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(40 Posts)
sotired2 Tue 08-Dec-15 12:53:26

My DD (9) was recently in her dance show MIL point blankly refused to come stating too far to drive - I offered her our spare room was told she's too old to stay over at peoples houses! I pointed out there are hotels within 5 min walk of venue (they are not poor and go to hotels at least once a month) again no she is too old to sit through a dance show - my own mum managed it who is the same age.

I have now found out they are driving to the South coast (from north) to see my niece in her show.

My DD is hurt by this and as far as I can see her excuse for not coming (the drive) is obviously an excuse.

She uses her age all the time as an excuse not to do things - she is only early 70s and in good health.

DH will never say anything to her to upset her and just goes along with her excuses but this time DD is hurt. but not sure what I can do/say!

hesterton Tue 08-Dec-15 12:55:16

Is she staying over at your niece's house? It's just that maybe she's incontinent or has some other embarrassing night issue which makes staying over a difficulty?

ILiveAtTheBeach Tue 08-Dec-15 13:00:32

Why can't your DH bring it up with her? I would ask my Mum if she saw my neices show but mot my kids show. Absolutely. On the other hand, at least you don't have to put up with her!

BarbarianMum Tue 08-Dec-15 13:01:38

I'm sorry your DD is hurt but, assuming this is not totally out of character, it is better (in the long run) for her to understand the "limitations" of their relationship now. Personally I'd make very little effort for a grandmother who plays favourites, your dd may feel she wants to make less effort too.

Reassure your dd that you think she's fabulous, go see her and cheer her on. Do you have other friends/family who could be inveigled into coming along to support her?

LadyMcFish Tue 08-Dec-15 13:02:23

I would have bought a dance ticket and left it with her with a firm note/say that DD is looking forward to see you at the dance show and would be disappointed if you can’t make it. And just leave it at there (you have done your bits).

It’s sad and very unfair to your daughter. Unfortunately if your husband is not willing to back you up, you don’t really want to come across as the ‘ungrateful’ daughter-in-law. I would just say to DD that ‘grandmother’ is getting old and she has other priority in life (which is true). It is your grandmother’s loss that she didn’t get to see your show and she doesn’t realise what she is missing out. It is such a shame for your daughter sad

gamerchick Tue 08-Dec-15 13:07:05

Is it compulsory to go to these things? confused if someone tried to force me to go to something like that I wouldn't out of pure stubbornness. Yes it would be nice if other family members showed an interest but you can't force them to be.

gamerchick Tue 08-Dec-15 13:09:06

In fact it wouldn't even occur to me to even mention these things to my parentals.

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 08-Dec-15 13:09:35

"DH will never say anything to her to upset her and just goes along with her excuses"
That is very telling. It implies a relationship with his mother that is not healthy.

sotired2 Tue 08-Dec-15 13:11:30

She stayed over last Christmas and was put out she got guest room not ours (due to guest room not having ensuite!) told us she will never stop with us again due to this!

She is staying in a hotel for nieces show - again this was an option for my DD and one within site of theatre. and as I said they are not hard up for money.

She basically didn't want to come and uses excuses.

DH want confront her as she will go into a sulk and make his life hell! (we've been there before!)

The annoying thing is though she gets upset at how close my DC are to my parents - but guess what my parents give the DC attention and don't have a favourite!

When DD asked why she wasn't coming I was honest and said she didn't want to (I'm not lying) DD said this was mean - I'm past caring about trying to nurture a relationship between DC and grandparents when grandparents cant make an effort.

I just needed to get this off my chest!

BarbarianMum Tue 08-Dec-15 13:12:01

No, not compulsary. I'd go so far as to say fine not to go and make a polite excuse. But to go to one child and not anothers? That's unkind sad.

I didn't used to invite inlaws to kids dance shows/music concerts on the basis that no one but a parent would want to spend good money to see a lot of wobbly 5 year olds attempting to point a toe. They were most upset and now come to most things but I wouldn't be happy if they came to see ds1 but not ds2.

sotired2 Tue 08-Dec-15 13:13:37

Its not compulsory no but she has never missed anything niece is in and she's never attended anything my DC are in so feels a little unfair on my DC.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Tue 08-Dec-15 13:17:18

How old is your niece? There's a massive difference with watching a group of well trained teenagers dancing (probably quite enjoyable) and watching a group of little kids dancing (excruciating - I've sat through one).

OurBlanche Tue 08-Dec-15 13:20:25

Oh, sing and be happy. She has offered up the perfect response next time she has the brass neck to complain about the inequity if GP relationships;

Yes, dear. The kids get on far better with the adults who seem to actually like them

Then move on. Support your DH in ignore the Auld Misery more effectively smile

gamerchick Tue 08-Dec-15 13:21:08

It is unfair of course it is and it'll be her own fault when the kids won't want much to do with her.

Stop telling her things and tell her it's her own fault when she whines.

ProfYaffle Tue 08-Dec-15 13:25:06

My MIL is similar, openly favours the other gc. My dc notice and, these days, don't really have a relationship with the pil. Dd1 (11) is lavishing hours on making home made Xmas cards for me, dh and my parents. It hasn't even occurred to her to make any for pil. It's not a matter of 'I'm not doing it', the thought just hasn't crossed her mind. Says it all about the relationship really. I've stopped trying as they're clearly not bothered either.

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 08-Dec-15 13:34:48

" I'm past caring about trying to nurture a relationship between DC and grandparents when grandparents cant make an effort."
I'm so glad to hear that! I honestly think it is damaging to the child to be diddled into thinking someone cares about them, when that someone doesn't sad. Honesty now about her gran will serve your daughter far better than being set up for future, larger, disappointment.

"The annoying thing is though she gets upset at how close my DC are to my parents - but guess what my parents give the DC attention and don't have a favourite!"
Tough. Your parents enjoy that relationship because they contribute to it. She contributes nothing to her relationship with your daughter. I hope you are honest with her too, and point out that your DC are as close to her as her indifference to them allows them to be.

I would however continue to invite her to DD's stuff (but without mentioning it to DD) purely for the pleasure of rubbing it in to her when she declines that it is her choice to limit her relationship with DD (but I'm vindictive that way). Should she actually bother her arse to come, it could be a nice surprise for DD.

SoWhite Tue 08-Dec-15 13:42:22

I'd just leave it. Dance shows are boring, so I don't blame her for not wanting to go and telling white lies to spare DDs feelings.

I don't think I'd stay overnight for a dance show.

diddl Tue 08-Dec-15 13:44:55

Is your niece her daughter's daughter by any chance?

If so it's perhaps understandable that she might do more with them, but of course doesn't get around the fact that she doesn't wath your daughter at all.

chillycurtains Tue 08-Dec-15 13:45:57

If she is going to make yours or DH's life a living hell then just leave it. Talking to your MIL is not actually going to improve the situation for your DD so there is little point in bringing on the stress from your MIL. I would just talk to your DD and reassure her how much you loved her show and her dancing. Are there other relatives who could come instead next time like aunties, uncles, older family friends?

diddl Tue 08-Dec-15 13:48:14

How would she make ypur husband's life a "living hell"?

Surely that can only happen if he lets it?

SisterNancySinatra Tue 08-Dec-15 13:53:02

My DM used to do this to me , she would drive miles to see DB's kids in a school play then drive back all on her own , but when asked if she wanted to see my DDs at local school down the road from her she just would sneer . I just wasn't exciting enough for her , and that's prob what it boils down to with you, it's just not exciting enough .

fredfredgeorgejnrsnr Tue 08-Dec-15 13:54:46

You need to bring your DD up to be both more resilient and to not be so compliant that she does big things she doesn't want to do to avoid other people thinking her "mean".

You're asking someone to take a day, the money for a hotel, the discomfort of travel etc. to watch a 9 year old dance, YABU.

TheExMotherInLaw Tue 08-Dec-15 13:56:22

The mean old cow! It's not a matter of being there to enjoy the show, it's a matter of being there to support and encourage your grandchild! It wouldn't just be the show, either, I bet - family time afterwards, etc.
I'll never have grandchildren, and it makes my blood boil that people who do have them can't be arsed to take part in their lives.

Threesquids Tue 08-Dec-15 14:03:57

How old is your niece?

You say 'they' are now driving to the South coast - who are they? Are you talking about FIL too?

I am on the fence on this one. I think you sound like you EXPECT them to come along, rather than it being their choice, but then I have also experience of MIL (well Ex Mil) not getting involved with my children.

Are you absolutely sure no one is paying for their hotel?
How old is your niece?

This really isn't your battle, it has to come from your DH.

PitPatKitKat Tue 08-Dec-15 14:13:56

shame for your DC. Don't battle to fix it, let it break naturally. Your DC will concentrate their efforts and relationships elsewhere, give them support to make sure they know it isn't them and that they have plenty other people who love them.

Torn between advising you say some thing to MIL to the effect that this has been the last straw, or you just being politely and coolly honest as you go along in the future. As a pp recommended above, when she complains that your DC are closer to your parents remind her of the amount of effort she makes.

If your Dh doesn't want to battle to change this, respect that, he'll have a good idea of whether it would work or not. As long as he is clear that it's not acceptable to him, and he doesn't make the DC try to make up the difference in one sided relationship, it'll work out for the best over time.

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