In-law's that arent safe for children, have become between me and my husband. What should i do?

Samantha - posted on 11/15/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My in-laws have a pool but refuse to put up a pool fence, even after i have said mutiple times. i stopped going t thier home and had them to ours. They say that they are lefted out and dont get to see them as much as my family. Well they live 45mins away and mine leave down the street and 5 mins away. When i do see them i ask that they would respect my rules... i feed my children orangic and no candy ,ect very heathly. They dont care the let my 3 year old DRINK SODA!!!!!:( But have tried to let things go for the sake my husband. But they have now come between us.... we have now separted:(. They hav called mean names (Bitch, Controling, the list going on). but i feel that they are our children and the inlaws need to back the f off and repect our wishes!!!! But its our chioce to do what we want with our kids, not theirs. And my husband has/ hasnt stood up for us and i just dont want ANYTHING to do wit them. (move away!!!). But i know thats it not right... WHAT DO I DO???? Ever since we separted we havent seen his parents and i dont know where to start again. HELP PLEASE!!!!!

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Firstly, I'm so sorry about what you're going through. It sounds like you need to worry first about reconciling with your husband, if you are separated but want to remain together. The two of you need to come to an agreement about how you want to raise your kids, where it's okay to bend the rules at Grandma and Grandpa's house, and what is unacceptable for the children's health and safety. Then your husband needs to be the one to deal with his parents. He needs to back you up and present a united front to your in-laws, not let you look like the bad guy. Obviously you need to pick your battles - maybe it's okay to have a small amount of junk food now and then, but they need to find some way to secure the pool for the safety of their grandkids. I hope you can work this out. Good luck!c

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Brandi - posted on 11/15/2009

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I agree with Tara. I have 2 kids and at home the rules are pretty much set in stone. But think about it. . . .wouldn't it be nice to let them break the rules once in a while??? As mothers we can't do that, but as grandmothers and grandfathers they can (some). They had their turn raising kids and probably weren't as lenient with their kids as they get to be with yours. I would say that the little bit of junk food and soda isn't worth all this trouble. (I rarely allow soda or iced tea for my kids, but at grammy's house it's fine in moderation). If you love your husband, you may need to bend a little on that sort of thing. HOWEVER, your in-laws NEED NEED NEED to fence in their pool. I thought there was some sort of law about that anyway. at least i think there is where i live. (in pa) I wouldn't dream of letting my kids play in a yard where the pool wasn't fenced in either, so I'm right with you on that. As for your kids getting to see grandma and grandpa, the first step might be to plan a picnic or a dinner out somewhere and invite the in-laws and your husband to come. Then they can see your kids on neutral territory and enjoy a meal on your terms. After that, you might set up a friendly meeting with your in-laws and discuss some of your concerns. Let them know that you do not intend to keep your kids away from them, but you want to ensure their SAFETY while they are with them. I also think that it's really important that you and your husband try to work your marriage out. It's a hard decision and deserves the bet effort you can give it before you just quit. Call a marriage therapist and make an appt. and then go even if it's without your husband at first. If there is no abuse in your marriage, then I think it's worth a try to save it. Most everything else can be worked out if you are both willing to work on it. Good luck.

Tara - posted on 11/15/2009

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I'm sorry you are having such a difficult time. It sounds like your in-laws need to respect your boundaries when it comes time to how you raise your children. But, the only thing that sounds "unsafe" is the lack of fence around the pool. I don't let my four year old drink soda or eat tons of candy by any means, but when she goes to her grandparents I just plan on all rules are off, even if I do say that she cannot have soda or candy. If i find out that they went lax on one thing or another, I don't go in guns a blazin', I just remind them that at our house, she isn't allowed those things, and since she only visits about once every month, really there isn't any harm done. It's not like they are telling her God doesn't exist, and indoctrinating her on socialism; it's a happy meal, and MAYBE a sprite... nothing that will cause the earth to implode. I let my husband and I's parents enjoy being grandparents. Let's face it, ONE soda or ONE sip, or A piece of candy here and there, isn't going to hurt your kids. No offense, but separating over something that sounds like it got its start over some soda, is pretty ridiculous.

I understand that your husband isn't standing up to his mom, or dad (and that is frustrating), but YOU BOTH made a commitment to stick it out for better and for worse, etc. Sounds like your in-laws are your "for better or worse". You are right when you say it is you and your husband's choice about what goes with raising your kids. It just sounds like your husband isn't entirely invested into what you have going now, because if he was, he WOULD be standing up to his parents on your behalf.

You can't necessarily control every aspect of your in-laws grand-parenting, some rules will be broken. But as long as they aren't the really big ones and things aren't getting to out of control, let it go for the sake of your children. My goodness it sounds as though you are going to lose your husband, and they are going to lose their Daddy over "spilled milk". If however all they do is feed them junk and let them drink soda every meal, then that is cause for concern. Set boundaries about the maximum amount of "junk" they are allowed to have, and maybe pack meals and juice for when they are over there. Above all what is better for your kids? The psychological effects of losing their Daddy and grandparents (people who I am sure show them tons of love, and who they love dearly as well); OR a bag of m&m's and maybe a soda here and there?

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