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Afraid that MIl might call CPS, or try to take my kids someday. - Page 2

post #21 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by DebraBaker

Take the power our of her hands or neuter your dh.

Debra Baker



:LOL



And that's good advice!
post #22 of 40
I was thinking about the house issue. I would suggest that if you are really worried about it, that you concentrate on keeping the kitchen and bathroom clean. I think those being dirty would be way more of a red flag to a worker than a messy living room.
post #23 of 40
Ditto on keeping the kitchen and bathroom clean. DH and I are, um, organizationally challenged (much to MIL's chagrin) and for us, just having that done is a HUGE thing. And not that it is the real problem or anything, but I've found taking on the mess one little tiny step at a time really helps (like saying "I'm going to pick up the area around the bookshelf in the living room today, I'm going to make it really perfect just in that one spot") because you will eventually get much of the house clean (over a month or so). I know, because when I had severe morning sickness and DH had trouble at work at the same time, the house became nearly unliveable, even for slobs like us. We were embarrassed but never scared of CPS, because although there was clutter everywhere, there was never human waste laying around, the dishes were never more than three days or so old, and the kids were always fed and dressed and clean. It took us a long time to dig out of that mess (how sad is it when walking across your living room without stepping on something is a major accomplishment) but we did it, one teeny-tiny step at a time. I have major problems sticking with a project and 'cleaning up' never works for me, I have to pick a small, specific thing to do and not do anything else cleaning-wise until it is done.

But that's not your real problem.

Would you trust your DH to go to your MILs place with the kids, without you? Can he screen their experience appropriately? Or could he with a little coaching from you? Sounds like the contact you have with her might be better the more superficial it gets.
post #24 of 40
avonlea -- I've been reading your posts for a matter of years now, and your situation makes me feel so badly for you. Your husband's idea of a loving marriage is a cruel joke. You deserve so much better.

At the same time -- I can understand why leaving would be much worse.

I think what I would do -- is find a way to turn the prescribed roles on their heads. Your MIL has no business blaming you alone for the state of your home. The fact is -- your DH is equally responsible whether he sees it or not. I think what I would do is -- find a job. Seriously -- I think if I were you I would go out and get a job. Maybe just part-time. Let your DH know the times you will be at work. He can be responsible for the kids for example -- on wed. nights and Saturdays. Then I would take your earnings and spend it on a housekeeper. He's not the only one who can bring home a check.

If he doesn't like that, then you can quit at some point when he agrees to help with the housework.
post #25 of 40
Mamaduck's advice rocks, as usual.
post #26 of 40
Wow...this all sounds so familiar. I too HAD a psycho MIL, just to give you an idea, when she found out I was pregnant with my first son, she offered to pay for the abortion. Anyway, EX-H was the same way, always took her side, she would try and make me feel guilty that I wouldn't let my INFANT stay at her house for the weekend. Needless to say, I did all the quiet standing up to her, she never got any better, infact after our divorce, she actually took me to court for visitation.(she didn't get visitation)You have got to stand up to her now or just get out of the situation, your DH should be co parenting with you instead of going up against you, but then again, divorce....custody issues...not a good solutiuon either. I am at a loss as to the advice I could give you. I would just avoid her like the plague. I would refuse to fight in front of his family, just say, "I will not talk to you about this right now, it is not anyones business but ours." and gather up the kids and walk out the door.

As far as the ADD goes, I haveheard that diet, as mentioned earlier has alot to do with it, also, I have read that blue_green algea helps as well, in kids at least.

Rest assured, extended family has alot less in the way of "rights" as they like to believe. Good luck with all that and I'm sending peace and understanding your way.
.
post #27 of 40
I think that focusing on the issues with your dh will go a long way to ameliorating the situation with mil. As others have said, I would go to couples counseling asap and if he won't go, go by yourself. If money is really tight, ask around about sliding scale counseling programs. But from what you've described here, I don't think things will improve unless your dh realizes he is a BIG part of this problem. A messy house isn't the issue here; his refusal to share household responsibility and lording his role as "provider" over you and forgetting that when he married you his primary family loyalty became you are the issues.

I'm very sorry for what you have to go through and wish you peace and strength.
post #28 of 40
When CPS takes kids away for a dirty house they mean a really dirty home, one that is endangering the kids' health. Bugs, spoiled food, cat litter everywhere, months worth of dirty diapers in the corner-- stuff like that. Dirty floors and piles of laundry aren't going to get your kids taken away. I think it is difficult for most of us to imagine the kind of filth that is necessary to have your kids taken away.

Your MIL sounds horribly abusive and manipulative and you seem to have good reason to be wary of her. I don't have any advice on how to deal with that, but if you do suspect that she might actually call CPS or you suspect that she has already, get in touch with CPS yourself and be proactive about the situation. It is good that you have talked about this with your doctor.

If you can, try to keep visits with the kids in public places. Meet at the park or a kid friendly restaurant. You're going to feel more vulnerable on her territory. It definitely sounds like the bigger issue is your husband. If you can't talk to him, try writing him a letter. That is what I do when things get so charged that neither of us is capable of actually listening to the other person.

Best of luck to you.
post #29 of 40
Your story really struck me, since parts of it are so familiar. I spent many years trying to be extra-nice to a MIL who clearly couldn't stand me. She nearly refused to come to our wedding, constantly criticized me for being "fat" during my pg's, and threatened to sue us for grandparents rights when I refused to let her babysit. She was an awful, vindictive woman. For a long time, dh allowed her to berate me. What I realized as time went on was that he had been treated this way by her for his entire life, and he had to find a way to cope with her, not me. I eventually cut contact with her, refusing to visit at all and she NEVER was alone with the children. When our third child was born with disabilities, she was ballistic. For dh, that was the end of the rope. He has not spoken to her in nearly three years and has no desire to ever see her again.

I'm sorry that your dh can't find a way to support you in this, but I hope you can hold your ground and refuse contact with her. As many of the other mamas have said, she has less power than she'd like to think. I know I'm not offering much in the way of useful advice, but I am sending lots of hugs
post #30 of 40
Another benefit of couple's counseling, if only just you, is that it would document that you are trying to improve your relationship and make things work. This might be helpful if things get worse.
post #31 of 40
What an awful situation, on so many levels. First off, hugs to you. I think you might feel better about the situations if you DID something. Not just sit and worry and stew, but took action on some front. You've had lots of good advise here -- maybe just take a deep breath and pick something. If it were me, I think I would start by finding treatment for the ADD, because that will help you focus better and maybe then you can see a path out of your situation. Then I would see what I could do about working with my husband towards a better, more cooperatives marriage, which will probably take a professional's help. Only after all of that would I deal with MIL, because from this perspective that is really the least of your problems, though I would limit contact between you two and her and your kids.
post #32 of 40
Mothra has a good point; you may feel more vulnerable on her territory, turn it around and make sure she is on your turf.

It is funny I have noticed that although we get along; my MIL is "uncomfortable" in my house; it is subtle but I have noticed it.

By the same token my mother is uncomfortable visiting my brothers at their houses even though she only comes when invited and does get along with with the daughter in laws.
Just a thought....
post #33 of 40
Thread Starter 
I have actually thought about a job , but since my Dh has an ON-call job, that wouldn't work. I NEVER know if or when he is going to be aorund to watch the kids. Today for instance he has to be at work about 4 hours earlier than planned. I didn't know that until we got back home from pre-school this am.

So, my main fear with that is : If I had to be at work and Dh was supposed to watch the kids, and had to go, who is left to watch the kids ? WHY ! guess who..MIL and Fil.

Not going to occur.


Lately it has been rather nice, due to the fact that FIl is angry with me so he won't come into my house. I like it. It is refreshingly queit around here.



MIl only calls Dhs cell phone now, so i never hear form her, Ijust hear about teh htings she has planned for hte kids Via Dh..usualy late at night when i already have plans for the next day already. This doesn't make for a happy MIL, nor a happy me.

She seems to assume that since I am at home with the kids, that I can just go and do things at a moments notice. Well, you know, somedays I am free and can go and just do things at teh drop of a hat..but for the most part, even if I don't have to go anywhere, I STILL have stuff I have to do.


I don't think she really wants to take the kids...not for good anyway. It would crimp her style too much.


But the fact that BIL told me she has Thought about it, about calling..that really hurts. I suppose I should be used to that sort of scathing judgement towards me anymore..Lord knows after 8 years of it , it is nothing new. I just had no idea that I was loathed to such a degree. Now I know, and thats a hard thing to come to terms with.


Living surrounded by people who don't like me is very hard. It hurts and wears down at me.


I get very angry with being told that if I would just CHANGE and be less like ME, then life would be so much smoother for all involved. hearing " Why do you have to be so different" is really undermining of ones confidence.


Mamaduck..man, you wanna come have a cup of tea with me ? How far away do you live again ? Too far, I suppose...



I have to gird my loins for a battle this weekend..oops..I mean a VISIT with her this weekend. She hasn't seen the kids for a week or more..now I have to be the official schlepper of small people.


If only she would meet us on Neutral territory. Har har har..

She lives 4 blocks from a really great park, and I have taken the kids there many many times. She has joined us ONCE. Once..in over 4 years. I take my kids to the library only 4 blocks from her house..never ben there to see the kids.

The only time she wants to see the kids is in her house on her terms. Or at her beauty shop , on her terms.

I used to feel guilty if I took the kids into her town and she was home and we didn't stop by. Now I do it about 1 time a month..simply because I get heartburn just Thinking about being in her home that day.


I would love to get Dh into counseling, not only for the ADD, but also because of htese very same issues that we go over nad over nad over, every year, that never change or go away.

It gets old..thats for darn sure.
post #34 of 40
You might want to go into counciling yourself if your dh is unwilling. You may benefit from that even if he does go with you. You can only control and change yourself you cannot control or change your husband without him being willing to do the hard work change entails.

I have Aetna hmo and they cover mental health with a specialist copay. Also you don't need to go to a doc for a referral. I would check with your insurance (presuming you have it) and get yourself into therapy because your dh and his toxic family seem to be sapping the life out of your bones.

Debra Baker
post #35 of 40
If MIL wants a relationship with the kids, it's up for her to do the work to have it, not you. You shouldn't be having to trek to her house with all kids in tow when she is perfectly capable of meeting you to the park, etc. (now if she were medically frail that would be another matter) MHO: Don't make it 'easy' for her to make you feel this way anymore. Invite her to meet you and the kids at the park. If she won't join you, that's her loss. You will have extended the invitation, and then it's not like you were purposely excluding her. By MIL choosing not to go and be with her grandkids, she would be excluding herself.

If you take the burden off of yourself (as you should imho) and DH gets upset that he wants his mommy to see the kids more... well, he can drive to and from work I assume? HE can take them to his mother's if the two of them get into a dither about it. Again -- if they want it, they can do it. That way, mil can have her visit with the kids, DH will see her getting that visit, and you won't have the stress of having to deal with her.

ITA with getting counseling -- it will help you gain the emotional strength to stand up for yourself, and up to MIL and even DH when he isn't standing up for you the way a husband should.
post #36 of 40
Can you hook up with some other MDC mamas who can help you clean or help you with the kids while you clean? It is hard I know. I wish I had more words of advice. I wish I lived near you. We'd have a good old fashioned "barnraising" house cleaning.
post #37 of 40
I can't imagine. I am very sorry.

Your husband needs to decide if he is your wife or his mother's son.

If he is Christian you could try that "leave his father and mother and must stick to his wife" scripture.

I am unsure I could stay with someone who was still such a big part of his childhood family and not a big support of the family he created with his partner.

It makes me angry just to think about. Mama, have you found a community outside of your family locally? Mama's who think like you, and parent like you? I think this alone would make a world of difference. You need support and community.
post #38 of 40

Re:

The one thing I haven't heard you mention is your family.
Are you close? Is your mother or father still alive?
Maybe it would help to have one of them step in for a visit and maybe help you clean up a little?
At least there is safety in numbers.

Nothing is going to change until your DH takes your side instead of your MIL's side. That's not meant to sound hopeless; instead the opposite is the case: if you and your spouse can get on the same page, then things can get better.
But if he continues to back his mother, this might be a deal breaker for your marriage and you may be better off on your own. After all, no one should have to suffer verbal abuse from family members (and by your description, it is verbal abuse). And besides, your children are learning that this is how women are to be treated.
That is a concern.

Your husband must have had some redeeming qualities when you married him, is there a way to open his heart through those? Find a way to reconnect the way things were during happier times? Then maybe discuss the current problems?

I really feel for you. I left a man once (we had no children) when his mother continued to be the "other woman" in our relationship. She would literally kiss him each time she saw him (and lived in the same town, so she saw him several times weekly). I know this is not the same thing, but parents overstepping the boundaries, and spouses allowing that--is the same concept in the long run.

Hugs, take heart, you are a worthy person--regardless of the way his family treats you. I wish you peace in your life.
post #39 of 40
I agree with many of the the other posters. Your problem isn't with your MIL, it is with your dh. The day my dh told his mom that she either needed to treat me nicer, or she wasn't welcome was the day our marriage changed for the better. It was a scene. It was around midnight and she made a huge show of how we were kicking her out...all the while dh insisting he was not kicking her out...she was chosing to leave rather than be decent to a newly postpartum woman.

You need to get into counceling, with or without dh. I would see if there is a job that can be done with or without kids in tow....like delivering newspapers...something that will shift the balance of power in the relationship since dh is using the 'sole breadwinner' (breadwhiner sounds more like it) card against you.
post #40 of 40
It sounds like you have several different issues going on here. I relate to the following issues:

Messy house. that is the easiest to fix, go to http://www.flylady.net or to the flylady thread on the mindful home management forum on these mdc boards.

Intrusive MIL. That is much more complicated, especially with a dh who will not back you up. Your best bet may be to have a policy that you will not have your MIL set foot in your home. Not an official policy, just make it happen, kwim? She wants to come over, but it's just not possible because of some excuse. Like they say, any lie will do. I realize that this is not a good way to handle it, but it would avoid confrontation and still set the boundaries without saying she can never come over again. I would try to limit visits so that they occur at her house instead of yours, so that you can get up and leave on the flimsiest of excuses, or if you just don't feel like being there. Personally, I would not send dh over to MILs house with the kids without your being present. I shudder to think what those two might say about you in front of your children.

I can't believe you are having to go through all this stress.
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