Keen for your wise words of wisdom please mums netters!(30 Posts)
I'm lying awake over analysing the behaviour of my brother and sister in law. I am an only child and this year my husband and I were blessed with a new nephew. Very exciting for us and our kids - this is my husband's only sibling and our very first cousin for our three children.
However as the first 10 months of his life have gone on, we just aren't getting to see him as much as we like.
When he was born they just wanted to bond with the baby so we used to just drop food round on the door step. We were allowed in a couple of times but that was it....we did say how we really wanted to have a part in his life.
They have moved house and we've not been invited round once. We dropped stuff off again twice but never been actually invited.......it's not just us! They do it to everyone but not sure why. ....they were like this without a baby too to be fair. .they come to ours about once a month, have a key and are told over and over again that they can come and stay whenever they want.
We sent him A little parcel for his first Halloween, an advent Callander, arranged fOr Santa letters and now lots of presents for Christmas.
They've said they want to spend every Xmas morning by themselves which again is fair enough, we are spending it with my parents and in laws......it all sounds so petty when I write this down. Our children are older and their aunt and uncle seem to have their hands full with their almost one year old and I guess the bottom line is I'm feeling bad for my kids that they don't seem to have any special relationship with this part of their family. My bil and sil don't really see anyone from our families much as don't like the baby to travel much. We have a big cousin weekend away with our cousins and they want to know all the details but have decided that they are going away by themselves and don't want to commit to a weekend with us but want to be included next year.
I'm just a bit fed up now with continually tip toeing around them, organising all get togethers, family presents from us all to older relatives....the baby will be one next year. The mother is a control freak, I see that. But I'm harbouring a growing ill feeling towards them as there's not a lot coming back. They don't ask much about our kids or what they are up to....I guess bottom line is I feel really hurt. I don't want to say anything to them as we have tried in the past and know it won't go down well and also want them to want to be in our lives because they want to not because of a sense of duty if that makes sense....!luckily we have cousins and friends who are amazing with our kids so feel so fortunate......the flip side is that almost highlights how rubbish our bil and sil are in comparison though.......any advice on how to stop these bad feelings about them and how to just move on please?
Wow! You're very full on!
"I'm lying awake over analysing the behaviour of my brother and sister in law"
" exciting for us and our kids"
"We did say how we really wanted to have a part in his life."
"Told over and over again that they can come and stay whenever they want."
" sent him A little parcel for his first Halloween, an advent Callander, arranged fOr Santa letters and now lots of presents for Christmas."
I am absolutely not being flippant or anything when I say i think you need counselling.
This is not your child, this child wasn't born to provide you with a dn or your kids a cousin. Santa letters etc are something that a dn is too young for yet and b is something parents generally want to do.
You sound overwhelming and intrusive. You need to leave them alone and focus just on your family.
Are you my SIL? (Not really)
My BIL's wife is lovely and I get on well with her. She has a large extended family on her side and was keen to be close to her husband's side of the family as well. She used to send parcels and cards to us, but I am ashamed to say I didn't reciprocate nearly as often as I should have.
Frankly, I'm utter rubbish at organising myself with such things. They live 4 hours away, we never visit due to our small children and I have left the bulk of contact with my in-laws up to my husband anyway... He never contacts his parents more than once a month. We are now about to move even further away from his side of the family, so the chances of our children and their cousins seeing each other are lower than ever.
Over time, my SIL gave up. I don't blame her, really. I hope she doesn't harbour any ill will because my rubbishness at keeping in touch wasn't to be spiteful, it was simply out of sight out of mind.
What Bacon said!
I'd run a mile if my siblings were behaving like you. It sounds stifling and I can't miss the irony of you calling the mother a control freak...
You do sound full on and I imagine they feel quite stifled, maybe exasperated, with all the messages, gifts and visits. They might have put these boundaries in to place to back you off?
I agree with PP, why not look into counselling as you seem over invested and a bit stuck on this issue? It can't hurt, counselling with a good therapist will always do some good.
Sorry you are feeling anxious and good luck.
Thanks for your replies already.
All good points.
Went round uninvited about 4 times.
Invited round never
I've just noticed you say in your OP you have tried to talk to them before (about similar issues?) and it didn't go well.
I think they are very strongly telling you what kind of relationship they want from you and it's not the same one you want. You can't force them into a more close relationship and the signals are clear that they want to back you off.
I have a feeling there is a looooong back story to this and I'm sure your SIL would have a very different take on things.
As I said above, I would try and work this through with a counsellor.
There have been many threads on MN over the years about uninvited visitors.
Some people absolutely love pop ins and visits.
Some really really hate them and find them stressful and intrusive.
I fall into the latter camp and four uninvited visits would seriously push me over the edge.
So bear that in mind?
I have an open door policy for guests (i love visitors) but in this case I'd be locking the door and pretending I was out!
My mouth falls open in horror at your effrontery. That isn't your baby, you aren't entitled to muscle in on the life his parents have planned for him! Do keep a polite distance. Show interest but wait for them to ask for more.
You turned up uninvited 4 times, to a house where you knew they don't like it?
You sent their child an advent calendar and a letter from Santa without even a conversation about it?
Seriously, back off. It sounds like they're overwhelmed. There could be any number of things going on behind the scenes and your overbearing behaviour - no matter how kindly meant - has caused already private people to retreat away from you.
Show some respect!
Thanks for all your wise words.
Will back off.
Hadn't seen it from your points of
View hence the posting so good to understand how intrusive I
Must have been and feel so awful to have done that as didn't mean to- will leave well alone. Thanks mumsnetters
It's great you have taken comments on board.
Try to let it go now if you can.
btw you will have pages and pages of posters who haven't read your update berating you and repeating what's already been said so just ignore!
Op I think you sound lovely! Yes a bit over the top but I'd probably feel like that if I Was all excited about a new baby in the family. Do back off, as they're clearly not up for this level of contact but don't be down on yourself either.
I hate uninvited visitors because I'm messy and ashamed of the house, but I think the little presents, etc, are fine. I think suggesting you need counseling is a bit much!
I suggested counselling because of the level of anxiety and obsession (Op lying awake fretting and asking how to move on).
On another note, me too re shame over messy house
OP I can really sympathise with you. We have a large close family - I'm close to my siblings, my DCs, nephews and nieces are close and we often do things as a big extended family. I understand why you'd want to include your BIL, SIL and nephew in your life and I think it's sad that so many people on here are so insular. However, having made a big effort you need to let them set the pace now.
Just on an attempt to stave off the inevitable
the op has read, taken on board and said sibu
Fwiw I don't think you are entirely bu. When I had ds I liked that my family and dh's made a fuss (other than the ones we'd have expected, grandparents). They have 3 sort of cousins and I'd be upset if they weren't close, didn't have the regular, easy contact I had with my own cousins at that age.
I remember bickering and falling out with friends but my cousins were family and that was different.
Thank you so much!
Had started to worry about the Christmas presents and thinking there's too many - but have given them now so can't take them back. As you say it's about looking forward now and just giving them space and leaving them alone and focussing on our children. Thank you again for your advice everyone. It's good to have stuff spelt out to me- feel so stupid but I'll get over that...part of growing up still!
I agree completely with bacon
When my DD was born (my pfb) I literally transformed our home into a fortified bunker... No one in with their smelly germs etc. Turns out (looking back as nothing was officially diagnosed) that pnd played a part in why I wasn't letting anyone in. She might not have pnd but what they do with Their baby is entirely up to them x tread carefully x
I come from a big family, I have over 40 cousins! And some of us were close and spent time together as kids and there were lots of presents and cards etc from Aunties and Uncles and if this is what you are used to it can be hard when you have family members who don't want to have this kind of relationship.
But you've read the thread and taken on board other comments, and hopefully you can now start to accept that they just don't want the kind of closeness you envisioned.
I have been in a very similar situation OP and I would say maybe be back off a little but be consistent. Always send presents and cards fr birthdays. Send texts and ask how you all are. Get your husband to ask them over to you with an an invite. I actually have a great relationship with my niece and nephew but I've had to walk on egg shells.
Aw I really feel for you OP.
My children only have 2 cousins (brother & sister) - just weeks apart in age with both of our kids. They probably wont have any more cousins. Despite living less than 30 mins drive from them, we see them very infrequently as (in my view) my DIL is bonkers and both BIL & SIL are very awkward socially and also very mean with money. We buy lovely, thoughtful presents and much more than we would for any other non-family child, only to get vouchers or second hand lego back for our kids. We have done nice things for them, for it not be be reciprocated, or even acknowledged. They just don't seem to care or be interested in fostering that cousins relationship and I'm sad for my kids. I always wanted to be a fantastic Auntie and to love and spoil my niece & nephew and to give my cousins a bolthole, a home from home, but we've not been allowed to.
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