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To expect that my in-laws to be nearby when we have their first grandchild?

(14 Posts)
Lucky13 Fri 21-Sep-07 11:49:04

My husband is so upset because his parents announced that they might be away when we have our baby (their first grandchild).

Now don't get me wrong - we're not expecting them to physically help out, just to be there for moral support if he needs them.

I'm having a c-section and possibly more surgery at the same time, so my DH will be trying to cope with a lot and feels let down that his parents won't be around.

Unfortunately they won't be able to come back quickly either as they are doing a favour and house/animal sitting for another relative who is on holiday.

We thought they'd be more excited as they pestered us to have children originally. We've had a very difficult year with a lot of awful things happening. They have been on holiday for the last 4 months and he was looking forward to them coming home. He's always been very close to his parents and now it seems like they don't want to know and that other family are more important than him.

Should i tactfully mention how upset he is to them?

BroccoliSpears Fri 21-Sep-07 12:05:43

You're not being unreasonable to feel upset on hubby's behalf, but I would say it's a very bad idea to say something. My maxim is never to get too involved with the inlaws - you handle your family and let hubby handle his.

But then, that's just how things work for us.

Hope your section and op go well.

GrumpyOldHorsewoman Fri 21-Sep-07 12:07:43


My MIL lives in Ireland, and didn't even see DD1 (her first grandchild) until she was 4 months old. It was the same with DD2 and very poor excuses we got, too. FIL (they were seperated) first saw DD1 when she was 8 months old, and never saw DD2 at all (he died suddenly when she was 10 months old). My parents live over 200 miles away, and it takes far longer for them to drive here than it takes the IL's to get here from Ireland, but they were at my house (dinner on the table etc etc) when I came out of hospital.

OTOH, when SIL produced most recent grandchild (No. 6), she couldn't get rid of MIL who stayed at their house during the lead-up to the EDD, and was trying to get in to see the newborn at the hospital the minute she came out (despite it being 1am!). It does make you sensitive, and I fully empathise with your situation. I think a very tactful mention to them may help, but don't try to guilt-trip them, because that could lead to tension, and you don't want to sour the relationship however you feel at the moment (and it is a very sensitive time!)

Lucky13 Fri 21-Sep-07 12:22:42

Thanks for the replies.

You are right about me not saying anything. DH has been asking what he should say and he's not v good with words. I just don't know what to say to him.

My family believe in being direct (but tactful) whereas his family keep quiet, but are always going on about being close and supportive.

I think he feels worse because my mum is terminally ill (my dad looks after her) and both of them keep telling us that they will help out and be there is we need them (not that i would expect them to).

I know a lot of people dread the intefering MIL, but i just want my DH to feel that he can talk to her when things get out of hand for him. They only live 5 mins away and he just can't understand why they have gone away throughout the pregnancy and now for the birth too!

What could he say to them?

ChasingSquirrels Fri 21-Sep-07 12:26:13

I think YABU, it was your choice to have a baby - they have their own life.
I don't understand why they shouldn't go away during the time you are pg and when you give birth - its not like your MIL is the pg one.

muppetgirl Fri 21-Sep-07 12:32:45

I think this is an absolute minefield...

There are so many threads here about interfering MIL's v MIL's that don't help at all. I think you have to surround yourself with people who ARE willing to help and be supportive towards you and hubby when lo is born. If you talk to them, they may come but is it because you have 'made' them or did they really want to? Are they wanting to give you some space? Do they treat dh and any of his siblings differently? In our family dh is treated differently and it has taken a while for us to accept that this is just the way it is for us. We don't want MIL to stay when I come home with lo (I'm 33 weeeks atm) and we know that she will take this very badly (as she did with ds1) but we are a family in our own right now and we make the decisions as best for us without meaning to hurt anyone else.

If they don't want/appear to want to come, then that's upsetting but really up to them.

Lucky13 Fri 21-Sep-07 12:39:39

Chasing squirrels - you're right - it is their life and i certainly don't mind them being away.

What i don't understand is the complete change of character. FIL has pestered DH for years to have children and we've been trying our best to give him his wish wink.

We've always helped each other when needed and been really close. So why no have they changed so much suddenly?

The thing that bugs him is that he can't understand why they would suddenly travel hundreds of miles away to house sit (not a holiday for them) when there are lots of people in her family who could do the same?

Muppetgirl - i know its a minefield, but seeing as they only live a couple of mins away and we are always round each others houses to help each other, we just find it odd that they are going out of there way to leave!!

maisemor Fri 21-Sep-07 12:47:50

I can understand you both being upset about it, but look at it this way you are having a baby, they are having a grandchild. There is a huge difference. This child will be your responsibility for the next min. 18 years, not theirs.

You chose to have this baby, not them. They might have begged for you to have a baby (like my in laws) but the decision is ultimately yours and your husbands.

You probably will not want any visitors for the first week anyway.

Hope I am not sounding cold or harsh. I am sure that once baby is here you will be focusing on baby all the time and not wanting to think about anybody else. smile

Budcat Fri 21-Sep-07 12:51:49

I agree. This is a total minefield and it is easy to feel upset when close family don't react as you would like them to. Can completly understand the upset caused. When I had a miscarriage all my so called 'supportive' M-I-L was interested in was why we did not want to share the news widely but mainly with her daughter who was pregnant at the time. When finally the pressure was too much for me I told my S-I-L very reluctantely and then was roared at by my M-I-L for upsetting her daughter. Just what you need when have just had a miscarriage.
Felt very upset about this unsupportive behaviour for a long time but then had no expectations of my in-laws when expecting DS, but despite all that my F-I-L has turned out to be a total star, very supportive and is simply God to DS. My parents were on holiday when I had DS -also a planned CS and they 'phoned from their yacht when DS was born!

Currentely 19 weeks pregnant and again have no expectations of family but know that we will cope and it will all be fine.

Sorry for the essay - just trying to explain that despite disappointing beginnings all will be fine in the end. Best not to say anything to P-I-L.

alicet Fri 21-Sep-07 12:59:29

Agree that this is a minefield. Not much more to add really except maybe they think they are doing you a favour by not being too in your faces and actually think they are being sensitive about this? I know when we had ds dh and I wanted the first 2 weeks that he was off to spend time together as a family and get to know our ds without too much input from family. Both sets of parents live several hundreds of miles away though so if they were here it would have meant them staying which is a different situation to you.

I would stay out of it if I were you. But if your dh is upset maybe its worth him having a word. It sounds like you all have a good relationship and this wouldn't be taken in the wrong way? May help both you and them.

Lucky13 Fri 21-Sep-07 13:06:52

Maisemor, i'm not sure you got my point. Its the sudden change in character that he doesn't understand.

We don't expect them to come round or help out. We know its our child not theirs. The bit about giving them a grandchild was a joke.

My DH would just like to be able to chat to his mum as he has always done for advice if necessary (and vice versa). Unfortunately there's no mobile signal where they are going.

Budcat - sorry about your m/c, and can totally understand. My MIL thought she was helping by announcing mine to everyone she knew! Glad to see you are pregnant now and hope the rest of your pregnancy goes well for you.

I'm sure you're right and things will work out ok. I just hate seeing DH upset especially when he was so looking forward to them coming home.

ChasingSquirrels Fri 21-Sep-07 13:47:27

ok, well that is not so unreasonable then, but why would you mention it? If he is so close to them why doesn't HE mention it to his parents?

maisemor Fri 21-Sep-07 15:06:52

Ahh, but I did not get that it was a joke (nothing new there smile).

Why does your husband not just pick up the phone or write them a letter to say how he is feeling?

maisemor Fri 21-Sep-07 15:07:30

Maybe ask them to half the housesitting (you mentioned that plenty other people could be doing this)?

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