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Grandparents not interested

(43 Posts)
Dietagainmonday Tue 11-Feb-14 13:08:29

I have a one year old dd and have never had help from dp family. They come to my house once every three months or so and sit on my sofa smiling while watching her play, they don't pick her up, talk to her nothing! While I was expecting her they were here nearly every day (live 5 walk mins away) all excited about the baby. My dp asked if they would have her on the weekend (while we have a valentines meal)and got a very reluctant "ok" I have just had a text to say that mil can't do Friday as shes not well(last time she was painting bedroom and time before she had too much to do). I'm fuming and think I've had enough, i am so temped to cut them out of my life- haven't spoke to dp but know he's just as pissed off as me. Ps the grand kids of dp
sisters 4 other grandkids are visited all the time they can't do enough for them, they had sacks full of christmas presents while dd had about £15 spent on her. I have asked dp on many occasions to go and ask what their problem is do you think I'm being unreasonable to ask them why they don't like my dd? I know they don't owe me their time but why won't they bother with her I'm so upset she hasn't done anything that's for sure.

CoffeeTea103 Tue 11-Feb-14 13:17:54

Yanbu in wanting to know what their problem is. People just do not treat one set of grand kids differently from others without good reason. If you naturally thought all your gc were equal without a thought, they would treat them all the same. But they are making a very conscious effort of being different.
You say they were great throughout the pregnancy, what has happened since. Did you or dp say or do anything that would make them feel like they should be less involved?

Dietagainmonday Tue 11-Feb-14 13:22:37

Thanks for reply. There is nothing I can think of that has been said or done. I really thought I was going to have lots of help when baby was born but they have totally backed away and I find it strange. I have aid to dp it must be me they don't like but he just dismisses that completely. I find it very strange tbh

DustyBaubles Tue 11-Feb-14 13:23:19

I doubt their problem is with the baby, she's too young.

It's possible that they are just not comfortable with you.

Parents are often closer to their daughters children, if only because their own daughter is the primary carer, so they don't feel like they have to go through a 'stranger' to see them.

CoffeeTea103 Tue 11-Feb-14 13:24:32

I would suggest dp have a talk with them, maybe there is a reason.
If there's no reason, then at least you know where you stand ie. what to expect from them.
Either way, speaking to them will let them know how you both feel.

whiteblossom Tue 11-Feb-14 13:31:43

My honest answer is, don't bother- they wont ever change. I know it hurts, its frustrating and I have no doubt it presses your buttons.

My IL were like this though my ds was their only GC, I knew if BIL had kids that IL would be all over them. It sounds to me like your BIL is the golden boy and your DH...well he'll always be second best, as will you and your dc.

weirdly my IL were all over me and excited when I was pregnant, made plans to help etc.....and er were never to be seen once born.

FYI, We did confront. It didn't go well. We are now NC. Which is what I think they wanted all along.

Dietagainmonday Tue 11-Feb-14 13:34:20

Thanks I will get him to ask. It must be me, they're not going to have a problem with their own son and baby hasn't done anything. Her birthday was last week and It wasn't even acknowledged by them. Wonder what I've done!

Dietagainmonday Tue 11-Feb-14 13:37:31

Whiteblossom its so frustrating not knowing. Being nosey here and hope you don't mind me asking. what was the answer when you confronted them?

5Foot5 Tue 11-Feb-14 13:39:41

Just a thought OP. Are the other grandchildren significantly older than your DD?

Might it be that they are not very good with babies and small children and will find her more interesting and want to do more with her when she is older?

And as to the spending more money at Christmas, well maybe it is down to the same thing. Perhaps they feel she is too young to understand and there isn't much they can get her yet but will be ready to spend more when the toys get more interesting.

OTOH they could just be miserable gits who blatantly favour the other children but I was just trying to look for an alternative explanation.

Dietagainmonday Tue 11-Feb-14 13:58:25

Thanks for that 5foot. The next age is 2, 5, 7 and 11. They bought cots for the others and did a nursery up in spare room as they had them all weekend nearly every weekend. One of dp sisters the one with the 5 year old lived there for a while so I understand that they may be closer to him. I'm pretty sure if any of the others had another baby they would be all over it. It has to be me, there isn't any other explanation. I've done shopping for them, given lifts, cooked Sunday roasts but gave up trying a few months back as them not bothering with my dd really get to me.

FayeKorgasm Tue 11-Feb-14 14:10:10

They sound odd and I can understand your confusion.

Just a thought. Does your DC look like you, or more importantly, not look like your DP?

Some people get very weird about things like that and then 2+2=17

Please don't think I'm insinuating anything, but some people have very strange ideas about genetics.

Topaz25 Tue 11-Feb-14 14:19:46

I thought maybe they are just not very hands on until I read how much they help with their other DGC, the difference is very noticeable and must be very hurtful for you. Have they shown any other signs of favouring your husband's siblings over him?

Topaz25 Tue 11-Feb-14 14:24:17

I just wanted to add, it is not you, it is them. Not even acknowledging their granddaughter's first birthday is bizarre behaviour.

pigletmania Tue 11-Feb-14 14:24:20

That is unacceptable, I would stop trying and leave them to it. Very hurtful! I would suggest dh talk to them and tell how it is! I most certainly would!

RiffyWammal Tue 11-Feb-14 14:25:31

My MIL blatantly favours her other grandchildren. She has three sons so it's not a case of feeling more comfortable with a daughter. In my case it's because MIL prefers DH's brothers and always has. Also the other grandchildren are all girls and I think she always wanted a girl and prefers them for this reason (ours are boys). Whatever the reason it's disgusting to show favouritism in my opinion. We distanced ourselves from her because of the harmful effects on our sons of feeling less favoured and loved.

Do you think your PILs favour your DH's siblings in other ways, OP? Was your DH always the less favoured child?

Bearfrills Tue 11-Feb-14 14:30:21

Get him to ask and if nothing changes then go no contact, it'll save you a lot of hassle further down the line.

MIL greatly favours SILs children over mine and DHs even though they are all the same ages and genders (two 4yo boys, two 2yo girls). She has her other GCs for sleepovers, takes them on outings, they have piles of toys at her house, she buys them clothes and bakes with them and all sorts. DD and DS got a half hour visit once every few weeks - we live closer to her than SIL to boot, all within walking distance but MIL has to pass our house to get to SILs. When DD was small she was in hospital, MIL didn't even phone to see how she was never mind visit. For DS 2nd birthday he got absolutely nothing from her, not even a card, because she'd been "too busy" to get him anything. Ditto his second Christmas, she asked if she could post his Christmas gift to him because she was too busy doing Christmas things with her other grandson. DH told her not to bother.

She cancelled plans, most notably the weekend before DS 4th birthday when her DP was "too ill" and apparently spent the day at the walk-in centre - except that was bullshit and she was actually at a Chinese restaurant with SIL and the other GCs. I could list and list the ways she played favourites but the final straw came on DDs birthday. For his birthday DS (age 4) got £5 in a card that her DP delivered the minutes after bedtime, when I asked where MIL was "she's at home with The Kids". Two weeks later DD (age 2) had her birthday. MIL rocked up to my door with balloons, cards and a Vtech tablet for DD. That was it. I told her (with backing from DH) that I already know she plays favourites with her grandchildren but she will not play favourites with my children and that I could not accept a reasonably expensive gift for DD when all DS got was five £1 coins. She took a massive strop, played the victim, cried, said she treats all of the children exactly the same, called me evil and spiteful, etc.

Not once did I say "you cannot see the children" but she hasn't spoken to us since and has told people that its because we've banned her from seeing them. We haven't and a few months ago she tried going via FIL to see them. DH told FIL to tell her that if she wants contact she needs to speak to us, their parents, and left the ball in her court.

Needless to say, she hasn't bothered. So now she is banned from seeing them as DH and I have decide that if she does try to contact us we won't be returning the attempts and if she does come to the door she will find it closed in her face. It's too late, she's had chance after chance and has blown them all. Lately she's started driving to our estate with her DP and parking on the corner at school home time as I'm coming past with the DCs which is both creepy and annoying. They drive off as soon as we've passed by. And I'm due a baby next week so no doubt she'll try contact us then.

Cutting her out is one of the best things we have done to protect our children from her manipulative behaviour and favouritism, DH has emotional issues going back to his childhood (she favoured his sisters over him) and we don't want that for our children.

No contact is a big step and be prepared for pressure from other members of the family (step-FIL thinks we should forgive and forget "because she's family) but if she's bringing you misery and her relationship with your DD is of no value then do it, you'll be happier. The label of family doesn't give people the right to treat you like you're second best.

pigletmania Tue 11-Feb-14 14:34:39

Gosh bear frills I remember your thread, access rights and all that. Good on you, your kids do nit need that in their lives, you concentrate on your family now!

Scarbella2 Tue 11-Feb-14 14:35:27

I have experienced something very similar to op's situation.
For the last three years my kids were the ils only gc and they were treated with the least amount of interest you could imagine. Dp's siblings were always making announcements about their plans to call over and see dd1 when she was a baby but never arrived- so that's when I pulled away and then things got even worse.
They claimed they were not wanted even though I explained their no show history and that's when things got ugly.
Anyhow things are nc with the siblings now and strained and extremely rare contact with his parents.
But dp's sis just had a baby and I bet it's all happy families.
I genuinely think they wanted things to end up like this. Maybe it was the fact that my kids look like me that rubbed them up the wrong way, I dunno but one thing is sure I wasn't going to be treated like sh: t or indeed let my kids be treated badly.

wednesdaygirl Tue 11-Feb-14 14:40:50

My pil babysat once thats it and my boys are 16 and 17 now

Baby ds was 3mths old when they babysat and they left him in the car seat for the whole time we were away

They lived 5 mins drive away too

Sil (their daughter) had a baby 2yrs ago and lives over a hours drive away, they decided to sell up and move to be near her and they babysit all the time

Jess03 Tue 11-Feb-14 14:48:45

I did confronts parents over unfairness between gc and they were very cross but over the last year they are trying a bit harder. Personally I think your IL just have their own lives and it isn't a priority, people often make tall claims when you're pregnant that don't materialise.

ladyquinoa Tue 11-Feb-14 14:56:44

Have they a bias towards your sister in laws kids. My mil once said there's nothing like your DD's kids!!

Also remember its their loss. Keep your expectations low and create some space.

ladyquinoa Tue 11-Feb-14 14:57:30

Or ask them why they have favourites? It might just be that they connect more easily with older children then babies.

pigletmania Tue 11-Feb-14 15:01:59

Jess that's no excuse for favouritism. If tgey have their own lives Than don't bother with any grandchildren!

BalloonSlayer Tue 11-Feb-14 15:02:55

I think they are just closer to the babies of their own daughters to those of their daughter-in-law, because their relationship with their daughters is closer than with you.

I am sorry, it's sad.

But if my DD had had a baby I would be much more prepared to go over and help, talk about cracked nipples and stitches etc because she is my DD and I have changed her bum and we can talk about all that. But with a DIL, would I feel able to offer that help at such an intimate time? I hope I would, and I hope it would feel the same. But I could imagine this hypothetical DIL feeling uncomfortable about BF in front of me, and that might make me hold back. I might feel it was the DIL's Mum's job to offer all the help at that special time and I might be treading on her toes.

I think people are missing the point - yes they are all grandkids, but to see the grandchild you have to go through their mother and it is easier when their mother is your daughter not your daughter in law.

missmash Tue 11-Feb-14 15:04:09

What a terribly ad situation you are in, I don't understand why supposed grown ups can behave this way.
I can only add my experience of my paternal grandparents, my dad is one of 6 so there are a lot of us grandkids! My grandparents never had an interest in me and my brother, in fact my granddad called me a different name cos he couldn't remember mine!!!
When grandma died I didn't feel a thing, I went to the funeral and all my many cousins were in tears and one set of 3 siblings were literally falling on the ground with grief, they truly loved grandma cos grandma loved them. When my grandad died I didn't even go to the funeral, and felt nothing no guilt or grief.
You reap what you sow and your DCs will have little emotional attachment to their grandparents but it's so sad that it is this way, not sure there is any way to change things though!

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