Family drama advice

Hello everyone, I just need some advice for some family drama happening Please hear me out.
My sister in law and her son were staying with my in laws who were supposed to watch my daughter this weekend. Husband and I agreed we didn’t want our three year old there for three days alone with him as he had been extremely rough with her in the past. Also my sister in law smokes weed excessively and she has a new boyfriend that we know nothing about that is always over. Our mother in law feels now that we don’t “trust her”. My husband had messaged my mother in law directly, hoping to avoid any hurt feelings and ten minutes later we both are getting messages from my sister in law cursing at us and accusing us of thinking we’re better than everyone. I told her that if its between my daughters safety and her hurt feelings then oh well. My husbands father is on his mothers side, I guess understandably since that is his spouse, but now husbands mother isnt speaking to us. I tried messaging her explaining our worries and apologizing and she blocked me lol.
I don’t know if what we did was wrong, but it’s a huge mess right now. I am about to have a baby and my mother in law has a history of “not speaking” to other family members for months on end if she gets mad about something. I am so stressed. My daughter loves her grandparents and now she may not be seeing them for a while. What else could I do? In my message I apologized so I figure thats the most I could do. My sister in law had messaged me for hours swearing and saying we’re stuck up etc.
I hate family drama cuz we are always going to be tied together. As a catholic is all I can do is pray?

Just my opinion here. Your first job is to take care of your immediate family. That you and your husband are standing strong together to protect your child is exactly what you should be doing. You are doing the right thing, since everything inside you is telling you that you don’t want your daughter in that situation. You didn’t make this situation and the only way for you to know your child will be safe is to avoid it. Why would you want your daughter to be inhaling pot, being rough-housed and being (possibly left alone for minutes) around a man that could be anything from a saint to a child molester.

Your mother in-law is controlling, and if she controls people by not speaking to them for months, well, that’s on her, not you. She gets mad at people so she can control them, and your apology to her only gave her more power over the situation ( in her mind ). If you give in now, she will keep disrespecting you and your husband even more in the future. STAND YOUR GROUND ! You have every right and a duty to protect your child as you the parent, sees fit. I would do the same thing if I were in your situation.

Your are ready to give birth to a new little one, and THAT is what you and your husband and daughter should be focused on, not on someone else’s hissy fit. Just tell your daughter (if she asks) that you guys won’t be visiting grandma for a while because you are going to be busy getting ready for the new baby. Don’t ever forget that you and your husband have THE ace in the hole… you and your husband have her access to her grandchildren. And if she won’t talk to you for months and months, oh well, she is the one not getting to see the new baby…

Congratulations to you and your husband. You sound like wonderful parents and I am happy that you are standing strong as a unit. Much happiness.


Doesn’t sound like there’s much you can do. I don’t think you were in the wrong at all.

Please don’t stress over this. Your in-laws all sound as if they thrive off drama. Take a step back from them and focus on your growing family. You will more than likely find there is a lot less stress and drama in your life without your in-laws being so present in it.

You don’t have to accept their appalling treatment of you simply because they are family. They don’t get to decide the boundaries you set for the people around your daughter. Stand your ground. When your sister in law wants to talk to you again, make it very clear you will not accept her treating you like she did. Ditto with your mother in law. If your mother in law won’t speak to you, then that’s her loss. It’s her decision - something to make you feel upset and guilty about. But you’ve done nothing wrong so please, don’t feel bad.

@Tuscany is exactly right.


So let me get this strait. You didn’t want to leave your daughter around someone who is “rough” with her, a druggie, and some random dude? And you don’t know if you did something wrong???
Your duty is to your daughter first and foremost and it is your responsibility to make sure that she is safe and in a healthy environment. If others think that makes you elitist or better than them then that says more about them than you.


Let it go. It’s no surprise that this is their reaction and behavior as they have done so in the past.


I’d be afraid of her taking against the baby due to blaming him or her for not being able to see her grandparents.

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No, it is not. Your daughter comes first, youre responsible to protect her over soothing your family’s feelings. SIL clearly rules the roost over there.

I, afraid you’ll have to tough this one out. You’re not going to please them.
If it makes you feel any better, it’s not your job to please people.

Your baby girl comes first.



Yes, anything is possible Elf01. Just knowing how children are, if the parent doesn’t keep bringing a subject up and things are busy and fun, a child won’t dwell on it. They will excitedly be getting things ready for the baby and the daughter will be a new big sister, etc… Kids will always look to the parents to know how to react to something. Just like when your kid falls down, cuts their knee and they’re screaming because it bleeding. If the parent very calmly says something about it it’s good that it’s bleeding a little because that is the body’s way to help wash out the germs that may have gotten in. Then you go inside and finish cleaning it out and putting a Band-Aid on it to keep it clean. Very matter of fact. But if the parent gets all excited about the cut knee and over re-acts, that sure isn’t going to defuse anything, it will just ramp up the whole thing even more. Same with this situation and the grandmother, the little girl will look to see what her parents are saying and doing .

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Also, a SIL cursing you out for hours only reinforces why you cannot have your daughter there. Do you think the SIL is mature enough to not let her feelings translate to your daughter? I doubt it. I am disappointed that you apologized because that puts you in a weak position and they feel vindicated in their behavior.

Be strong advocates for your children! Silent treatments, grudges etc seem to be the norm in that family. Is that what you want for your kids? because someday good ole grandma will be giving them the silent treatment and if they are not insulated from that it will damage them more…


No, it wasn’t. The safety of your child is more important.

Sound like that might be a relief! And I would suggest, if this doesn’t happen this time, you may need to be the ones to limit contact with her.
Anyone who would be angry that you won’t expose your toddler to pot does NOT have your best interests at heart.
I know it’s hard, especially for your husband, but your children have to come first. If MIL doesn’t like it, that’s her problem.

P.S. Don’t ever apologize for protecting your children.


Focus on your husband and children - not the adults acting like children. They are old enough to reap the consequences of their own actions. Your children cannot protect themselves.


You did nothing wrong. Why would you want your child to spend time inhaling marijuana smoke, and listening to cursing? If this is the norm for them, the situation could be a blessing in disguise. How can you tell your daughter not to curse, when Granny and Auntie do it all the time?

Best wishes for the new baby!


Please be at peace. You are about to have a baby, your second child, and to remain stressed and upset means that these people also impact this innocent little one, and will make the birth more difficult.
These family members should be thinking of your welfare but clearly are not.

The problem isn’t yours, it belongs to these other people.

I pray that when you need help again with the children you will have in place another possibility. May God help you with that.

I know how upsetting it is for a caring person like you when there is family turmoil and discord.
But the bad behaviour about them, not you, your husband and your little children.
Your very young daughter will cope better than you fear if her grandmother isn’t around. She’s very young. How many people even have memories from when they were three?

God grant you peace, and may God bless you and your husband and your little ones.
May God bless those who are behaving unsympathetically and inappropriately in the wider family, if they will open their minds and hearts, but if they do not, it is by their will, no blame to you


The problem is with your MIL, not with you.

If she’s going to behave as if she’s a 2-year-old, frankly, maybe your daughter doesn’t need to be around her. It’s clear where her values lie.

I’d wait and let things blow over. If she does eventually start trying to make overtures, there needs to be a firm discussion on what will and will not be allowed, but I’d suggest that you not leave your children alone with them until you’re certain they won’t let SIL around her.

If you’re worried about your daughter having grandparents, you might see if there is a lovely, lonely senior in your community who would be willing to be an adopted grandparent. My parents are adopted grandparents to a family from their parish who do not have family nearby.


As others have said, you have done nothing wrong here. Your job is to protect your child (and yourselves!)

And you expected things to go well after you said that to her? As if these people weren’t nasty enough, of course they are going to lash out at you for making such a remark (not that it wasn’t 100% accurate and correct). The truth hurts, and they are in a world of hurt already if they behave the way you describe. Best not to engage in this sort of talk with them.

Here is my best advice. I am experienced in this. Years ago, our family was in the exact situation. I couldn’t bring my child to her grandmother’s house because of all the bad behavior going on there with his brother and his alcoholism and my kid’s cousins rough behavior. My husband’s parents tolerated that stuff and did nothing to mitigate it when we came visiting or brought our child down to visit.

You don’t have to give excuses or say anything. Just say “Oh thanks so much for agreeing to watch Suzie, but our plans have changed so we won’t be needing to do that now”.

You don’t have to say anything else. It is truthful and to the point.

You aren’t going to change your in-laws behavior. Don’t try. And stay the heck out of the middle of it. Invite the ones who are “OK” to your place for dinner, a cookout, birthdays, etc. You don’t have to invite everyone.


If you could rewind it, the best idea would have been to say “Hey, you are off the hook for watching little Suzy. We have made other arrangements. Love you, see you on Father’s Day!”

There is a modern tenancy to give long, detailed explanations and this, as you can see, causes more harm than good.

Of course it is okay to be concerned about your child staying where there is an unrelated man sleeping over. While there are many good people in this world, but for many years now exeperts have warned of the danger of “mom’s boyfriend”

So, for now, find other care for your child. Call the parish office and ask the secretary talk to the DRE or Faith Formation director as well and ask if they know any reliable teen sitters, or retirees, or SAH parents who do sitting on the side.

Apologize for the things you said, “I was wrong to say those things” is how I would put it. Be loving and kind, go visit the inlaws while you are there.

Don’t judge your sister in law because she “smokes weed”, unless it is against the law where you live. If you are in the US for instance, even if a State has made it legal, it is still a federal crime and it is okay to not want to hang around for long (but you do not have to give that as the reason. Have another reason “we have to be back by 2 for blah blah blah”, not a lie, but have a real reason). Go for Sunday lunch or for a BBQ, stop by when running errands, when you can stay with your daughter for a visit.


My only criticism of how you handled this is that you actually apologized. You are absolutely right not to want your child around someone who smokes pot, a kid who is too rough, and some guy you have never met. Your MIL sounds manipulative and obnoxious. Enjoy your break from her antics and congratulations on your new baby.


I do not judge anyone who smokes weed. At all. That’s their decision.doesnt mean I want my kid around it.


That’s a weird point after your initial post. I suppose it is prudent to judge those who intoxicate themselves and use drugs. Not judge their soul of course. But it is right and logical to judge others choices especially when they are around your kids. I’d judge her the same if she were a heavy drinker or a meth user. People who voluntarily give up their free will are dangerous. Not only to themselves but others as well.
Anyway, I hope you found some solace in the thread. You managed to end up in rare air on CAF. A full consensus.


Hi. You obviously have done the correct thing, keeping your daughter safe and out of this situation.

With regards to healing the fractures in your family - I notice that all the communicating is by “messages”. Would it not be better to pickup the phone and actually talk?

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