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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:
user9425 · 12/07/2017 22:35

Almond spot on. If only I was that brave to push DH out to cut the grass when his mighty parents arrive! Instead he rolls out the red fucking carpet.

And yes absolutely other siblings ask for much much more help and so they are busy helping others, meanwhile we are pretty self sufficient. It's more the fact that I often sit and listen to how upset DH gets at their lack of interest and support yet when there's a tiny baby to play with they are all over us (but not in a helpful way) Feels like we're being used a bit.

OP posts:
Italiangreyhound · 12/07/2017 22:35

OP "It's now mine and my DH's argument that bothering me and I'm not sure how to resolve it" Just tell your dh, you love him and the new baby and your kids, and you know he loves his parents. So let's find a way to make it work out when they visit.

I never normally want to give in to in-laws/parents/grandparents etc, I'm a total bitch (luckily my in laws are lovely) but for the sake of your lovely dh and your family, I'd smile and say you'll give it a go to be nicer next time. That is what I would hopefully do. But only for the sake of harmony around new baby.

Do not allow the in laws to spoil this time. Understand where your dh is coming from, wait on them if you can bear it, or make your dh do it (after all you had energy to sweep the floor - you sound bloody amazing, I'm struggling in this heat and I am not pregnant!). Anyway, bury this incident and find the joy of your lovely new baby.

RainbowsAndUnicorn · 12/07/2017 22:40

I think it's really off to expect parents to make an appointment to visit. It's their son and grandchildren. No wonder they don't want to visit.

It sounds like you expect everything and one to revolve around you. Why should they provide childcare? Your choice to have three yet you expect everyone else to do the caring.

Making them a drink and passing them the baby is hardly bowing down to them.

wineusuallyhelps · 12/07/2017 22:43


People should always check beforehand if visiting people with new babies. It's a trying time and it might be the wrong moment.

We used to have this problem with PIL. Visit

wineusuallyhelps · 12/07/2017 22:45

Whoops...pressed the wrong button...

...PIL visiting our three small children just before bedtime without warning, which meant they would then be wound up. When politely asked if they could come a bit earlier in future, the response was "but we're having our tea then". They were just filling in time when it suited THEM, not small children. Not reasonable I'm afraid. I feel your pain.

user9425 · 12/07/2017 22:48

Rainbows I'm not expecting childcare. And neither am I expecting them to make an appointment. Just a call to say they are on their way perhaps. To give me enough time to put my exposed boobs away maybe. Not asking much. As I've said previously, under normal circumstances- no problem. 10 days after giving birth is slightly different

OP posts:
user9425 · 12/07/2017 22:53

Wine absolutely agree - that's another issue altogether that the older children get excited right before bedtime, which is far from ideal. Just the whole visit was unhelpful from start to finish and that's the thing that bothers me. Yes I get that they want to see their new grandchild but 3 times in one week and inconveniencing everyone else in the process is just fucking annoying.

OP posts:
Scholes34 · 12/07/2017 22:56

Depends really on what kind of person you are. When I had my third, what I wanted most was people to call in and just hold DC3 whilst I did jobs around the house and do something other than sit on my backside nursing a clingy baby!

Having said that, when I visit new parents, I offer to iron, make cups of tea, hoover, clean the bathroom . . . or just hold the clingy baby.

Italiangreyhound · 12/07/2017 23:01

RainbowsAndUnicorn Asking if it is a convenient time to visit is not an 'appointment to visit'. Yes 'It's their son and grandchildren.' But it is the OP's home too, and her husband and her kids.

"It sounds like you expect everything and one to revolve around you." I don't think anything in this relationship has revolved around the OP. It has all been about the in-laws, do they want to visit or not, their choice, do they give any warning, no, do they help no, are they inconvenient (holding/hogging new baby), yes. How is that about the OP?

ticketytock1 · 12/07/2017 23:04

So you are cross when they don't visit and get annoyed with them when they do... yabu

user9425 · 12/07/2017 23:07

Tickety I'm not cross when they don't visit, no. My DH is upset, disappointed, isolated by them. And I listen and comfort and support him through those feelings. I'm cross that they are all of a sudden visiting so frequently now there is something of interest to them.

OP posts:
user9425 · 12/07/2017 23:13

Italian thank you for your lovely posts, that's a good way to approach it with DH, I will try that in the morning. Sadly, once he gets his head up his arse, it takes a while to get it out again. I think the sweeping up energy was fuelled mainly by rage! I'm not normally that diligent!

OP posts:
KeiraKnightleyActsWithHerTeeth · 12/07/2017 23:19

You both gave birth?

emmyrose2000 · 13/07/2017 01:12

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,?

I agree.

All this expecting other people to cook new parents meals, do their housework etc is ridiculous. It's something I've only ever heard of on forums like this. I don't know anybody in real life who acts this way.

user9425 · 13/07/2017 01:27

I've no idea where people have got the impression I was expecting her to cook or iron or clean came from. Although, to that end.....3 of my friends have cooked for us and left food parcels on the door step and I know for a fact that if my own mum was here at that sort of time then she'd be offering to bath the other dc or at least make her own tea and not just sit on her arse being a general hinderance for 2 hours.

OP posts:
Italiangreyhound · 13/07/2017 01:35

emmyrose2000 when we had our daughter friends brought us meals, it was lovely. Visitors should make their own tea and not expect to be waited on. That's all, especially if the new mum is alone.

Plus in my book you never visit a new mum without asking if it is a convenient time to call.

I wonder if there are cultural differences in some places. Where I come from no one would just turn up at a new baby's home.

Out2pasture · 13/07/2017 01:43

except she was cuddling the newborn...keeping the little one snuggled and sleeping so YOU could get on doing what you do best.
would you have preferred them let the newborn cry it out, or put the older ones in the tub and wind them up the way only grand dads know how ;)

aurynne · 13/07/2017 01:53

Your PILs (BOTH of them, not just MIL) were rude to drop by without asking. However, you should have let them know it was not a good time to visit, instead of seething in silence for 2 hours and then be passive aggressive and ignore them. Your DH must have felt so happy they were making an obvious effort after so many years feeling left out!

I also find it weird that any visitor that comes for a couple of hours is expected to clean/cook/make cups of tea?

aurynne · 13/07/2017 01:55

"not just sit on her arse being a general hinderance (sic) for 2 hours."

Now you're really being nasty.

Why are you focusing on MIL only? Wasn't your FIL also there? Why is there no expectation of him to cook and help while MIL held the baby? I suspect there is more story about your relationship with MIL we are not hearing about.

aaaaargghhhhelpme · 13/07/2017 02:06

Op has already said the relationship between pil is strained. They don't treat op and DH in the same way as dhs siblings. They don't visit.

There's something incredibly rude about someone (anyone) only visiting when it suits them - and not even checking to see if that's ok. Let alone adding a newborn baby into the mix

ThumbWitchesAbroad · 13/07/2017 02:20

Next time they come, just pre-empt everything.

"oo PILs, are you here again, fab, I was just in need of a cuppa, could you put the kettle on please? You know where everything is, don't you? Thanks!"
"Oh, I'm sorry, the children are just about to go to bed - go through to the kitchen and make yourselves a cuppa while I put them to bed"

They were rude - and I suspect you absented yourself to prevent yourself from being rude back.

They are family but they're not behaving like family - they're behaving like they should be treated as honoured guests, which they're not, they're family. Can't have it both ways - if you want treating like honoured guests, then you're not family and you should at the very least ask when it's convenient to show up. Want to behave like family? Then DO it, and help out when you get there!

user9425 · 13/07/2017 04:44

Aurynne thanks for pointing out the (sic) I'm sorry that accidental extra letter offends you so much! Hmm

As for why most of it is towards my MIL is a long and boring story but in a nutshell she is the driving force behind the lack of visits, the crap Birthday effort. She is the one who is spotted driving past the end of our road to visit other siblings etc etc. She is also female and must understand how it feels in the early days of giving birth so I'd have thought she'd be slightly more sensitive to inconvenient and unannounced visits having had so many children herself.

I don't feel it's my place to tell my husbands parents that it's not a good time etc, as I don't want to scare them away seeing as though visits are rare and that's DH's decision to make. I wasn't being passive aggressive but as someone else has rightly pointed out, if I'd have stayed in the same room then I definitely would have been rude and I didn't want to do that so I scarpered.

OP posts:

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GirlcalledJames · 13/07/2017 05:23

It's strange that they would change their habits so drastically. Is the new baby a boy and the first two were girls? Are they newly retired and bored? Are other family members away, leaving them with nobody to visit?

Supersoaryflappypigeon · 13/07/2017 05:48

I get it OP. I really do. My PIL (both sets as DH parents divorced and remarried when he was young) were relatively absent until we had DD. All of a sudden, once we'd brought her home, we couldn't get rid of them.

It was difficult for my husband because he's always come second to his sister, and all of a sudden he was the special one. I was sick to death of not being able to sit with my boobs out in my c-section pants and bond with my baby in peace, and we ended up arguing about it. Now I look back I realise that his reaction to my feelings about the situation was because he knew that it was a passing thing and he wouldn't be "the favourite" once the new baby novelty had worn off, but he wanted to enjoy a bit of parental attention. It makes me sad.

Anyway, congratulations on your new baby Smile

Squishedstrawberry4 · 13/07/2017 05:51

They are not guests, they are family. And as such they need to integrate into any existing routine - bedtime routines/baths. I do think it was very selfish just to plonk themselves down on the sofa with the new baby watching you run around and instead should have asked how they can help. You probably need to lower your expectations of them so that you feel less disappointed. Next time can you make sure you're sitting with the baby and ask them to make the teas/bath the little ones.

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