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Is it me? MIL question

(47 Posts)
Inapickle123 Thu 24-Oct-13 22:43:23


Don't know if I'm being overly sensitive (28 weeks down and it's clear hormones have kicked in as I just cried like a baby at Educating Yorkshire) but my MIL's attitude seems crazy.

This will be her first grandchild and, while we're super excited, she doesn't really seem to care. She's not one for emotion and tolerates me, though I am the opposite of what she probably hoped for as a DIL but I would have expected some form of excitement or acknowledgement from her. When we see her (which isn't often) I get a quick "how are you?" Then it's on to the 30 minute monologues..

My husband has just informed me that she's planning in booking a holiday for when I'm due to give birth because "she won't be needed anyway".yes, ill have my mum (we are very close and, unfortunately, my husband and his siblings don't have that type if relationship with their mum) but -call me selfish-I would have thought shed want to be there, especially considering how much of a miracle this actually is (we've been "infertile" for years and the pregnancy was a massive shock).

I'm not looking for any help from her, financial or otherwise, I'm just a little miffed that a holiday is even a consideration.

I don't know if I'm being unreasonable. She works hard and deserves time to herself, but the hormonal part of me keeps asking "why then?" "Why not go before or after ?"

Is this a power play? A grab for attention? A way to highlight the fact that this event isn't of importance to her? Or am I being too mean? Maybe she feels left out but she has never once attempted to engage with me about the baby, or anything else. I don't even get birthday cards and its been 10 years!

olgaga Thu 24-Oct-13 23:34:08

You don't say whay your MIL does but if her job is demanding this might be the only time she could book her leave.

She knows you'll be well looked after, and it's true, you don't need her. Your husband doesn't either.

There are lots of doting grannies but having had children of her own she may feel she's done babies

Peniston Thu 24-Oct-13 23:49:27

Honestly, just be thankful that she is going away. Having my (similarly cold and self-absorbed) mother in law descend, and insist on hanging round for days, straight after the births of my babies are, hands down, my worst memories of the early days of motherhood. To have such a draining presence in your home, at a time when you are at your most emotional and vulnerable, mars what should be a magical time. Congratulations on your miracle pregnancy btw!

Weta Thu 24-Oct-13 23:49:56

Obviously I don't know your MIL, so the reasons behind it could be any of the ones you suggest or something else completely, but your post resonated with me in relation to my own mother's experiences as an MIL.

She never had much in common with my SIL but SIL totally took against her while pregnant for reasons similar to what you describe - my mum didn't take enough interest in the pregnancy, wasn't desperately rushing to see the baby etc. 12 years on this has torn our family apart, as SIL has made it hard for my mum to have relationships with those grandchildren and the rest of us have been drawn into the crossfire.

In my mum's case the reasons were nothing sinister at all - just that she is different to SIL's own mum (who is very 'weddings and babies') and is not that into babies but wonderful with slightly older children once she can communicate with them. Not that she hasn't loved her grandchildren as babies too, it's just not such a big focus for her as for some other people.

So your MIL may just not be a babies type of person, and she may even be trying to be sensitive by not intruding in the early days...

who knows? but do bear in mind that the explanation could be different to the reasons you're imagining.

Good luck with working it out!

ems1910 Thu 24-Oct-13 23:51:56

Hmm tough one really. I suppose just let her come around in her own time. Maybe she doesn't want to intrude. Could you invite her along to see the pram you have chosen? Or do some baby clothes shopping together?

Applefallingfromthetree2 Thu 24-Oct-13 23:53:38

Many congratulations!

Have you had a chat with your MIL about what her role might be when you give birth, perhaps some ways of how she could help out and be involved?Perhaps she feels in the way and knows how close you are to your Mum, she could even feel a little sad that she is not needed and that her part in this special event seems less important.

You are giving her a grandchild and it is very likely that despite how she is reacting at the moment she will be besotted with it when it arrives.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 24-Oct-13 23:53:46

You feel you've drawn the short straw. It's your first baby and MIL seems to be keeping her distance. I think it's telling your DH and his siblings aren't especially close to her. If she's not sent you birthday cards maybe this was not wholly unpredictable. Can't guess where this stems from but it wouldn't be surprising if she didn't enjoy a warm living relationship with her own mother.

Oddly sometimes fondness or deep attachment can skip a generation so when your baby arrives she may surprise herself. If not then you'll be spared the interfering dragon mil others sometimes have. As DH is the one who's really missing out try not to let this overshadow your pregnancy.

Luckily you have a close nurturing relationship with your own mum. Focus on the positives, stay civil with MIL and all the best with your miracle baby.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 24-Oct-13 23:55:06

Typo s/b warm loving relationship.

Shellywelly1973 Thu 24-Oct-13 23:57:16

Maybe your mil actually just isn't very interested in your pregnancy. My mil wasn't in the slightest bit interested when I was pregnant with dc1.

As the dc got older she was much more hands on & involved. She ended up being a fantastic grandmother.

Not everyone finds pregnancy & babies interesting!

Good luck...

Thatballwasin Fri 25-Oct-13 00:14:15

I can understand why you're upset but just focus on the fact that your mum will be around and is engaged and interested. It doesn't sound like she's acting out of character, try not to let it upset your time.

Inapickle123 Fri 25-Oct-13 06:29:52

Thanks for the replies-it's comforting to know that I'm not crazy, just a little sensitive! I really want a close relationship with her for the sake of the baby but I have to take my husbands lead on this.

She lives very close to us and we see her maybe once a month. I have to nag husband to phone her to see how she is because, if I didn't, contact would hardly be made. It saddens me that this is a relationship;I speak to my mum at least twice a weeks and see her monthly as she lived quite far away. I always chalked this up to the difference between daughters and sons but, as time goes on, it's clear that it runs deeper.

There has never been any interest of support shown by MIL in our relationship. When we got married, despite trying to include her, she refused and just turned up. True, our wedding wasn't what' she wanted (not religious-very small and casual) and this may have embarrassed her a little (most of the weddings on her side are lavish, expensive affairs which is totally fine, but not for me) but I would have thought that x years down the line, it wouldn't really matter.

You may be right-she's already had 6 children on her own and be "done" with babies but I can tell how upset my husband is that she hasn't really even feigned delight. It just be horrible for him to constantly have the closeness of my relationship with my parents thrust down his throat; how could you not compare them? My parents are beyond excited (they too knew how much it meant to us), have financially supported and make such a big deal of birthdays, Xmas, anytime they see us, that he must feel like shit knowing that his relationship with his mother isn't what everyone else grew up with. It's just so sad.

Believe me, I don't particularly want or need her around but, knowing her, this decision isn't based on the understanding for healthy distance. In my (cynical) opinion, this is a little tantrum-it's not my job to override my husband to include her (if he doesn't call, it's clear he doesn't want to) so this is her way of telling us that we (or me!) have done wrong again. Oh well, can't win!

I just hope that her relationship with our baby is heather. Husbands siblings are, by in large, younger, and I just hope that, when their time comes to have kids, she treats her grand kids the same, irrespective of how she feels about me.

Locketjuice Fri 25-Oct-13 06:39:57

My mil is exactly the same, it's really strange my 2 children are the only GC yet she hasn't come round to see them once (I live 10 mins drive) I always have to go to her and she just isn't interested UNLESS its one of her 'posh' (lots of money, well spoken DOTING GP) asking how they are etc if you looked on her Facebook you would think she has them all the time, but nope she just shares my pictures hmm

They also booked holiday the week I was due and filled every weekend up 4 weeks from due date!

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 25-Oct-13 06:50:21

I think you're just different people. She's not wild about you & you're not wild about her. It happens. Why not take her on face value rather than superimposing your own ideas on how she's supposed to behave and then judging her harshly against them? She seems to be letting you get on with leading your life as you wish without trying to strong-arm you into behaving one way or another. If she was closer & fully involved you'd be saying she was interfering.

shelleywhite Fri 25-Oct-13 06:52:58

I agree with Weta. Some people are actually uncomfortable around babies, and that "gooey" feeling just doesn't make up any part of their personality.

Nothing they have any control over - it's just the way they are made. Try not to take it personally.

Phineyj Fri 25-Oct-13 06:57:45

I agree with Cogito and it's better than someone gushy and over-involved. She might just surprise you later - DC seem to love that aloof slightly sarcastic GP in my experience!

Phineyj Fri 25-Oct-13 06:58:22

Also your thread title is quite telling - it's not about you.

bubalou Fri 25-Oct-13 07:24:09

I know it's easy to say it but I would be glad if my mil was this way - the less I have to see her the better.

I know she's DH's mum and ds's grandmother but she is a mean, calculating, underhanded woman and I would have loved her to leave us alone and not call DH all the bloody time!

notanyanymore Fri 25-Oct-13 07:34:34

You see a lot of threads on here about mil's being banned from visiting for the first 2 weeks, being too pushy etc. Is there any chance she's imagining you'll want some respite between dc being born and people visiting? she might be taking her holiday then to cover that, almost as a distraction?
also, it's one thing knowing a baby on its way, its something else entirely once it actually arrives smile
(I am biased, my MIL was wonderful, if she'd have still been alive when DD3 was born I'd have happily had her in the delivery suite!)

starfishmummy Fri 25-Oct-13 07:42:54

You day that she isn't particularly close to you or your husband anyway. Prwsablu things have been like this for years so why would you expect things to change in a matter of months?

Inapickle123 Fri 25-Oct-13 07:43:02

All fair points. I shall just let her get on with it as she sees fit and see how it goes.


Reprint Fri 25-Oct-13 07:51:12

pickle, please don't read this as a criticism in any way (it truly isn't) but I wonder if you have tried really talking to her about things?
You sound lovely, and your situation does somewhat reflect my DDs experience as her MIL is also a fairly unemotional type who doesn't 'do' babies. Could have been a total breakdown, but DD did manage to salvage a working relationship from it.

You say she has had 6 children - could you use that as a starting point to sit down over a coffee and ask her opinion on some things? about what your DH was like as a tiny, which might come out as a trait in the baby?
And then touch on your hope for her continuing support when LO arrives? actually asking if she will come straight to see you when the plane lands back?

Its only a thought, and may not work, but its worth a shot .....this woman is going to be a granny for a long time. You shouldn't have to take responsibility for 'bringing her around' but sometimes it is worth the effort.

I am a huge believer in being open and honest - with an expectation of understanding the other persons POV. brew & cake are crucial to the process.

TicTacZebra Fri 25-Oct-13 08:08:05

It might all change when the baby is here.

My GPIL (they are basically DPs parents) literally didn't care that I was pregnant. Hardly even mentioned it. I used to think 'what miserable bastards'. But now, they are the most fantastic GPs you could imagine. They love my DC so much and my DC absolutely adore them.

There are so many reasons why your MIL has decided to have a holiday around your due date. I would just give her the benefit of the doubt at the moment.

Also as others have said, be grateful she's not going to be there! Seriously, unwanted visitors are really draining when you've just had a baby.

Ragwort Fri 25-Oct-13 08:08:25

Cogito puts it really well; you are just very different sorts of people, neither of you is wrong, neither is right.

Please don't try and make your MIL into something she is not, she sounds as though she is giving you & your DH plenty of 'space' to get on with your own lives and she has built her own life.

This is a complete contrast to the hundreds of threads you get on here about interfering MILs grin. Yet again, MILs just can't win.

Preciousbane Fri 25-Oct-13 08:22:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 25-Oct-13 08:23:06

"let her get on with it as she sees fit "

With respect, that's a very acid way of putting it. The woman can't win at the moment so it's probably better to stop eating yourself up about what she is or isn't doing, stop looking for malicious motivations and take her as you find her.

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