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Future DIL - advice please.(51 Posts)
I am really happy for my son as he has found 'the one' as he says! I was not ecstatic about how the relationship came about but as I have gotten to know his partner, who he now lives with, I have become very fond of her and find her great company, most importantly she loves my son deeply. We have begun to spend time now with her parents on a regular basis. A couple of weeks ago my son told us we are going to be grandparents too - after the shock (Im only 41!) we are becoming quite excited about it all.
I have read many, many threads on here about disasterous MIL/DIL relationships and have had a nasty MIL in my distant past. I want future DIL to feel welcome and accepted into our family, considering our bumpy start, and have been considering ways of making her feel welcome. I don't want to overstep the mark and create any friction within their relationship and my son is not attached to my apron strings (apart from asking for a dish of his favourite meal to be dropped in occasionally)! I realise that I will not be as involved with the pregnancy as if it were one of my daughters but I would like to do something to support her along the way and to feel a part of this exciting event...I considered making a hamper of pamper things for her or maybe taking her shopping but I know her time is short as she works long days. I also realise that sometimes I run away with myself through excitement and that others don't always share the same intensity of excitement with me!
So, any tips, suggestions, words of advice, even a faux pas to avoid?
do you have the kind of relationship where you could call her up and say the same sort of thing as you have posted here, but to her? That you are delighted with her news and would really like to do something to congratulate her. Perhaps go out for coffee and cake and choose something for the baby when she's 20+ weeks? My MIL did that and it was lovely. Not as 'intense' as the things I did with my mum, like choosing maternity clothes, and bra fittings! But lovely all the same. It was a good chance to get to know her better and quite laid back, while she paid attention to my own tastes for the baby etc and together we chose some lovely bits and bobs. Her outfit was the one I put DS2 in for his coming home outfit - which I think was a really lovely thing for us both. Congratulations on becoming a GM2B!
Knitting lovely homemade keepsake blankets. Ask if there is anything she needs abdd yes yes yee to pamper stuff for her.
So they're just kids really? My suggestion is to be yourself, be friendly, but maintain some space & wait to be asked rather than leaping in with help and excitement. IME very young couples combine fierce independence with zero experience and resent offers of help on the grounds of 'back off - we can manage'.
I think the biggest faux pas is to try to be too matey.
Anything that makes it very clear that you are interested in and like her for who she is, and not just a carrier of, and gatekeeper to, your grandchild. <speaks from bitter experience>. Talk with her, don't second guess. Can you think what you might have appreciated in her situation?
Chocoreturns I can do that - yes! I am like a fish out of water just now and I really don't want to offend either of them as they are so ecstatic. I will definitely take that suggestion on board.
LEMisdisappointed I love knitting but can only do the basics. Looks like I could be finding time to improve my knowledge and skills.
It's quite strange actually, I have just realised I am moving into grandparenthood (despite being told recently!) and it's a strange feeling..but I am so happy for them both and very proud.
CogitoErgoSometimes I was the kid when I had my son. My son is in his 20's and his partner is a few years older than him. I hear what you are saying about being too matey.
bonzo77 I can relate directly to a personal situation she has endured but it's not a topic that either of us would prefer to discuss. I can't stand the whole 'baby-carrier' attitude and genuinely want to develop a relationship with her so no worries there.
My MIL made up a hamper of things for me and the baby - things like baby lotion, cotton wool balls, nappy cream etc for the baby (all wrapped in lemon paper) and breast pads, maternity pads, nipple cream etc for me (all wrapped in purple paper!). It was so thoughtful and there were lots of practical things in there that I hadn't thought about. My MIL drives me crazy at times but I'll never forget how thoughtful that was. Would she like something like that?
You sound like you will be a lovely MIL! Congrats!
Yes, just making it clear you value her over an above her role as mother to your grandchild, offering support without butting in, and don't criticise her choices in bringing the child up, you should be fine. Taking her shopping to choose some baby bits would be a nice gesture, and you can perhaps get a feel for the type of thing she likes.
I think that is a great idea Whoatethelastcremeegg because future DIL is a very practical and organised person. What kind of stage would it be appropriate to give these type of gifts? I never received anything like this when I have been pregnant so it's all a bit new to me!
Maybe after the twenty week scan? You do sound like a lovely MIL!
Oh that's so kind, my lovely second mil made up a hamper for ds2, it had lots of little bits in there, like sleep suits, mittens, smellies, nappies etc etc. she asked after not only dp but myself and the baby as well.
Likewise on e he was here, where she live 300 miles away she visited with lots of goodies, but stayed with my parents, came over early sorted ds1 out walked him to school, cooked meals for us and generally too over running the house for a few days straight after the birth. Leaving me to feed ds2 and generally bond with him. Which was lovely.
For my part I've tried to include her at every stage, hopefully your dil will do the same. It also helps to talk to her about your fears, I remember mil saying to me that she didn't want to over step the mark and that she respected our need to space, which I found very lovely as she didn't have to so really appreciated that.
Whoatethelastcremeegg thank you for your advice and for the compliment! My son would disagree with you though and say he always found me too bossy!
Davidtennantsmistress Thank you for your suggestion. I hadn't considered talking about fears so that might be beneficial for both of us. Its exactly as your MIL and I echo her thoughts...it's always a bit more delicate during a pregnancy so am keen not to get it wrong.
My MIL is a lovely person but did annoy me when I was pregnant by just buying things. She didn't tell me what she was buying and just bought it so I didn't get to go look at a lot of things such as sterilisers, playmats etc because she'd already bought them and I was quite disappointed as to me looking at this stuff and picking it out myself was a really exciting part of being pregnant. Obviously I'm grateful to her buying these things but do still feel like those exciting times got taken away from me so that's something not to do. I would ask her is there anything she wants before going out and getting certain things.
What Stilla said. I much prefer to research and buy things myself than for my ILs or parents to buy them for me.
possibly because I'm a control freak!
Something for her rather than for the baby will make her feel like a DIL, as opposed to just a womb... Posh Mama Mio stretch mark cream, nice bath stuff, a massage voucher etc.
My MIL and I used to go shopping together, just us, once a fortnight or so. It really helped us to bond.
Sparkle you sound like a lovely MIL.
I wish you were mine.
You sound so nice! I second a lot on here about going with her to buy things (or offering to go out buying if she gives you a list if she's busy working). She'll get such a kick out of nest building so it's a shame to take some of that away from her.
I think the way to her heart is pretty/helpful things for HER, not just as grandchild incubator/brood mare...so maybe some vouchers for some of the nicer maternity ranges eg JoJo Maman Bebe/Seraphine/Isabella Oliver/Babes with Babies.
And if your son thinks you a dab cook...the single loveliest thing my MIL did was stack the freezer with home made lasagne/mac and cheese/pies/soup etc as I just never had time to shop or cook.
My mum gives us frozen meals portioned up so we can get one out as and when, less pressure than something ready to eat (after DD1 was born at one point we had 3 lasagnes that needed eating!)
Echoing what Stilla said, if you want to buy practical stuff let them choose, or just buy fun stuff. We have some lovely outfits from my PIL, I wouldn't have bought them (too tight lol) but she looks gorgeous in them!
My MIL brought a giant storage box which she filled with baby essentials, things like big tubs of sudocream, newborn nappies, muslins, cotton wool, baby bath lotion, baby moisturising cream, plain white basic baby grows etc. It was really helpful and practical and meant a lot to me. It was great as I had lots of (boring) essential bits but could still choose the fun special things I wanted.
I think something like that would be quite useful, you could include a few pregnancy or what to expect books as well as a few treats for her too.
Tbh you sound so thoughtful that I don't think you'll go far wrong. The people who go wrong don't consider other people's feelings. Congratulations.
'I realise that I will not be as involved with the pregnancy as if it were one of my daughters'
Really? How involved do you expect to be with your daughter's? I ask because my mum and MIL were equally involved. I did not have my mum in the delivery room for example, just my husband.
I think you need to be careful with self fulfilling prophecies.
Buy/pamper/treat her with something nice instead of the baby (well you can later on). The inlaws tend to forget about the DIL and only buy gifts for the baby. Why not buy her a body massage voucher or a facial?
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