to feel that I just can't win on this one??(7 Posts)
My parents and DH's parents live 350 miles apart, for years we lived bang between the two and saw them both for the occasional weekend, Xmas etc. When DS1 was tiny we moved near to DH's parents for work reasons, meaning we're now a 6-7 hr drive from my family. We now have DS2 and flying up to visit has become impossible for me to do with two under 3's. I've offered to drive up but they're reluctant to have me do this, even though I don't mind and would break the journey with friends each way.
The thing is, my parents have taken the move really personally, and constantly snipe about the area we've moved to, DH's parents etc. I generally have a great relationship with them but this is souring it. We bought a house with plenty of room, deliberately so people could come for longer visits and feel comfortable. We live in a gorgeous holiday area so it's not as if it's a hardship to spend time here. My parents are fairly well off and retired so I don't understand why they can't just make more effort to come and see us a few times a year. DS2 is almost one and they've only seen him on three occasions, two of which we'd driven up there for. My sister lives near them and they see her two or three times a week and dote on her children (not meaning to sound jealous or bitter here, I can accept that that's the way it is given that they're much nearer!)
I would love to live nearer my family, it's where I grew up and a beautiful area, (not to mention how much easier it would be for me with the extra help with the DC's) but it just isn't practical for DH's work, which is pretty non transferable. It's got to the stage where they are even off with DH, and his parents when they see him, and it makes me feel so uncomfortable.
I try to be so diplomatic but it's really difficult as my mum can be a bit touchy at any mention of the family in law, it's driving me mad, any ideas on how to deal with this?
If it were me, I think I would bite the bullet and just say this to her. Or write it in a letter. I would be careful to use statements such as 'I feel this way because...' in order to avoid blame scenarios which might get her back up. So 'I feel sad that we don't see you as much as we would like and I feel I might have upset you...' and basically aim for her better nature. Allow her to come out of it looking like the good guy, even if that does your head in.
Diplomatic is not working, its time to ask her straight out, what her problem is with you? Also I would ask her if she had ever thought about coming to visit her grandchildren, if not you will be driving down to her house, because your priorty in life is to ensure your children get to know their grandparents.
The problem is we were all brought up to respect our elders, and to especially not offend our parents. Sometimes though, the only answer is to be straight forward and if it offends then so be it.
I wouldn't say anything direct. I would just ignore all te moaning and bitching about the inlaws and then just keep inviting them to yours - so invite them for your dc's first birthday, for xmas maybe with the inlaws too so they get to know each other a bit better)
If they decline then that leaves it up to them, don't spend your life feeling guilty (easier said than done I know!) as long as you are as hospitable and friendly as possible at the end of the day it is them who are missing out.
I agree with Gastronaut. I think as well though, in a negotiation situation, you will get the best result but letting her look good out of this so I wouldn't do it in a confrontational way, more of a confiding in her about your feelings kind of way.
Thanks everyone, will try and broach the subject carefully with my mum as it is getting a bit silly, I just think ultimately it doesn't matter what I say as what they really want to hear is that we're moving closer to them. They've even tried to encourage us to move back where we used to live, which wouldn't solve anything as we'd still be hours from them. Just not near the in laws either which I suspect has a lot to do with it. So silly and petty!
Would love to have them all for Xmas but suspect it would be horribly awkward as it has been the last few times they've met. I get on fairly well with MIL and although she'd never say it, I know she thinks my mum is slightly odd (which she isn't normally, it's just around them!)
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