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To think that the inlaws should care more about their grandchildren

(35 Posts)
Strawberry90 Mon 10-Oct-16 20:04:35

The inlaws live abroad but still we have three young DC and:
- they rarely call - most communication is through DH's younger sister who still lives at home
- they never Skype - they've done it once after much much hassling from us
- they never ever visit and expect us instead to visit them. FIL has never met youngest DC despite him being incredibly sick when he was born. MIL and SIL came over once whilst he was in hospital only.
Indeed FIL has never visited England despite DH living here for 8+ years there's no reason why he shouldn't come (can afford it has no health issues etc)
- they never send cards/letters etc and presents are rare and from SIL only. We didn't get a card or present from them for youngest DC being born (and as noted above they didn't visit only quickly once when he was in hospital) but they did transfer some money to our account (id have preferred a visit and a babygrow personally)!

They are basically not involved at all and don't know their own grandchildren. They seem not to really care although will often ask us when will we next visit them.
I've had enough of getting upset about it. I used to email photos to SIL but don't bother now. It's their loss but Aibu to expect more from them?!

MoonStar07 Mon 10-Oct-16 20:08:52

YANBU but...each to their own. Some people just don't make the effort. Either you choose to kill them with your kindness and 'make' them fall in love with your DC by taking them to see them OR you accept they won't have that relationship. Are they very far? That could make it hard for them to come so often. The fact MiL and SIL came to see you in hospital doesn't mean they are heartless. I learned long ago not to compare my inlaws to how my GPs treated me and my brother. Try not let it bother you so much. Maybe think about what you want from them? Can you recreate this elsewhere? You love your DCs immensely so this matters to you the most as it should

Leeds2 Mon 10-Oct-16 20:10:58

I think I would stop communication, and let your OH get on with it.

Mybeardeddragonjustdied2016 Mon 10-Oct-16 20:14:54

My in laws lived ten mins away and didn't bother to have a relationship with our ds either. Have a last big bloody rant then just forget they exist.
You will feel so much better.

BackforGood Mon 10-Oct-16 20:23:48

I guess they see it as all part of your dh's decision to move abroad.
It's a shame they aren't more involved, but lots of Grandparents aren't without the barriers of travel.
Seems a shame to break the relationship you have with SiL, just because PiL aren't great at keeping in touch.

Strawberry90 Mon 10-Oct-16 20:27:17

Yes just need to get over it I think. Clear they aren't going to change. So sad for my DC.

myownprivateidaho Mon 10-Oct-16 20:28:19

Well, yanbu to want more, but I think that you and your DH have a responsibility to continue to facilitate your DCs relationship with them on their terms. Once the kids get older you can just make them call each week or whatever.

SheldonCRules Mon 10-Oct-16 20:28:44

If your DH was the one that moved then the visits should fall to him. Unfair to expect them to travel when he moved.

Some people just aren't that bothered with kids, they want to enjoy their later life.

myownprivateidaho Mon 10-Oct-16 20:29:17

Also, if they're asking you to visit they clearly do care a bit.

Strawberry90 Mon 10-Oct-16 20:29:50

Back - I wouldn't mind the not visiting so much if they made an effort to Skype or write etc. I think they use the distance as an excuse really. It's only about a 4 hour journey so they could come once a year at least and Skype every week?

Strawberry90 Mon 10-Oct-16 20:32:41

Myown -yes want to do what is right for DC but don't want them feeling rejected or hurt as they get older (will they be thinking my other nanny visits me and sends me postcards when she's on holiday and sends presents and cards why doesn't this nanny?!)

Strawberry90 Mon 10-Oct-16 20:42:19

Sorry back I misread your post - yes it's sad many grandparents just aren't involved

SandyY2K Mon 10-Oct-16 20:45:23

I don't understand it, but I can only assume your OH isn't from a close family, otherwise they'd want to be close to their grandchildren.

myownprivateidaho Mon 10-Oct-16 20:49:06

Honestly, I had one set of grandparents I saw once a week and once set I saw once or twice a year growing up. The ones I saw less were much less present-focused (didn't give birthday gifts, but did send a Xmas gift). It wasn't confusing or upsetting at all, and actually the more distant grandparents were the one I developed a much stronger relationship with in my teens and adulthood. Kids just accept the status quo as normal, so I wouldn't worry about it.

JeepersMcoy Mon 10-Oct-16 20:51:57

If you don't makes big deal of it to your dc than it won't seem like a big deal to them. It will just be normal and they won't think twice about it. I assume you come from a really close family as I have lots of bits of family I have barely ever seen including aunts and uncles. It's not that unusual and really won't scar them for life.

Strawberry90 Mon 10-Oct-16 20:54:24

Thanks - yes you are right children just accept the status quo
Yes I come from a really close family. I would find it really odd and be devastated if my dad just didn't want to meet my children

fc301 Mon 10-Oct-16 20:55:49

In my experience of hugely selfish parents their lack of interest in you is a blessing. Better that than no boundaries/criticising etc
Accept and move on, your DC are not 'missing out' on anything xx

sleepy16 Mon 10-Oct-16 20:55:54

As hard as it is (and I know it hurts) you need to draw a line under it.
You can not make your in laws have a relationship with their grandchildren.
My parents don't even know my childrens names, and my mil passed away before she got to meet any of her grandchildren (I know she would of adored them).
My children don't have a lot of family that bother with them, but the ones that do love them enough for those that don't.

nosyupnorth Mon 10-Oct-16 21:04:41

I think you need to consider what level of closeness is normal for your DH's family. When I read your line about expecting them to Skype every week my gut feeling is that seems excessive because my family's style isn't to keep in that close contact - I care about them dearly but I see them once or twice a year and speak intermittently, usually when there's news or a specific occasion. If their normal isn't as close as yours is you'll need to consider some sort of middle ground.

I don't think any party is necessarily right or wrong here, you just have different expectations.

Strawberry90 Tue 11-Oct-16 07:27:58

You've got a point nosyrup - not much changes with them so maybe they think it doesn't with us. Whereas I think kids grow and change so fast every week not even that much.

Am just going to continue no longer sending photos and stop nagging my OH to ring them/set up a Skype and just let be. I feel really upset for my OH and DC but I can't change them. It's def their loss.

junebirthdaygirl Tue 11-Oct-16 07:56:13

My db lives abroad. My Df never visited him as hated flying. My db visited home every second year with his family. When they left my Df cried and was downcast for days but still wouldn't visit. If Skype was around in those days he definitely wouldn't have used it as shy and quiet BUT he loved that family dearly. His gk abroad loved visiting him and we're distraught when he died. Maybe just accept things are the way they are.

KC225 Tue 11-Oct-16 08:54:35

It's a sad they don't seem more engaged with your DC and it wound upset me but It seems a shame to cut your SIL off as she seems genuinely interested in the children

Sunshine51 Tue 11-Oct-16 09:16:10

Both my parents have died but when they were around they adored ds. My in-laws are hopeless my sil lives with them with her kids and they are their world my ds is lucky to get a Skype call 3 times a year (when we call them). It used to really bother me as I come from a huge family who were close. I have come to the conclusion Ds will never know the difference so he won't miss what he never had, their loss.

mum11970 Tue 11-Oct-16 09:17:10

I wouldn't just write your in-laws as uncaring. Some people are just more introverted than others, doesn't mean they love any less. My dh can visit relatives or even chat to strangers for hours. I, on the other hand, am socially awkward and find it excruciatingly hard at times and can sometimes come over as stand offish.

HearTheThunderRoar Tue 11-Oct-16 09:36:54

My mum has never been that interested in DD, she lives 2 hours away and other than the odd phone call which I initiate or quarterly visit is the only contact. I suspect that is because DD is the youngest grandchild of 7 by about 8 years and mum was over grandchildren by then. I had to beg for the odd bit of childcare when she was a baby and we lived in the same area...

DD is 17 now and she's got used to / accepted that her grandmother will never be a big apart of her life. My father adored her (along with all his grandchildren) but he died several years ago, at least she has that to treasure. So DD has never grown up surrounded by grandparents, it would have been nice but it's not the end of the world.

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