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What should I do about my MIL?

I've had an issue with my MIL for years . She is never around for my kids unless its Christmas or Birthdays. It's been this way for as long as I can remember. I want a Grandma involved in my kids lives. Atleast go to a play/game here or there. Whenever I call her to make plans for the kids to see her, she either has a Dr. Appt. doesn't feel good or is busy...It hurts us. My mother is 2,000 miles away and was involved with my kids and it hurts her to see my MIL act this way. Granted there are 16 granchildren. Majority of them are almost grown up. Just my 3 kids and her youngest dd has 3 kids. She does everything with them, she buys them toys, she takes them places, spends time, goes to school functions. What should I do? I want to go off on her, but she is emotionally fragile, there's been 4 deaths in her immediate family since 2005. She is depressed. I know this. What should I do write a letter? Confront?

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aebrown

Asked by aebrown at 12:16 PM on Jul. 9, 2009 in Relationships

Level 5 (61 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • Go over there, suprise her all the time!! When we want my DH's grandmother to do things with us we just show up and pick her up and take her places with us. My MIL lives 3 hours away and she runs a daycare so she is always busy so when we want her to spend time with the kids we drive over there and she tells us to leave the kids with her and when we get back they're all happy. So just go over there, make the move yourself, don't wait on her to do it.
    VasquezFamily

    Answer by VasquezFamily at 12:22 PM on Jul. 9, 2009

  • I've done that in the past. She would always be leaving with the daughter and their kids, going somewhere. This time she is in a gated community, there is a security guard and he has to have clearance in order for someone to go in. I will make a move one more time, I am so sick of her rejection. I can only take so much
    aebrown

    Answer by aebrown at 12:31 PM on Jul. 9, 2009

  • Let your husband handle his mother.

    Do you have a lonely, elderly neighbor that you and your kids can visit? Is there a senior home nearby that you can go to once a week?
    rkoloms

    Answer by rkoloms at 12:45 PM on Jul. 9, 2009

  • Well, we are in a retirement community, so there are alot of older people. Thats definately a different outlook, I'll have to be on the lookout LOL like and adopted grandparent. The church I used to go to, did that. Thanks! My husband is away with the National Guard, so not much help there, when he gets back maybe. We've been through this and been through it. There are 6 kids and all of them say the youngest daughter is the baby so she gets whatever she wants and her kids, so they are ok with the way my MIL handles things. I am not, but noone really wants to challenge the situation. In the past I've brought up to her that the kids REALLY want to spend time with her and she said she would, but didn't. They only time she showed effort to spend time with the kids was when we were leaving to move to CA. She took us to Disney. Only when we were going to leave, she stepped up. I don't get it?
    aebrown

    Answer by aebrown at 1:03 PM on Jul. 9, 2009

  • It's obvious that she really isn't into spending a lot of time with your kids....so why punish your children that way? Don't force the situation, that will only make for an uncomfortable relationship between her and your children. Even though your mom lives far away, have your children concentrate on that relationship by mailing pictures they've made, sending her packages, etc. It sounds like they had a good relationship with that grandma, so continue to foster that one.

    I really like the idea of adopting a grandparent. There are many assisted living facilities that do activities with the community. Check around with local senior centers, assisted living and other avenues.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:12 PM on Jul. 9, 2009

  • I agree, I'll focus more on my mom, that has a relationship with my kids and try to find an adopted grandma near us. Thanks for the opinions ladies. It's a sad topic, its so irritating. Hopefully I can put this to rest.
    aebrown

    Answer by aebrown at 1:19 PM on Jul. 9, 2009

  • Clearly, your MIL isn't interested, so stop trying to make her be interested.

    Look for elderly people in your community who might enjoy being involved in your kids' lives.

    When I was growing up, one set of grandparents lived on the opposite side of the country, and the other set of grandparents were not allowed to see us. (Long story there.) So my parents got us involved in our church community and were close friends with two other families with kids our age. We spent over 20 years in close company and I think of those kids as my cousins, and their parents as my aunts/uncles.

    I don't think it's necessary to have grandparents, or people who resemble grandparents. It's just important to have a network of people who treat you like family.
    Mousuke

    Answer by Mousuke at 1:32 PM on Jul. 9, 2009

  • If I didnt know any better I would think that i wrote this myself. The worst part about my MIL is that she makes plans with the kids over the phone and has never once followed through. They are 4 and 6. It breaks my heart so i have just decided to back away and if they resent her in the future maybe she'll wish she had been different. Im sorry to here somebody else in the same situation.
    4hens

    Answer by 4hens at 2:53 PM on Jul. 9, 2009

  • I'm sorry you have to deal with a Grandparent that lacks too, I guess ya, we should back away. You're right, the kids will probably resent her in the future...but backing away, not asking to spend time with her? Or not even go over for family functions? with me walking away, is breaking away completely. I'm not sure how to go to family functions and be distant. I would only come off as attitude. Not sure how that would work, but to just leave her alone completely
    aebrown

    Answer by aebrown at 3:07 PM on Jul. 9, 2009

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