Got another vent...this time MIL... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 11 Old 02-09-2004, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, my inlaws really irk me. First of all, one of my dear friends had a baby shower for me this past weekend. My Dh's aunt and grandma were invited, along with my sister in law. SIL came, eventhough she left early and refused to write in the "congratulations" book for me and she left really early during the games and before the gifts were opened. Nice, thanks. Aunt in law and Grandma in law, neither of them showed up, nor did they bother to call my friend and RSVP. They didn't send a gift either...which it's not about the gift, it's just a gesture to say "I wish I could have been there. I care...". This is the first grandbaby for his family for pete's sake.
To top things off, Dh called me this morning to tell me that he talked to his mom and she wants to throw me a shower. She lives out of the country and will not be here until 3 days before my due date at the end of March. She wanted to know if we could do it the the day before or the day of my due date!!! Uh, are you %$&^ing stupid??? NOOOOO!!! Besides I will have had 3 showers all ready and after the last one at the end of this month I plan to go and buy up everything left on my list, wash up the rest of the clothing, put everything in it's place and I AM DONE!! DO NOT give me any more stuff, I don't need it. AND don't give me any more work to do at the time my baby is due! She wants to have a shower so that she can invite her friends. Luckily Dh told her no way for that. But, she asked if it was appropriate to throw one after the baby is born. I suppose it is ok but I DON'T WANT ONE...especially so she can show off my baby to her friends. She thought mabye a month or so after the baby is born. NO. Dh did not police the situation very well. He played politician and told her that we would talk about it when she gets here. I don't want to talk about it. She is pushy and I don't want to have to address the situation at all. Bring me a casserole or do my laundry for pete's sake after the baby arrives. Don't make more work for me!!

This is my first baby and I've worked so hard to prepare my self and my home...not to mention we're having a home birth and the extra prep for the house and my mind it takes for that. I have addressed my birth announcements, frozen casseroles, my list is almost entirely checked off. I don't need anyone adding to my list or things to do before, and certainly not after the baby arrives.
Dh doesn't want to ruffle feathers...I don't give a crap who gets their feathers ruffled.

Sorry this is so long. I just cried all the way to work about this and I have to get it off my chest. My emotions have been so steady this whole pregnancy. I hate for them to go awry now...I just want to be left alone with my baby and DH from this point on.

Thanks for listening.

Mama to DS1 (4/04) DS2 (HBAC 11/06) DS3 (HBAC 12/08) DS4 (HBAC 1/11). Wife to one handsome hard working DH.
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#2 of 11 Old 02-09-2004, 05:06 PM
 
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(((((HUGS)))))) I am sorry this is happening. It sounds like she will try for the shower again. You need to tell your dh to put his foot down. It shouldn't be that difficult, you can have him use the excuse of the dr said not to have the baby around that many people. Why didn't your SIL say congrats? I wouldn't be inviting her to my next celebration.

Evergreen- Loving my girls Dylan dust.gifage8, Ava energy.gifage 4 and baby Georgia baby.gif (6/3/11).

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#3 of 11 Old 02-09-2004, 11:31 PM
 
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s

Yow. I don't blame you for not wanting to plan a shower for your due date! Maybe a good compromise would be to offer to order extra announcements & pictures for your mil's friends--but let her be responsible for sending them out.

As far as your sil...her behavior does sound rude, but there could be a good explanation. My cousin has struggled with infertility and repeated miscarriages for years. She pointedly avoided me during my pregnancies and when my babies were small, simply because it caused her too much pain. I'm not saying this is the case with your sil, but it could be.

Best wishes for a beautiful birth, mama.

homeschool.gif mom to dd (11) read.gifand dd (9) crochetsmilie.gif and ds (3) bikenew.gif and  dog2.gif(x2)
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#4 of 11 Old 02-10-2004, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for listening to me whine! Yes, Gr8flmom, Dh needs to be the fun police. He is usually pretty good at this he just trys to be diplomatic. When it comes to my baby and me, I have no patience for diplomacy And you're right, she'll try again.
mamallama, I love the idea of sending extra announcements!!What you suggested may be the case to some degree with sil. She isn't married but has a live in boyfriend that she plans to marry in a couple of years. She has never expressed a desire to have kids but she's in her mid 30s now and I have no idea what might be in her private thoughts. She's ignored this pregnancy and pretended like it wasn't even going on. Refused in front of everyone during the holidays to participate in a "guess the sex and date of arrival" family betting pool. She said "I'm not interested". I won't go into it more though because I actually wrote another whiney thread a few months ago about this very subject. I have since learned to ignore it. It still freaks me out a bit when people can't at least feign general politeness. A nice "congrats! I can't wait to meet my neice or nephew! Good Luck!" in the book seems reasonable to me. Maybe I'm just a nasty person, I don't know.

This is the way the in laws are and there will be many more of these instances to come I'm sure:
I'm glad I can vent them here!!!

Mama to DS1 (4/04) DS2 (HBAC 11/06) DS3 (HBAC 12/08) DS4 (HBAC 1/11). Wife to one handsome hard working DH.
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#5 of 11 Old 02-10-2004, 09:20 PM
 
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Phoebe,

I feel your frustration--negotiating relationships with in-laws in challenging at best and we seem to get little preparation for how to do it well. I thought having a baby would make it easier, but it's become more complicated.

But now that I am a mother, I am more dedicated to making the relationships work and letting go of old hurt feelings. Someday I will be a mother-in-law, and I think about how I'd like to be treated. Dh and I come from the same area, but his family does things very differently from mine. I've had my feelings hurt, and it's been challenging learning to recognize the ways his family demonstrates that they care about us and our son. As Mamallama said, you never know where someone is coming from. I know I've done things that were rude without intending to.

MIL never comes to see us, and when I call about bringing ds to see her, she often says, "I don't care." Then we get there, and she's cleared her calendar, bought new toys and fixed ds's favorite foods...

I completely support your need not to be stressed or pressured to participate in showers or other events immediately before or for a while (weeks or even months) after your birth. But I encourage you to work hard to find ways that your MIL can particpate and do things for you while meeting your needs as well. Dh may do a lot of the negotiating, but ultimately, I'm learning the best relationships with MILs are built by daughters-in-law. It's hard, but worth it--she will always be dh's mother and your children's grandmother. Hopefully she will always be your MIL as well.

Can she host a shower that you don't attend close to your due date? If you have enough baby stuff, might she be receptive to doing a children's book shower, a card shower (where everyone sends a card or note), or, if her friends have known dh for years, a memory book shower where they contribute stories, memories or pictures of dh that can become a book for your child. Are there other things that would be fun for her to do that would help or not stress you out too much? Something we do is call MIL a lot to ask for recipes and advice. We don't always do what she suggests. It's a small thing for us to do that makes her feel needed.

If you can, relax, breathe and let some of the stress go. Focus on the blessing of having a MIL who cares enough to host a shower and wants to show you and your child/her grandchild off to her friends.

Having a baby is an emotional, life changing experience, and I support your decision to minimize stress during this time. I know it was several months before I began to feel and think normally again after the birth of my son. Take care of yourself and also remember that if you want the "village" to help you raise your child, it's important to respect the gifts the "village" has to offer.

Blessings to you and your babe,
Sarah
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#6 of 11 Old 02-10-2004, 09:45 PM
 
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Maybe your MIL could throw a casserole shower. Instead of traditional baby gifts, the guests could bring food that they have prepared.

Four different groups of friends had showers for us when ds was born, and we ended up with more baby stuff than we could possibly use. I wish we'd had more food (although the ladies at church were so generous - they brought food every day for a week after ds was born).

And aren't pregnancy hormones so much fun? I've been crying all day over nothing.
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#7 of 11 Old 02-11-2004, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sarah, very well put. You are absolutely right. I need to think of a way to include MIL. The children's book shower and the caserole shower that ebethmom suggested are two great ideas.

I have never found Dh's family to be so annoying until I got pregnant! I'm usually a push over and I almost always let other people get their way. So, when I feel like this about something I really mean it. We had a similar situation when we got married. We eloped and had a beautiful wedding/handfasting in the woods with another couple as witnesses and a woman minister. It became a huge family issue that we didn't do it their way and "what am I supposed to tell all my friends!?" kind of thing with MIL. I called her crying because I didn't regret for a second how we did things but I didn't want to start out as thier DIL on this kind of note. It put a real sour twist on what was otherwise a shining moment in mine and DH's life. With this baby I can see the same thing happening and this time I am not feeling like calling and groveling...I feel more like growling. Is that the Mama Bear thing happening already?

Just like you Sarah, our families do things very differently. My parents are so good about staying out of things and not being pushy at all. The women in Dh's family are all very pushy. They come into a room and just take over. Dh and I are so not like that. I need to find it in my heart to be firm but gracious. FIRM BUT GRACIOUS! I can do that. I will tell her how I need help...

Thanks for the input!

Mama to DS1 (4/04) DS2 (HBAC 11/06) DS3 (HBAC 12/08) DS4 (HBAC 1/11). Wife to one handsome hard working DH.
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#8 of 11 Old 02-11-2004, 10:23 PM
 
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I feel for you... late showers just are *not* helpful, for exactly the reasons you stated. I was to have a late one in my 1st pg, and I was so stressed and emotional (and I didn't have a MIL to make it worse), I just cancelled it. But the suggestions made were excellent.

In talking to my mom, I think that that a lot of things were *really* different for their generation, and maybe your MIL either can't remember what it's like to be late in pg/have a brand-new baby or she remembers that she had to put up with things like this, and that so should you (whew--run-on sentence). We had a lot of weird expectations from our parents before we had ds, and we just had to try to be very patient and open and explain our feelings. We saw it as an investment for the long haul in our relationships with them (and part of it was that it was time for some of them to realize that we were adults with our own lives and our own new family). As far as visiting goes... we tried to make it politely clear that we were going to be by ourselves for 2 weeks and that anyone who came after that would have to pitch in. We were firm, it took a while to hash it out, but it worked really well.

I know your SIL is freaking you out, but I can offer a possible explanation... women get a lot of pressure to get married/have babies, and when we're not ready for/don't want it/don't want to discuss it (esp. with nosy relatives), we tend to go overboard on being non-commital or even negative about it. My former step-sister had 3 kids very young, and I got all kinds of crap from the rest of the family (not the step-sister) about when was I going to marry/have kids. It annoyed me so much I wanted absolutely nothing to do with the kids...
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#9 of 11 Old 02-12-2004, 12:56 AM
 
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Thanks for your kind words, Pheobe. I'm glad I could help. I too have lingering in-law issues that go back to our wedding. I'm working hard to let it go and working hard to create a good relationship with my MIL, but there are times when I just want run away or lay all my frustrations out on the table. I think it's even worse because my mother isn't much help either...

I'll be thinking of you and hoping that you find some solutions that work for all of you because continuing to be a pushover isn't a good plan either.

I wish someone had helped me prepare better for this. Obviously, my mother who is on marriage #5 hasn't been a great teacher of how to negotiate committed relationships--with husbands or in-laws. And it wasn't until after my son was born that my favorite aunt talked to me about how the burden of making the relationship with MIL work is really my responsibility, not dh's...that's advice I could have used about fifteen years ago. Sigh! Live, learn, keep trying <grin>

Best,
Sarah
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#10 of 11 Old 02-12-2004, 01:09 PM
 
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My mother gave me a book for Christmas called The Daughter-In-Law's Survival Guide, by Eden Unger Bowditch and Aviva Samet. I'm not sure if I really found MY mother-in-law in the book, but I did find some helpful advice.

I actually get along with my MIL a lot better now that I am a mother, too. We can talk about ds and the ups and downs of parenting. She gives plenty of advice, most of which I leave by the wayside. But at least it's something to talk about!
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#11 of 11 Old 02-12-2004, 04:28 PM
 
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How about MIL, if she'll be around, hosting a general holiday party (like for memorial day) where she can invite her friends, you'll come so she can show off the baby, but it won't be focused on you,. YOu can tell her that you're uncomfortable getting gifts from people that don't know you...you don't want to put people to that kind of trouble or expense. A few people will bring a gift for the baby, but once the baby's here it's for the *baby* not for you so much...you know what I mean? I always found suggesting books was a safe gift idea for strangers...takes up little space, easily given away, easy to save until child get older etc.
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