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To ask how often your children see their grandparents?

(55 Posts)
VIX1980 Wed 24-Oct-12 11:36:45

my son is only 4 months and already im finding my inlaws really suffocating, wanting to visit constantly, expecting us to go around there all the time etc. they live half an hour away and mil expects me to walk ds all the way there few days a week, this hasnt happened yet as ive said no quite a few times.

but then if i dont go they just turn up unannounced (especially annoying if ive had a rough night and decided to have a nap while ds sleeps), ive started dreading the weekends because i know as soon as they wake on saturday at 11 the phone will go asking can they see us. they do have 2 other children but my dp is the oldest and ds is there only grandchild.

my own mum on the other hand i take him now and again to see her or she will come here, but she respects our right to privacy and a bit of family time, i think if she had her way mil would of moved in with us by now. Tell me this isnt normal that we should have to see them every single weekend, dp doesnt mind but there his parents and is used to them, i just find them too suffocating and when ive said something im the bad person for wanting a bit of a life at the weekend instead of them coming here or us going there and watching fil pick things out his teeth while watching a western film cos god forbid he turns it off and actually speaks to us.

my nan used to mind me after school so i saw her that way so i dont know if this is normal or too much time really?

BackforGood Wed 24-Oct-12 12:00:54

There is no "normal" or "right" time, its all to be worked out depending on the individuals concerned.
I'd say it depends a lot on what they do when they come round. My In-laws have always been that they want to sit together in the living room and chat. When mine were little, dh and I were working full time, including at home in the evenings, and just didn't have time to do this. My sister's in-laws have always done something with their grandchildren when they come round though - be that helping out (bathing them, feeding them) when they are babies, or play games with them or otherwise entertain them as they got a bit older, or help them learn to ride a bike or take them to the park or kick a ball around in the garden with them, or drive them to activities as they've grown up. They also wash up or do a bit of ironing or gardening or whatever while they are round. Now, if they are spending time in a useful way like that, then it's helpful. If they are sitting, expecting the world to stop for them, then it's not.
Tellingly (our dc are all teens now) we see the in laws about once in 6 weeks because we feel we ought to, but my nieces see their grandparents at least once a week. They still do things with them. Perhaps your inlaws could be shown this post ???? wink

catgirl1976 Wed 24-Oct-12 12:02:35

Mine parents see him every other day. They have him Mondays and occasional sleepovers and see him Wednesdays and Saturdays

MIL has seen him 3 times since he was born a year ago (lives miles away)

There is no normal

Vagndidit Wed 24-Oct-12 12:04:00

Sadly, we're 4200 miles away from grandparents...so it's just a 2-week visit from us once a year.

tiddleypompom Wed 24-Oct-12 12:04:03

We live with my folks (they have a separate annex to our house), so DS sees them pretty much everyday. It's great as I get some time off (currently preg with no2 so appreciated), they enjoy watching gs grow up & DS adores them. Works for us - but it wouldn't have done with my inlaws...

Sounds like you need to assert yourself to avoid overload - but be gentle, they love their grandchild & I'm sure don't mean to be aggravating.

MrsRobertDuvallHasRosacea Wed 24-Oct-12 12:05:22

Mine saw PILs once a year...they live about 60 miles away.
MIL was a very unpleasant woman.

vodkaanddietirnbru Wed 24-Oct-12 12:06:59

I tend to see my mum once a week - we go there before the kids swimming lessons. We only see the in-laws a few times a year as they live 300+ miles away

Floralnomad Wed 24-Oct-12 12:07:29

As has been previously posted there is no norm . Mine are now older but see my DM at least once a week , they see the Inlaws ( who live equally close) about twice a year . My DH sees his parents at least once a week but the DCs just won't go .

Woozley Wed 24-Oct-12 12:08:13

In laws live 5 minutes walk away and usually see them twice a week, sometimes more.

My parents live 3 hours away and come up on average every six weeks for 4 - 7 days at a time.

moonbells Wed 24-Oct-12 12:10:02

4 times a year (each set). They both live 3h drive away in different directions!

Inneedofbrandy Wed 24-Oct-12 12:10:04

Maybe when they ring invite them round for sunday lunch once a fortnight/month and any other time say sorry I'm busy but next sunday would love for you to come.

katiecubs Wed 24-Oct-12 12:11:13

Gosh overkill!! Dh parents live 40 mins away and we see them once or twice a month - they would never turn up unannounced.

I think you need to get DH to stand up for you if you can't do it yourself. Good luck

FrancesHouseman Wed 24-Oct-12 12:12:04

As others have said, there is no normal.

My Dad and my DPs Mum are both dead, leaving my Mum and his Dad still alive. My Mum sees the children 1-2 times a week, has had DD (5) overnight quite a few times (both as babysitting and as just for fun) but hasn't ever had DS (3) overnight. She will look after them for me if I have an appointment to go to and has collected DD from school once a week for the past term.

DPs Dad has seen DS a handful of times in his life, DD a couple more than that. He only lives a ten minute drive away, but there's been no row or anything, he just keeps to himself.

In your situation there is obviously a problem because you are finding them too OTT. You need to find a happy balance! Remember that your DS is only 4 months old though and things change so don't write them off just yet but I'd hate to feel my weekends were used up with duty visits before it had even come round, so make sure you talk it through with your DP and get him to understand where you're coming from.

Procrasstinator Wed 24-Oct-12 12:13:17

my parents were/are as you describe your in-laws. Have had mine whilst pre-school over night every week. I work so they cant 'pop round' all the time but did whilst on mat leave; i appreciate the relationship they have with my dcs; its good for them and helpful for me

DHs mum and all family live 5000 miles away! so dcs dont see them much

i would say though-if you need a sleep when she is there; go to bed and let them look after baby

alpinefresh Wed 24-Oct-12 12:13:43

we see PIL every weekend sat and/or sunday. sometimes in the week too.
we see my Parents 2-3 times a year.

everyone is happy with this arrangement. It works for us. you need to find out what is good for you.

you also need to keep communication open with them, and be realistic.

KitCat26 Wed 24-Oct-12 12:15:25

A bit of both really.

They sound excited to have a grandchild to be honest, but if it feels too much could you take your son to see them once in the week (therefore leaving weekends free). Or alternate so that you see them during the week one week and go to theirs the following weekend.

Would you be willing to let them babysit (presuming they are willing) occasionally? Personally if I had ready and willing babysitters I'd keep them sweet (but then mine are nearly 2 and 3 and I'd love an evening off occasionally or the chance to get my haircut in peace).

Have you asked them to stop the unannounced visits? (That really would drive me nuts!)

Not sure what is normal but I take my DDs to see MIL two or three times a week and see my parents once or twice a month, I'm lucky to get on with my ILs and parents. The DDs love it and I love the opportunity to go to someone elses house for a bit and have a chat with another adult.

shewhowines Wed 24-Oct-12 12:16:11

You might appreciate their keenness when DS is older and they can babysit for you to give you a break.

Meanwhile either say, it's not convenient right now (including saying you need to rest due to lack of sleep etc) or explain that you have x y and z to do so if they don't mind hanging around while you do it or even help out then it's ok.

I would send DH round with the baby on his own too. Or take the opportunity to leave him and baby with them at your house while you pop out/do things, (time visits round feeds if need be).

YANBU. You need to be assertive to make it workable for you.

willyoulistentome Wed 24-Oct-12 12:20:00

MIL lives 60 miles away. Kids have always seen her once a month or so. We go and visit her. She is lovely. My Dad died before I met DH and kids were born. Mum is alone and rather lonely. She moved to be near us when DS1 was 1. When he was tiny, she would come most days to help me out, or we would go and see her - she was only 13 miles away. She had DS1 three days a week when I went back to work PT when he was 6 months old. When Ds2 came along, she lived down the road and would come over most days to help me. Again, she had kids 3 days a week while I worked, until they started pre-school / school. Now she sees them once a week after school until I get home from work.

Binkyridesagain Wed 24-Oct-12 12:21:20

MIL lives 5 min drive away and last saw her GCs on Boxing Day last year, apparently the drive is too far for a 63 yr old able bodied woman to make, she sees her her other grandchildren every week and has a melt down if they go away.
FIL lives 150 miles away, regularly returns home to visit his children but hasn't seen our DCs for over 3 years as his visits are kept secret from us, we don't know why as there has been no row, last time they saw him they had no idea who he was.
My father lives in Spain, talks to DD but ignores my DSs, his excuse is he doesn't know them.
My mother sees her GCs about once a month, talks them out for day trips during holidays.

My dad she's Ds 3/4 times a week. He likes to take him for a walk in his pram and it means I can have an hour to read a book, have a bath or whatever.
Pils probably once a fortnight. We would alike it to before but Fil is very ill and gets tired very quickly.

I think it depends on the relationship you have with them tbh

Ohhelpohnoitsa Wed 24-Oct-12 12:26:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

VIX1980 Wed 24-Oct-12 12:36:33

Backforgood no they are not helpful when they visit, there are as you describe and expect us to sit down and have a chat with them while ds sleeps or mil strokes him with a very crazed look on her face!

ive also tried taking him round through the week to kill of the weekend visits, didnt work and they now think i should bring him round every wednesday.

to be honest id rather them visit here as i hate ds going to theirs, both heavy drinkers and smokers and kicked up a fuss when we asked them not to smoke around him, at least if they come here we can and have had to say please smoke outside if you wish, even asking fil to wash his hands after rolling up tobacco caused an outcry.

I work from home usually so fil sees this as reason to come round and visit now hes newly retired, all i asked was that he rung first to see if i was even in, the past 6 weeks ive been out and usually get a call later asking where ive been as hes come down especially, everytime i reply well why didnt you call and every time well i fancied a walk. i cant see this dying down though as they were talking about all the holidays we can now go on with ds.sad

ive been away twice with them, both times they got so drunk and behaved worse than most 18-30 parties, once mil wandered off for a midnight walk drunk on whisky and decided to go for a swim, ended up getting rescued by passersby, then the whole family laughed the next day, i was the only 1 worried, so theres no way id be taking ds anywhere where they behave like that, i digress sorry, to recap they are a pain in the arse, dont listen to anyone and think we should wait in at weekends so we can hear about mils new haircut, or how fil was at the pub again last night!

Startailoforangeandgold Wed 24-Oct-12 12:42:44

Every six weeks on average.
They live 2hrs away, DM is disabled and finds traveling painful.
No room to stay so it's a long dull day.
If we could be there longer we could get out the house and enjoy the area, but my Mum can't/won't come too. Therefore it feels wrong to go out.

My PIL both died before DD2 was bornsad

newpup Wed 24-Oct-12 12:49:34

When my DDs were babies. I had an awful time with pil. They live about an hours drive away but felt it was their absolute right to see the children whenever they wanted, they would turn up anyway if we said no! Drove me crazy and made things very difficult between DH and I . However now my DDs are 13 and 10 they are not that interested and we see them once every couple of months.
grin much better!

Ohhelpohnoitsa Wed 24-Oct-12 12:53:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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