in laws abroad(17 Posts)
I'm finding it very difficult with my partner and his parents. My partner has lived in the uk for years and we have recently had a baby. He feels so guilty that they do not live near by. I do all i can to include them, but they also say things to make us feel guilty. It's getting me down. Any advice?
Congratulations on the baby. Why do you both feel so guilty?
He moved away, met you and had a child, why should you feel guilty?
Stop feeling guilty and just get on with being a mother.
What sort of things do they say?
Think it's hard as I'm so close to my family and they are very involved in my daughter's life. His mum has need to seek professional help as she isn't coping being so far away. She has even said she has to pretend that we don't have a baby, which i think is odd! I do love being a mum, thanks for the straight talking!
Grandparents generally are a bit clingy when a new baby arrives. They want to be in on the action as they know the baby stage is over fast. Mostly when the child gets to 6 or 7 the novelty of a tiny little person has worn off and even at the toddler stage, most grandparents don't really want to play with them for hours.
I think if you love your children, you should let them go and live their lives wherever that might be, and you don't guilt them into moving closer to you.
If this has only developed since the baby, I would highly recommend giving it a good amount of time before you make any hasty decisions to move closer to them. Maybe you could go out and see them for a few weeks solid when the baby is a bit bigger, even if that's without your husband while you're on maternity and he could join you for a week. Would that maybe keep it manageable for them? Or they came to stay with you?
We live away from family on both sides and I find they cope much better when they have an actual date for the next visit always lined up. It's the unknown, never knowing when is the next trip that makes them get clingy.
Just remember, just because you were born somewhere doesn't mean you have to live there forever. You are a free agent, it's your life not your parents. Why should you be constrained by their choices?
Thanks for that, you're probably right, as this is their first grandchild it is that they want to be involved. They have visited once and we are going to Australia for Xmas, which is showing a big effort travelling so far with a 4month old. As for moving, no way! Couldn't cope in the heat. Also a good idea to have trips lined up.
This is our first baby so hoping it will all calm down, when they say silly things I'm quite an honest person and like to tell them to not be daft but they are very sensitive.
is this their first gc ? Does dh have siblings? Sounds like mil has attachment issues to your dh rather than the gc she has never met . Not your issue though, he made his choices .
Yeah, he has a brother but he works away a lot too. It's funny you mention that as i have raised the same issue with him. I always think she thought he would go back but he had a fab job here, met me, bought a house, got married, had a baby so its clear that's not happening anymore. He's happy though, i understand its tough but all you want is your kids to be happy.
In the same position as you, I am married to an Aussie and would not consider living there. We have set skype times every week (dd is older so she can actually talk to them) I don understand you feeling guilty as I felt the same but you can only do so much. I make sure that PIL's get regular photos, videos letters from DD as well as Skype there isn't anything else you can do
They will be feeling upset and isolated. They will have people asking them about the baby and they will know that they are never going to gave the same relationship with their grandchildren that other people do.
Some of the things we do are
1) FaceTime at the same time every week. We both got iPads just dot this. This means our dc have grown up talking with them and they feel as if they know each other.
2) I text photos and things that I probably would forget to tell them about. The little things
3) we talk about their connections.
'Yes, you have curly hair like grandma'
'Grandpa loves jazz and so do you. You can tell you are related!
Thanks for all the advice, i send pics and messages everyday and we skype every weekend. Also taking her at xmas, i feel we do a lot. I am hoping it will calm down as she becomes more interactive with them on skype. I do sometimes feel his mum pulls at his heart strings, its hard when they visit/ we visit as it is weeks at a time and becomes tense. Thanks for the support, feeling better to know others are going through the same!
It does sound like you are doing a lot already.
No doubt every person your PIL have ever met from their other son to the postman will be asking them why you don't want to live in Australia. It's the Australian way! They may have assumed that you would want to come here.
People are always asking me why my mum doesn't just move here. Why would she want to!
When you come over I would say to them
'we would absolutely love it if you emigrated to be near us. Please do think about it'
No doubt they won't want to but neither do you so you can put it on them as much as they put it on you.
Once your baby is older it will get easier, I remember dd being a baby and holding her up to the webcam for Skype chats, she would be wiggling about and mil would be trying not to get upset and it was just a pain!
Once they are old enough to sit still for a bit and start talking it really does improve
Dd is 9 now so she is big enough to talk to them on the phone or Skype on her own, she shows them things she has made at school and tells them about her life.
That's a good point i will try, they always go on about the Aussie way of life which suits them, but not me. They don't seem overly interested when we talk about moving house, bigger house for more kids! Conversation always goes back to building a house in Oz. Haha!
His mum is seeing a therapist so i hope that helps too, but she also tells my partner she is seeing a therapist because he lives here. A little harsh!
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