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    Old 02-03-2006, 06:35 PM   #1
    Lin35
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    Dealing with the Mother in Law

    Hi ya. My mother in law is driving me crazy! Please help me! My partner and I are 36 years old and having our first baby. I am 39 weeks pregnant and so the day is hopefully soon upon us. I am so looking forward to it being a very special day for us given that I have waited to have a baby for so long and because the pregnancy hasn't been particularly easy.

    However, my partner's mother is being extremely overbearing and utterly assuming a major role in the birth and afterwards. She 'told' me that if my partner couldn't be reached I was to call her and she would come and get me AND help me through labour! On the face of it, this is a nice offer but it isn't an offer, it's more of a HUGE assumption that I would even want her there. I am not close to her and have in fact sought to keep my distance as she is quite invasive and I am a grown woman who has her own mother to deal with thank you very much! So anyway, I did not want to hurt her feelings but made it clear that my partner would be there no matter what - thanks for the 'offer' though. Have rounded up my best mate to be my 'Number 2' in case of emergencies anyway but if that happens some explaining will have to be done. She has already been complaining to everyone that I haven't included her in the pregnancy.

    My main problem is that I think there will be major ructions with her if we don't tell her I'm in labour and/or get her to come immediately after the birth. But I really don't want that. I want the first few hours of my baby's life to be about us (me, partner and baby) as a family sharing it and getting to know each other a bit as well as giving me some time to recover. She will be really upset and my partner wants to avoid problems with her and his family so is having difficulty understanding where I am coming from. We don't have any of this with my family as they are thousands of miles away - they may not even get to see this child for months! But they would also respect our position.

    Sorry this is so long but has anyone else been dealing with similar issues with inlaws? I don't want to hurt her feelings but she has to know this is not her child but ours and learn her place is as a grandmother. Part of her problem is her daughter involved her in everything and still does so she expects it of me too. I do want her to have a relationship with our child of course but I want us to be able to bring up our child our own way without her constant interference.

    Any advice or suggestions on how to handle this please?

     
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    Old 02-03-2006, 06:43 PM   #2
    polbilly
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    Re: Dealing with the Mother in Law

    wow sounds like the story of my life! so good to know im not alone!! i know what you mean about they need to asume the role of grandparent and realize that this isnt their child. I to have been dealing with the same problems these are our children and they will be raised how we want them to be she will either have to accept it or get over it this is the birth of your first child and should be the way that you want it to be. my mother in law did the same thing she wanted to be my labor coach and i told her my husband was going to do it. then she wanted to be in the room we said nobody was going to be in there (even though i wanted my mom) i didnt want to make anyone mad. so sick in there and know your not alone!

    best of luck
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    Old 02-03-2006, 07:24 PM   #3
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    Re: Dealing with the Mother in Law

    I wish I put my foot down before I gave birth. The thing is, things were fine before I had the baby. There wasn't any meddling, but my MIL doesn't speak english either, so we had no arguments. I went in for a scheduled c-section, I wanted her to come, but my husband was in the room. It was nice having her there since my mom wasn't to help with the baby.

    Unbenounced (sp?) to me, it was planned that SHE was staying overnight with me. DH works late nights everynight, so he had to work. The kicker is he has a family business and I guess his dad decided it would be best for his wife to stay with me and hubby work.

    Now get this, she doesn't speak english, I don't speak her language, and she stayed with me to help out with the baby. The first night was fine because I was tired from the surgery, but she was unable to understand that just because I had surgery didn't mean I couldn't hold MY baby. So getting her to not take the baby after I fed him was hair pulling! I wanted to hold him and bond with him. Apparently in her country women stay in bed for 2 wks after a natural birth, so she thought I was done for!!

    Well, if one night and all day the following day wasn't bad enough, she stayed a second night too!! I was floored! DH didn't even discuss it with me. When I found out what the plan was I ripped into him, but he didn't have the guts to tell his mom that I didn't want her there. I told him I want no one and we argued, but he won. She stayed.

    I was on the phone with him constantly in the middle of the night for translation. The baby was crying so I wanted to hold him and comfort him. She kept taking him from me. I'd say no and she still would grab him from me and he'd keep crying. So, I got really ******, as horrible as it sounds, I pretended I didn't hear him when he was crying because I knew she wouldn't give him to me anyway. Here's the kicker, she came over to me, while I was fake sleeping, and started to undo the tie to my gown. She was going to put him on my breast!!!!!
    You would think a mother of 3 would understand that a newborn baby is most likely crying because he needs his mother if nothing else is working! Finally, I got him to explain and she gave me the baby and there he slept the rest of the night.
    Needless to say, dh stayed with me the final night. If he didn't, his mom would have gone out the window.

    Last edited by roxyfoxy; 02-03-2006 at 07:29 PM.

     
    Old 02-04-2006, 12:14 AM   #4
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    Re: Dealing with the Mother in Law

    Sorry to hear you're having so many problems. Pregnancy seems to bring out the best in some family members and the worst in others!!

    I would suggest perhaps inviting your mother in law out to lunch, and then explaining everything that you've told us - that this has been a difficult pregnancy for you, and that initially, you want it to just be yourself, your partner, and the baby. But let her know that once you're all home, she is welcome to come and visit. If you're in a public place, she should be less likely to cause a scene, and should therefore be able to listen to you rationally.

    I'm glad I don't have that problem....my in laws live five hours away, but I get along great with my MIL and would have no problem with her coming out here for the birth, but I don't think she will, as my husband's little sister is six and I don't think MIL would want to pull her out of school - FIL is often busy with work, so leaving my SIL at home wouldn't be an option. My mother lives four hours away, but she is planning on taking two weeks vacation from work so that she can be here, and I'm grateful for that because this is our first child and I think hubby will be scared out of his mind when the time comes!

    Good luck!

     
    Old 02-04-2006, 03:22 AM   #5
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    Re: Dealing with the Mother in Law

    Hey! I know exactly how you feel, but my issue was with my own parents rather than my in-laws. My daughter (now 6 months old) is their first grandchild and they were so excited. My Mum didn't actually even suggest she should be their during my labour but she wanted to know when I went into labour and I thought they would be on the doorstep when we got home from hospital! So I sat her down and said very calmly that I wouldn't tell her when I went into labour because if it was a long labour I didn't want to be worrying about calling people to let them know what was happening, but she would know as soon as the baby was born. I also said that after the baby was born they were welcome to visit but they couldn't stay at our house for the first week because we wanted time to adjust to having a new baby without feeling self-conscious about having someone looking over our shoulders. Plus we wanted time to bond with our baby and get used to being a family without worrying about keeping them awake all night as well! She was fine about it and said she totally understood. She offered to come up and stay for a couple of weeks after DH had gone back to work and I said let's see how we get on and I'll let you know.

    As it turns out I was induced so she did know when I was going into hospital and we did call them the first evening to let them know I was in labour and we'd call when DD arrived. She was born on a Thursday and my parents were planning to come up on the Saturday but after DD was born my feelings changed so completely. I had a difficult birth and actually I really wanted to see my Mum and Dad and get a big hug and show them their new grand-daughter so we called them and they were delighted to come up on Friday instead. They stayed in a local bed and breakfast for the weekend, cooked for us, did the laundry etc etc and they were fantastic. After that I did ask my Mum to come and stay for a few days and she stayed in the house that time.

    I've always been quite fiercly independent of my parent but since DD was born and I've realised the amazing love that a parent has for their child I've become much less selfish with my time for them. I think that for a parent to see their own child become a parent is an intensely moving and emotional thing.

    I think the point of this (rather long) post is to say, talk calmly about what you want and don't be afraid to say that you want time to bond as a family. Make it clear that you won't shut her out but see if you can compromise (eg visiting but not staying in your house). Try to understand her own excitement and be very reassuring that although you need a bit of time and space for the birth and first few weeks she'll have plenty of time to spend with the new grandbaby. Also don't fall out over this because you may well find that after the birth you and / or your husband may change your mind about how much involvement you want MIL to have.

    Good luck.

     
    Old 02-04-2006, 07:36 AM   #6
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    Re: Dealing with the Mother in Law

    I'm glad i'm not the only one dealing with MIL! Mine lives a whole other state away (10 hours) and she wants to know the instant I feel a contraction so she can start driving. She has her car packed,ready to go. I hope I have short labor! My SIL's both have children and she was in the room with them and it sounded like a total nightmare! She hates hospitals and doctors so she tells them what they are doing wrong and yells at them if they are not doing what she thinks they should be. She is a homebirth, midwife kind of person. She has filled me with new worries about all kinds of things throughout my pregnancy. They are usually things that I need to watch out for that doctors supposedly do wrong. I did tell her that I only want my DH in the delivery room but why do I feel like it could change without my control? Then she will be staying for a week after. I have my own mother to worry about. I do want my mom here and she wants to be here but not when my MIL is here because she knows how she is. I don't want the grandmothers "fighting" over this child and I have feeling there will be drama. I've tried to tell my husband that I want it to be just us, celebrating our new family and he got mad and said I was being selfish and will have plenty of time for that. Why do I have the feeling this is going to be a bad experience when its supposed to be wonderful one? It's stressing me out!

     
    Old 02-04-2006, 09:55 AM   #7
    Lin35
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    Re: Dealing with the Mother in Law

    Thank you all for your replies. I'm glad I'm not alone but sorry so many of us seem to be dealing with it - with mothers and in laws! It does seem as though mothers in law in particular lose their sense of boundaries where a pregnancy is concerned (or maybe it's just even worse then!). Mine is upset that she isn't included because she was so involved in her daughter's. Well, call me crazy but I'm not her daughter and it should be obvious that it will be different! Hard to say that though as all the good will you build up trying to get along with your partner's family could be badly affected by this type of thing - hence all of us worrying about putting our feet down!

    I decided to talk to my partner and tell him how stressed I was about it. He was really good and said that it was 'tough' if she wants to be in the delivery room as that is ours and he will not call until I've had the baby and we are ready to tell people. He said he will insist to his mother that she not come until we are ready for her and we said we'd give her a time and a job to do - tell the rest of the family. That should take her oh about 3 minutes as news always seems to travel very fast once she and her daughter know...

    I don't think this is the end of it by any means as she will be quite upset that we haven't phoned her until then but she'll hopefully get over it upon seeing her grandchild - then the problem is keeping her away long enough for us to be able to bond as a family... will worry about that after the birth now I think.

    We'll see how this goes though as boys really don't like their moms to be upset with them...

    Let's all have the courage to say 'NO!' so that having a baby can be the special time that is meant to be for us and our partners. Defining the terms now may be the best thing anyway as mothers and mothers in law will continue to interfere throughout the child's life if the line isn't drawn early on.

    Now, onto dealing with my mother..

    Take care all!

     
    Old 02-04-2006, 12:00 PM   #8
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    Re: Dealing with the Mother in Law

    You need to be straighforward in your plans. DO not be afraid to tell others no if fear of hurting their feelings. Also communication with your husband is important and you should discuss these issues with him so he can be the one to tell his mother to back off. People will be persistant or/and walk all over you if you let them.

    My mother can be opinionated or pushy, but I have to firmly answer her back with my plans.

     
    Old 02-04-2006, 08:57 PM   #9
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    Re: Dealing with the Mother in Law

    Hi all. WOW... why is that we have to go through any of this. As if we arent tired enough after being prego for so long. I am so happy that I am not the only one. I knew that I wasnt, but I am glad that someone posted. First I want to say that I DO like my MIL. She has done alot for me, but being thats the case she expects alot in return. I just have many pet peeves I guess you could say about her. I think that she means well, but it never works out that way. I am a person who likes my independence and privacy. She on the otherhand doesnt see it that way.

    First complaint.......This is my second child. My first, a daughter died when she was 2. She would be 12 on the 20th of this month. I wont go into detail, but she didnt die a natural death. I am very proud to have been her Mother, even for that short time. I am unashamed of her. And yes, I do talk about her. Not all the time, but I do not hide the fact that I have another child. My MIL always makes me feel like I should keep a lid on it about her. Like shes embarrased or doesnt want people to know the FAMILY SECRET. Well first of all its no secret. Secondly, its not her secret or problem or whatever. She has even led alot of people to believe that the baby I am carrying is my first child. I may be completely over reacting about all of this. She may not even feel this way, but my instincts tell me otherwise. When ever I say oh this is happening, but it didnt with my DD.... shes likes like,"Well you werent pregnant with a boy before." All I ever hear is that its a BOY. BOY. BOY. Whats that supposed to mean. Every pregnancy is different no matter what the sex of the child is. All I hear is how this is a grandson. Would she be so dissappointed if it had been a girl?

    Second complaint...... She thinks that she should be involved in anything and everything. We have told her that when I am laboring we are going to be alone. I have been through it before. I had a 46 hr. labor with DD, I think I know what to expect. DH will be fine. We have decided that no one is allowed in until after the baby is born and of course after we have had sufficent time alone. We live about an hr away from our hospital. In the same town that my parents live in. (We live in the same town as his parents) I seriously think shes worried that my parents will get there first. And its not like we can be secretive.... unfortunately they will have to watch our dogs for us. So they will know when we go to the hospital. Another thing is that DS hasnt flipped yet. And if he hasnt in another 2 weeks my doc will more than likely do a c section. Sooooooooo she wants to be here to take care of me. What makes her think I wouldnt want my Mom to do that. Or even DH. Hes taking 4 weeks off from work. Geez. He can clean and cook. LOL. She even took her vacation for that time. I guess so she can sit at home. I dont mean to sound like a brat or spoiled or anything. But let me be. Let me be with my hubby and son. I was a single teenage mom before. Let me have something special now. Especially since this is technically a miracle baby for me.

    So anyways......... I just dont know how to handle my situation. She has helped us out of a real tough bind financially this month. We had a major problem with our main vehicle. So now she wants us over all the time. Almost like shes holding it over our heads. She even got mad at me last night because I ate dinner and she wanted us to come over. She actually wanted me to eat twice. LOL. Oh well. A few more weeks and DS will be here. I just want all of it to be over with. Lets hope DH sticks up for me. He says he will, but I wonder. Thanks for listening. I'll pray that we all get through it.

    Take care, Heather
    Mommy to:
    Amber Linn 02/20/94-06/06/96
    Colin Scott EDD 03/03/06

     
    Old 02-05-2006, 08:26 AM   #10
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    Re: Dealing with the Mother in Law

    I know exactly what you mean Amberlove. I also generally like my mother in law but she sounds like she is very similar to yours. She does things for me/us and then I feel like I owe her somehow. She recently helped us to do some decorating in our house as we are selling it and I couldn't do it all. I was wary of letting her do it as I knew what would happen but my partner insisted saying she just wanted to help. And she did -she was a great help. But, it was like opening the door a little bit and a big bull came bounding in. She was phoning several times a day checking if we'd done jobs and/or if we had stuff for the baby. Help!

    I am also very independent - being 36 years old and having lived in several different countries helps! But, somehow, she doesn't see that. My mother isn't here but I wouldn't have her in with me anyway - that is my partner's role and no one is going to take that away from him. However, it is still not easy trying to be upfront with her. She makes things all about her rather than seeing things from another's point of view. Rather than realising that this is a very special time for us and being pleased about her son having a child, she is focusing on her own lack of involvement and trying to push in. We are very clear what's going to happen but I also know that there will be hell to pay later. I guess the only thing I can do to make myself feel better about it is to be strong about this being about us and it's her problem if she wants to ruin it for herself by being selfish (after all, she's had her four children!).

    I don't know what advice to give as I am in such a similar boat but maybe it really is a case of doing things as you want to now and dealing with consequences later. Also, a key person is your partner who needs to be on board with you and actually should be the one that deals with her. If you can get him to! It's taken me awhile with mine. Calmly trying to talk to him about it didn't work, arguing didn't work - it was only when he could see how much it was stressing me out that he realised how important it was.

    Hope you sort it out but yes, it's so good to talk about it! Perhaps there needs to be a whole site dedicated to dealing with mum in laws - during pregnancy and beyond as I can't imagine it ends with the birth by any means... God help us all!!!

     
    Old 02-05-2006, 08:41 AM   #11
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    Re: Dealing with the Mother in Law

    I am on the opposite side about MIL buying things. Its my FIL that seems to think I owe him something because he bought the baby stuff, or bought us stuff. HE recently bought us a car, yes a car, every since then he calls and needs to go somewhere, we have to be on our feet and there! Now, DH and his father have a family business, so the money isn't really seperated its just there for everyone. If we need something, we get, if they do, they get it. Of course he gets a portion for himself, but I just hate this arrangement. I don't like shopping with them because I know they will pull out their credit card and if I say no, they get all upset like I'm offending them. I have never been one to accept "donations" now, I feel I have no choice due to the circumstances. So, I don't go shopping with them unless we are shopping for baby, then they can buy what they want. Its their grandchild, but for me, I prefer nothing.

     
    Old 02-05-2006, 03:29 PM   #12
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    Re: Dealing with the Mother in Law

    i can' begin to tell you how much my mil has offended me this pg and when i previously m/c i think jealousy and fear she won't be centre of attention has made her so evil. it is only these last few weeks (i am 33 weeks) she has started to act a bit interested and offer to help out but to be honest when ds is born my dh will be telling all to give us some space to gain our confidence and bond as our new family this is primarily to keep her nose out. she has already been telling me to keep my cats away and offering to come and help me nest welll thanks but no thanks. some times kind offers come to late.in the beginning i would have loved her to be really involved with us and our pg and our baby but her lackof smile and not having anything positive to say to us put an end to that i would rather ask a stranger for help than her, soemtimes there is no excuse for saying very hurtful and nasty things and she has had a shed load to say it just makes her look plain evil and selfish to everyone else too. rant over. sorry so many others seem to have similar problems i hope we all manage to assert our wishes without causing ww2.

     
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