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Thread: How should I address this?

  1. #1

    Default How should I address this?

    I need help trying to address this situation.

    Here's a little background.

    My husband's sister, her husband and kids live across the street from us. For years, we haven't spoken to the parents. The kids used to come over and visit during nice weather every now and then, but they haven't done that in a few years. We really only see them at Christmas. DD was born in early Sept. and the first time any of them acknowledged her was at Christmas, DH's sister said "congratulations" from several feet away and they did get her a gift, although it was something I would NEVER, EVER wear on my child (and I'm sure they knew that)...that was it, none of her kids even so much as looked at the baby, DH said they probably weren't allowed to.

    Fast forward to last night.

    DH had to run an errand and I was home getting DD ready for bed, it was just after 8:00. The next thing I know, there's a knock at the door and the dogs start carrying on. It was DH's sisters kids, out of the blue. They were on vacation and got DD a gift (which I thought was very nice, but also really strange since they haven't acknowledged her in the last 10 months).

    We have 2 big dogs that run to the door when someone is there, so its easiest to know someone is coming and then I can put them in the garage if I need to. They knew that from before. Now that DD is crawling all over and starting to take steps, its even more important for her safety.

    How do I address them just popping over like that, unannounced and at that time of night. I know it needs to be addressed with the parents. I am thinking I will send and email, but what do I say? No matter what I do or say I'm going to be the butt, but I have a baby to worry about now, how they react is out of my control.

    If you've read this entire post, THANK YOU and I apologize for being so long winded!

  2. #2

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    I don't know the whole back story over why you don't speak to each other, but it sounds like a very sad situation. Honestly, I would try to see this as a nice gesture, especially since it was the kids coming over. If you send an e-mail saying they can't come over without warning, that would just increase the hard feelings, and it's not like it was the middle of the night. Even if there are issues with the parents, it would be nice if your DD and her cousins could have a warm relationship.




  3. #3
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    Ok I'm going to give you some advice as someone who had a falling out with my own BIL and SIL.

    1. If you decide it needs to be addressed, have your DH do it. It's his family and it will come off better coming from him.

    2. I would not address the issue at this time. Chances are this type of occurrence is few and far between. If it turned into a nightly occurrence, I would address it then. Also, speaking from experience, chances are if a friend or a relative you had been on good terms with had done the same thing, it would not have been such an issue. that's just an assumption based upon my own reactions to things while in a similar situation.

    3. If at all possible, clear the air with your SIL and BIL. You don't have to be best friends. But it is SO much work to be angry and to hold on to resentment. I know because I did it for 2 years. Am I still angry with my BIL and SIL? Yes. But I don't let it affect my happiness. Life is so much easier now that I've decided to just let it go. What they did to me is their problem and speaks to their character, not mine.

    4. The reason I forced myself to get past our issues is because they gave me my niece, and I wanted her to know her aunt and uncle (and now her cousin, my DS). Again, what her parents did speaks to their character, not hers. I didn't want her or my son to miss out on the joy of family because of my own issues.

    So that's just my .02. Obviously I don't know what caused the rift. It may be something unforgivable in which all I've said is moot. But I just wanted to share as someone who has been there, done that.

  4. #4

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    How old are their kids? Whas there an incident or group of incidents that led to the families ignoring each other? Do you ever approach them or this thing where you dont acknowledge is mutual?

    (JMO, but stuff like you needing to put the dogs away for your child's saftey sounds petty. Anyone could knock on a door at 8pm. Unusual, but that's not a big deal. And if the dogs are that much of a danger to your child due to a knock on the door, then you need to find them new homes. So that sounds like the bad blood talking. Really, the thing is that the other family has extended an olive branch - even if there's nothing specific to prompt it or to say so. Question is whether you will choose to hold onto the resentment or whether you want to take advatange of that opening. You could reciprocate and just say "thank you... perhaps the kids would like to come over to play with the baby one day soon." They may reject that or time may pass without any action on their part... c'est la vie. But at least the iciness could change to something more cordial.

    I don't see anything to "address" because it does not sound like anything was out of line with two cousins bringing a gift for your child. Maybe if they make it a habit of stopping by after hours, but that's not likely based on what you've said. So if you say anything at all, imo, it should be to say thank you and to use the event as an opportunity to re-connect... and not to chastise the family or their children for a kind gesture. Not what you wanted to hear, but that's how I read it based on your post.)
    Last edited by ibisgirldc; 07-07-2014 at 07:47 AM.

  5. #5
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    Wow this is very sad, that you guys live across the street from each other and don't even attempt to bury the hatchet. With whatever happened.

    Honestly, if my nieces came to the door after not seeing them since Christmas... I would be over joyed and thrilled. And probably love on them immensely. It is not the children's fault that you are feuding with their parents. Nor is it their fault that you have large dogs that make a lot of noise.

    And the gift could be a peace offering of sorts. Who knows?

    I wouldn't address it in any sort of way... in fact, I would do the opposite and invite the kids out or over more. Maybe you can teach them nicely about the dogs, once you have a relationship with them. I am sure, being a mother you know the way to the parents heart is through the children. If you make an effort to have a relationship with their children, maybe they will show you the same curtsey back. And then you guys can be civil to each other without bringing up past issues.

    And a question... you seem to repeat that they haven't acknowledged your child a few times... have you been acknowledging their children at all while living across the street? Regardless of age, if you expect them to acknowledge your child... you should do the same to theirs.
    Last edited by o0astrid0o; 07-07-2014 at 08:25 AM.
    .~Becky~.



  6. #6

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    Thank you for all your responses. After more consideration and reading your posts, I have decided that I am just going to let it go and see what happens. If they continue to pop over around bedtime, I'll address it then. I would love to have them visit more, at a more appropriate time.

  7. #7

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    I was thinking... if your worry is people coming over unannounced around bedtime, there are signs you can put up. You could either hang one on the door just when she's starting to get ready for bed or naps, or put one up that stays all of the time - probably easier than having to remember to hang it. (google images under "baby sleeping sign" has lots of cute and funny ideas). If you chose one to hang most of the time, it could say something like "if it's past 7, please call first - baby's bedtime!" If you don't want anyone coming over unannounced at all, you can just make it a general "please call before you knock - baby may be sleeping" thing.

    That way it seems more like a general baby issue than a personal thing. Because, as ibis said above, anyone could knock on the door at 8 p.m., especially in the summer when it's still light out. We often get solicitors at that time of evening.
    -- mom to DD1 1/98 and DD2 10/09


  8. #8

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    how should you address it/ With a thankyou note and an invitation to come again.

    If the dogs running to the door while your daughter is up is really a problem, as someone else said, you need to rehome the dogs or just keep them in the garage, because that can happen any time of the day with any body.

    It sounds like you were really hurt by them and unwilling to believe they have good intentions. I hope that you can forgive and reconcile.

  9. #9

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    I come from a big extended family and there have been several falling outs over what seemed to be a big deal at the time - I was part of one, the rest was among various SILs. The kids always suffer from family animosity and their feeling get so hurt because their parents tell them not to do certain things, if the kids do something nice, the relatives have a bad reaction and so on. I have personally adopted the philosophy to forgive, move on and love my nieces and nephews - they are family. I have one SIL with whom we seem to be simply incompatible, we are very different, we think differently and we do things differently. I try to be friendly but not too close with her and also I am careful with my comments as she parents differently from me. Whatever happened years ago is now forgiven and we are over it and things are so much better. Most family feuds have died off per my mom and uncle’s insistence and I think this is for the best.

    Unless there are drugs, crime and other extremely dangerous behavior involved, I would let the cousins visit, treat them nice, figure out what to do with the dogs, and even make up with the SIL/BIL (not be the closest friends, just be on good terms). This is my personal experience.
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by o0astrid0o View Post
    Wow this is very sad, that you guys live across the street from each other and don't even attempt to bury the hatchet. With whatever happened.

    Honestly, if my nieces came to the door after not seeing them since Christmas... I would be over joyed and thrilled. And probably love on them immensely. It is not the children's fault that you are feuding with their parents. Nor is it their fault that you have large dogs that make a lot of noise.

    And the gift could be a peace offering of sorts. Who knows?

    I wouldn't address it in any sort of way... in fact, I would do the opposite and invite the kids out or over more. Maybe you can teach them nicely about the dogs, once you have a relationship with them. I am sure, being a mother you know the way to the parents heart is through the children. If you make an effort to have a relationship with their children, maybe they will show you the same curtsey back. And then you guys can be civil to each other without bringing up past issues.

    And a question... you seem to repeat that they haven't acknowledged your child a few times... have you been acknowledging their children at all while living across the street? Regardless of age, if you expect them to acknowledge your child... you should do the same to theirs.
    We used to be extremely close to their children. Any opportunity we are given we do acknowledge them, unfortunately their parents have made those opportunities become scarce at best.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by pepperlru View Post
    I was thinking... if your worry is people coming over unannounced around bedtime, there are signs you can put up. You could either hang one on the door just when she's starting to get ready for bed or naps, or put one up that stays all of the time - probably easier than having to remember to hang it. (google images under "baby sleeping sign" has lots of cute and funny ideas). If you chose one to hang most of the time, it could say something like "if it's past 7, please call first - baby's bedtime!" If you don't want anyone coming over unannounced at all, you can just make it a general "please call before you knock - baby may be sleeping" thing.

    That way it seems more like a general baby issue than a personal thing. Because, as ibis said above, anyone could knock on the door at 8 p.m., especially in the summer when it's still light out. We often get solicitors at that time of evening.
    Good idea. I will keep this in mind if the bedtime visits continue. Thanks! We live in the middle of nowhere and don't get any solicitors. Even the school kids don't come out this far for fundraisers.

  12. #12
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    Maybe as their children are getting older they are asking their parents to be more of a part of your life, especially now that there is a baby cousin involved, and this is their parents way of appeasing them. I think playing nice for the kids is the best idea in this case. Maybe send an email saying how you enjoyed having the kids stop by the other night and if they'd ever like to come by during they day they could call first and arrange a time when the baby would be awake. That would solve both issues. And FWIW, I disagree with PPs about the dogs. Even the most docile dog can be a danger to kids and I think it's wise of you to put them away when they can't be properly supervised. Doesn't make them bad dogs.

  13. #13
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    I agree with the others. I would not address it AT ALL because it would definitely cause them to be resentful and make things worse. Trust me I hate when people come by at times that are obviously bad and perhaps ring the bell or wake the baby so I get it. But considering the fact that they never come by and came to bring your child a present I would definitely see that as a peace offering and use it to smooth things over more, not make more issues. That is really sad that they live right across the street and there is no contact! They could be having SO much fun and so could you! You could take turns babysitting and going out to dinner, the kids could play together or sit and play with your DD while you do things around the house....really it could be so nice. It's so sad for the kids that whatever happened is effecting their relationship with their aunt, uncle and cousin.

    Do you know what caused this issue? Whatever it is I would use this gesture as an opportunity to end it and move on. You will really regret it in the future if something happens or someone moves away. I have never heard anyone say they regret ending a feud only vise versa and usually once it's too late.
    Thing 1 (8), Thing 2 (5), Thing 3 (2)

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by runningmomofmany View Post
    how should you address it/ With a thankyou note and an invitation to come again.

    If the dogs running to the door while your daughter is up is really a problem, as someone else said, you need to rehome the dogs or just keep them in the garage, because that can happen any time of the day with any body.

    It sounds like you were really hurt by them and unwilling to believe they have good intentions. I hope that you can forgive and reconcile.
    this.
    id does not sound like it happens often enough to be a concern. i also have dogs that are a problem when people come over so i use baby gates to contain them and protect my children from their excitement of company.


  15. #15

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    I believe that you have to forget the past and start all over and especially start better communicating with the parents. Please keep us posted.

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