Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Money can't buy faked involvement

Warning...somewhat childish rant ahead......

While I love my parents and mother-in-law (MIL), they are all driving me insane regarding the upcoming holiday season.

My parents were going to get the kids each a Wii game to go with the new console.  When I pointed out that Hanukkah is BEFORE Christmas this year, and they aren't getting the Wii until Santa brings it, I am suddenly the bad guy.  They asked for other ideas...I gave them to them.  Given that they will be here next week, I said "why don't we shop for the kids while you are here?"  No...they don't want to be bothered.  Once again they want me to shop for the kids, and they will send me a check or something (still waiting on the check they said they would send in October when they wanted us to buy books from the bookfair for the kids' classes).

I work.  I have a home to take care of.  I have 2 kids with associated activities.  I have a child with Autism. 

They watch tv all day.

And I have to shop for them.

And then there is my MIL.  Who just has too busy of a social calendar to fit us in.  She has multiple trips planned with her SIL and friends.  She is off having fun.  Can't quite make it to our house, and told us, she will see us next summer when WE come to her.  And she can't be bothered to get the kids anything either.  She will send us a check also.

My kids already have 2 uncles who aren't a part of their life.  They haven't heard from one Uncle in over 2 years.  The other called a few days after their birthday to say "yeah, I will send something" and never did.  Now they have 2 sets of grandparents who aren't checked in either.  I have spent 8 years covering for all of them.  The number of things I have done in their name....*sigh*

I am almost at a point where I just want to say to all of them....don't bother to send the check.  If you can't be bothered to spend more than 30 seconds on our family, then I can't be bothered to spend hours covering for you.


  1. I was in the same situation with my inlaws. I finally refused to "front" the holiday for them. I wait until we get the check, and then I take my kids out to the store & let them pick out what they want "from their grandparents." It's fun for both of us.

    The first year the check didn't arrive in time & I told my kids that their grandparents forgot to send anything. I put my kids on the phone & they confronted their grandparents themselves. The check hasn't been late since......

  2. I completely understand where you are coming from...your feelings are totally valid. I'm sorry you having to juggle these things as well :(

  3. This is just insane! Mysti, you need to do exactly what Lauren said! Put your foot down, or they'll keep walking all over you. I mean, seriously? Grandparents are supposed to spoil their grand kids! I've NEVER heard of grandparents "sending a check" and the parent fronting the money for the gift. That is absolutely unacceptable.

    I feel for ya!

  4. I agree with Lauren and Red. I would stop covering for them and let the kids learn what their grandparents are really like. It's not fair to you or them.

  5. I completely agree with you! tell them they can send the kids the money and let the kids buy what they want, you don't have the time to be the grandparents personal christmas shopper

  6. @Lauren - You put the kids on the phone? How old were they? I can't even imagine the backlash I would face if I did that to my parents.

    @Anon - Thanks for validating my feelings. I was afraid I was going to come off as a brat.

    @Red - I was never spoiled by my fact, of all my cousins, my brother and I probably got the least attention and "spoiling." Both sides felt that my parents did a "better" job parenting than their siblings, so they paid more attention to al the others.

    @Gina - How do you go from 8 years of all of a sudden there is next to nothing under the Christmas tree?

    @Louise - If I wait for them to send money.....I might as well just say forget it. The only way I ever get money is after gentle reminders that I have already paid for stuff, and I need to pay my credit card...and even that can takes months.

  7. Oh how awful for you!! I have to say I would stop covering for them also. If you feel there needs to be something from them,then buy something small for then and say it is from the grandparents. If they finally do send the check then take the kids somewhere fun. I would also handle your parents and talk to them about it and stand firm. I would let your husband handle his mother. Christmas should not be a stressful time and it is unfair if their actions are stressing you out!! Good luck!!

  8. @Laurie - I know I should, but the backlash I will get is so daunting.... At this point, my kids know their Uncles by name only (and pictures are hit or miss). Grandparents....I know they love the kids. They just have a funny way about them.

  9. Oh I feel for you girl! So many of the same issues in our family! PLEASE STOP GOING INTO DEBT TO COVER YOUR FAMILY'S ASS!!!! Do not cover for them.... this is enabling them to continue to ignore your kids. The backlash is hell, but you've set a precedent for your kids! Your kids are old enough to recognize the real relationships in their lives. I think Laurie is absolutely correct here!!! Have the kids hold the grandparents accountable! Look at is as teaching your kids how to have a relationship with their grandparents... its good practice for them.... plus, it gets you out of the middle.

    Plus, don't worry about what's under the tree.... as Dave Ramsey says, "little Johnny isn't going to become an ax murderer because he doesn't have enough plastic stuff under the tree."

    Hang in there lady! take a deep breath and stop making excuses for everyone else. You don't deserve this crap and neither do your kids!