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AIBU about my MIL

(25 Posts)
JTGPsmummy Fri 06-Nov-09 22:15:01

My MIL doesn't really do much for my DS. She sees him about once a month (if that) when she goes in town on a Saturday afternoon with my DH and DS. She has only offered to have him for an afternoon 3 times this year, then if she wants to visit (a very rare occasion in itself) she phones up the day or two before, asks if they can come on such and such a day at a specific time, and if we already have plans and I tell her that, instead of trying to make another time and day she just says "what time will you be back" and I tell her I don't know as I don't aim to be back at certain times, she just says oh we wanted to see you and DS as we haven't seen you for ages, like its my fault or something (she doesn't say this in a nasty way at all). Then when she goes in town with my DH he has to pay for lunch every other time as its 'his turn' even though her and her husband both work and go on about 2 foreign hols a year and my DH doesn't earn a huge amount and I am on In Cap for M.E./CFS. I was also really annoyed that she was on holiday for my DS 1st birthday and there was no one from DH family at DS party. My nan, who brought me up and is now 70, cannot do enough and any time I am having a bad day she looks after my DS or comes down to mine. She is always picking up little books and things but my MIL never gets anything unless its birthday or christmas. My nan has told me she is going to get my DS his scarf set for the winter but my MIL never does anything like this (my DS is her only grandchild and she only has 2 children so its not like she has a big family or anything, she also only works from 5-8 in the evenings, mon to fri). Can people tell me if I am bothered for nothing or am I justified? Sorry know its really long.

Ebb Fri 06-Nov-09 22:38:09

Sorry I think yab a bit u. Mainly on the basis that neither of my ds's grandparents have even babysat for us let alone had him for an afternoon. They regularly look after their other GC.

It would be nice if your mil took more interest but you can't expect it or expect her to buy gifts for your child. Some GPs feel they have, quite rightly, done their child rearing and don't want to do it again.

Ebb Fri 06-Nov-09 22:40:11

And none of our relatives turned up for Ds's first birthday. angry Hmmm maybe they're trying to tell me something! hmm grin

ilovetochat Fri 06-Nov-09 22:43:16

yabu, its a shame they dont see your ds more often but you are lucky she has babysat 3 afternoons in a year, your dh should pay every other time or even pay for his mother every time and you shouldnt expect gifts at any time just because someone else buys gifts.

paisleyleaf Fri 06-Nov-09 22:48:17

It doesn't sound like she's doing anything wrong.

JTGPsmummy Fri 06-Nov-09 22:55:13

I know I'm making something out of nothing, but when I was growing up I was so used to going to various relatives and when I didn't live with my nan I was often there I assumed thats what people did when they lived nearby. Especially GP seeing their GC, I thought they would want to do it more, or is that just me?

perfectstorm Sat 07-Nov-09 01:04:44

I don't think there are rules. She's not being rude or unkind or unreasonable, just not as involved as you'd like. Tbh I think a lot of us would thank heaven fasting for a MIL who wasn't actively unpleasant!

DoingTheBestICan Sat 07-Nov-09 08:31:27

YABU a little bit,so your MIL doesnt buy your ds gifts throughout the yr? What would you say if she was buying him loads of stuff & you had nowhere to keep it?

My inlaws havent baby sat for us,but they do for their gd's,i am so over it now as at the end of the day he is MY son not theres & if they dont want to sit for us they dont have to.

You say she only works 5-8 in the evenings but tbh working those times is not a bed of roses,if she goes out anywhere she has to be back mid afternoon to get ready to go to work.

Cut her some slack,she is not as bad as some MIL's.

Do you go to see them at all?

Pheebe Sat 07-Nov-09 08:36:59

Your poor mil sad sounds like she'll never do enough to satisfy you. Its very unreasonable of you to compare what and how much she does for your ds to members of your family. Its up to her how she spends her money. I suspect she does would nothing would ever be good enough for you. She wants to come and see you and if its not convenient for you, you can't be bothered to accomodate her. Perhaps she has other commitments too.

With as prickly as DIL as you seem to be perhaps she feels she can't offer more.
While a mil can never (usually) be as close to the mum of her grandchildren as the maternal grandma it doesn't mean they love the grandchildren any less! Also money does not equal love, just cos she doens't shower your ds with gifts doesn't mean she doesn't love him.

As a mum of 2 boys a DIL who compares me to their family and judges and bitches about me like this would be my worst nightmare.

Sorry if this seems harsh but you did ask sad

diddl Sat 07-Nov-09 08:43:49

Perhaps when she wants to visit you could for once give her a time when you will be back.

It probably seems to her that you are always putting her off, tbh.

And there´s no reason why she should "have him" is there?

sunburntats Sat 07-Nov-09 08:53:27

i see your point it is disapointing as i am in a similar boat with both my ils and my family. none are interested in my son.

But you just have to accept that this is the way it is, she does make some effort and at least she has looked after your son at some points this year.....mine have never and he is their only gc.

So its just us and i have a very good pal who helps me out when i am completely stuck.

Dont let it bother you. I have stopped as it bugged me to such an extent i couldnt speak to them for a while, had dh speak to them all.

But they are nice lovely people, not at all nasty, they just dont think of themselves as grandparents i spose.

thesecondcocking Sat 07-Nov-09 09:21:43

i don't think she's bad-why shouldn't they take it in turns to pay for lunch? if your dh can't afford it don't go.
I don't know why you are bothered about her asking what time you're due back maybe she's trying to squeeze in a quick visit before going to work.
You are wrong/cheeky to expect gifts.

cakeywakey Sat 07-Nov-09 09:28:40

It sounds like you have quite high expectations. You say she is a nice woman who sees her son and grandson on a regular basis - that's a good thing.

All families are different and you just have to accept that your side and his side do things differently. And try to count your blessings, it could be a hell of a lot worse smile

Firawla Sat 07-Nov-09 10:01:07

yabu really, she has not actually done anything wrong. sometimes mils can never do the right thing, if they are visiting all the time and buying gifts too much they are seen "interfering and taking over", if they come to visit less often and dont babysit then they are "not interested"
she sounds alright to me. if you want her to see ds more try to call and visit round hers maybe? it doesn't sound as though she doesn't want to see him, maybe she does not want to come across as pushy

prettyfly1 Sat 07-Nov-09 10:35:46

yabu. She has done her childrearing - why should she spend her later years doing yours? It is her money - why should it HAVE to go on presents for your children? Why wouldnt she ask for a different time to visit and why wouldnt you give her one - it is her child too? Why should she pay for her adult sons lunch? She is an old lady?

diddl Sat 07-Nov-09 11:55:51

I´ll tell you not interested though-been abroad more than 10yrs, and ILs have never visited their only child (my husband) & grandchildren.

We have invited for Summer, birthdays, Christmas.....

They can stay with us or not whatever suits.

But no, visiting seems to be our "duty"!

posieparker Sat 07-Nov-09 12:04:02

Good grief apparently it is unreasonable to expect GPs to want to be a part of their GCs lives. The MN jury is always weird about this.

Clearly MIL isn't that old as she still works and could afford to but her GS something, although it's not her duty to do so.

I think YABU to expect handouts but I think it's sad that your ILs don't want to be more involved.

Why does your DH go to town with her and DS? Why can't they do something nicer together?

bigchris Sat 07-Nov-09 12:06:59

do you ever invite her round to yours?
maybe she feels unwelcome

theworldsgoneDMmad Sat 07-Nov-09 12:13:25

I think YA mostly BU but I know exatly what you're talking about here:

"then if she wants to visit (a very rare occasion in itself) she phones up the day or two before, asks if they can come on such and such a day at a specific time, and if we already have plans and I tell her that, instead of trying to make another time and day she just says "what time will you be back" and I tell her I don't know as I don't aim to be back at certain times, she just says oh we wanted to see you and DS as we haven't seen you for ages, like its my fault or something (she doesn't say this in a nasty way at all)."

My dad and his wife do the same: give very little notice and expect us to drop everything even though they aren't even in the area mainly to see us, just as an afterthought while visiting someone else. It makes us feel like they only visit to "keep face", not because they genuinely want to see us

seaglass Sat 07-Nov-09 12:19:59

"Good grief apparently it is unreasonable to expect GPs to want to be a part of their GCs lives."

I think the OP's attitude to her MIL seems a bit unwelcoming and ungrateful TBH.
It's not unreasonable to expect GP's to be involved, but you complain that when she and your dh and ds get together (regularly) she expects him to pay his way every other week, so presumably, she also pays her share hmm Why on earth should she pay more than that?
When she rings asking if you are in, make an effort to arrange a date that suits you both - don't just tell her you're busy and leave it at that - it goes both ways you know.
You are very different to your MIL, you can't suddenly expect her to be at your beck and call, babysitting whenever you feel like, because she also has a life, and would probably be much more involved if you made a little more effort with her, to let her know that she's needed and wanted.

FWIW, I'm a little confused over present giving - every week there are AIBU threads bashing MIL's for showering their GC's with presents, yours is being bashed for not giving presents.
Poor MIL's - can't do right for doing wrong, can they?

doughnutty Sat 07-Nov-09 22:23:26

I think YAB a little U.

However, perhaps your expectations are a little high given the obviously close relationship you have with your own Gran.

I think you should cut her some slack. She sees her GC regularly enough. Would you prefer if she was sticking her nose in all the time?

Agree that if she she asks for a time you will be home you should try to accomodate her.

Sbeanmum Sat 07-Nov-09 22:43:30

YABU - I get a little distressed with the majority of IL threads because they seem to give ILs bad press. Sorry OP, but I agree with seaglass.

There are people out there (and on here) with serious grievances with their ILs, which gets lost in the masses of Unreasonable posts.

Make a tiny bit more effort, forget the materialism, and you will be rewarded with a much nicer IL relationship -that's my advice FWIW

LynetteScavo Sat 07-Nov-09 22:54:59

Your MIL sounds a lot like mine. She won't change....DH did contront her about it once, and she did then take DC's out to the park, then all went back to normal.

I think you just need to accept this is how she is. You can choose your freinds, and all that....

JTGPsmummy Sun 08-Nov-09 08:36:20

Ok, I think some people have gone a little far, bad DIL etc. I know I have issues with my MIL and I honestly can't figure out why.

For the record, I don't expect her to buy my DS things, I think (my very first) post came out a bit wrong. Basically I am so used to my nan being the way she is that I assumed that this what was GPs did. I think I have to learn that my DH family are not like mine and it is mine that we turn to etc when we need help and that (and I don't mean money). Even my DH will get me to ask my family and if I say about asking his, he just says they wouldn't do it.

I just genuinely thought that GPs wanted to see more of their GC. The town thing doesn't actually happen that much now (and nothing to do with me being an unaccomadating DIL).

My point about her phoning was I do try and say another time etc when we are there, but it has to be the one time and day she says or not at all. I have a 'thing' (I do actually think I may have OCD) but when I have planned something, I really can't stand any interruptions, like if the phone rings when you are about to go out, and no I can't leave it to ring either, that would really annoy me and I'd be left wondering all day who it was, maybe I need a like lol. Also what if it was something urgent and I ignored it. Anyway, totally getting off the point now, yes maybe I should make a bit of an effort too but I am always the one who has made an effort with various people and I get fed up sometimes so I see IL as DH job to make the effort with but my MIL is very much 'when it suits her'.

And knowing what her own daughter is like, I have to say I make a much better DIL than she does a daughter, to anyone who thinks I am a bad DIL. I guess I have to accept that all GPs are not like my nan.

tinkerbellesmuse Sun 08-Nov-09 09:16:46

I think you have unreasonably high expectations of your in laws.

Next time you MIL calls and asks to come round tell her what time you will be back: you must at least have a vague idea.

If she can't make it and doesn't suggest an alternative date what is stopping you? I suspect she imagines you are deliberately being difficult.

Make an effort and see what you get back.

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