Long Story short. MIL needed to catch up on her bills so she, and her 2 dogs, have been living with us for 6 months. (Said it was only going to be 6 months but looks like it will be for 10 months but whatever).
She's not what I would call a good grandmother. She's a nice person but just isn't the warm, huggy type of grandmother I was fortunate enough to grow up with. She doesn't do stuff with the kids, doesn't take them out or sit down with them to talk or hang for few minutes to watch some of their cartoons. We all eat dinner together and that's about it. She then helps me with the dishes and goes up to "her" room to watch TV for the night. In the past 6 months she's taken the kids out ONCE. And that was to run errands to finally go to Walgreens to treat the kids to chips.
Here's my beef. I have a public event to go to with my son on Sunday. My wife was going to take my daughter to another event that my wife is a part of. My daughter just received a birthday invite for the same time Sunday. My wife asked her mom if she would take her to the party and my MIL wasn't sure she can do it. WTF? She doesn't have anything else going on on Sunday. My wife's plans weren't super important but it was something she wanted to do. So now my wife will have to cancel her plans to take our daughter to the birthday party.
So I need to be talked down because I'm ready to flat out tell my MIL she's a crappy grandmother. I feel like she doesn't know that fact and needs to be snapped into reality. Seriously, if I was a bad dad, people wouldn't hesitate to tell me how I should be spending more time with the kids and helping out. How is this any different?
I threw the in laws out of my house this summer when they again came on whim visit. It was quite invigorating. My PIL are just awful. I can't even start to post how terrible they are. Don't cancel your plans ask a teen neighbor if they can help you out.
First, Dads cant be compared with grandmothers. They can be compared to Moms tho. :)
I think shes flat out wrong, insensitive and really, really selfish. And its not just about being a good grandparent even tho that issue is huge. Its also about WHY she doesnt feel the need to help out after all you've done for her. But the longer i live, the more i see some people dont understand HOW important relational reciprocation IS. Its a must. And if they dont think so, they choose to keep it at a level that only pleases them which will end up ruining it, if you have any sense of what is normal and healthy and obviously thats happening already.
The best thing to do is respectfully tell her the truth. If you dont, it validates her unacceptable behavior. That never works! Nothing quite like breaking your back for someone who expects the world but feels no obligation toward you.
What I did to my PIL is not good advice for you. Just know Dr. A it could be far worse. You have reason to be miffed. You are a good father to want a grand parent for your children who is more grandmotherly. You have a right to be miffed. Mrs.A is right there is no changing her. I do hope (mil) she gets her life together and she moves on. Nothing is worse when parents age and the other set of parents may need your help later but you are already committed with this one who should be helping themselves.
She does help around the house. I mentioned the dishes and she does clean the house once a week. And occasionally picks up her dogs poo.
You're right it could be worse. I keep telling myself it's only a few more months. This summer we're planning a trip to visit my family in Cali and I can't wait for my kids to experience real grandparents. Seeing my mom with my sister's kids on Facebook makes me sad for my kids.
Another example. I hate coloring easter eggs, I just feel it's dumb. But I do it anyway because the kids like it. I have a pic from Easter where we're all coloring eggs and MIL is in the background in the living room watching TV.
My parents don't live with me, but have helped out in situations like that ALL THE TIME. When one of us has to work and the other has two kids who need to be in two places at once, my parents are ALWAYS willing to help out (and they often feed the child they have as well).
Another version of letting it go is to ask yourself if anything you have to say about the topic is likely to cause her to reassess her role/purpose as grandmother or her priorities in life.
If she is already living with you because despite her advanced age and life experiences, still has managed to not have a high functioning and well organized life, chances are nothing you say will make things better. The feeling you receive of getting that off your chest will be temporary. There will soon be another incident to replace it with.
She doesn't sound like the kind of person you should be trusting your children to be with anyway. I'm sure your spouse is proof that her mother got something right, but that doesn't mean she has good judgment in raising kids in today's era, and it certainly doesn't mean she shares your values to sufficiently act in your absence. Ask a parent of someone else attending the party to see if they can help out with transportation or ask a friend to help out. That will send a message in actions to replace the words you'd rather use. Your wife may appreciate a more respectful strategy with her mother.
Maintaining a great relationship with your wife and ensuring the well being of your kids are more important than giving someone not likely to change a piece of your mind. Vent on KU, then go to plan B.
There are a lot of dynamics here. Don't answer any of my questions publicly but just consider your answers.
1. Why is she behind on her bills? Is it a freak thing in life? Sometimes crazy stuff happens but generally speaking good t planning can prevent not being behind on your bills. Especially at her age.
2. She's really the one that's missing out. Your kids have plenty of love and wonderful parents. Probably good grandparents on your side too. Your kids will be fine but she will be the ultimate loser when they don't need/value her relationship more than anything simplistic.
3. The relationship your wife has with her. It sounds like your wife has reconciled her maternal relationship and accepts her mom for the crappy parent/grandparent she is. But suddenly you're seeing it first hand and that's a tough pill to swallow.
4. You're angry that she's treating your wife like crap by making her cancel her plans when she could just as easily buck up. Sounds like it's not the first time either.
5. Ask yourself what you want the outcome to be, of course I know you're also considering your wife and children in this equation. Now figure out how you reach that outcome.
I'm sorry you're going through this, but it will continue as long as your wife is OK with all of it. In some cases, people with harmful or toxic family members end up having to completely cut them off...but it sounds more like she's just mediocre. In which case your wife is probably right. Accept her mediocrity for what it is, and move on. Her loss.
Exactly. I think there are just some people that don't want to be a wonderful grandparent - it's just not in there genes and they will not change. It IS their loss.
I thoroughly love being a grandmother that my kiddos feel comfortable with and can count on me for just about anything, including a big ol' hug when they are good and a shoulder to cry on when they have messed up.
There is nothing more special than being a grandparent - I love every minute of it.
You're a great guy for helping her out. it is sad that she doesn't jump at the chance to do something to help you out even if she should do it anyway just because it is a grandmother thing to do.
She sounds self centered. I do hope your children get to spend some good quality time with your parents so that they can have a sense of what a special role grandparents can be in a child's life. But there isn't much you can do to make her want the relationship that she apparently doesn't feel a need for.
Some people go through life missing their big chances. It sounds like she is one of those types. Like everyone else said, her loss. But sadly, the kids miss out too.
Do you have the move out date in writing? lol I'm glad you said she is functioning, since I am 59. Knew a lady who let her mother-in-law move in not long after she married her husband. The father-in-law had died and the mother said I can't live alone and moved in. She said. I was young and thought she was old, but she wasn't. She didn't know how to get rid of her. She didn't want the kids to have friends over, since it made her nervous. She went on every vacation and out to every meal and she always decided where they went. Her kids were in high school and she felt they had never had the home life she would have liked them to have. Felt like they had missed out on so much. Have you sit down and talked to her? Maybe if she knew how you felt, she would be willing to meet you in the middle and be more active with the kids.
I disagree. Sometime wife accept and don't want problems. My mother was similar as parent and as grandparent. When my son was baby I sat her down and told that I wanted her to be grandma like her mother. I want my children love her and close to her. Did not yell or get angry but tried to make her want too. It worked and she has been very good. Very close to all my kids. They love her. Don't accept. It best for mother and children.
2 days after my post MIL offered to take her to the birthday party. I asked my wife if she reads KU and she didn't think so. So today's the party and MIL 1 hour after being there, she calls my wife to see if she's available to take over. My wife was done with the thing she was doing so she relieved MIL of her duty :\
I know everyone is different, but if someone was good enough to take me in, you can bet I would be doing everything I could physically do to make their life easier. I'd be doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, whatever I was capable of doing. They wouldn't be having to ask me, I'd be looking for ways to repay them for their kindness.
sheddy --- 1 min ago - quote - hide comments I know everyone is different, but if someone was good enough to take me in, you can bet I would be doing everything I could physically do to make their life easier. I'd be doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, whatever I was capable of doing. They wouldn't be having to ask me, I'd be looking for ways to repay them for their kindness.?
Exactly, I can't understand this woman. I would feel so blessed that someone helped me and I would know that I was most certainly an inconvenience and that it would be my duty to make myself as available and useful to them as possible! She acts like she is a little princess, very self centered and spoiled.
She's 61. And no I didn't talk to her. Nothing I say can change her. I was hoping that she would change by seeing what we do. Lead by example. But it's not happening. She's the one missing out. And I think a lot of it has to do with her early family trauma. She's said her parents never hugged her or told her they loved her. I'm sure there's more to that story too. But if you see the problem, then why are you repeating the same broken routine? Whatever, August will be here soon enough.