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Rant about SIL (long!)
Old 09-05-2015, 08:44 PM
  #1

SIL divorced her husband last year. She has two sons, 6 and 9 and has 50/50 custody with her ex.

Her ex is a good guy, they had the "perfect" suburban life (good jobs, big house, etc) and EVERYONE was shocked when she left him. She just wanted something else. She's a professional woman and works hard and supports herself but they had a VERY nice life together from the outside.

I felt she was pretty selfish personally but didn't express that. Right after the divorce she went man crazy and dated a bunch of guys and had casual relationships. Maybe dated 5-6 different guys, overlapping. To me this seemed like a lot. Plus she was always asking for my wife to babysit so she could date. I'm of the mindset that she should date on her off weekends- not when she has the kids.

Anyway, she seemed to settle down a little, stopped the dating spree and focused on the kids more for awhile. Then she met another guy, an avid outdoorsman. He has kids the same age, also is divorced, they seem good. I'm actually excited about her being with him because I thought it would settle her down.

BUT they go and hike or backpack every weekend. During her last two weekends with the kids they stayed at their grandparents house for 2 nights.

This weekend they are with us. And it's my other SILs wedding! Instead of joining in on the ladies spa day, the rehearsal and dinner, my divorced SIL is up in the mountains.

The two boys are ring bearers and I had to deal with them at the rehearsal (IMHO they were bratty) and at the dinner (we left before dessert and toasts because they were being really rowdy in a crowded, fancy restaurant and weren't eating). My wife (her sister) has had a commitment on this night planned for a year so didn't come. We planned for only me to attend. My wife isn't part of the wedding. Either is my other SIL but since her kids are I feel like she should have been there.

They seem to be behaving worse and worse these days. She keeps ditching them to go be with her BF so it's no wonder.

I'm frustrated and feel taken advantage of. When my wife and I agreed to this we aren't told they were IN the wedding which meant attending the rehearsal and dealing with them. They both fuss and "hate weddings because of the kissing" so were reluctant and didn't listen well.

As a teacher I feel I know how to handle kids, but these aren't mine and they didn't even grow up with me. I've only known them a few years myself. I don't want to punish them but also don't want to deal with their bad behavior. I did sit the younger in time out today and talked ahead of time to each about my expectations. They just need more structure and our house has no toys really, and the wedding stuff means lots of patience and standing around. Fortunately they bathed and went to bed without a fuss so that was easy!

Anyway, I'm glad I'm about to have a newborn because it will probably mean no more overnights with the nephews!

Does this seem ridiculous? Shouldn't a parent with 50/50 custody use her off time for those kinds of activities and focus on the kids when she has them?

I'm saying no next time this comes up.


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Old 09-05-2015, 11:36 PM
  #2

Wow. I support your rant 100%!
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Old 09-05-2015, 11:50 PM
  #3

Sounds like she is not wanting to be a mom and that was the "something" different she wanted! Just the feeling I get!
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Time for a Conversation
Old 09-06-2015, 12:55 AM
  #4

It is time to tell your SIL your opinion of what is happening to her family. I am not sure how you will do this in a nice way, but her boys are definitely suffering from her lack of attention to them...IMHO.

I suppose in order to satisfy the new guy friend, she has to spend as much time as possible with him. Her boys can tell he comes first in her life, and they have been turned over to the care of others...not fair! It does not sound like she wants motherhood in her new life. Her 50% sounds like she is constantly finding someone else for the responsibility she should be taking.

Yes...definitely time for a conversation! She cannot see the forest for the trees, and down the road, this is going to make a big difference in her relationship with her boys. I am surprised her ex has not contacted the court to have this 50/50 redefined by them so she is forced to do her job.

Last edited by ConnieWI; 09-06-2015 at 04:29 PM..
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My heart goes out to the boys
Old 09-06-2015, 01:38 AM
  #5

A suggestion to keep the peace-

Just say no to anything involving the boys. Just say no without passing judgement. I totally agree with you about her lifestyle, particularly on weekends when she has the boys. How awful! You are spot on regarding why the boys' behavior has declined.

But, if you explain why you are saying no, a huge rift will form. You have the best excuse ever- you are very pregnant and will have a newborn shortly! You and your wife are "overwhelmed" for the next 21 years or so!


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Old 09-06-2015, 03:53 AM
  #6

I totally agree with you. No, she was not in the wedding, but her sons were. She should have been there! I would not express my opinion regarding her lifestyle because I doubt she wiil take it in a good way. I would also just use the end of pregnancy and then a newborn as an excuse as to why you can't watch them for a while!
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Old 09-06-2015, 05:53 AM
  #7

Unless your DW feels she should talk to her sister, I would stay out if it. If she does decide to, then her focus should only be about the boys and not about the BF. The fact SIL is dumping the boys on others during her weekend with them is wrong and the boys obviously know she's choosing the BF first. I bet their dad already knows what is going on.

Sad situation for the kids but not yours to fix. What do your DW's parents say about having the boys stay with them so much? And why can't the boys go to the mountains with mom and BF? Are his sons going?

With the baby coming you won't have time to watch the boys. Just say no.
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Old 09-06-2015, 06:02 AM
  #8

Maybe it is time for their dad to take them 100% of the time.
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Old 09-06-2015, 06:36 AM
  #9

I might suggest that since you are about to have a baby, that the boys might enjoy that extra time with their dad. You know- they are getting to that age where they are figuring out how a grown up man acts and it's important for them to have that modeled by the dad. I would also probably ask your DW to start that conversation.

I can't believe you are so close to having your baby. It's so exciting!
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Old 09-06-2015, 06:50 AM
  #10

Sounds frustrating... maybe they should spend more time with dad? You will be so busy adjusting your life with baby boy, you won't be able to babysit anyway!


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Rant away!
Old 09-06-2015, 07:31 AM
  #11

Who has kids in a family wedding and doesn't attend? Unreal.


You and your wife need to get on the same page and remember that no one can take advantage of you without your permission.

Plus, many divorce agreements state that the other parent must have first right of refusal if the parent that is supposed to have them can't/won't care for them. She may be violating her agreement.
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This is a terrible situation for you,
Old 09-06-2015, 09:18 AM
  #12

but remember, it is even worse for those children.

Quote:
They seem to be behaving worse and worse these days. She keeps ditching them to go be with her BF so it's no wonder.
Right there is the answer to their deteriorating behavior. The poor kids are falling apart. Please don't hold them responsible for acting out. The mother is failing them. And why can't they at least be with their dad on her weekends if she is too busy?

Are you saying that she dumps her own kids to be with the new BF and HIS kids, who are the same age? That makes it all so much worse. Those poor little boys. I would suggest that the dad file for full custody. She sucks as a mom.

I agree that your DW should be the one to talk to her. Unfortunately, she will just probably shuffle those kids off to someone else, someone who cares even less for them.
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Wow
Old 09-06-2015, 10:14 AM
  #13

Your SIL's problem should not be your problem. You have earned your right to say no next time she asks for a babysitter. You will soon have your little one and I am sure there is no way you would expect your SIL to watch him. I feel sorry for the nephews you can't fix this.
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Old 09-06-2015, 01:37 PM
  #14

I say let your DW handle your SIL. But when it comes to watching her kids after your baby comes, hold firm. NO WAY! Trust me, babies are hard and you don't need anything else to worry about when you're adjusting to being new parents.

I have crazy respect for you for taking your wife's nephews to the wedding without your wife. I'm not sure I would have been brave enough to do that.
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Agree with Dee.
Old 09-06-2015, 02:55 PM
  #15

Agree with Dee 100%.

I'm not sure if you've communicated your displeasure to your wife, but accepting babysitting duty with a very pregnant spouse isn't a great idea. I remember watching my niece and nephew while very pregnant and I had to say no after a while.

I would speak with your wife and let her know you're not feeling up to babysitting duty again. Don't insert your opinions of the mother. You may be right, but it isn't worth hurting feelings over. Your SIL can make an adjustment in her schedule or custody agreement, but I'd stay out of it.
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