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to think my parents are taking the p*ss?

(55 Posts)
pfft Wed 17-Jun-09 12:45:57

They are furious with me because we have politely declined their invitation to go on holiday with them at Xmas.

We would've been paying our own way. However, they are paying for my sister & her family to go with them, because it is such a struggle for my sister & family to be three people on a single salary. hmm My BIL's salary is >15 times mine or my DP's, and until she decided to not go back to work some years ago, my sister's salary was > 10 times mine.

My parents have paid off my sister's university debt; they paid for her totally OTT social life and her taking twice as long as normal to finish a basic university degree; they paid for her entire (large, expensive) wedding; they paid for more than half her house; they buy new cars and give her their old one, free, every couple of years; they have recently bought her a fridge and a new washing machine; they buy all her and her son's clothes; they are paying for her son to go to expensive prep school and will pay for public school later... and to top it all, they do all my sister's food shopping!

I paid my own way through school and university on scholarships. I have paid for every single thing myself - holidays, food, clothes, rent - since I was 16. I live in a different country from them now, but was in the same city for 10 years, while they paid for whatever my sister wanted. We couldn't afford to have a wedding. My ds will go to the local government schools.

My parents explain this as "oh you are so much more independent than your sister, and you have the potential to do whatever you want, we're just trying to help her along so that she can have some of the wonderful experiences you've already had".... experiences that come directly from career choice and bloody hard work, paid for entirely by scholarships and research grants!

sporadicname Wed 17-Jun-09 12:50:27

Sounds like you have so much more to be proud of than your sister.

YANBU, it seems very strange.

traceybath Wed 17-Jun-09 12:53:14


I would have to have a big conversation with them about how unfair they are being especially with regards to grandchildren's education.

grumblinalong Wed 17-Jun-09 12:56:46

Your parents are this obvious in favouring you sister?

I totally understand why you would be annoyed but on the flipside just think how indebted she feels to them and how stifling that kind of attention is. I bet your parents feel they have right to interfere in your nephews upbringing too - they sound so over involved in her life.

You don't sound like the kind of person to accept meddling - take comfort in your independence.

PM73 Wed 17-Jun-09 13:01:02

You could be my dh,him & his sister have been treated exactly the same way,with sil being the 'favoured' one.

Hold you head up high in all you have achieved on your own.

BroodyChook Wed 17-Jun-09 13:01:23

YANBU. My parents are a little more subtle, but the favouratism is still there. Try not to let it make you bitter, and be proud of what you have achieved for yourself. A much better example to set your DC's, IMO.

pfft Wed 17-Jun-09 13:02:56

Independence is indeed wonderful. Though it's not like my sister actually needs their endless financial "help"... and her husband frequently gets cross because he thinks she is taking her parents for a ride!

Curiousmama Wed 17-Jun-09 13:09:52

Don't see how on earth they can be furious with you? They should feel embarassed to be honest that they favour her and her ds so much. YADNBU.

pfft Wed 17-Jun-09 13:36:40

They're furious because they think we don't want to be friendly and part of the family fun.

I said that we can't afford an expensive holiday as well as Xmas, and as ds is now 4 he is really really into Xmas... whereas he would be dead bored going to somewhere nice and cultural full of art, museums and church services full of superb music; particularly somewhere his terribly nice cultured prep-school cousin can deliberately make him feel like a childish dropout at every possible opportunity.

This got the response "well [your son] is rather immature, i'm not surprised [his cousin, 5 years older] finds him tiresome; and you could always take out a loan to send him to a good school if you cared about that sort of thing, but you're too interested in yourself to bother, aren't you"


rolledhedgehog Wed 17-Jun-09 13:41:02

OMG I am speechless that they said that about your son. I am sorry your parents are so nasty. My inlaws can be irritating but at least they are very fair in sharing the irritation out!

teabagtea Wed 17-Jun-09 13:45:31

Oh my word that is awful! We are in the same (but not as 'obvious') situation - My MIL beleives tha her 2 children should have everything exactly the same. I have always worked PT, she stopped with her first baby. Consequently we now have a little more money to spend but if we are ever seen to spend any, then MIL labours the point and gives SIL money to make up the difference. The only way I can feel better about it is to remember that everything we have is our own, worked for and paid for ourselves, and I am proud of that.

LovelyTinOfSpam Wed 17-Jun-09 13:52:11

This is sooooo wrong.

I was always the independent one and my DB is rubbish, still living at home in his 30s and never worked etc.

But parents are scrupulous that whatever they spend on him, they give me. So if they take him on holiday, they give me the same money. Which let's face it I'm spending on looking after myself and their GC so still going somewhere that they would want it to IYSWIM.

I can't believe the difference here and TBH would not be able to deal with it al all. They are paying for the other child to be schooled privately? So not just you that is out of favour, your children as well.

Personally I don't think I'd be abe to keep in contact with them, I'd find it too hurtful.

The comments made about your son are disgusting.

mumof2222222222222222boys Wed 17-Jun-09 13:52:45

Enjoy your holiday without them. With attitudes like that you'd have a grim time.

I am utterly shock at the OP's last post.

blinks Wed 17-Jun-09 13:57:32

i'd be telling them to go fuck themselves.

unavailable Wed 17-Jun-09 13:57:34

Wow, pfft. I am surprised you talk to them at all if they are as insulting as your last post illustrates.

Will you respond to that or let it go?

I dont think I could ignore it.

LovelyTinOfSpam Wed 17-Jun-09 14:00:35

blinks nails it nicely with her succinct post.

She is absolutely right.

Kimi Wed 17-Jun-09 14:02:19

Tell them you and "your family" do not want to go on holiday with them, I would be fuming if this had been said about one of my children, have as little to do with them as you can, your sister sounds a bit drippy

Stigaloid Wed 17-Jun-09 14:08:57

I'd write down the differences as above and submit it to your parents, including the massive salary gap and ask them to explain their blatant favouritism.

Can't believe the comment made to your son. Sounds like you will have a much nicer xmas without them.

pfft Wed 17-Jun-09 14:11:54

I haven't responded - got off the phone as quickly as I could, after that. They normally cushion everything they do for my sister, with lots of (rather depressing) praise for my academic achievements and independence. I have on occasion pointedly said that degree certificates aren't very tasty for breakfast when there is no alternative... this infuriates them.

They are quite open about not liking noisy young children - and about the fact they think anything other than prep school and Eton is a total joke - and they trot out the self-interest thing all the time whenever they want a reason to be pissed off at me - so the comments about me and DS aren't really much of a surprise.

A salient lesson in life: never have children that you don't want. They will be around to remind you of your folly for the rest of your life. And your resentment of them will only grow. At least, if you are my mother...

LovelyTinOfSpam Wed 17-Jun-09 14:14:47

Did you and your sister have the same schooling?

You said earlier that you paid your own way through school with scholarships etc and I was wondering if they treated you the same when you were young.

pfft Wed 17-Jun-09 14:24:46

Yes, we both had spectacularly abundant educational opportunities... by most normal measures of success my sister was a good student (except maybe as an undergraduate) and has had a good solid career - but I came along afterwards, looked up to my Dad at a slightly more academic point in my Dad's career, knew the system better, was a geek, so took up more of the opportunities on offer, and applied for scholarships etc...

But the emotional background could hardly have been more disparate. My Mum has just never liked me - I think I was an accident, and more than she wanted to cope with when she already had a perfect little home and perfect lovely little 5 year old daughter and perfect husband etc... and she has always been more interested in reading Country Life than in learning to cope with interesting new situations. Dad doesn't do independent emotion - he just does what she tells him to.

LovelyTinOfSpam Wed 17-Jun-09 14:30:43

How utterly depressing.

Dreadful your dad won't stand up for you/to your mum.

If I were you I would seriously think of cutting contact right back.

Have you ever pointed out to them how blatently they favour your sister?

londonone Wed 17-Jun-09 14:30:46

What on earth do you do jobwise pfft? And what do your BIL and Sister do that they earn so much more?

pfft Wed 17-Jun-09 14:36:20

i'm a scientist. Not yet at the stage of permanent job or decent salary - I currently earn about as much as the head cleaner in my university department. DP is the same, though being funded by a different research council, he is very slightly better paid.

DSis and BIL are corporate lawyers... BIL quite a successful one....

londonone Wed 17-Jun-09 14:40:03

I thought it might be something like that. it is appalling how little scientists get paid in this country.

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