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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:
Mumzypopz · 12/07/2017 21:14 why do you expect them to help? When I had mine my Mum would ask if there was anything she could do and I would say no, because there really wasn't, it was all done. And by day ten I was off out and about having days out or visiting people myself.

RibenaMonsoon · 12/07/2017 21:16

I had my MIL visit for 2 weeks from overseas when i had DS. I was worried that there may be some boundary issues as she likes to organise everything and everyone. But she couldnt do enough to help us. She cooked, cleaned, looked after me when i had mastitis, sore stitches and nipple thrush. I dont know what we would have done without her honestly!

It is possible for people to not overstep their boundaries and want to be a genuine help. It depends on what type of people they are. They may not want to interfere. They may just be insensitive your your needs. But you are well within your rights to request that they call first and suggest to them a more appropriate time to visit.

BewareOfDragons · 12/07/2017 21:19

I get it, OP.

THey ignore, ignore, ignore you both and fabour their other children and grandchildren ... then bam ... drop in at any sensible person would be a ridiculous time to show up unannounced and plonk themselves down and expect to be waited on. You've just had a baby! You're also dealing with little ones who have dinner/bath/bedtime routines to get through! And they want to sit there, uninvited, and be waited on while YOU are still healing and dealing with baby exhaustion.

Your DH owes you a sincere apology for calling you a bitch. While I'm sorry his parents favour his siblings, letting them walk all over you and your household is not the answer.

WomblingThree · 12/07/2017 21:19

What is it with these threads at the moment? It's getting ridiculous when the whole of trending is full of them.

Flisspaps · 12/07/2017 21:19

If they do it again, keep hold of your baby. They'll soon get bored.

Cuckingfunt1981 · 12/07/2017 21:22

Honestly I think you were rude. I don't understand this obsession when a baby is born how people need to conform to certain timetables and rules for visiting . Ffs they are the gps not some random Friend

MJDinner · 12/07/2017 21:23

Your in laws visited yet it's only your MIL that you have such expectations from

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.

is your FIL not able bodied, can he not make tea?

Either condemn them both or not at all, i don't get why you have such expectations of one in law but not the other. women don't need to reinforce that crap on one another tbh

2017SoFarSoGood · 12/07/2017 21:23

OP congrats on the baby. You must be exhausted, and any visitor just adds to that, no matter how much of a super woman you are. However, it might be a great time to invite them over, and tell them how happy you are that they are visiting, but... If they would let you know when they want to come you can make sure it works for your familiy. A chuckle over the old saw of "but not at the arsenic hour - don't know whether to give it or take it then" has worked for me as a gentle hint. It might be good to actually get to plan a little down time for you when they are over - an hour's nap is never a bad thing?

user9425 · 12/07/2017 21:23

Beware you've absolutely understood where I'm coming from. Thank you Flowers

OP posts:
IceLollyInThePaddlingPool · 12/07/2017 21:24

Who passed MIL the baby? I would have told her it's just gone to sleep and expected to remain so for another couple of hours, but the other children would love to show her what they're having for dinner/playing with in the bath.

MikeUniformMike · 12/07/2017 21:25

Your DH should not have called you a bitch.
Otherwise I agree with BewareOfDragons. You have 2 kids and a newborn. You have got quite enough on your plate without being expected to wait hand and foot on your ILs who can't be arsed to pop in when there isn't a cute new baby to coo over.

Cuckingfunt1981 · 12/07/2017 21:26

These daft Facebook memes doing the rounds saying visitors shud make cups of tea , bring food , fold laundry etc etc are just plain bloody cheeky . Why should someone visiting a new baby be expected to do housework or cook a meal ??? They are being kind by visiting and offering a gift . I have never expected anyone to clean or do cooking or laundry with any of my Dcs . I was always grateful they acknowledged each birth

flupi · 12/07/2017 21:28

Well I'd say you need to take control of your house! If it were me I'd welcome their visits but not in the form of guests. If they pop in like this then they should just muck in. If it's 5pm and getting ready for bedtime then give them tasks- 'lovely to see you, could you do....bath, story, even cook dinner. Just tell/ask them what to do. They'll probably be pleased to feel useful ( if not they'll stop popping in!). Actually holding the baby could be useful too?

Getoutofthatgarden · 12/07/2017 21:35

They probably should have called or text to say they were coming, my MIL never lets us know when she's coming and it's really annoying, I enjoy her visits but I wish she'd let me know. I don't see the problem with MIL holding the baby or your DH making her a cup of tea.

user1471453601 · 12/07/2017 21:36

Honestly, there have been do many of this type of thread recently. It's really easy..

Nephew and his lovely wife had their second baby less than a week ago. DD sent a text to congratulate them, saying we would both love to visit, but understood if they felt they needed time alone as a family.

They responded to say we would be welcome whenever we could get there. We provisionally arranged to go today. DD phoned her cousin, as we couldn't get there before 5:30. We offered to go another day if that disrupted their schedule. Cousin said, no please come. I checked and Nephew definitely checked with his wife before agreeing.

We stayed for a couple of hours, had a lovely chat with DN and his wife, played with older child, and had a little cuddle with new addition.

Just blooming ask if/when it's appropriate to visit. Honestly, if DN and wife had said they wanted time to bond as a family, that would have been fine (as long as they sent lots of photos of the new addition to our extended family!). It's not difficult, is it?

Jenna43 · 12/07/2017 21:40


I don't think it's ok to ask visitors to start cooking dinner, really? Do people do this?

penny4321boom · 12/07/2017 21:43

I totally see where you are coming from OP, You had a baby 10 days ago hormones still flying and it feels like PIL are just wanting to play with the tiny baby but haven't been bothered with older two for long time. My PIL are a nightmare and very similar. I don't think you can win in this situation must be hard for your DH they are finally visiting, and he may feel he doesn't want to chase them away. It didn't last long with my PIL before it went back to normal - my DS2 is 8 weeks and haven't seen them in 4 weeks since we visited them last

Italiangreyhound · 12/07/2017 21:43

You were not rude, his parents are rude, rude, rude.

Groupie123 do you really think this behaviour by PIL is reasonable?

user9425 "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." Sadly, your husband is probably so delighted his parents are at last showing some interest in 'him' (they are not, sadly, just the baby so it sounds) that he wants to enjoy this time with them.

I am afraid in your shoes I would be tempted to grin and bear it. They sound horrible and I am sure it is annoying but your husband probably needs to work this out for himself or they will lose interest eventually.

grannytomine they visited without saying they were coming, stayed a long time and didn't offer to help. I'd be fuming, and I'd not want to see them.

almondfinger · 12/07/2017 21:46

So DH is so happy they are finally calling he is bending over backwards to appease them, make tea etc.

Then because you who can see what it is ( they are coming for the new baby) and are cross about it, you are the one who get's called a bitch. That's a bit unfair.

Does you DH always bow down to them? Have you ever asked them for babysitting help?

This would also get on my wick.

What I would do in future is say 'Great, there's the baby, you know where the kettle is. Thanks a million for popping in just now, I need to get the other 2 fed and DH was just saying how that grass/hedge needed cutting' and disappear.

grandOlejukeofYork · 12/07/2017 21:52

But they are coming to visit and see the baby, not to help you mop and do washing? I imagine it never occurred to them that you expected that, what with there being 2 adults there already to do anything needed.

When relatives came to see my new babies I wouldn't have thought that they should be offering to hang out my washing or make the tea.

villainousbroodmare · 12/07/2017 22:03

Think about it from their side! They were offered tea so accepted it, obviously; one of them was handed a sleeping newborn... What was she supposed to do, drop it on the draining board while she cleaned your kitchen? Meanwhile you were seething about with laundry - they probably thought you were appreciating the chance to get some stuff done, or maybe that you were in a bad mood...

LastMangoInPeckham · 12/07/2017 22:05

Think I'd have been glad to have someone come and hold DC3 for a couple of hours, giving me time to attend to DC1 & 2.


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user9425 · 12/07/2017 22:05

Italian that is absolutely right and he even said to me that he was happy they'd visited because they never normally do - to which I pointed out that in a few weeks it'll go back to how it was and he'll be crushed again. I am grinning and bearing it, and always do with any mild in-law niggle that I have. However after the this visit today, I was really fucked off. Nothing will change between them and me over this, I'm sure they didn't think I was rude, and if they did then tough shit. They've known me long enough to not be offended. It's now mine and my DH's argument that bothering me and I'm not sure how to resolve it

OP posts:
missymayhemsmum · 12/07/2017 22:10

They have 6 kids and presumably numerous grandchildren to help with/ visit/ support. Is it possible that they may usually focus on whichever family member needs them most, while your parents presumably spread themselves less thinly, rather than that they don't care? That they would like to get involved but don't come round often enough to feel they are on tea-making terms? that they are a bit on best behaviour in your home? Very tactless to visit the new baby and not make a fuss of their older grandchildren though, yanbu to be irritated.

Jenna43 · 12/07/2017 22:15

Does your DH ever invite them over?

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