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to assume that close family would be a bit interested in my kids?

(15 Posts)
earwig1 Fri 02-Nov-12 17:08:28

My parents in law died a few years ago and my parents live abroad. My husbands two siblings are the only close family we have near by, that is a couple of hours away. One of the siblings has no children and the other has grown up kids in their 20s. We see them socially from time to time, but we are the only ones who make an effort to visit, and when we do I always tell my children to be extra-good before we get there. When we do meet, we usually have lunch somewhere else, we are not usually invited to eat there. They are all very critical of my children, always suggesting my DD is horrible to her brother, when in fact she is lovely to him, although they argue sometimes like all kids do... I feel I'm walking on eggshells every time we see them. I can't help feeling resentful and hurt by this, and it's a sore subject with my husband, he feels hurt by this. It would be nice for my children to get a birthday card from their aunts and uncles, and a bit of a smile or a nice word from them. I think it's their loss, but it's hurtful. AIBU?

WorraLiberty Fri 02-Nov-12 17:13:27

It sounds as though they just don't like them

YANBU to be upset by that but what can you do?

earwig1 Fri 02-Nov-12 17:16:19

You are right, sadly. I think they are lovely, of course...but so do most other people...

attheendoftheday Fri 02-Nov-12 20:08:27

My db is totally disinterested in my dds. It's upsetting but nothing you can do about it. I don't see db often now because I can't get over it.

Sometimes I think he'll be better when the kids are older, sometimes I think I'm kidding myself.

doglover Fri 02-Nov-12 20:17:41

DH's side of the family are totally disinterested in us. My MIL never asks about our 2 dds and I get SO angry about this. My dh recognises it but always ends up defending her which I understand but drives me mad! His sister popped in yesterday - hadn't seen the girls since last Christmas and didn't speak to them directly at all. I just find it rude and ignorant. Makes me appreciate my side of the family!!
I try to tell myself that it's not worth getting upset about but don't succeed. DH sees his mum without us every week: all of us about once a month - it's all I can stomach sad(

3LittleHens Fri 02-Nov-12 20:37:45

Just beggars belief how thoughtless and shallow some so called 'families' can be!!!

doglover Fri 02-Nov-12 20:50:48

Hear hear! Christmas is always 'interesting'!!!

ClippedPhoenix Fri 02-Nov-12 20:56:56

I wouldn't take it personally to be honest OP.

A lot of people that don't have kids obviously don't understand.
A lot of people that have had them and get their lives back don't want
bananas crushed on their furniture anymore, sticky drinks everywhere

In hindsight, as mine is older and i felt like you when he was young, it will pass and take no notice, just invite them to yours.

Megan74 Fri 02-Nov-12 20:59:35

YANBU and you would be better off leaving them to it. DHs family are like this. He has two sisters, neither of whom ever call or ask after the DCs (they live about 4 hours away), they never visit and only send birthday cards when reminded after the event. They both have older children.

DS didnt get a present or card at all but DD got a present about a week late straight from the ebay seller with the price of £12.50 attached. The only reason she got anything was because we had (as we always do) sent one of the SILs sons a present for his birthday a week before DD.

Its frustrating but you can't make people change. They treat DH and myself the same way. We have been together 15 years and I have had one birthday card in all that time. DHs 40th passed without comment despite his older sister receving a lovely gift from us a few years before.

Theres no fall out or back story. They are just like that. I won't buy them anything from now on and make no effort to contact them. I see them when we visit the MIL and pass the time of day and all that but otherwise I can't be bothered.

I didn't mean to rant so much but wanted you to know you are not alone. We are all fed this 'Brady' bunch story about family life when in reality it's rarely like that. Nowt as strange as folk and all that.

AgentZigzag Fri 02-Nov-12 21:03:52

YANBU to want a loving, caring, close extended family for your children, of course you aren't!

But you're mixing up 'blood is thicker than water' with 'you can't choose your family', you can want them to be the ideal family members all you like, but you'll only feel let down and angry if you expect the people you know not to be close to you to be like that.

It does hurt, but you have to recognise it for what it is (i.e. outside your control) and find other people you like for them to be close to.

expatinscotland Fri 02-Nov-12 21:05:58

YANBU to be upset, but there's little you can do. I would stop initiating visits, tbh. Sound like they're just an added stress you don't need.

earwig1 Fri 02-Nov-12 22:20:40

Thanks, I just can't help feeling sad about it, we have no family support at all, and it would be lovely for my children to have them in their lives. We have invited them to come to ours for the day before, but they usually can't make it. Last time they came was a few years ago. It's obviously a very superficial family relationship.

higgyjig Sat 03-Nov-12 00:52:25

YANBU to be disappointed but YABVU to look down on them, you don't have to be interested in someone just because you share a speck of DNA with them.

Cheesecakefan Sat 03-Nov-12 01:03:17

YANBU. It's their loss as well as your DC's - it's great to have relationships with your nephews and nieces. I love mine.

Hope you have some nice friends who take an interest in your kids!

aldiwhore Sat 03-Nov-12 02:24:00

My sister loves my kids, but lives far enough away not to be completely abosrbed in their everyday life so she hears just the 'news' and that doesn't take very long until both my children and her (and her DH) are a bit 'done' with them (and vice versa) - they haven't got their own children yet.

My brother loves being an Uncle and adores the children, but again, doesn't have children, doesn't quite get them and his suggestions for 'lunch' usually involve somewhere other than his unsuitable home (a not quite barge on a muddy estuary) and well, that's okay.

Unless you have children of the same age you cannot possibly understand each other's needs. My children are 9 and 5 and I really struggle to think about my friend's 2 and 3 yr old's needs, because I've kind of forgotten, it's not relevant to the majority of my life. Much as I love her children, they aren't mine and they're rather trying in all honesty!

YANBU because it's saddening and annoying.

YABU because you're in a specific family moment in time that once gone through is put aside, if you haven't had it you won't know it, and once your children are grown, your focus changes.

My parents and siblings love my children to the ends of the earth in their own ways, timewise, that means they can give them 10 minutes of attention before they struggle.

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