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To think my in laws should visit when it suits us?

(89 Posts)
bottleoffish Mon 04-Mar-13 17:58:01

My in laws live abroad and then travel from there to another country for most of the winter, every winter without fail, regardless of what else is happening in the family. That's obviously their prerogative.

I am due to have a baby (not my first) in October. When Dh told MIL yesterday she said that they would come and visit at the beginning of November then, before they go away for the winter.

Due to their previous laziness and rudeness and treating my Mum like their servant when they came to stay, as well as making my children from a previous marriage feel uncomfortable, I have told DH that they are not welcome to stay in the house any more, so would have to find a hotel whenever they stayed next.

However, DH will be working during the day after his paternity leave and so if they come at the start of November, ever they stay in a hotel, they will want to spend the days at out house and I just don't feel up to entertaining them with a two week old baby whilst trying to look after other children and trying to establish breast feeding. They will not help out at all and are very judgemental about any mess, so I will also feel pressured to keep the house spotless.

I've told DH that its best if they stay when he has time off work, although due to their plans over winter, this would mean they wouldn't see the baby until it is 4-5 months old. They didn't meet DD until she was 4 months old anyway and they have only seen her once other than that and she is now 21 months old. They are busy with their lives and that is fine of course, but I don't feel their grandchildren are a priority for them and because of that I don't see why I should put myself under stress just to keep them happy.


Inertia Mon 04-Mar-13 20:27:09

Yanbu, at all. You will be caring for a newborn and other children - the last thing you need is a couple of judgmental lazy arses to run round after.

Completely agree with Whereyouleftit - either DH takes time off and PIL stay in a hotel, or they visit in spring, or you decamp to your mum's.

hwjm1945 Mon 04-Mar-13 20:54:35

Yanbu. Sort it now.he is hoping to present it as a fait accompli come November.

ButteryJam Mon 04-Mar-13 20:59:47


Ionasky Mon 04-Mar-13 21:40:01

gawd - that's a tricky situation - shame DH didn't see their behaviour at first hand, but in general he can see they're not exactly committed grandparents so your needs should come first as they are definitely not providing help and are going to be adding a burden to you by visiting.

angeltattoo Mon 04-Mar-13 21:57:49


But 'They won't even make a cup of tea' could work to your advantage. DO NOT offer, or run around after them. DO NOT wait on them in the slightest.

That said, DH needs to man up and tell them it is not convenient. As someone said, don't leave it until nearer the time, as they will book their travel. And if they turn up, just refuse to see them without DH being there. And make DH host, feed, water, whatever them, while you concentrate on your newborn and other DC.

Lockedout434 Mon 04-Mar-13 23:07:02

The baby might not come on your due date. You might not have the baby till very near to them arriving. So you might put them off by saying its too uncertain for November see them in July after their hols.

bottleoffish Mon 04-Mar-13 23:14:48


Well. I've tried to talk to him about it as I was worried that MIL would try and book flights soon. DH said that it was fine, they could stay in a hotel. I pointed out that even if they did that they would still want to visit during the day and I would have to run around after them. I said that of course they could visit, but it was better when DH was off work anyway, as then they would see him. Then DH suggested not taking paternity leave immediately after the birth (which IMO would make getting BF established impossible, I had a dreadful time at the start with DD, including mastitis twice in the first three weeks and because it is due to a physical problem in my case I will undoubtedly get it again as the only way I could stop getting it was to dry up one breast and only feed from the other side) but two weeks later when PIL came to stay.

I can see why DH would suggest this, but I just see it as changing our plans to suit them yet again. He cannot take any time off work other than his paternity leave and allocated leave dates, so after paternity leave his next time off is Christmas and then Easter.

He has now gone off in a strop to stay in his office. I feel like I am fighting a losing battle here. He just cannot recognise how awful his parents can be. I really liked them when I first met them, but as I have got to know them better I have realised how toxic they are. sad

Goldmandra Mon 04-Mar-13 23:31:01

Your DH may want to see his parents and show off his new baby which would be quite understandable. However he can do that in the evenings when he has finished work.

If his parents want to visit on November tell him they are welcome to be there when he is around in the evening but that you won't be inviting them to the house during the day. You will have far to much to do already without playing host to people who won't lift a finger to help.

I wouldn't feel that I had the right to tell my DH that his parents couldn't come and visit to meet their new grandchild but I would feel perfectly within my rights to say that they could only visit when he was there to look after them.

The will then have a choice;

1. Come in November, entertain yourselves during the the day and visit early evening only.

2. Come when the baby is older and bottle will be able to play host to you during some of the days too.

3. Come at Christmas or Easter and your son will be available every day.

AThingInYourLife Tue 05-Mar-13 07:20:21

He's a bit of a shit, isn't he?

Apple doesn't fall far from the tree it seems.

It would appear that he agrees with them that you and your mother are fit only to serve them.

bottleoffish Tue 05-Mar-13 07:40:40

He's actually usually lovely AThing, it's just this weird thing that his parents can do no wrong. I just don't get it when they've been so awful. The first time I met his Mother, at one point when my DH left the room she said that she knew his first marriage wouldn't last as his ex wife was too good for him!!! Who says that about their own son FFS?!

I'm not impressed by it all this morning. I understand they're DH's family, but I've also just realised that the reason they wanted to come in November is the same as last time, they have to fly back to the UK to go away for the winter, it's cheaper that way and they are also planning to see BIL and SIL's baby, due in the summer, for the first time then.

DH has gone away working for the day, I haven't seen him and suspect he'll remain in a strop now. I'm tempted I email MIL myself, I don't think he'll say anything... We have been here before really.... hmm

lljkk Tue 05-Mar-13 07:47:02

they would still want to visit during the day and I would have to run around after them.

No, you don't this is your first mistake, sorry, why in the world would you run around after them?

Allow the house to be as noisy, chaotic and messy as you like. Leave kettle & teabags, and tell them to fend for themselves. If they ask for food you give directions to nearest shopping precinct.. Bark orders at them about putting their tea mugs and plates in the dishwasher the moment they are done (as though they were children). Or even directions as to how you like things washed up. As well as FIL's coke& Vodka empties in the bins. You should start bossing them around, and if they don't like it, they can ask your DH to take some more leave or they can make other plans.

frazmum Tue 05-Mar-13 07:53:23

Why can't they just visit for a weekend when DH will be home (but still have them stay in a hotel)? They get to see the baby, DH is there to wait on them and you only have 2 days of putting up with them.

diddl Tue 05-Mar-13 08:00:24

Well if they do come,I wouldn't doanything for them.

In fact I might even just have some meals in the freezer for myself & children.

They can sort themselves out or sit on their arses waiting for their son to do something.

The reason my ILs have never visited us is because my husband would never promise to be off work for the full time that they were thinking of visiting for...

lljkk Tue 05-Mar-13 08:02:29

Alternatively, by the time baby is 2-3+ weeks old you can go out to toddler groups every morning, with soft play as an option, too. You don't know when you'll be home but leave your mobile number so they can find you to visit with their grand-DC and of course fit in with whatever routine you'll be in. Would love to hear about FIL chugging his vodka+coke at soft play.

And then there's parks to go for lovely walks in, bit of play on the beach.

lljkk Tue 05-Mar-13 08:03:55

Will DC1 be in preschool, by then, that's another big chunk of your day running around. Meet up with friends in nice cafes and text back to the inlaws to let them know when you'll be home with older DC, after that DC's had lunch and nap of course.

Mydelilah Tue 05-Mar-13 08:05:15

YANBU. My pils came to stay when DD (PFB) was 4 weeks old. I was really struggling with the latch and spent the entire 2 weeks they were there (we lived abroad at the time hence v long visit) shut away with DD in my bedroom as BFing involved letting it all hang out and a lot of pain!

Ideally your pils would come at Xmas but at least they want to see you and get to know your NB which is a good thing right? I think the suggestion they come for a 4-day weekend is great, you would only have to put up with it for 2 days on your own.

My parents also travel a lot - they cancelled the holiday of a lifetime in Aus so they could be around when DD was born. Difference being I wanted my mum around at the beginning wink

Jux Tue 05-Mar-13 08:30:53

YANBU at all.

Just be more assertive. You don't have to be superwoman. Don't do anything for them, ask them for tea/coffee etc. have them run around for you. They can nip to the shops to get all sorts of things for you - breast pads, for instance. Use them.

If complaints are made about the state of the house suggest they tidy it up. Give them some ironing, gardening, cleaning to do.

You are busy with the baby. When you want to feed, if you have to let it all hang out, tell them you need privacy and ask them to leave. I'm sure they'll find things to do in the local area...

olgaga Tue 05-Mar-13 08:45:44

I agree with Yfronts.

You are entitled to consider this and come to a decision that you feel the scale of the visit they suggest is inappropriate.

You are entitled to make your view known to them - especially when you obviously can't trust your DH to do it.

So write/email them yourself. Tell them it will be too difficult in November to accommodate the arrangements they have suggested, so soon after childbirth, and ask them to revise their plans and visit when things are more settled.

Take charge!

LadyPessaryPam Tue 05-Mar-13 09:03:36

I think you should email them yourself too. As olgaga suggests.

BlueberryHill Tue 05-Mar-13 09:14:04

I can understand the suggestions on asking / demanding that ILs do more to help or at least look after themselves. However doing so when someone is being obstructive or unhelpful is another drain on your energy / time etc which you don't need at that time.

I can see them wanting to see both new babies at the same time and save on airfares, however I would only help them out with that if they helped out, which they don't so don't make allowances for them.

Agree with other posters, you need this sorted asap or it will be a done deal and you will find it harder to deal with.

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 05-Mar-13 09:15:28

I actually would contact them myself. Cut out the middle-man, because he just ain't up to the job. He wanted to hand you a fait accompli is November, you hand him one now.

Tell them that November 'just doesn't work for us' but that <DH's holidays> are such-and-such a time, why not come then so that they can spend time with him too. Suggest local hotels they might find suitable to their needs.

And as for his strop - strop right back. Blame it on the hormones if you must, but make it absolutely clear that his stropping WILL NOT WORK and you will not be cowed into compliance with his wholly unreasonable expectations. You are his wife and you and the DC come first, his parents last second.

leaharrison11 Tue 05-Mar-13 09:34:38

If i was you id say november is no good for us, i could go over with the baby and still be recovering and bonding when you arrive and also your son will be working and i will be way to busy to entertain as well i wish i could, and also there will be boobs out everywhere be sure to put them off but say u can come of you like but stay in a hotel as newborn needs all space around the house and u will be to busy to entertain.

This is your family you do what ever you think is best if you dont want them there just tell them, if DH doesnt like it then tell him to bugger off with them for winter wink

Emilythornesbff Tue 05-Mar-13 09:44:42

Well, they're coming in November. They're not going to change their plans for you. How long are they visiting for?

I'd be tempted to suggest they stay in an hotel as you'll be "all over the place" and see that they feel welcome to visit I the evenings when theirson is at home to see them too. Make it clear that you aren't having visitors in the day.
Just be unavailable during the day. Screen calls or unplug the phone for example.
YANBU btw. But your ILs and your dh obviously think you are so you have to take control where you can.
Congratulations on your pregnancy and good luck.

lottiegarbanzo Tue 05-Mar-13 09:48:38

With DH, rather than focusing on how horrible his parents are, focus on how engrossed you will be with the new baby, while trying to look after the toddler too. Remind him how it was last time, mention other things that could happen this time; late arrival, CS, stitches (sorry!). Get him thinking about how absorbing, difficult and exhausting it will be and on making things work as well as possible for you. That excludes having house guests for at least six weeks in my view.

Of course he doesn't want to face up to the reality of his parents' behaviour. That would involve revising huge amounts of his personal history, relationships and identity. That's massive.

You could email / write and say 'thanks for offering to come and help round the house and with dd after I have the new baby. It's really thoughtful but it's just not possible for us to commit to those dates. The new baby could be late, we just don't know what condition we'll be in at that point. Why not come at Easter when DH will available and it will be more of a holiday for you?'.

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 05-Mar-13 10:05:40

Ooh lottie, I'm impressed! Very diplomatic!

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