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to not bother visiting PIL because of SIL's family

(26 Posts)
MycleanArse Thu 12-Feb-15 14:38:16

So we're off to the PIL for 36 hours at half term. We live 5 hours a way so see them only a few times a year. It's becoming more and more a duty visit because each time we go SIL is there with her 5 & 3 year old.

Sil & her DH, live 50 mins away but overnight at PIL a lot, school holidays, most weekends.

When we visit we find that Sil's family take up all of the PIL energy leaving very little attention for our children ( 9 & 7), my kids get bumped to the air mattress in the office,it's noisy, her kids always seem to be ill and go to bed really late. The whole thing just turns into a massive toddler/ baby sitting weekend rather than visiting the grandparents.

AIBU to think it's pointless trekking half way across the country for my kids to end up bored, watching loads of tv because granny is sorting out the young GCs.

BarbarianMum Thu 12-Feb-15 14:40:51

Invite them to visit you?

Hoppinggreen Thu 12-Feb-15 14:41:05

I feel your pain.
My SIL and her family live 4 doors down from my in laws. I love them all but it would be nice for my children to have some undivided GP attention as Niece and nephew are very demanding ( spoilt)

DontDrinkandFacebook Thu 12-Feb-15 14:43:05

I agree, it must be very annoying for you when you know they get plenty of your IL's time the rest of the year round, but your IL's probably think it's nice having the whole family together and they want to encourage your DH to spend time with his sister. Can't you just get your DH to tell his parents how you both feel and ask if you could have a weekend on your own occasionally? Maybe you could offer to drive the 50 mins to visit SIL for a couple of hours if necessary? This is never going to change unless he says something.

DontDrinkandFacebook Thu 12-Feb-15 14:43:58

There always seems to be one sibling who monopolises parents' time and attention much more than the other/s. It's such a common gripe.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Thu 12-Feb-15 14:46:04

Maybe SIL wants to see her brother and her neices/nephews?

MycleanArse Thu 12-Feb-15 15:03:36

Don 't be nice! else I'll probably cry before the school run.

DH and his family always love a complicated multitasking itinerary. So we travel up after work, overnight, DH goes to work next day (7 to 8) whilst I spend day with PIL and DCs. Next day we head up off really early to airport.

Granny is trying to fit in trip to beach, high ropes course and million other things. SIL says she's coming down but her two are to small for high ropes so after lunch we could all go iceskating.

Sil will undoubtably get a few digs in about me being a SAHM whilst handing her washing to her mum.
I feel miserable about the whole thing.

DontDrinkandFacebook Thu 12-Feb-15 15:06:40

I think perhaps you ought to ask the PILs to come down to stay with you instead.

FluffyJawsOfDoom Thu 12-Feb-15 15:07:23

If you feel miserable about it, don't do it. Send dh on his own and/or invite them to you "as a nice change"

DontDrinkandFacebook Thu 12-Feb-15 15:13:12

the trouble is, it's difficult to tell them who else they can and can't invite over when you are at their house without looking a bit spoilt and sulky, although I totally get why you want some alone time with them.

I used to hate visiting my sister and her family for the same reasons. We would plan it weeks in advance, drive a couple of hours to spend a lovely day with them, the our kids (the cousins) together, haven't seen once another for a few months, and there would always be somebody else there, clogging up her sofa doing nothing in particular. She's one of those people whose house is always full of neighbours and friends at a loose end just 'dropping in' and then not going home for four hours. hmm I bloody hate that, I like my friends but no way do I want them spontaneously under my feet on a Sunday afternoon when I've made plans to have family over. It's just rude.

DuelingFanjo Thu 12-Feb-15 15:25:37

Could you go at a time when they (SIL etc) are on holiday or at work?

MycleanArse Fri 13-Feb-15 09:38:23

Morning, have now got a grip.

Have made a list of positives: cousins knowing each other, Sil & her DH having a break, PIL enjoying toddler stage, only 36 hours, every family has a different normal.

GerbilsAteMyCat Fri 13-Feb-15 09:44:22

We have the same thing sad
I now specifically plan trips near the GPs house when we visit and invite the GPs along. Sometimes the younger kids can come, sometimes they can't.

WhereYouLeftIt Fri 13-Feb-15 10:04:45

"DH and his family always love a complicated multitasking itinerary. So we travel up after work, overnight, DH goes to work next day (7 to 8) whilst I spend day with PIL and DCs. Next day we head up off really early to airport.

Granny is trying to fit in trip to beach, high ropes course and million other things. SIL says she's coming down but her two are to small for high ropes so after lunch we could all go iceskating."

TBH this level of complication sounds a bigger problem than SIL's family. How on earth can there be any quality time spent with anyone under such pressured circumstances?

VodkaJelly Fri 13-Feb-15 10:30:12

Yes, SIL is the same. She is so possessive she bought a house about 3 doors away. Her DD's are grown up (infact she is a grandma now) but still live at home, which means any time DP or my DC's turn up SIL somehow always turns up, or her DD's or the great grand daughter, so my 2 year old DD never gets any 1 -2-1 time with them.

Drives me bonkers, SIL virtually lives there (seems like it) so it wouldnt kill her to give DP and my DC's half an hour without her or her daughters or their boyfriends turning up at the house

Madmum24 Fri 13-Feb-15 10:52:13

I've just realized that I am possibly the "dominant" child. If I know my brother is coming to my Mum's (not that often) I would break my neck to go too. I hardly get to see him (he spends a lot of time with his IL's so we feel we really miss him) and I am really sad that my children and his don't have the same bond that we had we our cousins when we were small. I spend a lot more time with my Mum than he does, so it is quite possible that his partner thinks I constantly have my beak in things.

It really never occurred to me to want "undivided" attention for the children. Is this a new thing? I grew up being very close to cousins and we always spent time together with GP's.

cookiemonster100 Fri 13-Feb-15 11:00:45

We have a similar problem! DN ( who I adore!), spends a lot of time with PIL. Love spending time with PIL & DN & watching my LO & DN play BUT it irritates the hell out me that SIL & BIL take over, DN is obvs the favourite & is a handful, & PIL are knackered not leaving much energy for our LO. Drives hubby bonkers.
We have PIL to visit often which has helped massively. However their last visit they slept alot as was knackered from childcare duties in the week. So that needs monitoring.
Hubby is going to bring it up with them next visit as it really bothered him.
I do feel your pain op, hang in there! X

googietheegg Fri 13-Feb-15 11:01:16

Madmum I think it depends on the characters involved. My bro and sil live near my parents and we're in another country. I'm pleased for them to be there when we visit my folks but not for every day/meal as my bro is v dominating and his kids are lovely but do take over everything.

lem73 Fri 13-Feb-15 11:05:19

I have a similar situation. I feel your pain.

TinklyLittleLaugh Fri 13-Feb-15 11:05:24

I have exactly the same problem with my sister and my Mum. Particularly annoying is my sister dumping her quite badly behaved children at my Mum's for the night while she goes for a night out. My kids end up sleeping on the floor, the cousins refuse to go to bed and everything basically descends into chaos.

I raised it with my Mum and sister years ago. I was told in no uncertain terms that the cousins were not going to be pushed to one side for my childrenhmm. Basically it means my kids have less of a relationship with my parents and we visit less often. My Mum's loss because my sister's kids are horrid.

MaryWestmacott Fri 13-Feb-15 11:12:37

suck up this visit, too late to change. Then make a point of inviting PIL to you next time and "the grandchildren would love to have you to our house, and I do feel guilty always being the guest, I must give you a nice break!".

As soon as you get home, ask again when / if they'd like to visit - stress the children would love to have them to your house, to show PIL all their toys etc...

MycleanArse Fri 13-Feb-15 11:21:19

The downside for us Madmum is partly the multitasking WhereYouleftit highlighted and the age difference.

My younger DD (7)enjoys bossing around the niece (5), my older DD (9) hides whilst the three year old is an overtired tantrum nightmare closely supervised.

FIL will be hiding in the garage servicing SIl's car, SIL and her DH are both teachers so they rely on the Grandparents during the holidays so they can catch up on errands, shopping, etc
Possibly no one has ever accepted that DH is always working because he gets the normal 28 days leave and we tend to spend most of that shoring up our derelict home

I do want the girls to know their cousins and the GPs hence me driving them across the country whilst DH works, fitting in odd days here, weekend away last year, etc but I approach it with dread and this thread has highlighted a few reasons why.

One of Dh's cousins is fondly referred to as 'Screaming Tom' due to childhood holidays grin

Stinkle Fri 13-Feb-15 11:24:17

We live a couple of hundred miles away from my family but go and visit as often as we can, but we have similar issues with my brother's partner.

The relationship with her is quite difficult anyway, I don't know for sure, but she acts like she really doesn't like my DH, my children or me. We've never been anything other than nice and welcoming to her but she's always been quite rude and difficult, but I only see her once every 6 weeks or so it's no skin off my nose, but it almost feels like she's staking her claim or setting herself and her kids up in competition with us somehow. She monopolises my mum and attempts to exclude us. There were some incidents at Christmas that made us all a bit hmm

It's all very odd, and generally I just get on with it, but I think sometimes my 2 would like to spend time with nanny and grandad on their own as they don't see them all the time

Mum and Dad come down to visit us every couple of months, and the last few times she's insisted on coming too, and then ignoring us, wanting Mum and Dad to go off and do stuff without us.

My brother and I get on very well and he's brilliant with my children, but it's all very odd.

I suppose different families have different dynamics and hers are different to ours and it's clashing a bit.

It'll sort itself out in the end I'm sure

MycleanArse Fri 13-Feb-15 17:48:24

Stinkle DH also has a brother and his partner does what you describe. My guess she is generally very nervous but hides it under a confident sneer. She's very rude, lies and occasionally steals stuff,lying about it so convincingly you have to double check.

The PIL are scared she'll cut all contact with them in some weird way so go totally over the top keeping her happy.

I feel so sorry for the PIL, Aunt Tea-Leaf keeps them on a knife edge, SIL reverts back to being a teenager dumping her chores and kids on them and I'm slagging whole lot off on the internet grin

I shall have my happy face on for the visit.

Nanny0gg Fri 13-Feb-15 17:57:29

So why can't they come to you?

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