It might seem cold to toss your parents out of your house when the country is in the middle of a raging pandemic, but wait until you hear what prompted the move. In a post on Reddit's "Am I the A-hole?" the woman who did the booting shares her story.
She has been married to her husband, DH, for about five years. DH has a daughter, Ella, from a previous relationship. OP met Ella when she was 2 and has been her stepmom since she was 3. To Ella, OP has always been "mom," (her biological mother is not in the picture) and to OP, Ella has always been her daughter. Ella is now 7 years old.
For the past few months, OP's parents have been staying with them at their beach house outside the city in which they live. OP and her husband thought this might be an opportunity for her parents to bond with Ella a little bit more, and for the first few months, everything was OK. OP is six months pregnant with her first biological child with her husband, and this pregnancy has taken up the bulk of the attention of OP's mom.
While her dad has started to bond and play with Ella, her mom hasn't really tried to get to know the little girl, opting instead to fixate on her daughter's pregnancy. OP writes, "It all came to a head a few days ago, when Ella ran down to the beach where I was reading (I asked my dad to watch her). She was crying hysterically, holding on to me tightly, and begging me not to leave her."
OP was confused and asked her what was wrong, and that's when Ella told her that grandma told her that once the baby was born, OP would "love the baby a lot more than her" and that she'd "slowly abandon her 'cause she was just my stepchild and not really mine."
To recap, a grown woman said this to a 7-year-old child who's grown up with her stepmom as her mom basically since she could remember. Horrifying!
Obviously, OP "saw red." Once she was able to calm Ella down, she left her with her Ella's dad and confronted her mother. "I proceeded to rip my mom a new one," she said. "I called her every name I could think of... She then accused my 'stepdaughter' of lying about the whole thing and that was it for me."
She told her parents to pack their bags and leave. Her dad tried to calm her down, but he ultimately understood. Her mom cried and begged her to "think about it," but OP had made up her mind. Since she made them leave, her whole family has sent her tons of messages about the situation, and she's ignored all of them.
Ella is still upset about it, as any little kid would be, and OP has been trying to comfort her. In an update to her original post, OP writes that ever since that day, Ella has been extremely clingy to OP and panics whenever she's out of sight. She's been sleeping in their bed, too. "She used to be so bubbly and cheerful," OP writes, "the one that brightens up my day the most, but now my little girl [is] like a shadow of her old self and I'll never forgive my mother for doing that to my daughter."
They're in the process of looking for a therapist to help Ella stop worrying and get through this. Eventually, OP talked to her sister, who said that, while she understood where she was coming from, she still thought it was wrong to kick her parents out of the house in the middle of a pandemic. So OP took to Reddit to see what other people thought.
"Your mother is an absolute a--hole," one person wrote. "To tell a small child something so horrible and untrue is psychopathic behavior. I wouldn't let this woman within screaming distance of my children ever again."
"I can't imagine how that one statement will affect her (Ella) from here on out. Kids are very impressionable. You have every right be as angry as you are with your mom for what she said to her," another person wrote. "Also, from what you said in your post, your parents weren't staying at your place out of necessity, but just because it would be nice to be together."
This is true. They offered the beach house because it had more room than OP's parents' apartment and they thought it would be a chance for them to bond with Ella. It's not like they don't have a home to go back to.
Bottom line: OP's mother traumatized poor Ella, disrespected her daughter, and clearly has an outdated view of what families can and should look like! I'm glad OP stood up for Ella and protected her daughter.