Grandmother treats grandchildren differently?

Sara - posted on 01/09/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )




My MIL has 5 grandchildren. The two oldest are step-grandsons. The next is her first biological grandchild ( just over a year old) from her youngest daughter. Next her other daughter had a girl ( 9 months) and then I had her youngest with her son ( a boy 7 months old).

All of her grandchildren live within a ten minute drive except for my son. We live three hours away in another state because I'm in school. We plan to move closer once I finish and if I'm able to find a job around where she lives. These last holidays were my son's first Thanksgiving and Christmas and were very exciting times for my family. We just recently made the trip to visit my MIL for the holidays. We spent a great deal of money ( we can't stay with anyone because nobody has spare beds at their house) to spend three days near her and the rest of that side of the family.

My main issue is that we didn't even see family until the second day we were there and then my husbands oldest sister and her daughter only stayed for an hour and we only saw his mom and youngest sister for three hours. It seems rediculous to me to travel six hours round trip and spend hundreds of dollars for a three hour visit.

While we were visiting we exchanged Christmas presents. I already knew what the MIL had given her other grandchildren from seeing the pictures of their holiday get together. When my son started opening his presents everything he received seemed like things you'd buy at the dollar store. Plus he didn't receive any toys or things you would think a seven month old would receive. Instead everything he got were either not appropriate for a baby at all or were things he won't use for at least another year.

My MIL made the comment that she didn't know what kind of toys he would play with. Seriously? Seven month olds play with anything. She should have known to get him something age appropriate and that would have been fine. And of course she never bothered to ask us what to get for him.

I don't want to bring it up with my husband but it really seems like my MIL prefers her other grandchildren over our son and it really bothers me. Does anyone else have this issue?

And I'm not imagining things or trying to be materialistic about christmas presents. My son really is treated differently.

When she visited us in the hospital the third day after my son was born which was also the day I was being released from the hospital. Where I live children are not allowed in the maternity wing unless they are the children of the couple who just had the baby. We did not know this at the time. My MIL and SIL came to visit. My MIL waited in the waiting area with the three kids that they brought while my SIL visited us. She took pictures and told us how excited she was and acted excited for us. She left to allow the MIL to come visit, she spent the entire time complaining about how they wouldn't allow the kids into the room, she didn't take any pictures (even though she recorded the birth of the other two grand kids) or even congratulate us.

Also, since my son has been born we have been able to visit my MIL and the rest of the family around five times. Except for this last time my MIL has spent a total of maybe three hours with my son. She always seems to have some sort of excuse for not spending time with my son. The first time we went to visit she had us come over to her place about thirty minutes before she had to leave for work. The second time we visited she took one of her step-grandsons to a local fair that was in town during the time we were suppose to visit. We didn't see her at all during that trip because of it. Also, that evening while we were driving home she called and left us a message that she was so mad we didn't see her and how we shouldn't bother coming for Christmas because she didn't want to see us anymore.

The next visit was to go to my nephews first birthday. Once we got there she grabbed my son from us ( he had just woken up from a nap and was very unhappy) and started carting him around the room telling everybody that she had never seen him before (she actually said that to people) and how she wished we visited more often. My son ended up crying a few minutes into this and she refused to give him back. After maybe twenty minutes of this I got my son back and she didn't have anything else to do with him the entire time we were in town. The party was the first day of a three day stay in town.

My MIL is driving me crazy, before I got pregnant and while I was pregnant she expected us to drop everything we were doing everytime she wanted something and now she never has time for her own grandchild. It's rediculous.


Ashlea - posted on 01/09/2010




Give her a choice. Either she starts treating your child the same as the rest, or don't see him at all. I'm a cut and dry kind of person. I don't give into things like that. If it was me in your shoes I would have called her on my way back from your visit and told her to rot in hell..but, that's just me. I've done it before and now my husband and I live in Germany(he is Active Duty Army) with our daughter. And, she cries all the time about how she can't see her...well, she made that choice herself. And, now she will have to live with it. I don't give into the grandparents acting as your childrens parents either.


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Nicole - posted on 02/03/2013




I'm having a similar problem with my mil. Ever since I had my 3yr old my mil has been treating my 6yr old from a previous relationship horrible. Now she is treating me the same since I had my 1yr old.

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My situation was this, my step parents treated their biological 5yr old different than their step grand children ages 6 and 7 all boys. they showered him with gifts which I attempted to explain away "they're not your grandparents" but as most rational adults would realize they don't understand at that age. I tried to explain to the grandparents that they were causing great harm and hurt feelings in our household but I was told they had a special interest in their grandson and they were not about to change. As time went on I found out they were sending 50$ weekly to their grandsons freinds parents house to take the kids out to movies, great america etc. My two older sons didn't understand how he could afford to do these things as they had only a few dollars a week for an allowance. When I put a stop to this my father-in-law tried bribing me with a large check which he said I'd receive monthly so long as I realized they had a special interest in their grandson, well they got the check back and were banned from my home as well. The older boys hurt turned to anger and they began physically taking it out on my youngest whom I adopted when he was six and have a good relationship with today. Needless to say this went on throughout their childhood and today as adults they dont talk with each other basically they dislike each other. My biological sons believe I also favored my youngest assuming some of the funds had to have been comeing from us. My wife and I love each other very much but this issue has caused arguements almost daily, she blames my two boys for their anger rather than where it truely belongs. We're now grandparrents ourselves and can't even have family gatherings because of bad feelings. Children don't diserve to be treated this way all of them will suffer for it in the end.

good luck and best wishes

Crystal - posted on 01/09/2010




i know how you feel, i talked to my husband about our situation with is almost the exact same as yours and i left it up to him if we say anything now, but i did tell him that the moment your son says something to use about it, i will be having a talk with the person that is causing the issue and i know it wont go well. the truth is talking to her won't change things you just have to deceide if you are willing to cut her out of your life if she continues to do that. i have seen what this situation can do to kids as my sister is in the same situation and i deceided i was not going to allow anyone to be in my sons life if they were going to treat him that way. but thats a decision i feel comfortable making, i am tired of parenting the our parents, and i wont do it anymore. they are adultsa and should know better.

[deleted account]

Due to my fathers background his family were very upset when he married my mother. They expected he would marry someone from the 'home country'. His mother especially voiced her opinion often at her dislike of my mother (including passing nasty messages to her through us as young children). They gave in a little when the first born was a boy as boys are favoured in their culture. When 2 girls came, my parents had to have it out with them (eg at christmas time they only gave gifts to my brother). Even my brother, who was only 2 when I was born, refused gifts from them or insisted he share them with me (at which they retrieved the gift). Eventually they treated us all equal but still disliked my mother (although never said so in english!). It caused a lot of problems for my parents (his sister never married or had children) and while speaking to the grandmother helped, it still simmered quietly.

Jennifer - posted on 01/09/2010




My MIL lives in a different city and has not been to visit since my son was born (the week after or so). My own mother likes to take over with him and i'm starting to let him.

Sara and Meg, I'd say lay down the law with them. I'm lucky to not be in the same situation since my son is the first grandchild for two of his grandparents. I always felt I was lagging behind in the mother's love department because my sister was a bit of a drama queen more due to circumstance. My mother always comes to me usually every few months. I don't mind giving my son up for a weekend when i need time to myself.

Meg - posted on 01/09/2010




My MIL acts as though SHE is my sons mother! It drives me CRAZY!!!! When we go to visit her she swoops down, picks up my son and takes him away. I am bottle feeding and she assumes that she can do it.....but I want to feed my son! and I want to change his nappies, and I want to be the one who gets consulted on matters involving my son!

(she has done all of these things without telling me). I am now and the stage that i dont want to go to thier house.... Any advice???

Ashley - posted on 01/09/2010




I think you need to talk to your husband, and he (or the both of you) need to speak to her. Tell her how you feel as if she doesn't love your son the same as the other grandchildren. She needs to know, and if she doesn't care, well then that will have been her choice. Either treat your son the same or she might have to do without. Have you ever asked her to visit you instead of driving to see her?
Good luck hon, and please please please at least consult with your husband; do not fight this within yourself.

Amy - posted on 01/09/2010




You poor thing Sara. I don't quite have the same problem but as far as I can tell my F-I-L couldn't careless about his grandson. He after my husband calling him all day came around to meet his grandson at 6pm the day I got home then got KFC for us for dinner (not the greatest thing to be eating the day home from hospital). Then we didn't here from him for 3 weeks then it was Christmas. Now according to my F-I-L he has no space time, he's always busy working so I would assume that he would have all his pay in his account seeing he says he works 7days so have to say I was really disappointed when all he gave his first grandchild was a $5 jumpsuit. Then he said he would be starting holidays on the 4th Jan and we are still yet to hear from him since Christmas. I would think he'd be eager to see how his grandson was going.

Laura - posted on 01/09/2010




screw her! dont let her ruin motherhood for her, there are some people that dont give a damn about anyone but them selfs, it's hard to not let them get to you, so all you can do is try. some ppl just really suck, some grandparents really suck thats why we have two!!!!! lol

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