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As with all health-related issues, please seek advice from a RL health professional if you're worried about anything.

Post birth trauma & MiL

(6 Posts)
Chloris33 Tue 17-Oct-17 08:52:58

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 for 3 weeks, so I couldn't hold her, 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 for 5 months. 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 help in case our baby is sick again. My toddler doesn't love being with MiL and just says he wants us at the moment. He's happy at nursery, though.

fizzicles Tue 17-Oct-17 08:57:24

Goodness me, that sounds hard. What a lot you have had to deal with. Can you talk to DH about it and explain why you are worried that it will be tricky? Without any nastiness, but focussing on your need for space to process all the trauma you've experienced in the last few months?

Are you able to access any external support - a counsellor or similar? That sounds like a hell of a year. Really hope you get the help you need to get through it.

EllaHen Tue 17-Oct-17 09:00:39

You need your space. Dear God, do you need your space. Time to speak up. Time to take your key back.

Remember, you are recovering too. Your needs are important.

I wish you well. I know it can be hard to speak up when you have just had a baby and are at your most vulnerable. Please do though as if not, I fear you will regret it for a long time to come.

Chloris33 Tue 17-Oct-17 09:13:25

Thanks, I have spoken a number of times to DH but haven't really got anywhere. Do you think I should speak up to say no don't stay on, it's not the right time for me, or to put down boundaries about what she does here. I'd rather she went back. But DH is anxious and wants to have her on standby, and she has already changed her ticket, I think, and has been researching lodgings.

WoodenCat Tue 17-Oct-17 09:14:23

Wow. You really do need space and time, that's not unreasonable. Is your MIL generally ok, or does she grate on you after a very short time? If you can set some boundaries and expectations now, this could be ok.

First up, no key. Then you know she can't just let herself in. Be very firm and don't worry about fall out. This is your house, your baby, your choice about who has access.

Then how about agreeing that for the very short term (a week?) you and DH see no one else. Just the 4 of you, hunkering down at home. Not your mum, not his mum.

If she's independent and not sociable it sounds like she'd be ok doing her own thing rather than needing you to be her crutch. So having her nearby might be ok as you should be able to agree one or two practical visits a week to help you in whatever way is useful- make dinner, do some tidying or hold the baby while you sleep. Then a visit of half a day or more if you are ok with that on one of your DH's days off to socialise. Given she lives overseas this is more than she would get from you whilst living at home. She's not living with you, so why not pretend she actually lives nearby permanently and treat her as such. If you feel you have to socialise with her every day over the next 5 months you will go mad!

If your DH doesn't agree you have a DHproblem not a MIL problem - but he doesn't get to foist his mother into you while he skips off to work!

EllaHen Tue 17-Oct-17 09:18:11

I suspect your mental health won't improve while she stays so I would ask her to go home. Imagine the relief you will feel. Harness that and state what you want.

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