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Am I expecting too much of in laws?(35 Posts)
I'm trying to figure out if my pregnancy hormones are making me feel/act selfishly so sorry if a bit of a ramble!
My OH and I have been together nearly 4 years. We have 1 DS who is nearly 2 and I'm currently 25 weeks pregnant with DD. For various reasons, we don't have much to do with my family. They're not local and unreliable and I certainly wouldn't trust them to look after DS (partly as he simply doesn't know them well enough.) My OH 's family are local. His parents are 10 mins drive away, his brother roughly the same, his sister less than that although she's has 3 young DC. herein lies my question: OH ' s parents dedicate 3 days a week to looking after my SIL's DC 's then work/care for poorly relatives the rest of the time. They haven't looked after my DS at all for 6 months now. I dont work any more (had to give up pt job as had no one to look after DS during the week - started working Saturdays so OH could have him but was putting a huge strain on our family unit just having one family day a week so I handed my notice in) I've gone through my whole pregnancy so far suffering horrible morning sickness plus a few vomiting bugs and always they've been far too busy looking after their other GC to be able to help me out for a couple of hours even for me yo go to scans or appointments. They as good as told me that it wasn't convenient for them to have DS for any length of time during the week as so busy With other childcare commitments for SIL. I've asked a handful of times if they would have him for a few hours on weekends so that we can rest or just have some time together and always been told they've already got the other kids (after looking after them 3 days a week they still take them overnight on weekends when asked) or they've cancelled last minute as they 'forgot that they were going on holiday' and various other last minute cancellations. Theyve just come back from holiday with SIL and family and we asked if they would do a few days away with us but said they couldn't due to needing to look after other GC. The only time they will set aside to even see DS is if I take him round while they're babysitting the other GC where understandably he just gets ignored. Clearly I'm started to feel frustrated and rejected on behalf of my DS. I'm also worried as we were relying on them to have him when I go in to labour - they won't look after DS and other GC at the same time as it's too much for them so unless I give birth on the weekend my OH won't be able to be there as he will have to look after our son! Furthermore my OH is starting to get annoyed and feel pushed out by them as they don't even seem to have time to take his phone calls and whenever he does manage to speak to them on the phone he has to cut it short as other kids are crying at the other end. AIBU to expect them to show my son (and their own son!) The same level of attention as other siblings and GC? Should I say anything as it's not my family it's not really my place? If so how would I do it without seeming demanding? we dont really trust anyone else enough to look after him which i realise puts them under huge pressure but it has been 6 months since they've looked after him at all, its not like im asking every week! I feel like a bit of a bitch complaining but also feeling very drained being with DS 24/7 and our relationship is suffering due to no quality time. Please either tell me I'm being ungrateful or some advice as to how to handle tactfully would be great!
YANBU to be pissed off with them on behalf of your OH.
YABU not to trust any other form of childminding though. You might find it helpful to start using one now, to give you both a break and to possibly use when you do have DC2.
You cannot ask them to do anything. They won't. And you will look like a compete cow. You'll just have to bite your tongue and pretend they just don't exist. Then you need to sit down with your OH and have a calm discussion about you two are going to sort out some CM alternative before you both burst!
Good luck. Getting your head round a Golden Child situation is never easy. Many here have been through it, come scream at us, we will understand, no matter how petty you feel.
I have been in a very similar situation and it's not nice!
My ds was completely ignored and other grandchild literally was there 4/5 times a week. No present or card when any of my children were born/christened/birthdays etc.
It caused so many arguments as I didn't understand why, why would they ignore him when we were there, why wouldn't he get a card on his birthday? Why would they not want to come see him or spend time with him. When he was born they came over after dh asked them too and brought other grandchild WITH chicken poxs! He was 3 days old and I was furious.
When I had dd they didn't come see he till she was 6 weeks old ( they live 15 minutes away)
I since had other children and it's all the same!
Do 13 years later I have let go of it all. My children don't no them and we don't see them, it caused us both stress and dh said he wasn't going to make anymore phone calls etc and see if we here from them .. well it's been 3 years and nothing... and you no what it's stress free and no more arguments.
What I'm trying to say is let go of it, it's there problem not yours. They will miss out on your lovely children and can live with that, you have tried that's all you can do.
My children asked once and I kind of told them the truth without hurting them that they just aren't the nicest people and they are fine with that
Thanks for your replies so much! Relieved to hear that I'm not a total nutcase/cow!
Yes, Blanche you're right, we're going to meet a child minder tomorrow with a view to him doing 2 days a week. Hopefully then she might be up for occasional weekend babysitting too. It does just make me so sad, my son is lovely (obviously I would say that!) And asks for them all the time and I don't want his feelings hurt better now than when he's older I guess.
Are they doing childcare for SIL while she's at work? And working/caring the rest of the time? And you're not working? I can kind of see why they'd be tired and not that keen on taking on any extra work, especially as you are a full time mother and looking for help from them who are older than you and have a lot more on their plate.
Hopefully then she might be up for occasional weekend babysitting too. Your next step will be to stop hoping... they won't change. For whatever reason SIL has them, you and your OH do not. That sort of favoritism never changes and anyone who points out the bleeding obvious becomes the bad guy!
As for your littley 'un. He won't notice them not being there if you are matter of fact about it, as flippy said.
It's your OH that will need most time and support. Mine always knew he was the family scapegoat but it took decades before he lost his patience and just stopped trying. He still needs a little support to maintain his composure, in his mid 50s
She means the childminder might be up for weekend babysitting.
Yes Charlie SIL works and I am SAHM. I went back to work post maternity leave at the same time as SIL and have had to give e it up as can't afford to pay for childcare while I'm there (my wages wouldn't even cover it!) SIL is in the same position as me but they get preference which is what upsets me. If I did as my SIL did working 3 days a week with no childcare cost we would have been able to afford to move before DC2 arrived but as they've given their preference to them that's obviously not been possible.
Yes Blanche need to learn to be more self sufficient
No buggers she's married but her two youngest are twins!
I can see why you'd feel hurt, but, tbh, your inlaws have got a lot on their plate and there are only so many hours in the week.
You have one dc and your sil has three. Childcare for twins would have been twice as expensive for her than for you. Were they already looking after her eldest when the twins were born? From your inlaws' pov, sil would have needed their help more and I think you're being a bit unreasonable to expect equal shares of their time. Not so much a 'preference' as a necessity.
I do think they should make more effort at weekends, but I think circumstances are partly to blame for how things are working out.
Yes I think my SIL does definitely need them more Thyme, absolutely! Hence I gave up work without really saying anything to them about it. Its more the weekends that were a bit baffled by, they both have seperate hobbies though which take up a lot if time at weekends and evenings on top of everything else. They did look after the oldest before twins came along so maybe it was just always agreed that was what was going to happen. Maybe it's all none of my business. Perhaps I feel Resentful that I don't have anyone in my life to support me the way that they do her. Maybe I also slightly resent that since her twins arrived no one has paid my DS a moments attention (let's face it, new born twins are far more exciting than a 6 month old!) I have resisted saying anything or thinking too much about it until my OH got upset about it a few days ago after he had had a couple of glasses of wine and said that he felt left out, unsupported and as if his sister was taking the piss a bit. That's what's really got to me I think!
Why don't you try to build up your and your sons relationship with them by inviting them over for a few hours at the weekend more regularly so they can spend time with your family without other grandchildren around?
Maybe once you are seeing them regularly for social reasons then you could re-approach the subject of them looking after your son while your in labor and on the odd weekend and try and reason with them.
Or you could invite them round for dinner and have a bit of a heart to heart. Tell them that your worried that you son won't have a relationship with them and that you need their support as much as your sil does. Maybe they don't even realise there is a problem.
Funnily enough sponge cake that's exactly what I've just done! I am at this moment undecided which approach to take though. MIL just popped in (she never does that so it was a huge surprise. Maybe she has a sixth sense! Or maybe she is on MN!!!!) so took the opportunity to take positive action instead if moaning. Tried to show her a couple of bits for new baby and she said wasn't really interested so I was left s bit dejected but a get together is provisionally planned for the weekend
Why dont you and your SIL do a deal - babysit each others kids so that you can give the GPs a break? Then you DS will develop a lifelong priceless bond with his cousins? IME kids are much easier to manage when their friends/cousins are over to play.
Sounds like your IL work 24/7 and have much more pressures in their lives than you - and looking after 3 young kids (including 3.5 year old twins) and then caring for other relatives - they must be exhausted at their age and they deserve their weekends off - you only have a 4 year old who presumably is at nursery multiple sessions a week, so you can rest then.
Look at it from their perspective......but dont beg or feel entitled.
You had a one day a week job you don't seem to be able to cope with so gave it up, but you think other people with other commitments are wrong to not look after your children? It's crap that they ignore your dh but it could possibly be because of your believing they should do this?
She said she wasn't interested? How bloody rude!
I can't believe some posters are trying to justify her behaviour!!
It is absolutely wrong to treat your children so differently and equally your GC
The sad thing is, is that you cannot do a thing about it. Of course you would feel envious about the treatment sil and her children get, who wouldn't?
I really believe that there is nothing you can do to alter their approach as they seem to be showing a strong disinterest in your family. I would step back and start looking for other means of support.
Ah ok if she was a single parent I could see why they would help more.. unfortunately a few grandparents seem to be more drawn to their daughters children than they are towards their sons children. No idea why though.
Popple - my son Is not yet 2 and has no nursery sessions, won't do until he turns 3! I have tried this with my SIL but she is very hot and cold and won't let anyone but her parents look after her DCs. Has offered to have my DS a couple of times when in front of extended family then cancelled last min - still unsure as to whether reasons to cancel were genuine but either way I understand that having one more on top of three of your own is lot so I understand!
To be quite honest you're a SAHM now and SIL has twins and works.... So her need is greater.
Do you really expect them to give up their hobbies at the weekends/evenings to mind your DS?!
To be fair have known several grandparents who CM for various siblings (their children) on the whole the GP used to just CM either 1 day a week and maybe some weekends (babysitting) and that was that. Especially as the GP had other interests and hobbies including charity work.
I think if you worked more too you'd be entitled to ask for more help.
My mother made it very clear that she wasn't going to be looking after my first DC, let alone DS, yet had both my sisters' children day and night whenever they asked. I think she had dd for two days/nights when I had a very late miscarriage and was very ill in hospital but that was it.
MIL babysat twice and both times was standing at the door with her coat on (probably about 9.30pm) waiting for us to get back- bearing in mind both dcs were in bed when she arrived a couple of hours earlier and she didn't have to do anything).
You need to build a separate child support system op, she's made it clear she can't, for whatever reason, look after your child/children.
They are not interested in your DC. That's horrible and weird. But it is how it is. Trying to force them to be interested in you and your DC is a waste of your effort and emotions. You'd be better off spending your effort in getting proper childcare and your emotions in supporting your DH as he realises that his DM is a cowbag.
Honestly, I think you're confusing GPs being generally interested in and loving towards their grandchildren with the entirely separate issue of GPs doing unpaid childcare for their grandchildren.
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