Post # 1
I find it pretty odd. My FIs family always caught up once a week for an hour or two. His parents would organise. His sibling and partner would sometimes come, sometimes not..they were quite elusive and after awhile it became a BIG DEAL for them to show up. Family wasn’t a priority fto them and they were very difficult to organise things with so we stopped trying after awhile and it became a regular catch for FIs parents, Fiance and I.
Fast foward a few years, the sibling has had a baby and now wants babysitting help at least once a fortnight from FI’s parents. Now they suddenly seem interested in seeing FI’s parents much more often. Here’s the catch..Fiance and I get left out of it all.
Where FIs parents used to message everyone on the day to organise the catch up, now its just silence. Fiance usually texts his parents and asks what is happening, do they want to catch up and is told that they are already in the middle of / have planned a catch up with the sibling, wife and baby already and and we are welcome to come. But we are never included in the planning of it.
I find it offensive now FIs parents have a better offer, we are forgotten. Also that the sibling never thinks or cares to ask us to come along. We have always been way more flexible and willing to move things to accommodate family catch ups. Occassionally, FIs parents seem to realise Fiance and I are feeling left out and will try and make alternate plans to see us. But it feels like a booby prize. Like we weren’t really wanted in the first place but they must now do it out of obligation and fairness.
What should we do? On the one hand, I know we could just have an adult conversation about how it feels. But I want them to want to see us…not because we feel bad. And on the other hand, I’m tempted to just move on with my life and eventually let them realise they miss us. What do do?
Post # 2
shadows9x : To be honest you guys probably can’t compete with a grandchild. My parents love, love, love their grandkids. I joke with my parents because I’ve seen them literally play chasey and hide and seek with their grandkids when they never did that with us, their children. Its pretty funny when you see your pretty straight laced, almost 80 year old dad scramble to find a hiding place whilst playing hide and seek with his 6 grandkids.
Your in-laws do extend the invitation eventually to you from the sounds of things. I’d give them the benefit of doubt that maybe the plans were last minute or maybe they know that BIL/SIL don’t particularly enjoy spending a lot of time with you and your partner and are trying to have a relationship with both of you whilst creating a buffer between you guys and the BIL/SIL?
I’d also like to add that I have loads of siblings and we often will only do stuff with my parents and not invite all the other siblings to the occasion because a simple catch up can get bigger than Ben Hur. My siblings do the same and we all understand.
If it really is an issue for you then sit down and have a chat about it with the in-laws. They might not realise they are doing this or they might give you valid reasons why. Maybe your BIL/SIL are the ones making plans with your in-laws and as a result your in-laws do not feel right extending an invite to a catch up that was extended by themselves. Who knows but if they’ve been good people up until this point I’d give them the benefit of doubt before getting hurt and cutting or limiting contact.
Post # 3
Pp is right l think. You just can’t compete with a grandchild, and not producing one can, as l know to my pain too, result in finding yourselves somehow relegated to the edges.
Pretty much the only way out of it is to be the ones who issue the invitations to your place, or so l have found.
Post # 4
Can you just plan your own get-togethers with them? Like invite them over to your place?
Post # 5
I don’t think you’re competing with the sibling, you’re competing with the grandchild. And the grandchild is always going to win. I wouldn’t take it personally at all. Start inviting them to your place.
Also, how old is the grandchild and is it their first? Our niece is 9 months old and my Mother-In-Law sees them 3x a week still and only sees us once every few weeks, even though we live 2 minutes away from her. My SIL has not come over since our niece was born – we aren’t offended, it is harder to go to other people’s houses or have larger groups over when you are trying to stick to a sleep/feed schedule with an infant. I’m not surprised that get togethers with the entire family aren’t being regularly planned.
Post # 6
Agree with PP… there is just something about grandchildren. In the 8 years since I moved out with my husband about 40 minutes away, my parents came to visit just a handful of times for special occasions. Admittedly, we were always busy or lazy, and didn’t make much of an effort to visit either. Since having my baby, for the first 2-3 months, they came over 3x a week and we see them at least weekly now. It’s alllll about the grandchild, not their own children for some reason.
If you guys want to see them weekly, surely something can still be arranged? They can’t be tending to the grandchild every day of the week, right? Why can’t something be planned in addition to the time they spend with the sibling just the 4 of you like you used to do?
Post # 7
Ah, the lure of a grandchild. All the fun of having a child without the responsibility – grandparents get to play with the grandchild and then give the child back to the parents.
As far as I can see you have three options:
1. Be offended – repeadedly and continually.. Gnaw at the bone of resentment with enthusiam for the next 21 years. By that time the child will be grown up and the grandparents will either be exhausted (and back to visiting you) or dead. You will have won in the end. You will have the last (and possibly the only) laugh.
2. Get used to being the booby prize. Enjoy the freedom from family gatherings and all those text messages. Learn kite-surfing. Travel to far-flung places. Dine with friends. Play the clarinet. Spend your weekends doing more of the sort of activities that you wouldn’t want your future inlaws to interrupt (i.e. sex). Know that your FI’s sibling and partner will be too sleep deprived to do any of these things.
3. If you can’t beat them then join them. Become pregnant with quadruplets. That will certainly bring your future Mother-In-Law and Father-In-Law running.
Post # 8
I don’t think it’s unusual for a young couple without children to have their own social life and plans that would preclude an every week family gathering. It’s natural that after they had a child that they would want the baby to spend more time with the grandparents, and it sounds as if they also babysit. I don’t think they are leaving you out if that is the case.
Post # 9
I’m really not sure what you are upset about? They invite you to come and they still make time for you, just not as much… Of course they are going to want to spend more time with their grandchild. Grandchildren trump all.
If you are really that offended by it, start making your own plans with his parents then for the following week. Don’t wait until the last minute to ask them what is going on (which it sounds like you do). You can either make plans and be proactive with them or keep.complaing about how they don’t seem to be making time for you.
I don’t think the past in this situation is relevant when it comes to grandchildren, it doesn’t matter.
If it was me, I would take them up on their offer to join them. You get to see a cute baby and maybe it will start to help repair your relationship between the siblings.
Post # 10
I think all the PP’s got it right. Once grandchildren come along, the children of the grandparents practically cease to exist in some cases. Your Brother-In-Law and his family get more attention because they have a baby. This is normal. Don’t let your feelings get hurt over it. Instead, plan somethinng with your inlaws that only adults can do. Or join in on the fun and bond with your niece/nephew.
ETA: It’s also not uncommon for the more “elusive” family members to become much more family oriented once they start having children. It’s not just about having a babysitter. It’s about having a support system and sense of family for yourself and your child.
Post # 11
My sister is due to give our parents their first grandbaby this summer. My sister and I live a 1-minute drive from each other but I bet we will hardly ever see my parents or get included as they will just be interested in the new grandbaby. I expect if we want to see them we will have to organise something ourselves.
Post # 12
Why don’t you call them ahead of time and plan something then? You are capable of making plans separately, without his sibling involved.
Maybe SIL is uncomfortable breastfeeding in front of a bunch of people, or maybe she has PPD, maybe Brother-In-Law just doesn’t like you guys that much. Who knows.
You can’t compete with a grandchild. I wouldn’t even try.
Post # 13
When/if you have a kid of your own, you will understand that the kid brings grandparent so much more joy than you and your partner ever could at this time in point. I’m not being mean. It’s just a fact of life. You should probably just be happy that your partner’s sib had a baby and spend more time with the family instead of feeling offended. I guarantee you that no one else is thinking about this besides you. There’s a new baby in the picture, everything else is forgotten.