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In laws expect us to visit- but aren’t at all interested

(43 Posts)
Anewmum2018 Sun 01-Nov-20 08:18:18

This is more a rant than anything, as I know I can’t change other peoples behaviours. I just wanted to know if anyone had anything similar and any advice?
My DH parents are very much of the vibe that adult children have a ‘duty’ to visit their parents, and put in effort etc. We live a good four hours drive away from them and they’ve only been to visit once since our son was born 2 yrs ago.
We’re expected to go and see them, despite both of us working and having small child (obvs Covid has got in the way somewhat this year). We’re currently visiting for 3 nights (in hotel to minimise virus risk) - anyway, on the way down here, my husband informs me that his dad won’t be here all weekend as he’s off doing his hobby! This trip has been on the cards for ages, and his parents are retired so could literally do any of this any other time.
My fam is complete opposite- will move heaven and earth to help us out and love seeing their grandkid.
I can see it’s really hurt my husband, and pissed me off to be honest. In the grand scheme of thing, not a huge deal, but it has made me very much think, why do we bother? And how does anyone else deal with this kind of disinterested (but weirdly obligatory!) in laws?

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WorksTheDinerAllDay Sun 01-Nov-20 08:23:46

Yes, similar here. Live a few hours away from parents / in laws, all of whom seem to think M6 only goes in one direction. Got sick of making all the effort, especially as we work and have young children, and they are retired but healthy and quite capable of driving around the country to visit friends etc. We now refuse to play ball and only go visit again after they have been to us. If they query it I do a faux light hearted laugh and say something along the lines of "oh it's your turn to visit us isn't it? We came down in March remember?". Eventually they cave and make the effort.

waitrosetrollydolly Sun 01-Nov-20 08:25:24

Be lovely. Have a great visit . Make no deals about anything, be a dream daughter in law as it's only three days.
Hi home and don't bother with them anymore . Job done, head held high . You win .

YorkshireParentalPerson Sun 01-Nov-20 08:26:01

It kind of depends how often they expect you to visit, once a year and I would just suck it up. But if they're expecting a visit once a month, or even every other month I would be taking a huge step back and just tell them that you don't have the time to make the trip that often because of work and other commitments, however they are more than welcome to come and see you. Then leave it up to them.
You can always set up zoom / face time if they want to see their grandchild, but it shouldn't always fall to you to do the travelling.

Oxyiz Sun 01-Nov-20 08:31:06

Why didn't your husband cancel on the spot?

Fatted Sun 01-Nov-20 08:32:15

I think if DH is obviously upset by it, I would say nothing. Let him stew on it for a while. When you leave, invite them to come to you next time, will be lovely to have them over etc. That way it's up to them. You have invited them and they're choosing not to come.

You've got a good excuse not to visit for a while anyway. I found my family hard work after not seeing them for a while and have used Covid as an excuse not to see them.

Lardlizard Sun 01-Nov-20 08:32:58

That’s just rude

Lardlizard Sun 01-Nov-20 08:33:28

Pestering you to visit then being out most of the time wtf

GU24Mum Sun 01-Nov-20 08:34:23

Why do you need to go for such a long time? Personally, I'd just go down for 1-2 nights (though I tend to send OH by himself with the children).

I guess with FIL's hobby, it depends whether it's something he could just as easily do during the week.

My MIL definitely seems to have a phone which only accepts incoming phone calls !

Grobagsforever Sun 01-Nov-20 08:34:28

Can't possibly comment til we know what the hobby is...😀

Ragwort Sun 01-Nov-20 08:34:41

Just get through this visit and then stop arranging to go ... why are you so passive about it? Keep repeating 'we'd love you to visit us'. Or let your DH go on his own and deal with it.

How do they keep guilt tripping you into visiting? Why do they have so much control over how you feel?

MajorMujer Sun 01-Nov-20 08:35:26

That is really shit of them
Is FIL usually this selfish? Mine was and didn't change.

frazzledasarock Sun 01-Nov-20 08:38:39

Nope I’d not bother either. Unless you want to go down to see them.

Let your DH go with DC, you don’t want to go to see his parents out of duty to be ignored. So you stay home. Bet your DH stops going too if you do.

Lardlizard Sun 01-Nov-20 08:41:35

Frazzled why do you think Ops dh will stop going if she does ? Because it will be even more boring visiting ? Or a different reason ?

Anewmum2018 Sun 01-Nov-20 08:41:58

Thanks all. Nice to feel a bit backed up- because sometimes I’m like, maybe it’s my parents who are weird for wanting to make the effort with their kids?!
Yes he’s always like this. My husband has blinkers on when It comes to his family- but times like this, it’s painfully obvious how different our respective parents chose to act.
We go down maybe twice a year all together, and he takes my son down maybe twice more.
Maybe we just need to scale it back a bit (Covid will help for the time being!) what I really want to do is say ‘why are your parents so shit?!!! Why don’t you ever stand up to them and expect more?!’ But that wouldn’t help anything I guess, and would only make DH feel worse. It’s just the elephant in the room!
But frankly I’m knackered, so maybe I’ll just have to gently suggest it only happens once a year from now on...

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Lardlizard Sun 01-Nov-20 08:44:40

Is the hotel nice? Could you chill in the hotel for a day ?

Badgerling Sun 01-Nov-20 08:48:10

This kind of thing riles me no end..

My parents live in the same town as us, and the onus is always on me to arrange visits. There was a whole conversation about visiting before lockdown and my suggestion of date / time was met with “I need to do X that day”

Nothing else, no suggestions, no “we’d love to see you”

Fully empathise with your feeling of why do I even bother angry

Sorry, hijack sympathy rant over!!

frazzledasarock Sun 01-Nov-20 08:53:22

Lardlizard

Frazzled why do you think Ops dh will stop going if she does ? Because it will be even more boring visiting ? Or a different reason ?

Because it will be even more boring and a chore. And very clearly obvious that his parents are utterly uninterested and there will be nothing to detract from the fact the ILS have agreed DH should go visit them and then one or both have gone off to do something else leaving DH kicking his heals.

Would make the DH realise his DC is being ignored and pointlessly dragged across the country when his parents aren’t really interested.

Amammi Sun 01-Nov-20 08:56:56

You speak of your in laws as a unit but maybe it’s your MIL who is keen to see you guys and FIL who’s not arsed. Can she drive or travel to see your little family on her own? It can be difficult for women of older generations to get away from home and your FIL sounds domineering. Can’t imagine commending a visit and then heading off to a hobby at the same time but maybe he’s thinking of his wife and how he achieves contact for her with the least effort on his part.

Raindropsonrosesand Sun 01-Nov-20 08:59:25

Is FIL at home but out all day, or is he actually away? If around, can you phone him this morning and tell him that with lockdown starting you don't know when you'll see them again and can he cancel his hobby and see your family.

Sometimes people are crap, and need things pointed out explicitly.

After this weekend, I like @worksthedinerallday's technique of pointing out that it's their turn (and being positive about facilitating their visit) until they cave. But be prepared that they might not cave. Perhaps your husband prefers even a very lopsided relationship with his parents than none sad

Be very happy and grateful for your own lovely family! Healthy, strong mutual family relationships are such a gift for everyone involved - but sadly not in everyone's reach.

Anewmum2018 Sun 01-Nov-20 08:59:25

Lardlizard

Is the hotel nice? Could you chill in the hotel for a day ?

Ha yes it is actually, I’ve already suggested I have a lie in this morning while he takes son over there. So I can’t complained. It’s just the principle of the one way traffic!

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SeasonFinale Sun 01-Nov-20 09:00:56

also depends who chose that particular weekend. If it was you and DH then the FIL may have made plans already. Maybe the MIL is on Mumsnet saying we want them to visit and they insist coming the one weekend we have plans already

Amammi Sun 01-Nov-20 09:01:10

Commanding

Anewmum2018 Sun 01-Nov-20 09:02:46

Amammi

You speak of your in laws as a unit but maybe it’s your MIL who is keen to see you guys and FIL who’s not arsed. Can she drive or travel to see your little family on her own? It can be difficult for women of older generations to get away from home and your FIL sounds domineering. Can’t imagine commending a visit and then heading off to a hobby at the same time but maybe he’s thinking of his wife and how he achieves contact for her with the least effort on his part.

Yes that’s probably true. She won’t travel because she’s already saddled with looking after her mother in law (Asian family where this is common I think) so can’t leave her overnight. Lots of issues and cultural things that seem a little off to me, but I don’t want to rock the boat. Suffice to say, I won’t be looking after my ILs when they’re elderly.
Thanks for the rant space. Love mumsnet, really helps get stuff off my chest!

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Anewmum2018 Sun 01-Nov-20 09:04:36

SeasonFinale

also depends who chose that particular weekend. If it was you and DH then the FIL may have made plans already. Maybe the MIL is on Mumsnet saying we want them to visit and they insist coming the one weekend we have plans already

Nope, afraid not, we said we could do literally any weekend, so expected that they suggested this one because they were free! Though don’t know how long DH has known that his dad was bailing- he obviously knows I have a fairly dim view of them, so probably didn’t want to say

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