Need help with sort of mother in law
I will start out by saying I am at my wits end with my boyfriends mother and I am hoping to get some advice and or opinions on the matter. My boyfriend moved in with his mom upon her request. She needed help with the mortgage and he agreed to it to help her out so she didn't lose the family home. He has a son from a previous marriage that moved in there with him all well. Ever since my bofriends son was born she was very involved in her grandchilds life. So involved to the point that she believed she was the best thing for him and did how she thought things needed to be done with him, even though my boyfriend didn't agree with her. He would always tell her he didn't want to do certain things with his son and she would just ignore him and do it anyways. A few of the things she did were extreme like, force feeding his son ( she claims a food specialist told her she has to do that to get him to try new foods), yelling uncontrollably, spanking with a metal spoon and putting soap in the mouth. She will feed him candy and ice cream for snacks throughout the day and even before bedtime. So there were problems way before I moved in. We decided I would move in her house with them until my boyfriend and I could find our own place. We ended up staying longer than we intended because I ended up becoming pregnant. When I first moved in she was really nice and we got along well. We would talk for hours, go on errands together and even went to rummage sales together. I have a son from a previous relationship as well, and that's when the problems between her and I started. There was an open house we went to for my boyfriends son. My son was helping his son find his locker and my boyfriends mother got really mad at my son and told him to stop and when he didn't she proceeded to wrapping her arms around him to force him to stop. I grabbed my son away from her and we left the school to wait outside for my boyfriend to finish up with his son. After that things kept getting worse. Whenever my son and my boyfriends son would fight she would intervene and blame my son for everything. She would scream at him to the point that he was crying. When she would do that we would tell her that's not her place and she needs to let us handle it. But no matter how many times we told her that she would always do the same thing. So it would almost always end up in arguments between us and her. This all happened quite often. She would claim that my son was a bully to my boyfriends son and we always sided with him. That was not the case. They both would have their moments when they started the fights and we would deal with it the best way we saw fit. Then she started saying whenever she would tell my son he was doing something wrong I would always intervene and defend him, which wasn't the case either. If my son did something wrong and she wanted to tell him or put him on timeout I would let her. The only time I got involved was when she was out of line and did things I do not agree with. So when things started getting really uncomfortable we distanced ourselves from her. Whenever she was home we would stay in our rooms to avoid any arguements. Things continued to get worse. Whenever she was doing something we didn't agree with, with kids and we confronted her it would turn into a full blown argument. She would say we are disrespectful and couldn't talk to her like that because it's her house. After our daughter was born, when I first started breastfeeding her I wanted some privacy in our room to get comfortable with her. She got mad and said I should be able to breastfeed in front of my boyfriends son because other people do it. In my opinion that's my personal choice and she shouldn't be able to have an opinion on the matter because it's my body. She is always rude to her son, my boyfriend. She makes fun of his hair right in front of his son. She undermines my boyfriend when he tells his son no. She will say why can't he do it or why can't he have it and give him what he wants. She puts down his parenting right in front of his son, and in doing so his son doesn't think he has to listen to him on certain things. He will even say his grandma is the boss. Another thing that really upset me is she was holding our daughter and playing with her and my boyfriends son, my son asked if he was welcome and she told him just go away. Right before we moved out she started a huge arguement with my boyfriend saying that my son and myself are bad for his son and that I am brainwashing my boyfriend. So since she has zero respect for me and is very mean to my son, I hardly let her see my daughter, her grandkid and will never allow her to have her alone. Now we have been moved out for almost three months and she is still causing problems. She expects my boyfriend to do her a bunch of favors when he just doesn't have the time. He works full time and we have three kids and our relationship together. We have been enforcing routines with both of our sons and haven't allowed his son to go over to his grandmas that much. He still sees her, but it's not as much as she would like. Right now she has him overnight every other week. My boyfriend told her about his routine, and the stuff he has to do before screen time. He also told her there is only healthy snacks allowed, there will be no force feeding, spanking or soap in the mouth. She got very upset and called him multiple times in a row. She said she's mad because she has taken care of him for the past six years and now she needs detailed instructions. My boyfriend explained to her he has always told her how he wanted stuff done and she never listened to him or respected him as a parent. After we explained the routine to her and she had her grandson she only followed part of it. She allowed him screen time before he got any of his stuff done, and fed him junk food for snacks. My boyfriend and her share a cell phone plan which I was added to a couple of years ago. They both are account holders but she is the main one so she has to do all the signing. This past weekend both of our phones stopped working. Our lines were all available for upgrades so we decided to go with that. They told us we could get our new phones but within a few days after that his mother would have to come in and sign. My boyfriend explained this to her and she used it as an opportunity to complain about how she never gets to see her grandson. She yelled at him for everything in the book, and threatened us. She told him that if we continue to plays games she will take us to court to get visitation rights because she has rights as their grandma. She then also proceeded to saying that the only way she would sign the paperwork for the new phones is if my boyfriend drops of his son to her in the morning this Thursday and let her have him overnight, even though she just had him last week. To me that seems like black mail. I'm sorry it's soo long, there's just soo much going on and this isn't even half of it. And I apologize if it's a bit confusing. I know there is always two sides to a story but I can promise you we don't start any fights with her unless it concerns our kids. I guess my question is, are we in the wrong or do we have every right to limit her on seeing her grandchildren? Personally, I feel like she shouldn't be allowed to see them until she is able to respect us and follow our rules when it comes to our children. What would you guys do if you were in our situation? I would really appreciate any feedback. This is really starting to affect me emotionally, and I don't know what to do anymore.
Forget about two sides to every story, you guys need to get out of the house and find your own residence if that's possible. While it's all OK for your BF to help his Mum out with the mortgage, it's not all OK for to her to dictate the terms of you guys being there. She is basically controlling everything you do and while she is a grandmother, if she was a responsible and genuine person, she actions would say so. Instead, they say the complete opposite. If she wants to play the wildcard of it's her house and her phone plan, then you guys don't need to play her game.
In a nutshell, for you and your BF to be responsible parents, you need to provide for your kids and this includes a safe and secure home for them where you have the right to bring them up your way. The scenario from your post indicates an environment of conflict and control which is absolutely no good for ALL involved.
Rest assured there are plenty of lesser reasons for which people have stopped grandparents from seeing their grandchildren and the whole process has ended up in court, but that's not the point here; what's important, is the welfare of your children which you and your BF share and it's you guys as parents, who have a decision to make for the good of them and not for your BF's mother.
We have moved into our own place. We moved out in May. She's still trying to have control while we are not there. She wants to see her two grandchildren, my stepson and my daughter. No mention of seeing my son, which is her step grandchild. She doesn't see our daughter which is five months now, but she does see my stepson. We want to limit it to maybe once or twice a month but she's trying to get him every week. She thinks she is entitled to see them as often as she wants. She backs my BF back into a corner and threatens and yells if she doesn't get her way. She thinks that since she has helped with a car situation he owes her big time. I'm not allowed to message her anymore. One time when my BF picked his son up from her she claimed that his son told her that he wakes up from nightmares and I tell him to just go to bed. So I messaged her saying I don't understand why you think I am such a horrible person and think I would do something like that. Then she went into how I think she's an evil horrible mean person. So I explained to her that I had no problems until she started being unfair to my son. She went into how my son is a bully to her grandson and we don't care. And she said what she says to her son about her grandchild is between them and I need to stay out of it, even though she was accusing me of something that was not true. Also she has no problem arguing about all this in front of the kids, including the baby. She has said that my son and I are not good for my BFS son and I am brainwashing my BF right in front of his son. So I am right for feeling the way I do? Not wanting to be around her, or bringing our kids around her? I'm almost to the point where I don't even want her around for the holidays. We have already decided on Christmas day we are doing our own thing with the kids since it's our daughter first Christmas, and we will do stuff with extended family on a different day. We haven't told her that yet, and I know it's going to cause huge problems. I don't even want her to be there for our daughters first birthday. Those days are supposed to be filled with joy and happiness, not fear of something bad happening and the whole day being ruined.
Your BFs mother has no right to intrude into your lives and again, you guys need to sit down as responsible parents and decide what's good for your combined family. It's no good if she criticizes you and your children and disrespects all involved by arguing in front of all. When this occurs, she has overstepped the boundaries of responsible grand parenting and of responsible mature behavior. The fact that you hesitate to tell her about your Christmas plans tells you how serious this issue is.
Respectfully, on the other hand, you basically need to include your BFs mother somewhere and you need to try and give her a role. Confusingly as it sounds, you need to make her feel needed, if that's possible considering her behavior and attitude. She needs to realize that grand parenting should be rewarding and she's missing out on so much being the way she is. Given the circumstances of your post, you basically don't have any choice but to make some demands and set boundaries for yourselves and your kids. It's not a maybe, but rather, it's a given. If she can somehow accept these rules, then you're half way there to solving your problem.
It's all about respect and you as a pair, and your BFs mother need to have the same need to make this work. She needs to realize that you guys as parents have to have rules in place, and she needs to respect them to have any chance of contributing successfully as a grand parent.
Above all else, you, your BF and his mother, need to have the children needs first and foremost.