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In laws- help!(14 Posts)
I am after some advice... My husband and I have a rather unconventional relationship with my in laws (his folks). We work together and live 100m away. My relationship with my MILused to be pretty good (we were friends!) until her daughter was pregnant and she sort of forgot about our friendship. She has two grandkids (mine and hubbies) and since the arrival of my SIL child (now 2) she has all but shut out children out. It's very awkward as other people (family friends etc) are noticing it. My children are asking questions an I am genuinely not sure what to do. My MIL has a number of mental health issues which I have fully supported her with over the last 15 years. We live and work so closely (too closely and I stress about their intrusion into out family home often!) but since may I thibk she has seen her grandchildren possibly No more than 10 time- which give the proximity in which she lives it's particularly odd... I try and still invite and involve my inlaws but to be honest I am beginning to totally depsise how they have treated our children. It'd almost be easier if they hadn't been interested in the first place! Huge thanks for reading and all advice greatly received!
I'm not sure what you want advice on.
You can't force her to want to spend time with your children. It's sad but that's how it is. Accept that she is not interested.
Can you get another job?
Sadly not. I totally understand that you can't force someone to spend time with your children but when she works at their school and won't bring them home (she finishes at the same time as they do!) surely that's not cool? So we all drive home in a sort of convoy... I guess I just want advice on what to do? My husband has politely discussed it with her and she said she would try and help a bit more- which hasn't happened. I guess it's just a case of "get over it"!
I don't think you can expect help on a regular basis with your children from anyone. This is because they are your children and your responsibility. It is hard when life feels unfair, but it is unfair.
A MIL needs to be friendly and accepting towards her DIL because to do otherwise would be foolish and unwelcoming. However, she is her daughter's Mother. It will be possibly easier to be in the company of her daughter than you. Not that she doesn't like you, as I am sure she does, but it is just easier. She can pop in and out of her daughter's house and her daughter is able to tell her straight.
Perhaps she can be herself with her daughter and has to try a bit harder with you, not to hurt or offend you?
Of course she should try and be more even handed, but no one is perfect and perhaps she is taking what seems to her, the easier route.
I think you are stressing about this situation quite a bit and maybe should lower your expectations of her and try and relax. After all if your MIl can't manage to balance everything a bit better, your lovely children will not be as close to her and she will be the looser.
I think you are totally right. It's just so hard when my husband and I work very hard (no day off in the last 3 weeks!) and she could just offer to run the kids home from somewhere she already is. Currently the school run is the time I take as my breaK. Massive thanks for your words.
Not doing the school run, is that an example of your MIL shunning your kids? Because in my book it isn't. Funny how the only example you've given of her not spending time with your children is the time she isn't providing after school care.
Do you genuinely want her to spend more time with your kids or do you want free childcare on tap? It's difficult to ascertain from your OP if your kids are genuinely being 'shunned', or that your jealousy of the attention that your SIL's child is getting, coupled with the possible loss of childcare.
Wow, thanks for your thanks. I usually post about MIl/ DIL issues because I feel I have experience having been a DIL and now a MIL. I love my children beyond words and I like my SILs and DILs as they are genuinely nice people.
Perhaps your MIL doesn't realise how tired you are. Why not take her for a coffee? Actually invite her and leave your DH looking after the DCs?
You then have an opportunity to get closer to her. You can say nice things to her( if you can think of some) and say how grateful you would be if sometimes( stress ' sometimes 'as she might be afraid of committing to a regular scenario) she could bring your DCs home.
Perhaps she feels exhausted herself. Is there any possibility your children are boisterous?
I think if you leave it to your DH to tell her it will just make things worse and she may feel that you have been complaining about her behind her back. ( you know how that would make you feel) Face to face is always better, more painful maybe, but I always think it has a better outcome.
I think it's weird and actively unhelpful to not return with the kids if she is finishing at the same time and you live so nearby (unless she is worried she will have to wait around while your dc do clubs). It's a small thing to her that would make a big difference to you. How could she not see that? I know she doesn't have to help out but a kind person would!
It must be very hurtful to have to turn a blind eye to the favouritism.
I advise you to stop making the effort and if she asks you for a favour, then what goes around comes around.
Refreshing to hear someone who doesn't just think I am in this for free childcare! All my mum friends at school find this whole thing outrageous- I am working my butt off for a business in which she is a partner so the harder I work the more money the more profit made so it makes sense if she chips in with just bringing them home every so often. It's more crazy that my mum sometimes collects them (she lives 1/2 hour away) and returns them back to me... I am not just dwelling on the school pick up- on Christmas day she dropped the girls pressies in and ran- didn't even see them or wish them a merry Christmas. It hurt my oldest a lot. It's such a sad scenario as we have no privacy my kitchen is the tea room! Itd be so much easier if we just all hit along. That said my FIL clearly funds the whole thing most odd and he's been very chatty with the kids so every cloud!
I am not in favour of tit for tat really. It only works if the person you are doing this to, recognises that there is something wrong and wants to engage in a dialogue with you, to fix it.
Perhaps, as your DH sat down with her and told her ' whatever' perhaps she thinks you don't like her? Unless you yourself speak to her in a non threatening way, you will never know.
I don't think it is too much for your MIL to drop your DCs off as she lives so close. However, unless you speak to her you will never know her side of it. Why doesn't she want to do it?
I don't think she will feel grateful to you working your socks off in a business that she and her husband fund, sorry.
You sound like a nice person. Possibly overworked and in need of a rest as well. The dark night make me feel glum personally. Your only hope of resolving these issues is by talking to her.
I don't think you want her solely for her childcare potential at all. I think you work hard and could do with some help. Having small DCs and a full time job is very stressful. I know because I did it.
Speak to her and keep to the 'I' word
Aggressive , ' why the F don't you bring my DCs home when you live nearby.'
This is certainly not what you should say to her.
Assertiveness and honesty are something different from aggression. After all as a decent person you are looking for a amicable solution, not blame, so that you can get on with your life in peace.
Ok firstly they do not fund our business at all... In fact my part of it is currently financing theres... Possibly part of why I am angered by all of this. As mentioned earlier we were friends lots of days out lots of holidays etc and it all stopped. No argument no huge event. I actually think that my SIL bullies my MIL hence her driving an hour away to care for her child once a week- this theory is backed up by my FIL. Totally agree that talking is the answer- you sound line you speak from experience!
I'm a teacher and if my gc was in my school l wouldn't bring her home every day. I sometimes stay late, sometimes go with colleagues for coffee, sometimes go in the opposite direction to see relatives, sometimes stop off to browse the shops etc. No way could l be tied to bringing them home. It's not a fair expectation.
I'm sorry this is happening to you and your dc. It hurts so bad to see your babies let down. Could you maybe mention something to your sil as she may be moaning that as you all work together and mil works at your dc's school that she favours your dc over her dc? My fil has not even acknowledged the birth of our dc due to a fallout with dh manipulative brother. Made me so sad at xmas knowing he had gone out shopping for presents etc and purposely missed my dd. Hope it gets better but from experience if someone is manipulating the situation it really is a waste of your time to keep trying
I have re read the thread again and I think your MIL has gone cold on you for possibly two reasons. She got lost in the excitement of her DD having a child. I have both DDs and DSs and your DD having a child is not the same as your DIL having a child., because you are their Mother. Your DIL has a Mother and feels comfortable and easy with her.
My DDs wanted me when their babies were born, not because they don't like their MILs ( because they do) but they could tell me straight or personal things etc, such as my bottom is sore etc.
Then she hadn't got the same time to spend with your DCs because she now has three GCs and afull time job and is no longer all that young.
You notice her neglect and are upset. Your husband then has a 'word' and goodness knows what he said but he could have started with user said etc etc and really hurt and offended her. Coupled with her mental illness, which could be related to self esteem, she may have thought Ok * user* no longer likes me, so I will keep away.
How about that for a possible scenario? But you will never know what's up unless you speak to her.
Or you could try and relax, close the cafe and you and your DH have a day to your self. You sound exhausted.
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