Family traumas & MiL(49 Posts)
I'm not sure what to do about this situation. I have a 6 week old who was born with a life threatening complication, had surgery at 1 week old and was in intensive care on a ventilator, so I couldn't hold her, for 3 weeks, she came home at 4 weeks. I have a 2 year old I didn't see much during that time. Plus in the last trimester of my pregnancy my Dad died. I now desperately feel the need to regroup as a family and to have some time and space to ourselves. My MiL has been visiting from overseas and has said she will get lodgings here in our city to be around to help. My husband told her yes, though I am unsure. It's a nice offer but I find her extremely difficult for reasons too numerous to list here. I feel drained and depressed in her presence at the moment, and relieved and much happier when she's not there. She says she is happy to do her own thing when not helping - she's v independent and not sociable and says she has no friends back at home so doesn't mind doing her own thing here. But she has a key to our house and the reality is we will see a lot of her. Also, I don't want the help. My 2 year old is at nursery 3x a week, and my mum has said she'll help one day a week. I feel that is fine. I don't know what I can reasonably too. There's my sanity in question, also what my husband wants - he feels anxious that we might need. My toddler doesn't love being with MiL and just says he wants us at the moment. He's happy at nursery, though.
I should add, her plan is to stay here for 5 months.
I think you need to tell your husband that you're not comfortable seeing his mother that often and put some boundaries in place. She's not staying with you; get her key back to your flat and try to see her on arranged times only.
Sorry you've had such a difficult time
If your Mother is helping out once a week, then you really need to let MIL help out just as much or it may well breed resentment. His Mum being as important as yours.
I would not however let her have a key.
Maybe she can come by and take Dd to nursery for you a couple times a week that way she isn't staying in the house with you. She could do her own thing and pick Dd back up and spend time with her then bring her home.
Wow you must be reeling, that's a hell of a few months you've had. You've a right to be as unreasonable as you like under those circumstances. But actually everything you've said sounds totally fair.
I suspect sending her home altogether isn't an option. So get the key back, get DH to make very clear you need some space to be with your children, and have the contact with MIL on your own very clearly defined terms.
Would you find her easier to cope with if it's at set times each week? No spontaneous dropping in? E.g she takes your 2 year old to a specific activity every Tuesday, or helps DH with both kids one morning at the weekends while you rest? Maybe think about how you can exploit her presence so it's actually useful to you, and say no to everything else.
In the woman's defence she had come wanting to offer help and support.
Her grandchildren are obviously very important to her and imo you should not exclude her from their lives if she wants to be a regular part of it.
Children benefit greatly from warm loving relationships and imo should not be denied these without a good reason.
The woman is not living with you so that's a good starting point.
What has she done to you that caused upset?
You don't need to do anything OP. You've had a really awful time and the priority is ensuring you're feeling supported and comfortable. You only gave birth 6 weeks ago. Now isn't the time to have to walk on eggshells and bend over backwards to accommodate everyone else.
If you feel comfortable with your mum helping then that's what happens. Support isn't actually support if it just makes things harder or more stressful for you.
Tell your husband NO. He had NO RIGHT to organise this without discussing it with you first. What is he thinking?
Op I had sort of similar situation to you when first was born and Mil helped out un invited for a few days and I am stil getting over it now ten years later.
Have a stern talk to your DH tell him, your the one who will be around her and you feel stressed and dont want her there.
Get it in now!
Children benefit greatly from warm loving relationships and imo should not be denied these without a good reason
I think a new mothers mental health is of paramount importance when any baby is born. And everyone should support that mother and what makes her happy. A new baby is enormously stressful, and therefore anything that adds to that stress is a no no, no matter how well intention ed.
Adding to that normal scenario, op has lost her father, op s baby has gone through trauma. If those are not good enough reasons to not want to add to stress - I dont know what is
Op put yourself first right now, if you collapse it will be your dc who suffer and your tiny baby.
You need to put your foot down with your DH and say you do not want this, and that she needs to go back home. He should deal with this. Don't take no for an answer.
I'm so sorry for your loss. You've had a hell of a few months and it's no wonder you need some time to yourself.
PS It's not fucking support if she makes you upset, angry and tired! It's just a nuisance!
I hate this idea that if one grandparent does a day then so should the other or its not 'fair' - that makes no allowance at all for the very real differences in peoples feelings, reactions and needs at a very emotional time. Help is only help if you need it/ask for it/appreciate it otherwise it is yet another burden that you don't need
tell your husband that the idea is stressful not helpful and ask your MIL to wait for an invite
i agree with what another poster said. His mum is just as important as yours.
Just because you carried the baby for 9 months doesnt make the baby more yours than your husbands. That comes across really shitty I dont mean any offence or nastiness by it. What I mean is he has has had a rough time too seeing his child poorly and maybe he wants his mum the same way you are probably wanting yours.
Although I would take the key away and lay out some ground rules.
Take advantage of the help. They love you and just want to help you to try make your life easier. I would love some with my two 2 and 4 months but sadly have very little family.
If the husband had I voted the mil to stay yat the house without discussron then that would have been unreasonable. But he hasnt. Shes staying in lodgings and wil visit - so the times and frequency of the visits can be mutually agreed...just the Same as the op does with her mother (and we dont hear the husband moaning about that!)
"His mum is just as important as yours."
This isn't about roles. You don't get a "right" to a child for being a grandmother. You get rights based on how supportive, helpful, and nice you are to the family. If you're a nightmare DM or MIL, don't expect to be invited anywhere near a young mother. If you're an angel of light, who offers unrelenting love and support in a way that listens to the person at the heart of things, expect to be phoned almost too often!
HOW IS THIS HARD?! It's the same rule as any other social interaction - if you are a nightmare, people won't want you around; if you are lovely, you will have loads of people lining up to invite you to things. People don't just have to put up with any kind of shit or abuse because of "family".
If Op wants help & support-doesn't she get to also choose who from?
Certainly get the key back.
Perhaps best if MIL is only there when her son is or an hr before he's due in?
"Would you find her easier to cope with if it's at set times each week? No spontaneous dropping in? E.g she takes your 2 year old to a specific activity every Tuesday, or helps DH with both kids one morning at the weekends while you rest? "
This sounds like a good idea.
I'm sorry, you've been through a really tough time.
Frankly, it really doesn't matter how important your MIL is made to feel. It doesn't matter about giving the grandmothers equal access to/ playtime with the new baby. Now is really not the time to be splitting hairs over whether the baby 'belongs' to mum or dad's side of the family more.
The key priorities are 1. your new baby's health and wellbeing 2. your health and wellbeing 3. your opportunity to adjust to being a family of 4. which includes helping your older child settle into the changes.
If it makes things harder for you to have your MIL around, then tell them. Take the key back, make arrangements to meet as a family instead of having your MIL come round when your husband isn't there. Being steam-rollered into something that makes things harder for you won't help your recovery.
You need the help that is right for you, OP.
In this crucial period entertaining a bored and lonely MIL would be massively unfair on you and I think OH must take his lead from you.
Keep her visit short and get that key back as a priority.
That comes across really shitty I dont mean any offence or nastiness by it. What I mean is he has has had a rough time too seeing his child poorly and maybe he wants his mum the same way you are probably wanting yours
I guess he can go to her then in her lodgings and get that support from her because OP does not want it.
It's the wrong time to be trying to put up with someone that you find difficult imo.
If she says she want to help, it wouldn’t be fair on you if her idea of helping is hold your baby all the time while you are stuck washing extra dishes and doing all the work, robbing your baby bonding time . So make it clear what is and isn’t helpful since she offered or ask her to stay home
you should not exclude her from their lives if she wants to be a regular part of it.
This is not the time for the MIL's wants to trump the needs of the family.
Assuming there is any time when this would be ok.
"you should not exclude her from their lives if she wants to be a regular part of it."
The children have another parent who can make sure that she is not excluded.
What does your DH think? He may feel that he wants her support.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.