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To be irritated with my mother over this?

(11 Posts)
rony Wed 17-Sep-08 13:14:55

My mum lives just under a 2 hour drive away, she insists on seeing my dc (3 and 16 months) every other week. She is joined at the hip to her sister, they often visit us for the day, occasionally i go there for the day. Her sister works so they can only come on Wednesdays and my mum refuses to come without her.

This week they couldn't come on Wednesday so my mum demanded I go there, I refused as for various reasons I didn't want the long journey this week. So she was in a huff, saying how disappointed she was, she misses the children so much etc. She makes it quite clear she thinks I should go there more often.

my point is - I think it's not necessary that she sees them so often given it's so far. I really don't enjoy driving all that way for the day too often, it's too much for the children, and also dd has now started preschool which is constraining our choice of days anyway. When my mum comes she never turns up until 11 am and leaves again at 5 - can't be that desperate to spend time with them or she'd stay longer!

what do you think - are her expectations unreasonable? Those of you with family a similar distance away - how often do you see them?

canofworms Wed 17-Sep-08 13:19:41

My mum lives about this distance away and for a couple of years came to visit about once every 3 weeks, sometimes for the day and other times for a whole weekend!

Now older 2 at school she only comes most school holidays ie. once every 6 weeks! And then it's specifically to see the kids and sometimes just spends an hour with me.

I'd love my mum to want to come every week but I agree the round journey in 1 day is hard for you, especially with the kids in the car.

coppertop Wed 17-Sep-08 13:19:47

I think it's nice that she's so keen to spend time with her grandchildren. I don't think it's reasonable though to expect you to make the same journey with 2 small children.

alarkaspree Wed 17-Sep-08 13:20:49

In general it sounds like a lovely arrangement to me. You say you don't often do the journey, usually she comes to you. The children get to see their granny a lot.

But if the arrangements don't work out on a particular day your mum is unreasonable to complain about it.

Don't forget this arrangement won't last forever anyway. Soon (next year?) your dd will be in school and you probably won't be able to travel to your mum's in the week at all.

loobeylou Wed 17-Sep-08 13:25:56

in my book, she is BU - what is she going to expect once they are at school, or if one of them is ill and not up to visitors, or you have another invitaion/engagement?

my ILs live only 15 miles away and expect us to go and see them or invite them here every week. MIL pines if she does not see them for 2 weeks, other than this i get on OK with her

however my own family live a 5 hour drive away. with kids at school and my father working weekends most weeks, this restricts seeing their other grandparents to school holidays only

if we dare to say we are going there for a week at Christmas or for dd's birthday in half term, bearing in mind MIL sees the kids EVERY WEEK, she makes out like they are hard done by!!

you need to be brave and suggest perhaps she does not expect to be able to come as rigidly whenever it suits her, especially as your kids get older and get school and clubs and invites etc

noonki Wed 17-Sep-08 13:25:59

TBH I would be so happy if my mum wanted to come that often, we go to them every six weeks or so and she comes up about four times a year, but normally because we need some help
(hospital/childbirth) and no one else can do it.

My Dad has visited twice in three years
My FIL once in three years
My MIL once every three months

all live about 1 or two hours away (apart from FIL-thank the lord!)

LivvyW Wed 17-Sep-08 13:38:08

YABU. My Mum lives just over an hour away and we go to see her every week. Tie it in with nap times whenever possible. I think it's too much to ask her to do the drive every week. Even though she's a very capable 70 year old.

Remember it's your DC's granmother, a relationship that won't last forever, and a very special one.

To make you feel better about making the effort, imagine how hurt you'd feel if your DC's were that put out because you wanted to see your own grandchildren.

I also think 11 - 5 seems perfectly reasonable (leave at nine and home at 7) a long day for an older person.

rony Wed 17-Sep-08 13:39:45

I would be happy for her to come as often as she likes, my problem is that she goes on about wanting to see them all the time, and then she is the one with all the constraints!! it seems like she only really wants to see them if it's convenient to her. She would never stay the weekend although I'd be happy for her to. But then she makes me feel guilty as if I'm somehow depriving her of them...

rony Wed 17-Sep-08 13:45:10

LivvyW no offence but I think a 2 hour journey in the day is a lot harder than 1 hour, that's double the amount of travelling in the day, and ds really hates the car, he usually cries all the way back home as he's so tired. I can't tie it into naptimes as they nap at lunchtime - too late to leave starting the trip. They don't nap when they're there as they're too excited and don't settle well at my mum's house.

Also yes she's an older person but is always driving up and down the country on daytrips, often for far more hours in the day than that. And I'm not expecting her to do the trip every week at all.

peacelily Wed 17-Sep-08 13:49:11

dd (2) sees my parents one week and MiL the next so she has contact with gps fortnightly mainly for childcare reasons which saves us £200 nursery for which we are v grateful

Sometimes though it's 3 weeks if I take the day off to spend time with her instead of gps. If this happnes MiL never stops ranting on the next time she sees her about how long it's been since she's seen her etc. etc. She tries to wangle her way in more often than this but I'm v strict with my boundaries with her (she needs this kind of approach she functions emotionally like a jealous child).

I don't think Y are BU, it's nice for dcs to see their gps but I'm often conscious that the visits are meeting gps needs more so than anyone elses.

I'm dreading when dd starts school and we will have to spend a day every other weekened with MiL otherwise she'll feel deprived. IMO some gps do need quite tight guidelines.

MrsTittleMouse Wed 17-Sep-08 14:50:46

My parents probably visit that often too, and I think that it's lovely that they want to see the GC. However I think that she has no right to demand that you go to hers. It's much easier to travel as an adult than as a Mum with two small children, and visiting so often is her decision, not due to some God-given right to see her GC whenever she wants to.

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