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Aibu to dislike with an absolute vengeance

(44 Posts)
notevensecondbest Mon 24-Oct-11 16:06:23

favouritism toward children?

I'm new here I have lurked on mn for quite a while but have never written anything but I am posting here because it would help me if I could get an understanding from a gran's point of view.

My son is 7 months old, my partners sister also has a son who is a few weeks younger, they are both beautiful children and I get on well with my sil.

When my son was born my mil and fil were all over him, but they are quite short on money so I understood that things like taking him out or buying gifts ect would be difficult and I never expected them to.

Then my sil gave birth to her son. Since about 3 weeks after this, my mil and fil have not even sent us a text message. It is now going on for 5 months since they have contacted us. We live quite far from them so popping in isn't an option and whenever we try to cal to arrange a visit they vet their calls through their answering machine and text us saying they are busy. When we have offered to have them stay at ours they say they cannot afford the journey, yet my mil has a blog and she is frequently driving to my sil to see her other grandson. We haven't done anything wrong so I don't understand why they have suddenly become disinterested in us like this.

My sil lives equally far from them so distance is not the issue, and they always find the time and money to go over there to see her son. I have just seen some photos of my nephew having a lovely time with his nana and grandad with an ice cream and bags of things from a known toy shop listed individually. Also numerous times on the blog my mil has referred to the little lad as "special" because he has a slight cleft palate.

So is it wrong to feel hurt for my little boy that his nana and grandad prefer his cousin, and can find time and money only for their daughters child and not their sons child? Is she trying to compensate because the other little lad has a cleft palate? ( I don't know anything about these so I don't mean to sound unsympathetic if it is a serious condition or disability)

I don't want or expect them to take him out or buy him gifts but it seems their finances are only a hinderance when it comes to my son. When my son does eventually see her I think he will be afraid because she is effectively a stranger to him and it is so sad and unfair that he has spent most of his first year without a grandmother (my mum passed away before he was born) when other grandparents in the world are crying out just to see even a photo of their grandchildren?

Thank you so much for reading

notevensecondbest Tue 25-Oct-11 12:02:05

Thanks ladies, ww3 it is then, I can't see any other way to extract a rational explanation from these selfish people and if it continues I'm sure I can find my son some other lovely ladies of gran generation to share their knowledge with him as well as my lovely dad and my own grandparents. My thanks and love to you all, have a wonderful Christmas and if I ever find my explanation I will be sure to come and share it! Xx

em Tue 25-Oct-11 12:10:07

Good luck and my opinion is that she doesn't deserve you or your baby. However if you and your sil do manage a resolution I wish you all well.

olliesgran Tue 25-Oct-11 13:15:50

a bit late, but I just saw the thread. I have been in your position, with my children more or less second best to my sister's, it is difficult, but the problem is with your mil, not you or your baby! My mother's explanation has always been that she never had to worry about my kids, as me and my husband were capable parents, but my sister was different, not in a solid relationship, not as strong as me and her kids needed her more. It never occured to her that this could be hurtful to my kids and husband. It has been a bit of a struggle over the years, but my advice would be to try and navigate these waters without cutting bridges if possible. In the end, people can only give what they can give, and they are the losers , not having a close relationship with your son, and cutting themselves off from their own son. I am not sure about WW3, but you certainly have the right to point out to them how hurtfull their attitude is and how much their GS misses them. Over the years I have found that people always have a justification for their actions, even if their justification comes from a misunderstanding, or faulty reasoning. Get to the bottom of it, and if this doesn't improve the situation, get on with your life, enjoy your baby and husband, don't let bitterness spoil it. Children are very resilient. From the remarque yor mil made re your mother, ie not having to share gc, and her attitude when you first came home with baby, it sounds as if she is very self centred, and unable to understand the word sharing. May be your son isn't missing much!

JessM Tue 25-Oct-11 16:55:15

Well said olliesgran and chin up notevensecondbest. Your MIL has a problem. All you can do is to work on your own feelings - try to detach, don't read her blog, try to focus elsewhere (e.g. on enjoying the fact that the two cousins can be friends) instead of poking at this sore spot. Try to think of it as her problem, not something that you can somehow solve.
FIL does not feature much in this discussion, interestingly.

Annobel Tue 25-Oct-11 17:12:54

Hi Jess, where in the world are you?
What you say about the FIL is right. I wonder if a man-to-man chat between father and son might help to get to the bottom of the PILs' attitude.

notevensecondbest Tue 25-Oct-11 18:35:20

Sorry about that, I failed to say, fil is unfortunately voluntarily spineless for want of a quiet life and mil does not allow him his own free thought or action. Her ways lost him his job several years ago, she has complete control over the poor man which is probably why I'm not angry at him as such though his lack of self esteem and absolutely zero assertiveness is disturbing.

olliesgran Tue 25-Oct-11 18:45:20

notevensecondbest, sounds like you should keep that woman a long way away from your little one, if that is the way she is!

yogagran Tue 25-Oct-11 21:12:05

noteven -there's such a lot of good advice here from other grans that I can't possibly add anything to it, I just wanted to say that my heart goes out to you and I really hope that you can keep the relationship going well between you and you sil. The two boys will grow up to be friends as well as cousins. Do please keep us informed with how things are going

JessM Wed 26-Oct-11 16:38:41

I thought you were going to say something like that about FIL somehow noteven ...
Hi Annobel - I am in Washington State near Seattle. Visiting an old, dear friend who has been very ill for the last couple of years with a form of cancer and is not doing really well and fit to be visited. We are having a great time catching up. Breaks up the long trip back as well. Flying the rest of the way home tomorrow.

Annobel Wed 26-Oct-11 17:10:54

Did you mean 'now doing really well', Jess? I do hope so. Bon voyage, and no doubt you'll be making your usual contributions again soon.

notevensecondbest Wed 26-Oct-11 19:43:23

I wish I could say something different but that's how it is I'm afraid. Such a shame, he used to be such a lovely lovely man and he's been ground into the dirt like a beaten wife.

Jeany Wed 26-Oct-11 21:12:25

Sorry to go against the flow but I am uncomfortable with the way the MIL is being demonised here. It's as though everyone involved is virtuous except for her. Surely it can't be that simple.

crimson Wed 26-Oct-11 21:54:23

Have to agree with that. Sounds like someone you wouldn't actually want to have in your life if she's as bad as she's made out to be.

granto7 Wed 26-Oct-11 23:18:40

I feel that grandparents spend the most of their time where they feel their time is needed the most Bold: notevensecondbest and do sympathise as you have had such a stressful few months. I do hope that everything settles down for you and that you will be on an even keel. A hug for you ,your husband and your darling child and don't be too hard on yourself to lose your mother and then have a child .... you don't need the extra stress YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK.....Sending warm wishes and Good Luck

notevensecondbest Wed 26-Oct-11 23:52:06

I'm not demonizing her and whether I want her in my life or not is irrelevant because she is still my partner's mum and still my son's granny and she should be in theirs. Besides she's not poisonous I don't think, just controlling and a tad thoughtless toward some. The kindness she shows to my sil and nephew proves that she has the capacity to be nice if she chooses. All I'm trying to understand is what made her choose to withhold her caring side from not only my son but her own. It's hard for me to portray tone while I'm typing so just so you know this is a quiet musing smile

olliesgran Thu 27-Oct-11 15:06:27

I found over the years that people are rarely mean on purpose. They usually follow their own ideas, have their own reasons to do what they do. Sometime they are not even aware of the hurt they cause. For example, my son was born very premature, and for a few months, it was touch and go whether he was going to survive. While he was in hospital, my MIL never once asked to see him, nor did she ever ask how he was. It was as if he didn't exist. It was very upsetting to us. But as soon as he came home, she was a different person. Our son became Number 1 in her book. And I think she was like she was when he was in hospital, because she was afraid to get attached and hurt, should anything happen to him. She was protecting herself. Not something I would do, nor approve of, but no harm was meant to us. Just a thoughtless person, and a bit self centred, following her idea. I understand you feel hurt on behalf of your son, but sometimes it is best to ride things out. If you tackle the situation with MIL, my only advice would be is to keep to the facts, and avoid comparaisons with other GS, as this would lay you open to the accusation (from her) of jalousy. Rather than say "why are you neglecting this GS" it might be better to say, "we haven't seen you for a while, your GS and us miss you". Not easy............

Jeany Thu 27-Oct-11 16:10:05

Thanks for clarifying that Notevensecondbest. I thought some of the posts seemed a bit harsh. I do hope you can pull the situation round to a happy outcome. Hopefully with the co-operation of others concerned. Surely FIL and husband could contribute something. It seems unfair on you otherwise to have to do it all.

Hattie64 Fri 28-Oct-11 20:00:33

I have read all the postings on here with interest. One suggestion I would like to make is for your Partner to visit his Parents and voice your concerns regarding their lack of interest in you and the baby. This might clear the air. Has he not once visited or telephoned them in five months? You did write initially that when they first visited visited shortly after the babys birth you found them very irritating in their behaviour. Do you think this has something to do with their total lack of interest? I really think you Partner should sort this out now, as five months is a long time and if it carries on like this, they will never see their Grandson.