If you give to one, surely you give to the other?

(74 Posts)
Shelly32 Tue 26-Mar-13 23:02:05

Had a real issue with MIL this weekend over fairness. We were over with our DDs and their three cousins were also over. At the end of the day whe the three boys were off home, I caught her trusting £5 into their hands and asking them to 'SShhh!'. I assumed she wanted to surprise our girls with the same later when we left. The boys didn't Shh about it and told me and their cousins what they were going to spend it on. The girls didn't get their 'pocket money' and the Shhhing was obviously MIL trying to hide the fact she'd given them money. MIL is one of the wealthiest people I know and although I'd never expect her to give my girls pocket money, if she's going to give one set of grandchildren pocket money, in pretty much full view, shouldn't she give all of them? I felt really over protective of my girls and spoke with DH who didn't see anything wrong with it. To me it's really odd behaviour and it made me really cross, but maybe IABU...

Why the hell didn't DH think it was wrong?

WannaBeANinja Tue 26-Mar-13 23:04:53


if she's giving to the boys she should give to the girls aswell!

ask her her reasons why? if you don't mention it it will fester, you really need to mention to find out her reasoning behind it and to let her know that it really isn't fair.

I hate things like this

WafflyVersatile Tue 26-Mar-13 23:05:01

Is it at all possible that she forgot when you were leaving?

I find it odd that your DH doesn't find it odd.

BackforGood Tue 26-Mar-13 23:05:56

I'm not generally keen on all the MiL bashing that goes on, on MN, but I have to say that sounds unfair. YANBU to think it wrong.
The only exception I might make is if they were perhaps off on holiday or something and this was 'ice cream money', that yours will be given when they are off on holiday.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 26-Mar-13 23:06:01


WafflyVersatile Tue 26-Mar-13 23:07:13

Or that the boys' family is harder up than your family, or that she thinks their parents are mean to them and is trying to balance it out?

That's not even convincing me.

Goldmandra Tue 26-Mar-13 23:07:13

I think it's odd that you DH didn't see anything wrong with it. Is he aware of some other way that your MIL has spent money on your girls and not them and perhaps sees it as redressing the balance?

ShootingStarsss Tue 26-Mar-13 23:08:27

I agree with you on this, we have the same problem & it really upsets me.

Why does your DH think it's not a problem?

Shelly32 Tue 26-Mar-13 23:10:37

He said his family don't work like my family and that at some point it'd all equal out. I tried to reason that kids don't think like that. If one kid gets something, the other will feel hurt if they don't get the same. He runs his own business and MIL is always trying to but her nose in over that re: colour schemes/layout ( I had to hide a yellow teapot that she thouht 'brightened up the place but that looked tacky as hell)etc. She really gets my back up and in my opinion he puts her before me but that's kind of irrelevant because that's just me and most MILs pee their DILs off. When it comes to my kids I won't stand for it. We argued big time and he did relent and call her to ask her if that was the case. FIL argued the same point my DH did, that the girls would get the same at some point but to me, kids don't look at life that way and it still just seems really odd!

willyoulistentome Tue 26-Mar-13 23:11:34

Whethet or not she should hive to one set of gc but not the other would depend on the respective families financial situations. Eg if your kids get lots of treats and the boys dont then i would not mind her helping them out. BUT if she is going to do it she should make sure dhe is very discreet about it. YANBU to be annoyed thst your girls were upset.

YANBU - are the parents circumstances particularly different? I don't think that this would make what your MIL did acceptable, but there might be a bit of logic there. My DGP treat me and my cousins differently, but as an adult I can see why. If they treated us differently as children it would have been through our parents so would have been invisible to us as children.

cantspel Tue 26-Mar-13 23:13:38

Does she see more of your children than the others?
So that when she has previously given to yours she has not given to them as she didn;t see them.

The "shh"ing means she knows it's wrong too.

Startail Tue 26-Mar-13 23:14:16

Your DH is out of order and needs to fix this PDQ. They will be upset if small, if bigger they may call her a sexist, mean old woman. I'd quite likely of simply asked if she'd forgotten, but I'm a cheeky sod,

Shelly32 Tue 26-Mar-13 23:16:59

The boys aren't off anywhere and they are better off than us. MIL didn't forget. This'll sound really manipulative and petty but I said to one DD 'Don't forget to remind Nana about your pocket money' because I had an odd feeling she wouldn't give to the girls. I know it was wrong but I hated the thought they'd miss out and maybe go home wondering why. She asked and Nana said he didn't have any spare change. I do know what I did was totally wrong and should have broached it myself but don't want to look petty over money. I probably made a bad situation worse but I didn't know how else to get what was fair. I should have manned up and just asked but judging from the response, they still don't think they've done anything wrong. It's my Dh I'm most annoyed with to be fair. They can be as odd as they like but I'd like him to feel a bit protective over our girls!

Shelly32 Tue 26-Mar-13 23:18:45

Yeah, The Shhhing did make me think that she wished I'd not eneterd the room at that point! She sees the boys every week and my girls probably once or twice a month. She could see them more if she wanted to but is too busy usually.

cantspel Tue 26-Mar-13 23:19:25

Maybe it was the fact that yours asked for money then. Maybe she thinks they are beginning to expect to be given money when she sees them and she didn't like it.

Winterwardrobetime Tue 26-Mar-13 23:21:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Yfronts Tue 26-Mar-13 23:21:11

Maybe ask her what the grand kids spend her fiver on as the boys seemed very excited.

Shelly32 Tue 26-Mar-13 23:21:23

No, I've heard the boys ask for money and she gives it to them. I was shocked they asked and said so but MIL laughed and said 'If you don't ask you don't get' which is why I thought I'll be damned if my girls are missing out as they are too polite.

Yfronts Tue 26-Mar-13 23:21:52

Maybe ask her what the grand kids spend her fiver on as the boys seemed very excited.

Shelly32 Tue 26-Mar-13 23:24:49

My family is totally different. Whatever I got, my sister got. I can't see how any other way could be right. I would hate it if my children had been the ones to get the money and not their cousins and would have said something. SIL had gone so couldn't have known.

MNetBlackpoolLE Tue 26-Mar-13 23:25:47

My dd gets money from her man every week but she would never dream of asking for it, I think that's pretty rude.

My grandad used to do this, save change for one for holidays but not his brother and sister. it wasn't fair but I think ywbu to tell them to ask for it.

MNetBlackpoolLE Tue 26-Mar-13 23:27:26

Nan not man!

And xpost

Shelly32 Tue 26-Mar-13 23:27:44

Yfronts good idea but I think it'd wash over her. From the phone call, she didn't seem fazed that she'd been unfair or even recognised that she'd been unfair which is again odd to me.

Shelly32 Tue 26-Mar-13 23:30:54

MNETBPOOL I know it was wrong to get DD to ask but didn't want an outright confrontation about unfairness with MIL. The way it was done made it look like it was an innocent Q. She'd seen cousins get some pocket money and so naturally thought she'd get some. They are not the type of girls to ask, I would normally be cross if they did ask. It was my fault that happened but just didn't want to cause conflict and thought this was a way around it.

quornqueen Tue 26-Mar-13 23:36:11

TBH I would swallow it and give your DD's a fiver each from you so they didnt feel left out, rather than have them ask.

I had a friend's husband give his daughter a grape in front of my 2 yr old. DS asked in his best possible voice if he could please have one and the bastard got up and left the room leaving my DS in tears (I no longer visit this friend). So I gave DS a grape myself from his own lunch box and make a loud point of doing so. MIL might have overlooked your DD's but you can always try and make it up to them instead by giving them something special yourself, better than what the boys got.

Xmasbaby11 Tue 26-Mar-13 23:36:19

My family were unfair when I was growing up - gp and uncles seemed to favour either my brother or I. My mum told me later they had to top up/invent presents so that we wouldn't know. I'm glad she did - as an adult I can understand that sometimes adults just don't remember one child's birthday, or just see something for one child they want to buy, but children don't understand and would be hurt.

Nanny0gg Tue 26-Mar-13 23:36:26

I think your MiL was very unfair and I don't like treating children differently.
However, you were very U in your handling of it - you don't like it, don't manipulate your children. And you are very U with because that's just me and most MILs pee their DILs off.
And I don't even have a DiL!

quornqueen Tue 26-Mar-13 23:39:49

Also, it makes a far stronger point to your MIL for your DD's to be saying "mummy gave me a fiver!" rather than "Wheres my fiver, nan?"

I wouldn't involve them in disputes again, it's very confusing for kids.

Shelly32 Tue 26-Mar-13 23:41:56

Sorry Nanny Ogg Of course at times we all get cross with our MILs, don't we, whether reasonbale or not?? Plus I've already put my hands up to the whole unreasonableness of getting my DD to do my dirty work (minus the conflict I'll add). If you knew my MIL, you'd understand. She's a grand matriachal, domineering type. My Dh's reaction surely tells you something. She's not a monster but we have our issues.

Shelly32 Tue 26-Mar-13 23:43:30

Quornqueen I agree. I was wrong for involving the girls. I just felt so gutted for them to have to see that type of unfairness.

anonymosity Tue 26-Mar-13 23:44:43


Maryz Tue 26-Mar-13 23:51:18

I always tell this story.

When we were kids, my grandfather used to bring money for us. £20 for my older brother, £10 for my younger brother and £5 for me. Every time. And every time my mum objected and he would say that he didn't have equal notes, but he would make it fair next time. But he never did.

So mum just quietly removed the money ever time, and gave us a tenner each (or sometimes 8 if she was skint).

She never made an issue, because he would have enjoyed it. Because he liked the power of having us all hang on to his every word. He also enjoyed the fact that every time he came he thought I was hoping for the tenner or twenty. But I didn't care, because of my mum's dealing with it properly.

Your children won't care if you don't. They might notice, but they won't care.

Shelly32 Tue 26-Mar-13 23:59:40

Maryz Your mother is a wise woman and I have a lot to learn about diplomacy and how to deal with people with a warped sense of right and wrong. Thank you.
I still have a bit of a niggle inside of me about the fact my DH and PIL don't get what's wrong. I haven't even mentioned it to my friends or my side of the family as I know they'd be as flabbergasted and annoyed as I am. I don't want my girls first taste of injustice to be from people they are related to and care about!

Shelly32 Wed 27-Mar-13 00:00:26

Your last point needs to be my mantra! thanks

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Wed 27-Mar-13 00:46:46

OP my MIL is exactly the same! My little boy has 2 older cousins, and an older sister (my SD). She always always always treats my son differently; never offers to take him out to fun places yet always wants to take the other children, when she treats them she never treats him. sad I feel so unbelievably sad for him and I am extremely protective over him. He has a little brother who is 1 month old at the moment, and I can 1000000% guarantee that MIL will NOT be taking ds1 out in the future (if she ever does) and not ds2. If she buys something for one and not the other then she will be told her gifts aren't wanted.

I am sick of her and I am going to be very difficult in the future if she doesn't get her act together.

Benby Wed 27-Mar-13 01:42:32

Hi Shelley,
My mil is exactly the same as yours. We have 2 dd's that she sees about once a week, normally mid- week she told my girls she was going to give them €5 a week each as their wages this was before Xmas. My girls have seen it about 3 times since then and only cause we happened to be over on a Sunday when her other 2 grand children are there. They visit every Sunday so get their money regardless.
My girls haven't noticed how she treats them yet but it's only a matter of time before my eldest does when this happens I will sit down with mil and tell her she needs to treat them the same or she won't see them because she won't do to my girls what she has spent a lifetime doing to my dh.
My dh also doesn't see anything wrong in what she's doing because since the age of 4 when his brother came along my dh has never been as good as his bro, not as intelligent, not as generous, not as charitable the list goes on and on. My dh has a job his bro has a career. My dh only has a house because of me. For 21 years this is what has been drilled into my dh and its only in the last 5 years since he moved in with me and we married that he has started to stand up to her a bit
I can't believe the way she treats my dh still now but I know we'll never measure up so I don't try anymore and please myself and dh is starting to come around to my way of thinking.
Maybe your dh is the same Shelley its not a nice thing for someone to do to a child and if your husband won't call her on it I would. I hope my dh will have copped onto the problem by the time my eldest notices and he will say something cause I will just loose the rag at her.
Hope that helps and things improve for you and your dc
Regards ,

AdoraBell Wed 27-Mar-13 01:56:45

Sounds to me like playing one off against the other OP.

My MIL does this and even tried it with me and other DIL. My OH and his brother visited a short while before Easter one year, other DIL had already broken off contact, so MIL waited for number 2 son to leave, which he didn't do before OH. Neither could work out why she was agitated and then the next weekend she practically summoned OH so that she could give him my easter egg and told him that she couldn't do it in front of number 2 as she hadn't bought one for his wife. At that stage OH still thought his mother was a nice person.

ipswichwitch Wed 27-Mar-13 02:10:29

My gran was forever giving me (only granddaughter) presents/money, and would leave my DBro and her other 2 grandsons out. My brother would sob his little heart out and my parents would always end up having to get him something (that they could hardly afford, and gran knew this).
It actually caused a lot of resentment between us growing up, and I would always feel so guilty and try to share whatever she gave me, but it was always girly stuff he'd never be interested in.

It's a harsh lesson to learn so young just how unfair people/life can be, and I am so grateful my DPs and Mil treat all their grandkids the same. I can't believe anyone would think that sort of behaviour is acceptable tbh.

Icelollycraving Wed 27-Mar-13 04:07:17

I must be in the minority here. I understand you are protective of your dc but I don't think I'd get worked up over a bit of pocket money.
I certainly wouldn't be rude enough to ask for it or encourage children to ask for their pocket money/treats etc.
If my mum spent more on one grandchild,I wouldn't necessarily notice but if I did I would not make an issue of it.

nooka Wed 27-Mar-13 04:29:25

Are the children the same sort of age? It doesn't seem particularly unreasonable to give older children spending money in a way you'd not do for younger ones. Or to do different things with different children. I've certainly never spent any time thinking about whether my FIL (MIL is dead) is different with my children than dh's sister's children, but they are quite a bit older.

Tabliope Wed 27-Mar-13 07:12:01

Sorry but YABU. I don't like the kids being treated differently but there could be reasons for it. Maybe your DDs have had extra presents that the boy cousin didn't get and the fivers was to even that up. Maybe your DDs got more spent on them for xmas, if the presents your PIL bought cost more for your DDs than for the boys - not to be unequal, just how it works out sometimes. Maybe the boys are being rewarded for something you don't know about - pulling their socks up at work, behaving well at home. Maybe they're going on a school trip so when your DDs do they'll get it.

I completely agree that things need to be equal but you don't know for sure if they aren't. Your DH will know if it will equal out in the long run and he says it will. I think you were terribly, disgustingly grasping telling your DD to go and ask her GM where here money is. Unbelievable. If my DD had seen cousins get money and she didn't I would have told her what I've put in my first paragraph.
Basically it's none of your business what MIL does with her money.

Based on that one incident you don't know things are unequal between the grandkids. If it's a constant then yes it needs to be talked about but based on that one incident you don't know that they are being talked about. The best thing you could have done is sweep over it - if you don't care your kids won't but to tell your DD to go up and ask for money, unbelievable. I know my GM wouldn't have given it to me based on that rudeness alone.

Baroozer Wed 27-Mar-13 08:25:41

YANBU to feel annoyed by it. My DSIL used to favour my oldest DD in really obvious ways, e.g. she turned up at my DS's birthday to give him a card and then produced a massive doll for my DD because she'd seen it in the shop and 'thought DD would just love it!' I took it immediately and said how kind DSIL had been and that I would wrap it up for DD's birthday (in two months). And then I gave her the extra present I had wrapped up for DS, in front of everyone, and said, 'It's so kind of you to buy presents in advance for ALL the children!' so she had something to give him.

After that incident, my DH and I discussed it and he told his family that it was wholly unacceptable to single one child out like that, that it would cause bad feeling and resentment, so it wasn't to happen again and if it did the gift would simply be returned. There was a fair amount of chuntering about us being too controlling, but it didn't happen again and it's far better to get these things sorted out when the children are young than to let it fester into adulthood.

Purple2012 Wed 27-Mar-13 08:31:11

Yanbu. It is unfair to treat kids differently. If they hadn't been there at the time then fine but to do that when all the kids are there is so unfair.

I have had this with my SD. All my family treat her exactly the same as my nephews. We had a family thing once and I invited some friends of the family who we have known all our lives. They gave my nephews a fiver each and nothing for my stepdaughter. The boys thanked them for the money and they were not even embarrassed that they hadn't given to my SD. Also the female part of the couple could hardly bring herself to talk to SD, and got annoyed when her husband was taking an interest in my SD and her drawings.

They have always been people that I really like as we grew up with them as our 'aunt and uncle' but that really disappointed me. Luckily my SD didn't make a big deal of it and appreciates my family treating her the same. I was more upset about it than she was!

Toasttoppers Wed 27-Mar-13 08:34:32

Shocking favouritism in my family, I hate it and my Mother gives her golden child's children far more while ignoring others.

It is just plain manipulation and rude.

nokidshere Wed 27-Mar-13 08:41:33

My mum has always treated people in the family differently. One set of nieces and nephews have always been given more time, attention, money, gifts than the others - and still are even though they are now adults.

But, you reap what you sow, and now mum sits alone day after day lonely and in need of help because the family members who live closest to her are the ones she ignored growing up. They have no time for her and refuse to get further drawn into more family rifts. Sadly she can't see that the situation is one that she created.

MrsKoala Wed 27-Mar-13 08:49:52

this is horrible. my grandparents paid for everything for one set of cousins and nothing for the rest of us (driving lessons, car etc). when they died and we sorted the house, there were only photos of the special cousins, nothing to even suggest the rest of us existed. Sad thing is, my other grandparents obviously favoured my other cousins too (same with pictures, didn't come to my wedding as too much hassle, but travelled further to theirs etc). So i grew up knowing i wasn't special to either set of grandparents. sad

fluffyraggies Wed 27-Mar-13 08:50:31

My exMIL used to lavish much much more time and money on her youngest son AND his kids than either of her 2 older son's - or their children. (Three of which are my DDs.)

The youngest sons first baby was unplanned, and although he and the baby's mum stayed together, and lived together in a decent flat my exMIL took it upon herself to virtually raise the child at her's, and feed and clothe it for the first 2 years while they carried on like teenagers ''sorted themselves out''. They had another baby together and moved toa bigger house - still my MIL carried on as if her son and his GF were destitute teens living in a cardboard box! Paying for their holidays and buying loads of expensive stuff for their kids.

Her 2 other sons (one of which was my DH) just had to get by on their own with their families.

Fair enough.

But what really grated on me was the way she would simper on about 'fairness' to all her grandchildren. And how she 'always treated them all the same'. (one such lecture to my DDs was on the same day she sat and showed them photos of her youngest sons kids holiday to Disneyland Florida - paid for by her) .....

fluffyraggies Wed 27-Mar-13 08:53:16

This was years ago - btw.

I never said anything to her - but i obviously haven't forgotten it!

pigletmania Wed 27-Mar-13 08:53:36

Yanbu at all, that is totally wrong and I would have mentioned it to her. Your dh is stupid and needs to grow a pair and tell his mum. This should not happen again

it's goig to be very difficult to speak to her about it without sounding grabby. YANBU but I think if your DH thinks it will even out at some point it probably will

Maryz Wed 27-Mar-13 09:04:50

You know, your dh may be wise. Of course he may just be a wimp, but he may realise that it isn't worth the battle.

It doesn't sound as though anything you say will make a difference, so is it really worth a big row and making your dd's even more aware?

Your children will slowly realise as they get older that their granny is unfair. It is up to you to make them realise this matter-of-factly rather than feeling that they are in some way inadequate or "unworthy".

pigletmania Wed 27-Mar-13 09:25:35

She knows it was wrong and told the other kids to shhhh, what a horrid woman to do tat to kids. I would not say where the money, but would have said to dh quite loudly fr her to hear that we all treat everyone equally in this family

elQuintoConyo Wed 27-Mar-13 09:37:09

I was on the receiving end of this when I was young - or rather, the not-receiving end. It cooks sock. It made me feel inferior, unloved, unwanted, a burden, a disappointment.
Atm my DM is spending much more time with my DSis' kids than mine. Both Dsis and I live abroard, she in an English-speaking country, I not. So DM doesn't get to see the dgc much so pampers them when she sees them. Ecxept my DS. We hear, all the bloody time, about ehat she does with my niece/nephew , how she helps my dsis blah blah, but when she visits us she sits on the sofa drinking e-n-d-less cups of tea and just watcheds DS from afar. She won't pick him up (he's 15months, she's not old), or push the pram.
My DFil on the other hand, he's old, quite unstable and weak, adores each of his 8 gc equally and loves interacting with DS, he often asks to push the pram and feels really proud!

I try not to let my DM situation get to me. She's a bitter narcissist who wouldn't recognise her actions or change.

Coukd you, or your DH, pperhaps state that although you couldn't give two fat figs whether your dc receive anything, (money or otherwise), could she just not do it in front of them? Asking the dgc who got a fiver to be quiet about it is nuts!

Sorry for the thread highjack thanks

tempnameswap Wed 27-Mar-13 09:38:04

OP I suspect your DH doesn't see what is wrong because his childhood was like this all the time...

There is a big difference between the normal swings and roundabouts of childhood and deliberate unfairness. My ILs are unable to treat DH and his brother broadly the same in terms of cash/gifts - if they did they couldn't use them as a means of control; so BIL has an enormous gift invested in second property, DH nowt. Is DH angry about this? Only towards his brother not his parents hmm. Patterns of behaviour can easily become normalised over the years. Your MIL knows it is wrong though, or why the sshing?!

elQuintoConyo Wed 27-Mar-13 09:46:15

Oh MrsKoala that's just heartbreaking. I hope you feel very special now thanks

Shelly32 Wed 27-Mar-13 09:46:16

Wow, it seems like this type of thing is quite common from the responses. I think it is the whole 'Shhh'ing thing and the fact that something was given in front of the girls but not to them. It really isn't about the money and it probably seems petty to moan about a a fiver. Tabilope I am not grasping and I said previously that I my girls have never asked for money but that my MIL laughed about the boys asking for money and as a result gave it to them. It was also a way around conflict if it had just been a case of her forgetting.
I just don't like my girls not being treated the same as their cousins. If she wants to treat them differently then she should at least not do it in my DD's (or my ) faces. elQuinto no probs, hi jack away! It's made me feel a bit better about my situation. Poor you! X

Shelly32 Wed 27-Mar-13 09:48:54

MrsKoala That is heartbreaking.

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Wed 27-Mar-13 09:51:36

When your little you don't see the swings and round abouts. As adults you do. So for little people its very very wrong.
My ds is on the receiving end, I get an irrational (or rational!) ball of anger in my tummy every time. He doesn't know now, but he will realise one day.

I can't offer any advice, other then one day maybe a situation will arise where you'll be able to go 'oh come on, be discreet mil'.

Shelly32 Wed 27-Mar-13 10:03:12

Can'tbelieveit'snotbutter Yes, I did get a little ball of (probably over protective) rage too. You're right about kids not being able to see the bigger picture and rationalise. All my girls saw was their cousins getting a treat and not them and probably wondered what they'd done/not done to not get the same.

pigletmania Wed 27-Mar-13 10:04:11

I would do that now can't believe, no time like the present. It's the principle not the money,doesn't matter if it 20p

Shelly32 Wed 27-Mar-13 10:11:42

pigletmania I'm hoping that the conversation that DH had with MIL has at least made her think about it. Whether she believes she's in the right or not, at least she knows that it's been noticed. I was actually thinking I was in the wrong about expecting MIl to be more fair but now I can see how this has affected some people and will not let it go untackled next time (obviously in a diplomatic way).

pigletmania Wed 27-Mar-13 10:23:18

I think next tim if I happens again I would say to her would you mind not doing that in front of the girls it's not fair on them

pigletmania Wed 27-Mar-13 10:30:00

Good on you for saying something shelly, you have to. There was a thread at Christmas whereby op mother treated her gc by op better than op adopted son. Her mother had bought Christmas resents for all op Chidren accept for her adopted ds sad. Op refused te gifts and sent them back an fell out with her mother over it as she refused to acknowledge the adopted ds as part of te family sad du to not sharring biology.op does not speak to her mother anymore quite rightly. It has to be dealt with

chocoflump Wed 27-Mar-13 10:31:36

Shelley, my MIL is the same and just like your DH, mine sees no problem with it.

She has two grandsons from DHs brother and one grandson and one granddaughter from us. DHs brother lives ten minutes away from her, we live approx an hour away. She sees the other two every day. Their mother doesn't work as the father has a good job, yet she takes the boys daily to spend quality time with them. My children are lucky if they see her once a month. When she comes to visit us, she brings the other two with her, so the kids can play together. When we visit her, they are at her house. This means she never spends quality time with our children. She takes the other two on day trips to the cinema etc. she's never taken mine anywhere, never offered to look after them or anything.

I thought it might change when we gave her her first granddaughter last year. But to be honest she has no interest in her granddaughter. She doesn't talk to get or pick her up, just ignores her.

Drives me mad, I wish we never had to see her again. sad

pigletmania Wed 27-Mar-13 10:40:00

Choco shock that is unacceptable, dh should b on to his parents case about it

Shelly32 Wed 27-Mar-13 10:41:04

chocoflump sad It is maddening but also quite tragic. It's sad for all our DC but at the end of the day, it's MILs' loss. Maryz advice on how to protect the children is wise (about 20 posts back).

Shelly32 Wed 27-Mar-13 10:42:55

Chocoflump Have you ever mentioned how you feel to her? What is it with some men and their mothers??!!

chocoflump Wed 27-Mar-13 11:10:43

I've never actually sat down and explained to her how I feel. Maybe I'm just a wimp and hate confrontation but I think my DH should say something, it's his mother and they are his children too.

I've given her plenty of opportunity to spend time with them, even asking if she would mind looking after them one day a week when I go back to work, to which she said she would, and that she would bring the other two with her. This will not be happening as 1. She's in her 60's with arthritis- I think looking after 4 under 4's would b a bit much! And 2. She wants to do this in my house-it's cramped enough with my two never mind 4 kids running around! confused

When I said this she said that the other two are used to being with her during the week and she likes to take them to give their mum a break as its not easy on her having two so close in age. So basically I had to agree to it or she wouldn't look after them.

I guess she won't be looking after them then sad

Shelly32 Wed 27-Mar-13 12:30:44

I don't think you're being a wimp. Confrontation in families isn't pleasant so I can see why you'd want to avoid it.
Does she have to give SIL a break on the one day you work? Couldn't she do it on other days and have your children on her own for one day?
My parents have the girls three mornings a week so that I can work.The afternoons they are in nursery. MIL did offer but then said she couldn't do it regularly. I couldn't mess my parents or nursery about and chop and change to suit whenever she could fit them in so she doesn't look after them at all either. She does find time to look after her other GC though and their mother doesn't work...

ClartyCarol Wed 27-Mar-13 12:59:04

I think YANBU at all, and I'm flabbergasted that people can be so insensitive to their own families.

I think you really do need to say something the next time there is any favouritism demonstrated. It needn't be confrontational - as a pp said, a simple " Would you mind not doing that in front if the girls, it's not really fair on them," can't cause offence.

Good luck!

DoJo Wed 27-Mar-13 13:38:10

From your OP YABU - you don't say that there is a history of unfairness in which case you have no reason not to believe that this will all even out in the end as stated. Children do have to learn that they aren't always treated the same and sometimes other children will get things that they don't have and vice versa. Being able to wait for their 'turn' to be on the receiving end is a useful lesson. If this is not the first time that it has happened then YANBU, although (as you have acknowledged) your response was inappropriate.
I don't see the need for a confrontation - could you now just say to your MIL 'If you're going to treat one lot of grandchildren and not the other, could you make sure they don't see as it makes them feel bad' and leave it at that - no accusation, no demands for money and no reason for your MIL to have to justify it as you aren't specifically accusing her of treating one set of GC over another.

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