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What would you to a MIL who says she can not visit very often because you work? - Page 6

post #101 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
So, I did send some cheaply made, crappy toys back with the grandparents this past Christmas, and they were mightily offended.
I would never do something like this to anyone. If we don't like a gift, we say thank you and look for a new home for the gift. If you are wondering why your MIL isn't treating you fairly, perhaps you should look to situations such as this. I've been following this thread and many times you have come off as sounding ungrateful, judgmental, and extremely bitter. Perhaps if you were gracious to your ILs when they show any sort of gesture of kindness, that would go a long way in mending the relationship you have with them.

You've written a lot on this subject, and from what I've read, there is a lot of relationship-mending that needs to go on here. Your issues with your MIL go far deeper then her not wanting to visit becuase you work. You harbor a lot of animosity toward her and there's a lot of emotional reckoning that needs to go on in order for you to be able to move forward with your MIL.

I'm terribly sorry if you find my comments to be offensive, but it really seems like you could use a different perspective. As someone who has been through relationship troubles with the ILs, I really think you should step back from all of this and take a hard look at the root of the problem. It's not about fairness, or work, or whatever. There's something much deeper going on here.
post #102 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
But, after what year is it ghastly rude to continue to buy cheaper and less items for one grandchild than another and not listening to what the parents have to say about values and the environment in which they are trying to raise their child?
Sorry, but for my family, there are no steadfast rules when it comes to the grandparents, just lots of opportunities for love and fun. For us, QUALITY means quality time with grandparents, not the quality of material objects.

So if my dad wants to watch the Cars movie with DS, then he's welcome to. If my MIL wants to take him to Wal-mart for a cheap gift, we're glad for it. I would rather my MIL feel like she's in a position to have fun with and love my son in a way that makes her feel comfortable, than feel like she has to hold back becuase of my rules. Yes, we are a Montessori, nearly commercial-free, AP, crunchy family. But we are also very happy to bend those rules if it means that it creates a positive environment for the grandparents, who know nothing of these philosophies and frankly don't need to, since they're not the ones raising my kid.

To me, demonstrating love for my son has nothing to do with "cheap" toys or fairness, and I'm sure that if I started creating an uncomfortable environment like that, where the grandparents had to play by my rules and constantly worry about what I thought, then we would certainly see less of them.

Why not try to take the focus off the "fairness" and try to make a few opportunities for quality time with the ILs, without rules or philosophies or barriers? Where they understand that they are welcome and that you genuinely want them around. Where maybe YOU buy the passes for the zoo and tell grandma that you got her a special gift that you thought she'd like to share with DS.

I'm only suggesting that you try to move past your current perspective and take a more holistic view of things, where you are creating as many opportunities for positive growth as possible. Start working on the basic fundamentals of your relationship with her, starting with quality, fun time with grandma and DS.
post #103 of 186
hey That Is So Nice

we have created our own family and thus (borrowing from someone) have created our own framily.

dd now has an adopted gma who loves spoiling her. she babysits dd. her dd's dont have kids - not sure if they will. but gma wanted kids so she was willing to be gma to her friends kids.

my other framily fulfill the roll of uncles and aunts. they take her for a treat and buy her stuff that she needs.

so no if there is a void in your life blood relatives are not the only way to go.
post #104 of 186
Can you give me an example of the nice things they buy for the cousins that they don't buy for your boy?

Just that it seems to me their definition of a fun gift to give a kid is different than yours.

I think you also underestimate the joy a lot of people (especially Grandparents) get in giving kids things that their parents don't normally let them have. They like being the guilty pleasure, the bad influence. They had to be the parents and instill important values, now they just want to see their grandkids play wildly with a new toy or gadget. They don't want to educate, they want to be Santa.

I think, to be honest, that it is unfair of you to say "I want exactly what my SIL gets for her kids, but on MY terms." That's not how it works.

Now if you are telling me they buy the Waldorf toys for the cousins and not your boy...well that's disturbing and makes me very sad. But it seems to me you want them to "fair" AND you want to tell them how to do it. That's totally unrealistic. You can't make people value your values. Especially when they are flowing in the mainstream. Their values are validated everyday everywhere they turn.

Can you identify what need you are expecting them to fulfill, and then maybe find another way to get that need met?
post #105 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklett View Post
I've been following this thread and many times you have come off as sounding ungrateful, judgmental, and extremely bitter. Perhaps if you were gracious to your ILs when they show any sort of gesture of kindness, that would go a long way in mending the relationship you have with them.
My inlaws have a set schedule with the cousins. They go out to see them (across the country) by booking airfare every three months for a week. They also go out every other year for Christmas. They've been doing that for years. It's their routine.

The grandparents do that together - that is, both grandma and grandpa. Together.

By contrast, it is only grandma who comes to visit us, for a few hours. Grandpa comes for a few hours once or twice a year. It's a big deal if he actually stays over night. That happens about once a year, maybe once every two years.

When they come, they arrive at around 10 AM ish and they leave by 2 PM that same day, usually. If they stay "overnight" or for a "weekendl" they arrive at 10 or 11 AM and then they get up the next morning and head back home first thing in the morning at 7 a.m.

We've tried many, many times to get them to stay Sunday and do things with our child. The answer is always no. They won't even stay for breakfast.

We've asked them to stay with us for a holiday - Christmas or Thanksgiving - and we've been told "our plans are to do this other thing every other year." If our plans don't work out, then maybe we can come to your house! That's a quote. If they can't do what they really want, maybe they can do something with us!

When Grandpa comes to visit, he brings his own big cooler full of cans of beer, and sits and drinks basically by himself and will interact with our child for maybe 5 or 10 minutes the whole time.

But if Grandpa doesn't come, then Grandma has to hurry back home because Grandpa will start drinking.

Quality time with them? It's not going to happen. DH says to let the time thing go.

By contrast, my FIL goes out to the cousins home and puts together playhouse for them that he spends 4 days on at a time. I pointed out when they said that that 4 days is more time than he spent with our child ALL YEAR.

Grandpa is never going to go to a movie with our child. Never. We could beg, and beg, and beg. Not going to happen. But Grandma can't stay very long without Grandpa so see the problem?

DH says to give up on the time and just focus on making the money and gifts fair.



Like I said, this has been going on for years. The problem is that when they spend a week with the other cousins, they spend a week's worth of money on them. When they never visit us, they spend next to nothing on our kid. It's not like they go and visit the other cousins, buy them something, then when they return home, call us up and offer our kid the same thing or the same amount of purchase. No. That never happens.
post #106 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hakeber View Post
Can you give me an example of the nice things they buy for the cousins that they don't buy for your boy??
Sure. That's easy.

I can give a couple of examples, but it's an ongoing theme and it happens with many, many items.

Grandpa and Grandma flew out to visit the cousins (when there was just one - they're young) and asked what did they need. A high chair. Oh? Let's go shopping. So, they bought a top of the line Peg Perego. Really nice. Really solid. Will last forever. Those things cost over $200.

They came home. A few months later as we were beginning to introduce solids at 7 to 8 months old, MIL said, oh, would you like a high chair? How about if I send you a check for $100?

That would be fine, except that it's always less for us. Why? We bought, I think, a Graeco, and it lasted for about a year, and then broke. It's not that I need a Peg Perego. I'm pretty frugal. It's just...well, why buy Peg Perego for one grandchild and then offer the other grandchild $100 for a high chair?

That's how they are with everything. The offers are always less. Lesser amounts. Lesser quality. Less frequently.

The other cousins get really nice things. Sometimes it is cash to buy Waldorf kind of things or things from catalogs like the Magic Cabin. Pottery Barn Kids. High end, usually pretty nice things that will last a little longer.

For us, it's always sort of last minute, they ran to their local Walmart and they bought a bag full of cheap, plastic toys. Not even like Playskool. It's like the deal aisle stuff. It's such a constrast...every single time.



I'm not saying they have to buy name brand stuff, but I'd like them to get within the same range for everyone, not such a major constrast in both time and money, and amount of both those things.
post #107 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklett View Post
Sorry, but for my family, there are no steadfast rules when it comes to the grandparents, just lots of opportunities for love and fun. For us, QUALITY means quality time with grandparents, not the quality of material objects.
I have been told by MIL, my husband, and even my SIL to just give up on Grandpa. He will not spend quality time with my child.

Last year that became apparent. He had just come home from a week flying out to visit the other cousins and he already had another flight for another week booked in two months to visit them again.

My husband called and asked if we could plan a weekend and was told, no, I've got a major project going here at home (home improvement) and I'll just visit [insert grandchild's name] for his birthday [in 5 months].

DH was really mad. And said to his father, no, that's not enough, that's not going to work. It was a line in the sand for me.

But his dad did exactly what he said he would. He did his projects in between week long visits to the other cousins. Then 5 months later, he came for my son's birthday party, didn't participate, sat in the corner, and left for home approximately 3 hours after arriving.

I've tried for years for quality time and have been told by everyone it ain't gonna happen.

Now I just want them to be fair on at least gifts and what they do financially.
post #108 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklett View Post
Why not try to take the focus off the "fairness" and try to make a few opportunities for quality time with the ILs, without rules or philosophies or barriers? Where they understand that they are welcome and that you genuinely want them around. Where maybe YOU buy the passes for the zoo and tell grandma that you got her a special gift that you thought she'd like to share with DS.
Hi! What you describe above is what we did for about 4 years of my child's 4.5 year existence.

I would invite the grandparents up all the time. All the time. I'd plan fun things to do. The zoo. The children's museum. A kid's movie. Parks. Swimming.

Grandpa's not interested in that. He says so. Grandma says so. DH says so. Grandma is, I think, but she can't stay long without Grandpa.

I would invite them to pre-school and other events surrounding what my child was doing in life. No take. They didn't seem that interested.

I would send lots and lots of pictures. Cards. Hand made gifts from my child. Didn't seem to matter.

I bought them very special Mother's Day and Father's Day presents. Year after year. Didn't seem to make a difference.

Please see posts #105-107 for more explanation of how things are with them and why I feel the way I feel.

The reception was always lukewarm at best, mostly aloof and confused. When just Grandma would come by herself for a few hours, I'd always say "tell Grandpa we said hi and that he is welcome to come up next time!" No take. I started sending little art project presents my child made for Grandpa back home with Grandma. No take. No acknowledgment. I started buying little gifts for Grandpa that I thought he might like for Grandma to take home with her and give him...but Grandma would just be like, oh, that's OK, you guys just keep it.
post #109 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklett View Post
I've been following this thread and many times you have come off as sounding ungrateful, judgmental, and extremely bitter.
Hi again. I just wanted to respond to this part. I wrote more specifically about what my inlaws do to yours and others' questions in posts 105 to 107.

But I'd like to say that YES! I am most definitely ungrateful, judgemental, and extremely bitter.

Yes! I'm not going to pretend I'm not. I think it's justified.

When I was pregnant, and had spoken with our doulas with my husband, they said "will you have help? you will need help. [they looked at my husband] please help her line up family to come and help and so you will have the support you will need. Very doula-like.

This prompted a conversation between DH and me about what help we would need, what our expectations were, and who we could ask. We settled on MIL. Sad, but true. She's the only one to help.

This was several months before the due date.

We went out to dinner with DH's parents and DH started talking about our plans for when the baby was born. Maternity leave, etc.

Then he asked if they could plan to stay in the state the month of the due date, just to make sure they'd be around, and on call, if the baby came a week early or a week late.

And MIL and FIL replied, oh, we'll be going to visit BIL/SIL/and the one cousin who had been born at the time that month. It's our time to go out there again.

DH said it was sort of a special time...the due date...first baby being born...we could really use the help.

Nope. They were going to continue with their trip. They booked the tickets.

And, consequently, when our baby was born, MIL was able to spend only two days with us then flew out and spent a week with the family who didn't have a newborn.

And that trend has continued to this day.

So, yes, I am definitely bitter, judgemental, and ungrateful. I feel MIL and FIL don't treat us well at all, and fairness is completely out the window.
post #110 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post

My kid is better off for the return of those Christmas gifts, I think, however ghastly rude my inlaws thought I was being, and they did.
Sure he is - as long as you think the trade off of his grandparents being offended to the point that they don't want to visit you was worth it.

You can't behave like that and expect them to want to be around you.
post #111 of 186
I think you would benefit from reading this link:

http://search.conduit.com/ResultsExt...nvc+needs+list

Consider this, It has been said that the definition of agony is waiting for others to meet our needs. Are you going to spend your life and energy on demanding and expecting and resenting these people, or are you going to begin to take charge of your needs and move towards having them met?

If you believe only others can met the needs you have, than you will be forever disappointed.
post #112 of 186
I think you should let go. stop forcing things. it will never be fair, and do you really want gifts to be contrived? my MIL gets lots for her other grandkids. Am I mad, no - they NEED it, and I am having a rough time too, but we get by fine.

Like I said before my FIL and SMIL are very much like you describe. But after 10 years of them in my life, I've learned to let go, and not be upset. I can't force anything. I will be grateful for whatever they do insted of bitter for all the things they won't do. And you know what - the more bitter you are, the more I'm sure that invades your interactions with them and why would they want to continue any relationship? I find people are a lot more perceptive or maye even suspicious of that then I would like.

Let go. just let go of all of it. I don't care if you are justified or not in your feelings - and I think you are justified in feeling the way you do - its perfectly normal to feel hurt and shafted in your situation. BUT its really not that important. the example you set for your kids about forgiveness, love, peace and gracefulness is more important. they wy YOU are there for your kids is most important. You being at peace is what your kids want, they don't need anything else.
post #113 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
Sure he is - as long as you think the trade off of his grandparents being offended to the point that they don't want to visit you was worth it.

You can't behave like that and expect them to want to be around you.
Yeah, I guess, if that had been the starting point of this.

It wasn't. That was a recent event.

This has been going on for years. Since he was born. They booked airline tickets to see their other grandchild two weeks after my son's due date. They spent more time the month my son was born with the other grandchild than with my newborn. It's been an ongoing pattern.

I've been nice. They've been this way. I've been neutral. They've been this way. I've put my foot down and said no more. And their actions remain unchanged.
post #114 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hakeber View Post
I think you would benefit from reading this link:

http://search.conduit.com/ResultsExt...nvc+needs+list

Consider this, It has been said that the definition of agony is waiting for others to meet our needs. Are you going to spend your life and energy on demanding and expecting and resenting these people, or are you going to begin to take charge of your needs and move towards having them met?

If you believe only others can met the needs you have, than you will be forever disappointed.
Sigh. Disappointed? Yes. Expect others to meet my needs? Never. Not how I grew up and not how I've lived.

In fact, my inlaws have said they admire my independence. Well, that isn't a recent comment. It's one they used to say, many years ago. They admired my fortitude. They admired my frugality. They admired my career. They admired my work ethic. They admired that I contributed equally with DH to the household. They've said all those things. My inlaws have said, in the past, that they respect that we never ask them for things or rely on them for money.

DH and I are self-sufficient and help others. A lot. More than I care to write about here.

That worked fine...until we had a child.

I sort of needed someone to come and help after my c-section. MIL said she would but booked plane tickets months before when I was pregnant, and then had to leave to go on a trip to see her other grandchild. So, she couldn't help when my child was born.

That's not expecting someone to look after my needs. I did it all on my own - it sucked - but I didn't expect her to do anything for me.

I expected her to want to help her grandchild and her family. I expected her to be fair. That's what I expected. And still do.

Or rather maybe not 'expect' so much as be held accountable. She doesn't get to treat her grandchild - my son - with such unfairness without accountability.

Buying less. Visiting less. Giving less. Doing less. Year after year after year sends a message. She thinks we are less.

My son is valued. He is valuable. She needs to value him, equal to how she values her other grandchildren.
post #115 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carita View Post
I think you should let go. stop forcing things. it will never be fair, and do you really want gifts to be contrived? my MIL gets lots for her other grandkids. Am I mad, no - they NEED it, and I am having a rough time too, but we get by fine.
I see your point. I do.

Our situation is a bit different. We do need help. I don't expect the help or for other people to pay our bills or take on our parenting responsibilities. I want grandparents who treat grandchildren equally - doing for one what they do for the other, or at least within the same range.

The situation here is that the other family is pretty well off. My husband's brother is quite successful. Those children, fortunately, are well provided for. Life is never easy street so I don't want to oversimplify their needs, but they are well provided for.

We live below those means. DH makes much less. Most of my money earned goes to daycare and taxes. We live paycheck to paycheck and work a lot to do that.

My kid doesn't have everything he needs. Not wants. Needs. Right now, my child's shoes are pretty worn and have multiple holes in them. It would be nice if Grandpa and Grandma spend so much money on the other grandchildren, if they could spend some on my child's needs too...like shoes.

But it's not their responsibility and I can't make them.

Outside of this forum, I have a full life with career, friends, activities with my child.

If we had a village, I might be more at peace. Raising a child, and holding on to a career is difficult, but even more so without a network or village which is not what MIL and FIL are.
post #116 of 186
I hope you can find a way to cut them from your heart and mind and communicate with them in a healthy productive way, even if that means not at all.
post #117 of 186
find a different network. join a church or similar - even something like a UU. when we moved and were 1000 mi from any family, we knew we needed a network and it couldn't be our working parents so we found a fantasic church.
post #118 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post

Or rather maybe not 'expect' so much as be held accountable. She doesn't get to treat her grandchild - my son - with such unfairness without accountability.
What exactly are you proposing to do in order to hold her accountable? I still don't quite understand what you are getting at, apparently.
post #119 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post

My kid doesn't have everything he needs. Not wants. Needs. Right now, my child's shoes are pretty worn and have multiple holes in them. It would be nice if Grandpa and Grandma spend so much money on the other grandchildren, if they could spend some on my child's needs too...like shoes.

But it's not their responsibility and I can't make them.
I promised myself that I wasn't going to post to this thread again, but alas, here I am.

You are right- it is not their responsibility to provide for your child. It's simply not. This is part of the big issue- that your ILs are NEVER going to live up to your expectations. They simply aren't. It seems to me like you are blaming them for lots of the things that are going wrong in your life. For example, there are financial issues in your household. Your son doesn't have new shoes. Instead of taking a hard look at the issues within your household, you are angry at your ILs for not providing new shoes.
post #120 of 186
I really only see two options (but there may be more that I'm not seeing):

1) Cut grandma out of son's life because we are tired of her unfairness and would rather not have her than have her grudging visits and presents.

2) Stop the bean counting and the comparisons and the do things my way or else. Let grandma do what she's comfortable with, because it's the only way to have any grandparents in son's life at all (since the other three grandparents are apparently not even options, all of them being alcoholics, users and/or unwilling).

I really don't see any other options here. OP has tried various methods for four years to try to change MIL's behavior to OP's standards of what a grandparent ought to do. It ain't workin'. It's not going to work.

OP--another anecdote from me, I don't know if these are at all helpful but I'm throwing it in there. When my twins were 4 months old my husband needed to go on a 2-week business trip that he had already postponed for my entire pregnancy and the early months of twins' lives, and could no longer postpone. I asked my mom to fly 14 hours to me to help me, because I was barely coping even with DH at home and was terrified at the thought of being by myself for 2 weeks with 2 very small babies. She said yes. Then a few weeks later she said she couldn't come after all and gave some vague excuse. I later found out that my sister had decided to go visit my parents for 5 days in that same timeframe, and I put together that my mom cancelled on helping me because she didn't want to miss my sister's visit. I was terribly hurt at the time--not least because she didn't have the guts to tell me the real reason she was cancelling on me.

I have many issues with my mom and this was not the least of it. I have let it go. I got her help for 2 months when my babies were born and I was a hormonal b*tch who was no fun to hang around. So maybe this was perfectly fair. I don't know, and I don't care anymore. I get what I get. My parents are who they are. I decided I want them in my and my children's life, warts and all. At some level isn't this what family is... the unconditional acceptance goes both ways. OK so MIL is not the poster-grandparent. Are you a poster DIL? Is your DS a poster grandchild? Does such a thing even exist? I hope you understand what I'm getting at... I am not coming from a place of judgment or malice. I am just looking at it from a practical viewpoint, and I think the above two choices are really the only ones in your situation.
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