I am the Mom

I don’t talk much about my in-laws. For good reason.  Prefer to avoid their very existence beyond the few times my husband drags us out to see them. Lucky me it is for short bits of time now I think he realized no matter how much he wishes we would get along that I don’t let people walk all over me. Nope, I won’t pick a fight, but when you don’t see me anymore well you can guess why.

Dealing with toxic in-laws? I know the feeling.

I don’t trust my in-laws to follow my rules with my children or to consider the way I want them raised in their decisions. They don’t take food allergies as a serious deal, and they feel they can judge my every move by the 15-20 minutes a year they see me. Seriously one told me I would starve my breastfed baby to death because I don’t eat enough… This is the girl that puts bacon on smores… I’m fat, I eat enough.

It don’t talk to my in-laws. Despite being back in our home state my husband, has not made me do so since they had wished me dead just days after nearly dying when I lost our last baby. He agreed to the rules I set for our family. No gifts, see the kids in common ground situations, and not large groups as to not overwhelm me and our sensory toddler. I think at that point he realized it was not all in my head. I am grateful for that. I don’t want our children around people like that even if they are “family.” If I could say something to them I would say:

I am the Mom.

No, I don’t want your advice. If I did I would ask. Yes, you raised their father and guess what? I don’t want my kids to act like him. Nope, I want to raise adults, not overgrown children that throw tantrums. If I change my mind, I will ask you, how to raise a man who can not say a sentence without a curse word. I am the Mom and I get to choose how they are raised.

Dealing with toxic in-laws? Stand your ground like this mom is.

I have the right to say my kids can not have things. That means the girls can only have modest clothing, no toy make up. That means when my husband is out-of-state and unable to see the dangerous contraption you picked out for them I have the right to say no my child is not going to ride something too big, and developmentally inappropriate. You have never even had a conversation with the child you do not know what is best for him. A bike he can’t reach the pedals on and no helmet is NOT best for him, I do I am the Mom.

I have the right to say you can not take my kids. When you can not follow a simple rule like no red food dyes or you know don;t take my kids for their first photos without me… That’s not nice after all that’s my place, not yours… I am the Mom and maybe I had only been working my rear off to get in shape for family photos you ruined for MONTHS.

You do not get to take big moments away from me.

I have the right to set boundaries. If I say you can’t take the kids without me that is my right. If you give me the stink eye and talk bad about me when you know I can hear, trying to make me so uncomfortable I don’t come around well you win I won’t but, neither will my kids because, well I am the Mom and I do not feel your behavior is healthy for my children and I do not trust you to not teach my kids the things you taught their cousin.

I have the right to stand my ground and choose how my children are raised, what they can and cannot do, and who can and can not take them out of my sight. When one of the children in your family tells my daughter her mother is an “Insert string of unlady like language I do not use” well I have the right to say you are not the influence I want around my children. I can because I am the Mom.

They are my kids, My choice. Yes, they are my husband’s children too but, well when I have to remind him every year to wish you a happy birthday, happy Mother’s Day, etc and it’s the only time he calls you. When he has me announce our babies on Facebook and tag him so he does not have to call you and hear what rude things you have to say about his family… well. It is safe to say he doesn’t mind me setting ground rules. After all, I am the Mom and when you wish me and the children ill fate, you give up any rights you had.

I blocked the in-laws. Ignore the tests we get from them for my husband to deal with and if I do reply I simply say after the last time, I want nothing to do with them, I’m not going to be hurt anymore. It may take a long time to heal and a long time to ever go around them again. In the meantime, they have to make an effort with my husband. Something they refused to even do last time we were here. I remember their words exactly when told that they had to talk to my husband before seeing the children. “I can’t believe it has come to this” Umm if you don’t claim their father you can’t claim my kids. Just saying.

I’m not going to argue

The Lord asks us to forgive. To not hold a grudge. To not hold hatred. I walk my path with the Lord. I have prayed and forgiven. Lucky me that does not mean I have to let them treat me and the children poorly because they do not want us around. Now my husband is working again I encourage him to reach out to them and spend time when he feels up to it seeing he is that way. I convinced him to go visit his family the day before his birthday. I have not volunteered for the children and me to visit with them. He has only asked once when we were invited to a party. I said the children and I were not going, he was free to go. He stayed home with us. That speaks volumes to me.


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1 comment

  • Liz says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I know it must be difficult. It helps me and all other women with unkind mothers in law realize it’s not in our head and it’s not all our fault. No one seems to want to talk about this but I see it with my own mother and how she treats my sister in law. I don’t see my MIL either. It is sad that it comes to this but I have to look out for myself and my emotional health. That’s all. Thank you again.
    I love your blog btw.