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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.

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 ....."

BerthaTheBogCleaner Tue 15-Jan-13 12:48:56

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.

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 15-Jan-13 18:47:55

" 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?!

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