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Uninterested Granny

(35 Posts)
Mishka Sat 22-Aug-15 08:18:11

Hi all!

I'm not a granny but a new mom and I have a problem. I currently live in Sweden with my awesome husband and adorable 1.5 year old son.
My husband works alot and I don't begrudge him that but sometimes I feel like a single mother. My MIL lives a mere 90 minutes away and she never offers any support. When my own parents made the trip to visit us they were such a great help. They would look after my son while I house cleaned or vice-versa. We have asked her on plenty of occasions if she would help but there is usually always an excuse. She didn't even want to come to my sons 1st birthday sad
I don't feel like I'm asking much- even a monthly visit would be nice!
But please be honest, am I asking too much???
This upsets my husband as much as me.

TIA smile

thatbags Sat 22-Aug-15 08:25:54

Why don't you just ask her to visit? Grans don't have to help you know. Some mums don't even feel they need help from grans and rather resent grans 'interfering'.

You're an adult. If you aren't disabled you ought to be able to cope with one child and any absolutely necessary housework. It isn't actually necessary to do more than that.

So, yes, I'd say you are asking too much.

thatbags Sat 22-Aug-15 08:29:16

PS You said be honest: as you've put it in your post, you seem a bit selfish to me. What about considering her needs? Maybe she doesn't like travelling. Maybe she's not keen on babies (strange but possible). Maybe she hates housework. Maybe she doesn't like you much.

Mishka Sat 22-Aug-15 08:30:19

We do ask her (less and less now) and I do cope. Maybe I imagined that when I had a family of my own other family ties would be strengthened?
Being around other family member I think would be good for my son with socialisation etc.

Mishka Sat 22-Aug-15 08:31:19

Me and my MIL get along really well. She says that I'm the best thing to happen to her son.

Leticia Sat 22-Aug-15 08:33:58

Were you much of a friend before the child was born?
I would get to know her as a person. Leave your husband with the baby and suggest a day out for just you and MIL.
I may be wrong but it sounds as if you hadn't a relationship that didn't go through her son and now you think she can be useful.

Leticia Sat 22-Aug-15 08:34:51

Cross posted but I think my post still stands.

Leticia Sat 22-Aug-15 08:35:47

She has probably read about 'interfering MILs' and is determined not to be one.

Mishka Sat 22-Aug-15 08:37:42

I think I may have worded the original post wrong. I don't expect her to be useful, I just remember growing up and seeing both my grandmothers on a regular basis and sadly for my son this just isn't happening for him.
Me and her get along really well (honestly!) so I think that just adds to the confusion of the situation.

thatbags Sat 22-Aug-15 08:37:59

If you cope you don't need help. Stop asking for it.

ninathenana Sat 22-Aug-15 08:38:12

Has your DH spoken to his mum about this ? Is she aware that he feels upset and disappointed.

90 mins isn't 'round the corner' I used to live the same distance from my DGC and would visit on average every 6 wks or so. This was my DD's family which I feel is different from visiting DiL home.
Forgive me but do you think it's possible she feels that you only want her to visit for the help she can give ? I'm not saying that's true. Maybe if you invited her to come and maybe stay overnight (easier on travel) and just chat and enjoy your son together she may begin to think it's her company and the pleasure your DS will get from contact with DGP rather than a spare pair of hands your after. Then it's up to her to decide if she wants to help, because that is her decision it's not something that should be expected.

thatbags Sat 22-Aug-15 08:39:34

Is there a grandfather in the picture? What about him?

Mishka Sat 22-Aug-15 08:43:40

She has stayed the night but she wasn't really interactive with my son or anything. DH hasn't said much to his mother as they don't really have that sort of relationship.
And really, I don't expect a second pair of hands but I do expect (and I'm not ashamed of this) for her to be involved.

Mishka Sat 22-Aug-15 08:44:11

There is a grandfather in the picture but he works alot.

Leticia Sat 22-Aug-15 08:46:51

If her son doesn't have that sort of relationship then I don't suppose a grandchild would be different.

Mishka Sat 22-Aug-15 08:50:04

Leticia, you might be on to something!

vegasmags Sat 22-Aug-15 08:59:57

I think most of us relate better to one stage of childhood or another. Personally, I'm not very keen on the small baby stage but enjoy older children more. My DC's GM wasn't especially interested until the kids could play and enjoy card games and then she would play with them for hours. Maybe your MIL is the same. With respect, you do sound a bit intense and maybe your MIL is uncomfortable under the weight of your expectations. Why not just try to relax and take it as it comes?

HildaW Sat 22-Aug-15 09:06:19

Some people need to be asked, which is very nice really. This site is often too full of interfering Grandparents you should count your self as lucky
Create an occasion....a Sunday afternoon tea and invite her.

All the best.

Nelliemaggs Sat 22-Aug-15 09:17:49

I'm a very involved grandparent and would be more involved had not a daughter met an Australian and moved back to his home town with half my grandchildren. She expected to find her MIL to be the sort of GM that I am and was sorely surprised to find little interest in the children other than to criticise and never once an offer to babysit though she lives 10 minutes away. Not everyone enjoys children, particularly little unpredictable ones. Most of my grandparent friends are very hands on but I know others who have made such comments as , "I've done my stint bringing up my own" and "I'm waiting for them to be old enough to hold an intelligent conversation". One even threatened to move house too far away to be

expected to babysit. And yes, 90 minutes each way is a lot of driving if your heartstrings are not pulling you along.

Mishka Sat 22-Aug-15 09:38:39

Thanks all for your advice and stories smile Venting on here has allowed me to see a bigger picture- that of expectations and realities.
I guess it's pointless to be upset if the latter don't match the former.
Thanks again!

rosequartz Sat 22-Aug-15 09:41:57

How old is she? Does she drive? Does she work?
Does she feel she musn't interfere? What do you say when you ask her to visit? Did you ask her to come and 'help' at DGS's birthday or just come and have fun?

I had no-one at all to help when the DC were small - but somehow I managed to clean the house before my DP came to stay and my MI didn't often pop along the road to see them although she lived 10 minutes away - so I made an effort to go and visit her.
You're young and perhaps you should be making more effort to go to visit her and to invite her to stay for a fun time not to be a babysitter.

Perhaps she is just not very maternal but may develop a good relationship with DGC when he becomes more interesting and can chat and be interested in the world around him.

Marmark1 Sat 22-Aug-15 09:45:18

We live an hour away from our son,but we go at least once a week.I do everything for mine,my granddaughter won't let anyone else,she always says Ganma do it.Im worn out time I go home.
I think it's nice to be asked,we need to be very careful with DILs,I know my place.I absolutely adore being with my grandchildren.

Eloethan Sat 22-Aug-15 09:50:37

I suppose distances are perceived differently in different countries but, to me at least, 90 minutes away is quite a way away. You don't say whether your mother in law would have to drive, go by train or what. You don't say how old she is. All these factors may influence why she does not often visit.

Whilst I agree that it would be nice for your child to have a relationship with his/her grandma, the emphasis in your original post seemed very much to be on what your mother in law could do to help you. It isn't a very nice feeling to believe that people only want to see you because they need your help.

Also, you say you "currently" live in Sweden, which suggests you haven't always been there and won't be there on a permanent basis. Perhaps your mother in law has already had to accept that her family won't be around and fears becoming too close in case you all move. From what some grandparents have said on this site, it is a terrible wrench when sons, daughters and grandchildren move away.

HildaW Sat 22-Aug-15 10:22:18 are wise beyond your years. To be honest I've seen more pain on here from Grandmothers (usually MIL) who feel they have a right to micro manage 'their' grandchild's upbringing.

Motherhood might have not been this lady's strongest suit so better to have her willing input albeit in very small doses than make her feel guilty for not being more involved. Being a Grandparent is all about the relationship not any set of unwritten rules. You might find that when your child is older she becomes the sort of Grandma who comes into her own.

Good luck.

Luckygirl Sat 22-Aug-15 10:29:18

Just be happy that she is not the interfering MIL who knows it all and thinks she has rights to your child. Keep inviting her and telling her she is welcome and leave it at that I think. The most important thing is for you to enjoy your children.

People have different attitudes to children. I am very hands on and like being a part of their lives - another set of GPs feel differently. We are going on holiday with one DD and family next summer (and have done so before) but they never ask the other set of GPs because they "don't really like children."