Monday, January 14, 2013

Am I hypocritical when I say that family is important?

It might not seem it from some of the posts I make about my ILs, but family is very important to me.   If it weren't so important to me, we probably would have just accepted the ILs "offer" to be kicked out of the family a year ago, because it would have made life so much easier.

But we all know easier is not always the answer.   This all got me thinking recently, am I being contradictory?   I say that family is really important, and I have a great relationship with my family and most of hubby's family, but no matter how hard I try, it just doesn't work with the ILs.   

With my family, we have a few cousins that we don't talk to/don't talk to as much, but for the most part we all talk, we make the efforts, and we all get along.   Some people have fallen out of touch at different times, but recently, we all reconnected.

When I became a part of hubby's family, the same was not true. Once we were married, we decided to change this and started to have a relationship with MILs side of the family. We have a great time with them and are very thankful to be able to have those aunts, cousins and grandfather. Unfortunately, the choice to have those relationships has caused additional strain on an already strained relationship with the ILs.

This past weekend we started the process of getting to know FILs cousins better and had a great time doing so. The good news is we didn't get in trouble for this! The bad news is the ILs were definitely annoyed with us.

They happened to call when the cousins were over and hubby said they were there and he would call them back. Not two minutes after the cousins left, his phone rang...guess who! Hubby answered it on speaker, which ended up being a super smart decision. MIL asked if they could come over and hubby asked when..."well we would leave now, and could be there in 30 minutes". We had a pretty low key day ahead, so he said sure, but by the time you get here, you will only have about 20 minutes with the kids before they start to fall asleep, how about you come at 5 o clock?

YOU WILL NEVER BELIEVE THE RESPONSE!

"Oh, we'll that's dinner time." NO JOKE! MIL then went on to say that maybe they could come and see the babies another time "because you know WE are their grandparents"  Since they were on speaker, I jumped in and said, we know that, and you are more than welcome to come now, we just think you will get more out of your visit if you come at 5pm.   "Oh, well, ummm, let me talk to dad and call you back."

FIL called back and asked what time the kids go to sleep.   Well we took that literally to be what time do the kids go in their cribs, so we answered with 8pm.   

FIL: Okay, what if we come at 6pm then
Hubby: Well that's fine, but we feed them at that time, so you won't be able to interact with them (as much as one interacts with an infant)
FIL: Well how about next weekend
Hubby: I work Saturday and we have plans on Sunday.   I don't see whats wrong with coming over at 5pm
FIL: Well thats dinnertime
Hubby:  You can bring your dinner with you and heat it up in the microwave or oven if you need
FIL: No, we aren't gonna do that.   How about you do this, you email me with a list of Saturdays and Sundays that you don't have plans, or when XYZ (cousins) or ABC (his brother) will be there - we like them and wouldn't mind seeing them too.
Hubby: I don't understand why you can't come tonight if you want to see the babies
FIL: Well we want to spend more than an hour with them before they go to sleep

We just left it at that - we decided to stop pushing for them to rearrange their dinnertime to spend time with their grandchildren and not explain to them that the babies usually start to get cranky about an hour after the bottle and crash within the next 30-45 minutes and their longest stretch of time is the time that we offered them.    So we don't have a weekend available for another 3 weeks and this is why they see them once a month, IF THAT!

What it comes down to is that it is inconvenient for them to see their grandkids if it doesn't require us to drive to them at a time that is convenient for them and their eating schedule.   So yes, I might be a hypocrite for saying that family is important and working towards a good relationship with everyone BUT my ILs, but there is only so much one can take.

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