Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Grandparents won't visit newborn twins

Carolyn Hax on

Hi, Carolyn:

My wife and I had twins this past summer, and most of our family has cycled through and visited them. All, that is, except for her parents. We've received excuses like he had a surgery and can't travel (outpatient surgery in May), it's too expensive (we've offered to pay), and it's just too cold to travel now.

Talking to my sister-in-law recently, we learned the issue is that we're housing all visitors in a nearby hotel (within walking distance!). We have a condo, and there really isn't that much room, and I just don't feel comfortable hosting them in a now-cramped space like we did before the birth of the babies.

Apparently they feel they're not welcome and we (rather I) don't really want them there.

I'm quite lost on what to do. I don't want to do something that prevents the twins from knowing their grandparents, but really, a small condo with four adults and two infants is just not a good recipe. Help!

-- Apparently the Ogre

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My warmest congratulations on the twins, and my deepest condolences on the in-laws who don't know how to use their words.

Your sister-in-law was decent to form mature speech on their behalf, and not only that -- she also gave you the advantage of knowing (I presume) without your in-laws knowing you know. Keep it that way.

That means you can talk to your in-laws about this as if everything is dandy -- a facade they seem to want to maintain through those thin excuses -- while also addressing the real problems.

First, there's the ogre problem. To mitigate that, you need to be the one extending enthusiastic invitations for them to visit. "I can't wait for you to meet your grandkids. How does [suggested date] sound? If it works, I'll buy the tickets today." You. On the phone. Today.


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