MaryAnn - posted on 02/10/2016 ( 1 mom has responded )
This is a long one and a doozy... And I dont know what I am hoping to get from posting... But here goes.
I've posted before about issues with my husband... And while our marriage isn't perfect, this post isnt about that. While I was pregnant, we were really down on our luck. His car died, and then his workplace started limiting his hours, saying that they were between international contracts... This severely cut down our household income, and we had to move in with his mother. About a month after our son was born, surprise! Mass lay offs! The whole company folded.
He has a new job now. A car to get there... but to get a rental contract in our area, he needs to be out of his employment probationary period. All we need now is time. Things are starting to look up.
On to my mother in law. She has always been helpful with SD4. She has been there to help with childcare when we were both working, and on occasion for us to date. She has always bought a lot of things for her. Before we even moved in, SD4 even had her own room there.
When we did move in, she campaigned to have two families under one roof. One as herself, my husband and SD, the other me and our son.
She started by infantalizing SD. She started her up again on bedtime bottles, and she would make up her own sleep schedule like am infant would. When SD screamed for something (another bottle, a snack, whatever) MIL would insist we served her. If we didnt allow this behaviour, MIL would cause extreme friction.
I would put SD on timeout after her 3 warnings, and when SD would whimper about it, MIL would sit in the corner with her and cuddle her. Having my husband talk to her actually did nothing, and when I tried, she would say she had no control. It was very hard for her because she was "the only one ever had". This behaviour actually escalated to the point that SD would scream, and run into MILs bedroom and cling on to her so that I could not pick SD up to put her in the corner.
She would verbalize, in front of DD that timeouts are ineffective, and that a "toddler" couldnt understand them.
BM has finally stepped up. Instead of her old ways (whenever she deemed fit, about an overnight a month, where we were to use our gas tank), she has arranged all transportation to visit her every other week for a whole week. She has put her in day care, and oh my gosh, her development has been AMAZING. BM coparents with BOTH of us very well, and although we miss our little girl, this is a very positive thing in her life. MIL took it upon herself to hire a lawyer. The court route is unnecessary, both parents agree and are putting their best efforts forth to have a legally binding custody order that reflects the current situation... Oh, and SD is not MILs child.
Here is where we put berbs in our sentences.
This time, when MIL made plans with SD without consulting my husband or I to ensure no schedule conflict, I put my foot down.
Later that evening, SD got her three warnings, and timeout went as it has for the last few months- MIL sheltering poor SD from the evil stepmom... Actually said infront of SD "respect is something you have to earn, and you have not earned s respect." I flipped. I didnt discuss, I yelled. I made her aware that she would not be allowed to continue to drive wedges into our family. I told her she would not have unsupervised access to the children (the younger, she had no concerns about), or ME. I was kicked out (but CERTAINLY left quite willingly), somehow she even assumed that it was only myself (and the infant) leaving...
Now. MIL hasnt spoken to me since... But she has had SIL (adult, independant) confront... Berate me about boundaries in step parenting, insisting that it is abusive to not allow unsupervised access, abusive to use timeouts, abusive to... I dunno, protect my family unit.
Husband does not want BM to know anything other than that MIL and I have been in a fight, so we are "escaping for a short time". I am truly disgusted that I allowed it to get to the point that I needed to have a meltdown berate MIL, especially in front of the kids. She's going to find out somehow, and shes going to be very upset we haven't communicated the extent of the issue.
I dont trust MIL to not tell extended family. I dont trust MIL to just accept things the way they are... I wouldnt be surprised if she even tried to take this to court (knowing we cant afford to fight it) if we continue to hold this boundary of our unit.
I'm nervous, and I'm scared. I haven't heard from her in a week, and I am no longer obliged to do as she wishes, because I'm no longer accepting her help... But she still finds her way into my little headspace. My husband surely doesnt want to hear my what ifs... I dont know who to talk to.