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Old 08-10-2010, 01:20 AM
 
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Yeah. What else can you do, really? Not much. What you described is what I did for basically 4 years. And then MIL and FIL did some even crappier things and I finally put my foot down and confronted them about why they were doing this and asked them to change. Well, DH did. He asked them to change. And they said they would but then they didn't. Same old, same old. So, I mean, do I put my foot down and say, no, you can't continue to do this? You either play fair or not at all?
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I'm sick of them treating DS like he's the "red-haired step child" or whatever the saying is. They seriously treat him like he's second class.
no kidding!
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And why should I let that happen? He's not.
you shouldn't!
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They're the ones lacking class IMO.

My feeling now is the old addage "if they can't play nicely, they have to go home."
if it's gotten to that point, then they have no place in your life.

christina

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Old 08-10-2010, 01:39 AM
 
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Why do you have an expectation of fairness or support? They have proven- repeatedly- that isn't what they are going to do, or who they are going to be.

I guess you can keep hitting your head against the same brick wall and raging about how unfair it is, and that you need the help. I don't think I'd have the energy for that, myself.

Instead, you take a look at what you need to change in your life to create the life you want. No, you can't 'have it all' you can't maintain a career at 100% and being a parent at 100% all the time- that's just reality. You stated, correctly, that you need the help. It is up to you to create that help in a way that won't leave you angry and lost and grasping at straws of a superficial relationship trying to weave it into something more, because that isn't going to happen. They have been clear with you, so now it's time to move on.

FWIW, I was the grandchild in your son's position growing up- with both sides of the family. I guess it was unfair, but since my folks took it at face value, so did we. We had fun in the time we saw our grandparents, and the rest of the time, the focus was our family. No one made a big deal of it. Sure, my parents could have used the support- my brother and I were latchkey kids growing up, my cousins were met my their mom and our grandmother after school. Not all families HAVE to be equal and fair. I think it's important to know that it isn't always fair.

You talk about the village, and I get that longing- but sometimes the village you have isn't the one you need. It is up to you to accept that and create the village in which to live your life. We are not bound by the limitations of our biological families. Create a network of support among like minded families and friends.
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:57 AM
 
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If you think the time has come to cut them out, and your husband is on board, that's entirely your prerogative. It might not work logistically if your husband is not on board with it, of course.
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:59 AM
 
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I'm not angry. I'm disappointed. And drowning.

It does take a village. I don't want them to come so I can be friends with them. I want them to be fair so that my son isn't left as a latch key kid or in crappy daycare at the expense of my career, or conversely so that my career isn't torpedoed because I need to care for my child without a village.

Unless I get some help, either the parenting or the career is going to suffer. I can't do it all on my own, at least not at this age and with these special needs. Just can't.
It is not your in laws responsibility to make sure that your son is not a latch key kid.
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:18 AM
 
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It is not your in laws responsibility to make sure that your son is not a latch key kid.
I'm also not really understanding that. I don't understand in general why you haven't just moved on and second/third the question about possible depression in you? I get this way when I am down. I pour my energy into things that have no real answer or consequence. It's avoidance for me. IDK if that rings a bell w/you.

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Old 08-10-2010, 02:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It is not your in laws responsibility to make sure that your son is not a latch key kid.
True enough.

But probably all latch key kids are such because there was a lack of a village, no?



It's true. It's not my inlaws responsibility.

But, it is my responsibility to only allow those who care and connect to my son to be a part of family life. If he's treated as less by someone, then it's my responsibility to disallow that. What mother would stand by while her child is treated as less? Not me.

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Old 08-10-2010, 02:23 AM
 
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I really feel for you. I know that it must be super hard.

Where is your family? Are they close to you at all?

Has your DH tried to have a heart to heart with his parents, or is that totally out of the question?
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:23 AM
 
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True enough.

But probably all latch key kids are such because there was a lack of a village, no?



It's true. It's not my inlaws responsibility.

But, it is my responsibility to only allow those who care and connect to my son to be a part of family life. If he's treated as less by someone, then it's my responsibility to disallow that. What mother would stand by while her child is treated as less? Not me.

It's done though. It's just people in your life. It's not fair. It's OK.

Your responsibility is to put together this village you crave. The IL thing is a non starter. Now what?

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Old 08-10-2010, 02:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm also not really understanding that. I don't understand in general why you haven't just moved on and second/third the question about possible depression in you? I get this way when I am down. I pour my energy into things that have no real answer or consequence. It's avoidance for me. IDK if that rings a bell w/you.
Are you a parent? Are you a WOHM? Or a SAHM? Do you have support? No, it's no one else's responsibility. But to seek fairness and equal treatement when the family is going under seems reasonable to me. Who knows? Maybe they will change. Likely not, but you never know. I mean, maybe if they see he's latch key, maybe if they see the holes in the shoes, maybe if they see tapped resources and a very, very tired and stretched-too-thin-for-too-long household, they'll get it. Or maybe not. We're out of sight, out of mind. They visit the other family more and so they understand more what they're going through and they know them better. We're out of sight. They don't know and they don't think about us. I want to put us in sight.

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It is not your in laws responsibility to make sure that your son is not a latch key kid.

True enough.

But probably all latch key kids are such because there was a lack of a village, no?



It's true. It's not my inlaws responsibility.

But, it is my responsibility to only allow those who care and connect to my son to be a part of family life. If he's treated as less by someone, then it's my responsibility to disallow that. What mother would stand by while her child is treated as less? Not me.
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:28 AM
 
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I am a SAHM of two without family support.

Your IL's are never going to treat your the same. It's so trite but for whatever reason "they're not that into you". It's done.

Consider new solutions. New friends/support. New job opportunities. Whatever. You can make it work but you HAVE to move on. Again - any depression? Your anger is clouding your perspective, IMO.

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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Old 08-10-2010, 02:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's done though. It's just people in your life. It's not fair. It's OK.

Your responsibility is to put together this village you crave. The IL thing is a non starter. Now what?
Hmmm...what makes it done? What makes it final? They could have a light bulb moment. Maybe they'll look at a picture of DS at some moment and something will click. Or maybe not. I'm not a fool. I get that they probably won't change. But why give up entirely? Why take their first no for an answer? My son is young. He's not even 5. He's not even 2/3 of the way through childhood. What if I keep persisting or be clear they can't be involved unless they are really involved and they change when he's 7 or 10 or 12? That's still a good thing. I'd take that.
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am a SAHM without family support.

Your IL's are never going to treat your the same. It's so trite but for whatever reason "they're not that into you". It's done.
Thanks for the post. I do appreciate it. I'm going to have to disagree with you that it's done though. I don't know that for sure and neither does anyone else, including my inlaws. Things change. People change. Time changes all things.

My son is young. We have a long way to go before 1) my son is grown and an adult and 2) my inlaws are too elderly to be active. There are many more years ahead. And they are ripe for change.

Now, as I said earlier, I'm not a naiive fool who thinks they'll definitely change...but I'd be doing my son a disservice if I didn't try and took their first no. I wouldn't be worth my salt as a mother if I don't fight the good fight for my kid.

And, no offense intended, and with all due respect, my life was quite a bit different and less intense when I was a SAHM for two years. I didn't need the help to the extent that I do now as a WOHM. That's just how it has been for me personally. My weekends are days where I am a SAHM and those are my days "off" which explain why I'm so darned burned out. WOH is a whole different ball of wax. Each comes with challenges and opportunities, but I managed without any help much better as a SAHM than I do now as a WOHM. Just my two cents and why I asked. Thanks.
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:36 AM
 
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Hmmm...what makes it done? What makes it final? They could have a light bulb moment. Maybe they'll look at a picture of DS at some moment and something will click. Or maybe not. I'm not a fool. I get that they probably won't change. But why give up entirely? Why take their first no for an answer? My son is young. He's not even 5. He's not even 2/3 of the way through childhood. What if I keep persisting or be clear they can't be involved unless they are really involved and they change when he's 7 or 10 or 12? That's still a good thing. I'd take that.
Gently, this kind of persistence is unlikely going to result in increased visits. It'll make them feel nervous, pressured. They like to go to the pool and the big screened TV, right? Let them be. Maybe tomorrow or maybe 10 years from now your relationship with them will evolve to a point where they want to spend time with you. But for now they don't. Maybe they just click more with the other family. I agree with whoever said that their life is their own. If they want to vacation by the pool then that's it. Your job is to make your own life work.

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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Old 08-10-2010, 02:40 AM
 
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And, no offense intended, and with all due respect, my life was quite a bit different and less intense when I was a SAHM for two years. I didn't need the help to the extent that I do now as a WOHM. That's just how it has been for me personally. My weekends are days where I am a SAHM and those are my days "off" which explain why I'm so darned burned out. WOH is a whole different ball of wax. Each comes with challenges and opportunities, but I managed without any help much better as a SAHM than I do now as a WOHM. Just my two cents and why I asked. Thanks.
So, if you are unhappy and 'going under' because you are a WOHM, maybe it's time to revisit the SAHM idea? It may mean a lot of changes and restructuring your life to make it work, but maybe that is what you need to do, or maybe work part time?
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:40 AM
 
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WOH is a whole different ball of wax.
I have no doubt that being a WOHM is much more difficult than being a SAHM. It would be for me, too.

I hope you find peace with all of this.

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Old 08-10-2010, 02:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Gently, this kind of persistence is unlikely going to result in increased visits. It'll make them feel nervous, pressured. They like to go to the pool and the big screened TV, right? Let them be. Maybe tomorrow or maybe 10 years from now your relationship with them will evolve to a point where they want to spend time with you. But for now they don't. Maybe they just click more with the other family. I agree with whoever said that their life is their own. If they want to vacation by the pool then that's it. Your job is to make your own life work.
Thanks. Yes, it is.

But if I'd accepted every cruddy situation and moved on without solving it or giving it my best shot, I wouldn't be where I am today.

If I did that at work with difficult projects or something, I'd be let go eventually for ineffectiveness.
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, if you are unhappy and 'going under' because you are a WOHM, maybe it's time to revisit the SAHM idea? It may mean a lot of changes and restructuring your life to make it work, but maybe that is what you need to do, or maybe work part time?
Well...I'm not working because it's fun and good for my health. I mean, yeah, yeah, I like my career and I like a lot of aspects of working, but, let's face it, with no support and with a young child, work is hell.

My husband never supported the idea of having either of us be a SAHP. The only reason I was for two years was because I saved up about $50k before having a baby to support myself so I could stay home while I breastfed and because I knew DH wasn't going to be much help, and even with that knowledge upfront, I was still shocked at how little he actually did support us.

DH would never, never, never be OK with a SAHP. And given the downfall of the marriage due to the long standing lack of support, I just wouldn't/couldn't/shouldn't give up my career, particularly in this economy.

But, yeah, being a SAHM would certainly simplify things tremendously. I am over my limit with out of state travel, meetings, covering all the sick days and appointments and field trips, and trying to work and take care of a child, and maintain a house. It's too much and not enough time. Like I said, I can't be a 100% mother even if I'm giving my career 80%. It just doesn't balance without some other inputs.
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:16 AM
 
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It sounds like you have chosen a job that has a lot of demands in terms of out of state travel and a great deal of intensity. Maybe looking for a different position would be a consideration.

You *shouldn't* handle all the sick days etc.. if you are both working, he needs to manage some of those. If he is not willing to, and your distress is at a lack of support from HIM- looking for his parents to fill in the gaps isn't likely to help.

You need to figure out how to manage it yourself, and it sounds like finding some paid childcare and housekeeping would help. Your pain and frustration are very clear, and you owe it to yourself to find some support instead of simply wishing it were there.
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:22 AM
 
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my parents favor one of my brothers and his wife because:
a) my brother is needy and my parents love to be needed;
b) his wife is from a culture that treats parents with the utmost respect, calls them Mr. FIRST NAME and Mrs. FIRST NAME; and my parents dig that.
they give them lots of extra money and time. i will admit that i do resent it a little from time to time.
but on the upside i know that we are making it on our own instead of being dependent upon anyone else, and when my parents do visit, it is only to visit, not to "help." those are good feelings.

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Old 08-10-2010, 03:26 AM
 
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Turn it around:

Think of whatever help or assistance or support - whatever - you get from your children's grandparents - both sets or more than two sets.

Now subtract that from your life.

How does that feel? Is it OK? Doable? Acceptable? Would you be OK? Desperate? (I guess this would only apply to those of you with kids who are juggling two careers and raising children...having a SAHP would be a whole different ball of wax here...).
I think you are raising two different issues here with this comment. I can understand feeling angry and slighted that your child's grandparents don't spend time with him. I can understand feeling like you never do anything alone with your spouse or go to an appointment alone or what have you. I don't live near any family, and the one babysitter I had stopped babysitting for us a long time ago. My husband and I never go out alone. It is easier for me, being a SAHM, especially since I know that if I did manage to find a job, I would be the one still doing all the childcare and child activities and meal preparation and laundry and everything else. However it's not really about who has it harder, because someone is always way worse off than you are. The real situation is how your husband's parents treat him, your child and you; and can you change that.

When it comes to the situation where you say you want your inlaws to help more because you need the help in a way that some people don't, it comes off more like you are entitled to this help and should be able to expect it--not saying that you feel this way, it just reads that way. I think in our society we have a expectation of what reasonable grandparenting is, and if our parents or inlaws are in the position to provide it and don't want to, it's hurtful. When we see the grandparents helping out the other part of the family, but not your family, it's crazymaking. I'd feel rejected, like there was something wrong with me and my child. Unfortunately, not everyone is going to get the kind of help from their children's grandparents for one reason or another, and it sounds like you are in that group.

Is it possible that you or your husbnd can write a heartfelt letter, asking if there is a way for you to help foster a closer relationship between them and your child? Putting aside any thought of how they could help you, just approach it from the point of view that you like them and would like to visit with them more and have your child see them more. Do you know how their other son and DIL feel about it all? Does your husband talk to his brother much about it? Maybe they could ask questions about their nephew and talk about your more with the grandparents. I'd probably do that before I gave up completely, just because if you pull away and cut off contact, they will undoubtedly just figure you are doing what you want to do. At least if you can clear the air on this topic and get some sort of answer, it might at least help you put your mind at ease--not that you will necessarily ever get a straight answer, I think that's always chancy.
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It sounds like you have chosen a job that has a lot of demands in terms of out of state travel and a great deal of intensity. Maybe looking for a different position would be a consideration.

You *shouldn't* handle all the sick days etc.. if you are both working, he needs to manage some of those. If he is not willing to, and your distress is at a lack of support from HIM- looking for his parents to fill in the gaps isn't likely to help.

You need to figure out how to manage it yourself, and it sounds like finding some paid childcare and housekeeping would help. Your pain and frustration are very clear, and you owe it to yourself to find some support instead of simply wishing it were there.
You hit the nail on the head. I've got paid childcare (daycare) but it's only during daycare hours. I often have to travel out of state, and I have a lot of meetings that run into non-daycare hours. With DH getting only two weeks of paid leave, and having no flexibility, it makes it very complicated to cover things.

Two weeks is nothing! I'm sorry. It's just not!

DH refuses to hire housekeeping. He would never allow that. It's been discussed. It's not really in the budget anyway, but even if it were, DH would never go for it. He's made that clear.

I did start buying more child care last spring when things got really out of control. And then DH started complaining about the price of daycare and made me prove to him that we really needed to spend that much and also made me give him the figures again about the cheaper places in town and how little it would save us by changing daycares.

Our daycare will be ending soon and I've put DH in charge of finding new daycare and thus far he's refused and said he can't handle that, but I'm starting to delegate more things to him and that's one of them. Sometimes it seems like I have to go to those lengths.

Yes, the out of state travel is really a big problem. It's hard. But I'm probably not going to find a job in my field that wouldn't require travel and meetings. It's sort of inherent in the field. Maybe it would be less. On the flip side, I get really good benefits and flexibility so there are trade offs. I just need more help to handle the intense parts of the job. DH is not much of a support system and never has been.
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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it comes off more like you are entitled to this help and should be able to expect it--not saying that you feel this way, it just reads that way.
I don't feel I am entitled to anything from my inlaws. I do feel they have an obligation to be fair to their minor grandchild.
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I can understand feeling like you never do anything alone with your spouse or go to an appointment alone or what have you. I don't live near any family, and the one babysitter I had stopped babysitting for us a long time ago.
Thanks. It's not about getting alone time with DH though. I don't give two hoots about that at this point. That is so, so unimportant. I wouldn't expect my inlaws to accommodate that.

I am having real trouble with out of state travel for work and daycare. Daycare and meetings don't line up. I also have trouble taking time off from work for dr appointments for my child, sick days for my child, field trips, school events, and school breaks and in-services. I have done nearly all of these myself for over two years. It makes me look like a less than great employee, it makes me fall behind at work, and I'm just running here and there, back and forth. It's too much. That's what I need help with.

For what it's worth, I really didn't need as much help when I was a SAHM for two years, which was good because I didn't get that much help. But I wasn't nearly as tired or desperate as I am now.
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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especially since I know that if I did manage to find a job, I would be the one still doing all the childcare and child activities and meal preparation and laundry and everything else.
Thanks! This IS my life. I am doing all this. It sucks. And I need some help. I can't do my job and all the out of state travel and meetings and meet my employers needs AND be a good mom. Just can't.

Right now, I'm a pretty good mom and a not-so-great employee. And I'm a piss poor home manager. I can't give more. The laundry and the dishes and the cleaning goes first. Then I drop the ball at work. And I try to keep the parenting ball spinning, but that slows down and wavers time to time too.
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:24 AM
 
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Since your relationship with your DH sounds like it is poor (from what you've said in this thread), that fact alone could be influencing their visits. It would be hard to see your child in a loveless marriage. It is hard to be around people who are not getting along/who are tense with one another. It isn't a nice relaxing vacation, it is stressful.

About your situation - it does suck and you do need help. I suggested some sources of childcare earlier in the thread. That is what you need. You also need to let go of any expectations of the grandparents.

No, you have no right to expect anything for your son from them. They can be jerkweeds to him if they want. It isn't fair or good, but it isn't your choice. It is theirs and they will live with their decisions.

Persisting with them and asking for more for years in hopes that they will come around is really not a good tactic. They may well come around when he is 7 or 12, but it isn't going to be from you hounding them. Reminding and cajoling and expecting will only build resentment, not relationship.

I agree with a PP who said you should cut yourself off from this information that is bothering you. Don't talk to them about it. Don't talk to BIL and SIL about it. Move the conversation on whenenver it comes up. Be kind and loving towards them in the time you have with them and let them live their lives. They may make choices you wouldn't make - they may even be BAD choices - but they are THEIR choices to make. You can only control how you let them into your life and how you react to them.

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Old 08-10-2010, 04:38 AM
 
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Grandparents are under no obligation to treat them fairly? Even when there are only 5 total and all around the same age?
No. Grandparents have absolutely no obligation to their grandchildren whatsoever. No obligation to your concept of "fairness". None.

That established, you need to move on. You are doing no favors to your child or your own mental health.
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:44 AM
 
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I read the responses and let me just say they are your INLAWS. The situation needs to be your DH's to handle. If the inlaws do not want to visit then it needs to be DH to convince them to come. The entire situation sounds like the inlaws dont want to come and DS really doesn't want them here (or doesn't care).
Its not the grandparents job to be 'fair'. While it would be nice, its not reality. I have the only grandchild and my parents do nothing for him. Trust me my parents have $$ and they choose to send it to my sister who is a SVP in a bank.
If you think you need money and need to ask the inlaws that would be call for DH to make, not you. Even if I was married I cant imagine making that call.

I also agree that you need to expand your circle of daycare providers. There are plenty of moms willing to watch little ones for extra $.

It just sounds like DH needs to pick up his 1/2 of the duties at home, with the child and at work. If you have a meeting there shoudl be no reason he cant get to the sitters.
If DH doesnt want to hire a housekeeping service then he needs to contribute to cleaning the house.

Not that your DH would go for it but have you explored the option of therapy, either couples or individual?

Also just let the idea of the inlaws comings... let it go.... They are not coming, they are not sending $$, holidays, b'days are going to be unfair. And you know what... thats ok. That is your Inlaws decision, they get to choose where and when to spend $. You dont have to agree with it. But please stop trying to change it.

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Old 08-10-2010, 05:08 AM
 
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I don't feel I am entitled to anything from my inlaws. I do feel they have an obligation to be fair to their minor grandchild.

Honestly, while it is a wonderful thought, they really owe your son nothing. While they will hopefully look abck one day and realize what they have missed, there is also a very good chance that they won't

My in laws have 4 grandaughters two of which are my kids. For the vast majority of my girl's lives they have lived a minimum of 5 hours away from us but have just recently purchased a house in our area and are gradually moving here. Over the past decade and a half they have been there for most of the major milestones of my niece's lives; concerts, recitals, athletic games, graduation, in fact very recently they drove over 6 hours at the last minute to see a play that my nieces were in - the week before they declined an invite to see my girls compete in their first gymnastics exibition when they were just a 30 minute drive away. Did it hurt my feelings, make me mad that they chose not to come and share a special day with my girls - absolutely. Was I even madder when I found out about the special trip for my nieces, heck yes. I can clearly see that they favor SIL's kids, and I am sure that my hubby can see that too, but honestly, I know that I cannot do anything to make them change. My daughters are starting to voice their disinterest in visiting them, and it breaks my heart to think about how this hurts my hubby, so I encourage the visits with a smile and a bunch of fun things in my bag to keep the visit fun. In time I'm sure that they will begin to see the inequality in their relationship in comparison to their cousins but I want the decision to be theirs completely, not one influenced by my hurt and disappointment. Until then I will encourage family visits but certainly will avoid leaving them alone unless I am more certain that they will treat my kids with the same love and kindness they show their other grandaughters.
You can't change people. make them feel things that they don't. If I were in your shoes I would encourage your son to enjoy their visits but I certainly would not continue to push for them to have a greater presence in his life against their own wishes. It's just not worth the cost of a sitter for less than a dozen days throughout the year.
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Old 08-10-2010, 07:53 AM
 
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In light of what you've said about your situation in general, i am kind of thinking you should cut your IL's AND THEIR SON out of your immediate situation. Your IL's are not causing this problem, your DH's rigidity and selfishness are. It's not their job to pick up the slack their son is pouring out in your direction. I feel for you, i do, i left a similar situation once and it was frightening, lonely and hard HARD work. Looking back it was also the best possible thing i could have done. The situation i was in was not working, had not ever worked well and was never going to work. I left XP over 4 years ago and very little has changed for him, whereas EVERYTHING has changed for me. Can you look at your life and say honestly that a little more help would fix everything? Your relationship with DH seems to be at the root of so many of your problems and sadnesses, why do you stay? Ultimately this is your life, the only one who can fix this is you.
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Old 08-10-2010, 08:12 AM
 
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In light of what you've said about your situation in general, i am kind of thinking you should cut your IL's AND THEIR SON out of your immediate situation. Your IL's are not causing this problem, your DH's rigidity and selfishness are. It's not their job to pick up the slack their son is pouring out in your direction. I feel for you, i do, i left a similar situation once and it was frightening, lonely and hard HARD work. Looking back it was also the best possible thing i could have done. The situation i was in was not working, had not ever worked well and was never going to work. I left XP over 4 years ago and very little has changed for him, whereas EVERYTHING has changed for me. Can you look at your life and say honestly that a little more help would fix everything? Your relationship with DH seems to be at the root of so many of your problems and sadnesses, why do you stay? Ultimately this is your life, the only one who can fix this is you.
This. Bolding mine. BTDT. So true. You can't change your ILs. You can't even change your DH. But you can change yourself. You have to do it though. It is NOT easy, not in the very short term. But in the long term, and even in the not so distance future, the rewards can be immense. Everything can change. You get rid of the junk, and then 98% of the changes are good, great or profound. It isn't just the obvious things that change either. In the long run, a lot of your core being can slowly change to be much more positive - self confidence, self worth.... BTDT.
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