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The MIL Who Doesn’t Want Grandchildren

Let me start by saying – my FIL loves kids.  He is anxious for DH and I to have children.  So, when my in-laws built a brand new house with a reading room/office off of the master bedroom for my MIL, he jokingly suggested they make it a nursery for grandchildren when it comes time.  Her response, verbatim “Hell no, we aren’t having a nursery.  I spent enough long nights awake with my own children; I don’t need to do it with theirs.”  Ouch. 

This is the same woman who has told us since we got married three years ago that she isn’t ready for grandchildren – where the hell does she get the idea that it is her decision? Last time I checked, MIL’s weren’t technically involved in the child bearing process.

She has also made the comment that she wouldn’t be interested in babysitting our children, especially not for more than a couple of hours.   So, you can imagine my extreme surprise when my dear FIL tells me that they will be babysitting for one of MIL’s friend’s all weekend (a baby ~5-6mos.).

All I can say is – she had better not complain when we have kids and she never gets to see them – that is her own fault!

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Have a story you want to get off your chest about your in-laws? Email them to inlawssuck@yahoo.com to see them published anonymously here.

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26 responses »

  1. What a horrible woman. Sorry.

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  2. it’s surprising someone so selfish had a kid of her own…

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  3. Hey, not everybody is thrilled with the idea of being a grandma. Sounds like MIL doesn’t want to be chained down looking after grandchildren. Sounds like she did her time with dirty diapers, messes, and screaming hellions that the law will not allow a person to discipline. If she wants to be around the grandkid(s) she’ll let you know. Til then, let FIL have all the fun he wants, or hire a sitter.

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  4. While she could have been more polite about how she said it, I have to ask where do young people get off just assuming that their parents will happily babysit? That is work, and they should be compensated like a sitter would be if they are willing to do it at all. To expect them to cater their lives around you now that they have finally reached retirement and can do what they want, when they want is selfish on the part of the young. Who knows why they babysat the 5-6 month old? Its their choice! All this generation thinks about is itself, and we wonder why the country has gone to hell. I’m only 27 myself, but frankly what I see in the younger crowd disgusts me.

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    • Are you sure you didn’t mean to put “72” for your age??

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    • I agree. I never had my parents nearby to babysit my children, and rarely did I ask anyone to do so. Our children were our responsibility, period and end! Consequently, I have absolutely no plans to watch my potential grandchildren, so that my children can work and play. We gave up two incomes to raise our kids by ourselves, nor would we leave them to take off to play without them. If you have children, be prepared to sacrifice money and time. They are no one’s responsibility but yours.

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  5. Please do have all the kids you want. It is certainly your choice, no doubt. Be prepared to take care of them or hire a sitter when needed. It isn’t necessary to be so rude or impolite because MIL doesn’t want to care for your kids.

    Did your grandmother babysit with you? Those days were wonderful I’m sure. Cherish them. Move on.

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    • The Sane In-Law

      James, sorry to hear that your grandmother didn’t babysit you and you had to come and take it out here.

      Move on.

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  6. Miserable Gran

    I am a MIL who certainly would not have been distraught if the kids never had grandkids.

    We brought up 5 children who were close together in age and it was hard with no family support – but as there was no choice I just got on with the job. I did my time with the playing, cleaning and disciplining and now just want to have a peaceful existence.

    I love all my grandkids and am glad to see them but am also happy to wave goodbye!

    Recently I have been getting remarks from two of the children about my lack of desire to look after the littlies. It seems that all over the country there are unselfish and uncomplaining grandparents and I am not one of them.

    My kids were never in any doubt about the fact I am not enamoured of children. So my reluctance to babysit for an extended period of time should not be a surprise. It may have been different if the littlies were not so hyperactive and undisciplined but I am not as young as I once was and I find it hard to cope with running around making sure they are not destroying something or ingesting items like stones etc..

    It is getting to the point where I am getting depressed and stressing about the next visit as none of them live close by so a visit extends for at least several days.

    One grand child is manageable but any more at one time is just too hard. It is certainly their decision to have the kids but why do I have to be delighted to look after them because the parents need or want a break? If I do offer to have them, at least have the courtesy to come to collect them on time and not hours later – leaving them distressed and me in tears because I have had enough.

    I know I am selfish and should put myself out but I am tired, grumpy and looking for a quiet life with the occasional catch up with friends – hmm – a bit like retirement really.

    Kids, I love you and your children but please just accept I am not cut out to be a grandparent in the usual sense. Remember karma – it will boomerang back to you!

    Reply
    • Believe me, I can fully understand where you are coming from. My brother has 6 kids and has no problem asking my mom to watch them on a regular basis. I used to baby sit for four of them at a time every other weekend before I had to give it up – it got to be too much for me.

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    • Gran, you have every right to feel the way you do and there is nothing at all wrong with that. As the saying goes: “Everyone can do something but no one can do everything.” You definitely should be able to pick and choose what you are comfortable with regarding grandkids’ visits. It will make visits far more enjoyable for everyone that way! Furthermore, it is very inconsiderate for someone to take advantage of a grandparent “just because” they are a grandparent. They have lives, too.

      I hope you feel no stress about visits from here on out, and when they visit, just let them know that this is your home, and though they are welcome to visit on mutually agreed upon dates and times, your rules will be respected, just as you would respect theirs in their home. Wishing you the best.

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  7. The funny thing is, we hadn’t had kids yet, or even planned to have them when I wrote that post. She managed to bring those subjects up all on her own. We now have a 19 month old daughter, and I never ask any one to step in and watch her.

    My feelings were clearly hurt when I wrote that post. I realize I may have come off as rude or seemed like I thought I was entitled to her changing her life to suit my needs…it wasn’t that at all, I was just upset and looking for a place to vent and find some support.

    Believe me when I say that I live by the creed that my daughter is my responsibility…I wanted to have her, so I make sacrifices…I may not get to do every thing I want to do when I want to do it, but that is life.

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  8. Wisdil, I totally get where your coming from. Honestly, I stumbled upon your post as I was wondering if my MIL was the only MIL on earth that doesn’t really have a relationship with her grandchildren and if that was ‘normal’. I say that because my husband and I have 4 children (8,5,4,and almost 3) the oldest a boy and his family doesn’t even come around much or offer to come get the kids and spend a little time with them AT ALL. What really gets me is they live literally 3-5mins away AND drive by our house every single day. As a matter of fact his mom sees them maybe once a week and his dad sees them more like once every couple of months.

    I understand they raised my husband and his sister when they themselves were very young and now they feel like they are enjoying some quiet time. Most of my friend’s in-laws are more involved in their children’s lives and it hurts my feelings that my in-laws aren’t like that with my children. I’m not saying I want my kids to stay at their house all weekend or anything like that,but is it really too much to ask for my in-laws to stop in more often and visit? I’m sorry for ranting,but I just know that I couldn’t do my grandchildren the way they do. I do want to say though, I have my children every single day. The only help I have is my husband (after work of course) and I enjoy being able to stay at home and watch them grow,but am I being selfish to want my MIL to actually step in and connect/bond with my children?

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    • Dawn you fail to see the reasons behind why a person would choose what to do with their time, for the life that is THEIRS and therefore of their choice on how to live out their days. If a person knows of their tolerances, what makes them happy, and it is not by running after little ones, cleaning up messes… do they pretend and just tolerate, put on the good act, to see you happy and ignore their own inner feelings and needs? Come on people, if YOU make the choice to have a child this is your choice, not the grandparent just because all of a sudden YOU gave them this title.

      People can believe it is selfish to not make that weekly visit, however there is always more to it. Why don’t you take time to get to know your MIL instead of judging what she has obviously chosen. You stated, they are ‘literally 3-5 mins away’…distance has absolutely nothing to do with their decision. If being in the company of children is not what brings them pleasure then why fake it… because your feelings are hurt (do it for you, do it for the children)… this is forcing something on them that they do not want (so should they ignore their own needs)? If you want this for your children, well you can have other people in their lives that love and be a family, the bond should have nothing to do with ‘real’ / blood line or not, even if you have a hard time accepting this (them not being involved), and want otherwise, it won’t make it so.

      Would you rather a visit that is based on obligation and resentment?

      I know this is not the ideal involvement and interest Dawn that you would have hoped for, however live your life with your children for the reasons that bring ‘you’ happiness, not by putting expectations and pressure onto others, who did not vote for their lives to be altered.

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      • barbara.jeffries@insightbb.com

        I dont know whats wrong with me. I love my grandchildren to death they are 11,10,6 but I dread keeping all three at night and i only do this about every 4 or 5 weeks but i feel so guilty not getting them more often but I am just tired. I am taking care of a mother with alziemers and I have a 19 year old grandson who has lived with me since the age of two. When they are here they want to go all the time and I dont have a lot of money and everything they want to do cost, My whole family hates me because they think I am ignoring my grandchildren.My Daughter-in-law tells all her friends I dont wanto to keep them often and this hurts. Your reply helps.

  9. The Sane In-Law

    Mae, you mean my parents and in-laws need to “vote” on whether their lives get altered?! Maybe they should have thought of that before THEY had kids, huh? Isn’t that a bit selfish of them to have children and expect those children to only grow up and move out of the house at the age of 18 and effectively divorce them from their lives? Good grief.

    And why are you taking it out on Dawn? She was only commiserating with the author of this post.

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  10. I also get where the original poster is coming from. Even if one knows in one’s heart that the rejecting grandparent is speaking out of her own limitations and doesn’t really mean to personally reject either her child or grandchildren, it is still painful to be on the receiving end.

    I am saddened by those who are critical of the original poster. There is a significant difference between a grandparent being honest about their limits (the woman above who admits that she just isn’t a kid person) and a grandparent who utters unprompted rejections before a grandchild is even conceived. Grandparents who are being honest about their limitiations find a way to bond within their personal style and limits. They recognize the bond is more than a particular activity and try to find a way to live their role to suit their style.

    Unprompted rejections of a grandchild before she is even conceived, let alone born, speak about much more than just a particular grandparenting activity. They are a fundamental rejection of the role of grandparent, a role that is as much part of being a parent as giving brith to a child in the first place.

    Grandparents are the carriers of family history and represent the flow of generations. No one can replace a grandparent who rejects that role. You can always hire a babysitter. You can’t hire someone to fill a missing place in the link of generations.

    They also suggest a narcissistic parenting style: since when is the timing of the birth of a child based on the grandparent’s emotional readiness to be a grandparent? Essentially, the mother-in-law is saying that her child’s progression to the next stage of life (parent) should be held back based on her need. A parent who limits a child’s growth based on her own need to stay young, is not being a liberated self-fullfilling senior citizen. She’s expecting someone else to limit their growth so that she can be free of the social and emotional demands of grandparent hood.

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  11. This grandpa is a reluctant one at best. We get stuck with the damn grandbrats so their parents can go party. I’m damned tired of being the kids enabler and it’s damned well time the kids grew up, the youngest one turned 18 years ago! The whole damn lot of them are alcoholics and most of them are also former druggies whose kids were conceived because they were so high they were unaware.

    I hate kids as it is and as far as I am concerned prospective parents should have to prove they are responsible enough to have kids or they should be forced to be sterilized at puberty.

    Any person who has ever used illicit drugs or gets drunk should automatically be sterilized on their first offense, no exceptions. And their drunk or druggie parents locked up and the key thrown away!

    Also, any kid whose parent is not here legally should be dumped back across the border along with their parents. Or aborted before they are ever born.

    Maybe then this country would be a fit place to live!

    The woman who doesn’t want grandkids is one of the most sane people I have heard of in a long time.

    Grandkids SUCK!!!!!

    Reply
    • Wow Miguel, sounds like you did a bang up job as a parent! Let me thank you for your contribution of at least two generations of degenerates to society. Read: if your kids are druggies, you FAILED as a parent!!!

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    • So you’re telling me that I should be denied the chance to be a parent just because I drink on occasion and have tried weed in the past? Get over yourself Miguel, not every person that touches the stuff becomes a raging addict.Sounds like you could use some anger management classes, or just develop some social skills for that matter.

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  12. BTW, my feelings about kids are why I made damn sure I would never father any! I knew from a very age I didn’t want ANYTHING to do with kids.

    Unfortunately my wife already had kids when we met, and were out on their own. Sadly, they then conceived the little brats AFTER we got together.

    Too bad I can’t PROVE in a court of law that the sperm donors got the girls high to have sex with them so as to impregnate them.

    I’d LOVE to put them in prison for rape.

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  13. My husband forced children on me. I had to give up my schooling and career. If we ever have grandchildren, I am not going to be their nanny. Just thinking about it makes me resentful. If people have children, they are responsible for them. Don’t force them on the grad parents, they might have other plans.

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  14. I’m with the mother-in-law on this one. I never had children but my husband has two sons with his late with and I raised a kid brother. I am of the *ME* generation and I don’t want to be stuck with having to deal with step-grandbrats. If you can afford to have children you can afford to hire a nanny,

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  15. No need to post anything. Its obvious this is a one sided argument to punish the opposing view. More of a reverse trolling thing I guess. Hope all works out well.

    Reply
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