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To think MIL should treat her grandchildren a bit more fairly

(9 Posts)
Purplefi Wed 27-Jul-11 10:39:50

So, I need perspective. It's bothering me, and I want to say something but am I making too much of it? DH is bothered, but seems like its just one of those things, doesn't think its worth mentioning.

MIL has been staying with SIL and 2 grandchildren for months now, about 3 now, due to family troubles, so she feels they need her there. Fair enough, I can see they need more support. But during that time she has visited us twice, once for 2 nights, and the last for 1 night, so a 24 hour stay.

Last visit when she arrived the first thing she did was head to the shops to ask my DH advice on an electrical £300 device for granddaughter( not ours), he took her, she bought it, we heard about it and saw it all visit. My children even asked her why, and she said GD needed it for her exams. Fair enough, what she buys her choice, but a bit insensitive to do all this in front of her other grandchildren?

The last visit I did say you are more than welcome to stay longer, the children love spending time with you. etc... Always met with I have to get back. This last time was because she and FIL are heading off on holiday with the other two grandchildren for 2 weeks abroad. (not GP treat, parents can't go together, so Gparents going instead)

DH suggested they visit us before they head back off home, they live abroad. MIL responded they would be too tired. They then are not planning to be back in this country till after xmas.

There have been many other things too over the past years, but this time its bothered me because my children were upset, they are now seemingly old enough to work out where Granny arrived from, and where she was going back too, and wanted to know why. This time I've been honest, I'm fed up of protecting her, and her excuses for not staying longer, which always involve the name of one of the other grandchildren, taking her somewhere etc...

Am I right to be bothered? Am I'm over reacting, and being too much of a mother hen! I need honest perspective.

BertyBurlington Wed 27-Jul-11 10:41:24

my grandmother was the same, didnt have any time for anyone other than our 2 cousins. Hey ho, her loss, definitely not mine.

diddl Wed 27-Jul-11 10:47:00

Well it´ll bite her on the arse in the end!

My husband is an only child, we have the Ils only GC.

We are abroad & they have never visited.

Husband now visits without us-children don´t want to go.

MbwaKali Wed 27-Jul-11 11:14:25

We had this too. But it was worse because MIL favoured DD over DS. angry

She was all over DS, until DD came along 3.5 years later. Then she used to come and visit, bringing a present for DD, but nothing for DS! shock

I told her not to bring presents for either of them, but she ignored me, and in the end I had to explain to DS that I would buy him a present after MIL had gone. It caused DS to resent DD for years and upset me terribly. I will never forget the way she treated him - and I'll always treat my GC the same (when I'm old enough to have some).

DH was useless because he just said that it had been the same with him and SIL when they were young - SIL got everything and he got nothing.......

But then, this is the same MIL who told me when I was pregnant that she would pay for the pram, but only if she could choose it.

I bought my own Mamas & Papas pram....... smile

pinkdelight Wed 27-Jul-11 11:26:46

I can't be sure from your post, but is the SIL a single parent? If so, do you think she's giving all the extra attention and support for that reason maybe?

ZillionChocolate Wed 27-Jul-11 11:46:44

How about saying to her "the children are asking me why you do/don't X/Y/Z for them when you do/don't X/Y/Z for their cousins, what would you like me to tell them?". I would pick the most unfair examples of her behaviour, ideally one that doesn't focus entirely on money.

Purplefi Wed 27-Jul-11 12:32:37

Thanks everyone. Sorry MbwaKali, diddl, BertyBurlington that you've been through similar, and thanks for sharing.

Pinkdelight, SIL is now a single parent, which is why MIL is over there giving support, as I mentioned I can see that SIL needs that more than us. Although her children are teenagers now, and more independent. However this started before SIL was a single parent, it's just got even more unbalanced this year. I can see why, but I can also see that my children would like to see her a bit more. If she is going to the effort to come to see us, she could stay a few more days, rather than 24 hours and rushing off because she has to get back to them!?

Zillionchocolate, that's what I was thinking, make her aware that my children have noticed, but I don't want to cause a complete family rift! Honestly I'm not so bothered about the money and presents as much as time spent with my children.

brass Wed 27-Jul-11 14:05:34

we had this. DH explained that she needed to treat the GDC all the same and if she couldn't then we weren't interested in her.

My thinking is that if you get to the point where you have to point this out then relationship is already ruined.

This kind of behaviour isn't usually an oversight. It's ingrained. You say she was the same with your DH and SIL.

We don't have a relationship with SIL either really. It's civil on the surface but other than that there is no sense of 'family'. All due to their dynamic.

nancy75 Wed 27-Jul-11 14:12:22

My delightful Australian pils have this attitude to our dd. Last year they stayed with us for 4 weeks, i fed them did their washing the lot. one day they came back from a days shopping laden down with Hamleys bags. They had bought their gs a remote controll helicopter, a teddy and a lego set, they also got their other gd loads of barbie stuff, soft toy and craft stuff. they got my dd a plastic worm from the 99p shop(they told me that it was from there). On their return they sat and showed my dd all the stuff they had bought the other kids and thenn gave her the 99p tat - They won't be staying at my house again

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