to be pretty cross about this(12 Posts)
sorry if this gets a bit long, will try to keep from ranting too much...
DD's first birthday coming up in a few weeks, planning a family day in the park for GPs, aunties, etc.
OH's dad and his wife live a long way from us, so we only see them every couple of months. Last time they visited, talk was very much that they would be down next for DD's birthday (we have taken a turn to see them in the meantime, not that it has any bearing on this) and they were pretty excited.
Now 'due to finances' they are saying that they can't make it and will be down a couple of weeks after.
All ok so far, totally understand that money is tight.
However. (this is where it gets long).
FIL's wife is very good friends with OH's ex, often stays with her when they come down this way etc. Again, all good. Ex got married last year, two weeks after DD born.
FIL & wife went to the wedding, came to see us the next day to meet DD. While they were here we saw wedding photos and OH noticed that FIL had made a gift for wedding present (he is a master craftsman, very talented, OH always been in awe of this). It was a beautiful and thoughtful gift.
After they left, OH was very withdrawn and upset, most unlike him. After some cajoling, he admitted he was devastated that they had given such a lovely gift to his ex as a wedding present and nothing for DD's birth. Apart from the moment DD was born, it is the only time I've ever seen him cry and I felt so awful for him. He didn't want to look like a child throwing his toys out of the pram and so kept quiet in front of them.
Fast forward to this year and it turns out that they are coming 2 weeks after DD's birthday so they can go to the first anniversary celebration of said wedding, and then come to see us the next day.
Now obviously I don't know how their finances work but aibu to be pissed off that they can afford to do this, but not to come for DD's birthday, especially in light of what happened last year?
Or should I forget the past and just accept that they are killing two birds with one stone?
OH doesn't even know they are coming 2 weeks later yet, I can imagine he'll be pretty upset.
Hmm. I have always given gifts of baby clothes on the birth of a child, on the basis that this is most appropriate and useful (usually). Wedding presents tend to be something substantial and lasting, as the marriage is supposed to be. The wedding present - surely by being made by your FIL, it would not have cost a lot of money (although costing lots of time) and can therefore be made regardless of 'finances'? The thought put into it could have been by FIL's wife, since your partner's ex is HER friend.
My parents live hundreds of miles away, they did not visit for a couple of weeks - for which I was grateful, as I could not have coped with visitors and a new baby, I wanted time for just we three together. Could they have presumed you would have wanted space to yourselves, and so left it a few weeks? In which case the wedding is coincidence.
Is attending the anniversary celebration affordable because any gift will be made (as per wedding gift) and accommodation provided by the ex (you've said they often stay with her when they are visiting)? Where would FIL and wife stay if they came down for DD's birthday?
Petrol for two long trips is substantial so could be a consideration - it cost me £90 last time I visited. If I'd done the trip twice, that would have been a strain on my finances.
Your DD's birthday involved GP's, aunts etc - presumably some from your OH's mother's side. Is your FIL comfortable with them all?
Just throwing out ideas here.
Your poor DH, that is not nice. No advice as I can't really see what you can do but YANBU. Maybe a word with FIL might help?
Maybe a family day in the park isn't really your ILs idea of a good time? If so, I can understand them wanting to do the anniversary party, and visit you at the same time - I can imagine my PILs doing this, and money isn't tight for them, just to cut down on the travelling. They might not realise how much it means to you. (I have to admit that I'm much more rubbish about early birthdays with DS2 than with DS1.)
Do they love your DD and want a relationship with her? If they've got this bit right, I wouldn't worry so much about the details.
WhereYouLeftIt, the idea of a present itself was not the problem, we would have been happy with no present as we know finances are not always great, it was more that he had invested the time in making something for OH's ex and not for his granddaughter. That's what hurt him. You are right that the thought came from his wife, which galls OH even more. On the other hand, I think she is perfectly entitled to give her friend any present she likes.
We also didn't have a problem with them coming to visit 2 weeks after DD born, I was glad they waited as we had plenty of other visitors! The wedding was indeed coincidence.
I think what's upsetting me is that they're not putting DD first THIS year, and I'm aware of how pfb that sounds which is why I'm not sure if IBU.
They would stay either with OH's sister or us if they came for birthday. I don't think he would make an anniversary present (he makes glass so quite limited once he's made one thing I would think?).
I think FIL is ok with MIL's partner - I may be wrong about that though as he is a man of few words and probably wouldn't say even if he wasn't. That's a possibility.
I know it doesn't sound like it in my OP but it's more the events of this year which are getting to me, the present/wedding thing is more of a back story I suppose.
cornflakegirl - no, they've been to a similar thing with us for a friend's DD birthday (just happened to be on while they were visiting) and looked to be having, and said they had, a great time.
They do love DD very much and want a relationship with her so yes, maybe we shouldn't worry about the details so much. Maybe this is more about OH.
Yeah, I can completely understand that your DP would be upset at his father prioritising his ex over his own family. Your DD obviously isn't going to care when they visit, but making your DP feel second best isn't nice. Is he still on good terms with his ex? Does it upset him generally that his father is still friends with her (if only through his wife)?
Yes, DP still on good terms with his ex so I don't think he's that bothered by the friendship. He felt a bit odd about them going to the wedding though.
I know there's nothing I can do about this really, just want opinion on whether I/we are taking this too personally.
Mooma - I'd like to think that talking to FiL would work but I know it's his wife calling the shots!
I was going to say what CornflakeGirl said - that a family day in the park for a one year old's birthday, as opposed to a wedding anniversary knees-up, might not seem the most fun option for them. If they have limited funds they are making a choice.
What's upsetting for you is that they are making that choice based on what's more fun for them, as opposed to what's 'right'.
Also, some people feel that babies don't actually need presents and parties because they're not really aware of them - could that be your FiL and/or his wife's view?
Your OH needs to talk to his father, tbh.
To be honest I can't think of anything you'd make for a new baby out of glass unless it was specifically asked for. It may be that, yes he had spent lots of time, but it was something they'd asked for on the gift list and he thought that he could make a better one so he knew they wanted it.
Why don't you ask for something he could make? He may be waiting until you ask. He may not want to bring things that you secretly roll your eyes and say "hey another glass thing to dust".
If he can woodwork as well then as a suggestion if you've got the space, you can get kits to make rockinghorses starting from the bare wood. My dad made one for my children, complete with saddle, stirups, real horse hair manes etc. It's absolutely beautiful. The kits aren't cheap, but you could say if you buy one would he make it for you. Or maybe ask if he could make a little glass thing evey birthday so she can have them when grown up.
It does sound like FIL's wife is prioritising her friend over your DP. I assume they haven't been married long enough for her to have had a "mum" role in his life when he was growing up.
I think I would probably let this kind of thing go in the hope that FIL will (or can be persuaded to) prioritise his son on the occasions that really matter. (But I guess only you two can decide which occasions those are.)
So they come to their ex DILs wedding and anniversary party, but not the party of their own flesh and blood GC?
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