Unique blended family situation.

[deleted account] ( 14 moms have responded )

My fiance has a one year old daughter. She is wonderful and I love her so much! My soon to be step daughter was born out of wedlock. Her parents never dated. Even though she is a blessing, she was kind of an oops child. Do to the babies mother, my fiance and I were not allowed to be part of his daughters life until she was 5months old. Needless to say, he has a lot of catching up to do as far as bonding with his child. Here is the problem I have and need some advice. My soon to be mother in law is very overbearing and outspoken. My fiance has a difficult time standing up to her. We only get ten days out of the month to be parents his daughter, and every day we have her his mom wants us to come over. Now, I know it is only natural for a grandmother to want to spend time with her grandchild and if we were all bonding together as a family, that would be fantastic but that is never the case. Whenever we go over there with the baby his mom scoops the baby up and doesn't let anyone else touch her. She also gives me the impression that my bond with my stepdaughter is less important than her bond with her granddaughter. Now it is to the point that I dread going over to his parents house because instead of all of us bonding with the baby it is "lets watch grandma bond with the baby." Whatever she says goes and I think that while the baby is in our possession, my fiance and I need to be the only ones making decisions for her. We are her caregivers when she isn't with her mother not my soon to be mother in law. Am I completely over reacting to think this way? I love my soon to be mother in law, but I feel like at some point I am going to be the one to put her in her place and I don't know if that would be good for our relationship going forward.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Annie Matilda - posted on 09/26/2012

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I am also thinking, that having a talk with your fiancee on one of the days, where the baby's not with you would be a great idea. Sit down the two of you on a day where you don't need to be anywhere. Ask your fiancee about how he feels about his mother taking over? I'm sure he wants his daughter to have her grandmother, but he must be frustrated about not having his daughter more. I'm sure he feels torn and wants to please both his mother, you and himself.



Another thing I want to say is, I think it's amazing how you have embraced this situation and really is 100% committed to this little girl and wanting to make the best out of the situation and feel like a family.

I think you have the absolute right to connect with your husband-to-be's daughter, they are both a part of your life. If your fiancee agrees with you but might not be the one to stand up to his mother, maybe you can have a chat with her.



I would sit her down on day where neither the baby or your fiancee is there and tell her how you feel. Don't accuse her of doing anything but tell her what you need/feel/want. This way she doesn't feel attacked and she might see how you really want to make this great environment for both your fiancee and his daughter. Be sure to let her know, that out of these 10 days she can see her granddaughter (1 day or whatever you and you fiancee want) just not everyday.

I hope you can use some of this :)

Brandy - posted on 09/27/2012

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I haven't read all the comments but why don't you have grandma come to your house. I think by taking the daughter over to grandmas you are unintentionally saying, we are coming over for you to see baby. Instead if grandma came to your house she would still be coming to see baby but in Your house.

Lisa - posted on 09/27/2012

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Try telling your partner about 'this great play place they have for babies', an organised trip, or bus trip (and google to find somewhere), and ask him if he fancies taking the baby there next time she is over. Buy the tickets in advance (only 3) and do not tell his mother till the last minute then make sure the 3 of you have an amazing time and your partner will want to do it again, hopefully. A bit sneaky maybe but needs must. Failing that, maybe you need to stand up to your partner and/or his Mam and tell them how you feel, could you get the baby's Mother on your side to suggest the same? Good luck x

Brenda - posted on 09/26/2012

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Your fiance needs to tell his mother to back off and let the two of you start parenting the baby. Make arrangements for his mother to spend a couple of afternoons with her, but the rest of the time she needs to let the baby to spend bonding time with her daddy and step mom to be. Good luck!!

Chasmodai - posted on 09/26/2012

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BTW, you are not over reacting, and your situation is not uncommon. I have even seen a situation where something as seemingly harmless as monopolizing time with a grandchild spirals into taking over the whole family, and it can put tremendous strain on the relationship.

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Keri - posted on 10/05/2012

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You and your fiance need to make the decision together that you will not be going to see his parents every time you have the baby. The amount of time you get to spend with her is limited and you need to spend some time just the 3 of you. It's hard to stand up to parents, no matter what your age, but once you make these decisions with your fiance HE is the one who needs to talk to his mom, not you, because you'll just create unnecessary tension between you and your mother in law - as my mom says when there's a problem in my dad's family: "I'm just the outlaw". Your finace also needs to understand that his daughter is HIS daughter and he should be wanting to spend as much time as possible. Grandparents are special and important but when they try to interfere with the parents' time with their child, that to me is going a bit too far.

Tracy - posted on 09/29/2012

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Tell mother in law that when the baby needs changed or fed that "Oh let "fiance" do that, after all HE needs to know how to do these things whenever we have children and that will be a full time job." and then make her take the back seat by getting the food, diaper, whatever and giving it to your fiance including taking the baby if she needs changed and giving her to Daddy. Do not hesitate or leave it up for debate just do it matter of fact and blow her off.

Lauren - posted on 09/28/2012

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1) Good for you for wanting to bond with your step-daughter and wanting your fiance to do so as well.



2) MILs can be amazing or a HUGE pain in the butt! I've been there. And she has the same mentality that she should be with our kids all the time. We don't have the step-situation like you do, but she seems to assume she can have a certain amount of alone time with our son or that we should send him over there every weekend because we have other things to do. Last time I checked, kids were certainly able to be around while household activities got done. My family lives several hours away, so I RARELY was with my grandparents alone.



My recommendation for you having dealt with this same type of MIL situation for years ... SET BOUNDARIES NOW! You and your fiance need to calmly share how you each feel and the goals you each have for time with his daughter. From the beginning, enforce those guidelines and your fiance--with you present--needs to be clear with his mother about when/how often she will see her granddaughter. He can tell her that he is so grateful that she cares and wants to be a part of her life but that she will always come second to her dad and step-mom because you serve a motherly role for her when she's not with her own mother. You can never replace her mother, but the two of you can have a fantastic bond. And he NEEDS time with his daughter alone--even without you sometimes.



Most importantly, your fiance NEEDS to be clear with his mom and defend the decisions you've made together. My fiance is STILL working through this with his mom, and it is a HUGE battle. Only now is he getting better at saying "us" and "we" and defending our decisions. Also, make sure you are on the same page BEFORE he speaks with his mom. And if she calls one of you individually, stick to the "script" or offer for all three of you to talk if she wants to discuss more. Key things: 1) Open communications, 2) Clear boundaries, 3) a unified front, 4) the child's best interest first! You can do it if you work together but set those limits now!

Holly - posted on 09/27/2012

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I have a stepdaughter as well, only she was 10 when we met and I worked to bond with her. That is normal and awesome of you. People minimize our relationship too but I could care less.

Back to you... Look at this problem and see how your life will be with your fiancé and his family. He will not suddenly get strong. Mom-in-law will play the guilt thing with your guy and you will eventually lose it over something if you do not state your feelings now. Do you have a say in this situation? Either way, you have to be honest with your guy or it will blow up. Your stepdaughter will be in your life for as long as you are with your guy. What about biomom. Is she decent in terms of a relationship between her daughter and biodad...and you.

It is important that you visit with grandma, but it is a visit. Your fiancé should feel ths way too. Will you be ths way when you have more children? It is also your fiancé who has to stand up to hs mom...or does he want this way of life?

Just be honest with your feelings. Nobody can tell you how to think. Find out where he stands. It might be a big thing to consider if you are planning a life together.

Catherine - posted on 09/27/2012

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I had a similer situation. U need to let her know that u can not take her over there everytime and u r her parents when she is with u what u say is it noone else need to tell u what to do. U have to put ur foot down now or she will try it with ur new born as well. When I did there was some confliction so we stayed away completly but after about a month the point was across that was 6 yrs ago and to this day what we say goes and there's no buts about it. But I did let her know advice is welcome but don't say u have to or this is how u do it

Brenda - posted on 09/26/2012

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Your fiance needs to tell his mother to back off and let the two of you start parenting the baby. Make arrangements for his mother to spend a couple of afternoons with her, but the rest of the time she needs to let the baby to spend bonding time with her daddy and step mom to be. Good luck!!

Chasmodai - posted on 09/26/2012

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I think you need to have a private conversation with your fiancee about not just this specific situation, but how the boundaries will need to be between the two of you and your MIL in a wide range of situations. For example, if the two of you have children, how will you raise them, and what will be your MIL's role? How will you both set boundaries with her?



You need to let your fiancee know what YOU need. Your MIL is not shy about asking for what she needs, and you need to do the same. If you need bonding time with your stepdaughter, then you are within your rights to ask for it. He needs bonding time with her too, and it might be valuable for you to help guide him to that conclusion and encourage him to assert his role as his daughter's father.



This situation with your MIL could be extrapolated to come up in many situations, such as how you handle your finances, what happens if MIL is ill, and how holidays are handled.



If there is an established precedent early on that MIL calls the shots, it will be harder to address it later. But, it will be easier in the longer un if you and your fiancee can learn to work together to identify your own goals, needs, lifestyle choices etc., and how to set clear boundaries with your MIL as you pursue those things, while helping your MIL to also have her role in your family in a healthy way.



It may be helpful to see pre-marital counseling to help this situation before it becomes a larger problem. Pre-marital counseling does not mean the relationship is in trouble, it means you are both committed to the success of the relationship.

Lynn - posted on 09/26/2012

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I understand how you feel, and it sounds like you understand that it's important for the child's grandmother to get to know her, too. Since she's your SO's mom, he should be the one to have that talk with her, so she doesn't resent you for it. Have him gently explain that your family needs time with her, too, and if his mom can't be more considerate of both you and you SO, then you won't be going over there as often. She may not realize that she's monopolizing the little girl's time. And you're right that your SO mostly, but you, too, should be making parenting decisions, not the grandmother.



Have you asked to have the little girl more often? It's sounds like you do have her a significant amount of time, but what about a night or two during the week?



I hope you're able to have a good relationship with the girl's BM, and work out any issues you have, between you. Stay out of the courts, if you can, since they don't know your family, and it's better not to have strangers making decisions that are so important to your family, if you can help it. Make sure your SO is paying child support, and keep the lines of communication open. I wish you a long, happy relationship with your new family!

Vicki - posted on 09/26/2012

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Have you sat down with your fiance and talked with him about this? Is he wanting more alone time as much as you? If you have done this already and are both on the same page is he willing to have you say something to his mother as he is not able to? If you both are wanting the same thing (more alone time) Then maybe you can decline her invitaton when she invites you all over? Or maybe just dont stay as long? I think its fair to want some alone time with the child but its also fair that his family see her as well.

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