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Meddling MiL & Struggling...

Dani01's picture

My first post on here - surprised to find so many people on here with the same thoughts as me!

I've been with the love of my life now for 19 months, living together for last 11 months. He had split with BM (not amicabilly) just prior due to her being arrested. She is literally an awful person & makes it so hard by meddling any way she can. SS is 7, SD is 3. I have no kids & didnt want any, I like kids but I enjoy my freedom & work FT plus run a small business single handedly (plus the household). So I value what little time i get to myself.

I also suffer from bouts of anxiety, which has not helped in the months since BM found out about us, she tried her best to intimidate me & scare me off for about a year, turning up at my work & home, spreading lies that he wanted her back & many other nasty tactics. But I hung in there. I thought that was the hard bit... but...

We have the kids every 2nd weeknd and a week each holidays, and I am doing it, but do not find it easy & a huge adjustment - as it is my home we are living in, which i had renovated & all new sofas, etc. As you can imagine, it gets turned upside down each time they are here. I also struggle with the noise, as they are not easy children from other's observations & the SS yells all the time. A lot of friends/family who have kids & see them say they could not do what I'm doing.

However, if i voice an opinion about noise or mess, its taken that i dont like the kids & dont want them here, and get the cold treatment, feels like its 3 against one in my own home. Things have got better very slightly since i voiced my thoughts, but its still not ideal. My man thinks a few months have gone by, and thats enough time to be playing happy families now! But we are working our way through things, doesnt help that BM is also trying to clean my partner out financially through their settlement & plays mental games saying she is going to move towns 4 hours away with the kids. Then uses this to manipulate him into paying for everything she can & free firewood & meat (he also pays CS) & holds it over him.

Things were starting to settle down, BUT... now MiL is getting bossier & trying to control things. Befriended me at start & is now trying to boss me like she does her son. Im 38 I find this hard... and she is always at my partner to go for custody & they would sort out a childcare system between them. I told him i could not handle full time wee kids. Well she has started backpedalling a lot lately - my man works long hours & MiL assured him she would pick SS & SD up from school/daycare on those weekends & look after them for him. Suddenly shes busy those days lately & my man has to stop work at 3pm & collect them. MiL made comment today that I can pick kids up & look after them this weekend - i am knackered & said I cant. She said I knew he was a package deal & got all snotty - I am worried they see me as a live in babysitter & will try this more & more. I think its between me & him what we have in place regarding our lives & she is trying to meddle.

What's got me really worried is that we are in process of buying a home together & it will 'lock' me in somewhat if they start this behaviour. My man isnt very understanding about time & women needing a break, and his kids are hard to handle - SS wont listen to me & SD has screaming tantrums that even my man cant handle. 

I guess i'm wondering if its ok to say no to babysitting or is it expected? I dont mind the odd time here n there if he asks nicely or I offer, but i feel quite sick thinking this is going to be put onto me regularly... help!

DHsfamilyfromhell's picture

It is not your mother in laws place or anybody’s place to say you will babysit. You can say no. 

Are they living in your house? Is he contributing financially? 

I would only date this kind of man, and not live with him. 

You have sacrificed your own space- you didn’t know what you were letting yourself in for (but now you do it’s up to you to change your situation). You can’t count on other people changing. 

Dani01's picture

Hey thanks - thats good advice. I think im struggling in that I'm at that place where the issue is becoming harder to avoid & is coming to a crunch - my man knows I'm not huge on kids but I have shown him I'm trying & said it will take a while for us all to mesh. I think we are doing ok until the MiL says her piece - this has happened to other partners apparently, so at least I know its not just me  Hoping a bit of distance from her & space for him & I to find a way through these early stages ourselves will help. 

Kes's picture

Dani, pls do not buy a house with this man, at least not yet.  You hold a complete ace in your hand atm, in that you are in your OWN house - if it all gets too much you can say, pls take yourselves off, and trust me, it may well do. Just about the only thing that makes step life doable - is if your partner has your back and works with you on issues of childcare, child behaviour and if you are singing from the same hymn sheet.  Unfortunately it does not sound like you are - you say it is "3 against 1" - believe me that bodes very ill for your future happiness.  I too used to get "the cold treatment" from my emotionally abusive exH - this is not how reasonable adults behave if their partner tells them that they're struggling.  

Of course it is OK to say no to babysitting - you are not his unpaid babysitting resource - and pls don't let mother in law or your BF bully you.  For the time being, I would keep the status quo, don't rush in to throwing in your lot with this selfish man, see how you feel in 6 mths or a year's time.  Keep posting. 

Winterglow's picture
  1. You are not his unpaid babysitter
  2. Do not let the old busybody bully you
  3. Tell him you will no longer stand for his kids in your home - he can take them to his mother's for his visitation. No, you don't hate them but you value your peace and quiet, your had-earned property, and your sanity more than you value their presence.

Aunt Agatha's picture

Do not buy a house with this man.

The two of you are not even in the same book much less on the same page.

You are a hard working professional who is happy with her life.

You boyfriend and his mom (huge red flag there!) think you should be changing your life in ways you don't want for kids that aren't yours. 

IF your life was a map, you would be walking into a part labeled "here there are monsters."

Please slow down,  Take a hard look.  You've got a decade plus of the life you are seeing now if you buy a house together, but only likely to get worse once you're locked in well and good.

But my guess is that yiu seem to know that already.  It's just nice to hear someone else say it.

Gimlet's picture

Agree with this.  You are in a great position as a single woman who doesn't have or want children.

This quote is really all I needed to know "My man isnt very understanding about time & women needing a break, and his kids are hard to handle - SS wont listen to me & SD has screaming tantrums that even my man cant handle. "

So basically this guy believes that it's your job to work full time, run your own business, run the household (which I assume means the lion's share of the housework), and take care of his kids because you have a uterus?   And he manipulates you by giving you the silent treatment when you speak up about the behavior of said kids in YOUR home?  And he has a bossy and overstepping mother?  And BM is high conflict?  

I really don't see the benefit in this relationship.  Not only would I not buy a house with him, I would end this relationship now.  You can do much better, 


BethAnne's picture

It sounds like this isn’t the relationship for you. Breaking up is tough but I think you’ll be happier with someone without young children. You know it yourself from what you wrote, not sure why you are ignoring it. 

ndc's picture

DO NOT BUY A HOUSE WITH HIM!  Unfortunately, there are a number of red flags here. Whether you can say no to babysitting (of course you can!) is the least of the issues. Don't lock yourself in by combining finances and/or purchasing a house together. It'll just make things more difficult if/when you decide this relationship isn't for you. Based on what you've written, I think that day is coming.

shellpell's picture

I agree wholeheartedly with previous posters- PLEASE DO NOT BUY A HOUSE WITH THIS MAN! I would also reconsider the relationship. It will not get better. You are successful, happy, independent. No man is worth sacrificing your freedom and peace of mind.

Gimlet's picture

Especially not one who apparently has a Neanderthal's view about the role of women. 

Aniki's picture

I told him i could not handle full time wee kids. 

Do you realize that at ANY time, he could have his kids 100% of the time? If you buy a house with him, those 'wee kids' will be in your home full-time until they launch. And they could be well into their 20s before they launch. If they ever do.

This man has no respect for you and what you've done with your life. He wants a mommy for his brats. He's also still letting HIS mommy run his life and stick her nose in where it doesn't belong.

You're successful. You're smart. Be smarter and realize that there are men out there who a) don't have children, b) don't have a busybody mother, c) have children, but don't expect you to play mommy. End this relationship. You can do much better.

Harry's picture

Having SK 24/7/365 is only one BM accident away. Or one BM arrests, or BM finds a new boy toy and moves leaving kids behind. And so on, and so on.  There a chance  of you getting SK full time.   If you told your SO, you do not want to babysitter, and that is not making an impression on him.  What do you think your other wants are going to be taken care of. 
This is the best time the relationship has, where he trying to make you happy.  If he can not do it now,  This  is not the man for you, 

CLove's picture

I would advise you to take a few steps back and do not buy a house with this dude.

3 against 1 = red flag

screaming tantrums = red flag

High conflict, harrassing and meddling BM = red flag

High conflict and meddling MIL = red flag


The red flags are too numerous to list here, but really evaluate if this is the relationship you want.

Its perfectly ok to say no to baby sitting your SOs horrid little monsters.


Curious Georgetta's picture

 not want kids? Why in the world would you buy a house with a man to whom you are not married and who could be 1 accident or illness away from having those children full time ?

He may be the love of your life, but in no way are you prepared to love or deal with what could easily be a reality in his life 

Love him but consider living apart. He can be your lover, friend, and companion  while not living together.

Neither he nor his kids are likely to want to spend less time together and It is neither your  job nor his mother's job to fill in all the time.

Nothing that you say about your self suggest that your  feelings and thoughts about having or being  around children is likely to change.

Why place yourself in a situation where the resentment is likely to grow?

If your feelings for him are as strong as you say, they likely can survive living apart until the kids are older.

Good luck on your journey.

Rags's picture

So the love of your life is a coward who kowtows to his mother, ostracizes you for expressing your opinion regarding kid behavior in your home, and is afraid of his XW.

What exactly is it about this guy that makes him so desirable as the love of your life?

Don't buy the house.   You need to be completely mobile with the ability to leave on a moments notice when this shit show comes crashing down around your ears.

Take care of  you.

Dani01's picture

Thanks for all of your advice - i appreciate that you've taken the time to think about my situation & offer advice Smile

I am going to carry on as things are at the moment - i had a chat with my man & he agrees and backs me about the meddling stuff. We went to the kids production last night & i had to face the BM for the first time in that sort of situation, and it actually went ok. I had huge anxiety about it though! MiL wants everyone to be a happy family & all get along - she has buddied up with BM again despite her stealing from them & numerous other things. 

Was super awkward when MiL knows i don't get on with BM AT ALL, and we walked into the kids xmas production & she said 'oh look, theres BM waving at us over there, shes saved us seats, lets go'. My man & I said what? Uh no, we arent sitting with her! And MiL said come on, tried to bully us & we refused. So off MiL went, and sat with the crazy BM for the night. My partner & I were like, what is she doing?!

Then, later, managed a smile & hello with BM at end of the night (I struggle as im a kind person but shes done so much to us...) and then MiL said there, that wasnt so bad? You might sit with her next year?

I said uh no, shes my man's ex & it is just awkward & we dont feel comfortable. 

Me & my man were on the same page about it - I wish she would stop her stirring! 

I think the best thing is for me to back off from his mum & keep standing up for myself. I may have to say something one day soon tho if this continues eh!

Phoebe333's picture

I agree with everyone else that buying a house with bf is not a good idea. Maybe you moved in together too soon. I would have a very hard time with undisciplined kids those ages, too. A seven your old needs chores and responsibilities around the house. If bf isn't trying to discipline his own kids, good luck. 

Please, think very carefully about the house.  IF he is really the love of your life, waiting for another year shouldn't matter.