If you give to one, surely you give to the other?

(74 Posts)
Shelly32 Tue 26-Mar-13 23:02:05

Had a real issue with MIL this weekend over fairness. We were over with our DDs and their three cousins were also over. At the end of the day whe the three boys were off home, I caught her trusting £5 into their hands and asking them to 'SShhh!'. I assumed she wanted to surprise our girls with the same later when we left. The boys didn't Shh about it and told me and their cousins what they were going to spend it on. The girls didn't get their 'pocket money' and the Shhhing was obviously MIL trying to hide the fact she'd given them money. MIL is one of the wealthiest people I know and although I'd never expect her to give my girls pocket money, if she's going to give one set of grandchildren pocket money, in pretty much full view, shouldn't she give all of them? I felt really over protective of my girls and spoke with DH who didn't see anything wrong with it. To me it's really odd behaviour and it made me really cross, but maybe IABU...

DoJo Wed 27-Mar-13 13:38:10

From your OP YABU - you don't say that there is a history of unfairness in which case you have no reason not to believe that this will all even out in the end as stated. Children do have to learn that they aren't always treated the same and sometimes other children will get things that they don't have and vice versa. Being able to wait for their 'turn' to be on the receiving end is a useful lesson. If this is not the first time that it has happened then YANBU, although (as you have acknowledged) your response was inappropriate.
I don't see the need for a confrontation - could you now just say to your MIL 'If you're going to treat one lot of grandchildren and not the other, could you make sure they don't see as it makes them feel bad' and leave it at that - no accusation, no demands for money and no reason for your MIL to have to justify it as you aren't specifically accusing her of treating one set of GC over another.

ClartyCarol Wed 27-Mar-13 12:59:04

I think YANBU at all, and I'm flabbergasted that people can be so insensitive to their own families.

I think you really do need to say something the next time there is any favouritism demonstrated. It needn't be confrontational - as a pp said, a simple " Would you mind not doing that in front if the girls, it's not really fair on them," can't cause offence.

Good luck!

Shelly32 Wed 27-Mar-13 12:30:44

I don't think you're being a wimp. Confrontation in families isn't pleasant so I can see why you'd want to avoid it.
Does she have to give SIL a break on the one day you work? Couldn't she do it on other days and have your children on her own for one day?
My parents have the girls three mornings a week so that I can work.The afternoons they are in nursery. MIL did offer but then said she couldn't do it regularly. I couldn't mess my parents or nursery about and chop and change to suit whenever she could fit them in so she doesn't look after them at all either. She does find time to look after her other GC though and their mother doesn't work...

chocoflump Wed 27-Mar-13 11:10:43

I've never actually sat down and explained to her how I feel. Maybe I'm just a wimp and hate confrontation but I think my DH should say something, it's his mother and they are his children too.

I've given her plenty of opportunity to spend time with them, even asking if she would mind looking after them one day a week when I go back to work, to which she said she would, and that she would bring the other two with her. This will not be happening as 1. She's in her 60's with arthritis- I think looking after 4 under 4's would b a bit much! And 2. She wants to do this in my house-it's cramped enough with my two never mind 4 kids running around! confused

When I said this she said that the other two are used to being with her during the week and she likes to take them to give their mum a break as its not easy on her having two so close in age. So basically I had to agree to it or she wouldn't look after them.

I guess she won't be looking after them then sad

Shelly32 Wed 27-Mar-13 10:42:55

Chocoflump Have you ever mentioned how you feel to her? What is it with some men and their mothers??!!

Shelly32 Wed 27-Mar-13 10:41:04

chocoflump sad It is maddening but also quite tragic. It's sad for all our DC but at the end of the day, it's MILs' loss. Maryz advice on how to protect the children is wise (about 20 posts back).

pigletmania Wed 27-Mar-13 10:40:00

Choco shock that is unacceptable, dh should b on to his parents case about it

chocoflump Wed 27-Mar-13 10:31:36

Shelley, my MIL is the same and just like your DH, mine sees no problem with it.

She has two grandsons from DHs brother and one grandson and one granddaughter from us. DHs brother lives ten minutes away from her, we live approx an hour away. She sees the other two every day. Their mother doesn't work as the father has a good job, yet she takes the boys daily to spend quality time with them. My children are lucky if they see her once a month. When she comes to visit us, she brings the other two with her, so the kids can play together. When we visit her, they are at her house. This means she never spends quality time with our children. She takes the other two on day trips to the cinema etc. she's never taken mine anywhere, never offered to look after them or anything.

I thought it might change when we gave her her first granddaughter last year. But to be honest she has no interest in her granddaughter. She doesn't talk to get or pick her up, just ignores her.

Drives me mad, I wish we never had to see her again. sad

pigletmania Wed 27-Mar-13 10:30:00

Good on you for saying something shelly, you have to. There was a thread at Christmas whereby op mother treated her gc by op better than op adopted son. Her mother had bought Christmas resents for all op Chidren accept for her adopted ds sad. Op refused te gifts and sent them back an fell out with her mother over it as she refused to acknowledge the adopted ds as part of te family sad du to not sharring biology.op does not speak to her mother anymore quite rightly. It has to be dealt with

pigletmania Wed 27-Mar-13 10:23:18

I think next tim if I happens again I would say to her would you mind not doing that in front of the girls it's not fair on them

Shelly32 Wed 27-Mar-13 10:11:42

pigletmania I'm hoping that the conversation that DH had with MIL has at least made her think about it. Whether she believes she's in the right or not, at least she knows that it's been noticed. I was actually thinking I was in the wrong about expecting MIl to be more fair but now I can see how this has affected some people and will not let it go untackled next time (obviously in a diplomatic way).

pigletmania Wed 27-Mar-13 10:04:11

I would do that now can't believe, no time like the present. It's the principle not the money,doesn't matter if it 20p

Shelly32 Wed 27-Mar-13 10:03:12

Can'tbelieveit'snotbutter Yes, I did get a little ball of (probably over protective) rage too. You're right about kids not being able to see the bigger picture and rationalise. All my girls saw was their cousins getting a treat and not them and probably wondered what they'd done/not done to not get the same.

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Wed 27-Mar-13 09:51:36

When your little you don't see the swings and round abouts. As adults you do. So for little people its very very wrong.
My ds is on the receiving end, I get an irrational (or rational!) ball of anger in my tummy every time. He doesn't know now, but he will realise one day.

I can't offer any advice, other then one day maybe a situation will arise where you'll be able to go 'oh come on, be discreet mil'.

Shelly32 Wed 27-Mar-13 09:48:54

MrsKoala That is heartbreaking.

Shelly32 Wed 27-Mar-13 09:46:16

Wow, it seems like this type of thing is quite common from the responses. I think it is the whole 'Shhh'ing thing and the fact that something was given in front of the girls but not to them. It really isn't about the money and it probably seems petty to moan about a a fiver. Tabilope I am not grasping and I said previously that I my girls have never asked for money but that my MIL laughed about the boys asking for money and as a result gave it to them. It was also a way around conflict if it had just been a case of her forgetting.
I just don't like my girls not being treated the same as their cousins. If she wants to treat them differently then she should at least not do it in my DD's (or my ) faces. elQuinto no probs, hi jack away! It's made me feel a bit better about my situation. Poor you! X

elQuintoConyo Wed 27-Mar-13 09:46:15

Oh MrsKoala that's just heartbreaking. I hope you feel very special now thanks

tempnameswap Wed 27-Mar-13 09:38:04

OP I suspect your DH doesn't see what is wrong because his childhood was like this all the time...

There is a big difference between the normal swings and roundabouts of childhood and deliberate unfairness. My ILs are unable to treat DH and his brother broadly the same in terms of cash/gifts - if they did they couldn't use them as a means of control; so BIL has an enormous gift invested in second property, DH nowt. Is DH angry about this? Only towards his brother not his parents hmm. Patterns of behaviour can easily become normalised over the years. Your MIL knows it is wrong though, or why the sshing?!

elQuintoConyo Wed 27-Mar-13 09:37:09

I was on the receiving end of this when I was young - or rather, the not-receiving end. It cooks sock. It made me feel inferior, unloved, unwanted, a burden, a disappointment.
Atm my DM is spending much more time with my DSis' kids than mine. Both Dsis and I live abroard, she in an English-speaking country, I not. So DM doesn't get to see the dgc much so pampers them when she sees them. Ecxept my DS. We hear, all the bloody time, about ehat she does with my niece/nephew , how she helps my dsis blah blah, but when she visits us she sits on the sofa drinking e-n-d-less cups of tea and just watcheds DS from afar. She won't pick him up (he's 15months, she's not old), or push the pram.
My DFil on the other hand, he's old, quite unstable and weak, adores each of his 8 gc equally and loves interacting with DS, he often asks to push the pram and feels really proud!

I try not to let my DM situation get to me. She's a bitter narcissist who wouldn't recognise her actions or change.

Coukd you, or your DH, pperhaps state that although you couldn't give two fat figs whether your dc receive anything, (money or otherwise), could she just not do it in front of them? Asking the dgc who got a fiver to be quiet about it is nuts!

Sorry for the thread highjack thanks

pigletmania Wed 27-Mar-13 09:25:35

She knows it was wrong and told the other kids to shhhh, what a horrid woman to do tat to kids. I would not say where the money, but would have said to dh quite loudly fr her to hear that we all treat everyone equally in this family

Maryz Wed 27-Mar-13 09:04:50

You know, your dh may be wise. Of course he may just be a wimp, but he may realise that it isn't worth the battle.

It doesn't sound as though anything you say will make a difference, so is it really worth a big row and making your dd's even more aware?

Your children will slowly realise as they get older that their granny is unfair. It is up to you to make them realise this matter-of-factly rather than feeling that they are in some way inadequate or "unworthy".

it's goig to be very difficult to speak to her about it without sounding grabby. YANBU but I think if your DH thinks it will even out at some point it probably will

pigletmania Wed 27-Mar-13 08:53:36

Yanbu at all, that is totally wrong and I would have mentioned it to her. Your dh is stupid and needs to grow a pair and tell his mum. This should not happen again

fluffyraggies Wed 27-Mar-13 08:53:16

This was years ago - btw.

I never said anything to her - but i obviously haven't forgotten it!

fluffyraggies Wed 27-Mar-13 08:50:31

My exMIL used to lavish much much more time and money on her youngest son AND his kids than either of her 2 older son's - or their children. (Three of which are my DDs.)

The youngest sons first baby was unplanned, and although he and the baby's mum stayed together, and lived together in a decent flat my exMIL took it upon herself to virtually raise the child at her's, and feed and clothe it for the first 2 years while they carried on like teenagers ''sorted themselves out''. They had another baby together and moved toa bigger house - still my MIL carried on as if her son and his GF were destitute teens living in a cardboard box! Paying for their holidays and buying loads of expensive stuff for their kids.

Her 2 other sons (one of which was my DH) just had to get by on their own with their families.

Fair enough.

But what really grated on me was the way she would simper on about 'fairness' to all her grandchildren. And how she 'always treated them all the same'. (one such lecture to my DDs was on the same day she sat and showed them photos of her youngest sons kids holiday to Disneyland Florida - paid for by her) .....

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