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How and when did your first in-law visits go?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
My in-laws just wrapped up their first visit here with Georgia. This is their first and only grandbaby (you may not remember but DH and I are 46 now, so that makes them rather old for first time grandparents- mid 70's).
I have never been so uncomfortable in my life!!!! They are so unintuitive about how to hold a babe, I can't believe they ever had any. MIL especially had a hard time with her... she has a tremor from Parkinson's and just could not hold Georgia in a safe comfortable way. We propped her with pillows and micromanaged how she held her arms and hands. It was a disaster each time, and of course the baby wailed each time her head lolled or was lower than her feet. I was about to go ballistic by the end of 5 days. Poor sweet MIL would end up standing over the baby seat taking pictures of her lovely grandbaby she just can't get close to. Sad. One evening I let DH give her first bottle- I had to leave because I couldn't take it any more.
The good news is they live the whole country away, and by the time they visit again our babe will be better able to hold herself comfortably. Maybe it will be Christmas.
How are your inlaws with your babes?
post #2 of 14
Oh that sounds so stressful and sad! Ugh. My inlaws are - well, it's funny on one hand but ....

They all descended on me in the hospital, so I'm still bleeding like crazy, DS is nursing round the clock and I can barely move b/c of my stitches.

My FIL (a drunk who abandoned his family when DH turned 18) and my MIL's husband #2 just got totally uncomfortable when I was nursing.

FIL's wife #2 and MIL were obviously not happy about being in the room together and MIL seemed miffed that DS did not cry when wife #2 was holding him but he cried with her.

My MIL made TWO comments about me being a vegetarian (keep in mind that I've been veggie for 15 YEARS and was so during DD's pregnancy, and DD is also a perfectly veggie.)

"Awww.." she said while holding DS, she turns the baby to me and says in a baby voice: "I want a pork chop."

Every time MIL tried to hold DS he cried, so she says, again in the baby voice: "Mommy, I'm hungry - you're starving me." (She keeps pushing formula.) She asks me: Is he supposed to want to eat that often?

MIL and SIL both complain about how long it took to get there, how lost they got, MIL whined that we don't live closer. (Our house is 20 min from MIL; the hospital about 30 minutes.)

At one point, MIL says offhandedly; So are you circumcising? She says it like it is OBVIOUS that of course we are. I say simply "No." She gives me this horrified look but someone else inturrupts me so I can't say anything more.


It was exhausting. I've seen them one other time at a BBQ at my SIL's - at which point MIL again commented on the vegetarian thing, the fact that DS nurses a lot and asked why he wasn't sleeping more at night. (Uh. He was 2 weeks old.)

I try to reach out to her as much as possible for her sake - invited her over this weekend. Perhaps she'll be better on my turf, but she was like this with DD so I'm not expecting much.
post #3 of 14
My mil had 8 children and by the time our first was born she had almost 20 grandchildren. She now has 68 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. She knows what she is doing and has enough variety in her kids families (everything from very crunchy to very mainstream) that she just keeps her opinions to herself. Now my mother.......

I'm so sorry to hear how stressful things went. How miserable for everyone from baby to grandparents to you and dh. Hopefully the next visit will go much better.

post #4 of 14
My in-laws are all very sweet and well meaning but their interactions with Zoey have been tough. My MIL arrived soon after I gave birth and wanted lots of hands-on time with her. Unfortunately, she DOUSES herself in Chanel No5 - so much so that it gives the average person a headache. I can't imagine the effect on a little one. After listening to my poor baby cry every time grandma attempted to cuddle her, I finally asked my DH to please ask her to take it easy on the perfume. She agreed and Zoey seemed more comfortable with her afterward but I still had to listen to offhand remarks about breastfeeding and CIO. If Zoey cried while she was holding her, I took her back immediately to offer the breast or other comfort. My MIL kept saying, "Are you sure she's hungry? Do you have to take her back? Why not just let her cry for a few minutes?"

I have similar issues with my SIL, except she reeks of cigarette smoke instead of cologne and also encourages CIO. Ugh!

The main thing I'm discovering about relatives, in-laws and my own family is that whatever they may say about wanting to "help", what they really want is to be with the baby. I can't count how many times I've been encouraged to hand over my little one so I can go out, do laundry, cook, etc... Why can't anyone understand that I don't want to be away from my baby for five minutes, let alone several hours and that what would really help me out is for them to do the chores? I know I should just come out and say this but I'm really shy and afraid of offending anyone. Lately what I've been doing is wearing Zoey as much as possible. She passes out in the wrap and no one wants to wake a sleeping baby so the relatives let her be...

It's so frustrating because I come from a very small family, I never knew any of my grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc... My DH has a very large, very loving family and I'm overjoyed that Zoey has so many people to love her. I'm just not sure how to get my views on parenting across without offending anyone. Hopefully, in time, we'll all find our way.
post #5 of 14
Thankfully i no longer have to deal with mil as dh cut her out of our life and they only chat once or twice a year. Bil and his daughter's came over to visit and i thought initially i'd be a nervous nellie, but his bro was really good with DS. He did a great job at instructing his dd's on how to hold their new cousin. And i'm glad, its important for all the cousins to get to know each other and for my dh and his bro to stay connected. But i doubt i could handle mil and probably wouldnt let her with in 10 feet of ds.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
whozeyermamma that sounds like it sucks for you too.
NicolleLynne it's my own mother who is pushing formula and CIO. she says I am spoiling my baby. Um? by feeding her? Give me a break. My mom says "I let all my kids cry." I reminded her that 3 out of 4 of them are alcoholics!
I also don't want to be away from my babe...
post #7 of 14
I swear I think I have PTSD from my in-laws visiting. They just stay for too long and expect to be entertained by me which is SO hard. I just wanted it to be calm and quiet at my house as I felt especially anxious postpartum and the extra people were just too much for me.

I have the opposite problem most of you have with your in-laws. My MIL is a huge breast feeding activist and does NOT understand that I can't breastfeed. I had a breast reduction and while I got some colostrum, when my milk "came in" it didn't "come out." I just got hugely engorged and nothing would come out. It was horrible. I would keep putting the baby on the breast and he would be SCREAMING, so then I would try pumping to get the engorgment to go down but NOTHING WOULD COME OUT! So obviously, we're doing formula. My MIL just kept saying "Are you sure you can't just put him on the breast and see what would happen?" (um, I know what would happen... he'd scream until he threw up and I'd get even MORE milk to be engorged with!) or "Have you tried pumping?" or "What if you take a warm shower?" I felt like she was rubbing salt in the wound. I had a difficult surgical birth, I can't breastfeed, and I can't even wear my baby because of the stress it puts on my inscision and muscles right now. I don't need a reminder.

post #8 of 14
Yipes! I think I'd take my baby to bed and ask DH to entertain my in-laws if they made me as uncomfortable as some of yours do. If my own mother acted like that, I'd ask her to leave and come back when she was ready to behave. I'm way to tired to argue or explain. I can be quite confrontational when I get annoyed, and I don't beat around the bush if people are being ridiculous. I know that's not always possible, though, and I really feel for those of you in impossible situations. Can you try playing sick or something? The first 2 wks after DD came, I had cracked and bleeding nipples that hurt so bad I couldn't tolerate clothing over them, so no way could I see anyone other than DH and the lactation consultant.

Anyway, I'm sorry so many of you have family issues. Wish all in-laws could be as wonderful as mine are. My MIL (a mom of 10 kids) even asked me how I wanted her to do things when she changed DD's diaper, and waited for me to offer to let her hold her instead of asking. I'm extra glad we named DD after her. She's a sweet gracious lady.
post #9 of 14
Originally Posted by SeattleRain View Post
I had a difficult surgical birth, I can't breastfeed, and I can't even wear my baby because of the stress it puts on my inscision and muscles right now. I don't need a reminder.

Just wanted to offer empathy and s... As if being a first time mama isn't stressful enough! It's so hard when family members mean well but just don't "get it" when it comes to our parenting choices or in your case, the reality of your physical limitations. I wish you all the best and hope you heal quickly and well.
post #10 of 14
DH called his dad the day Ian was born to let him know and talked to him for a couple minutes, but we haven't heard from them since then. I have no idea when we'll see them. Not planning a visit any time soon.
post #11 of 14
I can't believe I'm going to say this, but my ILs came last week from Tuesday-Sunday and it was WONDERFUL! In our 11 years of marriage, my MIL and I have had some issues. My dh is her only child. It took her years to really accept me and way longer for us to get on the same page about anything. Just in the past year or so we've really started to appreciate each other. They live like 5 hours away, so we don't see them much, but they've been making a LOT more effort since we moved back to just 5 hours (driving) from the 12 hours we were living away from them for a year. They came I think 3 times during my pregnancy and then came down last week.

Anyway...our visit was so great. They spent a lot of time with the older 3. It allowed me to get a lot of rest, feed Lauren whenever she needed, and not have to worry about either running kids or watching the kids that stayed home. They stayed with the older 3 one night so dh and I (and Baby) could go to dinner and a movie. I know that my kids are going to be cared for but not spoiled rotten when they're with them, which is really nice.

They are really hands-off. They criticize very little that we do. They don't insist on holding her when she's fussy, understand that sometimes she just wants her Mommy or Daddy, but aren't afraid or unable to hold her. I feel very comfortable nursing around them. I think every night at dinner (and a couple nights when we sat around playing cards) I ended up slinging and nursing her. When MIL and I went out to do some recall work I had committed to, Lauren needed to eat in the car. Whereas my own mother would be balking and insisting that I use the blanket to cover up, my MIL was asking if there was anything she could do to help and offering to hold the strap of my dress to the side. I never felt like I had to apologize for her if she was being fussy (my mom would be insisting that she needed something...usually formula. Whole 'nother post) and they told me so many times they didn't expect me to clean up after them or anything. They helped cook and my MIL spent a ton of time with the older 2 kids, cleaning and organizing their rooms with them. That's something that I've been trying to do but it's been so tough with the pregnancy and now healing from surgery.

I was genuinely sad to see them go and this post is reminding me to send them a thank you card.
post #12 of 14
My ILs have not been to visit. Leilah is only 1 week old today, but I'm a mama that loves & encourages company & takes a positive spin to lots of people holding my baber . We've had plenty of family and friends stop by, mostly for short visits (ideal!), but no ILs. My DH's heart is hurting, as he watches a parade of folks show interest, but continues to wait - despite multiple invitations - for his mother to take the 55mi trip out to us. I think the brunt of the problem lies in how she's previously grandparented her other grandchildren, all of whom were born & live in Hawaii, none of whom she saw at birth or remotely close thereafter, one of whom she has yet to meet at 3 years old. I believe at this point she's become detached at being a grandma and just needs a little encouragement & redirection. She's supposed to be visiting this weekend with my SIL. I'm going to let her know how much we enjoy her and encourage her to make her presence as often as she'd like. As much as my own mama can make me roll my eyes at times, her presence in her grandchildrens' life is so positive & special, both to her & to them. I want my MIL to know the same.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
amberdcm you sound like a sweet person... I hope you get your visit soon.
post #14 of 14
Originally Posted by SeattleRain View Post
My MIL is a huge breast feeding activist and does NOT understand that I can't breastfeed. I had a breast reduction


I'm SO sorry she is putting you through that. You'd think if she was so educated on breastfeeding that she would know that breastfeeding after reduction is very difficult and rarely works unless the plastic surgeon made an effort to preserve the ducts-which most don't and even if they do isn't a guarantee.

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