My kid is not the favorite grandson - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-29-2010, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This situation is bothering me and makes me a bit sad and even angry and I need to figure out how I can get over it. This is the situation: My inlaws ( and their extended family) favor their other grandson over our son (they only have the two)

The boys are both about the same age ( aprox 16 months), my son is a few weeks older. It’s been pretty obvious to me, since the beginning that the other kid is the favorite.

We are all getting together around the holidays at my in-laws home, and this will be the first time we have all been together with both boys and I am concerned I am going to let the favoritism ruin my outlook and my mood.

I don’t want to try and change or confront them or anything like that, I realize it doesn’t matter what they think, and until their favoritism is perceived by my son (thankfully right now it isn’t and maybe it never will be) I have no desire to deal with the issue directly, but what I would like some advice on is how to deal with my own feelings regarding this. How can I make myself not care about this? My husband simply doesn’t care about it, and tells me to do the same. He notices it too, but he says, “Why let it bother you.”? And I’d like to know how I can not let it bother me, what can I tell myself to just get beyond the resentment? What can I do to not be bothered by it? I am just being ridiculous in letting this affect me?


(examples of the favoritism: They make special visits to go see the other gs, even though they live closer to us in the state next to us, and multiple states away from the other gs. They have only come to see our son 3 times since he was born, and it will have been nine months before the next visit.
They didn’t come to my sons 1st birthday, but they went to the other kids 1st, and he got all sorts of presents, cake, etc. My kid got a card and check. (money is fine, but for a one year old from his grandma? And she even asked what to get him, and we gave her all kinds of ideas, and instead of making the effort to get him a gift, she sent a check. Sorry just seems cold to me, in light of everything else.)
When pictures get posted on FB or on our blog by me, none of them comment, but when pictures are posted of the other gs, they all make tons of comments about what a special, wonderful grandson he is.
When we do talk with them they make comments to us about how smart, beautiful, etc the other kid is but don’t say similar things about our son (who is simply awesome and super cute, funny and smart too! Also they favor their other son over my DS and they also think I am weird because we co-sleep, bf'ing, ec'ing, etc, so I think that this is from where the favoritism stems, not that it matters, we can't change their minds..I just want to change how I feel about it and not let my feelings get hurt. It actually has made me cry, I feel bad for my kid )
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:05 PM
 
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Do they see the other grandson more? Maybe it's not so much a favorite thing as a familiar thing? Just a thought. I know that if my brother were to have kids now, that it would probably appear that my kids are favorites but only because my mom is more familiar with them. She lived with us for a couple of years and was primary caregiver while I went to school.

If they see them both the same, then honestly there isn't much you can do. So, in that position, as difficult as it is, you just have to tell yourself to let it go. Unless you are really comfortable enough with your in-laws to speak openly and honestly with them. If you are comfortable enough, then remember to use the "I feel" phrases as these tend to create less defensive responses. "I feel like you favor bobby. This is why I feel like you favor bobby". If you really can't discuss it with them, or your husband can't discuss it with them, then there is no easy solution other than to tell yourself over and over and over again that you aren't going to let it bother you.

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Old 10-29-2010, 01:08 PM
 
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Is the other grandson the son of their daughter? It could just be that they visit the daughter more and post on their daughter's facebook page more than yours. Some grandparents are weird like this and feel closer to the daughter's kids than to the son's kids. It's their issue though. I agree with your dh that really the best thing is to just let it go.
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:16 PM
 
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Is the other grandson the son of their daughter? It could just be that they visit the daughter more and post on their daughter's facebook page more than yours. Some grandparents are weird like this and feel closer to the daughter's kids than to the son's kids. It's their issue though. I agree with your dh that really the best thing is to just let it go.
I was going to ask the same thing. It seems to be fairly common for parents to be closer to their daughter's children than their sons....its sad but I've seen it in my own family as well.

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Old 10-29-2010, 01:19 PM
 
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I'd invite them over or see if you can go visit. It honestly sounds like they just don't know your son. And I agree with the pp's question, is this the child of their daughter? That relationship is much different.

As the unfavored grandchild, I can say, yes at some point he will notice. My parents tried to act like it was no big deal, everyone was the same, as we got older, it's painfully obvious and it does hurt. You can try talking to them, but I really don't know if it will do any good. If it does, great. If not, try to let it go and not let your son feed off of your feelings on it.
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:23 PM
 
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Ok, I read your update and yes, it is definately favoritism. If your dh doesn't think talking to them will work then you will just really have to work at letting it go. I know it hurts, and it will hurt your son later, but there isn't much to do about it unfortunately, and there is still no way to make the process easier.

I am so sorry that your ds and your family have to go through this.

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Old 10-29-2010, 01:25 PM
 
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And I’d like to know how I can not let it bother me, what can I tell myself to just get beyond the resentment? What can I do to not be bothered by it? I am just being ridiculous in letting this affect me?
One of the best ways to deal with resentment is to focus your mind on appreciation instead. Its impossible to hold both resentment and appreciation in your mind at the same time.

You could try to make a list (a long list) of the positive aspects of both grandparents. Really think about it and really find good things (and don't focus on things like "and they treat the OTHER grandchild really well" - be sincere about what you like and appreciate about them).

Just writing your list of positive aspects will shift your energy about them, and theirs in return. You could keep the list with you and take it out and read it whenever you start to feel resentful again.

And you could go even further, and send it to them in an email, or post a bit of it at a time on your facebook.
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:29 PM
 
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That's a tough situation. Like you said, there is no way to change their feelings, and the feelings are probably stemming from their relationships with you and your dh, rather than from their actual feelings about your ds. The distancing might actually be about their comfort level, since they don't necessarily "understand" your family as well. Does that make sense? I know my mom feels like this about me, and I know it leads her to feel very "judged" if I ever make a suggestion, request, or statement that isn't 100% in-line with how she does things. I'm not judging, but she feels that way because it's a vast difference of opinion at times and there is a lack of comfort that comes with that.

I'm terrible at letting go of feelings, personally. If you can try to frame as a lack of understanding and maybe their relationship with your dh, then it may help take away the sting as when it's being directed toward your son. Toward your son, try to maintain the positives of the relationship, so that he doesn't start feeling less favored. Really highlight the positives that they do for him - "Oh, let's buy you a cool ___ with this money!" And then when he uses ___, reiterate that he used the money his grandparents gave him for it. And state those positives in front of them too - that way they might feel more comfortable around the family and your ds. If it becomes more of a problem as your ds gets older, I'd suggest your dh be the one to talk with them and use "I" statements. Is the reason he just wants to ignore it because of their relationship or a pattern in their relationship, or does it just not bug him?
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Old 10-29-2010, 01:36 PM
 
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We have a similar situation, only it's my dad and stepmom who seem to favor her son's child over my sister's kids and my toddler. It's largely coming from my stepmother- my dad dotes on our kids, but there is one picture of my niece, no pictures of our daughter, and hundreds of my stepmom's grandson in their home. My dad has seen her grandson countless times, and V twice so far. It's not really his choice- my stepmom is pretty controlling, but it still kinda sucks.

We live very far away, and don't send pictures (God gave us photo printers for a reason) which probably contributes to the issue. (FWIW, my stepmother is not a warm person, and while she and I have the best relationship out of the 4 of us kids, it's not a particularly positive or nurturing one- in the past year, she won't even answer the phone if I'm calling. She's controlling and aloof, and that's just the way she is.)

For me, to stay sane, I try to not let it get to me, because Vivi's relationship with her grandparents will be the only one she knows- it won't occur to her unless she picks it up from me that my stepmom vastly favors her own son's child. That's really all we can do- realize that our kids will love their grandparents regardless of favoritism, and the vibe they get from us will be more damaging than the relationship (or lack thereof) with their grandparents.

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Old 10-29-2010, 01:42 PM
 
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the feelings are probably stemming from their relationships with you and your dh, rather than from their actual feelings about your ds. The distancing might actually be about their comfort level, since they don't necessarily "understand" your family as well.
I agree with this. My mom has said she feels closer to my kids than to my sister's kids because she and I get along better. My sister is a VERY difficult person to deal with, so my mother doesn't call or visit often.

My mom and I talk all the time, so she always knows what's going on with my kids.

Also, how often do YOU visit them? How do the visits go when you all spend time together? When my mom visits me, it's very comfortable and easy. When my mom visits my sister, my sister is very tense and often ends up yelling. My mom feels like she has to walk on egg shells and is afraid to say anything.

Is this a repeat of favoritism from childhood? Was the parent of the favored nephew also the favorite as a child?

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 10-29-2010, 02:13 PM
 
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I totally agree with your husband! Stop caring about it.

BUT.... while I was busy not caring, I'd be blocking them from seeing his pictures. I'd make a facebook group for them, and I'd make sure that only YOUR friends and family can see those pictures. If they can't play fair, they don't need the opportunity to make it so blatant.

I'd also go to my sister in law's facebook and sweetly say "He certainly is the most precious grandson" Make them wonder what's up.

But, then right after that, I'd stop caring.
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Old 10-29-2010, 04:26 PM
 
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My DH's parents prefer his youngest sisters kids to ours. They've been free babysitters to her kids since all 4 were born, so I guess that makes them feel closer. Plus DH's mom has never liked me!

I did get upset when there were times like Christmas and my kids were sitting there unwrapping a few presents while the other kids had mountains of presents around them. It's hard to explain to my kids why their cousins are still unwrapping presents 15 minutes after they are done! Honestly though, I started looking at all the CRAP these kids have and thought, "Wow, would I even WANT all that junk in my house?" The answer is NO! Especially since most of the stuff they get aren't really things my kids have a lasting interest in.

This year I decided I will wrap up a few special things and take them to the in-laws. When my kids are sitting there watching the cousins unwrap all their stuff, I will hand over a few small, well choosen presents to my kids without a word. Hopefully that will make them feel not so left out, while giving them stuff I know they will like.
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Old 10-29-2010, 05:53 PM
 
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Are they your ILs? Sometimes in laws can be so weird.

I'm lucky my ILs are not like that, but I know many that are and just treat DILs like they don't count or something It's really quite stupid. For us all our family treat DD and DS equally, and in fact my MIL treats us better in some ways. DH is one of her favorites because he was always helping her as a kid, so she has a special bond with him. When both our kids were born she showered us with gifts and money. I know she gives gifts of money, but she gave us money multiple times. Our kids are also the youngest girl and youngest boy, more than likely will be because we waited to have kids.

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Old 10-29-2010, 05:55 PM
 
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It would bother me too, and I would feel very resentful of their behavior on behalf of my own adorable kid. However, I would probably only share my feelings w/ my husband in private for the sake of family peace.

Is the other child your husband's sister's child? If so, maybe your in-laws feel closer to their daughter than your husband, and for them the child is an extension of this. Who knows why. But regardless, I would just ignore a lot of their behavior & simultaneously try to nurture the relationship b/twn the 2 cousins. That's the one that may be more important to your son in the long run, anyway. Do you like your sister- or brother-in-laws? Focus on them.

Families can be a real pain in the butt sometimes, but we only have to see the relatives we don't quite click w/ a few times each year.

Only caveat: if the in-laws are very different in behavior and comments to both boys in their presence, in a way that can obviously be detected w/ your son, I would probably refuse to see them for any other family events. I would even let them know that their favoritism is potentially painful for your own child, so you won't subject him to it. The feelings of my child come way before the feelings of my in-laws.
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Old 10-29-2010, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the replies everyone. I only get a few moments to respond (it's nap time but I need to go make dinner!)


I really appreciate the suggestion to make a list of all the things I appreciate about his grandparents. That may actually help me get past the resentment. I realize the only thing I can change is how I feel about the favoritism and how I respond to it, and I totally get that if I can focus on the positive it would help me get past it.


And believe me, I have toyed with the idea of blocking them from seeing the pics i put up on FB, expecially after today, when finally one of the inlaws commented on a pic of my son and how cute he was...except they called him by the other granson's name! But blocking them would only make me feel better in a temporary way.

For what it's worth, both the grandboys are the sons of my inlaws two sons (one is my DH and one is my BIL) My BIL is the favorite, and his wife is the favorite too. They live much farther away but the grandparents make special trips to go visit them.

So yes, I realize the favoritism is a result of the least favorite kid having his own kid, and my husband knows this too. (it made me so sad to go visit his mom for the first time, years ago, and see this huge picture of his brother in the living room and not a single picture of my husband! and my husband is a great guy, he's never been a jerk to his family or anything like that. It's just their dynamic.)


I just need to come up with some things I can tell myself and repeat to myself when it gets so bad I want to say something, and maybe focusing on the positives is really what I need to do, now I need to go figutre out what those are, I know there are some.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 10-29-2010, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Only caveat: if the in-laws are very different in behavior and comments to both boys in their presence, in a way that can obviously be detected w/ your son, I would probably refuse to see them for any other family events. I would even let them know that their favoritism is potentially painful for your own child, so you won't subject him to it. The feelings of my child come way before the feelings of my in-laws.
Yes, upcoming visit will be the first time the two cousins have been together and if the inlaws treat my son markedly different than the other, I just don't know what I will do. I don't want my kid to grow up without grandparents, but I don't want him treated like the redheaded step son either. I guess we will just have to see what happens.
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Old 10-29-2010, 06:24 PM
 
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Is the other grandson the son of their daughter? It could just be that they visit the daughter more and post on their daughter's facebook page more than yours. Some grandparents are weird like this and feel closer to the daughter's kids than to the son's kids. It's their issue though. I agree with your dh that really the best thing is to just let it go.
This. My husband and I have noticed that this is the case with his parents too. His sister and her kid get more attention big time. With us it may be that our/my dd is not their biological granddaughter, but I really think when we have kids together it won't change. DH's sister is a lot more 'mainstream' with parenting than we are as well, which I think makes his parents feel like they can take more of an active role as well.
It's been hard, but we've just had to focus more on our dd and we've stopped trying so hard to get them to be more involved. I feel it's really the grandparents' loss.

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Old 10-29-2010, 06:28 PM
 
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Yes, upcoming visit will be the first time the two cousins have been together and if the inlaws treat my son markedly different than the other, I just don't know what I will do. I don't want my kid to grow up without grandparents, but I don't want him treated like the redheaded step son either. I guess we will just have to see what happens.
Your husband probably has some pain regarding his own experience of not being the favorite, though he has either shoved that pain deep down inside or truly come to terms w/ it and let it go. Regardless, I would see advocating for my son as also advocating for my husband. Your in-laws sound incredibly shallow, so I would have no problem in setting the tone and standard for their relationship w/ my own child.

IF they behave poorly at the get-together, I wouldn't be angrily confrontational, but I definitely would be direct if they are obvious in their favoritism. Just state the truth & bring it out in the open if you need to, but in a respectful, mature, gentle ("higher ground") way in private w/ your in-laws (ie. not around the kids, of course). Start w/ "I feel", "I've observed" type statements, so that they're not put on the defensive. Explain that you do not wish for your son to feel second-best or have damaged self-esteem, and emphasize to them the importance of a healthy relationship w/ his grandparents. Be courageous, give your in-laws another chance, but expect a higher standard of behavior. If they violate your expectations at that point, then I would quietly withdraw from them & force them to make the effort to have any relationship w/ your child.
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Old 10-29-2010, 06:39 PM
 
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Op, you've gotten some great advice! just for a little perspective-- I was a favorite. I don't know why-- I am the oldest grandchild; but only by a few months. Obviously your 16 month old nephew won't feel this way, but as I got older the guilt over gifts and attention is just awful. I feel so beholden to my extended family that it's not healthy.

When there is an inbalance, it uncomfortable for all children involved.

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Old 10-29-2010, 07:52 PM
 
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I don’t want to try and change or confront them or anything like that, I realize it doesn’t matter what they think, and until their favoritism is perceived by my son (thankfully right now it isn’t and maybe it never will be)
OP, I think you have a great attitude, wanting to work on your own behavior and attitude, and accepting that you can't really change other people. IMO, that is a wise, and most peaceful, way to go.

But I do want to say that if this continues, your son WILL notice it. The other boy will as well. It will be super clear, even when they are 3 and 5 yo, who is the favorite, best, smartest, funniest... Everyone has their role, and they will know what it is, even if you try and protect them from it.

I would say you got some great advice here. You can't change them, but you can gently, respectfully, point out the obvious to them. And then it becomes their choice, if they want to make the efforts to change or not. But if they don't, then reconsider how much negative impact you want on your son. I don't mean get all drastic and cut them out of your lives... but backing off a bit, not visiting at obvious holiday times which will just turn into a comparison match.., may be healthier in the long run than more visits that are hurtful. Something to think about for the future.
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Old 10-29-2010, 08:00 PM
 
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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.
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Old 10-29-2010, 08:05 PM
 
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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
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Old 10-29-2010, 08:31 PM
 
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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.

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Old 10-29-2010, 08:39 PM
 
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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.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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Old 10-30-2010, 12:30 AM
 
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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!!
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Old 10-30-2010, 10:33 AM
 
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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.
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Old 10-31-2010, 05:02 PM
 
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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.

JENNY, 38~ preschool teacher, birth activist, sun worshiper, singer, married for 17 years and mom to

Karan 15, Fiona 12, Bodhi 10, Bjorn 6, Devon 3, and Robin Taylor born January 16th!

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Old 10-31-2010, 07:43 PM
 
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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.
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:47 PM
 
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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"
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