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How/can I reslove this? (Father's wife overstepping boundaries) long but I really need help input...

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

My dad's wife is a tad bit crazy. She can have little outbursts like a 2 y/o sometimes over the silliest things. Example: yesterday DD drew a picture and I said "We can go put this on grandpa's fridge for him" and she comes running into the room and says "It's MY fridge too you know I live here!" So I said right grandpa and (her name) fridge"

 

So anyways I had a HUGE problem with her putting her hands on our child's face and telling her "You look at m when I'm talking to you" when he was like 11 m/o. I was told she refused to baby proof and that my child should know not to touch anything in her house.

 

So we didn't go there for over 6 months.

 

During that time she apologized and said we could compromise and she would baby proof ect..respect my decisions as her parent and what not. (she always disciplines over me and DD is really sensitive)

 

So we gave it a shot sleeping over there on sat. She wasn't around most of the time and everything was going great. My dad is really trying to be a wonderful grandpa (we had issues when I was a kid) and I am really moved by how gentle he is with her. He is the ONLY person in either of our families that actually call us and want to see DD and spend time with her (DH's fam didn't even show up for DDs 1st b-day!)

 

His wife went into monster mode as usual. They were leaving to go do something on Sun and DD was crying and reaching for me dad (which she never does to anyone except DH and I) and I said "That's so cute she doesn't want you guys to go" his wife said "Oh well too bad" and slams the door....OK

 

Then at dinner she is "showing" DD how to use a fork and she is saying things like "You are not eating right, do it like this, no not like that, like this Oh let me just do it!"

 

Then DD ran over and ripped something off the screen and this woman screams at her then at me and says to  DD "Can't you keep your hands off ANYTHING?!' I said I apologize I should have been watching her better, then we packed up our stuff to go.

 

We were waiting for my dad to come down stairs to say goodbye and I was holding DD and talking to his wife and DD was POINTING to the magnets. His wife was even naming the magnets and being nice to her. Then DD points to a pic her grand kids drew and she flips out and says "She shouldn't be over here she can't TOUCH anything" I said "She can't even touch it? She wasn't doing anything." and she says "NO I don't want her touching it that's why I put them out of reach" (even though sh was right there and playing with them with her) I just walked away.

 

We say goodbye and go to get in the car and she comes out to the driveway and starts attacking me verbally with all this garbage about how DD needs more discipline and she has never met a child who can not keep there hands off everything ect ect I argued for GD and said it is my choice ect. then she starts telling me I am wrong and DD needs to learn respect (even though she is very well behaved and does not hit, bite, kick, nothing like that) and then tells me I shouldn't respect DD she is just a baby, when I told her she needs to speak to her more respectfully....

 

So this is getting drawn out she won't listen ect. I said "obviously she is just not old enough to come to your house b/c 18 MONTH OLD babies are not capable of the things she expects" then she says "that isn't fair and yes they are and I am just not doing a good job of teaching her ect ect" Then we get into the lecture of "when my son was little I did x,y,z and he never did x,y,z" eyesroll.gif

 

So it ends with "Well we can just disagree with how you discipline your kids but at my house we follow my rules" I said "I am not going to discipline my child your way at your house, I respect your rules, and have been accomodating them, like I said the screen thing was my fault b/c I should have kept right on her, other than that she has been fine" Then DD started crying and I said I have to go.

 

So IDK what to do here. My and DDs relationship with my father is important and we have really been healing our past, which has been really great. He is doing so well with her and I am so happy about all of this. He wants me to be comfortable enough to come over there and he comes to our house a lot too (45 min drive). I feel like his wife is completely contradicting herself though with it not "being fair" for us not to come over but then disrespecting us while there. I mean it is not unreasonable for an 18 m/o baby to want to explore. She did so well over there too she didn't mess with the huge pile of exposed dvds or the "special toys" she was NOT allowed to play with, or any of the unbaby-proofed draws/cabinets. I thought she did exceptionally well. This woman just doesn't want her to tough anything ever.

 

The only thing I can think of is to just not go there but then she says she doesn't want that....so WHAT exactly can I do?

 

TYIA

post #2 of 35

What does your dad say abour his wife?  Does he defend her or tell her to back off at all?  Have you had a conversation with your dad about her?

post #3 of 35

I wouldn't go back to her house. Invite your father over to yours, and find ways to nurture that relationship on neutral ground. But clearly, she does not respect you or your daughter. She sounds toxic, and to be avoided.

post #4 of 35

I don't know how far away they are, but my thought was - can you meet at a halfway point? That would be neutral ground, and also more limited interaction (a few hours rather than an overnight).

 

She sounds like a piece of work but I detect some small smidgen of effort on her part to be nice. But it sounds like she completely loses patience and then blows up about it. Would her patience be less tested if 1) the interaction was shorter and 2) it wasn't in her house (thus "threatening" her stuff)?

 

Meeting at a restaurant doesn't sound that great to me, but perhaps a park and picnic (good weather) or museum or mall (bad weather) might relieve some expectations of behavior like sitting still all the time and provides opportunity for brief respite (having places you can walk away from her or vice versa).

post #5 of 35

My goodness. 

 

I am glad to hear you and your father are mending your relationship.  It is amazing how that works when you have a baby.  I am in the same boat. 

 

I agree with the PP that she is pretty toxic. 

 

It is a bummer that she disrespects your family.  I think she is jealous in some way of you.  Meaning your relationship with your father.  I have had 6 step moms and 3 of them were like you describe yours. 

 

I do not think I would go back there, if she is there.  Too much stress.  These are clearly her issues, not yours. 

 

hug2.gif

post #6 of 35

oops

post #7 of 35

Sorry, for some reason my post posted three times, cat on keyboard!  winky.gif

post #8 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenlea View Post

What does your dad say abour his wife?  Does he defend her or tell her to back off at all?  Have you had a conversation with your dad about her?



First let me say in our beliefs/culture I can not disrespect his wife b/c that would be me disrespecting him. However I did tell him that I have accepted her and will respect her b/c of him earlier that day. When she flipped out about the screen he told her to stop. When she was attacking me in the driveway he told her several times to knock it off and leave me alone. She ignored him and just kept talking.

 

 

post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mntnmom View Post

I wouldn't go back to her house. Invite your father over to yours, and find ways to nurture that relationship on neutral ground. But clearly, she does not respect you or your daughter. She sounds toxic, and to be avoided.



I hate to think that is my only option greensad.gif

post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post





I hate to think that is my only option greensad.gif


That is your only option at this point.  Because her behavior is completely over the line both towards you and your daughter.  Sure your dad told her to stop...but you saw how well that worked.  You were firm and held to your boundries and you saw how well that worked too.  She is unreasonable (and a pill) and apparently believes that she can act however she wants at "her" house.  No way mama.

 

You say your Dad is interested in having a relationship with DD so he should be willing to come to you.  After all you were willing to come to him...you made a good faith effort!  You tried.  It is not your fault that his house is now off limits.

 

My dad's partner was much like this (crazy and unreasonable...and more crazy).  He was with her for twenty years and she only ever got more crazy and unreasonable so that is coloring my view for sure.  But after I had a kid I vowed to never let him stay at her house because I so deeply mistrusted her.  You just can't argue, talk, reason with some people.

 

I'm sorry.  The whole situation sounds like it was so stressful (and did I mention that she was waaaayyyyy out of line???).

post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post




That is your only option at this point.  Because her behavior is completely over the line both towards you and your daughter.  Sure your dad told her to stop...but you saw how well that worked.  You were firm and held to your boundries and you saw how well that worked too.  She is unreasonable (and a pill) and apparently believes that she can act however she wants at "her" house.  No way mama.

 

You say your Dad is interested in having a relationship with DD so he should be willing to come to you.  After all you were willing to come to him...you made a good faith effort!  You tried.  It is not your fault that his house is now off limits.

 

My dad's partner was much like this (crazy and unreasonable...and more crazy).  He was with her for twenty years and she only ever got more crazy and unreasonable so that is coloring my view for sure.  But after I had a kid I vowed to never let him stay at her house because I so deeply mistrusted her.  You just can't argue, talk, reason with some people.

 

I'm sorry.  The whole situation sounds like it was so stressful (and did I mention that she was waaaayyyyy out of line???)

 

tough spot to be in.  I understand your situation OP.  What you describe sounds a lot like my family.  My dad simply could not deal with his own grandkids in the house, as well as a lot of other things. 

 

Culturaly, he 100% believe that in his house, guests followed his rules, children should be seen, not heard, and age/tiredness/hunger were no excuse for not behaving like a perfect little angel.   

And there was no way that my mom could ever have challenged him in any way.   He used to call me up after my step-sister's family visited and rattle on and on how J (grandson) misbehaved, how K & C don't displine him and so on.  When I would point out that you can't expect a 2 yo to do X,Y,Z he would say things like "don't be ridiulous, it is just bad parenting on their part....."

 

Yep, if your dad isn't able to make her see the light, I would not visit their home.     It is true, you just can't argue, talk, reason with some people.  

 

My parents divorced when my son was an infant and we did not spend much time at my dad's house, maybe once or twice a year for a meal and a visit.  When he would start to get wacky, I would say something like "this behavior is normal for a 4yo, if it bothers you that much, we will leave"  or "I am sorry you think DS should sit at the table and be still and quiet but he has done great through the meal, he is going into the living room to play now.  If you are so upset by his lack of manners, we are all leaving, do you want us to leave?"   He would always just change the subject and we were expected to act like he didnt' say anything in the first place.    (Again, we rarely visited)

 

Does your father's wife feel threated by your father's affection for your child?  Could she be jealous? 

post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caneel View Post

 

Does your father's wife feel threated by your father's affection for your child?  Could she be jealous? 



Ohhhh!  My mind went to the OP initially, Caneel has a very good point here as do the other posters.

post #13 of 35
Thread Starter 

She probably would be the type to be threatened by a baby! I just hate that it has to be this way. Somehow my DD has even grown to like this woman (I think, she gives her kisses?). I keep running the scenerio in my head and it's like I understand she is saying respect my house and my house rules, but that doesn't mean I have to change the way I discipline my child. Also how she will just change them out of nowhere. But I completely resent her judging my parenting. I parent and discipline my child very well. I mean seriously she is one of the most well behaved-for her age kids I or any of my friends (even who have kids) knows. She is just a very gentle and loving person. I mean she is 18 m/o and she shares with other kids and if they take a toy from her she will usually let it go. It doesn't even matter even if she was a more typical less than 2 y/o all those behaviors are just that TYPICAL.

 

I can not fathom why someone would even think a child under 3 (maybe older?) would be able to instinctively not touch things. Well maybe the kids she is used to got their hands slapped when they touched any and everything...which is sad and hinders them more than it does good.

 

You all are right though I mean what could I say to get her to see it the way I see it. Nothing. She is obviously stubborn and wants it her way or no way and I am not willing to raise my child like a drill sergeant!

 

It really stinks too b/c they live in a nice area and have a big yard (we don't have a yard) and I would have loved for it to work out so my dad could get a break from driving all the time. I can't be somewhere where my DD and I are disrespected. I felt like she was commanding her like a dog or something the way she talked and her tone. My child is not a dog. Cuss.gif

post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post





First let me say in our beliefs/culture I can not disrespect his wife b/c that would be me disrespecting him. However I did tell him that I have accepted her and will respect her b/c of him earlier that day. When she flipped out about the screen he told her to stop. When she was attacking me in the driveway he told her several times to knock it off and leave me alone. She ignored him and just kept talking.

 

 


So you can't disrespect her, but she can disrespect you and your baby? It's not respectful to be told you're parenting wrong.  It's not respectful to tell another parent how to take care of their kids. Respect is a two way street.  I would tell my dad that it's too stressful for me and the baby to come to his house.   Kids need to be free to explore without the fear of touching the wrong thing and you should be able to chill a bit and visit with your dad.  It's not "fair" that he would have to come to your house all the time, but it''s also not fair for you and your child to have to be on edge in an unfriendly environment. 

post #15 of 35

I have never understood people like this. My brothers mil was like this. The first time I met her we were also pregnant with our 3rd kiddo and her comment was "you going to house break that one" pointing to my 2nd kid. I was so mad- my husband almost physically threw her out of our apt. It was bad.  People with this personality are so difficult to deal with - but even more so if you are not mainstream. Geez- I hope you find a way to be around your dad with your DD- but not have to deal with her precious stuff. 

post #16 of 35
Thread Starter 

It is so weird too b/c she is all for/or doesn't care that we still BF or co-sleep and has actually supported me to an extent with some of the things we do. We have some stuff in common like holistic health, views on food, and homeschooling. This woman is like night and day. It is ridiculous. My father hasn't even called and IDK if I should call him...

post #17 of 35

In my experience, I have always called when things were weird or heated after a bit of letting things cool/calm down.  I have been the parent to my parents, sort of speak.  I think it is positive to call your Dad.  He is no doubt feeling it too. 

post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post

It is so weird too b/c she is all for/or doesn't care that we still BF or co-sleep and has actually supported me to an extent with some of the things we do. We have some stuff in common like holistic health, views on food, and homeschooling. This woman is like night and day. It is ridiculous. My father hasn't even called and IDK if I should call him...


Don't try to figure her out. It's not about 'agreement', it's about her personality disorders/unresolved mental health issues.

 

Call your Dad, but wait 'til you're clear on what your new boundaries/parameters are.

post #19 of 35

OP, how long have your dad and his wife been married?  How old is she?

 

The 'It's my fridge too!' comment sounds like she's very insecure and a little irrational. And yeah, she's a 'pill' is the same conclusion I came to. 

 

I think you might visit one more time before you stop going over there.  Keep a closer eye on your daughter while you're there.  And then put it all on MIL.  Tell MIL straight up, with a little humor in your voice, that obviously these visits are trying for her but as dd cares for them both so much you want to give it another try. But then if she's going to keep commenting on your parenting and having unrealistic expectations for a toddler, these visits will have to go on hold for a while.  You've put it in her hands. 

 

It's worth a try.

post #20 of 35
OP, what is the situation with the house? Is it her house that your dad moved into, a house they bought together, your dads house that she moved into, or the original family home that you grew up in?
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