I'll give a little background first. Dh and I have been married for 5 years. I brought 2 children from a previous marriage (widowed) Dh has a rock solid relationship with my kids they love him. Given their ages when their bio dad passed he's the only dad they know. Dh and I added an "ours" baby whom is now a toddler. All is well within our little family.
Now to the part I need a different perspective on. Mil and I have never been close, cordial/polite but that's it. Mil has never shown interest in the two older kids ever. She buys them the obligated Christmas/bday gift but that's it. I always approached the relationship in a sense that I understood she may never see or want them as grandchildren just as long as she was polite and kind to them when we saw her I was ok with that. Then we added in our youngest and she still makes no attempt to have a relationship with him. Here's the problem my in laws make no attempt to visit or talk to me or the kids but they are now complaining they have no relationship and say they are hurt my parents do more with the kids.
Mil is very awkward around me and in return it makes me very uncomfortable. Communication seems impossible. We've extended invites and offered to host dinners but we get no response. I know its not that she's just not a kid person bc my BIL dated a girl with kids from a previous relationship and MIL bonded with them (visited, had them overnight, took them places and all around enjoyed them) BIL also had a child with that girlfriend and MIL keeps him regularly and is always going to his events.
Maybe she's just not into us? But what should we do about her complaining about the lack of relationship? I'm at a loss and feeling very frustrated with the situation. I feel something should be addressed before it turns into a huge thing. I've definitely got resentment building along with hurt feelings.
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As Luise has said before, we are not a site that hands out advice. We offer excerpts from our lives in the hopes that you might find some useful information from our experiences. That being said I have never been in your shoes but I have felt like the other FOO got more time with the grands. Actually they still do but I don't mind as much. What changed? Essentially I did. I realized that my DIL's FOO was basically taking care of my Grands for my DIL during the week. My DIL is bipolar and usually has a migraine or some other malady that leaves her in a dark room in bed. I don't want that kind of responsibility. I want to be able to enjoy my grands, not provide daycare for them so I guess I am no good for helping you there either. As I sit here I wonder what would have happened if every time I said something about the other family getting more time my DIL had pulled out her calendar and asked when I wanted them. "You want them next weekend? They can do a sleepover. Do you want just one of them or both?" I think it would not take long for me to realize that I could have them whenever I wanted, just let her know.
The awkwardness with my MIL hung around for years. I never felt looked down on but I never felt really close to her either. It was when my mother died that I grew close to my MIL. I did not have my mother to call for advice anymore so I called my MIL. It changed my entire relationship with her, so much so that she told people for years that I was her daughter. I loved that lady so much and it hurt me so badly when she died. What a lucky woman I was to have two wonderful women in my life!
Does your DH have one favorite food that he got growing up that your MIL could show you how to make the way he liked it? Biscuits? Cornbread? Pancakes? Chili? Anything that lets your MIL feel appreciated the way you want to feel appreciated by her. I know I have always been happy when my sons ask for a recipe and I get it t them ASAP. However I have to admit that I am pretty sure my Grandmother on my Dad's side gave my mother a bad recipe for her rolls because she did not want my mother to be able to cook them. I think that is sad but I know it happens. I got two different recipes for her rolls, one that works from my cousin and one that flops from my Mom. I think that says much more about my grandmother than my Mom.
Good luck and I certainly hope you can work out a way to be close to your MIL!!