How to deal with my inlaws? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 10-16-2011, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hope this is the right spot for this.

 

My in laws are rarely around. They never call us or my son and only come around after nagging them for awhile. My father in law has not come over since early this spring - they live 25 minutes away. My mother in law sees my son "occasionally" at his soccer games when she decides to show up for the last 10 minutes - she lives 5 minutes from the field. She will make a promise to my son to call him or come see him and then never follow through. I have my son (he's 5) asking where they are and when they're going to see him. We keep making up lies to cover for them but sooner or later he's going to realize. My sister in laws are even worse than my inlaws if that is possible. They never see him AT ALL. My one SIL has seen him less than 5 times and she lives 20 minutes away and my other SIL has seen him less than 10 times and she lives around 40 minutes away. And to top it off my one SIL is trying to get pregnant and we KNOW in our hearts that the minute she is, our son will be shoved even further on the backburner.

 

We've tried talk to them numerous times, writing them letters - even CRYING to them. Nothing. Goes in one ear and out the other. It kills my husband knowing that they are like this only to him and his family and not his sisters. What do we do? I try so hard to get them involved but nothing. I am so afraid my son is going to see it soon and that will just break my heart. Any ideas or advice would be appreciated!


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#2 of 14 Old 10-17-2011, 06:35 AM
 
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Can you plan a family party and invite them all over?  Not something around a holiday or birthday,  but just a get together-- like maybe a "game night" when people bring over games and you share a meal.

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#3 of 14 Old 10-17-2011, 06:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We've tried that many times. In the end either no one shows up or just my MIL. Everyone has excuses. I'm just at the end of my rope :(


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#4 of 14 Old 10-17-2011, 09:32 AM
 
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Let it go. Seriously, you can't make them want to be part of your life.  Explain to your son that sometimes they say things because it sounds nice, but they probably won't do it.  It's not quite a lie, because they probably believe they are going to do it, but it's not exactly the truth. Just be honest with your kids that sometimes people flake and then make sure he knows and spends time with the people that don't flake :)

 

 

(My sister in law is still coming up to take the kids to the zoo, in June and is mailing dd's birthday present from September. I get it, I really do.)

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#5 of 14 Old 10-18-2011, 06:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you! I think I'm just going to have to do that. It's making me stress and go nuts about it.

 

Thanks for the advice <3


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#6 of 14 Old 10-18-2011, 09:18 AM
 
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My two cents would be to write them a letter.  Carefully, not angrily worded, and hang onto it a couple days before you mail it.  Kind of tell the story of the facts and how it makes you feel, perhaps what you hope could be present in the relationship.

 

It would give them time to digest your observations and make a decision as opposed to feeling attacked.  With a letter, there is no chance you will impulsively or angrily say the wrong thing.

 

The IL dance is hard on lots of folks.  If you don't get much/enough feedback here, maybe try the "Personal Growth" or TAO forums.  Good luck and I am sorry for your situation.  It is sad. 

 

My mom died years ago and never had any interest in meeting her only grandson.  I am still sad about it.

 


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#7 of 14 Old 10-18-2011, 09:41 AM
 
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This

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamalisa View Post

Let it go. Seriously, you can't make them want to be part of your life.  Explain to your son that sometimes they say things because it sounds nice, but they probably won't do it.  It's not quite a lie, because they probably believe they are going to do it, but it's not exactly the truth. Just be honest with your kids that sometimes people flake and then make sure he knows and spends time with the people that don't flake :)

 

 

(My sister in law is still coming up to take the kids to the zoo, in June and is mailing dd's birthday present from September. I get it, I really do.)



and this
 

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Originally Posted by caedenmomma View Post

My two cents would be to write them a letter.  Carefully, not angrily worded, and hang onto it a couple days before you mail it.  Kind of tell the story of the facts and how it makes you feel, perhaps what you hope could be present in the relationship.

 

It would give them time to digest your observations and make a decision as opposed to feeling attacked.  With a letter, there is no chance you will impulsively or angrily say the wrong thing.

 

The IL dance is hard on lots of folks.  If you don't get much/enough feedback here, maybe try the "Personal Growth" or TAO forums.  Good luck and I am sorry for your situation.  It is sad. 

 

My mom died years ago and never had any interest in meeting her only grandson.  I am still sad about it.

 



My ILs also have zero interest in our DS.  They call once or twice a year.  They live across the country but don't even bother to say thanks for cards and pictures I send.  My DH blew up at his mother the other day about it.  He later called and apologized, outlined his case but didn't receive a response or reason why they aren't involved.

 

OP - What kind of relationship and family life did your DH have with his parent's growing up?  You don't need to post an answer.  I ask because with my ILs, I am not at all surprised that they have no interest in DS.  They were not good parents, by any stretch of the imagination.  My DH had a bad childhood.  The step-siblings have many kids with many partners and my ILs are 110% involved in their tragic lives.  They thrive on drama and dysfunction.   As an adult, DH has risen so far above his family of origin, I think they have absolutely no idea how to relate to him, me or DS. 

 

Because they live so far away, DS has no real knowledge of them.  When he has asked questions like "where is your mom?" I simply explain that she isn't able to spend time with us.  (My son is 6yo) 

 

 


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#8 of 14 Old 10-19-2011, 06:27 AM
 
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How about you going to see them? I know you'll have to invite yourself but maybe they feel your don't visit them enough?? Just a thought.


If I've done nothing wrong, and my attitude is well-meaning, a difficult situation is just a test for my ability to remain beyond the judgement of others ~ Unknown
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#9 of 14 Old 10-20-2011, 09:52 AM
 
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My sympathies. Really. I also have five year old and a non-involved grandparent (my mother, not in-law). DD does notice the lack of connection/communication, but I don't push my mother to get involved or vice versa. You can't change people. You can't change how someone feels. You can't change your own feelings. Is it what I want for my daugher? Not at all. But she does have other family who love her an care about her. She is loved. That matters a lot more than who loves her or if every one loves her how I want them too. In my case, I send the emails, invites, pictures, etc., even though she is only 30 minutes away because it hurts me less to have my calls ignored. I know she had the chance to be involved. If she chooses not to reply, that is her choice.


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#10 of 14 Old 10-20-2011, 10:06 AM
 
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Not everyone is thrilled to be a grandparent. But I bet there are some lovely older people in your lives that could become the subs. As someone who has a less than stellar family of origin... I have become amazing at creating a family of friends. And really, its just fine. They probably couldn't give me a kidney but its just fine.
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#11 of 14 Old 10-20-2011, 10:27 AM
 
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I haven't read the other replies, but here is my perspective.... I grew up not knowing or having a relationship with my grandfather at all.  Never met him and he just died recently.  Out of 10 sets of aunts and uncles, we really only had any sort of relationship with one.  The other ones just weren't interested and didn't care.  Never once as a child did it bother me or my siblings, and it doesn't bother me as an adult either.  I don't think kids realize that their aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. are supposed to have relationships with them (or rather not "supposed to" but it would be nice...).  If you don't make a big deal of it, your son will be fine.  Yes, I remember some kids in my classes having special relationships with their extended family, but there were lots and lots of kids who either didn't have aunts/uncles/cousins, or their grandparents had passed away, or lived far away or whatever.  It just was always a non-issue.  If it is still really important to you for your child to have a relationship with an older adult, there are lots of visiting programs where you can essentially "adopt" a grandparent.  Before I got pregnant with number two, DS and I would go visit a nursing home.  The residents LOVED to see kids and DS got to develop relationships with older adults.  Many nursing homes have these programs. 

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#12 of 14 Old 10-21-2011, 04:38 AM
 
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I think you just have to let it go and be available.  We have a very, very close family.  My younger brother has been a bachelor up until recently and we only saw each other a little bit and mostly communicated through Facebook.  He lives about 5 minutes away.  He got married a year ago and we "never" see his wife.  I'd say I've seen her 3-4 times this past year.  It's very hard for me because I'm so close to the rest of the family.  I don't have her phone number (she won't give it to me) and I know she hates when people just drop by so I don't do that.

 

The other day my son said to his cousin that's it's so unbelievable that "Jane" is his aunt because they never see her or hear from her.  I have an understanding as to why she is "timid" about putting her lot in with the big family but it still makes me sad and I wish it weren't that way.


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#13 of 14 Old 10-26-2011, 10:21 AM
 
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Are you own parents close by and are they involved? My MIL has never even seen our three year-old and we're not holding our breaths that she will. She doesn't live that far away and she has money, but there is always something that keeps her away. My parents live nearby, and can't get enough of DD. My mom has told me she'd visit us no matter what and no matter where we live. I am so grateful that DD has at least one set of grandparents to hang out with and learn to love. It's more than some people have.

 

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#14 of 14 Old 10-26-2011, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'd like to thank everyone who has replied! I sat down and realized that I have to let it go. I have to realize that I cannot change them and mold them into how I think they should act and be. I also decided to be happy whenever they make any effort. Even if they are late I will still just be happy and thankful they showed up. And I've also decided to keep trying on my end. And this method just might be working! My MIL got together yesterday and were out together for about 6 hours. We talked more than we ever had and we both agreed we had a lot of fun. So we will see where it goes from here <3


Jessica reading.gif married to the love of my life jammin.gif

Momma to: Levi (09/06)superhero.gif, Junior (09/05) angel.gif, Teagann (11/10) angel.gif and two furbabies Nugget and Boo cat.gifflowerkitty.gif TTC our next bundle of love since 1/11makebabe.gif

 

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