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grandparent issues...

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Sometimes I feel like I didn't get what was 'advertised'. My FIL and MIL (divorced and each single) carried on and on before and during pregnancy that they couldn't wait for a grandchild. 17 months later, I find myself pleading and bargaining with them for basic childcare duties! I find myself looking longingly at other older folks out with children and I'm starting to feel, well, resentment. It's horrible. I just feel like they aren't holding up their end of the bargain, you know? Being a SAHM for 11-12 hours a day on my own is really catching up with me...and I feel like I have no safety net, even though my IL's are each less than 20 minutes away. (And see, now I feel like I'm tearing them apart! They aren't horrible mean people...just kind of...not...what I need them to be...)

I guess it's hard for me to swallow, not having my own parents to depend on.

Anyone else struggle with these feelings? Some days, especially by Friday, it just gets overwhelming.

Thanks for letting me ramble. I needed it.
post #2 of 31
I understand how you feel. My own mother who lives roughly 30 minutes away will not take DS - almost 2 - unless I beg. They will take my niece, and have her during my brother's visitation time (he's out of state). It's so frustrating, because, like you, I'm alone with them 11 to 12 hours. I just want to pull my hair out and scream it's not fair.
post #3 of 31
I'm with ya in : and . My ILs are 3000 miles away, but it doesn't matter b/c even when they visit they're completely checked out. On their last visit my 4 y/o asked "Where's Dad? You know, the man with the tie." Um, that's your grandfather, darling. I"m definitely resentful, it's hard not to be. What can you do. But you know, his father was always distant and uninvolved w/ his OWN children so it's little surprise he isn't involved with ours.

I don't get any help either other than my DH and I agree 100%, it's hard sometimes.
post #4 of 31
I remember feeling disappointed when my MIL (who lived 30 minutes away at the time) spent my entire pregnancy talking about how involved she was going to be, and then after the baby was born I barely saw her. Can your DH get involved? Sometimes it's hard to talk to inlaws, depending on your relationship. In my case, I pretty much just let go any idea that she was going to help, and that helped in and of itself.
post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 
You know, I vent to my SO probably more than I should...I'm sure it comes across as me dogging his mother. But he's wondered out loud more than once, "Why can't they just be NORMAL?"

Sometimes, it's just really hard to accept that no amount of pissin' and moanin' to and about them is going to change anything!!

But I still have unresolved feelings, like I'm cheating my ds. I grew up without grandparents (and parents, for the most part) and it was really hard. While I knew the extended family situation would be a wee bit more difficult in our case, I never dreamt it'd be practically impossible. I just wish I could give him more, you know?

Ugh, enough pity party for a Friday night...have a great weekend ladies!
post #6 of 31

grandparents not so grand?

My in-laws live far away ..in a state that I and my hubby loathe. I would get the little kids there after a long 12 hour car ride and the in-laws would just plop my kids in front of the tv. Sick. I drove them 1200 miles to see you for this?

You can't re-make folks. I've tried. Just take a deep breath and deal.
post #7 of 31
I know how you feel! my mom died when i was pg with my second son, and my MIL she is involved with everyone elses kids but me and DH's. I get so jealous when I see grandmas at the parks with there grandkids, or playgroups or whatever. I so wish I had help
post #8 of 31
Maybe they aren't sure what to do with a child that young? That would be my main guess.

My MIL is the same way. They live about 20 minutes away and see DS maybe once a month - and that's because we invite ourselves over. Yet when we do finally see them, she complains about how she never gets to see him. Anywho...

I agree with maybe asking your DH to help you out. Have you considered a mother's helper? Or finding an inexpensive babysitter that you can use for a couple of hours? What about friends? Even an hour can be totally refreshing. Are you getting enough sleep? I know that when I'm well rested, things go much more smoothly and I'm able to handle the challenges much more easily... I hope you find something that works out for your family!
post #9 of 31

My own parents have very little to do with my son

I totally understand your frustration. Before my son was born, my parents were so excited, "Oh we can't wait to be grandparents..." I live a km, a little over a half of a mile from them and the only time my son sees them is if and when I take him over to see them. I have invited them over many times and have said, "Your grandson would love to see you." Even then, much of the time they are 'checked out'. One of my ways of coping with my disappointment is by practicing to erase any expectations that they would be involved grandparents and promise myself to be there for my own.
My husband and I have also decided that we need to move away from my parent's neighborhood to alleviate some of the frustration over their lack of involvement--maybe the distance will reduce our upset over their disinterest in their grandbaby. I don't expect a move would inspire more involvement on their part, but at least the space would excuse them a bit more. I wish there were some grandmothers/fathers reading these posts--I would love to hear from their perspective what it's like being involved, not being involved...
post #10 of 31
There's this saying Latino saying, it may be a little bit insulting. But I've notice that to some extent it's true. Unleast with my parents and their relationship with my brother's daughters. Which is none, considering that they live 5 minutes away from eachother.
It goes "Children of my daughters my grandchildren, children of my sons, who knows?"

My inlaws for that matter, we live in the same city and they see the kids twice a month
It was the samething when I was a child, I had a lot of contact with my maternal grandparents but not with my paternal ones.
post #11 of 31
My MIL is like this...she just has no interest, but it was the same for my husband when he was little. It's as if she had kids because she thought it was expected of her, not because she wanted to actually have them, KWIM?

But if your parents/ILs aren't participating...do you really want your kids to be left alone with them? I don't think I would want someone looking after my kids, if they really didn't want to partake. I think my kids would be better off without them, but that's just my take.
post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaluvspirates View Post
But if your parents/ILs aren't participating...do you really want your kids to be left alone with them? I don't think I would want someone looking after my kids, if they really didn't want to partake. I think my kids would be better off without them, but that's just my take.
I agree. Also, I am a parent who firmly belives that GP don't owe us anything and nor are they entitled to our dc. By relation, there is potential for a special relationship, but if that relation is not enough, then it just was not meant to be. I think you just have to let go of your expectation that they owe you childcare.
post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by borbonmamma View Post
There's this saying Latino saying, it may be a little bit insulting. But I've notice that to some extent it's true. Unleast with my parents and their relationship with my brother's daughters. Which is none, considering that they live 5 minutes away from eachother.
It goes "Children of my daughters my grandchildren, children of my sons, who knows?"


My inlaws for that matter, we live in the same city and they see the kids twice a month
It was the samething when I was a child, I had a lot of contact with my maternal grandparents but not with my paternal ones.
I am not fussing at you, but that line of thinking is disgusting. It really is.

I mean, I am the mother of 3 boys, all from my DH, and if my inlaws ever acted like that, I would tell them not to bother expecting us for holidays, etc.

If you refuse to act like a grandparent to ALL of your grandkids, you should not expect the ones you snub to have anything to with you when you want.
post #14 of 31
I am so sorry you are going through this with your in-laws. I feel very similar to you. My in-laws went on and on about 'when are you going to have a baby?' and at that point I was far from ready. When we finally did get pregnant, they acted sort of excited, but mostly liked the attention others were heaping upon *them* for becoming grandparents. Then, what do you know? They moved from being 3 hours away to being literally half-way across the world. They could care less about being involved with the kids and don't even both to send them cards, gifts, phone calls or anything on a bday. After this, when I wouldn't let my MIL be at the birth of my second child, she had the gall to be mad at me!

Anyway, I do often feel cheated. My parents could care less about the kids, too, but then again, they weren't involved with me when I was little. I have no one to take the load when I'm needing a break. I can rationalize all day long that other people do it and other people have less than me, etc., but it doesn't make it any easier on me. It's really difficult to be a SAHM all the time and even more difficult when dh travels for work, works all of the time, isn't involved like he should be, etc.

The advice I received from my aunt is that you have to make your own family. Blood does not make parents, grandparents, etc. Try to find some way to build relationships with other people that do want to be involved and have a relationship with you. It is possible because I had that with my neighbors before we moved. Good luck to you and try to keep your head up.
post #15 of 31
I feel ya. My parents had nothing to do with my kids, even when we lived 2 minutes from them-not interested in bday parties, or seeing them. So we moved. They didn't speak to us for a couple years, (they were thrilled to have an excuse) my dad died and we are back a few miles from my mom and she has nothing to do with the kids as usual.
It used to destroy me, eat me up, till I really looked at who they were (are) and realized I wouldn't want them in my kids lives anyway. They were lousy parents-I wouldn't want them influencing my children.
My mom and I are speaking terms-a little more amicable, but she has never, in 15 years, ever babysat or spent alone time with my kids. Ever.
I had to grieve, and I had to let it go. ((hugs))
post #16 of 31
My dad wasn't involved in my son's life until my son was old enough to carry on a conversation and run errands with Grandpa. My dad simply didn't feel comfortable with a baby or a toddler. I was disappointed, to say the least, when my son was younger, but now that the two can go do stuff together, I see it was really my dad just feeling uncomfortable with a younger child. My sister's kids are younger than my son, and my dad barely sees them (we all live in the same town). My sister doesn't think it is fair that my dad will spend time with my son but not her kids, but when my son was their age, my dad ignored him, too. I try to tell my sister not to take it too personally. Yeah, it may not be right, but sometimes you have to meet people where they are, mentally, emotionally and physically.

My IL's don't take my son without me at all. They love him and enjoy being around him, but it's only as a family. My MIL did mention that she would love to watch the baby when she gets here, and we'll see how all that goes.
post #17 of 31
This thread should be in "Parenting" because it applies to all of us (WOH, SAH, WAH moms).

That being said, my parents are absent from DD's life except on major holidays. They don't feel it is their responsibility to be there for us and I don't ask them. It is just the way it is with our family dynamic. Lots of people of my parents' generation feel that they raised their own kids...now it is time for "them time." I don't begrudge them of that. I just wish that we had more of a "village" attitude concerning child-rearing. Generation upon generation in our history has depended on extended family for help. Now, we must do it all alone. That seems unnatural to me.
post #18 of 31
You can't make someone care if they don't.

They also don't have "child care duties" and there is no end of the deal for them to hold up. That is the beauty of being a grand parent. My MIL has basically nothing to do with my kids and my mother tries but really falls short. It's hard and hurtful when you realize that they aren't the people you thought they were.
post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by borbonmamma View Post
There's this saying Latino saying, it may be a little bit insulting. But I've notice that to some extent it's true. Unleast with my parents and their relationship with my brother's daughters. Which is none, considering that they live 5 minutes away from eachother.
It goes "Children of my daughters my grandchildren, children of my sons, who knows?"

My inlaws for that matter, we live in the same city and they see the kids twice a month
It was the samething when I was a child, I had a lot of contact with my maternal grandparents but not with my paternal ones.
I totally agree with this, my MIL is really close with her daughters kids, but not close with mine at all. I swear though, when my ds and dd have kids I will treat my grandchildren equally.
post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinkerBelle View Post
I am not fussing at you, but that line of thinking is disgusting. It really is.
It's just a saying, it doesnt mean that I think like that.
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