Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

MIL advice

Posted by Anonymous   + Show Post
I love my MIL. She's generally a wonderful person. I grew up with a terrible mom so I appreciate her.

We have an issue though. For ten years we lived in the same small town as her and she kind of flaked a lot with helping out with my four kids. She was great with them when she showed but generally we had a hard time getting her to be with them. It always seemed like she wanted to but just had other things keeping her busy.

Anyway, a year ago we moved about ten hours away. Since then we've been to visit once for Easter but wanted to go last thanksgiving. We told her that but she later said she and FIL were going to see my sister in law several states away.

She hasn't visited once even though it's a one day drive. She sees my sister in law and her younger kids every other month. I understand her being close with her daughter, I really do. I also know that SIL helps pay for her flight. They have more money and half as many kids and we just can't afford it.

MIL also has sent nothing for birthdays for my kids but flies out for all SIL's kids bdays.

Ugh...anyway, on the one hand I think I'm being too jealous and MIL is in her 60's, I don't want to start anything. At the same time, I know my kids miss her and wish they had more contact.

What's the reasonable thing to do? Am I too jealous? Help!!

ETA I didn't mean to phrase it like I expected mil to take my kids off my hands. Some help would have been nice but mostly I just wanted her to spend some one on one time with the kids when we lived close and it just wasn't a priority. I mean she was retired half of the time we lived there so she was busy with other things by choice. Which is her prerogative. I just know my kids were so happy when they did see her so I wish she had been around more. She sees SIL more now than she saw my kids when we lived there. I know I am probably being petty. Ugh!
Posted by Anonymous on Aug. 13, 2017 at 3:18 AM
Replies (31-40):
Fakemom7
by Bronze Member on Aug. 13, 2017 at 3:27 PM
I have a 14 year old nephew rhat lives across the country.He is a teen and will text one word answers to me. But we play online games together.

Maybe try them reaching out more and see how it goes. If nothing changes, mentiom their effort to her. She may not realize how it looks. Good luck!

Quoting Anonymous 1: I like your idea about them reaching out to her more. We are new to the long distance relative thing. Three are old enough to write letters. She's on FB so she does get to see what they are up to but that might help them feel more connected.

I know part of it is that the kids are older and SIL's kids are 3 and 1. She also had the boy of the family so I get it. My youngest is 4 and oldest is 15 so they are kind of old news I suppose. But not to me!!!

Quoting Fakemom7: I get where you are coming from. I am on the other side though. My Mil heavily favors my dd and I dont care for it. Granted her other grandkids are older but that doesn't matter. She makes comments like "those kids have so much." It irritates me to no end because I feel like she is implying my dd is missing out. I know thats not true, but its irritating.

I told my dh thay if she does the same when we have more kids...shw wont be involved. They should be treated the same.

Op how old are your kids? can they start writing back and forth or reading the same books to discuss? Maybe she feels out of touch with them?
rebal
by Silver Member on Aug. 13, 2017 at 3:28 PM
I think you are reading way too much into things here and you're finding conflict where there doesn't need to be any. Driving ten hours is hard on most people, especially an elderly woman who would be making that drive alone. I don't think you should fault her for that, especially considering you don't want to pack up your kids and make the ten hour drive to her place either. I completely understand a long drive is hard with kids. We drove from Seattle to Austin and back again several times until we moved back to Texas. It was 2500 miles one way and it was a damn hard drive, but worth it to see family. Your SIL buys her plane tickets on her kids birthdays so that is the reason she always visits on their birthdays. If your SIL didn't buy her tickets chances are she wouldn't be visiting them either due to finances. As for not remembering your kids birthdays, maybe give her a call and remind her and let her know how much a card would mean to your kids. I really don't think she is ignoring them on purpose. I also have a MIL who tends to forget important dates like that. She in fact is a very scatterbrained woman so reminding her doesn't offend her at all. She appreciates it so she can mark it in her calander to remember to send a card. Every single year my husband's family reunion falls on our anniversary. We decided to skip it this year because it was our tenth. Ten years and she still forgot and was upset about us missing the reunion until I reminded her it was a pretty big anniversary for us. She is also terrible with modern technology and actually refused to try to figure out Skype for the first few months we lived in Seattle because anything new and out of her daily routine kind of scares her. She did eventually learn it after I called her and told her we had just gotten off Skype with my parents. Sometimes a little nudge us helpful. Call her and talk to her. What you are upset about may be things that she honestly can't help.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 8 on Aug. 13, 2017 at 3:31 PM

I have a friend who had family that never sent birthday cards or called to wish them Happy Birthday. So for Christmas she used a website made a calendar. She took pics of her kids in festive outfits (all green for march, red for February etc) and had all the birthdays included right on the printed calendar. Turns out they were legitimately forgetting birthdates and felt too embarrassed to send belated wishes. She sends calendars every year now and the kids always get birthday wishes. It's the one gift that they really look forward too and know ask if she can include other birthdays / dates to help them remember.

Sheila79
by Platinum Member on Aug. 13, 2017 at 4:59 PM
Let her know about how her actions are perceived.
mommytoeandb
by Ruby Member on Aug. 13, 2017 at 8:58 PM

She shouldn't have changed plans.  The fact that she didn't want to tell you shows you that she KNEW she already had plans.  It's not like she just forgot.  UGH!  

Why isn't DH talking to her and making the plans?  I would excuse myself as the event planner when it comes to his parents.  

Quoting Anonymous 1: I agree with you about the driving. I just wish she'd acknowledge the kids more. Birthday cards, calls, etc. But I do have jealousy with how she is with SIL's kids. You're right. I definitely don't assume they're available. I asked about it and she said yes and then changed plans. She also was afraid to tell me that they changed plans so I found out when talking to SIL that they were going there. It was kind of a slap in the face.
Quoting mommytoeandb: Yes, you are jealous. They don't want to drive 10 hours away. I wouldn't want to either! If you guys didn't discuss this prior to moving, you can't really fault her for not driving. Don't assume they'll be available for holidays.


Valentina327
by on Aug. 13, 2017 at 11:45 PM
I'm sorry that you think the truth is bitchy. Maybe that's part of your issue.

You said in your original post that you had a hard time getting her to "help" with the kids. You didn't say visit, you didn't say hang out with. Help connotates her being requested to take them, baby sit them, etc.

Maybe she doesn't want to be responsible for 4 kids. That's a lot of work. Maybe that's why she's not eager to visit, because she's afraid you'll continue to ask that of her.

Your sister in law covers part of her travel. Unlike you who offers no cost participation, whatever your reason is.

Those factors add up to her spending more time with your sister in law's kids, thus more attention such as cards on the birthday. It's more appealing to visit thus they're in her thoughts more.

She sees them more, so naturally they will be closer.

That's not bitchy, that's the reality. Maybe come to terms with the reality and you can change the relationship.

Quoting Anonymous 1: I never dumped any of my kids on her. I don't know where you got that from. I simply wanted her to spend time with the kids so that my kids had at least one grandma and she's a good one when she shows up.

I don't really see how her being able to pay to fly her out and is not being able to afford that means I can't manage my relationships. Regardless, it would not Mille MIL to send a card on birthdays, or call in birthdays. Just something to show she gives a shit is all I ask.

I get that the bitchy replies need to happen on MC though so kudos for the effort.

Quoting Valentina327: Your sister in law helps pay for her flight and doesn't try to dump a bunch of kids on her like you did. Pretty easy to figure out which is more appealing to visit.

Why don't you try managing your relationship more like your sister in law does if you truly want to see her.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 9 on Aug. 13, 2017 at 11:48 PM
What's good for the goose is good for the gander.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Aug. 14, 2017 at 5:47 AM
Okay Ms. technicality.

I did say that. But I then clarified that I just wanted her to spend time with them one on one. And you know, send a birthday card. God forbid. I never asked her to take all of the kids. Only one on one so they could spend time together. It always meant a lot. I wouldn't just dump my kids on her.

My "reason" is that we can't afford to fly her out.

It shouldn't matter though. Sending a birthday card isn't too much to ask for a grandma. It obligates her in no way.

Like I said, I figure you are covering the bit by response quota.

Quoting Valentina327: I'm sorry that you think the truth is bitchy. Maybe that's part of your issue.



You said in your original post that you had a hard time getting her to "help" with the kids. You didn't say visit, you didn't say hang out with. Help connotates her being requested to take them, baby sit them, etc.



Maybe she doesn't want to be responsible for 4 kids. That's a lot of work. Maybe that's why she's not eager to visit, because she's afraid you'll continue to ask that of her.



Your sister in law covers part of her travel. Unlike you who offers no cost participation, whatever your reason is.



Those factors add up to her spending more time with your sister in law's kids, thus more attention such as cards on the birthday. It's more appealing to visit thus they're in her thoughts more.



She sees them more, so naturally they will be closer.



That's not bitchy, that's the reality. Maybe come to terms with the reality and you can change the relationship.
Quoting Anonymous 1: I never dumped any of my kids on her. I don't know where you got that from. I simply wanted her to spend time with the kids so that my kids had at least one grandma and she's a good one when she shows up.



I don't really see how her being able to pay to fly her out and is not being able to afford that means I can't manage my relationships. Regardless, it would not Mille MIL to send a card on birthdays, or call in birthdays. Just something to show she gives a shit is all I ask.



I get that the bitchy replies need to happen on MC though so kudos for the effort.
Quoting Valentina327: Your sister in law helps pay for her flight and doesn't try to dump a bunch of kids on her like you did. Pretty easy to figure out which is more appealing to visit.



Why don't you try managing your relationship more like your sister in law does if you truly want to see her.
Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Aug. 14, 2017 at 5:48 AM
He will if I push it. I just don't want to make it his problem too. I know it bugs him though. He mentions it

Quoting mommytoeandb:

She shouldn't have changed plans.  The fact that she didn't want to tell you shows you that she KNEW she already had plans.  It's not like she just forgot.  UGH!  Why isn't DH talking to her and making the plans?  I would excuse myself as the event planner when it comes to his parents.  

Quoting Anonymous 1: I agree with you about the driving. I just wish she'd acknowledge the kids more. Birthday cards, calls, etc. But I do have jealousy with how she is with SIL's kids. You're right.



I definitely don't assume they're available. I asked about it and she said yes and then changed plans. She also was afraid to tell me that they changed plans so I found out when talking to SIL that they were going there. It was kind of a slap in the face.



Quoting mommytoeandb: Yes, you are jealous. They don't want to drive 10 hours away. I wouldn't want to either! If you guys didn't discuss this prior to moving, you can't really fault her for not driving.



Don't assume they'll be available for holidays.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 10 on Aug. 14, 2017 at 5:54 AM
You let it be her choice. My MIL will complain that they never see us but I don't care. It works both ways, we shouldn't always be the ones having to travel to them. They are 8 hours away and it's hard to travel with kids. My MIL has come here once in the 6 years we have lived here and she made it clear she wanted to go home after being here for an hour. It's your MIL choice to be involved with your kids or not.
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)