Hi OTM,

My brother in-law is a dead-beat-dad. To put it bluntly. He has kids 7 &9 years old, who he this past year an a half has not seen,nor does he do anything financially for them ever..-ect. I have always had a good relationship with his ex ( the kids mother). I would keep in touch,I was face book friends with her ( which means a lot these days) and when i would ask to have to kids; i was always aloud to have them, even over night 90% of the time to spend time with my kids- their cousins.

Well that is no more. She took me off her face book account and blocked me. I asked her why and she said she just wants family on it. She has completely shut me out. I have been asking to have the kids several times and the answer is always, no we have plans. Except for this last time, She told me her family is going through a lot with her own mothers health problems and that her mom has good days and bad days, and she wants the kids to focus on FAMILY. I mean i am sorry her mother is sick but what does that have to do with us having the kids for a little? Maybe give her and her husband a little break. I’m not asking for much a few hours i said would even be nice. I mean “Family”? Aren’t we family too? Like it or not our kids are cousins and My husband and I are their Uncle and Aunt. This is the same way my in-laws are being treated by her and i feel like she is punishing us ALL for my brother in-law behavior. We are not him. We are trying here and are being told to stop. My initial plan was to continue asking to have the kids but i know how that will go. I hate for years to go by and none of her fathers side is able to see them, i can’t imagine what they are thinking. When i see the kids at after school programs when i pick my own kids up , they have no reaction to me when i reach out.

The only thing i can think of to do is explain to the kids when they are older, and are able to come around if they want. But i really don’t want it to go that far. These kids were such a large part of our lives and from that, to going to nothing is heart breaking. I’m not sure if you have any advice with this but it did feel good to vent it out and say how i feel out loud.

Dear Aunt,

How sad, again children are made to suffer for their parents bad choices and immature decisions. I understand that the ex-sister in-law is bitter because her ex-husband, your brother-in-law is a dead beat dad but punishing the children by denying the joy of growing up with their cousins is just ridiculous. How do you explain that and does anyone actually expect a child to understand that the explanation anyway? Why do people think if they explain adults issues to children they will understand. You might as well talk to the wind. If you, as an adult don’t get it HOW can you think a child will?

My suggestion is to, write the mother an actual letter. I’d buy a nice card, maybe an Easter card and say something like, “I completely understand how you feel about “Dead Beat” and you have every right to. I don’t agreed with what “Dead beat” and neither does “your husband’s name, deadbeats brother” or condone how he acts. But please allow the children to keep as normal a family life and relationship with their cousins as possible. They are children and only children. It doesn’t matter how we try to explain why they are not seeing their cousins, they will not be able to grasp it or understand it.” “Let’s allow our children to stay close like they always have been. What “dead beat” is doing or not doing I should say, should not have to hurt the innocent, our children.
We love your children and we are willing to involve them as much in our lives as we can.
I understand your mother is ill so please allow us to help you with the children, we will be happy to do so.”
Love, your extended family.
Hopefully, the ex-sister-in-law will read the card with an open mind and see the senseless situation involving here.
Sometimes seeing it in writing is the best way to understand and reflect. It is so easy to text or email but to buy a card, address and mail takes a bit more effort and shows this is something you really want to address.

Best of luck and thank you for writing,

One Tough Muther

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