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How to deal with unreliable family members?

(7 Posts)
pamelat Mon 06-Oct-08 14:16:59

I have a close and (too) honest relationship with my immediate family members.

I think that this is why I am struggling with in law relationships (only been married 18 months, DD is 8 months old now)

Right, here goes ...

Sister in law is a year or so older than me but lives a younger life style. Her boyfriend and job are on and off and she doesn't have kids envy!

I have no idea whether she even wants kids, I don't think that she does.

Until DD came along none of this was any of my business. In fact, I do like my sister in law.

Right, so DD is here and SIL (rightly) wants to be involved. Every week I contact her as to if and when she will be available to come over (she lives 15 mins away).

What happens each time is that there is no response and then I will get a call one day and she will ask to come round there and then. Often I can't be available because I like to have plans (am off work at the mo). She always seems put out by this, as though i should make the time free for her? She has never said this, so maybe I am being paranoid

Now heres the thing, with MY family I would have a word and say that this last minute business doesn't really work and that I need some notification (unless i don't have plans, but thats hardly ever) but with SIL I end up APOLOGISING (!) that I have plans and then feel bad. I just dont know how to handle it as she can be rather sensitive, and I am too - I dont want to cause a problem.

DH does not want to be involved. he says that he hardly knows her and that I should accept shes unrealiable, not worry about her and just do my own stuff.

She is notoriously unrealiable and unorganised so I don't think she means anything by never planning anything. its just I cant live my life like that and this way she hardly ever gets to see our DD sad, which she often mentions, arggghhh!

BBeingpatient Mon 06-Oct-08 14:37:57

well your just gonna have to take one of twso options: carry on as you are OR simply say this isnt working and why, so long as you say it in a kind way and explain that you do want to see her but that you are busy i dont see what the problem is?? you could even tell her infront of people so there can be no confusion/twisting

BBeingpatient Mon 06-Oct-08 14:38:10

well your just gonna have to take one of twso options: carry on as you are OR simply say this isnt working and why, so long as you say it in a kind way and explain that you do want to see her but that you are busy i dont see what the problem is?? you could even tell her infront of people so there can be no confusion/twisting

beanieb Mon 06-Oct-08 14:40:16

Can't you just say when she calls 'sorry got other stuff on at the moment' or 'yeah pop round, I'm free' depending on what the situation is?

pamelat Mon 06-Oct-08 19:03:04

could do but she has taken the huff on the last 2 occassions when I have had plans, and the 2nd time asked me to cancel them. Am not prepared to let my "mummsy" friends down as they are the people that have been there for me over the last 9 months.

I compromised and said that I wouldn't cancel it but that she could turn up midway and take DD for an hour whilst I stayed (meal out with friends and babies). This worked fine but my friends thought it was a bit odd and a bit rude to have asked me to cancel.

Afterall it isnt me that she wants to see but DD (which is fine by me)I have reached that stage where an hour "off" is priceless.

You're right, maybe I'm making this more difficult than it needs to be

quinne Mon 06-Oct-08 22:50:39

call her three times a week offering her the pick of whatever gaps you have in your schedule for the next two days.
She'll either take one of these opportunities or start complaining that you are nagging her to visit you! (you can't win!)

lisad123 Mon 06-Oct-08 22:55:57

I would eb tempted to say, im really sorry Im not able to make last mintue plans as i have loads to do with LO. Maybe have a set day in the week either a morning or an afternoon free, and let her know. I always keep friday free for coffee with friends.

Its a struggle and i have a friend thats the same. HTH

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