I live in Southern Arkansas, I have been married for 15 years. My husband and I have 4 kids and my parents are threatening to sue us for Grandparents Rights or Custody. For years, I have tried to talk to my mother about things she had said to my kids that weren't acceptable. Parental decisions that my parents didn't like, so they would tell our kids that we were terrible for making such choices. Choices as stupid as the clothes my kids wear, hair styles, and even birthday partys! 'She would blow up at me, tell me that I am the one in the wrong. I just can't see what I am doing because I am too close to the situation' . They will never admit they have done anything wrong. They are very controlling and don't know how to take no for an answer. When I confronted them for the last time, I told them if things didn't get better, then they wouldn't be visiting the kids. It wasn't good for the kids to be told their parents were stupid or favoring one child over another. Well, it didn't stop. So, I told them don't call or come to my house anymore.
My mother got very upset. Started saying all kinds of mean and hurtful things about me. She says that I am an unfit mother, and she will just take custody of all my kids. She accused me of being mentally ill, violent, and said my husband mentally abuses me. She says he is the cause of all this. She thinks that it is his fault I am not letting them see our kids. In fact, this is a choice that we made together.
All this is UNTRUE. I do not want this to go to court, but if it does, it will get ugly. Since my parents have been warned that some of the things being said around my kids were unacceptable and they choice to keep acting the same, why should they be allowed access to my kids? I wouldn't let my kids hang out with other teenagers that did things I didn't approve of. The way I see it, My parents have no right to be saying things and trying to turn our kids against each other or US. I have people that will testify that I am a good mother and that I have not been abused by my husband. We aren't on drugs, and have no criminal records at all. Actually, they say that my mom is the one with an unhealthy 'attatchment' to one of my sons. It is almost as if she thinks, he is her SON. She shows great favoritism towards him, and it isn't fair to the other 3 kids. If I was an unfit mother, during the last 13 years, why didn't she do something before now? Everything is fine as long as I go along with her. But the minute things don't go her way, she goes crazy with accusations.
We live in our own home. We don't live with them. They did come over to our house, uninvited almost 3 days a week. We also saw them at our sons football games. He is her favorite, so she never misses one of his games. Of course, every visit always ended with her calling up my Aunt, (her sister) to tell her something about me. How I did something that made her mad.
I tried to have a relationship with them, but it was getting to be too much to handle. I just need some space. I don't need my kids going to their house, to be told how terrible my husband and I are.
Since the blow up...My mother has made it a point to follow me everywhere. Atleast 2 times a week, she shows up at the grocery store, football practice, or ballet class. They attended my 13 year olds football games and pretend they are the victims. They tell everyone that will listen how nuts I am. She even called my home one day and left 10 messages on the answering machine in 30 mins. Telling me that 'I better pick up the phone', 'I know your there', 'you can't hide from me forever'. My dad has even sat out in his car, by my driveway in the street, for an hour! They are making their point that where ever we go, they will be there too.
My kids say they understand why meemee and I are in a fight. They know what has been happening isn't right. Just because they are kids, doesn't mean they are stupid. They have seen this constant power struggle for years. They also say they don't want to go to their house to visit.
My kids are 13, 10, 8, and 5. My question is do they have to go visit my crazy parents? I don't even want to go see them, I sure don't want my kids to be there without me. If she takes me to court for Grandparents Rights...can she win any kind of visitation? If so, what would the visitation be? My kids are busy. We have lots of after school and weekend activities. Nearly every day of the week and weekend is spent at one of my kids events.
I know she can't get custody. We haven't done anything wrong. She was just trying to scare me. My whole life, she has been the one 'telling me what I will do.' She can't stand that I can make up my own mind and won't do things her way anymore.
HELP!! I need advice.
Helpless in Hope, AR.