Quandary, resolved.

So I hemmed and hawed and procrastinated. I wanted to say just the right thing to my Former Mother in Law.

This is what I ended up sending today, after she sent a follow up email asking if I'd received the first one:

Hi Former Mother in Law

I did get your email, my apologies for not replying sooner. I have been thinking about how to reply, and it's been tough.

Christmas Eve is my favorite time with the kids. They were with Big Daddy last year for the first time since the divorce, and it was really hard for me, and also for them. It pains me to think of losing even a minute of time with them again this year. It especially pains me when I look back at this year and think about how much the kids and I have gone through together.

I don't know if you're aware of what is happening with me and the kids. Since Big Daddy stopped paying child support in 2008, we have been slowly circling the drain (at least financially). This year I lost my house, the house that my dad bought back in 1969 and passed on to Big Daddy and I. The only house that my children ever knew. I had to pack up 15 years worth of memories and life and move to a rental house. I'm grateful that I have a roof over the heads of my children, but also very angry and saddened that things worked out this way. I am in the middle of declaring bankruptcy, which will hopefully grant me the opportunity to crawl out from underneath the huge financial black cloud that has been hanging over me since Big Daddy stopped helping support his kids.

Throughout all of this, making sure that my children were ok was my number one priority. I have been working non-stop, saving all I can and doing whatever needs to be done to make sure that they are happy, healthy and thriving. The kind things you said about the kids in your email gives me great hope that I have succeeded thus far.

That said, I hope you can understand my hesitation to "give up" my children on our favorite family holiday.

HOWEVER. My affection for you and FFIL, and my love for my kids far outweighs any negative feelings I have regarding this situation. I want only what is best for my children, and being with grandparents and cousins and aunts and uncles who love them is truly what is best. I will use this unexpected "free time" to prepare dinner and wrap presents for my kids.

Thank you for including them in your celebration, and thank you for allowing me to vent a little. I always, always loved you and FFIL and some of my happiest memories from the past include both of you and the times we shared. I have been through a pretty dark phase in my life but am finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. My kids are my life right now, and knowing that there are others in this world who love them and are there for them means the world to me.

Merry Christmas!


I took a deep breath and hit Send.

If they don't already know about the dirty deeds of Big Daddy, now they do.

And if they already know, well....now they have heard my side of it.

Either way, my kids will go there on Christmas Eve. They will see their new baby cousin, get hugs from a wonderful grandma and shoot the shit with some cool uncles.

I will enjoy the quiet of my house with Walter, wrap their presents and get our roast beast ready for dinner. I will drink a nice glass of wine (or two) and make a silent toast to all of the good people in my life: former in-laws who love my kids, friends who have made this season bright, and to my kids.

And you know what? I am going to toast myself, too. For responding with a bit of assertiveness, for standing up for myself.

For finally, finally feeling a little like a grown up.



  1. I don't know you personally, but I've been reading your blog for a while now and I'm conviced that you really do have a gift for writing and I would highly encourage you to write a book....about anything...I would be a buyer. I'd even buck up for the hardback copy. As for your blog, I think it should be required reading for any guy or gal(though rare) that is thinking with the wrong brain and giving any consideration at all to going astray. The damage is on so many levels and so much more than the "little brain" can possibly comprehend.
    While some relationships can't be saved, I'd be willing to bet that reading your blog could save more than a few.

    May you have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Unless you are a serial killer (which I highly doubt) you deserve so much more than what the past few years have brought to you. Keep fighting Happy Hausfrau...good things WILL be on the horizon!

  2. Good for you! I think your response was very elegantly stated. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  3. Cheers indeed! Your response was both tasteful & informational...nicely done.

  4. Well done; as usual. Merry Christmas Jenny!

  5. Thank you so much everyone. It feels good a day later, even though I have yet to check for a reply. I'm scared!

    Anonymous, thank you for your sweet words! I can verify that the only serial killing I have participated in involves mice and I did it with much regret.

    Thank you all for reading and more so, for your support. It means a lot to me.

  6. Wow. I'm really glad they will now know that their son has left you high and dry. I can't wait to hear the response.

    Cheers to you, Pink Harp #2!

  7. Jenny I can't tell you enough how proud I am of you for asserting yourself with your in-laws. Standing up for yourself and feeling like a grown up is a great way to start off 2011. This is the turning point sister:) I will call you after Christmas and we can celebrate,

    Merry Christmas!
    B-mans Mom

  8. I am so proud of you for finding a way to stick up for yourself without shaming or blaming anyone, while remaining factual. You should be proud of yourself as well. I too can't wait to see if she responds and with what. I bet she has an inkling of what's going on if she isn't dense. Best gf

  9. Again, 4 years later, but WOW, just WOW. I'm so happy you wrote and sent that e-mail. Your former in-laws deserved to know what was going on and that their son had abdicated from his family support obligations. Your kids are their grandkids too, and those grandkids went through too much crap because their dad is a cheap arse who couldn't do the right thing by his kids. Again, this is your story and I'm so happy you told it. Hope their response was worthy of everything you've been through because of their dead beat son.


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