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How often?

Started by pam1, October 25, 2010, 09:23:20 am

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Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


It truly is.  My DH tells me that I had to live 21 years with a bad MIL to appreciate a good one! Lol.  Boy do I appreciate her!
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


Quote from: Laurie on October 25, 2010, 10:13:31 am
Good Morning Pam

While wearing my MIL hat, I can honestly say that I've only visited with my ds and dil as a couple only once in the last year.  He too is military and stationed far from home... My dil was in town for 2.5 weeks and came by one day to visit over lunch.  We had plans that fell through a couple of times, hopefully next year we'll spend more time together. My single children and I spend quite a bit of time together.  It's easier to work around their schedule.

As a DIL, we try to see my dh's parents every 2 to 3 weeks at times more often.  Most of these visits are based on their needs as they are both suffering from some health issues.  The quality of these visits is not reflective of our relationship with my in-laws through the years but as they've aged we've moved from strictly social visits to ones of aid.

The demands of life would stop me from attending gatherings on a weekly basis with any of our family members besides I look forward to having something new to converse about when we are together.  Like so many here my ds spends considerably more time with the dil foos and this has prevented us from being able to spend more time with the kids.

How do you feel about your dh's foo arranging family gatherings every weekend?

Laurie, thanks for answering.  I like how in your situation that it is fluid based on needs at the time and how it can change when need be. 

I guess for me, it's not just one thing.  It's not just the high rates of scheduled events.  Most events are something I have to do something, it's either a potluck or a gift event or they want help cleaning up the day before or after the event, or they want help cooking something.  There are a high rate of "must do" something, whatever it may be...along with "must attend."

I have a mix of feelings concerning the every weekend gatherings and it's not just the every weekend, they plan stuff during the week too.  It's especially irritating if you decline something on a weekend and then they cancel it and rearrange for another time during the week, just so everyone can be together.  The sentiment is nice but it's not practical and makes our schedule ridiculous.  And especially if you declined because you just didn't feel like doing this event or you needed some space....they don't make it easy, then it's demanded of you b/c they rescheduled...for you!  So there's something else that bothers me, you just can't say no and have it be.  There will be a flurry of emails and calls to figure out why you can't attend, guilt trips, crying and look at what you did to them!!!!

I don't care that they plan stuff every weekend or week -- it's really the fact that our attendance is considered mandatory.  And with their schedule, it takes over our lives.  Last year alone they held "must attend" events 36 weekends out of the 52.  And another good portion of the weekends they just wanted to see us or do something with us.  One time they complained we don't ask/invite them to anything...well, what free weekend do you propose we invite you to do something on?  lol

So, for me it would be different if these were "freer" events.  I don't care to make them change and stop them from even planning them, I just want to be "free" to say yes or no. 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


Here is something weird about me: I love to be invited and feel badly if I'm not...but I often don't want to go.  :o
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Eh, and I forgot to add the time aspect.  It's never planned out to be something around a 4 hour visit.  Or something manageable.  They are loooooong days.  That start out in the morning where they want help for something and then they want you to stay later than all the other guests. 

I guess that the fact that it is so many things all compiled into one issue, it really just drives me batty.   
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


Quote from: luise.volta on October 25, 2010, 10:53:34 am
Here is something weird about me: I love to be invited and feel badly if I'm not...but I often don't want to go.  :o

Are you an introvert? 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


Quote from: Laurie on October 25, 2010, 10:59:03 am
That is a demanding schedule to attempt to participate in.  Since they reschedule plans and do not seem to understand that inconvenience was not the original intention for the decline then I think you have no choice but to politely state that you do not care to be included on a weekly/daily basis.  Oh hmm yep you're not going to make some happy, but haven't you ever wondered how many of the participants did not want to be there either?

Life is short.. I want all my time with my families to be special but I want my life to be special as well.

LOL, I wonder that all the time.  As far as I can tell some people really, really like it. 

Yes, I know I'm not going to make everyone happy and I'm ok with that.  What I'm not ok with is the toll it takes on my DH.  And that is a different story. 
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift


DH and I live about an hour from my FOO, and about 7-8 hours from his FOO. 

We rarely see my FOO all on the same day since my parents are divorced.  We see my M & SF about twice per month, and we see my F & SM about twice per month.  Those are just averages.  Sometimes we go a month or two without actually seeing either of them.  When we DO see them they are nice, brief visits usually no longer than a couple hours.   

BEFORE the estrangement from MIL, we used to travel 2-3 times per year to see them and we would stay the weekend.  MIL & FIL used to come down to visit us 3-4 times per year, and stay for 2-3 weeks minimum, usually upwards of a month (they didn't see any point in coming down only for a "short" stay of a week, and were appalled that I suggested a week limitation on their visits). 

I too feel it's only fair to include the quality of visits.  I'm going to interject here that their visits were exhausting for me, and although they helped with a few home-improvement projects while they were here, I felt as though they dragged them out as long as possible in order to maximize the length of their stay.  They were hardly pleasant, especially to me, and we were also expected to house their 2 pets for the duration of their stay.  MIL was constantly complaining about something or screaming at FIL, and of course, as the woman of the house, I was expected to keep them entertained....for weeks on end.  When we traveled to DH's hometown to see his FOO, we usually tried to see as many of his family as possible with the time we had, and they all lived pretty close by so that made it easy.  MIL would stick to DH like glue the entire time, insisting that she go everywhere with us, to the point that by the time it was time for us to leave, DH couldn't wait to go to get away from her.

Lots has happened since those days....

We haven't made the trip up there since the estrangement.  We would like to, as we have a lot of his family and friends we would both like to visit.  Believe it or not, I am very close with most of his family.  DH is trying desperately to maintain a relationship with his dad, but MIL is constantly running interference and making it nearly impossible.  We would like to see FIL and DH's other FOO and friends, but MIL won't let that happen without her presence.  We simply don't wish to see her, and that is DH's call, not mine.  So, lol, its funny that this topic come up, because we're currently trying to figure out how to make the trip up there to see his family for Thanksgiving without having to deal with her mess.  It would be only our 2nd trip up there this entire year, but not because we don't want to.       


Does you husband feel the same as you?  Would he be comfortable applying the 'we' into all the  decisions instead of you feeling like it's your decision alone?

I read the number counts you gave 36 weekends and many weekdays as well.  I'd have to sell my house and move :)  It has to be hard to find time for yourselves as a couple. 


I'm with Laurie....FOR SALE SIGN!!!  Lol.  Pam that is way too much to expect out of anyone.  Sounds like they need a life!
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


I can't help but notice how most of you ladies don't get along with your DILs.   My dd and her DIL get along great, it's me she doesn't like.  Of course I just have SILs and we get along fine. 
Anyway when my gd was born I used to see them every other week which I loved, but then my daughter said it was too often, so it was every 6 weeks or so.  I used to see them all at Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and the grandchildren's birthdays (I have 3), and Mothers Day.  But this year I only say my older daughter on the gc birthdays, and don't know if I'll see her at Christmas.


Hi Pam
I guess my circumstances are a bit different due to my location . I have three daughters and one son, two daughters and son live in the US. One daughter and I live in Sweden.  I see the one that lives here every day,  ( she lives with me along with my gs), my two other daughters usually once a year.  We try and alternate who goes where because of the financial aspect. Last year  we visited them for the Thanksgiving holiday.  I spent two weeks with one and three weeks with the other, they live in different states so flights are necessary.   This year we did not travel to the states, however oldest daughter  and hub will be flying in May to visit for three weeks,  I speak to the girls every day which is nice and keeps us all in touch.  The times we spend together are always special and we have lots of fun .

As far as son and dl and gc  goes, the last time I saw him or spoke to him for that matter was six years ago . Needless to say this is the one that brought me to this site. 


Quote from: pam1 on October 25, 2010, 10:06:59 am
Pooh & Pen, how frustrating.  In an ideal world, how often would you like to see them?  If someone asked you point blank an actual number per week/month/year...what would be your answer?  (no right or wrong, I'm really just curious here)

Luise, I'm so glad that works for you and everyone.  It does sound like a really ideal type of situation where everyone is respected. 

Scoop, I'm right with you on the "fair" aspect and I guess that is what I'm struggling with.  As much as I say to others in my post that "fair" isn't equal...well, it still bothers me.  But ironically I'm being told that I'm still compromising way more than I should be!

Hi Pam - I'd love to see DS as often as DIL/DS sees her FOO - every day! Can you imagine? I wonder what that would be like? But seriously, I know they're busy their lives and with DIL's FOO, so a nice, drama- and distraction-free visit of a few hours once a month, or even once every two months, if it was a high quality visit, would be wonderful. It would be nice if those visits could be augmented by a phone call EW/EOW that wasn't inspired by DS needing something from us. I'd like to know DS still considers us valued members of his family. My dream is to spend a few hours with DS so we could talk about the things that interest us but aren't quite as fascinating to DIL or my DH, but I know it's just a dream. Wow, I miss him a lot. Got a little teary just now.

***Just for the record, I'd like to say that from the start of their relationship we really liked DIL. We thought she was beautiful, talented, intelligent, hardworking & focused. We admired her accomplishments and the hurdles she had to overcome to succeed in her field. It was great to have her in our lives, and we thought she was becoming more comfortable around us, too. Those feelings haven't changed although we are very cautious now due to the confusion and hurt we feel since she announced her true feelings towards us.

Sheen, I'm so sorry you haven't seen or spoken to your son in such a long time. I'm glad your daughters are in touch with you.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb



I baby-sit my 2 gc every Friday while my son and dil work.  My dil picks them up around 4:00 pm.   My son/dil are very social.  They have a very nice group of friends with small children and they get together very often.  Very often on Saturdays they leave my gc with hubby, daughter and I over night, and they come in the morning have breakfast with us, and sometimes stay all day.  About 2 times a month on Sundays they call to let us know that they are coming to have lunch with us (my husband likes to make barbecue every Sunday).   So it would be from one to three days a week with my married son.  But we never push....they come when they want.  We never visit unless it is a birthday.

My oldest daughter 29, lives with us, so we do a lot of things together and she works with dad because both are doctors.  My youngest 23 is living and working in San Diego, Ca (about 2 hours drive) and use to come every weekend to spend time with us, but now she is in a relationship and comes about once a month.  She arrives on
Saturday morning and leaves Sunday after lunch (boyfriend is waiting for her)

I am very lucky to have them near...it wasnt like this though some time ago. 

Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove:


[quote author=Pooh link=topic=1044.msg20752#msg20752 date=1288026996]
I am a firm believer that your children must have time to live their own lives.

Absolutely Pooh otherwise resentment builds towards the gp who interferes even when it is done with good intentions.     Some gp turn to marshmallow when the see their gc but please..leave the child raising to the parents.