The mom sets the scene, explaining how at first, the arrangement with her in-laws was seemingly perfect.
“This may sound a little unbelievable, how could we possibly not notice for that long? It’s because since he was six, we’ve been sending our son to stay with his grandparents for a while over summer.”
“This whole story started when we bought out first house. It required a lot of renovations, and the summer that we decided to rip up and redo the floors, we thought it would be fun for our six-year-old to go stay with his grandparents during the renovations for a few weeks.”
“It would get him out of our hair for a bit, give us time to do the sorts of renovations that are tough with a kid playing around the house all day, and my husband’s parents live in a part of the country that’s just plain awesome for a kid during summer. And most importantly apart from the fact that they are more religious than us his grandparents had seemed perfectly normal and respectful of our parenting style.”
And at first, everything was going smoothly. At least, that is what the mom believed…
“So after that first summer, we get constant photos: son at the beach, son going hiking in the national forest, son helping grandparents in the garden, it looks like everybody is having a great time. We got a lot done on the house and we drove over to stay with them for two weeks at the end of the summer break and everyone had a great time.”
“Our son enjoyed it so much that when next summer rolled around, he asked if he could go back. Since it went so well, we thought nothing of it, and hey, we’d saved up enough to do some more renovations, so now we could get on with the bathrooms etc. It was honestly a great arrangement.”
That was until her son dropped a bombshell on the parents…
“This would have been our fourth time letting him stay with them (did it during the year once too), but out of nowhere, son dropped a bombshell and asked us, ‘Will you come to watch me get baptised at grammy’s?'”
“The church that my MIL and FIL belong to does baptisms at age eight, and after some confused questioning on my part, we discovered that my son’s grandparents have been taking him to church all summer, once on sunday and once during the week, and prepping him to get baptised at their church next summer. All without asking us, informing us, or anything.”
Obviously, the parents were livid as they set strong boundaries from the very beginning.
“Years ago, back when our son was first born, there was a tiny amount of friction about the church thing. My husband is a lapsed Mormon and I’m a lapsed Anglican and we agreed as soon as we were pregnant that if our kid ever wanted to go to church that would be fine, but he could choose when he was old enough. Both sets of parents wanted us to take him to their church or let them take him to their church, but we were firm about wanting it to be his choice and they were not thrilled about it but they relented. Most importantly, they were not shitty about it afterward. Or so we thought!”
The parents are between a rock and a hard place but believe they need to confront the grandparents; at the same time, they also want to protect their little boy’s feelings.
“Now it looks like we’re going to have to confront my husband’s parents about this. And our son is going to be devastated if he can’t go spend summers with them because it’s the highlight of his year. I feel so, so sad for him but also I’m furious that they would do something like that behind our backs and expect us to be so stupid that we’d never find out.”
One person commented:
“You’ve obviously been very busy and you trusted the grandparents so I really wouldn’t beat yourself up over not noticing. Perhaps a compromise? A hard no to the baptism but allow him to go to church. That way at least when he’s older he will be better able to make an informed choice. My parents took the same stance at you did but I still went to church occasionally as a child, just not with my parents. By the time I was 14 or so safe to say I wasn’t in any way interested in going to church and opted out but I am glad my parents gave me the space and encouraged me to decide for myself.”
While another said: “These people are actively stealing your child from you and the only appropriate response is mama grizzly level rage and TAKE BACK YOUR CHILD AND HIS SPIRITUAL AND MORAL FORMATION. You know they’ve lied. You know it isn’t right. You are holding back the rightful and appropriate rage. Don’t let these miscellaneous people f*** with your kid’s mind. Please.”
What do you think? Be sure to comment below!
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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