Family Drama

      I would like to begin this post by saying that family has always been, and continues to be, very important to me.  My children receive a lot of love from my immediate family and they are involved in each others’ lives.  My husband’s family, on the other hand, has not really been a constant presence in my sons’ life, specifically his mother’s side of the family.  They are not really close to each other and, when they do get together, it is usually to argue or to fuel some family drama that has been going on for years.  My husband and I decided early on that we would not expose our boys to that kind of dysfunctional behavior.

    My husband has been fine with this decision because he is very much the kind of person that can cut you off and never give it a second thought.  I, unfortunately, do not possess the ability to just let things like that go and, as a result, it has been something that has weighed heavily on me for awhile.  You might be asking yourself why I would stress myself out even thinking about people who bring nothing but drama into our lives.  My answer is that I feel my children are missing out on a whole part of who they are.  I firmly believe that you cannot know where you are going if you don’t know where you came from.

    These are not just distant family members that are not that important to begin with.  We are talking about their Grandmother, my husband’s mother, who they barely know and have seen only a handful of times.  Pretty much, that entire side of the family has been absent from their entire lives.  I could blog for hours about all of the reasons why this is the case but, for the sake of time, I will encompass it within two reasons.  First, that side of the family is not very close to begin with so it would stand to reason that they would not place that much importance on having a familial relationship with my boys.  Secondly, my Mother In Law is a conservative Christian and does not agree with the “wordly” way that I am raising my children since I am a lot more liberal.

    Now, don’t misunderstand me, I don’t have anything against people who have conservative religious beliefs.  Quite the contrary,  I believe everyone should be able to worship and praise God whatever way they want to.  Unfortunately, it seems that I am not entitled to do so and, since I am raising my children in the Catholic faith, I am “dooming my children to end up in hell.”  Yes, that is a direct quote from my MIL.  I hate to admit that this is basically the reason that she doesn’t play a more active role in my sons’ lives, because we don’t share the same religious beliefs.  Actually, it’s not even different beliefs it’s more like a different way of praising.

    I have gotten to the point that I am tired of lamenting over why certain family members are not more family oriented or closer to the family.  Really, they are the ones who are losing out on knowing my beautiful and wonderful children because of their fanatical religious beliefs or because of any other beliefs that they are always trying to impose on my husband and myself.  As far as I’m concerned, it was only my husband and I there when these boys were conceived and it should only be the two of us who should make decisions about how they are being raised.  Ironically, we agreed early on that we would not let our family members influence the way we raise our boys and that we would definitely tend to their spiritual upbringing on our own terms.   

    Before I had children, I had no idea that so many family members would try to impose their parenting beliefs on me.  I know it takes a village to raise a child but, this is ridiculous.  One thing is to share their experiences and be supportive and another thing is to try to dictate their parenting practices on others.  The fact that my husband and I have established boundaries, in this department, has alienated some of them and it is really sad.  I guess I shouldn’t let it bother me too much because my sons have all of the love that they need from us, my family, and my husband’s father’s side of the family.  It’s still sad that they are losing out on having their paternal grandmother and that I have absolutely no control over it just because of a difference in religious beliefs…

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  1. Oh lord, my heart goes out to you! I have been going thru this for awhile now with my own family. My husband and I are proud Catholics, but my family is Baptist. The last straw came this summer when a family member equated my faith to being in a cult! I've decided it's just jealousy for all the misery they are going through, but that really did it for me. Since then, I have backed off from many family members, avoiding family events because I don't want to say the wrong thing (my pre Catholic self would have cursed everyone out by now)… I am also apart of a large extended family, but I've had enough! You actually may not be missing out on that much as you think. With all the joys, the heartache and silliness is even crazier. But I really hate that your MIL is a part of the craziness too. Praying for you and your family!

  2. Eleana, there is so much more to this story that I can't even begin to tell you. There have been mailings, with no return address, stating that we are all going to hell because we don't follow her religion. There is no communicating with her because she is so closed minded to anything that does not agree with her way of thinking. The ironic thing is that my husband actually advocated for the boys not to be raised in the religion that he was because he remembers how traumatic it was to be in that environment. Things would be so much easier if she would respect our decision and keep dogma out of the equation.

  3. I can relate. I was in your children's shoes when I was younger. I have almost zero relationship with my mother's side of the family. They don't know my children, I haven't seen them in 20 years, some longer than that. Try to imagine the awkwardness when I ran into my grandmother and aunt at the supermarket recently, while I was there with my daughter.

    My grandmother, the emotive person she is (sarcasm), acted like she had just seen me last week, instead of 20 years ago, it was no big deal to her. I gave my aunt my phone number, haven't gotten a call…surprise, surprise…

    We don't speak because of issues they had with my mother. For a long time I was hurt, I felt abandoned because they didn't bother with, or even acknowledge, my brothers and I. But in my late teens, I came to realize that I have family that cares about me, that loves me, and that wants me in their life. This life is just too short to worry about things we can't control. I love and embrace the family I have, and feel lucky to have them.


  1. Maria says:

    Family Drama:     I would like to begin this post by saying that family has always been, and continues to be, very…

  2. Maria says:

    NEW POST Tough Cookie Mommy: Family Drama #b2sb2b

  3. Maria says:

    How do you shield your kids from family drama? New Post. Family Drama #b2sb2b

  4. RT @ToughCookieMom: NEW POST Tough Cookie Mommy: Family Drama #b2sb2b <—-I can relate to this!

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