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Mother-in Law Never Visits

My mother in-law never visits us. She has other grandchildren, that when they were little, she would visit all the time and one in particular, she still does (he is now 17). I have tried to visit her once a week, but am feeling hurt that we must always be the ones to contact her. My husband did talk to her earlier this year about this and we established that she would visit once a week. Then in April, she started canceling on us (eight times), so I finally told her that if it was inconvenient for her, she didn't have to come. And she has not. She said that she would call when she would like to see us. I am sure that she will never call. My sister inlaw ,with children, lived 7 miles from us, and my mother in-law, for 10 years went right past our house and never stopped once to visit us (we had no children at that time). I am not sure how to feel or what to do. Should I try to visit or wait and see if she contacts me first.

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I just wanted to thank everyone for sharing with me. There really isn't a resolution to the situation, but I don't feel so alone now. A big hug to you all!

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Well it seems like we are all in the same boat. My in-laws where very limit in between visits. Then my in-laws split and then i see more of my fil then mil. Which is fine with me. Then i also have it where my own dad doesn't do to much with my own children. But is there to step in for the other grandkids. (my parents are divocred and dad is remarried). But i look at it, that it is their own fault. They are the ones missing out and my childeren know how much they are loved.

Please don't let it bother you. Mine does the same thing, it is like they have favorites. My children are never invited over there....yet the other grandchildren all sleep over etc. My grandmother on my dad's side used to do it to us kids ALL the time. I just vent to my mom occasionally and we laugh about it. I think it is more common than we think...and my older kids already notice the difference...

I know it feels terrible but know that there are others out there in the same spot. (it took me until my oldest was 12 to be able to blow it off with a laugh!!)

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I have to agree with Michelle's post...yeah it hurts but eventually you have to just move to a self preservation mode. We have gone through the same thing in our family. My husband and I have been married for 9 years and I can count on ONE HAND the number of times my in-laws have come to any of the 3 houses we've lived in. In 2 cases we lived within 15 minutes of their house for nearly 4 years.

My husband and I were both raised that "family would always be there for you" and have come to the realization that they apparently didn't mean us. My parents are dead and gone and I am an only child so the rest of my extended family just didn't know how to conduct themselves around me w/o my parents....as for his family...well we've never quite figured them out. (I should mention my husband has 4 older sisters with 14 children among them). When we go to their town I make sure that the kids have time with their grandparents (although I don't always make myself available). The kids enjoy their time there and the in-laws claim to enjoy their time with my kids but they don't go out of their way to ever come to see us (despite my MILs mother living less than 1 hour away from us). And so I've raised my kids (now 4 & nearly 6) with only kind words about their grandparents and reinforce to them the importance of each of them being there for their sibbling NO MATTER WHAT... if we can't have a large tight knit family then at least we have ourselves.

I won't kid you that the hurt has gone away. My DH was deployed for 30/36 months and in that time I had to commit my father to a nursing home, deal with his estate and his illnesses as well as bury him. I also suffered from severe depression and my son underwent adnoid, tonsilectomy and tube surgery...and at NO POINT did they ever come up to help or even offer to help. It's a bitter pill to swallow but you can either suck it up and let it roll off your back and concentrate on what you do have or just let it fester and consume you...frankly, I'm not giving them any more than I have to and I celebrate in my children's lives everyday...their loss is certainly my gain. I am a firm believer in what goes around comes around. You are doing all that you can and as long as you are comfortable continuing it then do what you feel you must. The bottom line is we are accountable for ourselves, not the actions of others against us...so do what you know and feel to be right. And bless you for taking the higher ground!

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I agree with the advice to not allow this to really get under your skin. Adults will behave the way they choose and guilting them into behavior that is not of their choice makes a hollow gesture. In our family, we have one Grandma who shows huge favortism toward certain grandchildren (despite a long drive to get to them) and the other Grandma (my Mother) who has the attitude that "I've raised my children" and she views visits to us as a request to change her plans for something she'd rather not do - spend time around children. For several years, I was hurt and angry that these women had no desire to be more connected to my children. But after losing a child and getting therapy for the grief, I realized that I can only control my own behavior and my reaction to others. I let things roll off my back and never fester over it anymore. So, I choose to accept people and their actions and do my very best for providing love and attention to my own children. They will learn by example, when its my turn to nurture their children, my future Grandchildren (if I'm lucky enough to have them) and see that not all Grandmother's are flakey or selfish. My oldest child is already starting to see the truth and question the disparity between Grandchildren getting time, but I just tell him that we'll see Grandma when she's ready to make time for us. No judgement, just an open door. The nugget of truth is that I expect nothing, and when things work out better than nothing, I'm grateful.

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I would let it rest. Yes, it hurts to see her not want to be in your sons life. There is no doubt about it. I am constantly calling my mom and asking her what is going on with her that she hasn't called, or came by to see my daughter. (My mom goes through spurts of wanting to be in our daughter's life on a constant basis and having nothing to do with any of us. As well as deciding what grandchild or which one of her own 4 children she is going to have anything to do with at any given time.) After a call or two, I realize she is just in her "I don't want to be around anyone" phase. We then might not talk from anywhere to several days to weeks (it has been up to 5 years when I was still single). My husband and I have chopped it up as it being her problem - not ours or our daughters. She is the one who is ultimately missing out on a precious grandchild and all the fun times she could be having with her. Right now, our daughter who is almost 10 months old, really doesn't understand why she doesn't come by and see her, or get her. She just knows that when she does get to see her MiMi she feels loved. What we as parents have to do in our situation, is teach our daughter even at an early age that there are some people that are there for you 24/7 like your mommy and daddy. There are other people who will always come and go into and out of your life on a regular basis, but when the really important things come up like an emergency they are there (like her MiMi). Then there are the people who come into your life for a time, and then you might not see them or hear from them for a while. Either way it goes, you just accept that individual person for who they are. (It is a lesson that takes time to learn, and of course we know that a baby or a child can not grasp all of this life lesson over night, and sometimes not even as adults.) But in order for us as well as our daughter not to feel rejected by the consant canceling and no calls or visits, we just continue to tell her that her MiMi loves her and that her MiMi is just being her MiMi. We still call my mom and leave messages saying MiMi I love you. Mom I love you. See, just because my mom gets self-centered when it comes to spending time with her grandkids and kids, I can't teach my child to do the same towards my mother. So we have chosen to teach her to always keep our arms open to her even when it hurts. And yes sometimes we just have to love from a distance.

3 moms found this helpful

Your situation is just like mine. My Mother-in-law of 8 years, never visits us either.
She has a grandson who lives in florida and she visits him all the time.
We live about 12 miles apart and she has never come to see my girls. Infact my girls are 6 and 4 yrs. and I can count on one hand how many times she has been to visit.
We used to go visit her, but not at her house, we had to go to my husband's grandmother's home. I have no idea why!
I tried to be nice for the girls sake, but I don't worry about it any more. I figure I have tried to make every attempt to please this woman. I have taken the girls to see her all the time, even if she does not visit us.
One day I had enough and said to myself...."it is her loss. If she does not want to visit my girls, then it is her missing out on them. I am not going to accomidate her anymore."
I don't go see her anymore and the sad part is that she does not care. She still will not come visit them at our house.
I would wait and see if your MIL trys to visit you. I would not contact her, let her contact you. If she does not want to visit your son then it is her loss.

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I didn't read many of the responses, but I'm in your situation (sort of). My MIL has NEVER visited us, we packed up our 4 kids-picked 2 of them up in a northern state from their mom-& drove from the midwest to the in-laws in Arizona. That's probably the only time we'll ever see them. They had seen our bigger boys a few times, but had lived in the same town for a few years w/o visiting before they moved a few states away. I send pictures, I email the kids' milestones, but aside from that, there's really no contact. As much as it hurts you (I was married to my husband for 7 years before I talked to either of his parents & it was because one of our boys accidentally called Grandpa-he had no idea who I was when he called back), it's their loss. If you've made the effort, you've done what you can. Hopefully your parents are more involved (my parents are also states away but make a point to come at least every 2 years to see us). It's on MIL to make the effort if you've tried & she's not responding. It's sad that your son might never know his grandma, but the best you can really do is hang a picture of her on the wall & talk about her now & then so he knows at least a bit about her. Aside from that, you can't make her show up & if she's close & choses not to come over, it's her loss-she's missing out on knowing one of her grandchildren. Keep sending milestone pictures, keep emailing "progress reports", but if she's in town, she can come visit you now.

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W.,

Your son is your son, and he is like my son - #25 of 26 grand-and great-grands. I am pretty sure my DMIL is not allergic to dogs - she's allergic to the clutter that abounds in our house (and I am certainly not the author of all of it, to be sure!) That being said, she also boycotted our wedding bc this is DH's 2nd (he's being 'adulterous' by getting married again bc he was married before in the... etc. etc).

I do not let it get to me - in fact, knowing that the entire visit would be comprised of complaining about SOMEthing, I am rather grateful she chooses to keep her distance.

I know this may not be the same for you - but I would simply explain that his grandmother loves him (when he is old enough to understand who his grandmother is) but she simply does not visit him (and I wouldn't elaborate that she visits other cousins; it simply would not make sense).

Keeping your son focused on the positive part of his relationship with his grandmother - and focusing on that positive part of it with her - will keep them both from being unhappy while they are together. Or at least, in theory, that's what I think will happen.

People are quirky. They are themselves. Your son will be himself, and you will educate him how to be with other people. I'm sure he will learn what is right and wrong along the way, and he will handle it in whatever way he learns from you.

Good Luck!
M.

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I wish I read this at an earlier date. I understand how you feel. My in laws live in the south and never visit. I have a 5 year old and a 21 month old. My husband is not understanding when I tell him how I feel, he is always defending them and to make matters worst he wants to go once or twice a year. When we go the play with the kids for a little bit. One night I tried to convince him to ask them to keep the kids that we can have a date for maybe 2 hrs, he made excuses. I don't want him to take them without me but once they are older and able to care for themselves better i won't be going anymore. My mother has dementia so she cannot really care for my kids but even with the dementia she asked to come and see them once or twice a week. W. all I can say we have to make a conscious effort way way way into the future is not to be that type of grandma. It makes me love my kids even more, if thats possible. Keep ur head up and kiss that baby boy.

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W.,
I know you must feel very hurt. I'm a grandmother of four, great-grandmother of one. It's her loss. Grandchildren no matter how many are always a joy to be around. Enjoy your children,don't let them hear anything negative about grandma not visiting them. They will take it personally, not good for there self esteem.

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Hello W.,

You gave her an "OUT" when you said to her "if it is inconvenient don't come"...What might have worked is to stop asking and accept that there is an apparent reason she does not visit. Don't waste any time worrying about this, life is too precious and way too short to spend another moment trying to change someone's behavior.

If you want changes in your life, it begins from within...

I wish you and those precious children the very best and a Happy life without Grandma in it...

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One thing I've learned from difficult people is that ultimately it is impossible to control other people (although you may at times be able to influence them). The only person you can control is yourself. For some reason, which you may never know, your MIL doesn't visit you. However you feel about that is valid, but its not worth trying to get her to change- she's clearly not going to. So what you have to do is decide how often you want to see her- if its for the sake of your son, maybe you pick a frequency that makes you feel you're allowing them to have a relationship. And then go to her place, or do whatever she's willing to do on that frequency. But just accept right now that it will be one-sided and she's not going to reciprocate much. I know that sounds rough, but ultimately its easier if you just accept her the way she is and figure out what you can do to feel good about yourself and move one. Good luck.

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W.,
You've received a lot of good posts. I'd like to add that while you are learning to accept the situation and let go - try to forgive your MIL. It makes it so much easier. I was in a similar situation 8 years ago when my son was born. My MIL babysat her daughter's child several times a WEEK. And when I asked for help, she would often tell me that I needed to give her more notice. It was difficult, but it did become the "Norm" over time that she favored her Daughter's kids. Either way, the one thing I learned to do was to stop comparing my Mom or other people's luck with "good" in-laws to my MIL. Because, she is different - but she is not a bad person, or a mean grandmother, or hateful or conniving like people can be. she is just distant - and that is who SHE chose to be for our family. I love her, and I accept that she is not ever going to be the Teddy Bear Grandma who asks for "Sugar" like my Mom. My kids have two very different personalities to love - and they do.

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Late response AND I haven't read everyone else's. Your sure are not alone. My MIL doesn't visit everyone else, but she and my FIL don't visit us and their only grandchild. My husband was constantly asking them to come over or we would have to go across town during his nap times to go out to lunch with them, and then they couldn't understand why he wasn't in a good mood. I keep telling my husband that if they want to visit, they will, and we shouldn't have to force them to see their grandson. I know that it is hurtful to him, but I would rather focus my time and energy on my son and not worry about people that don't seem to care if they are in his life or not.

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I am very sorry to hear how you are feeling i know the feeling and it's not good at all. If i was to seat here and talk about my mother in law i would be here for hours she is the wrost person you could meet very dry hearted doesn't care about not even her own son. I had my second child in Jan and still till this day she has not even called to say congrats.. there goes to show you. People get tired of the same old thing and trust me one day you will say i am just moving on and will stop trying. Hey they are the ones missing out not you. Keep your head up and forget about it. All you need if your family your kids..Good Luck.

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Hi W.,
I can completely relate. I lost my husband a few months back suddenly. My in-laws would hardly ever come over or attend our family functions and when they did they would not stay long at all. I would get in arguements with my husband over this because it was not fair to our kids. Well now they regret all the time they missed with us and are attending more functions. Its really sad that it took something like this to make them see. I do hope that your in-laws will realize life is too short before its too late. All my best.

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Hi W., I just had to reply, even though you have already received lots of great replies from other moms. As a grandma, I cannot imagine not wanting to spend time with my grandson (and any others that come after him!). All of his other grandparents feel the same way. Your MIL is really missing out, and I agree with the others that you can't change her attitude. All you can do is keep the door open. Maybe in time she will realize what she is missing. It's possible that she feels more comfortable at her daughter's home, but your husband is her son, after all, so I don't understand that argument. Makes me wonder how much time she spent with her children when they were young.... Best of luck to you!

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HI W.,

I know you've gotten lots of responses and I didn't read them all. I just wanted to say though that some people are just like this! And they are the ones missing out. My husband has 2 sisters, neither of whom have any children. We have 2 kids, so are ours are the only grandkids in the family... We don't deal with the favoritism issue obviously. Still it used to blow y mind that she my MIL only has TWO grandkids and barely sees them. My MIL has been retired since we had the kids and other than major obligatory holidays never comes to see the kids. She lives about 2 hours away and my kids know my mother better and ask about her more even though she lives across the country. Honestly, I think some of it is just the person and some of it is generational.

My advice is to just let it go. Hopefully there are other family members that your kids will be close with and they won't miss the grandmother that they don't know. It's not worth the stress and disappointment to try to change someone else's behavior.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

W.- i totally understand your frustration! I have been Married to the love of my life for 11 years! his mother and father have something to do with my children when they can "showboat" otherwise they are non exsistant! They do not come in my house because they say it is too dirty!! i have 4 children! Dirty is toys in the floor and a few dishes in the sink! My husband is not bothered by it! My children are getting old enough to ask questions and I pick up the phone, dial their number and let them explain!

Hold your head up!
M.

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I did not see the original post, but this sounds very odd! Do you guys get along when she does visit? Have you had run-ins before? Usually if people don't care to come over, I make other plans and it's their loss. I try to rectify any problems I have with others, but MIL's are definitely a strange breed at times. Mine wants to visit too much sometimes...haha. That can be dangerous as well. If I were in your shoes, I would maybe not have scheduled times once a week for her to come over - she may see that as inconvenient or that you are treating it like an appointment...but rather, maybe once a month invite her to dinner or ask if she would like to take the kids to the park or something...start off small and see how she responds. I would not take offense though - there's no telling what she is thinking or feeling, so I wouldn't bother trying - either she starts acting like a bigger person and accepting the olive branch, or she will say no - but that's no reflection on you, your husband or the kids. At least you can feel confident that you have tried to extend hospitality and she is the one rejecting it. And if she does say no, take the kids out for ice creams and have fun without her!

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Another very late response....

I can certainly relate to your problem, and say that you shouldn't spend one more second of your precious time thinking about your MIL and her selfish attitude. It is sad that she shows no interested in your children, but you will never change her. She made it up a long time ago, and if she decides to change it, then she will. But there is absolutely nothing you can say or do to change it for her!!! You have tried your best already to get her involved. There have been many responses already in here telling you to let it go. There are few suggesting you keep trying, well I'm saying don't bother..don't go visit her, you live as close to her as she lives to you. It's sad, but there are so many Inlaws and parents out there that are like this.....and the the sadder thing is that the siblings that the favoritism is shown to, don't even care because they want it!! So don't let them fool you either, they know exactely what is going on.

Here is my story:
We married in 1985-
We are age 52: my sons are 30 & 27; his daughter is 30.
His siblings:
brothers: age 50, daughter 29(bd same month/day as my oldest son); age 46, with son age 7 (this son was MIL favorite child, and as soon as pregency became known MIL began buying stuff 4 infant);
sister (youngest of siblings)age 42, adopted all -2 girls, ages 4 & 11, boy age 10.

Per my MIL....My 2 children were NOT their grandchildren. They were their sons 2nd wife's children. Not even his step-hildren. They were in no way related to them. But we were expected to attend every holiday at inlaws home w/ rest of siblings and the 2 REAL Granddaughters. Christmas...everyone would get lots of gifts, siblings, GD...me & my sons each rec'd 1. My husband never saw anything wrong with this picture, even though I did, and as my children got older, they noticed too. One year MIL invited us over for GD bd (same as my sons). Cake only had GD name on it she informed G'ma that is should have GS name on it, MIL played "dumb", GD knew better. Needless to say my son didn't get a gift from MIL either. We didn't go to MIL on either of their bd's after that.
Inlaws have been to our home 2 times in the 23 yrs we have been married, lived in same house. Once was to pick up GD to take to Disney World for vacation with gparents(both GD got to go...my sons were not invited); the other was for GD 16th BD party I threw. I was such a nice step-mom, still am.
I was also a nice DIL....but she never realized it till it was to late...she had a stroke, paralyzed her rt side, left her bedridden, on feeding tube, unable to communicate at all. I was the only one to tell her often that she could let go when she was ready..(that's true love for someone you love, who can't get better)...her younger 3 kids told her to get better FOR THEM, till the day she died. After 1 month in nursing home went home w/ daughter-at her instance, lasted 5 months, then she was in & out of hospitals to assisted living..back to hospitals. Yeah siblings visited her often as they lived within 2 miles of her where as we live 60 miles and both work. But I was the one who brought her something every visit, cards, fresh flowers, decorated her rooms, wanted to help her know what time of year it was, brought pictures of her favorite GS (they wouldn't bring him to see her b/c they said it upset him to much)but it meant the world to her. I would go see her twice a week, once after work mid-week, and then on the weekend for 5-7 hrs. "The employees at the facilities would always comment Mrs. D's DIL came to visit." I've been told it's just my nature to be kind and giving. Brought home on hospice I took Fri nite -Sat nite. When we got call that she wasn't going to last the night @ 11pm, I drove down to see her 1 last time, spent 2 hrs w/ her...she wasn't awake, but I know she knew I was there. I had to leave even though I didn't want to. She passed at 6:45 am, she was awake, youngest son /daughter at her side, daughter holding left hand her mom opened her eyes and looked up at her, she yanked her hand away, placed it over her right hand, looked at son, looked down at the foot of bed saw her loving caretaker for past 23 months, gave her a nod with her head, continued to look at her and drew her last 3 breaths.

In the end she knew who Really Cared for her.

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I live it everyday and it breaks my heart. My MIL has daily contact with my niece and nephew but never sees my kids. It's like she has chosen her grandkids and those are the only 2 she makes time for. It has caused problems in my marriage because I feel my husband should confront her. Even if it changes nothing I want her to know it doesn't go unnoticed... We are moving 8 1/2 hours away from her and I could not be happier. I will be closer to my family and my kids will get the grandma love they deserve!!!!!

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Unfortunately, W., your problem is not unique. I can't comprehend how some of these women of sons can just ignore them and their families. As a mother of sons myself, I have made myself a promise that I will *never* be like that when my boys have families.

If I told you my story, it would have your blood boiling. It's sad. These women are missing out on beautiful children and it is just that-- they are missing out. It is their loss. You, unfortunately, can't force your precious child on her. It is a decision that she will have to live with and deal with as a child grows up not even knowing who she is.

Hopefully, your child has plenty of love from you and your family and will want for nothing.

I don't mean to sound harsh, but from after having people like that in our lives, I have tried to learn not to be hurt anymore (which is really hard.)and vowed that my children are not second-class and will not be forced or thrown upon anyone. My in-laws haven't seen us in 5 years and we only live an hour away. My fil has never even seen our daughter who is 4. They didn't even respond to the baptism invitation. My mil showed up anyway just for the ceremony and then left. I even went up to her and asked her if she wanted to join us at the reception. I have stopped sending birthday invitations, etc., since they were ignored anyway. And, the worst part is that there were never any problems-- this is just who and what they are and I guess we have to accept it and move on. They have even now stopped sending the kids birthday cards and gifts. Not that I wanted them after the way they act, but you would think they would want to send their only grandchildren presents.

This is obviously a sore subject for me, but I would advise you to keep your chin up and realize that there is nothing wrong with you or your sweet little one. There is something wrong with her. Maybe she'll come around someday or she'll have to answer to God about her behavior. Go on with your life. Love your child and your husband. Everything will be ok.

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I had not seen your original post, so I'm sorry this is late, but hopefully not TOO late. Have you ever invited your mother-in-law over for a specific date and time, perhaps for lunch? I would certainly give that a try, over and over and over. I believe I would also have a face-to-face conversation with her. Tell her it would mean so much to you and her grandchild if she could make time to visit more often. Let her know you've noticed she doesn't really come by, and you're wondering why. Ask her if there's something you do that somehow offends her, if there's anything you can do to make her more comfortable in your home. I really wouldn't give up until trying that. That way you'll know you did ALL you could. Please consider give this a shot before you decide to just live with it. I'll be rooting for you.

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My in laws rearely visit me and my husband either. I am not saying they don't love us but they go to NY as often as they can to visit their other two grandchildren. I know they love us and the kids but it doesn't change the fact that I am offended too. My suggestion, don't bother anymore. You have done everything that you can to have a relationship with her and you contact her and if she can visit anyone else she should be able to visit you. Just leave it alone and if she contacts you and and wants to visit let her if she doesn't then don't. Your husband has already talked to her about and there isn't much more you can do than that. I am sorry that you and your family are hurt by this but there is only so much begging one person can do.

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Beter late then never. My daughter got it from both directions. Both Grandmas seem to think girls were 2nd class citizens or something. Her paternal grandmother never even saw her (my daughter is now almost 27) because her son said "not mine" (she just looks and acts like him) and now she is gone never knowing what a beautiful and loving grandaughter she had, and even tho my mom had 7 kids her favorites where always the boys and grandsons. Until my father passed 4 yrs ago. Now she realizes that even tho we live 2 1/2 hrs away it is my daugther who calls and visits just to see how grandma is doing, more then the ones who live closer that she has always done for and who usually only call when they want something from her. Since I had to watch my daughter as she was little cry and ask why grandma didn't like her I'm not quite as forgiving as my daughter towards her but she is still my mom. Just make sure your kids know it is your MIL's problem and has nothing to do with them as people. Hang in there and make a family with just your husband and kids if that is what it takes. Best of luck to you all.

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You've had lots of responses W.... I hope you don't feel so all alone with this "issue" now. Thought I'd pitch in with a little different perspective. My hubby and I are the couple that may never have grandkids (our kids aren't getting any younger and don't seem interested in a family), but if we did, we'd love to spend time with them, create great family memories and have wonderful family get-togethers. Oh well, perhaps - we'll have to find grandkids to adopt! I wish all you young mommies the best!

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Hi W.,

All I can think of is to ask her if she has been hurt in any way by you or your husband. If that doesn't go anywhere, just decide how important it is for you and your children to see her. If you feel it is nice for your children to see her and they get something out of it - closeness, fun, etc., then continue making the effert to visit her. If she is nice to your children, then they will have memories with their grandmother that will be with them forever. I understand your frustration & confusion over this. Although my mother-in-law doesn't call us often, I still continue to call her a few times a week. I enjoy talks with her and I know by me doing this she is feeling loved and cared about.

You might try inviting her over for supper every so often and you can also invite her to join you for lunch, or a day at the park. If she declines, then try again a few weeks later, etc.

Good luck and keep your chin up!

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I know this is a late reply, but jsut wanted to say a couple things.
1) My grandmother on my dad's side was like this. She would never watch us kids (but would always watch my cousins) and things like this. Growing up we knew that is just how grandma is. Now as an adult I see her at family get togethers (we usually go to a couple a year), but I don't go out of my way to see her or call her or anything. (She does live 2 hours away)
2) My dad and step-mother are sorta like this. My husband and I had a falling out with my dad and mom when we were first married. We tried to repair it, but it only sorta worked. Then after my mom died I got pregnant with my first and called my dad to tell him and his reply to me was "you're ruining your life!!" They don't see my kids very often unless we take the 2 hour drive to see them. They are busy with life and a teen and tween at home, but they always complain that we are too far away and they don't get to see my kids as often and are not as much a part of my kids life. I realize it is hard to make a drive and have the time to make the drive, but we can't move closer just because they want us to. However, my in laws live 7 hours away and my kids are much closer to them and know/see them more. It used to really bother me (especially since it was my parents), but I've gotten to the point of we'll see them when we do and that is what they've chosen.

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Hi W.. I feel for you more than you know. I have MIL issues as well and have since the day after I met her. If it is important to your husband that she come to your home (or you to hers) then he needs to be the one to have the conversation with her. She is his mother. I understand that your feelings are hurt that she isn't spending the time with your child that she did with your nephew...but she is also a lot older now and being around a toddler might be just too busy for her now. Life isn't fair, to us or our children no matter how hard we try to make it that way and there are just some things we need to accept. For whatever reason she has, she doesn't seem to want to spend a lot of time with you and yours and you need to let go and fill you life with people and places you want to be at and with. When it's important to her you will hear from her. Until then, be busy! And don't cancel the world when she calls either! Your time and plans are valuable and should be respected. Just as you should respect her time and plans. Don't call her...when she wants to see you she will call. The time she looses now with your son is her loss. Best wishes.

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Sorry so late. My grandmother was this way. She had several gifts for the other kids but forgot about 4 of us in my family. She only bought gifts for my brother & sister. Christmas sucked. I remember asking my mom where my presents where but ended up opening my moms or dads. Not that our family got anything great it was usually some kind of gross candy or cookies. But the other grand kids were always good gifts for kids.

I guess you should look at it this way. Most of us can't stand our MIL's and would love them never to visit. Luckily mine doesn't often, only when invited. She is the same way as my grandmother but buys everyone stuff from the thrift stores, Now I'm ok with hand me downs and thrift stuff. But the stuff she buys is stained, wrong sizes, wrong genders & usually something you wouldn't dare barry your dog in. So we look through it take what we want if anything and take it back to the thrift store. I would be greatful if I didn't have to constantly worry about what her mood is does she like us today, or hate us. I have to walk on egg shells around my hubbies entire family. None of them have ever tried to know me.

So I look at it as to bad for them, they are missing out. And someday when she is lonely or needs to move in with someone you can simply say, no! I don't think that's something I want to take on, you never made time for us I don't think I'll have time to take care of you. And be happy. Good Luck with this, Pray about it so that you have peace with it. J.

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Maybe someone said this, but it doesn't sound like she has a problem with you visiting her - you mentioned trying to visit her once a week. Don't worry about her not coming to your house.

A few thoughts:
- My Mom told me when my sister got married that she didn't want to invite her for Thanksgiving because her mother-in-law might want to invite her and she didn't want my sister to feel caught in the middle. I immediately called my sister, who it turns out was hurt that Mom hadn't invited her, and she called my Mom and straightened it out. This was completely out of character for my mother, but she had a difficult MIL and was trying to find her way. Maybe your MIL feels she is imposing when she comes over, which is not true at all but she has other issues from her past that make her feel this way?

- She may feel seeing you guys once a week is plenty. No offense against anyone, but visiting can be taxing and people can run out of things to say. I happen to never run out of things to say, but that's another story.

- Maybe something about your house makes her uncomfortable. I have some relatives/friends homes where I just feel "off" when I am there. I love these people. Love socializing with them elsewhere than their homes - at restaurants, in their backyard, at other people's homes, etc. There is nothing wrong with their homes at all but I am just not myself there. Wierd, huh? I am sure one of them has sort of figured it out but there isn't anything I could ask them to modify for me so I could feel better, nor do I feel it is my place to tell anyone to change their home even if I could put a finger on it. Maybe your MIL just can't relax in your house and there isn't anything you or she can really do about it.

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Hi W., I commiserate with your experiece, my MIL shows almost no interest in our 3 small kids, but my husbands sister (my SIL) who lives next door to us, sees her daily. Then, 5 years ago, she was diagnosed with cancer and I thought things would change. They haven't, and she's dying. She was given 5 years and she's still going, but sadly, she hasn't changed a bit. I have been devastated for years, argued with my husband, and done countless over-the-top nice things for her to try to win her affection. What I've found is that she (as most moms do) has a tight bond with her own daughter and her child. She only has room in her heart for them and doesn't want or need more than what they provide her. She even chooses her daughter over her own son (my husband) and sometimes her own husband! It is tough for me to take as my family is quite close and my mom treats my SIL and her kids (who are even my brothers step-kids) just the same as the rest of the grandkids. My MIL is also very judgemental about our lifestyle, how we raise our kids, everything we do..but the SIL does everything the exact same way her Mom did and that makes her feel vindicated in her judgement. Its taken us years of counseling for me to realize that the only relationships my family really needs is with those people who desire it from us. My family kept telling me 'do you really want to force a relationship, is it really in your kids best interest? If they don't want to spend time with your kids your kids will sense that, kids can tell these things, just keep them away and see them on holidays when the kids won't notice the inequality between grandkids". I know i will always shed tears about it, i always vacilate between forgiveness and anger and resentment. I am human. But i've learned that for my childrens and husbands benefit, i need to stay positive and treat my in laws as kindly as possible and always leave the door open, be hospitable, and speak my truth in love. It is their loss. I try not to let it become personal and remember some people just don't have the desire for meaningful relationships, the heart to do what is right, or the energy to put forth the effort. Whats important is that you forgive them/her, and don't let it draw a wedge between you and your husband and kids. Fact is, your kids will learn from you what a normal relationship is with their grandparents, trust me, they won't miss what isn't there. They will remember the happy times qualitatively, not quantitatively. Whatever you do, protect your kids, don't teach them their relationship is abnormal and put that sadness onto them. Expectations for others' behavior only leads to dissapointment and dashed hopes. Teach your kids to not expect others to act in a pre-conceived way (even if it is the right way by society standards) and they will never be dissapointed by others actions. What a wonderful place to be in the world...it really would be fulfilling and freeing to them (and you) to just accept what they can give and expect no more than that. I'm sure there is still love there, just not the way you imagined it would look. As hard as it is, give up your dream of the perfect in law relaionship cause it takes that desire on both sides, and replace with acceptance of what is actual. Then, you and your family can forgive them and move on to truly being happy. Good luck, trust me, its a daily battle but you will be a better person and your kids too in the end! J.

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Mothers-in-law, or all mothers, are more comfortable with their own daughters. Maybe it's not that she doesn't like to visit you but for some reasons she just feels intimidated by you. It's part of human nature for us women to feel uncomfortable with women who have "taken control" of our sons, whom for years and years we've taken care of, and are always on top of their "list". If I were you, I wouldn't worry too much. She'll come around soon.

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First off W. I want to thank you for writing this request. I didn't see the original post but I have a very similar situation. It broke my heart for the first 18 months of my daughters life. She is now 2 and I have finally come to terms with the fact that if her Grandmother doesn't realize how much she is missing by not spending time with my daughter, it is her loss. Luckily my parents try very hard to make up for it along with other family members. My MIL lives less than a mile from our house and my family who lives 4 hours away see my daughter more often. I have talked to my mother about this and she just can't believe it, she would love to have us that close! My MIL has chosen to spend her free time with my SIL and her 3 kids. That almost hurts more than our being snubbed, that it isn't to all of her grandkids. My husband even called his mother and had a long chat with her about playing favorites unfortunately it didn't do any good. All I can say is I hope that your situation gets better but I have learned that if you learn to not expect anything of them, it doesn't hurt so much.

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Hi W.,
I can relate to your situation. My mom lives an hour away and she watches my son 2 days per week while I work PT. She has withdrawal symptoms if she doesn't see him for a week. My in-laws live 10 minutes away and we rarely see them. Very frustrating. But they are the same way with their daughter & her family who are also nearby us. I don't take it personally and chalk it up to the differences in families. Maybe that's just how she is.
But if you fell there is an issue between your family and her--you may want to just (nicely) put it out on the table by asking her. Depending on her personality, it may help or, it may not. It could make it worse (if that's possible). Do you visit her from time to time? Maybe that's what she wants?

W.,
She is the one missing out. My m-i-l never did much for her kids and or the grandkids. It was all about my stepson dave. She had her favorites. She was not a very caring or loving person. I helped care for her and even then it was hard to get close to her. Her friends came first and even then she was not great with them . They did for her and she did not do alot for them. Before she passed away I had alot of talks with them about her. I got alot of insight into the whys. She was left home alot whileher mom did thigns for herself. She had to take care of her 2 sisters and brotther. Not an excuse btu she was unable to be a good mother since she did not have a good mother. She was just like her mom. She had garage sales and sold family things that had sentimental value. We were upset with how she was not very caring and loving. when she got bad we talked to them at the dementia support group. He told us that not much you can do with someone. She was that way here whole life and with the dieseas she get worse. That she did. The best advice they gave us was that it was not us and was her. You can't change anyone unless they want to. It was emotionally draining but we made it through it. It was not easy but we changed the way we dealt and thought about her. It was her loss. We learned alot and if we would not have gone through all this we would not be as close with the kids. I changed myself as to looking at when i was helping in her care as she was a patient. It is sad but that was the only way to get through it all. Husband had poa and when she went to the nh. we were able to give some of the money to the family members to help them out prior to her passing. She was very in to her things and put herself first always. She would give dave extras and not the others when he was younger. My husband tried to talk toher and she did not care. He said that the other kids would get upset she said I don't care. The only things you can do it be honest with the kids if they ask. Make sure they understand it is nothing that they did it is something wrong with your m-i-l. Once my daughter asked to say and they said no to her. This was when f-i-l was still alive the excuse was what would you do here. But dave was allowed to stay any time he wanted to. She was upset and we just told her that it was there loss. It hurt us also. Goodluck and hang in there. She may never put you or your family first and or cahnge. The best advice I can offer is to move on with your lives without her if she does not want to come and vist that is her loss. Visit her when you can.

Hopefully she will realize that she is missing out sooner rather than later. My MIL is not involved in our lives much either and has chosen this due to a strained relaiotnship with my husband. To offer some hope I will share with you that my grandmother (my father's mother) was not very close to me and my brothers growing up she lived out of state until I was about 6 or 7 but even when she did move back to CT she was not an active grandparent. I did notice that once she became a Great grnadmother she was SUPER involved, she showers her great grandchildren with presents and makes them brownies and hand crafted beautiful things. She has given me (her only granduagter) senitmental heirlooms for my home and children- a baptism gown that my father wore and a serving dish that belonged to her mother. She is 85 years old and lives walking distance to my house she is very active and healthy and has even babysat for my kids on occasion for short periods of time. She has like 11 great grandchildren now and can't get enough of them my two sons are adopted and she loved an accepted them just as she would if they were born in the family. I really do not recognize this woman she was not like that for us as a grandmother and I sort of missed out on that but I am happy that my children have her. I don't know the reason why your MIL is not involved with your children and as she has been involved with her other grandchildren. I think maybe in my grandmother's case it took her several years to get over the loss of my grandfather and to feel comfortable in the role as grandmother. She knows as she gets older and all the things she will miss out on and she has re prioritized and put family as one of the top priorities. I am glad that she did. I hope you MIL makes some changes before she becomes a great grandmother in your case!

I have the same situation with my mother in law. It used to bother me the first 12 years I was with my husband she visited once a year and never even seen our first apartment. I was shocked because I would never want my adult son to live somewhere I never saw (My husband was 17 and I was 20 at the time).

I now am 40! I can count on 2 hands and a half of foot how many times she has been to our house in the last 20 years.

I have a 7 year old now who sees her every couple of months. It really affected me because my mother had passed away a couple of years before he was born. Her visits increased since he has been around (twice a year).

You can't make someone want. You can't make someone be considerate of your feelings. You can control yourself and your own emotions.

I always wanted a close relationship with her but it is hard now when for the first 10 years of me being a part of her family we rarely spoke and went out once maybe twice alone together during that time.

It was strange and awkward when we did go out. Those couple of times. She has been very supportive since the birth of my son and I have questioned if it is genuine or not but I will take what I can get I guess.

I have learned your "family" is who you are loved by on a daily basis and that can be a blood relitive or a great friend who stick by the hard times.

As I have become older and my own family has drifted apart you really learn to embrace the relationships you build on everyday.

Hope it helps.

We have been going through the same thing. My father in law is 15 min away and retired. My mother in law still works full time, but still only lives 15 min away. They are divorced. We have four kids with a 10 year gap between the two sets of kids. They are 16, 12, 2yr, and 2 months. They do things with the older kids, but the babies are hardly ever visited. Not to mention I am mostly a stay at home mom with a husband who works 12-14 hours a day. They know that I am home ALL THE TIME. They never set up a time to "just visit" when they pick up the older kids they don't even pop in to say hello or to just glance at the baby. One time they called and wanted to come by in 10 min and the house was wall to wall toys, it was just about dinner time and bath time, not to mention, I was still in my pj's (yeah at 5pm:) So, I told them right now is not the best time. Last night my husband asked my F-I-L about this and he said "they are busy" They invite us to come to there house but lets face it dragging four kids out and one is a newborn and a toddler learning to use the potty....I think they should visit us. We lived out of state for 6 years and now I understand "why" We will be moving out of state again in the future. They visited more when they had to take a plane to see us. www.livegreeneasy.com

PS my mother in law bought a car seat a month ago....lets see how long until she gets together with my 2 year old.

W.,

I understand your frustrated feelings about the visits. When I had my daughter, my in-laws and my parents had to fight who would get get her on the weekends. At the time she was the only grandchild.

Since I had my son, my in-laws have practally disappeared. It also didn't help that my SIL had a daughter 3 months after my son. They are doing the same thing with her as they did with my daughter. They always have her. They even when they do visit us they have her.

It is kind of funny, my husband and I moved back to Delaware we ended up only 3 blocks away from my SIL (we didn't know where she was living at the time we moved) and my in-laws would visit her at her boyfriends parents house. ( That is where she was living) but couldn't drive the 3 blocks to visit us at all.

I would get really angry. My parent would always include both of my children, but my in laws only wanted my daughter. That stopped when I said you take one you take both.

I can truly say that my in laws have most likely spent just over 24 hours with my son in the last 4 years. I give it an attuide that my husband has about it. And that is I don't give a damn. I don't even tell them when things are happening with the kids anymore. If it slips out, so what but we don't go out of our way to tell them.

So I would forget about your mother in law! If she isn't going to make the effort than you should either. If you have your parents and they are making an effort then focus on them. As long as they have one set of grandparents that care that is all they need.

Once you let go. You will feel so much better about yourself and your family. I know I did.

Good Luck

A.

Well it seems like we are all in the same boat. My in-laws where very limit in between visits. Then my in-laws split and then i see more of my fil then mil. Which is fine with me. Then i also have it where my own dad doesn't do to much with my own children. But is there to step in for the other grandkids. (my parents are divocred and dad is remarried). But i look at it, that it is their own fault. They are the ones missing out and my childeren know how much they are loved.

hi W.! i guesss i have a few questions first....does your husband express that he is upset about his mom not coming? are you upset because you want a closer relationship with her or because you feel you son is being slighted? i have had worse scenarios and all i know is that it is better for me and my family not to build up HURT feelings. If you want the relationship for you or your son, then be the bigger person and go see her once a week. If it doesn't matter to you or your husband then let her go (as well as the hurt feelings)and if she comes around GREAT and if she doesn't, that would be her loss to miss out on time with her family. God bless!
N.

Please don't let it bother you. Mine does the same thing, it is like they have favorites. My children are never invited over there....yet the other grandchildren all sleep over etc. My grandmother on my dad's side used to do it to us kids ALL the time. I just vent to my mom occasionally and we laugh about it. I think it is more common than we think...and my older kids already notice the difference...

I know it feels terrible but know that there are others out there in the same spot. (it took me until my oldest was 12 to be able to blow it off with a laugh!!)

I agree with Ting G-except the feeling hurt part-he's all yours so have a blast on your own-while he's still young- to enjoy it before he's a teenager and he doesn;t want anyones time.lol.

I guess alot of people are in the same boat we are. My mother in law does the same thing. the only diference is she has cancer and has good days and bad days, she takes the good days and does gardening goes to my sister in laws or cleans her already clean(very clean) house. We are the last ones on the list.and I dont know whan she feels good to just pop in. I dont know what to tell you but try not to get too hurt over it, she is the one missing out, at least thats what I try to think. good luck and stay strong.

I can speak on both sides of the issue. Whe my mother in law lived in town we were "told" what to do what church to attend, where to live, and how to raise our oldest son". With respect I tried to ignore this and not be hurt. I was treated as a queen when I was pregnant and like dirt when the baby was born. Well I was never so happy when she moved out of state. Well she was still close enough to cause tenstion but now lives 10 hours away and I have never been in her home. Nor do I have the desire to visit. I aslo have no money to do so. She reteanly forgot our youngest son's birthday as if he never was born. My mother did the same thing. I lived for 20 plus years 8 houses down and across the dtreet and My mother has been to my sister's new condo more times since her divorce (since Jan 09) than she was at my home.Same with my oldst son who only lives 5 houses down from her. My family is not close and honestly it suits me just fine. I try but after awhile it gets old being the only one to make an effort. She will be the one to suffer in the long run. I know it's hard to explain to the kids. My boys are marginally okay with my mother and cannot stand my mother in law. They have no desire to see their father's mother. They will be social if they have too but she is so rude at times they could care less.

Hi W., as a mother of two girls with a huge gap between them, I try to be careful to stop and talk to my 25 YO to let her know what we did together while she was growing up. If I try to cuddle the baby and she breaks away, I mention to the older one she was the cuddler. One may think she is beyond her years of jealousy, but over the years, I have learned that jelousy is for everyone. When I raised my older daughter it was just the two of us and we were very tight for money, however, I took her everywhere I could. She was spoiled with love and I would often at the spur of the moment take her for a drive to LA, the beach, or for a ski trip. That was about all I could afford, but we have lots of memories together. As for the second one, I spoil her just as much, but I am able to buy her much nicer things than the other one and can afford things differently. It all seems so little, yet it is things I worry that the older one will feel as if she had the more difficult childhood, in which she did. I can't change that and am thankful she seems to be understanding.

So I often worry that I am not doing enough to be sure my older one know she was just as loved, so I wonder why a mother would leave one child out as you explained. My MIL does that choosing one over the other thing too. There are only two kids and when they separated, they each took one kid. Both parents show that favoritism to their adult children and their grandchildren. I can see it all so clearly and I don't understand. However, as a result, my daughter has never been close to her. She tries to pop in and grab hold of her and love her and my daughter pushes her away. She will play with her and visit her, but I don't see the connection she has with my mother and his father. Even as a baby, she tried to feed her and my daughter threw the food and it splattered everywhere. She was never comfortable with her and I feel it is just because she never got to know her. My daughter asks for my mom and his dad ALL the time and will talk on the phone with them, but not his mother. None of this is encourage, it is just the way it is.

I am a photographer on the side. I photographed this 80th birthday party for a woman named Rose who was a great aunt to all the children at the party (about 10). I asked if she would mind sitting on the steps with all the children surrounding her and that spunky little thing climbed right up there with no hassle. All the kids wanted to sit right next to her, above her and below her. They just wanted to be close to her. May we all stive to be just like Aunt Rosie.

Obviously your mother-in-law feels more comfortable visiting her daughter than her daughter-in-law. I don't know what the reason is, or anything else about your relationship, except that this obviously hurts you or you wouldn't be writing.

I'm not sure it's a question of how you "should" feel, but rather an issue of how you DO feel. It hurts to feel as if you aren't loved as much as other family members, and it's hard to think that your own child may not get the benefit of Grandma's time that other grandchildren have had. On the other hand, remember that she drove weekly to her daughter's for 10 years. This grandmom is not as young as she was then, and it may be that her energy level is not what it was. It may not be inconvenience as much as it is that she is slowing down, and doesn't feel safe driving as much as she did, and doesn't want to admit it. 17 years of grandmomming means she must be in her 60's or more . . . While you may have to suck up some pain, try to think through how she is feeling, and maybe it has nothing to do with love, and everything to do with the aging process. :-)

On the other hand, it's nice to keep grandparents, or to assist in keeping them somewhat involved with their grandchildren. Even if she doesn't visit regularly, maybe you guys as a family could stop by once a month of something -- Mom and Dad together, so you all get to visit -- bring the meal if you think it's too much for your mo-in-law. And you can certainly send her e-mails on a fairly regular basis, some with pix, and some not, so she stays involved.

You can keep the door open, but you can't make anyone walk through it. Just be as accepting as you can, and find friends who can help to fill your time, and things to do so you aren't pining away for her attention. Find a Moms group and get involved. Check out a church and meet other young moms. Try the YMCA - they have programs for mom and babies. Do things that will help you to be involved with people as a mom with a little one, and enjoy your son. He will grow up so quickly, and for now, just savor every opportunity you have to enjoy him.

Hello W.,

I think you should just wait and let her contact you because its not "fair" that you have to always try and contact her to see her own grandkids. Dont feel obligated or guilty because if she isnt willing to take the time to get to know her own son's kids. All you can do is realize its not your fault because you have tried as hard as you can and no matter what you do- she will not change unless she wants to. Maybe there is some reason in her own mind for not coming around, but she probably wont admit it to you or her son. Also one day she may regret that she didnt spend more time with the kids and maybe then she will come around. Good Luck :)

A.

You know, my mother in law is the same way too. After my first son was born, I did my best to make sure we went to visit them on a regular basis and told her over and over again that she is welcomed to visit any day she'd like. She has come over maybe 5 times in the last 3 1/2 years and twice it was well past bedtime and the kids were already sleeping. Whenever we are invited to their house, we go. But is seems that she never has the ability to come see us. She also has a grand daughter a little older than our son whom she always seems to be taking places or just keeping at her house... My husband and I have talked about it, I told him that it hurt my feelings I am tired of making all the effort. He actually agrees and basically we have agreed that it is her loss. Yes, it would be great for our kids to have a more involved grand mother, but there comes a point when it can not be a one sided effort. I have reached that point. If she invites us over, I go if I can, but if there is already something pending or it's going to get in the way of bedtimes I just don't go. While I don't know if this is the right thing to do or not, I just have to figure that if she wanted to see the kids more, she would. So, although I have no real advice, I know how you feel and can empathize. I feel like my kids are second fiddle and it's an awful thing to feel for your children. I just dread the day when they are able to realize it for themselves.

Wow, can I relate to what you are going through. I have a 5 y/o a 3 y/o and a 2 week old. My husband and I got a late start to our family and for his mother; our kids are her 11th, 12th and 13th grandkids. For the first several years I was completely offended that she seemed so disinterested in our kids. She seemed so much more involved with the other kids. Part of the problem is that she & I have a personality conflict. There is a part of her that wanted him to marry his high school sweetheart (the daughter of her friend). He dated her about 15 years before he & I met. She can take trips to Cape May and they drive to Florida every winter but to come visit us is out of the question. Anyway, I finally learned that there was nothing I could do to change the way she interacts with us and our kids. The bottom line is that, it is her loss. I focus on the attention that the kids get from my Mother and know that they have one active and involved grandparent no matter how frustrated I am with my mother-in-law.

I hope this helps, let me know if you want to chat more.
____@____.com

R.

I'm with you, sister. :) My mother in law flew to California (bought her own ticket) to watch her daughter's son for two weeks while my SIL and her husband went on a cruise, and was day to day 12-14 hour a day daycare for my husband's ex wife's children - who are still invited over there on a weekly basis. Now that my SIL lives closer, my MIL goes to her house (still a 2 hour drive each way) to babysit on the weekend, and often stays a week or so. My two (really just one, my little one is too young to go unsupervised) are never invited. Ever.

They are closer to my family, 800 miles away, than they are to my husband's mother, who lives 15 minutes away - and they only see her when she asks if my dsd can come over (because no, she isn't going to be able to come without the boys seeing the gma) or if she calls and asks me to take her somewhere or bring her something (which we always do).

Babysit? You have GOT to be kidding. I pay someone almost $200 a week to watch my kids so I can work, while she has trouble making her house payment - but they are too much work to watch. (Again - for the three year old, it's totally true... very high maintenance kid. For the older one, though - he is like a miniature adult)

Ah well, life goes on. :) I'm with you - it's nice to know we're not alone.

i have a similar situation, we live minutes away from my inlaws and across town from my family. my family is over weekly (at least!) to help out. i have 21/2 yr. old twins and 1 due any day. my inlaws are rarely around. they don't offer to help and never just stop by to visit.other grand kids have gone shopping w/ gram on special occasions or boys have gone on walks in the woods w/ grandpa. there have been many sleep overs we were not included in, it goes on and on. my sister in law is always saying how we should do play dates and how good her son would be to keep yhe kids busy after school but they have yet to come over.... i have asked for help and been turned town one too many times and have come to the conclusion that it is there loss. you can only try so much. my twins will be 3 in may! i gave up a long time ago w/ my inlaws.it is sad for the kids though. my kids adore my family and they have never let me down. they teach them things and are involved in everything we do.

We have similar experiences within our families. My SIL lives less than a mile from us, yet we rarely see her. My MIL and my other SIL visit her pretty often but unless it is a holiday, birthday party, or a general gathering we host we are never included in the plans. At first I was hurt, but I really don't think they are being malicious. We have known each other for years and we get along well. I just think that moms and daughters and sisters have special bonds and so they don't often think of including others outside of that circle.

On my side of the family, my brother and his wife are closer to her family. My brother lives about 10 miles away from my parents who happen to live only a mile from my SIL's parents. They see her parents every week or two but they only see my parents at holidays and parties, so sometimes many months pass between visits. There is also tension between my brother and his wife and my parents. It has been long running and nobody knows how it started. Each side has been hurt by the other but nobody will sit down to talk about it, so it never gets resolved.

To sum it all up, I have come to have low expectations about being included in the lives of certain family members. It took a little time to arrive at that, but I am happier since accepting it. I do my own thing; I don't keep score; I don't take it personally. If I want to visit, I call and see if it is okay. If I want to host a party I make the invitation calls. If I want to plan a play date with my kids and their cousins, I set it up. When the invitations are accepted we have a good time. So my suggestion to you would be to make efforts to include your inlaws in your life. Maybe you don't want to do it once a week - maybe once a month is better for you. Don't dwell on their their actions or lack of action and certainly don't write them out of your life. To fill the void, hang out with other family and friends that you are truly close to who enjoy being with you. Good luck!

My heart goes out to you as I am very familiar with this struggle and the heartbreak it brings with it. I won't leave a long message as so many other moms posted good advice but I wanted to thank you for sharing your story and let you know you are definitely NOT ALONE on this one.

Sometimes we just have to accept that people do not mesh, whether in a family or not. There could be various reasons why your MIL does not visit, things you may not be privy to. Do you have a good realtionship with your parents? It is rare (in my experience) that both sets of grandparents are equal in time spent with their granchildren. Growing up we always spent time with my father's parents, not my mothers and they were only 2 miles away from my other grandparents! But as kids, we could have cared less. Right now we have to deal with the fact that family members will drive right by our house, have so for YEARS and never stop, always us going to them. We curbed that some and when they come, they come. Have you ever offered to take your children over to her house for a few hours and visit with her that way? There are many ways around this situtation that you could come up with if you excluded the emotional state of things you have placed yourself in. You are taking it personal and I seriously doubt it has anything to do with you. The more you dwell on it, the more you build it up into something it may not be. You have better ways to spend your time.

Hi W.: People are strange....Just keep inviting the in-laws and other family to the events that you celebrate. If they don't accept the invitation, it is their anal situation. Please just extend love and an open heart, and do not allow this poor behavior ruin your marriage or life with your own children.
If you knew my mother in law, who is now dead, you'd cringe...Many Blessings to you, stay open-minded and god bless us all!

I would encourage you that the sort of bitterness that comes from the adults in a family causing strife by their favoritism is imperative to get rid of if possible. Perhaps asking a sibling to include you in events at their house, so that you both will have time with the grandparents would be helpful for your children, so that they don't notice that she won't visit. I would keep this between adults, so that any bitterness does not spread to the younger generations. I hope that this does go away and perhaps even privately letting your mother-in-law know how you feel would be a way for you to give her the chance to change.

W. someone needs to make the first step and maybe you can break to tradition in your motherlaw it will give you both a chance to get to know one another? you be the bigger person and reach out the lord will be very please with you for the step you make. much love C.

W. K one thing I have to ask of you not that it should matter but is your sister-in-law her daughter? Maybe she feels that she is imposing on you because she is your mother-in-law and not your mother. Maybe there is a great miscommunication here. Maybe if the three of you sit down and have a heart to heart you can really work this out. If it turns out to be anything else just remember it is her loss that she does not see what a wonderful little guy her grandson is.Sometimes it is better to deal with this then other issues. I am sorry that you have to go through this. I wish you and your family well.

W.,
Your post sounds like my life. My in laws never come to visit or call to ask for our son (unless invited). He is 17 months old, the youngest grandchild. The rest are 16, 10 and 13. My step-daughter is 13 and they have her over and do things with her and with my sister in laws kids too (whom we do not have ANY contact with-her choice). I come from a huge family of Italians and every weekend it was dinner and the grandparents with all the cousins. My husbands family is very selfish and ignorant and we both have come to the conclusion that we have to accept it and try not to change them and they are who they are. They do come when invited and for my sons birthday but the rest of the family does not even acknowledge my son at all. Not even a card for his birthday or for Christmas. My sister in law is good friends with my husbands ex wife. However I get along with the ex wife just great. Very sad situation... and my God does it piss me off to no end but I do not let them know it. We have tried talking and arguing and ignoring etc.... So now we have just accepted that his parents, sister and brrother are the way they are. It is just sad that what ever issue there is (I am the new wife-going on 3 years now) that the kids have to be in the middle. So, my advice is, try real hard to not let it get to you. I know, it is very hard and it hurts, but you have to for your own sanity. You can't change your inlaws.
Good Luck
Chris

My husband and I have been married for 4yrs this November and my mother in law has only visited us twice (to go to a funeral once and to visit when my son was released from the NICU). If we see my in laws we have to go to GA (2hrs away)because everyone asks as if they either don't know how to get here or nobody wants to drive. My mother in law treats my kids different than her other grandkids (my kids r the last grandkids), she buys them stuff but she will not come to their birthday parties or just to visit like she did when my brother in law lived here (they r now in Japan), she lets me know that she misses the granddaughter in Japan but I really don't care because I see it as she's missing out not me.

My MIL from my first marriage was a bizarre woman with obvious favorite grandchildren. They're out there, and it has nothing to do with you or your kids.
If it benefits you and the kids, make the effort.(even if it's not reciprocated)
This is a good reminder for us as mothers to not neglect our son's families when we are grandmothers. Mothers tend to visit their daughters families more often. It takes a bit more to create a closeness with a DIL/MIL, but it can be rewarding. Especially for the kids.

I always say that there are two sides to every story, and in a situation like this, I like to try and put myself in the other person's shoes. Have you ever asked yourself WHY your mother-in-law will visit other family members, but will not stop and visit you guys? Be completely honest here! For example, could you or your husband have done something to offend her?

If you can honestly answer the last question with a resounding "no", and your husband has already communicated to his mother that you guys DO, in fact, want her to come and visit you, then I would have to say that you are doing your part. Unfortunately, we can not force someone to want a relationship with us or our children. (F.Y.I., I have the same problem, but with my own parents, so I can sympathize with your pain.)

This is how I decided to look at this- would you rather have your current situation, or a mother-in-law like MARIE from EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND?!

I am a grandmother and so far my oldest daughter is the only child who has given birth, I was at all these births and was the first to hold all of them, I have a strong bond with all of these kids, I also feel very close because my daughter has been in school and I try to make sure the kids have everything they need.
My second daughter married into two little girls, they have been in the family since they were very young. I feel these girls have everything they need and I don't see them as much as the others, but they have two other grandparents who don't even see them as much as I do all live in the same area!! They are my grandkids too, but they are blessed with everything they need, so my role is smaller in their lives. This daughter is going to have her first birth in July, I'm sure the bond will only strengthen.
I have a 16 year old son, I do see how you can feel that you can't interfere with the way a daughter in law conducts her family. It seems that you might feel more like company than family. I'm hoping that won't happen, so far my son's choice of girlfriends has made it easy to feel comfortable with her.
I know that I felt comfortable with my MIL until my kids were born, she felt that she needed to tell me how to take care of my babies, I had looked forward to being a mother so much, that this bothered me and we have had a strained relationship since. She's also one of those people who really don't know what to do with babies, this is my favorite time! So maybe thats the problem here.
A suggestion I have is to maybe have something for her to do with the child when you invite her over. Maybe it seems like an uncomfortable interview when she's there. Play games as a family, drag out some playdough and sit around the kitchen table, make cookies and let them share in the decorating, bring out some childrens books that she can read to him. Remember that she's only human and she M. not feel comfortable yet, find a way to make it more comfortable for her. You said that you visited her, this is more comfortable for her since you are on 'her turf'. Your son is still young, she might be more comfortable when he is older, I feel the bonding is less this way, but lots of people really don't understand babies. I hope this gives you some insight, it's hard to give advice when you don't know the people personally.

Sorry to be a late post. Just saw this and must tell you--let it go. It is an old sad, story.

My MIL actually told my mother that she felt like her daughters children were more her grandchildren and her sons (and mine) were my mothers grandchildren!!!! That was fine with mother and me, but hard on my husband and children.

Just try to make the best of the situation and realize that she will not change and even her son can't make her visit if she doesn't want to..
God bless.

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