My husband and I had the first grand child on both sides of the family when we had our son 11 years ago. He spent a lot of time with my mother in law when I went back to work after he was born. She would help us throw him birthday parties, babysit so we could have a date night, etc. They were very close. A few years later, my sister in law had a baby out of wedlock while she still lived at home. Understandably, my mother in law had to help with her a lot because she lived in her house. Then, a few more years later, we had another baby days apart from my sister in law having a second baby (again not married to the father).
Here is the problem…ever since my sister in law had her kids, my mother in law has done everything for them. She buys their clothes, take them to school, plans their parties, gets them off of the school bus and watches them all afternoon, etc etc. If we ever ask grandma to babysit so we can go to dinner or the movies on a Friday, she doesn’t want to because she is too tired from watching the other kids all week. Fine, we can find a sitter and take care of our own kids…but it makes me sad for my kids.
They want to have a relationship with their grandparents too, but they are kind of forced out. She can never spend time with my kids (either together or alone) without the other kids around. She never helps us with anything any more because she is emotionally and financially taxed by the other kids. Their mother recently got married, but she just moved her new husband into the house too! Obviously, I cannot make my sister in law take care of her own kids, but I think my mother in law does not see the impact that it has on my kids relationship with her. My son who as I said before, used to be very attached to her, no longer even wants to go to her house because he said that the house is always a mess (it used to be immaculate) and they always have to sleep on the floor on the couch because the other kids have their own beds there.
How can I help my mother in law get herself out of this situation, and how can I help my kids have a better relationship with their grandma?:shrug: