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Stress...family names, toxic in-laws, post birth visitors..ranty ramble

(15 Posts)
snailsinlove Sat 10-Jan-15 21:03:27

First baby is due in a few weeks, DP and I have (pretty much) settled on a first name we both really like, though we are going to wait and meet then before making any concrete decisions/announcement.

DP and I aren't married, I'm not attached to my last name (very common/uninspiring and linked to my dad, who I'm not close to, have no attachment to his family so family name is not important). DP really keen from the beginning for the baby to have his name (man thing I guess, youngest male in family, name would die out). His name is more unusual but harsh sounding and really limited our choice of first names~ a lot of the names we liked just sounded silly with it. DPs dad is also a bully, we had to travel to visit him recently as his mum was too scared to be in the same town as him, despite then being divorced more than five years angry I have only met him three times (in coffee shops/pubs add he lives abroad. He is planning to visit us to meet the baby, thing is he had booked flights to arrive on my due date (so four days before the date I worked out, which the midwife said was likely more accurate) and leaving the country ten days after..going by my date and factoring in I could well go to 42 weeks, he would be expecting to visit two days after I've given birth!! and bring his partner, who I have met once, for a couple of hours in the pub. FIL doesn't like me, either, and I feel like they see me as a vessel for their first grandchild rather than a human being going through what is, physically and emotionally, the biggest event of my life so far.

DP and I have said we want time to ourselves after the birth, no visitors straight away. Reason being I have had a tough pregnancy and want to make sure we bond as I am worried about developing PND. My family understand this, but FIL has said he will not be happy if anyone else is allowed to see the baby (meaning MIL, I bet ) if he is not..doesn't seem to understand there is a difference between him (relative stranger to me, person who dislikes me, pushy etc when I will be tired and in pain) and my mum, or MIL who lives down the road and I see often! I just don't trust him and the anxiety that he will be calling all the time is really getting to me, I'm stressing about this much more than the actual birth!

Apologies, this thread has turned into a stream of consciousness of what's really bothering me...originally my point was I'm less and less keen on giving the baby DPs last name, other reasons are DPs grandparents are pressuring us to get married, telling FIL he must make us, and to be honest I would really like to be linked to my child in an obvious way through our names..middle name we decided on was DPs maternal grandparent. I never met them, they died long before I came on the scene. Now I'm wondering how comfortable I am naming a child after a person I never met, is it morbid to name a child after a dead relative? I just think she should have a nice fresh one, a new baby shouldn't have to be a memorial blush

Anyway if the current names go ahead my child would be linked to both sides of DPs family via deceased person I never met, and controlling bully I don't like, but not to me at all, and I'm really sad about it. I have , another last name I go by unofficially, I'm not sure I could change my own in time to register the baby the same, or whether that's a good idea, either.

Two separate issues here, I know, but advice on either/both the name thing and the FIL thing massively appreciated, apologies for the ranty, rambling thread x

Bair Sat 10-Jan-15 21:12:49

Your DP needs to step up and put his dad in his place. That's the only advice I have on that. It's his Dad, he's practically a stranger to you, and he does NOT get to dictate who sees baby or what happens when YOU have just given birth to your first child.

If you're not sure about names, veto it now and agree to decide once your baby is here and you've met them and seen what might suit them. Don't agree to anything now, because if you're a little unhappy with it now, post birth it may become huge for you emotionally iyswim?

Don't apologise for ranting. Better out than in. As someone with an overbearing MIL the only way to deal is rant (either Anon or to close trusted friends) and let DH/DP deal with it, at least that's my opinion.

Relationships board is great for dealing with toxic relatives too.

snailsinlove Sat 10-Jan-15 21:30:14

Thanks Bair, I guess all that really needed to come out!

DP is making all the right supportive noises but I'm still worried that he will cave to pressure from his dad, he's a really lovely man and doesn't like upsetting people, and we've not been together long enough for me to know how he will react, so I can't help worrying until I've seen him stand up to him on something..has an annoying habit of blaming me for anything his dad might take offence toangry like when we insisted on meeting him at a pub at Christmas instead of our flat, because of the MIL issue.. FIL wanted us to drive an hour each way to where he was staying (as DP usually does as FIL doesn't drive in this country) however this time he had a car and was prepared to drive to us (hour each way) then changed his mind as he couldn't come to our house! the pub was only 25 minutes away from where he was staying..I was seven and a half months pregnant at the time with horrible backache and pgp, and car travelling is just horrible. Not really relevant apart from to illustrate FILs attitude, and the fact that DP made it seem like it was me refusing to travel etc.

DP is out tonight, will broach the subject of names when he gets back, just wanted to get some feedback on whether it was reasonable or pregnancy hormone induced unreasonablness, but not brave enough for AIBU atm. Have asked HQ to move it over to relationships for me x

ChickenMe Sat 10-Jan-15 21:50:13

Sounds bloody tiresome OP, you really don't need this. How stressful.
Firstly I would have it out with DP because you need to be singing from the same hymn sheet re the FIL. No good if you stand up to FIL and DP undermines.
Secondly as a PP said, FIL is not giving birth, you are. So FIL does not get to dictate anything. I know it's hard with toxic people. Best thing would be-don't commit to anything re visitors. Be vague. Get DP to tell FIL - by all means book your flight but you will be at our mercy as to when we are fit to see you because we are going to wait and see. No discussion, that's how it is. If FIL chooses to book flight then well it's his look out.
He's not staying with you is he? He sounds like an entitled child.

DPotter Sat 10-Jan-15 23:03:36

So if you're not sure your DP will stand up to his father, can you get someone else on side, eg your Mum. Could she stand up to him ? I'm thinking of after the birth if he turns up and demands to be let in the house sort of thing. Send Granny out to do battle.

Get your DP in training by getting him to contact his dad and say what Chicken suggested. At least that way you have a line in the sand and can refer back to it if he insists on turning up too soon.

As regards to surnames - they can be tricky. our DD has my name - short, spellable (mostly) & pronouncable. DP's family not so keen but the name is long unspellable and unpronouncable. You don't have to use either of your surnames - you could use your mother's maiden name or make one up. Or use you DPs first name as the surname. the choice is endless.

snailsinlove Sat 10-Jan-15 23:58:12

Thanks for the support and kind words, it's really good to know I'm not being precious about it all. He's not staying with us, put my foot down on that when he announced back in September (uninvited, mind) he would be staying 'just a couple of nights' over new year..in our tiny flat on the sofa! Entitled is a very accurate description, like the worst kind of teenage boy hmm

My mum would definitely send him packing if he turned up and tried his luck, but she's an hour away so no guarantee she would be here..going to insist we divert our phones to answer phone and disconnect the (horribly loud, shrill) doorbell though, so at least if there's hassle I won't be jumping at the noise, I'm prone to anxiety at the best of times and don't like people doing round in unannounced, that doorbell makes me jump out of my skin blush

Interesting about making up a surname, I've been wanting to change mine for years but all the paperwork put me off, this might be the ideal time to do itsmile

DP on his way home, going to raise the name issue, hopefully he won't be too upset x

kittensinmydinner Sun 11-Jan-15 08:39:10

congratulations on the impending arrival of your lo. sorry to hear your fil is such a pia. I think, from past experience on what you have said, do not expect that much from your dp. sounds to me like he will cave in at the first hurdle and blame you..You will not feel up to dealing with him, so its a brilliant idea to prime another tough family member now so they can deal with him. on a completely seperate note, unless you have an independent income which would not alter should you have to pay child care, then yes, getting married is essential. there is no 'common law' in UK and you are in a very vulnerable position without marriage. you don't need to jump to fil tune though, just pop down to registry office with a couple of witnesses, save the big party for when you have recovered from the birth.

meandjulio Sun 11-Jan-15 08:45:02

Can you talk to your landlord about changing that doorbell, maybe to a mobile one?? Doesn't sound like you want that with a baby in the house.

DraggingDownDownDown Sun 11-Jan-15 08:52:54

If I have understood correctly - he may miss the baby altogether if you go two weeks over.

CaptainJamesTKirk Sun 11-Jan-15 08:56:24

2 very different issues here.
With regard to names my DS has the name of my deceased cousin. It's not morbid to name some one after a dead relative (even if you didn't know them). There are only so many names out there and if you like them use them. Surnames are different and I would give the baby your surname, you claim to have no attachment, it's your father's name... No it's YOUR name. You are not married, you may never marry, you may never change your name, so give your baby your name.

Your DP's dad is coming, he's booked but if you don't want him to visit on specific days or x number of days after birth then you DP needs to make this clear. You do not have to see him at all if you don't want to but your DP will have to stand up and protect you and your baby and your wishes.

Vivacia Sun 11-Jan-15 09:00:10

In terms of the birth and visitors, I'd do two things. Make your home as safe and comfortable as possible (I mean "emotionally" safe as much as anything else i.e. your DP will defend your boundaries). Secondly, have a back-up bolt hole just in case (your mum's, mil, friend's etc. Plan with someone where you can have a bedroom to yourself. Could be a hotel and a bag packed by the front door. For me, I'd say FIL just wasn't to come to the house. If he did, you just get up and walk out the back door as he's coming in the front. Seriously.

I like the idea of a new surname.

If you're not married, I presume you have legal steps in place to protect you and the child's security?

Brandysnapper Sun 11-Jan-15 09:01:22

Fil wants to see baby, not you, so if he comes round when you're not ready you can absent yourself - you don't need to put yourself out for him. Your dp may be keen for him to at least see the baby before he flies back wherever.
As far as I know you can give any name to the registrar, so definitely rethink the surname. Maybe you could propose at the same time so you pick a new family name! It's not morbid to use a dead relative's name at all, but you sound unhappy with it so don't use it. Rember you can also use your own surname (if you don't change it) as a middle name for the baby, if lo ends up with your dp's surname.

Littleparrot Sun 11-Jan-15 11:11:04

Could I suggest you show this post to your DP, maybe easier than trying to explain it properly
FIL sounds a pain but I can also see how he would want to see his grandchild before he flies out. As another posted suggested maybe absent yourself and let him have his visit without getting involved

As for the name, this really needs working through. Is there a family name other than your fathers surname you could use. Or why not choose a surname that you would both change to. Start your own dynasty?

Good luck and congratulations

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 11-Jan-15 11:24:21

There are a number of issues here; not least of all your man's father is a complete bully who expects everyone to jump at his word. I am wondering whether your man will at all ever be able to stand up to him and assert his own self to be honest. His inertia re his dad will really only hurt him and his own family in the long run. If he cannot stand up for you all then this will cause much resentment within your relationship.

Raise and assert your own boundaries here re his father and any other relatives as and when necessary. People like his dad count on others not to rock the boat; both of you must present a united front with regards to his dad. DP may have blamed you in the past because he is not as afraid of you as he is his dad; fear, obligation and guilt are very present here within your man with regards to him.

I would give this child your surname on the birth certificate (why should this child take his name at all particularly as you his mother are not married to him?). I would certainly agree with this comment made by another respondent as well:-

"It's not morbid to name some one after a dead relative (even if you didn't know them). There are only so many names out there and if you like them use them. Surnames are different and I would give the baby your surname, you claim to have no attachment, it's your father's name... No it's YOUR name. You are not married, you may never marry, you may never change your name, so give your baby your name".

Are you planning on getting married subsequently? Giving this child a completely different surname to yours as a couple is really going to complicate things further for you all particularly if you were to travel abroad as a family unit.

HazleNutt Sun 11-Jan-15 14:21:53

If your DP doesn't want to upset people, make sure he understands, that by giving in to FIL, he will upset YOU. Who matters more?

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