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to think there is a huge difference between parents and inlaws ...

(62 Posts)
wonderingifiam2013 Fri 06-Sep-13 16:36:59

however hard we try?

And I admit this is looking on as someone who is lucky enough to get on well with their parents and inlaws (I am fully aware this isn't everyone's situation)

Now don't get me wrong - I do love my inlaws and I'm very lucky to have an extended family that get on very well, but following a conversation with a friend, we came to the conclusion that although you try very hard with your inlaws to include them in your life and more importantly that of your DC's (their GC!) life ... the relationship just isn't the same and we seem to beat ourselves up in trying to make everything equal.

Our mothers gave birth to us, have unconditional love for us as US not just the bearer of their GC/sons partner or wife

We can say just what we like to our parents within reason, as them to us - whereas there is an 'etiquette' to behaving around inlaws

I would happily rock up to my parents, scruffs on, no make-up, raid their fridge ... revert back to being a teenager grin and feel very comfortable in doing that (although I'd like to add the adult version of teenage me now makes them brews, helps out around the house, gladly helps them with many internet queries etc grin) - whereas I still often feel like a guest in my inlaws house (partly my fault in the way I've been brought up to 'behave' in other peoples houses!)

I will ensure my DC will grow up with the same love for both sets of GP's - as I did. But I just sometimes think we need to cut ourselves some slack when it comes to making such an effort to keep things equal and accept our parents love us more as their own children and in turn us them

Not the PIL bashing thread many of you expected I guess grin - just a conversation I thought I'd write down and see if it rings true with any others?

ShowOfHands Fri 06-Sep-13 16:40:44

Are you writing an article? Would you like us to write it for you?

Of course you can't be so reductive about human relationships. Some people are closer to their ILs than parents, others the other way round and some don't like anybody.

DuelingFanjo Fri 06-Sep-13 16:41:22

one person's in-law is another persona parent.

wonderingifiam2013 Fri 06-Sep-13 16:43:46

sorry ShowOf - it does seem like that but I'm not! I just beat myself up constantly that I spend more time with my parents than my inlaws and when I mentioned it to my friend she said 'of course - you've spent 30+ years with them, why wouldn't you' in a very matter of fact way that made me think about why I do beat myself up about it so much

BackforGood Fri 06-Sep-13 16:44:06

I recognise that, OP.
I'd have thought that fairly common too - however much you like your in laws, clearly it's a different relationship from the one you have with your parents.

wonderingifiam2013 Fri 06-Sep-13 16:45:14

exactly Dueling - my DH is MUCH more open rude and mouthy with his parents than mine. Because they're his parents and mine are his inlaws

CHJR Fri 06-Sep-13 16:46:10

YANBU, of course we have to behave more around ILs and are not as relaxed with them.
Turning this the other way round, my own DF said to me when the second of my two boys was born, "The children of your daughter are much closer to you than the children of your son," which he meant as a kindness, that he found it easier to be with my children than with my 2 DBs'. But it made me sad and shock he said that since he knew I had only boys myself. (Now I have a DD too.) I still fear DF was right and my DS1's children will be more close to their mother's mother than to me... Discuss please everyone?

wonderingifiam2013 Fri 06-Sep-13 16:46:37

Thanks BackforGood - I think I've just written it down as I'm finally getting my head around the fact I can't please everyone all the time and this is an non-issue I'd made into a big issue in my own stupid head!

OnTheBottomWithAWomensWeekly Fri 06-Sep-13 16:47:18

Lots of us don't have parents. Tell us some more about how the relationships we do have are inherently inferior though, do.

Yonididnaedaethat Fri 06-Sep-13 16:49:10

I'm the opposite, I see my in-laws more often, if I have a problem it's them that would help me out. My mum never 'pops in' but if she did then she would be the one sitting judging about the messy living room or finger prints on windows whereas my MIL doesn't notice this stuff prob cos her own house isn't the tidiest

wonderingifiam2013 Fri 06-Sep-13 16:50:10

On theBottom - this is in no means meant to upset anyone and I'm truly sorry if I have upset you in any way by writing this down. It's just something that was in my head that I mentioned to a friend - who to my surprise felt exactly the same.

I don't mean to offend anyone. And I'm truly sorry for the loss of your parents.

Yama Fri 06-Sep-13 16:50:10

Well, I raid my MIL's fridge. It has great food. She is also very at home in our house.

I understand your point but really you shouldn't need to cut yourself some slack. Relationships just are, no real need to make them equal. Parents and in-laws aren't children. wink

cushtie335 Fri 06-Sep-13 16:51:26

Not everybody had a good relationship with their parents as you seem to have done. Many find the stability and loving family home they've lacked all their lives when they meet their in laws.

JoinYourPlayfellows Fri 06-Sep-13 16:52:05

"one person's in-law is another persona parent."


Of course you have a different relationship with your in-laws than with your parents, but the same will be true of your partner

So where's the problem?


BackforGood Fri 06-Sep-13 16:52:05

She didn't say they were inferior - she said they were different.
I've lost both my parents, but didn't feel in anyway the OP was being negative, just trying to put into words her thoughts about the fact that it's occurred to her that it doesn't matter how hard you try, it's always going to be different.
For some people that's a good thing!

BlingBang Fri 06-Sep-13 16:52:38

Actually, although I love my mum very much and she had many great qualities, we voluntary spend more time with my inlaws than my parents and go on holiday etc. life is just easier and more fun with the inlaws.

wonderingifiam2013 Fri 06-Sep-13 16:53:00

Oh and CHJR - I wait to find out too.

I do think in the majority maybe your DF is right, but this is why I genuinely try and split my DC time equally between both sets of GP. But it's true my inlaws see my SIL's children more often than mine - as she, like me, likes to spend time with her parents and probably raids their fridge too!

Sons will ALWAYS be their mum's babies though smile

Ev1lEdna Fri 06-Sep-13 16:57:13

I actually see my inlaws more frequently than my parents. One reason is they are closer, they also take the kids for weekends - at their request, and my mum, however much I love her, can be quite resistant to visits. So all in all I see OH's mum and dad far more often. I seem to speak to MIL more as well. I do feel like a guest in their house but I often take myself off to help with washing up etc. I like my in laws an awful lot, in fact I love them and I'm so glad we have them.

redandblacks Fri 06-Sep-13 16:57:35

Where both relationships are healthy ones with equal chances for contact, yes, I agree with you that the maternal family matters more to children

moominmarvellous Fri 06-Sep-13 16:57:54

I agree. There are extenuating circumstances of course, but I agree that if you have generally had a good relationship with your own parents growing up, it stands to reason that no other people can match that.

I'm exactly the same as you OP, I try and be completely relaxed with the IL's, but I'm not really, I like them, but its an effort - my mum is not most of the time

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 06-Sep-13 16:58:34

Don't be ridiculous onthebottom. Lots of us have lost parents doesn't mean no-one else is allowed to talk about their relationships with their parents.

HavantGuard Fri 06-Sep-13 16:58:42

My DH is much more comfortable with his ILs than his parents.

DioneTheDiabolist Fri 06-Sep-13 17:00:30

My parents are much closer to my brother's child than his other GPs. It all depends on your relationships with your DSs and DiLs. And of course geographical distance and amount of time that you spend with them.

moominmarvellous Fri 06-Sep-13 17:00:30

I also see this in my IL's relationships with their parents, we see MILs dad and his wife regularly and the kids know then as great grandparents, we met FILs Dad and wife probably 3 or 4 times before he died, so looks like it just usually goes that way.

diddl Fri 06-Sep-13 17:00:52

I feel comfortable around my parents in a way that I don't with my ILs.

I don't have an easy relationship with them-we are very different.

But of course, I grew up with my parents & we've known each other a lot longer!

I feel comfortable enough to "slob out" at my ILs though-scruffs & no make up?-no problem!

Wouldn't raid the fridge at either place though!

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