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My kid is not the favorite grandson - Page 2

post #21 of 32
Originally Posted by texmati View Post
I feel so beholden to my extended family that it's not healthy.
That is a benefit of NOT being the favorite. I wasn't expected to make that weekly phone call, I wasn't expected to go to St Louis when one of them was sick. My cousin was. We didn't feel terrible saying "You're the favorite... you go".

The biggest, long term drawback was that when both grandparents passed, ALL the photos went to my cousin. My brother and I never got a single picture... not even the ones of us, or my father. My cousin has all of them.
post #22 of 32
Is there any chance that they like the other parents better or feel closer to them or feel more welcome or that they need more help (financial or whatever)?

(Kind of jealous about the check though...)

I could see how someone would think my mom favors my brother's kids. In a lot of ways she does. She plays a major role in their life, buys them a lot of stuff, knows every detail etc. But frankly they NEED it from her. My ex-SIL is a wreck and my brother is somewhat absent and they NEED her. It is pretty obvious but if I had another brother with a wife/kids I could see how she would feel excluded. My mom spends more time with my sisters kids because my sister is SAHM and can do more inclusive things.

My MIL has favorite sons and grandchildren. I don't let it bug me because her attention is overhwelming
post #23 of 32
You mentioned that you co sleep, ec and breastfeed. Do you also baby wear and not leave your son alone with them? Do you have a lot of dietary standards? Does the other sons family do the opposite of all these things?.....AP is great for bonding you and your child but not so great for bonding other people to the child. these sort of things you mentioned can be alienating to others. They can't have sleep overs or feed the baby. They can't slip him junk food when moms not looking. If he is constantly in the sling chances are they held the other baby more. I know if there were two babies, and everything else was equal I would bond more with the child I could hold, give treats to, have sleep overs with, buy presents for (without having to worry if they were good enough or choose from a list) be alone with. If the boys are the same age the fact that they can babysit, have sleep overs, feed him treats, change a diaper, do fun stuff in general without mom and dad hovering and bond with him more easily could easily make the other their favorite EASILY and if they don't get to do these things with your son they may be pouring that energy into the other child as well.

It is easy to say that the grandparents should get over it and try harder to bond with your son but when it is just so much easier with one kid and they can grandparent the way they envisioned and do what is normal to them it is just an easier relationship. They don't have to choose to do things your way. They can do things they way they want because the other family allows them to. The grandparents probably feel highly favored by that family if that family is giving them alone time and letting them be the ones to calm a fussy baby and feed the baby and hold him for hours and make cookies for him and let him eat a million and buy whatever they want.

I am not saying you are doing anything wrong. Please understand that. You are doing what you feel is best for your family and you should do nothing less. but all of this does come at a price. especially when there is another baby the same age, gender etc just right there that is so much easier for them to interact with in ways that are meaningful to them.
post #24 of 32
I think you have a great attitude too. Here are some mantras:

Life is not fair.
I realize this sounds a bit petty and simple but...it's actually kind of deep if you think about it. While I would hope that people would try to be fair to the children in their family, it's not always a natural path. It's okay, because life is ALSO good, even if it's not fair.

All relationships are different
You can't make your grandson's relationship with his grandparents different than it is (assuming you're not making trouble, etc., which I don't think you are!). Let it find its level. If there were no other grandkids at all, would it be okay? (Respectful, non-abusive, caring.) If so, then that's something to appreciate.

I'd also think about all the love your son DOES have going for him - cousins, uncles, other family, friends.

Hope that helps...easier said than done for sure.
post #25 of 32
Do you want your IL to be more of a part of your life? Do you want them to come and visit and stay with you more often? Do you want to call them more often? Would you like them to offer you advice and other things more often? Do you want to have to do the fakey smiley stuff more often, like your SIL has to?

If the answer is no--then I think that's where you start, as far as "feeling" better about the situation. There are often tradeoffs for a lot of IL attention.

I wish that my parents took a more active interest in my kids. I wish they would come and visit more often, not do short visits. I wish they bothered to find out what they were interested in. I wish they'd bother to get to know me. And then--I pull my head out of my posterior, because I remember that I really do not even want them in my business more than they attempt to be, I don't like accepting anything from them because of the strings, we have nothing in common and I find them to be annoying/out of touch/mildly horrifying if we spend too long together, ect. I'm sure they probably feel the same way about me. But all things considered, given the people we are--keeping things short and sweet and at arms length is probably healthiest and best for all involved. Oh, in my Little Miss Wants Everything Perfect way I "wish" things could be different, but they're the way they are, and I find it a lot easier to just accept and try to love my parents for who and where they are right now instead of walking around pissed that they don't meet my fantasy of what they "should" be.

Are you close to your parents/are they involved with your children? If so, why not focus on that? If not--are you sure you are not expressing anger at ILs for their lack of involvement/favortism because they're the safer emotional target for you? Do you have any older friends that might enjoy being honorary grandparents?

I think as they grow older you can have frank discussions with your kids, but also teach them to be compassionate. You can enlist (hopefully) other grandparents/grandparent stand ins. Maybe it would be helpful to work on establishing close contacts with your BIL/SIL/cousins that are independent of ILs, instead of allowing the ILs to drive a wedge between you--if you can build a closeness between your families, you may over time find out that you don't have much to be jealous over, since the ILs are a pain in the tush.

I also think that facebook is absolute evil when it comes to familial relationships if people take it as a measure of relationship/favor. I can't believe how not posting on a picture "as much" or a status "as much" can spiral way out of control with the drama! (I have seen this on friends and relatives FBs!) Uck. If you're going to get into a posting scorecard, then please be sure that YOU are liking/commenting on SIL's photos and statuses as much as you think other people should be commenting on yours! Not only will that pop your name/photos out at people more, but maybe you'll develop your own relationship with your SIL's family, esp. if she responds back! Keep in mind that most people do not scroll down very far--if they have 10 million FB friends who are posting about how their underwear is itchy or what kind of pizza they had multiple times a day, they may not have even seen your posts/pictures. I almost had to ban my mom from my FB because she freaked out at me that I was not posting "enough"--about HER!! Even though my last 5 statuses had been about what a nice visit we had/what we did--she just couldn't be bothered to scroll past all the Farmville/Bingo/Crap "updates"/other people's spam to see them. So...ugh. Take FB with a huge handful of grains of salt!!
post #26 of 32
I agree that your DH is probably used to dealing with their unfairness and has developed his own way of coping. I think pushing it without his consent might aggravate his healing.

Instead of looking at what they need to learn, you might want to look on it as helping your son learn how to deal with conflict and a hard situation. Saying things (internally, or if appropriate, externally) like "I am feeling a bit overwhelmed and know it is time for a walk . . .a break . . .a quiet time . . . an outing."

Take as much of the interaction as you can, and take as many breaks as needed - politely, but firmly. It is really up to your husband to confront them, and, in this case, you to support him however he wishes. (I'm not a kow-tow to your husband type of person, but it is his parents and his relationship that is really damaged - your son and you are unfortunately experiencing the byproducts of it, but he is really getting the direct hit). If it were your parents, you could handle it quite differently.

Keep things positive for your son, but teach him that it is OK to draw limits and let people know his needs. It is also OK to question the in-laws about their desires - for information, but not spite.
post #27 of 32
My mother in law has been a grandmother for 12 years and we have given her 5 grandchildren. She lives in the same town as us. She didn't go to my showers, give us gifts, and has never brought us dinner or helped out when I've had my babies (my family lives across the country). But last year two of my husbands sisters had baby boys, and now all of the sudden she decided to be a grandmother! She went to their showers, gave them each an organic crib mattress, saying when they opened them "I don't want my grandchildren sleeping on anything but that!" ugh. She stayed with them for weeks when they had babies, helping in all ways, has created a family room in her home (which for the past 12 years has been difficult to visit with the kids b/c it's so un-child-friendly), and now has a car seat in her car for visiting! She makes weekly visits to one grandson who is in town. We see her maybe once a month or less, and it's always on invitation.
My husband has talked to his parents multiple times and has gotten nowhere. We want her to be close with the kids! To me, it's just so foul and sad and makes me super mad in defense of my kids. We used to think she just wasn't capable of being a loving, helpful grandmother, but now have realized she just doesn't want to be that for our kids!!!
I go in and out of resentment, trying again, and most of the time feel indifferent or even hate her. It's sort of awful but I can't let go of it entirely when it's always in my face. We even didn't go to Christmas at their house last year b/c it's so painful!! And our kids are definitely old enough to notice.

Sorry I don't have any advice for you. It's a yucky sticky situation and I'm sorry for you, sorrier for your sweet son.
post #28 of 32
Life is not fair, but there is no reason to put up with such blatant favoritism either.

If my MIL or mom acted like some of the family described in this thread, I would not hesitate to tell them, ONCE, that the crap stops now, or they will no longer have access to our kids.

There is no reason to treat kids like that. Ever.
post #29 of 32
Thread Starter 
I just wanted to thank everyone again for the feedback, you have all given me a lot to think about and seriously some of your advice has brought me out of a hole I was digging for myself.

I realize that all relationships are different and I am actually grateful that my son has grandparents at all. And I think the key for me, to not get my feelings hurt, is centering myself in positivity, and really working at that, really working at it. It's not always easy. And life truly isn't fair.

And I think our parenting philosophy or style, may be at the root of some my inlaws distance. We are the polar opposites of our BIL/SIL in many respects.

I guess I just need to try and cut my inlaws some slack, they are just people, human beings who make mistakes just like I do.

Anyway...I just wanted to let everyone know I read each and every reply and how I appreciate them all.
post #30 of 32
I can understand where you are coming from. My mom is the same way with my kids. She hasn't been to visit our house in over 4.5 years, has never stayed longer than 24 hours (and it's usually more like 12). She tells me how she takes pictures of my kids and shows them to everyone like she's some super grandma I asked her if she'd watch the kids overnight once and she told me she was too old. It's not even about gifts. I told her they don't care about gifts (and they don't). They want to know their Nana. They want her to come watch a soccer game and see how much they've learned.

My nephew is the same age as my youngest. She used to keep him overnight (both nights) almost every weekend. She might still be but knows better than to bring it up. She has made an effort to have a relationship with him that she has never made with my girls.

Now, we do a lot of things that she spent my whole childhool making fun of. We have babies at home (which I think is why she won't come after births), we homeschool (she is fairly high up working in her school district), we use herbal remedies, etc. Part of me thinks she has been on strike against us for being "an embarrassment"
post #31 of 32
I've been on the "least favored" side both as a child and as an adult. It is tough. The one thing that I remind myself of is that I can only control myself, and the person that I strive to be is one who is bigger than all of the petty stuff. It still does get to me sometimes - sometimes I feel a bit like a doormat. But I try to remember that I am happy with the choices that I've made, and I don't think I'll ever regret rising above it all.

Your son will likely eventually realize that he's less favored, but it could take a long time. Honestly I didn't fully realize that was the case with my grandparents until I was an adult - there were many clues yet they were good about hiding it. For your son it may sting in the short term, but in the long run it really is their loss.
post #32 of 32
Originally Posted by jammomma View Post

And I think our parenting philosophy or style, may be at the root of some my inlaws distance. We are the polar opposites of our BIL/SIL in many respects.

I guess I just need to try and cut my inlaws some slack, they are just people, human beings who make mistakes just like I do.
If it is difference in parenting choices that are creating the distance between the boys you may see the gap start to narrow as they get older. Once all the baby stuff has passed. hopefully.
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