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To think that ils and parents aren't always equal.

(32 Posts)
Koothrapanties Thu 27-Feb-14 20:43:18

By that I mean when it comes to access to grandchildren.

Dh and I have a crappy relationship with his parents. Too much to go into, but they make very little effort with either of us, cause a lot of stress and are generally pretty rubbish parents to dh.

My parents are the polar opposite. They love both dh and I to pieces. They are always there for both of us and make a huge effort to be a constant part of our lives (which is reciprocated by us too).

Before we had dd, this was never an issue. Pils didn't want much to do with us and we weren't that bothered. Any time we did see them it would be a carcrash to be honest. I have written about them in detail before on here and have been told they are toxic and to go nc. Dh has tried a million times to have a better relationship with them, but has been let down again and again.

Then dd came along.

Suddenly they were getting in touch all the time. Fil started phoning all the time to hear how she was and to make sure we were looking after her properly hmm. Mil was suddenly sweet as pie and inviting us round all the time. However, they never ask about dh or I, and when we are round there pretty much ignore us and solely focus on dd. It's really quite awkward, it's like we aren't even there.

Since dd was born my mum has been a constant support, both practically and emotionally. She has helped out with washing and cleaning when I have been overwhelmed, has supported dh through horrible medical tests, invited us for meals and cooked food dh can eat on his special diet. Mil knew all about the diet, but made a dinner she knew he couldn't eat. sad
They have offered no help or support when dh has been really ill and they have known we are struggling.

Their only interest is dd. They often complain that they don't get to see her enough and I know that mil resents the fact that my mum gets to see her more. Dd has a completely different relationship with them because of this. She is always so happy to see my mum, but gets really upset at pils because both dh and I are stressed out and the atmosphere is so tense and unnatural.

Aibu to think that if one set of parents make no effort with you as a couple, but are solely interested in their gc that they are bound to see their gc less? Or if they are very interested in having a relationship with their gc should you put everything else aside?

Is there anyone else in a similar situation? What do you do?

bedraggledmumoftwo Thu 27-Feb-14 23:15:10

Sorry, that was a bit long winded, i obviously have issues! But i agree, they cant treat their children badly and have no interest in them and expect to suddenly made welcome when it suits them because there is a cute little baby to cuddle. In order to spend time with said baby you need to treat its parents with respect and at least pretend you want to see them too. I always felt like emails saying " when can we come and see dd" were about as offensive as if they said "when can i come and see your new kitten/try out your swimming pool" or something equally insensitive. (we don't have a swimming pool btw, i was just trying to think of something else they might use us for!)

goldenlula Thu 27-Feb-14 23:32:51

My parents are definitely more involved with my children than either set of my in laws. My parents rarely go a week without seeing the children, in laws can go months, particularly mil, fil is more likely to phone after a couple of weeks to say they haven't seen the children. Dh will automatically ask if my parents can babysit/have the children if we are planning a night out, his mum is used as a back up and seems to think she is doing us a massive favour if she does have them, where as my parents are doing their grandparent duties (in a nice way). They are not bad grandparents, just their priorities lie else where (mainly with the grandchildren from their children from their second marriages). Mil is normally happy to have the children if asked.

HicDraconis Fri 28-Feb-14 04:20:13

Parents and in-laws aren't always equal the way people aren't all the same. In an ideal world both parents and in-laws would be capable of adult relationships with their children / children's partners / grandchildren. You wouldn't have problems with jealousy, narcissism, favouritism ...

But people are different and flawed and in some cases frankly dangerous.

I agree they should start on an equal footing. But where some people help, support and enrich our lives, others are a constant drain and do whatever the opposite of enriching is. Hardly surprising then that after setting a pattern, you prefer to spend time and energy on those that add to your lives rather than draining you.

bodybooboo Fri 28-Feb-14 07:45:16

kooth yes it's just luck. amazing how some really lovely adults have seriously wierd parents.

I mean how does that happen.

Koothrapanties Fri 28-Feb-14 07:46:40

Thanks very much for the replies.

Stupidly I have been the one to say to dh that we should make an effort to let them see dd.. I won't be doing that anymore!!

Fil is the king of emotional blackmail, saying that dd is the only thing getting him through a tough time and makes sad comments about how long it has been since he has seen her. I will have to ignore it all and completely leave it up to dh.

I don't think dd will miss out much at this age, but if they make more effort in the future so will we I guess.

MrsHeavyweight Fri 28-Feb-14 14:49:18

I have heard a good rule that states that you should see them as frequently as you saw them before the baby/pregnancy. If you only saw them two to three times a year before, that should not skyrocket because of the baby. Maybe an extra visit or two. They visit for baby's birthday and an extra visit.

Drop the rope. I'm worried that your husband might see this as his chance to have his parents love him now that he has something to offer them and that is wrong. You should not feel guilted or manipulated into having someone around your child. However, if you are the one pushing, just stop. Maybe go very low contact if you're not ready for NC.

ShadowFall Fri 28-Feb-14 15:47:35

I think it depends a good deal on the individual grandparents involved.

If both sets of grandparents show similar levels of interest, and offer similar levels of support, to their children and grandchildren, then yes, they should be offered equal access to the grandchildren as far as is practical.

But in a scenario like the OP's where one set of grandparents is distant and unsupportive and has appeared disinterested in their children's lives before the grandkids have appeared, then - regardless of whether they're the paternal or maternal grandparents - it's not really reasonable for them to expect the same level of access to the grandkids as the more supportive and interested set of grandparents has.

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