Post # 1
My MIL is the definition of a drama queen. She exaggerates everything and makes mountains out of molehills. One of her favorite topics of conversation is my SIL (husband’s brother’s wife) and her questionable ability to parent her child (aka. MIL’s pride and joy *eye roll*). Here’s the thing, my SIL can be pretty dumb and is easily annoyed by her daughter but she’s not a bad mother. She’s certainly not mother of the year but she loves and cares for her kid.
A few months ago MIL told me that my SIL pushed her daughter down the stairs. I told her that I didn’t believe it and that if it happened, it was obviously an accident. She stood by her story even though she wasn’t there to witness it. According to her, the daughter (who’s 3) told her that mommy pushed her down the stairs. Naturally my MIL ran with it and told my husband and I. I don’t know who else she told but considering her big mouth, I wouldn’t be surprised iif she told anyone that would listen.
A few weeks ago my IL’s went away together. When they came home, my MIL said that she was disgusted with my SIL because she “punched her daughter in the face”. I said “wow, are you serious?” just to humor her because I knew it was bullshit and she said that the morning after the incident, the daughter woke up black and blue and it looked like her nose was broken (this hasn’t been confirmed by anyone else). She later said that my SIL said that she accidently elbowed her daughter in the forehead. I can definitely see that happening. The girl is always up her moms ass. If my SIL turned around quickly, it doesn’t surprise me that she could have been accidently hit. My FIL was pretty quiet about the whole thing. I assume it’s because he knows his wife is batshit crazy and making a huge deal out of nothing. Also, my FIL is a no bullshit kind of guy. If his granddaughter was being abused, he wouldn’t stand for it. As far as my MIL is concerned, if there was genuine abuse happening, it would be her responsibility to notify the proper authorities which of course she hasn’t done.
I firmly believe that my niece is not being abused by her mother. Any incidents that may have happened were certainly accidents that my MIL has blown way out of proportion. My issue is that my MIL is telling people that my SIL is hurting her child when I really do not believe that she is. My husband fully agrees with me. It’s gotten to the point that neither of us believe anything that his mother says. My issue is that I want to tell my SIL about the rumors that our MIL is spreading but my husband doesn’t want me to get involved. I know that if the situation was reversed and it was me and my child on the receiving end of the lies, I would want to know so that I could handle MIL however I saw fit. For me, it would be the end of any relationship that this woman had with my child but my BIL & SIL rely heavily on my MIL to watch their kid since fulltime daycare is too expensive for them. I know that telling my SIL would create a significant amount of drama but I just think that she deserves to know that the woman who she has entrusted to watch her child is telling people that she’s hurting her child.
What would you do in my situation?
Post # 2
It is such a difficult situation. I understand why you want to tell your SIL. I still think you should stay out of it as your husband has asked you to.
Everything in darkness eventually comes to light. The lies will come out and your SIL will react as she chooses.
Post # 3
Telling your sister-in-law will only add to the drama. Better to stay out of it, and seriously keep an eye on that kid…did you see bruises on her face? An accidental whack to the face won’t cause something like that…it would have to be pretty forceful.
Post # 4
I would 100% tell the SIL. Those are serious lies that could have terrible repercussions.
I would also tell the MIL I wanted nothing to do with her lies. To not say another single word to me or my husband about SIL. If she started up I would walk away.
Post # 5
ilovebacon: assuming you know the kid is not being abused, this is really outrageous and unforgivable.
bad news is if MIL is doing this to SIL, she’s doing it to others or will be soon or already has. For that reason, I’m not sure I agree with PP. I have had a SIL tell me when the shoe was on the other foot, and I had already been wondering if I should tell her about all of the bs said about her. People who lie like this work on divide and conquer and operate best when no one else is talking directly.
I think you can find a way to approach this where you say MIL very concerned, and you are following up. This way, you don’t look like you are tattling, but it opens the door for dialogue. You might be surprised at what you find out. If what you suspect is true, this is a lie that would end my relationship with her and it’s a warning shot to everyone else do the lengths she will go to.
Post # 6
I would tell the MIL that she needs to choose her words carefully, as if taken out of context, your SIL and family could face a whole slew of legal troubles, and let her know that if she isn’t more careful with her words in the future, you’ll have to speak to your SIL and BIL about the things she’s saying. Basically put her on notice but give her a chance to hold her mouth shut before going to your SIL.
Post # 7
PositiveThinking: Her husband doesn’t own her. She can make her own decisions…
Post # 8
Thanks for the replies.
peachacid: I have never seen any indication of abuse. Nothing more than normal toddler clumsiness. My FIL & BIL (the father) were there. No one expressed any concern over this supposed “injury”. She spends 3 days p/week at a well known daycare. If her teachers thought anything was wrong, I’m sure they would have done something about it.
Tinatiny1: For every complaint that she makes about my SIL to me, I know there are just as many complaints about me being made to my SIL. I don’t currently have children so she can’t accuse me of being a shitty parent but I don’t doubt that she will when/if I create another toy for her to play with.
Horseradish: That’s probably the best way to handle this. My MIL is known for overreacting when called out. I’m sure she’ll cry and pitch an absolute fit but I’m so sick of walking on egg shells because of her unstable emotions.
The truth is, if anyone is putting that child in danger it’s her father who has, on more than a few occasions, driven drunk with her in the car. The crazy thing is that my MIL knows that it happens. She’ll act all upset over it but she’ll still let him leave her house with his daughter when he’s very obviously in no condition to drive. But of course, her precious baby is nothing short of an exceptional father while the woman he married is an abusive monster.
Post # 9
I understand why my husband doesn’t want me to tell my SIL but I don’t think that reason trumps an innocent woman knowing that someone who she trusts is spreading viscous, life changing lies about her. My husband doesn’t want me to be the reason that his family dynamic changes but truthfully, my MIL is the problem here, not me.
Post # 10
Do you have any evidence your MIL is telling people outside of your immediate family? I am asking because, if so, I wouldn’t be as hesitant to drop a little anonymous note in SIL’s mailbox……….
Post # 11
nikkiibee: I don’t. Truthfully, she doesn’t really have any friends but my husbands family is pretty huge and she loves to gossip. I’m confident she’s told other family members, I just don’t know that for sure.
Post # 12
ilovebacon: Gah, part of me says stay out of it– BUT as a PP said, these ARE serious accusations. What if MIL told someone else, and then THAT person contacted authorities because they don’t even know SIL? I feel like you MIL is walking a serious line, and she needs to check herself. Someone should speak up to her and let her know what she’s doing is NOT ok, it’s NOT funny, and it needs to stop!
Post # 13
What exactly would your MIL gain by saying these things? Is she prepared to or ever expressed an interest in trying for custody of the child? The little girl may be trapped with equally bad parents, and at 3, if she’s telling her Grandmother these things, why would the child make them up? Kids are smart but certainly aren’t clever enough at that age to make up elaborate stories,especially about being pushed down the steps.
It’s obvious how little you think of your MIL, but if she’s babysitting, she obviously sees and hears more from the girl than you do. Funny how all three of the men in this family don’t want to say anything or get involved, because why? Your BIL is covering for his wife’s ‘accidents’, your FIL doesn’t want his son’s drunk driving habits to affect his ability to work if caught, and your husband doesn’t want you to get in the middle because???
Your MIL may be a drama queen, but why are you so sure your SIL is innocent in all this? The daycare hasn’t said anything as yet, but why are you so sure they won’t?
What I would do is to spend more time with this child and keep my eyes and ears open before doing anything about any of it.
Post # 14
ItWasntMe: Because I know my SIL and she’s not going to deliberately hurt her child. I don’t know what my MIL wants to gain from saying these things. I assume she just wants to make my SIL look like a bad mother but it could also be a custody thing. I don’t know. I’m just confident that the things she’s saying about my SIL are not true.
Truth is, my SIL is not my favorite person so it’s not like we’re best friends and I’m defending her. I’m defending her because I know she’s innocent. If I thought that she was a danger to her child, I would certainly step in.
I admit that the falling down the stairs thing is weird but this is coming from my MIL. I wasn’t there when she supposedly told her grandmother that mommy pushed her down the stairs, I was just told about it after the fact so I have no way of knowing what was actually said.
Post # 15
ilovebacon: Do I get it right that it is your Husbands brothers child? Means your Hubby could tell his brother so that he could talk to his mom? Or you can tell BIL.
I mean it is best if son talks to his mom rather than daughter-in law – mother-in-law talk? I let my FI handle his Mom.