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  1. #1
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    Unhappy HELP "Mother in Law at birth"

    Am I rude and inconsiderate? Very long story I'm afraid.

    My mother in law is a Greek lady who only had 3 boys of her own. She was always dissappointed that she didn't have any girls of her own. We have provided her with her first and soon to be second grand child.

    I am currently into my 36th week of my second pregnancy. Towards the end of last year, when I was about 4 months pregnant, my mother in law announced that she was coming to visit with us from interstate at around the time that we are due to have our baby. She used the excuse of looking after our soon to be 4 year old daughter while we were at the hospital, as her reason for coming over.

    Mind you my mother in law has failing health and can't walk without the use of at least a walking stick and will soon be using a frame. She wouldn't be able to walk her to or from preschool, help her in and out of the bath and would fall asleep on the couch before she got her into bed at night. So I'm not sure how much use she would be to look after our very strong willed 4 year old anyway.

    My problem is that, she didn't ask if this would be a suitable time to come for a visit or if we would like her to come and help out. She just said that she wasn't coming over for Christmas now because she was going to wait until we were due to have the baby and she was going to come over then and help out.

    I was rather gobsmacked. I didn't feel as though I had any choice as to who was going to be around me in a time that was very personal for me, and to top it off my DH couldn't understand what my problem was. He defended her line of thinking and said that she was only a simple minded woman who probably didn't see any thing wrong with her decision.

    I told my husband that I would rather be delivering the baby by myself than to trust his mother with the care of our daughter. I know this sounds harsh but if anyone was going to be caring for our child whilst we weren't available it would be someone I could trust who would cope with the job physically. Our daughter can be a handful at the best of times.

    I finally convinced my DH that this was not a situation I was prepared to put myself in and that I didn't feel comfortable with his mother coming to stay at that time and that it would be better for everyone concerned if she would wait for a couple of weeks after the baby was born to come for a visit and we would even pay for her travel, which eventually we did.

    So henceforth I am the bad guy. After about a week or 2 she calmed down and is now speaking to me again, but my story doesn't end there I'm afraid.

    A couple of weeks ago we found out that my DH brother and his wife are expecting their first child and then quickly followed that good news with, they are expecting twins. They also live interstate from the mother in law and have had the exact same response from her. She found out when they were due and announced that she would be there for the joyous occassion. Not asking if that would be ok, if they needed a hand or anything. Just "I'm coming to visit then and help you out".

    My sister in law was almost in tears feeling guilty that she didn't really want her there and by telling her that it was not a convenient time she got in the bad books as well. My sister in law has her own family near by and wanted to be able to share the experience with her own mother and sister.

    Still my DH stepped in and defended his mother saying that she was just trying to be helpful and didn't realise that she was being pushy, and that because she didn't have any daughters of her own she was just trying to treat us like her daughers.

    Are we both in the wrong for wanting this to be a moment about what we want? We both feel that we have been manipulated into a position that if we don't comply and let her come over then we are being rude and unfair.

    Can anyone else relate to this situation.

    Once again sorry it's so long winded.

  2. #2
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    Hi Nell70,

    Yes I can relate!! I know I am not the only one with a MIL from hell, but sometimes it feels like it!!

    I think you have done the right thing telling her to wait a couple of weeks, and I am really glad your DH is backing you up.

    Look on the bright side - my MIL lives 10 mins away, so can be constantly in my face - yours lives interstate - yipeeee!!

    Hope everything goes great for you.

  3. #3
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    To top it off, my DH and I are looking at houses to buy in the next year or so. He looks at houses with Granny flats and the like so that his mother, if need be, can come and live close to us and we can help look after her.

    With 2 little children, I couldn't think of anything I'd rather do than to look after my immobile, incontinent overbearing mother in law.

  4. #4
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    my MIL lives about 10mins away too and sometimes drops by without calling first (we've had to do some very quick dressing as we hear her coming in the front door)... she asked a little while ago if she could come to an US - what??! and I know I'm paranoid, but I keep thinking what if she turns up at the labour ward??! I think you have to be firm with ppl, or they'll walk all over you

  5. #5
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    Wow!! I think you're doing well to have her come at all. I would die if my MIL came to stay when I'd just had a bub, and she's EASY to get along with!!

  6. #6
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    I guess we are a little lucky that we aren't any closer than we are to her, however all travel expenses for her to come and visit us at any time have been paid for by us.


  7. #7
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    Looks like your husband is suffering from divided loyalties. He needs to support you and not make excuses for his mother. This brings me back to a great link I have from good old Dr Phil. It is good because itis straight to the point and has very standard strategies. I posted it in another thread, but it relates here too. My DH was always making excuses for his mother's behaviour and it comes across as being unsupportive as well, and it is. Anyway, here is the link and info. Your DH's first priority is to you his wife, not his mother. Especially at such a time in your life.

    Managing Your In-Laws
    If you plan on sticking with your spouse, then you're also stuck with your in-laws. Here's Dr. Phil's advice for dealing with your new extended family.

    There can be no divided loyalties. When you get married and start your own family, that's where your primary loyalty needs to be.

    Good fences make good neighbors. Your in-laws need to be your neighbors and there need to be really good fences up. Set boundaries about when they are and are not invited into your lives.

    You've got a finite amount of physical and emotional energy. If you're in-laws are draining you, you may need to change the boundaries. Reassure them that you are not closing them out, you are simply focusing on yourselves.

    Once you've set boundaries, talk to your parents about them. They're not as fragile as you may think.

    The other woman in every man's life is his mother. If your husband starts in with: "Well my mother does it this way ..." then tell him to go over and sleep with her.

    If a wife has a problem with her mother-in-law, it's the husband who needs to step in and help fix it. Likewise, if a husband doesn't see eye-to-eye with his in-laws, his wife needs to step in. The person with the primary relationship (the son or daughter, not the in-law) needs to be the messenger.

    Negotiate with your own partner the role that you want your in-laws to have. Don't assume you're on the same page until you talk about it.

    Try not to criticize your spouse for his/her relationship with his/her parents. It may only lead to more clinginess or complications.

    You need to love your parents, and have a rich and active relationship with them, but any time that you turn away from your partner to resolve a relationship issue, that's a bad thing. If you have a problem in the marriage, you need to resolve it in the marriage.

    Keep in mind that your parents only know what you tell them. If you go to them every time you're angry and frustrated and having problems in your marriage, they hear that, but they don't hear when you make up.
    http://www.drphil.com/articles/article/28
    Advice For In-Laws
    Is there tension between you and your new son- or daughter-in-law? Are family events not what they once were? Dr. Phil has some questions for you to ask yourself:

    Are you over-involved? Are you injecting into this new family?

    Are you too critical? Have you thought about the effect your actions have? It's not a matter of intention; it's a matter of how your actions are perceived.

    When you visit, remember that you are a guest. It's their house. You may not like the way your son's wife is doing things in her home, i.e. rearing children values, but it isn't any of your business. Ask yourself if you have a sense of entitlement and expectancy that is inappropriate. If there are issues that you don't abide by, then you need to just not visit them.

    Are you having trouble letting go? That's your issue, so don't make your child — and his/her relationship — suffer for it.

    Don't get pulled into arguments by your child and in-law. You can be supportive and still let the couple handle their own problems. Take a step back and trust that you have raised an adult who has the vision and the courage to resolve the problems that concern his/her own family.

    Understand that new couples need to set boundaries on their relationship ... and that it may take them some time to find the right ones.
    http://www.drphil.com/articles/article/40
    Your husband needs to read it.

  8. #8
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    Don't feel guilty about the way you are feeling towards your MIL. You have done the right thing. Having a baby is a challenge enough without the extra stress of worrying about the care of your daughter.
    Like the other mums who have already posted, my MIL moved in down the rd. just before DD was born. Grrrrrrr.
    She too is overbearing, in my face, and tries to take control of DD upbringing.
    Stick to your guns, and I hope all goes smoothly for you.

  9. #9
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    I just can't believe how she makes me feel guilty for not wanting her to be here for the birth.

    My DH and I had many long heated discussions about it at the time and eventually he agreed that it was about what was comfortable for me at the time.

    Now we are having the same discussion with his brother and wife about her pulling the same stunt on them.

    She is lonely and bored and lives in a small country town and has a lot of time to do nothing and sit and think about nothing in particular. I guess my frustration comes from my DH not seeing that she knows exactly the position she is puting both of us expectant mums in and figures that she will try and muscle her way in anyway.

    I see her as manipulating her boys and he sees her as a lonely bored old lady who just wants to be near her grandchildren.

  10. #10
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    OMG I just had a flash of my future

    I was the overbearing "simple minded" mother in law from hell and my son's future wife (who ever that may be, were in talks at the moment with Gwyneths bub Apple and also Ange and Brads bub Zaharra LOL ) is on BH posting about how horrible I am!!!!!

    No seriously I agree with you, you need to be selfish at this time as its the birth of YOUR bub.

    But on another note we will all one day (a long time from now, I hope ) be in this position, being a MIL I mean. I wonder what kind of MIL I will be????? Hopefully a great one

    Good luck


 

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