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Out of touch parents and inlaws

(42 Posts)
KramerVSKramer Mon 25-Jan-16 00:36:42

As the title suggests, my wife and I seem to have a set of the above on both sides.

Mine: alcoholic father and long suffering mother. Keen to please but utterly fussy and annoying with it. Do things because they think they should and not because it comes naturally or necessarily want to. Father breaks his neck to get to the pub on any visit making us feel rushed and uneasy. Have a habit of arguing at family occasions making others feel uneasy. Easily led by friends and colleagues. Always offering advice based on what so and so said at work etc. Pushy with baby names. Drop in unexpectedly. Repeat gossipy conversations frequently. Generally annoying.

Wife's: workaholic dad, stay at home, controlling and partially agarophobic MIL with a spoilt and grabby attitude. Five children so time is split unevenly oiling the issues of whichever sibling needs them at the time which is never us. Unsupportive emotionally, financially or in any other way despite second granddaughter being only weeks away. Never offer to pay despite picking up the bill for more pushy siblings. Does not cook, or eat regular food meaning we can't go out with them to restaurants. Huge anxieties about regular things such as driving in to town and parking the car. Allow rude and ignorant behaviour from wife's siblings despite them all being 20+ years old. Non commital with everything from days out to visiting. All on their terms. Do not lift a finger when they visit even after first DS was born (they left leaving dirty plates and cups strewn all over after visiting us for the first time)

There isn't an easy solution as we rely on both for child care 3 days a week but my goodness, it's hard interacting with these people we call parents.

Not sure why - just needed to post and vent.

Any similar stories or advice?

Canyouforgiveher Mon 25-Jan-16 00:42:41

They are providing child care free for you 3 days a week?

that should make up a bit for the fact that you don't like any of them very much.

Presumably you think they are good people for your children to spend time with so that must mean something positive.

When you grown up and move off and create families of your own, you often do look at your parents and feel critical/couldn't live with that. I think it is part of moving on.

Sixweekstowait Mon 25-Jan-16 00:54:42

It must be hard being so perfect surrounded by such awful parents who are good enough for free child care

FirstWeTakeManhattan Mon 25-Jan-16 01:30:01

Any similar stories or advice?

My advice to both sets of parents would be to stop providing 3 days child care each week.


HirplesWithHaggis Mon 25-Jan-16 01:39:29

I wonder what Kramer's dc would post about him and their mother in 20-25 years time.

goddessofsmallthings Mon 25-Jan-16 03:54:35

Five children so time is split unevenly oiling the issues of whichever sibling needs them at the time which is never us How is the time spilit unevenly when they're providing day care for your dc? Do they do the same for your dw's four siblings?

they left leaving dirty plates and cups strewn all over after visiting us for the first time How many dirty plates and cups did they leave? Don't you and your dw clear your guests' crockery away as they'd finish with it, or are they expected to bring pinnies and marigolds and do it themseves?

my goodness, it's hard interacting with these people we call parents If they are so hard to interact with, why do you leave your impressionable dc with them?

Judge not lest you be judged comes to mind.

NerrSnerr Mon 25-Jan-16 04:19:42

I agree with the others, why are they looking after your kids if you don't like them very much?

Oh dear, you're getting a bit of a bashing.

I think you could have worded things better (more on that in a moment), but basically, you feel stuck with these people because they provide free day care? Well, there's a solution to that. Well, a solution inside another one: give up on them and stop using them for free childcare. Do whatever you can to afford it yourself, because you cannot rely on these people.

You may never change them. That said, once you start withdrawing, they might take steps to amend their behaviour.

Bashers: the OP has described stuff that most Mumsnetters have "voted against". For instance:

* guests too soon after a birth being a burden and not a help
* alcoholic father and enabling mother
* scapegoat child and golden child dynamic.

Even if he didn't use all the vocabulary. Can we cut him a leeetle slack, please? smile

Holly34 Mon 25-Jan-16 05:41:31

Most important thing your not happy being around them, you must move away then if you want to have some peace of mind. It can be hard to do when you seeing them every week. Annoying relatives we all have some sad could you over look them for the time being? Until you find suitable childcare?

KramerVSKramer Mon 25-Jan-16 08:48:53

I expected a bashing as soon as child care was mentioned. And as soon as I was obviously male.

All mentioned behaviours are to be tolerated and seemingly not even commented on because they look after our son?

As grandparents they want to be involved with their only grandchild and despite their fairly obvious issues across many areas they are kind and affectionate towards him on the whole.

This is in no way severe enough to warrant pulling our child away from them. It's just that their difficult ways and neurotic approach make daily dealings difficult. A bind. When they really needn't be.

Thanks for the understanding PreemptiveSE - you've hit the nail on the head. I'm no expert on these pages as can be seen from my portrayal in my OP but I wanted to post to unload feelings of frustration.

I'll elaborate on the mess PIL leave when they visit: often they'll get fish and chips and descend on us (have been known to not even offer to collect some for us before arrival). Eat at the table, dump plates in the sink and leave glasses, sauce, grease etc on the table for us to clear. Chips and bits on the floor. Wrappers all over the worktops. Honestly like a set of chimps have been for a chip party. Wouldn't you expect your PIL to just tidy after themselves rather than leave us in their mess given their decision to eat at our house? If we ever eat at theirs (rarely) we always help to clear things away.

Awaits further bashings...

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 25-Jan-16 08:54:22

"out of touch" is an understatement!.

Why are either set looking after your children at all?. You need to find alternative childcare now; neither set of parents are at all suitable for doing this challenging role.

A percentage of the general population is dysfunctional and/or abusive. That percentage, like everyone else, has children. Then those children grow and have children of their own. The not-so-loving grandparents expect to have a relationship with their grandchildren. The only problem is, they’re not good grandparents.

Many adult children of toxic parents feel torn between their parents’ (and society’s) expectation that grandparents will have access to their grandkids, and their own unfortunate first hand knowledge that their parents are emotionally/physically/sexually abusive, or just plain too difficult to have any kind of healthy relationship with.

The children’s parents may allow the grandparents to begin a relationship with their children, hoping that things will be different this time, that their parents have really changed, and that their children will be emotionally and physically safer than they themselves were.

Unfortunately, this is rarely the case, because most abusive people have mental disorders of one kind or another, and many of these disorders are lifelong and not highly treatable. (Others are lifelong and treatable; however, many people never seek the necessary help.)

Such people as well never change. You all need to stay well away from them.

category12 Mon 25-Jan-16 08:58:11

In all honesty, your woes with them are normal. If you want some perspective on truly awful parents, take a look at the stately homes thread.

I think, focus on the good and suck up the bad. We're none of us perfect.

gBean Mon 25-Jan-16 09:05:07

Saying you expected a bashing when it was obvious you were male is a bit daft OP.

mintoil Mon 25-Jan-16 09:10:20

You say they are "Unsupportive emotionally, financially or in any other way"

Then you say they provide childcare three days a week.

Which is it?

Seriouslyffs Mon 25-Jan-16 09:12:02

I laughed out loud when I saw they were providing childcare after those character assassinations.
And I didn't notice you were male.

bibbitybobbityyhat Mon 25-Jan-16 09:16:05

They sound annoying but typical. I wonder what your negative character traits are op? Maybe that you have excessively high expectations of people just because they are your parents?

Having said that, I really wouldn't allow a child of mine to be cared for by an alcoholic. Even if not drinking during the childcare hours; alcoholics are dysfunctional people.

pocketsaviour Mon 25-Jan-16 09:19:13

Feel free to join us on the Stately Homes thread.

This is in no way severe enough to warrant pulling our child away from them.

That is naive at best. Do you really think tiny children have the emotional strength to be exposed to an alcoholic, or to a dysfunctional dynamic which will teach them that the world is to be feared?

You need to make finding alternative childcare a priority.

Prayingforsnow Mon 25-Jan-16 09:20:06

I don't call three days of childcare a week 'unsupportive.' If they do that for you, what's a few chip shop wrappers and dirty cups?

Honestly they seem like normal parents to me. If I listed the faults of my parents and in-laws it might read worse than yours but you take the good with the bad.

Prayingforsnow Mon 25-Jan-16 09:22:15

Ok just spotted the 'alcoholic' father. But you are not concerned enough to stop him looking after your dc?

NerrSnerr Mon 25-Jan-16 09:23:21

Time is split between siblings but never you? But you get three days of childcare?

I also didn't realise you were a man. If they're that bad then stop leaving your children with them and pay for childcare like everyone else does.

MoominPie22 Mon 25-Jan-16 09:29:53

But surely, regarding the mess they leave anyway, you have spoken to them about that at least? That is something that is presumably easier to tackle, as opposed to them changing their personalities and habits. That would piss me off massively too but you just tell them straight don´t you? No biggie.

If you keep schtum then you´re giving them the message that it´s OK to behave like that. I wouldn´t dream of doing what they do but nor are they mind readers. But don´t think that you´re unable to confront them about certain aspects of their behaviour ( like the inconsideration and mess ) just cos they look after your child. That´s not a free pass for them to do what the hell they like, especially whilst at your house!

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 25-Jan-16 09:35:33

"This is in no way severe enough to warrant pulling our child away from them. It's just that their difficult ways and neurotic approach make daily dealings difficult. A bind. When they really needn't be"

You really think these people can or will at all become better people by them looking after your child?. What would make it severe enough for you to warrant pulling your child away from them?.

Your above comment is naive at best and wrong at worst. You are putting your child directly in their firing line by using either set of parents at all as childcare. You cannot deal with them because they are toxic and too difficult for you to deal with. Its the self same deal for your child too.

JessicaJones Mon 25-Jan-16 09:36:33

They are not going to change OP. If you can't cope seeing them so regularly you are going to have do something about the childcare. No bashing here, but you must be able to see the contradictions in your post?

You can't complain about how awful they are as people and then say, oh, it's not so bad that I'd stop using them for childcare. It is completely within your control to see less of them, if you want to.

BlondeOnATreadmill Mon 25-Jan-16 09:40:13

So, you are leaving your children with these "alcoholic, controlling, grabby" people, 3 days a week?

That's utter guff - they can't be that bad, if you are comfortable with them caring for your kids.

I can't stand people who use their parents for free childcare, and then moan about them. Have you any idea how lucky you are to have this help, and how much money they are saving you?

You either take the rough with the smooth, or remove your children from their care and start paying nursery fees instead.

My guess is that you want the free child care and as soon as that's done, you'd like them to bugger off. Nice.

schlong Mon 25-Jan-16 09:43:01

I can imagine what they say about you. Stick your hand in your pocket and pay for decent childcare instead of demonising them. If this isn't a wind up, natch.

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