Author Topic: Appointment with parents; what is reasonable?  (Read 10889 times)

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bah12

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Re: Appointment with parents; what is reasonable?
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2012, 11:10:07 AM »
Yeah, I do think your DH is a being a bit unreasonable.  I think being annoyed and disappointed is justified, but his parents have commitments on Saturday.  Not only is a week not long enough notice, IMO, but even if it was a year, his parents have the right to honor the first commitment they made.  And I do think that childcare trumps them buying a playpen for you.

It sounds like his parents came up with a reasonable solution to the day and while I get that it would have been a fun outing for everyone, if there isn't a time that all four adults can get together before the baby is born, then this really is the best solution.

Zilla

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Re: Appointment with parents; what is reasonable?
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2012, 11:15:32 AM »
Thanks for the replies everyone.

I did not completely agree with DH, and what I described was mostly his POV. Yesterday I didn't want to go into an explanation to him why because he was just upset, and telling an upset person why they may be wrong is rarely a very good idea. However, I just wasn't sure if his feelings were reasonable or not.

I think that since his parents have made an agreement with SIL, it is their duty to live up to that agreement. On top of that, even if they weren't watching their grandson, I'm not sure if making appointments would still be easy - they have 4 dogs and live one hour with the car away from us. I think that DH is just generally frustrated with a lot of little and bigger things, with the two main things being that it is difficult to make a one on one appointment with them (SIL tends to be at their house at sundays too) and while visiting them while sil and nephew are around is doable, they do create an unpleasant atmosphere. He and SIL don't get along, and that is coloring his vision of these events.
Not that there is some kind of etiquette mistakes made here, but just the 'where does the frustration come from' background. And yeah, I do sense that DH is afraid that his parents will pass up chances to see our child because of these duties.

As for a few specific points:
elephantschild; you are spot on, it is meant as a fun bonding event.
bopper: I think pretty much the way way you do.
Zilla; Due to travel times and the opening hours of shops, shopping after or before work isn't possible, sadly.

I'll talk some more with him about it I think. If I do, I'll post updates.


As per bolded, the focus on his sister is a bit unfair as well since if it isn't the sister, it could be the dogs or the car ride etc.  And with your background telling how the sister got impregnated artificially (still not sure why this had to be mentioned) and all the other bg, it sounds like he needs to take a step back and look at himself and resolve it for his own sanity.  Hugs, sounds like a rough time.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2012, 11:17:15 AM by Zilla »

NyaChan

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Re: Appointment with parents; what is reasonable?
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2012, 11:24:52 AM »
I think that to get the best results, you should separate the two issues.  1) the playpen and 2) the priorities of your in laws.

1)  You can't make them back out on an arrangement they've set up with someone else.  1 week really isn't much notice to find a babysitter for the whole day and also, do you really want your inlaws or SIL to pay for a whole day's babysitting in addition to the 2 hours driving and the playpen?  I would let this one go even though it does seem sad that the bonding event has changed a bit in nature.  You could perhaps mention while the one in-law is with you "We are so enjoying getting to spend time with you like this - if splitting up is the only way you and Other-in-law can visit, maybe we can set up more one-on-one outings from now on?"

2)  There seems to be the larger problem here that your DH feels he means less to them, and I think also that there is a worry that when your child is born, the grandparents will still focus more on the other grandchild.  To start off, they live near to SIL correct?  So just as a matter of course, they are likely to spend more time with her and that child.  To make sure that your child doesn't feel left out, I would be proactive.  Have a conversation, not about SIL, but about what sort of relationship you and they would like this grandchild to have with them.  "We really want our child to have a close relationship with you and get to spend time with you even though we live an hour away.  What do you guys think about setting up a regular time for you to see the baby one-on-one?  We know you are busy every Saturday with nephew, but maybe we can find a time on another day, or just once a month where you can spend time with just us as a family."

TootsNYC

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Re: Appointment with parents; what is reasonable?
« Reply #18 on: October 03, 2012, 12:45:54 PM »
I understand that your DH is feeling second-best. I have a lot of sympathy for him, and I can see why he'd feel that. He's about to have a baby, and his parents' attention is completely diverted to his sister's child. And if he feels he *always* has to compete w/ his sister for their attention, it's perfectly understandable.

But a week really is short notice.

Maybe he needs to sort of share his feelings with his folks--not accusingly, but longingly. Wistfully. And ask them to be the ones to set an "enough notice" standard, or even to help his find someone to fill in for them so that they are free to give HIM some of their "grandparent" time and attention and affection.

Also, in terms of sheer logistics, you truly don't need a playpen until the baby is old enough to scooch around. You have at least 3, maybe 5, months after the baby arrives.

girlysprite

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Re: Appointment with parents; what is reasonable?
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2012, 01:22:28 PM »
I discussed it a bit more with him. A one clarifications first: We are happy with the appointment that is made now. DH just wasn't happy with how much effort it took to come to an appointment.

I think he is directing his bitterness about his sister to his parents. Like I said earlier, he doesn't get along with SIL well. To be honest, from my POV as well, she indeed isn't a very easy person (always angry, quick to snap at anyone) and entitled when it comes to the babysitting. The few times the parents in law went on vacation and announced in months in advance, she had been acting up about it. That contributes to the feeling of DH that his sister walks over their parents (their spines not always being very strong) and claiming their time and attention.
But! it's not like it changes the facts. The parents in law agreed to watch over the child, and that's what they do. And I agree that one week in advance is still a small amount of time. Plus, whether the SIL is being difficult or not, this arrangement is something his parents chose to do themselves. No one pointed a gun at them. DH has been a bit dark about this whole issue and spouting lines such as 'well, we'd better not land into the hospital on a saturday then' --> which is very uncharitable towards his parents, as they have helped us out in the past and I believe that they would do so again in the future if an emergency would come up.

Geez, it is soe difficult to untangle conflicts and issues when not directly involved. In case anyone wonders, I'm not putting myself in the middle, but I'm just trying to help my husband to come to terms with this and give him other views on this issue, hoping it will help him.

ps: the reason I gave too much background is because I didn't know anymore either what was relevant or not. Maybe it's the 'she made this choice to be a single parent and lets others pay the 'price' for it' vibe I got from DH. But as noted above - the help she gets was a deal that all involved people agreed with.

Zilla

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Re: Appointment with parents; what is reasonable?
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2012, 01:34:54 PM »

ps: the reason I gave too much background is because I didn't know anymore either what was relevant or not. Maybe it's the 'she made this choice to be a single parent and lets others pay the 'price' for it' vibe I got from DH. But as noted above - the help she gets was a deal that all involved people agreed with.


So her having herself artificially inseminated is her making a choice to be a single parent and letting "others" like her parents pay the price?  Yeah your husband needs to take a huge step back.


But i am glad you are realizing this and can help your husband in this.  Good luck!

NyaChan

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Re: Appointment with parents; what is reasonable?
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2012, 01:38:25 PM »

ps: the reason I gave too much background is because I didn't know anymore either what was relevant or not. Maybe it's the 'she made this choice to be a single parent and lets others pay the 'price' for it' vibe I got from DH. But as noted above - the help she gets was a deal that all involved people agreed with.


So her having herself artificially inseminated is her making a choice to be a single parent and letting "others" like her parents pay the price?  Yeah your husband needs to take a huge step back.


But i am glad you are realizing this and can help your husband in this.  Good luck!

I think it was more that she deliberately chose to have a child but did so with the expectation and need of help from others.  (I don't necessarily agree that this is bad since the grandparents seem willing to help out & I come from a family helps family background) but I think her husband seems to think that his parents are being imposed upon rather than happy to help out.

girlysprite

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Re: Appointment with parents; what is reasonable?
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2012, 01:43:11 PM »

ps: the reason I gave too much background is because I didn't know anymore either what was relevant or not. Maybe it's the 'she made this choice to be a single parent and lets others pay the 'price' for it' vibe I got from DH. But as noted above - the help she gets was a deal that all involved people agreed with.


So her having herself artificially inseminated is her making a choice to be a single parent and letting "others" like her parents pay the price?  Yeah your husband needs to take a huge step back.


But i am glad you are realizing this and can help your husband in this.  Good luck!

I think it was more that she deliberately chose to have a child but did so with the expectation and need of help from others.  (I don't necessarily agree that this is bad since the grandparents seem willing to help out & I come from a family helps family background) but I think her husband seems to think that his parents are being imposed upon rather than happy to help out.

Nyachan - yeah that is exactly how he feels. However, I don't agree with that view. I am a strong fan of personal responsibility and standing by your choices. If his parents really don't want to help anymore, I'm sure that they'll invent a new way to say no.

bah12

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Re: Appointment with parents; what is reasonable?
« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2012, 01:50:56 PM »
I don't see how she's letting others 'pay the price' for her having a baby.  Choosing to be single parent and utilizing childcare options is no different than choosing to be any kind of parent and utilizing childcare.  If I had the option of free childcare, where my DD would also get to spend quality time with her grandparents, I'd surely jump at the chance.  And I'm not a single parent...but I did deliberately choose to be a parent and I did it knowing that I would eventually need to arrange for daycare (since I also choose to work), paid or otherwise.

I agree that is more of a case with DH having a beef with his sister, then the sister being an SS because she works on Saturday's and lets her child stay with his Grandparents.  In this story, he's the one that seems unreasonable.  His parents are gifting him a playpen for his yet unborn child...a playpen that won't actually be needed for a few months after the baby is born.  His parents have to drive 2 hours to go shopping and buy this thing and he's upset because instead of leaving his sister in the lurch, with only a week's notice, to find alternate care (after they've committed to it), they are choosing to split the duties and care for both thier kids.  The grandparents are being more than accommodating.

I think that whatever issue he has with his sister is clouding his ability to put this scenario into perspective.  His sister may be difficult and bratty most days and she may be overly demanding of their parents' time, but Saturday childcare commitments are what they are.  And his parents are absolutely right to honor their commitments.

YummyMummy66

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Re: Appointment with parents; what is reasonable?
« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2012, 01:53:27 PM »
Your husband is not going to be able to change his parents or his entitled sister.

I think what your husband is starting to realize is, "Where exactly will his child fit into his parent's world when they currently revolve their world around his nephew and the demands of his mother?". 

As for the playpen, couldn't you look them up online and send the pic of your chosen one to his parents and when they can go out and buy it, they are able to do so?   I think that this situation is being made more difficult than it needs to be.

Two Ravens

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Re: Appointment with parents; what is reasonable?
« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2012, 02:01:28 PM »
I'll chime in with the others and ask why the playpen has to be bought this Saturday? Especially when you know the in-laws have a longstanding commitment? Why not pencil in a date next month for a big visit/shopping trip?

Sharnita

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Re: Appointment with parents; what is reasonable?
« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2012, 02:03:04 PM »
OP, you mentioned that ILs are one hour away from you and have 4 dogs.  Do they live in closer proximity to SIL?  If so I think it might be wise now to discuss the reality that distance might create a slightly different relationship and it doesn't mean anybody is showing favoritism, it is just the reality of situation.  A 1 hour drive when you have 4 dogs seems pretty tricky so I would imagine they might not be seeing you on a daily or even weekly basis.  OTOH, if SIL is local to them, they might see her very frequently.  It will create a slightly different dynamic between them and various grandkids.  That doesn't mean anybody has done anything wrong, it is just the reality of how distance can affect things.

Dindrane

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Re: Appointment with parents; what is reasonable?
« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2012, 02:16:59 PM »
With regard to the playpen, a lot of them have a sort of bassinet and/or diaper changing station as part of what is included, and they also frequently have a bottom that can be raised about halfway up while the child is an infant. So while the playpen wouldn't be necessary to contain the child until he/she is mobile, it likely would be very useful as an auxiliary crib/changing table right from day one. My brother and SIL had a playpen when my niece was born, and they set it up in the living room so they wouldn't always have to go upstairs to the main crib/changing table for naps and diapers. It helped them enormously in the first few weeks to have one set-up downstairs and one upstairs, because it meant there was always something close by.

With regard to your DH's hurt feelings, I have all the sympathy in the world for him. It is always hard when you feel your parents are favoring another sibling, and I imagine it particularly stings when you don't get along with that sibling. I also think that his sister has been legitimately snowflakey about her parents babysitting her child in the past. The trick is that she really isn't being snowflakey in this specific situation. You might talk to your DH about how his past experiences with her are leaving him kind of primed to be annoyed with her and the situation, even when it isn't warranted.

I also agree with Toots that if he is going to talk to his parents about their relationship with his child (and I do think I would want to address it, if I were in his shoes) that the best approach is to expressing a desire for what he wants rather than annoyance for what he doesn't like. Approach it positively, and make it about their relationship with his child rather than their relationship with SIL's child. Trying to exert any influence over their relationship with SIL and her child will be, at best, ineffective. He'll probably just end up ticking them off and inadvertently making their relationship with his child more difficult.


TurtleDove

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Re: Appointment with parents; what is reasonable?
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2012, 02:28:12 PM »
I also agree with Toots that if he is going to talk to his parents about their relationship with his child (and I do think I would want to address it, if I were in his shoes) that the best approach is to expressing a desire for what he wants rather than annoyance for what he doesn't like. Approach it positively, and make it about their relationship with his child rather than their relationship with SIL's child. Trying to exert any influence over their relationship with SIL and her child will be, at best, ineffective. He'll probably just end up ticking them off and inadvertently making their relationship with his child more difficult.

Great advice.  I also think your DH needs to recognize that of course his parents are spending more time with their 6 year old grandchild than they are with a child that is not yet born.  I don't see any evidence that they intend to favor one grandchild over the other - the situation has not arisen!

Two Ravens

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Re: Appointment with parents; what is reasonable?
« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2012, 02:35:14 PM »
With regard to the playpen, a lot of them have a sort of bassinet and/or diaper changing station as part of what is included, and they also frequently have a bottom that can be raised about halfway up while the child is an infant. So while the playpen wouldn't be necessary to contain the child until he/she is mobile, it likely would be very useful as an auxiliary crib/changing table right from day one. My brother and SIL had a playpen when my niece was born, and they set it up in the living room so they wouldn't always have to go upstairs to the main crib/changing table for naps and diapers. It helped them enormously in the first few weeks to have one set-up downstairs and one upstairs, because it meant there was always something close by.

Good point, but again, the child is not due until December. That leaves 2 whole months to have this item bought. It doesn't need to be bought this weekend.