My mother-in-law has never made any bones that she is never coming to see anyone but her son. She doesn’t care about the kids and she has never cared about me. Oh, she says all the right words and she makes all the right motions when she is in your face, but her actions scream “DON’T CARE!”
Now, as for me, I couldn’t give a shite less. I have a wonderful set of parents and don’t need another one. But it hurts me to see how she treats my children and, for that matter, my husband.
Yes, yes, I know he has asked for a divorce and my own little Bitter Bitch is whispering in my ear, “Why should you care how she treats your husband? He doesn’t want to be married to you anymore.” But it’s hard to turn of 16 years of caring, you know?
Anyway, back to the spawn of Satan. We’ll call her “S”. S has never sent my children birthday cards, she has never sent personalized Christmas gifts (choosing instead to send us money), has never sent a Christmas card, never called to talk to the kids, rarely calls to talk to her son. In fact, I can’t remember the last time that she sent her own son a birthday card. I think it was 5 years ago when he was in Korea, but I’d have to check. It may be longer than that.
We have lived here for 6 years. Here being two hours away from S and the rest of the in-laws. S has come to visit exactly three times, all in the last two years. She didn’t come for my husband’s promotion ceremony, couldn’t be bothered to come for his 40th birthday, and forget any of the other holidays. If we don’t come to pay court to her, she doesn’t bother to come here. The only reason she is here this weekend, inflicting us all with her presence, is because my father-in-law “B” is out of town again (and I think canoodling with his girlfriend).
This leads me back to my original line – that she only comes to visit my husband. Last time she came down, my husband had to go into work for a couple of hours. She and her granddaughter (my husband’s niece and golden grandchild of the family) got up and left the house 5 minutes after he walked out and didn’t come back till he called to let them know he was here. Today, they came in, sat for five minutes, heard that Ron wasn’t here and left again. Didn’t even say hi to the youngest son, because they didn’t wait for him to come home.
My kids, years ago, stopped asking if S would call on their birthday or send a card. They realized that it was an exercise in futility. I’ve recognized it as well, but it still hurts my heart to see my children not get the love and recognition that they are due from one of their grandparents. This is not the way that grandparents should be and it certainly is not the way that I will be when I finally have grandchildren.
Sometimes, being forgotten is easier than trying to explain to my children why they have been forgotten.