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AMA

Help...issues with in laws...am I a bad person?

11 replies

Shays · 01/11/2019 23:57

Hey all...

Thanks for taking the time to read this, it’s a long one lol...
I’m a new mum to a beautiful 6 month old baby girl and have a wonderful husband and a great family and on paper really shouldn’t have anything to complain about...but recently have started to have a real issue with the amount of visits from my in laws.
My husbands family are very nice people and love our daughter very much...And it honestly pains me to to think of them in a negative way because I know they aren’t doing anything bad as such, they just want to see their granddaughter.
To give a bit of a background, our daughter is the first grandchild in both sides of the family (everyone super excited lol), my husband works shift work and regularly home late or working weekends. On top of that he has been revising for an exam for the last 6 months and whatever time he had off he would try to get some study sessions in (exam thankfully over and anxiously waiting on results). My in laws live a 45 minute drive away and my family live a 5 minute walk away.
Before having a baby, my husband and I obviously had a lot of time to ourselves and spent it well enjoying our lives. We would have visited our in laws maybe around once a month and my family maybe a bit more frequently (most likely due to the close distance). Visits to in laws were always very pleasant, I always counted myself lucky to have landed such a wonderful family. I wouldn’t say that I am close to them but have a nice relationship.
Neither sets of parents really visited us at our own home and that was something I suppose I got used to.
After I gave birth, we were inundated with visitors and help at the beginning which was amazing but to be honest was a bit overwhelming at times. I remember crying to my husband a lot in the first 2 weeks as I felt we were not getting a chance to know our/hold our baby due to constant visits and people wanting to hold her... it was still an amazing time being a new, small family and I have never felt closer to my husband.
Eventually my husbands paternity leave ended and number of visitors started to decline, except the daily visits from in laws and less regular visits from my family. Reason for that is probably coz baby and I would tend to go to my parents house during the times when my husband would be working late/weekends - which was something I did before I even had a baby, I am very close to my mum and sisters and would have normally seen them 5-6days a week.
Gradually with time, I have began to dread my in laws coming over. Which was a new thing as I enjoyed seeing them before. Maybe that it was so constant and I felt that we were not getting our own family time or maybe I got sick and tired of them constantly comparing our daughter to her fathers side of the family or maybe when she started crying in someone else’s arms amy MIL or SIL always raced to console her first, rendering me useless... I know none of this is done maliciously and they love her so much but I just feel I don’t get a chance to be a mother when they are around (if that makes sense lol).
Although the weekday visits are less regular, the weekends are a bit of an issue with visits on Friday and Saturday and an invite to Sunday lunch at their house. The weekends that my husband is working, they may or may not visit. I have actually now started to, regretfully, become relieved when I know my husband is working a weekend as it feels like the only way of a break.
Although they would normally text/call to let us know they are coming to visit, it’s almost exclusively through my husband (to which he will, of course, agree). There has been a few times of them showing up unexpectedly- like tonight..showing up at around baby’s bedtime and delaying it..which I’m sure sounds so silly but bedtime is already a battle (she is breast fed only and refuses bottle feeding so only I can put her down to sleep) and takes sometimes 2 hours. I’m a huge sucker for routine and really hate disrupting it!
I suppose the biggest thing for me is that I miss my husband..and the closeness we had at the start...I know a new baby can make a relationship a bit difficult, but on top of that as he has been so busy with work and revision that we just have had no real time to ourselves. I feel sorry for him for not being around as much and feel sorry that out small family of 3 isn’t getting the quality time it deserves. Since finishing his exam (6 days ago) in laws have already been around 4 times, the only times that he hadn’t been at work and the only times that we could have spent as a family.
As I said (pages and pages ago lol) my in laws are lovely people that just want to see their granddaughter. I want them to be a part of her life and they are important- I realise that. But I just want them to realise that we need our family time too. This really have been bothering me so much to the point that I get anxiety just thinking about it. It’s really taking away enjoyment from my precious time with my daughter. I get so angry sometimes and take it out on my poor husband. I’ve cried several times and have been caught by my husband and have lied to him telling him its tiredness. I don’t know how to tell him without offending him or causing a row. We have been rowing more and maybe coz I’m keeping so much from him and I would not have done that before. I realise this may sound silly but I feel that it’s really affecting my relationship with him and don’t want anything to happen to our marriage. I’m sitting upstairs putting out daughter to sleep and typing this out while crying and he is downstairs watching TV...we have become so distant and it probably is my fault...and my feelings towards my in laws that I wish would just go away.

Ahhh no one is gonna read this anyway lol but if you got to the end well done lol I’m probably being the bigggest most selfish unreasonable person in the planet but any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you so much.

OP posts:
DramaAlpaca · 02/11/2019 00:04

I'm not much good at advising on this sort of thing, sorry, but just thought I'd suggest that you ask MNHQ to move your post to Relationships as you'll get lots more help there than you will posting in this section. Just press the report button & ask them to move it for you.

You're not in the least bit a bad person, by the way Flowers

TowelNumber42 · 02/11/2019 00:09

Yes, move it to relationships.

This is all solved in one easy way. You have one bit of wrong expectations: to which he will, of course, agree

No, you have to tell DH you want weekends to yourselves so that he says no to his parents and that little phrase becomes to which he will, of course, say not this weekend

Claricethecat45 · 02/11/2019 00:20

Congratulations. You are not a bad person ! You need time and space to get to know your baby and establish time with your DH. In my experience and it also happened to me, it will become the 'norm' for these visits and time won't diminish as the in laws get more and more part of what is now a routine...please discuss with DH and ask him to understand how you feel. I would suggest that he speaks to his P's and tells them that for a 'few weeks (make that 4-6) you just want to get on with establishing your new family, and certainly invite in laws for a 'defined' occasion - like a lunch - or coffee - which captures the timeframe versus open invite which sees them still there brandishing a toothbrush! aim for 2 Sunday visits during the 4-6 weeks so as not to isolate them but- remember it is your baby first- and there grandchild second....apply similar but more flexi arrangement with your family also recognising that your Mum and sisters are more local, more familiar, and probably more tactful. It will be though your DH place to raise it with them- his parents - and i would just make your point clear with kindness - that you need his support ( may not be easy but insist!) Good luck and enjoy your precious package

wibdib · 02/11/2019 00:55

Si does he say yes to them coming to visit even when he's not there? so it's just you and your dd? That would certainly annoy me because it would screw up any plans I might have made or want to make depending on how I was feeling - even if that was just to veg in front of the tv and relax while dd was napping for an hour or two.

Can you say to dh that now he has finished his exams it would be nice to spend some family time together - see if you can find a couple of things to do locally (even if just going for a walk or to the park and having a coffee) that mean you are out and just the three of you so that you're not at home and already have plans if PIL suggest a visit. Even if they suggest a visit (or heaven forbid dh says yes without asking you) it will at least lead to a conversation where you don't need to phrase it as 'your bloody parents are always here' but can say that you miss doing things together with him and that it would be nice to do some things... With christmas coming up there's all sorts of opportunities to start to create your own traditions - taking dd to see santa, taking her to listen to carols, looking at the local lights, making mince pies or a christmas pudding - doesn't really matter what it is particularly but that it is for the three of you... find some of the local mums and kids facebook pages, websites etc that have local things on and to do that his parents won't have thought about.

The other things is to try to be proactive - so invite them to sunday tea or whatever you would want to do with them (something time limited so that you have an escape clause that means they need to go!) but stretch the time out - so invite them for a couple of weeks time rather than next week. And if they say that they'll see you before that, be vaugue and say that you're not sure if you will actually, it's turning into a busy time, you have lots of things in the calendar already, which is why you thought it was easier to schedule time into see them.

Also work out an excuse in advance so if they do just pop in or ring to ask if they can pop in, say that if only they had tried to liaise with you earlier as you already have plans (don't be specific!) and you need to leave at [15/30 minutes time] - you might have to be prepared to actually go out somewhere (without them! but out of the door - if they actually turn up - so that they can go at the same time - you don't want them to say they'll stay behind and wait for you to come back) and if it happens to much then hopefully it will help them to realise that you have your own life to lead and they can scale it back to much more reasonable levels.

I'm quite an introvert and struggle with even my own mother coming over too much - luckily MIL lived miles away and didn't ever venture out without an invite to us so I didn't have that problem but I would have really struggled if she felt like she wanted to be around much more.

good luck in getting this sorted and down to a level you're comfortable with - not at all unreasonable of you!

Chilledout11 · 02/11/2019 07:47

The visits are too frequent. Yes they mean well but your dh needs to tell them gently that this weekend doesn't suit. Use the exams as an excuse - we are going out for the day as th exams chained me to the desk type of thing. I think I would tell dh everything and it shouldn't cause a row. Friday sat and Sunday visit / expecting you to visit is ridiculous.

cptartapp · 02/11/2019 08:20

Your DH needs to speak to them. Once a week is plenty. Make it ad hoc and DO NOT get into a set routine of visits or it will tie you forevermore. I would go as far as going upstairs and not answering the door on some occasions. Your needs trump those of your PIL and if your DH can't support you in that then you have a problem.

notmybest · 02/11/2019 08:28

I agree with others that you need to talk to your DH about how your feeling. You are not a bad person at all. Having a baby is massively life changing. I remember asking for help on here as I was worried about my relationship with my DH when I had our DD. The first year is hard on the relationship you just have to work through it and stay on the same page. I found talking to DH about how we were both feeling and being honest but in a kind way really helped.
With regards to your in laws he does need to set some boundaries. I completely understand how you feel with all my family I felt like they were all demanding a lot more time with us. We live close by to both my parents and ILs. My ILs in particular kept turning up every day. I was honest with DH and he did his best to try and set some boundaries with them. Currently expecting DC2 and I suspect their visits will increase again. They often think they are helping which at first they sometimes were. But for me I was trying a new routine and they sometimes just turning up when me and DD were having a nap. I found giving both my family and DHs a set day helped. Obviously would see them more than that some weeks but other times just had to explain your busy.
Being a new mum is really hard OP. I was totally unprepared for some of the challenges esp with regards to family (both DHs and mine). I can't tell you how many times I heard 'rod for your own back' because I held my DD. Now I am more assertive I feel I have to be.

PurpleWithRed · 02/11/2019 08:33

Does your DH know how you feel?

  • If he doesn’t know and thinks you like the visits then put him straight and ask him to tell his parents to ask you first when he is working
  • if he does know how you feel but still wont say no to his parents then you have a DH problem more than an in-laws problem. He will be a bit stuck between you and his parents but he needs to choose you and it may take a bit of work to make this happen.
  • take control - start inviting them over at specific times and making it clear you are doing other things at non-invited times (‘would be lovely to see you on Wednesday, on Tuesday DD and I need a nice quiet day together”)


You do need and deserve time alone: it makes it more difficult that they are lovely and adore your DD and you don’t want to upset them.
Mumofone1962 · 02/11/2019 08:36

I had daily visits from MIL and ended up having a bit of a breakdown to husband and saying I loved him but I think we needed to seperate as his mother's visits were ruining my life (seems dramatic but I was scared to have a bath or stay in PJ's as she was always letting herself in and judging me/ taking the baby). He spoke to FIL and told him that she was affecting our marriage and she needed to stop and she did.

I think the best thing is to go through your husband as anything you say they will go to their son to confirm anyway (if I told my mil no to a visit while it was just me and the baby, she would call my husband at work and ask him Hmm )!

Just get him to say you need to work on your family unit and marriage and you need time as a family without them. It is a reasonable request and if they do love you all as much as they seem to then it will be okay Flowers

Spied · 02/11/2019 08:37

You must tell your DH you are feeling overwhelmed.
Could/would you possibly allow your inlaws to babysit for you once a month or so? It sounds like they want to be helpful and have much love to give. If they get this one-on-one time they may back-off a bit.
You could always say that you are going out/ busy or joining a Saturday meet-up with other mum's and babies so you won't be in on say the first and last Saturday of every month. Or perhaps go visit them once a month too and you can dictate how long you stay. Say you want to go to them to 'get out of the house for a break' type of thing.

Frouby · 02/11/2019 08:46

6 months is a good time to introduce new routines. Do you go to any babygroups? Start going to those, also things like baby massage, swimming, those music classes. Make your own routine in the week. Even if you don't go, tell your dh mil must ring you, not him as 45 mins is a long way to come to an empty house!

Then with weekends just tell your dh you want to spend time with him and the baby, not with your inlaws. Keep the sunday lunch arrangement if you can, lovely to have sunday dinner made every week for you, and you can go, eat and leave. But make Saturdays Date Day. You don't have to make plans, you can just stay home in your PJs but make a no visitors rule.

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