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Feelings about MIL hanging over me like a black cloud. How do I snap out of it?

(44 Posts)
LovelyBertha Wed 16-Sep-09 16:02:25

Another MIL thread, I know. I just need help putting a very nasty ihcident into perspective and moving on.

DD was born 3 mths ago, and we had to stay in hospital for 3 days. We are discharged on monday night. This is the longest ds and I have been separated, so I'm really looking forward to some quiet quality time with dh, ds and new dd. Tues am pil turn up (they have been invited to meet new gd). They announce they've decided to 'make a holiday of it' and are staying until thursday night.

I explain, as politely and calmly as I can, that this is not what we had planned and we really need some quiet time. MIL's reaction is to get really angry/upset. Apparently I am selfish, inconsiderate, ungrateful and rude. They leave. Anyway, at this point I burst into tears, and can't stop crying for about a week.

I really feel like this ruined what should have been a beautiful first week with a new member of the family, and delayed my bonding with dd. No doubt, baby blues were partly to blame for my reaction, but I'm in tears now just typing this.

I've got to see PIL at the w.end, and the prospect of it has got me all negative and weepy again.

Any thoughts on how I can put this behind me? Not just for my sanity but for the sake of dh and dc's relationship with PIL.

rubyslippers Wed 16-Sep-09 16:06:51

they were in the wrong and your DH should have politely ask them to leave or book them into a local hotel

it is not appropriate, without a prior discussion to expect to stay at such a delicate time

there are very few times in your life when you absolutely should put yourself first, and having just given birth is absoutely that time

your DH needs to tackle this on your behalf to be honest - what does he have to say about it all

poor you ...

LovelyBertha Wed 16-Sep-09 16:07:07

Ooops. Somehow this is on here twice. blush

Bessie123 Wed 16-Sep-09 16:07:09

ah, you need to get over this. Your mil is always going to want a relationship with your dc and you can't feel so upset every time you have to see her. just let it go, man.

What does your dh say about it?

LovelyBertha Wed 16-Sep-09 16:08:50

He says exactly that Bessie.
I know he's right. It seems to be easier said than done though.

cornsillk Wed 16-Sep-09 16:14:36

have you spoken to them since? Has dh?

lynniep Wed 16-Sep-09 16:16:31

I feel for you bertha - horrible spot you were put in. Very unfair of them to impose like that - but probably just not thinking - perhaps because its your second? I dont know the circumstances i.e. how far they came or what DH said to them. It was very rude of them to assume they could stay with you though - is that what she meant - to stay with you?

I'm not saying you were in the wrong - you absolutely werent, but could you bring yourself to apologise for the sake of DH and DCs though?

I mean in the 'I'm sorry about the misunderstanding - I was feeling very fragile and I needed time with my family but I didnt mean to upset you' sort of vein? Without actually saying you were wrong. As you weren't.

Hopefully this will instigate an apology from MIL too. Her reaction was nasty and uncalled for , but she was probably very hurt having only seen it from their point of view (our new grandchild, etc etc) and whilst it seems obvious to us she shouldnt impose herself so, it was probably a complete surprise on her part that you werent beside yourself with glee that they were staying. I believe this personality trait is part of being a MIL wink.

If she can't bring herself to say something first, this is going to hang over you and the last thing you need is to be dwelling on this stuff. Its done with. It needs sorting. So I think its a good thing you're seeing them at the weekend. And you may need to be the peacemaker in order to get your own peace of mind. I doubt your DH saying something to her will help to be honest.

deste Wed 16-Sep-09 16:16:33

They have been totally selfish, inconsiderate, ungrateful and rude towards you. Have you seen a doctor, it sounds like you could possibly have PND. If not you still need help to get over these feelings. They do say that day 3 after having a baby is your lowest day by the way. I would see them and say nothing, dont bring it up and if they do your husband must tell them the reason if you are not up to it. Dont let them spoil your relationship with your baby and husband, start to take control if you can. You dont want to spoil another three months. To be honest you have to feel sorry for these people, they havent a clue.

LovelyBertha Wed 16-Sep-09 16:19:29

We have seen them several times since. It has been discussed, and although we didn't get an apology, a truce was reached. This is why my overemotional state at the prospect of seeing them is 'my problem' iyswim.

Bessie123 Wed 16-Sep-09 16:26:01

Perhaps you need some time out from this, then. When your hormones are settled down it will probably all be easier.

lynniep Wed 16-Sep-09 16:34:51

Ah I see. Ok so you're past that bit then. Is there any way of you getting out of seeing them - are you going to them or they to you? Because I think you do need a bit of avoidance time. Can you just tell them you're under the weather and bow out? They sound like they must be closeish if you've seen them a couple of times since in three months.

more Wed 16-Sep-09 16:43:21

Is it because your husband does not seem to see it from your point of view? That would really irk me. It would make me feel that he was on "their side".
How did you reach a truce, if you don't mind me asking? Was it a "forced" truce? Did you feel that they listened to how you felt at the time, and how they had made you feel? Or was it all about how they had been left feeling?

LovelyBertha Wed 16-Sep-09 16:44:53

This is the problem, they live about 2 hours drive away. So near enough to see quite frequently, but far enough away for visits to be an 'event'.

You're right, I do need avoidance time. The plan is that we meet up at a mid-way point between ours and their house. They want to meet this w.end because (in their words) they want to see the children. I can't bow out because that would mean dd not going. I feel like I'm under pressure to go because if I don't, I'll be preventing them from seeing the gc - and that is likely to re-ignite the original argument.

For diplomacy's sake, I think I'm going to have to go.

I need a mantra to keep me sane, and help me keep my mouth shut when mil makes her barbed comments and backhanded compliments. Any thoughts?

LovelyBertha Wed 16-Sep-09 16:48:49

more - dh does see it from my perspective, he's just one of those people who hates arguments - will do/say anything to keep the peace.

And yes, I do feel it was a forced truce. I think mil thinks that I was mad with hormones, and in time I will realise how unreasonable I was being.

more Wed 16-Sep-09 17:01:23

Just keep telling yourself that you and your husband knows that you were in the right and they are the nutters. You're right they're the nutters. Stick to small talk, but let husband do most of the talking. If they feel the need to bring it up again, then let them, and stick to your guns. You know you were/are in the right and we all know it "in here".

I have adopted the attitude of just walking away (sometimes laughing out loud - she thinks I am laughing with her when in fact I am laughing at her) when my husband's step mother comes out with her underhanded comments.

I am not saying it is easy. It has taken a while to get there, and as I say to my husband I still want to be allowed to bring it home to him and analyse it to death mwahahahah.

I hate confrontations, but one thing having children has taught me is that sometimes you just have to take the bull by the horns so to speak. I have had to stand up for my children on a few occassions. It has left me feeling shakey, sick to the stomach, but also really, really proud of myself. Does your husband really want your children to grow up seeing him not standing up for their mother, even if it does mean him putting his own parents in place when he himself can see that they are in the wrong?

By the way should they not be upset with the both of you. It was both yours and your husband's idea that you should have quiet time to get to know eachother after the birth, not just yours!!?

StayFrosty Wed 16-Sep-09 17:08:27

Agree that you should just laugh at her, internally or in her face. It is beyond rude to just invite yourself for a holiday at someone else's house; to do so when they have just brought a newborn home is bordering on pathological imo.

You sound very sad and worn down, but you will feel stronger soon. Your children will not always be babies, then you will be able to have a bit of distance from your ILs and let you dh handle visits.

cornsillk Wed 16-Sep-09 17:14:42

Your MIL sounds horrible. Can you keep the meeting short(ish)?

LilianGish Wed 16-Sep-09 17:26:58

Oh LovelyBertha poor you. I so identify with your post - mil turned up uninvited two days after birth of dd and stayed for a week. The feelings about her hanging over you like a black cloud strike such a chord with me. I actually quite like mine, but sometimes she does things which make me feel so angry and weepy - just as you describe. I think the Bessie123's advice is excellent - though easier said than done. The thing that helped me most was having ds (and I see you already have one of your own!). Whenever I feel the black clouds coming over I try and imagine myself in my mil's position when ds eventually has a wife. I'm not excusing her behaviour, I'm not suggesting you will behave in the same way,but at the end of the day she loves her ds, she loves his children and I'm sure she really wants to have a good relationship with you - even if she has got a strange way of going about it. Be grateful she lives two hours away and not in the next street. Oh and by the way congratulations - you've got your lovely family so you are the luckiest in all of this.

duelingfanjo Wed 16-Sep-09 17:30:43

Sunds to me like you can't get closure on it because they haven't apologised and so they still think that you were somehow at fault. has your husband talked to them about how they were in the wrong and they need to accept and admit that?

LovelyBertha Wed 16-Sep-09 17:30:45

I think once my hormones have settled down I will be able to laugh about this. It is not an aibu. I know I have done nothing wrong, and pil are most certainly the nutters.

MIL is not actually that horrible. She's just very posh and not very bright. She is quite ignorant about lots of things because she's led a strange sheltered life in a very middle class enclave.

Usually, I'd be able to bear this in mind when she spouts the standard MIL stuff - 'you're making a rod for your own back having the baby sleep in your room' 'when do you think you'll be losing the baby weight then?' etc etc. I'd normally be internally laughing, but at the moment, it takes all my self control to not either cry or thump her.

LovelyBertha Wed 16-Sep-09 17:32:39

Thanks Lilian smile

tryingherbest Wed 16-Sep-09 19:41:39

OK Bertha

You are right - your birth - your baby your rules..They were rude and inconsiderate and are playing like they are the victim. But it's over now.

Sorry Bessie but mil might want a relationshiop with grandkids but quite honeslty it can wait till the mother isback on her feet.

Bertha - I had my mil to stay for 3 weeks when ds was 4 weeks old. Sounds fine but she is abroad - I had a c-section from hell and while she was stopping me breastfeeding ds (and it worked), I was limpling around shopping to feed her (she's a person from overseas who things London is a place for the devil and I had to do everyting including running a bath for her).

You are the mum - your rules - be fair once you've recovered from birth.

I will nevre forgive mil for what she did (with 'd'h encouragement -0 don't get into my situation - nice but firm is the way).
Congratulations on new baby. Enjoy.

BecauseImWorthIt Wed 16-Sep-09 19:46:04

Why don't you just cry in front of her if she upsets you then? Make her realise just what she has done?

TBH I can't see why you're meeting half way if it's only 2 hours away - why don't you go for a visit at their house, and then you are in charge and can decide when you're going to leave. Gives you the upper hand.

But however dreadful she is, she is your dc's grandmother, and so she does have a right to see them - and that's not going to change unfortunately!

I'd also get your dh to be more up front in his support of you. He may not like confrontation, but that's too bad. His parents have to see that his loyalty now lies with you.

Cheer up. You do sound very down! Hope you manage to sort something out.

tryingherbest Wed 16-Sep-09 20:14:08

Idon't think grandmother has a right to gc relationshiop but dc have a right to a relationship with granparents.

Bertha - you are right in feeling the way you to but find a way forward.

diddl Wed 16-Sep-09 20:41:13

It´s a difficult one as in someways they weren´t going to be staying long, but on the otherhand, the baby would still be new just a few days later.

I´m sure our mothers didn´t deal with this & went to see their MILs in their own time.

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