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Husband's family ignoring me after baby (long - sorry)

(44 Posts)
Wertrude Sun 18-Nov-12 02:44:14

Hi, I'm new so be nice :D

I had my first baby (DS) 10 weeks ago. Before that, I have always got on reasonably well with my in laws. There were a few issues as they are very different to my parents in that they are a bit interfering and can be quite blunt and abrasive, but no real bust ups, and I thought that they were quite fond of me, as I am (or was) of them.

Anyway, roll on to the birth of ds, and it is like I don't exist!! I had life threatening complications during the birth that resulted in an emergency C section, and me and ds were in hospital on antibiotics for a while after, so it was quite upsetting and traumatic. They didn't show any concern for me at all when visiting in hospital, just couldn't wait to get their hands on my son.

The night I cam back from hospital, I was exhausted, in pain and terrified about the first night with baby without the midwives on call (I'm sure you can all identify with that!!), and I found dh's family at our flat waiting for us!!! They had thrown a surprise 'welcome home' party for me... Now, this is where I feel I might be being a bit ungrateful and diva-like? Honest opinions appreciated. I just didn't want to crowds and noise etc, and they wanted to wake the baby up at the moment I was cutting the cake that they had bought for me (which I ended up serving to everyone when all I wanted to do was curl up in bed).

Whenever I come over there I have ds snatched out of my hands without as much as a hello, and MIL completely takes over the baby and acts as if SHE is the mum!!! She calls him 'my boy' and 'my baby', and does EVERYTHING - changing, feeding ect (another sore point as I failed to breast feed sad ). I'm not even allowed to comfort him when he is crying. If he ever does end up in my arms, it 's not long before I get a family member hovering over me, and eventually saying 'here, I'll have him', or 'give him to me, you get him all the time'.

All the time I'm there, it's like I don't exist or matter. I feel like a baby making machine who has served her purpose for now after giving them their precious grandson, and I am now superfluous (until the next one which, as instructed by FIL, must be another boy).

The only time I get spoken to is when I'm being given unwanted advice and lectures about child rearing (which is mostly outdated rubbish), or worse, being CRITICISED for what I'm doing. MIL has calmed down with this a bit after I started asserting myself, but FIL seems to be getting worse. It's almost as if he is annoyed that I am ds' mother and he lives with me. It's as if he would prefer it if ds lived with them and I was out of the picture!

DH has noticed this and has defended me when FIL has been really out of order with criticisms (e.g. 'I don't thing my grandson is being looked after properly'). WTF???? But when he challenged his dad, FIL just said I was being 'over sensitive'. Uh, yea - |I'm a new mum, of course I'm going be sensitive to that comment!!!

All this coupled with the fact that I was bombarded with unscheduled visits in the early weeks, and made to feel evil when DH asked them to cool it, all of which resulted in me being so stressed out and low. I'm sure it's partly why the breastfeeding didn't work out.

DH is really supportive and he defends me and has my back, but it doesn't seem to make much of a difference, and I can't help feeling hurt at the sudden change in behaviour from MIL and FIL (i.e. the ignoring).

Thank you if you've got this far!!

akaemmafrost Sun 18-Nov-12 23:01:37

When I had ds he was the first grandchild. Ex has 3 siblings. Hours after having him everyone turned up at the hospital. My SIL had a bad cold but MIL insisted she come, it would be fine etc. MIL getting her big family photo op was more important than my PFB being exposed to a horrible cold virus at one day old. I still seethe about that to this day.

duffybeatmetoit Sun 18-Nov-12 22:45:19

My MIL was very similar and it continued for a long time. Whenever they visited she would take DD out of whatever I had put her in and dress her in something she had brought. If we went out for a meal she would frantically pull wipes, baby cutlery, bibs etc out of her bag with a look to suggest that I wouldn't have thought of bringing any of it.

She also wanted to be the first to take DD to the zoo, beach, santa etc. When I pointed out that she'd already had the chance to do it with her own dcs she said that they'd been badly behaved and it had spoilt it but my dd was easy to take anywhere. A wise friend pointed out that dd would never remember these trips (all before 18mths). Friend was quite right dd only remembers the things we did with her when she was a bit older which has upset mil no end.

Pick your battles. Be thankful that your OH is supportive. Good luck and enjoy your baby

Wertrude Sun 18-Nov-12 22:43:44

Ladies, thank you so much for all your replies!

I wish I could respond to you all individually, but my head is so all over the place at the moment! It's such a relief to be reassured that I ANBU (or hormonal!), and that I'm not the only one who has suffered from crazy PILs after their births.

Thanks so much for the advice - I am going to start asserting myself more and demanding ds back when I want him etc. MIL is admittedly quite supportive of me as a mum, and she made a point of telling me I am doing a good job and not to listen to FIL after he made that comment (although she would never dare to challenge him to his face). I think she's just crazy with excitement, and a bit selfish too, so she tries to push it as much as she can. Well, I'm going to start pushing back smile

As for the impromptu visits, thankfully they stopped a while ago once dh had a word. But I will start limiting the frequency and duration of visits both ways, especially me coming to them, as once I'm there they make it really difficult for me to leave and guilt trip me, so having (real or made up ;) ) plans as an excuse to leave/kick them out is a really good idea.

In answer to one poster's questions, FIL's comment came about because ds was crying when dh and I were settling him to sleep in another room. This was after MIL had tried to get him to sleep on her lap in the living room with bright lights, people talking and the TV blaring out!! I suggested that we take ds somewhere quieter, and of course she got the grump and so did FIL. We came back in after a while once he was asleep, and that's when FIL landed the bombshell. He said that ds always seems to cry with 'you two' and never MIL, so we must not be looking after him properly. Grrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!

Another poster suggested that dh say 'we' instead of just mentioning my name when he talks to his parents about stuff - I think that's important and will mention it to dh. I agree with another poster in that he could defend me a lot more - he persuades me to let some things go because he 'knows his parents better than me' and knows which battles to fight and which to leave (in his defence they can me very stubborn and difficult, especially his dad), so I think a lot of it has got to start coming from me now. I will just have to tread carefully whilst still standing my ground. Tricky, hmmm....

To the poster that is expecting and worried that this could happen to you - you are doing the right thing by setting boundaries and expectations NOW!! I tried my hardest for dh to do this with his parents BEFORE the birth, but he didn't listen and I couldn't convince him that they might be a problem. I predicted all of this, but they have actually managed to surpass my expectations in terms of craziness!! Anyway, dh is really sorry now and swears the first few weeks will be different if we have another lo in the future...

Another question answered - no this is not their first grandchild - they have four others from their FAVOURITE son, which is why I find their behaviour so bizzare. It isn't me or dh being paranoid - his dad has actually admitted that dh's brother is his favourite son (nice). Both MIL and FIL have said that they have 'never felt such love for a child before' (addressing ds). I just find it so weird. SIL is expecting with BIL so I'm hoping that takes the heat of us once their lo is born!

Thanks again so much for all your advice and support smile sorry for another huge post!

Will give you all an update soon

xxx

hiviolet Sun 18-Nov-12 22:17:19

My stomach lurched reading what you wrote, OP. I hope you manage to at least get more assertive with them and demand your baby back when he needs you.

My ILs have changed a lot since DD was born, and yes they totally get on my tits hovering and fussing over her constantly, but it's nothing compared to what you're describing.

Shakey1500 Sun 18-Nov-12 22:11:58

Lawks a Lordy, that party! Just the thing a tired, emotional and in pain new mum needs-NOT.

I was so nervous bringing DS home. Absolutely unprepared, dazed, out of it, numb, sore, shaky bag of nerves. But no, my parents (long story) insisted on bloody videoing me bathing DS for the very first time (I hadn't done it in the hospital. So there was me, DS, DM, DF, Dsis, my niece and DH all in the room while I was struggling to not drop or drown DS. Five years on and I still want to weep watching my exhausted, zombie like face, close to tears on the screen. Everyone knows how I felt about it now and they're full of apologies, should have realised, thought I was ok etc.

You will find the strength to put them in their place, good luck thanks

LimeLeafLizard Sun 18-Nov-12 22:05:39

Panda that is an admirable display of empathy, joining MN just to help the OP! Hope you like it now you're here... welcome.

Pandabee11 Sun 18-Nov-12 21:59:38

After reading your post I was reminded of my own ILs behaviour in the months after my DD was born. My story was very similar to yours, although it was 12 years ago now.

I actually joined Mumsnet to give you a reply.

The site below will give you the tools needed to set boundaries that your family (You, DH and DS) need.

204.197.244.120/~mother1/forum/showthread.php/10957-The-Mother-s-Bill-of-Rights

I wish you luck thanks

pigletmania Sun 18-Nov-12 21:49:51

Oh no they sound absolutely awful. Keep asserting yourself. If they try to take baby from you, say no sorry. You are his mum you call the shots.

thecatsminion Sun 18-Nov-12 21:18:29

Britmodgirl - wha-wha-wha? Why did she pee in a bucket in your kitchen? What did she say afterwards?

I liked the Muslims thing too!

Jacksmania Sun 18-Nov-12 21:14:38

PMSL @ welcoming committee from our local mosque gringringrin

Was helpless with giggles reading grin

Euphemia Sun 18-Nov-12 18:51:46

the sofa set up with Muslims

I'm sorry, the mental image this autocorrect fail caused has made me giggle til I cried! grin

SuffolkNWhat Sun 18-Nov-12 18:46:11

VIX no they are mine all mine, I am very grateful for my wonderful in laws!

britmodgirl Sun 18-Nov-12 10:49:02

Wow.....delurked to say YANBU poor you! ladies above have given some good advice.
I have an 8month old now and just wanted to add that please dont underestimate how sensitive and fragile you might feel at the moment. That moment you get home from hospital is scary! to have a welcome committee sounds crap beyond crap. These people sound self centred, excited & misguided. You will get stronger and start to feel more assertive and family settle down. Weirdly I do get a lot of critical comments from my own family which I am just getting to point of volleying back.
Just to make you laugh :- I had been home 12 hours when the inlaws decended with loads of food bringing with them someone who I had never met before to join us for lunch which was random. Then granny needed the loo so peed in a bucket in my kitchen despite having been near disabled loo 5mins before! it was all random, unwelcome and I havent seen them since!
Don't be afraid to tell people to PISS OFF!

CatsRule Sun 18-Nov-12 10:12:44

I could have written the majority of your post except my inlaws have never liked me...or their own son (their own words and their actions prove it)...and they expected me to hand over my ds!

Ahahaha...how naive were they! The only advice I can give you is to toughen up and speak up. It is hard, I had 18 years worth of crap before ds but I just wasn't willing to go down that road of being bullied. They got a shock.

Nobody else is going to protect that tiny baby better than you...you are the mum whether they like it or not.

They might be excited grandparents but they have also been parents so should understand your position if they truly cared for you, your dh and your baby. A baby needs it's mother.

Don't take shit...before ds I wouldn't have said boo to anyone. Now I dare anyone, especially inlaws who don't like me, to interfere!

Wow...that was a bit of a rant...familiar feelngs coming back!!!

Good luck and enjoy your baby...YOUR baby!

hermioneweasley Sun 18-Nov-12 09:42:59

Limit your visits to them and pretend to be out if they visit you. Also your DH needs to be much clearer with them about what's ok and what isn't when you do see them,

lovescake83 Sun 18-Nov-12 09:31:57

You poor thing. My PIL were exactly the same and I felt as you do, that you are being ungrateful. You are NOT being ungrateful. Continue as you are doing but with faith in yourself that you are doing SO well in spite of these setbacks and just believe it will get better. Once you are strong enough to stand firm and look them hard in the eye as you say No, give him to me, he wants his mother, they will back off. It did get better for me and it will for you smile

GreatGardenstuff Sun 18-Nov-12 09:16:25

Poor OP, they sound awful. I think the only thing to do is to really limit the time you and baby spend with them. Assert yourself with DPs backing when you are with them, and take your baby back whenever you want to. The minute they do or say anything unacceptable (like your FILs horrible comment), tell them it's unacceptable and leave, or tell them to leave. If they sort themselves out then they see more of your new family. If not, not.

VIX1980 Sun 18-Nov-12 09:12:13

OP Are you me? seriously i read your post and nodded at every single thing you said.

after a 4 day labour the last thing i wanted was a party in the reception at the hospital but thats exactly what i got, each and every time i was turned away at the hospital all the in laws where there waiting for me, seeing every single contraction and doing fuck all but stare and say things like, oh im so excited to meet our new baby.

I digress anyway! mil went mad the first few months, she sent people around to "have a word" with us if we hadnt visited in a few days, She did a lot of other crazy stuff that to be honest made me absolutely hate her, my baby was in intensive care for the 1st week, she would come to the hospital sit with him for an hour then pop in to say bye as she was leaving.

I do think its pretty normal with the mil (although whoever had the mil who cleaned her house and didnt try to snatch the baby of her, can we please swap smile). You do need to stand your ground, 5 months on and im now starting to do it myself, i have the baby snatched out my hands as soon as i walk in, i now just say, can i get through the door before you snatch him, i honestly dont think they knew they were doing it, so saying that makes them think twice about their behaviour. Just las night fil visited drunk on his way home from the pub, ds is now teething and was crying in pain, i said give him here a sec while i sort him out, he says no its ok hes talking to me, i asked again and said you can have him back dont worry, he said no again, so i snatched him out of his arms, to put bonjela on his gums and told fil that im not going to sit there watching my baby in pain and listening to him cry just cos you want a cuddle. It honestly does come with time though cos id never have said anything like that at the beginning.

Its really good that your dh is on your side, 10 weeks is still really early on and your emotions are still settling down, so its good to have someone looking out for you, unfortunately a lot of women dont have the partner to say things on their behalf as they're too afraid of upsetting mummy. My relationship has changed with my i laws competely now as i think of the birth and the first couple of months had to be all about them. Mil's usually cant understand that daughters are going to be closer to their own mothers either, comes as a complete shock for them. dont let them ruin your time with your newborn, start standing up for yourself and take your baby when you want him, not when they tell you you can have him! good luck op grin, you'll be fine and your doing a brilliant job! if you werent taking proper care of him you wouldnt be on here asking for advice and be worried about it! sorry your fil sounds like a nob!

OpheliaPayneAgain Sun 18-Nov-12 08:35:41

I'm half wondering if its just boy mums this happens too

Well, the relationship between mother and daughter is different, your own mother is the only female you want around in general. She has a life time of knowing you, how you tick, and would know your boundaries.

Your MIL, unfortunately, will always remain an outsider (if this forum is anything to go by), two very different women with different experiences and maybe not shared values or opinions.

LaCiccolina Sun 18-Nov-12 08:23:37

My mil is nuts. Changed the day I had dd. She is bearable just only now 2yrs later. It's taken those 2yrs for dh to realise she's not being kind but frankly creepy. In 2010 the bbc ran a drama where the mil bumped off the new mum for the baby. I couldn't watch as it felt like my life. It's a joke on my side (v quietly!) that should I kark it they check with a lawyer for a letter accusing her....!

I'm rather interested to see wot happens with dd 2 due jan. I have a suspicion she's not actually interested. Said some very odd things recently.

Best tips? Visits are short. Just lunch. Ideally these are shared. At urs the stuff is in unfamiliar places. It's always worse at hers verbally but does mean u can control when u leave. It's a trade off. As babe gets bigger u have to take advantage and say u and dh go out for a bit to shops or similar and leave babe with her (assuming she's doting/nuts not scary nuts). Also biggest tip avoid alcohol if poss. I used to drink with mil pre dd. I rarely do now. I can't. She invariably will and means I keep the upper hand and high ground. It's blooming irritating but wen she's maudlin about how she rarely sees dd if I'm sober I can respond better. Or at least know ill mean wot I say without regret.

Wish u luck and hugs. I'm half wondering if its just boy mums this happens too!!

How awful for you, OP. A silver lining is that your DP seems to be on your side! There are so many on these threads who are too soft to speak to their mothers.

I think you need to build a set of stock phrases "pass him here, sounds like he needs Mum" when he cries etc.

Let them stew at the moment - their attitude was rude so I wouldnt pander to them now.

Oh and try to laugh off any "next one must be a boy" comments "ah FIL if only we could choose we would pick a girl specifically to piss you off "

sleepneeded Sun 18-Nov-12 08:12:17

Wertrude - I hope you are getting some sleep, and congratulations.

NorthernNobody makes a good point - they are not doing what you need.

I really don't get people who don't support mums as that is what baby's need but many people on this planet are pretty self centred!

How weird the party thing shock - when I came home from hospital (after a traumatic birth) I remember sitting on my bed, feeling overwhelmed and having a rush of hormones like the baby blues over a couple of hours - and it was emotions that I have never felt before or since - so I was really glad it was just me, my DH and the baby.

My MIL (who lives overseas) so we have respite! sounds similar.
She made me feel like a baby machine. In the end my Dh coped by kind of laughing. Only interested in her grandson. Does not speak to me.

When my son was a baby she used to physically try get in the way - so bizarre. Here is one example - when my baby was at nursery I was still bfing when he was one so I would pick him up to collect, take him home and know that he needed a big feed. She'd interject and try pull him out of my arms - saying "he doesn't need a feed, here let me hold him, play with me" - I'd have to go - "No he needs a feed". It was awful.

Now my baby is a toddler she skypes him with promises of taking him to disneyland - just her and my toddler ofcourse -..... yes like we are really going to send our precious cargo on a plane to meet her and let her loose with him.

Anyhow get your DH to screen visitors - or pretend you are not in. If they turn up then say - sorry you have a medical appointment, baby weighing clinic or got to get ready to go somewhere.

You can try build your own support network - other mums with new babies and so on when you are feeling stronger.

Here is a brew and another brew and some thanks

OwedToAutumn Sun 18-Nov-12 08:09:29

I agree with what others have said about being assertive about taking your child back. If they really care about their DGC they will allow him to bond with his mother, as that is the best thing for him.

I'm not sure what your DH has said to them, but it needs to be "We feel....." rather than "Wertrude feels.....". It needs to be clear that it's not him vocalising for you, but that you and he are a team. It would be very say for him to shift the blame for what he is saying to you, to keep himself in the clear, IYSWIM.

(I am not implying he has done this, but it's something to consider.)

SuffolkNWhat Sun 18-Nov-12 08:05:29

Oh FFS autocorrect, there were MUSLINS on my sofa not a welcoming party from our local mosque. blush

SuffolkNWhat Sun 18-Nov-12 08:04:32

YANBU, my ILs were there when we got back and here the comparison stops. They had cleaned the house (needed doing) had food in the oven for us, the sofa set up with Muslims, drinks, cushions everything I needed to relax and feed. They sent me off to bed (WITH DD) when I looked tired and cleared up after themselves and left a beautiful card and gift for me on the kitchen table.

After that my Mum came to visit and was the perfect bodyguard.

Your DH needs to stand right up to them and tell them to back off. You are still recovering from your birth experience and I would definitely cool off the visits until they get the message (easier said than done I know)

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