FWIW Our kids may be adults now, but even though DH and I have only been married a year, we lived together before we got married and have been a couple since our youngest were the same age as OP’s eldest daughters. And older Bees on this thread know first hand you don’t stop being an involved parent when your child turns 18.
One more point to add and then I think I’m going to be done. This thread is meaner than the Jen thread- and OP herself seems to have peaced out on us. If she was ever more than a troll to begin with, she didn’t seem very invested in her own thread, typical troll-obtuseness in the spattering of updates. Just stir the pot out of boredom to watch the drama then jog on.
But for those of you who aren’t step-parents or step-children or whose own children have step-parents, maybe if you think of it in terms of mother-in-laws. I know MILs aren’t the same as minor children and the dynamics are different- BUT as a few Bees have put it so well, it’s the MINDSET that’s off with OP’s husband. So maybe I can explain it in terms of MILs that non-step-parents can relate to:
Some Bees have very close relaitonships with their moms and their moms are important figures in their lives. But when you marry your husband, you have to realize that even if your mom’s your mom and always will have a special place in your heart, you can’t treat your husband’s mom as less than, as second tier, second rate. You may love your own mom more, but you can’t, or shouldn’t, blatantly show favouritism over your MIL. You try to do right by both moms.
You don’t enter a marriage with the mindset “I’ve already decided that I’m spending every holiday with my mom” or “My mom will never go in a nursing home, but it’s okay for my MIL” because this simply isn’t fair. When you expand your family, this expansion comes with compromise.
Now individuality matters here, just as it does with children. It’s not necessarily equal, but it should strive to be fair. So maybe you see your mom more than his because your mom lives 10 minutes away and his mom is a plane ride away. Maybe one mom at 70 is healthy and vibrant and independent while the other mom is in poor health and needs assistance. Maybe sadly for one mom her health has deteriorated to the point (like advanced Alzheimers for example) where around the clock nursing care IS the better option to home care. Maybe one mom has a spouse and the other is widowed or divorced. So no, you don’t have to do exactly the same for each and it might not be a good fit- it’s the MINDSET that you are willing to do the best for each individual. What’s not okay is when favourites are played “If my mom gets old and sick she’s coming to live with us, but we don’t have room for both moms so yours has to go in a nursing home”.
Imagine also, that those who don’t understand that even if your mom is closer to your heart, your heart still has a place for your MIL and that you wouldn’t want to hurt her by showing blatant favouritism .And this is your DH’s mom, the man you love, you shouldn’t want to hurt him or create friction in your relationship by treating his own mom second rate. So you get accused of being full of yourself because you say ‘of course DH and I see both sets of relatives for Christmas, of course we alternate Thanksgiving and Easters and make sure both moms were involved with the wedding, both moms are part of the grandkids’ lives etc. And people who don’t get this say ‘bullshit, stop pretending, you’re so phony acting like a mom and a MIL should be equal. You probably just put yourself first and aren’t nice to either mom so that’s how it’s equal’
It’s not phoniness, to me it’s just basic decency. And this is one of the things you take on when you marry someone with children.