Question: Dear Luise: I am a step mother to my husbands son. I was married ( I still am ) to my husband when his son had his first child. They both worked so when it came time for his wife to go back to work they came to me and asked me if I would babysit, I said ” yes “. So I started watching him from the time his was about 4 months old until he was 3 yrs old. I sometimes had him from 7am until 5 thru 7 pm each day and also on weekends. My daughter in law one day told me that at work she would refer to me as his second mother because I had him so often, and that she felt very lucky to have me because she knew she didn’t have to worry because she knew that he was well taken care of. But when he turned 3 they put him in a pre school/daycare, because they said he needed to be more socialized. It was difficult, but I knew that it was probably for the best. When I would mention how much I missed him, they acted surprised that I was reacting that way. Things got better and it all worked out, then my daughter in law became pregnant again, they had a little girl. When this child was just less then one month old we had a falling out, my husband would talk to his son, his son said we would just have to wait until his wife got ” unmad” that how he put it. Then when the little girl was just about to turn one year old, they called and said they wanted to meet, we talked, they said that the reason they pulled away was because whenever I asked if the little boy could come over, and they would say no, somehow they said I had a way of making them feel guilty? I had no idea that I was doing this, and all along my step son was telling his father that she was just mad, then we were told this, I didn’t say anything to them about it, but later I told me husband this, ” I wish they would of said what the real problem was and discussed it then, instead of missing out on the childrens lives for almost one year.” I was totally unaware that I was doing this. I had no idea. Well, since then there has been two other issues that have come up and we got the blame for, this second one was totally uncalled for,I think they realized that they may have made a mistake and it was easier for them to point the finger our way instead of taking some of the responsibility for what happened, but I have to admit that this last problem, as hard as I tried, and argued with my husband about it, I eventually lost this battle.Now, we are not allowed to see the children yet again, for the third time, we missed our granddaughter 4th birthday and my grandsons birthday is in a few months and I’ve already come to the end result that we will not be invited to that one either. We are not allowed to talk to the children, or send any type of gifts. They, themselves have said that they will not be calling us of texting us anymore. I have been told that the oldest has asked to come over to Nana’s house, but his parents are telling him either that I’m out of town, or some other type of excuse. Even though I love both of the children , the oldest and I are very close, I suppose its because of all the time we spent together when he was younger, I lost some of that bonding time with the little girl since I didn’t see her from the time she was one month old until she had just turned 1yr old. I am trying to go on and live my life and except the fact that I will probably never see them again, but its very difficult. I have no blood relation where I live now, they all live up north about 1,200 miles away. I know that most of these rules and stipulations have been imposed on us because of my daughter in law, and that if these same situations would have happened involving her mother, the retaliations would not have been so severe, I know this only because my husband and I have ran into people that are either friends or relatives of my daughter in law and they know how she is and said as much. My husbands family have been telling me to just try to move on, that they are nothing but users ( that they use people ) and when they need me again to babysit or something they will be calling again. I don’t think thats going to happen, but….. I do have to try to get past this. I know that I really didn’t have a question per say, but, what would you suggest I do? If you would like more details about the other events I mentioned, I can send them to you in an email, instead of posting here, I’ve already been very long winded. C.
Answer: Dear C.; I have received so many letters similar to yours over the last six years that I have established a Web-forum for women who have to face such difficult issues with their adult children and extended families. Most need more than a response, they need a supportive community where they are understood and can begin the healing process. You were a whole person before you had a family. You can be whole again.
I hope you will come over to: www.WiseWomenUnite.com Blessings, Luise