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MIL, no contact with baby

(39 Posts)
DoorOfCuckundoo Thu 21-May-15 16:59:15

Have NC for this, sorry for length, hoping not to drip-feed

DD is 9 weeks, MIL has visited once, at 2 days old, hasn't phoned or instigated contact once since.
DH has a good relationship with her, is very loyal, never criticises her. She and I are very different but in person we get along, I always make an effort, show interest and try to be supportive, there's no atmosphere.

She doesn't drive (nor do we), lives 1h away by public transport / 20min by taxi, which she prefers. There are no issues wrt going out - she's fairly well travelled, is confident and assertive around people. She works FT but has no other activities, no friends, rarely sees family.

In the 5 y we've lived together, MIL has visited once (DH had to 'collect' her on public transport) despite repeated invitations.
We're expected to visit her, ideally whenever DH has a day off, regardless of other plans. Realistically it's more like every 3 wks - DH feels guilty and seems to need 'permission' from me to say that actually he's been working hard and needs to relax at home, or we have plans, etc.

Visits are tiring, we're only welcome after 4-5pm as MIL likes the day to herself, we eat late, leaving is dragged out with guilt trips ("you should visit more!") we then have an hour on bus/train before getting home around 11pm, often with work the next day. I go for sake of DH feelings. When I was heavily pg we tried to negotiate arrival/meal times, to no avail, so I stopped going.

When I was pg MIL seemed v excited to become a GM, and since DD birth I've kept in touch (not inundating, say once/twice a wk) with photos, anecdotes - she replies, seems pleased, says she'll visit soon - I say yes please do, you're welcome anytime, we'd love to see you...

AIBU to have expected more from her? Am prepared to accept I'm in the wrong. Maybe we should've resumed visits by now. The 1st 6 wks were tough, feeding was a nightmare, I was v tearful and didn't feel like going far. I just assumed she'd come over. DH didn't have pat leave so his days off are precious and it's nice to be at home together. Maybe that's a lame excuse, I don't know.

It was DH birthday recently, there was no phonecall, no card. I invited MIL + BIL (they live together) here 2 wks ago, BIL messaged me 1h before they were due saying he had an interview so couldn't come, and MIL was 'feeling lazy' so she wouldn't be coming either.
DH didn't want to talk about it, but was hurt, he'd been looking forward to it. He asked if I thought MIL was upset by anything he/we have/haven't done. I reminded him we've just had a baby, perhaps we can be forgiven for being less social than usual.

WWYD? I don't want to hurt DH more by saying what I think, that MIL is crap, lazy and unsupportive, but I don't want to collude with her by pretending it's ok.
I feel she's digging her heels in, waiting it out til we bring DD to see her - obviously we will soon, but don't know why I should put myself out, if she had concern for any of us she'd have picked up the phone!
I'm not sure of the best way forward sad

sigma15 Thu 21-May-15 17:06:31

Would you be doing this if it were your Mother?
Why don't you have a chat with her and come to a compromise about taking it in turns? Couldn't you invite her to stay or stay over if it is a bit of a trek to get to it. I am sure you would love your DD to have a relationship with your MIL. MY DS who is now 13 has a fantastic relationship with his GP's but it takes effort from both sides. I don't want to be rude but by the sounds of the post you expect the MIL to keep coming over to you. Have a chat suggest taking it in turns explain and be honest. Good luck hope it works out for you

00100001 Thu 21-May-15 17:08:41

YABU , in that it doesn't seem out of character for her not to visit, she never did before, so what woudl magically change... But, saying that, YANBU to feel hurt that she isn't showing more of an interest in baby, or indeed DH.

Best way forward? continue to invite her over and stay in touch. She shouldn't expect you al to to travel on public transport with a baby when sheis more than capable of coming to you.
Also, she might be thinking you want some time to 'settle in'??

(trying to look at this positively! smile )

PattiODoors Thu 21-May-15 17:12:35

I wouldn't bother trying to second guess WHY mil won't come to visit. I would also think about winding down your regular updates to her a bit, once a week is plenty.

How about your dh issues an invitation, for a set day and time every couple of months - if no interest from her well, her loss.

Yanbu btw, she sounds pretty rubbish.

ConkerGame Thu 21-May-15 17:16:32

I think YANBU - she sounds lazy and inconsiderate! I would be very hurt if my mother cancelled on my birthday plans on the day, especially if my partner and I had recently had a baby - very rude by any standards but also hurtful when it's your own mother!

If I were you I would continue doing what you're doing in terms of telling her she's welcome but don't hold your breath for a visit. If your husband asks in future if you think he's done something wrong then maybe say something gentle like 'Well to be honest your mum's not the easiest of people and never makes much of an effort to see us, so definitely don't feel guilty'.

Also, on another note - learn to drive as soon as you can, it makes life so much easier, especially with a child!

DoorOfCuckundoo Thu 21-May-15 17:20:02

Thanks for your reply sigma it's a fair question - no I don't expect MIL to 'keep coming' - she has only been twice in 5 years - but yes I'd have hoped for more than one 2-hour visit in 9 weeks, maybe that is U though, I accept that.
Above all though I'd have expected a call or even a message, asking after DD.

We unfortunately don't have space for her to stay, and she doesn't have space for us. She has declined to meet halfway in the past.

Absolutely, my main concern for the future is for DD - I agree, it takes effort on both sides - but the effort has always been on our part, and if it continues to be one-sided I don't want DD to feel hurt the way DH has.

I guess as I have invited her over so many times and tried to make her feel welcome here, esp since DD, I assumed she'd realise we'd like a compromise, but I agree I need to have a chat and make it clear.

DoorOfCuckundoo Thu 21-May-15 17:27:44

Thanks 001 Patti Conker

I've considered she may be giving us space as a family, I do really hope that is at least part of it! smile

Sorry I was unclear re the no-show, that wasn't actually on his bday but shortly after, still yes I did feel it was hard on him so glad to hear I'm not alone!

I agree, we'll keep on inviting her and see what happens, and of course we will go to her eventually.

00100001 Thu 21-May-15 17:34:49

It is hard when people keep refusing invites, in the end you just give up!

It's all the worse when they're probably maonig about "Oh I never get to see the grand kids" or "my DIL refuses to visit me" to other people


congrats on your baby smile smile smile

IggyStrop Thu 21-May-15 17:41:00

I think it will only get harder for you to visit her if she won't allow you to come before 4pm! That's an awkward time for a small baby that you're trying to get into a routine (and yes, obviously routines aren't set in stone but some babies get upset when they get out of sync).

Maybe your DH could gently insinuate that it's time to take turns visiting each other?

MustBeDueSomeBetterFeet Thu 21-May-15 17:47:22

difficult situation but I wouldn't stress too much - it's not your mother after all! can't DH broker future meetings?save your energy for the important job you have as a new mum!

it's worth considering that once you are settled in a bedtime routine for baby you are unlikely to want to cart them over to MIL'S if it means getting home so late. if she won't meet you halfway (literally and figuratively) then she's the one who will miss out unfortunately.

Diamond23 Thu 21-May-15 17:55:28

Yanbu. You have a new baby, people come to you. She does sound lazy. Your poor SH

Diamond23 Thu 21-May-15 17:55:37


Aeroflotgirl Thu 21-May-15 17:56:56

She sounds selfish and inonsiderate, cancelling on her ds birthday was awful sad. I would not be happy visiting after 4/5pm with a young baby, and when she is older and has school to get up for, no, that is selfish. I would take it in turns, if she does not come, I would give up bothering. You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.

Aeroflotgirl Thu 21-May-15 17:57:42

Her attitude is a bit meh about you and the baby, I would not bother, and leave it up to her.

FaFoutis Thu 21-May-15 18:01:51

I would say she is welcome to come and see the baby then leave it with her. I certainly would not be dragging the baby anywhere on public transport after 4pm.
Some grandparents are just not interested, you can't do anything about that.

Aeroflotgirl Thu 21-May-15 18:22:33

The fact that she would rather you visit after 4/5pm as she clearly has more important things to do, says it all. Stop bothering, tell her, she is welcome to come and see gc, and leave it at that.

Arsenic Thu 21-May-15 18:28:58

It's quite odd (and upsetting).

Do you think she has much stronger issues with 'other people's houses' than you and DH have fully appreciated?

madreloco Thu 21-May-15 18:33:07

She's just not that into you. If she had any real interest in seeing you or your baby, she would make at least a tiny bit of effort. She obviously doesn't care very much.

Arsenic Thu 21-May-15 18:37:06

The thing about only socialising in the evening is making me think 'chronic illness, hidden illness, maybe MH'.

Many people with unpredictable health problems (of various kinds) prefer to make arrangements for later in the day, because it cantake time for them to 'get going' and evenings are more predictable, with a big run up, drugs have kicked in etc.

Instituteofstudies Thu 21-May-15 18:49:28

YANBU. Presuming that MIL has no physical or anxiety issues, I can't see why she is not into coming to you or what the evening onward thing is about. That's the time babies and small children are most likely to be on the cranky side and when you are probably knackered.

My dd is pregnant and I wouldn't expect her to be trekking to stay with me with a small baby and all the stuff they need. I have health issues but would still accept an invitation to hers, on the grounds that it's such hard work to travel with babies.

She does sound as if it's all about her and not very interested, which is hurtful. But I really wouldn't be shlepping around to meet her demands. I'd be tempted to issue another invite, tell her that after 4pm is just not a good time at all for your dd or for you and if she doesn't take the offer up, don't you be doing the running.

Welshmaenad Thu 21-May-15 18:49:59

Would I bollocks be dragging a tiny baby on a 2hr round trip on a bus at stupid o clock at night.

She's perfectly physically capable of coming to you. You've made more than sufficient effort in the past but you have a baby now. Let her dig her heels in. If she doesn't come to you, she doesn't see her grandchild and frankly that's her fucking loss for being so stubbornly inflexible.

seaoflove Thu 21-May-15 18:56:51

My MIL isn't quite as bad as that, but she certainly can't be arsed to visit us and would rather we schlepped to her house every time. It is just laziness. We too get the passive aggressive guilt trips, voiced to three year old DD on the phone/Skype "Oh, you're coming to grandma's house soon? Tell Daddy: 'BRING ME TO GRANDMA'S HOUSE'." hmm

She visited us last month, because she got a lift from another family member and I was too heavily pregnant to travel far. It was the first time she'd set foot in our house in six months. She came back this week to visit newborn DC2, and the heavy hints about coming to her house soon had already started.

So, I have no answers but I sympathise.

DoorOfCuckundoo Thu 21-May-15 18:59:30

Thanks all for your responses. It's a crap situation but am relieved to hear it's not just me being in a deluded baby bubble.

Yes agreed she won't change. I'm so lucky that my mum has been wonderful, while DH benefits from this too of course the comparison is just painful. Sort of hoped I could change things for his and DD's sake, no such thing as too many adoring GPs after all sad

Perhaps she'll get more flexible (won't hold my breath) - and yes strongly agree with everyone, visits will only happen on our terms to fit with DD routine (using that word loosely at the mo!)

Arsenic yes both suggestions make sense, but re illness/MH she wouldn't be able to manage her job in that case, not least as it requires early starts, also BIL lives with her. The 'other people's houses' thing is quite possible. She does travel every couple of yrs to see family, but maybe those places are more familiar...I do wonder if it's a complex issue like this rather than laziness, and maybe it's worth gently asking her, I wouldn't want her to miss out if that's true.

DoorOfCuckundoo Thu 21-May-15 19:10:00

seaoflove - I'm not alone! Sad isn't it. I've remembered a gem from when I was pg - MIL said she'd be taking time off so I could go and stay as often as I wanted when I came out of hospital confused (she doesn't even have a sofabed for us...)
Congrats on DC2!

Thanks everyone else, this has helped loads.

Arsenic Thu 21-May-15 19:13:12

If it is something anxiety-related or OCDish (say) she might not freely admit it or have the vocabulary to explain.

I, like you, would want to rule it out.

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