PiLs have no time for our children(49 Posts)
This is my first ever mumsnet post so please be gentle with me! I just wanted to get some advice really as I can’t really talk to my Dh about this.
Basically my Sil (Dh’s sis) has had 3 children by three different fathers. Her parents (my PiLs) raised the first two who are now grown up but Sil has recently had her third child. Since the arrival of this child, my Pils have completely dropped my two children because Sil is finding she now cannot look after her third child either and so her parents do most of the child caring. They have no contact for months on end with my children and barely see them more than 4 times a year. Meanwhile my Mil posts pictures of her other grandchild regularly on Facebook. I do understand that parents are often closer to their daughter’s children than their son’s but I do feel that my children get a raw deal here. My DH is partly sympathetic with me but does not want to cause friction with his parents and just wants an easy life!
I have mentioned this all to my Pils in an email (fair and honest but not overtly nasty) - they didn’t take it well and now most of DH’s family are no longer speaking to me. I just want them to acknowledge that they cannot simply drop their son’s children just because their daughter is a needy and incapable mother. AIBU? Or should I just accept this and try and move on...?
I think you just need to move on op. You can't force adults to have a relationship / make time for your children. Who knows what will happen in the future - they might be open to a relotionship but not if you demand more than they are willing to give. We see very little of inlaws (just due to logistics) but dc have a good relationship with them. They see bil children often as geographically closer but it's not about a strict hourly fairness. I would let things lie for a bit.
You can't make them see your children OP no matter how unfair the you think the situation is. You've said your piece and it's not gone down well so it's time to leave it sadly.
I completely agree with you op...it's shitty behaviour and no wonder you're upset. Sadly, there's not much you can do about it.
Some people might view this as a win:win situation OP. It is a shame that they pander to SIL and ignore your DC. On the plus side, you don’t have to look at the posts on FB, or have very much to do with them. I don’t believe that your DC will notice much missing from their lives if they only see PIL four times a year. As they get older they will want to go out with their mates and be even less bothered with a couple who clearly aren’t bothered with them. PIL have no one to blame but themselves, and they are the ones missing out.
Thank you all for your advice. The thing is Pils did used to be lovely to my children - the only young children in the family for a long time and we were on really good terms. When Sil got pregnant this time around - I had an inkling history would repeat itself with her mothering abilities and even mentioned my concerns in a jokey way to my mil. She wholeheartedly assured me that she would never neglect my children and that she was going make sure that her daughter would take on full parental responsibility this time around with her new partner. I think this is why I am now really hurt. And I feel my Pils could have managed the whole situation so much better. My children are effectively being punished for having parents who look after them. I know in the grand scheme of things, I should just get on with it but I just can’t help feeling really resentful towards dh’s family...
I’m just going to try and rise above it all!
I feel more sorry for the little one being raised by the grandparents because the mother is useless. Your DC have two parents who cherish them.
I agree that it's a shame for your children but I think it's best to either let it be or allow your DH to deal with his parents. Any accusation is going to be met with defensiveness.
Perhaps their apparent devotion to their other grandchildren is really their way of dealing with the situation. It can't be easy to start again raising children for the third time in their lives. Perhaps they just like to feel needed and since your Dc are already well cared for they feel they have no space.
I have a similar situation and try to take it as a compliment.
MIL isn't as interested in my DS because I'm doing a good job, I don't need the help, and she knows I am doing a good job. Whereas her other GCs parents struggle significantly and cannot handle their DS at all and have no idea how to cope. Other GC definitely needs the extra care and attention over mind.
We're in the same position OP. My PIL used to dote on DS, then SIL had a baby and they dropped us like a hot potato. We now have DD and they've hardly seen her. They're just not interested.
Unfortunately, sad though it is, there's nothing you can do about it.
It’s a shame this has happened. I can understand why you’re pissed off, particularly after MIL’s assurances.
I have mentioned this all to my Pils in an email (fair and honest but not overtly nasty) - they didn’t take it well and now most of DH’s family are no longer speaking to me.
Just a little bit, under the radar, nasty then?
I can't believe you sent them an email about it!
If it really is as you say, perhaps they are hurt, exhausted, didn't plan on being 'parents' again, perhaps they even need a hand! Perhaps they are ashamed of their daughter, who they are always left holding everything together for. Perhaps they were just keeping it together in a stressful time in their lives and you didn't even have the courtesy to check in with them, just sent an email detailing how they are failing more family members. How exactly did you phrase this fair and honest email?
Perhaps, if you want a better relationship with your IL's, you should reach out and offer them a hand, ask to do a combined holiday with your SIL's kid, or have the kid for the weekend, or maybe even say sorry for making it all about you when its really about the best interests of your niece/nephew. What has it got to do with anything that she has had three partners? You don't sound very nice, tbh. If you want a good relationship with your DH's family, you go and make one.
Thanks liminality. Not sure why such a vicious response! I sent my pils an email which stated the facts and that I could understand the situation that they were in but that I was a little hurt and I want my DC to have more contact with them as they miss them. Sil having three different partners is relevant because they were not always on the scene.
I can say as a grand parent, look at it from your PIL’s point of view! By the time parents have raised their own children, they are looking forward to taking up their hobbies again, having their house to themselves and couple time for the first time in 20 - 30 years! Adult DC do not consult with their parents about when to have a baby, so while grand children are a joy, but grand parenting duties (and increasingly childcare) is thrust upon grandparents, and it’s hard work - you do not have the same energy in middle age as when you had your own children! I imagine your PILs found raising SIL’s 1st 2 children daunting, and then having done that and looking forward to time on their own, face starting raising no 3 - another 18 years hard work!
MIL may have promised you it would not impact on your DC, but maybe she just can’t keep her promise - have you never agreed to do things and then found you just can’t do them? Maybe they found they could not make SIL and her new DP take responsibility for the baby? What do you expect them to do? I would not know how to force a son in law to anything, especially looking after a baby? There’s plenty of posts on MN by women, who have that problem with the father of their children, never mind a MIL, who has no leverage!
Really OP, would you want to raise your own children, and then 3 more belonging to somebody else in 20 year’s time?
Why on earth would you send such an email?
You sound very judgy pants about sil.
Why are you not holding the absent fathers to account?
She’s a single mum. Have you ever been one? Your dm would support you if you were in the same situation? Or do you think you’re better than single mums?
You do t know her full life history.
Maybe set your D.C. the good example of empathy rather than jealousy.
Guilin, no, I completely agree! They should not have to raise more children! I think they need to be tougher with their daughter tbh as she uses them when she wants. I do not want childcare from them, I simply want them to contact and pay a little bit of interest in my children, lols they used to. I don’t think this is too much to ask?
I think you need to accept the situation and lower your expectations. That way you will feel better.
Seven down - I sent the email because my mil doesn’t like speaking on the phone and only rarely communicates with us through Facebook!
Emailing was the wrong way to approach this. Raising another child must be exhausting and a bit of support rather than subtle nastiness would have been better. I'd apologise ask if you can help with dnephew/niece and build some bridges
I think if you've told them why you are unhappy and they've not reacted well all you can do is leave it.
Yes it's crappy for your children and unfair but maybe your PIL have no other choice but to step up. They are probably exhausted.
OP we’re in the same situation. DH has never been as important as SIL, and now DN is here we’ve all been forgotten. It breaks my heart when DD asks why doesn’t DPIL love her as much as DN. We’ve just told it to her as it is, and to just enjoy all the other family instead.
MsHopey I never thought of it like that. That’s a great way to spin it. I’m gonna take it, as SIL is fucking useless.
OP, it sucks that PIL have dropped your kids “in favour” of your DN but if the mother is not interested and father is not on the scene might mean that either they will step up (again) or poor kid will be neglected. Hope that your SIL childbearing abilities come to an end soon.
As for your PIL- lower your expectations although it hurts like hell,they might be stuck between rock and a hard place.
It’s a bit difficult to explain to the children why do they come last in the pecking order of their GP. Sucks more if it’s done though their choice( doting GP to all the other DGC in our case) than necessity ( all circumstances surrounding your SIL/PIL.
Drop it OP. It hurts
Thank you to most of you for the supportive messages - it means a lot. Actually Sil is now in a really stable relationship with her DC’s dad so she’s not a single mum.
I have mentioned this all to my Pils in an email (fair and honest but not overtly nasty)
😱. That wasn’t a clever way to deal with it. Why wouldn’t your husband deal with his own parents.
I had an inkling history would repeat itself with her mothering abilities and even mentioned my concerns in a jokey way to my mil
Wow, why on earth would you do that? If these two things are indicictive of your usual behaviour then I’d be wary of getting too involved if I were your In-laws. I’d be nervous of what you would say or do.
Are your in laws sim0ly not visiting you anymore? What happens if you visit them?
You really shouldn't have emailed. This is one of those instances where deferring to DH might've been the best plan.
I think you should be a bit more sympathetic to your PIL in this situation. They are effectively becoming parents again and are likely stressed, worried, anxious etc about that and their DD failing again. Then on top of that they get an email from you probably making them feel under attack. I'm sure that wasn't your intention but for two people who are under immense emotional strain anyway, it wouldn't have been taken well.
This is a shit situation for your DCs admittedly, but they have two parents who love them and care well for them. PIL are dealing with the third child who doesn't. In your shoes, I would consider apologising and trying to build bridges.
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