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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:
Adnerb95 · 13/07/2017 05:51

There are two separate issues here

  • if they feel they have to "make an appt" that may be the reason for not visiting as much as you would like so try and be flexible on that. Otherwise YABU.

  • being waited on hand and foot - should be possible to find a good, non-confrontational way of making it clear that guests to a new baby household have to muck in and help if they are not going to add to your stress, so YANBU.
charlestonchaplin · 13/07/2017 06:25

A cup of tea is hardly being waited on hand and foot. Your husband was happy to make it. How much did that inconvenience you, really? I think people who come on Internet forums and leave with rigid ideas about the right way of doing things are destined to be perpetually discontented. People will always fail to meet 'internet best practice'. Rather than working with what you have, people will always disappoint you because they are not filling the very specific role you have decided they should occupy.

And how cruel of the OP to crush her husband's happiness at his parents visiting. That's not love. Love is when you don't draw attention to your PIL's deficiencies (that cannot be addressed and so must be accepted) because doing so hurts your husband. How can it be loving to essentially say to him, 'They don't care about you. They're only here to see the baby.' Let him come to his own conclusions on that matter.

grandOlejukeofYork · 13/07/2017 09:49

They are not guests, they are family

They don't live there, ergo they are guests.

gotthemoononastick · 13/07/2017 10:35

'A general hindrance for two hours'
Oh dear.....

The chaplin is wise and spot on.

Littlechocola · 13/07/2017 10:42

Next time say, 'fantastic to see you, you can help with bath/bed/story time. By the way, you know where the kettle is. Help yourself'.
I would have reacted in the same way as you'.

Icallbullshit3 · 13/07/2017 11:02

Be more direct... say "you know where the kettle is please help yourself and make yourself at home."

SheGotOffThePlane · 13/07/2017 11:05

I so hear what you're saying OP. My MIL is the exact same, except I don't have a 3rd newborn in the mix.
I've started my own thread about her behaviour before, but since then it's transpired that she's taken the hump because we were apparently unwelcoming on one of the 3 occasions since Christmas that she's deigned to bestow her presence on us since Christmas.
Just concentrate on your own little family and continue to be self sufficient. That's my plan anyway.
After all, the visits will soon die down to the way they've previously been.
Self preservation - also for your older two, who if they're like mine, never have any expectations to see their paternal grandmother. And what it boils down to is that she doesn't give a shit.

Gottagetmoving · 13/07/2017 11:18

I don't know why some people just don't write a list of rules that they expect everyone to follow.

  1. How often they should or should not visit.
  2. What they should do/ not do when they do visit.
  3. How often they are allowed to visit other family members.

And any other rules you may want to impose.
Ginlinessisnexttogodliness · 13/07/2017 11:29

Sounds as if it is all on their terms, when it's convenient, a new baby, a nice Sunday lunch or a day out.

My in laws are a bit like this. When they don't have anything else on we are flavour of the month, or when a baby is born. We don't get any real help from them which is fine but they are constantly asking and then if we do take them up in it all they do is come and sit on their bottoms requiring feeding, whilst behaving as though washing some mugs up is the domestic equivalent of splitting the atom. They also ring at the worst times i.e. Six pm between dinner and bath time, normally for some advice about something ludicrous or just because they have eaten and fancy a chat. I have stopped answering the phone. When my husband had a fall out with his brother who lives not far away they went over for a big family meal to which we were not invited and then agreed not to tell him, even though they know he'd be upset. It caused no end of problems all because they genuinely only ever think of themselves.

I'm quite relieved to be having another baby as it means there is not enough room at their house to go and stay. I politely turned down the last visit which involved pregnant me, my husband, two toddlers and our dog all staying in one room so that their cat wasn't put out.
I have learned to stop caring as they have hides of rhinos. These people sound very similar.
Personally i would simply say, it's great that you love the kids and want to come and see them but as you know a new baby brings lots of upheaval and chaos. Would you mind just giving us a ring and seeing if we are up to an impromptu visit, thanks.
Then head them off at the pass.

vikingprincess81 · 13/07/2017 11:32

OP, I don't think you were BU at all.
PILs only want to come 'play' when there's a new shiny toy around - that's the problem really eh? And DH takes it out on you, because he knows this, and he knows, deep down, they won't be interested once the shine has gone from your lovely, and, to you, perpetually shiny dc3 brand new baby.
It's frustrating because they came at the hell hour I swear toddler turn into demons then, and parents need privacy to lose their shit in peace and didn't seem to get that it wasn't the best time to visit.
How are things today with DH? And congrats on your new shiny baby Cake

Ginlinessisnexttogodliness · 13/07/2017 11:32

@Gottagetmoving I think the main reason people end up having to do this - though I know you are being tongue in cheek - is because there are always some people, namely in laws I'm afraid to say - that take the piss and have insufficient emotional intelligence to appreciate that others' personal boundaries are not defined to hurt them or put them out, but more about what is sensible and considerate.

Why does not wanting three unannounced visits when you've just had a baby make you ungrateful?

Gottagetmoving · 13/07/2017 11:49

I know what you mean Ginlines but everyone is different and are ok with different attitudes to visiting etc.
I would think that family should be able to be honest with each other and be able to talk about these things.All these people who put up with things they don't like without daring to talk about it?
I don't think I would want anyone visiting me that I couldn't talk to like adults. People don't know if you don't tell them and you cannot have expectations of what people think is ok.

Ginlinessisnexttogodliness · 13/07/2017 12:02

Well yes in in ideal world, but if like me you have tried just talking to them as a reasonable person you'll see it doesn't always work.

Every time I have tried there are hot sulking faces and tears, seriously it is like you are dealing with preschoolers. They don't get it because they can't see things from anyone else's perspective. If they want or don't want to do something it's fine that's their right but this sentiment is not reciprocated.

For example, they rang one afternoon just as we had packed the car to go and visit friends for a few hours and said they were in the area and could they come and see the children? Naturally we said sorry but we're just on our way out of the house had we known of course but it's too short notice. This was taken as me being "grumpy, aloof and anti social" their exact words in a text to their son. You can't expect people like this to take the hint, and more often than not they don't.

user9425 · 13/07/2017 12:03

Viking absolutely right - I frequently lose my shit between 5-7pm and DH and I work as a tag team during that time to get shit done. When one is taken out of the mix to make cups of tea/welcome visitors then it heaps it all on to the other. This is fine on occasion but for the third time in a week and when not expected I just got peed off. I'm glad most people on this thread can understand that.

I said to DH this morning can we not fall out about this and he agreed. He said he did actually have a missed call when he checked his phone later from PIL but he understood why I was annoyed. Case closed. I can't imagine they'll do it again as I think they know they'd overstepped the mark. If they do do it again, then at least DH clearly knows how I feel now and will probably/hopefully step in and say something to them.

I really do love my PIL. They accept me for who I am and I accept them for who they are so I never normally criticise or put my DH in any kind of awkward position. However on this occasion I was just a tad narked!

OP posts:
WhatchaMaCalllit · 13/07/2017 12:03

Having read the thread, the one thing that I don't think has been asked yet is this -
Were they on their way to/way back from visiting (or helping out) one of your DH's siblings, based on the time they called? Are these visits slotting into the PIL time schedule or someone elses?
Calling in at 5pm isn't that late for a visit, but they could have phoned or sent a text message asking "Hi user or user DH, we're nearby and would love a visit to see the grandkids. Is this an ok time to pop by?"
I think there are a few apologies to be made based on the latest visit -
PIL need to apologise for the unexpected visit (3rd in the week) and you should apologise to them for not being in the room when they were there. You & your DH must explain to them that 5pm-7pm is your wind-down time and the kids need this time so they are not going to bed overexcited etc. Your DH needs to apologise to you for calling you a bitch too.

WhatchaMaCalllit · 13/07/2017 12:06

Xposted with you user Smile

Gottagetmoving · 13/07/2017 12:50

They accept me for who I am and I accept them for who they are

But you don't. Confused
And they don't know who you are because you are not honest with them about your feelings about the visit.

Gottagetmoving · 13/07/2017 12:54

You can't expect people like this to take the hint, and more often than not they don't

Again, I do know what you mean but never hint. Be quite blunt and their reaction is there own problem. I wouldn't have apologised that I was going out. I would have cheerily said "oh, what a shame, if you had let us know you were coming we would not have arranged to go out"
Only a moron would blame you and not themselves.

Ginlinessisnexttogodliness · 13/07/2017 13:50

@Gottagetmoving I did say that!

Gottagetmoving · 13/07/2017 14:07

@Gottagetmoving I did say that!

I know,..and that is all you can say, but leave out the apology Grin
It is odd how we care what people think and try not to upset them,.. and yet those people don't care what they say or do to us?

Italiangreyhound · 13/07/2017 14:22

charlestonchaplin "How much did that inconvenience you, really?" Maybe the OP was looking forward to time with her new baby and husband and older kids. Maybe the house needed a tidy and she was not expecting a visit. Having guests, be they extended family or otherwise, descend unannounced is very annoying for some.

"Rather than working with what you have, people will always disappoint you because they are not filling the very specific role you have decided they should occupy." They are doing just as they like, despite it causing upset to their son (favouring his siblings, visiting them and not the OP's dh) and now dropping in unannounced and staying for a really long time (not nice for OP, and maybe the other kids have noticed the grandparents are only interested now there is a baby on the secene. The GPs are just suiting themselves, why are you interested in defending that sort of rude behaviour?

"And how cruel of the OP to crush her husband's happiness at his parents visiting. That's not love." The OP did what she wished to do in her own home, as much as she could despite presence of in-laws and her husband, who has not just give birth, saught to have a go about how he perceived her behaviour. I'd say that is not very loving either.

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