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DC being treated less favourably than their cousins...

(13 Posts)
Whitewhine89 Fri 21-Oct-16 09:40:16

I'll try to keep this fairly short. We have 2 primary school age DC and live closely to both sets of GP. Both sides have been involved in their upbringing/seeing them regularly and we always make the effort to visit and phone.

It has always been apparent that my IL's do a lot more for their other 2 GC who are of similar age. Think babysitting, trips out, buying clothes etc. They also help BIL/SIL out financially and buy lots of things for their house and fund improvements. They are also very generous towards us and our children but we are not offered the same level of 'help'. This isn't a huge problem as we work hard and can manage to fund our own lives. I love my inlaws and appreciate they are kind and generous people.

IL's help out one afternoon per week collecting our DC from school and watching them for 2 hrs. They look after other GC every weekend Fri/Sat which means we are unable to ask for babysitting as they won't say no to others and 4 DC are too much for them to cope with. My DC are now noticing that they are not "allowed" to stay overnight and that they are not being treated the same. It's always been this way and my MIL just tells them they can stay another time. It does happen occasionally, prob 2-3 times per year.

It is now very noticeable that my DP's are doing almost the exact same with my DN. Less sleepovers but spending a lot more time, offering babysitting and buying expensive trainers and items related to a hobby. My DD asked me the other day why granny had their cousins as a screensaver on her phone/iPad but not her or her brother. They see a lot more of my siblings DC as they have been looked after 2 x days a week since birth which also means my DC have not got the same close relationship with them. My DM (who I love dearly) said she couldn't look after my DC when they were tiny as she was already committed with the other two and work. I understood this and arranged alternative childcare.

This has all come to a head in my mind this week and I feel so resentful and tearful. I have a close relationship with all parents and don't want to cause a shit-storm. BUT, my DC clearly feel lower down the pecking order and I can't have that. I reassure them that their GP love them very much but they are noticing the inequalities. My DH and I have a happy marriage and are both of the same opinion. I think GP feel we don't need much in the way of support - we would just like it to be more fair.

Do we say anything to them?

BlackeyedSusan Fri 21-Oct-16 14:39:47

oh shit, that is hard, when both sets.

MatildaTheCat Fri 21-Oct-16 14:52:57

Do you maybe seem in less need of help? Better income, home or marriage? It is really hard to treat children equally and sometimes of course it's unnecessary but unfortunately the feeling of being treated unfairly goes very deep indeed. Maybe your DC should be asking for more time rather then you? Your dp and inlaws might just respond to that?

It does sound hard. flowers

MatildaTheCat Fri 21-Oct-16 15:00:42

Sorry,mi meant to say, '^sometimes it is necessary,' not unnecessary.

gildedcage Fri 21-Oct-16 15:04:40

I agree. If my children want to have sleepovers etc I tell them they will have to speak to Nana. Mine usually say "when can we have a sleepover ?"

Ultimately they are the ones who are missing out as children grow up very quickly, soon they won't want to see Nana at all...or rarely...especially ifor they haven't put anything into forging a strong relationship.

My sister has exactly this problem with her ILs. I think you DH has to speak to his parents. But if you are close with your mum why would you not mention it.

MiaowTheCat Fri 21-Oct-16 15:24:47

Ultimately it's hurtful as hell to you (I'm in a similar situation with my in-laws) but all you can do is to try to rise above it. I've stopped trying desperately to foster the relationship between my kids and the in-laws - I won't stop them seeing them, or be obstructive or awkward - but while previously I was the one chasing phonecalls or sending photos on and stuff... now I don't go out of my way as the snubs were too much.

End of the day it's their loss - one day the kids will realise and it'll all come home to roost - all I can do is to just make sure that my kids are in as good a place as possible to ride it out and me to pick up the pieces when it does so.

We also have the computer and phone wallpaper thing as well - amazing how such a little thing can irk so much.

Nanny0gg Fri 21-Oct-16 15:29:08

We also have the computer and phone wallpaper thing as well - amazing how such a little thing can irk so much.

I bend over backwards to make sure children from each family are shown on every device, just to make sure I don't cause offence!

Love51 Fri 21-Oct-16 15:38:19

I wonder if both sets think you don't need them as much because you have the other set? Not sure if or how I'd tackle that tho. Weekly childcare is awesome though, but the photo thing sucks. Could you each mention it to your own parents? Not sure that there is a nice way to do that.

My mum sometimes frets about being 'fair' to me and my bro. Our situations are so different that the only way to be fair would to do nothing for either of us ever, so we both get a better deal than fair. However, all the GC, and step gcs have their photos up, whether she was there when they were born or she only met them in late teens or early adulthood, or something in between (there are a LOT of dgc/ dsgc).

I'm the type to disengage but I'm not sure that's right - it seems they like your kids but feel that the others need them?

ItsNiceItsDifferentItsUnusual Fri 21-Oct-16 15:41:27

Gosh that's really hard. It's a difficult thing to bring up because mentioning all the little things can seem petty, but actually little things can mean a huge deal.

I understand why pp are saying it's their loss, and it is of course, but actually it is still also the gc's loss too. It's horrible feeling unfavoured.

Whitewhine89 Fri 21-Oct-16 16:14:09

Thank you for your understanding responses, I thought I was being petty. I just feel a bit gutted for my DC. They are fabulous, clever, funny little children - every bit as much as my nieces and nephews whom I adore.

When all DC are together they can be quite excitable and occasionally badly behaved. This often leads to my DC getting the blame as the other 'resident GC' don't behave like this when there themselves. It's really getting me frustrated. I'm not bothered so much about the gifting of extra clothes, money as I am about the lack of time afforded to my DC.

I take the point about us seemingly being less needy. We tend to just get on with things rather than palming the kids off. Our siblings are both married, no major problems, awkward work patterns or financial worries.

I know we need to speak up, I want to go about it in a constructive way though. I'm feeling quite hurt/sensitive so need to be careful that I handle it well. I would never disengage or stop kids seeing both GP but I do want them to be aware that the DC have noticed things are not fair. I did think about the suggestion of kids asking directly for sleepovers but I don't want to put words I their mouths or highlight the very situation I have downplayed to them.

TheFairyCaravan Fri 21-Oct-16 16:31:58

We had it with both sets of grandparents, too. I put up with it for years, and tbh I wish I hadn't. It really, really hurt my children, especially my parents' behaviour and they deserved better than that.

My children are 19&21 now. They have never slept at my parents, they've never beeen bought a packet of sweets or been taken to the park. My sister's children on the other hand have had day trips out, slept over every weekend, been on holidays abroad and in this country (sometimes twice a year). My children didn't get 18th birthday presents, they got cars.

I'm disabled and DH is in the armed forces, so some help might have been nice at times. It came to a head when I was due to have major surgery for the 6th time in as many years and I asked my parents to help with my children. My mum said they couldn't because they had to work (they have their own business).

2 days before my operation she let it slip they were taking my nieces and nephews, plus my great niece on holiday abroad so my sister could go on a child free holiday. I was so, so hurt I actually couldn't speak. When they got back my mum phoned as if nothing had had happened. I told her I couldn't have her around me anymore and to contact me when she could treat my children the same. That was 5 years ago, and I've spoken to her 3 times since.

My children don't want talk about my parents, they don't talk about going to see them, they don't suggest asking them to come here, they don't text them or anything. I send an email a couple of times a year to keep them up to date with what we're doing, but they don't deserve any more. And it's their loss not ours.

Alwayschanging1 Fri 21-Oct-16 18:28:49

My children didn't get 18th birthday presents, they got cars.

I just fell off my chair in shock........

junebirthdaygirl Fri 21-Oct-16 20:16:43

I think as children grow they see the unfairness of it and it's the grandparents who miss out in the end. You sound like you have a lovely family unit yourself, you don't need anything so just go on with your own life. Your dc won't suffer from this as have a secure family home themselves. This will turn into a family joke as your dc become teenagers as dc see through most things. I wouldn't say it as you sound like you get on well with them all, are quite independent so it's not worth opening up a can of worms.
Children getting cars while others get nothing is a different story. Completely bonkers.

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