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Old 09-19-2007, 09:26 PM
 
29 posts, read 104,141 times
Reputation: 22

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I'm at a loss for what direction to take our family in -- our children's grandparents are uninvolved and appear to be self absorbed in their own lives. Has anyone else been dealt with selfish grandparents!?!

I am 32 with a 1.5 year old toddler and my husband is 35. We are expecting our 2nd child in 4 months. My parents are no longer with us and my husbands parents are disinterested in our son. We waited until I was 24 weeks pregnant with our second to tell them we were expecting our second child since they don't seem to like being grandparents!

My mother-in-law told me last April, "you should wait 4-5 years before having anymore children and by then you'll be too old to have any." WHAT! I was shocked! Did she really say this. Well when we told them about our 2nd, she said, "Well you can stop right there having anymore, you'll have one of each" -- okay reproduction according to a 66 year old!

We're 2 well educated professionals, married for 7 years, known one another for 10, my husband served in Iraq in 2003 and is finishing a medical residency. He has spent his whole live to serve and take care of others, I am a nurse and work in public health -- when we finally decide to start a family, this is the lack of support we get.

In addition, our inlaws haven't visted our son since Dec 2006. They are too busy traveling to Greece, Turkey, ITaly, Canada, Florida, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Mexico...and many other places inthe last 9 months since seeing their only grandchild. I send pictures by email and they make a fuss that they come up too small on their computer screen or can't open them -- they have 4 computers!!! and are so tech savvy in every other way except viewing their grandson's picture. (we use Kodak gallery by the way -- the most user friendly service).

They did not even call on his 1st birthday! After I gave birth, I had to go back to my OB since I had an infection, and my MIL said "well it isnt as bad as my friend who survived the hollocost" -- and I hadn't even complained, I just was excusing myself to see the MD for an emergency appointment.

I'm totally torn, has anyone else epxerienced such hostility with grandparents??? and have them uninvolved so much to the point that they are too busy with their own selfish lives conquoring the world on vacations?? I'm about to stop caring. We traveled last spring to visit them and they were so annoyed that we came (after begging us to come for 2 months straight - it was a mixed mesage). My MIL ignored our son and worked on crossword puzzles on the couch as my son was trying to crawl over to her and have her play with him -- this went on for 2 days and then I said to my husband (it was so sad and pitiful)-- what was the point in coming? We should never waste our precious time with our family and vacation -- it's too short and they grow up too fast to be treated this way! She talked down to him and said after we took him to lunch (and he was well behahaved according to her standards) "well he passed my test"! Come on!

Any, advise would help. I'm on my own in a few months after our daugher is born, my mom is disceased, and my MIL will not come for the birth. Do I chalk this up to what it is? Self absorbed grandparents who have no interest?

Thanks for your time.
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Old 09-19-2007, 11:05 PM
 
Location: CA
2,464 posts, read 5,685,266 times
Reputation: 2587
I don't think you can say or do anything to make them act the way you want to - that much I can say with certainty. My MIL loves her grandkids but I don't expect much from her and I expect even less from my own mother (sad, but true). The paternal grandfather is deceased and my dad is the only one that visits with frequency which I am grateful for. I don't loose sleep however, over the lack of participation from my MIL and mother and maybe you should accept the fact that you inlaws can be a@*holes. I wouldn't go out of my way anymore to visit - use that time to take your family vacation somewhere else. It maybe that they've spent too much time away from children and they can't relate to them anymore. Perhaps when the kids get older the gp's might lighten up, but don't hold your breath.
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Old 09-19-2007, 11:57 PM
 
Location: Eastern PA
1,263 posts, read 4,284,220 times
Reputation: 1154
Sorry you are going through this. My ILs are exactly as you describe. When we announced we were pregnant with #2, my MIL told my DH "If I had to do it over, I wouldn't have had any kids at all" - nice huh? They don't remember the kids' birthdays, don't call often, and are just generally apathetic.

I have absolutely no expectations from the ILs whatsoever. My children are so lucky, as my parents live right across the street and are truly involved in their everyday lives. My oldest is now 13 and does occasionally call his grandparents, but he has basically "written them off" too. Frankly, if it is that much effort to try to be involved in our lives, I'd rather they stay away.

I think the sooner you can come to terms with it, the better you'll feel. It took me years to not feel resentful about it.
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Old 09-20-2007, 03:07 AM
 
Location: In the sunshine on a ship with a plank
3,413 posts, read 7,833,178 times
Reputation: 2214
Your MIL sounds like a selfish person who is missing out on one of the greatest joys in life.

Stop looking for approval from her- I don't think you're ever going to see it and she has no right to disappoint you by being judgemental about your choices or your child/children.

Hopefully you will meet and befriend a nice older couple who will fill the void that is left by the lack of grandparents in your children's lives.

And please try to accept this quickly- you don't want your angst about this to rub off on your children- because none of this is their fault or yours.
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Old 09-20-2007, 06:25 AM
 
6,764 posts, read 19,279,691 times
Reputation: 4664
Sorry to hear this. I don't know why people don't want anything to do with their grandkids? My own situation is 'similar' in some respects. My husband's father live in the UK so he can't be involved. My parents were helpful to a point in NY when we lived there, but they really did not like being grandparents and never made an effort. They always claimed they were 'too old' to get involved. They were grandparents in their forties when my brother had his kids and were totally into it and fell over backwards for them. Now my nephew and niece are 20 and 18 and have disappointed my parents. Now they 'are too old' for my son and my sister's kids...they have very little patience. Out of all the grandkids, my son is 'the least' involved with them.

Point being...you have to get over it. It's their loss... you have your family...try to focus on your son, your husband and baby to be..You can try to form friendships with others--maybe when your son is older you can volunteer with older folks (with him) and get to know some others.

I have to get over this 'disinterest,' too.
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Old 09-20-2007, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Chattanooga TN
2,349 posts, read 9,493,282 times
Reputation: 1197
The previous posters have given some great advice. Yes, it's their loss so don't wear yourself out over it. They are not obligated to participate, as ugly as that sounds and I am sorry for that. Enjoy your little family and expect nothing from them, that way you won't be disappointed my friend. Good luck and congrats to you!
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Old 09-20-2007, 08:41 AM
 
5,640 posts, read 16,924,254 times
Reputation: 3963
I would not expect too much from them. Yes, they are being jerky. Don't sweat it, if your husband is not. He is the one who I feel bad for. Do you have any aunts uncles cousins? in the picture, what do they think about the situation?

I had one set of grandparents who were uninvolved, but it was because my grandmother was a manic-depressive who had mood swings. She was very nice, but early on, we knew she had problems and didn't see her very much. Although towards the end of her life - she lived til 90, I got quite close to her.

You need to take a timeout from them for a while, I would make no attempts to contact them, Except when you have #2 of course! Make your husband call them - they are his parents. Let them take the reins for a while. And remember, it's their loss.

I had a next door neighbor lady, while growing up, we called her nanny. She was SO nice. She baked for us and knitted blankets for our baby dolls (still have and my daughter uses!). Since her grandchildren were in CA, we were her surrogates. She was awesome! There can be other important adults in their life that are not relatives you know.
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Old 09-20-2007, 12:19 PM
 
955 posts, read 3,257,187 times
Reputation: 602
Sadly our situation sounds similar - We have a two year old beautiful daughter and a new baby on the way in Feb.

My parents ADORE our child and are SUPER exctied about the new baby.

Hubby's dad and step mom are the same way.

Hubby's Mother on the other hand - give the impression she couldn't care less. She is a very stoic person - shows little emotion and little interest in our lives period. She did not attend our wedding and show little interest in our daughter or the new baby, frequently not even asking how things are going with the pregnancy etc..

The worst part in my mind is that hubby sister and her two children live with grandma - she LOVES them to pieces and speaks so highly of them.

I joke with my husband that my goal in life is to make this woman show some emotion - especially some tears of joy He laughs that it will NEVER happen!! My mother is just a wonderful mom and grandma and she is an emotional woman (must be where I get it from) and for example we made nice hardcover photo books for the relatives for Christmas - my mom opend heres and cried tears of joy while mother in law said without a smile "that's nice....." um ok...... They NEVER call unless we call them, and even then the coversation is on them and not on our family.....

I find this so terribly hurtful because my family is so wonderfully close - always together for the holidays and I honestly love my parents to death and talk with them by phone almost nightly!

Sometimes I have to put things in persepctive the Hubby's family is not, has never been, and never will be that way. They are not touchy feely, express their emotions etc, but I sure do worry about how our children will grow and feel about having several grandparents who are very involved (almost spoiling them of course) and one grandmother who is very distant... it hurts me to think about it because my grandparents are such a treasure to me as is my whole family!

In reading your post, we are different in that I do not (thankfully) have to deal with the hostility and passive aggressive issues you do, but a more general ingnoring and rejection

They even went so far as to ask that I NOT email them photos as "our connection is too slow" and it wrecks the computer - Gee.. sorry ONE small picture of your grandchild caused such problems... I know they have high speed internet for the kids homework etc... whatever!

I hope things go well with your new baby and I wish your family the best

I know deep down they love our children as well, but it is difficult for me to remember the differences in personality, lifestyle, and emotional securness... The blessing I find in all of this is that eventhough hubby grew up in this family, he is so loving, emotional, and a wonderful father and husband.... He also becomes very frustrated with his family, but we have learned (through many tears and hurt feelings on my part) that things will be what they will be... As I write this I find myself getting more angry, and eventhough I have tried to let it go... ITS SO HARD so I sympathize

Last edited by BusySocialWorker; 09-20-2007 at 01:36 PM..
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Old 09-20-2007, 12:47 PM
 
Location: NE PA
7,936 posts, read 13,540,157 times
Reputation: 4366
Quote:
Originally Posted by karen_s View Post
Sorry you are going through this. My ILs are exactly as you describe. When we announced we were pregnant with #2, my MIL told my DH "If I had to do it over, I wouldn't have had any kids at all" - nice huh? They don't remember the kids' birthdays, don't call often, and are just generally apathetic.

I have absolutely no expectations from the ILs whatsoever. My children are so lucky, as my parents live right across the street and are truly involved in their everyday lives. My oldest is now 13 and does occasionally call his grandparents, but he has basically "written them off" too. Frankly, if it is that much effort to try to be involved in our lives, I'd rather they stay away.

I think the sooner you can come to terms with it, the better you'll feel. It took me years to not feel resentful about it.

We're in the exact same boat. My wife's father is the most self-absorbed person on the planet. Always concerned about his personal wants and needs. Even in the rare instance when he comes to visit, he does not even play around with or even pay attention to his grandkids...he sits on the couch and talks about himself...his golf game, where he went drinking lately, what women he met, his work, his exercise regimen, etc etc etc. Once in a BLUE MOON, he will come and take our son somewhere, but its always very planned, structured, and does not take very much time....its obviously out of a sense of obligation rather than him truly wanting to be a grandfather. My wife's mother died 3 years ago of cancer...and she was a very involved grandmother...doted on our son all the time (our second was just born this year).....you could tell she really enjoyed being a grandmother....unfortunately our son was 2 when she died and does not remember her. My father and stepmother are very involved. My father is constantly coming over to do something with our oldest son, taking him places, fishing, etc. My father always watches the baby for us.

So we do have a selfish waste of space in my father-in-law, but I supposed that is balanced out with what a good grandfather my dad is.
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Old 09-20-2007, 01:19 PM
 
4,439 posts, read 8,059,026 times
Reputation: 1461
Honestly I wouldn't deal with them. Have all communication with them funnel through your husband. They want pictures? They can travel to see you and take all the pictures they want.
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