Apologies - another PILS one

(58 Posts)
Babycino81 Sun 01-Sep-13 19:20:54

I am 36+4 with first baby. Without wanting to drip feed, DH works away (4 weeks away & 4 weeks at home). Earlier on in pregnancy, DH 'had a word' with PILS due at least 4 to 5 times a week to their constant phoning, calling around unannounced and if there was no answer (ie I was at work which is pretty common for someone who works full time!) they backed off a slight touch.

However, I am moving to my mums to have the baby for a variety of reasons and they have reverted back to the constant fucking calling. If I don't answer or not in, they phone my DH. He then tries to keep the peace and asks me to phone them. I am hormonal, slightly erratic and on the verge of kicking their front door in to tell them to mins their own f*%#ing business and to stop 'suggesting' names to me and asking if I've had any twinges and telling me what I should/shouldn't do etc

They're going to be on holiday for the actual arrival if the baby die to them booking last year and now they're threatening to cancel it because they want to be here.

Please tell me, AIBU and simply hormonal and slightly stressed or are they a pair of cranks? Advice will be welcomed!!!

DoJo Sun 01-Sep-13 19:30:01

YANBU, but it sounds like a difficult situation for you and your husband. Could you maybe text them first thing each morning saying something like 'Had a good night and managed some sleep - will let you know if anything exciting happens' and then just ignore their response. That way they can't complain that they aren't hearing from you, but you get to leave it at fairly non committal non-information without getting too involved or leaving yourself open to 'advice'. Good luck with your new baby and try not to kill your in-laws as they may be handy babysitters in the future...

mrscog Sun 01-Sep-13 19:32:50

I like dojo's suggestion of the text. Your DH needs to be firm that they should still go on their holiday - you might have the baby before or after it anyway and you might just want peace for the first few days anyway. They sound sweet but wayyyy over keen!

OnaPromise Sun 01-Sep-13 19:33:35

My dad was like this when I was pregnant - going into meltdown if I didn't phone him back immediately. I found it really, really annoying, because it feels like you're being monitored or something. It will only get worse once the baby is born as well. My dad took to calling round unannounced and letting himself in with the spare key. I had to have a word. It's even more difficult when it's the pils I would imagine.

I think you need to probably calm down though about it and try to ignore at the moment. Deep breaths. You've bigger things to think about. And they are excited too. But get your dh to have a word if they are over stepping the mark after the baby comes. It's a fine line to tread because you will probably be wanting their help as well.

I can completely understand why they want to be around when the baby is born.

OnaPromise Sun 01-Sep-13 19:34:12

Yes I agree, the text sounds like a good idea.

mrspaddy Sun 01-Sep-13 19:39:11

I couldn't stand this in your face constantly.. but it is a tough one as they are going to be the grandparents. DH needs to talk to them again.

Hopefully they won't cancel the holiday!!!

Be firm about the names thing... say.. 'We are not even thinking about that until we see the baby'.. even tell a porkie... you think it is unlucky to discuss it - say you're old fashioned like that. When DH tells you to ring them back.. he needs to change tactics - say to them you need rest.

roundtable Sun 01-Sep-13 19:40:53

They just sound excited to me.

The unannounced thing would bug me and I'd have to say please ring first or preempt things by arranging to see them.

You'll be glad to have enthusiastic grandparents when your children are older. Try not to alienate them now as irritating as you may find it.

Babycino81 Sun 01-Sep-13 19:43:28

Thanks for the text suggestion, at this stage I think it's worth a try (don't particularly fancy giving birth in HMP Holloway so won't do any harm!)

Only problem is, they are not boundary people. They've literally just called stating they need to buy a car seat for their car. When I asked why, tey said or when we 'have the baby obviously'. I have no issue with them being active and involved GP's and welcome it, however we are moving 200 miles away and they won't need a car seat as we luckily have two. They also decided to let me know that they've asked my mum and dad I go on a family holiday with them and us next year so they can 'look after the baby'. Will I sound like a crank if I get my husband to have a chat with them again? They are keen and over enthusiastic but I am feeling suffocated by their 'keenness''

Salmotrutta Sun 01-Sep-13 19:43:35

I agree with roundtable.

I expect you'd be on here complaining if they took no interest or never called.

I think PIL of Daughters-in-law can't win.

They are interested in their future grandchild.

fluffyraggies Sun 01-Sep-13 19:43:42

Could they contact DH for info on how you are some of the time instead of ringing or calling round 4/5 times a week? He'd know if there was anything to report and it would take some of the 'weight' of their excitement off you.

2rebecca Sun 01-Sep-13 19:48:10

I'd be annoyed at someone asking my parents' permission for their little girl ie me to go on holiday with them.
I'm an adult, if my inlaws want to ask me to go on holiday with them then they ask me.
I'm not wild about someone wanting to go on holiday with me just so they can see my kids though, I'd feel a bit used.
I'd be telling them to back off though and telling them that if they keep pushing then it triggers an automatic response in you of wanting to back off and they're more likely to see more of you and the baby if they give you more space and back off.

Salmotrutta Sun 01-Sep-13 19:49:44

I think the OPs ILs were asking the OPs parents to go on holiday 2rebecca?

mrspaddy Sun 01-Sep-13 19:51:53

Hmmm.. I think let them buy away.. say nothing - though how much money are they going to waste.. doesn't the car seat only last for so long ?

What did your mum and dad say about the holiday? Hopefully they are clued in and say that there is no way you can predict what holidays you go on.. that you won't want to be apart from the baby. Your mum might even ring on your behalf.

Ring them before they ring you.. say you will chat to them over the next few days. Maybe give them a specific day to ring them back.

200 miles is a long distance.. they could set up home near you yet.. watch out wink.. ah only messing.

MrsAmaretto Sun 01-Sep-13 19:51:57

How long until you go to your mums? Can you get her to answer your phone & have a word with them?

You may just have to be blunt and tell them your pleased they are so keen to be grandparents & care for your well being, but the phone calls everyday are beginning to get annoying. You've read that it's quite normal for women in the late stages of pregnancy to get annoyed & feel pestered at everyone's constant interest?

Ignore any references to babysitting etc. or keep saying "it's far to early to discuss that"

Tee2072 Sun 01-Sep-13 19:57:01

Oh FFS stop blaming the daughter in law. Like any of you would be happy to be bothered daily about something like this. FFS. Again. Want to not be 'those PILs'? Don't act like a fucking loon.

Have husband have another word or just don't answer the phone and tell husband to do the same.

Or, better yet, have husband text them once a day with an update.

Nora2012 Sun 01-Sep-13 20:00:01

I completely understand why they drive you potty. Just count down the days until you go to your mum's so you can get some space. I've got no pearls of wisdom as I'm further down a similar path and really wish I'd drawn a much firmer line in the sand earlier on. All I can say is you need to have DH on side, so try to get him to politely get them to calm it down. Do it now, before it blows up and/or the resentment gets worse.
Good luck!

Coffeenowplease Sun 01-Sep-13 20:02:11

I second the be blunt suggestion.

Viking1 Sun 01-Sep-13 20:02:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FondantNancy Sun 01-Sep-13 20:05:09

This all sounds eerily familiar. The frantic phone calls, the name suggestions, the absolute insistence we get a pram (we used a sling for the first six months - you'd have thought we were dragging the baby around by its toes the way they went on about it). I used to get a text message every day saying simply "any twinges?" not so much as a "how are you"!

We kept them at arm's length and when the baby came I acted confident and calm (even though I was sometimes dying inside) and they backed off completely when they saw that I wasn't a total imbecile.

I think you will just have to be very firm and calm with them. "Please don't call me every day, I will call you when something's happening". "Please don't cancel your holiday, the baby may be late/early". Repeat ad infinitum.

roundtable Sun 01-Sep-13 20:09:01

Be polite and firm and remember they are very excited about their role in your child's/their grandchild's life.

If your not comfortable with some of the things suggested, just laugh and say, 'What a lovely offer, I'm not ready right now but I'm sure I will be when dc is older.'

They're way is probably very different to what you're used to but they've produced a dh that you love so they can't be all bad, hopefully. I realise there is always exceptions to this rule, but hopefully they've got all your best interests at heart.

roundtable Sun 01-Sep-13 20:10:43

Their way -oops!

Babycino81 Sun 01-Sep-13 20:14:40

Thanks everyone. I have been debating if I am being a crank but really don't think I have (on this occasion- potentially in the past).

As for the holiday situ, they've asked my parents to go and my husband but have failed to mention it to me at all. My mum is not used to someone trying to boss me about so she kept quiet and noncommittal saying ' they may have their own holiday plans'.

As for my DH, due to him working away, I don't feel that he 'gets it' so to speak. He has spoken to them in the past but his dad is very emotionally controlling and can make DH crumble by making him feel bad. This is something that DH and I have spoken/rowed/fell out spectacularly about on several occasions and although he is aware of it, he doesn't seem able to address it properly.

Only 6 days until I move to my mums. 6 days and counting!

" If I don't answer or not in, they phone my DH. He then tries to keep the peace and asks me to phone them."
I'd be very hormonal with him then. He's passing the buck, not keeping the peace.

X-post, sorry; but I am still of the opinion that he is passing the buck to you, and should man up and deal with his parents. They are stressing his pregnant wife.

Flibbedyjibbet Sun 01-Sep-13 20:17:48

I think you are a little bit unreasonable. Your husband works away, your pregnant, they ring, you don't answer, they worry, they call their son.

I can understand them considering cancelling holiday to be around for the birth of their grandchild. They won't want to miss that (assuming you are not the type to ban them from visiting) however babies and their arrivals are pretty unpredictable.

Don't worry it's all hormones.

Viking1 Sun 01-Sep-13 20:23:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LouiseAderyn Sun 01-Sep-13 20:25:41

This would drive me crazy. I'm another one who suggests you deal with this now before they start drowning you, once the baby arrives.

I think you might have to have a conversation with the ils yourself, because clearly dh isn't getting the point across. Be honest and tell them that they won't need a car seat as the baby will be with you and you have one already. Tell them that you know they are excited but you will call them when there is something to say - the constant phone calls are not helpful and are driving you mad.

Sometimes it's best to be honest and to remember that if they are not worried about offending you, then you should be less worried about offending them!

Beamae Sun 01-Sep-13 20:28:21

Your husband needs to sort this. My MIL got up to a crazed 5 phonecalls a day when I was pregnant with our twins. Tell you what, there's not a lot interesting you can find to chat about with that much contact. I told my husband how close I was to hiring a hitman and he told her to stop ringing full stop, to send a text if it was urgent and that I would ring her back when it suited me. That arrangement has stuck, so now if I miss her call I'll get a follow up text saying something like 'I was just wondering if I could buy ice creams in for the girls when you come up in 5 months time' and I know it's not an emergency and we can discuss it some time in a future phonecall.

FondantNancy Sun 01-Sep-13 20:33:30

I don't think you need to be hormonal to be annoyed at frantic phonecalls every day!

mameulah Sun 01-Sep-13 20:37:19

Are you normally 'friendly' with them?

If you would find their company enjoyable without hormonal pregnancy stuff then I would be generous to them and try and make it okay.

If under normal circumstances you tolerate them then I would put your foot down. A baby has to be shared. It is however your pregnancy and it is fair enough that they back off.

2rebecca Sun 01-Sep-13 20:45:34

Your husband is the problem here then in not telling his parents to stop hounding you with endless phonecalls and that he will phone them when the baby arrives and to stop hassling you as you don't want endless phone calls just because you are pregnant as you still have things to do and don't like talking on the phone.
Suspect I'd be turning all the ringers off and telling my husband that's what I'll do as I'm not enjoying being harassed...

neunundneunzigluftballons Sun 01-Sep-13 20:49:39

After I had DD my in laws plagued us, sorry I know how awful that is for a DIL to say. They were excited but they were impacting negatively on my recovery from a section and my bonding with my daughter. FIL kept going on -- and on-- about how wonderful SIL was with her and he arrived on his own daily into visit me in the hospital while I was really struggling with bf. The whole family came every evening including the revisiting FIL. it drove me mad and we had to set boundaries. It is great to have excited grandparents and they are a wonderful asset to any grand children but still in late pregnancy and soon after the birth is a time to respect the mother and babies needs so OP I would start the ball rolling with your DH about setting the boundaries now so they do not go crazy after thee baby is born.

Babycino81 Sun 01-Sep-13 21:58:31

I have spoken to DH at length, over the past couple of years re: this. The main problem being is that if I don't answer the phone immediately (they don't wait for me to ring back) then they phone him and say we're worried, she's never around etc and he has spoken to them about it but it has clearly not sunk in. If I do answer, they say 'are you in? We're on our way round now'. If I'm not in I get 50 questions about where I am, what doing who with etc. in the past I have been quite sharp with them an replied with one word, non description answers and then they phone DH, say how upset they are because I'm in a mood with them am they don't know why. They come round but I have little to talk to them about so when the pregnancy was announced, they have been very kind and I want them involved, it's their grandchild. However, when I went to collect my pram from the shop, the assistant had told me that my PILs had been in to check what pram I was getting. He could also tell me where I'm from, what DH does for a living and where I work. They don't see anything wrong with this behaviour and this is what is stressing me out. If they do this now, what will they be like when the baby is here? Any opportunity I've had to put boundaries in place has resulted in DH being emotionally blackmailed and feeling guilty so despite him trying and me trying, it feels slightly fruitless.

FondantNancy Sun 01-Sep-13 22:01:24

The pram checking thing is strange. I don't have any further advice other than continue to set boundaries and be really firm and get your DH on board. You really have to because (sorry) it WILL get worse once the baby is here.

2rebecca Sun 01-Sep-13 22:08:56

In that case perhaps you should tell them bluntly to back off and that you like your privacy. Yes you might upset them but at the moment you're upset. It's their turn to be upset for a change. I'd stop being in as much and would tell your husband to tell them plainly to mind their own business and stop hassling you if they phone him.
I'm glad I work with tales like this, but suspect anyone hounding me like this would have been told to stop it early on and I'd have ended up getting quite angry and insisting on moving further away.
DH has to man up and not let himself get emotionally blackmailed.

Viking1 Sun 01-Sep-13 22:08:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ShedWood Sun 01-Sep-13 22:22:07

Have you tried doing the "I'm worried you're going senile" move?

Day 1) they call, you have your usual chat then say "I've got a busy week this week, so don't worry about calling me; I'll call you if there's any developments.

Day 2) they call, you say "did you not remember I said I'll call you if there's any news? Perhaps you should put a note by the phone to remind you.

Day 3) they call. You say "now, you're starting to worry me - not only did you not remember that you weren't supposed to be calling me this week, you've also forgotten to write yourself a note about it. When the baby comes we won't be able to leave forgetful nanny and grandad alone with him/her will we? You might forget something important next time. Have you seen a doctor about your memory problems?"

Day 4) no phone call (hopefully)

It's a bit mean, but it gets the message across.

EldritchCleavage Sun 01-Sep-13 22:23:49

Oh, lovey, just have the row now, it will be so much better than having it once the baby is here, you are stressing madly about whatever and your fanjo hurts like billy-o.

I'm not suggesting you set out to have a row, but be as firm and clear as necessary to get the message across. Don't do one word answers (bit teenage) stay very much in adult mode and tell them contact has to suit you as well as them, that they have not respected your space or your needs and things are going to have to change.

And yes, your DH has to stop being so weedy about it all.

mameulah Sun 01-Sep-13 22:28:13

You have got to put your foot down. And if they have a key for your home, get it back.

And that thing about the pram. I would have properly lost the plot.

Mitzyme Sun 01-Sep-13 22:33:13

Thank fuck I have the most amazing son-in -law and daughter- in -law ever!

mrspaddy Sun 01-Sep-13 22:41:38

fanjo hurts like billy-o


LongTailedTit Sun 01-Sep-13 23:03:32

YY to this! --> "Oh, lovey, just have the row now, it will be so much better than having it once the baby is here, you are stressing madly about whatever and your fanjo hurts like billy-o."

Something along the lines of:
If you don't calm down and respect our boundaries, you're going to alienate us and damage our relationship for good - this will mean you see a lot less of us and the baby.
Please stop the constant phonecalls and checking up on us. If we don't reply, send a text. If we don't reply to that, WAIT. We will get back to you in our own time.
At the moment you are hounding Babycino, and the baby isn't even here yet. We will need time on our own as a family once the baby arrives.
Please don't come over without arranging it with us first.
Etc etc.....

LongTailedTit Sun 01-Sep-13 23:05:26

Mitzyme More like, thank fuck you're a normal/amazing MIL. Most MILs are lovely. Those that aren't have DIL who post on MN to vent.

Babycino81 Sun 01-Sep-13 23:40:53

Once again, MN'ers wisdom never fails to motivate me. Will speak to DH and then PILs and update when I have.

Thank you all for reading and for your help, I no longer feel like I'm losing it! X

CoconutRing Sun 01-Sep-13 23:46:54

I really is a good idea to have the "row/falling out/no contact/we're all friends now and we understand your boundaries" chat sooner rather than after your baby is here.

I was young and naive and I let my MIL walk all over me until my DS was a few days old. What tipped me over the edge was MIL "borrowing" stealing our camera that had all our newborn pictures, getting prints and passing them around my family and friends before I had even left the hospital! I didn't know I could have such RAGE!! It has damaged our relationship and I am no longer in contact with her.

Good luck OP.

notanyanymore Sun 01-Sep-13 23:47:02

Poor you op, its so hard when people deign to give a shit about that 'their grandchildren' isn't it? And oh my god have they not realised by now that just because 'their son' ( like thats relevant to someone having a baby!) is going to be a father does not mean they can try to be involved! They should have had girls if they were bothered by such things! Hopefully you will only have daughters smile

Babycino81 Sun 01-Sep-13 23:56:45

Nottanymore- thanks for your really cuntish post after everyone has been helpful with objective advice which is what I needed. It's not about them 'giving a shit' , I asked for advice as I don't want any difficulties in them having a great relationship with their grandchild when he/she is born as they will be great grandparents and its important my child has the opportunity to have good relationships with grandparents without me and them falling out.

Hope that makes it clearer for you.

CoconutRing Mon 02-Sep-13 00:03:01

OP - I would like to add that my MIL is a fantastic Grandmother to my DC. I have no contact with her but I have tried to make their relationship with her the best it can be. My point is that if I could go back and change our relationship, I would. I was too weak and she was too pushy.

I hope it works out for you. smile

2rebecca Mon 02-Sep-13 00:08:21

There is a sensible middle ground to being an MIL notanymore that most MILs manage to tread. That involves neither ignoring your son and DIL or hounding them constantly with phone calls and requests for visits and to be visited and expecting to always get your own way.
If my son has kids I hope I'll remember what it's like to be heavily pregnant/ a new mum and back off if my son or DIL tell me I'm being a bit overpowering rather than having a huff.
I also hope I'll still have my own job and interests and won't be expecting them to be my sole source of entertainment.
Trying to be involved is fair enough, but if my son told me I was trying to hard and being a nuicance I hope I'd take the hint.
If parents want to be good grandparents they HAVE to do it on the parent's terms. Trying to push and push to get things the way they want it won't work. There are years to build a good relationship with your grandchildren, you don't have to go mental in the first few weeks.

FondantNancy Mon 02-Sep-13 00:09:21

I think notanymore is being deliberately obtuse. Can't see any other way you would reconcile being a caring grandparent with causing undue stress to a pregnant DIL.

EldritchCleavage Mon 02-Sep-13 00:10:06

There is a world of happy medium between demanding your DIL answer constant phone calls and checking here whereabouts (and pram choices) on the one hand, and not giving a toss on the other. OP's PIL are signally failing to hit that happy medium, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with the OP trying to get them to realise that.

Equally, OP doesn't have to go nuclear, but then she isn't suggesting she will. At any rate, her concerns and irritation are not unreasonable, they're completely understandable.

Bogeyface Mon 02-Sep-13 00:17:57

There will be the mother of all rows but if you stand your ground now (and yes, be the bitch) then it will stop. They will talk about you behind your back, but the probably do that anyway and who cares as long as your boundaries are in place?

The issue is your DH. Sounds like your FIL knows how to bully him, so you need to take the lead. When he agrees with you that they are being OTT you need to make sure that he sees it through. Let him blame you if it helps, because he clearly struggles to stand up to his parents, let him "I know....but Babycino wants X so...." It will be hard for him to change a life long dynamic overnight, so you need to take one for the team on this.

The thing you need to remember is that their need to see the baby will always outweigh any feelings they have against you, so use that to your advantage.

MovingForward0719 Mon 02-Sep-13 00:23:55

I feel your pain OP. Six years since I had my youngest and my oldest is 10 but I remember it well. I don't know what the answer is. Maybe all men who can't stand up to their parents should be made to get pregnant, and then we unleash our parents on them with dramatic demands and phone calls lol. It does get better. Eventually.

2rebecca Mon 02-Sep-13 00:39:25

It does seem as though women get alot more crap from their inlaws than men do.
I doubt that a male version of mumsnet would be full of men moaning that their MIL is always phoning them, even the ones who don't work.
Why do so many people expect women to be the ones keen to spend hours on the phone rather than just phoning their son when he gets home from work?

Bogeyface Mon 02-Sep-13 01:16:43

My mother adopts men as surrogate children no matter what their age, but treats women coming into our family with barely disguised distrust until they prove themselves.

I think it is a generational thing that will hopefully die a death with us.

NanooCov Mon 02-Sep-13 08:29:16

To be honest if my parents or in laws had spoken to my husband about something (in this case the holiday) I imagine they would assume that he had then spoken to me about it and wouldn't feel the need to speak to each of us separately. We're a couple after all!

I think they are struggling to see where their "place" will be in any relationship with their grandchild. Going to your mum's to have the baby probably reinforces this - they may be feeling a bit left out so unfortunately are over compensating and as a result you feel smothered. Try not to be too hard on them though. I'm sure it's done with love. And the texts just show lack of imagination in what to say! wink

Oh FFS notanyanymore, there is a big bloody difference between giving a shit about your granchild, and ramming your presence down your pregnant DILs throat. I have lovely PILs, I'm very lucky. They are quite involved with us, our DD, and our imminent DD2. However, they do not pester, hound or harass me. If they did I WOULD have a problem with it, and rightly so.

Babycino, YANBU, I hope you manage to get this sorted out amicably, and soon.

fluffyraggies Mon 02-Sep-13 09:12:42

rebecca i was thinking that yesterday while reading a thread about an U MIL. There are the old traditional MIL jokes from men -

but no, i bet there aren't many guys out there struggling with being told how to bring their children up/when to be home/what to eat/how shit they are at their job - which is what women seem to expected to swallow from their husbands mothers.

OP - i second the idea that this is an issue which needs to be sorted now.

I very much admire the assertiveness of posters like shedwood - but if you're anything like me, as attractive as the idea is to just tell them straight, the reality is too much!

I think you should

a) Tell your husband that you are not going to respond to all their calls. And that if they ring him to say you're not answering then you don't want to hear about it.

b) Agree with your DH that when you are next in their company you'll find a way TOGETHER to say you are both feeling under pressure from them. Work it out as you go along as to what to say. You can site the phone calls/the pram stuff/the questions about where you are ... It will be hard. But it may not be a big shrieking competition.

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