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To be annoyed with PIL

(28 Posts)

I probably am but just need to vent.

I'm suffering serious PND & need a lot of support at the moment. My mum lives in France & her phone & Internet is off at the moment so contact with her is spurious.

My ILs live just up the road from us & keep saying they'll help out whenever possible. But whenever we ask its a great big drama or they can't do it.

Take this week, DS1 has diarrhoea so can't go to nursery. DH asked in laws if they could help out at all just to give me a break (DS1 is 3.3, DS2 is 7 months). But no, they're in specifically busy all week & can't even help for an hour.

I know I can't expect them to be at our beck & call but honestly, they don't do anything...examples of her being too busy in the past have included having to sort her airing cupboard out, or doing her ironing...nothing that can't be postponed for an hour or two.

They have form for being difficult when they've got the hump about something (which happens frequently) but I wish they wouldn't bother offering help if they have no intention of doing it.

AIBU?

buildingmycorestrength Thu 16-May-13 09:24:52

No, YANBU.

But I would suggest looking elsewhere for support now as they have made it clear through their behaviour they won't deliver.

Horrible to feel unsupported. Can you think of strategies to give you a break?

diddl Germany Thu 16-May-13 09:26:11

Well I'm tempted to say-toddler with diarrhoea-no thanks!!

Or did you ask if they could take baby out for an hr or so?

Hard to say tbh.

Although of course it's horrible of them top offer help & not give it.

What do they/you mean by help?

katiecubs Thu 16-May-13 09:27:20

YANBU it's very selfish of them but you need to accept they probably just don't want to. Stop asking them and hopefully they may buck their ideas up.

Yanbu-They should have never offered in the 1st place, as quite clearly they don't "want to help out".
Is there anyone else you could ask for some support?

Any help is appreciated, whether it's taking DS2 for an hour or just popping down & having a cup of tea with us (looking after both is always easier if someone else is around).

cupcake78 Thu 16-May-13 09:31:24

YANBU but then anything my pil do drives me made at the moment.

diddl Germany Thu 16-May-13 09:35:55

I was wondering if they'd offered to help in the past & then not done anything for fear of doing it wrong iyswim.

But then when you've asked, they've given excuses, which is odd.

Have you asked them to do a specific thing or just if they can come round & help?

2rebecca Germany Thu 16-May-13 10:03:29

I presume they are retired as you don't mention them working. In that case them not wanting a toddler with ?gastroenteritis is understandable, although they could have left him to you and taken the younger one out. I agree that when asking people to help you have to be specific about the type of help you want and flexible about when it is provided. My dad is retired but still has alot of regular committments that I would work around if asking him to help. He also finds small children tiring so I wouldn't expect him to do alot of child care.
Hope that you start feeling better soon. If they persistently won't help then you'll just have to pretend they live in France as well and sort out alternatives.

BlueberryHill Thu 16-May-13 10:17:30

Maybe they offer as it seems the right thing to do and don't actually expect you to say yes. You could try something specific, like taking the baby out for a walk in the pram, but given that an airing cupboard takes priority, I don't think they really want to do it. Sorry about that, it is hurtful especially when you need some help and support at the moment.

Does DS1 go to a playgroup or nursery at all? Could you ask your mum over to stay for a bit?

My mum came over for a bit when I hit crisis point, I feel I can't ask again. I thought about going to stay with her but I'm doing a PND support group which is really helpful & I would hate to leave.

I don't think the ILs care about doing the wrong thing, in the past if I've asked them to do something 'my way' they've completely ignored what I've asked & done whatever the hell they want.

They did struggle to look after DS1 for an afternoon (although they refuse to admit it) but I wouldn't expect them to have either for a whole afternoon.

wishingchair Thu 16-May-13 10:32:47

YANBU. Perhaps they've become a bit rigid in their days so if they've started sorting the airing cupboard or allocated 2-4pm to do it, they want to do it at that time. What is their response if you ask them to help with a specific task and a certain time say next week? So they can plan around it, rather than having to juggle at the last minute?

digerd Thu 16-May-13 10:35:30

YANBU. People should not offer to help if they have no intention of dAoing so - that is being dishonest and deceitful. < One of my pet hates>. They are the GPs and most would be concerned and honestly want to help , even if it was a bit of an imposition for them. They would do it out of love.

digerd Thu 16-May-13 10:36:52

confused Where did that A come from? doing

If ever I ask them to do something at a specific time they'll agree but I'll always get a call sometime near asking to change the time or saying they're running late or something similar.

Yet I know they're not busy as I have rung last minute before if I've really been in a bind & they have helped out. So to give them credit they will help if it's desperate but the fact they can at short notice implies they're not busy.

My dad is also retired but I have to book him weeks in advance as he's so busy; they, on the other hand, have no hobbies, they never go out, that sounds bitchy but it's true.

Then they moan that they haven't seen the kids for ages confused

BarbarianMum Thu 16-May-13 10:40:02

My PiL are very helpful but they won't come within a million miles of us when theire is a tummy bug around. Only my mum is brave enough to do that (and i thank God for her).

Nonetheless, it seems that your PiL are of the annoying type that are all talk and no action. This would fit in with the 'getting the hump over imagined insults' too.

So the best thing for you is to realise that their offers are meaningless and don't even attempt to lean on them for support. It's hard, but they sound like the type of people who, if they agreed to help, would then complicate the arrangements to the point where they are no longer helpful or let you down at the last minute.

As for this <<My mum came over for a bit when I hit crisis point, I feel I can't ask again>> are you sure? The first couple of years with this age gap are really tough, even without PND. My mum rescued me more times than I can count.

YANBU. Your DH asked his parents (after they had already offered their help at any time) to give you a bit of a hand and they then turn around and say "Sorry, no can do".

If I were you, I'd ask my DH to have another word with his parents and ask them straight out - was the offer of help just a throw away comment or was it a genuine offer of help?
They can then say "Sure we were only saying it to be polite" or they can say "it was 100% genuine".
If they give the first answer you will know not to contact them for help, just for polite visits when you want to visit them.
If it's the second answer, they have to step up to the plate when asked, and your DH has to say to them "Well Mum & Dad, When HelsBels asked for your help the other day, you weren't available and she really needed your help so are you sure you weren't just making polite conversation when you offered?"

Another way to ask would be if you could phone them up and say "Hi Inlaws, I have DS2 ready in the buggy as I was going to take him out for a walk but I can't because of DS1 being unwell. Can you pop down and take him for a walk for me please and it doesn't have to be a long walk?" and give them specific requests rather than a vague "can you help me?" type questions. They may think that the help needed is more labour intensive than they would like to give but pushing a child in a buggy wouldn't be too hard for them to do, right?

Fourbears Thu 16-May-13 10:58:01

I feel your pain. I had dreadful PND and begged my parents for help, even just take the baby for a walk for half an hour as I couldn't stand her screaming anymore. My mum said no, she couldn't do that as it would break the bond between me and my daughter. WTF? A half an hour walk?! The truth was she just didn't want to. It has affected our relationship so badly. I was suicidal and she wouldn't help me. Especially as she helps my sister with her baby all the time, even looking after him so she can work. What about their bond? I did try and say something to my mum about the difference in how much help we are given and she just said, well, you've not worked, have you? It hurts so much, I'm having counselling.

It's so hard to understand isn't it? Something so small for them, which would help us so much and be so appreciated. And they love their grandchild SO much apparently. Wouldn't they like to spend some time with her if that's so?

This was years ago that I had PND although I'm still very up and down but it carries on with complete disparity in babysitting, looking after overnight etc between my children and my sister's. What makes it even harder is that her husband's parents do an awful lot for them too so they've got two sets of committed, regular help. Very hard to see when we still struggle. I don't know what the answer is except to soldier on and stop hoping for help so it doesn't hurt so much. Easier said than done. I hope you feel better soon, hugs and flowers

Pigsmummy Thu 16-May-13 11:02:19

Stop considering that they are a source of support and look elsewhere.

MammaTJ Thu 16-May-13 11:14:46

Ok, either ignore and not ask again, forget they exist where helping you is concerned OR

next time they say they will help any time, call them on it and say 'Actually, that is not quite true, when I asked you to do this, you said that, when you had agreed to do this, you changed it to that' Four examples of when they DID NOT in fact help you as they keep offering to do. Might wake them up to what they are doing.

MammaTJ Thu 16-May-13 11:16:50

Fourbears they have a competative granparenting thing going on. You need to invent help and support from elsewhere and get your DM to step up and compete. wink

Icantstopeatinglol Thu 16-May-13 11:20:33

Yanbu, I have a mil who doesn't bother ever! Even forgot one of the dc birthdays recently but then pipes up at parties (if she chooses to come) 'you know i can help if you ask'.....wtf!! The dc don't even know her so I'd rather not bother thanks!
Their loss at the end of the day smile

buildingmycorestrength Thu 16-May-13 11:27:47

+Mamma* how interesting, never would have thought of that but it makes sense of a lot of things...

Fourbears Thu 16-May-13 12:07:41

Mamma that's interesting! Hadn't thought of that. There may be some truth in it, but dsis has always been the favourite one. I think it's just carrying on through our children. She is also the youngest one and my mum still has the perception that she is the weak one, needs a lot of help, needs protecting from the world. She's well into her thirties btw! I, apparently am the strong one, can easily cope with no help, I'm the one to turn to and confide in etc. There is pretty irrefutable evidence that out of the two of us, my sis is the strong one!

I found a childminder to give me a break. She didn't like it and tried to make me feel bad about it, but she still didn't want to help me herself, so she couldn't say too much! And then she fell in love with the childminder and I felt she was saying the childminder was better than me! Is it any wonder I'm still screwed up?!

Even my sister feels a bit bad about the obvious difference in how we're treated. Even my mum knows it's not fair in her heart of hearts. I think it has shamed her into doing a tiny bit more for us. Me and DH went out for a meal for our anniversary!! Woo-hoo!

The look on my mum's face when I ask her to babysit. She looks like a rabbit caught in headlights. She knows she can't really say no, because of all the care she does for DN but she so doesn't want to. She says yes, ok in this kind of strangulated voice and pulls this weird face. It's got quite funny now, she squirms so much. I've tried so hard to understand but I can't. They're nice kids, not too much trouble because of their ages, they go to sleep well etc. It's so strange, she's playing out what happened in her own family. Her mum wouldn't look after me and my sis but was all over her sis's children. She still complains about it, til this day. I don't point out the irony, it would no doubt be a very, very different situation in her eyes. I'll just keep going with the counselling. I hope I don't screw up my kids like this.

MammaTJ Thu 16-May-13 17:43:49

Fourbears, I really can beat that.

My DM lives in the same town as my DSis, fair enough,she has been available to help her with her three boys. They are all over 18, as is my DD1 now. But I got a second wind, so to speak. I had a DD age 7 and a DS age 6. I have asked her to come and stay with us during the holidays to help me look after them but she can't possibly because of.....................................................Wait for it......................................................................................................................................... Looking after DSis DOG!!! My children get rejected my their grandmother for a flipping dog.

I then asked if they could go to hers for a few days, she laughed.

Hope that makes you feel better!! grin

I am fine and long ago accepted that my mum is a selfish arse just using excuses to stay in her rut. I don't hold it against my DSis either, who has told her time and time again her dog could be left home alone of necessary.

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