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If your parents/ILs don't visit you....

Do you push the subject with them?  ILs talk it up about visiting, but have made zero effort to do so.  It is not an aversion to travel - they fly to Asia every year to visit MIL's family.  We had hoped that they would schedule a layover in Tokyo on one of their Asia trips, but they haven't now for 2 years in a row. 

Until now, the position has been that they are always welcome at our house but we don't push the issue - we assume they are adults and will visit us if they really want to.

MIL just emailed and asked for ideas what to get DH for Christmas, and I replied that he would love for them to visit. 

Now I am torn - I am relieved that I finally brought it up, but I also feel a tiny twinge of guilt because really my intention was to make her feel guilty about not visiting.  Also, if they really don't ever visit, I am worried DH will feel really bad (he knows I told her he wants them to visit).

OK - I wrote all that and now I don't really know what I am asking.  I guess maybe for commisseration and ideas how you got your parents/ILs to visit?

Re: If your parents/ILs don't visit you....

  • I know what you're asking. :)

    My parents have always visited us, so we're lucky, this year is the first year I think they aren't, so obviously I won't be saying anything.

    DH's dad visits us, as does his younger sister. His mom has visited us 2 times in 6 years, not too bad.

    His older sister however, has never visited us where we live (since he was in university 8 years ago) and has never seen DH play a game professionally. However, she is the one DH feels the most heat from about not spending enough time back home, and who I have had the most tension with in the past over DH. (long story). Anyway, when they planned a visit last year but cancelled because she found out she was pg (would have been 4 months along during the visit), DH was really crushed. He wouldn't say anything to her, but he said quite a bit to me. So this summer, when visiting, when she was talking about how they wished they had been able to come, I said "I know, we did too. And I know DH was really really sad." I wasn't reallly trying to guilt her, but I wanted her to know how he really felt. And I did feel bad, because she kind of went silent, but I think the way you expressed it was in a similar way to how I meant it...just hinting that if possible, that act would me a LOT to your spouse, who loves them a lot.

  • Hmm. I'm not sure what to say. It's possible they needed a firm invite to feel properly invited. It's also possible they needed a kick up the backside to remind them that he wants to see them. I'm in a similar position sometimes with my PIL - not about visiting, but about considering DH's feelings. As far as guilt trips go, it's not bad at all. I think it'd only be a guilt trip if they have consciously been deciding not to go. Layovers may be too expensive? If they have honest reasons why they haven't been able to come, it shouldn't make them feel guilty, just remind them how much you and DH owuld love to see them.
    Mum to W (4) and M (nearly 2)
  • image tdown:

    It is not an aversion to travel - they fly to Asia every year to visit MIL's family.  We had hoped that they would schedule a layover in Tokyo on one of their Asia trips, but they haven't now for 2 years in a row. 

    IMO, that is messed up!  I'm glad you brought it up and I don't think you should feel guilty at all.  Sadly, I wish there was a way I could get my IL's to not want to visit, so I can't really commisserate :)

  • image xabbyx:
    image tdown:

    It is not an aversion to travel - they fly to Asia every year to visit MIL's family.  We had hoped that they would schedule a layover in Tokyo on one of their Asia trips, but they haven't now for 2 years in a row. 

    IMO, that is messed up!  I'm glad you brought it up and I don't think you should feel guilty at all.  Sadly, I wish there was a way I could get my IL's to not want to visit, so I can't really commisserate :)

    I agree with abby here. I didn't really pick up on this bit the first time. They are relatively so 'close' to you...that would really hurt my/DH's feelings.

  • image Lane615:
    image xabbyx:
    image tdown:

    It is not an aversion to travel - they fly to Asia every year to visit MIL's family.  We had hoped that they would schedule a layover in Tokyo on one of their Asia trips, but they haven't now for 2 years in a row. 

    IMO, that is messed up!  I'm glad you brought it up and I don't think you should feel guilty at all.  Sadly, I wish there was a way I could get my IL's to not want to visit, so I can't really commisserate :)

    I agree with abby here. I didn't really pick up on this bit the first time. They are relatively so 'close' to you...that would really hurt my/DH's feelings.

    I agree. Either they're incredibly dense, or really self-absorbed. Either way, I wanted to enunciate that I think it's good that you've said something.

    Mum to W (4) and M (nearly 2)
  • With my family, it's financial restrictions that make them not visit as often as either of us would like. But they've visited twice in the four years since I've moved, and I feel extremely fortunate for that!
  • I have been here for about 2 1/2 years already and no one has come to visit me.  Plenty of people tell me they are coming, but no one has booked a ticket.  I know my sister really wants too, but I also know she has no money so she keeps putting off the trip.  My aunt and uncle say they are going to come when we have a baby (we will see if that happens) and my cousins have young children so they say they are waiting a few years for the kids to get older since the trip is so long.  

    I have been back for 3 visits since I moved here.  I feel like the pressure is on me to visit.  After we just left the US a few weeks ago everyone was asking when we will be back, they seemed more than surprised when I said I didn't know.  We are hoping to have a baby in the near future so we will have to see what happens.  I have learned not to get my hopes us when someone says they are visiting but hopefully someone will make it down here someday. 

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Both of our sets of parents really don't have the financial means to come very often.  My parents will come after the baby arrives, but we have no idea when we will make it down to SA or back to the states with a baby in tow.  We are saving for huge purchases.

    Photobucket
  • Thanks, ladies.  I appreciate the commisseration :)

    Bail229 - We are also officially telling people we will not be visiting the US again until we move back.  That statement doesn't have much teeth since we might be moving back next fall, but people still seem surprised. 

    Part of the problem is that we are good at seeing the ILs.  We visited them twice in the US last year, and we will be flying to Thailand to meet up with them over Christmas.  Therefore, they "see" us plenty - and probably feel that seeing is a substitute for actually coming to Japan and experiencing where/how we live. 

     

  • image tdown:

    Thanks, ladies.  I appreciate the commisseration :)

    Bail229 - We are also officially telling people we will not be visiting the US again until we move back.  That statement doesn't have much teeth since we might be moving back next fall, but people still seem surprised. 

    Part of the problem is that we are good at seeing the ILs.  We visited them twice in the US last year, and we will be flying to Thailand to meet up with them over Christmas.  Therefore, they "see" us plenty - and probably feel that seeing is a substitute for actually coming to Japan and experiencing where/how we live. 

    This is an issue for us as well. I tell DH that if we didn't spend about what adds up to a month with his family each summer, they may be more likely to visit us. It seems like since they get to 'see' us that much, they don't feel the need. But DH and I both like to be able to show them where we live, what our day to day is like, who are friends are, etc. That part seems to be misunderstood I think. I'm sure that's part of why you'd like them to be in Japan.

  • image Lane615:
    image tdown:

    Thanks, ladies.  I appreciate the commisseration :)

    Bail229 - We are also officially telling people we will not be visiting the US again until we move back.  That statement doesn't have much teeth since we might be moving back next fall, but people still seem surprised. 

    Part of the problem is that we are good at seeing the ILs.  We visited them twice in the US last year, and we will be flying to Thailand to meet up with them over Christmas.  Therefore, they "see" us plenty - and probably feel that seeing is a substitute for actually coming to Japan and experiencing where/how we live. 

    This is an issue for us as well. I tell DH that if we didn't spend about what adds up to a month with his family each summer, they may be more likely to visit us. It seems like since they get to 'see' us that much, they don't feel the need. But DH and I both like to be able to show them where we live, what our day to day is like, who are friends are, etc. That part seems to be misunderstood I think. I'm sure that's part of why you'd like them to be in Japan.

    Exactly.  You totally hit the nail on the head. 

    With my parents this is so easy - they love visiting where ever we live, and when they come, they want to go to our grocery store, meet our friends, explore our neighborhood, etc.  I don't know how to articulate to the ILs that want to share that stuff with them.  What if they just aren't interested?

  • You definitely shouldn't feel guilty about it. As you said, I think the issue is that they see you too much to feel the need to come over. At least now, you've planted the idea in their heads.

    DH used to have this issue with his brother: we were only an hour's flight away and he didn't visit us until he'd been here 3 1/2 years. They saw each other a couple of times a year at their mum's (a couple of hours drive for BIL) before then. Now that he's in Australia, I'm absolutely certain he considers it down to us to visit him - which is going to be very difficult to organise with any regularity.

    ETA: what did help DH with his brother was to confront it head on & tell him that he wanted his big brother to see how he lives, that it was important for him to show an interest in him as an adult, not just the younger brother as a package with their mother. For the last couple of years before he moved to Australia, they made a point of visiting each other & spending time just the two of them.

     

  • I think that is what makes it hard for me.  That they basically have no idea of what my life is like here.  Not that its that different to living in the US (but they don't know that). My uncle is always asking these silly questions about Australia (he asked once if there were computers). Granted he is in his 60's and has only been out of the US 2/3 times, but obviously I email my aunt all the time.  If they had been here he would have known that.  There is just so many things I want to show everyone- tourist things and just everyday things that are important to my life, so hopefully someone will make it down here soon.  I know its expensive and very far, but I still keep my fingers crossed!
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • I happen to know exactly how you feel.  I will be here 4years this coming week, and my parents have never come.  I don't really mind- we go home as much as possible...and i have always said that our door was always open, but i won't beg them to come.  I just think they aren't that interested in traveling to Ireland, so it's more trouble than it's worth to them, so they probably will never come.  It's sad, and kinda embarrassing, since everyone here constantly asks when they will be coming, especially since i was in the hospital for so long!!!  But I can't force them.
  • image newporter:
    I happen to know exactly how you feel.  I will be here 4years this coming week, and my parents have never come.  I don't really mind- we go home as much as possible...and i have always said that our door was always open, but i won't beg them to come.  I just think they aren't that interested in traveling to Ireland, so it's more trouble than it's worth to them, so they probably will never come.  It's sad, and kinda embarrassing, since everyone here constantly asks when they will be coming, especially since i was in the hospital for so long!!!  But I can't force them.

     I'm glad to see I'm not the only one.  I agree...I will not beg, but of course our door is always open. If they want to visit they are welcome, if not, they will have to wait until I go back for them to see me. 

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • We have a similar situation with my ILs. My parents come twice a year (even though both of them are ill and travelling is very taxing on them especially my mum), my sister comes at least once a year with her family even when money was tight (now it is a lot easier since both she and her husband and have much better jobs and her husband is finished specialising). DH's sisters visited us once (in 7 years) for DH's PhD defence and travelled to Greece for our wedding. Both of them have good jobs and can afford it but have the attitude that we should travel if we want to see them. His mum came a few times but the last time we had the arrangement that she comes to look after DD for 2 months (we paid for the ticket and other expenses). After 3 weeks she got homesick and told us she had to go home which put us into a very difficult position as we had registered DD for daycare only 2 months later. While she was here his sisters phoned regularly and kept telling her "you only have x days left, you only have x-1 days left" as though she was here on sentence and not to visit her son and bond with her first grandchild. This really hurt DH.
    Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers Lilypie First Birthday tickers
  • image bigfatgreekwedd:
    We have a similar situation with my ILs. My parents come twice a year (even though both of them are ill and travelling is very taxing on them especially my mum), my sister comes at least once a year with her family even when money was tight (now it is a lot easier since both she and her husband and have much better jobs and her husband is finished specialising). DH's sisters visited us once (in 7 years) for DH's PhD defence and travelled to Greece for our wedding. Both of them have good jobs and can afford it but have the attitude that we should travel if we want to see them. His mum came a few times but the last time we had the arrangement that she comes to look after DD for 2 months (we paid for the ticket and other expenses). After 3 weeks she got homesick and told us she had to go home which put us into a very difficult position as we had registered DD for daycare only 2 months later. While she was here his sisters phoned regularly and kept telling her "you only have x days left, you only have x-1 days left" as though she was here on sentence and not to visit her son and bond with her first grandchild. This really hurt DH.

    Wow, that's really shocking to me. Homesick for what? She had her son, DIL and grandchild all there with her? I mean, I can understand having bad days, but to pull out and leave when you PAID for her to come and she knew she'd leave you in a bind childcare-wise? That's really extreme. Did DH ever talk with her about this? How did you resolve the childcare issue?

  • Yes, these are all questions that we were asking ourselves. According to her she missed her husband (DH's step-father) which I can understand of course but I thought that as an adult if you commit to something and especially if it is for your child you just bite the bullet and do it (actually you should enjoy doing it but that is another story). She did hint that she was afraid that her step-daughter who is real trouble would move in with her husband and two children while MIL was away. But this is a whole other story.

    We were really put in a tough spot with childcare and my sister offered without us asking to come for a month with her 2.5 year old and a 10month old (she was still on maternity leave). Luckily I was allowed to work from home while bf so I could jump in if things got really bad but she still practically looked after 3 children under 3 for a month. I think only a sibling could do that and I am eternaly grateful to her.

    I know I should get over it but I am still a bit bitter not because of me but for DH and especially DD, I mean your grandparents are people who spoil you rotten and love you unconditionally, right? Of course we won't tell DD this but I am sure she will feel it through other situations in the future.

    Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers Lilypie First Birthday tickers
  • well my parents came twice to visit us in the UK but it was only because Bruce was born. I really don't think they would have come otherwise. No one else in my family even entertained the idea beyond "oh wouldn't it be nice..."

    DH's family all came when Bruce was born - like flew over the same day. It was really sweet .But generally since they were all in one spot and it wasn't hard to visit N.Ireland from London we went to them. My MIL often had work in London, though, so she would come stay with us when she had meetings and things.

    Now that we are in the US my sisters have been here once and we've been to them at least once a month since we moved back, normally more like twice. My parents have been up a few times. DH's mum has been here twice, his father once. His sister's family did go to Disney in Florida once but we didn't mind that they didn't stop her e- they got a great deal ont eh trip, their 3 year old had a blast and it would have cost them a ton to stop in Boston, too. They are planning a visit, though, but not sure when it will be. 

  • We have a similar problem with my IL.  We will have been her three years in January.  My Mom and sister came in 08 and both my parents were here in August.  My Dad has no holiday, but has finally gotten some, so they will be coming back over for a week every labour day.  They are easy to have and it?s great.  DH?s siblings (he has three) have all been over and his Dad, but Mom doesn?t like to fly.  However, he would really like them to come.  It is one leg, from DC to London and she is going to Fiji next summer for their 40th, that is 20 hours and you will not do 6 to see your son. 

     

    I used to get so annoyed.  People have finally just started to visit; however, my best friend has never made it.  Even when I lived in DC for three years, she never came to visit.  I am from Rochester, NY; it?s only an hour flight.  She and her DH were going to come this summer, and didn?t.  Now they are talking about next summer? we will see.  I used to get so upset, but it doesn?t anymore.  I can?t change their behaviour, but when someone says to me, you never come visit (we always go home from Christmas for three weeks and spend time with both families, I always go home in June and DH attends a guys weekend during March Madness every other year) I explain that it is a two way street and all of our guest can stay with us free of charge.  It?s the same as us going home. 

     

    I am sorry, it is hard, but try not to let it upset you. I don't think you did anything wrong!

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  • My dad and step-mom have visited three timees in my five years, which I think it quite nice.  My mom has come once in my first year here.  I know she's liked to come again (and I'd like it) but her flying money is more focused on getting to my brother who has two little ones, which I understand.
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  • We're not over in Europe yet, but my parents have made it clear that they won't come visit, regardless of whether we have children or whatever.  For anyone else, I would say wait and see, but I'm near positive they won't visit.  My brother is in the Army and is stationed in Texas.  He deploys to Iraq/Afghanistan in January and my parents aren't even taking the 2.5 hour flight to go see him before he goes into a war zone. 
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  • IMHO we've had more than enough visitors-- 7mos, 7different guests (4family) .  3more slated for the holidays.  It's cool (we're lucky), but it's also a bit of a challenge, we've not had time to learn the language, etc. yet.

    image
  • I think it was a good idea to let your MIL know it would be nice to see them.  You never know, your IL's may feel hestitant to impose on you and your husband.  It's different if all of you lived in the same area and someone could go home after spending a day together.  Being oversees, they would have to stay with you (unless a hotel comes into the picture).  Hopefully, your IL's will visit you in Japan.  I'm sure your husband would love to see his parents.

    For my situation, my MIL would love to have visited more during the 3 years MH was in London.  She visited once when I wasn't there and she is coming the week of Thanksgiving (I'll be here for this one).  Before my wedding, my MIL was driving me crazy and stressing me out so I really did not prefer for her to visit while I was there.  MH knew this and never pushed the issue with me, plus he and I visit the US very frequently so we'd see both of our families.

    Fortunately, my MIL has chilled out a lot since the wedding and I am kind of looking forward to her visiting us.  I had my reservations when MH first brought it up for discussion, but with the advice from some of the IN nesties, I have planned some really fun activities for my MIL and I to enjoy while MH is at work.  We're going to see Jersey Boys, do a spa day, see a movie, grab lunch and do a proper tea.  MH took that Thursday and Friday off so the 3 of us are going to visit the countryside of Ireland.  She is so cute, she actually started packing.

    The thing is that my MIL never pushed coming over for a visit, whether to MH or me.  She didn't want to impose but if invited, would jump at the chance.  Also, I would imagine it may be hard financially for some to make the trip.  We are paying for all the costs for my MIL.

  • image mavjen:

    The thing is that my MIL never pushed coming over for a visit, whether to MH or me.  She didn't want to impose but if invited, would jump at the chance.  Also, I would imagine it may be hard financially for some to make the trip.  We are paying for all the costs for my MIL.

    That is really sweet of you both, mavjen!  

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