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Really upset with MIL

(18 Posts)
TammySwansonTwo Thu 21-Sep-17 09:38:40

I know, I know... but I need to rant!

Our twins are a year old and we have very little family - my mum passed away, neither of us see our fathers, we each have a sister we are close to but aren't local and don't see as much as we'd like (one has a toddler, the other a demanding career) but who really love the boys and make a real effort. I have a younger brother who lives locally and still acts like a child despite being almost 30.

MIL lives a couple of hours drive away. Since the boys were born, she's visited twice - once before Christmas and recently for their birthday. The first time it was because her boyfriend at the time was coming this way anyway so we saw her for a few hours. This time she came down with her new boyfriend, stayed in a hotel, turned up for their party and then left early to drive back. There isn't even a photo of her with either of them from this visit . She never calls to see how they're doing or how her son / we are doing. She's never offered a second of help - I'm not expecting anyone else to look after our kids for us but we have been caring for twins on our own with literally not an hour's help from anyone for a year now, one of them has health issues as do I, and we are both quite clearly exhausted and depleted. I'm surrounded by people whose parents bend over backwards to help them out and we don't even get a phone call. She was very involved when our niece was little but she lived close to them. She was meant to visit recently with some extended family but when they decided they couldn't come she cancelled completely the day before which really upset my husband. It's not like she lives hundreds of miles away. We can't go and visit her as she lives in a tiny flat and travelling with the twins is a challenge! One of the twins has a serious health condition so you'd think she'd want to at least see how he's doing.

I think I find it harder because my mum was desperate to have grandkids and she would have been here all the time to see them and to help out. I also feel bad for the boys if this is how she's going to act as they get older since she's their only grandparent. I was really close to my nan as a kid and it really upsets me they won't have that opportunity.

Meanwhile, I've spent the last couple of years since my mum died bending over backwards to help my brother, including spending more than a full time jobs worth of hours for a year sorting out her house so it could be sold (lots of things had to be done legally and physically due to a complex will) without asking for anything in return, and now trying to help him buy a flat. Every now and then he will want to bring his girlfriend round to show off the twins, but didn't even acknowledge their birthday or party, not even a text.

I don't know, maybe I'm expecting too much - im always trying to help people out and I guess it's a bit of a kick in the teeth when other people couldn't give a toss.

Ploppie4 Thu 21-Sep-17 09:46:27

Accept them for who they are. You won't be disappointed or let down. Lower your expectations.

It's likely your brother will naturally improve if he ever has his own kids. It's possible your mil has less stamina these days.

Build a family of your close trusted friends. They say blood is thicker then water but that's a pile of crap.

fivepies Thu 21-Sep-17 09:50:44

I sympathise - I've been through similar (not twins, but two with close age gap). All I've come to realise is that you just have to get over it. You can't make your MIL want to spend time with your wonderful children, and nothing you do will make any difference. BUT always remember that YOU are doing the best for them and it isn't your fault if MIL isn't interested.
You are exhausted, and doing it on your own is hard, I know. But the more time passes, the easier it will get x

gorygloria Thu 21-Sep-17 09:50:50

I second what Ploppie says. Very wise advice. Things will get easier OP flowers

Hissy Thu 21-Sep-17 09:50:57

I couldn't say anything to top Ploppie's post - she has it absolutely bang on.

It's bloody awful that people are this way, but there is nothing you can do about it.

You can't change them, only the way you react. Let it wash over you, it will be better for you in the long run

Mama234 Thu 21-Sep-17 09:59:54

I have a similar set up useless mil hasn't even met my children, Honestly its her loss as it is your mil I would just freeze people out who are useless I don't have time for it, and to be honest made me feel better having made that decision she cant be bothered well neither can I then, She dotes on her other grandchildren, Some people are selective with their grand parenting and tbh I think those people are worthless anyway.
Your kids won't miss out because they have you.

Doing it all completely on your own without help I find makes you stronger and more tolerant, Most people I know who get help really rely on it.
Perhaps when they get older you could find a trusted babysitter service, That's my plan when my littlest ones get bigger.

BTW hands up to you having twins without family help you sound like you are doing an amazing job x

Tainbri Thu 21-Sep-17 10:00:58

I don't have family close either. We both have mothers still alive but their in their 80s. Mine is not mobile and like a child herself needs wise and DH's mother, when we do have her to stay (she has a flat in an old folks home so we don't tend to take DS to see her there) she is critical, puts me on edge, she glares at DS the whole time, makes sarcastic comments, calls DS "the boy" or "the child". I'd rather not see her at all but then we have the guilt trip and she is still my MIL and DH's mother! Families - blooming tricky!!

Anatidae Thu 21-Sep-17 10:02:40

Ploppie is spot on. They won't change.

Interesting saying - the full correct saying is something like 'the blood of the sacrament is thicker than the water of the womb' so it actually originally meant the exact opposite of how it's used today. (Irrelevant, but interesting.)

KimmySchmidt1 Thu 21-Sep-17 10:05:42

Have you asked your husband why he has such a bad relationship with his mother? It sounds like he could do more to communicate his needs to her. If she is staying away their relationship will likely be at the root of it so it is worth exploring.

My grandparents weren't around when i was growing up. One set were very old and the other were not on speaking terms. I don't think its a right - it depends on the relationship between the relevant child and parent.

TammySwansonTwo Thu 21-Sep-17 10:14:34

Thanks everyone. She's only mid 50s (she was a very young mum) so stamina is definitely not the issue! They have a complex relationship which is far from perfect, but I must admit, being completely AWOL and then turning up and fawning all over the kids has really got my back up - yes they have grown so much, that's what happens when you don't visit babies! I hadn't given it too much thought through the year, just been focussed on getting through a really demanding time, but sitting there listening to a mum saying her inlaws had looked after the twins so they could go on a city break and they take them one day a week so they can get stuff done, while I had managed one shower in the previous week and was wrangling two babies while she stood in the kitchen... it just really upset me. I'll admit I'm probably more sensitive to it since my mum passed away - I find events like this really difficult as she's not here, so it's probably more to do with that. I agree she's not likely to change.

My brother is a whole other issue - completely selfish, self-centred, expects the world to revolve around him. I'm done helping him out, that's for sure!

AnnieAnoniMouse Thu 21-Sep-17 10:27:45

(((Hug))) of course you miss your lovely Mum. Life is so bloody unfair at times 😢 My Dad died before he'd barely got started on being a Grandad, it was devasting because he'd so been looking forward to it & was, & would have been, a fab Grandad, as his Dad was to us.

Ignore your MIL. Stop contacting her, she's not going to change, so the less contact you have with her the better.

Find a good babysitter who will do the odd weekend & good friends.

IHeartDodo Thu 21-Sep-17 10:28:33

Your brother sounds quite "young" - and babies aren't very interesting to be honest... be might get more interested in them as they get a little older and can be played with etc.
Your MIL... well there's not much to say there, she doesn't HAVE to be involved, they're not her children, but it is a shame, and I can see why you're upset. Not everyone has grandparents though, and they turn out fine.

cjt110 Thu 21-Sep-17 10:35:47

My parents dote on our son. I'm pretty sure my husband's parent's wouldnt be fussed if they saw him or not. They live 3 hours away and in the 11 years my husband has lived up here have visited maybe 5 times. It came to a head earlier this year and I put PIL in the situation of you either accept this invite to come up or don't bother in future. MIL came up. It was nice but not natural like my parents are with our son. He sees them most days.

Just accept that thats how they are and get on with your life.

LadyinCement Thu 21-Sep-17 10:42:42

I agree that your brother doesn't sound that bad. Dh was awful and awkward with his dns when he was in his 20s. He's not the "let's all have a game of football" type or pretending to be a bear. I think a great many people don't "do" children until they have their own. Mark my words, when your db has his own dcs he will be droning about them and you will be gnashing that he didn't show any interest in yours!

Mil, on the other hand... I know what it's like to have no parents myself and completely crap in-laws. I always said that the pil wouldn't have been able to pick out dd in a police line-up. Even now when the dcs are teens I feel sad there is no one to share in their triumphs and disasters. Or even just everyday goings on.

Other posters are right, though. You can't change people. You just have to square your shoulders and play with the cards you've been dealt. But there are others out there in your same boat!

TammySwansonTwo Thu 21-Sep-17 10:42:57

Thanks all. My brother is 29 going on 15. He shows a lot of interest in the boys when he's here which seems genuine, but he's only here for me to help him with something or play the cool uncle in front of his girlfriend.

I've made some lovely twin mum friends which is great as they all understand but as we all have twins no one is really in a position to help each other out, we are already out numbered! I'm the only one without any family around - ones parents live far away but they regularly fly in for a week and help out. I knew it would be hard without any family around but didn't expect to have twins, or for one of them to need constant monitoring and just feeling very drained. I think we are finally at the point where I'd feel comfortable leaving them with someone for a few hours and I've found a lovely twin mum who does adhoc childcare for other twin mums and comes very highly recommended... I'm just waiting for little twins condition to become a bit more stable as I would struggle with someone else testing his blood sugar and making decisions about the results (e.g. If he needs to eat etc). He's doing better though so I think soon we will be able to maybe go for dinner or something. It's hard though - never left them with anyone at all (apart from OH for my medical appointments and occasional meetings for my very part time job), should probably do it soon as I suspect it may get harder the longer it goes on!

justilou1 Thu 21-Sep-17 10:53:15

I was about to say that this is when having friends is going to save your sanity. I had my twins when DD1 had just turned 2. We lived a 2.5hr flight from closest family. While I wouldn't say that I went out of my way to ask for help, I had heaps of people to talk to (vent about lack of support) etc..... it helps. Also remind yourself of how crappy help is often worse than none at all - especially when you have a baby with health problems. Aside from that, Ploppy is right. It sucks that you don't have family bending over backwards to help you out, but on the bright side, you don't have to deal with the strings attached to the help at hand.

KC225 Thu 21-Sep-17 11:26:34

I had twins with no help (elderly mother hours aways and PIL abroad no siblings) and it is draining. I cannot imagine what it would be like with an added health issue.

I think when you become a parent it can make you reevaluate relationships around you. Knowing how much your own Mother would have loved the boys makes it all the harder. I know it's easier said than done but stop comparing your situation to others. Them may have help but look at the pages on mumsnet, lots of overbearing and controlling relationships too.
Sometimes all the garden isn't rosy.

Regarding your MIL, has your DH asked her to be more involved? You have said you haven't asked for anything in return (re your brother) but is that the way people see you. Is she someone who doesn't call/visit because you must be busy. How about you ask her to come over and 'help'. I know you say the health complications means you are not ready to leave them. Just ask her to sit and play with them whilst you have a bubble bath, nap or get a home beauty therapist to come over and massage you or something. If she declines you asking her to help then back off. Stop sending her texts, photos and updates. If she wants them she will have to ask for them. Clicking 'like' on a Facebook page does not make you a grandmother.

12 months is such a difficult age with twins as they are into everything in opposite directions and you spend your whole time diving after the one in the most danger. I remember longing to go the loo with the door shut during the day.

You need to accept that your brother is going to be one of those who is bare minimum until he has a kid and then all the things you are complaining about will magnify my 4 from his own mouth. Accept he is good when he turns up but expect nothing. He is 30 he can sort out his own flat. Stop doing things for him, you are his sister not his Mother. You have two active one year olds you do not have the time.

Good luck OP

chestylarue52 Thu 21-Sep-17 16:44:40

Just one thing with the leaving them with someone else - can you do it first with you in the house for an hour or two? Have a bath and a nap? Just to put your mind at rest that they can do it and babies will be safe.

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