Dear Care and Nutrition,
I need help with my in-laws! I am a mother of a bright and adorable 14-month-old girl. My husband and I love her very much, and she is the only granddaughter in our family. My in-laws have been arrogant from the start. (They suggested my husband take my newborn daughter who is 60 hrs away from me hours after we were discharged from the hospital so my husband and daughter could drive to meet them at the airport; luckily, the family nurse backed me up with a firm “No! The baby won’t be away from her mom for long”) Three weeks at least, and what else are you thinking!?) There are too many cases to count.
Now, the biggest problem is that they have become possessive of my daughter, often referring to her as “their baby,” and have become beyond obsessive and obsessive. I deal with it the best I can and appreciate how many people love her, but even strangers comment on how possessive they are when they snatch the baby out of my arms when they see me looking at the TV or multitasking by trying to open the door or something.
The final straw was this: This week, during a trip abroad, they insisted that my daughter spend “alone time” with her great-grandfather, whom I have never met. I said I’m not comfortable with that and why do you need to be alone with a 94 year old man?
And they said, well, my mother-in-law will be with them. I said I was still not comfortable with that, because I had never met this man before, or been at his house, and why would my daughter need to stay without me? No one can give me a straight answer. I said no in the end, maybe a thousand times, but I happily agreed to visit great-grandfather together as a family.
My husband’s parents insisted that we go to the store while we were visiting, and told me to leave my daughter alone. I said no, again. I said that I would either not go to the store, or take her with me. They all got so angry and even confronted me saying I needed to go and leave her. I felt seriously ill. I had a bad feeling about why they needed my daughter alone without me. They said it was a dying old man’s wish to have as much good time as possible with his only granddaughter but I said 30 minutes in the shop with her mother while we were there together 4 more hours shouldn’t be such a bad thing. problem. I took her to the store with me while they were all yelling at me. My husband’s family got angry, saying I was selfish and needed to “share” the “child”, as if it was communal property and not a little girl. They wanted so badly for me to get away from her that I physically had to forcefully hold her in my arms and walk out the door.
When I got back, things were very tense, and my father-in-law told me how disappointed his dying father was. I’m creepy. I don’t think it’s normal to demand and intimidate alone time with a young child, especially in a foreign place and a foreign country. I want nothing to do with them again. I told my husband that I’m ready for a divorce because of this, and so am I. They are very religious, especially the great-grandfather, and my gut tells me there was some kind of ceremony they might have wanted to do without me there. All of this sounds very wrong. Still so upset, days later. My question is what can i do? Can I legally ban them from my life and my daughter’s life? My husband’s parents live in the US, but this happened abroad. My husband thinks I’m overreacting and that they just want to spend as much time with our daughter as possible, but it seemed more sinister than that when I confronted it. I am so afraid of what they might be planning as this whole trip was planned in advance. I am afraid.
– Get them away from her
dear send them away,
I’m on your side 100%; What your in-laws are doing is scary and strange. You have to dig into your heels and remind yourself that you are the mother here. No one can access your child without your consent, and you certainly shouldn’t sign an old man you haven’t met spending time alone with your daughter. The caveat, of course, is that your husband also has equal rights over your child, and if he wants to take your daughter to meet his parents, he can do so. However, this does not mean that you should not be very clear about your boundaries with your in-laws.
For example, they cannot come to your house and snatch your child from your arms. They cannot disrespect you by calling you selfish because you do what any good mother would do in terms of protecting your child. They cannot claim time with the “child” as if it were community property, as I said earlier. Your husband should be aware of all of the above points, but if he views you as a “drama queen” or someone who needs to “calm down,” he’ll have to make a serious decision. I’m not saying you should file divorce papers for him right away, but I wouldn’t blame you one bit if you decided to walk away from the marriage if you did everything you could to express how traumatic this experience was to you and him. simply ignores it.
Hopefully, through deep conversations and marital counseling, it won’t come to a divorce and your husband will stand up to his parents, but you have to be prepared for everything. In doing so, I suggest consulting a family law attorney to find out the applicable laws in your area regarding grandparent visitation. No matter what you decide about your husband, you should know that you are without a doubt doing the right thing by standing up to your in-laws.
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