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.

fatcuntroller Tue 15-Jan-13 11:18:48

Are mil and fil together or divorced? Trying to work out why they can't come at the same time...

Icanhasnickname Tue 15-Jan-13 11:20:05

If he really is teetering on the brink of death.....then tell him that you could never ask a dying man to do all the work required of a visitor to a new mum, and that he should come with MIL so she can look after him in his death-throws. If he wants to play that card, trump him!

gruber Tue 15-Jan-13 11:31:11

This is a time for your foot to very firmly go down and say "No".

YANBU, I would be livid if my FIL suggested this, and he is in poor health and 77 so does actually have the excuse of "I might die soon". He would think it rude to interrupt/intervene with a new baby in the house.

I'm currently 40 + 4 so this is very real to me! Already discussed boundaries with MIL/FIL re feeding, visits etc (e.g. no visiting without a phone call first). I think you really have to say to your DP "I'm not comfortable with this, I will feel like crap, MIL is helpful, happy to have her, FIL is not." end of story.

Jux Tue 15-Jan-13 12:36:03

My step-FIL had a pace maker put in about 20 years ago. Still going strong. Don't let him guilt-trip you. If they hadn't given him a pace maker, then what he says about his health might have been true, but they did, so it isn't. He will always do this if you bend now. "FIL, the pace maker prolongs your life. Now you have, you're strong as an ox and can do all this work while you're here ....."

Cancel his visit. Then he can hassle you to let him come for a week with MIL. And you can give in to that grin.

FIL you're starting to make me think I won't be able to cope with a visit from you now. Perhaps it would be best if you didn't come at all. You're being really hard work and you're not even here yet. Actually if you're not well its probably best if you stay home and rest.

(And never agree to the "I'll just stay in a hotel" thing. They turn up at your house at the crack of dawn, stay till midnight, and by day 3 are saying they may as well sleep in your spare room. Do not do it!)

2rebecca Tue 15-Jan-13 13:30:45

You have offered him a week whilst MIL isn't there. Why isn't that acceptable? It does sound as though you have omitted the bit about them being divorced and hating each other.

bbface Tue 15-Jan-13 15:09:21

Thank you all!

The reasons mil and FIL can not come together is that.we live in a two bed flat. We have bought a very nice single fold up guest bed for my mil to use. This will be in the hall way. My FIL is a very big man and no way is this an option. So I thought that at the end of MiL's stay, we could pay for a week's accommodation locally (looking about £350).

I feel so so much stronger having read your response. It is easy to doubt oneself sometimes. MIL seems unable to be firm and direct with FIL. In fact the approach of my dh's family very much seems to be cloak and dagger, private emails. Whereas with my family it was always open and frank discussions, so much healthier. I struggle with all this tip toeing around. And I really do not understand how a grown man can be quite so bloody minded about this. Oh I pang for my late father, I really do. Such a gent. Would never have caused all this tension and hassle just because he wants more, more, more time per here, irrespective of whether it is appropriate or welcome.

Anyway, I have sent a really direct and unequivocal email to MIL being absolutely explicit that I do not want fIL here alone. No response as yet, but I do act to feeling a bit nervous and queasy about the whole thing. He is a strong man my FIL.

bbface Tue 15-Jan-13 15:12:52

2rebecca I have no idea what you are talking about. Before posting, best to read the OP's posts. I have not offered to have FIL her alone, that is THE issue. I have offered for him to join my MiL at the end of her stay for a week. And then the two of them leave together. Whereas he wants to stay on alone whilst she goes back (she works).

They have been married forty years and seem content together.

Yfronts Tue 15-Jan-13 16:38:41

Stay strong. Just explain that you can't be looking after guests as you will be too busy with baby and toddler, and MIL will be looking after you when she is here.

diddl Tue 15-Jan-13 17:06:55

Why don´t they come together & stay elsewhere?

bbface Tue 15-Jan-13 17:19:03

I live in south east. Short lets or holiday accommodation is v expensive.

Us the ma reason was so that my MIl could help out with new born and toddler whilst DH away on business, if she is staying elsewhere, limits help,

diddl Tue 15-Jan-13 17:32:29

Yes, but will you really want her there 24/7?

Will she actually be of any help?

She won´t sit cuddling baby leaving you to do everything, will she?

bbface Tue 15-Jan-13 17:41:34

No problem with MIL al all. She is fantastic. With DS1 she cooked, cleaned, made no big deal of anything. Could not ask for better.

RuleBritannia Tue 15-Jan-13 17:46:26

Well, what about the FIL coming for the last week of your MIL's stay while she stays at your place and he stays in a B&B. Just refuse to have him there for a week after the MIl has returned home and he goes home with her.

Yopu will still be in no fit state to look after his your FIL's every whim.

elizaregina Tue 15-Jan-13 17:47:38

bbface you have my most sincere commiserations.

I could easily hi jack your thread but will try not lost my dear sweet wonderful DM years ago and I also lack family support in the face of my Inlaws - and I too miss my mothers warm diplomatic un selfhish nature....memories of her constrast so sharply with the woman who is my MIL.

My husband says to his DF when/where he will be doing something with the family, ie them and the granny - if its not acceptable FIl will literally hound him into doing what he wants -. This xmas we had about 15 emails, loads of texts - knocking at the door and phone calls to get my DH to thiers on a day they wanted. They near on ruined our xmas.

The absolute LAST thing you want is men around other than your DH when bloody BF a new baby. I can however belive someone would be so utterly selfish. We too had the " its so and so 's last ever visit " etc...

Be strong, you will forever hate yourself if you let him come and it ruins the precious time with baby and stresses you out. I couldnt cope with any other visitor in a small 2 bed flat to be honest. You poor love..I know what your up agaisnt it is AWFUL. Good luck with the email.

MadamFolly Tue 15-Jan-13 17:57:58

I hope you get the result you want OP.

bbface Tue 15-Jan-13 18:23:49

Eliza, I feel for you. Sorry you also experience this. I think back to my dad, how gentle and accommodating how was, how he would be utterly appalled that I was being hounded to have my FIL over on his own,whilst my DH is away. And yet my father kicked arse in business, whereas my FIL really struggled. I honestly think it was because he can be so bloody minded and stubborn. A very intelligent man, no doubt about it, but handicapped with the inability to believe he might, he just might, be wrong.

Still no word from MIL. I really will lose out if they both pull out. New area, no family, a few new friends that are lovely but certainly not close enough to call upon, and a toddler and a newborn with a hubby abroad. My MIL would have been an angel. I think my FIL might just call an end to any visits at all, from either himself or MIl.

Anyway, thank you thank you for the posts. I really appreciate the feedback and observations, despite it being a somewhat dry and dull thread!

YorkshireDeb Tue 15-Jan-13 18:41:13

Not dry & dull at all. Make sure you update us when you hear from her though. I'm sure we've all got our fingers crossed that she agrees to what you want. And good luck with the new baby! X

elizaregina Tue 15-Jan-13 18:42:38

Pil threads are never dry and dull to those fellow pil sufferers wink.

Sometimes you have to equate what matters more and unfortunalty if you loose mil - you loose mil. If you are desperate for mil then have mil!

Its far to much for him to plonk himself on you.

I thikn my FIL is succesful in business BECASUSE he is so bloody minded and like a robotic tank going after his whatever cost.

FWIW i recenlty upset my own DF by asking him NOT to come at this second DC birth...and the pils this time round have been excluded entirely due to appalling - disgraceful behaviour last time.

Why anyman other than the DH would think a bf mother would want them in the house to stay is beyond me. Even in the ealry days when a close male friend came it was a huge pain for me to have to dissapear upstairs all the time to feed after a section!!! angry

elizaregina Tue 15-Jan-13 18:43:42

I do hope he doesnt behave like a baby.

" I have sent a really direct and unequivocal email to MIL being absolutely explicit that I do not want fIL here alone."
bbface, can I just ask why you emailed MIL and not FIL?

bbface Tue 15-Jan-13 18:57:38

Wheyouleftit... It is rather strange actually. He never emails. All communication done via mil. My opening line was.... Pls could you forward this to FIL.

ZillionChocolate Wed 16-Jan-13 08:15:33

I wonder what would happen if you mildly said "oh well, if you're going to pay for a hotel for a week so you can come around for half an hour a day and make your own drinks then of course that's fine. We won't be up to seeing any more of visitors, so I would have thought you'd be better off visiting in the summer/autumn once we're all settled).

bbface Thu 17-Jan-13 10:52:48


Thanks so much for the responses. Genuinely helped a lot.

So, we Skyped last night as I did not ever get a response from MiL to my direct email.

Quite unbelievably, my FiL was still suggesting coming over alone and now suggesting taking my DS (2.3) away for a few nights!!! I mean, seriously. When we last went to visit two months ago, FIL was very sweet with Ds but had a short fuse, no idea about actually caring for him in the sense of feeding, changing nappies etc and would run out of steam with him after about twenty mins. Plus, i want my little man about the place. just because i am having another baby, doesn't mean i am now relaxed about DS going away for a few nights without me. So that idea was literally ignored because so utterly daft.

DH did a fab job. He turned the laptop on himself and said in no uncertain terms that the early weeks are 'woman time' (he did say that he know show ridiculous that sounds, but could not think of a better expression) and that me having my fiL over, alone, whilst Dh abroad, would be unhelpful.

FIL was very quiet throughout. And then said that he would come in June, and surely that would be ok if he came alone. I said, sure, absolutely.

So MiL over after the birth, then Fil over in June.

All good. For the time being at least!

Thanks again

CaptainVonTrapp Thu 17-Jan-13 10:58:44

So in one breath your FIL is threatening to die at any moment but suddenly he wants to come and take a toddler (who he doesn't manage very well) away for a few nights?!

Jux Fri 18-Jan-13 16:01:51

Hooray! Well done your dh thanks though grin at 'woman time'. Mind you, it was probably the very best expression to use on your FIL!

ZillionChocolate Mon 21-Jan-13 08:40:31

Glad you've got it sorted!

FriendlyLadybird Mon 21-Jan-13 10:12:44

Well done to your DH. I think 'woman time' was a masterstroke -- probably terrified your FiL!

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