Author Topic: Appointment with parents; what is reasonable?  (Read 9993 times)

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TurtleDove

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Re: Appointment with parents; what is reasonable?
« Reply #60 on: October 05, 2012, 02:23:50 PM »
I think this is a matter of perspecitve.  If the OP and her DH look for a slight by his parents, they will see that.  Or they can see grandparents who love their existing grandchild and who will love their new grandchild.  I don't think it does any good to try to draw comparisons among incomparable relationships.

My sister has four children, and my mother had been providing childcare for them (paid) for almost six years when my daughter was born.  She just stopped a few months ago, when my daughter was 3.5.  My mother spent every weekday with my sister's kids, and saw my daughter only once or twice a week, often in the presence of my sister's kids.  My mother likes to talk about what is happening in her life, which obviously is largely consumed by taking care of her grandchildren (that is, my sister's kids, not mine). My sister's kids are talked about a lot more than my daughter because 1) they have been alive longer and 2) my mom spends more time with them.  Even when talking to me she talks about my sisters kids.

I could choose to look at this as my mother clearly favoring my sister and her family.  But I know that's not the case.  And even if it were true, what good would it do for me to be bitter?  I think the DH should decide if he wants to be upset about this - he will I am sure find people to help him justify that feeling (and I'm not saying it's not justified).  Or he can decide to be happy and to accept that his sister and nephews relationship with his parents is not about him. 

darkprincess

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Re: Appointment with parents; what is reasonable?
« Reply #61 on: October 05, 2012, 02:39:12 PM »
I agree with most of you who pointed out that it sounds like a compromise has been made about the main point, getting the pack N play.
However I recognize how the DH feels. The difficult time he he had finding time to do this and the different expectations (bonding vs simply paying) that might have existed in shopping may be signs of things to come.

While things may change once the baby is born, in many cases if something is currently the situation it is not likely to change too dramatically once the baby is born. ILs will still baby sit on Saturday. SIL will still be at the grandparents house on Sunday. This is what your husband is probably recognizing and he wants to see changes so that he and his child have time too.

If you want bonding time alone with the grandparents you will need to make your wants very clear and be willing to not visit or have less visits if they say no. Or you can visit with them but under their expectations. If they choose to not be available on Saturday because of another commitment they are making that choice. Your husband should let them know how this makes him feel. He should clearly state his expectations. For example for him the shopping was bonding time and when they cannot find time to bond he feels hurt.

It can hurt because your expectations are not being met. If you are the only one compromising or giving in then eventually you will begin to resent it. I know I did. Eventually I just stopped seeing them as much. I continue to invite people and I clearly and politely talk about expectations. I am willing to compromise on somethings and not others. If they cannot meet those expectations or find a compromise that meets both of our expectations, I simply say I understand and maybe we can do something at a different time.

Turtle Dove said that you need to be happy and to accept your sister and nephews relationship with your parents and recognize that their relationship is not about you. This is true.
You and husband need to make a relationship with your child and grandparents outside of SIL. The grandparents will help decide what that looks like. It may not include visits on Saturdays. But that is their decision. You will need to let them know what you want the relationship to look like and see what they want it to look like. Unfortunatley possibly because of their priorites to babysit, or the distance away, or the fact that stores are closed on Sunday your relationship might not be as close or have as much time as someone else's.
The hard part is accepting this.

bah12

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Re: Appointment with parents; what is reasonable?
« Reply #62 on: October 05, 2012, 04:49:00 PM »
I agree with TurtleDove, and I think that the family really needs to sit down and go through expectations.  Sister may be a giant pain most of the times, but I do think it's a little unfair to assume that the grandparents are going to love baby #2 less because sister and her kid get so much attention now.

The truth is, sister and her kid are going to continue to get more attention.  They live close to the grandparents and she has a babysitting arrangement for Saturdays.  They fact is that the grandparents are going to spend more time sister's kid than the new baby...just as a result of logistics.

But, I don't think the amount of time matters.  I live in the same city as my sister and my parents and my sister and her kids still get more time?  Why? Because my sister doesn't work and is able to take our parents with the younger kids out for lunch, shopping, etc during the work week.  I don't have that kind of time.

But, the quality of time that my parents spend with my DD and their special bond does matter...and those are both great.  No, my DD doesn't get as much alone time as her cousins do, but it's still very obvious to her that her Nana and Papa love her and she has a special relationship with them.

DH would do well to be realistic about his situation.  He doesn't live close to his parents and it may not be feasible to make a 2 hour drive every weekend to visit.  But, he can still talk to his parents about the kind of relationship they will have his child and about the things they can do together when they are able to visit.  I wouldn't be so quick to assume that they aren't going to love the new baby or will never see the new baby because of sister.
And let sister continue to be a SS...it's who she is.  He'll be a lot better off accpeting her that way than he will trying to convince his parents that she doesn't deserve the time she gets.  He needs to let it go.

girlysprite

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Re: Appointment with parents; what is reasonable?
« Reply #63 on: October 06, 2012, 04:15:45 AM »
I had another short talk with DH on the subject, and I discovered that another contribution to his irk is at nephew is being watched almost every day. On weekdays MIL picks him from school, and around dinnertime SIL picks hhim up or joins for dinner. Sometimes MIL picks him up and brings him to school too.

I think a talk about expectations is in order, but I'm not really sure if DH actually wants to do that. On the other hand, I think it isn't so much about how much the child will be loved. There is also another SIL who has two girls - she also lives near MIL, which makes organisation a bit easier - and the girls also stay over at times and get enough love and attention.

In the perspective of the parents in law ; nephew is a child that needs more attention and care. Lately he has been diagnosed with a mild developmental delay, his iq is rather low and he has occasional behavioral issues. I think that MIL doesn't want him into a daycare while SIL works, and sees this as the better option for nephew.

Sometimes it's too easy to simplify a situation because one person isn't likable so it's easy to place all the blame there. It's certainly easier then placing blame with the ones we love (if they deserve it).

For now this is a closed case - we're looking forward to the shopping and bonding moment today :) . And as DH doesn't really want to reopen the issue now, I'll just see if it comes up again another time and take it from there.

CakeEater

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Re: Appointment with parents; what is reasonable?
« Reply #64 on: October 06, 2012, 06:38:26 AM »
I had another short talk with DH on the subject, and I discovered that another contribution to his irk is at nephew is being watched almost every day. On weekdays MIL picks him from school, and around dinnertime SIL picks hhim up or joins for dinner. Sometimes MIL picks him up and brings him to school too.

I think a talk about expectations is in order, but I'm not really sure if DH actually wants to do that. On the other hand, I think it isn't so much about how much the child will be loved. There is also another SIL who has two girls - she also lives near MIL, which makes organisation a bit easier - and the girls also stay over at times and get enough love and attention.

In the perspective of the parents in law ; nephew is a child that needs more attention and care. Lately he has been diagnosed with a mild developmental delay, his iq is rather low and he has occasional behavioral issues. I think that MIL doesn't want him into a daycare while SIL works, and sees this as the better option for nephew.

Sometimes it's too easy to simplify a situation because one person isn't likable so it's easy to place all the blame there. It's certainly easier then placing blame with the ones we love (if they deserve it).

For now this is a closed case - we're looking forward to the shopping and bonding moment today :) . And as DH doesn't really want to reopen the issue now, I'll just see if it comes up again another time and take it from there.

I'm guessing his problem here is that he either thinks his sister is taking advantage of his parents, or that there won't be time for his child in his parents' lives. If it's the former, it's not really his problem. Assuming his parents are fully functioning adults, it's their job to decide whether they agree to this much care of their grandson.

If it's the latter, as Turtle Dove has said, it's a situation that has yet to arise. If it actually becomes a problem later, you and DH can decide to have a chat with his parents, or let it go and accept that they spend more time with nephew.

My parents have done quite a lot more for my brother in terms of babysitting and financial support that they have done for me. He's been in a situation where he needed it more. I don't begrudge that, because I know that if the situation arose, they would do the same for me in a heartbeat.

AmethystAnne

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Re: Appointment with parents; what is reasonable?
« Reply #65 on: October 06, 2012, 12:29:51 PM »
Girlysprite.....would it be possible for you and DH to invite his parents to your house for a Sunday visit? Or you guys go to their house and pick them and go somewhere?

Possible scenario: leave the house by 7:30am, make the drive, visit, out for lunch, go to a park or mall or somewhere, leave that area around 3 or 4pm, drive back home, get home before dark.




White Lotus

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Re: Appointment with parents; what is reasonable?
« Reply #66 on: October 06, 2012, 01:03:22 PM »
SIL's schedule is set three weeks in advance.  With adequate notice she can arrange the occasional Saturday off, liberating the ILs.  She probably works Saturday because she gets a premium for it.  She'd probably work Sunday, except OP said most businesses are closed Sunday where they live.  So how much notice do SIL and ILs need?  Right!  More than three weeks.

If Saturday with Nephew is OK with the grandparents, they are likely giving SIL a boost and want to do this.  Most people would accommodate this commitment most of the time.

OP lives an hour away, and wants to figure out, basically, how to schedule with ILs because, apparently, OP wants alone time with the ILs and SILs weekend schedule with the ILs makes that impossible, in OP's opinion. They have scheduled the playpen date, so this is now for future use.

Nephew is a brat. Nobody likes him or wants to be around him or take him anywhere for this reason. This is an etiquette problem.  He needs to learn some.  He isn't going to learn better until someone teaches him. As people who see him rarely, OP and DH are in an excellent position to give Nephew alternatives, to show him better ways to be heard and to get what he wants, because they are now outside the established dynamic. He is also a Big Boy now and Big Boys know these things. 
 "That doesn't work here", or "work with me" is usually enormously effective when followed by ignoring.  "I told you before, that doesn't work here.  Figure out a way that works" is the followup.  "Nope, that doesn't work either.  Try again." By this time, IME, the tantrum is stopped because the child is into the puzzle. Letting the child know you know the bad behavior is a tactic to obtain a reward is key, IME.  When they demonstrate the correct behavior, which I tell them once they calm down, if they have not guessed,  they get the reward.  Six is not too young to learn the better way, the polite way, the one that works with you, or at your house, or in society, quickly.  I have stopped tantrums on the part of habitual throwers (who were in therapy for this) in their tracks with this very dispassionate and business-like counter strategy.
I do not like tantrums and they do not work with me. Letting children discover, or even telling them straight out, what tactics will solve their problems and get their needs met in the real world is effective because that is the real issue: they simply did not know what worked (was polite) because no one had never told them.  Teaching Nephew manners will change the whole dynamic and might just solve the problem.  It is a little work, but it is also a public service and good practice.

If SIL is a pill, that exact form of behavior modification works on bratty adults, too.  OP could also make it Saturday visits with the ILs to avoid her.  The key to solving this seems to be teaching Nephew some manners and the adults acting adult.  The underlying issue of sibling rivalry is best worked out by DH in therapy. 

Slartibartfast

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Re: Appointment with parents; what is reasonable?
« Reply #67 on: October 06, 2012, 02:42:49 PM »
Surely your SIL doesn't work ALL day on Saturdays - can't you join your ILs for dinner and evening shopping?