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Maxine2020

1st post MIL and SIL Troubles

206 posts in this topic

Note: Names have been changed to protect identities.

This is a little lengthy so please forgive me but I am trying to lay out the history for a situation that occurred a few weeks ago. 

Mike – FIL 59

 

Maxine – MIL (me) 56

 

Andrew – Grandchild 2

 

John – Father (son in law) 54

 

Julie – Mother/Daughter 31

 

Amy – Oldest daughter 35

 

Gammy – Great Grandmother (my mother) 82 and in very poor health

 

 

 

Quick history:

 

We came to America about 27 years ago from Eastern Europe.  Our first daughter (Amy) was supposed to get married and start a family in 2010.  One day, her fiancé just came to her and said he was going to Thailand for a few months with his friends and didn’t know when he’d be back.  Of course, this was the end of the engagement. 

 

Around the same time, my younger daughter began dating a man 23 years older than her and they fell in love, moved in together and got married in 2011.  In 2014, they decided to have a baby, which was to be our 1st grandchild.   We were all supportive of the marriage and got along well for the most part until this situation.

 

In the third trimester of her pregnancy, my daughter was advised by her OB/GYN about the dangers of whooping cough and the importance of vaccines and the practice of cocooning (which is to isolate a baby until all of their vaccines are completed in the first 6 months except for those that have had a TDAP shot within the last few years).  Everyone in the family agreed to this except the oldest daughter (Amy) and my son-in-law offered to pay for everyone’s shot.  A conflict was started when my son-in-law became angry when I said that I was the head of this family, that Amy did not have to get the shot and that she would be in contact with the baby. 

 

More arguing occurred and Amy eventually got the shot.   Andrew was born in Oct 2015 and for a while everything seemed fine.  But when Andrew began eating solid food, my son-in-law became concerned with the possibility of Andrew choking on food and none of us being able to perform CPR or first aid for infant choking.

 

With the agreement of all of the caretakers in the family, in July of 2016, my son-in-law offered to pay for a Red Cross CPR and first aid for infant choking class and certification at our home.  This is the same course and certification required by the state of Texas for all childcare providers (day care, Montessori, at home daycare providers, etc.)

 

I don’t like being ‘tested’ so as the class progressed I became anxious and wanted to quit before getting certified.  This led to an argument and my son-in-law was asked to leave our home after my oldest daughter yelled at him and called him a bully and ***hole. 

 

My son in law then stated through our daughter that from now on, we could visit Andrew at their house (about 5 miles away) every two weeks. 

 

He claimed that this was necessary because he had been made to feel uncomfortable at our house too many times and wanted to have more control over the situation.

 

We told our daughter this was unacceptable and we would not visit at all.    After a month, the son in law sent this letter. 

 

Both my husband and I found this letter very insulting.  It was just another example of how our son in law does not respect his elders.  As an example, early on, before they were even married, my daughter came to me and asked me not to interrupt him when he was speaking as he didn’t like it.  

Another example is that after my daughter Amy stated that "he might be harming his son" by giving him vaccines he asked for her to apologize for "insinuating that he and his wife would intentionally or negligently harm their child".  

 

As all of this happened more than a year ago, there have been other developments that I will post about but I wanted to ask the forum:

What would you do if you got such a letter from your son-in-law?  

How would you handle a request to only see your grandchild every other week?

 

(PS - please do not turn this into a vaccine debate, I've had enough of that in real life the last 2 years)

 

 

August 2016 Letter from Son-in-Law

 

Mike, Maxine,

 

For more than a few weeks, Julie advised me that Maxine didn't want to have any communication or discussion about what's occurred over the last year and/or building a path to create a smoother relationship for all concerned.   

 

   Although it is the easiest decision for the present moment, this doesn’t appear to be a positive step towards a long-term solution.  In this communication vacuum, there has been a decision being taken to sever all relations before any attempt was made to understand our thoughts concerning Andrew and beginning to work on improving relations.

 

Here are a few points to help you understand our point of view

 

.   The term ‘responsible and reasonable’ is highly relevant and operable in our lives as husband and wife, and as parents, and will be used often throughout this letter.   we focused on being responsible and reasonable in the decisions and actions we took in preparation for our child’s arrival.      After five years of being together, Julie and I, with great purpose and care, decided that we wanted a baby.  We understood the sacrifices and challenges going into it and made the best decisions we knew to create the best environment for our child more than a year in advance of wanting to conceive.  Julie went organic with her diet; we cleaned up the environment of our home and worked on epigenetic factors to the best of our understanding.  From day 1, going back to early 2014, (a full year in advance of conception)

In large part, Julie and I agree that it ‘takes a village’ and that the more people that love and care for Andrew the better off he is as a child.  We want Andrew to have a sense of home and family and a larger sense of place in a larger family, but not if it comes at the expense of threatening our family (Julie, Andrew and I) nor undermines the responsible and reasonable choices we’ve made for ourselves and for Andrew.  

 

What has been allowed to happen over the last year and has been cultivated and nurtured without abatement or resolution has placed an inordinate and unfair amount of pressure on our marriage and throughout this family.  

 

3.      As a result of the intellectual curiosity Julie and I share and our desire to be responsible and reasonable parents we made it a practice to be as highly informed and conservative towards the health and safety of our child in all matters.  Not only his physical safety but his emotional and social long-term well-being as it relates to others.  It is well known and well documented that certain behaviors and personality attributes are formed in the child early on and make harder habits to break the longer they persist.

 

4.      In general, absent egregious behaviors such as drug or alcohol abuse, neglect, abandonment, violence, etc. parents have the right to make responsible and reasonable choices as they see fit for their children.  The choices that Julie and I make are not indictments of other parent’s choices or choices you made 30 years ago.  These are simply choices we’ve made that we believe are the best for our child.  This is a right that is largely and universally recognized in society. 

 

5.      Additionally, all reasonable and emotionally mature adults know that the responsible and reasonable choices of the parents should be respected and supported without reservation unless those choices fall into the egregious behaviors categories as referenced above. 

 

In summary; Our child, our choices.    Gossiping, second guessing and indirect criticism inevitably have the same effect of undermining the respect, authority and accountability we should be granted as parents as long as we make responsible and reasonable decisions for our child.

 

Although we probably all saw this as a win-win initially, it’s clear that this is not the case.  Mike has his business to run and Maxine wants to travel freely and often for extended periods.  Of course, Gammy does not have the health to be a childcare provider.   Julie and I both freely admit and apologize that we did not recognize this earlier and find suitable child care for Andrew earlier.  Had there been a communication channel that remained open, both Julie and I would have expressed that we have come to regret putting too much pressure on you to be a day-to-day solution for Andrew's childcare needs.

 


   Andrew is already of the age where his personal growth relies on greater interaction with peers his age and a structure and routine that helps him become more self-reliant and independent at the same time.     We have our lives to live also.  Julie and I have a limited amount of time each week, to run our lives, shop, clean, cook, etc. and our own needs to spend quality time with each other and with Andrew and in the betterment of our own lives.  These are things we are neglecting already and will only be exacerbated when both of us are fully employed.

 

What is happening right now is that we are seeking balance in our lives.  This would certainly be the case if we lived in another city and the practice thereof in this interim allows us to focus on our lives and our family while we live just down the road. very little to do with the day to day raising of the child and whose influence and presence is limited to a few days a month to even a few days a year.  It is not, as Amy has implied, extending from 'petty punishment or spite'.  In the last few weeks I’ve talked with friends and colleagues that have happy long-term marriages (25 years+) and have raised children successfully, and while there are degrees, the loaded end of the spectrum is among those that have grandparents that have

 

Much has changed in the last 30 years and there are certainly differences between Eastern European and US child rearing then and especially now.  It is certain there were differences between the choices your family made and the choices other families in the apartment block you lived in when it came to how raise their children.

 

We can even guess that social conventions in Eastern Europe required that polite people kept their opinions to themselves on these matters or they were met with the same resentment we feel at being second guessed and accused of intentionally harming our son. 

 

But, as we all are well aware of, this was not the case.  These intrusions have been done repeatedly and consistently for over a year now following our request and desire to vaccinate and cocoon Andrew the first 6 months of his life.  This reasonable and responsible choice should have been the one reasonable and responsible choice, made mutually by Julie and I, which should have gone without any dissent and second guessing.

 

The email request sent July 31, 2015 set off a series of events that should have never happened.  Julie and I proofed and rewrote the email several times in the days prior to sending that email to reduce the possibilities that conflict would occur as a result of our mutual, reasonable and responsible choice when it came to cocooning Andrew during his first 6 months of vulnerability in this world. 

 

It was also a cumulative decision supported by Julie’s OB/GYN, our pediatrician and the CDC.    This sentence was added because I was the most informed on the subject and had studied the vaccination and cocooning issue at great length and depth, fully understanding the risks and benefits of the process and request we were making.“If you have any questions, please reach out to me.”  Within the email sent July 31, 2015 was the important and operative sentence

 

This isn’t fair to us nor is it respectful of our rights and responsibilities as parents.   At no point in that email was there an invitation to undermine our reasonable and responsible request to protect our child from harm.  Yet this is exactly what happened.  Not only that, it became evident and has been since, that there has been a pattern of having the reasonable and responsible decisions mutually made to and agreed to by Julie and I to be portrayed in the most negatively distorted and malicious light to anyone with a willing ear over the last year.

 


By the time we come to a decision Julie and I have already spent many hours talking about it and researching all of the angles to come to a compromise and solution that we see as best for Andrew.    Choosing to frame our decisions as ‘commands’ or me as a ‘bully’ are just additional examples of the negative bias in the thoughts and language that have been cultivated and propagated for the last year. 

 

At no time did we ever force, require or ‘bully’ anyone into getting a Tdap vaccine.  We merely presented everyone with the choice of getting the vaccine if they wanted to have contact with the baby prior to his completion of his vaccination series. 

 

Nothing has been done that isn’t in the best interest of Andrew and wasn’t mutually decided upon by Julie and I together and after long and considered thought and discussion.  Again; Our child, our choices.

 

  If you don’t want to get the shot, you can see the baby in six months.”  Early on, before any stress or suffering was caused, the right thing to do was for every individual in this family to stand up and say “It’s their child, their choice.

 

  We all got along (all of us) prior our request one year ago.  We never had any major problems or difficulties.  In fact, it was just that prior year that Amy joined Julie and I in our travels in Europe for nearly a week.

 

 The healthy arrival of Andrew should have been one of the greatest years of celebration for us and for this family but for a situation that never should have happened and a negative environment that has been cultivated and nurtured ever since, it would have been.   

 

At its essence, the root cause of all of this is the failure to recognize that Julie and I have the right to make reasonable and responsible choices for our child and that those decisions should be supported without derision, second-guessing and gossip. 

 

Without that realization, we will return again and again to this conflict.  If anyone wants to intentionally cause conflict by questioning and usurping our rights as parents, the right and proper thing to do is to tell them to keep their opinion to themselves.  

 

   The proof of this is in the healthy, happy and beautiful child that Andrew is and is becoming every day.  Julie and I are not only good parents but exceptional parents and we have earned the right through 100’s if not 1000’s of reasonable and responsible choices and actions to date.

 

     It’s what good and loving parents do.    There isn’t anything we wouldn’t do or sacrifice to ensure his future.  There should be no doubt about the way Julie and I feel about each other and even less doubt about how we feel about Andrew.

 

In conclusion, we should all want the same thing; a happy healthy family (and larger family) that can provide a foundation for Andrew’s long-term growth, health, safety and happiness. 

 

There are a number of ideas, misconceptions, dynamics and behaviors that will need to change to influence this reality.  It will take commitment, communication and work from everyone involved. 

 

  If you’re willing to be a part of a solution that works for all of us, we remain committed to the larger family second only to our family and the health, safety and happiness of Andrew.

 

(end of letter)

 

Edited by RoseRed135
to add note

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10 hours ago, Maxine2020 said:
YOU are NOT the head of their family, no way on this earth.
......I don’t like being ‘tested’ so as the class progressed I became anxious and wanted to quit before getting certified.  This led to an argument and my son-in-law was asked to leave our home after my oldest daughter yelled at him and called him a bully and ***hole. Oh dear that was not helpful behavior on the part of ODD. I'd be surprised if they ever speak to her again.
My son in law then stated through our daughter that from now on, we could visit Andrew at their house (about 5 miles away) every two weeks. Sounds nice and actually a lot of time.
He claimed that this was necessary because he had been made to feel uncomfortable at our house too many times and wanted to have more control over the situation. Their choice, they are the parents, virtually EVERYTHING child related is their choice regarding their child.
We told our daughter this was unacceptable and we would not visit at all. Why? After a month, the son in law sent this letter. 
Both my husband and I found this letter very insulting.  Why??  It was just another example of how our son in law does not respect his elders. Oh dear, did you do anything to earn his respect?  As an example, early on, before they were even married, my daughter came to me and asked me not to interrupt him when he was speaking as he didn’t like it.  Interrupting is typically viewed as rude, your point?
Another example is that after my daughter Amy stated that "he might be harming his son" by giving him vaccines he asked for her to apologize for "insinuating that he and his wife would intentionally or negligently harm their child".  Amy was wrong, again. She is really not helping you here.
As all of this happened more than a year ago, there have been other developments that I will post about but I wanted to ask the forum:
What would you do if you got such a letter from your son-in-law?  Answer politely. I think your SIL is right on all points thus far.
How would you handle a request to only see your grandchild every other week? See my grandchild every other week as requested.

ETA: You are so wrong, imo, on so many issues. Please get counseling.

Edited by JanelleK
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I see several problems here...with what you said.

You are not, and never will be, the head of your SIL and DD's family. Full stop. Your SIL doesn't owe you respect as his 'elders'. For one, he's only a few years younger than your dh, and for two, he's your peer, not your child. You had absolutely NO RIGHT to tell your SIL, nor your dd, what would be happening in regards to their child.

Frankly, I see your SIL attempting to offer olive branches, and you guys turning around and beating him with them.

Instead of seeing their son at their home, you would rather not see their child at all.

Frankly, I would've taken you at your word, and been glad that I didn't have someone who tried to run my family for me, who had no respect for me as an adult, a married partner, or parent of my child.

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And to add:

If I rec'd such a letter from a CIL/AC, I would be falling over myself to apologize for having behaved so terribly, and I would be grateful to see their child every two weeks, despite the flagrant disrespect and boundary stomping I'd shown/done in the past.

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I think your SIL wants to be treated as an equal to you since he is basically the same age as you and your husband. I feel he and your daughter are going a bit overboard with all the research and so on but maybe that's to be expected since SIL is so much older to be having his first child. You would be better off keeping your opinions to yourself and reassuring your daughter and sil that they are good parents and waiting for them to relax a bit once they got more confidence. Instead you chose to start a battle with SIL for control over his and your daughter's child and you are going to loose since you are not the parents. I would love to see my grandchildren twice a month and wouldn't care where. A lot of parents would have cut you out of their lives by this point instead of offering you a way to be part of your grandchild's life. I see your SIL trying to understand you and offer you time with your grandchild but you will have to follow the rules they have laid out for you. Are you really willing to never see your daughter or grandson?

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 There is a lot for me to digest here.  I will think about all of this overnight and respond in the morning.  I appreciate everyone taking the time to read the post and respond with their thoughts.    Thank you. 
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14 hours ago, Maxine2020 said:

What would you do if you got such a letter from your son-in-law?  

How would you handle a request to only see your grandchild every other week?

Your SIL has not cut you and your family out of their lives (though they would have every right to do so if they choose to) and is giving you an opportunity to make things right. He is telling you, explaining to you, where they are coming from, why they are making the decisions they are making. The Olive branch, ImpishMom mentioned. You and your DH raised your kids, SIL and your DD get to raise theirs. No matter how rigid or how many mistakes are made. It's their turn. Please try to be happy for them and let them learn on their own, unless they ask for advice, opinions.

He apologized to you for his/their part in the situations, it's your and your families turn. Quickly and sincerely apologize to your SIL, DD and GS for your boundary stomping, over stepping and disrespect of their family and anything/everything else. Then THANK them for any and all opportunities to see GS. Every other week or every other month. At least you have an opportunity to see him/them. AT. ALL.

Edited by Cupcake55
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2 hours ago, Maxine2020 said:
 There is a lot for me to digest here.  I will think about all of this overnight and respond in the morning.  I appreciate everyone taking the time to read the post and respond with their thoughts.    Thank you. 

Glad to hear it, Maxine! No doubt, your situation is complicated, and you're going to receive/already are receiving different POVs (points of view) on the subject, some of which you might not have anticipated. Good to see you're giving yourself time to think over the responses so far.

Meanwhile, I'm going to go ahead and answer your questions from my own POV...

What would you do if you got such a letter from your son-in-law?  

1. Faint - Ok, just kidding, but this letter is looong - and a little too formal, at times, IMO.

2. Think it over and discuss it w/ "Mike"/DH (dear husband) - you probably already have.

3. Apologize for my part in any of the "derision, second guessing and gossip" that occurred. ( By "gossip," I take it he's referring to the apparently negative comments that were made, according to him, "to anyone with a listening ear." Also, I realize not all the charges made in this letter apply to you, personally, Maxine.). Either DH and I could write/email this reply/apology together or we could each send our own separate one.

4. Make up my mind not to questions/criticize/argue w/ DD's (dear daugther's) and SIL's decisions anymore or to discuss them in a negative way w/ other family members or friends (if that's what has been happening). And I would let DD and SIL know this. Also, I would try to convince DH to make up his mind to the same, etc.

5. Note that SIL didn't say anything about the CPR class. Instead, he apologized for their assumption that any and all of you  - DH, Amy, Gammy, and yourself - would be available to babysit (I was wondering about that myself as I read the earlier part of your post. It seemed very presumptuous to me.) I would accept his apology in my reply. I would also accept the fact that DH and I aren't likely to be doing any babysitting. And I would cheerfully accept the idea of seeing Andrew whenever DD and SIL deemed possible.
 

How would you handle a request to only see your grandchild every other week?

As I said above, I would cheerfully accept it. I know you and Mile want more, and that you would like them to visit at your house, sometimes, too. But please realize they are leading very busy lives. Also, SIL doesn't feel comfortable at your home, sorry to say. And that's been compounded, I suppose, by the fact that he was insulted there by ODD (older dear daughter), at one point, and asked to leave. But as long as you get to see Andrew, does it really matter where? And isn't "every other week" better than "never" (which you and DH seem to have chosen for some reason)?

But this is getting long, so I'm going to continue below...

Edited by RoseRed135
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... Continuing...

Maxine, I know you and Mike found this letter "insulting" and disrespectful though I'm not sure why. Maybe you feel some of the complaints were unfair? Or perhaps you resent John's suggesting that you and Mike, as the "elders" have no right to weigh in on his & Julie's decisions about their child? I get that.

But I agree w/ PPs (previous posters) that this letter was an "olive branch."  True, John was asserting his and Julie's right to make choices for their own child. But he was also offering a way that all of you could reconcile w/ them - by simply deciding to accept and support their decisions as parents.

I realize that you may not be used to the idea of a SIL approaching his MIL and FIL in this manner. But as SIL says, "Much has changed in the last 30 years and there are certainly differences between Eastern European and US...." He was speaking of child-rearing, and, no doubt, that's true. But it also applies, IMO, to attitudes about parent/GP relationships. As you read around these boards, you'll see that an increasing number of younger parents today are refusing to defer to GPs just b/c they are older or "family." At the same time, many of them are asserting their authority over their children when they feel it has been challenged. If it's any comfort, you are not alone in facing this or needing to adjust to new ideas and behaviors.

Then again, as Imp mentions, SIL is in the same generation/age group as you and DH. So he probably doesn't see you as his "elders," anyhow.

I hope you can find something of value in the comments here and that your relationship w/ YDD (younger dear daughter) and her family improve as a result. :)

ETA: So sorry about Amy's broken engagement - not to mention the cowardly way her XF (ex-fiance) ended it! I'm sure, however, that she will find someone else in time.

 

 

 

Edited by RoseRed135
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This whole situation just makes my head spin. 

Maxine, I think you've grossly overstepped your place. Your DD/SIL have the right to decide what they think is best for their child...with no comment from you or anyone else. Do I think your SIL is a little over the top with his need to micromange? You bet. However, not your place to complain.

This sounds more like a power struggle. Your DD is a married woman with a child. Please respect her status as an adult and her choice for a husband. 

I think you need to apologize for your part in this. Don't expect an apology from anyone else...that will be their decision.

CPR is a useful skill. I've taught the class and dealt with those who are a bit test phobic. It's not about you. 

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I agree with PP that you have over-stepped some boundaries here.

But I'm wondering: How does DD Julie feel about all of this? Your post suggests she backs up her husband. Have you talked to her about the situation, does she feel stressed by the discord between you and her DH/your SIL?  I'd be interested to know more about what your relationship with her is/has been in the past. 

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I really can't see where DD or son in law are wrong in any of this.  You say they don't respect elders and seem to be of the belief that you should be able to do and say what ever you choose even in relation to their child and how they want to raise their child.  The letter was long and formal however it was well thought out, polite and respectful.  I can't see respect being shown to your son in law when he was called a bully and other things. They are clearly indicating what they would like in regards to moving forward as a family and what they are asking for sounds about what is normal these days.

Most of my friends require family to be vaccinated, most of them want their family members, especially if they are in the role of care taker to be educated in first aid.  In my line of work I see the accidents and the worst case scenarios of what happens when people are not prepared and your son in law is spot on with wanting you to know and understand first aid and CPR.

They wanted you to visit at their home, what's wrong with this.  Perhaps they have child proofed their home and feel more comfortable.  Your son in law says he feels unwelcome and uncomfortable in your home - that says a lot.  This seems to be more of a lack of respect being shown to them as new parents, it seems to be a power struggle where I feel you want a lot of control over their life.  I would apologize and show them you are willing to listen and respect their wishes as new parents.

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It must be nice to have an open invitation to visit your grandchild twice a month.  July was the last time I saw mine and they only live 90 miles away.

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Oh boy. I think you owe your DD and SIL an apology. Your family has way overstepped into their lives and tried to trample over their rights as parents to raise their child as they see fit. I'm actually floored they have agreed to let you visit every two weeks given some of the stuff in your post. That is very generous of them, considering the total lack of respect as grown adults they've been shown by your family. They are grown, seemingly intelligent adults.

If they choose to do a lot of research into their decisions, that's their business. I still do the same thing, my kids are 6 and 4. I never ask(ed) my parents for advice. If it's health related, I do my research online, and will speak to whatever healthcare provider is involved. If it's school related, same thing - I'll do my research online and talk to teachers, school staff, etc. 

I think that letter from your SIL was not rude, was well thought out and articulated, owned his role in the issues, and apologized. Things will never change unless you apologize and make a good faith effort to respect them as parents. If you don't, I think you're heading down the road to being cutoff. 

Anytime time I read "not respecting elders", it usually actually means "they're not letting me stomp all over their boundaries and have control over them." 

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21 hours ago, Maxine2020 said:

What would you do if you got such a letter from your son-in-law?  

How would you handle a request to only see your grandchild every other week?

I'd be grateful for the explanation because it would help me to understand where he/she/they stand on matters- :give_rose: They didn't owe you an explanation, but offered it anyway- :hi:As a kindness- I'd definitely consider it/her/him/the explanation obsessive:shok: I'd roll my eyes in private:rolleyes: nonetheless take him/them/the explanation seriously and respect their wishes - :angel:

He/they could have just written, "Our child, our choices", and then stop talking to you/your family- :vava:

Considering all that's been said and done, as you have described, I'd take the two a month visits- :friends: I understand this situation isn't meeting your expectations, :cray:but you can be genuinely happy when visiting their family :D -- in time .. ;)

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Another thing is twice a month visits can change over time if you respect your DD and SIL now and don't argue with them. If they see you become supportive of their parenting then in a few short years they could begin to allow visits at your home again or add in family advents. if you can make amends now. Your older daughter needs to make her own peace with her sister and brother in law.

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3 hours ago, SueSTx said:

It must be nice to have an open invitation to visit your grandchild twice a month.  July was the last time I saw mine and they only live 90 miles away.

THIS^^^   Some grands have moved a distance. Labor Day was last we saw them, we won't see them in the near-future.

I'm not sure what ages have to do with you issues, maybe nothing, or perhaps a wrong focus on your part. In my family elders are just people older than me, no more no less. My own sisters are my elders, I guess.

My only brother is 10 years younger than me and 20 years younger than our eldest sister. His wife is 15 years younger than him (25 years younger than my husband and me) and her parents are midway between us sisters - but those ages don't matter at all. Everyone is polite and respectful, we all have different life experiences to bring forward.

My brother and SisIL have young children, we sisters have grown children, grandchildren, and a few great-grandchildren. Our parents have passed. Brother's children are extra grandchildren for us - wonderful. Our wonderful, much younger SisIL (our kids' age) and her elder parents cook fabulous food, speak other languages, travel fun places, add interesting things to our lives. Plus, bonus-grandchildren.

ETA: I'd say adult age is nothing but a number.

Edited by JanelleK
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They are the parents and have every right to make decisions regarding their child and need your support (through gritted teeth if necessary). You really crossed the line and here the sil sends a letter explaining and trying to reach out and you see it as offensive?

This to me is a very reasonable request: " At its essence, the root cause of all of this is the failure to recognize that Julie and I have the right to make reasonable and responsible choices for our child and that those decisions should be supported without derision, second-guessing and gossip.  "

Your DD and SIL decided to follow the advice of a processional and were kind enough to offer paying for shots to facilitate everyone being able to see the baby and you completely undermined their decision by stating " A conflict was started when my son-in-law became angry when I said that I was the head of this family, that Amy did not have to get the shot and that she would be in contact with the baby. " You don't get to dictate what they do as parents, or who has contact with the baby. If Amy does not get a shot that is HER choice.

I know it's painful but you owe them an apology. 

 

 

 

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My thoughts (MIL here).  I think the letter was nicely written (though a little lengthy for my tastes).  He doesn't sound angry, he just wants to fix things.  He went to a lot of effort to write and send that letter.

There seem to be some cultural differences.   Here once you are married, parents no longer dictate what people do. You are not the head of their household.  They are the parents and they do what they think is best for their children whether the grandparents approve of it or not

That being said

If you don't want a shot, they can't dictate what you do.  They can reasonably limit exposure to their child until the time frame of ill effects of not having a Dpt shot are over. They can also  decide to punish you and let you never see their child again ever because they think you don't have your GC best interests at heart.  They have ALL the power.  All you can do is weigh the pros and the cons and do what you think is best.  But then you have to accept whatever consequences the decisions you make  might cause.  I have no problems with immunizations, even then,  If my son/ DIL offered to pay for my Dpt shot, I'd be a little annoyed.  I can pay for my own and I'd look at it as added pressure.

I have love hate relationships with tests and higher education period.  Why do you need a piece of paper to prove what you know.  You took the CPR class.  I assume you learned how to do CPR. (Did you quit before actually learning the CPR?)  I am not test adverse, but I can see that passing a test is only one way of assuring you know CPR.  Why isn't it enough for him to know that you know how to do CPR? 

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I hope you take the advice given above mine and not chuck it to the side because it may not have been what you wanted to hear.

The fact is you and Amy have been DEAD WRONG. 

When you married and had children, did your MIL tell you how to raise them? Did someone tell you what to do in your family, and how to do it? Would you have liked/ allowed another person to run your house and disagree with all your parenting decisions?

Your family is your family, and yes, it still includes Julie and now her husband and son. However, their family is theirs and you have ABOSOLUTELY NO SAY in what they do. They are not harming your grandson or hurting him in anyway.  They did not close you out of their lives, but included you. You closed yourself out of their lives.

You are being so stubborn, that you would rather not see your grandson at all if you can't have your way. 

I may sound harsh, but you need to get a grip on reality before you loose them for good.

 

 

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There are so many answers for me to reply to and I want to take the time to answer every question.   

I'll start from the top. 

First, I wonder if after a few people have chimed in is it normal for everyone to bandwagon and then pile on?    From the initial reply that concludes with 'get counseling' the rest of the replies seem largely in agreement or one sided against me.  Maybe I did a bad job of explaining more and how the conflict evolved.   

I was surprised that no one saw the letter as offensive.  I don't know if this is 'American' attitude only or my view is unique to my culture.  Jewish immigrants from Belarus (former Soviet Union).   

At least we all agree the letter was long and very formal.  SIL is a communications consultant and former VP so I think this is the way he always communicates. 

So part of the problem is that Gammy is very old and not in good health.  After getting the letter I was very upset and we already had not seen GS in 5 weeks.  We had a plan to say that Gammy was too sick to visit them (they live about 5 miles away) and try to force the SIL to give in and let Julie and Andrew visit over here but without SIL.

So he got real stubborn and kept saying through his wife "that is Gammy is too sick to come over, she should be in the hospital and if so we will take Andrew to her there".    Well, she wasn't that sick and after he found out that we drove to Florida with Gammy we had to give in and visit them at their house.  (more on that later in another post). 

About being the leader of the family.    If it wasn't for me we would have never left the Soviet Union,  I was very unhappy there.  Along with my older sister, her husband (my husband's older brother) my mother, husbands father and 4 children, we all came to Texas.  Other relatives live in New York and Minnesota.    

Many people commented that every other week is a fair arrangement.   Our family is closer than that. In Belarus, we all shared a two room apartment and here in America, my sisters children, and my sister and her husband stop in 5-7 times a week.  My SIL is very independent, he left home when he was 18.  Our oldest daughter Amy, now lives with us.  My sister has two children, 1 moved out about 5 years ago when he was 35, the other is now 35 and still lives at home.    I have always lived with my mother.     Almost every evening we sit around and drink tea and talk about how horrible our son in law is and how he is holding our GS hostage.   Without exception, we are all in agreement about this situation. 

We haven't seen our grandson except on one occasion in the last 15 months (more about that later also)

I have read everyone's point of view but I don't agree.  Maybe after I make my second post, people will understand me and the situation better.      

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Even though I am a DIL I hope you will really listen to my view as I am concerned about the path you are on, and that you and your eldest daughter are standing your ground on subjects that are really not your decisions. 

First, I think you need to re-examine your son-in-law... I think your son-in-law wrote a very informative letter, I think he just wants a smoother family relationship and you should take that as a good thing, he wants you involved and that is excellent.  Not only that he took the time to explain his and his wifes point of view and that means that he cares, which is also a good sign. He wants his son to have a big extended family and that means he is willing to work on things. 

Next realize your SIL and daughter are a bit over protective... most first time parents are... so give them some latitude... They want whats best for their child, isn't that what you should be focusing on?? Its not about whether or not you agree with their decisions - its about recognizing that they are really doing their best, listening to their doctors advice, and trying to give their child the best start he can have.  That is something for you to be proud of! As mostly likely your daughter learned about being a great mom from you. 

That being said, here comes the hard parts.  Sorry dear but when it comes to thier child, you are most certianly not the "head of household" and you don't get to tell them that they will have unvaccinated visitors around if they do not want them... maybe that is some of the cultural differences coming in. But in the end your daughter and son-in-law get to say what is best for their child.. not you, not your eldest.  

In my opinion, they have been very gracious, they informed you of their wishes, the offered to pay for your vaccines... if you do not want to get them, that is fine. But they set their boundaries, if you do not want to comply to them - that is totally your choice, but then do not get upset at the consequences of your choice... you made it. Not them. 

CPR - Why would you not want to do this? I don't care if there is a child involved or not, for you, for your husband, for your family... its an excellent skill to have and a lifesaving technique... trust me you would rather know what to do, than not know if the situation ever arises.

To sum it up, you need to realize that your thinking is alot of the problem here.  It seems like SIL and daughter have changed their entire lives to make sure that the baby is being raise in the best environment possible, and they have asked a few things of you... things that they have facilitated and/or paid for.  I do not think that they are being totally unreasonable, but perhaps a bit over protective - which is by no meaning abnormal.

I hope the you abosorb, ponder, and then proceeed with an open mind and heart! I really hope your can mend broken fences and best of luck!

 

 

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PS - I am liking the posts because you took the time to reply, not because I agree. 

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So basically, you were just looking for someone to agree with you.

And after your further explanation, you want us to agree with you because son in law didn't fall for your guilt tripping lies and manipulations by bringing poor old sick "Gammy" into it.

Just because you choose to leave your home country does not mean you created the United States of Maxine2020 and you are the ruler of all.  

I don't know if I have ever read a post where everyone was in 100% agreement. You have that honor.

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25 minutes ago, Maxine2020 said:

  Almost every evening we sit around and drink tea and talk about how horrible our son in law is and how he is holding our GS hostage.   Without exception, we are all in agreement about this situation. 

We haven't seen our grandson except on one occasion in the last 15 months 

I am a DIL.  My inlaws hate me for their own reasons.  Hell, my SisIL and FIL have encouraged my DH to divorce me.  What has that got them? He talks to his Dad less now.  He only talks to his sister when it involves his dads health.  It drove a wedge between them.  You are driving a similar wedge between your family.

There is nothing wrong with living with your mother. However, if you are drinking tea and complaining about SIL, you are further driving a wedge. 

Maybe focus on something else? Maybe just give in?

you are making your own situation worse.

 

 

Edited by dilpenshername
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