An Eye-Opening Vacation or, Ye Gods! You Really Are a Selfish Bitch!

Just got back from vacation with the in-laws…my MIL & FIL paid for basically everything (condo rental, food & supplies, restaurant meals, amusement park). My SIL has 3 children, two of whom are being raised by her ex-husband. My husband has always told me how immature and selfish his sister is, that she is manipulative and a user, but I guess I never really believed him until I saw her in action this weekend. So here’s my rant:

You are the mother of three children, not a high-school student who only has to worry about herself and is taken care of by her parents. You say, “I know I’m a bad mother”, well then, CHANGE! Do things to become a good mother!

Your children are human beings, and they are YOUR children. You brought them into this world without any thoughts of how your irresponsible behavior was going to affect them. Do you realise how traumatic it must have been for your daughter to grow up watching Daddy beat up Mommy, and then recently have to watch Mommy’s boyfriend beat up Mommy? Thank the gods that this child had the presence of mind to call 911, even if you decided not to press charges.

You have a beautiful, cheerful baby girl who is a joy to be around. I wish when you gave birth to her that the doctor had “accidentally” tied your tubes so that you can’t give birth again, because in my opinion you don’t deserve children. I get the feeling that you decided to keep this baby and not get an abortion because you realised that you could use her to milk the government (yes, SIL is on welfare/unemployment/WIC/you name it). I wish I could take your sweet little baby daughter and raise her as my own, instead of treating her like a doll or a pet (when SIL doesn’t want to deal with the baby she puts her to bed with a bottle).

YOU ARE A PARENT. Your responsibilities do not end just because you want to go out drinking or don’t feel like dealing with your children. Your children will grow up hating you when they realise that you chose partying over being a good parent, when they realise that you chose to live with an abusive drug addict instead of getting a job and your own place so that you can have a place for them to come to (the kids are not allowed at Druggie Boyfriend’s house ever since he beat up Mom in front of them).

WHY do you feel the need to get stoned in the middle of the day? If you want to get stoned, then do it socially at a party or something. NOT right before you take your children to the beach. NOT when you’re getting ready to go out to dinner. And certainly NOT when you have to care for a 7-month-old infant. In my mind, you are an addict too. And you will probably never admit to that because you don’t think it’s a problem to take a “couple hits” in the middle of the day.

In my opinion, when you become a parent, your child should become the center of your world. You should do everything in your power to care for the child, to protect them, nurture them, and teach them. Your first responsibility is to your child. You do none of these things. Your only responsibility is to YOU, and how much you can get out of other people. You spent a lot of time complaining about how small the condo was, how much better a different beach is, how it costs less to stay there, etc. etc., but you know what? YOUR PARENTS PAID FOR EVERYTHING ON THIS TRIP!! They did not have to invite your children! They could have said no when you decided to latch on! But they didn’t. Can’t you show a speck of gratitude to them?

You are nothing but a spoiled, immature, selfish, self-centered BITCH who cares nothing for anyone else. You’re fun to have fun with but you SUCK at being a parent. You are a druggie trailer-trash 'ho who needs to grow the fuck up and stop acting like an irresponsible little girl who always gets what she wants.

I wouldn’t mind her idiocy so much if she didn’t have kids. You know, there’s alway gotta be someone in the family that people shake their heads about and say, “Boy she’s got a fucked-up life, but it’s all her own doing.” But she has dragged 3 children into her miserable little fuckhole of a life and they’re getting fucked up in the process. Her older two live with their father who is a convicted wife-beater asshole redneck extraordinaire, and his sister who is a redneck cretin. My niece, who is turning out to be a bright kid (reads two grade levels above her own), is a very angry, unhappy child. She always gets blamed for everything and yelled at because she’s older and “should know better”. My nephew spends all day at home with Aunt Bitch and the TV, has no social graces and is a spoiled brat. His pre-k teacher should have her hands full in the fall. Plus they are allowed to treat each other like shit and fight at home. They’re okay if you’re one-on-one with them, but together they can be a nightmare.

I wish sometimes that I could take all three children and raise them, although it would be tough going for a while. It pisses me off to no end to see these poor innocent kids being screwed over by their messed-up parents. The only thing I can hope is that I’m giving them something or helping them when I spend time with them, and that they remember Aunt Moggy as someone who read to them and spent quality time with them and was consistently kind to them.

During the vacation I would repeat to myself, “These are not my children. My children are going to be raised differently. These are not my children. My children are going to be raised differently.” And I feel somewhat guilty for being judgemental, but fuck it! As the child of fucked-up druggie/alcoholic parents I feel I have a right to be judgemental, because I have seen how absolutely crazy things can get. And no, I won’t be “the perfect parent”. I’m going to make mistakes. But my kids will never be on welfare because I was too lazy to go out and find a job. I will never put my next hit before my children. I will never put my children through being raised watching/experiencing any kind of abuse. When my children are born, I will become a parent, and nothing will deter me from taking care of them.

'Nuff said.

This is sort of underhanded…but you say she gets stoned…could you possibly, perhaps, tip off the cops and get her children taken away from her?

I mean, I wouldn’t normally say this…but…

You won’t believe this, but…

IT’S ALREADY BEEN DONE!! Two or three years ago, she was over at the ex’s visiting the kids or something, and the story is that he planted some weed on her and the called the cops. She was arrested, spent the night in jail (I think), and I guess somehow the charges got dropped, 'cause she never did any jail time. They were having a nasty custody battle for a while, and now the ex has full custody of the kids, and SHE has to pay HIM child support, which has cheesed her off to no end.

I wondered aloud to my husband recently who would get custody of her baby if something happened to her. She’s not even sure who the baby’s father is, and if it’s who she thinks it is, then he’s a druggie who would not want or care about the fact that he has a daughter. I would not wish anything bad to happen to her-she seems to be doing fine with that on her own. And I feel like if I did something like report her it would mean “bad karma” for me.

But then, I wonder, how far are we, her family, supposed to let things go? She’s living with a man who seemed to be a nice guy at first, until we found out that he does drugs and he also has hit her a few times. During one of those times, she was holding the baby while he hit her. This worries me to no end. There have also been times when she has gone over to her parents to visit and he has “not let” her bring the baby over. What if he kidnaps the baby? What if he is beating on her one day and hits that baby accidentally or on purpose?

YIKES. THIS IS TURNING INTO A MAJOR MORAL DILEMMA FOR ME. I know I have a “guardian angel” complex, I want to rescue all the children that I see growing up with abusive parents (because I was an abused child), and my husband always tells me that it’s not my job to save every child I meet. BUT DAMMIT! I feel like I can’t just sit by and watch this happen as my SIL fucks up her life and this beautiful little baby’s life! And she’s stuck, in a way. Her boyfriend told her that if she ever did anything to cause him to be “investigated”, that he would kill her (because he’d probably go to jail for tax fraud due to the fact that he works under the table and doesn’t pay taxes)! NOW DO YOU SEE HOW FUCKED UP THIS WOMAN IS?? She’s living with a man who has hit her and threatened to kill her, she stays with him because it’s free room-and-board, and he gives her money, and they party together. And her two children have gotten pushed by the wayside because she insists on staying with this man. And her baby is going to get dragged down in the mire that is her life.

Oh man. Now I’m really upset.

You’re aware that this woman does drugs, drinks, allows abusive behaviour in her home, putting a 7 month old baby in the line of fire and you have a dilemma? You think that getting this child out of danger will bring you bad karma?

You sit by and watch as this child is subjected to abuse, neglect and danger and do nothing but whine and moan about it on a message board. Well, since you’re making it public, I feel free to tell you that I think that’s more likely to bring you bad karma than if you were to do the right thing and report this woman to social services immediately. I don’t see anything moral about turning a blind eye to a child who’s being neglected and subjected to danger and allowing it to continue without intervention.

Jeg elsker dig, Thomas

You’re right, Shayna. I should report this to the authorities. After all, if I were a person just reading about this situtation, it would piss me off royally.

I was able to confront my father for abusing me and tell him to fuck off out of my life, why do I feel like I can’t do anything about this? I guess I feel like I don’t have the “right” to because I’m just an “in-law” and not blood family.

But I feel like I can’t sit back and shake my head while I watch her fucked up little life anymore! I can’t do it! I DON’T WANT TO DO IT!

I realized while thinking about all this that by me not saying or doing anything, that I am tacitly agreeing with her lifestyle- the self-help books would call it “enabling”. And you know, I grew up enabling my family as they sunk deeper and deeper into dysfunction and addiction. And one of the things I’d decided a LONG time ago when I first got into therapy was that I was not going to enable anyone anymore!

I’m going to go look up the number for Child Protective Services right now.

Make sure this child has a chance. Don’t let another generation go bad. Better to take a chance than let a child’s welfare fall by the wayside. All my extra good karma is being beamed your way as we speak.

Keep us posted, okay?


Good luck, moggy–that little girl is lucky to have you since you seem to be the only person willing to do something to help her escape what sounds like a pretty rotten life (including, by golly, your own husband, their mother’s brother! what’s up with him?). Can you get the other two kids out, too? Daddy sounds just as bad as mommy.

BRAVA moggy! This little girl is very lucky to have someone in her family who cares so much about her safety and welfare. And as far as this goes…

Ask yourself what you’d do if this were your next door neighbor and you saw her endangering her child. Every citizen has the “right” to intervene on behalf of an abused child, whether related to the family of the victim or not. If more people got involved we’d have far less abuse happening.

Good luck and I sincerely hope everything turns out ok for your niece. And hugs to you for the love you’re showing her…


I was up til past two am last night, and I haven’t had any coffee yet, bleah…so bear with me.

I called my husband on his cellphone about 5 times last night (he’s camping this weekend, actually running a LARP game), and he FINALLY called me back. He said he’d been thinking a lot about it too, and that he was angry at his sister because she got high while she was driving me and the baby to the ocean (he’s VERY protective of me).

He brought up a couple of good points. He said what if his sister goes to jail and not the boyfriend? We DON’T want the baby ending up with him. Or what if the boyfriend turns out to be the baby’s biological father? Plus there is the fact that supposedly the boyfriend said that if anything ever happened that he was investigated, and he went to jail, that he’d kill her. But my husband says that you can’t always believe what his sister says.

We both agreed to sleep on it. Then I got a brilliant idea while I was falling asleep last night. I was seeing a social worker for therapy for a while, she’d probably know what happens when Child Protective Services is called. So I left a message for her this morning. Hopefully she’ll call me back tomorrow. I just want to know what the process is when CPS is called, because I don’t want the baby winding up in the clutches of Mr. Abusive Druggie Boyfriend.

I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m chickening out, because I’m not. My husband said to me, “You realize this is going to make my sister really mad at us.” I said, “Yeah, I know.” But you know, it makes ME really mad that she’s being so irresponsible when she has an infant to care for! I guess it never bothered me much before because I never spent an extended period of time with the baby…but I spent 5 days with her on vacation. She is probably the most cheerful baby I’ve ever met. Even when she fusses, it’s all over in a couple minutes and then she’s all smiles again. Plus she’s REALLY cute-and I’m not just saying that 'cause I’m her aunt, total strangers were stopping us on the street to tell us how cute she is. She just started crawling recently, while we were on vacation she cut her first tooth, and pulled herself up to a standing position a couple times (she’s 7 months old). She even started holding her arms out to me to be picked up!

Thanks everyone for all the support and good wishes. I’ll keep you posted.

Do keep us posted, Moggy.

I hope things work out - just know you’re doing the right thing. If you do end up talking to CPS, make sure you let them KNOW the status of things with the child’s father. They probably will withdraw the child from them BOTH.

Be prepared for an uphill battle. These things take time to settle, and often, courts need to get involved, and it gets really messy. Sometimes, the whole attempt to withdraw the kids fails - but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. At least you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you did al you possibly could.


You’ll be a great parent, someday :slight_smile:


God, shit like this just REALLY PUSHES MY BUTTONS.

Would she keep doing these things if it meant another one of her children’s fingers were cut off with every boyfriend beating? With every week they spend in a dysfunctional home with their dickhead father? My guess is she’d answer “Of course not!”

Well, what she needs to realize is that the damage that is being done to her children is just as bad. It may not be as visible or as bloody, but it is just as long-lasting, just as painful, and just as debilitating. They’re going to grow up with a warped perspective about relationships, about responsibility, about families, about trust, about parenting… the list goes on. That is crippling and can affect their future happiness for the rest of their lives. And it will be passed down to their children as well. I’d allege it’s easier to sew on a chopped-off finger than to cure these problems if she lets them continue.

She’s doing things to her children that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. It’s too bad their wounds DON’T show, because maybe she’d wake the hell up and get her act together.

And BTW, I’d recommend writing down your concerns and making them as specific as possible. I know you’re not close enough to record dates and incidences, but the next best thing it to get things down clearly and concretely. CPS can’t do as much if all they have to go on are vague complaints, no matter how passionately they are delivered.

Would I call Children’s Protective Services? NO! Because: 1) you will add to your SIL’s stress level, which clearly she doesn’t need; 2) you risk estranging yourself from her, and from her children WHO NEED YOU; and 3) CPS’s goal is ALWAYS to reunite the family if at ALL possible. You may get the children removed for a day, or even a few weeks, but they will always be returned barring some horrific evidence of abuse.

I know this sounds crazy, but perhaps the best thing you could do for the children is to befriend your SIL. Help her. Offer to watch the kids on occasion, and if she agrees, ask more often. Show her that you love the kids and that you find joy in them. Hopefully she’ll begin to see you and your husband as a source of relief to her. At the very LEAST you will provide a sane, stable, loving role model for the kids. At the MOST she will recognize how screwed up she is and might even let you have the kids.

FWIW, my niece’s mom was just as you described. Bev lived with an abusive boyfriend, she’d feed Kayla doughnuts all day. Her apartment was a pigsty. Motherhood was just too much responsibility for her. My brother never pressured her to give up Kayla. Instead he would stop by and say, “I just thought you might like a break.” He’d take Kayla to the mall for a few hours, or to the zoo. Then he began started asking Bev if he could take her away for weekend trips to our cabin at the lake. And Bev always agreed because it was a relief to her! And, finally, after about a year and a half, he offered to take her permanently. Kayla’s been living with him since she was 3. She’s now 12. (FWIW, Bev is on baby #3 now, still single and still living with the abusive boyfriend.)

So you CAN make a difference. Good luck!

PunditLisa, I agree with you, just as I agree with pretty much everything everyone else has said. I’M SO CONFUSED!!

I looked at the CPS website, and I know their goal is to remove the child from the home and educate/counsel the parents and then put the child back in the home. While that’s an admirable sentiment in some cases, I don’t think it would work in this case. My SIL would take whatever money they gave her, listen to what they said and then lie through her teeth. She’s not going to give up her boyfriend- he works, and gives her money, and they party together. I don’t think she WANTS to give up her lifestyle, or get a job. SHE doesn’t have a problem with her life, her family has the problem.

We talked for a while about having me watch the baby while she went back to work. But she lives about an hour away from me, and if she got a job near me, like she had before, it would still add extra driving time on. My husband and I considered VERY briefly asking her to move in with us for a while. I think I could deal with the selfishness and the using and all, but I DON’T want someone bringing drugs into my home. And I know if we asked her not to bring drugs in, or made a rule about it, she’d just lie.

I don’t want to alienate her. I like my SIL, she’s a funny person and fun to be with. I just don’t like her lifestyle and I feel bad for her, but it’s something she’s chosen. Unfortunately, there are children involved and that makes it difficult. I have offered many times to watch the baby for her. BF has “not let” that happen in the past, he said that the baby doesn’t know me and wouldn’t be happy, but after spending almost a week with this child, I’d say she knows me! I am getting a car soon, so perhaps it will make it easier for her if I drive out and pick up the baby. I would LOVE to care for my niece, I am SO ready for a baby (my husband and I have been trying to get pregnant, no luck yet), and I have ALWAYS loved babies and children. And my SIL told me that she can see that in the way I interact with her kids, and that she’d rather have me watch the baby than a friend, especially since I was a pre-k teacher and have had lots of training.

::SIGH:: I don’t know what we’re going to do. I may end up calling CPS, I may not. I want to do what is best for my niece. And maybe calling CPS would just add lots of stress and heartache to everyone’s lives. I don’t know. I DO know that I am not going to sit here silently and act like I’m okay with things. I don’t know WHAT we’re going to end up doing, but we will do something, even if it’s just talking to my SIL. She may get angry with us for a while, but she’d eventually calm down. And I will continue to offer my help.