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The IL's have descended- vent warning

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I have been dreading this visit so I was glad that DS came at 39w and gave us time to work out the kinks of bfing and such. Everyone told us how wonderful it is to have family here to take care of you and cook, clean, shop, etc so you can sleep and get side projects done.

What are DH and I doing now that they are here? Cooking, cleaning, entertaining extra people!!!!!!!!!! We have spent mucho $$ on groceries and DH has taken this whole next week off to enjoy with us without pay. Now he will spend it taking care of his parents on their "vacation". The only "help" they have given us is holding DS so we can cook and clean up after them. The worst is that he hasn't had enough time to take care of DS and I because he is running around taking care of them! When DS was hungry today FIL insisted that he cry it out and go to sleep and I practically had to rip DS out of his hands. Plus I have both IL's watching me breastfeed every. single. time. like we are a spectacle. I'm not shy but c'mon!

Last night DS was so overstimulated by the IL's shoving books and clothes and toys at him that he kept DH and I up from 1am-4:30am. It was the worst night since he was born. We were zombies when we got up at 7am and there were the IL's waiting for us to make breakfast!!!: They slept like rocks. We never got to nap today. We just spent the past 4 hours cooking dinner, cleaning the kitchen, and prepping dinner for tomorrow while the IL's napped!

ARGH : Another week to go When does the help come? I haven't even had time/space to do yoga or take care of myself once.

Thanks for letting me vent, even if no one reads this it makes me feel better to get it out.
post #2 of 22
Oh man, that is so not right! I am officially angry at your inlaws. Why are parents soooo clueless?

We had a similar situation when family descended on us after DS was born. At least I made a rule in advance that they had to wait two weeks...thank goodness because I was not exactly up and about for the first week. We did do an unfortunate share of entertaining while they were here, but at least most of the meals were eaten out. Plus they stayed in a hotel, which saved my sanity.

Is there any way that your husband can lay down the law with his parents? I mean, 'cmon, they actually expected you to make breakfast for them at seven in the morning?? I can't seem to get out of bed before 9am anymore because of DS.

Your husband needs to be taking care of you and your child right now, and if that throws his folks to their own devices on their "vacation" so be it!!

I'm sorry.
post #3 of 22
Yikes, mama! I'm so sorry they were such horrid guests.
post #4 of 22
If they are still in your house I recommend hiding in your room, with the baby. Don't come out. Plan it in advance that your husband brings you things from time to time.
post #5 of 22
Wow - sorry you have to deal with that, but I would totally say something to them...
post #6 of 22
They sound clueless! Maybe your DH could try talking to them. Otherwise I agree with the pp, hide in your room. Hopefully the week goes fast!
post #7 of 22
I would also hide in my room with the baby, and refuse to cook or clean for them. Sending you energy to get through it!
post #8 of 22
Not you DDC but had to commiserate.

With DS1 the inlaws acted the exact same way. They even went so far as to invite the rest of the family to my house for dinner/drinking and cigar smoking. I vividly remember coming downstairs from a nap and my house was completely full of people. There was no where for me to sit down at all and no one got up.
I turned around and baby and I went back to bed not to come out for the rest of the day.

This time I had a pre-chat with DH. It is his family so honestly, he should be setting the expectations. This time it is do not invite anyone to my house with out clearing it with me first. No drinking, absolutely no smoking. I will not be cooking, cleaning or otherwise entertaining. If they want to use this as a family reunion do it somewhere else. DH has problems standing up to his parents and honestly, as a first time parent last time he had no idea what it was like for me so he kind of expected me to bounce back. Part of it was my own fault too because I did overdo it in the beginning and he got confused when I couldn't keep it up when his parents arrived.

I really think you need to have a conversation with your husband and have him talk to them. Let them know you are exhausted and cannot keep up the schedule.
post #9 of 22
DDC crashing to say

Honestly, I'd be pretty snarky by now. If they're waiting for you to make breakfast - I'd tell them, kitchen's in there, help yourself. Making you uncomfortable while watching you BF - offer to give them the info to the local strip joint. Or even just a firm "do you mind? We'd like a tiny bit of privacy!"

As for your FIL's attempt to make your LO CIO - next time he makes a comment about it being mealtime/hungry/etc., tell him he needs to go cry himself to sleep without any supper and we'll see how much he likes it.

I think it's time for you to be really firm with them. Their attitude is not going to change unless you do something to make it change. And if that means you kick them out of your house and tell them to go find a hotel, then do it.
post #10 of 22

My in-laws are great - its my mom and dad that act that way!!

I am always shocked when people come to visit and can't seem to put a dish in the sink or open the fridge door themselves. What nerve. I agree with everyone else - talk to DH and have him handle this one. But say something, for gosh sake! You will just explode and end up with misguided resentment if you don't!! Good luck!!
post #11 of 22
We had the same experience when I had my first child (minus the CIO suggestions--yikes!) Helping to them was holding the baby at all times and offering to set the table while my DH cooked night after night. They are always high maintenance house guests, but it was especially hard to have them there right after my DD came home from the NICU.

Somehow, they got the message, though- and I don't credit myself with having the guts to tell them. They didn't visit until DD#2 was a month old, only stayed for 4 days instead of 2 weeks, and they stayed in a hotel to boot.

I agree-- ask your DH to let them know how they could be helpful. You are taking care of a brand new person, you really don't need to be taking care of his parents at the same time.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the commiseration and the suggestions!

I wish I had the balls to stand up to them but FIL in particular is just clueless- he will never help with anything and get ornery quickly. DH has a problem standing up to them too and I am trying to be sensitive to him and not explode on his parents. But I can't promise for too long. We have a 2-bd house with one bathroom and they didn't offer to stay a hotel because on the phone they claimed they were coming to help.

I am so sorry there are other IL's/parents out there that are just as bad if not worse. I made the comment to DH last night that I shouldn't even get dressed and purposely leave everything a mess and only feed myself/DS to get the message across. Unfortunately I was back at the entertaining and cooking this morning. I did put my foot down about the DS CIO issue- if that kid so much as looks like he might be rooting he is to come to me ASAP- no exceptions!!!

May this blasted week go by quickly with the IL's, but slowly with DS
post #13 of 22
I agree that you should stop cooking for them. That is an absurd burden to put on a new family. One thing you need to keep in mind, is that now is the time when you establish how your interactions with the ILs concerning your children will be for the rest of your lives. I suggest you read the book, Boundaries by Townsend and Cloud, and have your DH read it as well. Also, do not feel bad about taking your DS and disappearing back to your bedroom for quiet time and bonding, and leaving your ILs to find their own entertainment. Go take naps with your son. There is no need to stop your babymoon just because they've intruded. Get lots of rest so you don't end up with an infection or mastitis.
post #14 of 22
I am sorry this is happening for you too.

Both my parents and in-laws are like this sadly.

But this is my 3rd. I don't let my parents come visit until the baby is a couple of months old now (they live across the country).

My ILs live 4 blocks away so at least they are not staying with us. But I refuse to spend much time with them in the beginning.

DH sticks up for me now.
post #15 of 22
I'd have them go to a hotel asap- they're not holding up their end of the bargain by "helping" and your dh can gently explain helping means taking care of themselves and of household things like dishes, cooking, vacuuming, laundry, etc so the new family can settle in. Since they're not helping, you're not hosting. I'm so pissed at my parents' generation, all the BS about only doing stuff if it feels good or is fun, focusing on themselves, etc, has just resulted in a generation of self-centered, selfish people without any empathyor clue as to how not to be a PITA
post #16 of 22
I will tell you from experience that if you don't say something or get DH to do something you may recent both him and them for a long time after.

over 2 years later and I am still not over the treatment we got when DS was born from our "house guests" and they were no where near as bad as you describe. I has put strain on my relationship with DH because I felt he did not look out for me and our baby and instead catered to his parents. What I learned from that experience is to be forceful when it is important. And if he won't say something I will. Now that he knows that he is more likely to stand up to them as he is "nicer" than me. A new mom with hormones raging is not what he want to set loose on his parents .
post #17 of 22
My in-laws are pretty decent about that- they brought over some snacks when they came to visit and just played with the kids and held the baby.

It's my sister that drives me nuts. She just came over to visit last night. Soon after she gets here, she hints that she is starving. I was breast feeding the baby and she expected me to get up and make her something. I let her keep on hinting. She came over hungry and expected me, with 3 small children to feed her.

When it was snack time, I got my kids snacks and offered her one. Of course, she took it. She pretty much invited herself to dinner and then started getting grouchy when it wasn't done fast enough and ate SO MUCH FOOD, there wasn't enough left over for my husband. I didn't know anyone could eat that much.

She lives about an hour from me and had stopped by on her way home from a friend's house. I invited her to spend the night because I didn't want her driving home as late as she stayed. She did but couldn't even fold up her blanket in the morning- just left it on the couch. RUDE!

I love her but I was definitely ready for her to go. I don't know if it's that she is 20 or that she doesn't have kids, but I don't want her coming to visit anytime soon- it's like having another child to take care of!!!!
post #18 of 22

I just wanted to say that I'm dealing with inlaws right now. I am so scared it's going to end up like your story or worse. My MIL went so far as to say "I can't wait to be there for the birth and be the first one to hold the baby!". Let's just say if that happened, armageddon would arrive faster than originally thought. I have actually been sick to my stomach over comments lately and the stress is not something I need right now or later when I'm in labour. I don't think I could let my inlaws do what yours are right now. I would have turned into 'Demon Woman' when they arrived. But that's my inlaws. Trying to rub my belly and saying "take care of MY baby!!" or "How's MY grandbaby doing?" or when I went to take a sip of a beer that DH wanted me to try "I don't think MY grandbaby should be drinking beer!". It's making me sick. It's not their baby, it's mine. So what if it shares some DNA, back off about my choices and don't make comments basically telling me that I'm just a womb donor for them. I'm already bitter and the baby isn't even here yet! I can't imagine what you are going through.

I really hope your next post says something along the lines of you standing your ground because they have no right IMO to impose on your life especially right now. I can't believe you do work while they hold YOUR baby!! That is soooooooo beyond disrespecting and unfair towards you. You deserve to be alone with YOUR family right now. Everyone else needs to get out. They have no right to be there.

Whew, sorry for my vent lol. Posts of this nature are particularly sensitive for me right now.
post #19 of 22
I'm sorry mama I agree with a pp that it might be a good idea to say something, because this is not something you will soon forget. With ODD, I had an experience that is not even NEAR as bad as what you are going through. It seriously took me well over a year to be comfortable having house guests or even letting people hold ODD. I ended up being diagnosed with PPD at 9 months postpartum and I really think that the overwhelmingness in the beginning was a huge contributing factor.

Even if it wasn't for all the demands, the constant holding of YOUR baby would be enough to make me crazy. I realize that they are only there for a week, but this beginning time is so important for mama-baby bonding. Take your LO and take a nap together in the afternoons Your ILs can take care of themselves.
post #20 of 22
I'm sorry, Penstamon! I read your entire post and thought, "Oh, this is one po'd mama! Then I saw that it was you who wrote it and was actually surprised, you're usually so sweet, level-headed and positive, which means the situation MUST be REALLY bad.

And sadly, my situation was similar when ds was born 2 years ago. I made the 2-week rule, meaning they couldn't come until ds was 2 weeks old, but then they came for an entire week, but at least they stayed in a hotel (we were renting at the time and didn't have room). Unfortunately, dh was out of vacation by that time, and so I got to spend all day, every day w/ them, while trying to recover from a nasty case of mastitits I got 2 days before they got here. It was rough. The ONLY meals I cooked the first month of my ds's life were the meals I cooked that week.

It is tough when dealing w/ your in-laws. If it were my parents, I'd have no problem telling them exactly what I need help with (mostly my mom just stops by, cleans the bathroom or drops off food, reads my ds a story or two, holds the baby for a minute, then leaves, God bless her). But they're my husband's parents, so it's not the same. Thankfully, my dh has stepped up and has gotten really good at putting his foot down w/ them. His mom was only allowed to come for a week this time IF, and ONLY IF she promised to help. I knew that this time I had to tell her what I needed help w/ if wanted this to be true. So, Sunday-Wed, she did what I told her (mostly getting ds breakfast so I could take a morning nap- which in itself was almost worth her stay entirely). By Thursday, she finally figured out that it was OK to unload the dishwasher and clear the table w/o me having to tell her. By Friday she did a load of laundry w/o being told, and then on Saturday she was gone. I hate to say this, but if she would have stayed a few more days my floors might have gotten cleaned! So maybe...are there things you could ask them to do, maybe start small? Like go get some groceries (and then you could have a little alone time w/ ds and dh)? Or set the table? Or ask them to make a meal?

Hang in there. It won't last forever, even though it seems like it. Retreat to your room with your child whenever you need to. My ds kept me sane during my il's first visit. I know the staring problem when nursing too. Even though it's was my house, I'd go to my room when nursing. I loved the alone time I got w/ ds and it was an escape from them.
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