Friday, September 10, 2010

What I Say SHOULD Go

Being a parent can be hard. We all know this. Being a step-parent can be really hard.

There are always times when a child will try to play one parent against the other and more times when they try to play the grandparents against the parents.

But what am I supposed to do when the step-child plays the step-mom against the mother-in-law.

Pull my hair out is what I want to do.

Let me explain.

D is the first grandbaby. Naturally she will be the shining star. The fact that she isn’t here on a regular basis makes the spoiling that much worse.

She gets away with more than I see necessary from all parties involved.

But as she approaches 9 and Lael is learning habits from here I am becoming fed up with some of the behavior.

Quite often me and the kids will drive to the MIL’s house and stay the night. We’ll watch movies and order pizza and just enjoy each other’s company.

But mostly every time we are together at my MIL’s, D feels that she can do what she wants.

What doesn’t help is that my MIL doesn’t seem to notice that we are being played.

Case and Point:

I tell the girls to put on their pajamas and then they can play/watch a movie, etc.

I go upstairs and see Lael doing what I said but where is D? In her grandmothers room showing her how to brush her dolls hair.

I go in and tell her to do what I said. And do you know what happens next? Do ya?

My MIL tells me that she’s showing her something, turns around and tells her to finish what she was showing her.

What the fuck.

Another Case and Point:

My MIL bought white tank tops for the girls so they would have matching shirts for pictures. She bought 1 pack and since Lael needed new ones for the Fall I said that I would keep them so that I don’t have to buy any.

D’s mom never puts them on her so there would be no need for her to keep any. I made this point and D tried to argue with me that she does wear them. I shut her down and explained that in the almost 9 years that she’s been on earth her mother has NEVER send undershirts/tanks to go under her shirts.

I thought that was the end of it and told the kids to pack their bags and for Lael to put the shirts in her suitcase. Well a few minutes later they come down and my MIL says she gave D 2 and Lael 2.

I thought I had made myself clear. But apparently when they went upstairs D whined to my MIL about it and she gave her what she wanted.

It wasn’t about the shirts it was about not wanting Lael to have something that she didn’t have. I was pissed. So I went upstairs and put ALL of them in D's bag. I told Lael I would just buy her new ones.

Am I being sensitive because I thought it was kind of disrespectful. The last time I checked, I was the parent.

And being the parent, she should have done what I said first and then what she wanted to second.

Scenarios like this happened quite a few times between Sunday and Monday.

The thing is, I don’t have this problem with Lael. She knows better. It doesn’t matter what grandma or anyone else says. She’s gonna do what mom said first.

Is it D playing me? Is my MIL playing me?

I explained to hubby that is seems like whenever we are around her she forgets that I am the parent but more so with D not Lael. She hardly steps in when I’m correcting her.

I feel like because I am the step-mother I am not taken seriously and that she feels she has more of a say so than I do. Am I crazy?

What should I do?


  1. That's so tough, My experience is the opposite and totally different because when my Step Dad came into the picture my sister and I were 15 and 12. Parenting or co-parenting from a young age is different from something like that. Is it possible to sit down with the MIL when the girls aren't around and talk about how you are feeling? Having your husband there to support you and if you are on good terms with Deja's Mom, get her in the conversation too so that everyone is on the same page.

  2. I keep thinking about this and it is so an issue of MIL disrespecting you in your role as stepmom since she doesn't seem to do it w/ Lael. Argh. I would say pick your battles, but it really doesn't seem you would win any of them unless you had the hubs talk to her on your behalf or you did yourself.

    Obvs it seems she would totally need the start w/ a compliment approach "it is awesome that you do so much for the girls and give D so much one on one attention when she's here..."

    "....but now that they're getting to that tween age it's even more important that they mind me. It really helps their bond as sisters to know they have to follow the same rules..."

    It surely sounds at this point that D is well aware that she can get away with stuff if she runs to granny...thus why she didn't do pj's in the first place.

    Is D old/mature enough for a heart to heart with you away from MILs house and L? Kind of the same tac with empathizing that it's hard to have so many adults to listen to at MILs house, but that it's very important to follow your family rules for most things and then give some examples of things that granny is more than welcome to spoil her with (extra treats, presents, etc)


  3. No, it's definitely you MIL who's playing you! Next time it happens (as hard as it is) you should take her aside and say something direct but non-confrontational.

    Like "I think it's confusing to the kids when we adopt different stances on things. It would be helpful if we could reinforce one another." Or something like that.


Those laughing with me...or at me.