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10 day old baby and PIL. Help!

96 replies

user9425 · 12/07/2017 20:44

I need a bit of perspective on this situation as having just had a baby 10 days ago I can't quite think rationally.

To cut a long story short, my parents in law are lovely people. Warm, welcoming and so laid back they're almost horizontal. However, DH is one of 6 children and very frequently gets upset that his parents never come to visit him (they have often been spotted driving past the end of our road to visit DH's brother - yet won't think to call in at our house) they are also pretty useless with DH's Birthday (giving him cards and presents weeks after the actual date) and they don't help with any childcare with our children (mainly because they have their hands full with his siblings children). My parents on the the other hand are incredibly supportive and helpful and in more recent years this has highlighted to my DH just how bad his own parents are.

10 days ago we gave birth to our third DC and so far, have had 3 long and unannounced visits from PIL. Nice to begin with, but on the third visit today I started to get slightly annoyed. Not only was it unannounced, it was also at 5pm which for us is the witching hour of trying to get kids fed/bathed and ready for bed. On their arrival MIL plonked herself in a chair, got passed a baby who had just got to sleep after a disturbed day of midwife visits/school runs etc and proceeded to hold him for almost 2 hours while my DH made cups of tea for them. In no way has she offered to help in any way during these last 3 visits or even offered to make her own cup of tea.

This annoyed me so much that I excused myself and went and brought the washing in, swept the floor and tidied the kitchen. Had a brief chat to MIL before she left but other than that, I was pretty much absent. Mainly because I was furious.

So my question is, was I rude? AIBU to be cross that they only visits we've had from PIL in over a year have been in the last 10 days and only to coo over a baby? AIBU to expect a phone call to warn us they are coming over? Or have I gone bat shit crazy and need a slice of politeness?

OP posts:
ollieplimsoles · 12/07/2017 20:47

"This isn't a good time for us, please get out or ill kill you"

Groupie123 · 12/07/2017 20:47

I think you were rude to treat any guest like that. No wonder they don't just 'pop down' if you have to schedule their visits down to a t. Maybe the other siblings and their spouses are more chilled out.

user9425 · 12/07/2017 20:49

I should add that when they had left, DH commented on how 'absent' I'd been during their visit to which I let loose and began a rant about how I felt. An argument then erupted with him saying how I'm rude and a bitch for thinking that. Ffs

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RibenaMonsoon · 12/07/2017 20:49

I think if you are visiting anyone with a newborn then it doesnt hurt to quickly text or call to check if its a good time to visit. YANBU

putdownyourphone · 12/07/2017 20:49

No I don't think you were rude, and if you were it was justified. Having a new baby is tough, especially with other kids in the house. Your DH needs to tell them that they've got to call and arrange with you before coming round.

BlahBlahBlahEtc · 12/07/2017 20:50

People go to shit when a baby is born, it's like all normal considerate behaviour goes out the window because there's a baby now!

People are no more entitled to turn up unannounced at all hours because you squeezed a melon out of your foof, than they were before.

The sooner folk realise this, the better.

grannytomine · 12/07/2017 20:51

It does feel a bit like they can't do right for doing wrong, wrong if they don't visit and wrong if they do. Having said that no way should they be getting waited on with a new baby in the house, tell her where the kettle is, ask her if she wants to get one of the other two bathed and ready for bed. She might be bone idle or she might feel awkward just doing it in someone else's house.

Mumzypopz · 12/07/2017 20:52

5pm is a weird time to visit. Perhaps when the baby was plonked on her knee she didn't want to get up and disturb it. Perhaps when she then saw you hoovering, mopping whatever, she thought she was helping by continuing to hold the baby. I don't get why people expect visitors or in laws to help out when visiting....surely they are there to visit not to become your slave. I've also never understood why people with newborns expect help? Are you not capable of looking after your own baby,? Sorry, if that sounds harsh....I would be annoyed with three visits in ten days, but then at least they are showing an interest...mine never came, we had to go to them after three weeks of no visits.

Justhadmyhaircut · 12/07/2017 20:52

You weren't happy when they drove past and still aren't happy when they pop in. .
Maybe calling ahead makes them feel like they are making an appointment to see you which feels a bit off for them. . You need to tell dh to absolutely spell out to them how you want the relationship to proceed. .

stella23 · 12/07/2017 20:53

You've just had a baby so be kind to yourself, and sitting holding a baby isn't great, but maybe they don't feel that you all have the kind of relationship where they can pitch in, maybe they feel more like guest than family. Maybe they feel more welcome and at ease at bils

user9425 · 12/07/2017 20:54

Groupie I was expecting someone to suggest that might be why they don't normally visit. My DH and I have discussed that in the past and I've suggested it's maybe which is has quickly disputed as under normal circumstances I'm extremely welcoming and knowing how upset DH gets about it, I would love for them to visit. However, it's the 10 day old baby, not offering to help bit that has got right on my goat this time

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Silverthorn · 12/07/2017 20:55

Congratulations on your baby. This would have had me fuming too. Just turn them away and offer them a more convenient time to visit. Or you could try and use the opportunity to try and rework the relationship.
They are (supposed) family not royalty. When they walk in do not wake the baby. Hand her an older dc to entertain, help with homework or direct FIL to the kettle. With a friendly smile on your face. They'll either stop visiting or become more helpful.

Onhold · 12/07/2017 20:55

You moan when they don't visit and then moan when they do. They can't do anything right can they?

Creatureofthenight · 12/07/2017 20:55

PIL aren't guests, they are family. They shouldn't need to be waited on. My PILs were over today - I'm on mat leave. Both happy to help themselves to tea etc., and helped me with some chores. Of course they had cuddles with baby too.

Tofutti · 12/07/2017 20:55

YANBU. You had a baby 10 days ago! They should be fussing over you and making you cups of tea.

And your DH called you a bitch?! Is he always this nasty?

I would tell DH that he needs to tell them to call before visiting. If they turn up again, I would just go up with the baby and leave them to it.

Justhadmyhaircut · 12/07/2017 20:56

If they don't visit often they aren't going to feel comfortable rooting around your kitchen making tea though. .
Some would say they would feel they were being over familiar /intrusive. . .
Really you need to spell it out and have the message passed on. .

Mumzypopz · 12/07/2017 20:58

But user...why should they have to help? I don't get it. You said this is your third child you must have thought you would be able to cope surely? And I think you said there are two if you at home, ie you and your DH? Do you really need more help? I would feel really awkward going into someone's kitchen to make tea, would feel as if I am intruding.

Crispmonster1 · 12/07/2017 20:58

I hated visitors after all my children were born. I need a good year to get my shit together. Sleep deprived, busier than your used to, so no I
Don't believe YABU. Maybe invited them at a time that suits you better soon and say "sorry I didn't get a chance to speak properly last time but that time of day is a nightmare for us etc etc". I found that helped.

Nocabbageinmyeye · 12/07/2017 20:59

I think yabu really, they seem damned if they do and damned if they don't. Although I do see a text would be nice. Do you think they probably just feel more welcome at dh's siblings house and that is why they call there more?

I honestly think it sounds like a weird set up too, like if my parents/pil called I would just say "You can be in tea duty there while I take in the washing" and we'd natter while I swept/did the washing and she made tea/held the baby. I get a formal impression from your post, so you might have come off rude given how formal it seems but in what I would consider normal circumstances it would be grand

Tofutti · 12/07/2017 21:01

I would feel awkward visiting a new mum 3 times in 10 days and expecting them to wait on me while I sat on my arse!

user9425 · 12/07/2017 21:03

Crisp and silver some great suggestions thank you. Sadly I left them in DH's control where he bowed down to their every need - passed them the baby, offered drinks etc so I thought fuck it, may as well get on with some jobs. Next time I'll be more prepared to not encourage baby hogging

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witsender · 12/07/2017 21:03

Yeah fuck that tbh, I hate unexpected guests. And it isn't one extreme or another as is being suggested here, it isn't hard to drop a text or a call, even if it is en route to see if it is ok.

5 pm is a shit time to drop in on any household with young children, and it is very rude to just drop in on a house with a 10day old baby and a 10day post partum mother in it.

user9425 · 12/07/2017 21:05

Can I just re-integrate that I'm not cross they are visiting, more that it's unannounced, at an absolutely shit time and that they never normally pay any interest in us or visiting the older two. So it just seems they are only visiting now to coo over a tiny baby and causing us a bit of hassle in the process.

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user9425 · 12/07/2017 21:05


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user9425 · 12/07/2017 21:06

Mumsypopz you're right, after 3 children I am more than capable of coping. That was never in question.

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