Grandparents not interested

(19 Posts)
hypermind Fri 12-Aug-16 15:08:32

Hi, looking for some advice on grandparents not being interested pleased. It's a bit of a tough topic, as my wife's mum who lives 45 miles away makes an effort every other weekend or when she can to come visit both kids (aged 17 month and 3 month).

My wifes Nan, lives roughly 5 miles away and is great with the boys, she looks after the eldest every Wednesday. When it comes to my parents, it's a totally different story. My mum and dad live approx 5 miles away, and my mum doesn't work and doesn't drive. My dad was working until two weeks ago when his contract ended. In the year and a half that my eldest has been on this earth, my mum has only ever come round to the house during the week once. My wife is at home all day every day with them both and i've tried saying "the kids are at home all the time during the week, come visit" but my mum doesn't.

At the weekends they occasionally come visit, maybe once every 3-4 weeks but normally they are out taking the dogs on a long dog walk or similar. Yesterday my mum text asking to take just the eldest to a farm on Saturday. I discuss this with my wife last night and she wasn't happy. We just don't feel comfortable with them taking him somewhere like that (it's his first time to a farm) considering he hasn't really bonded with either of them, and vice versa. It also annoyed us both that she only wanted to take one and not both kids.

I text her back with the following:
"We would both prefer it if you spend more time with both the boys before taking them somewhere like a farm, and when you get to know the boys a bit better. It would be nice if you both got involved in their lives more often and not just for the fun weekends and the odd day out. Chantelle (my wife) is at home all day every day and with dad being off work, you could both see them more often if you wanted to. We would just feel more comfortable with you both having them more regularly before going to the farm thats all. You can still have him on Saturday but would prefer if you did something more local or something at home with him".

I can tell she and my dad are upset and we're going to see them tonight to discuss.

Did we do the right thing? Are we in the wrong? HELP! sad

HaPPy8 Fri 12-Aug-16 15:13:06

I think you are a bit unreasonable to expect them to take a 3 month old ..... They probably thought they were helping by offering to take the older one?

Missgraeme Fri 12-Aug-16 15:13:22

Good for u for speaking up!! My in laws have seen their gs (only one) 3 times in 22 months. Also lived really close but she just didn't bother. We uninvited her from our wedding as we felt she wasnt really a part of our family. She emailed all friends and relatives that were had cut her out of gs life etc!!Long long saga but we aren't bothered now. But if u want them to be a bigger part then it's worth a try talking to them. And if they don't. Then their loss and more time u have with the kids and no need to share!!

HerdsOfWilderbeest Fri 12-Aug-16 15:17:33

I think it's fair enough to raise it but not in a text.

I can see why she might not wish to take a 3 month old baby to a farm.

PotteringAlong Fri 12-Aug-16 15:22:41

So they see your children once every 3 weeks? That's actually quite a lot you know.

hypermind Fri 12-Aug-16 15:23:33

The problem wasn't about not taking the youngest, but it was more about not seeing him enough to have a bond with him, to then take on a day out. I don't know, it's a tricky one, which my wife was very upset about, but I was on the fence, as it's my parents I upset...

PotteringAlong Fri 12-Aug-16 15:23:44

And also completely reasonable not to take the 3 month old. In fact, they might have assumed that as he's so young you would have preferred them not to take him

hypermind Fri 12-Aug-16 15:35:46

In addition I didn't mention on the text to take the 3 month old, as that wasn't what the issue was, it was the fact that they don't see either of them enough, in our opinion.

HaPPy8 Fri 12-Aug-16 17:28:49

I think this is tricky. You say they could come and visit more in the week but would your wife really want that whilst presumably you are at work? Have you specifically invited them? Some grandparents particularly on dads side I would say reading mumsnet find it hard to get a balance between not being overbearing to daughters in law and being seen to be interested enough! I'm sure they live their grandchildren and that's why they are upset at the suggestion they haven't done enough

MonkeyBrainsInPickle Fri 12-Aug-16 19:02:24

I fail to see what the issue is tbh. They visit evey 3 weeks, which would be regular enough for me. Surely some weekends you just want to do things as a family. When I was on maternity leave I wouldn't have wanted my mother-in- law, or even my own mum tbh, dropping in on me every five minutes.

I think it was nice of them to offer to take your eldest to a farm.

Chicci1 Fri 12-Aug-16 19:05:03

I think you're being very unreasonable and your message comes across as quite entitled. It sounds like you have a lot of support!

MonkeyBrainsInPickle Fri 12-Aug-16 19:08:21

If you'd like them to have a better bond with your son then surely a trip to the farm would help facilitate that.

BertPuttocks Fri 12-Aug-16 19:14:04

A visit every 3 or 4 weeks is actually pretty good.

It sounds as though you're quite difficult to please. You complain that they're not involved enough but then don't want them to do anything else. confused

Jenijena Fri 12-Aug-16 19:19:29

occasionally come visit is not every 3-4 weeks, that's a regular visit

This is the sort of thing you need to talk to your parents about, not send long and sniffy texts

GiddyOnZackHunt Fri 12-Aug-16 19:21:25

My parents dont see our dc that often as a rule. They are all very fond of each other.
There are lots of threads on here about sahp not wanting their ILs round in the week too.
This does sound like they are trying to be helpful but not overwhelming.

CPtart Fri 12-Aug-16 19:38:33

My DM lives 5 miles away, retired and drives. Also can go a month without seeing the GC ( now 13 and 11). She has never ever had them to sleep over at hers, and takes them out 3 or 4 times a year when asked (half terms). Would never offer. Never did when they were little either.
I think your MIL living 45 miles away and visiting every other weekend is a lot.
I think your wife's nan providing weekly childcare is very generous.
I don't see why they seeing the DC "fun weekends and the odd day out" is unreasonable at all. What more do you expect? Some people find young DC boring and hard work, however much they may live them. Is your wife happy at home?

BertPuttocks Fri 12-Aug-16 20:43:27

I think you might possibly have come to think of the fortnightly visits from 45 miles away and the childcare once a week as being 'the norm' as it's what you're used to. Next to that a monthly visit from 5 miles away probably seems like a lack of interest.

For many families though, a visit every 3 or 4 weeks is much more common. The help and visits from your wife's family would probably be much more unusual to them.

purpleme12 Fri 12-Aug-16 23:59:10

I also think they visit regularly. Re the building up a bond, I think them taking the child out is a way of doing that isn't it?

smellyboot Sat 13-Aug-16 00:09:01

I'm going to harsh but you asked the question! Every 3-4 weeks is pretty regular. GPs have their own lives. They may enjoy GDC but not want to take on a lot of baby sitting. They offered to take your toddler to a farm which is lovely. You seem very hung up about it being a major deal. It's just a farm and prob very kid friendly. It's a lovely offer. It's unreasonable to expect them to take a 3 mth old as well. The toddler could have a lovely day out bonding with his GP. It's hardly a high risk activity or a week away is it?
Lots of paremts like us have zero GP support or local GP so I think you need to relax and enjoy what is is offered. You seen very uptight and stressed about a simple day out

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