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venting-uninvolved grandparent is then surprised that LO "likes" the other grandma better

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

i have to vent here b/c i can't IRL so  .... it drives me crazy that MIL gets upset that my son prefers my mom to her.

 

my mom makes a point of coming to our home once a week for a few hours to interact with / play with our son so he's familiar with her and now that he's a bit older (he's 15 months) he "knows" her and warms up very quickly to her or doesn't need to warm up at all.

 

MIL on the other hand doesn't do anything to ensure she sees him on a regular basis.  99% of the time, it's us bringing DS over to her house.  we probably do this once a month.  she knows she is welcome to come over to our place, and there are no limitations on her part (i.e.  she drives fine, has no health / financial issues) keeping her from coming over.

 

both grandmas live about 20 minutes away and both are retired so it's not like it's a big drive or inconvienent or anything.

 

without fail, if we bring him over to her place, it takes him a good 20-30 minutes to warm up to her, and even then, he's still not willing to let her hold him, he's just interested in interacting with her like handing her stuffed animals or whatever.  she's remarking all the time about how shy he is on how he should know grandma, etc etc.

 

but, what really gets it is when we have them in the same room and she'll notice that DS will run up to my mom and do things with her faster than with MIL.  she won't say anything then, but will make a comment to DH about it later.

 

so, sorry, i need to shout it on the interwebs b/c i can't irl .... IT'S BECAUSE HE KNOWS HER BETTER BECAUSE SHE'S WILLING TO PUT THE TIME IN TO MAKE IT LIKE THAT!

 

and, yes, i know that we could go over to her house more often, but, seriously, we can't.  it's a nightmare at her house.  she leaves her open prescription pill bottles on her coffee table in easy reach of DS, has dozens of "that can't be touched" knicknacks all over the place at toddler eye level and has all sorts of other things that i need to constantly worry over to make sure DS isn't injured on or me grossed out over, like she has an open litter box right off the living room which she doesn't clean as often as she should and DS is always wanting to run to it and pick up cat turds.

post #2 of 13

Just wanted to commiserate.  I have ILs who are completely uninterested in putting forth the effort to see DD--they've seen her once, when she was 2 weeks old, and I have no idea when they will bother to want to see her again. 

 

Don't put the onus on yourself to visit more often--you're doing a great job of trying to involve your MIL in your DS's life.  You can only do so much.  I'm sure other, more generous-minded mamas on here will suggest you talk to your MIL about the situation.  I say, if you feel up to it, great.  Otherwise, just keep doing what you're doing and ignore her comments. 

 

And your DS is super lucky to have your mom as such a great, involved grandma!

post #3 of 13

My mum hates my MIL. She is so incredibly jealous she will actually start to cry and get all snarky when my DD talks about her Gramma.

 

My MIL listens to my DD. Does things with her. She puts my DD first.

 

My mum expects my kids to entertain her, have no needs that need to be met and basically make my mum their sole focus of attention.

 

Example: My mum bought a few baby toys b/c I had said that we were talking about having another baby. My  mum wanted to be the first to buy this as of yet not concieved baby toys.

 

 

 

 

 

post #4 of 13

My MIL is kind of the same way... I figured out that she just wants to SAY she wants more time/relationship/whatever, and I think she DOES, but our reality and what she wants it to be don't mesh... She doesn't not care, she just has different family values.  I think she wants the movie/hallmark card/whatever, but thats just not what my family is.  So...  we visit when we visit and dh listens to her with half an ear...  

post #5 of 13

OP, I hear your vent.  Similar issues here.  Except my mom is the one instigating the 'you like the other grandma better', and then goes on to make it more true by making negative comments about dd around her (totally hurtful, to her and me) and acting all exacerbated about it.  If/when she doesn't go on to do that everything is fine and this weird schism doesn't actually exist.  Doesn't help that MIL is all about telling dd to do this or that and kinda all over her when everyone's together (including other relatives) which is irritating in it's own way.

 

So different issues, but it's just so frustrating seeing our parents get bent out of shape over stuff with the kids.  Taking it easy, relaxed, respectful is just the better way to be.  

post #6 of 13

yep. yep. yep.

 

my MIL has made many comments to my mom about how "V likes YOU better." then huffs and puffs until she gets ds2 in her arms. he just doesnt like that she is so loud, and she doesnt get it.

 

OP, what does your DH tell his mom?

post #7 of 13

I don't think it would be inappropriate for your DH to point out the reason. "Yes, he always takes a while to warm up to people he doesn't see very often". Or "He sees [other grandma] five times more often than he sees you, so he's more comfortable with her". He doesn't have to say it in a nasty way, just an of-course, this-is-how-the-world-works way. It shouldn't be a hard concept to grasp - my sister who lives in England knows it'll take DD a while to warm up to her when she comes to visit, and my grandmother who visits from Australia - same deal. I don't expect my nephew to be as used to me as to his next-door neighbor, who he sees several times a week, just because we're related (well, by marriage...). It's just life.

 

Or, if you think their relationship can take it, maybe your DH could spell it out even more clearly, as in "You'll have to come over a lot more often [once a week, or whatever you think it'll take] if you want DS to stop being shy with you". She might not do it, but it might stop the complaints... maybe. :p

post #8 of 13

ITA with Smokering.

 

I'd just say matter of factly that DS sees his Grandma every week, so he is used to her and does not have to warm up. Leave it at that. She can conclude from it what she wants - but if you say it in a totally neutral way, then she will get the message. Whether she decides to to come over more often, or to drop it is then her choice. If she brings it up again, just make the same statement.

post #9 of 13

I totally hear you and it seems like a lot of us here are in the same boat.

In my situation, it's my mom who has sour grapes about my inlaws.  Yes, the kids know and like my MIL better because my MIL makes the effort to come down and visit often (even though they live 12 hours away) and when she's here she does fun stuff w/ the kids.  My mom lives only 5 hours away, works a 3-day week, and the last time she had "time" to visit was 2 years ago.  I've made the last 2 trips down to Georgia to see her and family and I feel like I've done my share for now and won't be heading back down again anytime soon. The last time she saw the kids was in April of last year because I brought them down.  When she is around them, she doesn't really hang out or walk them to a park or anything; she just wants to sit there and talk to me. Not real interesting for little ones so they just tend to ignore her.

Despite such minimal involvement, it eats my mom up that we spend so much time with the inlaws. I think it's a case of getting out what you put in but she sees it as a slight against her. It truly is her loss since my kids don't really know or miss her.

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by happy1nluv View Post

My MIL is kind of the same way... I figured out that she just wants to SAY she wants more time/relationship/whatever, and I think she DOES, but our reality and what she wants it to be don't mesh... She doesn't not care, she just has different family values.  I think she wants the movie/hallmark card/whatever, but thats just not what my family is.  So...  we visit when we visit and dh listens to her with half an ear...  



 this is interesting to me - i hadn't thought of it that way, but it's true.  it seems like she probably really does want to have a closer relationship but she wants it to happen magically, simply because she's related to DS, without having to actually do anything different.

 

as for some of the other questions - since DH hears the brunt of it when i'm nowhere around, and i'm sure he sanitizes alot before he says anything to me, i really don't know how he responds.  he tells me he just says "uh huh  uh huh  uh huh" without committing to agreeing with her.  the few times comments have happened while i'm there, DH will just say things like "sometimes he needs to warm up to people" in a very neutral tone.  since she never says anything directly to me, i feel no need to address it directly with her.  since she tends toward the dramatic in her responses on some things, i can't imagine he's the least bit interested in being more frank with her.

 

thank you all for reading my vent!  sorry there are so many of us in similar situations!

post #11 of 13
Our relatives are all far away, so we're a different situation, but still my mil is much more friendly, gives better gifts, etc and the kids like her better. I occasionally make suggestions to my mom about gifts the kids would like, or topics they like to talk about, but my mom ignores me. And they make no effort to visit. I've done all I can; if they want a better relationship, the ball's in their court.

The only thing I would suggest...you could mention again to your mil that she's always welcome, or you could suggest that she come over at a regular time every week, like your mom does. Maybe part of what's going on is that she doesn't feel comfortable inviting herself over, or she assumes you're too busy to see her during the week. Would you be open to seeing her regularly, without your dh around?
post #12 of 13

We've gone through this with my inlaws since dh and I started dating.  At one point mil said that it wasn't fair I liked my dad better than them  Crazy stuff man!


Ds has always favored my dad.  Even when my dad was working he would come by every Friday after work, just to hold the baby and continued to just be around a lot.  Mil, who lived across the street and didn't work, never had time.  Thankfully ds was an easy baby who loved everyone, but if given the choice he was glued to my dad's side.  Dd hated every person in the world except me, occasionally ds and even more rarely, dh until she was about 2 1/2.  My inlaws took it personally and refused to even try.  Oh well, their choices you know?

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NicaG View Post

The only thing I would suggest...you could mention again to your mil that she's always welcome, or you could suggest that she come over at a regular time every week, like your mom does. Maybe part of what's going on is that she doesn't feel comfortable inviting herself over, or she assumes you're too busy to see her during the week. Would you be open to seeing her regularly, without your dh around?


i'm fine with her coming over even if DH isn't around.  i should have added in my first post, she's not a horrible person, we just have different viewpoints on most things.   and, i thought about it a bit and you are probably right, that she might be trying to not be overbearing, whereas my mom doesn't care, she's like i'm coming over!  lol

 

i'm curious to see if she'd be interested in coming over every x day of the week or whatever.  we can always try that.   

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