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DH feels 'stuck in the middle'

(17 Posts)
hereharehere33 Sun 12-Jul-15 10:12:29

My PIL live some distance away and we go each year for a weeks holidays. Whilst great and I do generally get on well with my in laws, its going to be stressful. I always feel like my parenting skills are put into question. I bf-ed & mostly co-sleep and have a fairly set routine with my oldest, which he seems happier for. Last year, I found it incredibly hard work as my PIL, (amongst numerous other things --let him cry, ohh you're still bf-ing are you, why can't he have chocolate--) wanted me to be more flexible, as we're on holiday. This led to an extremely grumpy toddler and a nightmare month or so once we returned home.

This years going to be interesting as we've got a 3mth old as well now. I'm so knackered from being up with him feeding in the night. I am feeling a little sensitive and emotional and asked my DH to support me when we're there.

He said that he feels stuck in the middle and can't please everyone all of the time...that really pissed me off. AIBU and completely selfish to think that me and the kids should come first?? I just want him to tell them that I'm doing a fab job and am a great mum!

DejaVuAllOverAgain Sun 12-Jul-15 10:23:49

YANBU he should be backing you up. If there's anything he doesn't agree with you about then he could discuss it with you in private and you could come to an agreement about it but he does need to back you up at the time.

It's all very well people saying eg a late night doesn't matter because you're on holiday but they're not the ones who have to deal with the consequences.

PuntasticUsername Sun 12-Jul-15 10:25:09


grapejuicerocks Sun 12-Jul-15 10:26:29

Yanbu to feel that and ask him to do that, but promise him that you will be more flexible when you can.

Just the change in environment will unsettle them anyway. Try to go with the flow a bit. Yabu if you want to keep everything strictly to the same routine. It is everyone's holiday after all. There does need to be some flexibility.

TRexingInAsda Sun 12-Jul-15 10:38:11

Don't go. You had a shit time last time, you clash with PILs and can't rely on your dh for support, just tell him you're not going.

LazyLouLou Sun 12-Jul-15 10:44:16

Do go. They are DHs parents. Like everyone in the world they have different ideas to you and, sometimes, they will have a point.

What you need to do is discuss it again with DH. He must feel torn, he has said so very clearly. Agree in advance how much 'holiday slack' you feel is acceptable and at what point you want him to butt in.

Also practice what you will say to them. Practice smiling and finding them lightly amusing... you can't change them in that time period, but you can change how you see them, how you allow them to affect you.

They won't stop having different opinions, they won't stop wanting to be grandparents who, like every other grandparent, want to spoil their grandkids, enjoy them more freely than they could their own kids - a journey you are currently at the beginning of smile

You will be just like them in a couple of decades time. Start getting your head round that fact now and you will all enjoy your holiday a lot more.

PtolemysNeedle Sun 12-Jul-15 10:53:52

Of course you and the dc should come first, but this is one week a year where he sees his parents, so you do come first the vast majority of the time and he presumably just wants to keep the peace with his parents and let them have a nice time too.

I don't think he needs to tell them that you're doing a fab job and that you're a great mum, he needs to tell them that their comments aren't helpful and they should keep their opinions to themselves.

Big changes in routine will often cause a grumpy toddler so some of that is to be expected just because you're going away and staying in a different environment, it won't all be down to the pils. Especially if you are tense as well.

Maybe there's room for compromise on both sides, pils could keep some of their opinions quiet, and you could be a bit flexible. It's only a week, try not to make it into a bigger deal than it needs to be, and remember that as much as your DH should support you, you should support him too.

Thomasjames2007 Sun 12-Jul-15 10:56:13

Op I totally get you. My DS is only 5 months but we have had similar issues with my PIL.

I'm sort of reversed tho as my MIL constantly goes on about how she bf'd with all her kids and co-sept and I'm the opposite (bf'd for 6 weeks then FF and in own room from 10 weeks). I'm all for each to their own and believe every fam/child is different and each Mum should do as they see fit. MIL disagrees.

DH doesn't really like talking about it but does stick up for my choices in front of MIL and does say what a great Mum I am etc. I really appreciate this.

However...I did learn a bit of lesson. DS had silent reflux and we got on top of it between 6-8 weeks however he hated sleeping on his back and definitely wasn't getting enough sleep. It was awful constant crying... Then one day my own Mum walked in while I was struggling trying to get DH to sleep. I was a mess he was a mess but she walked over lifted him out of his basket and turned him over to sleep on his tummy. He slept for hours, I didn't know if I wanted to shout at her or kiss her. She had been banging on about this weeks previously but I was determined to do it my way. He sleeps great now.

I guess what I'm saying is I probably could have listened to her earlier and saved myself some heartache. I think when PIL and our parents give advice they are probably coming from a place of genuinely wanting to help rather than to annoy (I'm still not 100% on this myself).

Maybe could you be a little more flexible re your toddler on his hols? Let them spoil him a bit with a bit of extra chocolate or let him stay up with them a little later than usual? If he goes into meltdown then let them deal with it - they will soon come round to your way of thinking after dealing with a sugared up sleepy toddler!!

Teabagbeforemilk Sun 12-Jul-15 10:57:28

I get where he is coming from.

Does he feel you should compromise a little? Surely if he didn't he would back you up?

There should be room for compromise on both sides. Pils included

WinterOfOurDiscountTents15 Sun 12-Jul-15 11:01:12

Maybe he agrees with them. After all, if your routine is so entrenched that slight changes cause upset for an entire month, that sounds extreme.

tumbletumble Sun 12-Jul-15 11:03:45

Tell your DH that if your DC come back from the holiday out of their normal routine, it'll be up to him to get the toddler to sleep every night until things are back to normal.

hereharehere33 Sun 12-Jul-15 12:15:08

Thanks guys, you've made me think about things from a different perspective. We've already had a chat about thing this morning and he has agreed to support me more. He just thinks that he's mum heart is in the right place and she's just trying to help. I guess I can listen to her advice and try to chill out a bit more. I'm just hyper sensitive at the moment - a side affect from sleep deprivation...

Kundry Sun 12-Jul-15 12:31:26

If he's right and his mum is actually lovely and trying to help, then a quick word from him of 'thanks for the tips mum but we're really committed to doing it this way' should be enough. Or 'herehare is really exhausted at the moment, she needs to do it this way and we need to back her up'.

If she's an annoying PITA she won't listen and then he really needs to back you up.

Either way, your DH needs to make the first move and the real situation will become clear.

Teabagbeforemilk Sun 12-Jul-15 16:24:04

See in our family mum won't say a word of advice to dbros wife. We were all having a chat about babies and sil mentioned hers not sleeping through. Mum only asked what age is weaning recommended from. Sil went on a rant how she wasn't doing that yet. Mum hadn't meant to imply she should, she was asking.

Dbro then had a go at mum for never giving sil advice. Mum finds it difficult relationship (with both dbro and sil)

If you have a good relationship and she feels she is helping, then try and take it in the spirit it was meant in. And watch as kundry said.

junebirthdaygirl Sun 12-Jul-15 18:25:35

In my situation there my dh would say in a joking way to his mom. Now now you know all mothers are different or something like that. Everyone would laugh but she would have got the message. I have a gd and whenever her mom asks me something about kids l am longing to jump straight in with all my wonderful advice but l just say what did your own mom say or l have completely forgotten how to handle that. Then if she persists l might suggest something. let's face it we all hate being told what to do. But l would still go. Humour is your best weapon.Keep smiling and don't bother defending your own way just continue doing it.

Purplepoodle Sun 12-Jul-15 18:34:57

People will always have opinions in child rearing. If you are happy doing what you are doing then just smile and nod and ignore. A little flexabilty in routine shouldn't change things too much ie 30 mins later bedtime, nap in the buggy if your out and about. How much didnthey want you to change

Bogeyface Sun 12-Jul-15 18:47:12

I hate it when people say that they are "stuck in the middle"! The only way anyone is in the middle is if they put themselves there and havent got the balls to make a decision and stick with it.

If he is happy with the way you are parenting then he needs to say so to his parents and back you up.

He is not stuck in the middle at all, he is just a coward who would rather upset you than Mummy.

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