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In laws are a total let down

(73 Posts)
cookiemonster100 Sun 05-Jul-15 14:00:27

Inlaws are a let down

My PIL totally enable BIL & wife at generally being crap parents. You know the ones, palm the kids off at the first opportunity, can't cope with them when they are ill blah blah blah. They live close by & we live the other side of the country. We leave them to run their lives & visit each other regularly. When PIL visit they moan about BIL & his wife dumping the kids of them, which we nod sympathetically but do nothing else.
PIL won't change & BIL & his wife certainly won't either. It's been happening for years.

Where we do speak up is when both PIL & BIL & SIL behaviour impacts our lives. Lately it feels like it's been happening alot and it's getting on my nerves! I am at a total loss

:- my PIL won't come & visit us in term time as they are needed to be at home to pick up their grandchildren & ferry them to various activities after school. This is fine for the moment as we can travel up, but my eldest starts school next September so that is going to end. What's totally pissed me off is that I am having major surgery in November & I need extra support. Hubby is around & so are my parents but we all work so could do with PIL help. They have told us they can't come & help as SIL says she can't spare them. Seriously, what are they?!! The hired help. I wish PIL would just grow a pair.

:- when we visit them we are often have to account for DN's. Eg if we went out for the day we need to be back to pick up SIL kids from school. The last time this happened, we raced back, we picked DN up from school, took them to their activity, came home & fed them dinner. I find out later the reason why SIL couldn't pick then up is that she went to the gym on the way home! I was fuming, but as no one else around me as the balls to speak up I am often left voicing my opinion on my own.

:- this one has just tipped me over. So my parents are away for 3 weeks next Easter & I asked PIL if they could come & help over the holiday season & then hubby & I will use holiday to cover the days they can't do. Initially PIL were happy with this & it's all sorted. Last weekend MIL let it slip that BIL & wife are trying for another baby. MIL has just rung to let us know that she now might struggle with Easter break as SIL might be due or heavily pg by then so she will need the help. I was initially like "is she pg, how exciting", but it transpires she is not!!! So my sodding PIL are favouring the not even conceived future grandchild over my existing 2!!! I had to put the phone down before I swore my head off!!

Hubby us very upset over their behaviour but won't argue with them as he fears it will push them further away.

AuntyMag10 Sun 05-Jul-15 14:03:34

Yanbu,
Seems they enjoy the complaining and running around them as well. When they start complaining just cut them short and tell them what do you expect. I wouldn't rely on them for anything, it's their loss about their gc.

StonedGalah Sun 05-Jul-15 14:06:31

You need to tell them then step away. They are committed to helping DBil and his family, so they can't help you in November. You have your DH and DP, surely that's enough - you'll all have to take leave?

It's shit, but you have to tell them and then move on or deal with the fall out.

I am currently trying to find help when dd2 is born and it's stressful but it's just the way it is.

Fatmomma99 Sun 05-Jul-15 14:07:00

I can understand why you're upset, but tbh, I don't think you'll change them.

It's a shame, because you can see them supporting your ILs and there are times when you'd appreciate that kind of support yourself, but I don't think there's much you can do.

Is there anyone else around you who can help during those difficult times you've got coming?

DoreenLethal Sun 05-Jul-15 14:14:27

I'd probably be sarcastic and say 'aw, it's so lucky that you haven't got any other grandchildren to see isn't it'. And then put the phone down on them.

Zebda Sun 05-Jul-15 14:16:19

Sad as it is, you need to not make it so you don't rely on them for help. The fact they had committed to help you at Easter, then flaked out for an as yet unconceived child hmm suggests they don't put your DHs family before their DDs.

It's a shame, but you need to lower your expectations of them. And don't let them sit around complaining to you anymore.

I would be absolutely livid in your situation, but you need to let go of the anger or it will eat you up

Teabagbeforemilk Sun 05-Jul-15 14:17:53

Have I misunderstood. You asked them to come help you because your parents are away? It sounds like you rely on your parents as much as bil and sil rely on your pils.

Zebda Sun 05-Jul-15 14:18:46

*to make it, not 'not to make it' Gah! iPhone predictive text...

Teabagbeforemilk Sun 05-Jul-15 14:20:18

But yes the planning about what if she is pg is ridiculous and doesn't even need to be worried about. I am a gym goer. 5 days a week every week. While the kids are at school. If the kids are ill , I don't go and certainly wouldn't be cheeky enough to expect my mum and visiting dbro and sil to plan their visit around my gym sessions.

SilverDragonfly1 Sun 05-Jul-15 14:27:34

I can see where you're coming from, but you do come across as a bit unreasonable at the moment. You're annoyed with your PIL because they won't come and do childcare for you, because they are already doing it for SIL. I can't totally blame them for not wanting to travel all the way to yours, just to do yet more work.

The Easter break is a different issue and they are being a bit unreasonable about that, assuming it would be a holiday for them and not another childcare chore. Does your SIL have any physical or MH issues that mean she needs this extra support? Is it possible there are some you haven't been told about?

I really hope you can iron this out.

ASettlerOfCatan Sun 05-Jul-15 14:29:09

It does sound like favouring which would irritate me but you need to plan without them. Some parents have ZERO people who can help out. You have your own parents as well? work on the basis that pil won't help in future if they are flakey.

SilverDragonfly1 Sun 05-Jul-15 14:32:58

Just re-read the Easter paragraph, and realised it is more childcare... if they moan about doing it for BIL, why did you think they would jump at the chance to do even more?

I may be in a minority, but I do think YABU. Not for feeling left out or less loved, but for wanting to use your PIL in the same way you are complaining BIL does.

chairmeoh Sun 05-Jul-15 14:34:27

I think you'll just have to change your own mindset from viewing PIL as another set of potential childcare helpers to being parents who live distant and are instead the 'holiday' grandparents.
If possible, could you let them know this is how you see the relationship going forward, you will not be asking the. For help with childcare, but in return would appreciate having their I divided attention when you visit?
Frustrating, but you'll not change them.

Totality22 Sun 05-Jul-15 14:38:59

It's massively ironic that you are asking your PIL to come and do exactly what you are pissed off your BIL + SIL ask them to do (IE provide free childcare, albeit in slightly different circumstances)

Do your BIL and SIL both work and is it a formal arrangement that grandparents provide childcare? If so this is slightly different to the kids "being palmed off".

The gym situation was a one off was it?

It does sound unfair OP, I don't debate that but I think it's a bit rich that you annoyed about it because you want the PIL to do the same for you (as opposed to actually caring that your PIL are being taken advantage of!)

Teabagbeforemilk Sun 05-Jul-15 14:41:47

From my point of view I get the being a bit annoyed.

My parents helped with my first so I could return to work. But was constantly told they only would help because we both worked and we didn't have a night out for 4 years because of this. I totally understood and was fine with it.

Dbro and sil not have kids and mum helps them out more than she helped me. But sil is a sahm. It irks me that they get weekends away, nights out etc. but I would never say anything because it's mum and dads choice. Yes they are treating them differently but, it's just how it is. Dbro and sil are not independent and I would rather be. If I want a night out now, I pay a babysitter. Because mum spends most of her time running round after sil. Sil won't even go to the supermarket with the kids and often calls mum to go to the shops for her, because she fancies making something for tea that she doesn't have the stuff for. I would never ask my mum to do that.

Sil and dbro also have her parents. My pils live 2 hours away. I could spend time saying how unfair it is, but really it's a waste of energy

WorraLiberty Sun 05-Jul-15 14:42:24

I feel sorry for them really, they're being pulled in two directions to look after their kid's families, when they've already raised their own.

Plus it's quite normal to help out with the grandkids who don't live on the other side of the country...

Eva50 Sun 05-Jul-15 14:53:21

Perhaps they would have got into the habit of helping you if you lived closer to them. It sounds like they have already got involved in offering more childcare than they intended and don't want to be doing more. Whilst it does look as if they are reneging on their agreement to help at Easter I think it's more likely that they are giving you warning that they may not be available so you should make other arrangements. You would, after all, be a bit upset if you sorted out the days they could do and your annual leave only to find them having to change at the last minute as sil is having a baby.

You are very fortunate to have your parents to help you. I think you should just let them travel to see you in the holidays as they wish and treat them as grandparents not childminders.

cookiemonster100 Sun 05-Jul-15 15:11:02

teabag my parents helps with wrap around care 2 days a week whilst hubby & I juggle the rest of the working week. I certainly don't expect them to do 1/2 the stuff my PIL do for BIL.
The plan for Easter was them to visit & we would have some free time together, PIL would have their own free time whilst kids in nursery, but we needed some help with wrap around care plus I have a team over nighter in the diary so needed help just in case that did go ahead. It's no deal breaker but to be top trumped by someone that doesn't exist yet is a bit of a piss take.
totally their kids are with grandparents a lot eg weekends, whilst SIL & BIL have quality time together. The gym situation is not a one off. Her class is at 5, so she HAD to go. It is at 5 everyday but she HAD to go then. It's SIL way of exerting control over everyone. She's like that.
I DO care that PIL are being taken advantage off but we have tried to help them in the past & we came off worst. Never again.

My issue is more to do with hubby & our kids being treated "second" to SIL & their kids.

Euphemia Sun 05-Jul-15 15:17:48

You can't control other people or tell them what to do.

What you can control are your expectations. You need to lower yours. It doesn't matter what your PIL do for other people - that's their choice. It's not something you can change or influence, and neither should you be trying to.

The fact is, they're not available to you. Don't expect them to be. Get on and plan your lives as if they didn't exist.

Floisme Sun 05-Jul-15 15:24:08

I think the title of your thread is very revealing. Why do you think they are letting you down? You talk about your sister in law treating them like the hired help but it sounds like you do the same.

Bambambini Sun 05-Jul-15 15:24:48

We moved away from my home town. We had nothing like the help and support that my siblings had with their children from our parents. But we chose to live elsewhere. You have help from your own parents. Also, it's not unusual for GP's to be more involved with their daughters children - especially if they live close by. Often DILs actively chose to be closer to their own family rather than their husbands too. These things can get complicated and it isn't always easy for it all to be completely fair.

cookiemonster100 Sun 05-Jul-15 15:34:03

Bambini it's hubby brother parents not sister.
floisme we def do not treat then the hired help. They actually come & stay with us for a break! But in some cases we need extra help & we asked. We now know our place.

Teabagbeforemilk Sun 05-Jul-15 15:36:21

but you are complaining about sil not being able cope without pil. It sounds like you are in a simar situation

Of course they will do more for sil. They live near her and are hands on gps. You have your parents who are hands on.

It actually sounds like you really dislike your sil. Is that dps sister ?

Teabagbeforemilk Sun 05-Jul-15 15:39:10

X post.

Do you have brothers and sister with children?

LumpyCustard69 Sun 05-Jul-15 15:42:01

It's sad that they favour some family over others.
Although, I think they have a lot of people expecting a lot from them.

Everyone seems a little bit 'entitled' to their time and help. Sounds like it's their own fault, (and that they are total doormats for your in laws) however, they are not obliged to look after anyone's children.

I think you are all lucky to a)have them still around and caring, b)have them WANT to help, and c)have other family around.

I don't think you will change their priorities from what they are. Maybe because of the distance, maybe because they have fallen into a bit of a rut helping out sil, but for whatever reason, they seem set.

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