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Feeling hurt by in laws and want to move on

(38 Posts)
satsumagirl Thu 16-May-13 07:55:57

I'm really disappointed by my husband's side of the family.

We've been together for almost 10 years. During that time his family had been very nice, thoughtful and welcoming to me. In truth I probably idealised them a little as I had a poor relationship with my own family (now much better, thankfully).

We had dc2 last year and as we knew there was a possibility I would need another c section we asked my mother in law to come and stay with us to help. The plan was for her to look after our older child when we were at the hospital having the baby, and then she would stay for a while after to help out. i have always got on very well with her and thought of her as one of my closest friends.
She came down to stay when I was 39 weeks PG as we originally thought I would need to have a c section then.

DC2 was late - more than 42 weeks late. Just after I hit 42 weeks, my mother in law announced that she was going back home (she lives at the other end of the UK). Fortunately I then gave birth and she left 2 days after the baby was born.

We had DC2 last year and as we knew there was a possibility I would need an

Selba Sat 18-May-13 00:37:27

No, I meant why not do the legwork to visit her rather than getting the kids to send a card asking MIL to make the journey to OP's place.

EldritchCleavage Fri 17-May-13 17:20:26

I can see why you both think your DH should deal with it but honestly, I think your husband is being completely daft. And odd.

If you want to know what's wrong in the relationship with his family, ask them. If he feels his mother isn't ready to discuss it, he should ring one of his sisters and ask her. Probably your MIL is doubly hurt because she feels by not raising the (to her) obvious issue your DH is uncaring about it or sweeping it under the carpet.

CarpeVinum, spot on.

love the oaks analogy.

CarpeVinum Fri 17-May-13 08:08:36

why don't you go and visit HER?

I think the OP and her DH have to mend fences first. Not sure inviting themselves up for a visit is really possible or advisable until the extended hiccup has been overcome.

It's a bit sad really. Such a small issue relatively speaking, and pretty much fixable with a genuine and heartfelt apology from the pair of them and everybody could be happy. But....from tiny acorns of failure to see another perspective, giant oaks of family rifts can grow.

Selba Fri 17-May-13 08:03:30

why don't you go and visit HER?

Selba Fri 17-May-13 08:02:47

On a general point of your inlaws not coming to see the baby, some people are not that into babies or children. Especially if they have to travel some distance!

I am astonished your MIL agreed to the original arrangement. I think that's mighty generous of her

DaemonPantalaemon Fri 17-May-13 07:54:41

Sorry, while YOU watched telly, not while she watched ...

DaemonPantalaemon Fri 17-May-13 07:52:55

Yep, I agree with the others that it is the space issue. And the bed. Why didn't you offer her the DC's room, then the DC could have come in with you? You really gave her no choice but to accept the sofa. And what about at night? Did she have to hang around while she watched telly before she could go to sleep? And did she have to wake up early as she was sleeping in a shared space. Three weeks of that would drive me nuts, I have to say. It really does sound as though you did not put much care into her time with you as your guest. The other family members are also probably just reacting to her discomfort. I suggest you talk to her directly about it.

A1980 Thu 16-May-13 21:02:10

Out of interest why was it a.nightmare for you and your husband to cope with a.baby and toddler after a section? If.your husband had leave especially. does it need three adults?

Some women don't have a partner &do it alone.

diddl Thu 16-May-13 18:28:47

Was your husband at home with you after the birth?

If so, I can see why she went home after alread being there for three weeks-on the sofa!!

A1980 Thu 16-May-13 18:17:07

Why not make a start by sending a lovely card from the children saying they would love to see their grandmother.

A1980 Thu 16-May-13 17:15:15

Why not make a start by sending a lovely card from the children saying they would love to see their grandmother.

oldwomaninashoe Thu 16-May-13 10:15:02

Putting myself in your MIL's shoes I would have been a little put out that it had been arranged that I should come down at 39 weeks then spent 3 weeks sleeping on the sofa!!
I don't know how old your MIL is, I am in my early 60's and it it were me I would have expected you to have your toddler in your own room and arranged a proper spare bed for me.
If you don't why she's a bit miffed, then I think you need to look long and hard at yourselves.
Unfortunately it seems hard for a younger generation to appreciate that sleeping on a sofa is just not physically comfortable for many older people!

CarpeVinum Thu 16-May-13 10:08:19

Oh I missed the bit where you offered her YOUR room and not the child's room.

That wasn't an offer she could have accpeted. Picking herself over a heavily pregnant woman on the sofa.And perhaps you didn't realise that, but you basically forced her onto the sofa.

For three whole weeks.

There's probably the issue. She went out of her way for you both and your collective attitudes towards making her comfort a priority during her stay doesn't shout gratitude, or even a great deal of thought from the perspective of the guest.

You two have a choice. Choose your children having a healthy and happy relasionship with what sounds like a really nice grandmother for as long as she is around. Or make a priority of you and your husband not being in the wrong in any shape or form and let this go on until it is too late to resolve easily.

It's not fuck up of the centuary, and around the time of childbirth does make it harder to see other perspectives becuase it's so all consuming.

I was a fecking monster at the end of the preggo, after the birth and for a good six months after he was born. One huge hormonal self obsessed mess.

Stand next to me and you'll feel about six million times much more evolved in comparision.

I think everybody in the vicinity breathed a huge sign of relief that we chose to stick to one child. grin

AnAirOfHope Thu 16-May-13 09:52:23

I would send an email and be as polite as poss and none blaming and say sorry you dont know why she has backed off but you want to know and work thru it.

Tell her you are greatful for her help and that you value her help, opioin and advice and that the kids would love to see more of her as would you.

There is no reason why you cant contact her and discuess it reasonable with her as you are the mother of her grandchildren and its important to maintain that relationship.

Three weeks is a long time to put your life on hold for your adult children and she has her own life and two dd that will expect the same when they have children. Also she stayed three weeks and ur dh had two weeks maybe she felt that was more help than she got and is now leaving you to be a family?

But you will not know untill you ask.

AgathaF Thu 16-May-13 09:48:46

I think if there reassly is no history of her behaving like this, then you should just get on with sorting it out with her. She may well be really hurt that you have just not mentioned her obvious upset, and really hurt that you have withdrawn for 6 months and made minimal effort at contact with her.

Have you or your H asked his sisters what the problem is?

2rebecca Thu 16-May-13 09:47:18

I wouldn't invite someone to stay unless I had room for them. It sounds as though your house just wasn't big enough for your MIL to stay and in that case I'd have paid for her to stay at a local b&b or just accepted that your husband would have had to look after your oldest daughter or take her to a relative's for a few days. Having someone sleep on the sofa for 2-3 weeks is a daft idea, as would have been a heavily pregnant woman sleeping on the sofa. It all sounds poorly thought out.
If you want to try and sort this out I'd get on the phone to her, you should be repairing the relationship for its own sake though not for your children "missing out".
If you decide it's your husband's relationship to repair then leave him to it and stop fretting. The fact that he hasn't already been round to sort things out makes me think that he doesn't regard this as unusual behaviour for her. Also why does FIL get let off the hook again? He hasn't been in touch either. Perhaps your husband could phone his dad to clarify things. They all sound rather passive and disfunctional.

CarpeVinum Thu 16-May-13 09:35:49

It can be extremely hard for some people, espeically an older generation to accept "an offer" outright. They do the "oh don't fuss about me" skit. Long standing social dances die a hard death when they are the product of an early lifetime of it being drummed in. The protocol if you don't want extended stay guests (particularly those who grew up in a different era) ending up feeling all upset is not to offer, but to provide a done deal.

You move your child into your room and say "this room is yours welcome guest"

I'm not saying this is your fault. It is likely a generational culture clash.

If you want this fixed and are willing to swallow some high ground to get it, a lovely letter apologising (with no if, buts, and maybes and "well ypu should have"s) for not having made better arrangments so she was more confortable will probably do the trick. Say that in retrospect you feel you and her son should have set things up differently with a greater focus on her perspective.

It's not nice eating humble pie especially when from your lens you are justified in saying "well heck we did offer, you were part of how you ended up feeling desperate to go home". But as a means to an end, if the result is really important to you, worth holding your nose and stuffing it down.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 16-May-13 09:33:56

Just call her and ask her if anything is wrong, satsumagirl, and if so, what.

Her being miffed at you is just conjecture at this point. Talk to her. Set your mind at rest. Be prepared to listen if she actually is upset about something, and be prepared how to tell her kindly and directly that you were upset/concerned by her abrupt departure and minimal contact (in a non-blaming way, just a "this is how I feel" way).

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 16-May-13 09:30:42

"We offered her our room but she was adamant she wanted to sleep on sofa in living room"

No-one in their right mind would insist that a heavily pregnant woman sleep on the sofa. I don't know how old your MIL is but it's really not comfortable sleeping on a sofa for any length of time.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 16-May-13 09:28:21

I wondered that as well CV... From her perspective she volunteered to drop what she was doing and help out for a C-section birth which didn't happen. She then spent three weeks twiddling her thumbs far from home either in a small flat with two adults and a toddler or with her DD (SIL?) who has a spare room. Did it cost her to travel from the other end of the UK and is that why she didn't go back home when the c-section was called off? Was there anyone waiting for her back home who needs her for other things? A FIL? Friends? Groups she belongs to?

CarpeVinum Thu 16-May-13 09:28:06

that I would be a bit more understanding than your MIL obviously is

Nothing is truely obvious when you are getting only one person's truth in the scenario.

It is a bit odd that a previously well maintained and non drama ridden relationship that one person should react to absolutly nothing and throw an extended "wobbly".

There is at leat a reasonable possibility that the OP in the fug of late pregnancy, birth and newborness has inadvertanly failed to see the scenario from anther perspective.

satsumagirl Thu 16-May-13 09:24:13

Carpe- my older child sleeps in the second room.

We offered her our room but she was adamant she wanted to sleep on sofa in living room.

We gave her plenty of space/ time for 'me time.'

CarpeVinum Thu 16-May-13 09:21:06

In a 2 bedroom flat though so sadly we don't have a spare room

Sorry, not sure I understand and want to clarify. Who was in the second bedroom? And if not MIL, where was she sleeping/having private "my own space" time ?

photofinish Thu 16-May-13 09:12:31

I'd like to think that if I was staying with my DIL or other relative/ friend who was just about to have a baby, especially a C section, that I would be a bit more understanding than your MIL obviously is.

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