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Another MIL one, sorry.

(60 Posts)
likearatonapotato Fri 22-Mar-19 16:36:44

I may be disproportionately upset about this. I don't feel like I am.

MIL has very little to do with DS. That in itself upsets me. She never wants to see him or organise anything. She's seen him once so far this year. We live an hour away, and she refuses to visit unless we come to her, which is difficult with our work schedules. She's able bodied, and drives a few hours it happily if it's an activity she's interested in like a show she wants to see.

I've organised a trip to a sea life centre that is local to MIL. We invited her earlier this week, and she seemed excited. She said she was looking forward to spending time with the three of us. I think great, book the tickets and am genuinely excited that she wants to spend time with DS for a change.

I find out today, she's invited her other GC along with SIL and a couple of others. I'm pissed off. Not about SIL, but about her inviting her other GC along. She sees him 3-5 times a week. I told DH this has annoyed me a bit, as I was really hoping she'd spend some one on one time with DS. He has no bond at all with her, and I really want them to have some sort of relationship. DH thinks I'm overreacting, but I don't feel like I am. MIL will, as always if other DGC is there, largely ignore DS in favour of her friends and other DGC. I'm really disappointed for DS, because it's so clear he is somehow 'less than' his cousin.

And it wasn't her outing to invite everyone else along to! If I wanted everyone else to come along I'd have invited them. DH's response is 'well what do you want me to tell her? It's too late now.' So now he's pissed with me for saying anything.

I think I AIBU actually. Because I can't force someone to spend time with my child if they don't want to. This is more of a whinge really.

BertrandRussell Fri 22-Mar-19 16:42:47

Not ideal, but there’s not much you can do. Maybe use it as an opportunity for your ds to get to know his cousins?

BertrandRussell Fri 22-Mar-19 16:44:00

Does the other gc live nearer?

BeCoolYolande Fri 22-Mar-19 16:47:30

If MIL was the sort of Grandma who had nothing to do with any of her DGC Y would BU but she isn't. It shows favouritism and it stinks.

I'm surprised your DH doesn't agree with you and YANBU for expecting him to see your POV, even if he won't support you.

Does DH have much of a relationship with her?

Does your DS have any relationship with his cousins? This is an opportunity to reinforce those relationships.

Although I think YANBU I think you're going to have to write this one off, one of my DCs is my DM's favourite I've tried to mitigate this over the years but it is incredibly divisive. You're better off without a relationship with some people I'm afraid.

pianodragon Fri 22-Mar-19 16:50:59

ILs are divorced and they're BOTH like this. It's hard but I'm trying to just write it off as their issue, and foster great relationships between the DC and other family and friends who have the time make any effort. I feel the other relationships my DC have mean they don't feel what I feel the apathy of their grandparents.

CuriousaboutSamphire Fri 22-Mar-19 16:54:24

Your DH has long known his DM is like this - I wouldn't put a lot of money against his DSis beng the obviously favoured child!

Take advantage of it, pend time chatting to SIL, perhaps!

At another time maybe say to MIL "I invited you not you and whomever else you chose to invite. You may not have appreciated it but we felt quite hurt that you didn't want to spend time with us, get to know XX GC better".

You do not have to tiptoe around it, she can be told she has been rude!

Ledkr Fri 22-Mar-19 16:56:38

My mil does this too. To the point of having the other GC to stay over at her house when we visit a few times a year (it's a long way) we have now been put off going as I don't really want to spend my weekend being woken up at the crack of dawn by small excited children and be surrounded by chaos while sil and bil have a relaxing Weekend to themselves.😠

GreatDuckCookery6211 Fri 22-Mar-19 17:02:26

I think yabu really bit I understand why you’d feel put out. It should be a nice thing that DS is seeing his cousins and aunt.

Are you a bit jealous?

Squigglesworth Fri 22-Mar-19 17:04:48

It's annoying that your husband won't admit or can't see that his mother doesn't seem interested in forging a stronger bond with your child.

At some point, yes, you may just have to accept that that's how she is (and act accordingly to protect your child from feeling second-best), but I if/when you schedule another outing/visit, specifically spell it out that you think this would be a good time for one-on-one time with your child. If she still acts uninterested or tries to invite the other grandchild, you'll know that at least you've tried, but she's apparently not worth the effort.

CuriousaboutSamphire Fri 22-Mar-19 17:10:55

Are you a bit jealous? I would imagine she probably is. Jealous and a quite put out on behalf of her child.

Who wouldn't be? It is not pleasant to be shown, consistently, that you and your child are into as important, wanted, nice as someone elses, especially when it is family!

Ao, away with your daft accusatons. OP can accept that part of her ire is a bit green eyed without any shame! That is a normal reaction to such a situation!

Senac32 Fri 22-Mar-19 17:12:58

Supersimpkin Fri 22-Mar-19 17:13:38

YANBU. It is sad that the GM's no good, but better knowing now than later.

Focus instead on building relations with the cousins - they will matter more through life to DS.

If GM doesn't want to know, and it sounds like she doesn't, deprioritise her. It hurts, but fill the gap with other family.

GreatDuckCookery6211 Fri 22-Mar-19 17:14:37

It was a question not an accusation. I would be looking at it from the angle of DS seeing his cousins and aunt tbh and having a nice day out together. You can’t make someone be something they aren’t sadly. It doesn’t sound like MIL will change the way she is.

CuriousaboutSamphire Fri 22-Mar-19 17:17:04

Sorry Duck that does read less tongue in cheek than I wrote it, I should have added a smirking face to te last line smile

Mememeplease Fri 22-Mar-19 17:17:16

YANBU at all. It is what it is though. Perhaps express disappointment about the lack of bonding time rather than the actual fact of the others going.

I hope Ds has a nice relationship with your parents to make up for your flakey mil?

cuppycakey Fri 22-Mar-19 17:22:51


I totally get this. I would be inclined not to go now but I am a stroppy bitch

From now on I would just stop trying to force the relationship - she obviously doesn't want one. Take a huge step back and see what happens...

LuvSmallDogs Fri 22-Mar-19 17:23:37

My MIL is a bit like this too tbh. We live a half hour bus ride to/from hers but she can never be arsed to come here. We have to wrestle a buggy, autistic DS2 and DS1 on a bus to see her. We live in a nice area, and suggested going for a picnic with her dog and ours, going for a coffee while the kids bounce round soft play, sitting in the garden while the kids play. Nope.

They’ll pay out the nose to fly/ferry over to see DSIL (the golden child) or pay for her to come here but a £1 bus ticket now and then is just too much. I’ve gone on strike, TBH, got better things to do on Saturday than sit in a tiny sweltering flat watching Discovery Channel. Like watch paint dry.

TinklyLittleLaugh Fri 22-Mar-19 17:23:40

Ah yes my Mum does the, “But I’m not pushing other grandkids out just cos you lot have visited” thing. Really? Really mum? You cant spend one day seeing just us?

I too am sick of spending my time at my mum’s surrounded by my sister’s badly behaved children. We just don’t go much now.

GreatDuckCookery6211 Fri 22-Mar-19 17:23:55

No worries Samphire smile

silver1977 Fri 22-Mar-19 17:24:13

I feel for you OP. We have a similar situation and it is very hurtful, the only good thing for me is that DH agrees and can see it himself even though it is his family. Your DH probably feels it too deep down but doesn't want you to have any bad feeling against his family. It makes things tricky for you though.

Hopefully your DS will have a nice time regardless and you may have to put a brave face on for the sake of him, but maybe discreetly you could say something about being disappointed she wasn't able to spend quality time with DS like you had thought they could when you initially suggested it. She will regret not bonding with him as he grows up.

Springwalk Fri 22-Mar-19 17:25:21

Op this a total lost cause.
Do make this your last outing with MIL. Focus on the cousins and leave your MIL to it. I would be going so low contact now as to be entirely invisible. Your dh clearly does not care so why should you?
Your ds has you, other family and friends HE definitely doesn’t care, and never will.
Some Baby boomers can be very selfish, only interested in having a good time, and avoiding anything practical or helpful unless it suits them.
It is her loss. When she is in the old people home let’s hope the cousins find the time to visit her, as your son will have formed other important relationships by then.
Let her go, let your expectations of meaningful relationships fall away. See her for the good time girl that she is, and release.
Zero expectation - zero disappointment

SchadenfreudePersonified Fri 22-Mar-19 17:27:05

Say it with flowers Seneca!


GetStrongKeepFighting Fri 22-Mar-19 17:27:12

Id just not show up.

likearatonapotato Fri 22-Mar-19 17:28:18

@BertrandRussell 45 minutes away. So not a great deal more to get to us to be honest.

I'll happily admit I'm jealous. She plays with his cousins, complains about not seeing DS often enough, but we take him round there and she just totally ignores him. If other GC are there, she'll talk to them, be on the floor with them playing, but DS gets none of the 'fun' grandma all the others seem to get. And yes, that does make me jealous. I often tell myself that I need to grow up and get over it, and that I have zero control over her behaviour - but this occasion has just really wound me up.

I think you're right. I'll try to frame it as a nice day out with SIL. Probably not a nice day out with his cousin 😂 MIL tends to commender him, she drags him away from DS for some weird reason if he toddles up to play with them both. She doesn't like involving DS in whatever they're doing.

I just feel like I'm about five bring upset by this blush it's like being in the playground and stomping my feet saying 'miss, she won't play with me!'

MortyVicar Fri 22-Mar-19 17:30:48

She only sees him when you go to hers.
She's only seen him once since Christmas.
Ergo and q.e.d. you've only been there once since Christmas.

Is that because you're too busy, or because you don't feel like it's worth the effort? I'm just wondering which is chicken and which is egg here. If she sees the other gc several times a week presumably it's because they live much nearer. That's an inevitable product of geography.

If you don't visit because you're too busy, then that tells her that she's not important so she is going to give more attention to the side of the family that does make her feel important.

Has she ever visited you, and if she did did you make her feel genuinely welcome? Or might she have felt like she was in the way and you were waiting for her to go?

Has she always been like this?

On the face of it yanbu, but without much more background it's difficult to be sure.

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