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QUESTION: It Seems My Husband’s Family Excludes My Son Because He’s Not Biological Kin, But Am I Overreacting?
“So this might sound petty and I really don’t mean for it too, BUT how would you guys react if your spouse’s family (aunts, uncles, and cousins) left out your son (my husband adopted him last year, but he’s not biologically his).
They all went to my niece’s birthday party this year, went over to see my nephew after he was born this year. They claimed they had to pack for a cross country trip and couldn’t make my son’s birthday party. They are always sharing pictures of my nieces and nephews, and NEVER one of my sons.
Please don’t take this as a jealousy thing because I spoil my nieces and nephew HARD. I just am upset that it feels like my son gets left out because he’s not biologically my husband’s…
I don’t know. Am I petty? How would you react? I haven’t voiced any of this to them directly, but my husband and I both have a very big problem with my son being left out.”
The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.
“I think your husband should say something! My daughter has a different dad and the first thing my boyfriend’s mom said to my daughter was ‘call me grandma’ and she has treated them all equally. I couldn’t imagine it any other way.”
“If your husband has a problem with it too, then he needs to speak up and say something to them about it.”
“Keep the child from them because if they’re showing favoritism then your child will see it and wonder why they’re not good enough.”
“My ex-husband passed away a year ago. Years ago, he adopted my four other girls, while we had one together. His mom sent my girls a message the other day telling them they were no longer invited to any of their family functions again and to not have any contact with them ever again. People suck and it’s sad.”
“As someone who was adopted by a ‘step’ parent, I can tell you this is 100% a thing. My dads family leaves me and my younger brothers out because ‘we are not biologically his’ even call us the others. My dad doesn’t have any biological children. It sucks but in the end, if they can’t bother with us we can’t be bothered with them.”
“Not petty at all and honestly made me want to cry because this is a fear of mine if I find someone. I dont think there is anything you can do but try and voice your concerns to your husband and maybe you can all have a family talk. Just keep loving on your baby.”
“Not petty at all. I’m adopted and I was treated differently by my father’s side of the family than their blood grandchildren. It hurts.”
“You should stay out of it. It’s his family and he must be the one to say something. I don’t blame you one bit. It is a child whom your husband has taken the responsibility for and he should be treated the same as any biological child in the family.”
“My son was always treated “less than” by my family. I never put emphasis on it. He went to see his cousin on Christmas, bday parties etc. When he was probably around 11/12 he brought it to my attention. We started talking about it. I explained he wasn’t worth less because of how they treat him. They’re worth less because of how they treat him. I told him he didn’t have to hang around with his cousins any more. He continued to do so…
… Now they’re adults in their 20s. They sat down & talked about it a few months ago. The older cousin realized he, his mom & others treated him poorly. He apologized to my son. The thing is their behavior never made my son feel bad. He knew his worth. He knew he was more independent & confident. They needed to treat him badly to make themselves feel superior. My son didn’t need that. Today the older cousin is couch-jumping between relatives & friends. Hasn’t had a job all this year (blames covid). Before that, he never had a job for 3 mos…
… My son fought to graduate high school (the school refused to put completed credit on his transcript he had to involve the department of education & lawyers). The older son would’ve given up. My son is in college, has a full-time job, house, car (which he paid fully in cash & a year of insurance) & is on his way to becoming a police officer. Not being the favorite & having to deal with people who didn’t like him for whatever reasons built him into the man he is today…
… My advice to you is to talk to your son. Make sure he knows he has value even though others try to make him feel otherwise. Let him take the lead. If he doesn’t want to be around these people, they don’t make him. Celebrate holidays, birthdays as a family without dad’s side if he wants to. Or continue to celebrate with them if he wants & acknowledge his feelings. Instill confidence into him. Teach him that he doesn’t need other people to like him to like himself.”
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