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BBSDTfamily's avatar

In-laws do not invite us on trips- should I be mad?

Asked by BBSDTfamily (6834points) February 23rd, 2014
26 responses
“Great Question” (4points)

My mother in law has 1 son (my husband) and 1 daughter. She has 2 grand kids from each of her children. She plans annual trips with her daughter & her daughter’s children and does not invite us. I understand the mother-daughter vacation tradition and why I wasn’t included at first, but now that there are grandchildren on both sides, I find it extremely rude that she takes 2 of her 4 grand kids on trips every year. In my own family, daughter/son-in laws would be included on any daughter/son trip. Am I over reacting?

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trailsillustrated's avatar

You should be glad. Very, very glad.

ucme's avatar

Rejoice, for good fortune shines on you like that of the sunshine on a daffodil.

JLeslie's avatar

I’d be insulted probably. My feelings would be hurt if it happened all the time. If it was just a one time thing I wouldn’t read into it. My husband’s family would do something like that. Actually, they have done stuff like that, and it did bother me. Now they have done enough things where I don’t care if we are not invited, screw them. We get along with them fine, they are just weird. His mother has a hard time asking anything. Everyone is supposed to call her, invite her, ask her. She would never call up and say, “I want to come out and visit, how does March sound to you?” She waits until we invite her and then says, “It’s about time.”

Does your husband stay in touch with his mom on a regular basis? Possibly Your MIL and her daughter talk constantly and they naturally decide to do things together. I still think they should think of you. Not only your MIL but your SIL also.

Does your husband want to go on the trip? If you are not going to want to go if invited then don’t open the can of worms and be happy you are not invited.

Assuming you all get along, if I were you, I would ask your inlaws along on a trip you plan. You can decide if it is both your parents-in-law and your SIL or just your husband’s parents. Then they know you want to vacation with them, and hopefully in the future they invite you too if you want to go along.

Or, your husband could ask his dad why you and he are excluded, and the dad might blurt out something. “We didn’t think you would want to.” Or, “I can’t figure out your mother.” Your husband will know if it is a good idea to do it or not.

marinelife's avatar

How does your husband explain it?

livelaughlove21's avatar

Why the hell would you want to go in that trip? Sounds like torture.

hug_of_war's avatar

Why don’t you invite her on a trip? Be the change you want to see.

creative1's avatar

Just let it go, not worth the fighting. My cousins would travel with my grandmother when we are younger and we were never invited to go anywhere and all it did was put a wedge between us and them along with a distance between us and my grandmother. She is ruining her own relationship with your children so just let her. I would let them get closer to your parents and when she questions why your children are so close with them you tell her that she did it to herself by not including them.

JLeslie's avatar

@creative1 Are you saying it’s better to let the relationship go to crap without even attempting to clear the air or take some action to make the situation better? So, she can say I told you so?

BBSDTfamily's avatar

I forgot to add that I’ve expressed my feelings on this and no change…

zenvelo's avatar

Not at all, be happy!

I took one vacate with my MIL when I was married and the kids were really young. So I had three kids, my two and my MIL, who needed attention. It interfered with my wanting to do things with my kids, it interrupted how I like to spend time and how I eat, because everything had to be done to keep her happy.

JLeslie's avatar

@BBSDTfamily I forgot to mention it’s nice to see you here on fluther again. It’s been a long time.

Back to business. You expressed it to your MIL? What did she say? If you are mad you are in a good place, because the next phase is acceptance.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Just that they understood. Then they planned a joint trip that summer and we all went. Next summer, it was back to this though. It aggravates me so much that even if they plan a joint trip in addition their individual trip, it’s not enough because I’d feel like they’re only doing it because they have to. If they wanted us to come along, we should be invited every time.

JLeslie's avatar

If they sometimes planned a trip with your family and sometimes with your SIL’s family then I would just think they feel it is overwhelming for everyone at once, but, since it is the SIL’s family or the SIL’s and your family, then yeah I would be more hurt than anything. Then I would get pissed off eventually, and then I would find my peaceful place of not giving a shit anymore. They would eventually get less from me, from us. Less/fewer feelings of closeness and and less trust. You get what you give. In that way I have to agree with @creative1. Just like we tell our children, if someone doesn’t want to be with you then why would you want to be with them.

Sorry. :(

What dies your husband say about it? I know what my husband would say. He would say ignore it and that he does what he wants to and isn’t going to depend on anyone else to make him happy. I would feel united with him. He would get annoyed if I dwelled on it or complained about it too much, because he would think I was wasting my time fretting about people who can be idiots about interpersonal relations.

creative1's avatar

I don’t mean it in an I told you type of thing, I meant it more that your children are smart and they can see when another is favored and the unfortunate thing is that you can’t force your in-laws to do something they don’t want to. Forcing it will just make everyone miserable in the end, it has to come out of love and want otherwise no one will be happy in the end and you will wind up with the same end result a wedge between them and your children. Having a forced situation is never going to bode well so let them favor their other grandparents and enjoy their time with them and at least they will be close to one set of their grandparents.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

My husband is embarrassed by it and supportive! He doesn’t care if we never go on another trip with them or not. I wish we were included though, mainly for my kids sake. It will hurt them if they ever figure it out.

creative1's avatar

@BBSDTfamily I am pretty sure your kids already have figured it out, kids talk and know more than we think they do whether or not they have expressed it to either you or your husband. Its unfortuntate when it happens in families and probably why I have always tried to show my love equally with all my neices and nephews and now with my 2 daughters. When I do for one I will always do for the other that way I am not favoring anyone. When my nephew was young he would come over and count all the pictures of himself and then of my other neices and nephews and compared to make sure that everyone had the same amount of pictures in my house. I only found you because I had gotten my sisters kids new school pictures and had put them up but hadn’t gotten his and his brother and sisters new pictures yet and he wanted to know why they had an extra picture up. I made sure to always have the same amount of pictures up from then on regardless. Kids know more than anyone gives them credit for.

JLeslie's avatar

I think the kids know also. If they don’t know yet they will figure it out soon enough. A cousin will talk about a vacation with grandma and what she bought for them or something they all did together and the whole thing will be blatanly obvious to the kids.

marinelife's avatar

Have you put it to your MIL that she is missing an opportunity to spend time with two of her grandkids? One possibility: they take the children on their trip without you and hubbie.

JLeslie's avatar

You can certainly buffer the kids from feeling it as painfully as you do by focusing on the trips you take as a family. I would guess they do soend time with their grandparents and love them and have fun when they are together, so they will still have the grandparent experience to some extent.

antimatter's avatar

I feel your pain, my in laws don’t invite me to any function. At first I felt a bit rejected but latter a learned to live with it…

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

You make your children happy, you and your husband. Do that well enough, it won’t bother them having other people leave them out. Quite frankly, it is someone else’s vacation. It should not feel to them like it must be a duty to you, or your kids. If you plan a vacation and they pout about wanting to come along, because they want to spend time with their grandkids, would that feel a bit intrusive to you? It would to me.
Another way to look at it, maybe these vacations are not what they seem.. Maybe it is an excuse to influence a kid in some way, perhaps to keep someone out of trouble.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I noticed that in the description of family dynamics there is no mention of the sister in law’s husband. If she’s a single mom, the bias on the part of her mother might be quite reasonable.. Parents are notorious for concentrating attention where the need seems greatest. With the limited information you’ve provided, it’s tough to make judgements, but I do know that a single woman rearing kids is not to be envied, and probably deserving of all the help and backup that mom can provide. Perhaps it’s the only opportunity for your sister and law and her children to have a vacation. The one certainty in all of this is that you and everyone involved will be better off if you can eliminate the simmering brought on by the perceived slight. Resentment is a waste of time. And besides, the logistics involved with 4 people traveling together are a joke compared to 4.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

She is not a single parent. If she were though, I’d agree.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Thanks for all the answers so far!

Kardamom's avatar

Here’s another take that you might not be aware of, or may not want to admit, or can’t see it yourself. One of my cousin’s grandkids is polite, calm and easygoing. His brother probably has ADD, he is out of control, gets into everything, breaks things and has to be watched like a hawk so he doesn’t hurt himself or any of his little cousins. Both kids have hearts of gold, but the rowdy kid takes a Herculean effort to deal with, it is mentally and physically draining to be around him for any extended period of time, even though he’s a sweet little kid. We’ve invited the calm cousin to visit overnight with my nephew, but we told my cousin that we didn’t think we could handle the other child, which is absolutely true. She laughed and said she understood, and mentioned that the other boy is “quite a handful.” Fortunately for us, she and the boy’s parents realize that one of their kids is a lot more difficult to take care of and aren’t upset that he doesn’t get to go on the sleepovers at our house. When we have big family parties, all of us are there together, so it’s a little bit easier to have a whole bunch of adults (as well as little kids) watching out for the rambunctious child, and because it’s a party, no one really expects any of the kids to be quiet. But I could not imagine taking an overly active child on a vacation.

I don’t know you or your kids, but maybe the Grandma thinks your kids are more difficult to handle (for any number of reasons).

I know quite a few parents (not the parents of my active cousin) who don’t think that their kids are difficult at all, even though everyone else has a difficult or unpleasant time being around them. Parents are often blind to the mis-behavior of their little tykes too. Just go into any grocery store or Walmart where some child is having a meltdown and the parents take no notice.

I’m also curious to know if your kids, or you SIL’s kids are girls or boys. Grandma might favor girls, when it comes to trips, because they tend to like the same kinds of things that Grandma might like, such as shopping, getting their nails done, going to tea, where as boys might prefer things that Grandma doesn’t care for such as going to a ball game, or going swimming at the beach, or going to a video arcade.

You say you have spoken to Grandma, but I’m not clear on what answer she gave you, or what exact question or concerns you gave to her. Your husband should be the one doing the asking, too, because if YOU ask her, it makes you look greedy and un-gracious. He should ask his mother, “Hey mom, I noticed that you took Jen’s kids to Disneyland and Chicago and San Francisco. I really think Bob and Mark (or Kayley and Vickie) would enjoy going with you on some of these trips. Would that be OK? I don’t want you to be put out by the expense, we would pay for them to go. I also wouldn’t want you to be burdened by having to watch out for 4 kids instead of just 2. Would you mind if we went along too, or is the idea of all of us going at once just too much? I was just wondering, because Bob and Mark would really enjoy spending more time with you too.”

I’d like to know the answer to that conversation.

I don’t think you should be mad, until you know the reason for why she isn’t including your kids on the vacations. It might not be what you think at all.

NanoNano's avatar

Just me, but I would be relieved that they didn’t ask me to go along.

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