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how to deal with my MIL's comments about my Mum two days after my giving birth

(128 Posts)
SteadyFreddie Sat 23-Sep-17 21:31:33

I've named changed as don't want to be identified.

I gave birth to 1st DS 3 days ago by ELCS - was feeling so happy until yesterday.
I was in hospital waiting to be discharged when my DH called my MIL on his mobile, and put the conversation on speakerphone - without telling her.
As she did not realise she was on speakerphone, she made some very unfortunate and disparaging comments about my Mother, who had visited me in the hospital a day after giving birth, along with my sister who was visiting from overseas.
The comments my MIL made were:
1/asking how the visit with my Mother had gone the day before and whether my mother had turned up only for 'Kodak moments'
2/harrumphing in a very disdainful tone that my Mother had sent her a congratulatory 'aren't we lucky to be grandmothers' email that morning, along with some photos of the three of us (me, DH and DS) during her visit.

Now; the context to this is that I have had a very strained relationship with my Mother the past year and that we have been on mostly non speaks. She really let me down and hurt me just over a year ago when she failed to acknowledge / bother to get in contact when I had a miscarriage the week I got married. I had emailed her on the way back from the EPOS unit when they said the pregnancy was unviable, and heard nothing at all. In short, I felt let down by my Mum at a very vulnerable time.
During the majority of the pregnancy, we've had no contact and it has been hard, but I've had to manage my expectations.
She got in touch a short time before the birth and explained that she wanted to be supportive.

My husband is aware of all that has happened with my Mother and he is angry at the lack of support during the miscarriage. In our intimate conversations, I have expressed my fears to him that my Mum is only interested in being around for 'Kodak moments' and not offering love and support when I am vulnerable and need it most.

Similarly, I was aware that my MIL was aware that I had a difficult relationship with my Mum but I've never openly dissed my Mother in front of her. Over the past year, I have tried hard to have a good rel with my MIL and have really helped her out and tried to nurture a relationship with her.

So, my shock at hearing the conversation is huge because it tells me
1/my DH has clearly been telling her things I've told him in what I believed were private, intimate conversations
2/the huge disdain and contempt my MIL has for my Mother.

I was so shocked I just couldn't speak. After my MIL said these things, my DH - who had realised with horror that she didn't realise I had heard her say these things - told her we were on speakerphone.

This has really changed things for me, on so many levels.
I feel very hormonal and vulnerable, having just given birth, so there is every possibility I am over reacting.
But I feel so distanced from my DH - he's let me down by sharing things that I've told him in confidence - and I can't bear the thought of playing happy families with my MIL, knowing that she regards my Mum with such contempt.

I am not excusing or defending my Mother. I've had to resign myself to the fact she is never going to be the Mother I want her to be. But it's one thing me knowing and feeling this and having her held up to scrutiny and ridicule by by DH and his family.

I have tried to address this with my DH and he says 'sorry' that yesterday happened, but also that I am being hormonal (as we were told to expect at this point). His get out clause is that as I had told her (MIL) that I had a difficult relationship with my mother, therefore she must have thought it was ok to say such things.

But this has changed things for me. I feel so distanced and let down. I feel no connection at all to him. I've lost respect for him.

I'm happy about the birth of our DS, but I want nothing more to do with his Mother and I feel no closeness to my DH.

My DH keeps saying this is hormones - but things have changed for me. I have no interest in him at all - I don't trust him, and I've no interest in pursuing a relationship with my MIL, particularly as I have been a doormat over the past year in terms of trying to be kind and considerate.
I'm so angry and let down.

SaucyJack Sat 23-Sep-17 21:38:04

Your MIL hasn't done anything wrong TBH. She thought she was having a private conversation with her son. If your husband has told her things you'd rather he hadn't, then that's his fault and not hers.

I feel a bit sorry for your MIL really. Your mum sounds like a bit of a shitstirrer from what you've said about the e-mail she sent MIL.

Don't make your MIL the whipping boy for your mother.

BigBairyHollocks Sat 23-Sep-17 21:40:34

Congratulations on the birth of your lovely babyflowers I think,hormones or not,you are well entitled to be pissed off ag your DH.its one thing you saying stuff about your mum,another altogether him sharing it with your MIL.What I would say is that life is short,and that if you like your MIL enough usually,try not to let it taint your relationship with her.Enjoy your baby,concentrate on that.

Angelicinnocent Sat 23-Sep-17 21:42:27

To be fair, it is possible that your DH just needed to vent his anger, upset, disappointment at the woman he loves being treated so badly. He's there for you to talk to but he might need to talk about it without adding to your pressure and upset.

WineIsMyMainVice Sat 23-Sep-17 21:45:40

Congratulations on your new arrival.
I would advise that you try and focus on your lovely new baby for the moment, as well as looking after yourself both mentally and physically. Giving birth is a really big thing to go through and your body has been through the mill! Things may seem clearer, one way or the other in a week or two.... good luck.

Mustardnowletsnotbesilly Sat 23-Sep-17 21:46:59

Oh my love! Don't think about it too much, just enjoy your baby. You will feel so different about this in a week or a month. Your DH maybe asked his Mum for advice about the situation and MIL will have picked up on things you have both said.
It was unfortunate that MIL said that but she probably loves you both and in a weird way saw it as being supportive of you.
I know its hideous when other people insult yr family, but i'm sure you'd always want DS coming to you with his worries.
I don't think that you will feel the same about this soon. My emotions were bonkers post section with DS. Don't worry about yr feelings for DH just get some rest and all will be well.

Flywheel Sat 23-Sep-17 21:47:18

Based on the facts, as you have relayed them, MIL's comments were entirely appropriate in the context of a private conversation with her son. You seem very protective of your mother, considering she has treated you so appallingly. I also agree with previous poster, she sounds like a shit stirrer.

Hanuman Sat 23-Sep-17 21:50:19

It sounds like your MIL was being protective of you - which is quite sweet

BarbarianMum Sat 23-Sep-17 21:50:54

Well, of course if your MiL knows how your mum treats you she's unlikely to have a good opinion of her. Its unfortunate that you found out, especially at such a vulnerable time but she's likely just indignant on your behalf. Try not to hold it against her.

CheeseGirl4 Sat 23-Sep-17 21:50:59

I can understand you must be feeling let down, but try not to make any rash decisions at the moment, especially when you're potentially hormonal. While you may feel that your husband's family are sitting around to mock your Mum, I think your MIL comments were actually probably said in loyalty to you as she knows how much your Mum hurt you. Much as like when a friend's boyfriend has acted like a shit and then they split, but you find it hard not to give him evils as you know how hurt your friend was, even if she's forgiven him.

Huldas Sat 23-Sep-17 21:51:32

Oh op I am so sorry this has happened to you. Your feelings about this are NOT the result of the hormones. It sounds like you have had an insight into how your dh and mil talk that was previously unsuspected and it had given you a huge shock. Without knowing you it is hard to tell if this is something that can be resolved by a good chat with dh or if it runs deeper than that. Unfortunate that this had happened at a time when you are vulnerable and all emotions are heightened. It is shitty of dh to blame it on hormones as a way of shifting blame.

Do you have anyone else you can turn to for support irl? Another relative or friend who can come and be by your side while you are in hospital and through the early days at home? I have been in a very similar situation when I had my second and I don't think I have ever felt so vulnerable and frail as I did post C-section, still on the ward and unable to trust my DH or my family. Sending you hugs, tell your midwife and if you can line up someone lovely to come and support you. Put your energy into enjoying your newborn, this is such a special time that you won't get back. You can deal with your dh later, just focus on you and baby as much as you can now.

EatTheChocolateTeapot Sat 23-Sep-17 21:52:12

I think your MIL has your back. You have been let down by your mum and she is on your side.
I think it is better for things like that to be out in the open rather than kept as dirty secrets. You are the victim, you don't have to protect your mum. She is an adult and she should take responsibility for what she did.

Cornettoninja Sat 23-Sep-17 21:52:42

I'm inclined to agree with angels assessment. I think it's all too easy to forget that people supporting us through our stresses can need their own support which isn't something they feel able to seek from us. I can also see how likely it would be for your mil to feel defensive on your and your dh's behalf given the upset it caused.

Thats not to minimise your feelings at all, postnatally I was a rollercoaster emotionally. Some was hormonal, some possibly PND looking back but a fair percentage was just a new clarity/perspective given the massive life changes going on around me. Things do change.

All that being considered, is your reaction and decision easing your stresses and emotions? If yes - great crack on and do what you need to do. If no, I would suggest that your solution isn't the best one for you.

Is there a way for you to feel like your dh could really apologise to you? If so you may need to spell it out to him and go from there. I'd be asking him to reign in his mother too and ensure that that her opinions don't stray into your territory again. She can think what she likes really, but ignorance is bliss to you.

PurpleMinionMummy Sat 23-Sep-17 21:54:40

I think it was rather unkind of your mum to send the email knowing mil hadn't met her grandchild yet. It's almost like she was purposely rubbing it in mils face. As your mum was so un-supportive previously i can see why mil has the opinion she just wanted a kodak moment. As you suspect this yourself it's understandably hit a nerve with you, but I think you're placing blame on your mil when it should be on your mum.

If mil has been good to you and supported you both after the miscarriage (?) she may be feeling a bit pushed out and may well be looking out for you rather than trying to upset you. If your future dil's mum treated her badly could you honestly say you wouldn't hold any contempt towards her?

TorNayDoh Sat 23-Sep-17 21:55:10

Oh, OP. I think you're displacing your anger and disappointment in your mother onto your DH and your MIL. DH had a huge error of judgement in sharing those details with your MIL, but effectively your MIL is in your corner, in terms of how angry she feels towards your DM. It's not okay for your DM to have behaved how she did, so I get how it is hurtful to be reminded of this, but getting in touch a short time before the birth... where was she before this? I'm angry on your behalf, I can only imagine how the people who know and care for you personally feel. I do see how it is less painful to latch onto the recent olive branch offered by your DM and try and ignore the past, so I do see where your hurt and upset it coming from, I just think you may be aiming that hurt at the wrong people.

C0untDucku1a Sat 23-Sep-17 21:55:25

I can't see why the mil is at fault here. Your morher sent her a goady email and your husband had a private conversation on speaker and neither of you told her otherwise and you listened in silently on that conversation.

Littledrummergirl Sat 23-Sep-17 21:55:59

I think your mil has the measure of your mum. She has been supporting her son while he helped you.
She sounds as though she could be a source of strength for you while you raise your child.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Sat 23-Sep-17 21:57:01

I can understand being irritated by DH confiding in his mum but I'm not convinced he was unreasonable to do so. The strength of your anger towards him and mil is way over the top.

pastabest Sat 23-Sep-17 21:57:44

I actually think it sounds like your MIL cares about you a lot and thinks very little of your mother. That sounds like she was cross that someone who hasn't been there for you when you are vulnerable and upset you suddenly has pride of place at the birth of a grandchild.

I highly doubt anyone has been ridiculing you.

Many congratulations on your son. Don't let this cloud your lovely early days with him.


TableMirror Sat 23-Sep-17 21:58:44

I think it's nice that your MIL cares about you and sees through your mothers shit.

FiL is a similar Kodak momenter, he's probably spent 5mins with his GC and I assume that's only so he can prove to his father he's done it, he's a manipulative prick. (We're now NC).

NotTheCoolMum Sat 23-Sep-17 22:00:25

OP that is so unfortunate what awful timing. It was a mistake for DH to put MIL on speaker without her knowledge. She must be utterly mortified.

If you can put it out of your mind please do and just focus on your baby and your recovery.

ZippyCameBack Sat 23-Sep-17 22:01:04

My SIL is about the same age as my mum and we are close. She is occasionally very critical of my mother, who takes much less of an interest in me and my children than SIL Does. SIL is very protective of me. It still hurts, mostly because what she says is true.
Your MIL is probably very fond of you and wants to be a good grandmother to your new baby. Perhaps the idea that his other grandmother might not be there for him in the same way that she will makes her angry? It doesn't sound like she meant any harm, or intended to hurt you.

ladymariner Sat 23-Sep-17 22:01:42

TorNayDoh has it exactly right

Anecdoche Sat 23-Sep-17 22:02:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RainbowPastel Sat 23-Sep-17 22:02:47

Your mum is at fault for sending a gloaty email to your Mil. Your DH is entitled to speak with his mum about his life.

It doesn't sound like you have a good relationship with her if you emailed her about your miscarriage. If you were close you would have called or saw her in person.

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