My husband and I have wonderful families. We have had so much help from each side over the years and I am so very grateful and do try very hard not to ask for anything. My side lets us stay at their house and use their car every summer (we live overseas) and DH's side has visited us in Japan many times and his mother came for our last two babies for 2 months each to help when they where born. (My husband travels a lot and I really appreciated the fact that she was there to help with the older kids when he had to leave).
My problem is that DH's side also has this weird co-dependant thing going with his sister-they do so much for his sister, then MIL tells me all about it and tries to promise things that will "make it even" (which I think is ridiculous) and then backs out a lot. Most of the time I don't care, but I am having a hard time with a few of the promises that I really wanted to happen that didn't. Mentally I know that they don't owe us anything, but emotionally it is hard to get excited about something that was entirely their idea that suddenly doesn't happen, IYKWIM?
One thing was help with a downpayment on a house. Totally their idea, SIL got help with her divorce and a large inheritance had just come thru and that was their idea to make things "fair". My DH and I don't really agree with taking that kind of money from family, and took a long time to accept the offer. We discussed this with them for almost a year, got far enough along to looking into houses and getting pre-approved for a mortgage before they backed out and said "we would rather save our money to bail you out when you fail". That hit DH pretty hard and was honestly hard for me to hear as it was all their idea in the first place. But again, I understand that they are in charge of their money and should spend it as they see fit.
Most recently, we are again moving to another country overseas and MIL had planned on flying back home with me, three kids and brand new baby (due this week). We have planned this all summer, but two weeks ago my husband accepted another job which means a move to Germany When DH started talking about this new job, I started mentally preparing for his mom to back out--but until two days ago she was still gun-hu about going with us. During this, FIL got all excited about going over with DH to buy a car and help us find a house and all the crazy stuff that has to happen when you move overseas and I was feeling very, very grateful to have family that understood how hard it is to set up shop in a new country. (MIL and FIL have moved overseas themselves three times, so they totally should understand all that needs to be done)
Now they have both backed out. FIL says he didn't realize DH would have to work right away and thought they could hang out and tourist all day instead dealing with all the details (but he was talking about all the things he was going to set up for us a week previous at a party we had) And MIL has been trying to get me to tell her not to come as it will be so much easier if I do it myself? She has been literally saying "you don't want me to come with you, it will be so much easier than the flight I was going to help you on". This after we looked at flights and she knows that I will be doing 2-3 flights with four kids by myself as opposed to the one flight she had signed up for initially. I feel good about the fact that I finally calmly told her "you are not going to get me to say that 2 or 3 flights with customs/layovers and unfamiliar airports are going to be easier than the one flight I have done a number of times by myself. You are an adult and do not have to come if you don't want to". They are both officially not coming, and using the fact that we will be staying in a hotel (which they also can stay in as they have military benefits) as the new excuse. These people are also loaded, so money would not be an issue.
I know the flights are going to be hard, but I have faith that the kids and I will manage because we have to--and I think that in a month or so when I have recovered from pregnancy/birth I will be more able to chase any kid that needs to be chased and just function better over all. I am just a little raw right now, my DH is incredibly hurt that his parents have done their back-out thing yet again when he really wanted and needed the help also.
So total novel later, I know we are in a weird place as the things they offer tend to be big things. Of the four times they have offered something, they have come thru two of the times. I think if we lived near them we wouldn't feel so incredibly let down as we would probably have other options for help (say they promised to babysit, then backed down). This big stuff gets me though as I really would like the help and can't get it from anyone else, but do understand that they don't owe it to us. My parents have a young child still and are working and really can't just take off to help us move--although my mom did offer after this last debacle. The difference is that I would never accept her help as she is still parenting and working and they are not.
Help me let go, and still have a relationship with my inlaws and support DH to have one. He is kind of done with them right now, and that makes me very sad. The inlaws have a long history of controlling their kids via money, and actually tried to get my DH to not marry me but cutting him off financially (he was still finishing college when we married). The fact that we don't NEED their money I think throws them off, but I really would like their support when they come thru--just don't like feeling horrible when they plan things and decide not to at the last minute. My kids love them and they are good grandparents.
Any advice, anything we should say to make this better???