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Faux Pregnancy Update

Faux Pregnancy OP here.

Unfortunately the situation has gotten worse. My soon to be MIL bumped into me and my mother…at Target…in the baby aisle. So in her eyes this confirms that I’m going to produce a grandchild before Christmas. Never mind that I’ve been talking about how I’m so excited about nephew #3 since November. My big sister just had him btw. He is gorgeous. We were getting a welcome to the family gift for the new addition. We also got stuff for the older boys, as well as the usual things one buys at Target. But no. I must be getting things for ‘my baby’.

Also I’m the youngest of my generation at 18. My older sister is the oldest at 34. My various cousins are 21-30 and some are in serious relationships, engaged, newlyweds, and one is pregnant and having her shower in a month. But again no. I must be pregnant myself.

Jeez….this woman will not take a hint…or a flat out statement.

Another little tidbit I need help with. 6 years ago my grandmother(dad’s mom) died, and it was devastating to everyone who knew her. We’ve slowly moved on, my grandfather included. He started taking dance lessons, met a woman, and is now engaged to her. We’re all very happy for them. However I’m confused as what to call her…both in addressing her and introducing her. My grandfather is actually my step grandfather, but seeing as my dad’s biological father walked out when he was young, he’s the only grandpa I’ve had. (Mom’s dad died when I was 2) So is she my step-step grandmother? Also I feel it would be disrespectful to call he grandma, and auntie seems weird. Do I just keep calling her by her name? 0716-14

My husband refers to his step mother and introduces her as his “bonus mom”.  She’s the only grandmother on husband’s side of the family that our children know so she’s always been called “Grandma”.


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  • Huh July 16, 2014, 8:51 am

    Re: your grandpa’s wife. I don’t see anything wrong with calling her by her first name, if that’s how you’ve been addressing her. When introducing her to someone, I think you could say, “This is my grandpa, Bob, and his wife, Mary.”

    • AnaMaria July 16, 2014, 4:55 pm

      This sounds like sound advice; if the OP were 5 years old I could see where she might need to come up with an appropriate way to address an adult, but, at 18, I don’t see anything wrong with addressing her by her first name (or using “my grandpa’s wife” to clarify the relationship). I know the feeling, though- my uncle is divorced and re-married, but his ex-wife is the mother of my closest cousin, and said cousin and her mom share a duplex so I always see her when I go to visit my cousin. I feel strange calling her “my cousin’s mom” when she used to be my aunt- sometimes I still slip and call her “Aunt J” even though that title should technically go to my uncle’s current wife. At least the OP’s family story is one of another chance at love, rather than a broken marriage!

      I can’t blame the OP for being a bit paranoid over potential family drama, though! I’m sorry you have to deal with all this from your MIL-to-be! I wish I had some wise advice on this one, but all I can do is send you and your fiance my full sympathies! I’m glad to know from your previous post that he supports you in all of this!

  • riversong July 16, 2014, 8:53 am

    I think you may be overthinking the grandfather issue. When my grandmother remarried, all the children who were too little to remember anyone else, or weren’t born yet, called him grandpa. Her children and the grandchildren who were older just called him by his name. It sounds like you don’t refer to him as step-grandpa, because even though its not biological he IS your grandpa. So no need to add the extra ‘step’ to her name. Just refer to her as your step-grandmother when you introduce her to people, and call her by her name, or Miss Her Name (although that might just be a Southern thing)

    • Kiki July 16, 2014, 9:27 am

      Why don’t you sit down with your soon-to-be step-grandmother and grandfather and have a conversation with them. Let them know that you have a concern because you don’t want to call her step-grandma because you like her and feel that she is more than a “step” to you, but you’re not sure you’re ready to call her grandma. Ask her how she’d like to be addressed. She may just say call me Jane or she might come up with a different name for grandma like Nana or Oma or something else. Whatever you come up with, once you say it enough times, it won’t feel weird anymore.

      • Marian Perera July 16, 2014, 4:47 pm

        When my father remarried, the first time I met his second wife, she addressed me by a nickname that only my close relatives and very close friends used. It felt weird, coming from her, and I didn’t like it. I definitely second asking the person what they would like to be addressed by.

        • Enna July 19, 2014, 6:13 am

          I was going to say the same thing and talk to the lady. You want to respect her feelings and respect her status in the family – she might not want to be called grandma as she might find that weird!

        • kit July 20, 2014, 10:53 am

          I’ll third that. When we had our children, we asked all grandparents and great-grandparents how they would like to be called, and talked about them to our children by those names they themselves chose.

  • Brit July 16, 2014, 8:58 am

    Just wait and she will see for herself that you aren’t pregnant.

    Ask the lady and your grandfather what they would like, maybe?

  • JD July 16, 2014, 9:11 am

    The MIL thing is just weird. Time will prove you right, but how desperate is this woman for you to pop a baby?
    The simplest way to handle step-grandmother? Ask her what she’d like to be called. Or ask your grandfather, if that’s easier.
    My husband’s oldest sister (18 years older than him) died in her 60’s, and her widower, who’d married this sister when my husband was only four months old, eventually remarried. When discussing her, we jokingly refer to his new wife as our “Step-sister-in-law” but address her directly as “Miss Suzy.” (We’re in the South) We know she’s not step anything, but as my husband said, after all these years, he’s not going to quit calling his brother-in-law a brother-in-law, so that means his new wife has to be some kind of sister-in-law, right?

  • Rubies July 16, 2014, 9:26 am

    I can’t believe this “pregnancy” problem is still ongoing! At this point, throw your hands up in the air and just let them believe what they will. They are being utterly ridiculous.

    I know what you mean about the grandparent situation. My parents divorced about 15 years ago. Three years ago, my mother passed away. Last year, my father married a wonderful woman. But I can’t call her mom because it feels disloyal to my own mother. I call her by her given name and introduce her by that. But I think I’ll take a previous poster’s advice and call her my bonus mom. 🙂 My kids are teens so they call her by her given name as well.

  • anonymous July 16, 2014, 9:27 am

    I would ask her what SHE would prefer to be called. My grandmother passed when I was 9 and my grandfather remarried a few years later. She refers to be called “Oma” German for grandmother. So that’s what we call her. She will never take our Mom-mom’s place in our hearts, and she never intends to. She may already have a preference that you would never have thought of, or even would prefer her first name.

  • Angie July 16, 2014, 9:31 am

    I remember on the TV show ‘Webster’ when he called his adoptive dad ‘George’ and his adoptive mom “Ma’am”. When asked why he didn’t call her by her first name like he did his dad, he said “well, ‘Ma’am’ almost sounds like ‘Mom’.” All of this to say, pick a special name, something you both agree on for you, and for your kids.

  • Sim July 16, 2014, 9:32 am

    When my grandpa got re-married, we didn’t like his wife so we refused to call her Grandma. In the end the family compromised and now we call her Aunty. It might just be a Slavic thing though.

    When you don’t pop out a baby, they’ll have to face reality. Hang in there.

  • Vermin8 July 16, 2014, 9:32 am

    My stepchildren call me by my first name – if that is how your GF’s friend was introduced to you, stick with it.
    And as far as your future MIL – let us know when the “due date” passes regarding your ML’s reaction. I’m expecting that she will be disappointed. If that is the case she may want to blame someone and you may be the target – if it does happen, just let it roll off you aside from reminding her politely that you tried to tell her you weren’t.
    Then again, she may just say “oh well” and begin nagging you all to get a move on it (which is itself a whole bad etiquette discussion).

  • Vermin8 July 16, 2014, 9:37 am

    BTW does anybody remember a series of commercials for insurance (on United States tv) where the theme was “things aren’t always how they seem” or words to that effect? One featured a guy in a convenience store talking on the cell to someone about a purchased the friend made. As he steps up to the counter, he says “you’re being robbed” and ended up with pepper spray in his face. Another is a man making his wife spaghetti sauce from scratch, including chopping vegetables when their white persian cat knocks the pot off the stove – wife walks in with hubby holding the tomato sauce drenched cat in one had and a chopping knife in another.

    This anecdote is an excellent example.

  • Coralreef July 16, 2014, 9:58 am

    The pregnancy thing? OP has was more patience than I would have. I would be sceaming blue murder by now and warning FMIL that if she continues with this, she will never have access to any and all future babies that I may or may not have.

    And if you ever have a baby, I’m willing to bet that whatever you do with/to/for the baby will be wrong in her world-view.

    As for the “grand-mother by marriage”, I would ask her what she would prefer.

  • Margo July 16, 2014, 10:33 am

    Another option might be “Grandma Name” – so if her given name is Mary, she would be “Grandma Mary” – it makes clear that you feel she is a part of the family without using the name that you associate with your own, biological grandma.

    It would make sense to speak to her and you your grandpa and see what they prefer – she may feel uncomfortable being addressed as ‘Grandma’ by people who were already adult when she became a part of the family. When my Great-Uncle remarried after his wife’s death, his children and grandchildren called his new wife by her given name, so it was “Grandpa and Mary” or “Dad and Mary” and her children and grandchildren did the same by him “Granny and Ken” or “Mum and Ken”

    You may find that your neices and nephews who meet her when they are children may well call her Granny (or a variation on that) and that you and other adults are call her by her name.

    There isn’t a single right answer, just something which feels comfortable for all of you, and asking her lets you know what she would prefer, and lets her know that you want to welcome her and make her comfortable. (And I don’t think that it would be rude to say “Grandma means [name of your late grandmother] to me, so it would feel odd for me to call you Grandma, but ‘Mrs Jones’ feels far to formal as you are part of the family- how would you like us to address you?”

    • Jessica July 16, 2014, 2:43 pm

      We have a Grand-Mary in my family 🙂

  • LiLi July 16, 2014, 10:39 am

    Your soon to be MIL is proving to be a bit delusional. My only concern would be what happens when the baby doesn’t “appear”? Will she think you had a miscarriage? Insist on a funeral/mourning period? Will she look back at all your insistance that you are not pregnant and concoct a story where you terminated intentionally because you didn’t want to be pregnant? The potential for lunacy is endless.

    And yes, just ask about the grandparent thing. Asking is usually the simplest solution. 🙂

  • Ashley July 16, 2014, 10:43 am

    Time will prove the pregnancy thing, so hopefully she will start to figure it out soon.

    As for what to call grandpa’s new love, why don’t you have a conversation with them about it??

  • Kovitlac July 16, 2014, 10:44 am

    My mom’s parents split up long before I was born. My grandpa remarried, but my grandma never did. While all this happened before I was born, it always felt strange to call both women ‘grandma’. So the word was reserved for my mom’s mother, but I always called my grandma’s second wife by her own name.

    It’s not wrong, by any means, to call both women grandma. I was just raised to always call one by her first name. I realize that might sound a little cold and impersonal, but we always treated her the same as ‘grandma’. Hugs and kisses all around, birthday calls, Christmas cards and gifts, etc. Although I didn’t see her as often as ‘grandma’, which might have led to the mental distinction in my mind, between the two.

    • Margo July 17, 2014, 8:05 am

      I don’t think calling someone by their name is ever going to be ‘cold and impersonal’ unless it is deliberately said in that way.

  • Tracy W July 16, 2014, 10:55 am

    I hope the OP at least managed to get the aunt to stop with the baby shower.

  • sue July 16, 2014, 10:56 am

    With regards to the grandmother issue. My mother’s mother died when I was approximately four years,of age. My grandfather remarried a woman a year older than my mother. At her request my brother and I called her Helen. When my mother would introduce her she called her mother and they joked about the age thing. My mother often commented on the need for a better term then stepmother. We often called her “the best thing that ever happened to our family” in introductions.

  • knitwicca July 16, 2014, 10:59 am

    My grandsons have a plethora of grandparents due to them having different fathers whose bi0-parents are all divorced and remarried (except me).

    Older grandson bestowed a specific name for each grandmother…i.e. I am “Neena” because he did not like Nana as a name. His other bio grandmother is “Grammy”. His step-grandmother is “Mem” which is a mixture of “ma’am” and her first name. His other step-grandmother is “Granny Annie” (her first name) and his only living great-grandmother is Gigi.

    All of the grandfathers are “Grandpa Firstname”
    OP, you have plenty of options. The name will sort itself. Just ask.

    As for the baby situation, I would start keeping track of how long this has been going on then claim to have had the longest pregnancy in history if/when you decide to have a baby.

  • Anonymous July 16, 2014, 11:18 am

    As for the pregnancy thing, just keep telling the truth, amicably and non-defensively: “Oh, yes, I was at Target, buying a new outfit for Baby Nephew, and a new case for my phone. I chose the minion case from Despicable Me.” If people believe the “OP is pregnant” story, then maybe you could talk about your own life, and all the things you ARE doing, and emphasize the things that would obviously not be conducive to being pregnant/preparing for a baby. The trick is, you can’t sound even remotely argumentative when you say this; just describe the highlights of your life like you would to anyone, like, “Well, yesterday, I went to the beach with Joey, Jimmy, Sally, and Sarah, and we played volleyball and then went surfing. I got this bruise when Sally and I dived for the ball at the same time, but it was still fun.” Obviously, these aren’t the actions of someone who’s expecting a baby, so, again, if you focus on the non-pregnancy-friendly aspects of your life, then people would be more likely to believe your version of the story; that you were shopping for Baby Nephew, and not for any future child of your own. Also, slightly off-topic, but I knew some people from high school, and even late elementary school (our school system here is K-8, but STILL), who got pregnant, long before the age of 18. Many of them weren’t ready to have children, and disaster ensued. So, it’s good that you’re waiting, even if your future MIL is so intent on maligning you.

    As for the “step-step-grandmother” fiasco, just call her by her first name. Your grandfather may be your step-grandfather, but he’s obviously a “real” grandfather to you, and sometimes prefixes like “step” and “bonus” make people feel alienated, even if they’re meant well. Also, you’re eighteen now, so you’re an adult, and so, it’s technically etiquettely correct for you to call elder members of your extended family by their first names, if you want to do so.

    • Jared Bascomb July 16, 2014, 9:41 pm

      I love this approach to the MIL – hey, throw in a few rollercoaster dies as well!
      The only problem is that with an MIL this delusion, when no baby comes she will claim that OP miscarried due to all the physical activity and OP will have to deal with those accusations. When a real baby does appear, be prepared for MIL to claim that there once was a “lost” older sibling.
      I hope I’m exaggerating, but fear that I am not.

  • SamiHami July 16, 2014, 11:24 am

    My grandmother married her second husband in 1970. I was born in 1964, and my bio grandad died a few years before I was born. As far as I was concerned, he was grandpa and his children were my aunts/uncles and their kids were my cousins. I knew he wasn’t my bio grandpa but that just was never an issue for anyone. I don’t think anyone ever referred to him as a “step” anything. I really think if he had remarried after my grandmother died I probably would have just called her grandma. I doubt if I’d feel the need to explain it to anyone.

    Otherwise, I’d probably do what someone else suggested; just come up with a nickname just for her.

  • DGS July 16, 2014, 11:44 am

    Yikes about the faux pregnancy. At this point, let me think what they may. When there is no baby, they will have to believe that there was no pregnancy (you hope. They might begin to gossip about your fertility issues or tendency towards pregnancy loss).

    Re: name for Stepgrandmother – what would she like to be called? I would start by asking her (and that goes for biological grandparents, as they might have a preference as well). My parents are divorced and remarried, so my Mom and Stepdad are Grandma and Zayde (Yiddish for Grandfather), my Dad and Stepmom are Pawpaw and Nana (my Stepbrother had children about 5-7 years before me, so my Dad and Stepmom prefer to have the same nicknames from all their grandchildren, so since my nephews and nieces call them Pawpaw and Nana, that’s what we stuck with also), and my FIL and MIL are Grandpa and Nolly (Eleanor = Nell = Nelly = Nolly, or at least, that’s what the logic seems to be by our reasoning of why our son started calling his paternal Grandmother “Nolly”. But she loved it, and it stuck. He asks for Nolly now.) Among my friends, there are Omas and Opas, Grannies and Grampies, Yayas, Nonnas, PopPops, Peepops, Geegaws and Googoos, Savtas and Sabas galore.

  • Phoebe161 July 16, 2014, 11:58 am

    I would simple ask new wife and grandpa how they would prefer to be addressed.

  • lkb July 16, 2014, 12:19 pm

    I guess all you can do about the “pregnancy” is to wait it out, but it’s just occurred to me that when the blessed event doesn’t happen the OP might start getting sympathy looks or cards or whatnot. Or, there might be whispers about how the OP “didn’t keep the baby. Whether they’d think abortion or adoption doesn’t really matter, it would still be terrible to have to put up with that. I guess all the OP can do is say, “Look, I’ve told you repeatedly that I am not pregnant. I refuse to discuss it any more.”

    As to what to call step-grandma — ask her. I can’t see any harm. (At my wedding, I asked my inlaws at the wedding reception and I think they were pleased that I did.) If you have ideas of what you’d feel comfortable calling her, say flat out: “May I call you _______?”

  • Danielle July 16, 2014, 12:51 pm

    I think the way to handle the “grandma” issue is just ask her what she would like you to call her.

    I don’t think ignoring the baby issue is the way to go. What’s going to happen is later down the road when you don’t produce the baby, she is going to feel embarrassed, and she is going to get angry, and accuse you of not telling her.

    You have to constantly and consistently tell her every time she makes one of these assumptions what is really going on, and very firmly repeat “I am NOT pregnant.” Make sure other people in the family hear you say it, on multiple occasions. I would even sit some of these family members down, explain to them what is going on so they can also have the conversation with her. Otherwise, when the time comes, and she is irrationally angry, she will manage to convince some of the more dramatic family members (we all have them) that you have been intentionally duping her, and this whole thing could turn into a family feud lasting for years.

    Please have the talk. Don’t stop having it.

  • JesBelle July 16, 2014, 12:58 pm

    My dad called his step-parents by their first names, but we kids used Grandma and Grandpa plus surname for all of our grandparents. My husband calls his step-mom by her first name and our son uses Grandma and Grandpa plus first name for the all of the grandparents on hubby’s side, and just Grandpa plus last name for my dad. The hardest is my husband’s mother’s unofficial girlfriend. They are definitely a couple; they share a condo with one bed, but they aren’t out to anyone in MIL’s family as far as I know. We finally settled on Auntie plus first name. At least you can just ask your Granddad’s fiancée what she likes without opening a kettle of fish she might not want opened.

    Have some fun with MIL. Lift something heavy and watch her scramble to help you.

  • PWH July 16, 2014, 12:58 pm

    Hi OP, I’m sorry to hear this faux pregnancy thing is still ongoing with your MIL. You’ve already told her you’re not pregnant and that if you were, you would tell her. I don’t really know that there is much more that you can do. I’m not sure if ignoring the issue would be the best idea either. I really think it is up to your Fiancé to sit down with his Mom and set her straight.

    What you call your Grandfather’s new wife is really up to you. Over time you may become comfortable with calling her Grandma, but for now just call her by her first name. My husband’s grandmother spends 6 months a year living with my in-law’s. She’s asked both me and my BIL’s wife to call her Grandma because it was just easier 🙂 I also don’t have any surviving Grandmothers, so it is nice to have a bonus Grandma!

  • Moralia July 16, 2014, 1:04 pm

    I’d be kinda tempted to take up wearing wasp-waisted corsets and get *smaller* over the course of several months. But I am kind of evil.

    • Anonymous July 16, 2014, 7:53 pm

      I don’t think that’s necessary–the OP would just have to stay the SAME size over the next nine months, for it to be obvious that she’s not pregnant. There’s no sense risking permanent damage to her ribs to make a point/mess with her future MIL’s mind.

      • Moralia July 16, 2014, 9:33 pm

        Proper waist training is not damaging to ribs, back or internal organs. I wear corsets on a regular basis and have read up on the subject. It all comes down to proper fitting and not overdoing it. 🙂
        I was just thinking it would be funny to be getting smaller as they are expecting an enlargement.

      • Kerath July 17, 2014, 12:20 am

        Just wanted to say that corseting, when done properly is actually perfectly safe. But you do have to be very careful with it.

      • Tracy W July 17, 2014, 12:48 am

        Actually some people don’t get bigger when pregnant. One of my mum’s cousins didn’t. I recall once when we’d been on a beach holiday with them, her running around in z bikini and then a month later my mum said “Oh C- had her baby” and I was “what?!”

  • MamaToreen July 16, 2014, 1:07 pm

    When my grandfather re-married, I was 12. We called his second wife Aunt Kay

  • Lisa Marie July 16, 2014, 1:09 pm

    When my widowed mother remarried, I called him by his nickname. My kids called him grampa nickname. I introduced them as my parents even thou he wasn’t my biological father. People that knew me knew how he was related to me and it pleased him so very much to be introduced that way.

  • JO July 16, 2014, 2:18 pm

    Your MIl is going to be feeling pretty silly in about 8 month’s time. Has your fiance had a talk with her? If not, it’s time. Something along the lines of, “mom, STOP insisting she is pregnant. She isn’t. You are making my future wife uncomfortable, not to mention making yourself look like a fool.” Repeated firmly, as often as neccesary.

    • David July 16, 2014, 2:40 pm

      I agree with this.

      While I can see a slightly funny side to the family’s insistence on your being pregnant, I think it’s high time for your fiance to sit your MIL down and explain that she is being creepy and that he wants it to stop.

  • Stacey Frith-Smith July 16, 2014, 2:23 pm

    I have to wonder if MIL is gaslighting you. Next time you are all together, you could say “I’m SO sorry to learn of your pending divorce. I want you to know I’ll be here to support you no matter what.” When she protests that she is NOT divorcing, fix her with a firm gaze and say “and I am NOT expecting a baby”.

  • Haha July 16, 2014, 2:25 pm

    On the pregnancy issue, I agree with some of the previous posters that FMIL is going to believe you lost or terminated the “pregnancy.” Waiting it out will produce more hurt feelings. You definitely need to keep telling everyone you are not and have never been pregnant. I think you should also invite her to attend a doctors appt. with you and your fiancé. This way the doctor can explain to her that there has never been a pregnancy, she cannot avoid this truth.

    As for the future step-step. My dad remarried when I was 19, I call my step-mom by her first name. My daughter and my nephews also call her by her first name (they were married 6 years before my dad got grandchildren). We call our step-grandmother by her grandmother nickname because no one else has similar name (think Mimi in a sea of Granny’s). I think it’s better to just ask her what to call her or continue to call her what you currently call her.

  • gabriele July 16, 2014, 2:36 pm

    The MIL thing:
    First question:
    How old is she? If she’s at a menopausal age, start asking relatives if they think menopause is affecting her judgement because of her fixation on your being pregnant.
    Second question:
    Why isn’t your husband talking to his mother and making it VERY clear?
    Third question:
    The next time the ‘pregnancy issue’ comes up, and she won’t believe you, tell her that you are NOT a liar and if she continues to say she thinks you are pregnant and tells others the same thing that means she is calling you a liar and until she stops, you will stop talking to her. Tell her she is insulting her by not believing you.
    And ask her WHY she is so concerned about this subject. That is seems rather neurotic and an unhealthy preoccupation (which is is) and you are not going to encourage her in her delusions. And say much the same thing to others, that you’re worried about her fixation and that it’s unhealthy.
    Fight fire with fire….she’s attacking your integrity and character…
    and tell your husband to take a very firm stand or there won’t be ANY children…
    Bottom line: She’s driving you crazy because she’s crazy.

    When I was married my MIL (who had 8 children, 5 of them with families already) couldn’t wait to start the ‘when’ question. Then we moved to a rural area and she was freaked out about all the problems it would cause ‘your children’ and that we should move back to a city, preferable close to where she lived…
    At that time I found out from the BIL who introduced us that the MIL was not welcome at several of her children’s home because of her interference and demands…I thought, she’s at a distance, I’ll be a good DIL and wrote to her every couple weeks…sent photos, etc. Nothing was good enough…I’d get back a brief note with a complaint (‘why did you make him grow a beard?’ ans: I didn’t his choice but it was still my fault). So when we went south to LA to visit friends and he to visit his mother I told him I would never write her, never visit and I didn’t care what she thought. He could tell her the truth or lie, it was on him. We later divorced but I never regretted my decision.
    Ultimately I pitied her…no other emotions. But pity can be more caustic than anger because it’s impersonal. In fact, you could use that about the MIL: I pity her she is so obsessed about this, it’s not healthy/natural.
    Good luck

    • Fawful July 16, 2014, 6:21 pm

      The threat of no children approach is a bad approach. It’s just going to create animosity between OP and her fiance, which is bad all-around.

  • ketchup July 16, 2014, 2:54 pm

    Had you lived here, you could’ve gotten really drunk (or a bit tipsy). Not what pregnant women do, eh?

  • babs July 16, 2014, 3:09 pm

    I was always taught that a step-parent “steps” in when one of the parents remarries, taking on a parental role. In my opinion, at this stage of your life as an adult, your grandfather’s fiance is technically not a “step.” It would seem to make sense that she would be called by her first name and introduced as “this is my grandfather, Harold, and his fiance, Louise.” Unless they request that you call her something else, but that will probably be brought up in time. It would be a good conversation for you all to have.

  • NostalgicGal July 16, 2014, 3:22 pm

    My DH came from a large family, near the bottom of the siblings; and last one to be married. Every other one was a ‘have to’ marriage (mostly engaged already but moved the wedding up suddenly to very very soon). My side had had a large number of those as well… I know that one was discussed by his parents when we announced, plus announcing we were marrying fairly soon (4 months engagement). My side actually had a bet going in the extended family, a betting pool, on when I was going to deliver. I found that out much later. On that side too there was a big pool of babycra-stuff that was passed around as needed so if you were expecting usually there was enough to borrow/use until you got your own or it wore out/broke or whatever. BY NOW if the OP’s family STILL doesn’t get it, I’d just totally IGNORE any baby talk, if they start up just put on the best icy stare and SILENCE if they won’t be beandipped until they shut up or you get out of their sight; and donate the baby glurp to the family pool, to someone in the family that needs; or stuff it away in storage until you do need it. Sooner or later with NO baby appearing even the DENSEST have to get it.

    Before I ever met my future DH my father would tease me (an only) about when the grandkids were coming along; finally one day I told him FINE, I listed off everything I knew he’d absolutely HATE about a man; said I’d go find THAT, get pregnant, come home WITH *HIM* in tow to live with them and have the baby. Totally in those ice cold tones he’d learned from mom that meant dead serious and if I was not on the phone I’d be eye-balling him for a pine suit. He blew up, I hung up, and it was never more mentioned. OP you’re not an only child or your DH is an only? In that case give them the methane look and clam up. Time will prove that the MIL is being silly and stupid about it….

    As for the grandfather and new wife; just sit down and ask them, how would they like to be addressed, and introduced?

  • Marozia July 16, 2014, 3:22 pm

    My step-MIL I call by her first name. My step-grandmother I call Granny ‘firstname’.
    Gee…!! You MIL is going to be extremely put out when you don’t have a baby. What is it with some people? Can’t they just take a hint??

  • essie July 16, 2014, 3:28 pm

    RE: your “pregnancy”. It’s going to be even worse when you get close to your “due date”. She’ll be constantly asking you “Aren’t you ready to have that baby yet?” Just tell her, with a smile “Nope. My child will stay right where it is until I get good and ready for it. I don’t understand why people seem to think a woman has to give in when the contractions start; it just takes a little self-discipline.”

    Years from now, your husband can use this to your mutual advantage: “Mom, if Sally says she’s not going to [do whatever it is she wants you to do, but you don’t], she’s not going to do it. Remember when you wanted her to have our baby right away and she stayed pregnant for 34 months? She’s got the self-discipline to do it her way, so stop pushing the issue.”

    • Anonymouse July 16, 2014, 4:04 pm

      Not the OP, but that is my favourite advice yet.

    • NostalgicGal July 16, 2014, 11:35 pm

      OH MAN…..
      [LIKE] <<<<< made my own button

      Being pregnant for 34 months…. I'm still wiping tears laughing… Best one!

  • Kat July 16, 2014, 3:33 pm

    I have sympathy but no wisdom to share about the pregnancy drama. So bizarre! She’ll figure it out eventually but gosh, MIL, take a hint!

    Regarding your step-grandmother (surely one “step” would suffice?), I think referring to her by name is just fine. I think you could also ask her what she prefers! I think warmly and candidly asking people for their preferences in matters like this is never a bad decision, because then you’ll know you don’t have to worry about misstepping or insulting her with your choice!

  • Jessica July 16, 2014, 3:58 pm

    OP, you’re just going to have to keep telling them the truth, and when you don’t have a baby to show them in nine months, they’ll have to face facts.

  • Anonymouse July 16, 2014, 4:09 pm

    Re: the pregnancy dilemma. I had a similar thing a couple weeks ago when I was moving. I’d been invited to a baby shower months ago that never ended up happening, and still had the present in my basement. A couple of my husband’s friends found it during the move. Cue awkward conversations.

    As far as MIL STILL not believing? That’s a little off. It also sounds like something my MIL might do (she has pretty severe dementia, and once an idea sticks it’s there for good, even if there’s no evidence to support it). My advice, make sure the rest of the family is clear on the “not pregnant, never have been” status, because once MIL finally figures it out, the odds of her trying to convince family that you aborted or something seems pretty good.

  • Anonymouse July 16, 2014, 4:21 pm

    Re: the “step-step grandma.” My parents are both divorced. One remarried, and the other dated a woman for a few years before they broke up. As a result, I have a variety of nieces and nephews on both sides (none of them are biological, and only 4 are technically step).

    The one’s on my mom’s side: all except the oldest call her Nana, the oldest (who was 7 when they married) calls her by her first name. I refer to them all as my nieces and nephew, but none of them call me “Auntie.” I live in a different country and only see them once a year, if that, so it’s just too strange.

    The other side, all four boys call me “Auntie” and my dad “Grandpa,” even though there’s no family relations really. I call them my nephews. They live in the same city, and I go to as many birthdays and family events as possible. The relationship is there, and the names go with it.

    It’s a weird arrangement, but it works for us.

    tl;dr version: Call her whatever you’re comfortable with and she’s comfortable with. If you don’t know what that is, ask. As long as you don’t call her Poopface McGee (or some more R rated version of that) , I’m sure it will be fine.

  • Cat July 16, 2014, 4:23 pm

    You could have a bit of fun with this. All you need is a round pillow and an “Alien” puppet like the one in the old movie.
    You stuff the pillow in your pants and wear a loose button-up-the-front shirt. Put the puppet on your arm, yell, “What is happening to me!?” and pop the puppet out between the loose shirt and your pants as if it is rising from your stomach. I saw it on “Roseanne”.
    You can proceed to carry it with you whenever you go over to visit. “It’s our child. You must accept it without prejudice- it’s not quite human.”
    Or maybe just get a tee shirt that says, “No, I am not pregnant” and wear it around them.

  • Cathy July 16, 2014, 4:32 pm

    Is your MIL mentally ill?? I mean, really. It’s very odd that she’s so fixated on your reproductive status. It sounds like it’s going to be difficult to deal with her whenever you actually ARE pregnant!

    As for the Grandma situation, I’d go with asking her what she would like. Can’t go wrong that way.

  • kylynara July 16, 2014, 5:39 pm

    On the pregnancy thing the OP may want to get medical evidence on file with her doctor that she is not pregnant. That way if fMIL decides to get punitive when no baby arrives and “the OP makes a liar out of her.” The OP will have proof she was not pregnant. I just have visions of fMIL telling the police she had a baby and it’s gone now and she must have abandoned it, or some such. Creating legal headaches for the OP.

    • NostalgicGal July 16, 2014, 11:38 pm

      I agree, if she has some dementia going, the MIL could make a lot of trouble. Go have a talk with your doctor, OP and make sure it’s proveable that you weren’t ever pregnant, never aborted or miscarried or otherwise… it sounds kind of raw, but I’d rather be safe than sorry….

    • Haha July 18, 2014, 3:06 pm

      This is my thought too. I had suggested bringing her along to a doctors visit, with fiancé of course, so the doctor can tell her OP has never been pregnant. FMIL is probably going to pull out a miscarriage or termination when no baby arrives, and try to convince other family. This is definitely not a sit back and wait it out type of deal.

  • AuntyEm July 16, 2014, 8:13 pm

    Since I was an adult when my father met and later married my stepmother who I adore, I have always called her by her first name. I’m sure she never expected me to call her “mom”. I also called her mother by her first name. When we introduce each other to strangers who are not concerned with the details, we might just say mother/daughter to speed things up.

    The pregnancy thing would have made a great Seinfeld episode!

  • Pixi July 16, 2014, 10:08 pm

    My paternal grandfather passed away when I was a month old. My paternal grandmother remarried when I was three. I suppose technically he was my Step-Grandfather, but he was the only grandfather I had as my mother’s dad died when she was four.

    So while Dad and Mom called him Harry, my brother’s and I called him Grandpa.

    In a related note, my husband’s father and mother divorced when he was around three. His dad got custody and his step mother raised him basically. Years later they separated but remained married so he could stay on her insurance (he had heart problems). They both started dating other people and were in long term committed relationships, while remaining on decent terms with each other. FIL had a heart attack while at his girlfriend’s place and SMIL is now a widow.

    Several years later she marries her long term boyfriend. So now hubby has a step-step-father? We mostly just call him “K”, but occasionally I’ll call him “dad” in a jokingly affectionate manner.

    While both the hubby’s and my grandparent’s have all passed on, “K’s” parents are still living, so at the wedding I may have said something along the lines of “Wait, I get grandparents again? Score!” “K” has Cystic Fibrosis and is sterile so he’ll never have kids of his own.

    If/When the hubby and I have kids if “K” is still alive I plan on having our children call him Grandpa. You can never have too many Grandparents.

  • SherlockSara July 16, 2014, 10:52 pm

    We always call my grandfather by “G.P. Jim” (for GrandPa), just find the name that works for you guys!

  • Mags July 17, 2014, 12:25 am

    I can’t remember if this was suggested on the other thread, but I’d ask fiancé to sit down with his siblings/father and have a talk about mother and whether she is showing any other signs of dementia. Make a big deal about how concerned he is about how she is obsessed with the idea that you are pregnant and how she is unable to let go of this delusion.

    • Margo July 17, 2014, 8:03 am

      I think this is a good idea. Quite apart from anything else, it very clearly sends the message to the rest of the family that there is no pregnancy, and it redirects any concerns to MILs weird behaviour, rather than to the imaginary pregnancy.

    • Mary July 17, 2014, 9:21 am

      Love this idea. It will definitely get the message through.

    • A different Tracy July 17, 2014, 1:16 pm

      I think this is the best approach. (Well, the best approach was to kindly tell her “I’m not pregnant,” but you’ve done that and it didn’t work.)

    • kit July 20, 2014, 11:27 am

      Yes, I like this idea best, too. She may easily indeed have a health problem going on and it would be only good if it got caught as soon as possible.

      And at the same time, you will carry your war into enemy’s territory/giving her the taste of her own medicine – if she doesn’t have dementia after all, she will now be the one in need of proving to her fussing family that she’s not a camel, with each next mention of OP’s pregnancy making it harder for her.

  • Kat July 17, 2014, 2:26 am

    I really want to hear an update in about 5 months when OP hasn’t gained any weight, or in 9 when there’s no baby! What is MIL going to say when she hears “I tried to tell you…”

    • DanaJ July 17, 2014, 10:43 am

      “Stop clenching.”