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Is it too late (PIL related - long)

(42 Posts)
Dinosaurporn Wed 30-Oct-13 23:55:12

I have name changed for this just in case...
In an nutshell we have a chequered history with my PILs, starting with their arrival at our house when DS was less than a week old. They basically sat around our house, treating it like it was a hotel offering no support whatsoever.

Then on the morning of their departure the told DH that we "weren't to be expecting them to be babysiting" mainly because "we've had our children and now it's your turn". PILs live over a 2 hour drive away, so it's not like we would be expecting them to pop over to lend a hand.

As a result of this and a number of other things, I now won't visit them at their home, but DH does take the DCs over to them. They rarely come to us and even when they visit the city we live in, they don't bother to come over and see our DCs.

Recently my parents have moved closer to us and now see the DCs weekly. DH thinks that MIL is feeling a bit jealous about the amount my parents see the DCs.

The PIL visited earlier this week and MIL has told DH that from next year when they retire (they both work part time), they are happy to come down and babysit for us. Suggesting that they could even cover the childcare when I'm at work.

I have said to DH that it's too little, too late. They have shown very little interest in the DCs to the point that my youngest has no idea who they are. I have no interest in them babysitting for us and I have made it clear to DH that I will keep paying out for childcare and I won't be leaving the DCs with them in the foreseeable future.


Dinosaurporn Fri 01-Nov-13 00:05:35

Mil makes you uptight then grin

Balaboosta Fri 01-Nov-13 08:31:52

I think you are being a bit rigid. You need to allow a relationship to develop. Start with seeing a bit more if them and see where it goes. Be open minded and assertive and allow things to develop a bit. Just avoid questions about them "providing child care" or politely say "let's see". At least they are making the effort. Enough with the "too little too late". People can change and grow.

Dinosaurporn Fri 01-Nov-13 10:07:07

It's very hard to see more of someone who rarely visits. I also doubt that they will visit in the future unless its under their terms, such as having the kids whilst we are out.

diddl Fri 01-Nov-13 10:14:44

Well I can kind of see why they said what they did initially-2hrs away & both still working, so it wasn't really going to happen.

Now that they will have more time, they have offered.

I can't see anything wrong with that tbh.

Although if it's because MIL feels left out, rather than she wants time with GC, then it's not on.

And feeding your son milk-& not letting you wash shitty clothes-weird/nasty!

So YANBU, although I wouldn't necessarily say because it's too little too late, more that she sounds an untrustworthy bully!

PTFO Fri 01-Nov-13 12:36:18


MrsSteptoe Fri 01-Nov-13 12:50:54

Nothing new to add, really, except that I have noticed with my 10yo that he wants to be like all the other kids in Having Grandparents (and having a relationship with them, more to the point). In his case, he's unlike most of his mates because DH and I were both older parents, and my parents in turn were also older when they had me - with the net result that he now has only DH's mother as a GP, and she's 83. Also, my parents, when they were alive, were infirm for basically all his life. I know that he's aware that his experience of GP relationships isn't the same as all his mates, most of whom have GPs who are able to pick them up from school etc.

It's something to add to the mix of ideas that you've had (and other people have said similar anyway). I don't think you're being in the least unreasonable - I just think you might end up having to be the slightly bigger person and taking a longer view. Good luck - they sound fairly ghastly.

NeedlesCuties Fri 01-Nov-13 12:56:58

OP, what age are your DC? Are they old enough to decide a bit for themselves?

BlingBang Fri 01-Nov-13 13:56:22

Think though it can be harder being the PILs. I think the dynamics can often be different. My mum lives in the same small town as my sister and brother. With my sister she pops round without checking and feels comfortable, would make herself a cup of tea etc. she gets on ok with my SIL but never feels the same ease to pop round. Feels she needs to be n tied or she's making a pain of herself and might not be wanted. It's not always easy.

mitchsta Fri 01-Nov-13 17:21:05

PIL do sound like hard work, but I have a suggestion that might make you hate me

Why not try visiting at their home when your OH and DCs go? While I've no doubt that there's a case of green-eyed monster syndrome going on, it sounds like they think that offering to take care of your children is how they get close to them. When I was young, our grandparents looked after us very occasionally, but I'd say the happy memories were created during the times we were all together as a family.

2-hours away is clearly unsuitable for a long-term child care arrangement. But even if they had your kids on, say, a Saturday night while you and OH had date night or whatever, they're still providing a service and not necessarily enjoying family time.

My mum never saw eye-to-eye with her PILs (and I really don't blame her) but she was always civil during visits and was careful not to let the way they felt about each other impact our relationship with our grandparents. My dad appreciated that too.

Maybe if you give it a try, they'll meet you half way and stop making daft suggestions that will most likely result in more conflict when it turns out, they aren't up for that long-term arrangement after all.

CrapBag Fri 01-Nov-13 18:24:57

Are they really going to drive 2 hours to babysit? Or are they thinking they will stay with you at the same time?

How old are your kids as it sounds like this has been going on for a while when you say your youngest doesn't even know who they are.

YANBU, they are jealous and have suddenly decided to be doting GPs, well tough IMHO, they should have thought about that before. Now it just seems like a tantrum because they realise that there are other GPs in your DCs lives and they suddenly don't like it.

My MIL once made a comment about my nan seeing more of my children. Might have had an impact if she was trying to be an involved GP, she wasn't and never has so its her tough luck that my children see my family more.

The milk thing would seal it for me anyway, what a terrible thing to do and I wouldn't trust them with the care of my children. Also if you rearranged your childcare, then they decided they didn't want to do it anymore, that's more hassle for you.

Are you sure they aren't planning on moving closer?

dinosaurporn Fri 01-Nov-13 19:27:40

Just to clarify, they currently work part time, term time only. So it's not like they are trying to fit us in around them working long hours.
The Dcs are both under 6, hence the youngest not knowing who they are.

I stopped visiting about 18 months ago as I felt that Mil's behaviour along with Fil's enabling behaviour was going to lead to a big argument.
I do feel they want to control everything, to the point that Mil insisted on holding Ds's hand whilst he was strapped in the buggy and I could see him trying to pull his hand away and she just wouldn't let go.
But it's not for me to argue with them and I don't want my Dh to fall out with them.

I suppose part of the reason I'm questioning my thinking is that I'll hopefully have a Dil in the future and I can see how hard it can be.

dinosaurporn Fri 01-Nov-13 19:32:49

They stay over when they visit and no they can't afford to move closer ( hence DH thinking jealousy is playing a part.)

CrapBag Fri 01-Nov-13 19:51:42

Random question that has nothing to do with the thread, why has your user name changed to a non capital letter? grin Your latest posts are not lit up on my page now. smile

I don't visit MIL, I let DH go with the kids because it means some free time for me. I don't make him visit my family either.

A firm, no thanks, we don't want to disrupt the excellent childcare we have in place will be fine. What does your DH think about it?

Liara Fri 01-Nov-13 20:12:08


PIL had a similar attitude when ds1 was born. They were actually very nasty about it.

Move forward a few years and they are retired and bored. They now want to see more of dc and 'help out'. Of course when it comes down to it, help out means on their terms, as and when it suits them (and so long as it doesn't put them out in any way, shape or form).

Sorry, we needed help when they were tiny, we've sorted ourselves out since!

Dinosaurporn Fri 01-Nov-13 20:27:01

No idea crap, I think its something to do with the tickbox on the phone app that allows you to use other names? I'm clearly a technosaurs. I'm now on the laptop rather than my phone if that helps?

I wouldn't say they are nasty, just very controlling...

CrapBag Fri 01-Nov-13 21:10:39

Don't let yourself be controlled by them. They have no say or rights to control any part of your lives, this is obviously an attempt to get some control in your life. Is that what the milk thing was about? That was a very odd thing to do. Then not to let you wash the clothes! shock

What does your DH think?

DontmindifIdo Fri 01-Nov-13 21:25:38

No to childcare for work - you can't afford for them to get bored after a bit and leave you in the lurch. Seeing the DCs more often (and therefore you) might be ok, but don't feel you have to make your lives fit round their sudden interest.

Don't worry, they'll probably get bored again or find other ways to fill their time and it won't happen...

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