To have a rant about this and then tell DH he gets it stopped and he gets it stopped now, today.

(27 Posts)
Bearfrills Mon 17-Feb-14 10:55:19

DC3 is due any time now, due date is this Wednesday and I'm booked for an ELCS on the 28th if I don't go into labour before then, so baby will be here some time in the next two weeks.

A few weeks ago FIL said that if I need anything from the shops or if I need the DCs looking after to just give him a shout. I thanked him for his offer but haven't taken him up on it. He's not in the greatest of health, doesn't drive, and him going to the local shops then to mine to drop the stuff off involves a walk of over a mile there and over a mile back. The same goes for looking after the DCs. When I was working he used to help out with some babysitting and I couldn't relax when he did as I was constantly worried he'd have an accident or a heart attack or his hip would seize up and the DC are only 2yo and 4yo. There were also issues about what is/isn't appropriate for young children. I came home once to find 2yo playing with the lid from a pop bottle and he once gave the 4yo a plastic bag full of neckties to play with, unsupervised, so there were also times I worried for their safety (I know, get a grip......). Plus I'm fine doing it myself. 4yo is at school during the day, 2yo and I potter about doing the housework or visiting or going to playgroup. I do my food shopping online and when I need bread/milk there's a corner shop next to the school. DH does his fair share of the housework and insists I leave the 'big' jobs (stripping beds, etc) for him to do after work. I'm lucky in that I have no SPD or other problems and I've had a fairly smooth pregnancy so I'm quite active still.

The week before last FIL told DH he's confused about why I haven't take him up on the offer and he thinks I'm being stubborn to struggle on. I'm not struggling! DH explained that I'm managing just fine and don't really need any help at the moment but thank you for the offer.

Now FIL has started phoning me. DAILY. Every fucking day since last week and I'm starting to lose my rag over it. He phones to ask if I need anything from the shops and then asks if there's any sign of the baby yet. He told DH he was planning to do this and thinks its funny. Funny!!!! And if I don't answer the phone he then rings DH (who is at work) to find out why I'm not answering and then rings me again or texts to ask if I'm not answering because I'm in labour. I'm not planning to tell anyone when I go into labour except DH who will be going to hospital with me and DM who will be having the DCs - everyone else will find out once the baby is born, I can't stand all the "any news?" stuff and people ringing the labour ward for updates and I'd just rather no one knew.

I had a hospital appointment last week and when I switched my phone back on I had umpteen missed calls from him. I know it's melodramatic but I'm feeling suffocated by it and actually a bit patronised too, l know when I new help and when to ask for it, same for when to take it easy, and I'm an adult, I don't need to "check in" with anybody or let them know where I'm going and what I'm doing if I don't want to. I can't even go on Facebook or Twitter to chat to friends without him ringing me to say "I saw that you mentioned such-and-such (whatever I've posted)....." followed by him asking if its a sign baby is about to appear or another offer of going to the shop for me or to take the DCs for me or him telling me I should be taking it easy (after I mentioned I was taking the DCs out for lunch), so I feel now like I need to guard what I say.

I know I'm being mean when he's just trying to be nice but AIBU to tell DH to tell him to stop ringing me with his daily "baby watch" phone call before I go completely ballistic and tell him myself to fuck off (which would be unreasonable)?

Writerwannabe83 Mon 17-Feb-14 11:00:31

I really, really, really sympathise!!
I have a very overbearing Grandad who doesn't stop phoning me - when my mobile phone rings my heart sinks because I know I have to make a choice between either ignoring it or answering and dealing with the exact same inane questions he asked me yesterday. It is driving me mad. If I don't answer it he will call again and again and leave voicemails. He then rings my parents to ask why he can't get hold of me....so the. They start ringing me, it's driving me mad. One day I'd been out and left my mobile at home (on purpose) and when I came back there were 6 missed calls off him and 3 voicemails hmm I know it's because he cares but it's just too much!!

Definitely ask your DH to have a word - the last thing you want is this continual harassment to continue after the birth as well....

Lottiedoubtie Mon 17-Feb-14 11:01:28

I totally see your point but I think you have a choice to make between ww3 and managing his behaviour. I think I'd opt for the latter.

So block him on twitter and manage your privacy settings so he can't see your posts on FB. I'd probably also ring him in the morning, and give him a 'job to do' fetching something from an obscure shop a long long way away or phoning him to tell him you're exhausted and going to have a duvet day with your phone off. Or better yet texting him that info. Or go for the opposite tack, text to say you feel great, and are going to be out and about all day does he want anything from the shops? -then do as you please and if he did want something get DH to pop it round after work.

RaptorInaPorkPieHat Mon 17-Feb-14 11:04:20

YADNBU

Unplug/switch off the phone.

It sounds as if he's got totally over excited about the impending arrival.... DH needs to tell him that while he understands how excited he is and how much he wants to help 'baby watch' is stressing you out.

I know how you feel BTW (although with us MIL took to ringing excessively after the baby was born - the midwife ordered us to unplug the phone when she visited)

FranSanDisco Mon 17-Feb-14 11:13:32

I do sympathise as I have a similar MIL. However, I also think how nice he is to show an interest and care about you. My FIL rang DH the night before my induction to talk about his new kitchen units and never mentioned the baby or me. I think Lottiedoubtie makes a good suggestion.

RedHelenB Mon 17-Feb-14 11:17:23

Let him feel useful for goodness sake!

Dawndonnaagain Mon 17-Feb-14 11:17:27

Is he lonely? Maybe saying you don't need anything but he's welcome to come over for a coffee? Don't know if it'll help, worth a try.

Jess03 Mon 17-Feb-14 11:26:37

I can see he's being a bit u but, personally I'd give him jobs to do while blocking on twitter etc and dh having a kind word. He sounds lonely but he clearly does want to help and be part of the family. It's sweet really, I have close to zero active GP interest for my dc, I wish someone would get more involved!

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Mon 17-Feb-14 11:31:01

I think that it is possible to feel as though you are of no use and to be desperate to be helpful and of use, because you love the people and also because you just want to be helpful and perhaps because you feel that if there is nothing for you to do, you have no value.

God knows our society in general consigns you to the scapheap when you are older. You'd have to be really thick skinned not to feel it.

Maybe every time you say you don't need help, he hears you don't need HIS help and feels yet more old and useless.

What about getting your husband to find ways that he can feel he is valuable?

Ghostsdonttalk Mon 17-Feb-14 11:37:54

I think your FIL is lonely, bored. Ask him to tea or take the kids to the park and he can come too and push them on the swings.

When Dc 4 was due he went ten days over and Dh threatened to put a message on the answering machine with " if your phoning to see it there's any baby news yet? Please press one where you will be told to F**K OFF."
You could try that.

Chocotrekkie Mon 17-Feb-14 11:39:44

I would guess he is bored and lonely and feeling useless.

Why don't you ask him over for lunch/ play with his grandchild under your supervision.

Do you also worry about your mum falling down stairs/heart attack etc when she is minding your child ? It can happen to anyone.

When my dd was 4 she knew how to dial 999 and tell the person what was wrong. If she dials from the landline they will be able to get to the kids even if they aren't sure of the address.

Bearfrills Mon 17-Feb-14 12:17:49

I don't think he is bored or lonely, he has lots of hobbies and spends his one doing those. Having him over for coffee without DH here too would be a bit awkward as we for have a lot in common and while we like each other well enough we don't really see each other without DH there too (and he doesn't parent over the top of DH like he does with me). There aren't any jobs I could give him, even made up ones.

I don't worry when my DM has the DCs. I know anyone could fall down the stairs or have a heart attack but FILs odds of a mishap are higher than most (he's had heart attacks, has bad angina, knees are gone, hip is gone and more besides). If they fall over she can bend to pick them up, FIL can't. If the 4yo decides to go for a run she can chase him, FIL can't. He has trouble doing nappies, several times we came home to the 2yo in a burst nappy hanging down to her knees. There are lots of reasons he's not our main choice of babysitter.

I agree it is nice that he enjoys his grandchildren though (especially as MIL, his ex, doesn't even see them) and he gets to see them lots, we make sure of that. The issue though is the phone calls. He's gone from never ringing me to ringing me daily and it's too much, especially when he's in daily contact with DH too.

sadbodyblue Mon 17-Feb-14 12:28:41

oh dear I can quite see how this is stressful.

do you think he is forgetting he has phoned you already? is he forgetful in other ways as just wondering if he's becoming confused.

luckily you have your mum who is the babysitter so you don't need to use him. I think the middle road is to text him every morning and either give him a job to do or tell him you are fine and then ignore his calls. tell your dh what you are going to do so if his fil phones him he can block.

look at it this way op you day he's ill, he won't be around for ever and you need to keep the good memories not the annoying ones. you don't have to answer the phone.

Topaz25 Mon 17-Feb-14 13:53:29

Wow, it's nice he wants to help but that's way OTT. Your DH should talk to him about it and be clear that it is not funny and you need time to relax and spend time with your DC before the baby gets here, without worrying about constant calls! Maybe you could arrange to call and update him every few days and pick a job that he can do to help so he still feels included.

pussycatdoll Mon 17-Feb-14 13:58:30

It's not fair to ring your mum when you go into labour & not let your dh ring his dad though
I'd ask him to bring you some milk & biscuits
Surely you can chat about the weather, the dcs
I think you're being a bit mean tbh

NothingMoreScaryThanAHairyMary Mon 17-Feb-14 14:06:52

If you don't get on do you think he is doing this maliciously to wind you up?

Personally regardless of the reasons I would stop answering the phone to him if your dh gets phoned everyday he can deal with it, you don't need to phone him and tell him you are ok. I think your dh might realise how utterly infuriating it is when he starts getting phone calls every day .

RedFocus Mon 17-Feb-14 14:07:30

I can't even imagine what this is like for you op but it does sound horrendous.
My in laws only see me a a the replacement wife because I am not the mother of their grandkids. They speak to her every few weeks whereas they last spoke to me about 18 months ago.
I think a text update every morning along the lines of "no baby & no twinges. No jobs today I'm afraid, I'll update tomorrow unless anything happens before then" just keep sending him the same one everyday until you do have some news.
Good luck op.

Tulip26 Mon 17-Feb-14 14:12:37

He sounds very lonely. Is he not just excited for the new arrival and trying to get involved? I can't see why he can't come over for a coffee, you have your family in common and he can play with the grandkids while you potter about. You might be grateful for them being kept entertained?

Floralnomad Mon 17-Feb-14 14:14:04

I think YABU , feel free to rant but honestly how much effort does it take to have a telephone conversation with someone , you can keep it short by saying you are in the middle of something or have to get the front door .

Bearfrills Mon 17-Feb-14 15:02:26

It's not that we'll be ringing my mum when I'm in labour and not his dad, I have no choice but to tell my mum as she's looking after the DCs. If this wasn't the case I wouldn't even be telling her until I'd had the baby (like when I had our first).

Also, I do like FIL well enough and we more or less get along but aside from DH and the DCs we have nothing in common and are very different people. When he rings I do have a conversation and I do answer his questions but it really is OTT to the point of being stressful especially as he's ringing DH at least once a day too. I feel mean that I'm not overjoyed by the attention (like I said upthread, it's lovely thaglt he enjoys his grandchildren and wants to be involved) but the daily calls are too much, I feel like I can't move for him - he even said he would come sleep on our sofa for a fortnight just in case I went into labour in the middle of the night!

I'm going to pre-empt him tomorrow with a text or call as we're going to a craft thing at the library so I'll have my phone on silent for most of the morning, then we might go to kids club at the cinema depending on the film so it'll be switched off. That way he gets his update and I get a reprieve without hurting his feelings.

Of course the easiest way to resolve all of this would be to actually have the flipping baby! grin

Jess03 Mon 17-Feb-14 15:06:09

Yes, I can see it's annoying but think other than pushing back a little, it seems a little mean. Even if he can't be trusted you could let him play with the dc while you potter around.

WeeSleekit Mon 17-Feb-14 15:12:18

I wonder if he's trying to compensate for the fact your mil (your dh's mother presumably) is not around/interested? I can see how annoying and suffocating it must be though. Have you thought about just getting it out in the open with him about how it makes you feel?

Bearfrills Mon 17-Feb-14 15:30:55

I think if it keeps up I'll get DH to have a tactful word, it'll be a last resort though as I really don't want to hurt his feelings when he is just trying to be nice. Yes, he's getting on my tits with the calls but he's not actually aware of it (and I'm sure I probably get on his nerves sometimes too). I would invite him up to play but its half term and I'm going to be out every day (unless the baby actually does arrive) but I might ask him if he wants to come to soft play with me and DD one morning next week (again, if baby hasn't arrived).

I do wonder if he's compensating for MIL weesleekit and he has been our staunchest ally in going NC with her, when other family members try to pressure us to forgive her (a whole other thread!) he sticks up for us and when she tried to go via him to get to us he told her where to go (the only relative that did). I think sometimes he thinks he has to be double the grandparent to fill the gap.

RandomMess Mon 17-Feb-14 15:34:09

Why don't you get him to buy you 1 item of grocery per day grin

He'll feel useful and he may stop calling to offer...

Bearfrills Mon 17-Feb-14 15:35:54

"Tell you what FIL, you couldn't possibly pick me up some Tena Lady's and a jumbo pack of breast pads could you?"

That'll do it I think! grin

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