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Dr. G.
Dr. G., Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1523
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist.
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I have issue with my in-laws. I love them but they stress me

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Hi, I have issue with my in-laws. I love them but they stress me out. My in-laws are great helpers with the kids and they have a dedicated day when they spend time with my older boy. My parents on the other hand dont get to spend as much time with the grandkids as they live in the different country and used to come over for 2 months a year to see my family and our children. This time my parents are visiting for 6 months (first time they stay long time; they dont stay with us).So they are trying to spend as much time with the grandkids as possible. So now my parents and my in-laws are just about fighting over our kids(they dont speak the same language so all this "fighting" is coming though me and my husband). Since my parents arrived we dedicated one day a week (Monday) for my in-laws to spend time with our older child and one day a week (Wednesday) for my parents. The rest of the week he is at daycare. My younger girl was under 1 so I didnt leave her with anybody for more than 2 hours and there was no dedicated babysitting day for either set of grandparents. I like spending time with my parents and they visited me(at my house) often while my husband was at work (at that stage I was on maternity leave). My in-laws got upset that they didnt see enough of our younger girl and that my parents were spending too much time with me and my kids. Fair enough I offered to come to the beach with them on their dedicated day when they have our boy so that they can spend time with their granddaughter. They didnt want to. And they blame me for keeping her away from them. It is so frustrating. It came to a point that they came to our house (without a phone call) a week before Christmas on Wednesday (day when my parents spend time with our son) and ask him if he wanted them to take him bikeriding (when they knew perfectly well that my parents usually take him that day). When I told them that they could not take him bikeriding because we already had different plans and we were going to see my parents, my mother-in-law started saying how much they do for us and that they dont see enough of the grandkids. She is a very strong woman and the tone she was speaking to me just did it. I had a meltdown, yelled at them and basically kicked them out of our house in front of my husband (not that they left, I had to go to our bedroom and came out after they left which shows me they dont even respect my wishes). There was another instance when my mother-in-law brought my husband to a meltdown too. It happened about 2 weeks after the first incident. It happened at our house again and my mother-in-law was not happy when we said “thank you but no, thank you” to her offer to help with our little girl. This time he asked them to leave. I didnt participate in the discussion and hid in the babys room. They drive me mad! We argue about them or after their visits a lot. They were not like this before my parents came over to the country. They remind me of a toddler that used to get undivided attention and now attention has to be shared and they cant accept it. I admit I did spend a lot of time with my parents when I was on maternity leave but it is natural that you choose your own parents over in-laws, right? My husband thinks maybe his parents are jealous of the relationship I have with my parents because they are not so close to their son (my husband).My parents used to stress me out a lot as well until I talked to them and told them that I'd rather not to see them at all then feel upset after spending time with them. They changed their attitude and now are fantastic! I can’t talk to my in-laws about it as they only get upset and feel unappreciated! My husband doesn’t want to talk to them about that either as they will only keep arguing with him and then won’t speak to him at all (happened before until I apologised to them for him). I am back to work now and our younger child goes to daycare now too. She got sick this week and we decided to ask our parents to look after her while she is not well. So my in-laws were babysitting her yesterday. And today my husband and I agreed that my parents babysit her. We offered my in-laws to babysit her tomorrow again and they are happy to do that but they also want to have my son tomorrow (Friday) too (he is usually not in daycare on Fridays as I dont work Fridays but have to work this Friday). So my in-laws want to have both kids tomorrow and when I said that I would prefer them to have only one of them so then my parents can have another one, my mother-in-law started the same thing again that they dont see kids often enough. Mind you my in-laws are taking my son to a birthday party on Sunday and will spend the whole day with him. It feels like she is only doing it because we went away for 4 days holidays with my parents last week. I know some people would love to have attention like this from their parents/parents-in-law but I find it destructive to my marriage & my nervous system.Hope my story makes sense
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 5 years ago.
First off, WOW! Talk about a bunch of immature and jealous people. I think you are doing more than enough to accommodate your in-laws. I believe it is time for you and your husband to lay it all out there for them. They need to know that giving guilt trips constantly saying they don't get enough time, and asking for time that is not theirs is going to stop immediately. Both you and your husband need to say this to them. It will stop today or else they won't get to see the kids at all.
The problem is that they don't have boundaries and don't respect your boundaries. Therefore, you and your husband need to lay it out to them as clearly as possible about the behavior you will no longer accept. The final piece to this whole thing is that both you and your husband need to stick to whatever you lay out for them. His parents will try to test you and see if you mean what you say. So if you stick to it then eventually they should come around and do as you wish. If not......then they don't get to see the grandkids.
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