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#121 of 164 Old 08-10-2010, 11:54 PM
 
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Why do you think I am wrong? How can grandparents justify treating one child unfairly?

If it's not wrong, then it's justifiable.

If they want to see him, as they have said they do, then why are they under no obligation to be fair?

Fair doesn't equal the same. Fair is fair.

Does anyone have an obligation to be fair to another person? Does one spouse have an obligation to be fair to the other spouse? Or not? Does a parent have an obligation to be fair to children? Or not? Is there any obligation of fairness in any relationship?

Right or wrong, people can take many actions. They can be unfair. But that doesn't make it right. Or make them unobligated.

So, does anyone have an obligation to anyone else to be fair?
in a word, no.

there is an expectation of fairness in any relationship, but that expectation does not oblige anyone to act in any particular way, unless that person promised to do so (like in one's marriage vows), or one has a legal obligation to do so.

i think that's why most of us who have responded to you on this thread do have sympathy for you up to a certain point. we all as parents (certain situations excepted, of course) expect a certain amount of fairness in the relationships between our parents and our children. but that doesn't mean our parents are obliged to act a certain way, just because we want it that way. most of the time, mismatched expectations can be cleared away with sincere and honest discussion, but if it doesn't work out no one is obliged to maintain that relationship. in fact, there is an expectation that if a relationship isn't working, despite the best efforts of all parties involved, that the relationship will end.

i think you are placing too much weight on your expectation of fairness, and creating an obligation where most people would not.

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#122 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 12:26 AM
 
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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.
Your negative feelings towards your ils and your dh are so apparent in your posts that they surely are felt by your ils. I am pretty sure you will disagree but your ils likely don't feel comfortable around you or in your home which is why they don't spend much time with your ds.

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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.
But you aren't handling this situation, your are complaining about it and laying expectations on your in-laws that are never going to happen. You are asking them, not directly, for financial help with your ds, so your aren't handling it, you are saying you need more child care, so no, you are not solving it.

Your assertion that most single moms receive assistance, live with their parents, or have a lot of support is just rubbish. You have no clue what you are talking about. "most single moms" would not have the expectation that someone else would foot the bill for their child's shoes.

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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.
Then YOU need to figure out how to fix it and it has nothing to do with your in-laws. It seems like you want to blame everyone for the problems in your life, talk about how great of a planner you were and how none of this is your fault yet you can't seem to get it figured out. There are millions of moms out there handling it, many of them single moms with no support.

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That was then this is now? That was circumstances out of most of our control? This is their choice?

My inlaws have the means. They have the means. They are a resource, if they make different choices.

I honestly spend a fraction talking about this: here, to them, to DH.

I mean, most of the time I'm at work or driving to pick up or drop off at daycare. Add in time to get ready for work, sleep, and eat and maybe a phone call or get together with a friend, and there is 99% of my time.

I mean this past weekend, I did some work from home on a project, cleaned, did laundry, took my kid to a cheap matinee at the budget theater, took my kid to a park, met a friend (twice), and cleaned, cleaned, cleaned, sorted laundry and threw in loads.

I don't spend a lot of time worrying about my inlaws. Really, it's just post-travel for work and post-meetings for work when I get a lifted eyebrow for having to take vacation pre- and post-travel to prepare my household and recuperate.
Your in-laws are not a resource, and its not your business if they have the means. They have no obligation to share their money with you or your family.
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#123 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 12:44 AM
 
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Are these the same grandparents who you believe would spend huge sums of money helping your husband in a custody battle if you leave him?
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#124 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 01:31 AM
 
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* Why do you think I am wrong? How can grandparents justify treating one child unfairly?

Because that's the way it currently is. It doesn't matter if you are right and they are being unfair. It is what it is. How can YOU possibly change them?

* If they want to see him, as they have said they do, then why are they under no obligation to be fair?

Seeing him even a bit seems to be enough for them. It might not be enough for you but you can't force them. You simply can not make them do it.

* So, does anyone have an obligation to anyone else to be fair?

No. It would be nice if the world was like that but everyone keeps saying, and you refuse to accept that life is not equal or fair.

>>>I have 2 kids and no grand-parent help. My friend has 1 kid and her parents have done her childcare since she was born. Can I force my parents/ILs to do the same-no!!! I might want them to, but it's not going to happen.

>>>Truly you have to find a way to move on from this notion of 'it's not fair'. That's what my 6 year old DD says about everything her brother does that she doesn't. What I say to her, and I say to you is this-life can't be totally equal, that is the way it is. I understand the frustration-I have no help either-but MOVE on.

>>>Is it possible you have something in your life others don't, and those others look at you and say it's not fair that TIN does xyz and we don't?
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#125 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 02:18 AM
 
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Depends on the forum, I guess, what my response has been. I've taken some advice.

But the advice here has been "revisit being a SAHM" and "leave your husband" or "have your husband help more."

It's not quite that simple. I wish it were. It would be solved by now.

Thanks for the thoughts, though.
No the advice is own your situation. Stop obsessing about what other people are or are not doing, and get your own thing going. If your dh sucks, leave him. If your ils suck, stop looking to them for help. If you don't have childcare for a late night or an out of towner tell your boss you can't go. Own your situation.
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#126 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 02:42 AM
 
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OP, just looking at this 'fairness' from a totally different viewpoint. Since you seem stuck on things being fair. Could it be that the inlaws are trying to be as 'fair' as the other set of grandparents are being? You posted that your parents are not involved, dont have the means to help etc so possibly in some warped sense they dont want to 'spoil' from their side when nothing is coming in from the other side, ya know?

Possibly the family they are 'helping' has extended family 'helping' as well.??

I still believe that grandparents have no rights, and no obligations. And people are free to spend their money how they see fit and if that means they choose not to send anything to family A and everything to family B, sorry but thats the luck of it all.

This whole thing goes along with the saying 'Life isn't fair'.

I could cry you the Mississippi about how unfair my side of the family is to DS but its not worth the effort.

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#127 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I can see this is going nowhere. Some posts are helpful, most not. Every time I attempt to deconstruct, the basic advice is "life is not fair" (no kidding), "leave your husband," "make your husband do his 'fair' share" (interesting), "handle your responsibilities yourself," and "just go out and build your own village."

Deconstruct further and you find that some people are SAHPs with supportive to semi-supportive spouses and / or full or semi-villages, who aren't in this place and while have their own struggles probably do not get this on this level. Granted, there is no way to compare.

I'm not blaming everyone else and shirking all my responsibility.

God, I've done the opposite of that and carried more of the load for longer than I think is healthy, but with no alternative, that's what needs to be done. And I'm doing it. I'm not waiting around for someone else to do it.

'Life is not fair' is not an answer. It's a trite saying. To say no one has any obligation to be fair to another person is just...bizarre. People have obligations. They don't always live up to them. Yes, life is unfair. Obviously. The ends don't justify the means.

Yes, I'm quite sure my inlaws pick up on some of the tone. I'm sure they are uncomfortable as heck around these parts. Their actions PREDATE all of this and are a cause of at least some of it.

It isn't accurate to assume the "response" to (or effect of) their actions is the "cause" of their actions.

First comes the chicken, then the egg.

Sure, things can compound and get worse, but the cause comes first, the reaction second.

I can't argue against a mob of people. If the chorus says something, then there must be truth in it.

Parents on these boards talk about the need for a village ad nauseum. But say you need a village a little too much, when the going gets really tough, and you might be interpreted as thinking you are demanding a village, expecting a village, thinking you deserve nothing less than a village.

It either takes a village or it doesn't. I feel it does. Or life is perpetually like pulling an all nighter in college. But if there is not one, then that doesn't remove personal responsiblity, and that has not happened here.

Somehow some of you have criticized me for complaining as though that is all I am doing.

I'm not resting on past accomplishments and shirking responsibilitiy. I am pulling an unending all nighter. I need a village, like all of you, and sometimes that might be hard to see or understand if you have givens in your life taken for granted or accepted as fundamentals. I think this is human nature. I'm sure I do it myself on many levels.

Lastly, I'm stunned none of you feel your parents or inlaws have any obligation to your children. In an ethical context, for discussion's sake, if a child's parents die or become disabled, or incarcerated, or incapcitated, do grandparents have no obligation? Do grandparents with means and age have no obligation to the children of their children? It's interesting the responses I have read here and yet you will find in many other forums here on MDC statements about how American society differs in parenting cultural norms from other cultures where the extended family collectively cares for children as a village.

It's just interesting - our cultural norm of independence versus collective and how it manifests in parenting.

It's also funny how 5 minutes of posting and complaining about a longstanding inequitable situation becomes shirking responsibility and not fixing things myself when the 23 other hours of the day are spent doing just that at an exhausting pace.
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#128 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 07:22 AM
 
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I haven't read all the responses so forgive me if I am repeating.
So basically how would I feel if my IL's were the same way as yours towards my children? My emotional self would feel hurt and I'd feel bad. Maybe my relationship towards them would be strained. But my logical self would also tell me that they really have no responsibility towards my children or even to me. If I want my children to have a relationship with them and they are not making an effort, then I should make an effort maybe until something gives or I realize the futility of it.
I believe that parents have a responsibility to raise their own children and not their children's children.
As far as it taking a village, yes, it does take a village but last I checked, you really can't force people to be a member of your village if they don't want to. Which is why, yes, you have to create your own village made up of willing souls who will create the environment that you envision for your child.
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#129 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 07:25 AM
 
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In an ethical context, for discussion's sake, if a child's parents die or become disabled, or incarcerated, or incapcitated, do grandparents have no obligation? Do grandparents with means and age have no obligation to the children of their children?
No, not really. Legally they don't either. It would be nice. It would be "expected," in a "basic human being" and an "etiquette" sense. But again, if they don't want to behave that way YOU CANNOT MAKE THEM. So those expectations need to be let go.
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#130 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 07:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I haven't read all the responses so forgive me if I am repeating.
So basically how would I feel if my IL's were the same way as yours towards my children? My emotional self would feel hurt and I'd feel bad. Maybe my relationship towards them would be strained. But my logical self would also tell me that they really have no responsibility towards my children or even to me. If I want my children to have a relationship with them and they are not making an effort, then I should make an effort maybe until something gives or I realize the futility of it.
I believe that parents have a responsibility to raise their own children and not their children's children.
As far as it taking a village, yes, it does take a village but last I checked, you really can't force people to be a member of your village if they don't want to. Which is why, yes, you have to create your own village made up of willing souls who will create the environment that you envision for your child.
Good post. Thanks. Resonates. I believe this, too.

I don't feel my inlaws owe me a thing, for what it's worth. They have no obligation to me.
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#131 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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No, not really. Legally they don't either. It would be nice. It would be "expected," in a "basic human being" and an "etiquette" sense. But again, if they don't want to behave that way YOU CANNOT MAKE THEM. So those expectations need to be let go.


We have a breakthrough! Excellent!

THANK YOU!

Yes, I mean what is "expected."

"In a basic human being" sense.

"Etiquette."

Yes, those are the things I mean. Isn't fairness in the way they treat their grandchildren good etiquette?

Isn't it expected, generally, as a social good?

It might even be further argued that it is "expected behavior" or "normative behavior" for grandmas and grandpas to behave that way towards grandchildren.

Then, too, is it not "bad etiquette" for grandmothers or grandfathers to treat minor, innocent grandchildren inequally?

I get that "life is not fair." I get it. I know it. I hear it. I see it. I'm not some social moron where this basic tenet of impartial life is lost on me.

But isn't it generally accepted that fair is "good behavior" and within reason to "expect" good behavior or the relationship will suffer?

And isn't it good etiquette for grandparents to be fair and bad etiquette for grandparents to be unfair?

That's where I'm coming from.



This is awesome. I'm so glad for this breakthrough. And, for what it's worth, I don't want to make them do this by my will. I do not think I can make them do anything. (That's a given).

I want them to choose good etiquette. I want them to make good choices and have good expectations of themselves.

They have their own free will. But they can not mistreat my child and be inequitable in a constant and chronic way. They don't get to treat him as less, repeatedly. If and when they do that, they don't get to treat him at all, in any way. That's what I'm saying. If they want a relationship at all, they have to exercise good etiquette.
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#132 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 07:53 AM
 
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That's right. But YOUR choices are to cut them off or put up with it, since they are unlikely to change.

I'd also not ask them for money or "help" or anything like that, if the relationship is already so strained.
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#133 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 08:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That's right. But YOUR choices are to cut them off or put up with it, since they are unlikely to change.

I'd also not ask them for money or "help" or anything like that, if the relationship is already so strained.
You know what, though? Neither you or I know how likely they are to change, really. I've tried to emphasize that my child is young. Not even 1/3 of the way through childhood. There are years ahead of us for something to click with my inlaws in terms of good etiquette and for them to make changes.

And, just throwing out theories here for my own thought process, I really do think if I bent over backwards they would change. Really, I do.

If I moved my family across the country to a warmer climate in winter, and bought a home with a pool and a patio where they could smoke? If I incurred debt and set up a cool rec room with a large television and comfortable couch they sink into with two large recliners specifically bought for MIL and FIL? If when they came to visit I bought a fully stocked cooler of beer and had a home bar with mixed drinks and bought some steaks to grill up later on, they would love that. If I incurred further debt and bought a house that would accommodate DH's man cave room we have now AND a Laura Ashley guest bedroom with a queen size bed and a private bathroom and a tv, I guarantee that my inlaws would come to visit. A lot.

If I didn't ask them to go to children's museums, parks, pools, the movies, bowling, on walks, children's events, children's concerts, or school activities when they visited, I guarantee they would visit more.

If I did all those things, the inlaws would for sure come and visit often and for long periods of time.

They would love that.

In fact, if DH and I just opened up a bed and breakfast we could evoke fairness.



I'm not even really half-kidding. It's more true than not.
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#134 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 09:00 AM
 
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So what you're saying is your IL's are very selfish and only want to do what feels like a vacation and is fun to them. They don't care enough about their grandchildren to be with/do with for their own sake, only in conjunction with what they want.

If you still feel that these selfish people can help you somehow in your life and you would be better for their participation with your dc, I guess you would have to entice them with something they want. Maybe if they don't want to do child oriented activities you could ask them under what conditions they would visit.

I agree, it is unfair. There are probably lonely people in your area who would love to be surrogate grandparents and be involved with your family. Maybe a local church or senior center could help you meet someone?

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#135 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 09:14 AM
 
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.. if I bent over backwards they would change. Really, I do.

If I moved my family across the country to a warmer climate in winter, and bought a home with a pool and a patio where they could smoke? If I incurred debt and set up a cool rec room with a large television and comfortable couch they sink into with two large recliners specifically bought for MIL and FIL? If when they came to visit I bought a fully stocked cooler of beer and had a home bar with mixed drinks and bought some steaks to grill up later on, they would love that. If I incurred further debt and bought a house that would accommodate DH's man cave room we have now AND a Laura Ashley guest bedroom with a queen size bed and a private bathroom and a tv, I guarantee that my inlaws would come to visit. A lot.

...

If I did all those things, the inlaws would for sure come and visit often and for long periods of time.

---.
I doubt it mama. I really doubt it. I think you are going to drive yourself insane with jealousy with this kind of thinking.

Granted, I am not in your family, but I seriously doubt the status quo is going to change.

I mean the following in a gentle way, because I don't think you are hearing yourself, your excuses, and the pretty consistent advice you are receiving.

I think everyone is trying to tell you to focus on the things that YOU CAN change. YOU, and only you. Stop coming up with scenarios that are totally irrelevant to your situation.

Spending money is not going to change your in-laws feelings or behavior. Dreaming and getting angry about it is totally useless.

For starters, you should tell your hubby that you are hiring a housecleaner every 2 weeks. End of story.

Good luck mama!
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#136 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 09:30 AM
 
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"I'm so glad for this breakthrough. And, for what it's worth, I don't want to make them do this by my will. I do not think I can make them do anything. (That's a given).

I want them to choose good etiquette. I want them to make good choices and have good expectations of themselves.

They have their own free will. But they can not mistreat my child and be inequitable in a constant and chronic way. They don't get to treat him as less, repeatedly. If and when they do that, they don't get to treat him at all, in any way. That's what I'm saying. If they want a relationship at all, they have to exercise good etiquette."

You just don't seem to get it.

The use of the word 'eitquette' has you all happy now, calling it a breakthrough-huh??!!

You want them to "choose good etiquette"---I feel like I am beating my head against a wall here. They for whatever reason don't visit you much. Etiquette doesn't make people do things, fairness doesn't make people do things. If they don't choose to visit you, you have to accept it. Don't brush this off, it is true.

You can't make them make 'good choices' and 'have good expectations'. You are not them, you don't control them.

You need to accept that they ARE NOT mistreating your child. They don't beat him, or abuse him---they don't spent much time with him, that's it. That is not mistreatment. By that definition my parents and ILs mistreat our kids.

You want them to change, do you not realise that in general people don't change?
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#137 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 09:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I doubt it mama. I really doubt it. I think you are going to drive yourself insane with jealousy with this kind of thinking.

Granted, I am not in your family, but I seriously doubt the status quo is going to change.

I mean the following in a gentle way, because I don't think you are hearing yourself, your excuses, and the pretty consistent advice you are receiving.

I think everyone is trying to tell you to focus on the things that YOU CAN change. YOU, and only you. Stop coming up with scenarios that are totally irrelevant to your situation.

Spending money is not going to change your in-laws feelings or behavior. Dreaming and getting angry about it is totally useless.

For starters, you should tell your hubby that you are hiring a housecleaner every 2 weeks. End of story.

Good luck mama!
Oh, this isn't dreaming or jealousy. I actually don't want any of those things I wrote about that would "lure" my inlaws to visit more.

I was being facetious. I do think my inlaws would respond to that, truly, I do, but I am just not ever going to pursue that end. It would be wasteful, irresponsible, and, well, shallow.

I mean, I have fantastic credit and no debt. I could buy those things. Today. I could even go out and get a higher paying job and pay for them with cash in a year or two. I could make the best and brightest grandparent B & B they ever have seen.

Uh, no.

If I wanted a pool, a Laura Ashley guest bedroom, or giant tv, I'd get them. I don't want an inlaw suite, so to speak.

I put my money into my kid and to living debt free, and what I have left over I put towards real causes and issues that I care about (charity). I like that we have no credit card debt. I'm not incurring it for others. I'm not going to incur debt for consumer "stuff" to appease someone else or lure them to visiting a grandchild who is valuable without that stuff as a draw.

This isn't actually about jealousy. That is so surface.

I don't think my inlaws owe me anything, should buy me anything, or are obligated to me in any way. I am not asking them for things for me. I never have. I never will.

The reason etiquette was such a break-through - for me - is because if my inlaws can't play nice, they need to go home. Figuratively. The old playground reference?

If they can't treat my son with equity (all things being equal - as in the other kids don't need something more, aren't disabled, aren't impoversished, aren't going without meals) and they can't use good etiquette, then they can't play.

If they want a relationship, as they have said they do, then it must be a balanced and good relationship. I will not sit by and watch them mistreat my son.

I didn't say abuse my son. They are not abusing them. And they're under no legal obligation for anything.

But they can't mistreat him and they really are doing that with their actions and their words.

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#138 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 09:53 AM
 
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You're going to sever contact with them because they visit the other family more frequently? What does your husband think of this plan?

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

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I think a lot of this emotional stuff is getting in the way for you at this point TIN. I do think you need to change things at home in order not to be so burnt out. And it's totally understandable that you wish your ILs would help...I think it was a different thread where I said it's very hard to ask for help and not get it.

But in terms of the relationship with your son - I'm not sure I would frame it so negatively. I had a grandmother who behaved pretty similarly with my family, mostly because she didn't support my parents' immigration to Canada (and wouldn't go north of the Mason-Dixon line), and also 'cause she never really liked my dad. She also hated kids (all kids, including her own when they were little) and made no bones about that fact. She wasn't mean about it. She just wasn't a get on the floor and play kind of grandmother.

For years and years I'd say I hardly even noticed. When you're a kid your grandparents either show up or they don't - it's not that close a relationship unless it is, if you know what I mean. Unless your son's very tight with his cousins and they point it out to him, I don't think he's likely to notice any of this at least for a good few years. And once he can go visit them, it's a game changer.

I think it hurt my parents way more than it impacted me that she didn't visit, didn't send as many or as personal gifts, and so on. We did visit her and the visits generally were a little boring but fine. It was only in my teens that I really became aware of the tension and the differences and at that point I was probably a little harsh with her and didn't visit her again - I have regret about that, but it's not soul-eating or anything. I just didn't get to know her side of things.

I'm not sure I would invest a lot more emotional energy on it at this point. If it comes up with gifts at Xmas that might be a time to mention something to them.

~ 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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#140 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 10:01 AM
 
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Again, they are not mistreating him.

You have a very loose definition of mistreat.

If you believe they are 'mistreating' him, then why oh why even bother having a relationship.

How many millions of other families must be suffering the same 'mistreatment'? Did you see where I said my parents and ILs barely see my kids, but I don't run around saying they are mistreated as a result.
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#141 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm not sure I would invest a lot more emotional energy on it at this point. If it comes up with gifts at Xmas that might be a time to mention something to them.
Solid advice. That's the plan.

Unless they initiate.
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#142 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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She also hated kids (all kids, including her own when they were little) and made no bones about that fact. She wasn't mean about it. She just wasn't a get on the floor and play kind of grandmother.
Was she that way with all the grandkids or just some? Sounds like she was that with her own kids too. Equal treatment. Not ideal treatment, by anyone's standards but her own and people like her, but equal treatment.

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Again, they are not mistreating him.

You have a very loose definition of mistreat.

If you believe they are 'mistreating' him, then why oh why even bother having a relationship.

How many millions of other families must be suffering the same 'mistreatment'? Did you see where I said my parents and ILs barely see my kids, but I don't run around saying they are mistreated as a result.
I am truly sorry to read how your own parents and ILs barely see your children.

My own parents barely see my child, too, so I understand. But I do not hold that against my parents because they do not treat my child unfairly. My parents do not see any of their grandchildren regularly. Not just my son. They don't do anything for any of their grandchildren and there are understandable reasons for that (understandable that is, not good reasons, but understandable). They treat all their grandchildren equally. Fairly.

My inlaws on the other hand don't hate kids from the looks of it because they dote on the other grandchildren and visit frquently. Whether they enjoy the pool or not, there are still children there so if they hated kids, they would find a pool without kids. They haven't. MIL and FIL have said they truly enjoy their grandchildren. They've said they want to do things with their grandchildren. But they don't put the same time, money, or effort into their grandchildren. Their choice, yes, but maybe not the best etiquette.

And as far as mistreating a child - yes, thankfully they are not abusive to my knowledge nor would I expect that they could be, but giving some kids expensive, nice things for Christmas and other kids (all the same age, by the way) cheap, not as nice gifts? It goes beyond even that. My MIL has done this a few times where she'll give very personal, heartfelt gifts to one set of kids and last-minute low-budget dollar specials from Wal-mart to others. Now, young kids are often happy with the box, right? But my son has started to pick up on a few things and why should I let him feel like they think he is less. We don't have to spend our Christmases feeling that way. So, yeah, if they keep this crap up, they will be cut out. Absolutely. Please don't just cut and respond to that last part, out of context with the rest.
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#143 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think a lot of this emotional stuff is getting in the way for you at this point TIN. I do think you need to change things at home in order not to be so burnt out. And it's totally understandable that you wish your ILs would help...I think it was a different thread where I said it's very hard to ask for help and not get it.

But in terms of the relationship with your son - I'm not sure I would frame it so negatively. I had a grandmother who behaved pretty similarly with my family, mostly because she didn't support my parents' immigration to Canada (and wouldn't go north of the Mason-Dixon line), and also 'cause she never really liked my dad. She also hated kids (all kids, including her own when they were little) and made no bones about that fact. She wasn't mean about it. She just wasn't a get on the floor and play kind of grandmother.

For years and years I'd say I hardly even noticed. When you're a kid your grandparents either show up or they don't - it's not that close a relationship unless it is, if you know what I mean. Unless your son's very tight with his cousins and they point it out to him, I don't think he's likely to notice any of this at least for a good few years. And once he can go visit them, it's a game changer.

I think it hurt my parents way more than it impacted me that she didn't visit, didn't send as many or as personal gifts, and so on. We did visit her and the visits generally were a little boring but fine. It was only in my teens that I really became aware of the tension and the differences and at that point I was probably a little harsh with her and didn't visit her again - I have regret about that, but it's not soul-eating or anything. I just didn't get to know her side of things.

I'm not sure I would invest a lot more emotional energy on it at this point. If it comes up with gifts at Xmas that might be a time to mention something to them.
Thank you. As I said earlier, this is solid advice. Thanks so much. I will let another 3 or 4 months go by and see where we are at, and leave open the invitation for them.



In the interim, I have plenty to keep me occupied and to take my physical and emotional energy. Work. Lots of big projects coming up, some exciting. Some travel (for work). Selling the house and finding an apartment near work. Looking for new job opportunities. Every day living. And finding joy in raising a beautiful young boy and meeting the responsibilities of providing for and raising him fully on my own.

Thanks!!
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#144 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 10:31 AM
 
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Oh, this isn't dreaming or jealousy. I actually don't want any of those things I wrote about that would "lure" my inlaws to visit more.

I was being facetious. I do think my inlaws would respond to that, truly, I do, but I am just not ever going to pursue that end. It would be wasteful, irresponsible, and, well, shallow.

I mean, I have fantastic credit and no debt. I could buy those things. Today. I could even go out and get a higher paying job and pay for them with cash in a year or two. I could make the best and brightest grandparent B & B they ever have seen.

Uh, no.

If I wanted a pool, a Laura Ashley guest bedroom, or giant tv, I'd get them. I don't want an inlaw suite, so to speak.

I put my money into my kid and to living debt free, and what I have left over I put towards real causes and issues that I care about (charity). I like that we have no credit card debt. I'm not incurring it for others. I'm not going to incur debt for consumer "stuff" to appease someone else or lure them to visiting a grandchild who is valuable without that stuff as a draw.

This isn't actually about jealousy. That is so surface.

I don't think my inlaws owe me anything, should buy me anything, or are obligated to me in any way. I am not asking them for things for me. I never have. I never will.

The reason etiquette was such a break-through - for me - is because if my inlaws can't play nice, they need to go home. Figuratively. The old playground reference?

If they can't treat my son with equity (all things being equal - as in the other kids don't need something more, aren't disabled, aren't impoversished, aren't going without meals) and they can't use good etiquette, then they can't play.

If they want a relationship, as they have said they do, then it must be a balanced and good relationship. I will not sit by and watch them mistreat my son.

I didn't say abuse my son. They are not abusing them. And they're under no legal obligation for anything.

But they can't mistreat him and they really are doing that with their actions and their words.

If you can get a better paying job or afford those things then do it and hire a housekeeper and nanny and don't expect other people to pick up the slack for you.

In regards to your comments about the idea of "it takes a village", I don't think any of us are saying that it doesn't but for many of us that don't have family we have made a concerted effort to create a community for ourselves and our children. Many people either don't live near family or don't have family support so have built a support system within the community through friends. I have no family within 800 miles of us yet we have a rich "village" of people who love and support us.
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#145 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 10:35 AM
 
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If you can get a better paying job or afford those things then do it and hire a housekeeper and nanny and don't expect other people to pick up the slack for you.

In regards to your comments about the idea of "it takes a village", I don't think any of us are saying that it doesn't but for many of us that don't have family we have made a concerted effort to create a community for ourselves and our children. Many people either don't live near family or don't have family support so have built a support system within the community through friends. I have no family within 800 miles of us yet we have a rich "village" of people who love and support us.
I don't understand why you haven't done that?

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

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#146 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 10:59 AM
 
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No, not really. Legally they don't either. It would be nice. It would be "expected," in a "basic human being" and an "etiquette" sense. But again, if they don't want to behave that way YOU CANNOT MAKE THEM. So those expectations need to be let go.
I'm not even sure I would consider it "expected" or "basic human being." Everything I've ever read about choosing guardianship for your children says that you should not automatically assume your parents or ILs should or want to take over. That raising young children is a difficult, long-term task and that grandparents shouldn't be expected to have the interest or ability. The conventional wisdom seems to be that you should pick at least someone of your generation who you trust and who really understands the responsibility of taking on the care of young children.

OP, I know that you don't believe us, but PLENTY of people don't have a village. It's really insulting to continue to insist that you have it harder than everyone else because your in-laws don't dote on your child. You may have it harder than others because you don't insist that your DH pull down his fair share, but that doesn't actually make you a single mother and I would suspect that actual single mothers with no family help (and, yes, you may not believe this but there are plenty) resent that. It just means that you don't advocate for yourself with your husband.

Out of curiosity, what exactly do you do for your in-laws? You've only said that you don't have a nice bedroom for them to stay in and when they come visit you demand that they spend the whole time going on educational excursions and buying things for your child. I'm not entirely sure I'd want to visit you either, when the alternative is a nice place to stay and a low-pressure vacation. But even besides those things, what do you do for them?

Trying to live a simple life in a messy house in a complicated world with : DH, DD (b. 07/07), DS (b. 02/09), and DD (b. 10/10)
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#147 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 11:27 AM
 
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If they don't provide you with the free goods and services you deserve, they are toxic and should be cut off from contact with their grandkid. Is that what you wanted to hear?
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#148 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 11:31 AM
 
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You may have it harder than others because you don't insist that your DH pull down his fair share, but that doesn't actually make you a single mother and I would suspect that actual single mothers with no family help (and, yes, you may not believe this but there are plenty) resent that. It just means that you don't advocate for yourself with your husband.
The OP's husband is abusive. She is not to blame for his behavior and she can't control it. She can insist and advocate for herself until she's blue in the face but it's not likely to do much good. If a single mother resents her than that single mother probably never lived with an abusive partner.

I do agree the OP can't control the in-laws either and should let it go. I think her energy is needed elsewhere even though of course her feelings about it are understandable (though I agree some of the items on the wish list are unreasonable, even if they do those things for the other family).
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#149 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 11:46 AM
 
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The OP's husband is abusive. She is not to blame for his behavior and she can't control it. She can insist and advocate for herself until she's blue in the face but it's not likely to do much good. If a single mother resents her than that single mother probably never lived with an abusive partner.

I do agree the OP can't control the in-laws either and should let it go. I think her energy is needed elsewhere even though of course her feelings about it are understandable (though I agree some of the items on the wish list are unreasonable, even if they do those things for the other family).
Lazy and uncooperative do not equal abusive. I haven't read anything that indicates her husband is abusive. Yes, she is to blame for her husband's behavior, she is allowing him to continue to behave that way. You teach people how to treat you. She can stand up to him or walk. She has the ability to get a better paying job, she has a credit score of 800, she has the ability to get financing and loans; thats a lot more than most women have when they leave their marriages.
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#150 of 164 Old 08-11-2010, 12:35 PM
 
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Lazy and uncooperative do not equal abusive. I haven't read anything that indicates her husband is abusive. Yes, she is to blame for her husband's behavior, she is allowing him to continue to behave that way. You teach people how to treat you. She can stand up to him or walk. She has the ability to get a better paying job, she has a credit score of 800, she has the ability to get financing and loans; thats a lot more than most women have when they leave their marriages.
That comes from other threads. He has been abusing her for years. Her descriptions of him are so frightening that, now, whenever I meet a man of his approximate age and job description, I ask him about his wife and kids' ages and genders so as to reassure myself that it isn't him. I would not be alone in a room with OP's husband.
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