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First time mum here so not sure what is considered the 'norm' when it comes to in-laws

(164 Posts)
Inshock73 Tue 01-Dec-15 08:36:59

I have a six month old baby, DP and I have a great relationship and I get on extremely well with all of DP's family.

We live half an hour away from in-laws and since baby was born they've requested they see her every week on a set day which I've always accommodated. From just a few weeks old they wanted to have her 'on their own' for an afternoon every week. They've bought toys for her which stay at their house and aren't allowed to come home with us. They're decorating the spare room to be 'her bedroom' including putting her name on the bedroom door. Their house is like a shrine there are photos everywhere, photos they've taken of her when she's with them that we've never seen!

I want to have a few traditions that are just 'ours' e.g. a Christmas stocking but I've been told in no uncertain terms they 'will' be doing her a christmas stocking aswell as other presents. We've had hand and foot casts made and they've now asked us to have some made for them. They've also 'told' me they want a lock of her hair when she has her first haircut and I mustn't forget!

I'm finding it all too much and at times feel like they're behaving like she's their child rather than grandchild.


Baconyum Tue 01-Dec-15 08:41:00

There'll be plenty posting after me but no THIS IS NOT NORMAL or acceptable. Get dp to tell em to back the fuck off! It's weird! You organise your routine for YOUR child as you wish. They certainly don't get to tell you to do anything!

dontcallmecis Tue 01-Dec-15 08:43:24

I'd be saying no way to weekly afternoons with only them. It's an imposition.

The other stuff you can object to (I probably would), but it's their money, and their house.

Tiggeryoubastard Tue 01-Dec-15 08:44:26

Being interested us lovely. Demanding things is not acceptable. Say no now, or you will have years of this.

spillyobeans Tue 01-Dec-15 08:45:24 my thread about my inlaws! Put your foot down now or you will end up like me!!!

BeverlyGoldberg Tue 01-Dec-15 08:45:56

Not normal. Your DP needs to have a word.

My parents have toys for DD that stay at their house which actually helps as its one less thing for me to remember, but the rest of it is batshit.

selsigfach Tue 01-Dec-15 08:46:54

Bloody hell. How have you tolerated this? Wild horses wouldn't have dragged my newborn baby away from me for an afternoon a week. Get your partner on side and make sure he puts HIS foot down over this so they know it's not just you being a terrible DIL depriving them of their rights to their precious grandchild. This is not normal. Good luck (you'll need it).

CaffeineBomb Tue 01-Dec-15 08:47:23

I would find that incredibly overbearing, although they are clearly excited to have a grandchild they need to respect that you are the parents, not them.

Your DP needs to speak to them and lay out what is and isn't acceptable.

Regarding the toys, I am planning on buying some toys for my parents house. As my 10m old is trying to climb everything I'm hoping some new toys for their house will distract him as he ignores any I take from home! This is different to your inlaws buying them and not letting you take them home though.

Jibberjabberjooo Tue 01-Dec-15 08:49:01

Not normal though, you need to start saying no or get your dh to.

The toy thing though is quite normal isn't it? My in laws and my DM have toys at their house. Saves me bringing any and gives them something different to play with. My grandparents did the same, it was always exciting looking in the toy cupboard.

YakTriangle Tue 01-Dec-15 08:51:02

She's your daughter, not a timeshare apartment in Spain. They don't get to book her whenever they feel like it, and you need to make them realise that she's not a toy.

totalrecall1 Tue 01-Dec-15 08:51:13

Sorry to disagree but I do. They are obviously really excited about their first grandchild. Believe me in a few months time you will want a break for the afternoon and will jump at the chance. Just tell them you are not ready to leave her yet, but at some point you will be really greatful for some catchup time without the demands of a baby. I also think its quite normal for Grandparents to have toys at their house for the children to paly with etc. And why wouldn't they want footcasts of their first grandchild? I think it sounds lovely they are just thrilled to have a new baby in the family

MrsGentlyBenevolent Tue 01-Dec-15 08:51:17

I've been told in no uncertain terms they 'will' be doing her a christmas stocking aswell as other presents.

I would have laughed in my PIL faces if they had said this, as I would not be taking it seriously. Or, more likely would have become very cross about them imposing on what parents usually do for their child (especially the early years). I can understand her grandparents wanting to be involved, and that's lovely but there is a line. You need to be firm now in things such as 'no, we will be making the Christmas stocking/sorting presents' or 'of course grandchild would love to spend time with you, but every week may not be conveniant for us'. It is not ok for them to be telling you what is happening with your child - deal with it now, or it will become worse over the years.

originalmavis Tue 01-Dec-15 08:53:02

First grandchild? Boundaries - now!

KatieLatie Tue 01-Dec-15 08:54:24

That sounds fairly possessive (of them) to me, but maybe there are other people out there like that too? It almost sounds on a par with shared custody.

DS is almost 6 and we try to do things as a family when the in-laws are here (admittedly they live abroad and not down the road, but can't see it being much different if they did). They do take DS out by themselves occasionally or babysit him occassionally, but they build their relationship with him with me in the background - I don't feel excluded.

DS was breastfed, so that sort of relationship wouldn't have worked early on. Plus I wouldn't have wanted to be away from him for more than a couple of hours at that age.

How does your DP feel? Is this how things were between him and his grandparents? It is very likely that they will escalate to having her over night (one night a week). This may be great for you, but it might not be what you want. I have friends whose daughter goes up to stay with the in-laws every school holiday (for a week or two). They have always done this - even when she was a baby (and the mum didn't work). It work for them: the grandparents and child get quality time, whereas the parents get space and time to be a couple again.

I think that it is for every family to work out what works for them. If this isn't working for you, then speak to DP.

AbbeyRoadCrossing Tue 01-Dec-15 08:57:48

I'm going to go against the majority here and say YABU if you've gone along with all their requests for 6 months. They probably think they are helping out with the afternoon a week. I've never had any babysitters for my DCs and would love an afternoon off!

If you want them to stop you're going to have to tell them.

Alisvolatpropiis Tue 01-Dec-15 09:01:33

It does sound like they're being a bit over the top.

Not the toys at their house, that makes sense as otherwise it's a pain in the bum carting toys everywhere.

Asking to have hand and foot casts too is fine (Christmas present sorted!).

It's the demanding which doesn't sit well with me and would make me want to say no immediately.

It is great that they're so interested and I do think it's beneficial for children to have close relationships with their broader family. But as I say, demanding is not okay.

My husband recently offered to let his fucking mad relative babysit our 6 month old. Said relative has met the baby twice. I've said no. We have other family who I'm far more comfortable with doing it.

Solasum Tue 01-Dec-15 09:03:41

The only thing I would really object to is the stockings. They had their time for stockings with DP, now it is your turn.

It is great they want to be fully in DD's life, but make sure that it works for you too. Any chance they'd consider doing, say, a day a week when you go back to work? This could work out nicely for everyone.

Re bedroom, a very nice gesture. No need for her to sleep in it yet though. Down the line I am sure you and DP will want the odd night off.

Toys for their house is a good idea as less to carry. If they decide they want to buy clothes, and their style is not yours, my top tip is going shopping with your DMIL, or if all else fails using their clothes for nursery so I don't have to look at the hideous slogans at home

maras2 Tue 01-Dec-15 09:09:29

Absolute batshit.We have 3DGC and adore them but have never demanded any of that stuff.We've been available for babysitting when their parents require it.Luckily we all live near each other so we see the kids frequently but if I pulled stunts like that I'd expect DD and DS to put their foot down just like we would have if our in-laws had done it to us.Best of luck. smile

Sparkletastic Tue 01-Dec-15 09:10:38

No not normal. Toys, maybe a buggy at their place is fine. Everything else is overstepping. And all this 'you'll be glad of the break' crap might not apply. I didn't want to be away from my babies until they got to the walking / talking stage. It isn't a given that every new mum is desperate for time off. Get assertive now and get DP to lead the conversation.

MrsDeVere Tue 01-Dec-15 09:16:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

malloo Tue 01-Dec-15 09:17:37

I think they are v excited about their grandchild which is nice but could feel a bit much. The only thing that is really unreasonable is the stocking, of course they don't get to do that! That's the only part that would concern me, your DP needs to set them straight on that asap. The rest is quite normal doting grandparent behaviour - photos, name on the door etc. As others have said, keeping toys just for there is good, makes it easier for you. And many of us without family nearby would be delighted to get an afternoon free every week! But having said all that, only you know how it feels, if you feel you are being controlled then it is probably a bit unhealthy, in which case DP needs to have a word.

JellyBabiesSaveLives Tue 01-Dec-15 09:18:17

Given that you say you get on well with them, you probably want to err on the side of thinking that they are batty-excited and will calm down, as long as you say "No" occasionally. Seriously, a bedroom with her name on? What will they do when the next grandchild arrives? Hopefully you're all going to look back at this and laugh.

Are they ok about it if you change "their" afternoon or cancel one week? If so, enjoy the child-free time. But if they have a tantrum about it, then you really need to start changing it regularly! So one week it needs to be moved to a different day. Another week you're coming too so you can all go do something special together (plan it). Another week its not convenient at all.

But the Christmas stocking - no. Get dh to tell them they aren't the parents. Couple of presents, which need to be presents (i.e. she gets to take them home). No more. See all the threads where posters never get to choose clothes or toys for their children because the gps get so many, or where tiny houses are full of binbags full of presents! Nip it in the bud the first year.

And don't let anyone make you feel ungrateful or guilty. You only have to feel grateful for things done with your benefit in mind, and your ILs, lovely as they may be, are not considering you at all here, are they?

wigglesrock Tue 01-Dec-15 09:19:07

I don't know it depends what you feel comfortable with. The set day would bother me, what if you have other plans? It's the tone/the demanding that I think you need to step on quickly enough. My pils and my own parents both had toys in their own houses - my mil looked after my dd1 a couple of mornings a week from about 5 months old, when I went back to work. The bedroom is a bit over the top. My parents have a spare room the kids have slept over in, but it's the spare room for anybody - there's no kid things in it.

The photos/pictures I wouldn't have an issue. The stocking I can see your point. My mil does a Christmas box for mine, like a stocking but it wouldn't have all the silly bits and bobs in it - hair bobbles, socks, silly pencils etc in it. It would be a few additional presents - silly games, colouring books. The hand foot casts and hair locks wouldn't be my thing anyway, just as another poster said get them it for Christmas. I bought my parents a baby's first Christmas tree ornament for each of my kids.

maybebabybee Tue 01-Dec-15 09:20:43

Wow this is way OTT. I often find on MN people are unreasonable when it comes to extended family (ie treating them like the devil incarnate) but you are categorically not BU.

As pp have said showing an interest and wanting to see her is fine, being pushy is not fine and it sounds like they are being massively pushy.

How does your partner feel about it?

mouldycheesefan Tue 01-Dec-15 09:22:29

I have to say it sounds fine to me. But all grandparents in our family are too elderly or sick to look after the kids for even half an hour, live far away and I am NC with my nutter mother. I would love a fixed afternoon off and grandparents who are local and helpful and kind and interested. So what if they take pictures you have t seen and want a lock of her hair. None of this is hard work for you just enjoy the assistance and interest!

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