I wouldn't eat them; sweet potatoes gross me out. It was out of character for my SM, but it became a battle of wills. She was determined that I would eat them and I was determined that I wouldn't. So I was told I couldn't leave the table until I finished what was on my plate and when it became evident that I was content to sit there and not eat, my SM decided that for every fifteen minutes that went by, I was going to get another spoonful of sweet potatoes.

So fifteen minutes after this proclamation, another spoonful of sweet potatoes got put on my plate along with the assurance that I wasn't going anywhere until they were all gone. I finally decided to just hold my nose and eat them, and I took a big bite and swallowed quick.

My SM's relief at "winning" only lasted a second... I barely made it to the bathroom in time for that bite of sweet potatoes and the rest of my dinner to come up.

She never made me eat sweet potatoes again (and to this day, I still gag at the smell of them even though I make them for my family).

Your DIL will have to learn the hard way.

Question: why isn't your DS feeding them? Him making their lunch or dinner would take a lot of this food-related conflict away.

rattlesnake July 26th, 2018 06:23 PM

Re: Here we go again with the step mother to be


Your DIL will have to learn the hard way.

She seems more stubborn than your SM so far. The kids have thrown up when she forces them to eat. She says they are faking being sick and making themselves throw up somehow. I believe (in this long thread)I may have mentioned my very first argument with her about a year ago now, when my GS was actually sick and threw up that day, he had strep throat (didn't know it was that at the time but I sure knew he was not faking being sick). She forced him to eat lettuce salad at a family reunion and I got protective of him and she got very angry and felt I was undermining her and disrespecting her.


Question: why isn't your DS feeding them? Him making their lunch or dinner would take a lot of this food-related conflict away.
I wish I could simply answer that. My DS, like his new wife, has some issues. He is very content to let her do the cooking and very content to "support" her mothering efforts. DIL does get him to help with the cooking, but she definitely runs that show, plans the menus, etc. and expects the kids to eat it. My only hope is that she will mellow in time. I think she should have been eating crow about her mistake in thinking that I took GS to the doctor behind her back. Thanks for listening. I can only hope and pray she mellows.

KayKay July 26th, 2018 09:38 PM

Re: Here we go again with the step mother to be

Originally Posted by rattlesnake (Post 86309)
She seems more stubborn than your SM so far

Just ftr (because it would be unfair of me to not clarify) my SM wasn't stubborn. The incident I relayed was completely uncharacteristic of her. :) My SM was a wonderful woman and I loved her dearly. (Just needed to say that)

rattlesnake July 27th, 2018 05:01 AM

Re: Here we go again with the step mother to be

Thanks for clarifying. I truly hope that someday my grandchildren will look back with the same affection for their step-mother. As I have said many times, she has many great qualities, but I think she has some issues.

PeeWeeMomOf3 July 28th, 2018 05:18 PM

Re: Here we go again with the step mother to be
This sounds like such a challenging situation. You are wise, rattlesnake, I hope you can find a way to build a bridge to your DiL.

rattlesnake September 9th, 2018 06:04 AM

Re: Here we go again with the step mother to be
So it continues with my DIL. She continues to post negativity on FB and feels she will get support and sympathy and does seem to get some. I absolutely try to pretend I don't see it. I'd love to somehow block her posts since they are upsetting to me, but I have other reasons that I won't be doing that. The most recent post was about how upset she was to be picking the kids up at school Friday, my GS running out of school excitedly, but then his face dropped and he started walking very slowly when he saw her.

Several of her friends gave her very good advice, told her to give it time, told her that it might take years before the kids really warm up, etc. Well, today I see her post is gone and she put a new post, upset with those who are suggesting she is trying to take the place of their mother, putting the mother down, etc. And she was very defensive claiming she does none of that. But it is not true, IMO. She posts negative stuff about the mother on FB, which of course the kids don't see or at least I don't think they would, but still, I'm sure she does not completely hide her dislike for their mother when she "prays" with the kids to help the mother live the way DIL thinks everybody should live.

DIL obviously cannot take criticism and has no clue that most step-parents go through a lot of adjustment, and that is the ones who are actually nice. Though she claims she is so wonderful and nice and does nice things like getting them into dance and sports (which is true, and I do think that is good), she certainly has not mentioned any of the extreme discipline, often based on what they eat or don't want to eat, the time she forced my GS to eat salad when he said he was sick. She forced him until he threw up, and then accused him of faking just to get sympathy and get his way. It turned out he had strep throat at that time. She is not perceptive enough to realize that her daily interactions with them at ages 8 and 10 are going to outweigh her part in getting them involved in dance and sports.

Her husband, (my DS) cannot take criticism either, so it is pointless and counterproductive for me to try to suggest anything to either of them.

I just hate the negative impact on their whole family, especially the kids.

LucyVanPelt September 9th, 2018 06:14 AM

Re: Here we go again with the step mother to be
I am so sorry that your grandchildren are going through this.

IMO, your grandchildren are being abused, not severely, but still suffering emotional and physical abuse. As a mandated reporter, I would have to make a call to the child abuse hotline if I heard these stories about one of the children I work with.

That doesn't mean I think DIL is a bad person. She needs help. :(

snafu September 13th, 2018 04:58 PM

Re: Here we go again with the step mother to be

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