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Crazy In-Laws moments

(52 Posts)
sharp01 Fri 12-Aug-11 14:16:57

I am 6 months pregnant with my 1st child and already have what can only be described as the longest list possible for 'ridiculously stupid & patronising conversations with the in-laws'.

I don't wish to be horrible, they are lovely people and cannot do enough for anyone but they have a habit of been 'too involved' & overstepping boundaries etc. I think self absorbed would be a good description, they believe that everyone thinks they are 'wonderful' & are pleased when they are there...

Luckily my DP is very understanding when it comes to his parents but I try to remain aware that at the end of the day, they ARE his parents and there is only so much one should say. However, how long am I supposed to put up with idiotic comments like:

- The FIL calling OUR child, HIS baby (and conveniently ignoring any remarks I might make).
- The MIL asking what names we are thinking of & then asking if we're joking (and then telling friends and family that we must be joking about it).
- Calling round to see the nursery (although at the times in question, it was an empty room with some colour on the wall)!
-The MIL making snarky comments about us having already wetted the baby's head since we didn't find out until 5 weeks along.
-Both of them asking if I am looking after myself properly & then commenting that I'll have THEM to answer to it I am not!!!
- Getting snarky because I'm not swooning over been pregnant & telling everyone what a wonderful experience it is.
-Telling me they will want to touch my belly to feel kicking (even though I do not like my personal space been invaded by anyone other than DP).

To make matters worse, the MIL has taken it upon herself to book a week off work to spend with me and baby once DP has returned to work...which means that unless I make myself unavailable I am stuck with the woman. It also creates tension with my mother as apparently 'technically, it's her job'. This will be once our baby is 3 wks old, I don't think I should have to go out just to avoid seeing her.

Even more annoyinly, me and the DP are marrying in September but the plan to run off alone was scuppered once we realised that his parents had his birth certificate nicely hidden somewhere at their house & no amount of searching could find it. So now, the MIL is telling anyone who will listen that we really did want them there to share our special day because otherwise, we would have found a way around it....

I think it's possibly the 'smug look' she gets when doing all the above, like it's some kind of Mother Theresa Complex that really pisses me off.

I just can't be ar*ed anymore. Is this was my life is going to be like from now on. Do we suddenly have to have an Open Door Policy when it comes to my DP's family? Am I surrounded by crazy do-gooders? Do I just have to 'grin and bare it'?

onehellofaride Fri 12-Aug-11 14:26:16

They mean well but just need to back off a little. Tell your MIL that she can come and stay for a couple of days when you have your baby (instead of a week) you might be glad of the help! Is this their first grandchild?

In relation to the birth certificate why can't your DP just get another copy?

LilBB Fri 12-Aug-11 14:30:22

This is normal in law behaviour. Either stamp it out now (and face the possibility of being hated by them forever) or grin and bear it.

Why couldn't you get a copy of DHs birth certificate from the town hall? Im on my third copy of mine.

nelehluap Fri 12-Aug-11 14:33:04

No you do not have an open door policy when it comes to your DP's family....and no you do not have to just grin and bare it...absolutely no way.

I had exactly the same problem with my out-laws.....I have two children - two DD's...they are now 12 and 7. When my eldest was born I couldn't keep my in-laws away - they were constantly turning up, unannounced and staying for hours, they would bring other family members with them, and spent the entire time coo-ing over the baby, keeping her awake and giving me a hard time when I insisted the baby needed a feed and a sleep....they seemed to love telling me how to be a Mum and many a time I'd have to bite my lip, keep my cool and ignore them. It got so bad that it'd cause such friction between DH and me and began to ruin those special precious first few weeks of being new parents.

So I had to sit them both down - tell them straight how it was going to be - that this was our baby, not theirs, and that whilst I appreciated their help and advice I was going to find my own way being a new Mum.

When I was due to have DD1 - in fact I was ten days over due they turned up at our front door...I was fed up, miserable, in a lot of pain, feeling very low and DH went to the front door and asked them nicely to leave....we then headed over to see my parents and we were only there for a few minutes and they turned up....complaining that if I was well enough to visit my parents then I'm well enough to receive visitors myself. From that point on we told they were told by both of us to not come unannounced, we didn't have an 'open-door' facility and to be more considerate.

I do believe you should lay down some basic ground rules now. Yes its an exciting time for everyone, including them, but I do think sometimes parents (or grandparents) forget that the new baby isn't just for them and that being so involved is actually detrimental to the baby and to his/her new parents. Unless you lay down these rules now before the baby is here it'll do nothing but cause problems with you and your partner because he will naturally wish to defend them and will also find himself right in the middle of it all and the one person you need on your side when you do have your baby and beside you fully supporting you is your partner.

usualsuspect Fri 12-Aug-11 14:34:38

They just sound excited to me

SharpInTheWoods Fri 12-Aug-11 14:36:01

Yes, it's their first grandchild (same for my mother too, but she tends to get sidelined throughout).

We considered getting a new copy but DP's guilt insincts kicked in. Doing that suddenly became too 'cloak and dagger' for him. I think even though his apron strings are cut they are not necessarily free & we both new that doing the running off and eloping would not please them. I imagine this was very much at the forefront of DP's mind anyway...

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Fri 12-Aug-11 14:39:03

Make lots of plans with other people the week MIL wants to be around. This was how I survived week long visits from inlaws when my DD was a baby and MIL was slowly suffocating us both. Maybe it's mean but you need to be a bit selfish in the early days to keep your sanity imo.

And yes it seems pretty normal for inlaws to be insensitive at times. I remember being all excited when we registered pfb's birth smile proudly showed inlaws the birth certificate and while FIL smiled and didn't say much MIL simply said "oh you registered our baby with that name? Does that mean it's too late to change your minds?" Yes it fucking is you cheeky sow.

They just sound excited...and you sound like quite hard work!

DoingTheBestICan Fri 12-Aug-11 14:45:56

They sound excited,all you need to do is just ask them to back off a little if you feel its too much.

At least they want to be a part of your babies life,just think to the future & all that lovely babysitting you can ask on.

MrsBananaGrabber Fri 12-Aug-11 14:54:30

I hope you have a son, I'll bet your mummy will be all over the pfb, but the evil old hag of a woman that bore your DH will have no chance, good luck.

cricketballs Fri 12-Aug-11 15:04:57

I haven't read anything about what they are doing that is not normal! But on one point I always stress when these type of AIBU come along is don't forget that they are your DP's parents and as such have to be treated the same as your own parents in terms of time spent with etc

nelehluap - I can understand why your PIL were not happy; you say to them you are not well enough etc to see them but then go round to your parents

rooks14 Fri 12-Aug-11 15:13:11

All sounds like my situation grin.

Best thing has happened, MIL took 2 weeks off work from my due date to spend time with her grandson! (Cheek! ask first!!) and now he's two weeks late and she has to go back to work! hhahahahahahaa :D

We don't have a car and the supermarket is really awarkdly not a bus route from our house, so it pisses me off so much that they come over all the time and NEVER ask us if we want a lift to asda. Potatos are heavy when you'er 10 dayss overdue sad

Mil: How are you today?
Me: Fine, bellys a bit sore (clever plan from my mum to stop MIL touching me every damn minute)
Mil: Awwwwwwww(rubs belly even more than usual, I'm gonna rub her and see how she likes it!!!!!)

Add that to FIL asking me infront of my dad whether I'm worried about labour. I think my Dad has enough to deal with the fact his son got his 21 year old daughter (me grin) pregnant, without thinking about a baby coming out of my bits!!!!!!!!!!

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Fri 12-Aug-11 15:13:38

Because they don't have any, you need to set firm boundaries for your ILs.

You're best advised to start now and don't be deterred if they accuse you of BU, sulk, or otherwise throw their toys out of the pram - think of it as getting valuable training in the art of parenting before pfb arrives.

MrsBananaGrabber Fri 12-Aug-11 15:18:17

MILs can do nothing right on MN, this issue has caused me to leave for a few months in the past. I have two sons, they are only small but this attitude really depresses me, what has the MIL in this OP done wrong really, why can the maternal grandmother do no wrong.

usualsuspect Fri 12-Aug-11 15:19:54

Also don't forget that they will be grandparents to your baby ,just like your parents

I agree, MrsBananaGrabber ,..all PIL are crazy according to MN

ShoutyHamster Fri 12-Aug-11 15:22:10

'You'll have us to answer to.' - 'Oh I don't think I do!' (steely smile smile)

'You'll have wetted the baby's head' - 'Yes.' (steely smile smile)

'We'll be feeling your belly.' - 'No. You will not. Not if you want me to still be answering the door to you when the baby is here!' (steely smile smile)

Some bits of this sound like the usual excited grandparent stuff and yes you should grit your teeth a bit - but I tell you something, the wedding/certificate thing would have me blazing. YOUR wedding. Sorry, but there's no way I'd have let that little trick railroad me into them getting what they want, and I'd be having strong words with DP on what exactly it was he really wanted, and whose feelings took precedence here. There'd be no jolly September do for your MIL to wear her smug face at, that's for sure.

The other thing I really would sort is the implication that they'll be in your face once the baby is here. Read some other threads - this really is the flash point, with many people recounting sadly how inlaws hijacking the precious first few weeks fostered genuine hatred and breakdown in the relationship. You'll be tired, hormonal, sensitive - and be wanting to enjoy your baby too. Don't let them spoil it, for THEIR sake too. On this, I would be getting DP to step up and have That Conversation about boundaries. I wouldn't pull any punches. You don't want constant company, you want private time, immediate family time, as well as EXTENDED family time - and they are only in that last category. Make it clear to your MIL that she will not be spending the baby's third week in your house. Make it clear that you are having this conversation NOW because you don't want to fall out with them once baby is here (subtext: but I will if I have to...)

That really is an awkward conversation, but one worth having.

griphook Fri 12-Aug-11 15:22:26

try not to be too hard on them, it their grand child as well,

but if you don't like people touching you belly then ask then not too. Just tell them if it's a bit too much for you.

They just sound excited and want to be included, and at least they are interested.

not meaning to sound to harsh but imagine if you have a boy, you will want to be included when he has children.

rooks14 Fri 12-Aug-11 15:24:44

MrsBananaGrabber I agree we'll all proably turn out to be even crazier MIL's to our sons, but it is hard when you have someone who's interested in every part of your life, is actually part of your partners and not yours...

Me and DP aren't married but its easier to say MIL, she comes over and moves my washing/looks in the fridge/critises childcare because she thinks it's DP's house, her sons, so she can. But I've been with DP two years, met her a year ago so she's still a randomer to me and it's very invasive. I've only recently found out that my mum and my dad's mum had a long running feud! I adored mmy nan before she died and rantting on mumsnet about MIL's is a way to vent without upsetting DP and DC's! So shhhhh!

DogsBestFriend Fri 12-Aug-11 15:26:44

"-Telling me they will want to touch my belly to feel kicking (even though I do not like my personal space been invaded by anyone other than DP)."

I could feel my shoulders hunch, teeth grit and fists fingers clench when I read that. Ugh! Here's a simple response. "I can't guarantee that you'll feel the baby kicking but if you lay a finger on my belly you'll feel me kicking!"

Why some of the other posters don't see your PILs peculiar behaviour as intrusive, rude and presumptuous, I just don't know. Or maybe I do but I'd best not say it. wink

YOU are in control here. This is YOUR baby, YOUR body, YOUR family, YOUR home. So to start with TELL MIL straight that she has made the presumption that you'll want her there just 3 weeks after delivery but that she's mistaken and that you WILL be spending that time alone with your baby, getting used to him and resting (and DP when he gets home at night, obviously).

No ifs no buts... this is what you WILL be doing. It's not rude - after all, she's told you that she'll be staying in your house with your family uninvited!

Oh, and do yourself a favour. Apply to the registrar of births marriages and deaths where DP was born for a certified copy of his birth cert and, when and if you want to, enjoy an interference-free wedding.

SharpInTheWoods Fri 12-Aug-11 15:27:50

I am in no way trying to create some anti-in law issue. As I commented, they are wonderful people. Also, my own parents are far from innocent (and I am certain I have done some pretty shameful things too), however, the difference been that I at least can tell my own parents to back off & they will listen without been offended whereas the boundaries with in-laws are different. Just as DP would in no way feel comfortable telling my mother to back off. Also, it's a case of parents & children knowing when they have overstepped the mark and also I suppose, difference in upbringing.

LittleWhiteHeart Fri 12-Aug-11 15:34:20

My OH's grandparents came round when they KNEW we were on holiday to show OH's aunt around our new house! On apparently 'realising' we weren't there they settled for peeping through the windows and poking around the garden!

OH's grandmother also purchased new bed linen and curtains for our bedroom after seeing the house (when we WERE there) and deciding we needed something different ... hmm

Having recently discovered I'm up the old duff, I can't wait for their reaction to that happy news!

In fairness though, I find it quite funny really ... just practising my 'duck and cover' move behind the sofa for future unplanned visits!


Wamster Fri 12-Aug-11 15:37:10

I suppose the comments could be forgivable- just s*it that people come out with, I wouldn't judge them harshly on these if I were you. Try to shrug them off, however, her coming over for a week is another story altogether.

If you really don't want this to happen, you've got to say something. I don't know what you should say- perhaps others will be able to help.

Try to keep the comments separate, though, we're all guilty of saying silly things -perhaps they feel a lot of them are cliches that they should come out with but don't really mean.

GruffalosGirl Fri 12-Aug-11 15:37:31

It's really hard when you have your 1st as the differences between your way of doing things and theirs really become noticeable.

It sounds like they're really excited and that you already have some issues with them, which will lead to an explosive situation down the line. I love my MIL and get on with her really well and she still annoys me for the 1st year whenever I have a new baby as we are just so different and she's really hands off and understanding so you need to accept things are going to be hard for a while.

That said you need to find some middle ground you can all agree on. Pick the things that you really can't put up with - touching for instance - and stand your ground on these but you'll have to let some other stuff slide for the sake of family harmony. You'll need your DP on side too but if you're not willing to compromise you'll find this very hard to get.

One thing I'd not compromise on though is the MIL staying for a week when the baby's just born. That idea is a disaster and will destroy your relationship. You need to get DP completely agreed and get him to tell her that's a big no go. And do it now, don't leave it till closer as you'll just stress loads about it until it's sorted.

superjobee Fri 12-Aug-11 15:39:41

my mil is a pest but good in her own way, she's twice offered to come into the labour suite with me if i have DS in hospital as my selfish bitch of a mum has idiotically and knowingly booked a holiday the week im due and OH may not be back in time for the birth even tho she lives 350 miles away smile

but, whenever anybody refers to my baby as theirs they get a good hard telling from me! my baby OHs baby not theirs!! i despise that ownership ppl feel over other ppls kids its revolting.

NewbeeMummy Fri 12-Aug-11 15:44:07

I feel your pain - my MIL and I have a fair relationship - but can just be a bit thick skinned and opens her mouth before she thinks

Classic comments

* in my day we never worried about what we could and couldn't eat and you all turned out fine
(This was over me not eating peanuts due to allergies and asthma in my family)
* Ha - DP had a huge head, that's going to hurt
(after first scan)
* Are you sure you're eating enough
(I put on 3 stone FFS)
* I want to be there the first week
(Never mind what my mum wanted)
* I'll be bringing down the dogs when I come and stay thst first week
(the worst behaved collie you have ever met - DD used to kick every time she barked, and still doesn't like her)
* DD will just have to learn to accept dogs
(after dog snapped at me while carrying DD past her in the hall way)
* this phone is disgusting
(the first 5 minutes after walking in the door, after being in hospital for 6 days - yes it was a bit dusty)

I'm sure there will be more I think of later, but I do know it's first grandchild syndrome

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