To think if you accept so much help from PIL you shouldn't bitch?

(47 Posts)
AnneNonimous Thu 14-Feb-13 17:53:12

My friend has two DC's aged 3 and 2. She is a married SAHM and her husband works part time. His parents have been very involved in their DC's life since their first son was born. They have them for weekends a lot and are always buying them clothes or shoes. They also paid for friend and her husband to move into their current house.

This weekend friend and her husband will be going away to a hotel just the two of them, leaving DC with PIL. She commented that she's so excited to go but a bit annoyed because she knows PIL will spoil DC with treats and they will behave badly. She constantly makes comments to me along these lines, and has said she has been rethinking their role in the DCs lives as she doesn't like the way they look after them (from what I've gathered this means the amounts of treats they get).

Today I gently suggested that if she's happy to accept so much free child care from them maybe she should be grateful rather than critical. Not in those exact words and I do think I phrased it non confrontationally but friend certainly didn't see it that way. She got upset and said I was against her, and currently won't talk to me.

Was I being unreasonable? Kicking myself for not sticking to the standard 'hmming' and 'aahing'

JaquelineHyde Thu 14-Feb-13 17:56:07


I can't stand this attitude, if PIL didn't have them at all I bet she would bloody moan at that as well the ungrateful cow.

Well done for saying something.

Shakey1500 Thu 14-Feb-13 18:00:16

YANBU however I sort of understand. I dont like some of the things that DS's grandparents give him BUT I grit my teeth as they are not "end of the world" things and the bottom line is that I am more grateful for what they do do,rather than what they do. I put up and shut up.

Euphemia Thu 14-Feb-13 18:03:03

YANBU. She's a silly spoilt moo.

badguider Thu 14-Feb-13 18:04:18

You don't know the dynamic about the PILs being so involved - maybe she would rather they weren't so involved but feels she has no choice against the PILs and her DH?
Not all 'help' is helpful, it can be pressure for 'access' rather than 'help' and if a mother is pressured into leaving her children with the GPs a lot then she doesn't also give up her right to any opinion of how they then care for the children.

foslady Thu 14-Feb-13 18:05:29

YANBU - but I don't know as I'd have voiced it!

AnneNonimous Thu 14-Feb-13 18:05:46

badguider I'd definitely know if that was the case, she would have told me. She often plans things for herself to do and chooses to drop the DC at PILs.

BubblesPebblesx2 Thu 14-Feb-13 18:05:46

YANBU. It is never nice to hear when you think your opinion is absolutely right and it isn't to someone else but maybe she'll get over the initial reaction and think on what you said later. It might even change her perspective a little.

Bobyan Thu 14-Feb-13 18:06:25

YANBU I can't stand my pil, so I never ask anything of them. Anything else would be hypocritical.

pictish Thu 14-Feb-13 18:06:45

I think I agree with badguider - does she feel pressure to leave the kids with the gps?

If not then OP yanbu.

badguider Thu 14-Feb-13 18:09:09

I'm pregnant with my first and the culture in DHs family is for his mum to do lots of childcare. She did for SILs kids and DH expects the same relationship for our child. He himself spent a lot of time at his Gran's growing up and valued that relationship.
I am ok to go along with that, if it's what they all want (within reason, when DC is old enough) but it doesn't mean that I'm a 'spoilt cow' or that I should be enternally on my knees with gratitude and cannot say if I feel my LO is being over-indulged.

ENormaSnob Thu 14-Feb-13 18:10:48

One of my friends is similar and tbh, it's pissing me right off.

She tells me her side of the story, obviously heavily biased as to what bastards they are and I still can't see what they've done wrong.

An starting to think she's an entitled spoilt bitch tbh.

Narked Thu 14-Feb-13 18:11:22

The treat thing always throws me. I don't understand the fuss - unless of course you have one of those special people who 'doesn't believe' in allergies or it's making the child eg constipated.

The only thing I can think of is are they taking over a bit? Does she actually want them to have the DC so often at the weekends? Does she want them 'always buying them clothes and shoes'?

AnneNonimous Thu 14-Feb-13 18:12:01

badguider I don't think she should never be able to voice her opinions but I do feel to constantly criticise how they look after DC and bitch about them and their interference but then happily drop kids off with them when she wants a weekend away frequently is out of order.

WishIdbeenatigermum Thu 14-Feb-13 18:13:03

YANBU, but maybe she vents to you rather than upset them. It's pretty tactless if you don't get much help though.

Merl0t Thu 14-Feb-13 18:13:11

I'm accepting help from my parents right now. It's torture. I've decided it's a good move long term, so I am swallowing my upset. My mother can say the most incredibly hurtful things to me and i just have to try not to get upset. Because if I get upset, she gets angry with me. It's so hard. I can't wait til i don't need her help. I only let off steam to a couple of people who GET it. Others would just say well land on your own two feet then. I am planning to. But it can't be done overnight.

AnneNonimous Thu 14-Feb-13 18:13:36

I may well have projected my own feelings onto this as I'm a single mum with no help from my parents or exPIL and would be eternally grateful if DS had grandparents that wanted to give me a break and spoil him!!

Arcticwaffle Thu 14-Feb-13 18:13:41

Yanbu. One of the pluses of having fairly (or completely) useless grandparents on both sides is that I don't have to be polite or grateful. If we were accepting money or childcare or support I'd have to be quite different.

Seabird72 Thu 14-Feb-13 18:14:50

She sounds very immature - if she doesn't want their help so much then she could look for ways to avoid them having to have the children so much - instead she's more than happy for them to have them when it suits her and for lengthy periods of time. Perhaps their "help" isn't always "helpful" but she could explain this to you instead of being childish and not speaking to you. I think she just doesn't like you pointing out that in fact she's using her PIL's. If she really didn't agree with the amount of treats the children get she could talk to her OH about it and they could approach the subject together but it sounds like she just wants to moan about them and be ungrateful.

AnneNonimous Thu 14-Feb-13 18:15:31

merl0t it's never nice to need someone who treats you badly. My friend definitely doesn't 'need' weekends away! I hope things get better for you soon x

badguider Thu 14-Feb-13 18:17:57

Yes, i'm projecting my own future concerns too - don't we all.
I have some future GPs who will want to be VERY involved, and I will work hard to allow it, but it'll be hard, and they'll probably have my baby more than I'd like... but I know other people will think I 'have it easy' because of the child-free time sad

BikeRunSki Thu 14-Feb-13 18:25:18

YA so NBU! !!!

I have a friend who bitches about her local MIL constantly, but whenever she needs a babysitter, has a clash of where her DC (4 and 8) need to be, running late for school pick up, wants to go away for the w/e, mil is there. She doesn't know she's born. My parents and PIL are at least 200 miles away, every second of childcare I need I pay for and I travel home from work every day in a state of anxiety about the M1 and whether I am going to get to nursery on time.

ssd Thu 14-Feb-13 18:25:31

I hate listening to mums who get loads of free family help moan about the people helping them, makes me stabby, would love to see how they'd manage with FA help like the rest of us, that'd give them something to moan about

Flossiechops Thu 14-Feb-13 18:37:02

Yanbu she sounds just like my sil, my patents are very involved in their gc lives, only when it suits her though!

i have a friend who constantly expects (and asks for) financial help from her PIL and then moans and whines about them all the time.

makes me fucking cross

every expense that crops up gets mentioned to PIL in the hope a cheque will be sent, and if it doesn't they are being 'tight'.

grrrr angry ....entitled much?

Procrastinating Thu 14-Feb-13 18:43:39

YANBU, your friend's life is beyond my wildest dreams. I would have said something too.

DontEvenThinkAboutIt Thu 14-Feb-13 18:48:50


If you accept free help then it seems very unreasonable to moan about it. If you absolutely have no other option it is still very unreasonable to moan about it.
It is hardworking looking after DC's and it is a huge favour to agree to look after them.

pluCaChange Thu 14-Feb-13 19:38:45

You did say she was "rethinking" their role. Could this be finally "it"?

Internationaltraveller Thu 14-Feb-13 19:56:06

Good for you OP

Adversecamber Thu 14-Feb-13 19:57:54

YANBU I have friends that have accepted money and childcare but complain all the time about their parents.

NeedlesCuties Thu 14-Feb-13 21:06:40


I am envy about so much childcare.

HollyBerryBush Thu 14-Feb-13 21:12:03

She is a married SAHM and her husband works part time

oh love her! I bet she can afford a shed load of professional help with her tax credits.

Viviennemary Thu 14-Feb-13 21:14:11

I agree completely. I had a colleague once who moaned non stop about her pil's on a holiday they all went on to the Carribean. Moan moan moan. Then somebody said to me afterwards do you realise the il's paid for that holiday. I hadn't. Some people think of it as an entitlement. If their il's have money they think they should have a good share of it. After all what would middle aged or old people want with money.

willesden Thu 14-Feb-13 21:19:21

I don't agree that if you get lots of free childcare from PIL, then you should also take the crap too. My PIL have spoilt my DD so much that she is a complete nightmare now. It may be free childcare, but it can be on very hard terms, believe me.

KissMyGrits Thu 14-Feb-13 21:28:02

An acquaintance has her MIL clean her house and do her washing, then moans because she throws things away or doesn't do it the way she likes it. This woman is a SAHM and there's no reason she can't do it herself.
One time the MIL took her DD to the mall and bought her a £10 bag as a treat, which pissed said acquaintance off because 'she could have given that money to me to buy some food shopping'.
Some people have no idea how lucky they are.

bumperella Thu 14-Feb-13 22:42:57

You sound like you're very jealous of your friends lifestyle -SAHM, dad working part time, on-tap babysitters. Jealousy not good basis for forming opinions, esp opinions you're actually going to voice, however gently.

BUT.... if you accept childcare then you accept the terms of that child-care. If you don't like the way someone is dealing with your child then you either find an alternative you prefer, or you STFU. That goes for in-laws, grandparents, nursery, whatever.

Lockedout434 Fri 15-Feb-13 00:57:46

I have a huge amount of help from my parents which i am very grateful for

BUT my mother drives me nuts.
I so agree with the phrase not all help is helpful. sometimes it's loaded with guilt , sometimes it's a control thing and sometimes it's because it's due to them not thinking I am capable.
My mum will tell me how to do the most basic of things and then gets uptight when it's not done her way, to her timetable. From minor things as changing where the cutlery goes , niggle, niggle to huge things like part stripping a newly decorated wall as she didn't like the paper!
I have still never got over that.
My dad is a star though calm kind no fuss and besotted with his GC. I am 40 odd by the way. Competent confident. If I did nt have my mate to vent to I think I would have murdered my mother by now.
So I can see both points I should be uncomplaining and grateful but some help comes with strings.

1944girl Fri 15-Feb-13 01:29:21

I am jealous of anyone who gets help from parents or PIL.
My parents gave me no help at all when my children were small.MIL would give help only when it suited her, and would expect a reward for it.
I am now a grandmother and am always giving help.Something I vowed I would do when my children grew up.
As for asking for financial help when you can afford to stay at home and not work-well that I think is total ungratitude.

It depends on tone of complaining. It's perfectly possible to welcome help from ILs (or your own parents), think that it's important DC have a good close relationship with their GPs, but wish they didn't feed them almost exclusively on sugar. But there are different ways of phrasing that.

and has said she has been rethinking their role in the DCs lives as she doesn't like the way they look after them. ..................Today I gently suggested that if she's happy to accept so much free child care from them maybe she should be grateful rather than critical

But OP, isn't your friend saying that she is rethinking whether she does use them for free childcare because she is unhappy with how they are looking after them - ie what you are suggesting! I do understand what she is saying, on the one hand she is getting a break but the downside of that is that there is an aftermath she'll have to deal with which is spoilt children getting 100% their own way and non-stop treats and having to deal with the transition back to normal life!

I personally don't think free childcare is as great as people think it is. It comes with conditions you may not like. I have chosen my paid childcare (CM) on the basis that we have similar attitudes and approaches to parenting e.g how many treats, how much tv etc. I would not be happy if GP were regular carers and their way is totally different from mine as it would cause too much grief during he transitions from one caring approach to another, hence why I don't do that.

Having said that, they would also need to not accept any more financial help from them too, she can't have it both ways!

ssd Fri 15-Feb-13 09:57:36

a colleague had her PIL take her kids on a 2 week holiday during the school hols, saving said colleague and her dh the expense of providing a holiday for the kids, or having to take time off in the school hols

she moaned that she'd need to go to primark to get the kids shorts and tee shirts for the holiday, it was all inclusive and she didnt put a penny towards it

she has her parents and his take the kids and treat them all the time, also treat her and her dh to weekends away

she moans about her life non stop (to me with no help/money/etc)


MortifiedAdams Fri 15-Feb-13 10:00:02

Why does she need so much childcare if she SAHMs and her DH is PT? Very strange!!

ssd Fri 15-Feb-13 10:04:52

cos she's one lazy cow mortified

diddl Fri 15-Feb-13 10:06:25

"His parents have been very involved in their DC's life since their first son was born."

"They also paid for friend and her husband to move into their current house."

They could just be very generous ILs, or it might come at a price & they won´t butt out!

diddl Fri 15-Feb-13 10:09:41

"Why does she need so much childcare if she SAHMs and her DH is PT?"

Maybe she doesn´t need it but feels she has to let them do it because of money ILs have paid out?

Maybe she just enjoys time with her husband & takes the chance when she can?

Does no one on here accept something unless they need it?

"I do think I phrased it non confrontationally but friend certainly didn't see it that way. She got upset and said I was against her, and currently won't talk to me."
Well, if you did as you say, her reaction is quite telling. If you don't agree with her you are against her, no divergence of opinion allowed. And not talking to you? Quite childish.

Crinkle77 Fri 15-Feb-13 11:56:49

She sounds like a right ungrateful cow, Thing is the point of grandparents is to spoile their grandkids - within reason of course

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