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Have I been unreasonable / mean?

(16 Posts)
shimmymummy Tue 22-Apr-14 12:47:09

Five days ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. It was a home birth, a water birth - it all went perfectly and we are over the moon. This is in complete contrast to the birth of my DD 4 years ago which was very traumatic, with a very long recovery and resulted in quite severe post-natal depression. It took a long time for me to open up to the idea of having another child, and a lot of anxiety throughout the pregnancy which I pleased to say I managed with some great counselling and hypnobirthing techniques.

My parents live 4 hrs away. I love them dearly but my mum in particular has a bit of a habit of making everything about her, and can be quite childish if she doesn't get her own way. She can be rather overbearing when it comes to anything emotional like a wedding or a birth or any kind of family issue. I sat down with her a few weeks ago and explained that although I wanted her to be one of the first visitors her new grandson would have and she was a special part of our lives, I didnt want any visitors for a week after his birth. It was important to us to have some space and deal with any emotions / feeding / recovery that I couldn't deal with last time as we had visitors instantly. She said she was a bit hurt but that she was fine with this.

As soon as DS is born I'm getting txts asking when she can come visit. In a week I say - can't wait to see you. Then she books a hotel for Day 5, and pleads to come down, gets my dad to phone me and repeat the request. I feel so bad I agree, but I am annoyed that she hasn't respected my wishes. She hasn't been in contact since - no call on Easter, or how are yous. They come round this morning and within half an hour she is upset and saying she wants to go as she doesn't feel that she's welcome. My head is a bit all over the place but I think I responded very calmly to her. I did tell her I was hurt she didn't respect my wishes when she originally said she had been fine with it, and that she was being childish in her demands and rather unfair saying I wasn't thinking about how she would feel (which is why I discussed it explicitly with her in advance) BUT that she was here now and I wanted her to enjoy her grandson. They left after 2 hrs to drive home with a complete sulk on.

I feel so bad that her first experience with her grandson has been spoilt but also so annoyed at her as I do feel she brought it on. I just wanted to be in control of this experience and what was a beautiful time for my family has been mared now.

I guess I'm asking you guys - have I really been mean and unfair to ask for a visitor embargo (even my own mum)? And what should I do now to smooth things over (without saying sorry - as I don't really think I should be).

Feeling so teary.


notnowbernard Tue 22-Apr-14 12:51:35

Wow, your mum is quite something, eh?! <hand virtual gin>

It sounds like you dealt with the situation brilliantly.

This is HER shit, not yours. Don't hold it for her - let her strop and try not to let it affect the lovely first days with your baby.

You were clear that you wanted a week - perfectly reasonable request - she is an adult, not a child... Treat her like one and let her handle her own sulk

Congratulations grin

rinabean Tue 22-Apr-14 12:53:56

Of course she felt unwelcome, she wasn't welcome and she'd known she wouldn't be. She would have been if she waited just 2 more days. She steamrollered over you. You weren't mean. She defied your wishes and got what she wanted and she's somehow victimised by that? It's her own problem!

Friginilla Tue 22-Apr-14 12:59:48

Your mum is being unreasonable, you were definitely not in the wrong at all!
Let her get on with being childish and you enjoy your lovely newborn flowers congratulations.

TooManyDicksOnTheDancefloor Tue 22-Apr-14 13:01:06

And yet again she's made it all about her! Don't give her the oxygen, ignore and enjoy your baby. I didn't let my in laws visit for 4 weeks as they travel a long way and come en masse, expecting to be waited on. My sil had a bit of a tantrum and slagged us off to other family members, I just ignored, it's the only way to deal with unreasonable people thanks

DoctorTwo Tue 22-Apr-14 13:14:43

First off, congratulations on the birth of your son. Next, as others have said, you have done nowt wrong, she has. She chose to ignore your wishes.

And what should I do now to smooth things over Nothing. Leave her to think about it, hopefully she will see she's in the wrong and will call to apologise, but I wouldn't pin my hopes on it. grin

Twighlightsparkle Tue 22-Apr-14 13:25:02

congratulations, many hugs . the others have said it all.

RedToothBrush Tue 22-Apr-14 13:28:10

I'm sorry, but you should NOT be feeling guilty about needing and wanting this time for yourself. You made it very clear your reasons why and set out your boundaries. She completely and utterly ignored these, and did not respect your feelings in any way.

You mother is being monumentally selfish and controlling you by emotionally blackmailing you to do what she wants.

She will continue to do this in one form or another unless you stand up for yourself and don't cave into her childish demands. I have no doubt she will use your kids as bargaining chips again in the future unless you make it clear that she needs to respect your decisions.

I do not think you should try and smooth over things because that implies that you were wrong in the first place. You were not. She needs to learn to respect your feelings too. If that means she sulks, let her! Do not let her get to you.

PicandMinx Tue 22-Apr-14 13:39:06

Congratulations on the birth of your baby. Ignore your dear mother. Let her sulk. You have no need to apologise or smooth things over as you haven't done anything wrong.

Ignore her attention seeking antics and get on with enjoying your baby.


elliejjtiny Tue 22-Apr-14 16:17:52

Congratulations on your baby.

You are in the right here, let your mum sulk. You asked her to wait a week, this is perfectly reasonable. I asked my mum to wait for 6 weeks.

PumpkinPie2013 Tue 22-Apr-14 17:57:37

Congratulations on your new arrival smile

Your mum is in the wrong here - yes she's excited but you need space and time with your dh/dp and older dd. Plus time to recover/sort feeding etc. It is your home and you have the right to say when/if people can visit.

Leave your mum to it - she's being ridiculous!

shimmymummy Tue 22-Apr-14 18:51:22

Thanks so much for your comments, I'm tired and teary and they have made me feel stronger. You are right its her shit, and I can't do anything about how my mother chooses to react to situations. It's just such a shame as normally we get on really well but this has just been a repetitive streak through our relationship I shouldn't really be surprised.

HumptyDumptyBumpty Tue 22-Apr-14 18:57:29

Are you my sister? Have a hand to hold, my "d"m was just like this at the birth of my DD. As others have said, do not feed the fire. Good luck!

theborrower Tue 22-Apr-14 20:52:20

You have not been mean, and you shouldn't feel sorry. I absolutely understand where you're coming from - after an EMCS with my DD and PND, this time I've resolved to have no visitors for a fortnight. I hope I'm strong enough to stick to it - DH has been well briefed! I would also never visit a new mum in the first two weeks - and until they say they're ready - ever again. The fact that you're tired and teary - which every new mum is in the first week - is exactly why you need your space. I think some people forget this or just don't think. If your mum brings it up at a later date, be honest with her. But remember - you have nothing to apologise for!

Congratulations on your new baby, and enjoy some cuddle time and getting to know each other in your new wee family smile

Elastigrrrl Tue 22-Apr-14 22:15:34

Agree fully with the above sentiments. (Including the congratulations).

I massively empathise, also have a rather emotion(-ally manipulative) mother whom I love very much. Took support from lovely Mumsnetters for me to feel confident in asking her to plan their visit to be nearly 3 weeks post due date (they live in the US). I've no doubt she will suck up some oxygen too when she comes (as another poster put it), but it is up to you and me to set our boundaries and stick to them. Their relationships with their grandchildren wil be defined over many years, not in one visit.

That said, not apologising for standing our ground doesn't mean we can't be gracious in future interactions (which I'm sure you would be). She should come round eventually.

Notrightnowww Wed 23-Apr-14 16:20:39

No, you've not been mean.

I know how you feel though - I have asked for no visitors until at least 48 hours after this baby arrives. My mum went in a huff and started crying, saying I was shutting her out.

Ffs, why does everyone think they have a right to descend immediately on a woman who's just gone through childbirth?!

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