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To want the DC to actually see their cousins once in a while?

(17 Posts)
PenguinBear Sat 30-Mar-13 08:24:10

We are making a two hour journey this morning so we can go and see Dp's father. He is very elderly and lives alone.

Dp's sister lives 5 minutes from her father and visits twice a week, once to clean and once for a cup of tea with her children on a Saturday. I rung her to tell her that we are going today so she isn't going to. I thought it would have been lovely for the dc to see their cousins, We haven't seen them in about 3 years as they can neve meet up when the rest of the family get together.

AIBU to want the dc to see ther cousins ?

sooperdooper Sat 30-Mar-13 08:27:47

Maybe she thinks it's too many people for her elderly father to handle, why can't you go to her house separately?

WhyIRayLiotta Sat 30-Mar-13 08:32:58

Maybe she would like a weekend off caring for the grandfather? If you are going to visit him it may give her a chance to get other things done. How often do you visit?

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Sat 30-Mar-13 08:41:19

I'm going to guess she wants a day off too. I'd suggest you try to make a day especially for the cousins and see how that goes.

nosleeps Sat 30-Mar-13 08:41:28

Drop in on her, see what happens?

PenguinBear Sat 30-Mar-13 08:41:59

We asked to meet up with them at a local garden centre where we are taking FIL for lunch smile.

She doesn't really care for him, she cleans his flat ( which she gets paid for and doesn't usually have time to have a cup of tea/chat from what DP has said) and she pops over for an hour at the weekend, sometimes she doesn't even go, just sends her teenage children.

I try as best I can from my end, organising appointments and sorting out some daily care for FIL etc but it's tricky.

PenguinBear Sat 30-Mar-13 08:44:00

He comes to stay with us usually rather than us visiting.

ThreeWheelsGood Sat 30-Mar-13 08:45:22

I expect she is glad for the break. It might seem to you she is only going for a chat but she knows it's a weekly obligation, every Saturday without fail she has to visit. Definitely try to arrange something separately for the cousins. YABU to want to do it all on your terms.

Montybojangles Sat 30-Mar-13 08:52:04

I think you are being a little unreasonable.
The woman (or her children) are there every week. You are quite vague in your reply as to how often you actually see FIL, so I'm going to guess fairly infrequently. Let the woman and her family have a weekend off from family duties to relax and do thier own thing for a change.
See the cousins another time.

DontmindifIdo Sat 30-Mar-13 08:52:31

If she goes every saturday, she therefore never gets to go to her PIL on a saturday, or do a family day out with her DCs, or get on with jobs in the house that take a whole weekend.

Perhaps rather than linking a visit to FIL to seeing them, could you ask her if she would like to arrange a day out for the two families/invite her for a visit/go visit her as a separate trip (and then drop in on FIL when you are there). that way she won't see it as "oh good, DB is seeing dad so I can have the day off" and plan other things, but more that the point of the visit is to see her.

Of course, the other question is why are you in charge of arranging things for your DP's family? Why are you doing appointments, trying to negotiate with his sister, worrying about your DP never seeing his sister's kids, not him doing it?

PenguinBear Sat 30-Mar-13 08:55:42

He doesn't really get involved In that side of things, he's not great at it so I've always done it!

blueballoon79 Sat 30-Mar-13 08:57:30

I think I see things more from your SIL s point of view. When you have an obligation to care for someone and it is done on a frequen basis, a rare chance to get a day off to do your own thing and not worry about your caring duties is wonderful.

For an example, both my children are disabled and have frequent hospital appointments which I really hate taking them to, it grinds me down, but I do it because I love them and they need to go.

However last week my mother offered to take them to their appointment and I simply can't explain how blissful it was to just be at home by myself knowing that someone else was taking care of the dreaded appointment!

I'm not saying your SIL dreads going to her fathers by the way, I'm just saying that perhaps she thought it would be nice to spend the whole day with her family without having to worry about her caring obligations as you would be there instead.

Urbanvoltaire Sat 30-Mar-13 08:59:41

I grew up rarely seeing my cousins (about a 3 hour car journey). I think you may need to change your expectations of family relationships. Sometimes the dynamics just don't all fall into place. Concentrate on your DPs dads welfare as that's more important IMO.

bootsycollins Sat 30-Mar-13 09:02:56

Just give Sil a ring and tell her that you'd love to see the kids when your up visiting fil and suggest going out for a meal in the evening after you've visited fil. Is your dh close to his brother? I'm guessing that your dh, bil and Sil aren't too close or bothered about contact since you haven't seen them for 3 years. Maybe that's the way Sil and bil want to keep it?

TiredFeet Sat 30-Mar-13 09:03:45

How old are your children? If they are not close in age then maybe it isn't worth the effort? A lot of my cousins are 10+ years younger than me and my siblings and so even when we did meet we tended to largely ignore each other!

Thisisaeuphemism Sat 30-Mar-13 09:04:24

Ah, we are the opposite. When we go to visit the grandparents, the cousins are always there. (They spend a lot of time there) I find it a bit annoying - I think, hmm, why can't my kids have any 'grandparent' time without you lot!
So she might be keeping out the way to be nice(?)

DontmindifIdo Sat 30-Mar-13 09:10:31

OP - perhaps your DP doesn't do the family stuff then because that's the way he's been raised, and therefore his sister has been raised the same way - while you have obviously been raised to see spending time with cousins as important, if neither your DP or his sister seem all that bothered about maintaining a relationship or trying to forge one between their respective DCs, then perhaps you have to accept that's the way DP's family works.

however, the arranaging appointments etc for his father, you really need to push some of that back to your DP - it's this sort of 'family management work' that falls to woman because men are 'let off' doing it due to having a penis that really is unfair. He can just chose to opt out because the woman in his life (his partner, his sister) will do all the work associated with elderly parents. As your FIL ages, if your SIL can't take on extra care, it will fall to you if your DP isn't prepared to step up now.

Managing the 'family' isn't a woman's job.

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