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What would you to a MIL who says she can not visit very often because you work? - Page 7

post #121 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
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.
It's really hard to look around and see you need help, work up the courage to ask for help, and then have the help denied. It really is awful. Especially for people who have generally gotten through life without asking for a lot. You kind of end up feeling like it's your turn but everyone else stopped playing that game just before your turn came up.

Given your childhood too, I bet it would come up with a bunch of anger and even rage because you've just never had that.

And now you have a son who is probably around the age you can start remembering (fuzzily) the kinds of things you didn't get, and you want to give him ALL of that, and right now you feel like you can only give him SOME of that and here are these people who seem perfectly capable of contributing and yet...they don't, not in the way you need right now.

I think the shoes is a pretty telling point. I'm armchair analysing you a bit which is totally unfair and feel free to ignore, but I'm guessing that being in a position where shoes, a need, are hard to produce is really triggering for you. It does strike me that you're upset with "the other mother" in the family, having had to give up a lot on being angry with your own.

It's hard. And it doesn't really sound all that likely your MIL is going to rise to the occasion, although you could give it one last really brutally open and honest shot like "I know we haven't always been close but our family is totally stressed out and your grandson needs your help and so do I." But I think you would have to be prepared for a no, given the history.

I don't know what their reasons are. I do wonder if it's more to do with their relationship to your husband than to you or your son. I think you've said they told you he's lazy and always has been. That is a really big label to slap on one's child (true or not) and it may indicate that they have just written him off on some level.

I also think you would feel way better if the shoes were resolved. Does your DH have some stuff he could sell on craigslist so you could go get some sweatshop labour cheap but not horribly awful shoes? I realize that was just an example but I think it might be a biggie.
post #122 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
It's really hard to look around and see you need help, work up the courage to ask for help, and then have the help denied. It really is awful. Especially for people who have generally gotten through life without asking for a lot. You kind of end up feeling like it's your turn but everyone else stopped playing that game just before your turn came up.

Given your childhood too, I bet it would come up with a bunch of anger and even rage because you've just never had that.

And now you have a son who is probably around the age you can start remembering (fuzzily) the kinds of things you didn't get, and you want to give him ALL of that, and right now you feel like you can only give him SOME of that and here are these people who seem perfectly capable of contributing and yet...they don't, not in the way you need right now.

I think the shoes is a pretty telling point. I'm armchair analysing you a bit which is totally unfair and feel free to ignore, but I'm guessing that being in a position where shoes, a need, are hard to produce is really triggering for you. It does strike me that you're upset with "the other mother" in the family, having had to give up a lot on being angry with your own.

It's hard. And it doesn't really sound all that likely your MIL is going to rise to the occasion, although you could give it one last really brutally open and honest shot like "I know we haven't always been close but our family is totally stressed out and your grandson needs your help and so do I." But I think you would have to be prepared for a no, given the history.

I don't know what their reasons are. I do wonder if it's more to do with their relationship to your husband than to you or your son. I think you've said they told you he's lazy and always has been. That is a really big label to slap on one's child (true or not) and it may indicate that they have just written him off on some level.

I also think you would feel way better if the shoes were resolved. Does your DH have some stuff he could sell on craigslist so you could go get some sweatshop labour cheap but not horribly awful shoes? I realize that was just an example but I think it might be a biggie.
Wow.

Keep arm chair analyzing away.

I think you've got it.

Yes, it's been very difficult for me - who always had success at everything I did from an early age to start seeing setbacks only when I had a child who needed things from me. ...when it mattered most. It's hard to admit defeat and the shoes to me are defeat. Obviously, I'm providing much better for my child than my parents did for me, even without the provisions part. I'm here, I'm available and put everything into this kid. The shoes with holes kill me emotionally.

It's so hard for me because as a woman without a kid I could earn my salary, unencumbered by daycare costs, and provide well for myself and others. And I did so much for so many others.

And now I need help and where did all the people go? They were only around when I could give to them (my family).

And it pains me to see DH's family helping in an unequal way a family who has more ability to provide for their kids than DH and I do.

It won't be forever. Next year, with kindergarten, it will be like getting my old mojo back. My salary will be back and I'll be on my feet again and better able to provide. I feel like I'm trying to go full speed ahead as always and putting in the work, but I have an air leak (daycare, special needs costs) that seep away from what is possible.

I just feel like I took more of a wallop with pregnancy, maternity leave, and putting my career on a smaller burner while the larger burner tended to parenting for a few years. I didn't expect that. Or I expected some help.

Do I think MIL should help with shoes since she's able and does so much for other grandchildren? Hell yeah. But I sound demanding saying that. And ungrateful. And yet that's not the whole picture.

You may be on to something about DH's parents and how they treat DH. I mean, like I mentioned before, but was probably lost in this long thread, DH's parents were like this with him before I married him. They've always done more for his brother. Now they carry that on by doing more for his brother's kids. Inexplicable, but it's longstanding - before I was in the picture.

They might think DH should do things on his own. Honestly, I think it's more about DH's dad trying to make up for some issues in childhood. DH's brother has called out their dad on that and I think it's about making amends. Guilt. Closure. Erasure. Compensation.

DH hasn't called out his father like that and gets very squeamish when dealing with his parents.

Makes for interesting dynamics, but very unfun family get-togethers and holidays. And makes us feel overlooked, dismissed, and forgotten because, well, we are.
post #123 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparklett View Post
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.
Sigh. I have taken a hard look. I'm great with finances. I work hard. I did fantastically well until I had a special needs baby and no help. Then it was harder to work, and still is, and to travel and do all the meetings and crap. I can't be the same full force careerist and take care of a special needs child all on my own. I'm drowning.

But it's not because I haven't taken a hard look at my finances.

And I'm not mad at my inlaws for not providing shoes. I'm mad at them for providing shoes for grandchildren whose father makes way more than my child's dad.

Why provide shoes or whatever the case may be for some, but not all? Or all but one?

That's what I'm mad about.

Because he needs the shoes and they're buying shoes for others.
post #124 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by poppan View Post
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.
Thanks for your story. Your anecdote is quite similar to mine. I would have been hurt too by what your mom did, but also I would have been grateful she came and helped for two months.

I got help for two days. Days. Only two of them. I had an emergency c-section and a recently released NICU baby who needed special care. DH was back at work.

I don't know of any mothers - csections or not - who got that little help. Some may choose to not accept help to if they bounce back and are feeling good.

I needed the help. I remember sitting at the bottom of the stairs crying because I could not get to the bathroom because I could not lift my newborn up the stairs and there was no one to help me carry him and when I tried to lift him I doubled over in pain from the surgical staples and incision.

Lifting my son to breastfeed made me double over in pain. Lifting my son to change his diaper made me double over in pain.

I remember not taking the drugs for the pain because I didn't want to fall asleep or be drowsy when I was alone with my newborn, which was the entire time except for those two days after coming home from the hospital.

Also, I didn't want the drugs in the breastmilk, but after taking the very strong Percoset, and experiencing dizziness and loopiness, I didn't feel comfortable taking it while I was alone with the baby and that was all the time.

I always think that if I'd had any other type of surgery like that, at any other point in life, I would have taken a week or two off a work and done no heavy lifting. I certainly wouldn't have been the primary caretaker for another person during the healing process.

The first couple weeks were pretty dark.

And where was MIL? Visiting her other grandchildren. Just sort of crazy how it all happened.

And MIL's response to this day is "who knew you'd have a c-section?"

I don't know. I think it's still pretty raw to have any ounce of respect or love for her. She bailed on a baby she was related to, just out of the NICU to take a vacation, basically. Not cool.
post #125 of 186
I had an emergency C-section with my first and was alone in a public hospital in argentina for a week. I barely spoke the language and I was unable sit up or pick up the baby for the first four days and the nurses and doctors were on holiday because it was Easter Week. I had someone check on me and the other 25 women on the ward every eight hours. That was it, and I got OTC tylenol for the pain. And because they had never had a vegetarian there, I got water, vegetable broth and pureed pumpkin and mashed potato, every meal for a WEEK.

None of my family came down until he was three weeks old already.

With DD I also had an emergency C-section, and my mom was there, but believe me, more hassle than help...bless her cotton socks.

I'm just saying. There IS such a thing as less help. Women all over the world have their babies on their lunch breaks and go back to work with the locria still dripping. It's not unheard of for women with extended familes to get by with no help offered and in fact with worse than no help, but with the added expectations that they continue caring for their elders' needs, too. She had plans. She can't go back and change that. Are you going to hold it against her forever? TBTH, I would have been very happy for two days of help in those first two days when I literally was paralysed from the wasit down. I was ever so grateful that my family finally could come down and help when they could and however they could even though it was only for a few days. It was nice to have them.

It seems to me you are looking to your DH's family to fulfill that social norm of the ideal family you never had growing up and you are holding them up to this Leave it to Beaver standard that doesn't even exist. Parents do not have to be fair to their children after the age of 18. They don't even HAVE to do it before, but after, the social pretense is gone. They can stop pretending they LIKE all their children the same. Rarely is that true. They usually DO have favorites and once your kids are no longer dependant, it is pretty common in my social circles for parents to admit that openly. Love them equally, absolutely, like them equally? Not so much.

You have a real need for justice and equality. Since they are unwilling to respect that need for you, how can you gain a sense of justice for yourself? Can you take pleasure in your own success and your own prinicples? Can you gain pride and self-assurance through the knowledge that you are living the life you want? Can you take any reassurance from the fact that they are missing out on an awesome kid and it's not YOUR loss, it's theirs?

Shoulds, ought tos, and have tos, are judgements. It says "you are wrong and I am right." It says "I look down on your actions and choices and I deserve and demand ammends!" They are rarely a good way to get what you really need let alone what you really want which, if I am hearing you correctly are respect, justice, connection and equality. Who else can fulfill those needs for you? What can YOU do to get those needs met?
post #126 of 186
I am grateful to my mom for helping me for two whole months--although at times she was so unhelpful and in fact hurtful that I would have taken the other option of no help at all. (To give you an idea... she saw me pumping and told me I looked like a cow and what would my husband think of me if he saw me, she was incredibly unsupportive and critical of my determination to breastfeed, because obviously I was making a comment on her that she should've breastfed and not used formula on me, etc.) But yes I am grateful that she came and help, and I guess that's why I say in the end that maybe it was more than fair for her to stay for my sister's visit than to come help me, since she already helped me. But it's also why I call it accepting my parents, warts and all.

I hear you on the c-section and NICU; BTDT. I remember how much it hurt when I forgot to take my drugs on time, and I am amazed you didn't take yours and still took care of your baby. I'm horrified that you had no help. I'm more horrified that your husband wasn't able to stay home to help (not at him, but at a society and workplace where you can't get time off to help your wife with your new baby after your wife had a major abdominal surgery). I'm not surprised at your MIL's actions, after all you have told us about her. I guess I (and others too, I think) am advocating that you let this anger go. Let the expectations go. It's doing you no good and it's taking up an awful lot of energy and making it negative. If you didn't focus on it so much, your son won't pick up on it as much either and maybe he won't have to know about these unfair things and feel he is somehow wanting. Whether you choose to continue to let her be in your and your son's lives or not--I really think it does nobody any good to hang on to every bitter pill. Let the negative feelings go, don't cultivate new ones, and decide how you want to move forward--with her in on her terms, or with her out entirely--and do it.
post #127 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
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.
I don't, either. You can tell them off if it makes you feel better, but beyond that there are no grandparent police to hold them "accountable."

I don't think grandparents have any responsibilities. They didn't decide to breed the grandchildren. One might hope they behave in a certain way, and it's disappointing when they don't.

My father has been a huge disappointment. It used to kill me that he had no interest in his grandkids on his side of the family. My life improved greatly when I came to the conclusion to let it all go.
post #128 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
Wow.

Keep arm chair analyzing away.

It won't be forever. Next year, with kindergarten, it will be like getting my old mojo back. My salary will be back and I'll be on my feet again and better able to provide. I feel like I'm trying to go full speed ahead as always and putting in the work, but I have an air leak (daycare, special needs costs) that seep away from what is possible.

I just feel like I took more of a wallop with pregnancy, maternity leave, and putting my career on a smaller burner while the larger burner tended to parenting for a few years. I didn't expect that. Or I expected some help.

Do I think MIL should help with shoes since she's able and does so much for other grandchildren? Hell yeah. But I sound demanding saying that. And ungrateful. And yet that's not the whole picture.

You may be on to something about DH's parents and how they treat DH. I mean, like I mentioned before, but was probably lost in this long thread, DH's parents were like this with him before I married him. They've always done more for his brother. Now they carry that on by doing more for his brother's kids. Inexplicable, but it's longstanding - before I was in the picture.

They might think DH should do things on his own. Honestly, I think it's more about DH's dad trying to make up for some issues in childhood. DH's brother has called out their dad on that and I think it's about making amends. Guilt. Closure. Erasure. Compensation.

DH hasn't called out his father like that and gets very squeamish when dealing with his parents.

Makes for interesting dynamics, but very unfun family get-togethers and holidays. And makes us feel overlooked, dismissed, and forgotten because, well, we are.
I'm glad not to have overstepped too far.

I think you're right that it will get better (not necessarily easier but better financially). Keep that in mind. And you are providing way way more for your child and the shoes are a bump in the road. You can honour the emotional impact (on you) and still remember it's not the end of the world (for him) either.

You know, everything you went through around delivery just sounds so hard. I know people will say others have too but that doesn't make it easy or right. Just because we can do things on our own doesn't mean we should always have to.

And it's a horrible experience to have a preemie/sick baby and be physically weak right when the overwhelming responsibility is hitting and to reach out for help at that vulnerable time of transition and have it not be there. It just is. I have not been there personally in that way but in similar enough situations that it makes me really furious on your behalf.

I can see how this situation where you asked again and you got a lame answer - one which hit sadly just the right buttons; who wants to be told you'd be a better host as a SAHM when you're working for shoes, if you know what I mean - is bringing those feelings up. I mean seriously you probably didn't even have the energy to start feeling them at the time. And you have been in a kind of marathon of parenting/finances/economy/special needs/work/etc. since then and no wonder you are tired out.

Long-term I agree there's resentment to let go of, but short-term, I think it's time to set up a picture and some darts.
post #129 of 186
Thread Starter 

Exactly

Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
I'm glad not to have overstepped too far.

I think you're right that it will get better (not necessarily easier but better financially). Keep that in mind. And you are providing way way more for your child and the shoes are a bump in the road. You can honour the emotional impact (on you) and still remember it's not the end of the world (for him) either.

You know, everything you went through around delivery just sounds so hard. I know people will say others have too but that doesn't make it easy or right. Just because we can do things on our own doesn't mean we should always have to.

And it's a horrible experience to have a preemie/sick baby and be physically weak right when the overwhelming responsibility is hitting and to reach out for help at that vulnerable time of transition and have it not be there. It just is. I have not been there personally in that way but in similar enough situations that it makes me really furious on your behalf.

I can see how this situation where you asked again and you got a lame answer - one which hit sadly just the right buttons; who wants to be told you'd be a better host as a SAHM when you're working for shoes, if you know what I mean - is bringing those feelings up. I mean seriously you probably didn't even have the energy to start feeling them at the time. And you have been in a kind of marathon of parenting/finances/economy/special needs/work/etc. since then and no wonder you are tired out.

Long-term I agree there's resentment to let go of, but short-term, I think it's time to set up a picture and some darts.
Thank you. I always value your posts. You hit everything exactly how I feel. And you didn't overstep.

Your posts make me step back, take a breath, and think.
post #130 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hakeber View Post
I had an emergency C-section with my first and was alone in a public hospital in argentina for a week. I barely spoke the language and I was unable sit up or pick up the baby for the first four days and the nurses and doctors were on holiday because it was Easter Week. I had someone check on me and the other 25 women on the ward every eight hours. That was it, and I got OTC tylenol for the pain. And because they had never had a vegetarian there, I got water, vegetable broth and pureed pumpkin and mashed potato, every meal for a WEEK.

None of my family came down until he was three weeks old already.

With DD I also had an emergency C-section, and my mom was there, but believe me, more hassle than help...bless her cotton socks.

I'm just saying. There IS such a thing as less help. Women all over the world have their babies on their lunch breaks and go back to work with the locria still dripping.


I do know that. I was thinking of that when I wrote my previous post, and was going to add a sentence to acknowledge that, but didn't. I regret that I didn't because I know that many women the world over have it much, much worse. I didn't have to watch my child starve. Or die.

And I made it through with no scars other than a small one on my abdomen, barely noticable, and a slightly wounded sense of security. Small compared to what most of the world faces. I lacked perspective in my post. For that I apologize.

But given my experience, I would never repeat it. Whenever people ask if or when I will have another baby, I am horrified by the idea. I never want to have to go through that period again. It was definitely a birth trauma for me. But nothing compared to what others have to go through.
post #131 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
I don't, either. You can tell them off if it makes you feel better, but beyond that there are no grandparent police to hold them "accountable."

I don't think grandparents have any responsibilities. They didn't decide to breed the grandchildren. One might hope they behave in a certain way, and it's disappointing when they don't.

My father has been a huge disappointment. It used to kill me that he had no interest in his grandkids on his side of the family. My life improved greatly when I came to the conclusion to let it all go.
Hmmm...yeah, I don't think grandparents have responsibilities either. Not to be providers anyway.

My mother is absentee and not interested. It doesn't bother me. Not at all. Never has. In all manifested ways, she's worse than my inlaws. She has done literally nothing. Nothing. But it impacts me zilch.

I think it's because my mom is equal opportunity absentee. She has done nothing for all her grandchildren. She does nothing for my siblings' kids. Nothing for my kid. Nothing all around. No favorites. Not more or less for one or the other.

What bugs me about my inlaws is two things:

They have the means and the interest, just not for us. They dote on their other grandchildren.

And, two, they make up lame excuses about why they do it. I mean, just say it like it is. Don't say it's because I'm not a SAHM!
post #132 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by poppan View Post
she saw me pumping and told me I looked like a cow and what would my husband think of me if he saw me, she was incredibly unsupportive and critical of my determination to breastfeed, because obviously I was making a comment on her that she should've breastfed and not used formula on me, etc.).


I'm intensely upset for you about this. I feel fire in my chest thinking about how wrong it is for any new mother attempting to breastfeed to be called a cow. How crude. How insensitive. How (and I'm sorry to say this because she is your mother...but) ignorant.

If it's any consolation on any level, my MIL also made comments about breastfeeding. Now one good thing about my MIL in law is that I can guarantee she would never call me a cow. Never. That's not in her vocabulary or her demeanor. I think when she was with me for those two days following our arrival home from the hospital with my newborn son, she felt like breastfeeding and all the equipment and literature from the hospital was an affront to her decisions to formula feed. She talked a lot about her decision to formula feed and was a bit defensive. But she would never, ever have called me a cow. And she saw me pump, right in front of her (because I couldn't get up the stairs for privacy and also because I'm a bit of a lactivist and would have breastfed in front of anyone, including male co-workers during a lunch. Yes, I did. I went to a lunch during my maternity leave, my son was hungry, and so I nursed right there. Looking back, I get slightly bashful now, but I was pretty proud of being a lactivist when I was lactating...anyway...).

I hope that cow comment didn't stay with you for any length of time. It seems like more a comment on her choices than about you. Because you aren't a cow and how silly to think that producing milk makes one a cow. Crazy. All mammals produce milk. Basic biology! She might as well have called you a raccoon. Or deer or llama. Our culture is so removed from biology when it comes to babies.



Good for you for your determination, despite naysayers.
post #133 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post

They have the means and the interest, just not for us. They dote on their other grandchildren.

And, two, they make up lame excuses about why they do it. I mean, just say it like it is. Don't say it's because I'm not a SAHM!
Well, I don't think too many people are just going to say, "No, I'm not coming to help because I don't like you as much as SIL," or "I'm not coming because I find your house unwelcoming," or whatever their real reason is, if it's a reason they know is going to be breathtakingly rude.

They are trying to avoid this confrontation. If you want to bring it up and call them on it, that's your choice. I doubt it's going to accomplish much beyond making a strained situation worse.
post #134 of 186
Without having read all the responses, I would absolutely let it go and move on. I think my post will be #133 on this subject. Gently, I would suggest that you are investing FAR too much time and psychic energy in something you'll simply never change. Accept that others are who they are.
post #135 of 186


Absolutely. It's the same thing over and over, and it will make you crazy if it hasn't already. Your husband disappoints you. Your MIL disappoints you. Oh well. Let it go. It's not fair and it sucks but nothing is to be gained by expecting different. You can cut them out of your life, you can not let it bother you, you can cultivate a black sense of humor about it, but why dwell?
post #136 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
Well, I don't think too many people are just going to say, "No, I'm not coming to help because I don't like you as much as SIL," or "I'm not coming because I find your house unwelcoming," or whatever their real reason is, if it's a reason they know is going to be breathtakingly rude.

They are trying to avoid this confrontation. If you want to bring it up and call them on it, that's your choice. I doubt it's going to accomplish much beyond making a strained situation worse.
No, I get that.

I know that they are speaking in code. Or at least I think that is what is happening.

What I don't get is that they don't see themselves as part of the solution. Our home is unwelcoming to them for x, y, and z reasons? Offer to do something to help us with that.

SIL is more relaxed and has more time to spend with you because she is a SAHM and her children are well provided for? Well, offer to do something for your other grandchild to make things easier around here. We are very strapped for cash and time and you are letting us hang to dry, all while criticizing this as a reason you can't visit an equitable amount.

No, they aren't going to change, most likely. You're probably all right about that.

But the question was what would you do if your MIL said the reason she can't visit her grandchild an equitable amount, and by extension spend an equitable amount, is that you work and a SIL is a SAHM. Would you take that at face value, try to reason with her, or just ignore her?

Because if I ignore her, my son continues to get nothing and is treated as less. And that makes me think I've failed as a mother.

Anyway, obviously, this matter takes up very little time and effort compared to the lift of working, raising a child, and living. But it sits in the back of my mind that I've let down my child because I'm letting him be treated by his grandparents this way.
post #137 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
It's sort of hard to hear, "Oh, by the way, I'll be flying to X state on Y dates to bond with grandchild A and grandchild B" when she has never done that with your child.

I want a support system in my MIL, yes, but more than that I want her to be fair and treat her grandchildren equally well.
I haven't read the whole thread, so take this for what it's worth - I'm seeing that the issue is about fairness, and I get that. My ILs were significantly more involved in my SIL's life/kids than they are with mine, and sometimes it bugs me (but most of the time I'm so happy they live 1000 miles away).

Have you ever asked your MIL point-blank: "You spend a lot of time with (other grandkids), but you don't with (your son's name). Why is that?"

Perhaps phrasing it with the kids' names rather than making it about you vs. your SIL might help her to understand that it bugs you because it's about your son, not about you working vs. your SIL not, if that makes sense.
post #138 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
No, I get that.

I know that they are speaking in code. Or at least I think that is what is happening.

What I don't get is that they don't see themselves as part of the solution. Our home is unwelcoming to them for x, y, and z reasons? Offer to do something to help us with that.

SIL is more relaxed and has more time to spend with you because she is a SAHM and her children are well provided for? Well, offer to do something for your other grandchild to make things easier around here. We are very strapped for cash and time and you are letting us hang to dry, all while criticizing this as a reason you can't visit an equitable amount.

No, they aren't going to change, most likely. You're probably all right about that.

But the question was what would you do if your MIL said the reason she can't visit her grandchild an equitable amount, and by extension spend an equitable amount, is that you work and a SIL is a SAHM. Would you take that at face value, try to reason with her, or just ignore her?

Because if I ignore her, my son continues to get nothing and is treated as less. And that makes me think I've failed as a mother.

Anyway, obviously, this matter takes up very little time and effort compared to the lift of working, raising a child, and living. But it sits in the back of my mind that I've let down my child because I'm letting him be treated by his grandparents this way.
I guess I don't see it as their responsibility to make your house more comfortable. My dad and his wife bought a condo in FL a few years after they retired. They decided to buy a one bedroom place. That's fine, but to me that says, "We don't especially want visitors." It's not my place to change their condo.

I'm not trying to be mean, but they may genuinely like your SIL and BIL more than they like you and your partner. You can't change that. I like some of my siblings better than others. I invite some of them over more than others.

I have one sister who moved across the country. Because it costs a lot of money to travel there, I've seen her maybe three times in the last 10 years, and two of those times were when she came here. If I made it a priority to do this, we could afford a trip once every couple of years, but there are other ways I'd rather spend my money, like house repairs, saving for my kids' education, and the occasional vacation somewhere of our choosing, etc. I have a much closer relationship with some of my 19 nieces and nephews than others. Fair? Maybe not.

What would I do in your situtation? I think, if I'm not mistaken, that you've asked for help and they haven't responded in a way that makes you happy. So, I would let it go. I would not count on them for anything, and I'd just figure we'd see them if it worked out that way at other family gatherings. I'd get over worrying about what the excuses are because it doesn't matter--they don't want to visit you.

I stopped worrying that my father spends all his time with his step grandkids, (and he and his wife buy them more presents) a long time ago. Ruminating on it was fruitless and just raised my blood pressure. Bringing it up with him just caused family fights between me and his wife (and him as well). If he doesn't see it, it's his loss. I'm not going to change him. He doesn't have to want to see my kids. Sad that he doesn't, but that's his choice, not mine.
post #139 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post

But the question was what would you do if your MIL said the reason she can't visit her grandchild an equitable amount, and by extension spend an equitable amount, is that you work and a SIL is a SAHM. Would you take that at face value, try to reason with her, or just ignore her?

Because if I ignore her, my son continues to get nothing and is treated as less. And that makes me think I've failed as a mother.

Anyway, obviously, this matter takes up very little time and effort compared to the lift of working, raising a child, and living. But it sits in the back of my mind that I've let down my child because I'm letting him be treated by his grandparents this way.
Okay, NOW I understand your question. And no, I don't think your son is let down by your not doing the impossible. Do you fail as a mother if he wants the sky to be neon green today and it isn't?

I'm going to rephrase part of your middle paragraph to make it more accurate, using the three options you mentioned above:

Because if I ignore her, my son continues to get nothing and is treated as less.

Because if I take her at face value, my son continues to get nothing and is treated as less.

Because if I try to reason with her, my son continues to get nothing and is treated as less.

Does that make the situation clearer?

Is it OK that she is showing favoritism against your son? No. But can you do anything about it, beyond what you have already done (talking to her)? No. If you had the power to make people do things they don't feel like doing, we'd be seeing you on the news after you brokered peace in the Middle East. No one has that power.
post #140 of 186
Quote:
I'm going to rephrase part of your middle paragraph to make it more accurate, using the three options you mentioned above:

Because if I ignore her, my son continues to get nothing and is treated as less.

Because if I take her at face value, my son continues to get nothing and is treated as less.

Because if I try to reason with her, my son continues to get nothing and is treated as less.
Exactly.
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