What my in-laws don't seem to understand is that the more they show their true colors with me, the worse it is going to be for them. As I noted before (I can't remember if it was in my original confession as well as in comments to others), we had to cut off my in-laws (for nearly 2 years) for them to finally get the picture that we mean business. We let them know we are not going to tolerate them treating me with disrespect, and we also are not going to tolerate them picking favorites amongst our children (it is very hurtful to the child who is *NOT* their favorite).
So, as some may remember, we are temporarily living with my in-laws (we'll be in our own place next week, though, and it's well over an hour-and-a-half drive away). Please understand that I AM totally grateful that we were able to land here (we moved here from another country to, in part, be closer to DH's family (we're discovering that was a bit of a mistake) along with financial reasons). I AM totally grateful they have fed and housed us these past several months while we became acclimated to this country and while DH has been looking for a job. I am NOT grateful, however, for the disrespect we've received since we got here.
So, here we are getting ready to move in a few days, and yes they are planning to help us. That's all well and good, and I appreciate the help. They seem to think, however, that laying a guilt trip on me is going to bring them good results. My MIL last night layed this huge guilt trip on me about the kids being so far away from her (these same kids that she barely spends time with, by the way...although I will give her credit that she spends more time with them than the others). I go into my bedroom every night after dinner so that my in-laws can spend time with the kids if they choose. Typically, one will be watching TV, another will retreat to his room (my jerk of a BIL), and the 3rd will putter around doing her own thing while my kids play with toys in the living room. I give them two good hours before I start coming out and getting the kids to pick up their toys and get ready for bed (and if someone deems they can be bothered to be speaking with the kids, I give them even longer). Usually, they barely get 5 words out of anyone that whole time.
My MIL has the nerve to try to make ME feel badly because we're moving out. After the way they've treated me since we got here, she has quite a nerve. We probably would have happily stayed for even a few more months if everyone wasn't so awful. They think it is hilarious to continue to leave the screen doors open for mosquitos (and other bugs) and snakes to just wander in whenever they like, even though we have some of the most deadly snakes on the planet living right in their very back yard (bush land), and even though I have asked nicely, then begged, then got angry for them to STOP doing that. They know I'm deathly afraid of snakes, and I swear to god if a snake got in this house and bit one of the children, there would have been hell to pay.
They also think it's hilarious that my ignorant BIL makes flippant comments about my 6 y.o. DD's disability (autism). I spoke to him a couple of times very politely about it, once even at the dinner table (I had no choice because he was making his rude comments at dinner, and I felt the only way to deal with that is to address it right there and then). I then finally got angry one day and screamed at him (for literally only about 2-3 minutes!) and my gosh you would have thought I chopped off a limb the way my FIL got on my case about it. He basically told me that even though my BIL said inappropriate things, I should have 'respected' him and not yelled at him. Well, honey, where I come from women are not afraid of their men, and I'll tell someone off if it is needed (again, I try to do it politely and calmly a few times first).
Anyway, it became a big thing, and BIL started purposely opening doors in the house to irritate me (because he knows how I am afraid of the snakes and bugs here). Well, he's not the only one who does that. All 3 of them leave doors open regularly...STILL...even though both my DH and I have asked/begged/gotten upset about it. I told them it puts the kids at risk, not just me, and they still don't care.
Well, guess what? Because this keeps happening (literally just happened...again), and because of the attitudes I'm still getting, they'll realize that irritating me is a bad choice. We may still be within driving distance, but don't look to me to be making that drive very often. Trust me, if I don't harrass my DH, he would forget (or just never be bothered to) call/visit/buy gifts for his family. If I don't answer the phone, or don't pass a message along, he doesn't care. Irritating ME means these children will not be seeing their grandparents very often (they only saw them for about 4 weeks each summer when the in-laws would visit every July, and otherwise only about 1x/month on webcam). My DH is not going to want to spend a day off driving this whole distance by himself, and he knows I'm not going to be in a hurry to come visit. He knows he's welcome to bring the kids and come by himself, but I really don't see that happening very often...once a month MAYBE.
Without my support and prodding, my DH will be unlikely to call very often or visit, and if my MIL thinks she can just pop in whenever she likes, she has another thing coming. I know which days she's likely to visit, and I am happy to ensure we're busy and not at home.
Yes, I know it sounds petty, but I am done with allowing these people to disrespect me and the kids. To think they can ignore these kids when they've had every chance to play with them these past several months, and then think I'm going to roll over and accept that they have a strong need to suddenly spend time with them is crazy. It's not going to cut an ounce of mustard with me. They'll see the kids the 1x/month that DH might be willing to make the trip, and maybe (maybe) 1x/month when my MIL is in town for a couple of hours, and on Christmas and the kids' birthdays. That's all they're getting.
They've pushed us so hard that we're already making plans for another country change in 5-7 years. Moving on. We figure that gives the kids time to be with their grandparents while they are still little, and then we'll do some more world traveling when the kids are teens and at a good age to really enjoy seeing different world sites. If my in-laws don't irritate us too much, we'll let them go back to visiting for several weeks a year. I hope they are proud of themselves and with what their poor behaviors have gotten them. I once cared about what they thought. I once wanted them to love me. I gave up years ago when I realized that they will never love me, and that they are incapable of unconditional love and acceptance. Time to start preparing for greener pastures. Nice that we gave up everything to move here, eh?