How to break it to MIL... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 26 Old 07-12-2006, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How do I tell my MIL that we don't want her to come for the birth? It's not just her, its everyone, but I just don't know how to tell her without hurt feelings.

I don't want anyone at this birth except DH and the midwives. When I had DD (homebirth) there was wayyy too many people there (my mom, my sister and 6 month old neice, MIL, and my grandmother). I felt like I had an audience the whole time and even though I specifically asked that only my mom take pictures, EVERYONE was taking pictures the whole time. To top it all off, MIL (who is a nurse) offered to help the midwife stitch up my tears after the birth and ended up holding the light for her. At the time, I was too out of it to protest, but it was pretty mortifying for me.

I have already told my mom and sister and they were fine with it, but I didn't really expect them to be especially upset about it. MIL is a different story. She told DH that she is planning to take time off work and come up here the weekend before my due date. Last time I was a week overdue and everyone was camped out at the house the whole time just waiting for me to go into labor. I really, really don't want that again. In fact, I don't want any visitors at all for at least a few days after the birth.

How do I tell her without hurting her feelings?
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#2 of 26 Old 07-12-2006, 04:50 PM
 
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Can you just not tell her you're in labor?? That's my plan with my mother. We'll call her as usual when it's over, even though she's moving 1/4 mile away at the beginning of August . Otherwise I'd just tell people "we'll let you know when we're ready for visitors, but please call before coming by because the baby and mom may be sleeping," or whatever. And keep the door locked! Maybe harsh, but that's what I'm going to do. And I'll post all the vital birth info on the front door.

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#3 of 26 Old 07-12-2006, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by veganf
Can you just not tell her you're in labor??
Well, she lives out of town and I think her plan is to just come (she is very good at inviting herself for visits) whether I am in labor or not. I think she is planning to come around my due date and stay until after the baby is born. She came a couple days past my due date last time and stayed until 4-5 days after DD was born.

I am secretly hoping that the baby will come a week or 2 early :, then the problem will be solved and I can just call her after its all over.
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#4 of 26 Old 07-12-2006, 05:19 PM
 
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I think you're just going to have to bite the bullet and tell her you'd rather she not come up. Or have your DH tell her that you guys need a little more privacy this time around. It's his mom, and maybe that'll come easier from him than from you.

Or, take a more positive approach and tell her what you DO want. Can she be in charge of your DD during the birth?

I couldn't deal with my MIL during labor, either. My mom or my grandma, sure, but not my MIL.
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#5 of 26 Old 07-12-2006, 06:31 PM
 
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I had to tell my MIL the same thing. She wants to be there, but it's just going to be DH, myself and the little one~ and I intend for it to stay that way for at least 2 days after. It's hard to keep our mothers away, but we will lie about being in labor if thats what it takes. I refuse to let someone else get in the way of my childs birth. I do not perform well under pressure and that is what I would feel with mom and MIL around (my MIL is a nurse too) I almost feel like that makes it worse!! WAAAYYY too medically minded for my taste!! Good luck! You'll figure out a way to tell her and stick to your guns!! This is your families day...you don't have to feel bad about asking people to butt out!! Their feelings might be hurt for a short time, but it will pass!!

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#6 of 26 Old 07-12-2006, 06:38 PM
 
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I agree with pp who said you will probably have to just come out and tell her what you want and be very firm and enforce it.

Something that worked for us when ds was born was that I told everyone (our four sets of parents...both divorced and remarried, oy!) that we would call when the baby was born to let them know, and then we would call a few days later to schedule times when people could come see him/us. I know not everyone liked it, but they respected our wishes, and I'm happy with how it all ended up.

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#7 of 26 Old 07-12-2006, 06:41 PM
 
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That sounds like a job for dh. My MIL is absolutely forbidden from coming anywhere near the time of the birth (and actually for 3 months afterwards). Dh got MIL to come visit early. Perhaps your dh could try something like - it would be so much better if you could come a few weeks after the baby's born. That's when we REALLY need you.
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#8 of 26 Old 07-12-2006, 06:42 PM
 
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I told my MIL that the "childbirth experts" say that birth goes the best when there are not a lot of folks around. She got the picture, and plans to come down after the birth to meet the baby. I doubt that she would want to be at the birth anyways (she is in denial that we are doing a home birth), but she was planning to come down to "wait" for baby to arrive and I was not too keen on that idea. She will be here 3 weeks before baby is due, so hopefully baby won't come too early!

Since you told your mom & sister, can't your DH tell his mom?
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#9 of 26 Old 07-12-2006, 10:59 PM
 
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Also you should make sure you tell her (or your hubby does) that the same rule applies to your family. Then she doesn't feel like she did something wrong last time or like she is second best cause it is her son, not her daughter.
I know I told some family that I wanted them at the birth and the closer it gets the more I think I really just want dh and midwives too. So I had to go back and tell everyone that I may call you and I may not. I am going to play it by ear and see how I feel at the time.
My mother especially wasn't happy but too bad.
You could even include something like, last time it was our first and we thought we would need more support since we didn't know what to expect. But we feel more comfortable and confident this time and would like to be alone as a family unless we change our minds last minute in which case we hope it is ok to call you.
Good luck!
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#10 of 26 Old 07-13-2006, 03:12 AM
 
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I agree with all the PPs that you are going to have to just tell her. It stinks to think about but what would stink worse would be the stress of having her there. And have DH do it. It's his mom.

My dad was at the birth of my first DD... holding my leg while I was pushing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (This is the same man who wouldn't let us walk around our underwear as children or let me have a bikini.) I, too, was too mortified to even tell him to get the heck outta there. It was stressful and awkward. I went for the drugs because I was so stressed out.

DD2 came so quickly that they (mom and dad) were 1 1/2 late getting to the hospital to pick up DD1. Thank goodness for that blessing, although they refused to help me with her at our home and so to be with both my DDs I had to stay at their house for almost a week, without DH. It was horrible!

This time, we are actually out of state and hopefully the baby will be born here and not at home. Plus, I haven't been communicating with them since April, so I'll just send a short e-mail and pic with the stats afterwards.
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#11 of 26 Old 07-13-2006, 12:11 PM
 
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I think you should let your dh handle this one. Honestly, my MIL and I have issues and when I talk to her about something - she always goes back to dh about it and tells him (like he doesn't support me or something.)

Anyway, I think you should just tell your dh what you want and let him figure it out. It's his mom, he can hurt her feelings, YKWIM?

This time, I've told dh that everyone can come see us while we are still in the hospital. But, after we get home, the phones will go completely unanswered for 2 days (that means home phone and cell phones) and I will leave baby stats on the voicemail and on the door. And, we will return calls after that 2 days to schedule visits.

I told my mom the plan and it hurt her feelings, she said I'd need "help" etc. And, my mom came to help after ds was born and she was fabulous - she took care of laundry, cooking, and cleaning. And left the babycare up to me, which is exactly what I wanted/needed. But, I think I can live without her help for a few days and my MIL is nothing but a headache - she doesn't "help", she just stresses me out - trying to get me out of the house (which for a new mama, who is trying to get bf'ing down, well, it doesn't help, it made me want to cry.)

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#12 of 26 Old 07-13-2006, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I told DH last night to tell his mom that it would be more help to me if she came a few days after the baby comes when he goes back to work to help out, rather than be at the actual birth. Hopefully, that will allow her to still feel needed and not have hurt feelings about not being at the birth. I am going to tell my mom the same thing and let my mom and MIL work out who comes when and for how long (they live in the same town). Hopefully, that will allow me to have a peaceful birth and a quiet couple days afterwards to allow DH, DD, and I to bond with the new baby and still be grateful for all the help my mom and MIL want to provide.
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#13 of 26 Old 07-13-2006, 04:45 PM
 
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Let me start by saying my husband is incarcerated and will not be attending the birth of his first child (my second). I am having 2 of my 3 sisters in the delivery room with me (they have 8 children between them). I don't even want my MIL at the hospital when the baby is born! And I'm sorry if she feels like she is being secluded because this is her son's baby and not her daughter's but, OH WELL! I did not have my own mother in my first delivery(even though she drove me to the hospital because I lived with her) and she also will not be involved in this one. I believe my birth experience should be what makes ME comfortable and I should not have to consider other peoples feelings above my own. We don't walk up to birthing Lions and say we are watching just because we WANT to! Not that I'm really comparing us to wild animals but come on, who feels like tending to others while going through natural childbirth? I guess if I were having drugs and such I might feel like I could deal with more, but labor is serious business. I want my support people there, and that is it. Our MIL's all had baby's and had oportunities to make their birth experiences what they wanted and they shouldn't deny us the same right. Furthermore in my circumstance, I do not want my MIL sharing this experience with my husband before I do! If she is there she will go home and get his phone call and tell him about the whole thing and even though it might sound petty to some, that it the only way we have to share this experience with one another and I don't want her taking it away from us!
So I feel you should have the birth you desire, and if your husband isn't insisting on your MIL being there than you shouldn't be ashamed of sharing your true feelings about the impending event. You don't want to neglect your husband's needs, but it sounds like he doesn't care either way. Don't sacrifice your birth experience on behalf of others. This is a truly intimate time for you and your husband to welcome your new baby and fall in love with each other all over again. If you ask me, it's right up there with making love, which is what got you here in the first place and (correct me if I'm wrong) I doubt you had an audience then? So good luck sorting this out. I made my birth plan and discussed it with my doctor and found that during my last birth the L&D nurses had no problem keeping intruders out of my birthing room, that way you don't have to be the one telling them to stay out. Just my opinion though, and you know what they say about opinions.

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#14 of 26 Old 07-13-2006, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you lacey for your insight. I totally agree and want to do things MY way this time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by laceyjolovett
So I feel you should have the birth you desire, and if your husband isn't insisting on your MIL being there than you shouldn't be ashamed of sharing your true feelings about the impending event. You don't want to neglect your husband's needs, but it sounds like he doesn't care either way.
He doesn't want her to be there either. I am going to try my best for HIM to tell her and not me. For some reason she ALWAYS calls my cell phone, not his when she wants to talk. Then she calls MY mom and complains that we haven't talked to her in months (which is not true). I don't know what the deal is, MY mom doesn't call DH when she wants to talk to me, she calls me! : Sometimes I just can't figure her out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by laceyjolovett
If you ask me, it's right up there with making love, which is what got you here in the first place and (correct me if I'm wrong) I doubt you had an audience then?
Funny you should mention this....my midwife said something very similar in the last birth class. Something like you shouldn't invite anyone to the birth that you wouldn't be comfortable having sex in front of.
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#15 of 26 Old 07-13-2006, 06:15 PM
 
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marymamma --
That phone call thing sounds just like my MIL and her sisters used to be. They'd call a LOT and want to talk to me like we'd been girlfriends for years, but also give me tons of advice as though I was about fourteen, plus trying to get me in on their club of hen-pecking all the men in the family, which I'm so not into. I started screening calls and having DH say I was at the store, particularly after I got pregnant when they wanted to know all about my weight gain and nausea and cravings and stuff I don't necessarily want to chat with everyone in the world about. When they couldn't talk to me, they put a bunch of guilt on DH that they never got to talk to me.

Finally I started asserting that I'm a private person and hate talking on the phone and I'm just not a "one of the girls" type, and furthermore hate people giving me unsolicited advice. It's been a little awkward since then, but at least I'm not cringing every time the phone rings. But sheesh! What's up with MIL's? It sounds like so many of them just don't get how to be.
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#16 of 26 Old 07-13-2006, 06:47 PM
 
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Mary,
I hope your mil gets it and doesn't barge in on your birth. I think this time we aren't going to call anybody (except my parents who are taking dd) until after the baby is born. I hated feeling like a watched pot and having people come see me when I was in the middle of a really long difficult labor. I know people are excited and want to be there for us, but it comes down to being about us mommas and what we are comfortable with.

edited for spelling
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#17 of 26 Old 07-13-2006, 07:37 PM
 
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My MIL had surgery on the 3rd and can't fly out here (she's in VA) for 3-6 months. I really feel sorry for her, since this is her first grandchild, so we're going to go out there as soon as we can after the baby comes. I didn't realize how lucky I was with my MIL - she's very sweet and doesn't get into our business (most of the time). My parents are in CO, and I'm supposed to give them a call when I go into labor. They'll fly out as soon as they can. They're hoping to get here after the birth. For labor and delivery, it's just going to be DH and our doula. I feel pretty good about that. I can't wait to face the labor challenge!
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#18 of 26 Old 07-14-2006, 12:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marymamma
For some reason she ALWAYS calls my cell phone, not his when she wants to talk. Then she calls MY mom and complains that we haven't talked to her in months (which is not true). I don't know what the deal is, MY mom doesn't call DH when she wants to talk to me, she calls me! : Sometimes I just can't figure her out!
Your MIL sounds just like my MIL. . .right down to the calling my folks and complaining: "Oh, we're so worried because we call and call and call and have left so many messages for them and they never call us back. Is everything okay?" When in reality, MIL will call and then not leave a message (apparently, I have nothing better to do than to scroll through my caller ID to see what missed calls there were), call again a few days later (again, leaving no message), and then she'll call my mom. Or, better yet, she'll call DH (not leave a message), repeat process of calling and not leaving message, and then call MY mom to complain that I don't have any phone etiquette! Unbelievable!

Of course, I don't have to worry about MIL wanting to attend the birth. They live in Denver (we're in New Jersey) and she's already told me they're not even coming to see us because, apparently, the birth of their first grandchild is not an important occasion.

It may have something to do with the fact that they think I'm having a girl and not a precious son. . .and boy, will they be sorry, when they find out it's a boy.
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#19 of 26 Old 07-14-2006, 11:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marymamma
For some reason she ALWAYS calls my cell phone, not his when she wants to talk. Then she calls MY mom and complains that we haven't talked to her in months (which is not true). I don't know what the deal is, MY mom doesn't call DH when she wants to talk to me, she calls me! : Sometimes I just can't figure her out!
That kind of behavior is just plain manipulative. Good luck to you all who are struggling with this
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#20 of 26 Old 07-14-2006, 03:22 PM
 
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Okay, since we're on the MIL roller coaster - I have to add my most recent MIL story

So, dh and I have decided after months of unannounced drop-bys (at inopportune times) that MIL has to call BEFORE she comes over. Anyway, I've been leaving it up to dh to handle any unannounced visits (which has been super hard for him). So, Monday night, MIL stops by unannounced and dh literally RUNS outside trying to catch her before she steps out of the car. Ds and I were in the new babe's room playing and tidying up a little. Well, dh comes back and tells me that she dropped by a peice of mail that she had received for us and he told her that ds and I were in the bedroom playing and told her it wasn't a good time. So, today is Friday and she still isn't talking to him! : (This is how she gets when she doesn't get her way.) Just wish it would last another 4-6weeks! I hope and pray that I'm not as selfish and manipulative as she is when I become the MIL!

Steph, wife to C, mama to O :, E , and I :.
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#21 of 26 Old 07-14-2006, 04:38 PM
 
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On the main pregnancy forum page I just posted an email I plan to send to both sides of the family because of this issue with my MIL. Just trying to keep the peace and not single her out!

It is under the "Opinions on this email" thread.
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#22 of 26 Old 07-20-2006, 02:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peilover010202
So, today is Friday and she still isn't talking to him! : (This is how she gets when she doesn't get her way.) Just wish it would last another 4-6weeks!
:
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#23 of 26 Old 07-20-2006, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I finally talked to MIL yesterday (that's right I talked to her, not DH). I don't think DH had a problem with talking to her about this, it is just she calls me and not him. Most of the time, I just don't answer and have DH call her back later, but she left a message last time asking what birth supplies I needed (she's a nurse and can get medical supplies) and that she had the weekend off so she was planning to come bring me stuff. So, I called her back and told her that I already ordered the birth kit so I didn't need anything. She also told me that she was going out of state a week before my due date and flying back on my due date, then she had a week off. I took that opportunity to let her know that I would need her help more after the baby is born and DH goes back to work than being there for the birth. She seemed ok with it. She asked if my mom and sister were going to be there and I told her no, I told them the same thing.

Whew! Hopefully she will remember that conversation when the time comes! She also threw it out there that she is planning to sell her house in the next couple of years and move to our town to be closer to us At least I have a few years to get used to that idea!
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#24 of 26 Old 07-20-2006, 12:36 PM
 
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Way to go Mary! Sounds like you handled everything perfectly!!! I hope everything goes smoothly
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#25 of 26 Old 07-21-2006, 12:58 AM
 
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Good for you Mary. That sounds like it went pretty well.
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#26 of 26 Old 07-21-2006, 08:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marymamma
She also threw it out there that she is planning to sell her house in the next couple of years and move to our town to be closer to us At least I have a few years to get used to that idea!
Yeah, sounds like you'll need it! I'm having a hard time wrapping my head round the fact that my mother is moving 1/4 mile down the road 2 weeks before my due date. AAGGHH!! I really really really want to have this baby BEFORE August 4th, pleasepleaseplease!!!!!

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