My Ex-MIL Wants To Take My 1-Year-Old To Another Country For 3 Months And Won't Take No For An Answer

What would you do?
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Putting up boundaries with family members isn’t always easy, especially when it comes to your children. Some families have difficulties when it comes to knowing when they’re crossing a line — so, this one parent decided to vent to other parents about a peculiar situation with her ex-mother-in-law.

But, apparently the parent isn’t the only one who had concerns when it came to the scenario they mentioned — others were quick to validate!

On the Mumsnet post they explained that their ex-mother in law casually said she wanted to take her 13-month-old daughter to her home country for three months.

They added: “I immediately said absolutely not! She then followed up with “ok, just one month then”!

“This is apparently so that DD can “get used” to being away from me as she is very clingy. Why on earth would a 13 month old need to get used to being away from their mother for months at a time?!

“Apparently I’m completely unreasonable for not allowing this and have been accused of “hogging” the baby... honestly couldn’t make this up.”

Parents unanimously advised to stay cautious of the mother in law, one even said they have avoided creating their kids passports for this exact reason, “to stop the in-laws attempting to take them away.”

Another chimed in saying the parent was not being unreasonable at all, and to always keep an eye on the child’s passport.

Others couldn’t believe what the mother in law had said with one person saying they had a lovely mother in law who they could never imagine doing such a thing.

One said: “I would not allow this woman to have ANY unsupervised access to my child. Ever. And that supervision would be done by me. I would also hide your daughter’s passport. There is something very, very wrong and sinister about this woman.”

Often parents find it difficult to set boundaries with grandparents, but it’s important to have an open conversation with your partner to establish your values as parents. That way, you can present a united front and a clear message when broaching the issue.

“If I know my values, I can communicate my needs, boundaries, and standards to others with more clarity,” said Jacob Goldsmith, director of the Emerging Adulthood Program at The Family Institute at Northwestern University.

Fran Walfish, a family and relationship psychotherapist in Beverly Hills, California says: “In order to avoid being reactionary, or even worse, manipulative, always converse about setting boundaries when you are calm and settled down. It is extremely challenging to communicate kindly and fairly when you’re frustrated. Chill and then chat!”

Speaking in a gentle, soothing, direct way is more effective and gives the impression that your style of parenting is well-thought-out and has merit. If you’re in an emotional state, try to reason with yourself.