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Anxiety about the inlaws!(9 Posts)
Im hoping someone might be able to give me some advice. I used to have a good relationship with my inlaws, until I fell pregnant with DC1 and it all changed.
While I was pregnant, we chose godparents in advance of the baby being born. My husbands family are very anti religion and in my religion, you must have made your confirmation to be a godparent. My brother in law didn't meet the criteria so we chose my sister and my husband's best friend (who is more like a brother to him). I spoke to my priest about involving my brother in law and he said we could have him as a sort of witness on the day. Basically, when we told my inlaws, they were furious at our decision! Their son apparently had a 'right' to be godfather! It was hellish! I found myself apologising profusely which I now regret!
Next thing was once my daughter was born, I chose to breastfeed her! She was very sick as a baby and lots of reflux etc which meant she fed much more than average! She always gained the perfect amount of weight and thrived, but it was hard work for me. I was happy to do it though! They basically kept going behind my back to my husband and telling him I needed to put my daughter on formula and that I wasn't producing enough milk. My MIL would say to him that it didn't mean I was a failure, just breastfeeding wasn't right for everyone! I was having no issue breastfeeding and I know the reason they were saying this as it was getting in the way of them getting to take over! They didn't like the fact my child needed me so formula feeding would have solved that problem for them!
There have been hundreds of other incidents but there's a couple to give you an idea.
My dc1 is now 2 and basically they have no respect for our authority as parents. If they are with us and I tell my DC not to touch something, they will take her straight over to touch it! If I give her into trouble, they will shake their heads and tut that I shouldn't be giving her into trouble! We live a far drive from them and they want to come to stay when this baby is born and they want to come for a week! I just can't bare the thought! My husband is great and tells them when they're being out of line, but they take no notice!
I've recently been diagnosed with a potentially life threatening condition and all they wanted to ask is if it was hereditary! They had no interest once they realised it won't affect their bloodline!
I just feel so stressed about this and don't want to stand in the way of them having a relationship with their grandchildren, but it's just so difficult please help.
If I give her into trouble, they will shake their heads and tut that I shouldn't be giving her into trouble!
What does that mean?
All you can do is be firm with them when they are out of line. It will lead to a lot of fights, but if you want to challenge them, then that's what you have to do. Once they learn you won't be messed with, hopefully they'll back down.
Did you tell them that their son didn't qualify due to your religion? If they're so anti-religion, I can see why that would make them angry, although no one has a "right" to be godparent, it's who you and your husband choose.
They basically don't think our daughter should get into trouble for anything! They think we should let her get away with everything. She is a very well behaved 2 year old and they said to us that none of that is down to our parenting, it's just luck! When my DH was younger, he basically got left out in the street to play while his mum went to work and his dad was at work! He never had a friend over to his house, ever! He never ever had a birthday party, was never taken anywhere! I would never judge but it's hard not to when they judge us the way they do!
Yes, we told them straight away that he didn't meet the criteria. My husband and his brother were christened as children but my FIL basically read a book which convinced him it was all a load of rubbish. He's a domineering man and so his wife and other son followed suit! My husband is more open minded to it all! The roll of godfather in my religion is to take care of the child's religious needs, should the parents ever be unable to. We explained all this and I have no idea why they would even want their son to have that roll when they believe it's all a load of rubbish and hate the thought of even setting foot in a church! I have 3 brothers who all met the criteria so I don't understand why they thought it was a given that their so would be godfather in the first place!! x
They sound like a nightmare. You really need to put yourself first, especially now that you are unwell. Don't even feel bad about it. This is your time, they had theirs, if they don't like your way, they can move along. Must be awful for you. If its any consolation, I'm sure your kids will take your side and also think the grandparents are being ridiculous when they are older.
As Darth said, it will lead to fights, but, its better that way, and the fighting will pass and they will accept this is how things are. Sounds like your husband supports you so, really you should put yourself and your family first.
Thank you so much for both your responses and your kind words. I am somewhat of a people pleaser and struggle with confrontation but I have improved massively since we had our daughter. I've had to. I just feel as though his parents are so hard headed, nothing we do will get through to them. My husband has said he's close to telling them that they need to change or we won't be visiting anymore. I really don't want him to threaten with that because I worry it's like using their grandchildren as a weapon which I wouldn't do to anyone. It's so difficult. They are very stuck in their ways and think they're always right! god knows what I'm going to do about their visit after the baby's born! It'll be a complete disaster and so stressful for me x
Having house guests after you have just returned home from giving birth is not at all a good idea. You may want to snuggle up in bed with your baby and establish feeding and having people to stay makes this much harder. Plus it takes DHs attention away from you and baby. I found this to be the case when my MIL was down after DD1. She was unable to stay in our (then) flat as there was no space but was there all day every day, which meant much more formal meals at the table, me not lazing in bed with baby, and then DH ferrying her around in the car a lot. There were also lots of walks in the park to keep her amused which I could have done without. All this would be fine normally, and we get on well for the most part, but this time round I would rather that DH spends his paternity leave concentrating on me and our newborn twins instead of making sure his mother is comfortable and entertained etc, even though we now have space. Could you explain to DH that you would rather wait a couple of weeks at least, until you have settled into a routine. You should be a bit more able to deal with the visit rather than when post-birth when things are rather raw emotionally.
Good luck OP
Thank you so much for the advice aimees75. That's a good idea. It's going to be stressful whenever they visit but I think it would be completely unbearable in the early days! I just don't know how I'm going to be able to keep dealing with them in the future! I've tried so hard! It's just soul destroying!x
If they are 'headstrong', can't you start ''learning'' from them? Say, 'I respect you and feel I should be more thickskinned like you, so I'm going to be putting my foot down, just like you do, in all aspects of my life and as a mother!'
They may respect your decisions more if you take that approach (or they will be bemused, but who cares, let them think you have misunderstood them), tell them you want to be more headstong like the wonderful role models they are becoming. DOn't be a pushover, they wouldn't have anybody treat them like that! CLearly they feel they are entitled to an opinion and wont let others stand in their way. Why should they have that right and not you?
(I am passionate to fight your cause - I have felt the same in the past)
I think you're right! Whether they accept me putting my foot down, or whether they are bemused by it, I think it's something I'm going to have to do. I feel very lucky that my husband is so supportive of me in what must be a difficult situation for him! I just wish it didn't have to get to this point. Thank you for your support! It's much needed and much appreciated. ☺️ x
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