To still ask for your advice, please(32 Posts)
Very sorry for the long post, but thank you very much for reading.
I have been with my DH for 11 years (2 married) and my relationship with PIL have always been courteous (polite on my part as our personalities are the complete opposite). They do annoy me and test my patience (such as FIL taking it upon himself to stand up during our wedding breakfast to make a 10 minutes speech or MIL suggesting we change our honeymoon destination to my original country so they can come with) but there have never been any major enough problems, not one that compel me to post online for advice, though I have posted once before asking for reassurance concerning said relationship.
We now have a 3 month old DS and since his pregnancy was announced, my relationship with PIL seems to have taken a nosedive.
It started with them changing their minds about disliking children, which I can understand as DS will be the first grandchild on both side of the family and having your own is very different. However, they still only like babies as toddlers are messy and undisciplined. And have warned us that they will never visit again, unless DS is up to their standard.
PIL had also forced a hospital visit (after my 2 day labour) as they have to be the first people to see their grandson, and, with the first comment being “he’s cute so well done” and then a lengthy discussion about how much he look like their side of the family.
When we finally got home (a week after the birth), they forced another visit and comment on how messy our one bedroom flat is while asking for their refreshments.
Then telling me (a few week later) that DS “finally look better now that I learn how to feed him properly”. I have inverted nipples so breastfeeding was difficult hence why we had to stay for much longer in hospital (and the reason for DS losing more than 12% of his weight).
I also have to explain myself every time I tried to take DS off MIL (she preferred to be the only person holding DS during our visits) for feeding as she had 3 children (now all in their 30s) and would surely know what DS want and need, unlike me who had no experience. MIL had also tried to take DS when he was being handed back to his mummy.
And telling me that “DS eyes must have come from the milkman” as his eyes are neither mine or DH colour. Now I realised this could probably be a British sense of humour but as MIL had said this to me in private, it doesn’t really sound all that jokey.
Also phoning our house phone, on our wedding anniversary at 10 o’clock at night to ask how our anniversary was going and a quick chat. And yes it was lovely until you phone and wake DS up.
And babysitting SIL’s Westie after they specified time for us to visit. Apparently, SIL is having her friend with a 2 year old over and having the dog there might not be safe!
I do realised I sound like a stress out first time mum and that these problems aren’t exactly world ending. So I am prepared to be told YABU. But I am reaching the end of my tether as DH doesn’t understand why I get upset by his parents’ words or behaviours and will never want to upset them by even mentioning anything.
And before you ask my own parents aren’t exactly supportive either but at least its lots of advice (on what they did wrong when bringing me up and into this world i.e. don’t repeat the same mistake) over the phone (they live on the other side of the world with no definite plan to visit, yet).
So am I being unreasonable? Oversensitive? Is this normal grandparents’ behaviour?
a lot of what you post is just daft and you need to learn to brush it off - and giving a speech at his sons wedding is hardly bad behaviour surely?
But my main question would be where is your husband in all this - talk to HIM and get HIM to deal with HIS parents. When they visit go out! Get HIm to take your son to visit
Grandparents like to hold their grandchildren and often make casual comments without the intent to hurt - calm down and avoid them if you can
Well the comments about not visiting unless DS is up to standard are rather out of order. WTF do they mean? And taking a baby from their mother or refusing to give the baby back and undermining the mother's parenting skills is very off behavior.
They sound like quite hard work to me.
as for the speech - it sounds ok on the surface but what did he say? Father of the groom does not normally make a speech, could go either way really. If he stood up and said how happy he was and what a lovely day etc then no problem...
Sounds like you have married into a very controlling family there. Hope your partner is not too much of a chip off the old block. Keep your distance as much as possible and never leave your baby in their sole charge.
'have warned us that they will never visit again, unless DS is up to their standard.'
Fine - make sure his behaviour is appalling and keep them effortlessly out of your life.
YANBU their behaviour is not normal. They have no right to take baby away from you whatsoever during visits.
Thank you very much for your reply.
The wedding speech itself wasn’t too bad (just thanking everyone for coming, hope they enjoy themselves, how happy he is etc etc). It's just that we had mentioned to him several times before then that we weren’t doing any speeches. It was a small wedding (less than 20 people) and we didn’t want to have bridesmaid, best man or speeches. Neither did we want to have the wedding at FIL’s golf course (so PIL could invite more people), a ceilidh (so FIL and only FIL could dance), change our honeymoon destination (so they will have a translator for their holiday) and lots of other
demands suggestions leading up to the day. I know they like to be the centre of attention but I was hoping that they will let DH have at least one day, especially when they know DH was going to thank everyone for coming to our wedding but despite that FIL still stood up first.
DH just doesn’t understand. He thinks his parents’ words and behaviours are totally normal and doesn’t get why I would be upset when they like me. Neither could he say no nor do anything that might upset them. He also prefers us to see them together and doesn’t really want to go unless I do too, which is why I haven’t been able to keep my distance even when I wanted to. We also live quite close by so that didn't help.
PIL haven't let me know exactly what their standard are, but so far it seem to be DS doing whatever and whenever they want him to do e.g. to not be asleep when they want to take a photo, to not want any feed when they visit, to always be available when it's convenience for them and to not mind the dog jumping up and down right next to him or barking constantly.
your breastfeeding and she wanted to be the only one to hold the baby? they think that the child should go to there standards? babysitting a dog? (which if not safe should be put in another room) not normal babys sleep poop cry and need mommy
i would be angry about the milkman comment BTW babies eyes change in the first few months anyway
i would be angry about the milkman comment
Could that not have been a joke? My ante-natal midwife said that to me when she came to my room after I had DC1 as he was very dark and my DH is ridiculously white.
I think your ILs are quite outgoing kinds of people, perhaps? And you're not?
I think they've been a bit full-on, but apart from not giving the baby back as soon as you need I don't think they've been terrible.
Not terrible, no, just extremely annoying, especially since it’s pretty constant. And it’s not the outgoingness that’s the problem, but the everything has to always be done our way, even ones that have nothing to do with them. Of course, that’s nothing new but it would be nice if they could at least take DS into consideration. That and DH understanding the reason why I don’t always want to go to see his parents (with him or otherwise).
And the milkman comment could be a joke, I guess. But it's still really hard to take after MIL already mention (several times) how unlike my and DH they are. Not to mention that it was made to me in private while she was telling me how much he look like their side of the family, again.
So I take it these are normalish grandparents’ behaviour and I'm just over reacting?
Yes - the milkman reference is definitely a joke. It's often said and it's always the milkman, not the gasman or the plumber.
I feel sorry for you because you obviously don't like your pil's. They're just not your type. And it must make you inwardly squirm when they're physically close to your ds. But I don't think they've done anything much to complain about.
I don't think making lists of (relatively trivial) faults is helping you. They must have some good points. Focus on them and try to shrug off the irritations. They've been in your life for 11 years now, and you've coped. I think having ds has made you particularly sensitive, but that will pass if you don't let it turn into an obsession.
I think you just don't get their sense of humour. Were there suggestions for your wedding/honeymoon anything more than suggestions? Did they sulk/argue/insist when you said you wouldn't be taking them up? If so then you may have a point; if not then I just think your dislike of them is clouding your view.
Nobody is perfect, although if they were serious about not coming back unless the baby meets their standards is quite hilarious.
The best advice I can give you is to try and relax, and not feel like they are the enemy. It takes time to adjust to new relationships. You are your baby's mother, if you need to take the baby to eat just tell her, you need to take the baby to feed him. Cheerfully say not to worry, he'll be back after lunch, as you take him from her.
Just try and put a positive spin on it, it's better than the alternative!
My ILs are v controlling too, I've been recommended a book called toxic in-laws, bought on amazon. Worth a read? HTH
I think that their comments and behaviour are like most parents actually. They sound like they have a 'British ' sense of humour, I assume you are not British? I think they are just doing normal things and you are feeling oversensitive as most new mums are. You feel like they are criticising, they aren't, they are just being your dh's parents. And parents can be irritating.
They sound normal but irritating ,you sound like you don't like them ( quite reasonably ,why should you) ,your problem is your DH .So instead of focussing on what is wrong with them ,write a list and tell him to go sort it out , this will result in one of several outcomes
1 . They will appreciate your honesty and everyone will get on better
2 . He will refuse to deal with it and you will be having this argument for years
3. He will speak to them and they will never speak to either of you again
4. He will speak to them and they will still speak to him but will cut off contact with you
We had similar issues ( slightly worse IMO) and the result was number 4 on my list which has worked beautifully for the last 16 years . Good luck .
Are you sure they're not teasing you? The comments about milkman's eyes and being up to scratch are just the sort of things my family would say.
I think you just don't get their sense of humour.
I don't get it either, they wouldn't make me chortle. Sorry your own folks are so far away. But I think you'll have to grow a thicker skin or give as good as you get.
I am trying to be positive, believe it or not. And it was working (I have manage 10+ years), but this level of annoyance is something recent, either that or I would have post about this ages ago. Another problem is that DH doesn't think anyone else would be annoy by his parents, which was why I made a list of some of the stuff that annoy me. Hoping that someone will tell me I'm not mad for being annoy.
No, I'm not British and I do realised I don't always get their sense of humour (the same 5 jokes over and over does get old after a while) but I have been here (in the UK) for almost 20 years now so the British sense of humour is not lost on me. It just the milkman comment feel more like an insult rather than haha funny.
And I think they were quite serious about their suggestions to our wedding and honeymoon considering they went ahead and booked the golf course for us to view as a wedding venue and passively-aggressively protest about almost every decisions they don't agree with. As for the honeymoon, they were asking me where we should go and that it would be nice if we could also meet up with my parents.
And MIL doesn’t hand DS over easily (unless he need his nappy change), short of snatching him off. Even when DS start crying, she will still tried all the positions her DCs used to love first.
Thank you very much again for your reply
I know exactly where you are coming from ,it may only seem like small things but when they occur constantly it is extremely wearing ,that's how I felt and I put up with it for about 12 years before I finally reached the end of my rope .
This sounds very common to me. I have loads of friends who's relationship with their MILs became tense after giving birth to GCs.
One friend's MIL did exactly the same things concerning grabbing the baby and never letting the mother hold him when she visited, this started in the hospital shortly after birth! The nurse had to physically take the baby out of the (protesting) MIL's arms to give him back to his mother so he could breastfeed. Friend once found the MIL in the baby's room with her breast out trying to get him to latch on - not even kidding!
Don't let her bully you about who knows best on how to mother your child!
This is a non issue as you have said DH will not bother to see PILS without you. Just cut down the contact, don't answer the phone if you see it is them and you don't feel like talking etc.
It is DH that is the problem here by the way. You say he cannot upset his parents, but what about you being upset? Clearly you are playing second fiddle to them.
You need to impress upon him how deeply unattractive a mummys boy is.
Oh, and as soon as you can, move further away.
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