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Did grandparents stop being angry after baby was born?

(21 Posts)
TheMidnightHour Wed 03-Jun-15 11:48:09

If your parents or partner's parents were against you having a child, did they come round after the baby was born? Did they take it out on the child or treat them differently to other GC? If so, what did you do? Did you lay down THE LAW or pick battles or...?

{{{{long background follows}}}}

DP and I are not married. We are having a baby in 3 months. According to his parents, this is "the worst possible thing you could do to a child" and "child abuse" and letting us go ahead with this madcap plan would be "like letting a child play in traffic". You could say they're a tad upset.

(If it matters, we're in our 30s, financially solvent, been together a decade, and it's a long-awaited, planned, much wanted pregnancy. The rest of his family, sibs & aunts/uncles are happy to off-the-wall excited, as are mine.)

They've decided being unmarried is solely my fault (ahaha it's like they don't know their own child) and told me (again) that I am "not part of their family". (At least they've moved on from calling me a gold digger and threatening to withhold DIY assistance - as we don't own a house or even a shed, that was never going to be that effective as blackmail! grin)

(Incidentally, they are very nearly as unwelcoming to their actually married son-in-law who won't go near them now, so I feel getting hitched would simply shift the focus to our other "failings" hmm.)

Frankly, I'd be happy to never see them again. But that's not my call - it's DP's and he loves them.

Right now, being super mature, I'm not speaking to them. (As they live 4+h away, won't talk to me if I answer the phone and haven't called since January, they haven't noticed. But I feel better.)

I am encouraging DP to ring his folks every week or so as usual (he's a bit fed up with them, as you can imagine), to tell them baby news (scans etc) even though they carefully don't ask or say anything positive in response. I've been trying to find a time he can visit them on his own, but due to the distance, other commitments and a health scare, it hasn't happened yet.

I just don't know what to do about this mid to long term. I'll have to see them again eventually, and I'm wondering whether we need to have another row Great Big Talk and at least make it clear what what lines we will not have crossed (not that I know what those should be) or just hope they come round after Little Bean is born.

What would you do???

Highlove Wed 03-Jun-15 18:56:10

They sound awful. Do you want them anywhere near your child? Sorry but I think your DP needs to stand up to them: stop being total dicks or have no role on the child's life.

Good luck with your new baby. It'll be lovely. I'm sure it won't be THAT dages by its ungodly parents. grin

Highlove Wed 03-Jun-15 18:56:39

Damaged by!

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 03-Jun-15 18:58:51

How bloody awful. Do you have any planned meet ups before the child is born? It might give you the opportunity to ask them outright if they will be visiting the 3 of you once your lo arrives.

Atm though they seem to be making it very clear that they don't want to be any part of your new family.

seaoflove Wed 03-Jun-15 19:03:52

I was expecting you to say you were about 20!

They sound barking, and as you say, seem to mistreat their married son as well, so maybe it's best to disengage and let THEM show an interest in your child. Or not, as the case may be.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 03-Jun-15 19:06:03

I was expecting the OP to say 20 or younger too Sea.

Tequilashotfor1 Wed 03-Jun-15 19:06:22

These people won't change. Ever.

It's not the law you have to see these people, if your dp does - fine. But you don't have to. Your an adult (and so is dp) so you can choose if you want horrible twats in your life or your new babies.

Toxic horrible parents make toxic horrible grandparents, they don't miraculously change over night. They may decided to like the baby when it comes but they will just choose something else to be arseholes over.

You need to think about this long term. Will DP ever stick up to them? Can you stick up for yourself? Do you want to spend the next twenty years having an arm wrestle every fucking time you speak to them?

Deal with this now. Don't think a baby will win them over. It won't. It will just make them pull more because they will want ownership on the baby too - as they will see it as an extension of their son.

I wish I had opened my eyes more and grew balls quicker with my mil. I've been NC for six months and it's been bliss grin

VivaLeBeaver Wed 03-Jun-15 19:08:03

Well I had exactly the same response but from my parents. My mother went ape shit and wrote me a nasty seven page letter saying how evil we were to have a child out of wedlock, how the child would be handicapped, I should have an abortion, dp would leave me, etc.

Things were frosty but slightly better by the end of the pregnancy. They did come and see us in hospital. Stayed five mins, didn't sit down, etc

They got a lot better as they got to know dd. Well dad was always ok, it was just mum. But they both doted on dd when she was younger.

My dad has since died. Dd is now 14yo and my mother has reverted back to her true self of being a nasty, toxic, critical, controlling, sulky bitch.

Even dd hates her. We've been non contact for two months and it's been bliss.

If I were you I wouldn't be in any hurry to have a relationship with these people who aren't even your parents. You're lining yourselves up for years of misery where they tolerate you because they want to know their dgc, but they will probably do everything to belittle you, undermine you, slag you off behind your back while gently trying to encourage your DP to leave you.

Just my opinion and I could be wrong but Id tread carefully and seize the opportunity of having the perfect excuse to have nothing to do with them. Let your dp continue a relationship with them if he wishes.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 03-Jun-15 19:08:37

<high fives Tequila>

msrisotto Wed 03-Jun-15 19:10:59

Thank god for your sense of humour OP! I don't know how you manage it!

DartmoorDoughnut Wed 03-Jun-15 19:11:32

I'd stop reminding your DP to phone them and hope they just go away frankly, they sound utterly insane and wouldn't be allowed near my DS with comments like those!

Husbanddoestheironing Wed 03-Jun-15 19:11:38

On the bright side 4 hours away is quite handy. Would be worse if they were nearby. Good luck with everything.

Tequilashotfor1 Wed 03-Jun-15 19:12:54

You're lining yourselves up for years of misery where they tolerate you because they want to know their dgc, but they will probably do everything to belittle you, undermine you, slag you off behind your back while gently trying to encourage your DP to leave you

This ^ with bells on!! Scary isn't it viva ?

DoItTooJulia Wed 03-Jun-15 19:13:28

I'd stop encouraging your DH to contact them if he doesn't want to. Why force the issue with such unreasonable and bizarre people?

They might turn out to be miserable grandparents. They might turn out to be besotted grandparents, but I suspect they'll always be miserable with you.

Congratulations, having a baby is awesome!

Tequilashotfor1 Wed 03-Jun-15 19:14:12

Utterly JEL at the four hours away! I live two streets away !!

TheseSoles Wed 03-Jun-15 19:17:40

Oh god! No, our parents weren't pleased (we were young) when we saw that everyone was coping fine things improved a lot.

Your ILs just sound unhinged. I would make zero effort and see what happens. Sounds like they are winding your DP up too and he should guide how the relationship goes imo.

TendonQueen Wed 03-Jun-15 23:15:26

I see what you're aiming at with getting him to stay in contact, but it's just making them think they're right and that even your DP thinks they're right really. He needs to tell them that though he loves them very much, he's a grown man now and doesn't need their approval for his life choices, especially not ones that are perfectly acceptable and have become completely ordinary. Then he should stop talking to them about any of it. No more baby updates. It makes it sound as though you're trying to appease them.

Heartofgold25 Thu 04-Jun-15 08:18:29

I agree with other posts, no more phone calls unless dp chooses to call them and that is up to him. No more baby updates (why waste your breath) and I would NOT feel any inclination whatsoever to share this wonderful and momentous occasion with them, you don't have to see them at all, ever, if you don't want to. They sound awful ~ my mil was like this, and believe me the babies arriving made her even WORSE, if that was possible. It gives them a whole new subject to reinforce their negativity. They will judge you AND your baby.
Give them a wide berth, if they DO decide to become human and become the doting grandparents then allow them some limited access but the lights go out the minute there is any unkindness.
I wish I had known then what I know now.
Surround yourself with happy, loving people, enjoy your the most precious time in your life and to hell with them, they will grow old and bitter and will lose everyone eventually, it is THEIR loss and definitely not yours. Keep all of your comments kind around dp it is not worth arguing about, they are his parents and he must on some level feel very disappointed in them, and probably doesn't need reminding how rubbish they are, you be a light and happy fairy and leave them to fester, these are the best years of your life and not worth squandering on bad feeling. Life is too short smile

TheMidnightHour Thu 04-Jun-15 19:43:34

Thank you for all your comments! I feel rather less unreasonable smile

DP is (as heartofgold rightly said) very disappointed with them. He is good about drawing lines with them and is planning on reading them the riot act next time he sees them. (No good trying to do it on the phone as they can too easily hang up, and they clearly haven't taken on board what he said last time.)

We're having a bit of trouble trying to figure out what lines we can draw and enforce. Previously it's been easier, e.g. "you are not going to be invited around to our house again until you confirm you won't make racist remarks to our other guests" or "not under your roof? Fine. But if you won't give [me] a proper bed then we'll stay in a hotel." But I'm not sure how to demand or enforce that they act like normal human beings or treat all their GC equally.

Tendon I hadn't thought of it like that, but I think you're right: if there aren't any consequences they'll keep going. I don't want to have to make him choose between us and them, but I'll try to stop reminding him and let him drift away from them if that's what he feels is right.

I think some contact is unavoidable though. He is (entirely reasonably) going to want them to meet our daughter. Plus, he has siblings so we'll see them at family events. I think I will just stay away and see how it develops. And try to not bitch about them to him, too. (So hard!)

Of course, that assumes I can resist poking the bear. They do say the funniest things, with a complete straight face. Did you know that if you have a kid after 28, it will "come out weird"? DP was born when his mum was 36 grin. His face was a picture when she said that one! (This was back when we were 22 and they were trying to convince us to get married and give them grandbabies now now now!)

Theymakemefeellikeshit Thu 04-Jun-15 21:41:31

Congratulation on your pregnancy!

I was in my late 20s when I became pregnant (not married) with the first GC and my mum said that I was wasting my life and if she had her time again she wouldn't have children. How good did that make me feel.

Fast forward to my labour and my OH rang them. He was worried as it was 24hrs into my labour and he panicked thinking if anything happened and he hadn't rang. I am a poster on the stately home thread and one of the things is that parents love the drama of situations. I could have kissed the mid wife when she came and said that my mum was planning on coming up but the midwife had said 'if you want but we won't let you in.

Your advantage is that your OH sounds like he has a pair and will stand up to them. Hope this keeps up and the fact you are such a distance will restrict visits.

Have they got an issue with you not being married?

TheMidnightHour Fri 05-Jun-15 09:33:14

Theymakeme how grim! I have friends whose parents seem to have deliberately waited until their kids were old enough to understand before telling them they weren't wanted. I don't understand why you'd do that - it's so cruel. Glad your midwife was in your corner, love her! Don't think I could stand it if the outlaws turned up on the delivery ward (so there's a line I can draw...)

DP's parents have a major issue with us not being married. It's typically the focus or a sidebar to any other issue. "you can't (buy that house / work for that company / quit that job we said you shouldn't take / move to that city / have that baby) ESPECIALLY as you're not married" or "if you get married we will lend you some money for the car (the one we think you should buy not the one you want, which you can afford) / help with DIY on the house (that you have no plans to buy and can't afford) / love that grandchild". We've not needed any of the offers apart from the last, which is breaking my heart. I don't think it's true, anyway - I think the goal posts would shift, probably to "if you get the child baptized / go to church we will..."

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