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Ellie08

Parents and PIL - just venting

11 posts in this topic

My parents find my IL obnoxious and rude, and I’m pretty sure this is the reason my parents have chosen not to attend LO’s birthday parties the last 2 years. This year they decided to attend, and since they are from farther away, stayed with us for the weekend of the party.

My parents are very hands off grandparents - they are more about spending time with their adult children, and they love their grandkids, but think it’s the parents job to do all the child care (so for example, my parents are volunteering to do bath or bedtime, nor do they value playing with LO over catching up with their own kids). Which is fine with me.

There was a tiny bit of IL drama over LO’s party - in short, MIL had flu and kept insisting she would come despite having a fever (in other words, definitely contagious) and I had to be the bad guy and make DuH tell her no.

At LO’s party FIL arrived at the same time as us, picked up LO, and literally didn’t let her go for the entire party. Apparently at one point he even went over to my parents with LO and literally told them LO loves him best (which for the record, I did not hear, it was reported to me, but I believe because I’ve heard him say similar things).

So, his behavior is obnoxious and selfish, in particular because he sees LO all the time and my parents do not...but on the other hand, but my parents are 1) normal, well balanced adults with their own lives and 2) were staying with us the whole weekend.

But, my mom had to call me seemingly to complain about my ILs - first about how selfish MIL is (evidently my DH told my mom all about his mother’s illness and how upset she was to not be allowed at the party), and then about FIL’s behavior. She kept saying “I don’t care, but he did this” and “I don’t care, but he said that”. And I wanted to say you obviously do care because you called me to complain about it - what am I supposed to do about it? Plus, it’s not like my mom would’ve been holding LO the entire party, since she’s hands off, and was hands off all weekend, so I don’t understand what her problem is. She can’t expect everyone to be like her.

Edited by Ellie08

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Your FIL was rude and insulting. That ought to be addressed, imo. If I were your Mom, I would've complained about that. It sounds like she's being defensive, not wanting to admit that your FIL hurt her feelings.

I don't think it's that she was expecting your FIL to be like her, but to hog the birthday kid, AND announce that the kid preferred him? That's just rotten behaviour, for no other reason than to hurt others.

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15 minutes ago, ImpishMom said:

Your FIL was rude and insulting. That ought to be addressed, imo. If I were your Mom, I would've complained about that. It sounds like she's being defensive, not wanting to admit that your FIL hurt her feelings.

I don't think it's that she was expecting your FIL to be like her, but to hog the birthday kid, AND announce that the kid preferred him? That's just rotten behaviour, for no other reason than to hurt others.

How would you address it? Do you mean with FIL? Or...?

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Yes, I think FIL needs to be told that there are no favourites in the family, and that his behaviour was unacceptable.

Personally, I'd also tell him that if that's the games he's going to play, and next time your parents are around, he's not welcome.

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Hi again, Ellie! Sorry to hear about the problem w/ MIL (if she were me, I'd be the one telling you I can't come - don't want to get anyone sick, especially LO, but never mind...). Sorry, too , about the drama between your parents and FIL.

Just b/c your parents tend to be "hands off" doesn't mean they don't want to feel that LO loves them. FIL's comment was rude and cruel, IMO. I agree w/ Imp that he needs to be told that there are "no favorites." And if he argues, etc., that he won't be welcome, from now on, when your parents are there. It might be better for DH to talk to him than you. But this needs to be nipped in the bud, IMO, or ir will happen again and again.

I also think your mom may have been looking for some reassurance. It probably would have been a good idea for you to say something like, 'Oh nonsense, Mom! LO loves you guys. FIL just likes to think he's the favorite."

But hindsight is 20/20. Perhaps the next time you talk to your mom you can throw in a comment about how much LO loves her and your dad? Or have LO send them bday cards this year, etc? Something to let them know they're loved and appreciated, even though they aren't hands-on GPs? Your call, of course.

One other thought about FIL - his comment was ridiculous. He is obviously full of himself, and I, personally, wouldn't take him seriously. The only reason I think you need to say something is b/c of your parents' feelings.

Actually, I'm more concerned about his hogging LO b/c that means she might not have gotten as much time w/ her friends or little cousins (if any) as she would like. IMO, he also needs to be told that he has to give her more freedom next time she has a party. Again, if he can't do that, you and DH might not be able to allow him to come.

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My other concern is, if FIL is loudly announcing to ppl that LO loves him best, how long until that impacts LO in a negative way? It can also result in LO feeling responsible to make FIL feel like he's 'loved best'...and that's not a responsibility any child should have. FIL has no business telling anyone how LO feels.

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On 2/12/2018 at 9:09 AM, Ellie08 said:

My parents are very hands off grandparents - they are more about spending time with their adult children, and they love their grandkids, but think it’s the parents job to do all the child care. I totally agree, done raising babies, am a hands off GP as well.

.....Apparently at one point [FIL] even went over to my parents with LO and literally told them LO loves him best That's so stupid, GC change who the like and love best on their whim. Take them skiing they love that person best. Ask them to hang up their ski coat and rack their boots? So not their favorite person.

.....about FIL’s behavior. [Mom] kept saying “I don’t care, but he did this” and “I don’t care, but he said that”. And I wanted to say you obviously do care because you called me to complain about it - what am I supposed to do about it? Plus, it’s not like my mom would’ve been holding LO the entire party, since she’s hands off, and was hands off all weekend, so I don’t understand what her problem is. She can’t expect everyone to be like her. I assume that she doesn't like being trash talked. I wouldn't want an outsider telling me our GC loved them best. Because it's rude, it's a power play, it's unnecessary and mean. 

 

 

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Why didn't DH handle his Dad at the party? or you? I sure would have noticed anyone who carried one of my kids around the whole time and put a stop to it for my child's sake. Either I or DH would have taken the child and told FIL that the child needs to play with all the guests at the party. How's the kid supposed to enjoy their own party while being controlled like that. And holding and carrying around a 3 year old for an entire party is controlling behavior.

I understand where your Mom is coming from, it's very hurtful to have a grandparent who already gets far more time with  the grandchild come in and show off and even make comments to you to make your second place status clear. That your Mom is complaining to you about it shows how upset she is over the incident, not because she wanted to hold the child the whole time but because there could be no normal interactions, no cute moments to watch her GC interact with others, including you, their daughter, that didn't have obnoxious FIL in the picture controlling the action.

At this point I'm not sure what you can do about how FIL behaved at the party other than DH or you letting him know that there will no more talk about who loves who best. But at any future gathering I'd make sure that you and DH are on the lookout for hogging behavior and stopping it.

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Very busy at work this week, but quick comments:

LO usually is all about my mom, even though she sees PIL more. She never needs time to warm up to my mom, but almost always needs an hour or more to warm up to PIL - so I did reassure my mom about LO’s feelings toward her. I frequently do that anyways (text her when LO talks about her to let her know LO is thinking of her even though she’s not around, LO often asks to call my mom, etc.). I guess I just wish my mom had said something to me at a point in time when I could have done something in the situation. 

DH went overboard this year (first year we had a birthday party that wasn’t just immediate family) and we had many guests at the party (45 or 50?) so it was kind of overwhelming for me, playing hostess to everyone. I noticed that every time I checked on LO she was with FIL but had no idea he was hogging her the whole party until my mom called me after she got home. So apparently the only time she wasn’t with FIL was when I had her (for cake, etc.).

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On 2/12/2018 at 0:09 PM, Ellie08 said:

My parents find my IL obnoxious and rude, and I’m pretty sure this is the reason my parents have chosen not to attend LO’s birthday parties the last 2 years. This year they decided to attend, and since they are from farther away, stayed with us for the weekend of the party.

My parents are very hands off grandparents - they are more about spending time with their adult children, and they love their grandkids, but think it’s the parents job to do all the child care (so for example, my parents are volunteering to do bath or bedtime, nor do they value playing with LO over catching up with their own kids). Which is fine with me.

There was a tiny bit of IL drama over LO’s party - in short, MIL had flu and kept insisting she would come despite having a fever (in other words, definitely contagious) and I had to be the bad guy and make DuH tell her no.

At LO’s party FIL arrived at the same time as us, picked up LO, and literally didn’t let her go for the entire party. Apparently at one point he even went over to my parents with LO and literally told them LO loves him best (which for the record, I did not hear, it was reported to me, but I believe because I’ve heard him say similar things).

So, his behavior is obnoxious and selfish, in particular because he sees LO all the time and my parents do not...but on the other hand, but my parents are 1) normal, well balanced adults with their own lives and 2) were staying with us the whole weekend.

But, my mom had to call me seemingly to complain about my ILs - first about how selfish MIL is (evidently my DH told my mom all about his mother’s illness and how upset she was to not be allowed at the party), and then about FIL’s behavior. She kept saying “I don’t care, but he did this” and “I don’t care, but he said that”. And I wanted to say you obviously do care because you called me to complain about it - what am I supposed to do about it? Plus, it’s not like my mom would’ve been holding LO the entire party, since she’s hands off, and was hands off all weekend, so I don’t understand what her problem is. She can’t expect everyone to be like her.

I do not like family celebrations that bring both side together that is why It stopped. It always turned into the Grandparents hogging the kids or trying to compete with other. Now with our 4 kids, we take the special birthday girl out for a day all to themselves. They get to pick dinner or activity, and we make a day all about them. It's been great not having big family events anymore.

Edited by Momofgirls
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13 hours ago, Ellie08 said:

Very busy at work this week, but quick comments:

LO usually is all about my mom, even though she sees PIL more. She never needs time to warm up to my mom, but almost always needs an hour or more to warm up to PIL - so I did reassure my mom about LO’s feelings toward her. I frequently do that anyways (text her when LO talks about her to let her know LO is thinking of her even though she’s not around, LO often asks to call my mom, etc.). I guess I just wish my mom had said something to me at a point in time when I could have done something in the situation. 

DH went overboard this year (first year we had a birthday party that wasn’t just immediate family) and we had many guests at the party (45 or 50?) so it was kind of overwhelming for me, playing hostess to everyone. I noticed that every time I checked on LO she was with FIL but had no idea he was hogging her the whole party until my mom called me after she got home. So apparently the only time she wasn’t with FIL was when I had her (for cake, etc.).

Big parties are hard and now you know how FIL behaved, there is one more worry for you to handle if you decide to do one again. You could tell your Mom exactly what you said here, that you were working so hard on being a good hostess to a big party that you just didn't realize what FIL was doing. The same big party that hid FIL's  behavior is probably the same reason your Mom couldn't find a way to tell you then what was happening . Thank her for telling you what happened, that you needed to know, and that you are unhappy about it all too. Maybe consider asking her to find a way to let you know what's going on during an event or maybe a code phrase like "you need to check on LO". With this type of inlaw something is bound to come up again. Make sure DH knows about it, work together to prevent it from happening again. Not for your mother's sake, although she counts too, but for your LO's. LO will have many special events in her future and deserves to enjoy them without one set of grandparents taking over.

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