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...can't believe I'm writing a MIL thread...

(53 Posts)
quinoabeanwah Mon 24-Apr-17 06:38:52

This is a bit of a wwyd situation; would really appreciate perspectives.

MIL is absolutely lovely and in general we have a very good relationship. She and DH (and siblings) are very good friends; she adores DC; she is very supportive, kind, warm, funny, generous etc.

She's not comfortable with conflict at all. In the past when DH has tried to discuss any sort of upset with her, he's felt she's brushed it off and avoided the discussion. Or she's said what she thinks he wants to hear and not followed through. She's of the generation (and from a cultural upbringing) that just gets on with stuff and don't give much weight to anything too emotional.

Last time we visited, we were discussing our trying for a second DC. DC1 was born extremely early, was extremely poorly and very unlikely to survive, but did defy the odds and is now a healthy toddler. MIL commented (in a very warm and positive tone) that next time "it will be different because you'll be careful", and then clarified that she meant I'd not cycle during this pregnancy.

We were a bit stunned and asked quite gently if she felt DC1 had been early because I'd not been careful, and she instantly bristled and said "did I say that?!" She wouldn't be drawn on further discussion and we let it move on in a positive tone.

It's stuck with me, though, and that's my WWYD. Should I / we try to talk about it with her again? I don't want her to be worried / judgemental if I do get pregnant and cycle again (not downhill racing, btw, just leisurely cycle path cycling - which I've been advised by Dr is not linked to prem birth). I'm also really quite hurt about it because I feel like she secretly (not so secret now, I guess) blames me for all the horrific stuff DC1 has experienced due to early arrival.

Just to stress, generally a v good relationship, we love her and she's an overall force for good! So we're not going to be going NC or telling her to fuck off to the far side of fuck etc.

Justanothernameonthepage Mon 24-Apr-17 06:47:32

I miscarried midway through pregnancy. My Otherwise fine MIL very first response was "what did she do to my grandson?". Turns out she thought that the one glass of champagne I'd had at Christmas caused it. No amount of telling her that it was a genetic issue would change her mind. Just carry on as normal and if she does make any comments, tell her your DR has advised that the cycling you do is beneficial to the baby as it's​gentle exercise and good for both baby and you.

Gobbolinothewitchscat Mon 24-Apr-17 06:48:52

This is why I really wouldn't discuss anything like this with anyone apart from my DH confused

I would just never bring it up again and if MIL did, I'd just say tiger not to worry and change the subject immediately

Trifleorbust Mon 24-Apr-17 06:52:32

Wow. I would put on my most steely expression and say: "MIL, moderate to strenuous exercise during pregnancy is recommended for the mother's health and presents no risk to the baby. Perhaps your views are a bit out of date." Then refuse to discuss it ever again at risk of you becoming very angry!

lelapaletute Mon 24-Apr-17 06:52:59

Uuuurgh. Your cycling will have had NOTHING to do with your premature delivery. I think some older ladies of our mothers' vintage still think about pregnancy as being 'a delicate condition', harking back to their own births where there was bed rest and a prolonged stay in hospital etc. I cycled to work until i was 6 months gone (centre of gravity shifted too much after that, plus it was October and very parky!), and the 50-70 year old contingent of my colleagues DID NOT STOP sucking their teeth and telling me off about it the whole time.

If i were you I'd let it go. Hard i know, but if as you say she's largely lovely and a good DM/MIL/DGM then it's not worth putting her back up over what is basically (in the nicest possible way) ignorance on her part - and silly though she was, sounds like she meant well and was trying to reassure you about something which is fundamentally in the lap of the Gods. If it really bothers you that she may think that you played a part in your early birth by cycling, which you know is not true, maybe privately share some of the evidence with her that this is not a factor - one to one, so she doesn't feel you are hanging up on her with her DS.

Totally understand why you would be annoyed and upset though OP. Glad your little one is doing so well, and good luck with the next one! X

BusterGonad Mon 24-Apr-17 06:53:10

People will always give their unasked opinions, my son was very prem too and god help anyone who blames me for it, tbh I'd find it hard to not dislike her after that. But I'm a bitch! Sorry!

sparkleandsunshine Mon 24-Apr-17 06:56:19

I know someone who's first baby was early and is thankfully all ok now as a toddler, she recently had another prem labour and the little one did not survive as was too early, it is devastating for her, and she worries that there is something wrong with her or it is her fault.
It is not your fault, you know that, it's devastating and horrible and a total blessing when the little one is ok.
I sometimes think people can be blinded by their own feelings and say something unkind when really they should be thinking of the people more closely affected and I bet that's what your MIL is doing.
I would try and brush it off and ignore her, she is wrong but people get stuck in their beliefs and ways and believe they're right and there is nothing you can do to convince them, if you try and argue it out you could end up with a big rift that can't be fixed.
I would try and ignore her, and dismiss her as a bit ridiculous, good luck, got my fingers crossed for you whatever you do xx

lelapaletute Mon 24-Apr-17 06:56:44

Wow just another, that is something else again. I'd have a VERY hard time forgiving a reaction like that in the middle of what must have been a dreadful time for you. So sorry for your loss.

MetalMidget Mon 24-Apr-17 07:03:14

If cycling caused premature labour, the Dutch would all be giving birth early!

BusterGonad Mon 24-Apr-17 07:03:44

The worst part of all this is at the time you do blame yourself (I did and sometimes still do) so for someone to be so hurtful and voice their uneducated and ignorant comments can be devastating.

Mummyoflittledragon Mon 24-Apr-17 07:06:01

I'd just let it go. You're not going to achieve anything by bringing it up now apart from cause friction and she's not going to listen. Next time, if there is one, you will be more prepared and be able to put her right.

WateryTart Mon 24-Apr-17 07:07:30

She was trying to be reassuring and said the wrong thing. Let it go.

DartmoorDoughnut Mon 24-Apr-17 07:07:40

She obvs won't discuss but o think for your sanity you need to maybe write her a letter (nicely as it sounds like you have a good relationship over all) and say that she really hurt you saying that and that your cycling had NOTHING to do with your ds being prem flowers

ilovechoc1987 Mon 24-Apr-17 07:09:44

I can see why you're annoyed, and I do think your MIL had a senior moment when she made that comment (which by the way is ridiculous and ignorant.)

My MIL can say the most ignorant things, like for example when I suggested she made sure her youngest son was taking precautions with his new girlfriend (they were only 16)
She said "oh she's not like that she's not stupid"..bearing in mind her son and I had our first at 18 unplanned.
She basically told me I was stupid, which was annoying to say the least!.

My MILs mother even blamed my partner and I for our youngest being critically ill as a newborn, saying it was because we took her shopping at 2 weeks old, even though she was ill due to an undiagnosed genetic metabolic disorder hmm

It's tough but you have to grin and bare it! confused

FreshHorizons Mon 24-Apr-17 07:12:22

One of those cases where you just 'smile, nod, ignore'.

BalloonSlayer Mon 24-Apr-17 07:12:23

The thing is though you say just leisurely cycle path cycling - which I've been advised by Dr is not linked to prem birth) so presumably you might have worried about it, as well because you asked the Doctor?

If it crossed your mind, why is it so awful that it crossed hers?

Please let me add that I don't agree with her at all, I am just pointing out what jumped out at me from your OP.

Headofthehive55 Mon 24-Apr-17 07:12:58

Good luck on your next pregnancy. I had one at 23 weeks, and three term. Didn't behave differently in any of them. Excercise doesn't cause it! its awful you seem to have been blamed.

KC225 Mon 24-Apr-17 07:14:00

I think the others are right, anything that is sensitive cannot be discussed. You need to keep these things to yourselves. You know you would not put your unborn baby at harm's way. Stuck to neutral topics where her opinions will be bemusing but not hurtful.

StillDrivingMeBonkers Mon 24-Apr-17 07:15:18

you don't need to write her a letter at all {hmm] or start a family war.

Just put it to one side and forget abut it. Nothing to be gained from dredging up conversations no one wants to have. (Apart from those people who seem to thrive on conflict)

Penhacked Mon 24-Apr-17 07:21:34

It was a slip of the tongue which belied a deeply misguided suspicion she had and doesn't even want to own. People will always have invoiced opinions about the way you do things which they will try not to voice, whether right or wrong. I know my dear friend thinks I should spoon feed our toddler and wean her from the breast but she hasn't explicitly said it, I just see her preoccupied looks and I just know. Smaller scale but cling to the fact even though this is her silly opinion she loves you enough not to voice it and leave it be

Justanothernameonthepage Mon 24-Apr-17 07:22:33

@lelapaletute it was a very crappy thing to hear especially as we were calling while he was still inside me while we were back from the scan confirming he hadn't made it. I don't think I'll ever truly forgive her for it or stop wondering if she still thinks it was my fault. But i tell myself it was an instinctive exclamation that she couldn't control. Generally she's a great GM to my DC and we don't see her that often so I don't need to have much more than a polite relationship with her. Not sure if it helped or not that my FIL won worst response so that her insensitive comment was overshadowed by her ex husband

untrendyauntie Mon 24-Apr-17 07:23:17

As a pp said, if she's prone to making these kinds of statements and you know they will upset you (quite frankly who wouldn't be upset) then it's worth gently holding back too much sensitive information about this pregnancy as she and you will be on red alert for any problems. My MIL is satan on horseback compared to yours, and during my first pregnancy we (in retrospect) told her far too much information about the traumatic labour and aftermath. When I fell pg again she started up a one woman scaremongering campaign which sent my blood pressure up and made me feel like I was a faulty carrier (!). We are NC so didn't resolve the situation as such but setting boundaries about what you do and don't tell MILs is the first step in protecting yourself from hurt. flowers

DartmoorDoughnut Mon 24-Apr-17 07:26:34

bonkers why would politely writing a letter saying what she said hurt the op and that it wasn't true start a family war hmm it's what my granny did and it meant we took stuff on board without her having to <gasp> discuss things

WateryTart Mon 24-Apr-17 07:32:07

When I became pregnant after a miscarriage I was told to avoid anything other than mild exercise. This was 30+ years ago, your MiL may well have heard the same advice as I guess we are the same age.

Advice has changed, obviously, but if you make a big issue of it (by writing a letter) you could easily damage your relationship.

ememem84 Mon 24-Apr-17 07:34:59

My mil will "never forgive me if I kill her unborn grandchild" by continuing with my "ridiculous hobbies" I swim I use the gym and I ride horses twice a week.

I've taken advice re the riding. It's something I've been doing for 4 years. All advice was don't get pregnant then start riding but it's ok to continue as long as I feel comfortable and to minimise the risk as much as possible.

Dh is fine with me continuing. And his is the only opinion I'll listen to.

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