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Overbearing in laws making me dread when baby is here.

(48 Posts)
Lunastar9 Sun 07-Jun-20 06:03:26

First I’ll say my in laws are lovely however they are really quite overbearing and constantly show up unannounced.

Myself and DP moved house at the start of the year and we’re slightly closer to them, & I’m not kidding when I say they would turn up unannounced 5 days of the week and let themselves in our house. I work from home a lot and when DP wasn’t in I felt so uncomfortable, there was a few occasions I was in the bath with the door open when they walked in without knocking.

Since lockdown they obviously haven’t been coming in the house but still turn up unannounced constantly to visit from a distance, his mum always asks me to get my belly out so she can take photos of it (this makes me super uncomfortable as I’m really self conscious and I hate showing my body off, DP has told her I don’t like it and she just says ‘it’s growing a baby it’s beautiful!’ And continues to take pics of me from all angles) a few times she has got really too close almost touching me which given covid really upset me and I had to awkwardly back off and remind her of the restrictions.

I didn’t want to announce the baby’s gender on Facebook as i just feel like anyone who I wanted to know I would tell personally, she wouldn’t stop going on about how everyone needed to know then posted it anyway.

After telling her it was a boy we made the mistake of mentioning a few names we liked (but nothing ever set in stone as we had literally discussed it for ten mins at most!) my MIL decided she liked a certain name best and that we were definitely going to call the baby that. She went on to buy clothes personalised with this name and told everyone we had decided on calling the baby that (we hadn’t, and I only found out she had bought clothes with the name on because she let slip after a glass of wine). We ended up saying we deffo weren’t calling him this name as it was just a thought and have since kept his actual name a secret. She was a bit miffed and still to this day says she wants us to call him the name she liked best whenever it’s brought up.

My DPs brother and his wife had their first baby last year and the way they went on really stresses me out. When his wife was in hospital they turned up basically the second the baby popped out and wanted in to see him straight away, the hospital staff had to tell them to go away and come back. They didn’t ask if they wanted any visitors but basically decided for them and arranged for the whole family to turn up for visiting without asking which his wife was uncomfortable with as she had quite a bad labour and I think just wanted some peace.

I have a lot of anxiety and I’m a really private person and I honestly can’t think of anything worse than being bombarded with people showing up unannounced when I’ve had the baby. In a way I’m glad there are visiting restrictions at the moment for this reason, however I’m dreading them turning up at our house or telling other people to just turn up without telling us when I’ve got a newborn and am probably sleep deprived.

I know they mean well but it’s got to a point now where I dread them turning up. They’ve turned up at our house 4 times this week and when I see the car outside my stomach sinks. I feel like I can’t relax in my own house now never mind when baby is here. We have tried to politely tell them to back off a bit or even just ask if it’s ok to turn up but they get defensive and I really don’t want to be horrible as I know they’re just excited about the baby.

Has anyone had similar? What did you do? I’m worried if I don’t nip it in the bud now it’s gonna get worse but I really don’t want to come across as a total b*tch sad

OP’s posts: |
MsChatterbox Sun 07-Jun-20 06:06:44

Regarding the name etc, let her get on with it. Just choose a name you like and ignore her. Regarding turning up unannounced make it clear once that you don't like this and that if they turn up without arranging you won't be answering. After this, stick to it. They will soon get the message. And start locking your front door! If they have a key get it back or change the lock. As annoying as it is to deal with, you're in control of your private space.

peachypetite Sun 07-Jun-20 06:07:04

It’s not up to you to fix. Your husband needs to reset the boundaries and pronto.

Meadows20 Sun 07-Jun-20 06:20:54

Jesus Christ! If this was happening to me (currently 4 days overdue so tetchy as it is!) I would be losing my shit!!! But I also get if you're not great with confrontation then this situation is scary and massively anxiety inducing!

Firstly, your DP needs to put his foot down...it's his mother and he needs to deal with her. If he can't do that, then you're going to have to come up with some coping strategies and ways of dealing with her.

Start by leaving a key in the door so they can't just walk in...I get it's handy for them to have a spare key for emergencies. Stop telling them anything! Keep answers vague...'oh we're not sure' 'we'll think about that later' 'hadn't thought about that but thanks for the suggestion' and so forth. You're giving her too much detail and she's running with it.

When it comes to visitors to your house...make it abundantly clear that due to social distancing and the current climate you will not be having any visitors for at least a week after the baby is born as you and the baby are a risk to other people due to being in hospital. Even if restrictions lift...still do this from the perspective of being a concerned mother. No ifs, no buts. Really stand firm with this even if they do come round.

You also need to agree a common approach with your DP...what does he think about all this? Does he just let it happen? Are him and his brother a bit soft with their Mum?

Parker231 Sun 07-Jun-20 06:26:44

Take back your key, don’t answer the door when they turn up if you don’t want to see them and tell them that you and your DP will let them know when people can visit after the baby is born.

Has your DP spoken to them about this?

Megan2018 Sun 07-Jun-20 06:35:39

Change the locks, keep your door locked and start saying no! If they turn up don’t answer the door or your phone. Let them waste their time.

If you have to see them, just walk off if she tries to do something you don’t want. Go upstairs, lock yourself away and don’t come back until they’ve gone. Repeat as necessary. You need to grow a bit of backbone I’m afraid.

Your DP needs to put a stop to it now but you aren’t helping by being so passive.

justilou1 Sun 07-Jun-20 06:36:33

My mother did the personalization thing with some towels and telling everyone we were calling our boy twin Jamie. (Was never going to happen.) (wasn’t interested in the girl twin, btw...). We told her until we were blue in the face that it wasn’t his name... No dice. When I gave birth and we told everyone their ACTUAL names, the first thing she said was “WHAT ABOUT THE TOWELS???”... It was almost like the act of spending the money on them was her way of guilt-tripping us into naming our kid what she wanted!
Time to lose your shit with DH so that he takes a stand with the PIL. Unfortunately Thieu are going to have to be repeatedly told in no uncertain words that their feelings and desires do not come first here. (Instant gratification is for babies.)

blackcat86 Sun 07-Jun-20 06:39:28

Oh god, this all needs nipping in the bud. So what if they get defensive or huffy? You'll find it gets a lot worse once baby is here so now is the time to look at boundaries. Get the key back and stop engaging in this coming round all the time. Disconnect the door bell and be less avaliable. Dh was very emessed with PIL and they would turn up randomly, stay 6+ hours whilst expecting me to weight on them when I had just had a really traumatic c section and actually had to move into a special care unit with my baby. They would then tell everyone how much they were helping when all they had done was sit on their arses and tell me how MIL was doing xmas dinner for everyone when she came home. I found counselling for myself and couples counselling for me and DH really helped as I needed acknowledgment of the issues and for him to want to resolve them with me. He had just got used to appeasing his mum. The book 'toxic in laws' by Susan forward was great to. Surely if they are coming over that often it leaves little time for you as a family unit and couple, and to have friendships with others who have young children as well as having your family involved. This was the stance I used with DH as I started to feel like his sibling not his wife. We had no time together or as a new family of 3 and now that's our focus. Keep info to yourself and be prepared for issues in advance - DDs 1st birthday PIL sat outside, arms crossed and cats bums faced an hour before because we had invited them but hadnt involved them in the planning and invited DDs friends rather than random relatives. Do you have people you can talk to IRL and that helps to.

Mamimawr Sun 07-Jun-20 06:46:57

Next time they arrive unnanounced I would be busy - on the phone or in a meeting. If you talk to them every time they turn up it'll never stop. It will get worse, there's no doubt in that. My MIL was ok till I got pregnant!

ineedaholidaynow Sun 07-Jun-20 06:50:34

How close do they live to you?

arianwe Sun 07-Jun-20 06:54:47

Oh god, that sounds horrendous.

I had about a quarter of that and it drove me insane, so can't even imagine how you feel.

Does your boyfriend now how you feel about this? If not,make sure you tell him ASAP. Get him to have a firm word with his parents to make them aware that they absolutely cannot just turn up unannounced and that you will invite them over when you are ready to after the baby. Ask him to get the key back, or if I'm that is too awkward, I would genuinely change the locks and not give them a key. Don't answer when they turn up unannounced.

Yes, they will be offended, but they are showing you zero respect and in my experience, it only gets worse once the baby is here. Get your partner to put his foot down before they end up driving you mad and you snap and say something.

Hop you are ok. I'm angry for you!

arianwe Sun 07-Jun-20 06:56:54

Ooh, I like someone's idea of leaving a key in the door! Problem solved, let her keep turning up and trying and she will eventually get the hint!

hellywelly3 Sun 07-Jun-20 07:01:15

Your husband needs to step up and protect you. My father in law turned up at the delivery suite he just said he was Mr x here to see Mrs x so I think the staff presumed he was my husband. I was still covered in blood half dressed and was trying to breastfeed when he just walked in. You both really need to set ground rules now or it will just get worse.

Toomboom Sun 07-Jun-20 07:02:52

Get this sorted BEFORE the baby is born or it will get worse. As others have said, this is your OH problem, he needs to man up and lay the law down on them now!
My ex was like this and let his parents get away with anything. They to had a key to our house and used to turn up anytime. One time with my 3 week old baby, I was laying down with him on my chest for us both to get some rest. Opened my eyes and in laws were both standing there staring at me! Totally freaked me out. I told them to go. Next thing was ex came steaming home from work shouting at me that I had been rude to his parents! As soon as they left the house they phoned him complaining.

This is one of the reasons he is now my ex. He would never put me before his parents. Get it sorted now or it will get worse once the baby is born.

C0RA Sun 07-Jun-20 07:11:26

Yes you are right , your husband need to nip this in the bud now or it will get a lot worse. Your anxiety will ( understandably ) increase and it will spoil your precious time with your new baby.

Ultimately it will end up destroying your marriage too.

There’s no easy way, he has to sit down and be very clear with his parents and follow it up with actions. You need to stay out of it completely.

Decide what your boundaries are, tell them and act on it.

Eg we would like you to call first before coming to our house, we might be busy and want to be free to spend time with you.

Then next time they arrive unannounced, your DH needs to say on the doorstep “ don’t you remember we asked you to call first? what a shame you’ve had a wasted journey as we have plans “. Then just stand there .

Eg please give us back our house key, we feel unhappy that you are letting yourselves in. When you want to visit, please call us to arrange a suitable time.

Stop discussing your plans with them eg baby names . They have shown they can’t be trusted to use it against you.

Just say no to the bump photos. “ No thanks, I don’t really like it”.
“ oh but it’s beautiful “.
“ no thanks, it’s not for me/ I don’t want to “.

Let me repeat - there’s no easy way to do this. They will huff and puff as they are used to walking all over everyone. Your husband will feel bad.

But he will feel a lot worse with a broken marriage and seeing his kids EOW. Because believe me, that will be the long term result. His failure to act as an adult with his parents will destroy all your respect for him and cause huge rows and division between you.

It might help him to go for counselling, to discuss this with someone outside his family. This will help him deal with the fear, obligation and guilt ( FOG) that comes from being raised with overbearing and controlling parents .

SoloMummy Sun 07-Jun-20 07:27:39

If you don't want to see or speak to them, then don't!
Yes mils overzealous, but harmless. As for hospital visitors - that's always been the norm until this snowflake generation. And if they're not visiting in hospital it will be at home and imo that could be worse given your post. Regardless, that's a moot point because of covid which inevitably means you'll have to plan a garden social distancing meeting.....

EmmaA91 Sun 07-Jun-20 07:38:59

What about locking your front door and keeping the key in it? Won't stop them coming unannounced but it will stop them letting themselves in. Maybe when they try to make you do things like lift your top up, just be really firm in saying "no". I think it's awful how they've been and I know it's really difficult with people like that 😔

FrancesHaHa Sun 07-Jun-20 07:39:55

You need to stop telling her things/ letting them have keys etc. Get the key back or change the locks. Don't tell them any names you are thinking of. Don't tell them when you go into labour.

When they come round, if you don't want to see them, just don't. Or say hello then say you're busy/ tired and say goodbye.

Irishprincess Sun 07-Jun-20 07:42:52

I wouldn't tell them when you're in hospital and have a frank discussion with DH about it. When I gave birth (2+4 early) with my first it was the middle of the night when I went into labour and tbh didn't really think to tell anyone. Had DS at 11am and we rang MIL around 2pm, she couldn't believe the baby had been born 3 hours without her knowledge!! Set some boundaries with DH and make sure you both stick to them

BeMorePacific Sun 07-Jun-20 07:46:08

That sounds so tough, I think your partner needs to deal with it.
Don’t let him use you as a scapegoat though.
Is it worse since lockdown? Could it be that they’re lonely?
One good thing is, hopefully you’ll have babysitters on tap, which you’ll be very grateful for in the toddler years xxx

Luckystar1 Sun 07-Jun-20 07:57:07

solomummy hospital visiting was the norm yes, because mums and babies were in hospital for a number of days before discharge. This hospital stay more often than not included babies spending time in the nursery so that mum could have some sleep. Also, visiting hours were more restricted.

Now, mums are discharged quickly. Those who stay a bit longer, have very little on hand assistance on the ward and have probably not slept in days given the influx of visitors/fathers etc who are there for hours on end.

I don’t think it’s comparable.

Birdy1991 Sun 07-Jun-20 08:02:11

As someone with anxiety this is my worst nightmare! I hate it when people don’t understand boundaries! I would start telling them as little info as possible and as PPs have said lock the door/leave a key in it so they can’t open. The chat about boundaries should happen now rather than when the baby is born as I can see it only getting worse. Good luck xx

peachypetite Sun 07-Jun-20 08:08:00

Leaving the key in the door isn’t going to solve all the other issues though. Your husband needs to tackle this properly and be assertive.

C0RA Sun 07-Jun-20 08:19:30

Now, mums are discharged quickly. Those who stay a bit longer, have very little on hand assistance on the ward and have probably not slept in days given the influx of visitors/fathers etc who are there for hours on end

This is so right. Mums used to be in for 5 days for a first baby or a CS and 3 days for subsequent babies or VD. Mums had all day and night to REST because babies were kept in the nursery and brought to mums to be fed. Visiting was for an hour in the afternoon and then another hour at night.

Now mums are in for a matter of hours and there’s no help with baby, even after major surgery. Mums are in pain and exhausted from the noise and lack of sleep. If they are not well enough to walk to another ward and stand in a food queue, they don’t even get to eat.

New mums used to have help at home from a female family member. Now it’s all about men and men’s rights to be there and frankly most of them are bugger all use. They think paternity leave is a reward for them for being fertile.

New mums are frightened to have their own mum to stay because it’s all about men and their right to have THEIR family there and everything is equal. Which would indeed be reasonable if the dad had just given birth and was recovering.

Mum/ mums auntie / sister used to provide tea and cake for visitors and shoo them away when they stayed too long. Now the exhausted new mum has to do this while trying to establish BF and changing pad and washing her stitches every hour. While looking great for the SM photos of course hmm . And did I mention getting back into her jeans after 6 weeks like all the slebs?

There’s absolutely no comparison with 35 years ago.

Mamimawr Sun 07-Jun-20 08:20:16

If you have a garden they could come to have a socially distant chat in it why don't you invite them over in a week or so. That might stop them coming round so often.

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