The Last Week


It's been quite stressful around here over the last week with stuff happening with Satish's side of the family. My in-laws have been visiting over the last few weeks, and are having a grand ol' time. They're really easy to get along with, are very low maintenance. They came for their annual visit in December. I've been trying to get them to visit twice a year, but they've always felt that they're needed there more to help out, which I can totally understand, so they come for about 5-6 weeks every year to spend time with us.

Their daughter moved them here a couple of years ago, mostly to help her out with her 2 kids, and also cos their country wasn't too stable. She has a piece of land that's 5 acres, and built them a cottage a little ways from the house. It worked really well for everyone, my in-laws took care of the grandkids, picked them up from school, did their homework with them, my mil would make dinner and generally help out.

(I won't go into any details about $$ and such)

The problem lately is that Satish's bro-in-law, who isn't the nicest and most communicative person in the world, has been rude and generally very irritable and for some reason doesn't like my fil anymore and doesn't talk to him, which you can imagine creates a very uncomfortable atmosphere, and things have gone downhill really quickly.

Last week, my sis-in-law called them and said that her husband has been so happy lately, and he's cooking and helping out around the house, and is taking interest in what happens around the house again, and that when her parents got home, they'll have to talk. So, they were trying to decide what it was going to be about, if she wanted them to move to an apartment further away or something.

A few days ago, she called them and me and said that she'd like them to stay a month or so longer if possible, cos her husband has been really helpful lately, and he's told her that his kitchen didn't feel like his kitchen, cos my mom-in-law makes them dinner there. And that he needs his space and stuff. Now, they're not even around in the house much when he's there. They're usually in their cottage or out playing bridge or out with their friends.

So, of course, that really upset her parents, not to mention Satish. His mom cried the whole night and didn't sleep etc.

They decided the next day that they're going to move down here and stay with us, and then visit the grandkids. It was something they were still thinking about till she called them yesterday morning and asked them to go home as planned, and then come back end of Feb and go back there in the summer, cos the kids will be out of school, and she'll need their help to take care of them.

My father-in-law said that that's a lot of plane tickets to buy, and she said that she'll pay for them, and Satish and Joyce can split it with her. He hit the roof at that, and basically told her that we're just getting on our feet and it's going to be hard enough on us financially when they come and live with us, and now she wants us to pay for tickets cos them coming back and forth is convenient for her.

She called me both yesterday and I talked to her for a little bit and told her that I don't really want to be involved in the decision making, or take sides. That at the end of the day, it's their family, and I'm the outsider. So I will support what Satish and his parents decide, but that's all I will do. It's totally fine with me if her parents want to live with us but I've also told them that things won't be cream and roses all the time with 4 adults living together, but as long as we can talk things out and communicate, we can always work things out.

She told me that if it wasn't for the kids, she'd have kicked her husband out, so I asked her if she really thinks that choosing him over her parents is a smart thing to do, and if it's better for the kids to have him around in the long run. And she basically said that well, it's not an option cos of the kids and cos they're in catholic school, and sometimes it's hard for her husband cos his friends laugh at him for living with his in-laws. I didn't point out that he doesn't. They live in a separate structure!!

Last night, the 4 of us sat down and talked, and my poor mil was crying her heart out and finally told us that she's scared that if they moved down here, the same thing would happen. So I said that I can guarantee that it would never get that bad, cos we will make sure to communicate. That I'm sure that we'll have friction, but they're our parents, and we'll make things work.

I also did say that they cannot move down here and base their lives around us. They need to go out, do what they like to do, play bridge, make friends, etc and not feel like they have to be at home waiting for us to get back from work. And that Satish and I shouldn't feel like we have to rush home after work every night, and that if we feel like going out for dinner after work, there should be no hard feelings if I called and told them that we're going out to dinner.

The saga today: my sil called my mil and told her that she was very sorry, and that she didn't expect that this would become such a big deal, and she still needs them for the grandkids, and maybe they could go there in the summer and come back for 9 months out of the year.

My feeling is, don't cut the ties. At the end of the day, it's still family, but don't live their lives around the daughter's schedules and demands. I told them that if they're going to move down here, then they need to have a life here and live the retirement lifestyle. They've more than earned it!! And that this time should be theirs, and it's time that they're selfish about that. Go visit, but do it on their own schedule and time.

I feel so bad for them. If this happened to my parents, I'd be furious! I was talking to my cousin yesterday, and we were both saying that we'd never choose a guy, especially when he's a jackass, over our parents, but maybe it's easier said than done. I'd like to think not.

This makes me so sad for them. It breaks my heart.


Auds said…
AH sweetie, sorry I haven't been around to talk to. You're right, you shouldn't have to choose between parents and a spouse esp if he's a jerk. I'll try to be around more so we can talk. huggles

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