Afraid that MIl might call CPS, or try to take my kids someday. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 40 Old 03-15-2005, 10:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I seem to be having some real issues with my MIL recently, some which I never knew I had until 3 weeks ago. Since that time I have been pretty tense and have many moments of dark thoughts regarding her and her attitudes about me as a parent.

I got into an argument with y husband, and his brother. I had done something whihc angered my husband, and he was mad enough to start arguing with me while his brother was there, and his brother jumped right in on the attack. It was very ugly and left me feeling raw and reeling for a week or so.

During the fight I learned that MIL has told BIL she would llike to call CPS because of how messy my house is, but she is sure they would take the kids away from the family so she won't do that.


Also during this time I have had a really serious struggle with her over car seats. It seems her idea was to get 2 used carseats and use them with her car. I said to her and my husband that I don't wnat my kids in used carseats. They have both told me to essentially get over it. I went into town and bought a new extra car seat for my daughter as we already had a spare for my son. Then I told MIL I had boughten it so she did not have to worry about the used one. She was very angry with me.



I can't stand her anymore. I am scared ofher, and everytime I have to be in her presence I am pleasant ont he outside, but inwardly I am a mess of anger and loathing.

I have had night mares recently about ehr taking hte kids away, and many days of jumping everytime i think a car has pulled into my driveway, worried that it is a police car, or a CPS person coming to my door .


I can't share this with Dh. He sort of takes his MOms side on most issues. I feel very alone and I feel like I am trapped with these people over shadowing every aspect of my parenting and life.


During the time of this, I talked to some one int eh family and a Dr. about it, and also was tested for adult ADD. I do , indeed , have adult ADD. Whihc explains my inablity to focus ont hings, and why i get distracted and don't always finish tasks. Such as, folding laundry, or thinking to sweep the floors.



I have talked to my own Dr. , and I have talked to others in professonal fields who know me, and all have reassured me that she can't and won't take my children away from me..but the fear is ever present and now, instead of just finding her unpleasant to be around in a genereal " my mil gets on my nerves " way..now I see her as a sneaky, cruel, vindictive, cold person who is only concerned about herself and how she wants things to be.


I have asked, repeatedly, for help with the housework from my husband. He won't help.I try to do the best I can, and quite often have one tidy room and three cluttered at all times. I don't like having the mess..but I have always struggled with it.


I have no idea how to deal with this, at this point. I am outwardly calm and inwardly a real wreck.

Quite simply, it seems everything about Me as a person is unliked in my husbands family, and he seems to be the only person with any feelings that are positive for me. The fact that I am an AP parent, the fact that I'm co-sleeping with my kids..the fact that I don't just hand them over to anyone to care for so they can play 'great fun granny' while I do ? with my time..all of this offends greatly.


Really, i don't know even what I want from this thread, other than to just be open about how I feel right now, how scared I really am.
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#2 of 40 Old 03-15-2005, 10:53 PM
 
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Ugh. That's terrible, I'm really sorry mama.

MIL can't take your kids, of that I am certain. She would have to prove you an unfit mother (like you have a major addiction that impedes your ability to do childcare, or you are abusing/neglecting your kids). And there has to be hard proof of this, not just allegations.

Can your husband stick up for you, or is he wishy-washy on who he supports in this? I think it is his job to deal with his mother and tell her to back off.

Maybe more mamas will be along soon with more suggestions. In the meantime take care of yourself.
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#3 of 40 Old 03-15-2005, 10:57 PM
 
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Avon, I am so sorry that your in-laws are such narrow-minded twits.
You definitely have friends here.

I don't think CPS would take your kids because of a messy house! I wonder how MIL's house looked when she was raising her kids??

If you can limit your time with her it will greatly improve your life!! JMO

Keep us posted.
Peace to you and your kids. I will keep you in my thoughts.
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#4 of 40 Old 03-15-2005, 11:09 PM
 
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Just a thought: Next time you see her, why don't you tell her that you understand she's concerned about the state of your house and that you'd love it if she'd come to help clean as you have your hands pretty full with mothering her grandchildren?

Or you could suggest to her that perhaps she could mention to her son that keeping house is not just a woman's job. Maybe she could have taught him that early on.

Really, it sounds like you need to do something about this rather than just inwardly seething, which is going to start affecting your health if you're not careful. If you can't say anything to them, then you need to find a way to sort it out within yourself - figure out some calming methods. Talk to yourself about letting go of the fear and the anger. Breathe deeply. Think of some stock phrases you can use when she's being negative toward you that will stop her in her tracks. I'm sure the ladies on this board would be more than happy to help.

I know you've had issues with your husband and I'm really sorry to see that he still doesn't seem to recognize how valuable you are. You are valuable - you know that right? Just want to make certain of that.
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#5 of 40 Old 03-15-2005, 11:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragonfly


Just a thought: Next time you see her, why don't you tell her that you understand she's concerned about the state of your house and that you'd love it if she'd come to help clean as you have your hands pretty full with mothering her grandchildren?

Or you could suggest to her that perhaps she could mention to her son that keeping house is not just a woman's job. Maybe she could have taught him that early on.

Really, it sounds like you need to do something about this rather than just inwardly seething, which is going to start affecting your health if you're not careful. If you can't say anything to them, then you need to find a way to sort it out within yourself - figure out some calming methods. Talk to yourself about letting go of the fear and the anger. Breathe deeply. Think of some stock phrases you can use when she's being negative toward you that will stop her in her tracks. I'm sure the ladies on this board would be more than happy to help.

I know you've had issues with your husband and I'm really sorry to see that he still doesn't seem to recognize how valuable you are. You are valuable - you know that right? Just want to make certain of that.





I wish I had said that!
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#6 of 40 Old 03-15-2005, 11:17 PM
 
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I totaly understand you. My MIL is very much like that and I even had to end her babysitting privledges b/c she refused to use the car seat properly. We are both fake nice to each other but I know she can't stand that I can't keep house. I am sure her house was perfect when she had her kids, too b/c she is just that sort of person. Once when DD was a baby DH and I had a huge fight the next day MIL was babystting (beofre she was "fired") and I actually had a meltdown at work thinking MIL was stealing DD. So I really do understand that fear. Also I understand the wishy washy husband problem in regards to mom. My DH didn't even want to confront his mother about her not using the car seat properly (it wasn't that she couldn't do it...she refused to do it) I really forced him on that and even so with that I endd up switching my shifts at work so while she was technically fired she doesn't even really know it...just thinks my schedule changed. I have only recently started standing my ground with her. It is really hard but I just hink if she can say whatever she wants to me than I have the right to react and respond. Actaully I posted about her here one time and everyone was telling me to stand my ground so when MIL started in I just reacted the way I wanted to reply to my thread...telling everyone how I stood up to her. I felt the moms were behind me...so remember the next time she starts up I am behind you!!

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#7 of 40 Old 03-15-2005, 11:27 PM
 
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I love Dragonfly's ideas.
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#8 of 40 Old 03-16-2005, 10:08 AM
 
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It kinda sounds like you married a "momma's boy" that won't stand up to her and defend you. Sorry.

You probably have to be careful that she will start complaining to dh if she does not get to see the kids as much as she would like. Control what you can of the situation. Invite her over and while she is there playing with the kids just get done whatever you need to get done, laundry or whatever so you are not right on top of each other; or maybe she can take them in the yard or play with them. That way she cannot say anything.

I like what Dragonfly had to say as well.

I don't like my MIL taking my dd anywhere and I know she gets kind of annoyed that I will drive the 20 minutes and drop off my dd (and take her carseat home with me) but I don't want her out and about wandering around with my kid. She can bake or play in the yard or whatever. But my MIL is 67 I believe; 65 or 67 and I have kinda noticed her driving is not exactly what it used to be and it is like she is scared of the size of her van and she makes me nervous, so I am not setting dd loose with her.

Your MIL sounds unreasonable.

:energ y
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#9 of 40 Old 03-16-2005, 10:18 AM
 
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Avonlea,

Something you said about being calm on the outside and internaly a wreck made me think of St. John's Wort. It helped me a great deal to calm down internally and helped me focus. Depressions are often caused by anxiety and rage undealt with. You don't need stimulant - you need peace!

The issues about your DH and your MIL you need to try to just put aside and become very very "self-centered" right now - focus on your self - calm yourself down - and then do what you need to do for you to find peace. You are a wise and wonderful woman - and you may not allow yourself to become someone you don't want to be.

lots of hugs!!!
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#10 of 40 Old 03-16-2005, 10:27 AM
 
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Avonlea


Dragonfly

~Joan, Happy mom to 2 beautiful kiddos, one new puppy and 2 lovely felines
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#11 of 40 Old 03-16-2005, 10:27 AM
 
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Once married, a person sticks by their spouse. Even when disagreeing, a spouse should take a united front with other memebers of the family.

Can you move away from these folks? Maybe a fresh start and a fresh, new clean house would really help matters.

As for the ADD, do some research and come up with many little ways to help yourself. It will take work, but your kids need to see you making improvements for them. Concentrate on finishing several small tasks each day.

Hugs.
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#12 of 40 Old 03-16-2005, 10:32 AM
 
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Well, if it helps at all- I grew up, and did babysitting in a housing developement that had lots of CPS visits for various reason. A dirty house- well, it had to be extremely, extremely dirty (and I mean FILTH and health endangering dirty) for CPS to blink an eye. CPS came ot our home for abuse issues and never commented on what I consider to be a digusting and dirty home. And even when they did decide to take action based on a house condition, the treatment was a case worker who came to your house on some sort of schedule with a few suprise visits to teach you how to clean and be clean enough to maintain health. I never saw a family broken up over cleanliness issues by CPS.

So rest easy that even if she called, CPS aren't going to come running to remove your children because you haven't done the dishes in a few days! You have Drs and professionals who would be willing to speak for you. You've got the upper hand here, not her!

I just wish you weren't facing this, and I wish your partner was being a partner and on your side.
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#13 of 40 Old 03-16-2005, 10:35 AM
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So many issues, so little time.

First, talk to your dh. Tell him how upset you are about his mothers comment. THen go over and talk to your MIL. She may have just SAID that, but not really meant it. That doens't make it ok, but at least you wouldn't be so scared.

Is your house dirty? I mean, like is there food on the floor, dirty diapers lying around, dishes everywhere, not in the sink? Is your house so dirty it's a health hazard? If not, don't worry. CPS doesn't care that you aren't a great housekeeper.

ADD? I don't have it, and I'm not much of a housekeeper. You have small kids. If you can find things, it's clean enough!

Confront, dont' just steam. Really, you'll clear the air and set things straight!
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#14 of 40 Old 03-16-2005, 12:01 PM
 
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To me, it sounds like there's a lot of work to be done with your DH. He needs to be supporting you, especially to his family. He chose to marry you and it needs to come off like he made the right choice to them or you're stuck with absolutely no power. It seems like you need to spend a lot of time discussing with him these issues - the cleaning, your health, his family, or you really are left alone and isolated and with no power in your own home. If he can't contribute to cleaning the house and other responsibilities of the home, then your partnership is more like a patriarch.

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#15 of 40 Old 03-16-2005, 10:09 PM
 
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Avonlea,

I just want to offer hugs & sympathy. I've sooo been in your situation. I can't really think of it now without feeling physically ill. I can't even go into it but let me say that when I had eventually gotten myself out of that situation, I lost a lot. More than I can ever explain. People say that these vindictive women can't do anything...but if it happens to you, you may be surprised. In my case it all came down to who knew who, and who had more money. I'm dead serious. I have been through not one, but two relationships with momma's boys....both having vindictive, manipulative mothers. I will say in my case, my house was always clean, kids taken care of....it didn't matter. My mil didn't like the idea of her son with me. I apparently disrupted (however
slightly) her relationship with her son.

The best advice I can give is to seriously talk with your husband. (although, I really wanna scream run!!!!!) Try to distance yourself from her if possible. Your dh may not like what you have to say but be firm about how you feel.
The things that happened in my situation still affect me today. I still have to interact with my ex-mil. My dh insists that when I get on the phone with her I'm like a different person. Not that she's aware but just talking to her makes my stomache knot up.


I really hope that you can talk to your dh and work something out.
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#16 of 40 Old 03-16-2005, 10:34 PM
 
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Dragonfly and annakiss really gave some great advice, and I wanted to give you lots of

CPS cannot take your kids because of a messy house or many, many of us would be in trouble.

I had a major meltdown after DD was born because of some things my step MIL, MIL and SIL did/said and had it OUT with DH. He isn't so much of a Mama's boy as just doesn't deal well with confrontations. Anyway, I was so freaked out that I told him I wanted to take DD and just leave and never have to see any of them again. I did feel that way, and it really (and the huge crying fest I had) scared him enough to take action. It wasn't manipulative, I really felt that way at the time and was sick and tired of dealing with his family.

Dealing with the step MIL wasn't a huge problem as he doesn't like her either and he stepped up to the plate and dealt with his Mom and his sister. They act better around me now. I don't let anyone babysit DD, she is EBF, no pumping, no bottles etc...so that works as far as letting anyone else try and take her. As for using a USED car seat, that is an absolute NO. She is worried about your messy house but wants to put your child in a used car seat?


as for "You probably have to be careful that she will start complaining to dh if she does not get to see the kids as much as she would like. Control what you can of the situation. Invite her over and while she is there playing with the kids just get done whatever you need to get done, laundry or whatever so you are not right on top of each other; or maybe she can take them in the yard or play with them. That way she cannot say anything. "

That might be a good idea, but I don't think you should feel that you have to be careful what you say to your own husband for fear of him using it against you. I also don't think that you should ever leave your children with anyone that makes you uncomfortable. If you don't want her watching your child, then don't, there isn't much she can do as long as your children are taken care of.

I was worried about the step MIL (bad enough I have ONE, but TWO???) would try and pull something so we only let them come over and see DD a couple times, and now we don't see them at all and we would NEVER leave her with her/them ever. I just don't think you can be too careful.

I just have a HUGE issue with all these grandparents/step grandparents/aunts/uncles etc...that want all this alone time with other peoples children. Babies should be with their parents/mother as much as possible and anyone else really should back off.
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#17 of 40 Old 03-16-2005, 11:10 PM
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Wow.

I can't even imagine how you must feel so I am hesitant to give advice concerning your vindictive mother in law and what seems to be a husband who is conflicted about where his loyalties and priorities lie. The only thing I can offer you is advice about what to do if CPS is called.

Firstly, a messy house does not warrant the removal of children from their guardians or parents. This you must know, and repeat to yourself if you have to, and remember. Your house has to be practically uninhabitable, in other words, a definate smell eminating, human or food waste visible (doesn't apply to dirty dishes), clutter to an unhealthy degree (i.e. 200 newspapers, not just a few laying around)...basically, an EXTREME situation. You sound intelligent enough to be able to gauge this. You may not feel personally as if you could have guests over, but evaluate that if a caring friend stopped by, would you feel just mildly embarrassed or would you be afraid THEY would call CPS too? That is how you judge. If it is just *messy*, there is no reason to worry.

Secondly, your children have to be in visible danger. Bruises, scars, unkept to the point of *dirty*, soiled clothing, etc...

Thirdly, they cannot, under any circumstances, come into your home without a police officer and warrant to remove your children, as to my understanding. If they were to come to you home based on a *tip*, it would be for investigatory purposes, and you have every right to not accept them into your home---I would though, as they may interpret that as you having something to hide.

When they arrive, tell them that you will be taking your own photos of the condition your home was in when they arrived, and what condition your children were in. That is VERY VERY useful in the event they exxagerate what they have seen, or paint you in a negative light. Use a camera with a time and date stamp and take pictures of your home, as well as your children, with clothing on, as well as in their underwear to illustrate that at the time of the CPS visit, they had NO visible bruising, etc....because the next day johnny could hypothetically bang his head and get a nasty bruise and when they come back, they will write that down and it won't look well...

I have every reason to believe it will NEVER come to that and that your mother in law is just a vindictive pain in the *expletive*...however, I write these practical tips so you feel more empowered, and hopefully more at peace.

I hope your situation gets resolved soon. Please do take care.
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#18 of 40 Old 03-16-2005, 11:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to you all for your ideas and support.

I have been told that I have "burned too many bridges' to expect or recieve any help. My husband honestly thinks that since he works for our sole income,then thats it. He does'nt think that he should have to do much else past that point.


His solution to my needing help around the house was that his Mom should come and get the kdis and take them away for the day while I cleaned without them 'bothering ' me. I flat out refused that. There is no way I oculd get ANYTHING done that way. I would be scared the whole time over what they doing, seeing at MILS house.


She won't come here to help. 2 reasons. Number one, her ex-husband lives right accross the road from us. Number 2, evidently it is not my place to know how I want things done in my own home. There for, since I insist on NOT allowing her to take over here, and reorganize, or re-do things in my own home to suit HER.. that means I am a brat who can just forget about any help, Ever.

She has come and helped me about 5 different times, over the course of 7 years. As time has gone on I have matured and let her run less and less of the show. THis makes her a mad MIL, and is not cool as far as she is concerned.

My job as Dil was supposed to be "Happy Faced, Agreeable Drone " , and i have failed miserably. I don't do what they want me to do. I don't raise my kids the way they think I should, I don't live my life the way they think I should, and so..we have a stonewall.


I never set out forit to be that way, but thats what we have now.



I sincerely wish Dh would take my side more often. IT is really affecting so much of our marriage and life..His family is like a giant blood sucking leach on the flesh of our relationship. Of course, he is used to it. He can and does ignore and or berate his Mother or Father for things. Stuff I am just supposed to take.





my kids are having meltdowns...
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#19 of 40 Old 03-16-2005, 11:32 PM
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I agree with what the others have to say about your dh.

I wouldn't permit mil around the family until he decides to be a real man and stand up for you instead of being his mother's son.

If the house is messy he's partially responsible for the mess. If your mil bitches about the mess tell her to ask her son to clean up his own house.

It isn't fair for you to live in fear because your husband and his family gangs up against you over petty issues. I would put my foot down big time and end this physological abuse.

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

Debra Baker
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#20 of 40 Old 03-16-2005, 11:41 PM
 
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Avonlea!

Do you think your DH would consider couples counseling? If not, go alone! (Gosh, I sound like Ann Landers here.) Maybe he'd be willing to listen if someone else were pointing out the issues in your relationship that need to be worked on.

Thinking of you and hoping things start looking better.
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#21 of 40 Old 03-17-2005, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DebraBaker

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

Debra Baker



:LOL



And that's good advice!
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#22 of 40 Old 03-17-2005, 11:56 AM
 
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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.
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#23 of 40 Old 03-17-2005, 12:26 PM
 
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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.

Mama, homeschooler, midwife. DD (13yo), DS (11yo), DD (8yo), DD (3yo), somebody new coming in November 2013.

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#24 of 40 Old 03-17-2005, 01:05 PM
 
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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.
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#25 of 40 Old 03-17-2005, 02:03 PM
 
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Mamaduck's advice rocks, as usual.
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#26 of 40 Old 03-17-2005, 02:43 PM
 
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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.
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#27 of 40 Old 03-17-2005, 03:20 PM
 
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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.
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#28 of 40 Old 03-17-2005, 03:52 PM
 
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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.
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#29 of 40 Old 03-17-2005, 04:05 PM
 
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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
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#30 of 40 Old 03-17-2005, 04:45 PM
 
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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.

Mom to unschooling 4everboy since 8/01
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