In law issues, would really appreciate some objective views pls

(53 Posts)
bbface Tue 15-Jan-13 07:51:30

I will try to keep this short and sweet so as not to be too boring.

I am pregnant with dc 2. DS1 is 2.3. My parents both died when I was in my twenties (I am now 31). I was very close to them, they would have been a wonderful support. I tell you this, so you understand I do not have the strength of a family behind me.

My DH is foreign. I get on very well with his parents. His mother especially so. Soon after the birth of DC2, DH will go abroad with work, so MIL has offered to come and help. I thought this was a lovely idea and have agreed wholeheartedly.

My FIL is a good man, but my goodness, he is unquestionably the most stubborn, bloody minded man I have ever come across. We agreed that he would come at the end of my MiL's visit and stay for a week. He now wants to stay alone after my MIl has returned. He is push push pushing it, despite me repeatedly saying that he can come for a week at the end of my MIl's stay but I would prefer he doesn't stay alone.

I will have a newborn, a toddler, no family network and will be breastfeeding every two hours or so. What on earth will I do with my FIL?? He will not be able to drive, and I have no clue as to what he is expecting from me. As for dinner in the evening, he will be lucky if he gets a microwave meal, but that will stress me out as I will feel I should be giving him a proper dinner seeing as he is visiting from overseas. My DH has explained that he is a little competitive with my MIl and wants to spend the same amount of time here as she did.

I struggle with him, I really do. Mainly because my father was so considerate and sensitive to others I.e. if he had got the sense that I did not want him here alone, he would have instantaneously backed away. Whereas my FIL just keeps pushing the point.

I am now getting quite worked up about this. But I need to know, am I being daft? Should I just back down and say that he can come alone? Am I being unfair? Pls be as brutal as you wish.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 15-Jan-13 07:54:34

YANBU. Why is he competitive with his wife? That sounds odd.

You need to make DH deal with it. Tell him you are not happy to host his Dad while he isn't around, and make him insist that FIL doesn't visit until he is home.

pingu2209 Tue 15-Jan-13 07:58:12

I would find a man living with me alone very strange; whether I had just had a baby or not.

I am not anti men etc. But I like to walk from the loo to my room in my pants etc without having to worry about bumping into him on the landing.

BellaVita Tue 15-Jan-13 07:58:44

You are not being daft, he is being bloody insensitive and stupid.

Get DH to deal with it

catgirl1976 Tue 15-Jan-13 07:59:37

YANBU and yes, your DH should be resolving this

I agree with clouds, your DH needs to have words with FIL.

Visitors can be lovely, but it's too much after a while and you'll need your own space and time to bond with your LO.

Plus, it might be a bit weird breast feeding in front of FIL, how would you feel bout that?

On the plus side, it could be helpful to have someone around for your DC1

Tee2072 Tue 15-Jan-13 08:03:52

No, you need to deal with as an adult person.

"FIL, you are welcome to stay for the last week of MIL's visit. I am not able to be a good hostess on my own, however, so you're staying another week is just not possible. Sorry."

And stick to your guns. Every objection he raises, repeat "I just can't." Until he gives up. Out stubborn him.

ZacharyQuack Tue 15-Jan-13 08:06:33

Your DH needs to make it clear to FIL that MIL is not coming for a holiday, she's coming to help. Which means washing, cleaning, cooking, tea making, looking after your toddler and letting you get on with breast feeding and resting as much as you can. Is FIL prepared to do all that?

HKat Tue 15-Jan-13 08:20:04

YANBin the slightest bit U.

I know it's not ideal but if he is that competitive over time, could he come with the MIL for nearly all the time she's here? Maybe a week after the birth? Two visitors will suck and I didn't want anyone but my dp there when I had dd, but at least she could maybe keep him out of your hair?? But I agree in any event your Dh needs to step up here and tell him the score.

Jux Tue 15-Jan-13 08:23:57

YANNNBU. Can your dh just tell him?

retrocutie Tue 15-Jan-13 08:27:58

YANBU. I agree with a PP... out-stubborn him!

YorkshireDeb Tue 15-Jan-13 08:36:22

If he wants to be there the same amount if time as your mil I don't understand why they don't just come together for the whole thing. I would also be uncomfortable about being alone with him & would feel the need to 'host' which you really won't be capable at that point. I would point out (or get dh to) that mil is coming to HELP. She will be cooking/cleaning/entertaining ds1 while you spend time with the new baby. This will not be a holiday, nor is it an opportunity for them to bond with the new baby. I'd simply say you wouldn't feel comfortable asking him to do the kind of jobs mil will be doing. (Very sexist I know so prepared to be shot down in flames - but a particularly good excuse if you know he doesn't do this type of thing at home - my dad certainly doesn't!) Perhaps suggest he/they come over once your husband is back when you'll be feeling a bit more on top of things. x

crescentmoon Tue 15-Jan-13 08:36:47

" if he had got the sense that I did not want him here alone, he would have instantaneously backed away. Whereas my FIL just keeps pushing the point."

'guess' culture versus 'ask' culture.

what i concluded with my own in laws OP is that if they are bold enough to ask without checking first, then i can be bold enough to say 'no'

ZillionChocolate Tue 15-Jan-13 08:42:35

"FIL, I need help, I don't need guests. As you don't do X, Y and Z in your own home (^speculating wildly^), I can't see it happening in mine. Rest assured that when I am ready to receive guests I will invite you, but it is not convenient for you to stay any longer than the Xth."

DrCoconut Tue 15-Jan-13 08:43:09

Not sexist really Yorkshire Deb. My FIL would probably not have wanted to go buy maternity pads or wash my bras! And we get on.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

2rebecca Tue 15-Jan-13 08:55:23

I'd say no to this and would wonder why he's so desperate to come on his own for a week, won't he be missing his wife? Get your husband to reiterate MIL is coming to help and you'll be too busy for visitors when she has gone as will be getting back to normal. it does sound like competitive grandparenting that doesn't benefit your household at all.

Squeakygate Tue 15-Jan-13 09:03:01

A week at the end of the visit sounds reasonable. Staying on his own, sounds awful tbh. It sounds like he wants a holiday as he will probably think the mil has had a holiday and been looked after with meals etc.
Can you / dh talk to your mil and say it makes you feel awkward him wanting to stay.
My own fil has stayed on his own at our house but only when dh has been around.

expatinscotland Tue 15-Jan-13 09:09:10

Your DH needs to man up and say NO very, very firmly.

Icanhasnickname Tue 15-Jan-13 09:11:17

Could you be a bit mean....and say that if FIL wants a week alone, then MIL will have to cut her visit by a week? Or some such setup that means that the MIL will lose out if FIL persists in forcing the issue?? Then MIL will take FIL in hand and either take him with her for the last week, or ban him altogether??
I assume the MIL wont stand for stubborn behaviour. Also, tell him he has to come for at least a day whilst MIL is there so MIL can show him how to use the washing machine/oven etc....maybe this will make him realise he wont be reading the paper quielty while you serve him cups of tea.

bbface Tue 15-Jan-13 09:19:44

I am just so grateful for all your responses. Thank you.

My DH is absolutely not being wimpish about this. He and his father have a fraught relationship to say the least. He was explicit with FIL but since then FIL has been pushing and DH has softened a little because FIL keeps saying he Is sure he is going to die soon and needs this visit. He is in fact in good health, but had a pace maker fitted two years ago and it is a source of huge worry (and conversation) for him.

FIL is saying he will get accommodation near by instead of stay with us. However this will be v expensive, his country's currency is very weak against the pound atm and he does not drive. However, would this make a difference to you?

Thanks again. A silly issue, but inequality i can not see the woods for the trees. I am just so baffled that at this joyous time, everything is about my blimin FIL and him visiting.

Jux Tue 15-Jan-13 09:22:49

Oh yes! Organise a handover!

First day - sensible food shopping, maternity bits. Place emphasise maternity bits, whether you need them or not, try to turn up the embarrassment factor for him.
Day 2 - cooking, for you, your older child. What and when to serve. Washing up, tidying away.

Day 3 - washing, drying, ironing. Suggest you may be using cloth nappies, so he'll have to deal with those.

And so on. The list is cumulative. So on Day 3 he'll be doing day 2 and day 1 chores too. All under the eagle eye of MIL, who will ensure he learns to do it properly and gets into a good routine, before she leaves. Then he'll be doing it on his own.

Send him an e-mail telling them this is what you will expect if he stays on his own.

Squeakygate Tue 15-Jan-13 09:31:01

So what he really wants is a holiday. He seems jealous of mil

expatinscotland Tue 15-Jan-13 10:49:47

SAY NO over and over. This is not a holiday.

SoggySummer Tue 15-Jan-13 11:00:04

Oh the emotional blackmail "this could be my last visit" "this could be my last christmas" "I may die soon".

For that comment alone a resolute Fuck Off is required.

My ILs have been telling me for 16 plus years that they will die soon.

I appreciate its not as simple as just saying no but you really need to be firm here.

Can DH talk to FIL or MIL and explain bluntly that as you will be breast feeding etc you just wont feel comfortable with him there alone at this time. It nothing personal - but it down to it being a special but difficult time for a new mum. Explain about sleep deprivation/hormones etc not wanting to feel responsible for spending time with anyone if sleep deprived etc.

Try that stance??? I am not usually one for the "woe is me, poor new mum" thing but think here it could be milked (pardon the pun) a little bit to your advantage.

Perhaps plan another visit for them both later in the summer/autumn so at least he has something to look forward to.

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