Parental disapproval re 4th baby

(36 Posts)
Namechanged78 Sat 23-Feb-13 12:08:31

hi
I'm currently just over 20 weeks pg with our 4th baby. This is a planned pregnancy, we can afford to have them, have space in the house etc. We told my parents at Christmas about the baby, deliberately choosing a time when my sister was there too and they seeend surprised but not unhappy
However this weekend they were staying and my dad launched an attack on dh, pretty much unprovoked.
Basically he said we were irresponsible for having another, we couldn't possibly afford to put 4 through university, and we wouldn't cope with another baby. Along the way he also said I was mentally unstable, and that our marriage was very shaky
All of this is complete bollocks. Dh and I have a great relationship, he's a great dad and husband, and I have never been happier.
Dh didn't respond but basically wants nothing more to do with them. For the sake of our existing children he's prepared to bite his lip ad say nothing but their relationship is destroyed. They have known dh for over 10 years sad
I feel devastated by what my parents have said and done and feel my whole pregnancy has been tainted by this. Don't even feel I want to tell then when baby arrives
Just looking for advice of what to do. I'm a bit of a loss really and can't really see a way forward with them
Thanks for reading

Gosh! Didn't want to read and run, I can see why your DH wants nothing to do with them, if it was me I would be fuming too.

FWIW I actually think my parents will be similar in temperament whenever we say we are going to have a third, no idea why since I'm one of 3 but i'v already had comments from people saying 3 is too many??! People need to mind their own business...

Hope they apologise at least and you can put this behind you.. What an awful position to put you in, especially being 20wk pg!!!

Congrats on your baby. If they can't be happy for you we certainly can smile

ScillyCow Sat 23-Feb-13 15:52:09

Perhaps they can see something that you don't?

I have an acquaintance who kept on having children - but her and her partner lurch from crisis to crisis and the DCs are borderline neglected. She didn't manage well with two (filthy house, lots of illness/injury caused by unsuitable home environment) and then they went on to have more!

Are you sure you are coping fine? If you are, then I agree, your parents are being wierd. Have they done anything like this previously?

MoonHare Sat 23-Feb-13 16:01:26

It's clear why you feel so hurt and angry at the moment how painful and shocking to hear words like that from those closest to you but try not to do anything in haste.

Your Dad is obviously concerned for your welfare and that's a good thing even if he has expressed his concern in a less than helpful way. Parents worry about their kids don't they? Even when they are grown up.

With time the hurt you and DH currently feel will fade, and hopefully it will faded enough in 20 wks time when DC4 arrives for you to allow your parents to be part of the joy of a new baby in the family.

Are you able to tell your parents how upset you are feeling? If you have the sort of relationship where you can be honest with each other then you should air this with them but not yet, try and bite your lip until you feel calmer - it may even have to wait until after baby arrives.

Pregnancy sends hormones racing and your feelings will be hightened at the moment because of this, time and perspective may help you get passed this with your parents.

Grandparents can enrich children's lives so much that I would caution against doing anything that will make your children's relationship with your parents difficult, no matter how justifiably angry you might feel.

Cry, shout, rage to DH and your friends about how you feel right now - let it out but hold back on doing anything you might regret in 10, 15 or 20 years time.

Babies have a way of bringing people together, I hope it works this way for you and your family.

Best wishes.

ScillyCow Sat 23-Feb-13 16:05:47

Great post, Moon.

jeee Sat 23-Feb-13 16:13:28

My parents were very unhappy about me having a fourth child. I knew they would be and put off telling them.

I also knew why they'd be unhappy. It wasn't about me and DH - we were managing fine (though the house often needed a good vacuum clean!). For some reason my mother decided that a fourth child would be tempting fate. I had three healthy children, and mum couldn't believe we'd be that lucky fourth time round. Illogical yes, but my parents were dealing with the long term impact of having a seriously ill daughter - my sister.

Their reaction was what I was expecting - they did not exactly overwhelm me with congratulations. This made it worse for them when I miscarried a couple of days after telling them.

Anyway, I got pregnant again, and have a healthy fourth child, and of course my parents absolutely adore her. If anything my dad is even dottier about no.4 than the previous children.

Could there be other factors which mean that your parents are particularly concerned?

AThingInYourLife Sat 23-Feb-13 16:22:41

If my father ever spoke about me like that to my husband, as though I were faulty chattel he had handed over, I would consider myself an orphan from that day forward.

throckenholt Sat 23-Feb-13 16:25:17

Your dad was out of order. It is perfectly reasonable for him to have an opinion, but given that your pregnancy is a fact, and the child is going to be part of the family, there was absolutely nothing constructive to be gained by saying what he did. If we wanted to try and make sure you stopped at 4 then he had time enough to raise it more constructively over the next year or so.

I can understand how you and DH feel. I would for the sake of family unity try and put it to the back of my mind - although I would never forget (having been through years of my DH not liking my mum - which was very uncomfortable, and us both now find his father very hard work). It may well be that your mum wasn't aware what your dad said, or that he was going to - and any distancing from him will hurt her too.

But - bottom line - you and your DH made your choice and you are happy with it. It is nothing to do with anyone else - don't let them spoil it for you.

AThingInYourLife Sat 23-Feb-13 16:34:46

The opinion it's reasonable for him to have is "how lovely, my daughter is having a baby".

Namechanged78 Sat 23-Feb-13 16:40:00

Thank you everyone for your replies, it really helps to hear some unbiased opinions.
Their reasons for concerns- my mother brought up an incident from when I was about 3 days postnatal with dc3 and she was staying andinterfering offering lots of helpful advice. I shouted at her and told her to stop it. She was driving me crazy, I was in baby blues territory, it really wasn't a big deal (or so I thought)
The other 'evidence' was even further back when dc2 was a baby and my mother was again interfering offering advice to my dh. He told her to stop telling him what to do and she got all upset. When I went to see if she was ok I made a joke about dh along the lines of 'it doesn't bother me if he is grumpy as I am used to it'
On the basis of this, and some shit stirring from my sister my parents have decided that dh is horrible to me, and I am miserable. They visit 2 or 3 times a year for a couple of days.
We have always made an effort to make sure the children get to spend as much time with their grandparents as possible so we will visit them too, again 2 or 3 times a year usually for about 2-3 days at a time. Whenever we visit them dh is busy doing diy jobs that they save up for him. He has done tons over the years and prior to this thought he had a good relationship with them.

We don't want our children to miss out on having grandparents. I did tell them the next day how hurt we are, but no apology just talk of 'starting over again'
I think we will probably just go along with this for the kids sake but I don't think it will ever be the same again, and now I will feel like I can't tell them if I am stressed because it will just be added to their imaginary list of things wrong with me!
I am genuinely very happy at the moment (apart from this obviously). I work part time and love my job, I have great fun with the kids, and we have family time at weekends which is best of all. Dh couldn't really be any better as a partner or dad, he's my best friend. I think I'll just focus on that for the next 20weeks and see what happens after baby arrives. Maybe we will get an apology eventually

Bowlersarm Sat 23-Feb-13 16:58:11

My DM was a bit like this. i made DH ring her and announce my pregnancy with DC3 because i knew she wouldnt't approve, despite the fact that she had four children herself, for her, my having two children was perfect. i don't quite understand it but maybe they just feel protective of you and are dismayed you may be putting yourself through unnecessary hardship, therefore blaming your DH? It doesn't make it right though.

I agree with other posters though and please don't jeopardise a future relationship with them. They obviously feel guilty as they talked about 'starting over again' and it will take a while for you to forgive them, but once the baby is here and time has passed a bit hopefully you can move on and forgive them for being so unsupportive.

AThingInYourLife Sat 23-Feb-13 17:02:33

You can't forgive them, they're not sorry.

If they felt guilty for character assassinating you and your husband they would have apologised.

How can you "start over" with your own parents FFS?

It doesn't sound like your relationship has ever been particularly close or supportive.

Grandparents are only worth having if they are nice people.

Bowlersarm Sat 23-Feb-13 17:05:26

Wow can't believe the people who would cast such close family aside so quickly. Would you really really advise that the OP cuts her parents out of her life?

AThingInYourLife Sat 23-Feb-13 17:11:35

I can't believe how tolerant people would be of such unwarranted abuse of their spouse and disrespect of themselves.

The parents need to see how badly they have behaved and apologise for the hurt they have caused.

Right now they believe themselves to be righteous truth tellers.

They would not be welcome in my home until they got some basic fucking manners and started treating me and my spouse with respect.

Putting up with shitty treatment just to stay in touch with people who treat you badly is such a waste of emotional energy.

I have been in a similar situation with my sister. Out of the blue last summer she had a rant at me accusing me of being a bad mother, I did not love DS and my youngest was a spoilt brat. I walked away but she continued by text saying she was only saying to my face what everyone else said behind my back.

I cut her out of my life and the children have not seen her since. It has been very, very hard on everyone especially my parents but I do not want someone who thinks like that about me around my children.

Op cutting someone out of your life is a hard decision to make and the children would find it hardest of all. Please think carefully before making a decision but ultimately you need to decide if you want these people in yours and your childrens life with the opinions they have of you, your DH and your relationship.

Bowlersarm Sat 23-Feb-13 17:20:11

I would hope that my children knew how much I loved them and that there would be leeway. OPs DF knows he caused upset because they want to start over. It's still wrong, IMO, just to tell the OP to tell her parents to fuck off with no thought to the consequences in the future.

AThingInYourLife Sat 23-Feb-13 17:27:34

You want leeway to verbally assault your children and their spouses?

It's people who expect leeway on stuff like that that you're best cutting out early.

People who are sorry apologise.

When they won't "let's move on" means "why don't you stop bitching and just shut up?"

SanityClause Sat 23-Feb-13 17:32:15

Of course you can forgive them, even if they are not sorry for what thy have done. In fact, not doing so will cause you more problems than it will cause them.

But, you don't need to give them any ammunition to upset you in the future. So, I agree, don't tell them when you are stressed, or need help. You will need to find other less judgemental people that you can rely on to help you with any problems you have in the future.

(I can never tell my DM anything because she is so judgy. She gets upset about this, but even though I know it is "just her way" I'm not so silly as to set myself up for a fall. I don't let it eat me up, though.)

Bowlersarm Sat 23-Feb-13 17:34:10

Athing you've told the OP in five sentences to cut her parents out of her life. You don't have to live with the consequences

AThingInYourLife Sat 23-Feb-13 17:51:00

I didn't tell her to cut her parents out of her life.

I said she should hold out for an apology and a recognition that they were very wrong to do what they did.

Advising someone to let people walk all over them doesn't strike me as being particularly wonderful.

She's currently going to let the relationship die a gradual death.

I might do that if my parents meant very little.

Or I might have the row and see if we could get it sorted.

But asking someone to pretend that people who behaved so appallingly are sorry is daft.

Her feelings, and her husband's feelings, matter.

Her marriage matters too.

How would she feel if her husbands's parents attacked her in that way and he expected her to carry on as though it was completely normal to ambush people like that?

They were way, WAY out of line.

Sometimes you need to stand up for yourself.

IMO the day your Dad tells your husband your 4th child is unwelcome, you are unstable and he is a bad husband is the day you draw a line.

Norem Sat 23-Feb-13 17:52:21

Hi op is your Dad usually a foot in mouth person, is he a normally good natured?
I only ask because if he was previously lovely I would be a little concerned about him.
Sometimes when people are Ill, mentally or physically, they can undergo a bit of a personality blip?
Also it strikes me that you really are happy at the moment, do they like that or are they trauma merchants, only happy when there is something to moan about?
Anyway well done both of you for not having a major falling out about this, I would however redraw the lines a little with your family a bit.
Put the ball into your court and take charge of visits ect, I wouldn't have them visit when your new baby is too little either.

Norem Sat 23-Feb-13 17:53:20

Hi op is your Dad usually a foot in mouth person, is he a normally good natured?
I only ask because if he was previously lovely I would be a little concerned about him.
Sometimes when people are Ill, mentally or physically, they can undergo a bit of a personality blip?
Also it strikes me that you really are happy at the moment, do they like that or are they trauma merchants, only happy when there is something to moan about?
Anyway well done both of you for not having a major falling out about this, I would however redraw the lines a little with your family a bit.
Put the ball into your court and take charge of visits ect, I wouldn't have them visit when your new baby is too little either.

Norem Sat 23-Feb-13 17:53:40

Oops double post sorry

Bowlersarm Sat 23-Feb-13 18:00:19

You said you would consider yourself an orphan-how is that not saying you would recommend she cuts them out of her life?

Of course her and her husbands feelings matter, and her husband is justifiably pissed off about it. But you only have one set of parents, and they are compromising by saying they would like to 'start over'. I would be absolutely pissed off about it but would give them the benefit of the doubt. DParents have everything to lose here, and the onus is on them to make it up

AThingInYourLife Sat 23-Feb-13 18:13:17

That I would consider myself an orphan if my Dad spoke about me in that way is not any kind of recommendation.

Saying they want to start over is just brushing her off. It's not a compromise.

They were outrageously rude to a man who has helped them out a lot and tried to build a good relationship with them over a decade.

That can't be forgotten just because it suits them.

They need to accept that they have behaved badly here and apologise.

Until they do it is not fair to expect her DH to have to have them in his home.

Bowlersarm Sat 23-Feb-13 18:19:09

We have to agree to disagree AThing. I'm not condoning their behaviour. But I am saying it's a huge thing for op to cast them out if their lives

LemonBreeland Sat 23-Feb-13 18:22:21

In your situation I would call my Dad and ask him to apologise to my dh before I would see him again. I would make clear exactly how upset both of you are by the comments made, and just moving forward and forgetting about it is not an option.

Namechanged78 Sat 23-Feb-13 18:38:46

Yes part of the issue for me is the way they just want to act as though nothing has really happened. My dh is still fuming and I think they will have to discuss this. The risk is me being the meat in the sandwich if I act as go between, and I don't want that to happen as it could cause a rift between me and dh. On the other hand if I leave it to dh to sort it out himself he might just give it to them all guns blazing which wouldn't be helpful long term either.
Ideally my dad needs to speak to dh and sort it all put between them, but that's just not going to happen.
I've heard my dad occasionally criticise people in kind of a bitchy way before, but never directly to their face. And the way my mum spoke about it the next day, echoing some of the things dad had said but in a more muted way it's clear they have discussed this before (and that mum agrees with what he said)

Bowlersarm Sat 23-Feb-13 18:43:51

Then it sounds as though you need to distance yourselves for a while and put the onus on your DParents to mend bridges. Your loyalty has to be to your DH and DC's but don't throw away your relationship with your parents in a fit of pique (that's my opinion although clearly others think differently!). I hope it ultimately works out for you OP

AThingInYourLife Sat 23-Feb-13 18:50:32

You shouldn't act as a go between.

Your DH deserves to have you firmly on his side here.

I think Lemon's suggestion is about right.

jellybeans Sat 23-Feb-13 18:54:11

My parents were dreadful at first with DC5. Mainly because I almost bled to death with no 3/4 (twins). But to them any more than 2 is far too many. They were awful at first but soon came round to the idea and dote on DC5. Try not to let them get to you, they are probably just concerned but not expressing it in an appropriate way. They maybe could not cope with that many, we are still their 'child'. If other than that they are OK then I would let it go but tell them unless they are supportive then they won't be seeing much of you.

Namechanged78 Sun 24-Feb-13 10:58:41

Thanks again, I'm going to leave this thread now and return to my normal name, I appreciate so many people taking the time to post a reply

Sparklymommy Thu 21-Mar-13 12:46:43

I was in a similar position when I planned baby number four, except we lived (and still do, four and a half years on) with my mum. I told her I was pregnant in a public place because I didn't know how she would react. She didn't speak to me for two days.

When she did speak to me again she told me I needed to get sterilised once the baby was born. (I agreed, knowing the doctor would never agree to sterilisation, I was only 25!). DD2 has my mums name as her midde name and my mother dotes on her now, but she was disapproving when I announced my pregnancy and my grandmother even more so. We didn't tell her until I was about 30 weeks pregnant!

syl1985 Sat 04-May-13 02:22:52

That's terrible and he was totally out of line.
Even if it's true what he says then still he's way out of line.

You're already pregnant. What could you do? What on earth was he thinking?
That you were going to respond like:
"Sorry dad, you're right I can't take care of this child".

If he was so worried about you having another child he should have had a, kind and polite, word with you both after you had your 3rd child.

Or in a none negative / hurtful way expressed his worries to you and your partner.
But not like this.

Sylvia

toffeelolly Sat 04-May-13 02:39:25

Just some thing's you cannot forgive. What a awful thing to say. Just look at it this way , it's your family you are all happy, would not give a toss what parent's think.

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