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To expect a bit of support and help from mil with the kids.

(300 Posts)
Me23 Sun 16-Mar-14 08:52:04

We are currently staying at Mil for the weekend we have 2 dc 8 and 3 and 1 on the way. I get on well with her but her lack of offering to help or do anything with her grandchildren is annoying me. We only see her approximate 4-5 times a year as she lives 3 hours away so we don't get any help or support with the kids in London.

I hoped just for one morning she would offer to get up with the youngest so me and OH could have a lie in together for once she knows how tired we are with the constant 5-5:30 am starts but no offer forthcoming, this morning dc2 woke at 6 so not too bad but he was up a few times in the night and we both didn't sleep well so OH asks his mum if she would get up with him so we could sleep a little longer and she said no!

I understand she may be tired but she went to bed at 8 last night, is it really expecting too much to ask for an hour or two in bed for one morning? When that's the only help we can look forward to. We're not asking for her to take the kids out or do any regular childcare just one hour with her grand kids.

I thought family was supposed to be about supporting one another when she had hernia op last year we were aroud to help her. I don't know why we were thinking of moving closer to have more support and family around us as we won't have more support.

Sorry for the long rant I'm just so disappointed and don't want to say anythig to OH as don't want to cause tension. It's just with mil asking how are you going to cope with a 3rd and the lack of sleep well if family would offer a bit of support maybe that would help! Btw mil is only 60 and still works so not a geriatric invalid. If my mum were still alive I know she would offer to help so much more.

Mrskeylime Sun 16-Mar-14 08:54:40

Why do you think that MIL is obliged to help with your dc's? Why didn't dh get up and give you a rest?

paxtecum Sun 16-Mar-14 08:58:07

OP: Sorry MIL isn't helping.

Follow her lead and get to bed really early.

Morgause Sun 16-Mar-14 08:58:24

YABU. She's done her child rearing and is now entitled to just do the fun stuff. If you need a lie in get your DH to look after the children.

She's on holiday she's more entitled to a lie in than you are.

Yama Sun 16-Mar-14 08:59:40

YABU. Totally.

I say this as someone whose own Mum and MIL get up early to spend time with their grandchildren but it is not someone I would ever expect.

formerbabe Sun 16-Mar-14 09:00:17

I get what you are saying. My DC have no grandparents so I get no you, I know if my mum was alive, she would do heaps to help me out.

Maybe your mil feels like she has done her bit with bringing up her own kids?

I don't think you are bu.

GertTheFlirt Sun 16-Mar-14 09:01:59

After reading a lot of threads on here, I'd be terrified of upsetting the DIL and overstepping my boundaries! Get DH to ask his mother if she fancies the early shift.

However 5.30 get ups for 8 and 3 year olds? Why are you facilitating that? They are perfectly capable of self entertaining at that age.

RandomMess Sun 16-Mar-14 09:02:51

She probably has had disturbed nights too.

Sorry she hasn't helped, but sadly you're not entitled to help from her though I agree some practical support and more interest from her in any of the dc would be wonderful.

JapaneseMargaret Sun 16-Mar-14 09:03:06

I wouldn't expect my MIL to give us both a lie-in - if we were away staying somewhere, we'd take turns to have lie-ins, to ensure we both got a little bit of rest.

AngelinaCongleton Sun 16-Mar-14 09:03:18

Sorry you are not getting a tiny bit of help here too. Its hard. People on mumsnet will say you've got an entitled attitude and suck it up, but I think it sometimes feel like a rejection of sorts. You've asked, she's said no. Now you know where you stand, it makes it easier if you stop expecting it. Maybe she finds the kids hard work or is tired from her own life.

diddl Sun 16-Mar-14 09:03:47

" It's just with mil asking how are you going to cope with a 3rd and the lack of sleep well if family would offer a bit of support maybe that would help! "


The few times you see her?

If someone asked me to get up at 6 I think my face would be a bithmm

Unless it was an emergency.

Casmama Sun 16-Mar-14 09:04:39

So she is hosting you all for the weekend and should also get up early to look after your kids?

If she sees you that infrequently then she may not feel comfortable being in sole charge of the children and for a 60 year old woman to go to bed at 8pm when she has visitors would tend to indicate she is exhausted, ill or really not enjoying having you all to stay.

Sorry if that sounds harsh.

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtle Sun 16-Mar-14 09:05:02

Yabu to expect it. Yanbu to want it.

None of my dd's grandparents have ever lifted a finger to help us. They like to come and stay and I run around like a headless chicken looking after them. When we go there they have lovely long lie ins.

I get a bit hmm when I hear about friends with amazing parents/in laws who help out. But I recognise we're just unlucky and get on with things. There's no point getting annoyed about it...!

WooWooOwl Sun 16-Mar-14 09:06:25

YABU, but it sounds like you may be projecting your feelings about not having your own mother around onto your mil.

Grandparents are all very different, there is no obligation on them to do the less fun stuff like getting up early etc. If she can be an enjoyable person for your children to be around, then she's doing her GM job just fine already.

googietheegg Sun 16-Mar-14 09:07:41

Yanbu. This is one of those weird mumsnet topics that people leap on to say 'entitled!!'

My mil is the same - says she misses us etc but as soon as we see her within one minute (less usually) she's talking about someone else's weather and not showing any interest at all in her gcs.

It hurts. And life would be so much easier for even an hours help once a year.

I understand op.

Nanny0gg Sun 16-Mar-14 09:07:45

See, in an ideal world she would, but she has no obligation to. You have a partner. Why can't you take it turns to rest? I speak as someone who has a DH but we had no family near, and as it happens, both our mothers had died before we had DC.

It's just with mil asking how are you going to cope with a 3rd and the lack of sleep well if family would offer a bit of support maybe that would help!

Surely you didn't base your decision for a third on that?

treaclesoda Sun 16-Mar-14 09:08:45

I think it's understandable that you would love for her to offer to help. But to be honest, I don't think she is unreasonable for not doing so. She has done her child rearing, your child rearing is your own responsibility, not hers. Its frustrating, and I'm sure you are exhausted, but honestly I do think its a bit unreasonable to expect someone else to get up early so that you can have a lie in. It would be lovely if she offered though...

Cleartheclutter Sun 16-Mar-14 09:10:30

Why doesn't your OH help? Not MILs job

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Sun 16-Mar-14 09:10:54

Your children are not her obligation to help out with.
Sadly, thats the top and bottom of it. Your children - your problem. Always.

Now, is it nice when people dont want to help? No. Is it unreasonable to wish they wanted to help? No.
If you were saying you wished she wanted to, id be saying yes i dont blame you. In an ideal world family would want to help each other out. You'd think that people who loved each other would WANT to be there for each other. I personally dont understand those who can give nothing of themselves to others but i recognise that that is their right.

But the brutal truth is nobody has any obligation to your kids but you and if they dont want to help you, they dont have to.

What it is reasonable to wish and to hope for is different to what it is reasonable to expect or demand.

You also dont have to be there for someone who isnt willing to be there for you.

JabberJabberJay Sun 16-Mar-14 09:12:32


I get on well with both my Mum and MIL. They are both lovely, helpful people who help out a lot with cchildcare. But I don't think either of them have EVER got up early with my kids. I wouldn't expect them to either.

If you want your MIL to do the early shift, perhaps you should ask? Instead of seething silently. Perhaps it hasn't occurred to her you'd like her to do this.

Cleartheclutter Sun 16-Mar-14 09:13:04

Just read again, it is upto your MIL whether she wants to help

Joysmum Sun 16-Mar-14 09:13:28


She doesn't see the family that often so probably doesn't feel competent or close enough to take over responsibilies for a bit.

Instead of critisising her, how about trying to think through the reasons for yourself why she might not feel able, rather than assuming the worst and thinking she doesn't want to.

NMFP Sun 16-Mar-14 09:13:41

If she went to bed at 8 she's probably finding it tough. Presumably she's already had extra work getting the house ready, shopping, cleaning, cooking?

I would suggest you ask your husband to arrange an outing during the day with the children and his mum so that you can nap.

BonaDea Sun 16-Mar-14 09:13:59

Yanbu. I think if you were expecting this all the time it would be a bit rich but the occasional offer is just part of being a gm.

I live even further from my own mum and have no help at home. But when we do stay with her she will offer - and fact is desperate - to help out by doing a couple of early starts and sending us back to bed as well as offering to baby sit in the evening once or twice so we can have a meal out which we can rarely do at home.

My own mil is much like your own tho and is very hands off.

apermanentheadache Sun 16-Mar-14 09:15:00

Well, I don't rhink you are being unreasonable. You've gone out of your way to help her. She doesn't help you: not a very equal relationship.

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