My father-in-law is staying with us for a while. A few of us were having a conversation with him when he said, out of nowhere, that we shouldn’t allow our son to be the way he is toward his sister. He kept repeating that it’s not right and that it’s not going to work out. (Or something like that.) For context, my son is 4 and my daughter is 1. I responded in a “mama bear” type way and said, don’t talk about my kids, multiple times to him and said that we didn’t need to explain ourselves to him. He kept going on and asking me if I thought it was okay for him to have the behavior he does. I was so aggravated and I told my husband we are no longer hosting my FIL anymore.

After that conversation was over and we all came inside, I went to my room to cry to my husband, who was also part of the conversation and sharing the same feelings. We know that our son has been going through an adjustment with his new sister and PLUS we’ve seen him act out more since my in-laws have stayed with us. A lot of things are off with my kids since they’ve been here – they’re sleeping later, waking up grumpier, our morning routines are off, some nights of their sleep are off even though they’ve always been nearly perfect sleepers – and although I know this, they don’t. Yes, my son does show aggressive behaviors toward his sister at times but he is also very sweet with her and we think it’s just a part of the sibling process. We are actively working with my son.

I think the part that really aggravated me is that we open our doors to them and give them a luxury stay at our house (compared to the other options they have of staying at his other kid’s houses) and I don’t make them pay for anything. PLUS I’m always scheduling their doctors’ appts, driving them here and there, if they ask for something I jump to help them. Then he has the audacity to live off of us and speak negatively about my kids in my home. I know he does this with everyone else too, so I know we’re not singled out but this time it was our turn and it just doesn’t feel good.

I must say that I’m not as upset as I thought I’d be a day later and as I’m going through my thought work, I need help creating an intentional model.

C Father in law dislikes my son’s behavior
T He lives off of me and has the nerve to speak negatively of my kids
F Anger
A Talk back to my FIL, cry to my husband, ruminate in my thoughts, do not show up for my kids, waste time writing models, not doing my work,
R I’m not living up to my potential and speak negatively of him

C Father in law dislikes my son’s behavior
T I’m okay with him being wrong about my son
F Accepting
A Continue showing up for my kids and family, get back to working on my projects and focus on being the best mom I can be
R ???

I still feel hurt and angry and he’s avoiding me in my house (husband is at work so he hasn’t had to see him). He decided to leave tomorrow and I’ve thought of leaving the house with my kids for the rest of the day/evening and tomorrow morning also just to avoid seeing him. But then I realized that I’m just trying to avoid a negative feeling, the knot in my throat when I think of everything I want to say to him. In the end, he hasn’t physically changed anything in my life and it’s just my thought about what he said that’s creating negative emotions in me. Please help.