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In-laws not offering to help

(47 Posts)
SueMunch Fri 15-Aug-08 10:02:01

I'm not sure if anyone else is in this situation, but my DH's parents live half a mile away. His father is retired and his mother works mornings but has every afternoon free.

It is now the fourth week of the school holidays and they have not once offered to take their grandchildren out for even an hour.

My children are aged 3 & 5 and whilst they are well behaved, I can never get anything done around the house so a break would really help me.

Whilst I don't expect their help and perhaps shouldn't, I find it very upsetting. To put it into perspective, my own mother lives alone, works four days a week and cannot wait to look after our children on her days off. She also has them overnight, something my inlaws never do.

My DH is equally annoyed with them and often says that they are lucky to live so close.

Has anybody got any ideas on how I can get them to be more involved without causing an argument?

lazaroulovespastries Fri 15-Aug-08 10:03:49

Get your dh to ask them.

wannaBe Fri 15-Aug-08 10:06:48

they are not obliged to offer to look after your children.

If you want help, ask for it, if they then say no for no apparent reason then you will imo be justified in feeling upset. But being annoyed that they haven't automatically offered is a bit ott IMO.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hercules1 Fri 15-Aug-08 10:17:49

Sorry I agree that they are under no obligation to look after your kids. WHy can you never get anything done? Surely your dh can give you a break or do stuff?

SueMunch Fri 15-Aug-08 10:17:58

Thanks so far, maybe I am expecting too much.

I just thought they might like to spend some time with their grandchildren.

The difference with my mum is that she offers - I don't have to ask her and don't expect her to.

I should have maybe mentioned that I get up at five in the morning four days a week to do a morning shift.

I chose this pattern of working so that I can spend the maximum time with my children rather than put them in childcare. But it means that by two in the afternoon I'm often out on my feet.

oiwhatsoccurring Fri 15-Aug-08 10:23:08

Sue my PIL are the same. They live about 30 mins away. My DD is 2.3yrs and they have NEVER even looked after her for an hour. They see her anything between 6 weeks and 3 months. It also upsets me but my husband just makes excuses for them.

My mum sees DD every single week and she is also 30mins away.

rislip Fri 15-Aug-08 10:27:22

I'm in the same boat, not so much that I want my MIL to look after my dd, just to want to spend time with her. She never does, prefers to play tennis or do pilates with her friends. I've just gotten used to it and stopped complaining or worrying about it to dh. We both think it's strange considering my australian parents would do anything to spend even a minute with her. I think as couple of posters said if you can get some other help - childminder, babysitter etc that would be the answer.

sarah293 Fri 15-Aug-08 10:30:17

Message withdrawn

ThatBigGermanPrison Fri 15-Aug-08 10:31:27

Well, you can't, really. None of the ds's grandparents help me with them, and they are all under 60.

My mum gives me lifts in her car, if it's conveniant for her, my dad buys me expensive and very useful presents, and exp's mum makes a big deal about their birthdays and Christmas and sends sacks hmm of presents over - which slighty annoys me, but the children are thrilled. My parents live 5 minutes and 20 minutes walk away respectively. Exp's mum lives 2 buses awat.

I'm really quite sad about it, but to be honest their behavior is a big improvement on their initial reaction to my pregnancy, which was "You stupid, stupid idiot girl. I hope you're not naming the father on the birth certificate!"

Cappuccino Fri 15-Aug-08 10:32:16

my in-laws say things like "We know it's very hard for you, so we always make a nice meal when you come"


oh thanks for that, the food is a great deal of help

lazaroulovespastries Fri 15-Aug-08 10:35:04

Tbh I wouldn't want my fil looking after my children. He's an arse. Apperntly when dh wasa baby he threw him against a wall because he wouldn't stop crying. We don't speak to him anymore, not because of that, but his attitude is dreadful.

rislip Fri 15-Aug-08 10:35:05

that sounds familiar cappuccino. my mil clockwatchs for bedtime when we stay at hers too and if dd is still up after 7pm keeps saying things like "it must be your bed time now, say goodnight to everyone etc".

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lazaroulovespastries Fri 15-Aug-08 10:36:26

tmmj, my mum said she would emmigrate if we had any more grin

oiwhatsoccurring Fri 15-Aug-08 10:36:53

Like rislip said, I would just live my PIL to spend time with DD.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

oiwhatsoccurring Fri 15-Aug-08 10:38:20

Exactly tmmj

wannaBe Fri 15-Aug-08 10:38:42

thing is, you need to get past this upset over other people not having the same all-consuming urge to be with your children that you, and even other members of your family might. Just because they're grandparents doesn't mean that they automatically desire to spend as much time as possible with your children.

I think especially when it's your first child it can be hard to comprehend that the world doesn't share your love of your pfb. I know I felt this with my SIL - she never showed any interest in my ds from when he was born really, and in the beginning I felt as if she was somehow doing my family wrong - how dare she not love him like everyone else does? how dare she not want to visit him constantly and want to spend time with him? But as ds got older I've come to the realization that she's just not maternal. She doesn't just not want to spend time with my ds, she's not interested in anyone's children, and it's really not personal.

As for ds, he has no relationship with her, but that's her loss not his. He can't miss what he's never had, iyswim?

lazaroulovespastries Fri 15-Aug-08 10:43:15

My mum comes round nearly every day. I am very glad of the help and the company. I'm cherishing these times I have with my mum as we have a far better relationship now than we did before I had my own kids.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Rhonds Fri 15-Aug-08 10:48:48

I think that you have to treat in laws the way you'd treat men/your own family. It could be that they haven't even thought about offering to help out as it's been years since they have had school holidays of their own Dc to deal with. Or maybe they're a bit awkward about asking.
But, I know this sounds obvious, once I asked for what I needed I found I got it a great deal more than when I worried, niggled and got angry silently.

SueMunch Fri 15-Aug-08 10:52:30

Its good to have some supportive comments here - I was beginning to feel very selfish.

I am from a very close family so I suppose I feel it is natural to want to spend time with your grandchildren if you have the time and access.

I'm not expecting a even weekly visits, just a few hours now and again.

Another thing that I find incomprehensible is that my MIL stays in most afternoons on her own watching television. Again, forgive me for judging but wouldn't you rather spend a sunny afternoon at the park with your grandkids rather that sit indoors watching Doctors or Homes Under The Hammer?

They are generous in some respects - buying presents at birthdays and christmas etc, but I don't particularly care about material gifts (more annoyingly, I find myself choosing and buying the presents on thier behalf.

Maybe I'll never understand it.

imaginewittynamehere Fri 15-Aug-08 10:54:25

Parents & Inlaws are not free childcare. If they want to help you are lucky but it is not a right.

Saying that maybe your inlaws would like to help but don't feel that they should offer. Get your DH to sound them out as to whether they would like to see the children alone.

Cappuccino Fri 15-Aug-08 11:06:56

"Another thing that I find incomprehensible is that my MIL stays in most afternoons on her own watching television. Again, forgive me for judging but wouldn't you rather spend a sunny afternoon at the park with your grandkids rather that sit indoors watching Doctors or Homes Under The Hammer?"

swop that for "watching DVDS" or "reading a novel" and my answer is NO NO NO NO who wants to go to the park? grin

I think, as has been said, it's their loss. My mum lives nearby and feels truly blessed that she can spend so much time with her grandchildren. She says her life is full of 'golden moments" (yes, I know, vom, but lovely)

I don't think dh's mum ever really liked children. Dh can remember playing while she did other things, and never her playing with him

people are different. I think my mum's life is richer, and so does she, but clearly the pils are happy with the way things are so why get bitter about it?


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