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to wish DH could be honest with his family

(30 Posts)
emmantfc Mon 25-Jul-16 15:06:33

DH and I have been together 4 years and married one. 7 weeks ago I gave birth to our first DS. Since then I feel his parents have been a bit unreasonable. At no point have they offered to help out in any way, but keep turning up with very little notice at the most inconvenient times (ie when we have other visitors who have travelled 2 hours to come and meet the baby, when DH is out, or between 5.30-8.30pm when I'm trying to sort tea out in between cluster-feeding DS). I don't know why DH can't just say on the phone 'sorry now isn't a good time but you could come over [at convenient time]', but he says he would feel too bad. This week his Gran has been admitted to hospital with a serious infection, she's now back home but still on antibiotics and DH said we'd visit to cheer her up. I pointed out that taking a tiny baby to see someone potentially contagious isn't a good idea and he got really upset with me. I'm sure she would have understood but rather than explain that we would bring DS when she was feeling better, DH made up some story that I'd forgotten about a group I'd signed DS up to so we couldn't come, which makes me sound disorganised and uncaring, which I'm not. I get on great with his family and they're lovely people, I just don't understand why DH feels like he has to walk on eggshells with them instead of being honest. All this stresses me out and I feel under pressure to keep the house tidy all the time as I never know when they'll drop in, which is hard when I'm so sleep-deprived (DS wakes to feed 4 times a night). Am I being unreasonable wishing DH could just be more frank with them?

JenLindley Mon 25-Jul-16 15:11:27

I dont know why he lied about the reason for DS not visiting! Thats odd but the other stuff, apart from them turning up in the evening i wouldnt be at all bothered. Why exactly cant they be present while other visitors are there? confused or when DH isnt there? Does he need to be there for them to see their grandchild? Can you not talk to them?

badg3r Mon 25-Jul-16 15:11:34

YANBU, DH needs to tell them. That sounds really stressful.

FelicityGubbins Mon 25-Jul-16 15:14:12

Why can't you be frank with them? I don't understand all the vicarious communication that goes on in so many marriages, I talk directly to my MIL and always have done. I have no tolerance for pissing about...

Garbadgeman Mon 25-Jul-16 15:48:07

DH does this if I let him, can't seem to bring himself to just be straight with people, especially his family. I do the same as Felicity and speak to them direct as much as possible, MIL in particular is similarly straightforward with me and it makes life so much easier than the inevitable ambiguity leaving arrangements to DH (and his DF actually, I can see where he gets it from!) causes. Time to be a bit proactive OP, engineer ways to speak to his family yourself when they're asking to come over so you can tell them when it's convenient, get in first with explanations in cases like the visit to his Gran and let him see that being upfront with them doesn't offend anyone. You need to lead by example, DH is somewhat better these days because he's seen that it doesn't damage the relationship we have with his family that I don't skirt around making arrangements that suit us as well as them. I think you have to assert yourself a bit when you become a parent because you can't always bend to other people's convenience when you have small DC, they tend to dictate your schedule so things get chaotic if you're trying to please everyone.

DragonsEggsAreAllMine Mon 25-Jul-16 15:52:24

I don't get why they can't visit their grandchild if their son is not there or be present when other visitors are

So you want him to tell his mum that his wife says they are only welcome when nobody else has booked to visit, he must be present and it can only be between certain times hmm Your DH is not a child and shouldn't have to ban his parents from daring to care enough to want to see their grandchild.

Missgraeme Mon 25-Jul-16 15:53:59

He needs a quiet reminder that u are his priority now! And vows were made to u not his clan. U should be enjoying this special time not stressing!

BarbaraofSeville Mon 25-Jul-16 15:54:46

Why are you feeding the baby, sorting tea out and tidying the house?confused. What is your DH doing?

Ilovetea82 Mon 25-Jul-16 15:55:16

Tell them to make the tea if they arrive at cluster feeding time! Or start giving them jobs to do.
It's difficult with his grab as I do agree with you and would check with dr (it might actually be ok) then just say your oh got muddled!

He's probably trying to keep the peace - try and turn their visits to your advantage of you. Can

DangerQuakeRhinoSnake Mon 25-Jul-16 15:57:44

Dragons it is much easier and more pleasant to entertain visitors without another set of visitors imposing themselves uninvited. How can you not see that?

WorraLiberty Mon 25-Jul-16 15:58:55

If you get on great with his family and they're lovey people, why don't you speak to them yourself?

It sounds as though your DH doesn't think all this, is as much of a problem as you do.

LucilleBluth Mon 25-Jul-16 16:00:55

Poor in laws. I'm dreading this kind of thing with my DSs.

GiddyOnZackHunt Mon 25-Jul-16 16:09:40

Also you aren't being frank yourself. smile
Don't put yourself under pressure to have a presentable house all the time. If the house is a mess then it's a mess. They can choose not to pop round as much.
Both of you need to be less worried about them

happypoobum Mon 25-Jul-16 16:17:22

You don't have a PILS problem you have a DH problem.

Agree with PP, if he won't tell them, you will have to, but he has to back you up. Did you have no inkling they were like this before? Or that DH was so spineless with them?

I cannot stand people popping in (it's the subject of many a MN thread as we all know) so maybe PILS don't understand you hate it. You just have to tell them and put your foot down. It's bloody annoying if they "don't help out in any way" and you feel you have to tidy up. Why is that? Will they wrinkle their noses if it's messy or is that your issue?

As for the hospital thing - why couldn't DH go on his own? I just don't understand why he made such a drama out of it and lied?

BoGrainger Mon 25-Jul-16 16:22:25

Your job - Sit on the sofa blooming with motherhood holding your precious baby, waving visitors in, handing the baby over.
His job - welcoming visitors, looking after visitors, tidying for visitors, looking after you.
It doesn't sound like you've cracked this motherhood lark yetwink

ExtraHotLatteToGo Mon 25-Jul-16 16:29:42

Just tell them yourself. If your DH is out and they turn up just say 'Sorry, it's not convenient at the moment, give me a call and we can arrange a time'. No-one has the 'right' to drop in whenever they feel like it unless you are happy with that. They'll soon start ringing to see if it's convenient.

Tell DH to learn to say 'no' because divorce will be MUCH more uncomfortable than saying 'No, sorry, it's not a good time, how about X instead?'

Lucille. Why do you dread this? Do you intend to drop in on your DS & DIL whenever it suits YOU without any consideration as to whether it suits THEM?

SwissWank Mon 25-Jul-16 16:30:08

Oh for god sake op you have a newborn. You're now owned by anyone who wants a piece. And this of course means entertaining people you didn't invite over.


It doesn't matter why the op doesn't want them there when her dh isn't in.. the point is she doesn't and it's still her home. And no, if I have people visitng who have drove hours to see the new baby I don't want to have to deal with a whole household. Jesus.. They're being incredibly rude you do not just show up.

WeAllHaveWings Mon 25-Jul-16 16:31:37

Glad to see you already know your dh is the issue.

The good news is your PIL are trying to be polite and do phone first, so you have the opportunity to change the visit if not convenient. You only need to get your dh to say no/check with you first when they call.

YeOldMa Mon 25-Jul-16 16:39:26

Of course you don't want people turning up out of the blue when you've got a young baby. You might want to catch up on sleep, just relax or just enjoy her to yourself. I think it is your husband's job to say what you would like to happen to them but, if he doesn't, perhaps you should. You don't have to be unkind. Compliment them in trying to spend as much time as they do with you but suggest they ring first so they don't waste their time coming over if you are busy. It is not unreasonable to want invited guests to have space to sit, a chance to talk and cuddle the baby. I'm not sure why anybody else would think differently.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 25-Jul-16 16:39:36

Popper inerers divide MN. I can't stand them and would rather hide behind the sofa. Other people think it's perfectly ok for family to pop in at any time, no matter how inconvenient.

OP if you don't like it, tell them. Boundaries now saves anger later.

MaudlinNamechange Mon 25-Jul-16 16:43:53

Your DH is prioritising everyone over you. did he do this before, but you didn't notice because you had enough energy to take care of yourself before you had a baby? Or has he started doing it, because now you have a baby you're "mum" who only exists to make everyone else's life more convenient?

Don't put up with it. Two pronged attack: smilingly and charmingly repel inconvenient visitors yourself; and talk to DH about how he is treating you. This is only going to get worse - if you're thrown to the bottom of the heap when you have a newborn, the future doesn't look great. Nip it in the bud now

ShyTallSun Mon 25-Jul-16 17:03:23

Some kids don't understand that once we're all adults we no longer have to tread lightly with our parents as they can't send us to our rooms and unplug the router!

You need to be sitting down and enjoying your new baby...the first few weeks are wondrous and entirely exhausting. DH can clean, cook and carry things and if he can't then perhaps his family can help him out?

Havingkittens04 Mon 25-Jul-16 17:06:16

YANBU in my experience it only gets worse and you end up looking like the bad one sad x

emmantfc Mon 25-Jul-16 17:08:18

Thanks - that's good advice about communicating with them directly, we haven't really had that type of relationship previously as they've always just contacted DH but I can put more effort into engineering it, if DH feels unable to deal with the situation.
I wouldn't mind if they'd at least put the kettle on themselves but I feel like I'm expected to run around after them which is why it's more stressful if DH isn't here, especially if I have my hands full with the baby when they arrive.
The state of the house is probably me being over-sensitive, BIL also has a new baby and some of their comments make it clear there are comparisons/ competition going on which makes me feel a bit under pressure to be perfect new mum and prove that we're coping fine, I just need to get over that. As for the times they turned up when other visitors were there, one was my first visit from my best friends (one of whom is also pregnant and wanted to ask all sorts of intimate questions about labour and birth) - bit awkward with PILs there too, and another time we already had seven people in the house and PILs turned up with SIL too and there wasn't enough room for everyone, plus they turned up at dinner time. Just to be clear, they live an hour away and usually stay at least 2-3 hours so this isn't a case of popping in for 10 mins for a cup of tea which I'd have no problem with at all as it wouldn't be so disruptive.
I think maybe the best way forward is to be really proactive about getting in touch with them to make plans in advance - I have absolutely no desire to limit how much they see their GS, just wouldn't mind a bit more control over when!

Garbadgeman Mon 25-Jul-16 17:46:51

Sounds like a plan OP, as for the competition thing with BIL just don't engage, he can compete all he likes doesn't mean you have to grin trick is to just not care whether you 'measure up' or not, do things your way and don't worry whether it compares with what anyone else is doing flowers

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