Watching a family member with an alcohol addiction isn’t easy, and at times can be frightening. But one woman is considering banning her alcoholic mother-in-law from spending time with her grandkids over her addiction.
The worried woman wrote anonymously to The Denver Post’s advice column, Ask Amy, asking if it’s wrong to distance her children from her.
“My mother-in-law is an alcoholic. She underwent surgery in 2015 and got a new liver and kidney, after being on dialysis and nearly losing her life,” the mother explained.
She said her mother-in-law didn’t drink for a while after that, but in the last eight months “we have noticed that she seems to be drinking again”. The mother added: “Not only is she drinking, but her behaviour seems strange.”
She said she’s in her 60s and recently got two tattoos, as well as claiming she’s stolen things from her house and has been spending her father-in-law’s money to buy random things online.
“She opens credit cards in her own name, buys frivolous things, and throws away the statements, with no intention of making payments,” she added.
“My husband [and] I do not trust her to be around our children,” she went on. “It’s hard for me to bite my tongue when she makes off-the-wall comments, and frankly I do not care to be around her at all. Although my husband’s entire family knows her behaviour is not normal, no one says or does anything about it.
“I’m not one to shut out family, but I don’t want my kids to be around this. Am I wrong to want to distance myself and my children from her?”
Amy replied to the concerned mother saying she wasn’t sure how her mother-in-law’s tattoos or erratic spending habits would impact her children.
“I’m not sure how your mother-in-law’s tattoos or erratic spending habits would impact your children, but this is up to you two parents. Obviously, she should not be with children unless you are present,” she wrote.
“I sense that you might be using access to your kids to launch your campaign to get someone – anyone – in this family to wake up and smell the booze.”