Hello GNers, I was hoping to pick your brains about how to handle the relationship with my in laws. MN feels a bit cut throat and not very constructive at times, and it’s constructive advice I would like.
I got on OK with the in laws before I had my baby (15 months) but I seem a bit less tolerant now. MIL in particular can say things without consideration for how it may land, and this means that I don’t feel like I want to pop in if we are passing or arrange to catch up myself, so I have stopped doing this and leave it to DH (who isn’t very sociable and doesn’t really bother).
My baby was obviously a covid baby, so they didn’t get to see much of him at various points. I made a point of saying they were welcome to come and see us even if DH was at work when I was on mat leave, I said it a couple of times too. But they only came once with just me and baby.
They aren’t very communicative, they don’t send messages asking how we are, or how their grandchild is doing. I haven’t ever spoken to them on the phone and I think DH has only once since we’ve been together (12 years). As I write this I think to myself, this makes them sound like grandparents who just aren’t very interested perhaps? But then when I went back to work MIL made a point of saying how terrible it was that they wouldn’t be able to just pop in now?!
There was an instance when DS was four months old and we dropped a birthday present on their doorstep and then texted them to say it was there, but DS was really upset so we couldn’t stop. He was awful in the car then and it was so stressful and upsetting for me hearing him cry. But MIL has brought this up several times since in terms of how awful it was that we dropped the present and ran. This is an example of where my nose has been put out of joint really, it’s cheesed me off and doesn’t make me feel very forthcoming. There are other examples too but I am conscious this is getting long already.
The relationship feels awkward and a bit uncomfortable for me. They’ve seen DS maybe five times (live under an hour away), and I don’t feel like they know him. I don’t want to force a relationship, but equally I don’t want to be seen as one of those awful DILs who has cut the in laws off from their son and GC. One of the things I have seen on GN that resonates is posters advising others to develop good relationships with their children/partners as this relationship will significantly impact the one they have with their GC. In that sense, I feel like my in laws aren’t remotely interested in me, and it doesn’t make me feel like I want to go out of my way to offer up the little time we have as a family, to spend with them
Has anybody got any suggestions or thoughts as to how to handle this? We haven’t seen them for a while and DH seems to think they won’t be very impressed if we don’t see them soon because they will expect to see us
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