I am new here and at my wits end so am looking for some friendly honest advice. I am not a grandparent but a mum and to be honest the reason I am asking for advice from you knowledgeable people is because I am trying to see things from a grandparents perspective because I feel very stuck at the moment.
I apologise in advance for the long post and will greatly appreciate any thoughts or advice as I am genuinely at a loss because I am trying to avoid conflict and hurt!
I am married with 2 children (a stepson and a daughter). My MIL is quite vocal at times and I feel also pushy with her opinion at times but I have always shaken it off to keep the peace.
I have been in my stepsons life from a very young age and my now husband had to go through the court process to gain access. 6 years down the track we are in a really good place with shared custody and a good relationship with my stepsons mum.
My MIL is Gran and she was initially very vocal about how my husband should fight for access etc as she felt hurt as she wanted to also be able to see her Grandson.
I then fell pregnant with our child and we welcomed a daughter, there was instances where she made some real nasty comments that I personally felt were out of line but I did not retaliate.
My husband has not had a strong relationship with his mother from underlying issues from growing up but still takes the view of 'it is still my mum'
I am very close to my family and we see them regularly, they pop in for a cuppa, say hi to the kids and have an excellent relationship with them.
Now this is my dilemma that I am struggling with. I feel like my in-laws think my family is 'too involved or intrusive' which both myself and husband do not have an issue with....we love the fact that they make an effort to see the children, treat my stepson the same and pop in for a chat. I have a very close relationship with my mum and I feel my MIL resents this but it's my mum and we are close! Without sounding rude I am never going to have that same relationship with her.
From the outset MIL always tried to make it sound like she needed to be 'invited' to which I replied in a nice manner....don't wait for invites because that won't happen....family has an open invite, you are basically welcome to call in whenever, you can call to see if we are home or just call past...no invite needed. We live about a 10 minute drive away.
A few years down the track and we have seen no real effort unless we initiate it. This frustrates my husband.
Despite finding my MIL hardwork and she does have sly digs in the things she has said, I would NOT block her from seeing her grandchildren.
The issue that I do have is that she plays my husband and I and now I don't know what to say without being hurtful.
On the rare occassions we do see them (probably see them maybe 8 times a year), she always makes comments about wanting to take them out for the day which really irritates me...the reason being is she tells me what days she is free and how she wants to spend time with them so it all needs to fit in with her....but because she does not make any effort to see them on a regular basis and does not appear to have any interest in calling in to see them at home it really makes me feel like she just wants to see them on her terms, to suit herself and parade them for the day with a big doting Gran sticker on then hand them back until she wants to repeat it all again when she sees fit. This really irritates me and I don't actually feel comfortable sending them off for the day....she took my stepson once and her comments made it clear it had been about her and not.
NOW I do not want to start a grandparent war or insult any Grandparents and I would NOT have an issue with her taking the children out for the day....but I feel like she should spend more time with them first to actually get to know them better....call in, see them etc, then maybe take them to the local park, then if we see some consistent effort we have no issue with a day trip to the fun park etc.
Am I being unreasonable to think this? Do you think it is fair for me to say you need to actually bond and build a relationship with them first before you can just take off for a full day?
I am now in a position where she has asked me to ask my stepsons mum if she can take him for the day (I know what the answer will be as she does not think highly of her).
I feel like I am going to look like I am just trying to be difficult or too protective but I am genuinely not, I just want her to see the children in their home environment so they have a better relationship before full day trips are planned.
I have more I can add but will leave it as this for now.
Thank you for reading this far and I genuinely appreciate anyone's thoughts on how I am viewing the situation and how I should handle it. I do not want to cause upset or hurt but at the same time I need to think of my children and what I and them may or may not be comfortable with.
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