Adult step-family/step-il relationships & children getting used to a new g'parent - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 13 Old 04-02-2009, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So my mil died suddenly in November. My fil has a new gf that we all like very much! They'll likely marry this year. :

The challenge for us all is fil's gf fitting in with the family, dh & I figuring out our relationship w/ her, and my kids getting a new grandmother. My kids are 9, 7, and 17 mos. The baby doesn't remember his memaw at all, but my older 2 remember. They'd go spend a week w/ them a few times a year. (An hour and 1/2 away from us.) We saw fil & late mil frequently.

I have a step-grandmother, too, but I seldom see her and my grandfather. (Maybe half a dozen times in my whole life.) My relationship w/ them is definitely nothing like the one my kids will have w/ their s-gma.

Future smil is my mom's age (14 yrs younger than fil & late mil) and has 3 children of her own, all close to my brothers' ages. They don't live here, we'll meet them at the wedding maybe, that's it. Not really worried about that.

How do you get along w/ your step-mil? How about your kids? Do they call her g'ma or something else entirely? Was it awkward trying to get used to another person in the mil role? Is she more of a friend or a mil? How did your SO deal w/ dad's new wife?


All of this is assuming you actually LIKE your smil but feel free to answer even if you don't!

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#2 of 13 Old 04-03-2009, 02:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Bump. (I didn't want it to get lost with all the excitement of AFD. )

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#3 of 13 Old 04-03-2009, 09:55 AM
 
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I had a stepgrandmother growing up, and she was awesome. I knew her the best of all of my grandmas. I know that she and my grandpa didn't marry until after I was born... maybe I was around 4? Obviously, I don't remember it! I don't remember it being awkward at all. We did call her by her first name, though.

I have two stepparents. The kids call them Grandpa Firstname and Grandma Firstname just like the bio grandparents. They are even that to my stepdaughter. But they were around since before the kids were born, so no transition.

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#4 of 13 Old 04-03-2009, 11:20 AM
 
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I have a stepmother who my dad married after I'd moved to the east coast at 19, but started dating when I was 15 or 16. Honestly, she's the best thing that could have happened to my father. That isn't to say that I love her bunches or anything, but my father was unhealthy, had had a couple of strokes, had high blood pressure, etc. My stepmother and I don't actively dislike each other, but we differ a lot values-wise.

She's a republican, against gay marriage, voted for Bush both times and is pretty convinced Obama is driving this country to the dogs. I, shall we say, don't agree. She seems pretty hung up on treating me like she treated her two daughters (they are between 3 and 6 years older than me) who are both pretty much girly-girls. So whenever I see her she says things like "oh, did you lose weight?" or alternately "that freshman 15 is sticking around, eh?" I'm like, "um, I haven't stepped on a scale in a couple years. But my pants still fit, so whatever. She also offers to take me shopping for "more feminine clothes." I politely decline.
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#5 of 13 Old 04-03-2009, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dh and I are taken aback a little bit. We only met Lynn a couple weeks ago but she & fil have been pretty serious, apparently, for quite some time. He bought her a cell phone on his plan!

She moved into town 4 days after mil was buried. I guess by early Feb they had decided to date and now there's talk of a wedding. We're happy, but it does feel a little weird.

I'm nervous that she'll feel the need to make her mark, so to speak, and it'll be a tense situation. I don't want that, though, because dh's mother was already plenty tense for us all! (The woman drove me completely BATTY. I barely tolerated her.) She was neurotic and micromanaged every single thing anyone did.

Lynn doesn't seem that way at all, but I can tell she's also nervous because of the newness of everything.

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#6 of 13 Old 04-03-2009, 01:03 PM
 
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DPs family is like that. both his parents are divorced and both are remarried. Plus his grandmother is married to her 5th husband, although he's the only one I've known. Anyhow, as far as relationships go, we just say our daughter has six grandparents. Just because two of them aren't blood related doesn't mean anything. (Plus, I really like DPs step parents a hell of a lot more than I like his parents, ironically enough) DP's mom and step dad are Grandma and Grandpa. We don't speak to his father but his step mom is also Grandma (or Grandma Robin, depends on the mood). DP's sister's daughter calls their dad and step mom Grandpa Martin and Grandma Martin. My dad is poppop and my mother insists on being called Nona. They all have different names, but it works.
DP comes from a very blended family so blood really plays no role in anything. You would never guess that some of his siblings are full, some are adopted, some are step. They're all so close. HTH

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#7 of 13 Old 04-03-2009, 01:08 PM
 
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PS: if you haven't already, cross post this in the "blended family" section. You'll probably get more responses.

Me with my baby girl Maeleigh (Oct 08) and My (step) baby girl Whren (May 05) in Heaven with her mommy .. And introducing our little JuneBug (June 10) We heard the !!!
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#8 of 13 Old 04-03-2009, 02:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justthatgirl View Post
Lynn doesn't seem that way at all, but I can tell she's also nervous because of the newness of everything.
Next time the family gets together, why don't you and she go have coffee together so you can get to know eachother a little better and you can discuss whatever role you'd both like her to play in your children's lives.

Personally, I don't get along with my step-mother and neither does my DH. We never have. So I can't give you any advice from that perspective, since if I have my way my children will never meet her.

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#9 of 13 Old 04-03-2009, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by caro113 View Post
PS: if you haven't already, cross post this in the "blended family" section. You'll probably get more responses.
I thought about that, but asked Abimommy first and she didn't know, either, so she suggested TAO.

I'll go cross-post. I think that's a good idea.

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#10 of 13 Old 04-03-2009, 07:49 PM
 
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I don't have any real advice but wanted to point out that the great thing about grandparents and in-laws is that there are so many more options than just "mom" and "dad".

I called my in-laws by their first names. My husband calls my parents by first names. My SIL calls my parents mom and dad.

My kids call the parents of my best friend Grandma firstname and Grandpa firstname in addition to their blood grandparents. Lots of grandparents are Nana or some other made up name.

It sounds like everyone is approaching this situation with sensitivity and I think that's the important part. Just being gentle and sensitive is going to go a long way towards forming a good relationship.

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#11 of 13 Old 04-03-2009, 08:25 PM
 
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k.
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#12 of 13 Old 04-04-2009, 10:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for the feedback. I really appreciate it.

Looks like the wedding is slated for June! : :

Now we need to get bil to wrap his head around the concept that it's ok for fil to remarry.

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#13 of 13 Old 04-04-2009, 11:08 PM
 
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My step MIL is a year younger than me!! We have 0 relationship as DH's dad doesn't seem to care if he has a relationship with his son or my children. It doesn't seem to be personal as he treats DH's sister the same way. Whatever

My kids call DH's stepdad by his first name. It really annoys MIL especially since they call my stepdad grandpa but it's DH's thing not mine. She tried to talk to me last month about them calling her husband granddad. I told her to talk to her son.. It's his thing... she never talked to him.

My kids call my stepdad grandpa mostly because has been around since I was 9. Also because when my oldest was born it was a time in my life when it was better just to let crap go than to start a world war with my mother.

Personally, in this situation I don't think i would have the kids call her Grandma. But thats just me. I would have them call her by her first name.
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