DH's mother is like one of those crazy people you only read about in stories. I understand that she wants to be involved as this is her grandchild, but there is a point where one is just overstepping the bounds. In my first pregnancy she lived out of state and didn't even get to see me while pregnant or the baby until she was about a month old. During my last pregnancy I wanted her to be involved out of sheer kindness because I knew she had missed out the first time around. I invited her to my ultrasounds and planned for her to be there when the baby was born. We lost the baby at 21 weeks due to PPROM and MIL went completely psycho.
Firstly, she wanted photos of the baby and DH and I decided that it was a very personal matter and while she was free to look at the photos any time we were not giving out photos of the baby. Then she said that DH and I were horrible selfish people because all we cared about was our own grief and not hers. She said that she hoped we never had more children because they would all grow up to be b...ches like me. WTH?
After all this happened, I tried to smooth things over by sending her an apology letter even though I did nothing wrong. I just didn't want to make things worse by retaliating. We have stayed away as much as possible, but DH has younger siblings (16 & 17) that he would like to see so we remain civil. Now that we are expecting again, MIL acts like all is fine and she should be able to just "tag along". This is completely unacceptable. I don't even want to be near her, much less have her there while I am giving birth. I can't just say to her that we are keeping this birth very private given the circumstances of the last birth. She will throw a huge hissy fit that I will unfortunately be right in the middle of. DH has tried to talk to her, but she just doesn't get it. I don't want her just showing up because then I will have no choice but to kick her out and tell her to get away in a not so nice way.
I still allow her to see DD even though I don't like it because MIL apparently only hates us, not DD; and DH's little brother and sister want to spend time with DD as well. How do I handle this in the best possible way? I'm all out of ideas here and reaching the end of my patience with her.
If your DH prefers a more direct approach, let him handle it, and you stay out of it. It's his mother. You do not have to go over to her house or attend family functions where she will be if she cannot respect appropriate boundaries. Yout don't have to answer the phone when she calls or the door if she stops by. He can outline the very clear and specific boundaries that are acceptable, and make it clear that the choice is hers. He should probably phrase it as "I think" instead of "we think" if you're worried about her blaming you. It's his job to protect his wife, particularly during such a delicate time as pregnancy after a loss, and he can explain it to her that way.
My mother was unfortunately on the same level of psycho as your MIL but I'm pretty sure she had undiagnosed mental illness and also she had lost (her only) baby at a few days old, and never was able to move past that. She had so much of her own baggage, I really honestly could not take on her needs and deal with my needs, too.
Additionaly, my IL's all have a tradition of showing up at the hospital the second any of their children goes into labor. (like, all of them. MIL, FIL, SIL, BIL, kids - everyone) I did not want ANYONE camped out in the waiting room while I was in labor with #1 (who we had at the hospital) so we just simply didn't make any calls that I was in labor. Nobody got a call until the baby was several hours old.
(and when I called my mom to tell her that her grandson had been born, she sobbed for about 10 minutes and then said that she was glad we had all survived. she had been convinced that I was going to bleed to death and I had to lie to her and tell her that the hospital had arranged to have a supply of my blood type waiting in the room just in case. Yeah. In all honesty, it was somewhat of a relief that she had died before DD was born at home, as I can only imagine what kind of a sh*tstorm that would have brought up.)
For #2, we had her at home, but the same rule applied. Nobody got called until she was, well, about 7 or 8 hours old, since she was born at 1 and we didn't want to wake anyone up.
I guess my biggest problem is that I want to preserve the relationship with my SIL and BIL and right now they live at home with her. There are people that I don't mind telling or even being there. She is just not one of them. I don't want to dis-include every person close to me such as my family and a large majority of my husband's family by not telling anyone. We are all very close, except for this one BIG problem.
For example, DD (6) really wants to be there when the baby is born, but we need a buffer there in case she needs a break. SIL is the best option for this as DD and her aunt are very close. How do I tell the SIL without telling the MIL when they live in the same house that one is very welcome and expected to be there and one is not welcome at all?
I know I'm just coming across as really selfish here, but she is the one person that neither DH or I are able to tolerate. It is just so unfortunate that it can't be different.
Do you think your SIL could keep it a secret? Chances are if she lives there, she knows how crazy your MIL can be and might be sympathetic to your situation. My MIL isn't on the same level as yours at all, but she does have some issues that make her tough to deal with at times. She kind of likes to be the one who feels or seems special and have people focus their attention on her and this is something that all of her kids are aware of so if I needed to keep something from her in order to avoid her freaking out or something, I know I could trust my SILs and BIL not to say anything. I could probably even tell FIL and trust him not to tell her as well. Otherwise, I would simply say that it's your birth and you get to decide who's there and who isn't. Which is more important to you: Having a peaceful birth without worrying about unwanted people showing up or not hurting your MIL's feelings? Personally, I'd risk the hurt feelings and just explain my reasons for only wanting a select few people at the birth. You don't owe her an explanation, though. As a side note, have you or DH ever talked to her about how her behavior has made things difficult for you? She might not even know that she's making things so hard for you.
Wife to DH 08/09 and SAHM to DD 09/08 and DS 11/11
Surprise! Expecting #3 Nov. 2013!
You can still preserve a relationship with DH's younger siblings without having to see their mother - you guys could have them over for a movie night, take them out to dinner, go for a picnic, etc. It's definitely more work, but doable, unless she ends up deciding to be so difficult that she forbids them to see you.
No, you are not. The loss of a child is-- well, I would imagine the worst tragedy anyone could ever face. I can't see how the wounds ever go away. I am so, so sorry for this.
When we are in particularly vulnerable states, such as when someone has passed away, every word and action is highlighted to the extreme. The way your MIL acted was horrible-- at any POINT in your life, but especially then. It sounds like you have been amazing in trying to smooth things out (whatever your motive) and I don't think many people could do what you did for her.
Remember the phrase, "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me?" Well, you are no fool. Your MIL has shown that she does not have basic skills in the area of sympathy, much less empathy. You do not want to be around her during one of the most private and personal moments of your life. Who could blame you?
I guess I would prioritize, though. There is no way you will be able to please everyone. Another quote: "I don't know the secret to success, but I do know how to fail: try to please everyone." (Something like that.) Given the way your MIL is and the fact that pregnancy and birth are finite periods, I would probably just distance myself from everyone-- just for now, until the baby is home.
You can find ways to still keep close-- maybe e-mails and phone calls, but again, this pregnancy will not last forever, and you can do more with them at the end.
As far as your DD goes at the birth, is there any friend you might be able to involve?
2/02, 4/05, 2/07, 11/09, and EDD 12/25/11
Thank you everyone! I'm not entirely sure what DH said to her during the last conversation, but I think she is finally starting to get it. It just makes me feel a lot better to know that my feelings are validated and I'm not crazy. I would never treat anyone the way she has treated me and I certainly hopy my DD has the guts to tell me to back off if I ever overstep my bounds. My own mother is so absolutely wonderful and I practically forced her to be there when DD was born, but she was fine doing whatever I wanted. Why can't everyone be so easy?
I just wanted to say I am so so sorry for you loss. Your MIL is being totally unreasonable, and you had every right to grieve and make choices about photos, etc, however you saw fit. It sounds like she has some major boundary issues, and also sounds like you have gone above and beyond to maintain a decent relationship with her. You were much more gracious with her than I could have ever been and probably more than most daughters-in-law would have been as well. The feelings you have are completely understandable.
As far as moving forward, you have every right to decide what role you'd like your MIL to have, and to set appropriate boundaries with her. If your DH doesn't want to do it, then go ahead and do it yourself. Is your SIL 16 or 17? I wasn't clear on that. If she is, I don't know that I would ask her to watch your daughter because your MIL is still "the boss" of your SIL or thinks she is. If she is an adult though, I would definitely do that. I just think if you SIL is 16 or 17, it might be difficult for her to be stuck in the middle as a teenager of you and your MIL. Not a place I'd want to put someone who wasn't an adult. Best wishes for a peaceful pregnancy and birth.
So sorry for your loss.
My MIL is not on the same level as yours however I am still angry from what happened when my ds2 was born.
DD 5 at the time really wanted to be at the birth and MIL didn't think it was a good idea.
When I went into labor we were at the ILs for dinner. We left the 2 older kids there to finish up so we could go home and get prepared.
DH went back to get them and MIL had invited DD for her very first sleepover in 5 years. ( she has had her for one in the last almost 2 years even though DD has pretty well begged)
She was so excited and of course said she wanted to not realizing she would miss the birth.
DH came back with only DS and by then it was too late to go back and get her.
She cried and cried when she figured out what happened. MIL stole that from us. The only downside to a perfect birth is that she wasnt there.
I hope all goes well this time and DD can be there.
Mommy to Petunia 11/04 Bug 10/06 Button 11/09 and Sweetie pea 12/11 DW to J :