I am afraid my husband's mom won't be consistent in our kids lives: Advice?

I don’t know what to do. This morning my husband told me something huge. His mom reached out to him. Now for context, as a child, his mom left him and his sister. She just dropped them off with her sister and left the state. She came back around when he was 19 and told his sister, her daughter, to not have children with me because she didn’t like my mom when they were growing up. So he cut contact, and we continued to live our life. He tried reaching out at our firstborn baby shower. He sent her pictures of it and sent her a message offering her the chance to be in his life. She never messaged back. Now that boy is two, and we have a two-month-old. And she reached out last night. She told him she was proud of him and happy for him. He sent her pictures of the boys and once again said he would love for her to be in their lives. When he told me about it this morning, he already had his hopes up. He was saying how the boys could have two grandmas that act like my mom. (Who spends almost every weekend with them, buys them things all the time, constantly video calls to talk to the toddler, just overall a very positive role in their life.) And while I hope his mom will want to be that way, I’m terrified that she will just leave again and leave all my boys heartbroken.


She’s going to break the hearts of 3 boys this time :cry:


Is it possible to come to her? For instance my mil doesn’t come to events when invited (we live in different towns about 50 miles apart) but we have called and said we are going to be near and would like a visit. She is always warm and has gifts for our boys (always belated Christmas/bday) unfortunately that is the only way we are able to have her in our lives.

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My husband’s mom up and moved out of state when he was a kid. She left a 12 year old to get evicted. He called to announce the birth of my 8 year old, and she yelled at him for not calling on mother’s day. She tried calling a few years ago, but he wouldn’t speak to her. I don’t want her around my kids, and I have never met her. She doesn’t even know how many grandkids she has, and it’s better for us that way.

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I am praying for your family.it does sound like she would break 3 hearts if she chose to be close to your kids then left. That’s a tough situation to be in, praying she puts the kids feelings and little hearts first.

My advice is your husband and his mother should establish a lasting relationship first, and then grandkids come later.


Sounds to me like he’s getting his hopes up for nothing :cry:. She sounds very toxic and I doubt she will ever stay around. I would say maybe allow her to have a meal with y’all once in a blue moon when she wants to show up. But, your kids are smarter than you think and they will realize what she is doing. They will realize she doesn’t care enough to stick around. I had grandparents who didn’t really want to be in our lives too. I see them once in a great while for a meal, and then we all go on with our lives.

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Ugh. He needs to stop. She is toxic and be toxic to your children. You need to protect them and him. I get that everyone wants to believe the best of their mums. In this case, his trust is misplaced

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It’s unfortunate but this happens

Sadly if she makes that mistake thats on her. It will be her fault the kids don’t want to see her

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Before she is allowed to be in their lives she needs to prove herself. Your #1 job as a parent is to protect your kid. Don’t let her break your kids hearts.


His mom didn’t like your mom probably because she was definitely a better mother. She’ll never be different or reliable. I would never count on her for anything. 🤷


Sadly shes not going to stick around. Some women just aren’t made out to be parents hun.

Not all people will embrace family…sad for them because they miss out on what is most important in life…
She may drop in now and then but definitely don’t expect her to be like anyone else…she is who she is and you won’t change that.
If she decides to visit then so be it…if she promises to do things and never show up then she would be emotionally hurting your husband and kids…you just have to wait and see what comes of this…

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You need to put your foot down with her, that if she disappears on your husband and grandchildren, she’d better stay that way.

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She left her kids because she was not mature enough to deal with her own issues. She came back trying to change his life because she didn’t like a person who was in it. Still not mature. She left again. Two years later after ignoring his efforts of reaching out, she contacts him again. No matter how bad you want someone in your life until they are ready to grow up and stop being selfish stay away from them. Do not bring toxic people in your life, your home, your children’s life. Yes it will hurt you to say no but it can kill you and those around you if you say yes. We can’t choose family but we can choose to let them go.


I told everyone about this rule that I have. I basically told them that I’m not gonna beg anyone to be in my son’s life and that you’re either in or out. There’s no going back and forth. Once you’re in, you’re in and once you’re out, you’re out.


I’d be more worried about your husband being hurt. My daughters (4 and 2 and a half year old girls) grandparents on their fathers side can be like that. They come in loving on them and buying them things and they can have fun together. But it’s inconsistent. I just roll with it and don’t make a big deal of it. My parents are very involved but the girls have never compared them


If you stop this from playing out it will fall on your shoulders. Hang in there, worried momma. People show their true colors relatively quickly. Bless your hubby’s heart he just wants the world for his babies. Hugs


Unfortunately we can not control what others do. If they choose to Walk away that’s their choice. Give the children the opportunity to see them and be with them.

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It sounds like his mother won’t play a consistent role enough for it to have an effect on the kids. She would literally have to establish relationships and it doesn’t sound like she’s able to do that. so her seeing the boys once in a blue moon isn’t going to be that big of a deal

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I think that she’s going to have to be proving herself to you and your husband before she gets anywhere near your children. I also think that you and hubby are going to need to have a talk with her and give her some hard truths, and boundaries.

My first thought on this is that she wants something from your husband. She’s using his need for his mother & desire for your boys to have a grandmother to get it. She’ll use you all, emotionally abuse your husband & kids then abandon you again. Then I thought what if this was a man who wasn’t interested in his children & suddenly popped in out of no where. Others here would be telling you to let him in. They’d accuse you of parental alienation just for thinking about not letting him in. They’d send me PMs telling me to kill myself & claiming I’m a bad mother for telling you to let that toxic fool back in your life. How different it is when genders are switched.

I honestly don’t see the issue with her coming and going. I came from a huge family and we always had family coming and going. As a child I didn’t talk to any of them on the phone. When they came to visit we spent as much as possible to the next time. As for my grandma she did live close so I did talk her all the time and visit. Just because my other cousins couldn’t didn’t mean that she love them any less.

As a child who had grandparents who were in and out of our lives, I’m glad I got to know them even if they were not always there. Just set some clear boundries so that everyone knows what is allowed with the kids. People who float in and out of other lives are the type to want to make up lost time and take the kids to do crazy, sometimes inappropriate things. I would never deprive my kids from their grandparents. Even if I doubted they were going to be a constant in their lives. Who knows maybe being a grandma is the grounding factor this person needs.


I believe grandparents should be in the kids lives, but it has to come from their heart is not an obligation. My mom is very involved with my kids, and my husband mom lives literally 5 minutes away in the same city and doesn’t visit them. The only time she sees them is when her daughter that lives up north comes to visit and she comes with her. That bothers me, but I can’t control it. I figure my kids will get older and not be close to her and that will be her fault not mine.
So just let her come around when she wants to… eventually the kids will not want to be around her. :woman_shrugging:t4:

I’m afraid your seeing a pattern that your husband is refusing to see it could be very distressing for your children if she appears than disappeas children need stability and constant reassuring people in there lives unless you have the reassurance that she will be part of there lives I would question here ability to be constant in your childrens lives

She is a grand parent not a parent. Her coming in out of your kids lives shouldn’t be a problem so long as she doesn’t bring or cause drama.


I’m confused, she told her daughter to don’t have children with you? So how? Are you with your husband’s sister too?

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I wouldn’t tell them who she was until she earned it and stuck around for a long period of time. As it stands now she is just some stranger to them anyway. I dealt with something similar with my own mother, who also walked out on me. People like that don’t change often, she’s the same way to this very day in and out on a whim. It can actually be quite toxic for everyone involved.

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Well in your favour, your boys are still on the young side if he does mess up, they won’t take as much notice. My two year old would anyway to be honest when he only meets them handful of times. For your husband it could be a lot harder.the more she abandons him, he will have enough some day.
At the end of the day, she is entitled to try but i wouldn’t leave my guard down until your really sure.

time for you to talk to her yourself; a lot of people have a change of heart when they get older so…

My ex’s mother was like this. We gave her chance after chance. Every time was the same she’d just drop out boy , no contact , no how is he ? No bday card nothing. He currently doesn’t even know who she is and it’s staying that way. He’s had a lot of trauma in his little life and does not need somebody like that in his life. It may seem harsh but I truly believe it’s in his best interest

Unfortunately, we cannot control other people’s actions. Your mother in law is definitely not dependable and your hubby knows this already, but a parent that is alive and trying to rectify some things is better than a dead one. Let your hubby make the choice of distancing from his mother, allow her to see your babies, of course with some rules for the best interest of your babies. Who knows what ur mother in law is going through and has gone through…I’d let her be there if she wanted to, but with some ground rules.

Do not leave your kids alone with her. Its doubtful that shes gonna be that kind of grandma anyway.

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Being a child of a mother who left me n my 3 brother’s please think long and hard because what she did to her children she will do with yours, sorry if I seem negative but I have 4 children she has nothing to do with and I’m the one who takes kids to see her if at all. Hope you’re situation is different but my mom hasn’t changed in 40+ years


They want somewhere to run when the ain’t got nothing the kids are better off without some like that they are used too the in and out wor-d or world.

Ultimately, this is a decision that both of you have to make and come to compromise on since the children are both yours. I think you two should have a long, private chat about what the expectations for your mother in law would be if she is to be allowed a relationship with your children and what’s going to be acceptable or not.

My mom was emotionally absent growing up. I thought she could “redeem” herself by spending time with my daughter. After they grew pretty close, my mom sold her house and moved out west.

These moms have shown where their interests lie. Time to cut the cord and let them go.

No, no, no!!! Your husband is hopeful because he is still stuck in that way of thinking since he wanted that with her as a child. He isn’t a child anymore. She’s already proven not only once but twice that she doesn’t want to have a relationship. I would not let her have a relationship with my kids. She isn’t going to stop, I’m not going to allow people to come in and out of my childs life. Not even the other parent, this is why people as adults get stuck in crappy relationships and thinking it’s okay for people to be in and out of their lives. You are there or you are not. Your husband clearly wanted his mom to be an awesome grandmother though, we all do. Remind him that it’s okay if she isn’t.

My husband’s mom left when he was little was in and out of his life.
We see her a few times a month for Sunday lunch but never promise the kids she will be there. They are 4 and 6, we haven’t explained much at all to them about the situation and they enjoy lunch with her. (Her dad is 89 and we see him every Sunday. He adores our kids and we figure if she shows up fine if not they get to see Great Grandpa and they love his dearly!)
Maybe start slow? Do a lunch or have her show up when you are at the park? Don’t promise the kids and make it a surprise.

I think the real tragedy here is the grown man whose little boy’s heart obviously still yearns for his mother’s affection :broken_heart:


Sounds like my mom…32 years old and I still catch myself begging for her to be in her granddaughters life when in all reality I think it’s the little girl in me who is desperately wanting that mother daughter bond…my advise would be let your husband spend time with his mother first (if that is his choice) before introducing her into your children’s lives. Your husband is an adult that can make his own decisions so if he gets hurt again,as terrible as it is, he will be more capable of handling it. It is your job to protect your children physically and emotionally…until she shows a good bit of consistency with your husband I would keep her away from your boys.

Please be very careful. My son is now 5 and was very attached to my mil who started using again after being in his life all this time and now she is Mia. My son misses her so much. It’s hurts to see your babies hurt.

I get wanting consistency. I want that for my kids so bad with my family. My husbands family lives 45 min away- most of them and besides my mother in law , we hardly see any of them unless we go to a wedding or rarely when they have a Easter or thanksgiving meal. My family lives in my same town and my kids (12, 10, 3) barely see any of them! It’s soooo sad! I feel for them because my oldest especially wants that family time. My sister and mom are constants. My cousin and her son were for a few years also. My grandma is. But everyone else has no desire to see us. No desire to spend time with the kids, except once a year for Christmas. My oldest asks me who people are when we see them once a year (my cousins, uncles). But as much as I want to say screw all of you, I’m glad they’ve gotten to meet them. If my dad wasn’t dead (died 2 days before my first daughter was born) then I know our family wouldn’t have fallen apart. It’s just so different from how I grew up and when my 3 year old gets older it will be even worse. When my kids get older and they don’t want to stop by those family members houses that will be their fault for only seeing them once a year their whole childhood. :frowning:

Be very cautious with your motherr-in-law but do not give up on hope and love in your family. You cannot prevent heartbreak for your children in this life, but, you can give them consistancy, love and hope for good things from the people in their lives!

Some grandparents live far and don’t see grandkids in person for years. Your kids will respond how you do. If you make it seem fine and normal they will be fine and see nothing wrong.

I wouldnt get to close.